Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

California Amber | Ballast Point Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
California AmberCalifornia Amber
BA SCORE
3.78/5
Very Good
1,457 Ratings
California AmberCalifornia Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

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
Ranking:
#17,500
Reviews:
467
Ratings:
1,457
pDev:
10.32%
Bros Score:
3.96
 
 
Wants:
61
Gots:
243
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,457 |  Reviews: 467
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, very dark amber / copper colored body capped by a short, creamy, ivory head that holds well and leaves some nice lace. A pronounced aroma of caramel and biscuit malt greets the nose, followed shortly by some soft piney hops. Quite welcoming! Upon tasting, an exceptionally nice creaminess fills the mouth due to the combination of a medium body and moderate carbonation that's made up of very fine bubbles. The flavor displays an excellent balance between full, sweet, toasty/biscuity caramel malt upfront, grassy/spicy/lightly citrusy hops towards the swallow, and a bitterness that doesn't interefere with the maltiness but dries out the finish. A pleasure that offers a great deal of malt character, some complexity, and a very good drinkability. This is the first beer that I've tried from Ballast Point but it will certainly not be the last! Well worth trying and the ship directly to quite a few states!

 924 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.87/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Dark amber brown with a towering beige head.

Aroma: fairly equal mix of hops and malts.

Flavor follows although the balance is a bit maltier.sweet light and medium roast malts with a touch of darker (chocolate?) malts.

O remarkable flavor for style. Recommended.

 281 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy dark amber in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation when held up to the light. The beer has a finger tall dark beige head that reduces to some thick patches and an even thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The beer has some sweetness to the aroma from the caramel malts with some light hints of dark fruit that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. In addition to the malt sweetness, there is a light aroma of pine hops as well.

T: The flavor starts out with the caramel malt sweetness that is enhanced as the beer warms up. Also, there is a pleasant pine hop bitterness in the finish that lingers.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This beer is very easy to drink and very sessionable. The beer has pleasant flavor that improves as the beer warms and the low ABV makes it one you could have several during a session. I like this beer though it is not as great as some of the others from this brewery.

 1,039 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -14%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus and a good amount of floral hops.

T: The taste is well-balanced with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus and a strong but not overpowering hops bitterness. The malt character is hearty. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this a nice choice to pound down when you want a beer with some substance and a decent hop presence that won't try to knock you over.

 771 characters

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good hopped up American amber is one of my favorite styles,this fit the bill very well.Poured into a standard pint glass a clear...well copper amber with a fluffy 1 1/2 finger crown atop.A mix of deep caramel/biscuit malt and citric,piney hop,neither wins out leaving great balance.Big malty start with caramel and biscuit stickin out,the piney and citric hop presence comes through in a nice finish.I would give the nod to the malt by a narrow margin but there is more than enough hop profile going on.

 505 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark copper with a good white head. The nose is a bit simple, with a dominant caramel breadiness to it. The flavor is nicer, with the caramel malt coming through as well as a nice, slight hoppiness. Medium body and good drinkability all around. By the end, I was really enjoying this.

 297 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a hazy, amber body. The head fades away fairly quickly and leaves average lace.

S - Sweet, malty notes of dark bread and red apples with caramel and a hint of pine hop character in the background.

T - Fruity malt up front with red apple and a touch of cinnamon. Some caramel and toasty malt come out in the middle and fades to a dry, toasty and even lightly roasted finish.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Not bad, I was hoping for a more hop forward beer, and while this beer is balanced it is very much about the sweet, malty side rather than the hops. Drinkable, but not something I'm real excited about.

 708 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mactrail
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Mitch's Seafood in San Diego where they seem to never run out of this stuff. Dark amber, near brown in the pint glass. Quite decent foam that lasts well down the glass. Plenty of malt in the mouthfeel followed by some scratch hoppiness. Aromatic hops provide some resiny and earthy notes.

A fairly substantial sweetness makes up the malty backbone, with an aroma of lemon and caramel. The bitterness makes its way forward for the long finish. Quite an acceptable quaff of a more robust sort of Amber Ale. While nothing special, this defines the style. This should appeal to those liking a hoppier Amber, but it's definitely in the maltier vein with a murky aftertaste.

 679 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dcmchew
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear amber/copper, small light beige head for a while.
Smell of buttered toast, honey, light caramel, some light generic dark fruit (dried cherry stands out a bit), toffee. Not a strong smell anyway.
Malts from the start with caramel and toast, but also a nice citrus zing that develops into bitter grapefruit pretty early on. Light butter note, light dark fruit, grainy biscuit. Finish has an English hoppy character, dry leafy, a bit earthy, but quite bitter.
The hoppy finish prolongs into the aftertaste, keeping some crisp citrus peel too. Just a bit of malt sweetness here. Medium body and carbonation, the light sticky buttery note doesn't really disturb that much.
Pretty cool, wouldn't mind to find it easier, but that's out of the question unfortunately.

 765 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Misconduct Tavern, Philly, PA

Poured into a nondescript pint glass, a clear tangerine-amber color with a thin, wispy head. Pretty basic aroma, with a decent balance of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts, almost reminiscent of an APA. Basically the same in the taste, with a nice balance of the malt and hop elements. Very nice for an amber ale. Meduim mouthfeel, and very easily drinkable.

 412 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of atrocity
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The bottle bubbled over when opened. Pours neutral amber and clear. Moderate head given the explosiveness of the opening. Decent ring lace.

The aroma is predominantly malt. Toasty and warm, but not hoppy.

The taste starts off mild with a good malt base--slightly breadlike with crystal malt. Good hop ending in the swallow. The mouthfeel is as expected.

This is a really neutral beer--there ain't nothing wrong with it, but it's not complex, unique or unusual. This would fit into any party and not offend anyone except the most macro drinkers of the macro beer world.

 571 characters

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in AZ

Pours an orangey/amber with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Excellent head retention & above average lacing

S: Caramel & bready malt as this warms

T: Caramel & orangey & leafy hops up front. A touch of piney hops , slighter honey malt & caramel as this warms. Finishes with citric hops & bit of dryness

MF: Medium bodied, with low carbonation with great balance & some wetness

Drinks pretty easy, straight forward enough not to overpower. A very good amber

 483 characters

Photo of ZEB89
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

If you are planning to visit me in Lancaster, PA (or if you are just passing through) and want to score some singles, The Friendly Greek Bottle Shop on New Holland Avenue (at N. Franklin St.) is one place that I highly recommend. Ted(dy), the owner, is usually amenable to breaking sixers if there is open space in the cooler and I can always find something new and interesting. This one was a part of a recent score!

From the bottle: “ESB-Inspired Ale”; “Dedicated to the Craft”.

I dedicate this beer and its review to both my cousin, Colby Chandler, Ballast Point’s Specialty Brewer and to Paul Elder, the artist behind all of their labels! Cheers, gents!

I just love to Pop! The cap and start an inverted Glug! Following a pseudo-cascade, anything could happen, including overflow, which is what really set #TheOldLady off last summer. In this instance, I got three fingers of dense, puffy, tawny head with great retention. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. The head suddenly fell like a soufflé, leaving behind a load of sticky lacing. Somebody from BPBC had better be coming by to clean this up! Nose explained why they are using “inspired” since it was very hoppy for an ESB. Yes, they do call it an “Amber Ale” so fair dinkum, lads. My point that I was getting to is that it had a very pine-hop forward nose. Do try to keep up. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was initially quite hoppy, but then a caramel malt sweetness began to assert itself on the tongue. It was about a decade ago that John Frantz proclaimed that “Ambers are a dead style among craft brewers” and at that point, I had to agree. They were the foundation of craft beers, but they tended to be very malty just as AIPAs were coming into vogue. The shift towards a hoppier Amber makes them more palatable and marketable as a result. Off of my soapbox. Here, the hops were prevalent, but there was still some malty sweetness. Finish was semi-dry, not really what I would consider sweet under any circumstances. This may or may not be your cuppa tea, but for me, I am awaiting its release in CANs. Ya hear me, Colby?!? CANs!

 2,175 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep red/copper color with a fluffy, off white, two finger head. Thick foamy lacing down the sides.

S: Upfront there is a lot of biscuity malts and some caramel and a slight roasted aroma. There is also a floral hop aroma as well.

T: Nice floral hop flavor upfront the slightly roasted malts come through followed by a sweetness on the finish.

M/D: On the lighter side of medium. Had a little less carbonation than I was expecting. Overall very pleasant and easy drinking, would definitely get some...if only it was sold where I live.

 551 characters

California Amber from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 1,457 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.