Barmy Golden Ale with Apricot & Honey | Ballast Point Brewing Company

83 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Barmy Golden Ale with Apricot & HoneyBarmy Golden Ale with Apricot & Honey

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

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, barm was the foam on top of fermenting fruit and Barmy was the adjective used to describe it.

Added by HopHead84 on 06-11-2009

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 358
Photo of parkeak0
2.77/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

 292 characters

Photo of justintcoons
3.82/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

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

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

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.

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

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 -27%
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 +3.3%
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 -14.7%
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 +12.8%
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 -2.7%
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 -7.9%
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.

 312 characters

Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev +9%
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. :)

 534 characters

Photo of teromous
2.69/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

 2,021 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.39/5  rDev +19.6%
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 tlema1
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
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

 220 characters

Photo of threeviews
4.52/5  rDev +23.2%
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)

 1,526 characters

Photo of 57md
3.6/5  rDev -1.9%
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 +0.3%
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 +7.9%
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.

 408 characters

Photo of EdwardAbbey
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As with so many of Ballast Point's flavored offerings, this one seemed ever-so-slightly artificial to my palate. I did get a bit of honey, and a bit of apricot, but these bits did not strike me as fresh, natural, and pure.

In its defense, it's fairly drinkable for such a big beer, and a decent value. And the label's sorta cute.

 330 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

 1,239 characters

Photo of QueenCityYeastBeast
3.91/5  rDev +6.5%
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 Furlinator
4.04/5  rDev +10.1%
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 -16.9%
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 +2.2%
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 +19.3%
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 -1.1%
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 +9.8%
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

Barmy Golden Ale with Apricot & Honey from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 358 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.