Fathom IPL | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Fathom IPLFathom IPL
Very Good
891 Ratings
Fathom IPLFathom IPL

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American 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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Ratings: 891 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of StormKing47
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this one on tap at my local establishment, reviewed from my napkin notes once again, seems to be a trend here. I only use my book for tastings, so deal with it and let's get to it...

A- A very nice pour yields an interesting clear amber/copper color that appears clean and clear as day. Spectacular looking clean, is this a pils? Has an off-white head that appears sticky and looks tempting. Let's go for it.

S- I am picking up a faint citrus, grapefruit aroma that is tempting, but not very interesting especially from a beer that is from the same plant as sculpin. In the back I pick up a subtle and faint burnt crust or biscuit malt sweetness. Smells well balanced, but not overwhelming a little let down from this one.

T- What a surprise I guess the lagering hides the smell, but the taste reveals a different monster. Quite a pungent hop bite that is citrusy and delicious. Although it is finished by the familiar lager finish a faintly sweet breadiness that is not too appealing for me. Definitely not what I was expecting a nice rendition of two styles blended together.

M- A very nice clean finish after a nice and crispy tingling in the mouth. Two styles conflicting, but trying to work together would have like to see more hop bite and less malt finish.

D- An odd attempt at what seems like a blend or combining of two styles, would have liked to see more from this one, but it's a decent, sessionable beer.

A nice try at an emerging style, but a let down especially with everything else they brew. If you can find it try it!

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Photo of Deuane
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Bright, brilliant clear copper with a medium off-white head that held on strong and left spotty lace.

S-Rather light overall with just enough spicy citrus hops and sweet biscuit malt to keep your interest.

T-Fairly aggressive spicy citrus hop bite up front that quickly fades away to mildly sweet biscuit malt. This one has the Pale Ale hop bite up front and the clean lager finish.

M-Medium-light bodied with that typical crisp and clean finish.

D-An interesting and well made brew from Ballast Point for sure. I like and appreciate the effort of this rather rarely done hybrid style but I didn't love it. An easy to drink and enjoyable beer but not overly memorable.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the brilliant Blind Pig in Champaign. Clear, straw-golden body topped by a finger of durable white froth that leaves dense rings of lacing on the pint glass; excellent looking beer. Good smell--grassy, piney, well-hopped, like a ramped-up lager; fragrant.

Good taste, nicely hopped, somewhat bitter bite, tasty and easy to consume. It's not very complex, but is tasty and a Imperial Pilsner. Nice hop grit, good texture. This was all-too easy to consume and, was I not interested in sampling a few other beers, I would have easily enjoyed a couple more of these.

Another very good beer from Ballast Point. It isn't on the same level as Big Eye, which is much bigger and fuller an Imperial. However, this is quite good, and well worth a go.

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Photo of thain709
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - The beer had a bright golden body with lots of carbonation racing to the top...the head was white and stood about two fingers...it slowly faded and left nice lacing

S - Lots of sweet and bitter hops...tropical fruits (pineapple, orange, mango, grapefruit), earthy, and piney

T - The first sip provides a rush of juicy tropical fruits...sweet, ripened fruits that just burts with flavor...that sweetness rolls right into a piney hop bitterness...but the two combine and leave a bittersweet finish...as the beer warms up the lager notes stand out...you can taste a little bit of yeast and bready malt

M - Medium bodied...juicy, nice carbonation, bittersweet finish that leaves you wanting more

D - Wow this one was very easy to drink...my first one went down rather quickly...I allowed the second one to warm up and that's when I found the lager characteristics coming out...I love the fresh, juicy, sweet tropical fruit flavors from the hops...I'd like to see more hoppy lagers or pilsners

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Photo of squaremile
2.76/5  rDev -28.7%
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 Kaiser81
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had a half-pint on 2/18 @ the Old Grove location

A - Clear gold color, less than a finger width of head. It settles quickly to a nice ring. There is minimal lacing. but it is a lager, so I won't deduct too many points.

S - Wow! Very hop forward, than lots of sweetness on the back end. This is just like an IPA. There is that splendid pine scent followed by tropical fruit. Hmm...dare I say these people know how to get a good aroma? Of course they do...they brew Sculpin!

T - Piney hops with no real sweetness present from the matls. It's complex, and not at the same time. Hops provide the flavor, tropical fruit provides the aftertaste. I don't know that I know what this means either, it's just what I had on my tasting notes. ::shrugs::

M - Medium body (odd for a lager) with plenty of carbonation.

D - I wish I could get more taste, but it's definitely drinkable. It might be a good beer to try and switch people from BMC to ales.

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Photo of jneiswender
3.31/5  rDev -14.5%
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 Bubba83
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Finally getting my review of this up here from when I had it with Kegatron at the Homebrew Mart location during San Diego Beer Week.

Bright yellow-orange body with lots of vivacious bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. A bright white head tops it off, dissipates quick, but despite that has decent lacing.

Smells on the grassy/floral end of things with a bit of citrus (I get lemon and grapefruit mostly), indescript bitterness and some underlying bready malt.

Light breadiness is what I taste first, followed by a LOT of freshly cut grass, grapefruit and lemon. A prolonged bitterness holds the end of the sip and exists long after the swallow.

Feels pretty vivacious and poppy in the mouth, typical lager characteristic. Light and pleasant.

Drinkability is pretty much off the scales. It's super refreshing and finishes super super dry which beckons you to sip more. I dusted it off ridiculously quick and could have had much more. Super approachable as long as you like hoppy beers already.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ballast Point in August 2009.

Poured a nice golden color at the lighter end of the spectrum, but well within a lager's range. A nice white head on it. Smell is strong with hops--lots of pine and a bit of backing citrus and floral. Taste was nice and resiny with little malt backing. We had a few IPL's on the trip, and this one was right up there with Humulus from The Bruery. Nice mouthfeel and fantastic drinkability. This is an emerging style I'd like to see more of, and Ballast Point has absolutely nailed it.

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Photo of bulletrain76
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught at the brewery. Orange tinted gold color with a lasting white head. Lots of hops in the aroma with flowers, mangos, and peaches adding fruit to the spicy and grassy notes that some more euro hops seem to be adding. The flavor has some light and toasty malt with lots of hop flavor (mango, peach, grapefruit peel) and more bitterness than the sculpin that I had right before. Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. Cool mix of fruity with grassy and spicy hops. I'd definitely like to have this one again.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Ballast Point Linda Vista 11/11/09. Part of the "Hoppy Hump Day" event during San Diego Beer Week.

Pours a clear copper, with a 1/2 finger of slightly off-white head. Nice richness to the retention and lacing. The aroma is fresh floral hops and some bright smelling citrus flavors, with a tight bready layer of malt underneath it. The hops really overall control this nose nicely though.

The Lager attributes are bit more assertive in the taste, with a firm and crisp snap to the malts, being more than up to the task of propping up that same fresh tasting hop character from the aroma. No shortage of sweet citrus, which splashes the tongue before a steady bitterness, full of spice and pine, creeps in the finish. Fairly clean feel here in the backend, with too much lingering hops being kept in check. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a touch lighter, with a pleasant mellow firmness to carbonation. This gives the body some crispness but also keeps it very smooth, allowing for that almost 7% ABV to go down like a champ. Dangerous stuff!

Very nicely done version of this style, that packed a ton of juicy hop flavor into a firm, crisp, (and most of all) extremely easy drinking package. I literall could have just stood around and drank this all day but other beers beckoned.

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Photo of dfillius
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass. IPL...L? Enjoyed at Stone

A: 1 finger head subsides to 1/4 finger of generous white fluff. Crystal clear gold color. So clear! Definitely a lager.
S: Strong hops - cascade pine, fir needles, tiny malt character.
T: Bitter with clean malt backbone. Such clean taste, no fruity yeast easters as I would expect. Rather than fruit, breadiness comes out much more.
M: Crisp, a little fizzy, bitter.
D: Very high. This is higher in alcohol, but only feeling it rather than tasting it. Only lower points due to alcohol feeling. (Only 6.8% I see! It felt higher)

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Photo of magictrokini
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap @ Hamilton's. This is not the first IPL I've had, but its definitely the best. Pours clear gold with a one-finger white head. Moderate lacing. Sweet, floral hop aroma. Lots of pine and lemongrass, less of the grapefruit/citrus. Sharp, crisp resin bite up front. Mellows a little into a grapefruit-lemon-orange peel sweetness. The lager back enhances the West Coast IPA feel, giving it a sweet finish. I could drink this all night its so smooth. Very well done.

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Hamilton's

Appearance is a translucent light orange hue, moderate white foam dissipates mostly, huge lacing on the glass

Smell is clean and crisp biscuit malts, moderate grassy hops, some cotton candy sweetness

Taste is initially pale bread/biscuit malts soon followed by grassy and earthy bittering hops, hints of tea leaves, citrus, and pine, lager yeast, finishes thick and malts with slight alcohol burn

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, watery texture with oily resin residual, amped-up carbonation is detracting from the flavor

Drinkability is high, nice balance of malts and hops in a lager framework, carbonation is overly high, but this is very drinkable for a unique style

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
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 Floydster
4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

100th beer on tap reviewed, had to be something special and this definitely was

Walked into the PB Tap Room and saw this, started talking to the bartneder about it and told me only a couple of kegs were made of this and they are the only bar in the area to get it, they do not even currently have growlers available of this at the Home Brew Mart supposedly

I had to try after hearing that

It is a 50/50 hybrid of an India Pale Ale and a light lager

Sounds weird, but tastes amazing

Pour a golden yellow color into a pint glass with a whopping white head on it, about an inch and a half

Small bubbles rushed to the top and the brew was very carbonated

Smell was like a Grolsch and was full of yeast, but then the taste was mainly an IPA with an even dryer finish

Could have drank these all day, but they had several other good taps yesterday

Beer was amazing, if you can down to Pacific Beach and try it, you will not be sorry

Congratulations Ballast Point on brewing this masterpeice

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Fathom IPL from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 891 ratings