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.