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

Not Rated.
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:
Photo of t0rin0
1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

t0rin0, Aug 20, 2012
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

zestar, May 16, 2014
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +4.2%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
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 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 SocalKicks
4/5  rDev +4.2%

SocalKicks, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of MasterSki
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

MasterSki, Jun 29, 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 mactrail
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Intense, booze-flavored dark malt bomb.

Sourish at first taste, like an overdose of black patent malt. Just plain intense flavors, hard to sort out. But the bourbon is very strong. HInt of oak and vanilla. Feels syrupy in the mouth. Tastes so strong that it's easy to assume it is alcoholic, but apparently not.

If you like a huge imperial stout style, but have to drive home, this might do it for you. I didn't finish the small goblet, but it is definitely interesting. Tasted at Blind Lady Ale House, San Diego.

mactrail, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -34.1%
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-

kojevergas, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
2.8/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours black with a big tan head, dies down fairly quickly, some lace.

S: Some nice whiskey and oak notes, but one dimensional.

T: Frankly, it tastes like watered down whiskey. Some minor notes of dark chocolate and roast, but nothing too substantial.

M: Thin, watery, light-bodied, not something you'd expect with the smell.

D: A beer that really does nothing for me. I know -bal aging is big right now, but that does not mean everything. Black Marlin Porter is fine as is.

Halcyondays, Feb 06, 2011
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 wrightst
4/5  rDev +4.2%

wrightst, Jun 08, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

dbrauneis, Jan 01, 2012
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 DoubleJ
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

DoubleJ, Jul 03, 2011
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 HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

HopHead84, Nov 01, 2011
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 tobelerone
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

tobelerone, Jan 25, 2012
Photo of xnicknj
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

xnicknj, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of drpimento
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

drpimento, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of popery
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

popery, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of rudzud
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

rudzud, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of tpd975
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes sampled on tap during my trip to San Diego.

A: Pours a dark shade of brown almost black with a tall foamy tan head. Nice retention and some thick lace.

S: Aromas of Bold roasted malt, chocolate, light smoke, and barrel goodness.

T: Very similar flavors here. Wonderful roasted malt that gives off hints of chocolate and coffee. Mild char and smoke can be picked up along with the barrel. There is mild booze, light vanilla, and a big blast of oak. Lots of flavor packed into the low ABV of this one.

M: Fairly slick in the mouthfeel. Nice carbonation.

D: Well crafted and tasty as hell. A bourbon brew that you could session with.

tpd975, Mar 24, 2010
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Black Marlin Porter - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Ballast Point Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.