Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Black Marlin Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

317 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 317
Hads: 918
rAvg: 3.97
pDev: 9.07%
Wants: 55
Gots: 113 | 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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 317 | Hads: 918
Photo of utopiajane
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This black beer is a good old fashioned robust porter that sports a breath of hops like you would don a chic cap to drive fast in your car. Its 6% and it smells roasted with a hint of chocolate and earthy coffee. The malts don't show any fruit but those hops show off a sweet breath of herbal. It's just sweet. The taste is smooth and all that roasty malt turns mellow and very earthy . The cocoa shows up as a softness in the finish that kisses the back of the throat while the hops cascade over the palate bitter t like a kind of silken edge. This beer is lively with textures. The malt lingers in the finish bitter and dry all on it's own. As it warms it will show you caramel and coffee. Easy to pair with food because the chocolate never becomes the main flavor. (768 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep chocolate brown-black. Smell is malty and head is decent with nice, spotty lacing. Taste is nice and malty with a back of hops that balances well. Finish is very clean.. (182 characters)

Photo of scbeerman
3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a Stella chalice (yeah I know we all love to hate Stella but the chalice glass is great).
L: dark brown/black with a rocky light tan head, hints of red in the light
S: grassy/flowery hops dominate, some roasted coffee and sweet chocolate present. Nothing spectacular here
T: follows the nose to some degree. Grassy hops add bitterness to noticeable char, followed by chocolate and a hint of coffee.
F: a little thin for the style, not as much to my liking as some others.
Overall: this is a solid beer, a little too thin to be a great beer and lacking a little bit in depth of flavor as well as being a little too hoppy. Not bad, just doesn't quite work as a top notch porter (702 characters)

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. (363 characters)

Photo of Mikus
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black with a ring of cocoa bubbles and skim of hazy cocoa head. Just gorgeous. Nice nose of molasses, dark fruit, coffee, and dark chocolate with just a nice hint of fruity yeast esters. Nice slap of bitterness up front moving into the chocolate and coffee notes. Malt-forward, but surprisingly well balanced. Moderately coating the palate with a creamy finish. Nice lingering coffee notes. Ballast Point hitting another prerequisite style with balance and grace. Excellent American porter. (494 characters)

Photo of stevoj
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out with a thick, fluffy beige head, which fades quickly. Aroma is fairly light, but taste comes on much richer, and finishes even better. Elements of wood, molasses, chocolate and burnt toast. Body thin, but this is all about the flavor. (244 characters)

Photo of Moose90
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served On-Tap

A — Very clear and dark brown color, not black, nice and puffy off-white colored head. Consistent lacing left behind.

S — Smells of lightly charred malts, and perhaps a bit of bitter hop.

T — Tastes nicely bitter and roasted, little bit of coffee, and a bitter hop note. Not bad.

M — Perhaps a bit thin, but not watery.

O — Good overall, a little hoppy for a Porter, but it's a nice change of pace. (431 characters)

Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark tan froth atop a charcoal black brew. Smells of dark chocolate, charred wood, currant and milk chocolate deep down. Caramel sweetness up front backed by a slight toastiness, a hint of floral hops and nutty right down the middle. The aftertaste lingers metallic. Medium to heavy in body and smooth all the way. A tasty ride albeit with an annoying bump or two in the road. (381 characters)

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 (182 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours deep cola brown with a cocoa-powder colored finger width head. Displays good retention, then dies to a thin, consistent layer of suds across the surface.

Smell - Milk chocolate, light caramel/cola-like note along with roasted malt and grain.

Taste - Chocolate, caramel and a light earthy nuttiness hit upfront. Vague vanilla undertone and dark grains. Distant grassy bitterness. Roast pops up mid-taste and rides for a mild coffee-like finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Silky smooth texture.
Semi-dry finish.

Overall - An interesting porter, though I'm not completely sold on it. The grainy/grassy notes it displays doesn't quite work for me. That said, I wouldn't be opposed to giving it another go, maybe with some age on it. (787 characters)

Photo of VTR
3.61/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. I wasn't sure what to expect from this porter. I have seen it described as a desert in a bottle and I guess that could be accurate but I think this beer can be used for many different occasions than just a desert beer. I picked up some coffee, chocolate, and vanilla in the nose. Taste was great! Light chocolate and roasted coffee with a hint of vanilla. It ended dry with roasted coffee. Very delightful. I do not like a hoppy beer and the hops were definitely there but it was very well balanced and the hops were welcome and blended very well. I will seek this out again and set aside a bottle for a nice fall evening . (672 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so glad these guys have their beer all over town finally, so many good ones to choose from, and it has been fun to drink through the available lineup. this is a great porter, a little more simple and straightforward than some of their other offerings, but of equal quality no doubt. maybe an oatmeal porter, as this has a lot of body and froth, and an almost creamy feel to it. there is some sweetness among the dark malt depth of this one, but its not a caramel malt thing, more of a chocolate going on. amazing it finishes as dry as it does, considering that middle sweetness. very little yeast profile to this one, which i suppose is part of what makes it an american style porter, but its almost like it needs more descriptors in the name, because its pretty interesting, american porter just doesnt seem to do it justice. a great after dinner beer, a great winter beer, a great morning beer, and a great beer on a hangover, versatile in its appeal, and dynamic in its flavor, although it is indeed less nuanced than some of their hoppy beers. this one doesnt have much hops, but they arent missing. it has a fresh baked character, warming, and really just a true example of the style. wonderful on tap, no bottles for me yet. (1,230 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber served chilled into a shaker pint glass.

Black Marlin is true to its name in terms of color. It has thick off-white head that settles slowly and leaves some spotty lace.

Aroma is mostly porter with roasted malts being the predominant character. However, the hops do shine through adding a citrus character on top of vanilla and chocolate.

The flavor is very well balanced with a great base porter to start. Similar to a milder version of Victory at Sea with that coffee, vanilla, and roasted malts. The hops are not IPA strong but more like a good west coast pale ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. Smooth and creamy.

Overall a very good porter and worth getting again. I would like to see it in six packs. (741 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Utterly black body is surmounted by a dense, robust tan head, which retains rather well, the lacing leaves a sticky, fine-beaded coating on the glass walls.

Aroma: Bitter cold coffee, smoke, earth, vanilla, wood and bitter cocoa dominate the aroma. There seems to be a slight whiff of alcohol as well.

Taste: The taste begins with cold coffee and bitter cocoa. Soon after there is a slight smokiness, and roasted barley, this last is the dominant element of the taste. Later in the taste, a bit of chalkiness appears, this lingers to the end of the taste, accompanied by all of the flavors noted earlier, coffee, cocoa, smoke, earth, and roasted barley. The Smoky earthy flavors, while not overpowering, linger on well past the end of the taste.

Mouth feel: Rich, full and smooth, with just a bit of sharp carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Quite nicely done, a well-crafted American Porter with good balance, but which yet manages to be "over-the-top". Well done.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce bomber with a pry-off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. (1,094 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 650 ml. bottle. Sampled on February 25, 2015.

The color of the pour is just about black with a long lasting, tan colored head. Lots of lacing left behind.

The aroma has a pleasant balance of light chocolate, dark malts, and grassy or earthy hops. Nothing outdoes the other.

Medium to full body.

Lovely balanced flavor of dark malts and a clean, crisp, but dry hop finish. The hoops are not overpowering but for a Porter they do come up stronger. (460 characters)

Photo of M_C_Hampton
4.11/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass, dark brown almost black with a large tan head that lingers leaving good lacing, clear

S: heavy on roasty malt, dark chocolate, coffee, slight citrus hops

T: toasty malt, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, citrus hops, slightly nutty

M: light to medium with nice carbonation

O: very nice hoppy porter with good toasty malt balance (378 characters)

Photo of patpbr
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Deep brown color with a dark brown head.
S - Roasted malts and chocolate.
T - Rich flavor that adds onto the smell with vanilla and smoky flavors. Also seems to be a bit of dark fruit and hops that add a nice bitter taste.
M - Medium to thick body
O - A great and hoppy porter. (285 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pour with a nice two finger fluffy tan head, slowly receding.
Rich salty roast on the nose, dark chocolate, toffee, some caramel, cinnamon, burnt cake, faint hop.
A really rich roast in the taste too, with nice sweet caramel and some light dark fruit. Mild herbal notes too, nice and refreshing. Some baking chocolate, faint hints of vanilla. Fresh hop in the finish, a bit spicy, leafy, alongside nice coffee notes, to make up a nice more than mildly bitter finish.
Medium to light body, as is the carbonation. Aftertaste has a bit of roasted malt, coffee powder, earthy hop, a bit of burnt sugar too.
A really rich porter with a nice American hoppy twist. Incredibly clean, quite intense, really tasty, really really easy to drink. (745 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from a bomber in a pint glass, this fine porter pours a deep dark brownish black with ruby outlines and a huge rocky tan head that lingers long leaving nice lacing. Nose of dark bitter chocolate, bittering hops, light smoke, and deeply roasted malts. Flavors are dark chocolate to the front and sides, with a firm bitter hops balance in the back and aftertaste with a touch of light smoked malts rounding this beast out. Excellent carbonation and smooth mouth feel makes this one a fantastic porter to contend with.
Another winner from Ballast Point. (563 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (719 characters)

Photo of 57md
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%

Chocolate brown color with ruby edges. There is some roasted notes and also some faint smoke in the nose. The body is about what I’d expect for the style. The roast profile is very nice and there is a good combination of bitterness coming from both the roasted malt and the hops. (284 characters)

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... (680 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black color with red beams when exposed to light and a thick caramel head with medium retention and leaving laces.
Aroma of roasted malts, cocoa and light milked coffee. Mild, but nice.
Bold but balanced flavor cocoa, coffee, spices, earthy and citrusy hops, some dark fruits, nuts and caramel and roasted malts. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium bordering full smooth body with appropriate carbonation.
Superbly balanced porter and very pleasant to drink. Not extremely hopped, but sure more interesting than traditional. Worth trying. (542 characters)

Photo of TheMarkE
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black color, very good head and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, hops, and coffee.

Taste: Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a slight chocolate and hop finish.

The Verdict: Very good. Smooth and tasty, with good balance. Another good one from Ballast Point. (307 characters)

Photo of utfiero
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Color- black walnut. Slight head tinted mocha.

Aroma of coffee, hops and dark chocolate.

Taste- Mildly hoppy but good roasted malt body with hints of coffee finishing with a mild charcoal note. A hop-head might like this porter but a porter lover would like this too. Good blend of traditional and hop-head.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). tasted Jan. 2013. (436 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 317 ratings.