California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BA SCORE
3.55/5
Good
1,385 Ratings
California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BEER INFO

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

Style: German 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:
#37,213
Reviews:
433
Ratings:
1,385
pDev:
13.52%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
311
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,385 |  Reviews: 433
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Tasted in a 16 oz snifter from draft at O'Tooles on December 28, 2016. Look is bright gold with a thick foamy head and sticky lacing.

134 characters

Photo of BEER88
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dvmin98
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of tdm168
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of a77cj7
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Polished brassy gold with a suggestion of juicy orange. There's almost no visible carbonation, which looks a little odd, especially right after the pour. The head is bone white and picks up a hint of yellowish orange from the beer beneath. Soapy ropes of lace arrange themselves into (transient) rough rings as the cap lazily retreats.

The nose lacks both power and personality. I realize that Kolsch isn't a style that lends itself to bold aromas, but a little more fragrance would be welcome. It's mildly sweet pale malty with a little fruitiness for good measure. I'm having a hard time picking out anything resembling hops.

Things still aren't wonderful on the palate. I'm fully capable of appreciating subtlety. I even desire subtlety at times, especially on a hot July day like today. Yellowtale Pale is overly subtle, though, and would benefit from more flavor. It tastes like an all-malt ale. In other words, it has the simplicity of an all-malt lager, but with an ale yeast fruitiness and a slightly more full, ale-like mouthfeel.

Speaking of the mouthfeel, it's on the light side of medium, feeling a little more full thanks to the quiescent carbonation. Each upending of the glass stirs up a cloud of fine bubbles, so I know the beer has retained its CO2. Too bad it isn't that evident in the mouth.

Yellowtail Pale Ale is a decent Kolsch that doesn't put any kind of a serious scare into the world's best versions. After enjoying Big Eye IPA, it was my hope that this one would be just as good. No such luck. While I don't have any desire to throw it back, I won't be mounting it above my mantle either.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Very mild chill haze, big frothy white head that cakes to a great thick lace.

Smell: Light breadiness with hints of yeast and grain. Faint whiff of fruit and hops also.

Taste: Medium body, sweet pale malt flavour through and through with a even hop bitterness (slightly spicy) and mild leafy noble hop twang flavour. Sweet bread and yeast on the palate straight into the drying finish.

Notes: Decent go at the Kölsch style, quite palatable with an impressive malt character for such a light coloured brew. Nice addition of hops to make for a perfect balance.

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Photo of VeganUndead
3.93/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer is clear and ligh golden with a small white head. The aroma brings grain, earth, hops, malt. Some sweet corn character in the flavor. A balance of malt and hops with some wet earth character. Dank hops and lingering bitterness. This is neither a good kölsch nor pale ale. It certainly lacks the attributes of either style. Too sweet. One beer was more than enough. Not again.

 385 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.74/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mikesgroove
3.63/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

golden color with tons of bright yellow highlights that really showed off the clarity and brightness of this one. Huge head of white that towered over the glass at first settled down like a soft pillow that gently coated the outside of the glass and gave a rich, and dense color to it. Aroma is light, airy, with hints of banana and light fruit that is layered on top of bready tones and hints of light grain. Very light, cannot stress that enough as it really was coming through quite well on a 90 degree afternoon. Warming brought out a touch of almost citrus like smells across the nose, but then you go in for a taste and its over. Light and refreshing taste just overwhelms the palate.

very drinkable in deed.

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Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bomber, no freshness info offered. Pours light and clear, under a fairly thin off white tiny bubble head, that leaves plenty of sticky, fine sheeting. Resiny hop nose. Easy drinking, snappy, hopped up offering. I personally find it confusing when a brewery puts out a "pale ale" that actually is a Kolsch beer. Anyway, this beer is a pleasant enough light sipper. Nothing special going on here.

 403 characters

Photo of chippo33
2.5/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.29/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Well, until I started typing this I had no idea this was considered a kolsch. I mean, why would they call it a pale ale if it was another style altogether? It does explain things, though... It pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet biscuit, flowers, and a hint of candied orange peel in the background. The taste brings in more of the same, but with more of the orange peel and some mild grass for good measure. Overall, a decent little kolsch, and a sad excuse for a pale ale, depending on how you wanna look at it.

 602 characters

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.83/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Smakawhat
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a make shift Stange, my old collins glass.

A nice simple pale lemon with green hues on the edges hints of dark buttery gold for the body. Some orange colors also A very large even foamy head of pin sized bubbles is produced which takes much time to receed but doesn't leave much lacing either.

Bouquet is subtle but nice if unexpected. Faint grain, very light and airy and dry smelling. A small toasty bread sense, some gas, even a hint of faint spritzy lemon.

Taste is strange... dry and powdery sensations of flour mostly. Powdery with some sweetness in the finish, missing bread action

Overall a real unique and nice nose, but taste doesn't deliver as much. This is not bad but I think I'd grab a different Kolsch if I could.

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Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First things first the label is misleading, this should be labeled a Kolsch or a golden ale. When you see Yellowtail Pale Ale from San Diego, my Pavlov's dog in me starts to salivate. When I get home and pour a pale golden crystal clear beer with a bright white head forming thick, it's definitely not what I was expecting. Aroma has sweet biscuit malts slight honey sweetness with some herbal hops lingering a nice cereal grain presence with a mild metallic mineral water accent and hints of grassy/citric hops in the backend. Flavor is grainy light toasted malts bringing biscuit to minds with a touch of citrus/fruit esters very mild hops in the finish. Not even great German style brewing going on just pretty much a dissapointment as a whole. Mouthfeel light bodied easy going, easy drinking, care free crossover style golden ale. Drinkability, okay but I'm shocked at how light on flavor and color their labeled "pale ale" is. Crappy pale ale, okay kolsch.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.55 out of 5 with 1,385 ratings