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Black Marlin Porter | Ballast Point Brewing Company

very good
331 Reviews
For Trade:
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 08-26-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 331 | Ratings: 978
Photo of delta490
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep brown, with a big foamy light tan head. The head has very good retention aided by solid steady carbonation. The aroma is a little light, more caramel and a hint of hops and grain with no chocolate. The taste is almost like a schwarzbier, but with a little more caramel to balance the roasted malt flavor. The body is lighter and the carbonation is pretty strong throughout.

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Photo of ivehadthatbrew
3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look (3.75): A dark black pour with a lighter tan head. Around the edges this brew looks brown, not a jet black brew. Decent carbonation that likes to cling to the glass as it pours.

Smell (4): Pleasant chocolate and coffee bitterness coming off this guy. Possibly some darker fruit flavors hidden in there.

Taste (3.5): At first you're hit with citrus (lemon or lime peels?) flavors that lead into more piney bitter tones. This turns into a malted chocolatey creamy flavor. There's a weak bitter presence before it ends.

Mouthfeel (3.75): Creamy, silky and grainy mouthfeel. Even with the tropical and pine flavors at first there's not much acidic tones or boozey feels.

Overall (3.5): Not much of an ending to this. It starts out pretty fantastic and builds up really well before it decides to end suddenly. It's not my favorite porter...

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Photo of KomodoDragon
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with red highlights. Small cream colored bubbly head.

Earthy smells with raisin and dark fruits.

I immediately pick up dates and sugary raisins in the front end of the taste. Typical porter sweetness along with some roasted malts. Burn and some bitterness in the finish. There is a lightness to this brew. But quite a bit too fizzy in the feel for my preference.

Good porter with a bonus hoppy kick.

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

An older bottle I put away years ago. I has the gold & black cap.

Pours coal blacj with tan to copper head.
The faintest hint of the hops with a dab of sweetness on the nose
taste of roast coffee, the sweetness and a residue of the faded hops
nice velvety mouthfeel
For might taste letting the hops age out, not exactly planned, seems to have worked out. I enjoyed this

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Photo of NHSTEVE
3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Faint smell of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and hops. The label states a hoppy twist on a classic English porter. I would have called this beer a black IPA not a porter. In a porter I don't plan on a hop flavor. Beer felt thin like a IPA not thick like a good porter or stout. Is a average porter but a good black IPA.

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Photo of beergoot
4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Squid-ink black body; dense, very thick, dull bone colored head. Charred grain aroma; coffee beans; bitter, dark chocolate. Dark roasted grains; carob; mocha and cream; subtle, bitter edge; mild tanginess. Heavy body, smooth and silky mouthfeel; creamy; semi-sweet finish.

This beer exhibits an excellent combination of depth, complexity and balance. There is a richness and silkiness throughout, especially with the flavors and mouthfeel. A gentle warmth and mild chocolate sweetness encompasses every sip while a soft a velvety feel makes every last swallow a most pleasant experience. Good stuff...

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Photo of flyingpig
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650ml bottle from Brewdog brewery website (£6.00):
Another enjoyable Ballast Point beer, this one was a well-balanced & easy to drink porter from the brewery that came through with good sweetness, some rich chocolate & an earthy bitterness that also boasted the odd subtle hops too. The beer was a ridiculously smooth & easy one to drink & that was perhaps its best feature but the smell & taste weren't bad either thankfully; I wouldn't mind having this one again.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours deep-deep brown color with a one finger tan colored head. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading over time to leave a good level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big of a roasty smell, mixed with some grainy aromas and a moderately sweeter smell of chocolate and vanilla. Along with these smells comes some other aromas of a dark fruit nature of cherry and plum along with a little bit of a wood smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a lightly roasted and slightly cocoa sweet flavor. As the taste advances more roast and a little more sweet in the nature of caramel and vanilla come to the tongue. Along with these developing flavors comes some light burnt tastes as well as some more earthy hop flavors. In the end, the mix of hop, sweet, and roast are joined by some grain to leave a moderately dark, but sweeter, kind of weak black IPA like flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is somewhat thin for a porter of 6% abv. with a carbonation level that is average to slightly higher. I would have liked a little less carbonation and a little more chewiness/creaminess for this one; better accentuating the roast and sweet.

Overall – Not bad, but not really anything outstanding either. I was expecting something more in the traditional porter style, but instead was delivered something akin to a black IPA mixed with a porter.

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Photo of RJLarse
4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of Black Marlin in a bottle shop, poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque with a garnet red hue when held up to light.

Smell is a sweet chocolate espresso aroma.

Taste is a bitter charcoal roasted grain flavor up front, with a little chocolate sweetness followed by a dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but clean and minimally cloying.

Overall a very good coffee flavored porter.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, 276 of 15, nice and fresh. Pours a very dark brown, with a 3 inch tan head that leaves behind tons of lace.

Smell is cocoa, faint roasted coffee, vanilla, and toffee.

Taste is more aggressive with loads of roasty coffee and chocolate backed up with vanilla and toffee in the fairly aggressive finish.

Body is medium for the style and heft, perfect amount of life, a little dry as it should be, and excellent drinkability.

Overall this is a excellent American porter, with everything I love about the style and at $4.99 a bomber very affordable.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color, pale fine head.

Smells rich, good, clean.

Taste is more IPA than porter: hops dominate the malt.

Feel is a bit light, carbonated relative to what I want in a porter.

Overall: I suppose there's room for a beer like this, but not in my frig.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated :
Pours black-or just shy of-with a light tan head that grows to almost two fingers on an average strength pour. The head lasts a bit before gathering thickly at the edge to lace the sides. Some head remains as a island in the middle of the glass as well.

The nose actually seems a little woody like a cherry wood - maybe an ever so light smoke note. There's not much else that I get, but I don't think there needs to be.

The taste does have the characteristics from the nose, but adds in the dark roasted malt notes one might expect from the dark color. A few flavors blend in the taste, none overpowering the other: coffee, roasted nut, wood, and a light bitterness that is green-wood in nature. Warmth seems to mellow the roasted notes quite a bit, giving the sipper a sweeter taste.

The body is quite big and bold, with the feel being more light and slick, especially as the beer warms. For a bold flavored beer, this drinks rather smoothly.

This is a straightforward, well made porter the packs a decent amount of flavor punch while staying quite drinkable. Well done!

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Photo of T100Mark
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 22 ounce bomber poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Pitch black. Big, lumpy head made up of course bubbles. Great retention. Very good stickage. Sexy!

Smell - Malty (no duh). Sweet chocolate overtones. The hops are in the background, fighting to be noticed.

Taste - Big carmel flavor upfront. Toasty, of course. Mild black licorice. Just like the nose, the hops have been pushed to the back of the stage but they are jumping up and down, begging for your attention.

Mouth - Fizzy. Oily. Substantial.

Overall - Another big, in-your-face, American Porter! Imagine a proper English Porter with volume turned up to eleven. These ales are no substitute for the real thing but they are wonderful all the same.

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

Pours pitch black with cappuccino like head, great lacing. Smell is smoky and peaty, bit of chocolate ash and coffee. Taste is slightly smoky, hint of olives with chocolate and earthy tones. Thick yet slightly fizzy mouthfeel. A fine porter.

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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.

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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..

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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

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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 .

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Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.