California Kölsch | Ballast Point Brewing Company

California KölschCalifornia Kölsch
BA SCORE
37%
Liked This Beer
3.55 w/ 1,358 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:
#38,889
Reviews:
427
Ratings:
1,358
Liked:
502
Avg:
3.55/5
pDev:
13.52%
Alströms:
3.88
 
 
Wants:
49
Gots:
293
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,358 |  Reviews: 427
Photo of morimech
2.82/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22oz. bomber $4.49

It is pale and it is an ale so I guess it is a pale ale. But if you are expecting a hoppy beer, you are going to be surprised. It pours a clear, light golden color with a one-fingered head that dissipates quickly. No head retention and no lacing.

The smell is bready and yeasty.

The taste is of malt with a little caramel on finish. No hop bitterness noted.

It doesn't finish clean and dry which is another thing I would expect. Leaves a bit of a greasy feeling in the mouth. This is just a mediocre beer regardless of style.

 549 characters

Photo of Jesse13713
2.84/5  rDev -20%

Photo of beermemarge
2.84/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle to glass. Orange, yellow, brown in appearance. Small head that quickly dissipated. Decent carbonation. Strong malt nose, really enjoyable smell. Taste wasn't as balanced. Heavy malt flavor, apple, little bit of spice, really sweet. Very low bitterness with high amount sweetness made the beer off balanced. Medium mouth feel. Not bad but there are much better beers from this brewery.

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: golden straw, slightly hazy

S: tad fruity like dried fruit, sweet

T: fruit again, stale not to my liking

M: meh

O: I'd love to try their other pales but I'm no fan of this fellow

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Photo of Randy92592
2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of Jmandrews35
2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Too sweet.

10 characters

Photo of Overlord
2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Wow, what a disappointment after being blown away by the Dorado and Marlin offerings from Ballast Point.

No real head, the mouthfeel is flat and thin, and there is a sour aftertaste that is neither pleasant, nor well integrated with the flavor of the beer. And the beer, itself, has no real hops, no malt-backbone, and other real flavors to speak of. Just not good, at all. Pours a yellow with a hint of amber/orange.

 418 characters

Photo of Lothore
2.85/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a golden orange color with a small one finger head that fades pretty quick leaving no trace. Appears to be pretty heavily carbonated.

S- Slightly sweet, hoppy smell. I get the smallest hints of raspberry in the nose.

T- Full grain taste with a bit of hops. Not at all bitter which I was expecting it to be. Very mild and unimpressive, not completely watered down but not full of flavor at all.

M- The mouthfeel is fairly viscous, chalked full of carbonation.

D- You would think with the inoffensive taste this brew would be pretty drinkable but I find myself not wanting to ever pick up another glass after the first. It only seems a bit better than something i'd pick up in a cheap 18 pack at the liquor store, quite dissapointing for a craft brew.

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Photo of tomb_ride
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap at the brewery, the beer was served in a pint glass. The beer was semi-hazy, bright, and a vibrant yellow-gold with a ring of filmy head. Mellow nose, with very slight hops characteristics. Watery flavors initially, but heavy toasted flavors on the tail end, with only a hint of hops. Slightly pale/hoppy and sour aftertaste, with a musty, lingering finish. Overall, it was a bit watery throughout.

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Photo of DocJitsu
2.88/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, pale golden color with a thick white head. Some loose lacing with the attenuation of the head. Earthy, pilsner-like aroma with little hop noted. Mild apricot flavor, but finishes like a chalky pilsner. Very poor example of the style, but not a horrible beer. That being said, I won't buy it again. I also don't understand the hubbub of the Sculpin IPA and how it manages to stay in the top 100 on BA's list. I've tasted better homebrew efforts.

 458 characters

Photo of tlema1
2.89/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I got no hoppiness at all, dry finish...I was disappointed

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Photo of d5001986
2.9/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of charliedango
2.9/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Plenty has been said about this beer, however I'm wondering if age of the beer plays a factor. Considering I am based in the midwest, hundreds of miles away from a major metropolitan area, it would make sense that the Ballast Point brews we get here are older than what other cities and other states get.

With that said, I've gone through a six pack of bottles in which each bottle produced a head greater in volume than the content of liquid being poured into the glass. I don't know how that happens, but it's happened consistently here.

 540 characters

Photo of Rick778
2.92/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of horsediggs101
2.92/5  rDev -17.7%

Photo of KYGunner
2.93/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

With a name like Yellow Tail Pale Ale, I was expecting a pale ale, not a pale yellow adjunct but that is exactly what this portrays. The body, the scent and even the taste is all adjunct despite the claim it's a Kolsch. I smell corn, I taste corn and the pale yellow body screams adjunct. As I finish it there's the metallic aftertaste that seems to always accompany an adjunct. Ballast Point is such a great brewery but this is easily their worst effort.

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Photo of Grabbin2nd
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From notes: 12/19/08 Ballast Point Yellowtail "Pale Ale" 22 oz. bomber into Pint glass.

First off, the label says Pale Ale, which it is clearly not. It actually is Kolsch style.

Appearance= vigorous pour into pint glass yields a very thin white head. Weak pale yellow color.

Smell= Weak, not much of anything.

Taste= Pale ale... Tastes almost Belgian or German, on the sweeter side, not hoppy side.

Mouthfeel= good mouthfeel

Drinkability= Average. Very underwhelmed by this beer. I've had many other pales with a ton more flavor. There again is the Kolsch thing...Would not drink again

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Photo of kojevergas
2.95/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

650ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high based on the rating average here on beeradvocate. I usually quite fancy kolschs, so I'm excited to try this one. Here we go!

A: Pours a three finger head of no cream, fair thickness, and average (~2 minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent yellow.

Sm: Light barley and subtle bright fruit notes. A mild strength aroma, but a pleasant one.

T: A touch creamy over top a clean barley foundation. Too malty. I don't detect the wheat the label mentions at all. A very simple beer. Boring but pleasant. Built decently but without boldness or inspiration.

Mf: Smooth and wet - overly so in fact. A bit thick for a Kolsch as well.

Dr: They got the style wrong, but its a pleasant simple beer, with muted flavour. It's too restrained to be truly good, but if you're not expecting much, it's a highly drinkable beer. It's certainly sessionable. I'd try it on draught on a rainy day, but it won't be coming up in conversation anytime soon. Nice try, lads, but you didn't do anything interesting.

***
12/29/15 2nd impression:

C+

 1,205 characters

Photo of brewgetter
2.96/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very clear pale gold in color, very thin head but has some lacing. Smell is reminds me of the BMC crowd. Taste is better than the smell, but leaves a yeastiness lingering. Light on the hops, carbonation is OK but not great. Not too bad, but I was expecting a little better.

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Photo of Tannerlondon
2.96/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Photo of ThePaleRider
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Dark straw in color. Crystal clear with absolutely no head at all.

S - Very light hops. Malts kick in pretty well and leave a nice nose. Almost has a pilsnery scent.

T - Almost tastes more like pilsner than a pale ale. Not a lot of hops seem to be floating around in there. Very malty and sweet. Lots of bread in the after taste with a little bit of toffee sneaking around in there.

M - Light bodied with not carbonation to speak of.

O - Eh, nothing too spectacular here. Might as well be drinking Sierra Nevada (which I like).

 536 characters

Photo of bjohnson
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thanks to solomon420 for sending this offering my way.

Pours a darker golden color with a thin head that dissipates rather quickly. A few bubbles rising to the top. Bready malt notes with hints of fruit hops. Buttery with a hair of lemon zest. Not much going on here except the subtle aromas that I mentioned. Kind of boring actually.

Bready and biscuit malt flavors. A tinge of lemony hops. Slight bitterness towards the edges of the tongue. A bit bland with not much going on. Thicker body then I expected as I was looking for something more crisp and cleaner. Slick through the mouth leaving a trail of buttery ooze behind. Again, like the aromas, the flavors are just middle of the road. Nothing stands out here. A mediocre brew at best, though actually quite drinkable, despite it's pedestrian disposition.

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Photo of letsgopens
2.97/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up several selections from Ballast Point today at 3 Sons including this little fella. It pours a completely translucent, golden, wheat-color with sparse rising bubbles. The soapy pearl head recedes quickly and soon becomes almost non-existent. A slippery ring barely sticks to the glass.

Grainy golden malt up front with some spicy/floral hops that work their way in. A bit of buttered toast and subtle overall.

Much like the aroma would suggests; the flavor starts off with a firm, husky grain note accompanied by toasty malt and a buttery consistency. The malt gives way to some floral hop character. Finishes dry with just a hint of slick booziness which is surprising for the ABV/style.

Crisp, bright mouthfeel which is to be expected but then fades to a cloudy, almost musky, dryness. A decent representation of a style that is known for its drinkability so I would consider it fairly 'middle of the road' for this category.

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Photo of Tom_the_bomb
2.98/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Overall, not bad. Although, having recently sampled PBR (pabst) in a can, no less, I actually find PBR to have more character - from aroma, character, lingering taste appeal - I think the PBR revival has something going - including an attractive price point. a 24 pack at $13 goes much further than 22 oz. at $5. i'll stick with sculpin if I'm looking for real character.

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California Kölsch from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 37% out of 100 with 1,358 ratings
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