Fathom India Pale Lager | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Fathom India Pale LagerFathom India Pale Lager

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Floydster on 09-29-2007

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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 850
Photo of Ryan011235
2.35/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

On tap at King's Table

Hazy honey/amber color. Lasting layer of retention and great lace.

Orange, grapefruit and grassy hops hold most of the aroma aside from some toasty grain. Yeah, mostly hops though. In another example of WTF, the taste is vegetal all while suggesting the taste of perfume fragrances if one could taste the fragrence and not the purfume itself. Soft body and carbonation.

Overall: Gorgeous lace. Terrible beer.

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Photo of vinny21bal
2.66/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

This beer is pretty boring. I give is credit for being refreshing in the summer, but just not a lot of character all the way around from nose, taste, mouth. Not to impressed. Ballast Point is a great Brewery so I am glad they don't bottle this one. I have been pouring it at the shop on tap for drinkers that come in looking for something generic like Blue Moon or Bud light. It seems to go good for them. For a heavy beer guy I would really stay away.

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Photo of lhenschke
2.74/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear, light amber colour with a moderate head. Little to no head retention.

Smell: Not a strong smell whatsoever. Very mild hoppiness, much less than I'd expect for an "India Pale ____".

Taste: Disclaimer - this was the first IPL that I've tried, so I'm not completely sure if I dislike the entire style, or just this beer. I found the imbalance between the initial (lack of) maltiness and the finishing strong hop flavouring to be unpleasant. Overall, I found it to be very watery, and the hops couldn't make up for it.

Mouthfeel: Overly carbonated and very light, not much else to say here.

Overall: I didn't enjoy this beer very much. I found it largely flavourless (aside from the heavy hops), and too carbonated. I think if it had a more pronounced breadiness/maltiness it could balance much better with the hops, while still staying much distinct from any IPA.

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Photo of squaremile
2.76/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Ballast Point taproom in San Diego. This is my first IPL. Pours a golden yellow with a moderate white head. Smell is strange. The hops are there as well as a funky yeast. Taste is challenging for me. Some mild hop bitterness up front then a wash of diacetyl and buttery yeast flavors. Aftertaste is pretty dry but something sticks around longer than is welcome. Mouthfeel is medium. Not into it.

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Photo of champ103
3.14/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Blind Pig in Champaign IL.

A: Pours a dull, murky yellow color. A one finger white head forms, but recedes to a ring in a second. Some lace is left behind.
S: Floral, grassy, and citrus hops in the nose. Some dry biscuit and bread aromas as well. Very nice balance and nuance.
T: What ever the balance and nuance that was in the nose is gone here. Bitter grapefruit and resiny pine. Nothing else that i can come up with.
M/D: A medium to full body. Soapy, oily, and resiny. Kind of sticky as well. Some alcohol is noticeable, but the bitterness make this hard to drink a bunch of.

I don't understand why breweries continue to make "Imperial Pilsners." It is just an oxymoron IMO. This is really not bad. Though, just a bit of overkill. Tone it down a bit and this is a really good lager. As is, not something I really enjoy.

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Photo of beertunes
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a hazy medium honey-gold color with about 1/4 inch of white head that had moderate retention and low lacing.

The aroma had some nicely light grain malts and a bit of floral hops. On the tongue, The malts had the front, then blended with the floral hops in the middle. At the back was a blast of citrus hops that was unexpected.

The body was medium and had a bitter finish that lingered for a bit. Drinkability was OK, the beer went down easily enough, but didn't really have a noticeable personality. Overall, a pleasant enough little brew, probably worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.22/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Golden color pour, 3/4" of head on it, white. Smell was really absent of the hops. Ballast point makes some damn aromatic beers across the board, this one fell flat for me. Nothing bad smelling, just I dunno, I wanted a hop blast!

Taste, decent but again, lacking the requisite hops I was hoping for. Its real clean. Had the bitterness of an IPA, but not the hopping. Can't pay this type of $/oz in the bomber format. A rare miss from BP.

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Photo of rand
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From 22 oz bomber to pint glass

A: Clear copper-tan in appearance, forms a quickly receding wispy head that leaves scant lacing.

S: Hop-forward bouquet as expected. Lemongrass joins a bit a honey-sweetness. If you've had their Big Eye IPA, imagine that with a more crackery backdrop. Although strangely subdued, you really have to inhale to get the full bouquet.

T/M: Again, hop-citrus forward, notes of lemon and orange at the front of the palate. A touch of buttery sweetness mid-sip while a yeasty, crackery tone dries toward the finish. Heavier bodied than expected, much more ale-like than lager.

Drinkable, but unremarkable. When I heard they were bottling this I was expecting more, but I may have had too high of expectations. I'm assuming they accomplished the flavor profile they were looking for, there's nothing off-putting in this pint, but I think I need more IPL's before I can be as objectively critical as I should. Categories aside, the beer in itself is OK, better than average but nothing I would chase down.

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Photo of Celtics17
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Not my favorite beer. I liked Samuel Adams IPL, but this missed big time. The malt character truly beat the hops. This was a true resin filled IPA/IPL, and not in a good way. Overall this was disappointing.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

7.0% ABV according the bottle. 22 fl oz brown glass bottle with decent label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired for $6.00 USD at The Growler Room here in Austin earlier tonight and served into an Avery stem-tulip. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery. Reviewed as an India Pale Lager because the label clearly identifies it as such. The name of the beer is "Fathom IPL" not "Fathom India Pale Lager."

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a two finger wide head of white colour. Good thickness. Decent creaminess and frothiness. Head retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent copper of above average vibrance. No floating yeast particles or sediment is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a good looking beer and boasts one of the better appearances I've seen in this emergent style. That said, it's not unique or special. But I'm looking forward to the first sip and I don't notice any overt flaws.

Sm: Has some lovely dank resinous hop oils, with plenty of herbal and floral character as well as some nectary character. I pick up on some cannabis and evergreen notes. Also some lovely citrus - bits of grapefruit and orange zest.

The malty base seems ideal - pale malts, clean barley, and a hint of caramalt.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

It's a great aroma for the style, and has surprising strength. Clean and pleasant. I can't wait to try it. The resins are a definite highlight.

T/Mf: The clean feel of the hops isn't quite maintained here in the taste; untamed hoppy bitterness invades along with some dragging pine needles and grassy notes. It's still oily, but overall I wish it were more smooth and wet, with better balance of the hop bitterness. As is, it's slightly coarse and dry (especially in the second act), which really holds it back from being the refreshing lager it should be.

I get a bit of grapefruit and orange along with some citrusy twang. Those cannabis and evergreen hop notes do stay present in the flavour profile, and really work here. Hop character is primarily floral/herbal, but there's surprising depth and diversity of hop profile here - especially considering it's a lager of lesser ABV than most IPAs. Juicy and crisp.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-flavours come through.

Overcarbonated. Has way too much bite and weight for the style and flavour profile, but overall I'd say the texture suits the taste pretty well and it has a nice presence on the palate in spite of its shortcomings. Clearly, brewers are still trying to figure out how much body and thickness to give India Pale Lagers; I think this is a bit too IPA-imitative for its own good. Clean and enjoyable nonetheless. Could be softer. It's overbearing for a lager.

The core of the beer is a pale malt/light caramalt build which works well for it. Overall, this is a cohesive approachable build but it's not quite gestalt. Decently balanced with impressive complexity for a lager. Not the most subtle or intricate beer out there. Above average duration and intensity of flavour.

I'm liking this quite a bit for what it is, and it's better than I remember Humulus Lager being.

Dr: A very drinkable sessionable India Pale Lager which I consider amongst the best of these early examples of the style. Ballast Point has a delivered an inspired lager with an impressive amount of flavour that will please IPA fans. With its kinks worked out, this could be a great beer in its style. I love the price point and would recommend friends give this a shot. I'll easily kill this bottle, and could probably go for another. Hides its ABV well.


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Photo of bylerteck
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I tend to really enjoy well done Imperial Pilsners so I got excited when I saw this on the tap list at Reservoir in Waterbury. Seemed to miss the point of the style for me though. From notes.

A - Poured golden to dark golden with a half finger white head. Bright. Good ring of lace and film of retention.

S - Citrus. Orange. Not much going on.

T - Noble hop, orange, honey.

M - Good carbonation, light body, medium bitterness.

O/D - Weaker for the style. Missing that strong, delicious noble hop profile. Tastes good, but just didn't want more of this interpretation of the style.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had as part of a tasting at the Ballast Point Brewing Company. Served on tap in a tasting glass.

A-dark yellow body with an off white head

S-fruity and some faint smokiness

T-juicy flavor overall nice grain finish


D-Not a bad brew. Not sure I get a pils feel to it.

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Photo of bark
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The colour is gold (7 EBC), the liquid is clear. The airy three finger head is white, it sinks slowly leaving lots of thick lacing. It looks very inviting.

The smell is semi-sweet and hoppy. Notes of grapefruit peel, honey, exotic fruit jam, green plands and a smooth bitterness.

The taste is sweeter than expected. Clean malty sweetness, smooth bitterness. Notes of orange juice, green plants, honey and plums. Medium to full body. The aftertaste got growing clean alcohol and bitterness, exotic fruits and bread-like malt. The finish is smooth and sweet with some floral bitterness.

The carbonation is medium strong, the small bubbles are long-lived. The liquid is a bit sticky.

Way too sweet, but apart from that, I liked it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap at O'Brien's in San Diego, CA,

A: Pours a light amber with a firm white head, good retention.

S: Very bready at the first whiff, smells a lot like a hopped up Spaten.

T: Very bready at first, German lager malt, with a bit of a sour character. Hops come in with some pine bitterness and earth, an interesting tasting hybrid, but at the end of it all, I was only mildly enjoying it.

M: Crisp and smooth, easy drinking for sure, fairly light-bodied.

D: An interesting beer from Ballast Point, but I'd take their regular IPA over this any day.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden color with a pure-white head. The head bubbles away quickly and leaves very little lacing around the glass.

The aroma is a bit odd on this one. I get a lot of pine and melon and what I can only describe as "wheat bread". Not a bad aroma but certainly not a pleasant one either.

The taste is very crisp and floral, with notes of tangerine and grape, as well as faint hint of mango. The bitter pine is noticeable on the back end. The malt is rather bready but overall maintains a good balance.

The feel is medium-bodied and very creamy. The alcohol is almost non-existent on the palate.

Overall, a very solid, easy-drinking beer. A great beer for a hot summer day. Nothing special, but nothing to turn your nose up at either.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I knew I'd come back one day to review this. On-tap most recently at Churchill's Pub, on to the beer:

Has the color of pale orange which provides little excitement for the eyes. The head is small and leaves a few spots of lace around. The nose features some vague citrus and pine zest.

It could taste better given the craftsmanship behind Ballast Point. This pilsner (notice that I'm not refering to this as an "India Pale Lager") features a bite of pine in the begining and throughout. A late surge of grapefruit keeps this from being resemblant to Pine Sol. Aftertaste is a little soapy and fairly bitter.

Nice enough. I recall liking this a little more when I first tasted it though.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle. Pours clear golden orange with a big creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is crisp sweet doughy malt with some fruit and resiny metallic hops.

The flavor is sweet bready malts and some fruit with some peppery grassy hops. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a decent hoppy lager.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bought at the Beer Shop in East Longmeadow, MA. Served in a pilsner glass and poured from a can. The beer pours with a clear copper appearance and a rather frothy, large head and patchy lacing. Aromas are jammed packed with interesting flavors. I could smell really spiced pine hops mixed with tropical fruits like grapefruit, orange, and mango. Taste was not as spectacular as the aromas, but it still followed with some fruity flavors mixed with malts. Its generally bittersweet overall. The beer is generally light with a a decent carbonation. Overall, the aromas really grabbed me, but everything else was ok.

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Photo of JamesStreet
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Golden pour with a somewhat soap-bubble type head. Good lace on this beer. Nice piney hop aroma. Somewhat crisp sip, good and balanced. Overall, not a bad try.

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Photo of ordybill
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: slightly hazy yellow. Full white head on the pour. Poured from a 22 OZ bomber into a pint glass. Aroma- this beer had not much that could be identified by the aroma, maybe some basic hops? Appearance- a clear nice golden yellow with about a 1.5 inch white head Taste- Fairly good flavor, I could really taste the hops Overall- A fairly good beer, it is not my favorite Ballast Point beer but it was not a disappointment.

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Photo of argock
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz can into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Freshness date stamped on bottom of can. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Honey-gold with short 1/2-finger gap of ivory head with decent retention and spare lacing.

S: Mostly tropical and citrus fruit aromas such as mango, grapefruit, passionfruit, and lime, but all of them are subdued by a decent dose of alcohol sharpness

T: Flavor is also hampered by too much alcohol presence. The hop characters are all there with lime, grapefruit, mango, and pineapple. BUt it is cut with a boozy edge that overshadows any malt character and dampens the hops.

M: Easily the worst part of the beer -- really seems flabby and boozy with no crispness. Not sure if that is due to high amounts of hop oils or a less than stellar fermentation.

O: A mixed bag with this beer -- I'm probably underrating it a little but the feel and aroma are off and this beer really feels and drinks like an ale rather than an IPL.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bottle of the Fathom at the beer store just around the corner from the house. It poured a clear copper with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent had bitterness. The taste was not evenly balanced and was not overly smooth to drink. There was bitterness and booz present throughout. The Mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it's ok and certainly worth a try. Just wasn't awesome for me.

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Photo of tone77
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A big thanks to the founding father of the canquest, woodychandler, form this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, lemons, some malts. Taste is crisp, lemons, hops, malts, balanced and very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Uanof
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: golden orange translucent color with big white fluffy persistent head which leaves a decent amount of lacing behind.

S: hops and more hops with some dry alcohol notes on the background.

T: it's pretty smooth and drinkable, probably too smooth, missing that hop bitterness kick. It has an alcoholic presence that's not overwhelming, but definitely present, that takes a little away from the experience. Lagers are usually pretty clear in terms of flavor profile, which is why this one at 7% shows it's abv.

M: light bodied, not overly dry or sticky, easy drinking.

O: more of a lager than an IPA, would have liked to see the hops being more present and pronounced. Maybe a wet-hopped variant?

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Photo of humuloner22
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is a crisp beer. Definitely a lager or pilsner style beer. Color is light copper color, very similar to Yuengling really. Not a malt bomb but not really hoppy either. It was labeled as a IPA style lager. I don't detect that much hop in the flavors. Maybe I have had too many true IPA's but this one is not hoppy at all. It is very much a lager. I won't go through a full review. I will say that its a decent beer but like so many craft breweries that make stuff that is away from a good IPA or Stout that they are known for it just is not worth the price difference. When you can get a 12 pack of adjunct lager 12 oz cans for maybe a couple of bucks more. Like I said this beer reminds me a lot of Yeungling and was only two dollars less than the local grocery chain has a 12 pack on sale for this week.

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Fathom India Pale Lager from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.89 out of 5 based on 850 ratings.
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