Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Ballantine India Pale Ale | Pabst Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
138 Reviews
Ballantine India Pale AleBallantine India Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
750ml bottles are limited release but 12oz and draft are year-round.

70 IBUs

Added by puboflyons on 08-21-2014

BEER STATS
Reviews:
138
Ratings:
661
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
27.59%
 
 
Wants:
82
Gots:
244
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 661
Photo of HiWire
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber with 1 finger head and decent lacing. Smells sweet, earthy, with a tingle of malt. Tastes of medium hoppiness and tea leaf. Finishes with a nice bitterness. Good mouthfeel. A little earthy for my pallette, but would drink multiple beers again.

 262 characters

Photo of bound4er
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a can dated 12/8/15 so not too fresh. Pours to an amber appearance with a one finger white head. Smells of piney hops and semi-pungent plants / earth. Taste is more earth and pine. Finishes with an odd sweet note (can't describe it) from the malt along with more piney bitterness. Mouthfeel is what you'd expect for an IPA - low to medium body with good carbonation. Overall this is a pretty tasty beer that's refreshing and easy to drink and reminds somewhat of Summit Saga. Had my sample been fresher I may have been able to bump up my taste score.

 555 characters

Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I saw this for the first time in my local Trig's Cellar 70. This one was packaged about six weeks ago. Poured right from the fridge into my Founders pint glass.

L: Pours a hazy deep copper amber with about an inch-and-a-half of off-white head that sticks around for a good while and leaves considerable, even lacing on the glass. Considerable visible carbonation present.

S: Floral is probably the most fitting word to describe the nose. There are pine, citrus, and grassy hop notes present, but this one really has a flowery quality to it. There are also more restrained bread and caramel malt notes coming through, as well. It smells like I imagine a Hops Yankee Candle would...in a good way.

T: I'd like to echo another BA's comment that this one tastes memorable. Very unique, assertive flavor profile on this one. The opening brings cracker and more substantial toasted malt flavor. Right on its heels is the infusion of big floral and orange citrus hop notes. The middle brings a bit more earthiness and the sense of sweeter caramel malts. The back end brings the pine hop flavor forecast by the bouquet, along with more of the earthiness and sweeter caramel malt, which balances things out nicely.

F: This one falls pretty squarely into the medium-bodied category. It has a great level of carbonation that lends it some nice creaminess and helps to accentuate the great hop flavors. While it does supply some lingering bitter, it never feels syrupy.

O: I was a bit apprehensive about this one. Big breweries that try their hand at traditional craft brews don't exactly have a great track record. But Pabst has done a very nice job with this one. It's fairly rare these days that I come across a new IPA that I know I'll return to again. This one is that good--that unique. I don't know if the "bold" classification by other reviewers is the best adjective for it, but I do know that this one brings a lot of tasty hop and malt flavor. I definitely recommend giving it a shot.

 1,987 characters

Photo of ericH9591
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went into B2 in Red Bank this past Saturday and was surprised to see "Ballentine IPA, 7.2% LA Ca" on the draft menu. My buddy and I discovered Ballentine a long long time ago. Great flavor, hoppier than we were used to, and a little more kick. I am not sure those bottles then were the same ABV as this bottle is now, but I do have fond memories of it, so I ordered me up some. Disappointed not I was. I found that my initial taste caused my brain to tell my hand to keep the glass tilted, and then instructed my mouth and ale processing system to take a few gulps. Refreshing.

I had two and that was enough for afternoon recreation.

 634 characters

Photo of cambabeer
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I agree with other's review of this as "bold." That being said, I actually didn't really enjoy it all that much, and I'm an IPA guy. I had heard about its return over the past couple of years, but never tried it until I picked up a can yesterday. Poured nicely, and looked good (nice while lacing, deep yellow gold color). The nose was nice as well, herbal and citrusy and hoppy. The taste, however, was not balanced. It felt like the beer was "trying too hard" if that makes sense, like it was "forced." Somehow the malted characteristics were too sweet and the alcohol too noticeable, all while the hops felt like they were nice in the nose but somewhat of a turn off in the taste. That being said, it wasn't like a drain pour or anything like that. Maybe I expected too much, but this just felt like someone's homebrew who's just on their third or fourth batch. If they were a buddy I'd say "wow man! That's really good." But in my heart, I'd be ready for something else.

 974 characters

Photo of Preston
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really fine IPA from... what?... Pabst???? Okay, so a macrobrewery really can create something that I would swear comes from a micro. It's not quite as good as Sierra Nevada's Torpedo, but the alcohol is masked better in this ale. Yum!

 235 characters

Photo of Treyliff
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a can glass

A- pours a deep amber color with a two-finger creamy and frothy white head that seems to retain forever, leaving some thick nice lacing behind

S- resinous hop aroma with notes of orange peel, grass and floral notes. Countering sweet bready malt with a hint of caramel

T- fruity and resinous hop character up front with notes of citrus, red berries, grass and pine. Sweet caramel malt backbone flows underneath, while finishing with more fruity hop. Plenty of hop flavor on this one

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into the finish

O- a lot more hoppy than I was expecting, given the story behind this beer. Well done and one that I would drink again

 732 characters

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Well done pabst! This is my first time trying this. Fresh green, citrusy, and subtle pine like hop aroma. Very bright and fresh. The taste and mouthfeel are a touch muddled, but still very drinkable. Complex for a macro Brewed IPA. The aftertaste is light grapefruit and sweet citrus peel. Honestly this seems like a very well made home brew.

 342 characters

Photo of SteveGus
3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured cloudy orange into a clear Coke glass. Bright smell of American hops. Sour hop flavor and solid bitterness, but rather too heavy and a bit too intense.

I've had some of the last old bottlings of Ballantine IPA. By my memory, they were much dryer and lighter in body than this is. This version is much closer to a typical American IPA, and isn't really what I expected.

 382 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 6 pack from Wegmans on 11/25/15. Served at fridge temp in a Duvel tulip.

Look: Peachy amber, offwhite head, ok lacing.

Smell: candied grapefruit, caramel

Taste: grapefruit rind bitterness moderated by caramel malt

Feel: medium

Overall: tasty, well balanced, well done

 283 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a Spiegelau IPA glass. Packaged Aug 26th 2015, that's the earliest I ever find this beer when it's normally 6 months old on the shelves.

Deep creamy three finger head, slightly yellow tinges with a creamy soft top and mousse like appearance. Body color is a hue of amber colors , fairly clear, deep orange even red in places, with lighter orange hues on the edges, and really nice fine carbonation. Sheets of ring lacing all while drinking.

Aroma is really nice and soft. Soft citrus orange notes, and good pekoe tea like aromas. Small sensing caramel just gives a faint touch of sweetness as well, and almost even comes out a little juicy.

Palate is really basic. Very light crackery malt, with exceptional dry toasty finish. Wonderful hop balance with no surprises. Juice tea and orange combination, with very light astringency filling the mid palate. Excellent pine like woody finish with real wonderful dryness to match on the hop angle. Mouthfeel almost hints to a light lager tendency strangely, but the flavors all pop.

Real neat IPA, very memorable as well.

 1,108 characters

Photo of BWED
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Spiegelau

A- Copper, hazed. Rocky, two-finger head is off white and leaves great lacing.

S- Great hop combo, both earthy and citrusy. Sweet bread malt undertones.

T- Hop flavor isn't as intense as aroma suggests. Sweetness is there, bready. Well balanced.

M- Medium-full bodied. A little thicker than I like. Dry finish lingers.

O- Great, considering where this comes from. Feel is a little heavy but this is a solid IPA.

 457 characters

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a pint glass. Dark golden appearance with an aroma of both hops and malts. Claim to fame as America's original India Pale Ale, brewed by Ballantine, under PBR. A well balanced IPA.

 205 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle said manufactured 6/15/15. Might have been past it's prime, yet, I still enjoyed it.
Look- copper color, decent sudsy head and good lace retention
Smell- strong floral aroma at first. Then, biscuity malt and resiny hops.
Taste- hoppy and dry palate. Biscuity malt. Clean and simple. Very tasty.
Feel- medium bodied, smooth and easy to drink.
I would love to revisit and try a fresher version. Solid overall. A pleasant surprise.

 435 characters

Photo of KensWorld
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Solid IPA! I've been having this on and off since it came out again and I have to say that this is one of the most consistent and solid IPA's out there today! The best part is that it's cheep. I even found it last month for buy-one-get-one free 6 pack for only $5. Sweet!

 271 characters

Photo of BigGold
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had poured from 12-oz. can into red solo cup, and then into tulip (the traditional Ballantine IPA glassware). "America's Original IPA" is a beautiful beer, and very welcome to the Deep South.

 198 characters

Photo of godlessape
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured this one into a standard pint glass and watched the creamy 2 finger off white head sink down to one leaving some hefty lacing. The shimmering copper color of the body is gorgeous.

The aroma is classic IPA fruit basket, pine, mango, orange zest and cow tail caramel.

The flavor is all mapped out in the aroma followed by a standard hop bite that leaves a orange after taste on the palate.

The mouthfeel is medium.

Overall this is outstanding brew and I hope it becomes more ubiquitous as it once was in the past.

 525 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.34/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Cloudy and murky caramel in color, with a thick bone-white head and heavy wall of lace.

Aroma: Crisp pine hops with some citrus. Not bad.

Taste: Strong and citrus-pine hoppy. Like a classic English IPA, this one goes for the bitter, astringent side, rather than the trendy tropical fruitiness of modern American IPAs. Overall, a decent if unremarkable IPA.

 370 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 7.2%abv

Appearance- Pours a dark amber with 2 finger head that lasts. Good clarity.

Smell- Pine, grapefruit, dry malt.

Taste- Dry crackery malt, becoming more citric, orange and grapefruit. Grassy earthy flavor. Finishes crisp and smooth, with surprisngly little bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body.

Overall- Surprisingly good considering Pabst owns this beer. Quite crisp. Good malt tones.

 443 characters

Photo of pinyin
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really surprised by this IPA.

Yes that is a 4.27 rating, and yes, this ale is that good.

Poured into a 12 ounce snifter at 37F from the 22 ounce bottle.

Having had numerous hangovers and blackout nights in college from the older sister product Ballantine Ale in 40 ounce bottles, I had some reluctance with the brand.

But man, this is a really quality IPA. and for a 7.2% ale, I taste almost no alcohol. A telltale sign of a craft ale. Yes this is most certainly a craft beer product, despite my previous shortcomings with the brand in my formative years.

The color is a really impressive rich golden copper. Not quite as nice as Carton or Singlecut, but the coloring is up there with the best in the business.

Nose is slightly simcoe, maybe amarillo, and some other piney and resinous hops. Not too powerful, doesn't really seem like there was any dry hopping done, but for this product, the scent is pretty much spot on.

Taste is really well balanced. Pine resin, bready malt, ale yeast. Not a lot of malts and not a super bombardment of hops, but again, just really well balanced and no tasting note really outweighs the other. The yeast is really clean tasting. Maybe Safale US-05? I kind of wished they would up the malts and hops on the backend, more akin to Other Half or Singlecut, but hey, this is an awesome ipa for the price point, and Im a fan.

Very picky beer consumer here and I will absolutely repeat purchase Ballantine IPA.

My only gripe is that it was bottled 9 weeks ago, which for a hop forward ipa is slightly old. Distributors need to treat this product with more care and priority, despite the lower price point.

Ballantine also gets extra points for printing the bottling date on the bottle. Not some confusing julian dating code either.

 1,777 characters

Photo of steveh
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A surprise gift from a co-worker (okay, I heard he'd bought some and had a few left that he didn't want and I begged one from him -- gracious gift nonetheless).

L -- Clear, deep gold with a dense, rocky, long-lasting light tan head that leaves nice sticky lacing.
Second pour leaves a cloudiness and thick, suspended floaters. A good sign of bottle-conditioning, but the dense head should have tipped me off.

S -- Piny, spicy hops with sweet caramel character malts in good balance. Reminds me a lot of Celebration.

T -- Interesting balance of spicy hops and toffee flavors. Mild fruity esters in the finish with citrus hop notes. But the bitterness throughout is unlike many IPAs I've tried; it's not overwhelming, but it's definitely bitter -- almost metallic, but not quite. The bitterness lingers into the aftertaste with some mild mustiness.

F -- Mouthfeel is silky smooth up front with a dry finish. Body is light-robust.

O -- This is a pretty respectable take on an American IPA from a not-so-respected brew-house. It's nothing I (myself) would drink in great quantity at one sitting, but I'm not that sort of IPA drinker. On the other hand, I'd definitely pick this up if I was in the mood for a good IPA. Well worth a sample if you like IPAs.

 1,265 characters

Photo of Beertsipper
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Golden orange color. Small tan/white head. The nose is very hip heavy. Hop oil. I am also getting tropical fruit. Taste follows the nose. No citrus, but plenty of mango, papaya, and a lingering bitterness on the finish. Not too carbonated which would've improved the mouth feel. If you are a hop head, give this IPA a try. My bottle was bottled on 6-15-15. So that makes it almost 4 months old. I'd love to try this beer with less than a month on it and compare.

 463 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy medium honey orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate golden yellow + orange + copper highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of citrus/grapefruit pith and pine hops over the top of moderate aromas of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of caramel malts with a moderate amount of sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit pith and pine hops which contribute a moderate to strong amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Pretty well balanced with some malt sweetness upfront and aggressive hop bitterness in the finish. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol.

 1,087 characters

Photo of chicagoish
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very Good IPA and not what I expected from Ballantine. Has all the points you would want in an IPA, the good floral aroma, the bite of the Hops. Very drinkable. I was hoping the pricing would be a little lower, but when you are putting out a very good IPA. You get what you pay for.

 282 characters

Photo of delta490
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep cloudy orangey-amber with a thinner creamy white head. Decent retention leaves small sticky lacing. The aroma is a combo of spicy, floral, and tropical. The taste is much the same. The body is a little thinner, but not bad, with just a hint of carbonation.

 269 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ballantine India Pale Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe