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Black Marlin Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged - Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Black Marlin Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged
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BA SCORE
86
very good

67 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 15.89%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: djaeon on 03-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jeezie:
Photo of jeezie
4/5  rDev +4.2%

jeezie, Nov 28, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32 ounce growler pour-$12.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pour is darn near black, under 1/4 inch of dark tan head, that stays just a moment then is a thicker film, uneven collar and ample sultry webs and sheets of fine lace.

Vanilla and faint burnt malts in the nose.

Tasty and easy drinking porter, with more vanilla, more dark malts, milk chocolate, some wood/smoke in the background. Barrel aged character quite muted.

Enjoyable and quality offering, happy to be able to give this one a try.

Billolick, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of standardcherry
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

standardcherry, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of MrVonzipper
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 38degrees(BA Week)
Dark Brown to rootbeer/red edges. Bubbly tan head with low retention. 

Bourbon right off the bat. Strong. Almost like a dark rubbing alcohol

Bourbon up front to deep rich malt then to dark fruit and creamy bourbon. Great balance

Very smooth and creamy, good foamy/creamy carbonation. 

Very good beer overall. Amazing flavor that's very well balanced and a very pleasant mouth that makes it easy to drink. Just a great BA Porter. 

MrVonzipper, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of socon67
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black, very little head, no real lacing in my pint glass.

S - Very complex smells of roasted coffee bean, malt, and whiskey. This smells like a pretty well blended cognac.

T - The burn in the finish is incredible, but it does tend to dominate the rest of the flavors. Early on there is an innate sweetness and some smoke. It is a very good porter, but after drinking this for a bit the bourbon is dominate. Very good, but just a bit much.

M - Extremely drinkable given the complexity. I'd call this medium bodied and based on the ABV it is quite smooth despite the bite it packs.

O - Definitely glad to have tried. I'm now curious of the general Black Marlin. An interesting barrel aged beer that I'd enjoy after a nice meal.

socon67, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of bashiba
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black with a long lasting 1/2 inch of off white head.

The smell is lightly roasty notes along with mild vanilla and oak aroma's coming through nicely.

Very nice flavor, a mild but noticeable smokey and roasted malt backbone with a light bit of dark fruity sweetness mixing quite well with the modest oak and bourbon flavors with just a hint of vanilla.

The mouthfeel is thin, but has a nice woody dryness to it.

Very nice beer, Its like having a sessionable Barrel aged russian imperial stout.

bashiba, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of BigIrishman
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours jet black with a slight off white fizzy head, leaves no lace and a slight coating on the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt battling bourbon (nice caramelish-vanilla) with a burnt quality towards the back.

Taste: Very different than the average barrel aged porter...Sweet vanilla and caramel are very intertwined with a smokey roasted malt and a bit of a chocolate back. A bit bitter on the finish with a hint of earthiness.

Mouthfeel: Slick and heavy with a palate wetting finish.

Drinkability: For a 6% down to earth american style porter, this brew is really super complex. If you're looking for a bourbon bomb I'd suggest something else, cause this one is pretty evenly balanced. Overall a nice complex porter that should cater to the smaller abv crowd...

BigIrishman, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of laxboy3496
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This may be the most sessionable BBA beer I've ever had. A strong smell and taste of bourbon but not overpowering. Goes down incredibly smooth. A bit dark for a porter, looking almost stout like. The true porter flavors were still able to come through and it was incredibly satisfying.

laxboy3496, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Bung
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Grapevine in Fort Mill SC.
Darkish brown pour, small amount of off white head. Laced the glass just a bit.

Aroma is subdued malt and chocolate, caramel. A little roast/charcoal.

Taste is fairly standard. A nice blend of malt and caramel and chocolate. Certainly not sweet though. The barrel seems to have added a bit of puckering red fruit or almost apple to it. Finishes with a little oakiness, a little bitter and some of that faint sourness.

Being just a regular porter, adequate body on the light side of medium. Drinks fairly well, but the slight souring made me not want another.

The regular is probably better, but this is not bad by any means. Normally I'd like for barrel aging to improve on a beer that's all.

Bung, May 02, 2010
Photo of CaptainNomihodai
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark, but by no means black; nothing special here.
Smells of apples, seriously. I smell again to make sure. Yep, apples.
Doesn't taste very porter-like, which is fine by me because I don't usually like porters. Not much in the way of roastiness, or really any flavor you would expect of a beer this dark. Just... wait for it... apples. And bourbon. Strange, but I rather like it.
The mouthfeel is rather thin. If I was drinking this blindfolded I wouldn't guess that it's as dark as it is... then I would probably accidentaly knock it over, spilling it and making myself smell like apples for the rest of the night, but I suppose that's not important.
Overall: apples; perhaps this keg is infected, or something. I like it, I think.

CaptainNomihodai, Apr 23, 2011
Photo of bkny27
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

bkny27, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It poured very dark brown (near black) with a thin, white head.
S: The smell isn't very strong, but there are distinct aromas of bourbon from the barrel aging and hints of alcohol.
T: Bourbon flavors really dominate the overall taste and seem to be a bit overpowering, masking most of the taste of the porter and notes of roasted malts, oak and vanilla.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate, a bit boozy from the bourbon flavors and very smooth. There are definitely some warming sensations from the alcohol.
D: The beer is very easy to drink if you like bourbon flavors.

metter98, May 05, 2010
Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 38 Degrees Barrel Aged week

Look: Reminds me of rootbeer very dark in the middle with a medium brown around the tips. 1/4 head and just a bit of retention

Smell: Right off the bat is the bourbon notes and they are singing. If you weed past the bourbon you can pick up traces of chocolate.

Taste: The thing I get is a hint of coffee and a bit of vanilla and caramel. You get a hint of bourbon but it is not until the back end of the beer. This beer is balanced very very well

Mouthfeel: Creamy butter goodness on the palate. Very drinkable beer with no heat from the bourbon

Overall: Really really drinkable Bourbon aged porter one of the most balanced of the style i have had yet. Good flavor profile good look and smell and great drinkability. Highly recommended

DarthKostrizer, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$7 at Gulu Gulu, Salem MA. We brought our puppy to the bar for the first time.

Black with dark brown edges. Retention isn't great but does leave a foamy smear down one side of the glass.

Burnt caramel and fruit aspects of bourbon dominate the aroma. Jelly bean shell sugar and Backwoods cigar vanilla too.

Taste again is dominated by raw bourbon aspects. Some warm, dark malt flavor in back without an roastiness.

Not a bold enough beer to stand up to the bourbon.

donkeyrunner, Apr 06, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

dbrauneis, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of arktos
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

arktos, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ Armsby Abbey.

A: Fluffy fuzzy 1finger head fades semi quickly over very dark almost black beer.

N: Starts with a nice bourbon nose which overpowers almost everything else. Some dark malts and a slight creamy malt, lots of oak, little porter like roast.

T: Again lots of bourbon overpowers all. Lots of oak as well, some malts, slightly creamy, little porter like roast again, more darker malts. A touh of coffee and other dark malts I can't really get throuh the bourbon and oak.

M: medium body with decent carbonation.

F: Finishes mostly dry with hints of malty and syrupy sweetness, some dark malts, roast, but mostly the bourbon and oak also dominate the finish. Ive done a very similar beer where the bourbon is too strong for the beer. I love it as im a huge bourbon fan.

jlindros, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of onefalsemove711
5/5  rDev +30.2%

onefalsemove711, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: A nice looking black beer with almost no head and no retention.

S: The nose is roasty with a bit of vanilla and quite a bit of alcohol. There is a noticeable acidity to the beer (likely from the roasted malts), that almost presents as sourness.

T: The flavors never really come together and even if they did, I'm not sure this would be any better. A bit of a tartness, roasted malt, and bourbon. I don't really get any chocolate or sweetness.

M: The body is quite thin and lifeless, and the carbonation is similarly lacking. Not what I look for in a barrel aged beer.

D: It would seem to be within conventional wisdom -bal aging a sub-6% stout is not such a good idea, and that is proven true here.

womencantsail, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap and served in a snifter, the beer is a dark almost black brown coloring with ruby highlights and a slight ring of film on the surface. Aromas of oak and earth, with coffee bitter and vanilla sweet highlights. Flavors are heavy and smooth, with a darkly sweet and boozey highlight from the barrels that impart a touch of wine characteristics. Rich bourbon laces throughout the brew, with some slight coffee bitterness. The aftertaste is rich, sweet,, and balanced. The body is solid enough to support the flavors, but light enough to avoid overpowering. Smooth, clean, and slightly bitter finish. Tasty.

GarthDanielson, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/2" head.

Smell: roasted malts, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon comes through to the nose.

Taste: follows the nose as roasted malts and vanilla were dominant. The bourbon and dark fruit flavors were a bit more muted. Bitterness was nicely balancing here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Smooth throughout with a long lasting aftertaste.

Overall: not a bad drinking beer. This was nice change of pace for the usually mild mannered porter.

Gavage, Mar 01, 2012
Photo of timwardjr
4/5  rDev +4.2%

timwardjr, Jun 15, 2012
Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +4.2%

SocalKicks, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Teresa's Next Door this past weekend.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. On the nose, I get considerable bourbon and vanilla, interspersed with light coffee and dark chocolate. This beer smells great, and happily, the flavor profile is every bit as good. Once againn the bourbon and vanilla seemeed to dominate, though I get considerable dark chocolate and light coffee as well. Also, while moderately sweet, the sweetness is not overdone, with just enough hoppy bitterness to balance the sweetness perfectly. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly long finish, and while this beer is not at all heavy or tiring on the palate, I was surpised by the 5.9% abv. The richess in this beer leads one to believe the alcohol is higher than that.

An altogether excellent beer... one of the better porters I've had in some time. Good stuff!

John_M, May 29, 2012
Photo of jmscott
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one's a winner. Had this the other night at Hamilton's in San Diego. Poured into a tulip/snifter. The aroma is good, the taste is even better. Smoke, oak and bourbon flavors, with a clean finish. Goes down really smooth, maybe a little too easily... glass was empty in about 7 minutes. Definitely an excellent choice, this is right up my alley! Do they bottle this?

jmscott, Apr 18, 2010
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Black Marlin Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.