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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

353 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 353
Hads: 959
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 31
Gots: 122 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

There's no wonder why our Pale Ale is so popular--it is skillfully crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany. We've chosen German hops for aroma, and rounded out the recipe with a blend of American and German malts.

While it is very much like a pilsner, our Pale Ale is fermented at ale temperatures, giving it a subdued fruitiness--a perfect compliment to the crispness of the wheat and maltiness of the Munich malt. If you like a lighter brew but also like the complexity of craft beers, then our Pale Ale is for you.

23 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 353 | Hads: 959
Photo of cbutova
3.47/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle says Pale Ale: The Original but same artwork as Yellowtail so here goes nothing.

A- The tall 12oz bottle pours a mostly clear golden yellow brew into my tumbler glass. The head is white and creamy rising just over one finger with good retention. A large pillow and ring remain dropping a few large webs of lace but not much else.

S- Easy going but plenty of yeast character leading the way in the aroma. A fruity yeasty feel with notes of pear and apple opens up for a bready, biscuity pale malt hint. Noble hops hint in the background.

T- As with the nose most of what I get is from the yeast. The fruits are rather apparent with pale things like white grape, pear and slight apple coming to mind. Bready, biscuits, hint of grassy spicy hops and minerals.

MF- Very light overall thickness with a noticeable lack of texture. Feels a bit thin as the carbonation comes down in moderate amounts. Light herbal bitterness towards the finish.

Light yet flavorful with a host of yeast derived notes cascading onto the palate. My only knocks are the texture is a bit thin and the flavors seem to clash at times but besides that it does its job.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served cold into a shaker pint glass.

Yellowtail pours a clear golden yellow color with thick white head. It settles fairly quickly and leaves spoty lace behind.

Aroma is mild and light with no real hop character.

Flavor is also very mild with pilsenser like attributes. Nothing too remarkable.

Mouthfeel is light In body and balanced.

Overall a disappointment. Calling this a pale ale is misleading. Yes it's an ale that is pale but it is not what one expects when ordering a pale ale.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I didn't look at the label too closely before trying this one so I was expecting more of an American Pale Ale. That considered my first reaction was disappointment - the flavors seemed dulled and there was not the freshness that I expect from an APA. When I saw the Kolsch "subheading" it made a lot more sense. A good enjoyable brew, but not one that I expect to repurchase.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 5/30/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden color with a 2 finger dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy herbal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, wheat, cracker, bread, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. A fairly clean finish as well with no overly estery yeast notes present. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice kolsch style. All around good balance and robustness of pale malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of patpbr
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Golden clear with a small white head
S - Malts and yeast
T - Much like the smell with some spice and hops showing up.
M - Medium body and just a little hop bite.
O - Not bad its easy to drink

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Photo of 3PuttPar
3/5  rDev -14.8%

This was a very disappointing beer. It has all the drawbacks of a light American beer, but lacking the crispness and carrying a higher price. Avoid this if you are looking for a pale ale. It is most similar to Kona Longboard or Olympia. Too much malty sweetness for my taste, without much complexity to balance it out. The lingering aftertaste is better than some of the other beers mentioned, with some hints of citrus fruit. This is my second go around with Yellowtail, figuring the last batch I had was a dud, but I am just as underwhelmed.

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Very earthy taste to this pale ale. Reminds me of a Sierra Nevada. A bit sweet on the tongue with just enough bite to make it above average in this category. The beer has a golden orange hue, minimal foam, lace and carbonation and a crisp, clean taste. Leaves the right amount of taste on the tongue and is not harsh like some other IPAs tend to be. A very worthy effort. Ballast Point is quickly becoming one of the best breweries on the west coast, but this is not their finest beer, even though I would rate as above average. I love this brewery and cannot wait to try their new beers!

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Rich malty nose, mild herby hops. light fruit
Brilliant golden amber, 2" fluffy bone white foam cap, produces excellent lace.
Malty palate, graham cracker to biscuit, mild hop accent
medium body and carbonation

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Photo of Immortale25
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%

Had on-tap at Bier Garden Asheville. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Very sweet aroma makes me think of honey.

T- Somewhat bland flavor has notes of bread and not much else. Probably the least hoppy pale ale I've ever had. Noticeable alcohol presence. Quite lame.

M- Pretty thin with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- They really missed the mark on this one. Might as well just be an amber for how weak it tastes. My least favorite Ballast Point beer by far.

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Photo of Tom_the_bomb
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Overall, not bad. Although, having recently sampled PBR (pabst) in a can, no less, I actually find PBR to have more character - from aroma, character, lingering taste appeal - I think the PBR revival has something going - including an attractive price point. a 24 pack at $13 goes much further than 22 oz. at $5. i'll stick with sculpin if I'm looking for real character.

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Photo of humuloner22
3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

As a pale ale as the label states on its label its not. But, as a Kolsch its not bad. I have had beers I liked better. It states that its fermented at ale levels but its more of a Kolsch. I read that others felt misled, but its on the label. As for most breweries who do fantastic hoppy beers this one falls short. More malt than anything else detected. Its crisp, but it also has the funk or whatever you call it that is typical of Kolsch beers. For the price I can get just as good Kolsch beers that are actually true Kolsch, so for me its a one and done, but I still love Ballast Point's hoppy IPA's. Sculpin is just about perfect and among my all time favorite beers.

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Photo of hoppyhour
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Like everyone has said before me; THIS IS NOT A TRADITIONAL PALE ALE
This beer pours, tastes and smells like a pilsner, very similar to a miller light imo.
You could straight beer bong this shit.
I was also disappointed as many others here that the packaging does not represent the correct product. This is a great session beer or if youre eating a big meal but other than that there is no reason for me to buy this again. Very little to no hops. :(

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Photo of gfg0020
1/5  rDev -71.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I'm generally fair in my reviews. I'm also not generally lied to about what style of beer I'm purchasing. Putting "Pale Ale" in big print and "Kolsh" in tiny print is misleading. So as far as a pale ale goes this beer is terrible. I'm rating it as a pale ale because it says that's what it is on the bottle.

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Photo of ANIMOUL
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bias-Alert: I typically like (nee LOVE) ALL San Diego brews.

That said, upfront, the beer is mis-labeled. When I think of a "Pale Ale" I tend to think of an "IPA Light"... but, as the words on the can warn, this is more of a kolsch style beer. That said, for the style, its damn good. A very refreshing and crushable beer... a great choice to enjoy after a long run or on a Sunday afternoon bbq. Tastes like a very well done Budweiser... which is a complement in my book.

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Photo of RDB51
3.84/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Yellowtail is an excellent beer. It is a perfect selection for a fresh, on tap product, here close to the brewery. Its appearance is slightly darker than a golden color. (I am color blind so I guess there is a red or brown tint.) The fresh draft product is lightly carbonated and the head is firm but less than most beers. Yellowtail is a very popular beer in San Diego bars, so it does not rest in the tap lines long. It is very accessible to those who drink beer occasionally or who are deviating from their domestic lager rut. It seems slightly sweeter than other pale ales.

While I would normally select a IPA for one or two beers with a meal, when I order a pitcher of half priced brew, I normally select Yellowtail. This smooth, low carbonated product is a great pick for watching 2-3 hours of sports in a bar. (Go Blackhawks!)

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Photo of ThomasMetal75
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy orange/copper appearance. Has a one finger of foamy head. Looks like a typical adjunct lager head. This has some carbination, but it's not real noticeable. Looks like a slightly paler version of a kolsh.

S- Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. There is also a lemony element here. Has a lager type graininess.

T- Follows nose. Malty sweetness. Fruity hop spice. Lemons. Lager type graininess.

M- Mild. Crisp, clean and refreshing. Finish starts out with sweet, but ends fairly dry. Easy drinking beer for sure. No complaints here. It just about drinks like a lager.

Overall this beer is very good. It's what got Ballast Point going. And I'm glad they stepped up their game in just about everything else they've done. It's an above average beer for sure, just not anything that blew my socks off. This would be excellent with seafood like mild whitefish, shrimp, or crab. I'd say try this if you are new to the craft beer scene or if you just want something that is light and extremely flavorful. You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of FLima
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Golden color with a thick head with good retention and leaving some laces.
Predominant aroma of papaya and bread.
Fruity flavor with a light spicy feeling. Hints of orange and papaya with lemon drops light sourness, green pears, floral and herbal hops, wheat and pale malt and yeast. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Light body with low carbonation.
I was expecting an American Pale Ale but this is actually a Kolsch with a distant APA background. Still faithful to style and well crafted.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Noted as "pale ale the original" on the bottle.
Soft mixed aroma of pale malt, light hops and some yeast. Yeasty qualities become stronger in time.
Huge white head caps a very clear golden body.
Again with yeast flavors first, then the paler malt (pretty clean with a slight sweetness) and mild bittering/very soft hop flavors and rather light dryness on the finish.
Nice refreshing quality and probably closest to a lawnmower beer than anything?
Goes down easily and pretty clean for an ale. Nothing offensive. Good for summer.
Received as part of xmas exchange.

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Photo of JimiO
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A good Pale Ale

Great color... easy to drink... nothing offensive in anyway

In being critical... it lacks a defining character... it's a bit plane... but that is a common charateristic I find in most Pale Ales

It's a pleasant beer you just want to drink... without having to feel the need to taste and analyze every sip... it goes down smooth... easy to put down a six pack

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Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head that quickly died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderately strong aromas of biscuit and cracker malts are present in the nose along with some hints of white grapes.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that there are stronger notes of grapes and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a little dry and chalky on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is a good American representation of the German Kölsch style.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My label is a bit different than the one pictured and says only Ballast Point Pale Ale, "the original", and lists a 5.20% abv instead of 5.00%. I think this is my second beer from Ballast Point.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - Pours a hazed lemon colored body with just under a finger of soapy white head that fizzles to a bubbly ring quickly. Some spotty sticky lacing.

S - Smell is of buttery diacetyl, bready malts, a bit of honeyed graham cracker, some soapiness, corn, and some musty yeast. Otherwise, the smell is pretty lame and boring.

T - Taste is of buttery caramel malts, corn, grains, herbal earthiness, crisp fruity yeast, grainy pilsner malts, and subdued indistinct fruitiness.

M - Feel is crisp and clean, light-bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, a fairly boring, uninspired beer. Poor duration of flavor, but light-bodied, refreshing, and drinkable. Inoffensive, but it doesn't really do anything for me. This would be a great stepping stone beer for those looking to get into craft beer, though.

Ballast Point Pale Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of Sacrifice
4.94/5  rDev +40.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

newer bottle design, 5.2% ABV. almost as good as their sculpin IPA, which is how i came to sample other ballast point beers. clear taste but nice for cold as well as warm weather.

ballast point is now my favorite san diego brewery - better than stone, even

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Photo of MichaelBigbone
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The store by me now has ballast point brews in cans.

This beer is one of the best pale ales I've ever had. I thought I just liked the sculpin, but after having them all can admit that ballast point is a world class American craft brewery. I love the classic beers, and quality.

Compare this to Blue Heron (Mendocino), Mirror Pond (deschutes) ...but still so unique and great malt but balanced. Actually probably not appropriate to try to compare .

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear straw golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. About two fingers of white head that slowly recede into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: A crisp, bready, and fairly sweet German style aroma with citrus undertones. Upfront pale malts with hints of cereal grains, wheat, straw, biscuit, crackers, and yeast. Citrus fruit hints of orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Earthy hop hints with a Noble presence. Slight hints of spice. A pretty decent Kolsch style aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma, a crisp, clean, bready, and fairly sweet Kolsch style taste with some citrus notes. Upfront pale malts with notes of wheat, cereal grains, straw, crackers, biscuit, and yeast. Juicy citrus fruit notes of orange, pineapple, and lemon zest. Earthy presence of European hops linger around. Subtle note of some kind of spice. Very grain forward. A pretty decent lager like taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, clean, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty decent take on the German Kolsch style. Has the crisp breadyness you expect.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.17/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Toscana Cafe. Pours clear golden with nearly no head. Aroma is light fruits like pears and white grapes, sweet pale malts, light grass and yeast. Flavor follows with some light hay, honey, sweet wheaty flavors, yeast lingering on the palate. Light bodied with medium high carbonation. Not great but plenty drinkable I guess.

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 353 ratings.