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Ballantine XXX Ale - Pabst Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ballantine XXX AleBallantine XXX Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
71
okay

251 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 251
Reviews: 154
rAvg: 3.02
pDev: 22.19%
Wants: 17
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Blonde Ale |  4.85% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-02-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 251 | Reviews: 154 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by KSather:
Photo of KSather
3.75/5  rDev +24.2%

KSather, Sep 07, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of yankinoz
4.08/5  rDev +35.1%

I'm working from memory of my go-to beer, back when Ballantine brewed in Newark and this really was America's most popular ale. A point to emphasize about xxx is that to my tastes it was far better on tap than in bottles, a bigger difference than I have found in any other beer. Not only was bottled xxx often skunky, it always seemed slightly cooked and a bit thin in comparison. Once I tasted the draft, I rarely went back to the bottles.

From the tap it poured with a good head, although retention was below average. The aroma was floral and fairly strong, though less than from opening a bottle. Lacing? I was too young to care.

Malt came out in in the aroma, mouthfeel and a trace of sweetness, though it finished dry like a pilsner, all qualities less evident in the bottled beer. It was noticeably more bitter than any of the domestic lagers then available, but less than the German lagers then coming in. Overall, a beer that taught me what balance was.

I spent a year in England about then. Obviously the English bitters were different, but I can't say I liked the run of the mill ones better, only certain ones like Abott Ale and just about everything brewed in Yorkshire.

yankinoz, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of adjunctjonez
3.93/5  rDev +30.1%

Ballantine ale is primarily a NE / east coast regional brew. This 2012 version is owned by Pabst, sub brewed by miller. The overall impression is a much hoppier/maltier profile than your average adjunct. I would rate it as one of the best adjuncts available, right up there with Schlitz Gusto. I avoid the green bottles and buy it in tall boy cans to ensure no skunk flavors. Unclear why Pabst does not distro this nationwide as I think it would sell well.

adjunctjonez, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.85/5  rDev +27.5%

16oz can sucked right out of the can.

L - I've seen it before, it's clear and yellow.

S - grainy aroma.

T - there's something about this beer that makes me always enjoy it. It's mostly sweet and grainy but it does have a slight bitterness at the end.

F - medium bodied, it's crisp, clean and refreshing.

O - a beer I always enjoy anytime of the year.

JoeyBeerBelly, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of ProfessorValue
3.61/5  rDev +19.5%

I drank this in college (early 80s) but did not recall the flavor. Today, liking the full range of ales, I found and purchased this locally at Finger Lakes Beverage. Ballantine is one of my favorite beers. Sure, it does not have the "punch" of heartier ales, but that's not what this beer is. Instead, it's clean, very dry and light in body. Good for drinking several at a sitting. I always keep a case on hand when it's in stock. Highly recommend.

ProfessorValue, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of oberon
2.28/5  rDev -24.5%

Hey its $.89 cents so I grabbed it and its America's largest selling ale....hmmm Iam guessing its not but hey who knows.It had a decent pour light gold with a 1/2 finger white head that was gone rather quickly but left a mass on top,light skunkiness from the damn green bottle and some toasted grain no trace of hops though to be found.The beer tastes mass produced somewhat cooked and vegetal-like goes down a little harsh made me wince a little going down.Eh wont get it again even if free but its an old brand glad I can say I tried it anyways.

oberon, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of Todd
3.48/5  rDev +15.2%

Presentation: Half quart lime green can. No freshness date.

Appearance: Clear gold in colour with a finger thick foamy white head and lots of carbonation activity.

Smell: Musty citrus rind, light grain and metallic aromas.

Taste: Upfront this brew strikes the palate with a lot of rind-like flavours, mild salty bitterness and fizzy carbonation. Grain, musty and metallic flavours follow along with an underlining fusel alcohol taste and a touch of medicinal flavour. Malt sweetness is thin and almost balances the rest of the brew, adding only some body. Finishes with lingering metallic flavours and a touch of dryness.

Notes: "America's Largest Selling Ale" ... hmm, I kind of doubt that? However, I'll be damned if this is not one helluva good beverage! This is one of those old school beers that your grandaddy used to drink (ask him). It's extremely refreshing and so easy to drink that the 6pak of cans is gone before you know it.

I've found my new "have in the fridge at all times" summer brew.

Todd, Jul 01, 2002
Photo of Jason
3.45/5  rDev +14.2%

Very thing yet sticky white lace, clear pale yellowish golden hue. Faint flowery and citric aroma with hints of grain. Crispness gets lost a bit in the moderate body, citric rind flavour and ample bitterness shows that the hops are there and want to be noticed. Malt flavour is a little weak with some sweetness, some residual sweetness in the end with a lingering rind hop flavour clean the palate.

For $5.00 a six-pack of 16 oz cans this is not too bad. Come August when it is 99*F with 100% humidity this may be a beer I resort to.

Jason, Jun 20, 2002
Photo of Cavanaghty
3.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Cavanaghty, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of WVbeergeek
1.65/5  rDev -45.4%

Appears a light golden tone and forms a large white head leaves fine lacing behind on the fluted glass. Aroma is of some semi skunked herbal toned hops with a touch of fruitiness among light toasted grain and an adjunct mix of corn and rice that's evident. Taste is strong with a cloying sweetness adjunct ridee with evident alcohol presence and a very low bitterness touch of mineral character and her skunked hops. Mouthfeel is light bodied with fizzy carbonation. Drinkability some have a sentimental outlook on this brew not me...nothing classic about it.

WVbeergeek, Jul 24, 2006
Photo of acurtis
1/5  rDev -66.9%

acurtis, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of javier
3.75/5  rDev +24.2%

The can version is of course inferior but the bottled variety is great. a great beer to watch baseball to as it once was the official beer of Yankee Stadium. Pop the cap and look for the anagram under the lid.

javier, Jul 05, 2001
Photo of oluap
3.25/5  rDev +7.6%

oluap, Aug 05, 2014
Photo of dacrza1
2/5  rDev -33.8%

DATE REVIEWED: August 9, 2014... GLASSWARE: Baltika stange... OCCASION: Sharknado with Matt, Jer and Shan--a win!...APPEARANCE: cler golden yellow body; bubbles are consistent; crisp white head that spreads upward with cirrus wisps; smeary lacing... AROMA: funky tin malts--as expected from a 40 oz. bottle--and some banana at the end--mostly wet pennies... PALATE: thin at first; beefy ending; gassy and slick; easy drinking otherwise... TASTE: lemony wheat grass; biscuity and toasted malts reign supreme in this otherwise thin profile...OVERALL: intrigued by its history--and ODB’s proclivity for it, according to song--this 40 oz.er drinks easy and malty with a bit of refreshment to it--but it also is a bit thin and unimpressive in its refrigerated neighborhood, where OE 800 and Mickey’s reside...

dacrza1, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of squezey
2.5/5  rDev -17.2%

squezey, Jul 13, 2014
Photo of Doug22522
3.25/5  rDev +7.6%

Doug22522, Aug 01, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev +26.8%

Made by Falstaff, Wilwaukee, WI but contract brewed at the Lion in Wilkes Barre, PA.

This was one of my favorite beers in art school because they sold it in cans at one of the dive bars I went to, and you could sneak a 6-pack in with you in your bag, and then drink all night with your friends after buying just one beer (which was like $2). But I liked it because it had more flavor to it than Budweiser or Miller or Coors Lite, and there wasn't much more available at the time (at least that I could afford). Surprisingly, it doesn't taste much different now.

It pours a very dark gold, that could actually be called amber, although we tend to think of "amber" beers as being darker. The thin white head drops fairly shortly and it leaves only a few splashes and spots of lace here and there about the glass.

The nose pleasant with a decent amount of grainy malt, some lightly floral but mostly non-descript hops, and a delicate whiff of lager yeast sulphur.

In the mouth it's medium-light bodied and crisp with a standard carbonation.

The flavor delivers a nice, distinctly grainy, gently straw-like maltiness. There's obviously some adjunct in use here, but it's far less than you find in most large-scale commercial beers. The hop flavors are well-entwined, but appear more distinct across the middle and into the finish. It's well-balanced with a firm bitterness that carries through into the finish along with some herbal and mildly leafy hops.

Overall it's a pretty nice beer. Much better than Yuengling, but it's really all about the brand, right?

NeroFiddled, Aug 27, 2006
Photo of Ezone024
3.4/5  rDev +12.6%

Ballantine is one of the best mass produced beers. Popular in it's hayday Ballantine is now in the nostalgia category with pbr and schaefer etc... but don't be fooled, This fine ale can win over some beer advocates hearts. i poured it out of the can, which i prefer over the bottle. It Tastes alot better out of the can. It's color is pale golden and it's smell is that of a german pale lager. a bit skunky with a bitter hop edge to it. It leaves a decent head but it's pretty irrelevant with this beer as it does not contribute to the smell or flavor really. It's really easy to drink. great summertime sessions beer (but keep it in the can). and easy to transport in a cooler. Do yourself a favor get in it in the can!. and pour some out for your four legged friend.

Ezone024, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of beerluvr
3.59/5  rDev +18.9%

Pours with a rocky snow white head over clear pale golden liquid. Nose is perfumey, a small amount of sharp metallic hop, mixed with light maltiness. Taste is light-bodied, with some more metallic hoppiness, some mouth coating sweetness and some adjuncty flavors as well. Finishes sharp and tangy though a shadow of it's former self and the poor relative to the legendary Ballantine IPA which was phenomenal. A nice, low-priced ale...very drinkable, especially on hot days.

beerluvr, Jun 20, 2013
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
3.03/5  rDev +0.3%

My uncle used to tell me "no one beer is better than two beers." I guess he was refering to this "beer". Typical old man's beer, but with a different clientel. Flashier than say, miller or schlitz, but it's the same deal. Tastes like someone dipped an ear of corn in water to give it it's taste

bewareOFpenguin, Sep 30, 2002
Photo of Ralphs66
3.5/5  rDev +15.9%

There is a restaurant in Purdys NY called the Blazer Pub...some of the best burgers in the NY Tri-state area, and a regular stop for me. Well, recently they decided to go retro and are now offering, in cans, Schaefer, Ballantine, Rheingold and Schlitz....with PBR on tap. Whether you like these beers or not, the concept tickled my fancy and I decided to make my way through the list; revisiting some of the beers of my youth. None of them are great; in fact most of them are poor in comparison to the Captain Lawrence offerings that the Blazer also has on tap. But you know what? They were like an old friend, a blankie that I could hold at the bar and not feel self conscious about. Yes, I drank them all proudly and chances are, I will again.

Ralphs66, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of jackndan
2.83/5  rDev -6.3%

Ballantine XXX Ale: in a bottle. Very skunky aroma, in fact surprisingly so. Pale color, with just a bit more amber init than a standard American lager, and yes, I know this is an ale. Not much head of which to speak.

Hmmm, the skunked aroma truly detracts from the taste. When one gets by the smell, the taste is very nice, more malty and smooth than one would expect, with flavors of mild fruit, and a slight hop bite toward the end.

jackndan, Sep 26, 2003
Photo of EBeckett3
3.25/5  rDev +7.6%

EBeckett3, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of Kinsman
3.15/5  rDev +4.3%

Reviewing this as an American Pale Ale may not do it justice so I'll review it for what it is.

Crisp and clear golden colored body and a white almost sticky head.

Aroma is noticeably grainy but still with some hoppy notes that are a bit flowery.

Taste is not at all appalling but still not all that flavorful. Grainy and bready malt body with some slight hoppy flower notes but really this is all a bit watered down and a bit metalic. Mouthfeel is crisp and full of carbonation. Overall not a bad macro beer at a good price point.

Kinsman, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of marcobrau
2.93/5  rDev -3%

My favorite after work beer when I want to feel like an ale drinker in the 1960s or '70s. This is probably the best cheap macro-brewed beer that I can recommend. It's a beer with a lot of history and I like that about it. Of course, it's the taste that really matters, and this is a pleasant enough tasting light cream ale. It's not that good of a pale ale -- in fact, I think it's barely an ale at all -- with just a slight hint of ale-like fruitiness and diacetyl.

Ballantine XXX Ale pours with a brilliant white head that drops leaving a bit of lace and a thin layer of foam. The aroma is certainly nothing to write home about with a little whiff of canned corn and just a hint of hop spice. Light in body and in flavor, Ballantine shows off a little bit of grassy hops, under a blanket of sweet malt and corn. The hop bitterness is just enough to prevent this beer from being too sweet. Well-carbonated, yet smooth, Ballantine's is very drinkable and remains a bit of a classic.

marcobrau, Mar 21, 2006
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Ballantine XXX Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
71 out of 100 based on 251 ratings.