Ballantine XXX Ale | Pabst Brewing Company

166 Reviews
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Ballantine XXX AleBallantine XXX Ale

Brewed by:
Pabst Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.85%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-02-2001

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Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 305
Photo of DevilDogBeer
1.28/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer was not worth the 15 bucks I paid for the case. The pour was an off yellow color with a thin head that dissipated quickly. The smell was a mixture of adjunct ingredients (rice I believe), pun gent hops, and pale malts. The taste was very reflective of the smell and provided no complexity and a poor aftertaste. The mouthfeel was watery as in most macro-lagers, and the off flavor made this beer low on the drinkability scale. I tried this beer since it has been around for so long, but it was not worth the investment.

 529 characters

Photo of Vendetta
1.36/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Original Rating Date:
June 27, 2008

Had this one before, figure I'll drink it (or pour it, depends how this goes...) to remove it from the cellar. Instant skunkitude from the pour and first whiff. Damned green bottles... The taste isn't much better, there's really nothing there except for a watery, skunky taste. The rest of this is getting dumped, not worth it...

 366 characters

Photo of LAMAGS
1.5/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Has a thin sickly yellow pour with weak soapy head that fades instantly. The nose is similar to the armpit of a man who just completed his first bungee jump, skunky and disturbing. The flavor doesn’t disappoint, like many skunks were rounded up and then distilled by squeezing them in a coffee press, water grass and a hint of urine round out this beverage. Watery body with spotty carbonation, best drunk if your homeless, or aspire to be so in the near future.

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Photo of becktone
1.64/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Eye: To the eye this beer looks good. It is, however, much lighter in color than I would have expected. The beer is a clear gold that is active with tons of tiny bubbles rushing to the top. Head is white and foamy, nice retention. I would be more impressed if this looked less like a macro.

Nose: There isn't anything thats too great about the way that this beer smells. A little bit of some spice from the hops, smell to be like a noble variety, and a bit of sweet malt aroma. Tons of adjunct aroma in here, smells much like a macro, but with hops and some malt sweetness behind the adjunct aroma instead of nothing.

Tongue: Harsh and unrounded bitterness hop flavor are the focus of this brews flavor profile. Flavor, like aroma, is weak, watery and non-offensive to the majority. I am not enjoying this beer, I have to say, infact, that this one is better colder, just as a macro is. There are few beers that are best served out of the bottle but this is one of them.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Thin and watery in the mouth...overall very disappointing. This is a beer I'll never come back to. If you're looking for a craft beer, it can not be found here. Maybe if this beer was actually made from barley malt instead of rice it would have some flavor and weight to it...but alas.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
1.68/5  rDev -46%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Appears a light golden tone and forms a large white head leaves fine lacing behind on the fluted glass. Aroma is of some semi skunked herbal toned hops with a touch of fruitiness among light toasted grain and an adjunct mix of corn and rice that's evident. Taste is strong with a cloying sweetness adjunct ridee with evident alcohol presence and a very low bitterness touch of mineral character and her skunked hops. Mouthfeel is light bodied with fizzy carbonation. Drinkability some have a sentimental outlook on this brew not me...nothing classic about it.

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Photo of RheinSchaefer85
1.7/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

I tried this once in the 40z form of course wasn't overly thrilled with it though. Its so so . I have heard though the Ballantine Lager was good though sad to say they don't make it anymore oh well. Over all if you want a Cheap Ale with some Nostalgia get a Ballantine .

 270 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
1.86/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear golden color with a medium and fizzy white head that dissipates steadily. Stringy lacing. Grainy malt aroma with some corn and weird-smelling hops. Light-bodied with tart sour fruit, earthy malt and light hops. The finish is more grain and malt, with an off-tasting hops aftertaste. Very one dimensional and barely above a drain pour.

 348 characters

Photo of crossovert
1.89/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Green 12 oz bottle.

Not much smell, some light hoppiness and grain. so much for the "dry hopping".

It doesn't really have a flavor, there is a light mop twang but not really.

The mouthfeel is pretty carbonated, it is easy to drink but not something you want to session really.

Basically it sucks.

 301 characters

Photo of yen157
1.89/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Immediately after opening the bottle I noticed a terrible sulfur stench. I was hoping that it was me. Alas, I was wrong. After being poured into the glass, the sulfur smell dissipated and I was left with the familliar, slight piney, woody hops. There was not as much pleasant hop flavor in the bottled version. Just a kinda skunky, a little malty, a little bitter crap beer. I tasted the alcohol a lot more from the bottled version of this.

This is one beer I can say I will ONLY drink the canned version. I think the green bottle got the better of it. I've had the bottled version and it's been great (relatively), but it's too hard to find bottles that are good.

[now that I work in a liquor store I buy them from the back of the cooler where they are kept away from light]

 790 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
1.98/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Ballantine XXX Ale, in a huge and ghetto looking 40 oz. glass bottle. I don't see a freshness date but I do see "America's Largest Selling Ale" on the front. That can't be true.

Appearance-pours a nice golden color with a fizzy white head, the head fizzes around and then settles without dissapearing, not bad.

Smell-grain aromas, sour barley, some DNS, not much hop flavor to speak of, no malt.

Taste-bitter upfront but crisp, actually some hop flavor in this beer, sour residual flavors afterwards that aren't pleasent to me though.

Mouthfeel-slightly thin, sour flavor does not help it though, I wonder if I have a bad bottle....

Drinkability-not that great, so many better adaptations of the style to be found.

Overall-while I'm happy to report some hop flavor in the brew, the sourness I'm picking up is catastrophic. I think I have a bad bottle, I will try this beer again at a later point but for right now stay away.

 942 characters

Photo of dacrza1
2/5  rDev -35.7%

DATE REVIEWED: August 9, 2014... GLASSWARE: Baltika stange... OCCASION: Sharknado with Matt, Jer and Shan--a win!...APPEARANCE: cler golden yellow body; bubbles are consistent; crisp white head that spreads upward with cirrus wisps; smeary lacing... AROMA: funky tin malts--as expected from a 40 oz. bottle--and some banana at the end--mostly wet pennies... PALATE: thin at first; beefy ending; gassy and slick; easy drinking otherwise... TASTE: lemony wheat grass; biscuity and toasted malts reign supreme in this otherwise thin profile...OVERALL: intrigued by its history--and ODB’s proclivity for it, according to song--this 40 drinks easy and malty with a bit of refreshment to it--but it also is a bit thin and unimpressive in its refrigerated neighborhood, where OE 800 and Mickey’s reside...

 809 characters

Photo of Brad007
2/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a pale yellow color with very minimal head. Aroma is of malt and skunkiness (why in the hell do breweries still use green glass?).

Taste is mostly of malt and it's somewhat bready like a pale ale. I can't detect any hops, which is a shame.

There's not much else here that would fit the style. It's drinkable but thin at the same time. I've seen much, much better pale ales out there.

 393 characters

Photo of albern
2.03/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'll part company with the bros. on this one and just say that this is a pretty bad beer. It pours a pretty pale color with a small but decent white foamy head that does retain a bit. No lacing. The nose has a sharp mustiness to it and a slightly lagery aroma. The head isn't all that enticing. The taste is a bit oily but sharp and tart with some off soury notes, with some watery grains lurking underneath. There is a cooked veggie flavor to this beer and it isn't good. I've had enough and I can't think of too much to recommend this beer.

 542 characters

Photo of dirkchivers
2.06/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is an overly herbal brew, accentuated by the high carbonation level which makes my mouth burn. The overall taste, presentation, and mouthfeel speak to the stereotypical canned adjunct beer; there's soemthing a bit off, a bit unpleasant. I can appreciate the size v. cost aspect of this beer, but in as I am in RI, the 'gansett will not be replaced by this.

 361 characters

Photo of connecticutpoet
2.08/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had to try this when I saw it... haven't seen it in a long time.

Yellow, clear ale with a one-finger fast-dissipating head. Nothing too impressive here.

Aroma... just plain skunky. Didn't like that at all. Had to hold my breath when it came time to drink it.

Taste... grainy, slightly skunky (not nearly as much as the nose would indicate). It was a bit sour, and there was a residual grain aftertaste that would not go away.

I am glad I tried it, but would not seek it out again.

Mouthfeel was about to be expected in something mass produced like this. No great shakes. Drinkability... nope. not again.

 618 characters

Photo of zeff80
2.11/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a clear, fizzy, golden-yellow color with a fizzy, bubbly, white, one-finger head. No lace at all.

S - It smelled of skunk and corn. Not pleasant.

T - It tasted of corn, grasses and faintly of caramel. Pretty bland and tasted nothing like an APA.

M - It was weak and thin. A light bodied ale.

D - Not a very good brew. I tried it hoping for a classic, but it fell short of that.

 396 characters

Photo of bubrewer
2.12/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was suprised enough to see this bright green 16oz can in the store that I had to give it a try. I'd heard nice things about Ballantine from the 60's; I hope this is a shadow of its former self.

Looks like a typical BMC. Head holds and laces better, but otherwise it's just very pale straw and brilliantly clear.

Smell is mostly sulfur. Not skunky really, strikes me more like a lager ferment that was arrested prematurely. This is an Ale? I'm starting to have my doubts.

There is more hop character than a usual BMC, but it's not very nice hop character. Proper bitterness level for a pilsner, but it's cheesy and not terribly pleasant.

Wish I hadn't wasted my $1.50 on this one. Don't you waste yours too.

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Photo of nick76
2.16/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The aroma is Soda water, yeast, corn, funk, and metal. The appearance is pale gold with a decent head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is watery. Overall it's not good. You can do much better than this but of course most of us are just getting a rating.

 262 characters

Photo of Cresant
2.21/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 12 oz. green bottle into a Samuel Adams glass. No date. The body was golden yellow and clear. Active carbonation. Small head left some lacing.

Smell was a little malty. Somewhat peppery. Creamed corn.

Taste was a bit spicy and peppery at first. This flavor drops off leaving a bland sweetness that is not balanced by noticeable bittering. I don't detect the "dry hopping" touted on the label. The label also boasts, "Purity Body Flavor" I suppose two of the three could be correct.

Mouthfeel was medium to light bodied. Zesty carbonation with some slickness. This is an APA but it surely resembles a smaller market macro lager like Iron City.

 658 characters

Photo of clickpush
2.25/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass. Pale golden / yellow body fills the glass with lots of bubbles but no more than a half inch head with no retention whatsoever.

Nose: Extremely unappealing. Very grainy. Corn is perceptible. Touches of grass around the edges, but nothing that comes close to attractive hop notes.

Mouth: Strongly carbonated - makes for a very stinging mouthfeel, which isn't altogether un-enjoyable. Taste is exactly like it's smell, but with an even worse sour aftertaste, like a bar room floor on a Sunday morning.

Wouldn't touch this again if it was the last beer on Earth.

 600 characters

Photo of Brent
2.26/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is one of those old-line beers that folks seem to like because they have fond associations of it as the beer dad drank or what they drank in college. I have no emotional attachment to the beer. I wish I did, I might be able to say something positive about it. Aroma - green bottle, enough said. Astringent up front, a little peppery at the tip of the tongue. Cereal malt middle, and a blah hops finish. Not even my lawnmower makes me thirsty enough to want another.

 476 characters

Photo of oberon
2.31/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hey its $.89 cents so I grabbed it and its America's largest selling ale....hmmm Iam guessing its not but hey who knows.It had a decent pour light gold with a 1/2 finger white head that was gone rather quickly but left a mass on top,light skunkiness from the damn green bottle and some toasted grain no trace of hops though to be found.The beer tastes mass produced somewhat cooked and vegetal-like goes down a little harsh made me wince a little going down.Eh wont get it again even if free but its an old brand glad I can say I tried it anyways.

 547 characters

Photo of schlimenhaumer
2.36/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 40oz bottle of the "America's Largest Selling Ale" into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a clear yellow color with a two- to three-finger stark white foamy head that sticks around longer than expected. Not much lacing here.

S: Stale malts with some metallic notes on the finish. Nothing to suggest any bitterness at all.

T: Bready malts all the way through. The metallic notes from the nose didn't come through too much. There's really nothing unpleasant about this one. Surprisingly okay.

M: Light- to medium-bodied with a little bit of carbonation. Appropriate for a 40.

D: At this point, the best 40 I've consumed to date.

 650 characters

Photo of changeup45
2.38/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When I read "America's largest selling Ale" on the bottle I thought I was doomed. It's not that bad though. It's golden in color with initially a pretty thick white head that tapers away but a thin head stays. A slightly floral aroma but not much to it. Taste is slightly sweet malt with a very mild hop balance. Easy enough to drink and relatively refreshing, notching it one step above standard crap swill.

 408 characters

Photo of dustylong
2.42/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a pale yellow color with a small head that dissipates quickly and leaves little or no lacing (poured from a bottle into a pint glass). Has a fairly faint aroma to it, sightly grainy at best with a hint of hops. The taste was a little less than I expected. Once again, very grainy with the slight taste of hops to give it some balance. Kind of a boring taste. Has a light mouthfeel to it with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, not that impressive of a beer, try one if you can't find anything better.

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Ballantine XXX Ale from Pabst Brewing Company
3.11 out of 5 based on 305 ratings.
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