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Black Marlin Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

881 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 881
Reviews: 313
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 50
Gots: 101 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-26-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 881 | Reviews: 313
Reviews by TheRealBigC:
Photo of TheRealBigC
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a porter, smells like a porter. Heck, it even taste like a porter. Really, the flavor profile of this beer isn't all that complex, but it is extremely well balanced and wonderfully creamy. I would have no problem ordering several of these at a bar.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass a deep dark chocolate brown with ruby highlights a nicely formed 1/2 finger tannish colored head atop.Earthy aromas with some bitter chocolate and mild molasses,it's an American porter that's for sure.Starts out semi sweet with caramel, molasses,and cocoa notes, than a rush of earthy smokiness takes over in a lingering finish.Top notch,I would even say a standard for the "American" style of a porter with it's big hopped up earthy finish,just great.

Photo of RoyalT
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one was almost solid black with a nice ruby hue.

Smell – This Porter had a big, burnt malt aroma with lots of fruity sugars and a quality hop balance. It was difficult to pick out the fruits, but they were very sweet and ripe.

Taste – The big, roasted malts came on strong here. I got chocolate for the first time along with chewy caramel and a nice, brown sugar. I should say that all of these flavors were very refined.

Mouthfeel – Medium to medium-full bodied and very sweet. My lips were smacking after every sip.

Drinkability – I sucked down every gulp I could out of this growler. This was incredibly smooth and balanced.

Comments – I had this over at AleOha’s Derby party. What a great time, with great friends, and of course lots of great beer.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brewbaca for the sample.

Pours into a pint glass a rubied obsidian with a thick and moderately lasting brown head. Well above average appearance. Great aroma. Pungent, consisting mostly of bitter chocolate and citrus hops. Coffee too. It is exactly what I look for in a good porter. Taste is quite nice as well, with the exception of a mild booziness that becomes prominent as the beer warms. Other than that, this beer is just fine. Flavor includes tons of chocolate, hints of coffee, and perhaps just a pinch of vanilla. The roasted dark malt character is deep, pervasive, and unyielding in its intensity. Mouthfeel and texture are very nice. This is a full but not filling beer. It is slick, balanced, and light enough on the carbonation to give it some creaminess. Hopping is well done to create a dry, moderately bitter finish. Very nice. One of the best example of the style I’ve had in some time.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

The carbonation off of a hard pour gives a quick, cascading effect to the head, and what a head it is--a huge rocky, bubbly mass that has some great clinging action on the glass. Nearly all of the way black with dark brown on the edges. Mild charred grain, faint smoke, charcoal, dark-roasted coffee and a little bit of black currant in the aroma. So damn smooth, we're not sure if a beer could be any more smooth. Creamy medium body. Heavy amount of mocha flavor here, with a more cocoa powder and medium-roasted coffee mix. The hops are on too, balancing and throwing some flavor at the taste buds with herbal and faint tobacco flavors. Hint of black currant and chocolate cake batter in the middle. Dry finish with mineral and charred wood flavors.

Jam-packed with flavor and very drinkable, too drinkable if there is such a thing. Ballast Point gives the American Porter respect.

Photo of Dmann
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great beer all across the board. My friend highly recommended this one to me and said it had been around for awhile but was just now being bottled. The pour was nice and the beer was near pitch black with a good size brownish head. The smells were nice and burnt with a touch of hops in the scent. The taste was excelent and very drinkable with a very dry chocolaty flavor and nicley carbonated mouthfeel. My only challange now is to find more of this stuff!

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep dark brown with garnet highlights and a quarter inch of light tan foam on top that leaves sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas of dark roasted malts with a bit of a burnt accent. Hints of chocolate and coffee meld in with a nice hoppy character as well.

First sip brings smooth roasted dark malts with a touch of a burnt flavor. Smoky chocolate and coffee tones move down into a nice kick of hop bitterness. Lingering bitter roast on the finish. Pretty tasty porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Good carbonation making this an easy drinking porter. Hops work well in here and the only thing I'm not really digging is a lingering bitter roast on the finish. I haven't had many west coast porters but this is quite tasty and I wouldn't mind drinking it again. Cheers to Ballast Point.

Photo of blitz134
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, but shows dark crimson highlights when held up to the light. Very small head on the pour, mocha in color, but reduced to barely a skim layer.

Dark toasted malts really come through. Chocolate brownies are the predominant aroma. A little hopping as well. Has a touch of lactose. Pretty nice aroma, quite inviting and definitely more dominant that other porters I’ve had.

Fairly assertive flavor, again lots of dark toasted malts. A bit of coffee and toffee play into this. I find this like a toned down stout. A little bitter and astringent in the end, but nothing that detracts. After the swallow the dark toasted malt flavors just seem to hang on in the back of the throat.

Good mouthfeel, medium bodied. Lower carbonation levels fit in well. Coats the mouth well and the flavor lingers.

Good overall drinkability too. I really wanted something easy to drink tonight that was a bit roasty and this fits the bill well. Just a good, solid beer in all the categories.

Photo of warnerry
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Best by 8/2/12

A - Pours a very deep brown with two fingers of brown head. Head has good retention. Leaves the glass coated with lacing.

S - Roasted malt with a bit of char, coffee and faiint smoke.

T - Taste is a dry, roasted malt. Slightly smoky, with coffee and bitter chocolate as well. Subtle hops, vanilla and faint dark fruits. finishes bitter, with more char.

M - Medium mouthfeel is very creamy, but finishes very dry with lingering char.

O - Very nice porter. Borderlines on too much char, but this is roasty and tasty with a very nice, creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a frothy, light brown head that retains pretty well. Smells of roastiness, milk chocolate, lactose, vanilla. Reminds me of the Robust Porter from Smuttynose which I absolutely love. Taste is more roastiness, lactose, some vanilla notes, hop spice, very tasty. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, slightly dry finish. Great porter and extremely drinkable. Proust.

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, w/o freshness indication, but the label does give food pairing tips ""a great companion to assertive foods" nice...pours dark dark mahogany, near black, under a nice creamy dark tan head. Also leaves plentiful fine lace. Great looking stuff. Nose is softly of mild chocolate and some dark malt. More chocolate notes, plentiful dark malt, and moderate hop bit comes in late. Rich, creamy, chocolate milk shakeyness. Nice. Great to see brews from BP on the east coast. The more SD, Ca. brewers that distribute to my neck of the woods the better.

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown in color with minimal head, clear

Smell: chocolate and roasted malt

Taste: some dark chocolate with rich roasted malt, with a bit of sweet chocolate at the end

Mouthfeel: medium/light body, low carbonation, bitter first taste with a sweeter middle and a more bitter end

Drinkability: An above average porter that is an easy sipper. Not a beer that blows me away, yet one to easily sit and relax with.

Photo of far333
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque motor oil colored, nearly black, with a thick and frothy oatmeal colored head that rises up quickly and pops loudly as it settles down to a half inch of tightly bubbled lumpy foam.

Aroma of sweet dark malt, mild cocoa and some fig.

Flavor initially of mild cocoa, morphs immediately to light coffee, smokey wood, fig and plum, some molasses, and a firm licorice flavor that seems to ride along and punctuate the whole experience.

Rich and full, creamy mouthfeel, very satisfying. Very enjoyable beer and highly drinkable because I like the style and I could have several of these without getting knocked down.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a pitch black color with deep ruby highlights to the edges with a big tan head head forming thick. Lacing is fine and even with scattered lacing around the sides of my glass. Aroma has bitter coffee notes with toasted coconut creaminess with a touch of dark coffee in the finish with sweet cream. Flavor is full of robust dark roasts with creamed coffee accents and dark sweet chocolate notes. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied dry roasted malt creamy base goes down easy and smooth on the palate. Drinkability overall is nice, a good solid porter I'm down with this brew but I love my Great Lakes and Founders a bit more than this great example.

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle served in a Belgian snifter.

Exceptionally attractive dark ruby body with a rather weak but semi-durable head that leaves spotty lacing.

Aroma: attractive and enticing, with hints of dark fruits and toffee.

Flavor: bitterness builds to a choice mild-moderate level in the finish and aftertaste. Hops surely temper the sweetness but don't otherwise contribute much to the taste until the lasting aftertaste. Hints of toffee and dark fruits but less than the aroma suggests. This has a touch of smoke too.

O: A well-crafted, relatively dry porter. Allowed to warm for about 15 minutes it nonetheless improved with further warming, with both the strength and the complexity of the flavor increasing.

Photo of SPRichard
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured dark chocolate black....ruby red highlights when held up to the light....thin tan head that left spotty lacing

bitter dark chocolate....roasted malts....dark fruit hiding...a hint of hops

the bitter dark chocolate from the nose showed up on the first sip...dry, dark roasted malts...hints of caramel and coffee...the chocolate was the predominate flavor in this one

medium bodied with a bitter aftertaste from the dark chocolate and malts

if you like a chocolate dominated porter then this one is for you...it's not just one dimensional as far as the chocolate goes...the coffee and hops hide in there and pop their heads out hear and there

Photo of glid02
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Barley's in Charlotte, NC.

Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with chestnut highlights on the edges. Head is one-finger of tan foam that sticks around for a while before receding into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. The last half of the bomber yields a tiny bit of yeast that lightens the beer a bit. There's not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of roasted malts up front, but as it warms some light citrus hop aromas come out.

Tastes very good. Lots of roasted malt flavors up front with a slightly bitter ending. Much like the smell, as it warms the hops come out a bit more. Very light citrus flavors come out near the end, and as I finish the bottle the balance is nearly perfect.

Mouthfeel is good. Good thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I let this get a bit too cold, because as it warms the flavors work seamlessly together and it's hard to put this beer down.

Overall this is a treat. A very well done American Porter that's worth a shot.

Photo of LordofTime25
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a dark brownish black with a thick tan head. Leaves good lacing with good head retention.

Smells of cream, cocoa, and molasses malt.

Tastes of chocolate, molasses malt, and vanilla.

Very creamy and smooth in the mouth, but has a nice dry finish to it.

Could drink this all night!

Photo of SetarconeX
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Inky black with a dark brown froth. Smells like charcoal and chocolate. Really a rather nice smell. I took a few extra whiffs just to savor it.

Tastes much thicker than your average Porter, with quick a bit of burnt flavor. Not as malty as I might have expected from a brew this dark, instead tasting almost dusty. Really a unique brew. I like it quite a bit.

Photo of mully
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark some light in around the edges thin head with little lacing

chocolate, sweet and roast malt good, not deep but good

mocha a little bitter a little sweet, it's beer go figure, well crafted good beer, not an extreme beer but does not propose to be

good creamy mouthfeel

good drink ablity, nut to heavy, but not watered down, to style

I like it

Photo of dashirey
3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a couple bombers in a case split.

A - Very dark brown almost black, but when held to the light red/ruby hues shine through. There was a tan one finger head that when dissapted leaves a small think layer with some lacing left on the glass.

S - Some malt, chocolate, & coffee are detected in the nose.

T - Roasted malts mostly. I cannot seem to pinpoint much else. Don't get me wrong it wasn't a bad taste, just mot too much there.

M - Nice carbonation, smooth drinking, medium bodied.

D - Very easy drinking beer. I really liked it, but really nothing spectacular.

Photo of azorie
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: poured from the bomber: at 49F. a pour into the mug was a huge black body of malt goodness, with a 2.5 inch creamy tan head. it lasted about 30 seconds or so. dark tan in color. Not cloudy

s: or Aroma: Very nice, rich dark malt that reminds me of coffee and chocolate. Some sweet cereal malt notes. Hops were light and semi herb like, some lime detected. Toffee smoke cola like as it warmed through 55f.

T: or Flavor: wow nice strong coffee and malt front end. First few sips I am in Porter/stout heaven. Very nice English porter/stout ale here. One of the most true to the style I ever had made from an American brewer. Sweet malt, nice alcohol/hops balance, near perfect for the style. Slightly bitter aftertaste, but not too hop forward.

M: Or Palate: medium body, heavy carbonation, creamy, semi thick beer.

Overall a really really good beer, to style I would say.
sadly it would have to be 2.99 a bomber before I would buy it again, at $4.49 from Grassroots in 5 points, Jax, Fl.

That price computes to a $14.69 six pack or a 9.79 4 pack, with red brick imperial porter my standard at $6.99 a 4 pack, this is just too expensive to buy again.

glad I had 1 though. To style.

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber.

This beer pours a clear, very, very dark cola, with two fingers of thick-looking, foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves some jagged honeycomb lace around the glass as it gently subsides.

It smells of biscuity, grainy malt, bittersweet chocolate, an oily nuttiness, mild cold coffee, and softly bitter earthy hops. The taste is a fair bit less shy with the chocolate, blasting away with both barrels right off the bat, even exhibiting some Kahlua liqueur booze heat when you aspirate just right. Ok, there's also some subtle lactic sourness, tame espresso notes, and understated earthy, leafy hops.

The carbonation is nicely sassy, the body a trembling medium weight, and generally quite smooth. It finishes nice and malty, the grain sharing more or less equal time with the choco-hulk with whom I've become acquainted.

A pleasantly full-flavoured porter, with a small wink to the traditional style with that wee tang, but this show is for the new world fans - big, chocolaty, restrained in booze and oh-so-sweetly balanced.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Scott for sending me this one in the Good Beers BIF!

A: Pours black with a two finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving some foam on top. Nice lacing down the sides.

S: Very roasty, with some dark malt, chocolate and a little coffee. Surprisingly hoppy as well, with some citrus.

T: A nice combination of roasted dark malt, chocolate, and a little bit of coffee. There is a hint of citrus, but very faint. Slight smoky flavor on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Very easy drinking.

O: Solid porter, very easy drinking and tasty. Another good beer from Ballast Point.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point- Black Marlin Porter

A- Deep dark brownish black with a thick tan head. Good thick lacing and a solid head retention.
S- Cream, cocoa powder, and molasses malt.
T- Very smooth and creamy. Good milk chocolate cocoa powder, molasses malt, and a touch of vanilla.
M- Starts off very creamy and smooth. The body is thick, malty, and sweet. a good dry truffle chocolate bitterness finishes this one off.

Overall- An excellent session beer. I could drink this one all afternoon.

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Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 881 ratings.