Friday, May 24, 2013

Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (887) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 24, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet. It had an "enjoy by" date of 6/29/13. It cost $2.99 ($0.25 per ounce).

Appearance: Dark maple brown hue. Opaque. Forms a small, white, soapy head which mostly dissipates but does lace the glass a bit.

Smell: Noticeably earthy, slightly malty aroma. Something weird to it, though, reminiscent of a dog’s breath.

Taste: I’m not usually a big fan of amber ales, but I figured a prominent West Coast brewery would be able to make it exciting for me, that’s why I bought Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale. Though it’s pretty clear right away that this isn’t your typical California hop bomb. In fact, the brewery’s website describes it as an ESB. So which is it? Whatever the case may be, the end result is an average beer.

The palette could be described as either an amber or an ESB, though it seems to be missing the fruity notes of an ESB, but does have the raw dry bitterness I often find in an American amber. The base malt body is quite mild with the faintest trace of maple, toffee or brown sugar. Though the bitterness is still quite strong as it imparts a dry bitterness throughout the second half of the swig. A slightly starchy aftertaste, though it fades away cleanly and quickly. There’s nothing really exciting to this beer; the flavors get repetitive, but never repulsive.

Drinkability: The mild taste and the comfortable mouthfeel make Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale an easily drinkable beer. At 5.5% ABV its weight is right where it should be as it’s not particularly light, but there’s nothing to it that would make it seem heavy. 
Grade: 5/10