Archive for the tag “Ballast Point”

A SoCal Taster

During the last week of August, His & Hers Beer Notes took a long-desired trip through the thriving San Diego beer scene, with brief stopovers in Escondido (Stone), San Marcos (The Lost Abbey), and Anaheim (The Bruery).

In San Diego, we hit many of the city’s notable brewery tasting rooms (including Ballast Point, Alesmith, and Green Flash) and bars (we made it to Small Bar, Toronado, and Blind Lady Ale House) during our three-day stay. Our goal was to try as many new and interesting brews as we could while leaving time for sober sightseeing in the sunlight hours, and San Diego did not disappoint on either count.

On the ride from San Diego to the LA area, we stopped at the immense and impressive Stone World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido, as well as The Lost Abbey’s much more scaled-down business park tasting room a few miles up the road.

Anaheim led us to the thriving upstart Anaheim Brewery, and our first-ever trip to His and Hers’ Holy Grail of Tasting Rooms, The Bruery’s recently renovated space in Placentia.  We also made a return browse through the eminently tasteful bottle selection at The Bruery Provisions Store in Orange, scoring a few unseen-in-Sacramento treasures for the cellar.

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be reliving our Southern California beer-cation with sketches and reviews of some of the new beers we sampled, also spotlighting some of our favorite new discoveries along the way. 


Ballast Point – Sextant

6.4% ABV
Purchased at California State Fair ($9/16 oz. bottle) and poured into plastic cups.

His Notes:

This oatmeal stout brewed with copious amounts of Café Calabria coffee pours an impenetrable onyx with an almost nonexistent sand-colored head.  Silky coffee dominates the nose, but it also possesses notes of licorice, plum, and rich loam. Sextant’s strong taste follows suit – nuanced coffee flavors mingle with vanilla bean deserts, and those tastes are offset with earthiness and given depth and creaminess by the addition of oats.  The finish is long-lasting and fairly powerful, but also tasty and well-balanced – coffee is the predominant flavor, along with more vanilla and black licorice.   I imagine this brew would stand up very well to barrel-aging.

  4.5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts

Sculpin IPA (Ballast Point)

7.0% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea and served in tulip glasses.

His Notes:

This beloved IPA from San Diego-based Ballast Point pours honey gold with a billowy white head.  It has the sweet, airy aroma of a peach orchard, with some citrus, bananas, and cotton candy also in the mix. Sweetness is dominant on the palette, but it’s the natural sweetness of fresh fruit, mixed in with hay and dew-soaked grass.  Citrus fruits (mostly oranges and grapefruits) are also present, along with a potent but not overpowering hoppiness.  Surprisingly, it’s the hop bitterness that sticks to your tongue, gradually growing in intensity until the next sweet sip.  Sculpin is an IPA masterpiece that comes on slow and sweet, but it uses that resin bitterness to wallop your tongue into sublime submission.

  5 Toasts

Her Notes:

  4 Toasts

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