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Black Marlin Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

790 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 39
Gots: 60 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 08-26-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 790 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good porter, enjoyed at Mondial 2008. Chocolate stouty aroma. Dark, with some lace. Creamy mouthfeel,smartly hopped,a tasty citrus undercurrent of flavour, smooth drinking with coffee and gentle woodiness, gentle carbonation.I wish I could have this again right now back home.

Sammy, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +1.3%

t0rin0, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +1.3%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an almost opaque dark brown color with a nice 2 inch beige head that fades to a small fluffy cap. Nice rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of roasted malt, coffee beans, and bittersweet chocolate. Taste is of roasted dark malt, bitter coffee grounds, and cocoa nibs. The bitterness that lingers on the palate is of coffee grounds. Decent carbonation but a little flat and somewhat thin bodied. Overall, this is a pretty good porter for what it is but nothing too special.

UCLABrewN84, May 11, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

djrn2, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

zestar, May 16, 2014
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

acurtis, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a nice mocha head, although not too much lacing as it goes down. The smell is very nice and complex, with some dark chocolate, bits of coffee, and a few dark fruits. A little bit of smoke there as well. Taste is very similar with a slight hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel with a bit of a creaminess. Very drinkable.

Thorpe429, Feb 17, 2010
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Texasfan549, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of GRG1313
1.95/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2007 was on tap and poured dark brown with a weak and thin head. The nose was perhaps a hint of coffe or a hint of roasted malt but, candidly, was almost non-existent; it certainly was not inviting.

Weak on flavor and character. A very light coffee character and flavor at best, and that's giving it the benefit of the doubt. I'd hoped that later years would drink better.

2008 was also on tap and tasted contemporaneously with the 2007; not a whole lot different. Poured dark brown with a weak, thin head. The nose was of light coffee and light, weak roasted malt but, again, almost non-existant.

2008 on draft was also weak on flavor and character. A very light coffee character and flavor; simple with hints of coffee. No reason for me to try again but I would always encourage people to try something not otherwise tried before; it all adds to the experience.

(And, as I was once taught in my early wine tasting education many years ago, and somewhat paraphrasing..."you must taste bad beer to understand and appreciate good beer." Again, just my opinion.

GRG1313, May 15, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1.3%

kjkinsey, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a rocky tan cap that fades rather quickly but manages to leave a few squiggles behind

Smell: Dark cocoa; somewhat roasty, with hints of charcoal and currants

Taste: The beer has a nice roasty flavor that hits the tongue but by mid-palate, the west coast tendency to throw the hops in the brew kettle becomes apparent, when the citrusy quality joins the fray; the combination of the roasted malt and the hops creates an interesting currant flavor, too; after the swallow, the fruit remains and tends to overshadow the roasty elements, although the chocolate flavors linger into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Although this isn't classic, I do like the flavor profile the hops bring to the table

brentk56, Jul 30, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a dark black color porter with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light green hops with some light roasted malt notes is quite pleasant. Taste is an interesting mix between some green hops with light bitter notes and some roasted malt with light dry aftertaste. Body is quite full with light creamy notes and good carbonation. Nothing over the top in this beer though well brewed and easily drinkable.

Phyl21ca, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crimson-soaked walnut brown with rust colored highlights at the bottom edge of the glass. The head is malted milk ball beige in color and is as creamy and as sticky as they come. Pocked sheets of lace adhere tenaciously to the vertical surface and are the capper on a wonderful look. Black Marlin is one of the best looking porters that I've seen in a while.

The nose is a keeper as well. It's readily apparent that this is one high-quality beer. That isn't a surprise since I've been mightily impressed by the other Ballast Point offerings that I've had (with the possible exception of the Kolsch). Mellow, lightly roasted malt contributes chocolate notes and there's a tangy undercurrent of citric hops as well.

Too many American porters are weak when it comes to both flavor and body. Even though it'll never be mistaken for an Imperial version of the style, this is definitely a full-flavored beer. The flavor profile is dominated by roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and black coffee. It's also more hoppy than most; no surprise given Ballast Point's Left Coast penchant for adding the little green cones with a heavy hand.

I'd like a little more depth and complexity, but those are minor complaints in a beer that's this well put together. A modest sweetness early turns into a similarly modest bitterness late. The brewers could have overdone it with the hops (yes, I'll grudgingly admit that that's possible), but have resisted the urge and have stopped at 'just right'.

The mouthfeel is 'porter medium', perhaps a tad more full, and is pleasantly smooth without being slick or sticky. A slightly more full, light chewiness would have been great, even though the beer stays true to the style and doesn't deserve to be marked down for my big body bias. A laid back amount of carbonation makes sure that all systems are 'go' for a ridiculous degree of drinkability.

Black Marlin Porter is another wonderful beer from Ballast Point Brewing Company and is one of the best porters that I've had in a good, long while. It doesn't impress by breaking out of the style mold and doing something completely off the charts, but by staying well within the style guidelines and just being flat out more delicious than its competitors. I'd be proud to mount this Marlin above my mantle.

BuckeyeNation, Apr 12, 2006
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

jaydoc, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +1.3%

kylehay2004, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Suprisingly the hit of the party yesterday. Well not mine, but several others. Served chilled, multiple bombers of this were served into pint glasses. Consumed on 05/09/2009.

The pour was very nice. Deep, dark black in color with a huge foamy tan head that rose up an easy two inches before settling back down into lots of sticky, web like side lacing. Smooth, even aroma of roasted malts, hints of caramel and molasses and a light touch of vanilla, good have been a bit stronger but what was there was very nice. Smooth mellow taste as well, understated almost with rich roasted malts, hints of tobacco and molasses and a smooth, almost lightly hopped finish. Very drinkable and much lighter in body then I thought it would be.

Overall a very solid beer, a nice sessionable porter that does the style justice. I would revisit this one for sure.

mikesgroove, May 10, 2009
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a reasonably clearish, dark brown, near black body with a creamyish, ecru-hued head.

Smell: Proper porter nose of lightly roasty barley with notes of chocolate, morningtime coffee, dark caramel, and cream. Small background hint of fruit.

Taste: Heady dark maltiness yielding pleasing tastes of chocolate, flecks of dark caramel, and roasty coffee tempered with a splash of half-n-half. Clandestine, meager hint of citrus. The roastiness and a slight earthiness usher in a moderate amount of bitterness. Dash of gourmet cola and a few more touches of sweet caramel. Roasty, drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-plus carbonation. Relatively creamy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Recommended. A top-notch porter, really. It's hearty, pleasantly malty, and a sheer joy to drink.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of oberon
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

oberon, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of largadeer
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque chocolate brown with a finger of tan froth that recedes to a collar after a few minutes. Big chocolate malt aroma with a light leafy hop character buried beneath. There's also a smattering of toasted nuts and charred grain. The taste mirrors the aroma; chocolatey, nutty, moderately roasty. Medium bodied, slightly chewy with a nougat, roasted grain and coffee finish. This is great stuff, nicely balanced and rather quaffable.

largadeer, Apr 06, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +1.3%

JAHMUR, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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.

biboergosum, May 17, 2012
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a foamy, caramel-colored, two-finger head that left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and had some grassy and floral notes.

T - Nicely balanced beer with a burnt toast maltiness and a sharp hop bite adding some bitterness.

M - It was smooth and creamy with a subtle sharp kick from the hops. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good porter. Yet another solid offering from Ballast Point.

zeff80, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 20, 2010
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Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.