By Matt Abbatacola–
(CBS) Hello beer friends, I’m back for a craft beer review, with two more for your consideration. If you are on the Untappd app, find me there. As always, your feedback and suggestions are requested.READ MORE: Assessing The Damage: Tornado That Ripped Through DuPage County Classified As EF-3
As a reminder, here are the criteria that go into the review.
Ballast Point’s Barmy — $$$
This strong golden ale is brewed with apricots and orange blossom honey and is 12% ABV with a rating of 25 International Bittering Units (IBUs), which measure the actual bitterness of a beer as contributed by the alpha acids from hops.
Here’s some context on IBUs, gathered from beer.about.com:
20-45 IBUs — most common with a mild to pronounced hops
45-plus IBUs — strong hoppy flavor
Surly Furious, which I love, has a measurement of 100 IBUs
Barmy is a gorgeous honey-colored ale. Given the alcohol content, I expected it to be darker. I could sense the alcohol content in the aroma. This is a strong beer, and its strength could be sensed in the light fruity sweet aroma.
At first taste, this ale is mild with a sweet taste of honey and a pop of juicy apricot. The fruit and honey taste faded, and the power of this ale grabbed me — but not in a bad way. It was clear to taste and feel the strength of this ale, but it didn’t turn me away. I expected to not enjoy Barmy given the ABV, but for its strength, it’s surprisingly mild in flavor.
That may be disappointing to you if you want a 12% ABV beer to punch you in the throat, because this doesn’t. It left me with a mild, clean taste in my mouth — really unexpected given the ABV. I imagined this beer being a “one and done,” but it had a lighter finish then I anticipated.
I really liked Barmy, and I hope this beer is available year-round because I want to drink it in the fall, outside around a fire with a cigar. I would think two or three of these would make for a good night.READ MORE: Driver Ticketed After Girl, 11, Is Hit By SUV In Norwood Park
As usual, the Ballast Point labels don’t disappoint. Barmy isn’t a fish but refers to the froth coming from fermenting fruit or beer, according to their website.
Overall score: 9
Two Brothers’ In the Flesh — $$$
This is an American sour ale brewed with pineapple and is only 4.1% ABV with a rating of 7 IBUs.
In the Flesh has a clear golden color. I loved the aroma. I kept going back for more of the sharp fruity and tart aroma.
It was sour on my tongue and drifted quickly but was pleasant, and the aroma remained. The aftertaste was minimal. This is a mouth-watering sour ale but not overwhelming. There was a slight tingle at the back of my jawline. This was a mild sour ale and a good starting point to get into sour beers. It was clean and refreshing and with a lower ABV — it’s going to be a great summer beer and consumed at my house can after can.
I’m assuming the sweetness from the pineapple makes this sour beer more mild than other sour beers I have tried. If you like sour beers that make your face pucker and your head spin a bit, this isn’t the sour beer for you.
I would suggest when drinking it, pour it in a glass and let it sit for at least five minutes. I found it became a bit more sour but, again, not in an unpleasant way.
I liked the bright green color of the can — it gives the indication something sweet and sour is in store. The thing about a Two Brothers beer is you know it by the consistency in the label and logo. I’m a fan of this brewery.
The only negative — $10.99 for a four-pack of 12-ounce cans.
Overall score: 8.5
Try these beers and let me know your thoughts.MORE NEWS: 2 People Shot, Killed In Woodlawn
Matt Abbatacola is a producer, host and update anchor at 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MattAbbatacola and email him at Matt@670thescore.com.