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Barmy Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
85
very good
43 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:
43
Ratings:
183
Avg:
3.77
pDev:
30.24%
 
 
Wants:
10
Gots:
28
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 183
Photo of womencantsail
2.16/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

On-tap at Strong Ale

A: The pour is a clear golden color with perhaps some notes of orange to it and a white head.

S: This really just smells like a sweet, high alcohol lager, or even a malt liquor. Grape and apple juice with perhaps a touch of sweet apricots, but it's really more "corny" than anything.

T: Flavor is similarly sweet, almost to the point of cloying. The apricot flavor is there a little bit, but it does little more than make this beer more sugary and overbearingly sweet. Pretty much just tastes like white grape juice, apple juice, honey, and corn.

M: The body is medium and sort of syrupy. The carbonation is moderate at best.

D: This was just no good, I have to say. I am unsure as to whether this was the original batch or a re-brew, but either way, I was not a fan.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
3/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap @ provisions

Look: Golden yellow in color and translucent and a thin bubbly head

Smell: Sugary apricot sweetness

Taste: Again its a bit sugary with apricot in the background

Mouthfeel: Thin body and ample carbonation

Overall: After having two beers today brewed with Apricots I have come to the conclusion that Apricot does not belong in beer PERIOD

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
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.?

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Photo of elNopalero
3.05/5  rDev -19.1%
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 mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -10.6%
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 cbutova
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On at Sunset Grill.

A- Clear orange with a small white cap. Tiny ring leaves

S- Hard to put words to. Slight vinegar grape juice. Faint apricot and sweets behind it. Very heavy wine and mead feel.

T- General apricot flavor mixed with honey sweets, bread yeast, grape acetic, apple and faint spice. Once again has a wine or mead feel to it.

MF- Creamy light body with smooth moderate carbonation.
Warm from honey added alcohol.

DB- Different to say the least. The dominant flavor is grape wine and not really sutr how I feel about that, more apricot would be good.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.56/5  rDev -5.6%
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...

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tap at Armsby Abbey.

Big fluffy head fades slowly over crystal clear golden orange color.

Nose is very fruity apricot, sour apple, light dry yeast, light Belgian sweet malts.

Taste is very sweet, some fruits again, light apricot, sour apple, touch of pear, lots of light candi sugar and other sweeteners. Light Belgian delicate malts, dries a little bit on the finish leaving a bit of a wild style dry bready gritty farmhouse taste, but the sweetness lingers way too long. A bit of bitterness comes out on the finish as well.

Mouth is a little lighter bodied with decent carb, semi syrupy but still gritty, and touch of warming booze.

Drink is meh, way too sweet and doesn't dry much, and the fruits are a little too bright, but the alcohol feels lighter than it really is.

 779 characters

Photo of 57md
3.6/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of colts9016
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
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 lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
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

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
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 johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours out a clearish, deep yellow body with a small-sized, white head.

Smell: Simple, though distinct aroma of sugary sweet honey and fresh sliced apricots splashed with a little Viognier.

Taste: Lightly tart, fruity apricots tossed with a good dose of table sugar and coated with copious amounts of honey. There's a touch of alcohol in there, but, to me, it's nowhere near the asserted high ABV. Well, Ballast certainly doesn't cheat the drinker when it comes to fruit or honey flavor. No real hop character or bitterness though. Finishes expectedly sweet and fruity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-low carbonation. Lightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: While it is quite flavorful, the excessive sweetness and somewhat expansive body does, as gford217 says, hamper the overall drinkability. But would I recommend it? Sure, why the hell not?! Recommended! So long as "sweet" and "apricots" are fond members of your vocabulary that is.

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Photo of vinny21bal
3.77/5  rDev 0%
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.

 360 characters

Photo of DaveHS
3.78/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bar Crudo in San Francisco.

A-Fizzy, translucent golden yellow with almost no head.

S-Vinous, sweet, a bit of dried apricot and bready malts.

T/M-Somewhat wild and funky, medium bodied, on the sweet side. Sauvignon blanc grapes and apricot were the standout flavors, with bready maltiness, a little farmhouse funk and a slightly cloying finish. ABV is well hidden.

D-Too sweet, but definitely something different.

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Photo of gford217
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Growler courtesy of WeeHeavySD shared with the boys at the Brick Store.

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a decent sized whitish head that lingers a bit as a cap and leaves hints of lacing.

Whoa, I wasn't expecting this aroma. It's definitely got a ton of apricots which are evident from the get-go. There is also more than a dash of honey sweetness in the nose as well.

The taste is more of the same with a massive honey sweetness forming the backbone underneath the apricot and some oaky tannins lending a slightly bitter finish to this one. The finish also has a floral presence, not from hops, but more like actually flowers.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and very sticky - lots and lots of sugary sweetness lingering on the palate throughout.

This is a very interesting and tasty beer. The sweetness limits the drinkability fairly substantially for me. I really, really like this one, but getting through my second glass wasn't easy. Tasty and unique.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
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 notchucknorris
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Port Carlsbad

A: Pours a honey color with a thin layer of cream colored foam.

S: Big aromas of apricot with some honey and a bit of bubblegum. There's an almost perfume-like aspect to the smell as well.

T: Again, the apricots are the main feature here and the taste is big and a big syrupy. The carbonation gives it a bit of a cider-like feel and I picked up some apple cider notes as well. There's also a bit of a mead-like quality to this beer as the finish is white grape and a little dessert wine-flavored.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
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 QueenCityYeastBeast
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
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

 430 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured a golden yellow-orange with a minimal off-white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, apricot, honey, subtle alcohol, and peaches. The flavor was of sweet malt, apricot, honey, and sweet alcohol on the followthrough. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. This one had a big fruit profile going on throughout. It tried really hard to hide the alcohol on the flavor but the followthrough is just too overpowering for it. I will say that this one is definitely worth trying/ticking if you get the chance.

 660 characters

Photo of K-Dog
3.96/5  rDev +5%
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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Barmy Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.
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