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Black Marlin Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

322 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 322
Hads: 943
Avg: 3.97
pDev: 9.82%
Wants: 66
Gots: 129 | FT: 0
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Marlin Porter Alström Bros
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Reviews: 322 | Hads: 943
Photo of Armand
5/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What a great beer. On tap fro a chilled pint. The flavors of chocolate candy swirl around. A great dessert and a beer to chill to. Flavorful throughout.
A: DARK with a nice light brown head.

S: Roasted chocolate with some sweetness.

T: Hints of coffee

M: Bold flavor from the first to last.

D: Flavors come out as it warms up.

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Photo of xroachx
4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Solid traditional porter. Aroma reminds me of oatmeal, sight is black brown with a white head. I love ballast point all around, very creative style and I love growing up in San Diego

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Photo of FARGO619
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great beer. On tap from a chilled pint. The flavors of chocolate candy swirl around. A great dessert and a beer to chill to. Flavorful throughout.
A: DARK with a nice light brown head.

S: Roasted chocolate with some sweetness. Smokey

T: Hints of coffee and sometimes cigar.

M: Bold flavor from the first to last.

D: Flavors come out as it warms up. Sometimes it is flavorful and at times it is flat, which is a shame. I've had this beer many times.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Hollingshead's in a half-liter mug, on to the beer:

The beer's appearance is jet black, topped by a puffy head. Aroma is soft and sweet with cocoa. The taste is exceptionally smooth, soft, and sweet. Soft chunks of chocolate, which get brushed up by a pinch of hops. Coffee notes sit underneath it all. There isn't much of a roasted edge to it, making it easy to quaff.

Simply amazing. That's all I have to say.

(and having it on-tap again 3 years later, I stand by my original score. Wonderful dark nectar this remains.)

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Photo of cxr1037
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up a 22 from Home Brew Mart today because I realized I hadn't had regular Black Marlin in quite some time. I've had tons of wild variations, including the insanely good sour patch kids Black Marlin, but it was time to revisit the original.

APPEARANCE: Dark brown - almost black. Espresso head that retreats to a firm ring around the edge of my Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.
NOSE: Roasted malt, first and foremost. As it warms, I get an aroma of milk and dark chocolate. There's also some subdued hop aromas mixed with a little bit of nuts and faint coffee.
TASTE: The nose one this one really gives the taste away. The roasted malt really shines through, accompanied by some milky sweetness. Dark chocolate follows immediately, with a little brown sugar and coffee. The hops add a slight bitterness that juxtaposes nicely with the bitter, dark chocolate taste.
MOUTHFEEL: Rich, medium body. Spot on carbonation that gets better as it sits for a few minutes.
FINISH: Subtle alcohol warmth, then a pleasant roasty-maltiness, then ending with dark chocolate bitterness.
OVERALL: An excellent porter; one of my absolute favorites of the style, if not the best. I couldn't think of very many other beers that I'd want on this cold night.

If you're a fan of porters, you absolutely have to try Black Marlin.


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Photo of Gregfalone
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours mostly black with some dark mahogany around the edges when held up to the fireplace, thick, tight, cascading head that stick to the glass.
Looks perfect

Smells sweet like tobacco/cherrywood/hint of chocolate and blood? Sounds weird but that's what I smell.
Smells perfect

Tastes greAt, again, I get cherrywood, tobacco, chocolate, and some toasty malty charcoal, and a tad of hops in the finish.
Tastes almost perfect

Goes down very smooth, no burn or bitters, no cloying flavored or off notes. At first the carbonation is a little prickly, but after 10-15 minutes is gets softer.

This porter is fantastic, almost perfect

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Photo of elNopalero
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours a dark roasty black with some light sneaking around the edges but not much. In any dimly lit bar I wouldn’t even notice. Heady topping of foam releases a glorious aroma resplendent of coffee (dark and regular roast) and dark chocolate. Flavor is all coffee and cacao nibs with a slight bitterness on the edges. Warms well and remains drinkable. Not hoppy but the hops give it a bite and sharpness that I gladly welcome.

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Photo of PintOHops
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Pint

A - Extremely dark brown color with a 1-2 finger head, retention was a lacking a bit, dissipating pretty quickly. A ring held throughout entire consumption, not much lace though, a bit of splash here & there.

S - Not a big aroma here, hard to pull out everything, soft coffee/chocolate combo with a more prominent charcoal smokiness. Soft aroma overall, but still inviting with those mellow smoky charcoal notes.

T - Wonderful dark chocolate/chocolate cake unfolds into mild roasted coffee flavors, following is a semi intense charcoal/woody/smokiness. Finishes with a little dry with more smokey flavors that linger just a bit, and some sorta bright citrus/tartness. Pretty damn smokey!

M - A little crisp with a nice chewiness to it, around full bodied.

D - Wow just so damn delicious, I loved the wonderful smokiness of this beer, hands down one of the best Porters Ive had, and I highly recommend this one. I could easily drink 4-5 pints of this wonderful brew. Very very good, I'll be buying this one again for sure. Cheers!

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Photo of MisterClean
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had at home while watching a game.

A - Dark brown in color, with a mocha head, and dissipates slow.

S/T - Chocolate and light roast coffee, with some bittering hops.

M - Creamy, rich, full bodied, and malt dominated.

D - Very good. This would be my ideal attempt at homebrewing a porter.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is rich and smoky with tones of quality roast coffee and molasses and just a hint of unsweetened chocolate. It pours a nearly black opaque sable with a fairly thick and somewhat persistent light tan head. Mouth-filling taste has flavors of good coffee and molasses with hints of licorice and toffee. Texture is exceptionally smooth with a good firm tingle. Definitely work catching.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.53/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Black but not completely, I do not see any highlight colors that you normally see with a Porter. Creamy head with lacing.

S - Lots of Coffee.

T - More Coffee. Bitter with a dry finish. Lovely.

M - Creamy but with a nice carbonated bite

D - The difference between and good Porter and an AMAZING Porter is the bitterness. I just cant enjoy something sweet for long. This is one of the better Porters out there.

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Photo of Dmann
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
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!

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black-Brown color with a touch of red where the light shows through. Thick foamy tan head with good retention and nice lacing.

Nice chocolatey, smoky malt, oak and roasted nuts on the nose.

Great rich flavor and balance. Deep roasted barley, dark bitter chocolate, a hint of bourbon and smokiness. Fairly chalky Cacao and roasted nutty aftertaste.

Mouth is smooth and velvety. Medium to full bodied. A tad bit dry.

Overall this isn't quite as good as the BA version but is still an excellent porter. A definite recommendation.

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Photo of beerdedking
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

22oz poured into snifter. I love Ballast Point going into this beer, so add bias factor x 10 to this review.
This one pours obsidian with a great billowy head that lingers for a bit. Bonus points already.
Flavors are complex with a great light yet creamy mouthfeel. Roasty chocolate, caramel, and bitter prune juice, with a nice dry hopped finish.
This is a great porter, San Diego style. Is a little more on style than my fav, Founders Porter, but would gladly drink over and over...
Founders has more of that coffee/chocolate thing goin on while this one is deficient in coffee flavor.
Overall, an awesome on point porter. Seek it out. Ballast Point knows their stuff...

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Photo of crob3888
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: pours a dark brown with a light brown head
Smell: mocha and espresso, with some faint earthy hops to balance
Taste: like a churro dipped in bitter Spanish chocolate and followed up with a sip of coffee
Feel: medium mouthfeel, medium amount of carbonation.
Overall: an excellent example of an American Porter, with lots of great coffee and chocolate flavors.

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Photo of July2Nov
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark, dark brown/black with hints of mahogany on the edges....massive two-finger head that subsides to 1/2 a finger width later on.

Smell: Getting some semi-sweet chocolate and some roasted coffee beans.

Taste & Mouthfeel: MMmmm! So good. Has a bit of a sweet taste to it, like a milk stout. Fresh, with a deep chocolate flavor. Creamy, full-bodied mouthfeel. Getting a slight hops tinge at the tail end that perks up this stout. The aftertaste has a chalky, caramel, and roasted finish. Beautiful for the style.

Drinkability: With the way Ballast Point is brewing, I'll keep reeling these beers in. Haven't had a bad one yet, and the Black Marlin Porter is another trophy in their already impressive lineup. Big fan of porters and this one is an outstanding example. If you haven't had this yet, get your rod & reel ready and cast that line! This is going into my regular rotation!

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Photo of legalpete19340
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured very dark brown with a big fluffy head that slowly dissipated to a respectable skim for the rest of the drink. Moderate lacing.

S: Very nice, but "lighter" in weight than other porters. Solid roasted malt, barley and I get some fresh cut wood, cola, dark cocoa, grass.

T: Moderate roasted malt eases into more of the cola and grassy flavors. Some light coffee, wood, bit of leather and ends with crescendo of roasty malty flavors.

M: Medium with some fizz.

O: Really enjoyable and comes across "lighter" than some porters. The hops play a role but not like other west coast porters, here they support and round out and balance the roastiness. If I see this beer I will drink it again.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Yard House in San Diego on 7/3/11

A - Poured dark brown/black with a small amount of light brown head.

S - Coffee, chocolate, roasted malts. a very robust nose.

T - Roasted malts & coffee. Some bitterness. A touch of sweetness, especially in the finish. An excellent flavour profile.

M - Medium body with a nice chew. Light carbonation. 4.5

O - One of the best porters I have had to date. Possibly right behing Edmund Fitzgerald.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery thanks to the Maltose Falcon's bus trip... also had before in the bottle but will focus the tap pour.

Very beautiful appearance. It was an expresso coffee deep brown with a mild caramel small bit of head. The aromas were toasted-burnt malts with hints of cocoa that make you smile as you inhale... paves the way for the you're-going-to-enjoy-this type of feeling.
The taste was a fine melding of roasted malt, toffee and a bitter-sweet taste of the kind dark chocolate imparts. The carbonation wasn't overly done as was perfect for the style. A little chewey and a very ever so slighly dry and smooth on the tongue. This is one of my favorite porters. Since it's been raining here, i'm going to be sipping this by the fireplace.

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Photo of shand
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a fresh batch into an imperial pint.

This beer pours a deep brown with a large head. Great lacing. The aroma is heavy on the roasted malts, with an almost smore-like effect going on the background with some toasted malts, chocolate, and a bit of sugar sweetness. The taste is also very roasty with coffee and malts, with a bit of vanilla. It's got a very full flavor though, setting it apart from the pack. Smooth at first and finishing prickly, thanks to the easy-drinking mouthfeel yet fairly aggressive roastiness on the finish. Overall, this is just a very well-done porter. It doesn't really offer anything new on the flavor block, but is just a high-quality and well-executed porter.

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Photo of davejunkie
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark black with a light tan coffee cream head. Some light get through.

Nose: whiffs of semi-sweet chocolate

Taste: Chocolate and espresso dance together on my tongue. It is very smooth with a little smokey transition to the mild hoppy finish. A great balanced porter

One of my favorites. Don't pass this one up

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Photo of jbertsch
4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in appearance. Moderately-sized head dissipates to a film.

Smells like mocha with hops! Touches of chocolate and citrus accompany it. Warm alcohol is noticeable.

I taste caramel malts with dark coffee notes. The backbone of the flavor is almost like an oatmeal stout, but with the addition of citrusy/piney hops to the mix.

Finishes long with bitter roasted coffee flavors.

Above average carbonation and nice drinkability.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point is another great San Diego brewery – and one that is new to me of late. Having visited this fine city during Beer Week 2012, I experienced the embarrassment of beer riches that are available to thirsty visitors. Any brewer wishing to make it here must make some great beer. Ballast Point, with their fish motif, need not worry about anything.

The Black Marlin opens like any good porter should: a massive head that shimmies and shimmers as it slowly sinks into the glass. The crown is foamy as the body is dark. There are some pleasant whiffs of molasses and cocoa powder – much like any good porter. The initial sip evokes toast and chocolate with subtle nibs of coffee and caramel.

The mouthfeel seemed to be a tad chalky at first; this initial sensation dissipated as a comfortable maltiness slowly replaced it to make for a wonderful balance at the finish. This is a substantial and filling porter that has me hook, line and sinker. (Sorry.)

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz into my new Chimay goblet. Color-wise, a mix of cherry coke and coffee. About a finger of light brown head died fairly quickly, but persistent bubbles keep building from the middle of the glass. Not much lacing. Probably the wrong drinking vessel for the beer. Smell lots of dark chocolate, sweet dried red fruit, some Sherry like notes, nuts. A bit of maple syrup perhaps. Light on the mouth, good creaminess. Tastes of bitter chocolate, sweeter than a lot of porters, with more of that dried fruit and nuts flavor. Finished quite easily, with a medium length bitter finish.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a mug. Pours a deep brown, with a thick tan foam head that slowly reduces, leaving creamy lacing down the sides.

Has a nice mocha smell, with plenty of cocoa and coffee, oaty malt, and hints of vanilla. There's also a roasty smell that gives the nose nice depth.

Has a roasted coffee start, dark and moderately bitter, with hints of cream, oat, chocolate and dark fruit, ending with a moderate hop bitterness.

Medium bodied, this is a dry though not chalky dark ale, leaving the palate wanting more.

I like this porter quite a bit. It has depth and character,with a roasty coffee flavor that never descends into being a hop-bomb. It is still no GL Edmund Fitzgerald or SS Taddy Porter, but it is a fine IPA, and at $4.99 for a 22 oz bottle, a good buy as well.

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Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 322 ratings.