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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
80
good

725 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 725
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 14.77%


Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 725 | Reviews: 329 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a bowtie glass)
Best by 09/21/2013
A- This beer pours a clear glowing yellow body with a thin white film of heat that breaks up after a few sips and a slow carbonation pushing toward the surface.

S- The green bitterness of Noble hops and some dry field corn notes is all that come through this lagered clean aroma.

T- The dry pale malt has some stronger field corn taste that leads to a soft Noble pungent bitter note that lingers with a slight almost sulfury dryness. The taste also has a lagered cleanness to it.

M- The light mouthfeel has a tight scrubbing fizz in the finish.

O- The clean beer has lots of qualities of an American adjunct lager with lots of field corn qualities and Noble hop hints. It was a bit of a let down.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 11:50:01 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting. Of course a kölsch is a pale ale, technically, but one marketed as a pale ale in America seems like something of a misnaming. Anyway, let's see how it is.

Pours a very pale yellow colour, with a filmy but fine-bubbled head of white foam, that leaves some abstract lacing. Looks very lagery, which is stylistically true for a kölsch at least. But thin, but decent enough.

Nose is slightly grainy, with a sharp German hop profile. Hint of molasses or raw processed sugar, along with something slightly phenolic. It reminds me a lot of a Munich Helles. Less fruity and clean than I expect for a kölsch, but not bad.

Taste is similar. Some graininess on the back, fronted by a light sweetness and a sugary, slightly nutty aftertaste. There's something all a bit insipid about it, however, and the characters don't mesh together particularly well. Mouthfeel light, which is expected, but it doesn't add anything to the beer, which really needs a lift.

Eh, drinkable enough, but really, there's something unappealing about it. It's not so far as to be offensive, but there's so little to it, I wonder why they bother.

I'll stick to Sculpin, thanks.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2010 23:43:08 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

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

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a blurb about the beer on the side of the label, no freshness date.

Appearance: Very mild chill haze, big frothy white head that cakes to a great thick lace.

Smell: Light breadiness with hints of yeast and grain. Faint whiff of fruit and hops also.

Taste: Medium body, sweet pale malt flavour through and through with a even hop bitterness (slightly spicy) and mild leafy noble hop twang flavour. Sweet bread and yeast on the palate straight into the drying finish.

Notes: Decent go at the Kölsch style, quite palatable with an impressive malt character for such a light coloured brew. Nice addition of hops to make for a perfect balance.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2002 19:09:24 | More by Jason
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden brew with lots of carbonation.

Smell is sweet grain and a mild perfume smell.

Taste is sweet with lots of grain. There is a tartness to this gives it a different flavor. The hop bitterness is in balance with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good.

A super drinkable brew, very mild brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2004 03:01:22 | More by Zorro
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden orange/yellow color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy/creamy white head, some sticky lacing around the edges. The nose is slightly sweet, hoppy/malty, spicy, and some caramel. The taste is soury though, slightly hoppy, some spices thrown in and caramel. The finish is dry. Medium body. Drinkable, I bought this thinking is was a Pale Ale, WRONG! Not really a fan of Kolsch brew's.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2007 23:47:21 | More by Wasatch
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At long last, nepotism rears its ugly head on The CANQuest (TM)! For those not in the know, I write for Ale Street News (and others) while my cousin, Colby Chandler, is the specialty brewer at Ballast Point B.C. It has been a closely-unguarded secret for some time and I have written about our relationship as well as making appearances with Colby at various venues and events. He knows of my affinity for CANned beer and especially craft CANs, so when they began CANning their beers, he knew precisely who to send some for a fair and balanced review.

From the CAN: "Handcrafted & CANned in San Diego, California"; "Dedicated to the Craft"; "The Beer That Launched Ballast Point"; "Our original Pale Ale is a rich golden brew, crafted with aromatic German hops and rounded out with a blend of American and Munich malts. While it's hopped like a lager, we ferment it like an ale to create a smooth, bright taste that has just a hint of fruit and spice. It's extremely drinkable, like a Kolsch should be. And complex, like a good craft beer demands."

The Crack revealed yet another brimful craft CAN and I was ready to see what was inside. An inverted Glug later, curtailed midway through as it threatened to overflow the sides of the glass, and I had a massive finger-and-a-half of French Vanilla-colored head with good retention in the face of today's humidity. Color was a deep, rich gold with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see into the future.

I will be returning to the site of the creation of the term, "NE-quality clarity", which refers to one being able to read the Sunday comics through it, a level of clarity used by the brewer at Empyrean BC in Lincoln, NE to describe the kind of beer his patrons wanted in 2006 when I visited. I will be going back in late-February 2015 for a joint birthday celebration with Val MidWest who turns 21 y/o on Valentine's Day of that year while I will hit the big 5-Oh on the 25th. The party is planned for Yia Yia's and Old Chicago on Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 if anyone wants to join us.

While I was typing, the head fell, allowing me to lean in for a good whiff. The nose had a distinct biscuit malt/bready yeast quality, like freshly baked bread or biscuits. Yum! Mouthfeel was medium and the initial flavor was of mixed fruit, but followed with a subdued yeasty spiciness. It was like JuicyFruit gum, but with a bite. Finish was semi-sweet and highly refreshing on this hazy, humid day. Of the two so far (Longfin Lager) and this one, I am giving the majority of the cooler space to this, but neither really trip my trigger the way that the next two CAN.

The following is my original Bottle review dtd 12-31-2009

It arrived with a finger of bone-white head with good retention. Color was a bright golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity (although that is redundant when using the term "bright" to describe a beer). Nose had an interesting tang, a little sweet, as though the hops and yeast were fighting it out. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweetish, spicy black pepper taste on the tongue. Finish was dry, but not overly so.

Serving type: can

12-31-2009 23:39:58 | More by woodychandler
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Cost Plus World Market for carrying this in your vairety pack! On to the beer:

A soapy head forms on top of this golden ale, albeit one that doesn't last too long. But it does the job on a pleasant warm day. It's semi-sweet with some hop grape and bready flavors. The crispness is light and finishes a touch dry. A great beer to have when the weather is too much to have something big.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2007 02:33:38 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

Yellowtail is, in fact, yellow (but a rather dulled shade of it at that). It is actually so dense that I had thought its natural haze was condensation built up on the glass, but no, that's just what happens when you use the right amount of malt in your brew. Its head is incomplete but does make the 5-inch or so trip round the whole circumference of the glass.

The aroma showcases a very assured, wholesome maltiness that is so thick as to be almost doughy. It smells like crackers or biscuits and is deliciously aromatic, even despite its paleness. With quality malts like this I don't even want hops or yeast to interfere and I'm quite happy they don't (although others might detect a subtle fermentation-driven fruitiness).

You don't need a million different flavours for a beer to be flavourful, sometimes you only really need one. This kölsch, like most golden beers in this alcohol range - and in particular the German-style ones - is not terribly complex, but it is extremely flavourful. Cracker-like, noticeably biscuity maltiness is all you taste, but it's really all you need. These malts are highly-attenuated and very rich in flavour yet incredibly simple and clean too.

I could have a beer like this every day with lunch and be a very happy man. (I'm not sure the bomber would fit in a lunch box but this is definitely the kind of thing you'd want alongside a big sandwich.) Despite being so approachable and easily quaffed, it is still a considerably hearty and flavourful beer so far as its maltiness is concerned. A beer like this makes me think that if I never saw another DIPA again I wouldn't miss them one bit.

There's not one beer style that Ballast Point does badly. In fact, I have yet to rate even one of their beers as 'just alright'; all of their brands are exceptional examples of their respective styles and Yellowtail is certainly no exception. I don't think any other brewery makes as many of my #1 favourites when it comes to examples of different styles.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2011 22:41:17 | More by biegaman
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big gold color with a relatively ample head.

Taste is maltier and hoppier than mosts kolschs I've come across. Damn good tasting on a hot day around the pool. Kinda dry, yet sweet nuances. The most restrained beer I've had from these guys, and yet a great representation of a style I've traditionally shyed (sic?) away from.

A little pricey for what you get.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 16:52:31 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dirty looking orange-amber color. It's got brown to it as well. Thus a dirty look. The head is ivory white and thin. Well retained though. And the lace left is nice. The aroma is quite thick and gritty for a kolsch. Very grainy. And dusty. (Like the grain room at the local homebrew shop.) Not that that's bad. Taste is average. It's quite grainy as well and not really quenching (as a kolsch should be). Dry finish. A bit of herbal and earthy hoppiness. Pretty average.

Thanks for yet another Ballast Point offering Mr. Bum.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2004 02:32:44 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear, bright tangerine color with a billowy, dull white head that slowly settled to a creamy, bubbly layering that left a sticky and clumpy lacing behind. Visible carbonation was very strong and vibrant with rapidly rising bubbles rushing to the surface.

S: surprisingly light with freshly squeezed lemons and tangerines.

T: The initial flavor was fresh citrus/lime and tangerines. The palate was incredibily clean with light pale malts and a sharp citrus hopping that was well rounded and very smooth flavor wise. The finish was crisp with a short duration of bright wet citrus.

M: very light, slick with a surprisingly light carbonation presence on the tongue despite the strong visible nature. The beer finished clean with a moderate citrus bite left on the tongue.

D: An extremely clean, crisp drinking pale with a wet citrusy nature makes this a classic example and easy to drink and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2008 23:33:13 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light gold in color. A pale ale or a Kolsch? Make up your mind Ballast Point! This brew leans more to the kolsch side, making it a good summer option. Light floral hops, no real bite. Crystal and pale malts. Tinge of lemon. Fairly bitter, and very clean at that. Easy to drink but just a run of the mill kolsch style beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-07-2010 23:21:22 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, bright, pale gold with a white collar and thin skim of very fine bubbles coating the surface of the beer. Even with a meager head, there was still spotty lacing. Fruity aroma, oranges, grassy, citrus rind, cakey, but fairly mild overall. Moderate bitterness with a fruity sweetness, basically the same character as found in the aroma. Lingering citrus oil bitterness. Light bodied and dry with moderate carbonation, fairly crisp. Quite drinkable and nicely balanced with hops and bitterness just surpassing the sweetness. Solid overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 01:46:25 | More by DrJay
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

The beer is clear and ligh golden with a small white head. The aroma brings grain, earth, hops, malt. Some sweet corn character in the flavor. A balance of malt and hops with some wet earth character. Dank hops and lingering bitterness. This is neither a good kölsch nor pale ale. It certainly lacks the attributes of either style. Too sweet. One beer was more than enough. Not again.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 19:09:59 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer after splitting from the 22 ounce bottle pours a translucent and lustrous gold with the head large and bright white with a pleasing creamy texture, lace a fine silky curtain to cover the glass. Nose is dominated by the sweet malt, crisp and fresh, with the start nicely malted, lightly sweet and the top fair in its feel to the palate. Finish is equable in its acidity, the hops are pleasing but a bit mild, the aftertaste quite dry and a fine session beer it will make.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2004 23:49:30 | More by Gusler
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a make shift Stange, my old collins glass.

A nice simple pale lemon with green hues on the edges hints of dark buttery gold for the body. Some orange colors also A very large even foamy head of pin sized bubbles is produced which takes much time to receed but doesn't leave much lacing either.

Bouquet is subtle but nice if unexpected. Faint grain, very light and airy and dry smelling. A small toasty bread sense, some gas, even a hint of faint spritzy lemon.

Taste is strange... dry and powdery sensations of flour mostly. Powdery with some sweetness in the finish, missing bread action

Overall a real unique and nice nose, but taste doesn't deliver as much. This is not bad but I think I'd grab a different Kolsch if I could.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 00:48:52 | More by smakawhat
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

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

2/18/2011 

On tap at Ballast Point Old Grove.

A: Transparent straw golden with a big white head and good retention.

S: Light fruit notes, redolent of pear and orange, with wheat, grass, and a little sulfur. Low noble hop presence.

T: Lightly fruity, with notes of melon and orange. Grassy and slightly herbal with a decided wheat flavor. Smooth, mellow, clean and dry finish.

M: Upper light in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is smooth, soft, and sticky.

Overall: An enjoyable Kolsch that I have seriously neglected. I will definitely enjoy more of this when the weather warms up.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2011 17:36:28 | More by HopHead84
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Golden with amber hues. 2 finger thick head.

S: bready and malty. Not getting too much of the fruitiness.

T: Wheat, mild fruit notes that I really have to search for. More like the bready nature of a pilsner than a pale.

M: The wheat beer character makes this more refreshing than many pale ales. A little bitter on initial feel

Overall: The refreshing aspect is a huge plus but this just isn't the pale ale for me. I love Ballast Point but this is just not for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 06:36:26 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a kolsch glass. Had a pale yellow color and a hazy texture. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: Had a muted aroma of hops, light fruit, and some malt.

T: Tasted of light hops, fruit (a little citrus), and some bready malts. Not an unpleasant flavor in the least, but certainly underwhelming.

M: A generally well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: This is not necessarily a bad beer, but definitely an unmemorable one. A good summer beer if you don't care what you're drinking.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 12:08:38 | More by avalon07
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with getkrunkhoe. Thanks Carlos!

It pours a pale light gold with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is light but I get some grassy hops and bready malt notes.

The taste is nice and bready and semi sweet up front with a good grassy hop bitterness mid palate and a balanced, very crisp finish. Good stuff and very easy to drink.

It has a light mouthfeel and the carbonation is medium. Btw, head retention is above average and there's some nice lacing. This would be a nice everyday beer for those who can get it locally.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2008 22:50:51 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.9/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap at the brewery, the beer was served in a pint glass. The beer was semi-hazy, bright, and a vibrant yellow-gold with a ring of filmy head. Mellow nose, with very slight hops characteristics. Watery flavors initially, but heavy toasted flavors on the tail end, with only a hint of hops. Slightly pale/hoppy and sour aftertaste, with a musty, lingering finish. Overall, it was a bit watery throughout.

Serving type: on-tap

04-11-2011 04:36:29 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Man I knew as soon as I cracked the bottle it was old.

A - Pours a pure dead yellow with no head and mild ring lace, which seems to only cover half the glass. The sediment was low due to a slow pour but it was impossible to avoid.

S - Smells kind of grassy, kind of muddy, and kind of grainy. You get pretty much malt and grain and very muted hops (typical pilsner)

T - Wow it taste kind of belch. Like Grolsch Lager yet its an ale not a lager so age has turned it kind of sour. Second sip it taste like the carbonation wants to bring something to the field other than grain and grass but really thats all I am getting, bitter on bitter but not in a good way. Sad thing is only a few bubble of carbonation are visible.

M - Light and bitter like an ESB but it's an ale! Damn this beer is old!

D - Well apparently this company is notorious for not having dates on their beer along with getting this from a shop I knew had old beer was a lose/lose situation. It's weird since it's really not drain pour worthy yet not really exciting and full of flavor so I will pour it. Sad since even hella old the IPA still rocked my taste buds this beer is so/so at best new or old. Every beer is not a winner.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2010 01:42:33 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

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

If it's a Kolsch why not call it one instead of a pale ale. I expected a lot more from this in the way of hops but now reading what it is I understand. I'm still pissed though as I wanted a true APA from BP...As a Kolsch it is decent enough...some malt sweetness....relatively clean...some bready/cereal notes....light fruitiness (apples/pears)...decent for the style but still pissed this is not an APA..I'll rate for style though

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 05:25:47 | More by ZAP
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

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

Thanks to the creator of the canquest, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1 inch head. Smell is mild, some malts are present. Taste is crisp, malts, a touch of hops, a bit of wheat, pretty refreshing. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a pretty good summertime beer.

Serving type: can

06-25-2013 03:12:56 | More by tone77
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Ballast Point Brewing Company, Yellowtail Pale Ale comes in a 22 fl.oz. Bomber with a very colorful label showing a yellowtail in a striking “sweeping down” pose. No strength or freshness date is indicated.

Appearance: Beautiful golden color with a yellow straw appearance. The head is a massive white pillow when first poured, but as the beer settles, then stands, it completely relaxes to a thin broken covering with some light lacing. Average carbonation when swirled.

Smell: A crisp refreshing nose with clean lines that include grain malts, fresh bread and biscuit aromas.

Taste: Malt introduction mixed with a little yeast that is well defined, crisp and clean. Hop bitterness rises in the middle which is very refreshing, and makes way for a decent tasty finish that has a slight spicy hop twang. A beer with an overall soft edge, yet it still has enough crisp tastes for the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a light ambience on the palate.

Drinkability: Easily imbibed, and the taste-buds offer little resistance to the clean golden refreshing lines of this cool Kölsch style Ale.

Overall: Labeled as a Pale Ale in the style of a Cologne Kölsch. It is certainly a decent effort, the malt aspect is crisp and light hops are refreshing. Not a bad effort at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2003 06:07:19 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 725 ratings.