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



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RATINGS: 337   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.67   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 126   ABV: 4.2%
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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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
yespr (30902) - Copenhagen O, DENMARK - JUN 3, 2012
12 fl oz bottle. Pours hazy orange with a small white head. Aroma is grapefruity, smooth peachy and dry pine. Bone dry, spiced and herbal. Bitter and bone dry finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Papsoe (25088) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - JUN 3, 2012
Bottle 35,5 cl. Courtesy of Doodler. Pours a hazy golden with a lacing white head. Intense, herbal hop aroma. Light body, a little fruity sweetness, loads of tropical fruits and a very heavy, herbal, medicinal bitterness. A very hop forward session Pale Ale. 030612

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Onenote81 (1002) - Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA - MAY 1, 2012
Originally reviewed: 10/19/10. Saw this bottle on the shelf and actually thought I was getting the other collaboration brew, Saison du BUFF (actually rang up as that). Very surprised, and excited, to see that itís a low ABV session ale! Letís get to it. Pours a fair orange with a finger-width creamy off-white head on top. Retention is decent; leaves some light lace behind. The nose on this beer is absolutely stellar! Big floral notes, lots of citrus with tangerine and grapefruit; big piney smack on the finish. Really standout. I could smell this all day. The body is fairly light, which is expected as this is meant to be a session ale. Carbonation level is a little on the high side, but smooths out on the back end. Definitely a bitter beer. The hops come forward full force, with definite Cascade in the front. The finish is a bit spicy and grating. As a session ale, this could be tamed for me to want multiples of this beer. I like the low ABV though. Glad I got this beer "on accident." Recommend.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
daknole (9044) - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA - APR 29, 2012
A sparkling 24k gold pour, nice white head. Aroma is big hops up front, very resin forward, some citrus, fresh cut grass, and very light caramel. Flavor is citrus hops, hay, grass, some unripe stone fruit. Damn good brew.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
LtDan (1784) - Los Angeles County, California, USA - APR 20, 2012
Appearance: Pours a clear amber gold with no visible bubbles, and a big white rocky head. Leaves behind heavy lacing. Aroma: Huge grapefruit and modest pine, flowers and minerals. Taste: Dry bready malt, humongous pine and grapefruit. Finishes earthy and bitter. Flavor lingers well past the sip. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, a tad dry, moderate carbonation. Overall: The biggest little beer in the land. For the past year or so, as father time has been battling me, I have found beers like this, Firestone Pale 31, Mission Street Pale ale to be my go to beers. Big on hops and flavor, easy on the buzz. This beer is not lacking in flavor or aroma.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
sethbreaker (173) - New York, Greater London, USA - APR 18, 2012
From the bottle. Not sure of the date on this one. Pours hazy. Pine hop aroma that has slightly medicinal tinge to it. Mouth feel is light and a little thin. It feels a bit muddled really, I get a strange vegetable like taste running through it, somewhat herbaceous, almost like boiled carrots. Perhaps it tasted much better fresh

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20
Damico (2553) - Royersford, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 5, 2012
A year and a half in the cellar unfortunately, it pours golden orange amber in color with some sediment. The aroma and flavor has faded unfortunately to some bland bitter hop notes. There was a bit of a gush on the open and it was super bubbly in body with a big white creamy head on top.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
KickInChalice (860) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 28, 2012
From notes. First reviewed 12/9/2010. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. San Diego County Session Ale pours a vibrant golden tangerine color, which, although slightly hazy, still allows for visibility of the replenishing carbonation from the bottom of the glass. A floral hop bouqet enters the nose with some citrusy hop notes and a touch of light, sweet malt. In the flavor, there is just a touch of biscuity malt up front, and then this is a surprising hop bomb. Very bitter, particular just after the malt sweetness subsides and as an aftertaste. Some juicy grapefruit citrus, but very strongly floral as well. The sip closes juicy and puckering. Something is just a little bit off with this feel. Maybe the low (for Stone standards) ABV is doing it, trying to pack so much hop flavor into a tiny alcohol content, but the feel comes off as trying to be creamy but fizzy at the same time. The plethora of hops give my tongue a tingly, almost numb feeling. Leaves a ton of hop oil all over my tongue. Not sure if this was their intention or not, but they definitely made a mini - Stone IPA here, although just by dropping the ABV I am not sure if they are able to appropriately attach íSessioní to the name. This is not one I would really want to drink too much of.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Bockyhorsey (2610) - Mesa, Arizona, USA - FEB 18, 2012
Good floral aroma. Copper body with white head. Light bodied brew with some pine and malty sweetener. Smooth on the palate good refreshment.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
DomCharbonneau (31) - , Quebec, CANADA - FEB 16, 2012
Highly aromatic hops of citrus, pine, resinous and light pinapple. Orange copper white white not persistent head. High flavor of hops, american flavor of citrus, pinapple, not too hars, but has a lot of aromatic hops. This gives an intense IPA with a lot of american caracter, but could gain by having more supporting malt.

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