California Kölsch

California
United States
California Kolsch Ballast Point Beer
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
90
Aroma:
21 / 24
Flavor:
36 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20
Description 

The beer that launched Ballast Point.

Ballast Point's original Pale Ale is a rich golden brew, crafted with aromatic German hops and rounded out with a blend of American and Munich malts. While it’s hopped like a lager, it's fermented like an ale to create a smooth, bright taste that has just a hint of fruit and spice. It’s extremely drinkable, like a Kolsch should be, yet complex, like a good craft beer demands.

Profile

ABV: 
5.2%
IBUs: 
23
Served at: 
40-45° F
Judges Review 
BC Review's picture
Judges Rating:
90
Aroma:
21 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
36 / 40
Mouthfeel:
10 / 10
Overall Impression:
17 / 20

From their humble beginnings in the back of a San Diego homebrewing supply shop, the folks at Ballast Point have built a true beer juggernaut, knocking out superlative brews across a broad range of styles. Brewed loosely in the Kölsch style, with a decidedly American twist, their Pale Ale, formerly named Yellowtail, masterfully walks the tightrope between ale and lager. Imbued with flashes of sweet clover honey, wildflowers and saltine crackers, the aroma can only be described as warm and inviting. Tim appreciated the floral hop and biscuity malt notes, and praised the aroma for displaying a dash of sulfur lurking underneath the malt. Pete declared the aroma “fresh and appealing” and was taken by the slight fruitiness, reminiscent of peach and Anjou pear. Tim and Pete both agreed, however, that the aromas were a bit too intense for a beer brewed in the Kölsch style. Filling the glass with its brilliantly clear, almost-gold color and draped in a lacy, snow-white head, Yellowtail Pale Ale defines “pale.” The flavors, though not classically “Kölsch-like,” are pristine, and the malt and hops balance in a rather delicate pas de deux. Rick found the beer to be more bitter than expected but commented favorably on the “honeyed, juicy malt” and slightly grassy hop flavors. Conversely, Tom was impressed by the interlacing of “crisp wheat” and crackery malt and thought the wheat’s light tartness really helped to balance the brew. Perfect for a beachfront summer afternoon, or served as a substitute for Riesling or Gewurztraminer, Ballast Point’s Pale is a wonderfully versatile brew, deserving of a “reserved parking” spot in any properly stocked beer fridge.

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