California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
81
good
373 Reviews
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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
Reviews:
373
Ratings:
1,048
Avg:
3.54
pDev:
24.29%
 
 
Wants:
37
Gots:
179
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 373 | Ratings: 1,048
Photo of brewcrew76
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to barleywinefiend for this one.

A - Fairly clear golden yellow with a thin white head that quickly fades without any lacing.

S - Floral and fruity with vinous malts.

T - Fruity and floral, sweet, slightly malty with a grapey flavor, slightly estery from the yeast.

M - Refreshing with a bit of spice on the tongue. Grainy feel and not as crisp as other Kolschs I have had.

D - Nice and refreshing.

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Photo of r12ax7
4.37/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a relatively bitter pale ale, great if your a hop head and if you like Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA. This beer was very crisp and refreshing but certainly flavorful; as perfect for a warm summer day as a snowy day in January. This is the kind of beer I could easily drink all day.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a weak looking hazy lemon yellow with a very little foam and no lace. The smell of citrus filled the nose with a nice aroma. The taste was of a grapefruit and light flavored hop's. Nice balance of bitterness that feel's like a citrus type of bitterness. I do think that this pale ale taste's better when it cold and not while it warms up!

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. no date? (printing of "2202")

hazy golden straw. moderate head fades to wisps and ring. good lacing at first, but less further down the glass.

gentle noble hop aroma and faint peach skin fruitiness.

toast malt flavors mix that peach character. very grassy, faintly citrusy hop, with moderate bitterness. crisp finish with hint of esters.

smooth and drinkable with lively, crisp carbonation.

ok, not bad. the "pale ale" label is misleading however. anyway, seems some of my previous reviews for kolsch might need some updating. will have to re-try a fresh reissdorf for comparison.

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Photo of boston2bburg
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a stange, this beer exhibits a very light straw color with a touch of haze. The white foamy head has a respectable layer of retention with some clumping. Lemon and a bit of cake on the nose.

The mouthfeel strikes me as starchier than expected. Its rough, hop-forward flavor exhibits lemon tartness and pale German malt. The hops give character where the grains merely balance. Very spicy bitterness. This would be a very nice summer pounder but the lemon flavor is a little too one-dimensional.

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Photo of timtim
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i have to agree with the previous reviewer's description. this one is very biscuity ,and the floral hops are a perefect accessory to the malt. hints of sweetness along with everything else make for a slightly unusual but quite refreshing and delicious beer. this is for sure not a dieseldorf, but very good in it's own right. another quality beer from a brewery that i wish would focus on their strengths and not what they think the masses want.

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Photo of merlin48
3.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle pours a clear goldenrod body that shows a lot of active carbonation. Immense vanilla head retains well and becomes pitted and rocky. Lots of scattered patchy lace.

Aroma is quite biscuity, accented by spicy and floral hops.

Light medium body is well carbonated.

Taste is well balanced, but governed by an earthy and spicy hop bitterness. Malt presence is very biscuity and has a hint of honey. Finishes clean and crisp.

One of the better American examples of the style and very sessionable.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A new beer in CO. Pours darker gold to straw yellow color with some good clarity. A fizzy white head that did stay for some time but did dissipate over time. Limited lacing as well.

The nose is limited overall and not very distinct as a German beer. Some minor grainy notes but more of a US Pale Ale aroma. Looking more that more earthy grainy husky note and not really there. Some yeasty character with a light phenolic smell. Some pear and non-discript fruity notes. Some sudsy notes but mostly clean.

The taste is more descript than the nose indications. The malt is limited though. A good sweetness but is limited on the German malt flavor. More of a US pale like taste with a hint of husky like flavors. The yeast is a bit more distinct with a light German feel. Some lager-esk flavors but some light phenols with a hint of plums and pears. The bitterness is light, would like a bit more balance, and next to no finishing hops but that is ok. Some sudsy notes in the finish.

The body is light and easy drinking. Some chalky notes linger in the mouthfeel though. The carbonation is a bit low as well, and could help if more with carbonic bite. Overall, a easy drinking beer but misses it's mark on being a Kolsch. Would like to see more of a German malt taste, but hey.

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Photo of ncvbc
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale golden with medium fizzy head, not as good as you'd expect for lacing or retention. Big, slow bubbles of carbonation rising up. Smell is a bit too sweet and grainy. A little sour lemon. Taste is pretty good. Not as sweet as the nose suggests. Some earthy hops come in with big biscuit and grain. A bit of lemon again and a touch of honey. Still a decent sweetness all along. Light mouthfeel with a little dryness in the finish. Sweet and bready. Not extremely drinkable, a pint or two maybe. Every time I try a Kolsch I think of a Charleston classic. Tough competition.

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Photo of PirateUlf73
4.68/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my cylindrical Spaten glass.

A: Nice gold color, not too light and ever so slightly hazy. Still quite clear. Great white head with fantastic retention and lacing.

S: Light and crisp fruitiness within lovely malt and yeast aromas. Nice and clean smelling.

T: Clean and crisp on the taste as well. Nice malt backbone is made ever so slightly soft and tangy by a bit of wheat. Fruitiness is much more subdued than the nose might suggest. Just a hint of hop bitterness to balance things out.

M: Light and refreshing. Not too heavy and finishes nice and clean with a mildly sweet aftertaste.

D: VERY high. Great carbonation and balance. An optimal choice for a session brew.

This is fast becoming my "everyday" beer of choice. Its drinkability is quite excellent. Although the Kölsch has been thought of as more of a warm-weather brew, I could definitely enjoy this one year-round. It may not be as bold as other styles, but that's where its beauty lies. Worth trying, for sure.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an almost vertical 'pint glass' which I appropriated from the World Famous restaurant in P.B. for the sake of measuring its volume. At 12.8 oz. it's an interesting 'pint' with perhaps 11.2 oz. of beer with a fair head atop it.

Alas, it's the closest I had to a Stange glass, so back to the beer...

Pours a touch hazy, slowly clearing to a medium golden color with a half inch of white foamy head. Retention is short and lacing is present but not much of a factor.

Malts, hops and a tinge of sour on the nose when agitated, otherwise rather still and almost lager-like. Taste is light and a bit bready with a moderate finish. Carbonation fits the beer well. Easy drinking with an interestingly dry but not chalky finish.

A go to beer for many of my non-craft beer friends when I drag them out, and a big money maker for Ballast Point; allowing them crazy folk to tinker elsewhere.

 910 characters

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bomber. Pours with a small bubbly white head. Well carbonated. Slightly cloudy dark mustard color. Very light grassy sour aroma. Starts sweet and tart, quite light, refreshing. Flavor is mild but pleasant. Notes of apples, pears and lemons. Overall easy to drink but not terribly interesting.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Name says its a pale ale.. on the bottle it calls it a Kolsch.. confusing eh?

Anywho, a decent drinker. Weird my package store just got this in as it doesn't seem like a winter type brew.. in fact it's the exact opposite. There's intense carbonation in this bad boy, I had trouble pouring it without the head spilling over (maybe my bottle was old/infected?). Very light bodied with a nice crispness to it. Some slight hops are there but it drinks like a pils/kolsch as the bottle states. Pale ale.. nah not enough hops for that. Not something I'd buy again but decent.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/20/08. Bottle. Pours a light orange with a small head. Aroma of light wheat and Kolsch malts, some light fruits. Flavor starts off with a sharp, spicy initial bite followed by Kolsch malts, apple, pear, rhubarb, champagny notes. Very light, very tasty. Good beer, although as noted below, the name is quite misleading.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

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Photo of magictrokini
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, golden beer with a white head. Light aroma of malt and honey. Tastes sharp like a pilsner, but with equal malt flavors. A nutty character sometimes pops with a hint of biscuits. I don't know why they call this a pale ale, because its not. Oh well, its still good.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.21/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellowtail pours a tarnished gold with a bubbly bleach white head that retains pretty well,but leaves very little lacing as it recedes to a paper thin covering. The nose seems a bit understated and one dimensional,grainy,with the slightest amount of floral hops. Not realizing that this was a Kolsch style PA I thought it was a bit underpowered in the hop department. Upon reading the label and realizing the style being attempted I find this to be quite nice and balanced. A touch of grainy lightly toasted malt is backed up by an equal balance of earthy,grassy hops. Subtle lemon and spice. A slightly slick mouthfeel followed by dry,prickly cabonation and a slightly bitter finish. Yellowtail Pale Ale was not what I expected,it is balanced and very drinkable.

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Photo of arizcards
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at BevMo in late October for $3.99.

Beer poured golden with a nice long lasting white head. Nose is malty with a hint of light fruits. Taste has hints of the light fruits and is balanced nicely by a slight hint of hops. Mouthfeel is a bit heavier than normal for the style yet it is crisp and lively on the palate. Overall drinkability is good. This is another finely crafted beer by one of the lesser known San Diego breweries. Definitely worth a shot for a change of pace!

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Photo of hopdog
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a clear gold color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of grass, citrus and some fruits (apples). Somewhat fruity tasting with light grass and wheat. Medium sweet with a very light hop bitterness finish. Watery body.

Notes from 6/3/05

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.48/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear, light gold with a fizzy, white, quickly-dissipating head. A little bit of lacing as well.

Smell: Sweet malts, honey, and maybe some crisp hops?

Taste: Sweet malts with some light hoppy crispness. Well balanced and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Pretty chewy, though very light and clean. Not that much carbonation either, then again it's about medium. Pretty light overall.

Drinkability: I'm not really a Kölsch man, but I could drink these for a while. Kind of like flavored water... with alcohol.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.71/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this in a trade with getkrunkhoe. Thanks Carlos!

It pours a pale light gold with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is light but I get some grassy hops and bready malt notes.

The taste is nice and bready and semi sweet up front with a good grassy hop bitterness mid palate and a balanced, very crisp finish. Good stuff and very easy to drink.

It has a light mouthfeel and the carbonation is medium. Btw, head retention is above average and there's some nice lacing. This would be a nice everyday beer for those who can get it locally.

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Photo of funkyspunk87
2.23/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Yellowtail Pale Ale
Ballast Point Brewing Company
Style: Kölsch
ABV: 4.60 %

Out of the bottle into a chilled glass. I drank this right after an AleSmith X (American Pale Ale).

I really did not enjoy this beer and thought the X blew it out of the water. I would not recommend it nor would I buy it again.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
3.41/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale yellow gold body, good clarity, topped by three fingers of loosely bubbly, sticky, level white foam with plenty of "snap, krackel, pop".

Mild fresh grass/hay aroma with a hint of bakery.

Mild sweet beginning runs down the center of the tongue. Tingly hop snap at the swallow. Semi dry finish.

Light tingly mouhfeel. Very refreshing drinkability.

Refresing with a nice afterglow. Not really memorable on the tongue though. Probably not a bomber type beer. Nice try, but maybe not their style.

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Photo of DrJay
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, bright, pale gold with a white collar and thin skim of very fine bubbles coating the surface of the beer. Even with a meager head, there was still spotty lacing. Fruity aroma, oranges, grassy, citrus rind, cakey, but fairly mild overall. Moderate bitterness with a fruity sweetness, basically the same character as found in the aroma. Lingering citrus oil bitterness. Light bodied and dry with moderate carbonation, fairly crisp. Quite drinkable and nicely balanced with hops and bitterness just surpassing the sweetness. Solid overall.

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Photo of Offa
4.05/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice, refreshing yet tasty beer.

Faintly hazy, pale golden amber, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a thin ring and wisps.

Aroma is grain, bread, citrus, grapefruit, hints of honey and pine, very nice.

The taste is light but zesty and intriguing, grain, crackers, citrus, 7-up, hints of grass and pine, light sweetness and balancing bitterness. It has great balance and is quenching.

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Photo of charlzm
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 08/25/08.

Pours an exceptionally clear light golden color. A one finger white head dissipates rapidly, leaving behind only some sticky foam on the sides of the glass.

Grassy, honey notes mingle in the nose with a slight, mild spice I can't quite place.

Mouthfeel is a little thicker than I expected: nice. Flavor is fruity and lightly bitter at first, but very much bready malt (with light touches of nut and caramel) towards the end of the taste.

Not as easy drinking as one might think; the substantial malt profile more or less overwhelms the light hop character of grass, flowers and fruits and keeps this one from being a porch swing/lawnmower beer.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 373 ratings.
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