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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: 341   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ChazMania (662) - Oceanside, California, USA - SEP 3, 2010
This might be the best low alcohol but huge tasting ale Iíve tried. It smells almost like Sculpin with huge citrus and aromatic notes; dark yellow; the taste is outstanding. The initial flavor and texture is like having an 8% DIPA, but the finish is way smoother which I imagine is partly due to lower alcohol. And the best thing.....Hoppy Burps! Ahhhh.....this should be a regular release in 6packs and would easily take over as best session Pale. Great job on this beer!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
gorditoabd (632) - San Diego, California, USA - SEP 2, 2010
Bottle. Pours a brilliant orange-yellow hue, with aromas of herbs and mint right from the get go. Foam is middling dense, heavy, and white, about 1 fingerís worth. Up close aroma is of hops, malt, and thyme. Flavor is interestingly intense for such a light (low abv) beer. Initially dull hop bitterness, followed by and explosion of piney, rosemary spice rack deep bitter flavor. In fact, itís almost like the bitters they put in drinks sometimes. Mouthfeel is crisp without being watery. Itís definitely sessionable. Not my fave direction for brewers to go, but itís got a unique style.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
JoeTheYounger (1181) - Lake Arrowhead, California, USA - SEP 2, 2010
Very clear golden color with very white head that quickly fades. Aroma is dank, grassy, skunky, almost like some pungent onion or garlic. Taste is very crisp with a nice hop bitterness. I could drink this all day.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
badlizard (5533) - Berkeley, California, USA - SEP 2, 2010
Clear orange with a fizzy white head. Big strong citrus pine orange lime and pine aroma and taste with a strong bitterness.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
bhensonb (13862) - Woodland, California, USA - SEP 2, 2010
Bottle from South Bay Drug. Pours clear orange with a 2 finger foamy white head. Aroma is strangely grapefruit over nectarine? Full bodied with foamy carbonation. Flavor is all hop. Grapefruit. Peach/nectaine. Harsh hop. Extravagant hop. Hoppy hop. Very nice.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
beersearcher (2382) - Glendale, California, USA - SEP 2, 2010
Big Grapefruit aroma. Fairly astringent too. This bitterness really lingers and I like it. Fluffy white head when you pour. This is a complex IPA / Session hybrid.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
papajohn (1249) - San Diego (Mira Mesa), California, USA - AUG 31, 2010
12 oz bottle from BevMo Carmel Mtn. Ranch: Clear deep golden color with a medium light beige head. Aroma is grassy, spicy, herbal hops. Flavor starts with a little citrus followed by a grassy grapefriut bitterness and finishes dry with a lingering herbal bitterness. Light body is crisp with lively carbonation. Lots of flavor for a 4.2 ABV brew.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
DaSilky1 (2606) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 31, 2010
Bottle. Nice hoppy nose..floral, citrusy with some sweeter tree fruit as well, most notably nectarine...in fact, thatís the most nectarine Iíve ever encountered in a nose...in fact, thatís the best nose that Stone has had any part of, ever. The Beer pours a pretty transparent golden color with a frothy white head. Flavors are a kind of muted reincarnation of the nose, but with slightly less success in my opinion..again, sweet nectarine, some peach, and floral hop attributes making their presence...but i think it needs a crisper finish to be what I really wanted it to be after smelling it. That being said...for a 4.2% session ale, this kicks the shit out levitation in balance and goodness of flavors...thatís a no brainer...and the more I drink, the more Iím digging the flavor/palate profiles...but as mentioned in a previous rating (though my 12oz was $2.99) thatís not a session beer...thatís $18 a 6er of 4.2% beer...doesnít stone already charge that much for a hamburger at their bistro?

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
daleharshman (1035) - Escondido, California, USA - AUG 30, 2010
12 ounce bottle purchased at Stone brewery. Pours a clear yellow-amber with a half finger of white foam which quickly dissipates. Aroma is full of fresh hops -- citrus, grass, spicy herbs, cat piss. Flavor is an onslaught of bitter earthy hops but moderately balanced with a surprisingly strong malt profile. Quite light mouthfeel which is about the only indication that this is a session ale -- otherwise, itís aroma and flavor are quite full. Not sure if this should be classified as an APA as it currently is here, but itís good regardless. (14, 369)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tokyogoat (1503) - San Diego, California, USA - AUG 29, 2010
Pours a pale straw yellow, nose is heavy with hops, nice balance of citrus and floral, taste is quite dry, mildly resinous, good hop flavor, great session beer, wish it was a year round release.

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