Ballast Point Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
American Strong Ale
Ranked #257
Ranked #37,843
3.69 | pDev: 14.09%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Notes: Made with 2-row malt, Galena hops, house yeast, apricots and carmelized honey. On old sailing ships, barm was the foam on top of fermenting fruit and Barmy was the adjective used to describe it.
Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 390 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jdhilt
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a one-finger tan head that fades quickly leaving no lace. Hazy amber color. Medium carbonation and medium-bodied. Nose is malty, honey and flavor is tart apricot, hints of honey. Mellows as it warms. Higher ABV (12%) is totally hidden. $4.25 for a 12oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH

 304 characters

Photo of GuyFawkes
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 8/16/16; drank 12/7/16 @ the Yarchives.

See-through orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a huge, noisy off-white head; strong lace.

Honey, candle wax & apricot notes in the nose.

Medium thick, sticky mouthfeel.

Honey, candle wax & apricot flavors up front; dry booze heat notes on the finish.

Boozy & very sweet; not very good, frankly, but it's drinkable & will get you buzzed in a pinch.

 412 characters

Photo of VABA
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a light copper color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has honey and fruity hints
T-The taste follows the nose with honey and fruity flavors
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A heavy hitter

 210 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I wanted to treat myself to a nice dessert beer after 300 miles of driving today. Barmy hit the spot. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass - a small very bubbly foamy white head and a nice almost clear apricot/light copper color. The head fades fast as could be expected from a 12% abv beer, but the thin white covering at the top of the glass lingers for a while. Lacing is just a few thin wisps. Aroma is pleasant, the apricots and honey really shine. Taste reminds me of a Belgian as far as the fruit and sweetness go. The apricot and honey are up front, but there is more than a hint of alcohol in the very malty beer. Mouthfeel is sweet and rich. The alcohol goes beyond warming, there is a little "burn" here. Little to no hoppiness. This is a very pleasant slow sipper at the end of a day!!!

 813 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
3.72/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a growler via Savor Growl in Columbus in a snifter. This interesting little
strong ale pours a muddled orange tinged murky brown with a moderate head of
white foam that settles to a thin ring and layer with very subtle lacing. Nose of stewed
apricot, subtle herbal notes, light booze, and sweet malts. Flavors lightly exceed the nose with
a nice honey sparkling mead note surrounding stewed apricots with a subtle herbal note that
is difficult to put ones finger one other than being like a light soda cracker. Very nice mouth feel;
medium light carbonation that is just light enough to give this some needed lift, medium body, and
a sweet subtly dry finish.

Overall, a nice and unique desert brew that is perfect as a finisher.


 752 characters

Photo of paulwain
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - 4 - Has a dark gold, dare I say apricot, color. Head also has a slightly golden tint as expected
Smell - 4 - Not an unpleasant smell. Hints of apricot and, wait for it, honey. Not too hoppy
Taste - 3.75 - Was expecting a little more in the fruit arena, so that was missing. However, as commented elsewhere, the taste is not as harsh as some beers at >10% ABV
Feel - 3.75 - Definitely has a bit of "stickiness" on the way down - probably again due to the high ABV, so that leaves a little to be desired but overall the texture is smooth and not sickly as might be expected from a high alcohol/fruit/honey combo

Overall: 4 - This is not a "chugging beer" its definitely for use with something sweet or after a meal. It has a pleasant taste, but you do know you are drinking something "a bit stronger" than usual. As expressed elsewhere a "sipper" more than a gulper but none the less very tasty!

 902 characters

Photo of erk0607
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Dried apricot gold, actively effervescing, somewhat short lived head but remaining white lacing
Smell: Like sweet apricots! Also has mild malt nose to it, not much in terms of hops
Taste: Estery apricot and noticeable alcohol with toasty malt, bitter
Feel: thick, syrupy, not very lively, you can tell this is a higher ABV beer
Overall: Good, a sipper that would compliment a sweet dinner or relaxing night

 414 characters

Photo of JoeTheFranc
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sweet and easy on the palate. The apricot really shines through on this one. 12% abv but youd never know it. Hidden well within the honey and apricot notes. Definitely worth a shot especially if your sweet tooth is engaged.

 227 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

-golden ale with apricots and honey, 12.0%

A: Dark orange body, with a good clarity and a soft spacious rise of macro-bubbles. Frothy light tan head, 0.5 inches is moderately retaining leaving a small calling card on the vessel.

S: Sweet apricot, lightly dry, with some warm honey malt alcohol being the most noticeable at first on the nose. Light barley grain notes with some dry peach sweetness. Abv% of 12 is pretty well refrained on the nose.

T: Dry apricot and peppery honey alcohol flair first for flavor. Spicy warm hops, with some dry orange and golden raisin fruit. Finishes off with some warm, peppery honey finish.

M: Nice thick creamy consistency, near full body experience with some edgy carbonation moments around the tongues edges. Dry.

O: A warm, spicy hop affair, peppery honey alcohol notes, with warm apricot juice, good to style and good to style by golden ale standards. Big drinking experience, good belgian feel, one bottle will leave you satisfied both flavor and alcohol wise.

 1,012 characters

Photo of rahijo3
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: (Weizen Glass) Hefeweizen-like, minimal flat head, lacking bubbly appearance.

Smell: Crisp, mild malt, sweet fruit.

Taste: Sweet start with a smooth finish. Mildly alcoholic.

Feel: Thick and syrupy with a gentle finish.

Overall: Easy drinkability with a high alcohol content. Delicious and dangerous!

 311 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.38/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I seem to have become downright barmy after all of these Ballast Point bottles! It is a pleasure to drink these new offerings as they become available, even if it is from yet another bottle.

From the bottle: "Golden Ale with Apricot & Honey"; "Dedicated to the Craft".

I Pop!ped the cap & gave it a modest pour, but I was still met with two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, French Vanilla-colored head with good retention. Color was solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose definitely smelled strongly of apricots, more like jam or preserves than beer! Mmmm. Mouthfeel was big and full, laying on my tongue like the bloated fish on the label. The taste was most definitely apricots with a fusel heat to remind me to go gently with this big boy. I kept thinking of apricot preserves or dried apricots as an indication of their prevalence in this beer. There was a time, while I was on active duty in the Navy, that I was running between 5 miles and a 10K every day & my snack of choice was dried apricots. Their chewy mouthfeel helped take my mind off of the run itself & the concentrated sugars were like fuel for the run. This beer was very evocative of dried fruit. Finish was dry, thanks to the high ABV which resulted from the ease of conversion of the inherent sugar in the fruit and honey. Speaking of which, it was on the finish that I really began to taste the honey! This was worth licking my lips between sips. Mmmm.

 1,446 characters

Photo of jwilcox767
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought this was another winner from BP. You definitely get apricot, honey, and a mead-like quality from this right off the bat. It was even better once it warmed up a little. Maybe buy more if i run across it again.

 221 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with a stamp on the bottom that reads 16250. Sampled on January 15, 2017.

An orange-amber-honey colored pour with little to no head. Good clarity.

I pick up some honey esters and a little grainy booziness, which is not a surprise since it is 12%. The promised apricot does not seem as abundant as I anticipated.

Smooth, medium body.

Sweet flavor for the most part with a touch of alcohol burning in the back ground. The booze is buried. Not something that knocked my socks off buy likable for what it is.

 538 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a lager glass.

Appearance: Apricot (light copper) colored body with a short but creamy off-white head that dissipates slowly. Lightly hazed with a good amount of visible carbonation.

Nose: Honey, apple, winter spices, pear and baked bread.

Flavor: I hadn't read the label, so I was surprised by the obviously high ABV (9%?), then surprised again to find it listed at 12% ABV. This could put a damper on my work plans. Fruity with apricot, apple and pear. Apricot, honey and alcohol are more obvious here than in the nose. Hints of caramel, cinnamon, and winter spices. Hits the tongue sweet but mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and warming, with medium carbonation.

Overall: A very strong and fruity but refined and pleasant ale.

 779 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a bright amber orange with a small off-white head. The aroma is fruit and malt with some sweetness (honey). The taste is similar to the nose. Nice malt and fruit flavor with honey. The alcohol is slightly noticeable.

 285 characters

Photo of JohnnyMc
2.21/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours out a nice, clear golden color.

Aroma is super sweet and honey dominated with a hint of apricots.

Taste is also extremely cloyingly sweet, Lots of honey, caramel/toffee sweet bread and some apricots.

Syrupy, heavy, thick, boozy.

Not digging this at all. Better luck next time?

 286 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L - Copper, with clarity, and 1 finger of head and slight lacing left on the glass

S - Apricots and pears

T - Sweet, boozy, and fruity

F - Thin body, medium to light carbonation

O - A boozy fruit forward brew.

 213 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Ballast Point's Barmy Ale for $2.79 at The Lager Mill. This one caught my eye when I was looking for some new beers to try and I thought it was worth taking a chance on, so lets see how it goes. 2016 Vintage. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a teku.

A- The label looks nice, it fits the brewery and the name a little, plus it's a little eye catching. It poured a pretty clear golden orange color that took on more of a golden color when held to the light with a fingers worth of bubbly off white head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left some spotty lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a high amount of sweetness with a huge honey aroma being the first to show up and it imparts an aroma that is almost mead like and it's followed by a light and weird funky aroma that goes into the fruit which imparts a fruity aroma with the apricot maybe being a little noticeable, but not by much. Towards the ends there's some sweet malts and a little bit of grainy aroma. This beer doesn't have a great aroma, it's unbalanced and heavy on the honey.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the honey being the first to show up and it's just about as big as it was in the aroma and it imparts a big super sweet honey flavor which reminds me of a draft mead. Up next comes the fruit, which like the aroma imparts more of a fruity flavor with the apricot flavor not really being noticeable and it's followed by that same weird estery yeast flavor that I got int he aroma and it goes into the malts which impart some sweet malt and grainy flavors. On the finish there's a heavy honey flavor with a little bit of bitterness and lots of sweetness with some noticeable alcohol that's a little warming, but it's fairly well hidden for being 12% abv. with some sweet honey and light fruity flavors in the aftertaste. This is an ok tasting beer, but I thought it was too unbalanced with the honey dominating this beer.

M- Not too smooth, cloying, a little boozy, a little carbonated, on the thick side of being medium bodied with a slightly lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is ok, but I wish it wasn't so sweet.

Overall I thought this was an ok beer and it was pretty average for the style, it's not bad, but it seems like they got a little carried with the honey when it came to this beer. This beer didn't have good drinkability, one is more than enough for me, no way I would want more than that. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance, it's a good looking beer, What I like the least about this beer is the sweetness, balance and the drinkability, all those aspects need some work. I wouldn't buy this beer again and I can't say I would recommend unless you like strong beers that are very sweet and you have to like honey a lot too. All in all I wasn't a big fan of this beer, it wasn't too far off from it's description, but I just don't think it came together to make for that great of a beer. It's one of my least favorite Ballast Point beers and it's average at best for the style. Better luck next time guys, this one just isn't for me.

 3,283 characters

Photo of BB1313
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours golden with nice clarity; fluffy white head that fades leaving nice retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are full of apricot and sweet fruits. The apricot shines. It's slightly floral with some sweet malts in the mix. The flavors basically follow the nose. Lots of apricot with some hints of peach. Strong malt backbone. It's sweet, but not cloying or over the top at all. It's slightly syrupy. It finishes warm with some mild spicy alcohol notes, but it's not hot or boozy at all. The alcohol is ultimately well hidden. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very fluffy and smooth. Dangerously drinkable.

This is a nice fruit brew. The apricot shines. It drinks like a big beer, but it comes off as balanced at the same time. Enjoyable stuff.

 829 characters

Photo of Hop_God
3.84/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: glowing orange hue. Thick creamy white bubbles.

S: hops. Pine. Apricot. Honey.

T: honey and apricot very prominent. Some bitter resin at the end.

F: good body. A bit cloying in sweetness and aftertaste.

O: a bit over sweet but still not bad for what they were doing

 276 characters

Photo of Mitchster
2.11/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

$2.99 for a 12oz bottle at BevCo. No ingredients per the website or bottle, other than brewed with apricots and honey.
32 IBUs, 12% ABV.
Pours out to a brilliantly clear medium honey golden, forming a modest white head with average retention and OK lacing. Carbonation is moderate-mild, maybe 2.0 carbs or so. The nose has an interesting slightly skunked hop extract nose that you'll get from many euro lagers, but it's pretty subtle. Smell of slightly off muskmelon, muscat grape, faintly floral honey and a little alcohol. Mouthfeel is syrupy, finishing sweet, cloying and dense bodied. Taste is again, lots of grape juice and muskmelon and booze. A bit hot in the finish. Finishes quite sweet. Very mild bitterness, a little metallic, a bit oxidized. Definitely some wet cardboard towards the end.

This just isn't very good. Would be much better with a lower OG, lower FG, more IBU and a cleaner ferment. Just way too boozy and syrupy. Not a good combination. I can't recommend this one. Pretty close to being a drain pour.

 1,044 characters

Photo of dirkdebonaire
3.67/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fell off wagon today after 18 days. And joined BA!
Played with some Percocets in the meantime.
Had one of these gals and WHOA, much better.

I tasted apricot, not a favorite fruit or vegetable.
Heard that cyanide tastes/smells like apricot pits.....
Anyway, I pretty much enjoy all the higher ABVs that BP puts out.
I LIKE it!
Gets me where I want to go QUICKLY.
Drink it COLD.

 382 characters

Photo of SteveS1111
5/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Really great stuff. It's 12 percent alcohol, so not something you'd generally want to drink more than one or two of. However, it's really amazing and truly unlike any beer I've ever had. It has a flavor that has some similarities to mead, yet it's still a beer in it's own way. The smell is also somewhat mead like. It has somewhat of a head, but it quickly settles down. However, this isn't the most important attribute of this beer. The taste is really what sets it apart in my opinion, and it more than makes up for not having a large and foamy head. The overall mouthfeel is quite strong, yet doesn't have the "edge" that most 11%+ beers have.

 655 characters

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/6/2016. Pours fairly crystal clear deep golden yellow color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big honey, apricot, peach, pear, apple, white grape, mango, cracker, biscuit, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness. A bit of booziness in the aromas as well. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity of apricot/honey, fruity/spicy yeast, and pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big honey, apricot, peach, pear, apple, white grape, mango, cracker, biscuit, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Light-moderate herbal bitter/spiciness and light tart/tangy fruit notes on the finish; with lingering notes of honey, apricot, peach, pear, apple, white grape, mango, cracker, biscuit, floral, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of apricot/honey, fruity/spicy yeast, and pale malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/tart/spiciness balance, and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and medium-full body; with a smooth, bready/grainy/creamy, and slightly slick/syrupy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with a small warmth lingering after the finish; with minimal booziness. Overall this is a very good fruited imperial golden ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of apricot/honey, fruity/spicy yeast, and pale malt flavors; very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,717 characters

Photo of OldManMetal
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Billed as a Golden Ale brewed with apricots and honey, Barmy certainly looks the part: the golden body is crystal clear and very effervescent; a thin, brief-lived off-white head leaves fair lacing consisting of rotten, skeletal bands. The nose is medium in intensity; it leads with ephemeral stonefruit notes that leap ahead of a very nice blend of tart apricot and peach, backed by more subtle sweet florals and a modest yeast character, with the dry bite of the yeast and the tartness of the fruit combining to produce a Sweet Tart-like aroma. Modest alcohol overtones belie the ABV. The palate is initially a sweet blend of apricot, peach and more subtle caramelish malt, but is quickly overtaken by bitter, fumey alcohol. The finish is a boozy hit of indeterminate fruit, followed by a modest solvent bitterness that lingers for a good while. Mouthfeel is biggish for the medium body, and is very warming and fairly astringent from the alcohol; the texture is thin and solvent-like, and very slightly peppery from the mild carbonation. This beer is way too boozy for its own good. (12 oz bottle, 49 days after pkg)

 1,118 characters

Barmy from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 390 ratings