It's been a little while since I reviewed a beer from one of my favorite breweries, Ballast Point, so let's just go ahead and fix that right now. One of the things I love about Ballast Point is that they're always trying out new beers and fiddling with old ones. Until a few weeks ago, their most recent creation was a beer called Barmy Ale. I got an email a few months ago saying that they were going to be serving it at the brewery, but I wasn't able to try it while it was there. Luckily, a few kegs of it were sent around the area and Pizza Port Carlsbad ended up with one. After passing up on it the last few times we were there, this weekend I finally decided to give it a shot.
Barmy Ale is totally different than most of the beers that Ballast Point is known for (beers like Victory at Sea and Sculpin). It's a golden ale that is brewed with apricots and caramelized honey. While the description may make it sound like a lighter beer, it certainly packs a punch at 10.7% ABV.
Barmy Ale pours a beautiful honey color with a thin layer of cream colored foam that disappears pretty quickly. The smell is big and aromatic with huge notes of apricot, honey and bubblegum. There's a touch of something that smells like perfume somewhere in the background.
The apricots are certainly the star of the show in both the smell and the taste, but there are also some notes of apple cider and white grape. The consistency is a bit sticky and syrupy without being too much so and the sweetness gives it an almost mead-like quality. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, but there's a touch of a warming sensation that lets you know that Barmy Ale is a beer to be taken seriously. Overall, I was really glad to have finally tried this. It's a completely different direction for Ballast Point, but yet another new beer from them that is definitely worth a try.
Final Grade: B+
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 21
(It was a rough weekend, as two of my Top 100 got booted from the list. Ouch)