Barmy Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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61 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:
61
Ratings:
258
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
29.46%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
38
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 258
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
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 Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
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.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of mactrail
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
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 ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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 womencantsail
2.16/5  rDev -41.6%
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 johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
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 BARFLYB
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Linda Vista location.

Pours vibrant and translucent gold with a pillowy white head. The aroma is of ripe apricots, sweet honey, caramel, and alcohol. The apricots are the dominating characteristic in the aroma.

The flavor is a lot of apricot with caramelized honey. The taste is sugary sweet. Tannins impart noticeable bitterness and there's a low level of acidity. The alcohol is apparent, but it's hard to believe it's nearly 11%.

The beer is light bodied with a sticky mouthfeel.

This is like a mixture of cider, mead, and beer. Very interesting but the sweetness limits how much you can drink.

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Photo of rudzud
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes taken at the Armsby Abbey. Poured into a generic snifter.

A - Poured into a snifter a crystal clear golden pour with a nice half a finger head that left some really nice side lacing.

S - Sweet apricots as well as light honey aromas.

T - Nice high ABV hits the mouth intermixing with well, apricot juice. Nice honey malt sweetness too. This stuff is almost like a hard cider!

M - Light carbonation, like slightly carbonated fruit juice.

O - I really liked this stuff. It reminded me more of a hard cider than a beer, and the potent apricot really gives this a nice fresh warm weather mood.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
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 lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
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 ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
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 ThisWangsChung
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
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

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Photo of thagr81us
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of gford217
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
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 MattyG85
4.39/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Slight finger of off white head that quickly fades away.

Smell: A fruity and sweet malt forward aroma with a scent of apricot and honey. Pale malt with a scent of caramel, biscuit, grains, and cracker with yeast. Sweet scent of honey. Fruit scent of apricot and orange. Subtle earthy hop hints. A solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity and sweet malt driven taste with notes of apricot and honey. Pale barley malt with notes of caramel, grains, biscuit, and cracker along with some yeast. Sweet taste of honey. Good fruit notes of apricot and orange. Light notes of earthy hops. A pretty nice taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly chewy and pretty smooth for 12%. Alcohol heat is minimal.

Overall: A pretty solid brew. Nice sweet mix of citrus and honey that avoids becoming overly syrupy or boozy.

 968 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
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 beergoot
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
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 justintcoons
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of elNopalero
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

 227 characters

Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Barmy Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 258 ratings.
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