Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale | Stone Brewing

Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session AleBallast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale
376 Ratings
Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session AleBallast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 08-07-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 376 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of OWSLEY069
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, gingerbread like malt and an sweet orange citrus hop. In the taste, gingerbread like malt and a small orange citrus sweetness. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry gingerbread malt and just a note of orange citrus. English like maltiness with west coast hops, a weird mix for sure.

 379 characters

Photo of shelby415
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of bearisprime
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of throwback
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of TTAmod
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Pours chill haze spiked bright orange with a really rocky eggshell white head.

S: Smells is a nice spectrum of hop flavors. I pick up a bit of grapefruit and lemon, but also an underlying pine.

T: Very nice and flavorful, especially considering the crazy low ABV. Immediately starts of with a moderately bitter orange and lemon zest, then it transitions to a slightly less bitter grapefruit taste. It ends with a powerful bitter grapefruit rind and pine bitterness. The malt support is very, very minimal...probably TOO minimal considering the onslaught of hops.

M: Mouthfeel is really nice. Creamy, medium body. Carbonation bites about mid-drink, right before the final tinge of bitter hop taste.

O: Like I said earlier, this beer is extremely flavorful. I think that the malt base should be more substantial, but that would probably add on to that ABV.

Pretty good. I'd love if they had something like this in a reasonably priced 6-pack for those long session beer days, but considering this one bottle was $4, I doubt that will ever happen.

 1,094 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

San Diego County Session Ale
Stone Brewing Co.

A collaboration brew, with fellow Cali brewers Ballast Point and home brewer Kelsey McNair.

Appearance: Bright copper color, chill haze. Soapy foam and leaves lace down the pint. A good looking brew.

Smell: Hoppy, very floral, spicy hops. Pretty aromatic nose, also a little soapy. There are hints of malt sweetness.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Light bodied yet full of flavor, oily hop resins, herb, citrus pulp, earthy bitterness and peppery bite. Very mellow pale malt backing, somewhat English. The light crisp biscuity malt is the perfect base to let the hops shine.

Overall: San Diego County Session Ale is a very drinkable, complexly hoppy, delicious and refreshing brew. A true session ale, with a manageable alcohol content and depth of flavor. Beckons for repeated pouring.

 826 characters

Photo of ohtheguilt
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of whartontallboy
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of TheCorkStopsHere
4.07/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A collaboration brew from Stone Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing, and Kelsey McNair, a home brewer. This is a beer that never really made it to my area of Connecticut, but we had a few bottles from a store in Massachusetts. This was brewed and released about a year ago. I’m curious to see how they’ve held up.

The twelve ounce bottle releases a little bit of a “pop” as I break the seal. The brew pours out a great golden-straw color, with a bit of haze. Plenty of carbonation makes for a bright white foam, that lasts quite a long time. The lacing is mild, but sticks forever.

Just as I pour the Session Ale, I can already smell the hops. Of course I’m not surprised, considering Stone is involved. The nose reveals an interesting combination of light citrusy hops, as well as more in-your-face bitter hops. I let the beer warm a little bit and swirl is quite strongly, because I’m trying to find something else in the nose to describe. After several minutes, the only thing I can smell is still the hops!

When I take a sip, the hop complexity changes a little. The nose was dominated by the citrusy hops, but the palate is dominated but the rough and aggressive bitter hops. This beer is over a year old, and it feels like it was bottled yesterday. The bitterness of the hops is mouth-filling, and almost mouth-numbing. I take a few sips, swirl it in my mouth, and I’m going to walk away for a few minutes to see if it changes at all…

As it warms up, and I come back for a few more sips, the San Diego Session Ale has definitely opening a little. The hops is not quite as mouth-numbing. Or maybe my mouth is numb, and I can’t tell that it is still super hoppy. I think this may be one of the most hop-intense beers I have ever tasted. That is to say, I’ve tasted really hoppy, bitter beers before, but they usually have more of a subtle malty backbone. This San Diego Session Ale is hops, hops, and more hops.

I can understand that the lower-than-average alcohol content, 4.2%, makes this a bit of a session ale. However, as a malt-man, I could not possibly drink more than one of these. As a matter of fact, I only poured myself half a bottle, and I’m seriously considering not finishing it. I’m not saying it’s a bad beer at all, but it is nearly 100% the exact opposite of my preferred style.

 2,328 characters

Photo of towlea25
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of emdawg
2/5  rDev -49.9%

Photo of fox227
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of mhaugo
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Discordian
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of photomike
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of alamode
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Kiniey01
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of marct
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Britton
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of rab53
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of kornkid8600
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of Rutager
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a nice clear amber gold with a finger of white head.

Smell. Grapefruits and nice toasty grains and caramel.

Taste. Grapefruits and orange, caramel, light grains. A little lingering grapefruit rind bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Light body. A little thin and watery. Below medium carbonation.

Overall. Decent lighter abv beer with good flavour. I would rather dring less amounts of slightly bigger beers.

 417 characters

Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 376 ratings
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