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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

350 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 350
Hads: 945
Avg: 3.52
pDev: 24.43%
Wants: 29
Gots: 111 | 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: 350 | Hads: 945
Photo of PintOHops
3.69/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears clear golden amber with almost a quarter inch of bubble bath like head and fair retention. Has little strings of champagne like carbonation, about lite Id say, and most of it dies down around 3/4 of consuming. Leaves no lacing either, Id say the appearance was lacking. Smells mostly of very sweet malts, and lite chocolate cake aromas, but there's some fruity tart grape, pair, and date notes. Overall very malty, with cake like aromas.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes very similar to how it smells, lots of malty, chocolate cake like flavors flood the palate, and leaves little room for the lite pine, slightly dry hop bitterness on the finish. Some fruity date, and sweet molasses flavors come through as well, although very subtle. Overall malty domination! Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly silky, a little oily, and lite-medium bodied. Pretty average feel but on the desirable side.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - Well this beer really really reminded me of Fat Tire, with all it's chocolaty cake flavors and over the top malts. No that's not bad but, more like something you feel like once in a while. Not bad and pretty enjoyable, but for the money Id probably go with Fat Tire, my personal choice. Give it a try, it's still a decent beer with good flavors. Cheers!

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Photo of gabeerfan
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thought I would crack this open on the first hot day we've had this year.
Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a somewhat fizzy head that only leaves a very thin ring.
Very subtle aromas. Some lemon and orange juice, very light grassiness. It took several whiffs to even get that much.
Flavors are stronger than the aroma would let on. Lots of lemon juice, little bit of honey, saltine crackers, and grassy hops.
Light bodied. Nice carbonation.
Very drinkable. Light bodied, good flavors and a somewhat low ABV make this a great summertime beer.
Too bad this isn't available in GA yet, I would get this beer all throughout the summer. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into an AJ Fruh stange. Light golden color with excellent clarity. Formed a 1-2 finger white head with superb retention. Visible carbonation streams up the body of the beer.

S - Moderate noble hops in the nose well balanced by a pilsner malt character. Slightly floral.

T - Moderately bitter, well-balanced brew. Pilsner graininess is off-set by a moderate floral/noble hop character. Bitterness is moderate. Finishing dry with a lingering grainy flavor. Touch of saltine crackers.

M - Medium bodied, moderately carbonated. Smooth.

D - This one goes down easy. Is it just the memories conjured up by my authentic Fruh glassware? Nah...this is actually a refreshing beer. Well balanced, nice pilsner character pairing with a floral hop profile. Not quite a world-class example but a damn fine beer none the less.

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

Pours a little hazy/translucent golden with average white head that has some decent retention. Nose is faint citrus, herbal, and light melon. Palate offers a nice herbal dry character, and somewhat "dirty" on the finish. Refreshing and rather easy drinking. Pairs well with french bread.

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Photo of prototypic
2.99/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmph. I was fully expecting this to be an APA, but much to my surprise, it's a Kolsch. Who knew? Without further ado, it's pale gold and a little hazy. A foamy white head sits atop and stands about two fingers tall. It was surprisingly slow to dissipate and left a much more generous coat of lace than I expected. Nice looking beer.

The nose is weak and below average. Primarily, it's grainy and grassy. There's some light lemon and orange notes. Pale malts are noted and add a sweet scent to the mix. Past that, it's tough sledding. It doesn't smell overtly bad in any way, there's just not much here to work with. This could definitely use some attention.

Yellowtail is interesting beer, but not in a good way. A testament to a beer's average-ness occurs when the most notable thing about it is how dry it is. That's the case here. It's not all bad and is better here than on the nose. Still. Work needs to be done. It's very grainy and grassy throughout. Very light lemon and green grape flavors are present. It has a sweet, pale malt base that's not bad. A bitter surge of spicy hop flavor attacks toward the end. That's actually the high point for the flavor. Did I mention it was dry? It finishes extremely dry. Very average across the board.

The body is light, leaning medium. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. It's not quite smooth, but it's not bad. Drinkability is pretty average. I don't like the flavor very much and it's so damn dry. Ordinarily, a beer like this would be nice on a hot day, but I'm not sure I'd want something this dry.

Yellowtail Pale Ale is easily the most disappointing beer I've had from Ballast Point. First of all, the name is a little misleading (at least in my opinion). To be fair it says it's a Kolsch, but I wasn't holding the bottle when I ordered it over the interwebz. Small gripe. More substantively, the nose is very weak, it's way short on flavor, and is way too damn dry. I recognize that Kolsch is a tough style to pull off. But, this one's not really close to a good take on it. If crossed with the opportunity to pick up another bottle, I'd probably pass. I'd suggest you do the same.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes: 12/19/08 Ballast Point Yellowtail "Pale Ale" 22 oz. bomber into Pint glass.

First off, the label says Pale Ale, which it is clearly not. It actually is Kolsch style.

Appearance= vigorous pour into pint glass yields a very thin white head. Weak pale yellow color.

Smell= Weak, not much of anything.

Taste= Pale ale... Tastes almost Belgian or German, on the sweeter side, not hoppy side.

Mouthfeel= good mouthfeel

Drinkability= Average. Very underwhelmed by this beer. I've had many other pales with a ton more flavor. There again is the Kolsch thing...Would not drink again

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Photo of kkipple
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

If this is a Kolsch, why's it got "Pale Ale" slapped on the front? Oh well, here we go...

A. Very thin and watery, lots of active carbonation, short tight white head. Some lace. Beer is a fizzy yellow-gold. So far so good.

S. Sweet and light sugar water, grainy, with a touch of metallic, earthy hops. Avoids smelling corny or bland, which is good.

T. Initial crisp-fizzy rush turns into a slightly powdery-dry "European" malt sweetness. Tame and restrained and rather subtle. Fair amount of gently singed, biscuity malt here, balanced by a vague earthy bitter hop. Not terribly complex but I have to confess it's rather refreshing and that's exactly what I needed for a bright 80 degree day.

M. Thin and watery, mildly dry grainy finish. Highly carbonated and fizzy in the mouth.

D. Pretty decent. This isn't an award-winning beer, but you could surely do worse on these beastly Southern summer afternoons.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to barleywinefiend for this one.

A - Fairly clear golden yellow with a thin white head that quickly fades without any lacing.

S - Floral and fruity with vinous malts.

T - Fruity and floral, sweet, slightly malty with a grapey flavor, slightly estery from the yeast.

M - Refreshing with a bit of spice on the tongue. Grainy feel and not as crisp as other Kolschs I have had.

D - Nice and refreshing.

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Photo of r12ax7
4.37/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a relatively bitter pale ale, great if your a hop head and if you like Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA. This beer was very crisp and refreshing but certainly flavorful; as perfect for a warm summer day as a snowy day in January. This is the kind of beer I could easily drink all day.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a weak looking hazy lemon yellow with a very little foam and no lace. The smell of citrus filled the nose with a nice aroma. The taste was of a grapefruit and light flavored hop's. Nice balance of bitterness that feel's like a citrus type of bitterness. I do think that this pale ale taste's better when it cold and not while it warms up!

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. no date? (printing of "2202")

hazy golden straw. moderate head fades to wisps and ring. good lacing at first, but less further down the glass.

gentle noble hop aroma and faint peach skin fruitiness.

toast malt flavors mix that peach character. very grassy, faintly citrusy hop, with moderate bitterness. crisp finish with hint of esters.

smooth and drinkable with lively, crisp carbonation.

ok, not bad. the "pale ale" label is misleading however. anyway, seems some of my previous reviews for kolsch might need some updating. will have to re-try a fresh reissdorf for comparison.

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Photo of boston2bburg
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a stange, this beer exhibits a very light straw color with a touch of haze. The white foamy head has a respectable layer of retention with some clumping. Lemon and a bit of cake on the nose.

The mouthfeel strikes me as starchier than expected. Its rough, hop-forward flavor exhibits lemon tartness and pale German malt. The hops give character where the grains merely balance. Very spicy bitterness. This would be a very nice summer pounder but the lemon flavor is a little too one-dimensional.

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Photo of timtim
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i have to agree with the previous reviewer's description. this one is very biscuity ,and the floral hops are a perefect accessory to the malt. hints of sweetness along with everything else make for a slightly unusual but quite refreshing and delicious beer. this is for sure not a dieseldorf, but very good in it's own right. another quality beer from a brewery that i wish would focus on their strengths and not what they think the masses want.

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Photo of merlin48
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle pours a clear goldenrod body that shows a lot of active carbonation. Immense vanilla head retains well and becomes pitted and rocky. Lots of scattered patchy lace.

Aroma is quite biscuity, accented by spicy and floral hops.

Light medium body is well carbonated.

Taste is well balanced, but governed by an earthy and spicy hop bitterness. Malt presence is very biscuity and has a hint of honey. Finishes clean and crisp.

One of the better American examples of the style and very sessionable.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new beer in CO. Pours darker gold to straw yellow color with some good clarity. A fizzy white head that did stay for some time but did dissipate over time. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is limited overall and not very distinct as a German beer. Some minor grainy notes but more of a US Pale Ale aroma. Looking more that more earthy grainy husky note and not really there. Some yeasty character with a light phenolic smell. Some pear and non-discript fruity notes. Some sudsy notes but mostly clean.

The taste is more descript than the nose indications. The malt is limited though. A good sweetness but is limited on the German malt flavor. More of a US pale like taste with a hint of husky like flavors. The yeast is a bit more distinct with a light German feel. Some lager-esk flavors but some light phenols with a hint of plums and pears. The bitterness is light, would like a bit more balance, and next to no finishing hops but that is ok. Some sudsy notes in the finish.

The body is light and easy drinking. Some chalky notes linger in the mouthfeel though. The carbonation is a bit low as well, and could help if more with carbonic bite. Overall, a easy drinking beer but misses it's mark on being a Kolsch. Would like to see more of a German malt taste, but hey.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale golden with medium fizzy head, not as good as you'd expect for lacing or retention. Big, slow bubbles of carbonation rising up. Smell is a bit too sweet and grainy. A little sour lemon. Taste is pretty good. Not as sweet as the nose suggests. Some earthy hops come in with big biscuit and grain. A bit of lemon again and a touch of honey. Still a decent sweetness all along. Light mouthfeel with a little dryness in the finish. Sweet and bready. Not extremely drinkable, a pint or two maybe. Every time I try a Kolsch I think of a Charleston classic. Tough competition.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
4.68/5  rDev +33%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my cylindrical Spaten glass.

A: Nice gold color, not too light and ever so slightly hazy. Still quite clear. Great white head with fantastic retention and lacing.

S: Light and crisp fruitiness within lovely malt and yeast aromas. Nice and clean smelling.

T: Clean and crisp on the taste as well. Nice malt backbone is made ever so slightly soft and tangy by a bit of wheat. Fruitiness is much more subdued than the nose might suggest. Just a hint of hop bitterness to balance things out.

M: Light and refreshing. Not too heavy and finishes nice and clean with a mildly sweet aftertaste.

D: VERY high. Great carbonation and balance. An optimal choice for a session brew.

This is fast becoming my "everyday" beer of choice. Its drinkability is quite excellent. Although the Kölsch has been thought of as more of a warm-weather brew, I could definitely enjoy this one year-round. It may not be as bold as other styles, but that's where its beauty lies. Worth trying, for sure.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an almost vertical 'pint glass' which I appropriated from the World Famous restaurant in P.B. for the sake of measuring its volume. At 12.8 oz. it's an interesting 'pint' with perhaps 11.2 oz. of beer with a fair head atop it.

Alas, it's the closest I had to a Stange glass, so back to the beer...

Pours a touch hazy, slowly clearing to a medium golden color with a half inch of white foamy head. Retention is short and lacing is present but not much of a factor.

Malts, hops and a tinge of sour on the nose when agitated, otherwise rather still and almost lager-like. Taste is light and a bit bready with a moderate finish. Carbonation fits the beer well. Easy drinking with an interestingly dry but not chalky finish.

A go to beer for many of my non-craft beer friends when I drag them out, and a big money maker for Ballast Point; allowing them crazy folk to tinker elsewhere.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. Pours with a small bubbly white head. Well carbonated. Slightly cloudy dark mustard color. Very light grassy sour aroma. Starts sweet and tart, quite light, refreshing. Flavor is mild but pleasant. Notes of apples, pears and lemons. Overall easy to drink but not terribly interesting.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Name says its a pale ale.. on the bottle it calls it a Kolsch.. confusing eh?

Anywho, a decent drinker. Weird my package store just got this in as it doesn't seem like a winter type brew.. in fact it's the exact opposite. There's intense carbonation in this bad boy, I had trouble pouring it without the head spilling over (maybe my bottle was old/infected?). Very light bodied with a nice crispness to it. Some slight hops are there but it drinks like a pils/kolsch as the bottle states. Pale ale.. nah not enough hops for that. Not something I'd buy again but decent.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/20/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small head. Aroma of light wheat and Kolsch malts, some light fruits. Flavor starts off with a sharp, spicy initial bite followed by Kolsch malts, apple, pear, rhubarb, champagny notes. Very light, very tasty. Good beer, although as noted below, the name is quite misleading.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden beer with a white head. Light aroma of malt and honey. Tastes sharp like a pilsner, but with equal malt flavors. A nutty character sometimes pops with a hint of biscuits. I don't know why they call this a pale ale, because its not. Oh well, its still good.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.21/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellowtail pours a tarnished gold with a bubbly bleach white head that retains pretty well,but leaves very little lacing as it recedes to a paper thin covering. The nose seems a bit understated and one dimensional,grainy,with the slightest amount of floral hops. Not realizing that this was a Kolsch style PA I thought it was a bit underpowered in the hop department. Upon reading the label and realizing the style being attempted I find this to be quite nice and balanced. A touch of grainy lightly toasted malt is backed up by an equal balance of earthy,grassy hops. Subtle lemon and spice. A slightly slick mouthfeel followed by dry,prickly cabonation and a slightly bitter finish. Yellowtail Pale Ale was not what I expected,it is balanced and very drinkable.

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Photo of arizcards
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at BevMo in late October for $3.99.

Beer poured golden with a nice long lasting white head. Nose is malty with a hint of light fruits. Taste has hints of the light fruits and is balanced nicely by a slight hint of hops. Mouthfeel is a bit heavier than normal for the style yet it is crisp and lively on the palate. Overall drinkability is good. This is another finely crafted beer by one of the lesser known San Diego breweries. Definitely worth a shot for a change of pace!

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Photo of hopdog
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a clear gold color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of grass, citrus and some fruits (apples). Somewhat fruity tasting with light grass and wheat. Medium sweet with a very light hop bitterness finish. Watery body.

Notes from 6/3/05

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Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 350 ratings.