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Yellowtail Pale Ale - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Yellowtail Pale AleYellowtail Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

726 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 726
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Yellowtail Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 726 | Reviews: 329 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of beerguy101
beerguy101

California

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

Medium yellow color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and sweet. A medium bodied ale. Malts are mild, fruity and kind of sweet. Hops are present, but kind of hidden. They pop out at you every once in a while. Very smooth. More of a Kolsch than a pale ale. It's a great hot day/lawnmover beer. Mild and interesting. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2003 16:53:41 | More by beerguy101
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

4.28/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into snifter. Best by 01/19/13. Thanks for bringing these over, Matt.

A: Pours a very light shade of amber with a finger of frothy white head that faded into a soft film.
S: Big kolsh nose with notes of light malts and toasted grains.
T: Dry grains, creamy oatmeal taste, slightly sweet caramel, tons of wheat, and mellow fruity hops. Very creamy, complex (for the style) and smooth. The finish is full of pepper spices and the aftertaste is that of wheat and fruit.
M: Creamy mouthfeel from soft carbonation, medium-light body, drying and refreshing mouthfeel. Very smooth, light, and drinkable all-around. J
O: A pleasant surprise. I’d be disappointed if this was a true pale ale as the hops are too mellow and the wheat and grains are too prominent. However, if you’re looking for a very flavorful light beer give this one a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 23:50:34 | More by scottfrie
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ballast Point's Yellowtail Pale Ale has a bright golden body with a very white head that is about a finger tall. The retention is ok and some scrappy lacing is left behind.

The aroma has some pale malts and some ale yeast fruitiness. Not a bad aroma, but it lacks any punch.

Yellowtail Pale Ale tastes OK, but I don't really notice much of a hop presence. A decent amount of pale malts are sweet and cracker-like. The ale yeast provides some nice fruitiness. I would like at least a little more hops. I know Kolsches aren't supposed to be hop bombs or anything, but they shouldn't taste like they are all malt either.

The body is probably a touch over medium for a kolsch, and the carbonation is middle of the road.

Drinkability, is pretty solid, which is something I will say for the kolsch style in general. Yellowtail Pale Ale is solid, but not great.

Serving type: on-tap

03-24-2010 15:21:46 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, what a disappointment after being blown away by the Dorado and Marlin offerings from Ballast Point.

No real head, the mouthfeel is flat and thin, and there is a sour aftertaste that is neither pleasant, nor well integrated with the flavor of the beer. And the beer, itself, has no real hops, no malt-backbone, and other real flavors to speak of. Just not good, at all. Pours a yellow with a hint of amber/orange.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2007 07:15:35 | More by Overlord
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

3/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2009 02:26:03 | More by prototypic
Photo of Reagan1984
Reagan1984

Massachusetts

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

About ½ way through the review I pulled up the site to get ready to post my review. I see this is listed as a Kolsch. This explains quite a bit. I like it, but thought it was

Light golden color with quite a bit of visible carbonation quickly escaping to the surface. The head is bright white and foamy. Rises to about 2 fingers and quickly fades to a thin cap. Just the slightest touch of lacing remains.

Aroma is slightly sweet and with some light cracker notes. Slightly grassy and also a touch yeast.

Lighter than I had imagined, but still pretty good. Balance is the order of the day here. Initial moment of sweetness is quickly balanced with some nice bitterness. Light bready and hay flavors. Ends with a little doughy note and some sweetness.

Fairly light body and bright mouth feel.

Very drinkable and a nice beer. This is an excellent gateway beer.

Nicely done!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 00:37:28 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of garymuchow
garymuchow

Minnesota

3.59/5  rDev +2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 21:30:13 | More by garymuchow
Photo of OtherShoe2
OtherShoe2

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium clear yellow with a nice foamy head that left a little lace.

Good bready and light malt aromas, with a bit of yeast in the mix.

BIg surprise with the level of sweet malt and light fruit in this one (for a Kolsch). Nice, complex shift in flavors with each sip. Light bready flavor, then some bitter hop leaf, then some sweet maltiness and light fruit, turning to a dry end. What more could you ask?

Medium body, to medium-light. This was a bomber from around the grill, and it was perfect. Great drinkable summer beer. Went down extremely easy, and had no harsh edges. Great balance between the sweet and dry. WTF is wrong with me. I'vbe been staring at this beer on the shelves for abou a year before finally pulling the trigger and buying it yesterday. Well worth it. I will definitely explore other offerings from these guys. Buy this.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 22:39:57 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aromas are quite light. A little sweetness and breadiness with some earthy notes. Not much here.

Tastes are grainy and light bready malts up front with a decently flat finish. I think this is not quite fresh so this may be a biased review. Pretty simple overall tastes. Nothing exciting going on here, but it's well done for what it is. Undercarbonated for the style; light body.

Overall this is very easy to drink, but with other options, why fill up on this? This is a decently enjoyable beer, but the weakest Ballast Point offering which I've tried to date by far. It doesn't offend, but it doesn't wow in the slighest.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2010 17:16:43 | More by claspada
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice, refreshing yet tasty beer.

Faintly hazy, pale golden amber, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin ring and wisps.

Aroma is grain, bread, citrus, grapefruit, hints of honey and pine, very nice.

The taste is light but zesty and intriguing, grain, crackers, citrus, 7-up, hints of grass and pine, light sweetness and balancing bitterness. It has great balance and is quenching.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2008 17:47:28 | More by Offa
Photo of RonfromJersey
RonfromJersey

New Jersey

3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow gold body, good clarity, topped by three fingers of loosely bubbly, sticky, level white foam with plenty of "snap, krackel, pop".

Mild fresh grass/hay aroma with a hint of bakery.

Mild sweet beginning runs down the center of the tongue. Tingly hop snap at the swallow. Semi dry finish.

Light tingly mouhfeel. Very refreshing drinkability.

Refresing with a nice afterglow. Not really memorable on the tongue though. Probably not a bomber type beer. Nice try, but maybe not their style.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2008 21:54:50 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of armock
armock

New York

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

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of light hops and bready malt

T - Follows the smell light hops on bready malt

M - This beer has a light body with higher carbonation to it

D - I was a little disappointed with this one sure it wasn't bad but seeing the tap handle say pale ale I expected a good hoppy pale and I didn't get that this is a beer that I'd passover for something else

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2010 19:24:58 | More by armock
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

2.63/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a golden orange color with a light off white head. Decent lacing.

Smell was light and grainy with a bit of corn.

Flavor was light with touches of light grainy malts and a hint of lemony hops, but they were all overshadowed by a tin like metallic taste that seemed to dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel was light and a bit dry with some mild carbonation.

Drinkability is ruined by the persistent metallic taste.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 22:23:08 | More by bashiba
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

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

22 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - Clear golden yellow with plenty of carbonation. A slight head quickly disperses into film, leaving light rings of lacing while drinking.

S - Grainy wheat and a touch of hops.

T - Begins with light wheat and toasted grain flavors, eventually unleashing the somewhat fruity middle. Juicy hops and a sweeter malt base combine for an interesting, yet tasty profile. Finishes with a slightly buttery, tingly, hoppy bite.

M - Lighter medium body and bubby, with lingering dryness.

D - Ultra smooth and easy going. A bomber disappears pretty quickly with this one.

Another quality beer from Ballast Point - what else would anyone expect at this point?

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 03:30:32 | More by xnicknj
Photo of DogFood11
DogFood11

California

2.5/5  rDev -29%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not much to look at. Loose white head falls to a small island and no retention to speak of. Color is a pale yellow w/ multiple sized carbonation, similar to a run of the mill macro lager.

I couldn't pick up to much in the smell. Bready malts and nothing else. Pretty smooth on the palate and it has a creamy feel to it as it going down. Hop presence is very subtle and more or less helps to crispen this up more than any flavor I get out of it. Fruity undertones of bananna and sweetened lemon round it out.

Notes: I like some hops to balance out a good kolsch. This stays on the bready side all the way through and it leans towards doughy. Good malt character. Delicate finish. Not one of my favorites but its an approachable offering with some depth.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 19:40:42 | More by DogFood11
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2008 23:00:00 | More by arizcards
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

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

Bottle courtesy of Fordest.
Gold pour, light white head, short lived. Smell is of some light malt and hops with a slight grassy alcohol smell. Taste is fairly crisp, refreshing, with a decent bite to it reminiscent of a pilsner. A bit dryer than most kolsches and light to medium carbonation. One of the better ones of the style that I have had.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 18:20:09 | More by JDV
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the bottle during a Kölsch tasting. While the name says pale ale (in giant letters), the description on the bottle says Kölsch, so into my tasting glass it goes.

Pours a hazy dark gold with a one-finger head of pure fuzzy white that becomes a soapy top layer, leaving tiny bit of spotted lace.

Bready biscuits and spicy German hops in the nose, in equal parts and perfect balance. There’s none of the usual Kölsch fruityness, but it’s actually a great aroma.

Same story in the flavor. Bready just-baked biscuits, a bit of lime peel, lemon pledge and other spicy German hop notes. Almost no bitterness.

High, painful carbonation, with moderate fizz and a soft medium body.

I understand the name confusion now — Yellowtail sits in an odd realm between Kölsch and pale ale, hoppy and bready yet crisp and light. It’s definitely not the most traditional example of the style, but it’s the only one that kept me coming back.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 21:47:50 | More by Phelps
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed on 12/14/12. Bottle has an "enjoy by" date of 1/31/13.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is light honey/golden with a small whitish head.

S: I thought there was something "off" about the smell - toasty malt and sweet malt predominate. No hops discernable at all.

T: Sweet malt, fruity malt and a touch of earthy spice.

M: Call it light-to-medium in heft, closer to medium. Good amount of visible carbonation is modestly active on the tongue.

O: A note to brewers: label your beers with the correct style. When I drank this, I was expecting an APA (the label does say "Pale Ale," after all) and was disappointed. On my notes regarding the taste, I wrote: "British style?" - because it didn't seem to have enough hops for an APA. Then in my notes for the "overall" category, I wrote, "Not what I'm looking for in an APA." I've modified my scores knowing, in hindsight, that this is a Kolsch and not an APA (originally I gave it closer to a 3.25). But at the time I drank this, I thought it wasn't a good APA at all, and my initial scores reflected that. I may have felt better about this beer had I known when drinking it that it wasn't an APA and was instead a Kolsch.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2013 16:42:19 | More by Kendo
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an Allagash flute on 3/29/12

The best by date is smudged but since Ballast Point just came to Ohio, I reckon it's fresh.

Lightly hazy, golden orange color with a one thumb cap of puffy foam. Head retention is thin but keeps a decent layer and lasts. Lace take a while to catch, but once it does it holds thick layers.

The aroma has an enjoyable showing of pithy citrus (orange rind and a touch of lemon) and weavings of grass and cracker. Clean and inviting. The taste is in a similar vein - spicy hop crackle tapers to a medium-range bitterness on the back end. Malts are clean a fairly neutral in light of the hops. Medium light feel. Carbonation is too high for my liking, but it does add to the zestiness of the hops. Finishes pretty clean; it was hoppy at first but as it warms it has lingerings of grain, which is a nice change of pace.

Great drinkability (aside from some of that carbonation, haha). This is one for the IPA light category. Give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2012 23:26:19 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 02:10:26 | More by FLima
Photo of andrenaline
andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

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

This is my first time having a Kolsch beer, thanks to my buddy who hooked me up with this one!

A - A pale golden copper colour with a thin layer of head and no real lacing.

S - Grassy and bready malts are the strongest scent, with a bit of bitter hops on the finish.

T - The grassy and bready malts come through off the top, the finish has a light bitter hop flavour, much like the scent.

M - Very light and bubbly on the palette, perfect amount of carbonation and goes down very smooth.

D - A very delicious ale, I was expecting a little more in the hop department, but it was still very tasty and made for an enjoyable first experience for a Kolsch.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2010 01:03:17 | More by andrenaline
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

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

A - Pours a nice pure strong golden color with a frothy white head that is nice and sticky and white.

S - Strong fresh grain aromas come up fast. Nice fresh baked bread with some nice grassy hops on the back. Aroma is refreshing and straight forward but delicious.

T & M - Taste starts off bready and with earthy grains. There is also some nice slight sweetness to it with some nice fresh grassy hop notes. The hop character is very european and crisp. With some slight spice and refreshing but bitting bitterness. This is a great Kolsch and a delicious beer that can be drank for longer periods. Body is nice and crisp with clean malt and hop flavors.

O - Good beer. Delicious and easy to drink with a lower ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 22:42:45 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 06:01:46 | More by HalfFull
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 23:51:24 | More by magictrokini
Yellowtail Pale Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 726 ratings.