Home > Cream Ale > Ballast Point Calm Before The Storm

Ballast Point Calm Before The Storm

Rating: 3.5

A new beer for 2015 from Ballast Point and my eighth beer from them in total, it is one of several that I ordered from the Brewdog online shop recently, this wasn’t actually one I had intended on buying but when another beer came up as out of stock I opted to give this one a chance and after the recent news about Ballast Point I’m glad I did. Earlier this month the brewery was sold to Constellation Brands for $1 billon which I guess means it no longer qualifies as true ‘craft’ beer now but technically this bottle still does. The beer is a cream ale from the brewery, a style that I’m not overly familiar with having only ever tried it once before when I had a can of Sweet Action from Sixpoint brewery in April last year; I wasn’t blow away by that offering but it wasn’t a bad one either so I’m looking forward to this one. Labelled as a warm weather alternative to the brewery’s Victory at Sea imperial porter, the beer was previously a 6.2% offering but the alcohol content has since been lowered some to sit at 5.5% now and I’m going against the brewery’s advice at drinking this one in the middle of winter but I’m sure it’ll be fine.

Calm Before The Storm

Appearance (3/5): A medium amber colour with a fairly clear body and a thin, bubbly white head that fades to quite a patchy head that covers a fraction of the surface after about thirty to forty-five seconds.
Aroma (7/10): This one kicks off with quite a few roasted malts and the touches of vanilla mentioned on the bottle also come through early on with the a coffee aroma not far behind. It’s a clean smelling beer with some nice sweetness coming through alongside touches of pale malts thrown in as well. There was some butterscotch coming through towards the end with the odd earthy hops but as promised it was the coffee and particularly the vanilla that were strongest.
Taste (7/10): Starting with some earthy hops and lightly roasted malts, there is a nice hit of vanilla and butterscotch sweetness coming through early on before the odd floral taste shows itself. There is some of the coffee from the nose in the mix as well but it doesn’t seem quite as strong here as it did previously. The beer was a pleasant tasting one with some grains featuring alongside pale malts and biscuit flavours but it certainly wasn’t the most complex tasting beer; a very nice one but a little less varied than I’d been hoping for.
Palate (4/5): This was a smooth one and thankfully lived up to the style with it coming through as a creamy, well-balanced beer that had some nice sweetness off the back of the vanilla. There was an earthiness to proceedings but it also seemed a touch plain, coming through with average carbonation and touches of dryness towards the end with only a hint of bitterness.

Overall (14/20): This one wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, I’d assumed it would be a slightly darker beer but it was still a nice one with some good biscuit malts and roasted flavours plus an earthy hop base but the vanilla and coffee promised from the label are definitely the most dominant flavours with this one. There was a nice amount of sweetness coming through and the beer was quite a smooth and creamy one that was enjoyable but to be honest probably isn’t one that I’d be likely to go for again.

Brewed In: San Diego, California, United States of America
Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company
First Brewed: 2015
Type: Cream Ale
Abv: 5.5%
Serving: Bottle (355ml)
Purchased: Brewdog.com
Price: £4.00

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