California Amber
Ballast Point Brewing Company

California AmberCalifornia Amber
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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #100
Ranked #28,636
3.8 | pDev: 10.53%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
California AmberCalifornia Amber
Notes: Formerly Calico Copper Amber Ale
Reviews: 474 | Ratings: 1,479 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of WunderLlama
WunderLlama from Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at ballast point

Clear deep copper, white foam ring

Aroma of malts , sweet

Brown malt ale taste , slightly sweet

Not a hop bite

Good beer

Mar 22, 2019
Photo of Martin194
Martin194 from Iowa

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Clear amber, with a light tan head.

Smell: Hops, caramel, slightly roasty, nutty hints.

Taste: Sweet, roasty malts, more of the nutty undertones, a bit of a tang almost like fruit - plum maybe? - and some dry hoppy bitterness.

Feel: Mild carbonation, kind of a creamy feel, leaving a dry, warm aftertaste.

Aug 09, 2018
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Jbbdrinker from Texas

3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy copper color with thin white head. Slight carmel and hop aroma. The carbination is mild leaving a roasted malt cream body which is balanced with a generous bitter hop after flavor. A touch nutty and smokey in the finish.

Aug 02, 2018
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cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours semicloudy red with a small off white head. Smells of darker roasted grain with slight fruity notes. Tastes of sweet darker roasted grain with slight caramel. Beer is medium bodied but still very easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, an above average beer.

Jun 03, 2018
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VABA from Virginia

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Pours a light copper color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has hoppy and piney hints
T-The taste follows the nose with hoppy and piney flavors
M-A light bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A nice amber ale

May 14, 2018
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nhdjinn from New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a hopper version of traditional amber ales
hops are earthy tone early to mid - strong hop hit but not over the top
toasted caramel finish
nice deep red color - slight lingering head
It a very enjoyable take on European red ales with American hop rates

Dec 31, 2017
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D1noB from Oklahoma

3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Great malty slightly sweat front and body with a slight earthy hops finish that brings it down a little. Still not a bad beer.

Taste Rating in Words: It's a roller coaster that is great but then never has that, Amazing moment, that makes you want to ride again.

Aug 25, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear amber wit a white head. Smells of caramel and malt. Tastes of non-sweet caramel, malt, honey, and grass. Medium body and carbonation. Overall a pretty decent amber.

Aug 19, 2017
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Dinglehacker from Oklahoma

4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into dimpled seidel.

Appearance: bit of cream colored head, which it does not retain. Amber color on the light brown side.

Nose: Heavy malt, hop citrus

Heavy malt body with some honey, some citrus. Grassy hop bitter on the finish.

Almost tastes like an old school Märzen with hops. A good, balanced red ale.

Jul 06, 2017
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stortore from Illinois

3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Had 2/1/17.

Pours a medium amber color, a little reddish in the light, mostly clear with a one and a half inch head and a decent amount of soapy lacing. The smell is malt, resiny hops, yeast, light citrus- grapefruit, light caramel and butterscotch. Tastes of malt, grapefruit, pine resin, caramel. A good amount of hop bitterness throughout. peaking about midway. Smooth, well carbonated, a decent body.

Good aroma, decent flavor, well balanced. I don't know, it's good, but just kind of simple and uninspired. Even if my rating doesn't indicate that.

Jun 10, 2017
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


Bottle to pint glass.
Appearance is dark brown, clear.
Aroma is very light.
Taste is barley, honey, brown sugar, caramel. Very nice.
Feel - Medium to low carbonation.

A good beer.


Apr 21, 2017
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DarkSideOfTheMoon from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Let me preface this by the claim by classico kitchen bar in el paso that this beer was Sculpin ipa. Clearly it was not as i've had sculpin many many times. Anywho, this 24 oz amber pour is quite good (as can be expected from BP). Sweet caramel malts are very present but not overpowering. Very drinkable amber.

Apr 06, 2017
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Thirstygoat from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A local shop had multiple bottles of Celebrator in their $9,99 pick a six bin. After a couple of those and some Odells this seemed the most interesting.
I could session this during a summer night if I wanted something with some sweetness but not too heavy.
Soft white head that lingers as does the lacing over an orange red translucence.
Bit of malt and hit of hops but not that aromatic
Hops and sweetness on the front of the mouth and crisp almost cleaning on the back
More texture here than I'd expected
Altogether a pleasant surprise, then again most BP beers without odd flavors tend to be tasty.

Mar 12, 2017
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josanguapo from Spain

4.81/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From Beergium. In Teku glass. After dinner. Full of delicious toffee toasted notes. It demonstrates that this isnt a style I dislike but a style with lots of bad examples around

Feb 09, 2017
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kitch from Hong Kong

3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

A 12 fl oz bottle with a Julian bottled on date of 16321, meaning that it was bottled on 16th November 2016. Poured into a Lost Abbey teku glass.

Appearance: A clear dark copper colour with an orange-reddish hue and a slightly less than two finger cream head that had great retention and left some nice lacing.

Aroma: A touch light but there’s caramel malt and pine with hints of fruit and herbs.

Taste: It’s exactly what I expected from the aroma with sweet caramel malt, toffee, pine and fruit with a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: A decent amber ale that I’d drink again, but not sure I’d want to pay for it.

Feb 08, 2017
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Darhawk from Utah

3.21/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I bought and paid ( $2.26 for a 12oz bottle ( in Utah ( 3 actually ).
It had a reddish copper color with 1.5 inches of head poured into pint glass.
Head lasted until I drank the last drop.
Medium bodied, light pine, woody, caramel and some bitterness on the finish. No biscuit flavor at all.
Mine had high carbonation; lot of bubbles. Mouth feel was sort of tingly.

For me, It was more like a Ale/lighter IPA but with more character and a hint of amber thrown in. Just wasn't a classic Amber that I normally enjoy.

I really wanted to like this Amber, as I had been reading about the Ballast Brewery recently and really wanted to add it to my go to list. I would not repeat a purchase again. I will give Ballast Brewery another chance, as I have already had their Stout and I have an IPA, I still need to try out.

Jan 21, 2017
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shiu-chan from Singapore

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish Copper tone with almost no head.
Caramel and piney nose.
Medium bodied, pine, resin, caramel and bitterness at the end. Mid carbonation.
Overall, a mix between an IPA and an Amber ale giving a little more complexity.

Jan 14, 2017
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GreatHammerhead from Pennsylvania

3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Presentation: 12 oz. poured into a pint glass.

Look: Nice coppery red coloration with a khaki two finger head. Good head retention.

Smell: Piney hops overshadow a bed of malts.

Taste: Follows the nose. Surprising amount of hops for an amber.

Feel: Medium body, moderate carbonation and a little dry.

Overall: A good beer but to me it seems more like a session IPA then an amber ale.

Nov 11, 2016
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KatyBeerGuy from Texas

3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from tap at world of beer in Columbus ohio. Not much Head, reddish color. Smelled hoppy. Initial taste not what I expected but still good. Definitely cherry and bitter. Good.

Oct 19, 2016
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jmd1978 from Missouri

3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Aug 09, 2016
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lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Jul 30, 2016
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puck1225 from Texas

4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Jul 29, 2016
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Jul 15, 2016
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Spikester from Oregon

4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Jul 10, 2016
Photo of BethanyB
BethanyB from New York

3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Jul 04, 2016
California Amber from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1479 ratings