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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:
44
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 289
Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear amber with a medium head that poofs. nose; bubble gum & rotted fruit. an easy nose that gives little indication. taste; sweet malt, apricot reduction, gentle ethanol, banana ester, gum, light citrus hops, & light honey. low+ carbonation & slightly heavy mouthfeel. i want to say this one is too sweet... but, it just barely isn't. it's still indulgent, sort of a hoppy apricot mead and has to be among the gentlest 12%ers around. an enjoyable departure from my usual, especially after the glass is almost done. :)

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Photo of teromous
2.69/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The bottle date (born on date) is on the bottom of the bottle. It is listed as "BA 17 16165 07:56" so according to the Ballast Point website that means BA is Barmy Ale, 17 is the batch number, 16 is the year, and 165 is the julian date." That would make this born on the 14th of June 2016.

Appearance: It has a wonderful looking dark gold colored body with hints of bronze and lighter gold. There is a ton of visible carbonation releasing itself from the glass like an upside down waterfall. The body is very transparent but the darkness makes it hard to see anything. The short-lived white head can't stay afloat despite the ample carbonation. No lacing.

Aroma: It has a bit of an eggy smell. I am not getting any apricot despite the label saying "Golden Ale with Apricot and Honey." I am also not getting any honey. Really it just doesn't have much of an aroma at all. Pretty unimpressive if not disappointing.

Taste: There is a fairly strong alcohol flavor that makes an appearance immediately. I can't call that a negative given that it is carries a bold 12% ABV but it should be noted that it does not hide the alcohol. There is a bit of sweet malt flavor in this like Kellog's Corn Pops. Again there is no presence of apricots. Really it just tastes like a high alcohol blonde ale without the requisite hop character to support the beer.

Mouthfeel: Drinkability is slightly hampered in this sweet beer. Carbonation is high and the body is medium with a slight syrupy stickiness. It does not have a very dry finish often found in mead despite being made with honey.

Overall: As a fruit beer it is highly disappointing. It simply does not taste like apricots. The honey might have contributed to just the higher alcohol or even possibly some of the sweetness but overall the beer just didn't work well. Not considering the fruit, the beer is just too sweet and it is a bit of a mess. It's not a beer I would drink again and I wouldn't recommend it unless you are hunting for some non-standard high alcohol beers.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.39/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

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Photo of tlema1
3.59/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: beautiful gold, with a thin white head, that quickly dissipates
S: apricot marmalade and honey
T: sweet, very boozy, almost like a dry mead
F: oily, boozy
O: definitely a sipper, but not one I find all that enjoyable

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Photo of threeviews
4.52/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (BOD: 16179 = 27 June 2016 into a 13oz Brussels glass (aka: Belgian Snifter/Balloon)

A - Pours a perfectly clear, apricot orange color with a 1-finger, ephemeral white head. I am a sucker for clear beers, so this one receives my highest mark. (5.0)

S - Certainly not pungent, but the adjuncts are immediate: mild aromas of Apricot and Orange Blossom Honey. As it warms, the malt sweetness becomes noticeable and is reminiscent of a blonde, confectionery cake (aka: poundcake). Absolutely no hint of the 12% ABV. (4.25)

T - Like the nose the flavor is sweet and restrained. Apricot marmalade would be my best descriptor. However, the sweetness does not linger long and finishes with an earthy hop bite. Like the aroma, alcohol content is hidden somewhere in the nautical depths where the ponderous fish which decorates the label resides. (4.5)

M - For being 12% ABV, the mouthfeel is an impressive Medium+ with a pleasantly spirited carbonation. Barmy finishes massively dry which (unless disciplined) will have you reaching for the glass time and again. (4.5)

O - Traditional Belgian Golden Strong and Tripel ales are my favorite styles and Barmy provides a really great and uncompromisingly American twist: Orange/Golden in color, heavy on the adjuncts, fruity in aroma and flavor along with a deceptively high ABV. IMO, BP nailed it this time and hope they brew it again. At ~$16/6-Pack, this is a great (and tasty) value and one of the best fruit-inspired beers I have tasted of late. (4.75)

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Photo of 57md
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
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 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 K-Dog
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
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 +4.6%
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 QueenCityYeastBeast
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
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 +10.4%
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.

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
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.?

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
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 KevCan
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

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Photo of colts9016
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
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 Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
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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Photo of ArrogantB
3.37/5  rDev -7.9%
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 elNopalero
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
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 +1.9%
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 -2.7%
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 ckollias
4/5  rDev +9.3%
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

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Photo of vinny21bal
3.77/5  rDev +3%
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 +21.6%
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.

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Photo of CoreyK
4.42/5  rDev +20.8%
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!!

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
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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Barmy Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 289 ratings.
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