Barfly India Pale Ale | Barley Island Brewing Company

168 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 168 |  Reviews: 96
Photo of spycow
2.75/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boldly bitter with other characteristics of malt, esters, and spice playing a far secondary role. Definately a nice display for hop bitterness!

Caught somewhere between rusty orange and light copper in color, the beer has a subtle glow about it, illuminating through the dry-hopped haze. Sticky foam and lace decorates the rim in sturdy and stubborn fashion.

High citrus flavor and aroma dominate the glass. White grapefruit and orange rinds come to mind as sharp and resiny bitterness tear through the mouth, allowing little else to compete. A background of medium caramel, estery, spicy/earthy notes come to light only after the initial on slaught of hop flavor subsides.

Definatley a hop dominant beer that has a
semi-dry and fleeting finish that warms the palate, leaving very little residual sweetness behind- only the heavy pang of hop bitterness.

 857 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Indybigtom: Poured a cloudy orangey color ale with a nice foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of bitter dry hops is dominating with some light caramel malt. Taste is also dominated by some dry bitter hops with no floral or citrus notes and some very light caramel malt. Body is quite full with some good carbonation.

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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 TMoney2591
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in the ol' Devil's Backbone willibecher.

The haul from the post-DLD death march continues to bless us with its bounty. This piece pours a somewhat hazy orange amber topped by a stoic finger of cream-colored froth. And the head is just not going away. Period. The nose comprises some nicely mild/understated citrus hops paired with some smooth, creamy caramel. This is almost a perfectly archetypal IPA aroma. The taste is similar, but the hops have melted into a blunt orange-rind bitterness and the caramel is neither as smooth nor as pronounced as in the smell. It's as though the nose was watered-down significantly. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a somewhat dry finish. Overall, a decent IPA; nothing special, but a nice straightforward Hoosier brew.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of tempest
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

There's some big flavors here, they may not be the best possible, but they're bold and you know what's going on here. The malts focuses on dry biscuits while the hops come in with tangy, grassy hops. Unfortunately, this beer doesn't sit well on my tongue, I think it's too dry and astringent. This could just be a beer that isn't for me,

 337 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gregg for a sharing a bottle of this with me at the Brick Store Pub. Pours a hazy amber with a grainy head and some scant lacing. Aromas of clean grain at the start, followed by a pleasant bitter earthiness. The taste is a bit soft to start, followed by a growing earthy bitterness that creeps up on you. If this were a little less grainy, the hops would shine a bit more. probably not the hop profile most people are looking for in an IPA, but I found it pleasant enough.

 482 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle

Bottle was a gusher, resulting a large foamy off white head. Color is a hazy deep amber with clumps of lacing. Aroma is sweet and citric fruity, with caramel and grain, but very little hop bitterness. Flavor is similar to aroma, grain and malt body, citric grapefruit and lingering sweetness, but little hop bite to balance out the sweet. Smooth, thicker side of medium body, with mild carbonation, and finish is resiny. Not a bad beer, but a fairly unremarkable IPA.

 481 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a hazy orange copper body with an off-white mousy head that last a good bit with a strong carbonation seen at the base of the glass.

S- The pungent smell of green hops has an earthy green weed note to it. There are no real notes of malt in the smell but they could be buried by the hops.

T- The light taste of lightly toasted malt and biscuit malt finish with a hint of tartness that is quickly covered by a orange musty hop bitterness. The green hop bitterness lingers for a short bit after each sip.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz at the finish that helps the bitterness of the hops.

D- The beer has a nice strong bitterness and although there is some orange notes it is not overpowering. However I don’t think I would want much more orange flavor without other hop flavors. This beer is not bad.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What a great foamy head and lacing some coppery amber hues. The aroma is full on cirtic orange rind hops and a little caramel toasted malts. The taste starts with a lot of up frony citric hop bitternes. The finish has a little malt mixing to bring some of the bitterness down to an almost sessionable level. The palate is resiny, almost oily. Pretty bitter, not enough to add some other flavors to this profile.

 411 characters

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.

 614 characters

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.

 810 characters

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.

 774 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of jrallen34
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark gold, hints of copper. Light tan head, ok retention, not much lacing...The aroma was really nice, lots of orange, super sweet, nots of pine and caramel on the finish...The taste was really nice. It was sweet enough to make it drinkable but balanced by some nice hops light pine.

Overall, a super solid ipa, worth trying but not actively seeking out.

 396 characters

Photo of ZAP
3.66/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Decent enough IPA...very nice pungent hop aroma....bong resin, tobacco, pine, and some earthy notes...Taste is pretty bitter at first and this seems a little one sided...then some caramel/toffee notes emerge and blend in...body is light side of medium..carbonation is a little too low....finishes pretty dry and bitter.

All in all you could do worse than this. It is pretty bold with the hops and perhaps a little one sided. I'd drink this again but wouldn't lose any sleep if I never had it again either..

 507 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.64/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acted a little weird when I opened the bottle and poured it into a glass. Beer immediately foamed out of the bottle but when I poured it straight into the galss, got only minimal tan fine head with some texture which quickly settled down to a light cover and a bit of lace. Color is a hazy copper amber. Aroma was good: malty, citrus, leather, fresh hop and a little baked bread. Flavor's about the same. Good body and carbonation. Bitter pistachio fininish.

 458 characters

Photo of MSandahl23
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of ArrogantB
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle courtesy of stfun37. Smells oddly un-hoppy but then again it is fruity so I'm full of shit aren't I? Dark-orange color with a good head. Very easy to drink, I killed it. The flavor was some fruits, seemed more like an English style IPA than American. This is a slew-footed beer if ever I saw one.

 308 characters

Photo of mynie
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub.

Pours solid, hazy amber with a nice white head.

Smells of citrus, pine, and biscuit malt. Strong, firm, and fairly complex. It doesn't punch you in the face or anything, but it's completely solid.

Tastes the same as it smells. Medium hop profile and a medium malt profile--citrus, pine, and bread. Not very intense or complicated by interesting enough and very nicely balanced.

 404 characters

Photo of glid02
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade with GCurlow – much obliged!

Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of grainy pale malts with good amounts of light pine hops, backed by heavier earthy hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Slightly dry pale malts up front are joined quickly by earthy hops that turn the flavor profile more bitter. Midway through slight amounts of herbal and pine hops come into play, carrying through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with solid carbonation.

Overall nothing stood out about this beer; it could almost be passed off as a light amber. Not worth turning down if offered but certainly not worth seeking.

 695 characters

Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This twelve-ouncer has admittedly been sitting in my fridge for at least a year and finally I'll give it a try. It's a dark but clear copper color with a modest bit of white head and just scant traces of lacing. The aroma is fairly pungent and full of deep caramel honey with a slighlty boozy vanilla malt. Seems like it will taste extremely sweet and the hop character is difficult to identify, perhaps a bit of herbal-pine. The flavor offers a little more of the hop bitterness you expect from an IPA, though it's still muted and hard to put a finger on. The theme remains more heavily in the malt/vanilla/caramel sweetness. At first it all seems a bit too shy of a true IPA mark but perhaps it's just a different kind of an IPA, one that works the malt sweetness elements more vigorously. There's almost a sweet whisky idea here. Any hops are mild and somewhat overshadowed, closer to pineapple than pine. The body is medium light but it has a nearly resinous, slightly syrupy feel with very subtle carbonation. Based on the aroma I was ready for a drain pour, not so much because it smelled horrible but just because it didn't offer what I expect from an IPA. But, although I wouldn't really care to revisit this brew, it's definitely worth a try if you are open to something a little different for the style.

 1,313 characters

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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Barfly India Pale Ale from Barley Island Brewing Company
3.54 out of 5 based on 168 ratings.
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