Barfly India Pale Ale | Barley Island Brewing Company

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Barfly India Pale AleBarfly India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company
Indiana, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
STYLE American IPA
MALT 2-Row, Global Vienna, Carahell, Victory, Flaked Barley
HOP Summit, Citra, Amarillo, Cascade
ABV 6.5
IBU 70

Added by rdailey76 on 07-12-2006

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 167
Photo of salvo
1.92/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours honey brown into an imperial pint with two inches of head. Head collapses into lace in three minutes.

Smell is light: little hops or malt. Distinct soapiness in the nose. I wash the glass and re-pour just to be sure, and there's no doubt. There's a soapiness in the smell that really turns me off.

Taste is similarly unimpressive: bitterness is there without any of the hops punch I want, and the malts are a bit passive, leaving me wondering why I wanted a beer anyway.

Mouthfeel: like pepsi: sharp, bubbly, gassy.

Drinkability: low for 5.6% alcohol.

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Photo of Trharnde18
1.97/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Rather boring. A crispy malt with very light hops for an IPA. No underlying flavored, no great smell. Nothing makes this beer bad, but nothing makes it good as well.

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Photo of maximum12
2.06/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to a kindly BA for dropping this extra into a fine trade that recently came to fruition. Both a new beer & a new brewery for me.

Pours the color of a classic forest fire seen through the lens of a good photographer. Touch of haze, too, even leaving a bit of muck in the bottom of the bottle. Smell is malty for an IPA.

Not sure Barfly can rightly be called an IPA by even stretching the definition of the style. Reminds me, unpleasantly, of Flat Tire. High quotient of breadiness, a bit of metallic tang, with only a hint of hop bittering at the end, & not enough to clean up the mess in aisle four. The bread shouts down any other positive attributes this one might have.

Three ounces & done. This one logs as a serious disappointment. Few hops, way too much yeast & bread. Won't finish this one.

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Photo of vishneda
2.18/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was unimpressed with this brew. It had a fairly standard look to it but the beer felt kind of thin and the flavor was mostly astringent with none of the positives I usually experience in an ipa. Very little malt, lots of round bitter but no sharpness, very little hop flavor and not much on the nose. There is no bottle dating to work with so it is possible that this was an old and abused bottle. However, as it stood the beer was not worth the effort in getting it.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.35/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Decanted into pint glass. Poured a cloudy straw yellow; thick foamy long lasting head. Aroma a bit sour, maybe astringent and bitter. The taste was a nasty combination of tannins, phenols, and bitterness. The middle and finish smoothed a bit, but the bitterness had the last say. I'm not sure if I got a bad batch, but this IPA is out of balance. The body is medium, but the astringency is way too much for me to enjoy.

Will not purchase again.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.55/5  rDev -28%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Biscuit and toast with just a hint of earthy hop resins. Light butterscotch notes in the background.

Appearance: Golden hazy color with a light off-white head. Floaties in it that are a little scary.

Flavor: More biscuit and malty notes. Continued powdery hop resin flavor. Hop flavor is kind of stale but not cheesy.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry and bitter.

Overall impression: Much like an English IPA. Not sure I see the American in this at all. Not to style and an average English IPA at best.

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Photo of rocketmotor
2.6/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 120z bottle, minimal head and lacing. Beer is cloudy orange in color, maybe hazed also, not impressive.

Smell is of mild hops and bready malt, hops smell should be stronger, smells more like a regular pale ale than an IPA.

Tastes like citrusy hops, some smooth bitterness and a stinging on the front of the tonuge. Flavors don't meld together well. Mouthfeel is ok, nice fullness.

I could drink this beer, but why when there are great American IPA's available? Tastes like the recipe needs more refinement. I just noticed the Barely Island beers in Illinois, was this rushed to the market?

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Photo of beachbum1975
2.8/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy and slightly chunky, amber/brown with a creamy off-white head. Nice sticky legs that hang around all night.

Smells lightly hopped with a strong malt presence. Taste mirrors the smell with a light alcohol finish. Malt is too high in this one for me - it drowned out the hops.

Nice Pale Ale with no frills, but this is an IPA? Decent session beer, I guess.

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Photo of morimech
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

When I was pouring this I was wondering if it was unfiltered or not. Figured it out too late. We are not talking about particulate matter floating around. It is huge chunks of yeast bubbling through the brew. It looks disgusting. I'm not drinking this I thought but I continued on anyway. Otherwise it is a golden brew with a one-fingered head that goes away quickly and leaves just spotty lacing.

The smell is grassy and yeasty.

The taste is of an IPA but it is on the subdued part of hoppiness on the IPA scale. The taste is of grass and a little bit of pine aftertaste.
It is well carbonated for the style and medium bodied. It is just hard for me to get past the unfiltered aspect of this beer.

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Photo of cnally
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured out and settled with a surprising amount of head. Its appearance is a very bright amber color with many carbonation bubbles. Its smell is a little sour, comprised of citrus air. There is a lot of initial hop flavor, but that subsides into a orangey aftertaste. However, the flavors are subtle and underwhelming. I don't expect I would like another.

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Photo of Vancer
2.91/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got a sampling of the Barley Island brews, first one to try:

A so-so brew, didn’t notice much going on here. Pour was the best part, clear amber brown with a massive chunky ivory head. Big rings of lace.

Floral hops, citrusy with a grapefruit backbone in the aroma. Unfortunately, these didn’t come through in the taste – which was more on the resinous grainy side. Just a bit disappointed here, finish was dry and gritty.

Bummer, I won’t be buying a sixer of this.

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Photo of jbphoto88
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aggressive head right out of the bottle. Despite multiple attempts and several bottles I can't get this beer to pour without a 50/50 ratio of liquid to foamy cap. The beer is copper in color, mostly clear with tons of bubbles streaming through. The head again is very full and the color of fresh cut pine.

The nose starts out with a stale hop scent followed by a semi sweet toasted grain flavor. The smell isn't a breath of fresh air but it isn't all bad either. What I will say for sure is that nothing about the look or the smell makes me want to drink this.

Taste is boringly average as well. The flavor is muted and stale like the nose and there isn't anything interesting calling out to me. Slight hints of citrus and pine are about it for a hop presence. All in all a poor ipa.

The mouthfeel is the only thing solid here, with a firm bitterness and a smooth sweet finish. Not a truly bad beer but one I won't be buying again.

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Photo of Janderson91
2.98/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

No bottled on date to be found. Enjoyed on 02/28/11.

A - Cloudy light orange/amber color. A pretty aggressive pour yields a good looking two finger white head. Leaves excellent lacing.

S - Some light toasted malts, some crisp citrus hops. Pretty good aroma on this one.

T - Quite bitter up front. Big citrusy hops but it has a somewhat orangey flavor that I'm not the biggest fan of. Somewhat astringent. Finish is nice and dry with a good crisp bitterness at the end.

M/D - Mouthfeel is good. Medium with nice prickly carbonation. Drinkability is pretty low because it just doesn't leave me wanting another sip.

A pretty good beer here but today there are too many great IPAs for this one to stand out.

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Photo of pmatz2
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured an amber /orange color that was very cloudy. Particles of something were floating in the beer. (Don;t recall seeing that in an IPA before)

Taste is very malty with a slight bitter finish. Overall this was drinkable but was not a very good example of an IPA. There are way better IPA's out there. This might have been closer to a pale ale

Mouth feel was moderate with slight carbonation. Once again nothing special.

This was drinkable but I found myself trying to finish it it as quickly as possible so that I can move onto something else!

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Photo of Bighuge
3.01/5  rDev -15%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The pour looks very viscous. Not much carbonation from the looks of it and from the sound the cap made when I popped it off. Thing bubbly collar is all that forms on the pour. Lace is absent. The body of the beer murky looking dark bronze. It has globs of shit floating around in suspension. Aroma is of very pungent hop oils. It's very one dimensional. It's an aroma I like, but I could use some more depth here as well. The flavor is pretty one dimensional as well. I get that grimy, dirty, pungent, oily hop resin attribute, which I do like, but again, there's no depth to the hoppiness or bitterness. The malts are like burnt toffee and some mild caramel. Carbonation is low. The beer is quite syrupy. Full bodied in that aspect, but without the appropriate carbonation.

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Photo of bheilman
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not so good. Probably the worst IPA I've had besides the ones I homebrew. So that's not necessarily a bad thing. I take great pride in my beer making, and I am a huge fan of the IPA. Definitely my go to beer. And with Warbird Pale Ale setting the standard in this area for hoppy ales, I would say skip this one if you have a couple options. My complaint is it tastes a bit too earthy and it doesn't really go away in the aftertaste. Once you get through one it is easy to have a few, it's just that initial bite that throws it off. Although I feel like a warmer than refrigerator temperature for beer usually brings out a more robust taste, I would have to say for this one:
Drink it cold!

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.05/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

It smells and looks good. Not as strong as I'd expect, but a good smell. The flavor was delicious, however, it clearly is not the bitter standard flavor of an IPA. I really don't enjoy how it stays on my tongue, the after taste is much more bitter than the actually drink. I was impressed with this beer from the standpoint that it tastes, smells, and looks good. It was nice to get something not available here.

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Photo of n2185
3.07/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with two fingers of white head that fades into a thin cap with great lacing.

S: Some pineapple and grapefruit on the nose with hints of pine. It's all quite muted, though, and requires vigorous swirling.

T: Grapefruit and pine are strongest here, but there is also an odd nutty flavor that I tend to associate with brown ales. It's not bad, but a little weird. The finish is lightly bitter.

M: Medium body and carbonation that accents the hops well.

O: An alright IPA overall, though nothing great. The nose is too muted and the flavor is a little odd, but it's still drinkable.

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Photo of orangemoustache
3.09/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy orange with tons of large sediment,it looks like floating flakes of brown shit(yuk),the head is off-white(almost yellow) and small,it does leave some sheets of lace.The nose is lightly toasted and malty ,sweet with hints of marshmellow and citrusy hops.The taste is straight forward,sweet hops fruity and citrusy(grapefruit mostly) with some pale malts in a subtle balance,a nice bitter edge keeps things interesting but I would have enjoyed more tangyness and depth.The mouthfeel is a little to sticky on the lips for me,the body is medium and the carbonation is low.I have always avoided taking bar flys home,this one is no exception.

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Photo of surlyseth
3.1/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice enough orange-red color but, Whoa! What's with all the sediment? Where's the head?
Smells a little funky. Grassy to earthy. Very malty too. And, oh Hoppy as well.
Taste is better than anticipated. Citrus up front, grass and malt in the back. Very hoppy. Not much else.
Mouthfeel is pretty big and with medium carbonation. No problem there.
Drinkability isn't great. As it warms, it's not very pleasant. The earthiness comes on strong and it lacks balance.

I probably wouldn't buy a sixer of this, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.11/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Rustic orange littered with a dense cloud of fine particulates. Filtered it ain't. Up top sits a softly creamy cap of pale golden ecru that picks up a hint of orange from the beer beneath. Although it could be stickier and more substantial, a fair amount of smeary lace is beginning to appear on the glass. I love cluttered looking IPAs like Barfly.

The nose is citric fruity, but also has an off-aroma that I don't care for. Of course, I can't think of too many off-aromas that I do care for. It's an earthy, loamy scent that I'll attibute to the malt bill. Hard to believe that ale yeast would smell like that. While it doesn't ruin the nose, it keeps me from liking it.

Barfly contains a significant amount of high alpha acid hops (Summit), which is evident in the solid smack of bitterness that hits the tongue with each mouthful. It's a bit too ragged though and that infernal off-flavor is still present. I want to like this beer more than I do, I'm just getting tired of trying to filter out the bad stuff to get to the good stuff.

The good stuff is an orange and white grapefruit pithiness that would taste much better in a higher quality, cleaner ale. Hop bitterness outpaces hop flavor by a fairly wide margin; never the mark of a well-brewed IPA. You want IBUs? You got 'em. You want bright, multi-faceted hop flavor? Look elsewhere. A little more pale malt sweetness would go a long, long way.

I don't see much to fault with regard to the mouthfeel. It's somewhere in the vast range of medium for the style with a pleasing smoothness and lively feel to the carbonation. Alpha acid harshness imposes a ceiling on the score.

Barfly India Pale Ale is my least favorite of the Barley Island beers that I've had to date. The brewers have the right idea in that they belong to the 'the more hops the better' school, just like I do. It's just that I wish they had graduated a little higher in their class.

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Photo of Gear54
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley Island in Noblesville

Pint glass with 1/2 finger of off white foam and nice sticky lace on the glass

Smell is basic hops and pine with a malty backbone.

Taste follows the nose. Bitter hops without a ton else.

An average IPA that I feel with a bit of tweeting could be great

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Photo of gmfessen
3.2/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a golden-amber color with tons of small bits of sediment bouncing around and a thick, frothy head. It does say unfiltered, but man that's alot of sediment. The smell is piney, earthy hops with a hint of amber sweetness. The taste is very similar to the nose with the earthy bitterness of the hops being at the forefront. I'm usually a huge fan of IPAs but this one falls short for me; something about the earthy hops... tastes dirty. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a creamy sort of consistency. Drinkability is hurt by the taste of the beer; I'm just not a fan. I think if this beer was done with a different variety of hops it would be much better.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.23/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased as a single drank out of my sierra nevada hop tulip glass.

A- this one pours a golden orange colored body with a very minimal bright white head that leaves little to no lacing behind on the sides of my glass.

S- sweet caramel malts upfront and a mild hop finish. citrus and floral. not nearly the amount of hops i was expecting in the nose on this one.

T- lots of sweet caramel malts and then a little bit of citrus and floral hops. very well balanced, which is rare these days. however, im usually not looking for balanced in american india pale ales.

M- medium bodied, crisp, and refreshing. nicely carbonated.

D- this one is probably something i wont be coming back to. i dont really get into balanced IPAs. i love them way too hoppy.

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Photo of Cresant
3.3/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. undated brown bottle into an IPA glass. Suspended yeast dotted the cloudy orange body. A slight cap of off-white head disolved quickly.

Smell was Bready, sweet and citrus.

Taste was sweet oranges and apple skins. Caramel and hops. Not especially bitter but a good deal of hop flavor. Pleasant flavors but not truely complex.

Mouthfeel was medium to thin with moderate carbonation. A solid enjoyable beer overall.

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Barfly India Pale Ale from Barley Island Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 167 ratings.
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