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Barmy Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
83
good
72 Reviews
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Barmy AleBarmy Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
ballastpoint.com

Style: American Strong Ale

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:
72
Ratings:
289
Avg:
3.66
pDev:
28.96%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
46
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 289
Photo of BeerDawgs
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
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%
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.

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Photo of BB1313
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of Hop_God
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
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

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Photo of Mitchster
2.11/5  rDev -42.3%
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.

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Photo of dirkdebonaire
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
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.
Dirk

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Photo of SteveS1111
5/5  rDev +36.6%
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.

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Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.19/5  rDev -12.8%
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

Photo of LeRose
3.01/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a fabulous beer visually...looks like carbonated brandy. It's Jurassic Park amber, no head to speak of, but a steady mist of super-fine bubbles rising up through the crystal clear liquid. Looks stunning.

I get mostly honey on the nose, almost no apricot, prevalent alcohol, and a little sweet malt. The beer is definitely hot - the alcohol is hardly blended into the flavor. Then there is kind of a honey flavor, and an artificial, nasty apricot flavor that lingers and turns unpleasantly sour, astringent, and bitter.

The feel is medium bodied, mildly carbonated. There is a residual flavor that is apricot like in the negative sense - bitter, harsh, and astringent. Extremely drying and honestly it numbs the tongue.

Overall, I do not find this beer pleasant and would not recommend it.

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Photo of greengumby
3.71/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

L - Pours a deep burnt orange with a light, white head. The pour is quick and despite the apricot and honey, it does not appear thick.

S - Pungent. Apricot is the most prominent smell but there is a bit of alcohol, malt, and honey.

T - Big on the alcohol upfront. You can tell that it is 12% up front. That taste dissipates quickly and there are touches of apricot, yeast, and a honey finish.

M - Not as syrupy as one would imagine.

O - Worth drinking, but not nearly as exciting as I had hoped. The whole thing was a little flatter than such a big boozy ale should be.

 573 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The aroma reveals some subtle apricot, but the combination of pale malts and alcohol also give it a boozy pineapple juice vibe similar to a triple IPA. Alcohol also lends it a subtle, almost fungal sourness (not sour as in tart, sour as in musty) Letting it open up will reveal more apricot goodness - a lot more, actually. Honey remains subdued. It's a strange-smelling beer (redolent of something Dogfish Head would make), but it comes together pretty nicely. The opening sip brings plenty of apricot flavor. It finishes with some honey and a slight kick of alcohol, sandwiching some of the pale malt flavors nicely. Honey is the X-factor here - it defines the sweetness of both the fruit and the general massiveness, while drying the finish enough so that it doesn't linger on the palate cloyingly. It's nonetheless a very sweet and bulky feeling beer that will take a bit of time to consume. Honestly, this was a pleasant surprise: as big as it is, it doesn't get too over-the-top at any point. I doubt I'd buy it again considering how pricey a six-pack is, though.

3.62/5: Expensive, yeah; barmy, no

 1,105 characters

Photo of jeffjeff1
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- clear copper color, thin head dissipates quickly
S- apricot, honey, boozy
T- apricot, honey mostly
M- medium bodied
D- I thought it was pretty good. For the price, I probably wouldn't buy it again though. Good beer but not worth the price.

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Photo of martinpfal
3.67/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours golden - almost like the honey that's in it. An inch of head at least that takes its time to dissipate. Nose gives way to fruity (likely apricots) notes. Boozy but hidden well. Maybe a slight bit too malty for my preference. This the rating. And 3.99/bottle makes it pretty expensive.

 296 characters

Photo of ThrewRedButter
3.84/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L - Glowing dark orange with a transparent body and a finger of white head

S - Intense apricot flavoring and some banana. Boozy on the nose.

T - Again with the apricot flavoring, but it is mixing with the booze better than expected. Some slight cinnamon and banana too and then an odd green apple juice finish. Not much actual honey flavor aside from an overall sugary presence.

F - Bordering on syrupy, but doesn't quite get there and stays medium on the feel. Surprisingly no alcohol taste even though it is a big, boozy monster.

O - I say if you like the fruity-flavored intensity of Ballast Point's other shandy-esque brews, then this one will suit you fine. The 12oz serving if perfect to sip over the course of an hour or so.

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Photo of bnes09
2.77/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Clear yellow. No head. No aroma. Super sweet, dense malty, boozy, honey flavor. Minimal hop character. Dense body. Sticky and syrupy. Too sweet. Not my thing.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a very cloudy gold with a medium head. The aroma offers up apricots, as one would expect, as well as toffee, almond, nougat, clove, and something very buttery and creamy. The flavor leads with rich fruit, banana, apricot, mince, sweet bread, cinnamon, nougat, and pistachio. The mouthfeel is very full, almost syrupy. Overall this really does work as a beer, but is is teetering on the edge - any more body and it would be too much.

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Photo of parkeak0
2.77/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This was a drain pour for me. Thin on the nose, thin on the palate, alcohol is really overwhelming. Hoped it would evolve/open up as it warmed, but just got sweeter. At 12 percent ABV simply not worth he alcohol or the calories (and I rarely say that about a beer!). Glad I only got a single.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance
Golden yellow with 1/2 finger of off-white head that dissipates quickly. Excellent clarity with light carbonation.

Nose
Cinnamon, clove, golden apple, pear, spent grains, and honey.

Taste
Sticky honey and caramel covered spent grains. Doughy with a spicy bouquet of clove, coriander, slight white pepper, and slight cinnamon. Light golden apple and pear. Finishes with a hint of earthy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel
Full bodied, sticky, warming, and oily with a light finishing bitterness.

Overall
A big bomb-ass Golden Ale. With the current trends of everything IPA and Kettle Sour, it sure is nice to see something else.

 670 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.68/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Clear copper body with minimal slowly rising bubbles. A white head recedes to nothing, no lacing.

Aroma: Booze, faint cedar, carmelized honey, just a touch of apricot.

Taste: Sour up front, with honey more than anything coming through with any sort of flavor. Apricot is hard to detect as the beer goes down, a syrupy mess of hot alcohol and grassy-like sourness.

Mouthfeel: Thick, syrupy.

Overall: Another example of how high alcohol volume ruins the taste of beer.

 513 characters

Photo of edward_boumil
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: Orange/yellow colored beer, pretty clearly, little to no head, no lace.
S: More like a wine/mead than a beer, sweet apricot smell and booze. Honey is definately apparent as it almost smells like mead. I get hints of vanilla as well.
T: Overall, very boozy, definately has apricot as well as other dark fruit flavors, somewhat akin to a strong doppelbock or barleywine. Quite boozy, although not hot or solventy. To me, has hints of oak and vanilla again in the taste. Finishes with a dryness
F: Quite crisp, somewhat balanced despite the very high ABV. Definately a sipper despite a light body.
O: Sort of not what I was expecting, certainly a good beer with great flavor, but it is somewhat confusing as it sort of drinks more like a wine or a mead. Definately worth a shot.

 785 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.13/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Sharp and clear golden body; mild carbonation; thin yet creamy head attempting to leave foam and lacing along the glass. Dull apricot smell; grassy. Tangy and sweet flavor that quickly gives way to a hot alcohol flavor and phenolic bitterness. Medium body; somewhat glassy; hot with a heavy sweetness.

Too much booziness in this beer to make it very enjoyable. It brings on a somewhat sour tang that is quickly lost with the alcohol and almost acrid aftertaste. Interesting but rough...Sure, it's a high ABV beer yet nothing really mixes or blends well to bring about any balance. A one-shot wonder for me...

 609 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.14/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle dated 6/14/16

Pours clear golden amber orange with a creamy frothy white foam head. Smells like fresh apricots, grass, caramelized honey, with slightly boozy sweet bready grain malt. Tastes like sweet, slightly tart apricot, caramelized orange blossom honey, slightly boozy bready grain malt, with fresh earthy grass lingering. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a nice, strong abv malty fruit ale.

 450 characters

Photo of dcotom
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into tulip glass. Very attractive pour, a crystal clear golden color with a medium white head that dissipates in short order, leaving spotty lacing and a thin ring. Aroma is heavy on the apricot and honey, with a little alcohol present on the nose. Lots of fruit and sweetness on the palate, leaving the base beer in the background. Sweet aftertaste, fading to a surprisingly dry finish. The alcohol in this is very prominent. If you like sweet and hot, this isn't bad. Use caution!

 513 characters

Photo of Skrumpy
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange color with a bubbly, white head that dissipated quickly. Aroma is sweet fruit, apricot, honey, and caramel malt. The flavor is apricot and honey. This beer kind of tastes like an energy drink with some alcohol heat. Not really something I could drink on a regular basis, but interesting to try.

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Barmy Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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