California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BA SCORE
3.55/5
1,361 Ratings
California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BEER INFO

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

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Yellowtail Pale Ale and Pale Ale The Original.

There's no wonder why our Pale Ale is so popular--it is skillfully crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany. We've chosen German hops for aroma, and rounded out the recipe with a blend of American and German malts.

While it is very much like a pilsner, our Pale Ale is fermented at ale temperatures, giving it a subdued fruitiness--a perfect compliment to the crispness of the wheat and maltiness of the Munich malt. If you like a lighter brew but also like the complexity of craft beers, then our Pale Ale is for you.

23 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#39,289
Reviews:
427
Ratings:
1,361
pDev:
13.52%
Bros Score:
3.88
 
 
Wants:
49
Gots:
296
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,361 |  Reviews: 427
Photo of jcalabre
2.41/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Originally reviewed on 2 February 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
This is a lawnmower beer. That's all. Slightly sweet on the tongue w/ a little bite. It has No aroma. The appearance is Clear yellow w/ a small head. You won't find much flavor here

 263 characters

Photo of ergbud
2.43/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I found this relatively tasteless. Sort of a Pilsner kind of taste. Not much happening. I would not buy it again.

113 characters

Photo of tr4nc3d
2.46/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12Fl. OZ. bottle poured into my three floyds pint glass

Immediately as I was opening the beer I can see this one was going to foam out so I got ready. I open it and a little foam came out but not too much.

Pours a very pale yellow with a MONSTER white fluffy head. The head is very frothy and has great head retention and lacing. I cant get over the head man, you can scoop the shit out like ice cream.

Smell is kind of straw like with some funky-ness. Mild hops with the likes of lemon. Some acid like smell is coming in along with the funkyness that dominates. From the smell alone I do not look to forward to tasting it.

Well I guess the taste is not as bad as I smelled. Has a very mild hop taste, kind of herbal and earth like with some malt backbone coming in for only a short while and leaving kind of an acid like dry straw like finish.

Mouthfeel is thin with medium carbonation and an herbal finish to it. This is not bad but just not to my liking.

Overall I would not drink this again and the flavors put me off. I have not had another beer from this style so I will do that and compare and see if its the style I do not like.

 1,143 characters

Photo of Enola
2.48/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer is a little lighter than typical. There is a foamy head. The smell is similar to a lighter beer combined with a wheat beer. The taste is a bad bitter. Not a very desirable beer. this is kinda hard to drink. I don't think this beer will be in my cabinet again.

 269 characters

Photo of DogFood11
2.49/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not much to look at. Loose white head falls to a small island and no retention to speak of. Color is a pale yellow w/ multiple sized carbonation, similar to a run of the mill macro lager.

I couldn't pick up to much in the smell. Bready malts and nothing else. Pretty smooth on the palate and it has a creamy feel to it as it going down. Hop presence is very subtle and more or less helps to crispen this up more than any flavor I get out of it. Fruity undertones of bananna and sweetened lemon round it out.

Notes: I like some hops to balance out a good kolsch. This stays on the bready side all the way through and it leans towards doughy. Good malt character. Delicate finish. Not one of my favorites but its an approachable offering with some depth.

 760 characters

Photo of oso
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of cfrances33
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of chippo33
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Naterobsnyk4
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Mlawrence
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Mappies
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Headgoober
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of birdsellam
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of MikeAllen
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of Chizoad
2.55/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well maybe I came into this thinking I was getting a pale ale of the IPA variety. Sorely disappointed.

Pale yellow gold with nearly no head or lacing. Fruity-cardboard nose. Musty even.

Very similar flavor although maybe even a little worse than the nose. Some malts but the sweetness feels forced.

Decent mouthfeel but not great. Light but not crisp. Not one I'm going to ever have again.

 393 characters

Photo of Chadpaq
2.57/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I admit, I've never had a "Kolsch" before, but when I picked up this beer, I thought it was merely an American Pale Ale. I guess I was a little off on that. My mistake.

I was a little skeptical of buying this beer at first because a lot of people have said that there have been freshness issues with Ballast Point stuff, and they don't date their bottles. I risked it and scooped it anyway...just a single. Drainpour if need be.

...And I almost had to, if I can be quite honest.

It poured out like a fizzy Bud Light. The head was okay and receded pretty slowly, but not much lacing was left. A lot of carbonatio and...oh man, what the hell is floating around in there? I guess some sort of fermentation? I'm not really sure, but I'm not the type of person that's deterred by appearances either.

Oh, I did drainpour about a third of this thing. Good riddance.

Smells sort of hoppy. Definitely crisp. Maybe some citrus fruit. Oranges? Lemons? Hard to say. Definitely wheaty.

Tastes pretty clean and crisp. I'm still thinking about that junk floating around in the beer, but whatever.

Very carbonated. That's about all I can say for the mouthfeel. Felt pretty damn...bland. Yes, it FELT bland.

Overall, this beer...well, it kinda sucked. Perhaps it just isn't my favorite style. Perhaps I got a bad bottle. Whatever the case may be, this simply wasn't my cup of tea. However, certainly won't deter me from trying Sculpin when it comes into season.

Oh, I did drainpour about a third of this thing. Good riddance.

 1,519 characters

Photo of stonefan55
2.58/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My fault for not reading the label, As it states ''pale ale'' I thought It was a Pale Ale. either way not bad but also not a taste that a west coast pale ale should be. It is as the label says in tiny print, a kolsch style beer thats like a lager but brewed like an ale. I love Ballast Point for all of their other styles...
Looks more yellow in color than a pale ale, Smells a little skunky, tastes between a Heineken and fat tire, feels too lite with little alcohol on it, crisp and dry...

 492 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.59/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden color. Not much head here, a half finger white color that fades quick.

S: The malt profile has a strange biscuity aroma to it, almost like smoky meat. Not a good smoky meat, either. Some neutral malts and light noble hops hide behind this strange and even unpleasant note.

T: Very biscuity to start. This nature is honestly kind of intrusive. The finish sees a surge of mild noble hops and lemon esters, too bad the balance is out of whack. Not great overall, but better than the nose - that's for damn sure.

M: It feels a lot heavier than a kolsch should in my opinion. The hefty, creamy texture works in concert with the strong carbonation to make this one hard to drink.

O: I haven't been super impressed with Ballast Point so far, and this one is no exception. To me, this drinks like a cross between a kolsch and Fat Tire - and it doesn't really work. Maybe a fresh bottle/keg would be better? I wouldn't be averse to giving this a second chance.

Note this gets a 2.61 as a kolsch; if I reviewed it as an APA, the score would be even lower.

 1,121 characters

Photo of MA_Nole
2.6/5  rDev -26.8%

Photo of mobud
2.62/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into tulip.

A- Dark straw with no head and very light carbonation.

S- Wheat with light smell of cut grass.

T- Light wheat with a tang that I have trouble placing.

M- Insanely thin with almost no body and not all that refreshing.

D- I purchased this beer at a Von's close to my San Diego resort and was unable to find a freshness date or code to find if I was drinking old beer. Ballast Point has such a great rep that I hope it was old and not them. I will give this one another shot if I can get it in the future.

 526 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.66/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a golden orange color with a light off white head. Decent lacing.

Smell was light and grainy with a bit of corn.

Flavor was light with touches of light grainy malts and a hint of lemony hops, but they were all overshadowed by a tin like metallic taste that seemed to dominate the flavor.

Mouthfeel was light and a bit dry with some mild carbonation.

Drinkability is ruined by the persistent metallic taste.

 417 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a clear, gold with 1/2 inch head that quickly fades. It does leave lace till the end. The aroma leads off with caramel followed by some banana and vanilla. It's flavor has notes of caramel, grapes, and a hoppy tang. Well balanced at first with a dry hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium however the dry hop tang lends itself to only drinking one at a time. Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale is a good example of the style, recommended.

 450 characters

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Fizzy pale yellow, with thin foamy white head.

Aromas of bread/dough, very grainy, with some faint malt. Pretty boring nose.

Some sweetness, faint traces of malt, even fainter, if any hops. Very grainy, light-bodied. Usual high carbonation. Pretty bland and lifeless brew.

 274 characters

Photo of GatorCoop
2.68/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Didn't like the taste of this beer. Found out that I'm not a big Kolsch fan.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 1,361 ratings
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