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Ballast Point / Kelsey McNair / Stone San Diego County Session Ale

Formerly brewed at Stone Brewing
Style: Session IPA
Escondido, California USA


on tap

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RATINGS: 342   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.68/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 126   ABV: 4.2%
Ballast Point/Kelsey McNair/Stone San Diego County Session Ale was inspired by homebrewing and exceptional quality of life found in San Diego County. A collaborative effort between three San Diego brewers, this aromatic and flavor-driven beer can be enjoyed during any "session." San Diego offers a variety of memorable sessions. Surfing, dining out, homebrewing and conversing with fellw beer enthusiasts are some of my favorites. Positive experiences and good conversations require a careful mix of good people, a little time and more than one tasty beer. As a homebrewer, I was fortunate to have been a customer of both Stone and Home Brew Mart. Now with thirteen years of professional brewing experience, I am honored that Kelsey McNair picked Ballast Point Brewing Company as his inspiration for this award-winning recipe. Created to evoke San Diego Countyís best sessions and favorite beer ingredients, this beer was infused with an ample amount of hops. Bright and floral, this brew will leave you inspired and ready for your next session! Cheers to the Stone Crew and Beer Drinkers everywhere, Colby Chandler, Specialty Brewer Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits Hi, Iím Kelsey, and I am a hophead. Thereís definitely no shortage of well-hopped India Pale Ales here in San Diego. The local craft brewers are true masters of the style, making some of the finest examples in the world, and a lot of them! If youíre a hophead like me, thatís a pretty good problem to have. These big, aggressively bitter and intensely aromatic brews are the ones I crave the most, but they often pose a dilemma: you can only have a few, yet those bright, complex flavors leave you wanting more. BUT, what if you could find a smaller, more sessionable beer that could really scratch your itch for hops? An "all-day-IPA?" Quantity and quality at the same time! Within this bottle, I think you might find just that. From one hophead to another, I give you Ballast Point/Kelsey McNair/Stone San Diego County Session Ale! A deceptively small beer that is bold, aggressively hopped, assertively bitter, and captures the essense of our local brewing culture. Cheers! Kelsey McNair, Homebrewer North Park Beer Co.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
PhillyCraft (5896) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 20, 2013
Backlogged review, tasted in 2011 i believe. Poured murky light brown with ok head. Aromas of hay, lemon, grass, and pine. Taste was a lot more astringent then the aroma, wasnít a fan. Medium bodied. Think this wasnít as fresh as it couldíve been. 3.2

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
diabel (1680) - Aarschot, BELGIUM - DEC 12, 2012
Orane hazy body. Fizzy white head. Well balanced aroma of citrus and malts. Well balanced bitter aroma of bitter hops. Excellent, especially for its abv.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20
kevinator (1851) - The Colony, Texas, USA - NOV 15, 2012
Very aromatic and the best part of the beer. I like the description as it is true to form. This was like an IPA that had a low enough alcohol content to make it perfect for most occasions. Great piney hops aroma. Dirty golden color with foamy head. First hit by hops then malty grains. A little one sided but still good. Palate was thin.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
ContemplateBeer (2007) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - NOV 10, 2012
Aroma of substantial resin/pine and butterscotch maltiness. Appearance was cloudy copper with thin bone head. Flavor matched the nose; the finish was quite dry. Palate was bubbly and fluffy. Good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
arrogantb (1402) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 3, 2012
12oz bottle $4. I was quite interested to try this collaboration to see how hoppy it really was. They are not fucking around, this is a very, very hoppy beer no matter the ABV. The smell is all grapefruit, citrus, straight hops, very nice. The taste was more of the same but also super bitter, almost too bitter but there really is no such thing. This is a great beer for hopheads but Iíd say its no session beer just because it really assaults your palate and its not cheap. Levitation is still the best hoppy session beer I know of. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 09-16-2010 03:50:50

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
scottyshades (130) - Parkland, Florida, Florida, USA - OCT 25, 2012
Classified as an IPA on the bottle, APA on beeradvocate A: Pours a mostly transparent, partly hop-hazed pale gold color with a small white cap. Retention is pretty good. S: Lots of piny and resinous hops, along with a mellow pale malt accent. The hops really dominate the nose, and really give a nice floral note. Seems like a subdued version of a West Coast style IPA. T: Probably the most flavorful beer Iíve tasted under 5%. I really like this one. Bitter resinous hops in the flavor, but it doesnít have the stickiness from the alcohol, and you can really throw these back. Light pale malt backing, but for the most part, the hops are pretty damn intense. MF/D: Medium carbonation, slightly prickly feel, awesome resinous hop finish. Drinkability is awesome due to the amount of flavor and the lack of alcohol. Notes: I usually donít care for resinous IPAs, but this one is awesome. So much flavor and so little alcohol. New favorite session beer for sure.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
robforbes (2184) - Bremerton, Washington, USA - SEP 28, 2012
pours a cloudy orange-yellow with a small white head. smell is of floral, some citrus, caramel, malt, and pine. taste is of pine-cone, hops, come caramel, and malt in the back. ends refreshing and bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
trancecyclist (50) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - SEP 23, 2012
Rating this beer that I drank in 2010 based on memory. Really impressed with the success at an attempt to brew a session IPA. I canít recall ever having a beer so full of flavor that was below 5% alcohol, and this one had plenty of hoppiness without being annoying thin in body (even though it must be!). It mystifies me to this day why Stone has kept marketing Saison du Buff, but allowed this to become extinct. I doubt that any of it was brewed past 2010, so most more recent ratings are based on old beer which has certainly lost a lot of its hop edge. I really hope something will prod Stone into releasing this very good beer once again.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
toxichop (597) - South Gate, California, USA - SEP 3, 2012
These are old notes of when this was fresh. P:Bronze with a nice white head. A: Pine, grapefruit and grass notes. T: Know this is where it got me. Big ass hop bomb, pine and grass, mango, white grapefruit, herbal nots and a bit of sweetness from the malt. O: this has to be brewed again and I want to see this in cases. Would also like to reviste and see how I would feel about this one today as my palate has also grown since this was brewed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
BeerandBlues2 (12192) - Escondido, California, USA - AUG 22, 2012
Bottle. Pours mostly clear amber with a large, frothy and bubbly off-white head, medium-long retention with good lacing. Aroma is fruity, floral, grapefruit, and pine hops with biscuit and straw malt, and tropical fruity esters of mango and pineapple. Flavor is heavy hops and bitterness, light malt and fruity esters with a dry finish. Medium-light body and moderate carbonation.

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