California Amber | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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California AmberCalifornia Amber
Very Good
1,461 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:
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Ratings: 1,461 |  Reviews: 468
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish amber colored ale.

Smell is mostly hops and some sweet malt.

Taste is mostly hop with a bit of malt in there, it is a hoppy beer. The sweetness in this is obliterated by the hop.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is OK. Seems over hopped for the beer style.

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

This brew is a very good AAA (American Amber Ale). It is a dark red colour with a fluffy white head of foam. The aromas are heavy and malty. They consist of several different malts, cascade hops, and sugar. The taste is sweet, malty, and slightly hoppy. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and not too thick and the drinkability is excellent. A great session amber beer!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear and perfectly amber appearance, with a nice 1/4" head of creamy foam above.
Aroma: sweet, rich, & malty, copper-toned, with minor hops.
Taste: warm, rich in flavor, yet smooth, with high drinkability. Very mellow, but, again, never quits on the fine taste. An excellent session ale, this 22 oz. bomber went down very happily indeed.
Hats off to Mr. BeachBum for providing!

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Photo of RoyalT
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Beautiful copper color with a terrific head that went down slowly and left some big foam on the inside of my Ruination glass.

Smell – Wonderfully balanced nose here. The pine hops are sharp but subdued, mixing well with the lightly-toasted caramel malt. Floral hoppy undertones play thoughout, making this one nice.

Taste – The malt comes out more in the taste. There’s also an added sweetness to this one. My best guess is orange or grapefruit, or maybe a mix. The hops are there as well, but reserved.

Mouthfeel – This is the ale’s strong point, IMO. This medium-bodied ale was smooth as silk. I thought I was drinking from a tap.

Drinkability – This would make a great session ale, something you can share with your Coors Light buddies to bring them over from the dark side.

Comments – Many thanks to mickeymac for sending me this Ballast Point offering. It was fabulous.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.32/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one comes from a bomber with the trademark Ballast Point gamefish on the label. It pours a very eye-pleasing copper with an off-white head that diminishes rather quickly but leaves some lace. The smell is interesting and hard to pinpoint exactly. It has slight peat notes reminiscent of a Scotch Ale but a good amount of hops. The taste, although again hard to categorize, is exceptionally nice. Flavors of biscuit, malt sweetness, and hops blend together almost perfectly. Another winner from Ballast Point.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Medium amber color. Large head. Aroma is malty with a very definite earthy/yeasty tone to it. A medium bodied ESB. Malts are mild and very rich, Slightly sweet with caramel and toffee tones. Hops are citrusy and not very bitter for an ESB. It extremely well balanced. The malt/hop balance seems to change with every sip. Very smooth, nearly creamy taste. Full and rich. Very drinkable. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is smooth and a touch dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point Brewing Company, Calico Copper E.S.B. Comes in a 22 fl.oz. Bomber with a colorful label showing a small fish that is just about to be swallowed up by a larger one. A Nice picture and plenty of sales blurb, but annoyingly, no strength is indicated.

Appearance: As expected, a deep copper color that had rusty red hints when held to the light. Has a slight milk haze to it. At first the head is a lovely smooth dark tan head, it does fade, but thankfully quite slowly. Good inherent carbonation adds body and mouthfeel.

Smell: Malty, caramel, biscuit, and some fruitiness are all there in good dollops. I also get hop resin with some pepper at the back of the nose.

Taste: Silky smooth entrance, no doubt aided by the reasonable carbonation levels, coats the mouth with malt and caramel that has a detectable alcohol presence in the backbone. It already impresses me before I get to the middle. The center-line of the beer has caramel with biscuit tendencies that makes way for a complex blend of malt and hops. This is a twisting and turning beer, always catching you out. Complex is probably the wrong word, it is more indiscernible, and hard to pin down – yet somehow always well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Wholesome, solid and bold at times.

Drinkability: Overall, it tends to be a well-balanced, yet still complex malty brew with some bitterness in the finish. An almighty good beer, that I could easily drink for several hours.

Overall: A Very American E.S.B.

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Photo of Gusler
4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep copper or maybe better yet deep garnet the color as it sets in my glass, the head munificent, the lace a fine satin sheet to cover the glass. Nose is lightly floral but mostly malt sealed with sweet hints of butterscotch, quite pleasant. Begins malt sweet with the top middling in its feel, finish is stingingly acidic which tries to defend the palate against the onslaught of the hop monster that lies in ambush at the very dry end. WOW! Do I like this bad boy? “Yes”! Quite complex and a very quaffable beer, just wish they were easier to get in Arizona.

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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!

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Photo of beernut7
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This deep amber colored ale is quite a hoppy offering. There is a substantial amount of bittering and spice hops to balance out a bit of roasted malt. Not my favorite amber, but this would be great for those who enjoy a bit more umph with their amber.

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Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a blurb about the beer on the side of the label, no freshness date.

Appearance: Clear deep reddish copper with a thick two fingered head that does not go away quickly at all.

Smell: Toasted biscuit, raw honey / vanilla and light peppery hops in the nose.

Taste: Medium in body with a full malt palate and moderate crisp carbonation. Hop oil flavour hits first with an even bitterness, malt sweetness is delicate with a big toasted malt flavour, caramel and a very light roasted character. Fruitiness is mild, slight citric note from the hops. Caramel flavour lingers into the after taste with a faint biscuity malt and a light handful of residual sweetness.

Notes: A blend of six American, Belgian, and English malts with the additions of Cascade and Progress hops lend to the complexity. Big malty American ale, well balanced and well structured. A brew I could get real fond of when looking for a malty session brew.

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California Amber from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 1,461 ratings