Monday, May 6, 2013

Ballast Point Pale Ale

3.2
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Chad9976 (873) - Albany, New York, USA - MAY 6, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. The enjoy by date was 8/10/13.

Appearance: Pretty shade of orange, very clear. Forms a small, white, foamy head which mostly evaporates and leaves trace lacing.

Smell: I was expecting hops so I was surprised to smell a typical pale lager aroma.

Taste: I was shocked when I took my first swig of Ballast Point Pale Ale. I was hoping for a classic West Coast style pale ale with plenty of citrus and a clean body. What I got was akin to a generic pale lager. I didn’t think this could possibly be right so I Googled it and it turns out this beer is not actually a pale ale at all, but is instead a Kolsch. This annoys me as a consumer because I bought it because I like pale ales, so why is the bottle labeled "pale ale" when it clearly is not? It’d be just as accurate to call it a stout.

The beer itself is not terrible, just not what I wanted. I’m not a fan of the Kolsch style because it’s so much like a pilsner and if I wanted a pilsner I’d buy a pilsner. The difference being that this beer at least drinks like an ale. While it does taste like a German or Czech-style pilsner it has the softer, smoother body of an ale. Not much in the way of distinctive taste, though. Some starchy malt and almost no hop presence. Even for a Kolsch it’s only an okay beer at best, but I’m rating this low because I feel it’s misleading.

Drinkability: Though I didn’t get a pale ale, at least I got the drinkability of one. The body is on the lighter side with a thin mouthfeel. It goes down extremely smooth and is quite refreshing with a clean aftertaste. It’d be ideal as a summer seasonal, especially considering it’s only 4.6% ABV. 
Grade: 5/10