1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

242 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 242
Reviews: 153
rAvg: 3.03
pDev: 21.45%
Wants: 17
Gots: 2 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Ballantine XXX Ale Alström Bros
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 242 | Reviews: 153 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ProfessorValue
ProfessorValue

New York

3.61/5  rDev +19.1%

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.

07-01-2013 17:02:28 | More by ProfessorValue
Photo of yankinoz
yankinoz

Australia

4.08/5  rDev +34.7%

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.

02-12-2013 22:35:42 | More by yankinoz
Photo of adjunctjonez
adjunctjonez

Maine

3.93/5  rDev +29.7%

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.

06-29-2012 19:38:05 | More by adjunctjonez
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3.85/5  rDev +27.1%

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.

01-11-2012 21:55:13 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

08-16-2014 12:54:02 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of oluap
oluap

New York

3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

08-05-2014 16:21:30 | More by oluap
Photo of Tgal92
Tgal92


5/5  rDev +65%

08-02-2014 14:11:05 | More by Tgal92
Photo of lobotomy
lobotomy

New Jersey

3.14/5  rDev +3.6%

Take this beer for what it is and compare it to its peers. Does it hold up when compared to craft brewed beer? No. But it is a good macro beer. Has more hop flavor than others in its class. Has a corny adjuncty finish. It's far from horrible, it isn't the greatest beer ever made either. The beer has its place. Not as good as Yuengling in the macro category, but I'll take it over a Bud or Coors any day.

08-01-2014 22:36:05 | More by lobotomy
Photo of Doug22522
Doug22522


3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

08-01-2014 01:58:20 | More by Doug22522
Photo of Sellen
Sellen

Connecticut

2.5/5  rDev -17.5%

07-19-2014 18:08:39 | More by Sellen
Photo of squezey
squezey

Connecticut

2.5/5  rDev -17.5%

07-13-2014 03:41:09 | More by squezey
Photo of 302BeerGuy
302BeerGuy

Delaware

2/5  rDev -34%

07-13-2014 00:46:05 | More by 302BeerGuy
Photo of wrightst
wrightst

Maryland

2.5/5  rDev -17.5%

07-12-2014 16:02:25 | More by wrightst
Photo of DagenhamDavis
DagenhamDavis

New York

4.19/5  rDev +38.3%

Ballantine Ale is unique. For me it's a treat and a bit of a rarity, yet it is widely regarded as run of the mill type stuff for many due to its status as a heritage or granddad beer. However, leaving it at this would be a serious oversight of a great American ale.
Ballantine's is an affirmation that real hop flavor existed in beer well before the craft boom, and that heritage beers are not automatically shadows of what they should be. It's clean, refreshing, and has real flavor. I was truly surprised and said 'wow' out loud several times with my first pint can. While it's not quite on the hop level of a contemporary APA, Ballantine really has a similar feel to it. Will try again when I get the chance.

07-07-2014 02:02:49 | More by DagenhamDavis
Photo of Slowpoke
Slowpoke

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

06-23-2014 22:27:23 | More by Slowpoke
Photo of mmmbeerNY
mmmbeerNY

New York

2.75/5  rDev -9.2%

06-17-2014 04:28:42 | More by mmmbeerNY
Photo of redbarnbikes
redbarnbikes

New York

3/5  rDev -1%

06-12-2014 23:34:27 | More by redbarnbikes
Photo of Ron860
Ron860

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev +15.5%

05-11-2014 23:39:32 | More by Ron860
Photo of Uncledoobz
Uncledoobz

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

05-08-2014 00:37:04 | More by Uncledoobz
Photo of Durandal_777
Durandal_777

Pennsylvania

2/5  rDev -34%

04-23-2014 20:12:20 | More by Durandal_777
Photo of LJWalker
LJWalker

Alabama

3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

04-19-2014 14:22:51 | More by LJWalker
Photo of MarkJBurch
MarkJBurch

New York

3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

04-15-2014 04:53:00 | More by MarkJBurch
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

2.91/5  rDev -4%

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down, leaving some patches of bubbles on the surface, a miniscule collar around the edge of the glass, and bits of lacing running down the sides.
S: Light aromas of grainy malts are present in the nose along with some slight hints of skunk.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and I can pick up traces of corn adjuncts along with a light amount of bitterness. There are also hints of skunk and these seem to be most prominent in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There seems to be slight amounts of wateriness.
O: This beer came in a green bottle, so that might explain the bits of skunk that I picked up in the smell and taste of this beer. However, it's not bad for a macro beer and doesn't have much in the way of adjuncts in the smell and taste. It also doesn't seem to be as bland as other blonde ales.

03-29-2014 16:18:14 | More by metter98
Photo of Focusf111
Focusf111

Vermont

3/5  rDev -1%

03-29-2014 02:56:53 | More by Focusf111
Photo of Noelito76
Noelito76

New York

3.25/5  rDev +7.3%

03-23-2014 15:15:37 | More by Noelito76
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ballantine XXX Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
71 out of 100 based on 242 ratings.