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Barmy Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
42 Reviews
THE BROS
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Barmy AleBarmy Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Made with 2-row malt, Galena hops, house yeast, apricots and carmelized honey. On old sailing ships, barmy was the foam on top of fermenting fruit.

Added by HopHead84 on 06-11-2009

BEER STATS
Reviews:
42
Ratings:
182
Avg:
3.75
pDev:
30.4%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
27
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 182
Photo of 57md
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a straw color with about a half finger of head. I'm not getting apricots or honey on the nose but there is something that is tart. There is some honey in the flavor along with an undertone of alcohol. The body and mouthfeel give one the clear indication that this is a high gravity beer.

I'm not sure what BP was going for here. When I saw the description of a "golden ale with apricot and honey," I was thinking that this would be summery and crushable - I was obviously wrong (should have peeked at the ABV). I'd place this as an attempt at a Belgian Strong Pale.

 575 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A pretty brass color with a small white head.
Sweet aroma. Apricot.
As advertised, apricot and honey. As the beer warmed, however, the honey became more apparent and the apricot less so.
I found this to be a little too sweet for me.
The alcohol was well-hidden

 260 characters

Photo of K-Dog
3.96/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single bottle to give a try. This is normally not my style of beer so dint know what to expect. Didn't really care for the smell. Had a funky aroma, I'm assuming it's the frutiness. However a very nice looking golden copier color. As for the taste I a culturally kind of enjoyed this. The perfect blend if apricot and honey. Thus was very smooth for a 12 percent beer. This was a sipper for sure.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz beer poured into a snifter.

A: Brassy golden with good clarity. Head sputters out pretty quickly, but can be revived with some good swirling. Spotty lacing.

S: Sliced apricot, faintly grassy and earthy, vague honeyed sweetness, perhaps a touch medicinal (very faintly), simple lightly toasty malt base.

T: Apricots up front, clover honey, orange blossom, lightly grassy and earthy, vinous white wine undertones. Faint brush of alcohol. Firm but even hop bitterness trails into the finish with some oily and green notes.

M: Medium bodied with some malt creaminess that starts to press gently into the palate. It is rudely interrupted by a blast of acute and scrubbing carbonation. Some soothing alcohol warmth it the gums.

O: There are some subtle clues to this beer's strength; namely a gentle numbing of the gums. But it's so pleasant and straightforward that your mind subliminally categorizes it as a quaffable beer half its size. "Mm, apricot, *gulp*." Then you'll wake up naked on the lawn. There will be a strong urge to day drink this on a sunny afternoon. Don't do it. This beer is a demon, and its intentions are not pure. We need to trap it in another dimension or something. Mankind isn't equipped to deal with this.

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Photo of QueenCityYeastBeast
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pretty pour, orange, darker than expected for a golden ale, good lacing, appropriate head
S: subtle apricot, hint of booze
T: initial sweet and bready, less fruit than smell predicted, finish is weaker than expected
F: good carbonation, booze well hidden
O: tasty "fruit ale", the sweet/bready beginning are a great start, but are fleeting and I expected a stronger finish. Still, another tasting offering from a solid brewery

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Photo of Furlinator
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours translucent golden orange with a half-inch eggshell head that fades to a ring on top and leaves thick spots of lace. The smell reminds me of an apricot or peach pit: fruity and earthy. The taste follows with moderate fruit sweetness, grain and a hint of honey. 12% ABV is absolutely undetectable and therefore, dangerous.

 327 characters

Photo of TBoneJones
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Looks clear and orange, with barely a head, some decent lacing.
Smells of subtle apricot, but with a stale sort of aged and candied funk that's unlike anything I've ever noticed in a beer. Not sure if I like that much; it depends on how it tastes
Taste is lackluster, as it is booze and malty mineral, with some apricot, with a very dry finish and barely a hint of the old fruit that made up the odd nose. The longer I give this a chance, and let this sit a bit, the more off-putting it becomes. This is fair to say, in my opinion, of a beer from a brewery that produces so many world-class examples.
Love the brewery, love the beer names, the label design etc etc.
Just not this beer. Is there a reason it's sold in six packs, of all things, a beer of 12% abv.?

 766 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sample while checking out the expo at HomeBrewCon.
Slightly hazy deep orange gold color with a decent head. Huge fruity aroma seems a bit artificial against a sweet bready malty alcohol base. Pretty good sipper.

 211 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ordered on tap at Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle, Washington DC.

Golden color and slightly hazy, with little head. Smells of malt and, predominantly, honey. Taste is sweet with lots of light malt, honey, and apricot. The high ABV is well-hidden. Medium body and carbonation. Very enjoyable overall.

 303 characters

Photo of colts9016
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ripe honey alcohol forward heavy malt. Caramel, yeast stone fruit, vanilla

A very smooth finish slight alcohol warming coating.

A very chewy and very smooth sipping beer.

 172 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a clear orange color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Honey, vanilla, bready, candied apricot, pale malts, and some herbal notes.

Taste: Sweet candied apricots, honey, vanilla, bready, booze, and pale malts.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth, medium bodied, light booziness, a little chewy, medium carbonation, and slight sweetness.

Overall: This beer was like a mixture between a honey beer and pale ale with the addition of apricots. Very cool but you can only have a couple due to the booze and sweetness.

 689 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On tap at the Crafty Fox in Denver. i only got a small sample of this which was enough. Orange color, almost no head. Aroma is a weird peach candy type thing. Flavor is the same but booze heavy, almost like a mixture of rock candy and peach jolly rancher. Weird.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.05/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This was a hot mess. Literally. Pours hot and boozy. A clear gold in the glass. Smells like apricots meets window cleaner. The alcohol hits hard and stings, obscuring a faint fruity note on the back end. Thin bodied and rough.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

When the Ballast Point brewery sets out to create a fruit beer, they throw the "delicate"-this and "finesse"-that right out the window. They have made quite a statement- "If you're going to make a bold fruit beer, then you need a bold base beer to support it."

Barmy Ale pours golden with peach and actual apricot-laden hues that sell its promises to the eye quite well. Though the barmy froth is short and spritzy, its aromas fill the nose with ripe apricot with an acidic tingle to the nose. Its taste is sweet and marmalade-like up front with the light taste of sugar cookie and graham cracker lying gently underneath.

Its strong apricot puree taste saturates the palate and nearly overwhelms with the bold focus on the fruit. But rounded by apple, peach, mango and white grape, a sangria culmination begins to round out the fruit. Moderate vinous spice grows and becomes tangy, peppery, and pops off the tongue like pop rocks candy.

Medium bodied and lightly oily, the beer's dense fruitiness is balanced with the carbonated bite of champagne while its spicy warmth also suggests brandy. Trailing with overt apricot, the after palate trails with the unmistakable taste of fruit roll-ups and sparkling white wine.

 1,220 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.56/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a really bizarre beverage from the usually incredibly steady ballast point. this is an oddity, and perhaps a rarity as well based on the really limited number of reviews it has here. not a barleywine, not a belgian strong pale, not like any style really, its unique, but its also not all that amazing, and i dont think up to the very high standard these guys have set. its pale in color, yellow to golden, just in between, without much haze and a pretty solid inch of head on it. smells like apricot jam, but its subtle, not jumping out of the glass by any means, and without any appreciable yeast profile, which is real uncommon in a beer thats this strong. i can smell the booze it made though, fusel and a little hot. i can taste the honey right away, sweet and rich, right out in front of an overripe apricot flavor that i almost have to go looking for its so faint. expected and in the end wanted more fruit from this. its sort of odd, after the initial rush, how the flavor almost goes away entirely, a little tang for a second, but the flavor really does die on it. left is only residual sugar and booze, which really isnt a great finish for a beer with more promise than delivery in the end. good not great, although some may dig it more than me, its just not my palate...

 1,280 characters

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beer out of a growler.

A: Pours a copper hue with a white head that quickly dissipates.

S: sweet fruit apricot and honey aroma

T: Similar to the smell there is sweet fruit mostly apricot flavor followed by hints of honey and
some mild hops.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Yummy brew – just enough fruit

 334 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I think the Barmy is a really nice beer. I don't know how much of a fruit beer it is. I don't know what you would call this monster. It drinks a little like a nice summer beer with all the fruit notes to it but it also has a very strong Barley wine/Old Ale taste to it. The alcohol is very high on this beer so be careful because it does go down pretty smooth.

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Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Niche in Geneva, Illinois. Served in a Deschutes branded pint glass. Told it was one of only 3 kegs of Barmy Ale tapped in Illinois and it is now retired. This was my first Ballast Point beer and it was outstanding. I'll admit that I was originally drawn more to the fact that it is a rare/discontinued beer than to the apricot and honey aspects of the ale. That being said, the apricot taste was very subtle and the honey made it incredibly smooth and drinkable for a 10.7% ABV beer. The subtle apricot brought some sweetness but it was overall a very balanced beer that I would love to have again. Unfortunate that it was only brewed once.

 651 characters

Photo of CoreyK
4.42/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Strongest beer I've ever had and it has a fruity apricot flavor with very little bitterness at all. Kinda dangerous if you drink this all night! Exclellent choice for a first or second beer to start out a great night. Highly recommend this microbrew from San Diego!!

 266 characters

Photo of Axnjxn
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Sam's in Durham. Poured into a Ballast Point pint glass.

Pours a reddish golden color with a medium white head that dissipates slowly. Quite a beautiful look. Smell is slightly sweet, maybe apricots...not that strong of a scent. the taste is very flavorful though! if i had to describe it the best way i'd say it is a mix between a barleywine and a sour. you can really taste the honey in this one, and it is intially pleasantly sweet. on the finish its almost like a sour on the back of your tongue. very very interesting, i really enjoyed it. medium bodied with medium carbonation. would NEVER have guessed this was 10.7%, i'd have thought 6 or 7% alcohol was not present at all. very impressed with the drinkability.

overall a very interesting beer that i'd honestly buy if they bottled it. get a pint of this if you can because it's awesome.

 864 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Whole Foods

Barmy Ale is a new one to hit the market here on the east, the color of the liquid is golden with a light bronze shade popping through minimally. A clean looking beer with an egg colored firm head up top that does not stick, Some swirls bring back the bubbles when they die off.

Smell is pretty bold and on the fruity side The honey pops out the most with the apricot trailing. I get some grape scent and a bit of peach. Some grassy notes with warming and some alcohol peeping through. The fruit shines through during the whole glass

A strong ale with a fruity twist. Definite strong ale characteristics, one the alcohol is there when it warms, two, there is a strong sense of honey, it rushes through the mouth. Apricot comes through with a small medicinal tone. Some grassy tastes with small traces of pale malt mixing in with the honey. Not overly sweet, but STRONG Some alcohol is noticed, it's right there.

Feel is semi coating to the mouth, body is a sturdy medium, carbonation is there and sort of biting, some heat coming from the 10 percent. I had 7oz of this stuff and called it a day. It reminds me of something DFH would brew. Good for a go, grab some.

 1,190 characters

Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice golden color with a quick fading white head on top. There is a sticky lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer is a little funky, it's not really fruity, it's kind of sweet smelling. The taste is strong, lots of sweet fruity flavors with honey in the mix. Minor bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and slick. Decent carbonation too. Overall it's not a bad beer, glad I tried it.

 432 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler pour at the Better Weather Fest at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy beige head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, apricots, honey, and some mead-like aromas. Taste is much the same with a strong alcohol kick with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but quite strong.

 450 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Quite orange amber in the small tulip at Pizza Port in OB. Strange fruit, I call it. Salty and sweet with an odd syrupy flavor. Sharp and heading towards acidity. Lots of apricot, finally, in the nose. A strange smoky, cardboardy hint. After finishing most of it, I took a sniff of the nearly empty glass- weirdest smell of old fruit and the gym.

I wouldn't call it very drinkable, but it's interesting at least. Not to mention, an alternative to the nuclear hop war. It really doesn't seem that strong, not did it feel alcoholic either. A friendlier version of this, or one less strong with Saison yeast might be more enjoyable.

 630 characters

Photo of Thingus
4.47/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Live tasting, 4 oz. taster on tap at Ballast Point...

Appearance; pours a beautiful clear golden honey color, minimal head falls quickly...

Smell; apricots, honey and a slight bready, yeasty aroma.

Taste; jumps out at you with honey, hints of apricot sneak in but never becomes overbearing... Not a hint of the 10.5% ABV in the flavor profile... Amazing..

Mouthfeel; lively in the mouth, good carbonation with a slightly velvety mouthfeel... Fantastic and easy drinkin, firmly light bodied...

Overall; get some of this. Amazing.

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Barmy Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 42 ratings.
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