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
85
very good

41 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 41
Hads: 67
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 11.58%
Wants: 4
Gots: 1 | 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:
Beer added by: djaeon on 03-13-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 67
Photo of BMMillsy
2.1/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

On tap at The Local in San Diego. Dark brown pour with ruby on the edges and a small khaki head. Aroma is some light roast, heavy sherry and rum booze (does not smell like bourbon here). Flavor is a rather disgusting combination of roast and straight up cheap whiskey (oh, hey Black Velvet) and is barely drinkable. Way light bodied, way to thin for the bourbon barrel aging. I could not finish a 3 ounce taster of this one. It was really bad. (443 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
2.79/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to FlandersNed for the hookup. Served in a Cigar City snifter.

A - Giant tan foam settles to a thick cap and splotchy lace. Dark brown body with a hint of transparency at the edges.

S - Reminds me a lot of BA Token - buttery, with notes of cola, nuts, brown sugar, toffee, and light bourbon.

T - Taste is similar, with cola, toasted grains, butter, and some fruity notes. Seems mildly infected.

M - Medium-light body, lower carbonation, slightly grainy texture, and some surprising alcohol warmth for a 5.9% porter.

D - Not very good. I struggled with my 4oz pour, and if this had been any higher in ABV I would have been tempted to pour it out. Not sure if the infection was at the growler level or something systemic. (731 characters)

Photo of Chico1985
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Sierra Grille.

Poured into a snifter just about black, 1-finger beige head, nice retention and lace.

Smell is good, bourbon noticeable but quite mellow, nice roasty and chocolate porter notes, good strength overall.

Taste is great - bourbon is a little stronger than in the scent, still pretty mellow overall but at a good level and very flavorful. Melds very nicely with porter which delivers dark chocolate, roastiness, black coffee with some light vanilla sweetness and oak. Bourbon intensifies a bit with warmth but great balance.

Kind of a weak mouthfeel, doesn't feel full enough, just kinda sits there.

Other than the mouthfeel this is very nicely done. Bourbon and oak are at a perfect level, the porter brings great flavors for the low ABV and isn't overpowered. Definitely would like to have it again. (826 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
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. (616 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
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! (897 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.12/5  rDev -17.9%
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. (470 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served on draught into a 5 ounce taster glass at Ballast Point's taproom. Cost was $2.00. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours no head at all. Colour is a solid nontransparent black.

Sm: Light bourbon tone. Hints of chocolate. A simple light strength aroma.

T: Clean chocolate with a bourbon tone. The chocolate isn't particularly rich. Dark malts comprise the foundation. Weak and not at all full bodied. Imbalanced. Not bold like I'd expect from a bourbon aged beer. Built decently. Boring and dull. Not at all experimental. Lacking complexity and subtlety.

Mf: Nicely smooth and wet, suiting the flavours nicely. A bit thin. Could use cream. I'd prefer it a bit more dry. Too watery.

Dr: Drinkable but simple and boring. I won't get it again. Might be better aged for a few years, but a polished turd is still a turd. Fans of the style should look elsewhere.

Low C- (873 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (480 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. This is an easy drinking barrel-aged beer on the lower end of the ABV spectrum. Dark brown, nearly black color, with a modest head that nonetheless has good retention and lacing. Aroma of roast malt and char, as well as bourbon, vanilla, and a general woodiness.

Smooth, moderately sweet, with a fair degree of balance between the roasted and bourbon characteristics. Faint sweetness and a touch of bitter hoppiness mingling with vanilla in the finish. I didn’t find the oak or whiskey notes to be at all dominant. Actually they felt rather subdued. Nothing really stood out or overshadowed anything else, which was fine, but in the end didn’t make for a particularly memorable beer. Certainly good but nothing I would go out of my way to try again.

Medium bodied with moderately high carbonation. I usually prefer my porters with a bit less of a spritzy mouthfeel but this fell short of being overly prickly. (940 characters)

Photo of shangwang
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Craft Ale House

Served with a fairly thin layer of creamy tan head, body was deep brown-black, lots of shimmering tiny bubbles on the sides of the glass. Smelled slightly vinegary sour, hints of booziness, sweet vanilla, some burnt notes. Tasted strongly of roasted malt, with notes of coffee and chocolate, and s slightly sweet fruitiness towards the end of the taste. Also got a little hoppiness as well. As far as mouthfeel, the beer was a medium weight, slightly creamy, with a zip of carbonation to it.

Overall, a tasty porter with hints of bourbon. Definitely worth a try, and I would seek it out again, but it didn't blow my mind like some of BP's others do. (677 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep brown body. Medium sized khaki head. Spotty lacing. Lively carbonation.

S: Smooth, mellow bourbon notes... booze, vanilla, oak. Also a bit of chocolate and roasted notes.

T: A slight fall off from the nose. The bourbon is a bit hidden and roasted malts take over. Hints of chocolate and a pinch of coffee.

M: Moderate body, easy drinking with appropriate carbonation levels.

O: A nice porter. Ultimately, I am not sure how much the bourbon helps other than providing a bit of depth to the nose. (506 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (497 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a dark brown, nearly opaque color. Nice froth of beige head rests on top, retains pretty well, leaving some spots of lacing on the glass.

Nice vanilla and cocoa scents in the nose. Underlying bourbon and oak tones with some sweetness. Roasted malts with caramel too.

Smack of sweetness with chocolate and vanilla up front. Cocoa and oaky bourbon throughout. Slight solventy tone comes through on occasion. Nice roasted malt backbone with some caramel and bready notes. Finishes a bit boozy and sweet.

Lighter medium body, higher carbonation, a little thinner and rougher than I might like. It's nice to see a well integrated barrel aged beer that isn't a 12% imperial stout, although I wanted a bit more from the feel. (758 characters)

Photo of drpimento
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served a bit too cold and with a very small, tan head that soon subsided to barely a ring around the inside, tiny islands, and contrails. Color is a 99.9% clear, yet opaque, red brown. Aroma is malt, cocoa, coffee, wax, bourbon, hint of roast. Flavor’s about the same with sweet, tang, bitter, in that order in the fore, then the other stuff. Body gets a lot better as it gets warmer. Still, it’s very nice and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor, with a little alcohol warmth, and on the long side. Good brew! Not sure as a session tho. (546 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

At tap at churchill's for bear republic night...

A dark black body with a tan head that sticks around

S-nice mellow Bourbon mixed with maltiness that KS very nice

T-really bourbony with a very, very thin body. Disappointing. Smooth bourbon tthough. Or I should say at least

M-medium body and smooth

O- mediocre. Sigh (321 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/31/2011

On tap at Home Brew Mart.

A: Black with two fingers of light brown foam.

S: Cocoa, vanilla, caramel, bourbon, and oak, extant in perfect harmony. Earth meets pine. I get notes of sapling wood.

T: Cocoa and dark chocolate with a light caramel presence. The barrel has imparted vanilla and oak. Bourbon is well integrated and malt is moderately roasted. There's an upper low bitterness with notes of pine and earth. 

M: Upper medium body with upper moderate carbonation. The mouthfeel is creamy and sticky.

Overall: If I had to pick one word to describe Ballast Point's barrel aged offerings it would be inconsistent. They range from fantastic to awful, and you never know what you're going to get, which is frustrating. This is a great batch of Barrel Aged Black Marlin. (787 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft service into a shaker pint glass at Rock Island Brewing Co.

A: Hazy, dark brown color with less than one finger of fine mocha foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Mild bourbon, vanilla, and refined roasted grain.

T: Begins off-dry, with bourbon up-front that is almost completely divorced from any flavor of alcohol. Acidity is mild and not intrusive. Later flavors struggle to gain traction in the face of the lingering but appealing bourbon, with vanilla peeking through a bit but dark roasted malt never really showing up.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, smooth and balanced on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer presents honest bourbon qualities in one of the most approachable packages imaginable. While drinkable, its usual collection of other favorable qualities become diminished in the face of the bourbon. Neither is there much of an oak presence that stands apart from the spirit component. It is a different beer than the standard preparation, but not necessarily a better beer. (1,029 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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. (511 characters)

Photo of popery
3.08/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes 3/11/11. Tap at City Beer Store. Pours slightly brownish black with a small tan head. Aroma is kinda cheap-ish bourbon with a boozy caramel note, cola, coffee and citrus/herbal hops. The taste has significant booze with more vanilla-caramel bourbon and a fairly harsh, sharp coffee/roast note mingled with bland hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is watery and thin. This beer just couldn’t handle the barrel, in my opinion. The oak just seemed to rob it of body and give some tannic flavor. The bourbon just doesn't really have enough rich malt flavor to complement, and everything gets too harsh. (597 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this as a guest tap at the last night of Amherst Brewery. Poured into a 12 ounce glass. Apparhently ABC thought this was 9%+ and didnt believe me when I said it was the ABV listed on BA.

A - Pours a deep dark espresso colour with a surprisingly big, fluffy two finger mocha head that fades super slowly to leave very nice side lacing and a creamy blanket.

S - Big upfront bourbon notes that intermix with barrel and chocolate. Very nice.

T - The taste meanwhile, I've had better. Its just good. There is bourbon notes, but more subdued, and light chocolate notes. The flavors are shockingly lighter. Just an all around lighter, but well formed, flavour profile.

M - Really, really light mouthfeel, in a sense that it seems a bit thin. Not thick like a barrel aged porter should be.

O - Overall this isnt a bad barrel aged porter, just with the mouthfeel was more to my liking. Would buy again though. (909 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another twist on the classic Black Marlin Porter. On-tap at 38 Degrees, on to the beer:

This is a dark colored brew with hues of brown. Lots of lacing sticks around the glass, and the head retention is very good too. In the nose, it's primarily barrel dominated. There's just a tiny bit of porter underneath that big layer of wood chips and mild smoke.

Little surprise here, this is barrel dominant. Similar to the nose, its taste is a little porter and a lot of barrel influence. Semi-sweet cocoa notes are minor to the larger barrel notes. It even hints whiskey though bourbon was the previous spirit in these barrels. Charred as well. Mouthfeel is very agreeable, it's not too heavy and not too light. It's also quite easy to drink.

In summary, this is a fun change from the usual Black Marlin, though I'll admit that I am more fond of the original than this. (867 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
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 (778 characters)

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.6/5  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.  (465 characters)

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
3.41/5  rDev -10.3%
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. (738 characters)

Photo of Trilogy31
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Stone gardens. Came to the table with no head and light lacing and a dark black coloring. Nose with sweet bourbon caramel, roasty dark malts with a touch of smoke and a hint of cotton candy and bacon fat - the nose was very interesting and complex. The taste was a very smooth bourbon as well as feel without the heat, very smooth. Also i picked up cocoa as well as french press coffee. The mouthfeel was somewhat chalky but in a pleasant creamy way if possible. I was very pleased with the beer and the low abv somehow worked with the ba aging. Very happy i had the chance to try this. (602 characters)

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Black Marlin Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.