Barmy Ale | Ballast Point Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
84
good
61 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Barmy AleBarmy Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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:
257
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
29.19%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
37
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 257
Photo of TBoneJones
3.05/5  rDev -17.6%
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 +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.

 211 characters

Photo of KevCan
4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
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 -1.9%
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 +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.

 689 characters

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.

 262 characters

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 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.

 1,220 characters

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...

 1,280 characters

Photo of ckollias
4/5  rDev +8.1%
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

 334 characters

Photo of vinny21bal
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
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 schmidtmattsays
4.45/5  rDev +20.3%
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.

 651 characters

Photo of CoreyK
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
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!!

 266 characters

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.

 864 characters

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.

 1,190 characters

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.

 432 characters

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.

 450 characters

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.

 630 characters

Photo of Thingus
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Live tasting, 4 oz. taster on tap at Ballast Point...

Appearance; pours a beautiful clear golden honey color, minimal head falls quickly...

Smell; apricots, honey and a slight bready, yeasty aroma.

Taste; jumps out at you with honey, hints of apricot sneak in but never becomes overbearing... Not a hint of the 10.5% ABV in the flavor profile... Amazing..

Mouthfeel; lively in the mouth, good carbonation with a slightly velvety mouthfeel... Fantastic and easy drinkin, firmly light bodied...

Overall; get some of this. Amazing.

 535 characters

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3/5  rDev -18.9%
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

 361 characters

Photo of SDDanC
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at obriens, great golden orange no head. Nose is defintely candied apricots, honey, and pear. Taste is quite the same, lots of tart apricot, sweet from the honey, slight malt presence. Mouthfeel is subtle, not very carbonated but it helps accentuate the fruit. If it were more carbonated it would definitely lean towards a weak wild ale. Overall, quite enjoyable, refreshing and tart. Would love bottles of this

 418 characters

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.

 604 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.

 529 characters

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.

 660 characters

Photo of charlzm
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, Ca on March 14th, 2011.

Clear golden hue, somewhere between light and medium shade. A little carbonation in evidence in the glass, streaming tiny bubbles up to an incredibly uniform and creamy thin white head.

Sweet, fruity aroma - apricots, pears, dates, lemon.

Mildly sweet flavor favors the pears and apricots with a tidy little touch of bitterness on the finish. Fleeting brush with alcohol warmth as it goes down. This is 10.5% ABV? Completely unnoticeable!

Easy to drink and, at this high an ABV, perhaps the most insidious beer ever created.

 596 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Barmy Ale from Ballast Point Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 257 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!