California Amber | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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California AmberCalifornia Amber
Very Good
1,470 Ratings
California AmberCalifornia Amber

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,470 |  Reviews: 471
Photo of rpjordan
1/5  rDev -73.5%

Photo of PprBurke
2/5  rDev -47.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of mhaugo
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of jmathis
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of tally
2/5  rDev -47.1%

Photo of grover37
2.46/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a nonic pint.

Appearance (4.5): Dark reddish-orange with two fingers of cream head. Reduces a medium-thick layer with thick lacing at the top.

Aroma (3): Lots of caramel and toffee. Not much in the way of hops.

Taste (2): Sweet, sweet caramel and some cardboard in the middle. A touch of breadiness in the finish. Not very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel (1.5): Much too effervescent for the style. Medium to full bodied and medium to high carbonation.

Overall (2.5): the only impressive part of this beer is the appearance - great lacing, especially near the top. Otherwise, way too sweet.

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Photo of nosavingsaccount
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of beernads
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of Techichi
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%

Photo of 1971bernat
2.5/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of MadeInTheMitten
2.53/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

A bit too hoppy for me! Pass.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Served on-draught into a nonical pint glass at the Yardhouse in L.A. Live, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were average. Was overpriced at that location.

A: Pours a two finger head of great cream, nice thickness, and good retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-amber.

Sm: Amber hops. Light toasted malt. Some light caramel. Maybe nuts. Some cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Some floral notes. A weak cherry ester. Wretched caramelized dry malts. Poorly balanced and built. Not good. Tame and underplayed. Simple for what it is. Not subtle.

Mf: Smooth and dry. Too thin. Adequate carbonation. Doesn't quite complement the flavours adequately.

Dr: I wouldn't get it again. Poorly executed. Fairly pleasant. Not at all refreshing. A bit pricey on-draught, but the bottled version is likely more affordable.


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Photo of stricklandscottm
2.59/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

The only thing Amber is the color. For an ESB inspired ale it is chock full of hoppy American badness that it ruins any mellow bitter malty flavor this style beer would have otherwise.

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Photo of RyanTeeter
2.62/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

a: A beautiful nut brown color with a wonderful thick cream head that dissipates but does not disappear.

s: I could not get any aroma. Full discloser - I poured it and did not smell it for 15 minutes because work came up. So, I can say that if there was an aroma, it vanished.

t: Grassy malt flavor with a tingle of hops on the end. Very nice and very clean. Traces of spice are present throughout the tasting. Interesting flavors but not necessarily in a good way. It's a beer that makes you think - that's for sure.

m: An extremely pleasant mouthfeel. Slightly oily but not overdone. Just enough to get a coating of flavor around the mouth so the flavor sticks a little longer.

o: Overall this beer was not a great choice for my palate. Complex flavors overwhelmed my desire for more.

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Photo of ThrewRedButter
2.66/5  rDev -29.6%
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 mithrascruor
2.7/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy reddish copper color. White head with a bit of amber tint is creamy and thick, lacing the glass a bit.

Smell: Nice aroma of fruits, caramel, malts, and slightly bitter hops.

Taste: Malty with a somewhat tart and/or bitter backdrop. Unfortunately no roasted malts: instead tastes more like burnt malts! That flavor seems to overwhelm the taste after just a few sips; it's quite nasty!

Mouthfeel: Very smooth. Medium-bodied with very light carbonation.

Drinkability: ABV is perfect; taste is not so great for drinking much.

I'm not sure if I just got a bad one, but that burnt taste is really distracting and unappealing. Too bad, because it seemed promising from the look and aroma. With the taste, I'm not even sure if I can finish this.

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Photo of BEERWOLF1951
2.73/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

I like this beer for the most part, lingering bitterness in the finish somewhat puts me off. May not buy it again, because there's better beers out there.

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Photo of ValkyrieHunter
2.74/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of TylerHagler
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of caverog
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of skiit13
2.75/5  rDev -27.2%

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.76/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 12/29/2008 (bottle):

Pours a nice clear brown colored body, fizzy. Big creamy off-white heap, good lacing, lasting. Some alcohol in the nose, some flowery maltiness. Dusty and musty too. Carbonated palate. Malty nutty taste. Dusty too. Some hoppiness, grapefruit. Some sweet spiciness. A little tastier as it warms more.

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Photo of malibujohnny
2.81/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

golden brown with a head that starts out well but disappears to just some bubbling after about 1/4 the way down.smell of hops seem to slightly overpower the malt characterictics.carbonation is a bit much and has a kind of green beer taste between the other flavors.this beer reminds me of a few good amber homebrews i've's a pretty ok brew.but if i'm in the mood for this i'll make it on my own.

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Photo of SkunkWorks
2.82/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice, copper color but there's almost no head despite being very well carbonated and a very aggressive pour on my part. It leaves behind a good deal of lacing, which is surprising given the lack of a head. As for the aroma... I can't pick anything up. I tried smelling it with my glass full and got nothing. I tried smelling it with the glass half empty, swirling it around, and the whole nine yards, and still nothing.

As for the taste, there's a solid toasted malt character with some hoppiness to it. It leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. Even though it seems nicely carbonated, it tastes decidedly undercarbonated.

Reading the other reviews, I am kind of surprised and I think that I am drinking a different beer than they are. Perhaps it is past the date where it is still good and my store didn't rotate it for some reason. If that is the case, I apologize for my less than stellar review but nonetheless, I wouldn't recommend this beer and will probably not be getting it again.

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California Amber from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 1,470 ratings