Calm Before The Storm
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Calm Before The StormCalm Before The Storm
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
American Cream Ale
Ranked #20
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
87
Ranked #13,287
Avg:
3.9 | pDev: 9.74%
Reviews:
275
Ratings:
1,195
From:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating
Wants
  100
Gots
  355
SCORE
87
Very Good
Calm Before The StormCalm Before The Storm
Notes: Calm Before the Storm came from a quest for a warm weather alternative to our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter. Like its more robust cousin, we infuse a punch of flavor using cold brewed Caffé Calabria coffee and a hint of vanilla. But this time, we added it to a lighter-bodied golden cream ale. The end result is a surprisingly bright, coffee-forward beer that’s perfectly refreshing.

15 IBUs
Reviews: 275 | Ratings: 1,195 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Oopssorryy:
Photo of Oopssorryy
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful amber gold, with an ample off white head. The head didn't last, disappearing eniterly in about five minutes, with nonexistent lacing. The body of the beer is perfectly clear, show casing a large amount of vigorous carbonation. The nose is dominated by black coffee. There is a nutty sweetness, and a very genital vanilla tone serves as backdrop to the coffee forward scent.

The flavor profile is actually lighter on the coffee than I was expecting. While it's definitely there at all stages of the tasting experience, it is often times supplanted by a lovely nut profile. The flavor is also much more bitter than the nose initially lets on. There is sweetness to be found here though, right as you swallow a small burst of a creamy sweetness pulls through. This quickly becomes a background flavor, being overtaken by a coffee bitterness, but it is this sweetness, combined with the nutty flavors that coats the tongue.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied and full of carbonation. The carbonation is tightly controlled however, making for a uniform drinking experience. Overall a great beer, and one I'd revisit in the future.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Absolut
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange. Smells of vanilla and coffee. Taste is the same, but subtle. Really an except beer. Feel is a bit thin which is the only complaint

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pale orange color, pours with an inch and a half of off white foam. Medium amount of retention. Coffee is the star here and it works nicer than any other non-stout/porter beer that I've had. Aroma isnof freshly ground coffee and a pleasant caramel like sweetness. Esters are present in the nose, but fairly mild. The coffee flavor embraces the tongue right away and the smooth body and medium-high carbonation level carry it properly. More caramel accompanies the taste, but it's not overly sweet and still finishes quite dry. There is a slight hop presence but barely noticeable. Great smooth mouthfeel.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.78/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is basically a warm weather stout,

Copper in color with a two finger, effervescent, rocky head.
Smells of vanilla beans, malted cereal grains and freshly made cappuccino.

This is one of my absolute most beloved offering from Ballast Point.
It's luxurious and decadent on the palate, with notes of heavy cream, espresso, vanilla and dry, roasted malt.

It tastes and smells exactly like a freshly made iced coffee/latte from Dunkin Doughnuts or Starbucks

Has the full body and heavy mouthfeel you expect to find in a great cream ale without ever being sticky or overtly sweet.

Finishes with a crisp, hoppy snap and vanilla coffee aftertaste. Very prolonged and drawn out coffee aftertaste and tasting experience that leaves you with the flavor of the beer long after you've taken a sip.

This and Sixpoint C.R.E.A.M are my favorite cream ales of all time.

 863 characters

Photo of username
1.84/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 1.5

CBS6 15194

Pours a slightly hazy SRM 7-8. Average head characteristics; foamy, good retention.

Intense smell of coffee beans, almost burnt. No vanilla detected as claimed; it might be there but is totally overpowered by the coffee.

Tastes primarily of coffee, and essentially nothing but.

Higher astringency, with a soft, mouth-coating feel.

Overall the intensity of coffee ruins this beer. Almost don't feel ok referring to it as a beer, as it tastes more like a coffee flavored soda without sugar. Coffee isn't at all balanced with characteristics of the ale; appears to have been added with reckless abandon to the detriment of the brew. Uncomfortably light in color for the flavor. Would not recommend over any other coffee-flavored brew.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can't believe I'm saying this, but I oddly quite enjoyed this beer. I was a skeptic, to say the least, and really only picked it up because my local bottleshop had some single available in the cooler. Pour is clear, copper, and with a nice dense bit of foam atop. Fitting, I suppose, that foam, because this thing is creamy! The body is creamy enough (especially for just a basic ale), but the sensation of creaminess -- of milky, vanilla-laced, sweet creaminess -- is darn on point. The nose had a couple whiffs of harsh coffee bitterness at opening, but it opened up and mellowed out quickly into that great, smooth coffee/cream combo. Palate is ne'er to sweet, rather seamlessly integrating the coffee/vanilla/cream into the base beer. Again, I'm somewhat astounded at how they make it work (though BP has proven to have deft hands with adjuncts). Good, and honestly tasty, beer that I'd actually drink again.

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Photo of NWSREM
2.68/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Had high expectations for this, I love Victory at Sea and haven't had a bad BP beer yet. Clear amber pour with small white head. Aroma of sweet vanilla, coffee and grassy malt. Taste is all coffee, with vanilla and some sourish? malt taste in the background. Light smooth body, not especially creamy, with mild carbonation. This sounded really good but was a bit disappointing for me.

 384 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden body with a slight Amber hue to it. Foamy, slightly off white head. Aroma is toasted malts, with a heavy presence of coffee. Vanilla does not really come through on the nose, but the cream ale and coffee components do. Vanilla comes through in the taste, along with the coffee and that cream ale in the back. The slightest metallic off-flavor on the back. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, medium carbonation. This is an interesting beer and a nice attempt at a golden stout.

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Photo of Urk1127
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-Brownish yellow, half finger head stuck around
-Amazing roasted coffee
-Same amazing coffee, sweet ish crackery malt
-sharp carbonation but not much of it

-top tier coffee beer for me. Awesome

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Photo of buschbeer
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pokal glass

This beer pours a brilliant amber color with golden highlights. It is capped with a fleeting, beige head that leaves no lacing.

It smells really sweet with the vanilla shining through. The coffee is faint.

The taste is the same as the smell. It is overtly sweet and the coffee is trying its best to hide from my palate.

Smooth, medium mouthfeel

I was really looking forward to this beer only to be overwhelmed by sweetness and left wondering where all the coffee is. The coffee either faded or this beer does not agree with my affable palate. I will have to revisit.

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Photo of npendres
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SoCalBeerBabe
4.46/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of IckyT2012
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tdhoerr03
2.98/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of MickeyHops
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beergorrilla
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Cobratrooper
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of crossfit_lunatic
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of flagmantho
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer on-tap in a mug at Special Brews in Lynnwood, WA.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a dash of haze and a finger of frothy white foam. I like it.

Smell: coffee and a dash of cream ale sweetness. Not bad.

Taste: bitter and astringent coffee flavor with a moderate sweetness. There's also a little green vegetal character here. Overall not bad for a coffee cream ale.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a surprisingly good creaminess.

Overall: this beer experienced some of the pitfalls of light coffee beers in general, but for the most part is pretty good.

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Photo of Horbar
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tillmac62
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light amber with a touch of red. Outstanding head volume, normal retention, world class lacing.

Almost world class nose of coffee over a base of vanilla and biscuit.

Light body with a semi-smooth texture. Perfect carbonation with a strong effervescent burst in the middle and rollicking finely bubbled finish.

The flavor profile is on the upper end of outstanding. It begins with a semi-sweet biscuit coupled with vanilla that flows into the coffee. By the middle, there is a light bitterness and the coffee is predominant. The finish has a semi-crispness to it and the coffee lingers with just a hint of sweet biscuit and vanilla. Add a bit more body and complexity with a more balancing sweetness and this one becomes world class.

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Photo of Jeff412pgh
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of eddiefl
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a half finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by percolator coffee and vanilla, with hints of bready malt. Flavor is mild bready malt with a hint of caramel, American coffee and vanilla; finishes with light malt and watery coffee; the finish is reminiscent of a vanilla iced coffee that has had the ice cubes melt, flavors are there, but a bit watered down.. Medium bodied with a light creaminess; appropriate for the style. An interesting experiment, but for me the cream ale style does not support the coffee flavors as well as a stout or more robust malty body. The coffee here is a clear note, but somewhat uninteresting. Finishes a bit thin. Goes in the "interesting to try, but don't need to come back" category. Since I drink in the evenings, coffee can be a challenging addition to beer so I want it to be something special to make the sleep interruption worth it.

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Photo of Dweedlebug
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Calm Before The Storm from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 1195 ratings