California Amber | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
86
very good
453 Reviews
California AmberCalifornia Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Calico Copper Amber Ale

Added by xlperro on 04-10-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
453
Ratings:
1,395
Avg:
3.83
pDev:
18.28%
 
 
Wants:
55
Gots:
219
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 453 | Ratings: 1,395
Photo of jmd1978
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice red Amber color with little tan head. Nose malty with hints of pine and resin. Taste caramel, cinnamon and spiced fruits. Warming finish that is clean. Not what I really expected from this beer. Not a bad thing. As usual all of ballast point's are fantastic but this one is not their best. Would buy again.

 311 characters

Photo of lastmango
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium reddish amber with two finger tan head that dissipated but remained as a film. Little lacing. Aroma is light malt with pronounced hop pine notes. Caramel malt forward with pronounced hop bitterness on end. Feel was a bit heavier than expected. Medium carbonation. A ok beer but not something I would buy again.

 332 characters

Photo of puck1225
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Beautiful tan head atop a deep red brown beer, with good lacing. A pleasant smell, fruity and bready. The taste is of orange and cinnamon, with lemon and and a nice finish. I will buy again.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 06/20/16:

Slightly tarnished copper color, fairly clear. though with fine flakes in suspension. Fizzy to foamy sandy tan head of good retention. Caramel, alcohol, spice, resin, pine aromas, all subdued. Very spicy, resinous, piny and herbal throughout, caramel and toasted grain in the back. Tea-like finish. Quite good, different from what I expected. Medium-bodied and astringent. Fizzes up fast, softens to cream.

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Photo of Spikester
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear deep red with two fat fingers of cream color ten minute head. Lots of fine bubble lace.
Smell is caramel and some hop oil pine notes.
Taste is sweet caramel white bread and some hop oil pine.
Mouthfeel is medium with plenty of carbonation. Finish is lightly dry and bitter.
Overall a hop forward beer for this style. Tasty though.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: A deep copper with a beautiful orange-red hue. There's much haziness here, but it can almost be overlooked due to the lovely coloring; it comes off as mysterious rather than sedimentary. The off-white head is quick to melt into a few low-lying bubbly puddles.

Smell: The aroma is light and malt forward, with some earthy and resinous hops breaking through. Nothing too tantalizing, but nice, nonetheless.

Taste: A solid amber ale when it comes to flavor. The diverse grainy malt bill is perfectly toasted, complementing the medium hop bitterness. Hop flavoring is a little less prominent, but still a crucial component. Earthy, with oily herbal extracts. A bit of black pepper and a hint of rye create a nice kick.

Mouthfeel:,The smooth, medium-light body and medium-high carbonation render an ideal mouthfeel for the overall style, as well as this particular recipe. Crisp, clean, refreshing...nothing left to be desired.

Overall: Well-balanced and easy to drink. Simple, but rightfully appealing to the masses. I have greater appreciation for something more diverse, but this brew still deserves much respect.

 1,124 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, copper hued body; thick, sticky, creamy head. Scents of roasted grains and charred sugars; suggestions of rye and other spices. The flavor follows the aroma with additional hop bitterness adding to the mix. Crisp with a mild bite; sweet but with a finishing dry character.

Malt-forward ale with a fine addition of spicy and hop bitterness edge. A nice alternative for when your tastebuds are burned out on IPA hop overload. A great little ale.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass. Deep, copper color with moderate, bubbly head. Receded rather fast. The aroma is earth & herbal, pine, and toasted malt. The flavor is similar, more on the side of spice and herb than the sweet malt. This is an ESB inspired amber, so that makes sense. Bitter aftertaste and a rather watery mouthfeel on the finish. Not a bad beer, but not something I'd drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of oldn00b
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark amber, decent tan head retention. Loose light carbonation.

Nose is a bit muted, definitely malt heavy with a few spice notes coming through.

Flavor is a bit surprising for an amber - maltier, spicier, and sweeter than expected.

Definitely a bit more dense and viscous than expected. It's fine but not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of constantine_272
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lots a dark copper brown with a dark tan head. Low head and head retention.

Smells of cedar, red clay and a light pine.

The taste retains all the same character as the nose, but a syrupy been english malt takes over the midsection while a tingly finish with carbon and graphite lingers long with a fresh dried pine wood.

This beer is drinkable with dryness on the medium light side. The tangy finish mixed with the sweetness of the malt is s nice balance.

At first I was taken back because this beer was darker and with more malt than I expected for an amber. In all honesty, thus beer felt more like and English brown ale to me. After getting past the unexpected flavor profile, I grew to like this beer. It's nice and mellow and drinkable just like the way I prefer my amber ales: a good mix of earthy notes and malts and just enough hops to round out and balance the whole package.

 888 characters

Photo of SABERG
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on draft at the Lady Killigrew, poured into a shaker pint glass.
A - Nice copper color, wonderful clarity, set the backdrop for refined carbonation to trane skyward. A thin cap
quickly dissipates.
S - A touch of roast meets with malts, and a bit of pine.
T - Right down the middle with this one, start to finish, refined flavors of piney hops, mated with a semi sweet malt base. Exceedingly well balanced.
M - Thin on the palate, with enough carbonation to keeo this bordering on lite.
O - A wonderful amber ale, that balances the hops to malt just right.
Cheers

 571 characters

Photo of edward_boumil
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a nice orange/red colored beer, pretty clear and with some head retention. Little lace as well
The aroma and taste is very toasty, with cereal grain flavors present. Quite dry.
Not quite as sweet, fruity, and drinkable/refreshing as I typically expect in red ales, but certainly not bad either. Malt profile is nice and robust.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Clear copper body, cream colored head. Light head retention, little or no lacing.

Aroma: Very faint malt bills, mostly spicy hops and cedar.

Taste: Much like the aroma with hardly any malt presence and a very bitter black tea leaf finish and a bitter, woody aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly dry.

Overall: Approachable and drinkable, just too hoppy and woody for my own preference.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber/copper color. Not much head retention. Aroma has a nice balance of malts and bitter hops. Some caramel and toffee present also.

It's flavor starts with some of those bitter hops with a fruity/citrus background, and ends with a malty, carmelly, buscuity note.

It's a medium bodied beer. Good tasting beer if you are big into amber ales.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark, dark orange, but looks red without light. Has a thick, off-white head that dissipates quickly. Light carbonation.
A very sweet caramel malt smell.
Taste of the sweet caramel malt up front, then blends very well to finish with some hop.
The hop ads to the malt experience of most amber ales.
I love a good, non hoppy amber ale, but this is a good one.

 370 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle.Sampled on February 26, 2016.

The pour is copper amber in color with a big, lingering tan head.

A rich caramel malt character in the aroma. Clean, mellow hops.

Medium to bigger body.

Caramel sweetness in the taste too with a mild bitter finish. A balanced ESB that feels rather traditional.

 322 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light amber clouded by tiny bubbles and topped by whitish tan head.
smells of citrus-soaked caramel. immediately upon sipping, presents a
much crisper and cleaner mouthfeel than expected. the mid-palate goes quickly, rushed along by the bubbles, and the finish is mostly green hops with a lingering but mild bitterness. not too sour or rindy.

 345 characters

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.02/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled this evening on 2/18/16. Comes in a 12-ounce bottle. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "FISH TALE WILD SALMON PALE ALE" pint glass.

Brew pours a reddish-amber in color with close to a 1-finger foamy off-white head. Some decent lacing is seen when sipped. Aroma is of caramel, sweet malts with some floral hops with a hint of pine. Taste is close to the nose actually. More like a ESB (Extra Special (or Strong) Bitters) actually in my opinion. Slightly hoppy dry finish but wasn't that bad.. Medium-bodied with decent carbonation. Overall, it was OK but nothing real special for a 'Red Ale'.

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Photo of breadwinner
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is a nice brew, sort of a hoppy American Amber/hybrid ESB sort of thing. BP was really into alternative labeling for a while, eh -- this is, apparently, an ESB-style ale (their words), their Pale Ale was really kolsch-style, and so on. Anyway, it really is a nice drinker, lovely stuff out of the bottle, big rocky beige head that hangs around a bit, leaving light lacing in the glass. Aroma was malt, not as sweet as you'd expect for a beer that clearly must have a good amount of caramel malt, plus some American hops that offer a bit of tea, a bit of herbs/flowers, and maybe a dash of citrus. It all works nicely. Palate is similar, with a goodly hit of bitterness from the hops. In some ways, I like it, because I am, after all, an American craft drinker, weaned on hops. On the other, it got perhaps a touch woody bitter at times, just a bit overdone, and I would've appreciated more restraint and more openness toward letting the malt shine. Still, it's a tasty drinker, a welcome mid 5%'er in these days of oversized ABVs. Like so much of BP's core lineup (Pale Ale, Wahoo Wit, Longfin Lager, and even Big Eye), these are all clearly very well crafted, very dialed in, very reliable. Those may sound like backhanded compliments, but increasingly I value that more than all the daring and creativity in the world.

 1,325 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Amber colored amber ale, leaning brown, gleaming clarity for what it is, amazing head going beyond a full inch on the top. Aroma was muted red malts.

Taste was decent, a little bit of hops, but still the malt leans heaviest profile wise. Substantial bitterness for style. A sturdy amber ale. Definitely not a thin one.

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Photo of bnes09
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Brilliant red color. Excellent head and lacing. Hoppy, crisp and refreshing with subtle toasty tones. Well balanced with lively carbonation. Great stuff.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
2.66/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

L - Murky ruby red with a finger of off-white head

S -Straight up red ale with a massive malt presence and maybe even some raisin and fig. A weird tin can and green bean aroma makes me wince.

T - Plenty of sweet malts with some caramel, but I get a lot of cherry Robitussin on this which doesn't blow wind up my dress. No hops to speak of and there's almost a raw pizza dough/flower/powdery taste on the finish. I hate to even say it, but there is actually a copper-like taste akin to sucking on a penny.

F - Some cloying malts and muted hops linger. No alcohol presence. As I continue to sip, this is causing unbelievable cotton-mouth. It's basically the Sahara in my mouth.

O - Some unusual flavors, but at least sweet malts were here. No hops at all and an odd copper taste. I just don't know what they were going for here.

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Photo of HopHunter19
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - nice clear red beer with a nice off white head that sticks and leaves nice lacing
S - big flowery hops, caramel.malts
T - same.as smell
M - light, alc covered, aftertaste light flowery hops
O - good red ale, not great but good

 230 characters

Photo of sentimetal
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up some Lagunitas Censored and Ballast Point Calico recently, so tonight will be all about red/ambbers. Poured into a stemmed glass - a Founders Sweet Repute glass, to be exact.

Look - A deep ruby/copper color with an eggshell colored head. Very inviting.

Smell - A fresh grassy scent with a nice toast-like scent following.

Taste - Initial taste is a slight, pleasantly bitter taste with a grassy caramel (weird combination, I know) following.) I will say that all the tastes are quite subdued. The ABV and the smoothness of this beer makes me want to have more than a few due how smooth the flavor is. This is a very session-able red ale.

Feel - Chewy like an Anchor beer with mild carbonation

Overall - This beer reminds me of a steam beer. It has a slight metallic essence with a bread-y mouth feel to it. I like it! However, if I'm looking for an exemplary red ale I'd turn to a beer like Red Rocket ale

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a chestnut brown with red tints, with layers of off white almost gray head that has nice webbing and stick after each sip.

S - Caramel malts, some hops, piney, earthy aroma.

T - Piney hops balanced by caramel malts, some grains present, resinous on the back end. Good level of carbonation present to keep the low to medium bodied brew alive.

O - Usually the hop / bitterness level of ambers are subdued and take a back seat to malts, but not in this one. I love the aggressive (for the style) use of hops in this beer. Overall, very well balanced and nicely crafted brew. I will definitely come back to this.

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California Amber from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.
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