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Ballantine XXX Ale | Pabst Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
72
okay
161 Reviews
THE BROS
79
okay
Read the review
BEER STATS
Reviews:
161
Ratings:
295
Avg:
3.1
pDev:
29.35%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
Ballantine XXX AleBallantine XXX Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.85%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-02-2001

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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 295
Photo of metter98
2.89/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.18/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thought it was pretty good when I thought it was a Pilsner. Now that I have learned it's a Pale Ale, I changed my mind a bit. Has a nice blend of pilsner (tasting) malts with a lightly grainy body (which is allowed in a pils). The hops add an earthy, spicy character after the skunky hop aroma subsides. The body never really reaches medium or full proportions. The hops never reach citrus levels, although there is a light green apple, light lime flavor. The malts are not really caramelized or mildly toasty. Anyhow, I'm going to pretend it's an averagely brewed pilsner.

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Photo of zeff80
2.11/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a clear, fizzy, golden-yellow color with a fizzy, bubbly, white, one-finger head. No lace at all.

S - It smelled of skunk and corn. Not pleasant.

T - It tasted of corn, grasses and faintly of caramel. Pretty bland and tasted nothing like an APA.

M - It was weak and thin. A light bodied ale.

D - Not a very good brew. I tried it hoping for a classic, but it fell short of that.

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Photo of oberon
2.31/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.89/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle - $1.09 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a clear, light golden-toned body with a half-inch head of white foam.

Smell: A full sniff of coarse skunkiness as soon as I twisted off the cap. Let's give that a moment to trail off. After that's had a moment to waft away, it's mainly grassy-scented hops ahead of the lightly malted barley.

Taste: Faintly sweetish, soft barley flavor. Grassy hops with a slight, slight hint of lemon. Modestly bitter. Finishes clean, crisp.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation, though lively textured.

Overall: "It's got that golden flavor, true ale flavor." It's a bit sad such a famous beer has been tanked, it's quality diminished as the brand has been shuffled from brewery to brewery, eventually arriving at such a pitiful state. Ah well.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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?

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.47/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, a good amount of hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a light malt sweetness followed by flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a decent hops presence comes in to provide some balance. The malt character is a bit on the thin side for the style. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, mild kick, decent representation of style, for an inexpensive alternative this beer isn't a bad choice, but over all there are a lot of other beers in the style that are better.

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Photo of Jason
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.68/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.06/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured yellow with fairly high carbonation and a two-finger head that diminished to about half the size - fairly well-retained. Left some lacing.
The smell was thin - some sweet malt and only the slightest hints of any hops.
The malt was a bit on the sweet side. The hops were barely noticeable. It was a bit watery, but overly thin - for a macro. Nothing special going on, but nothing really offensive, either.
It was fairly clean and refreshing. Some creaminess emerged.
Fairly smooth and easy to drink. However, it really wasn't much of an APA - reminded me more of a cream ale perhaps. Anyway, there's nothing great about it - very basic. A bit too bland for me. But, again - nothing offensive - and not a terrible choice for 4 bucks a six-pack.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.55/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

40oz from Bruz. Busted this out to class up a whale tasting. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Big white foam that lingers, leaving behind loads of splotchy lace. Transparent pale golden body.

S - Skunky, courtesy of the classy green bottle. Some herbal noble hopping, but largely evocative of the finest adjunct lagers; doubt anyone can perceive the ale yeast here. Perhaps a bit of cereal grain, and fairly restrained corn character.

T - The taste is surprisingly pleasant, with a mix of pale malt and corn sweetness, and some faint grassy hop. Quite mild, with no obvious alcohol.

M - Pleasant carbonation, medium body, slightly grainy in texture, and no alcohol heat. Fairly refreshing actually.

D - Surprisingly enjoyable once you get past the skunky aroma. I'd much prefer to drink this over PBR or other adjunct lagers, particularly if canned or kegged. Very much a lawnmower beer that wouldn't offend anyone. Not particularly complex, but significantly better than anticipated.

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Photo of stakem
3.05/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Ballantine XXX America's Largest Selling Ale with a 3 ring logo boasting purity, body and flavor. Date stamped on the bottom of the can is 7/26/10.

Poured from a green can into a pint glass it appears a light yellow color that is pretty clear except for the faint light colored particles floating around stuck in suspension. Initially poured with more than a finger of fizzy white big bubbly head that receeded to almost nothing pretty darn fast. Nose is a mixture of yeasty sulfur and stale hops minorly reminescent of grass and herbs. Taste is grainy upfront with a bunch of residual sweetness and a faint flavor of herbal hops that doesn't quite provide enough bitterness to balance out the sweetness. Medium to light feel is a bit heavier than I expected. Moderately high level of carbonation that rises through the body of the glass and fizzels away at the surface. Very faint grainy flavor is left in the mouth after each sip that is somewhat reminescent of corn with a touch of bitterness. There is a bit of a chlorine character about this brew and the alcohol starts to creep in on you.

This isn't a beer I would try again, in fact I think I gave myself a headache trying to smell and taste more than what this beer had to offer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.8/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Just doing the Can-Can ...

It poured with a finger's worth of bone-white head that reduced to wisps in no time at all. The color was a bright, light gold with NE-quality clarity. The nose had an interestingly sharp hoppiness to it, not quite as snappy as Saaz, but still sharp. The mouthfeel was medium with a light hop flavor on the tongue. The finish was dry and refreshing. I am a sucker for the "old school" beers and I often take Ballantine to tailgate parties when I cannot find Iron City.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up on a whim, it says on the label it is the best selling ale in America so it should be good right?
Pours a really pale golden color with a thinnish white head that spends almost no time atop my beer. Smells of straw, honey, corn, skunk hints of earthy hops. Taste is a little sweet with a grainy edge and a faint hop bite. Has a bit more fruity character than a macro lager but is otherwise very similar. Medium to thin body, sweet grainy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. Easy drinker, but certainly nothing special. The best part of this beer is the puzzles under the caps.

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Photo of WesWes
3.52/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a grainy pale malt scent with some hops and a green bottle skunkiness. It is dry to the nose. The taste is decent also. It has a clean and crisp pale malt flavor with a dry slightly hoppy aftertaste. It goes down easy and finishes smooth and clean. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a pleasant surprise. I bought a 40 ouncer of this thinking it would suck, but I was wrong. It drinks well and has decent flavor.

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Photo of tempest
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle for $5.50 at Old Town Bar near Union Square. Surprisingly not bad. There is legitimate citrus hop flavor in this beer. I mean, not much, and it sort of blends into a dull white bread malt character, but it's there. Not very bitter, but an improvement on the cream ale and macro lager. If I came across a cheap case of this (certainly not another bar charging $5.50) I'd pick a case for a party.

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Photo of Tone
3.02/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear, straw color. 5/4 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of pale malt, strong grain, hint of sulfur, and a hint of citrus hops. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pale malt, grain, and slight citrus hops. Overall, akin to a Light Lager with extra hop.

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Photo of Zorro
3.45/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 OZ bottle Sample provided by Thaichile.

Pours a clear golden ale nearing a yellow color, momentary white head.

Smell is light and slightly herbal and a little sweet. Not very sweet smelling but there is a faint trace of corn in the scent, but I am really looking hard for it too.

Taste is light and nearly neutral with a tiny bit of sweetness. Slight sourness and a mild but appealing herbal bitterness here from Lager type hops. An ale that tastes a great deal like a good lager. Mild and clean tasting.

Mouthfeel is light and clean but by no means watery.

This is what an American Macrobrew lager should really taste like. Clean with an honest good level of bitterness and good taste combined with very easy on the senses intensity. The ultimate lawnmower beer I think. This is what Budweiser should try to taste like.

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Photo of tone77
3.8/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, malts, some sweetness. Taste is a pleasant surprise, malts are abundant, however there is a nice hop balance. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall this is a very easy drinking beer and a great value for the price.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a white, four finger-head that vanishes quickly leaving traces of lace. Clear, golden amber. Light carbonation and light bodied. Nose is faintly hoppy/skunky. Starts sweet, some hops mix in, clean finish. Easy to drink when its hot like today (91). $1.19 for a 12oz bottle from Northend Superette Manchester, NH.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked SEPO2809-AO5100622. Twist off top with the classic "put the symbols together" game under the cap. Mine was #142 and I could not figure it out. It had a bumblebee on it.

The pour is the standard pale yellow with a burst of fizzy carbonation on top that diminishes to a thin ring. Ergh! You get that light struck-green bottle skunkiness in the aroma. But once you get around that there are some corny malts in there. The mouthfeel is of medium texture, a bit chewy and carbonated. The taste is the classic pilsener style of the past with adjuncts, breadiness, and a dash of dried hops and even something vaguely sweet. It goes down quickly. Ballantine's history fascinated more than the actual beer. Not for the craft drinker. More for the drinker-drinker.

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Photo of rudzud
3.04/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a crystal clear golden hue with a half finger white head that fades quickly to leave a thin wispy blanket and light halo.

S - Aromas of crackery malts, adjuncts, mostly it.

T - Taste is more of the crackery malts and adjuncts, though with a flash of herbal hops and a light light bitter pine finish. The malts are a bit sweeter and sticky, though the finish is nice and lightly bitter.

M - Mouthfeel is crisp, briskly carbonated, a touch watery.

O - Overall, this is not that bad of a beer. The adjuncts and malts are not overwhelming, and the hop profile is light and a touch bitter. Definitely a summertime lawnmower beer.

Serving Type: Can

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.58/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 16oz can a straw gold with a lot of foam that settles down to a fine broken layer.

The smell is on the sweet malty side with just a bit of "lemon pledge" nose to offset it and that's ok with me.

The taste is sweetish malty up front with some graininess and just a wee bit of bitterness right before the finish that could easily get over looked and the finish itself? That's on the watery side and probably the weakest taste feature for this APA. I remember this brew from back in the 70's and 80's and it had a really nice hop bitterness bite to it that threw the flavours totally out of balance but that's what made it so darn tasty. I really miss that old formula but this one is pretty good as well. If I had it in my market, I'd visit it often.

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Photo of barczar
2.72/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Dated August 12, so about 4 months late.

Pours a slightly hazy golden straw with a solid one inch white head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Skunk, grain, and corn adjunct form the aroma. Lightly sweet malt is secondary.

Flavor leaves the skunk behind. Grain, lightly sweet, cracker malt, and a hit of floral hops form the flavor profile. Metallic flavors emerge.

Body is on the light side, with moderate carbonation and a touch of astringency.

Can't believe this beer got the ratings it did. Flavor is neutral, aroma skunky.

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Photo of Brad007
2/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a pale yellow color with very minimal head. Aroma is of malt and skunkiness (why in the hell do breweries still use green glass?).

Taste is mostly of malt and it's somewhat bready like a pale ale. I can't detect any hops, which is a shame.

There's not much else here that would fit the style. It's drinkable but thin at the same time. I've seen much, much better pale ales out there.

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Ballantine XXX Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
72 out of 100 based on 161 ratings.