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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 County’s 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, I’m Kelsey, and I am a hophead. There’s 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 you’re a hophead like me, that’s 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 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Huhzubendah (3477) - Washington DC, USA - AUG 4, 2012
This collaborative effort appears clear and copper/orange in color. The head is a half inch thick and displays good retention and lacing. The aroma is a blend of hops and malt, and bolder than I would have expected in a 4.2% beer. The flavor is decent, with a bit more of a malt presence than I prefer in a beer of this ilk. The feel is moderately light in body, and the beer finishes with a lingering hop bitterness. A decent brew, but not worth the $4 for a 12 oz. bottle. Serving type: bottle Reviewed on: 01-21-2011

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
BBB63 (6557) - La Porte, Indiana, USA - AUG 3, 2012
Bottle that has been lingering in my frig for quite some time and served in nonik: Mostly clean golden hue minus some small yeast floaties, left solid rings of lace around the glassware. The aroma has notes of pale kilned malt, dusty yeast, and grassy herbal hops with a kiss of pepper. The flavor profile is that of basic 2-row and slightly pungent PNW hops. A light citric and spice tone over a bed of mostly clean pale malts. The mouth feel is refreshing and quaffable with a slight metallic dryness.

So how does it compare to Founders All-Day IPA? It is not even close, the Founders worked better on so many levels but to be honest, this beer is past prime and likely better 6 months ago. Now it comes off more akin to a basic British Session Ale... that is not a bad thing.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Pinball (11928) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 14, 2012
cloudy orange, small white head. aroma is nice, slightly fruity, slightly belgian, supernice. flavor is malty,flowery, dry, mild.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jesperhammer (4175) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - JUN 4, 2012
03-JUN-2012, bottle @Papsø tasting. Hazy orange with lasting off-white head. Very fruity nose with a little yeast? Exotic fruits - banana. Very funny hop profile. Not a traditional pale ale. High carbonation, nice and creamy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ungstrup (34322) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - JUN 3, 2012
Bottled. A hazy dark goldeng beer with a thin lazing beige head. The aroma has notes of over ripe fruits, malt, caramel, and hops. The flavor is sweet with notes hops, malt, and fruit, leading to a dry finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
yespr (40417) - 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 (25063) - 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 it’s a low ABV session ale! Let’s 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 (10870) - 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 (1806) - 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.

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