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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.
very good

741 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 741
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 34
Gots: 50 | 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: 741 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

06-01-2008 22:38:30 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0


4/5  rDev +1.3%

11-08-2012 19:25:41 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.53/5  rDev -10.6%

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.

05-11-2011 00:57:09 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

11-26-2011 19:08:03 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

02-17-2010 02:18:43 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.13/5  rDev +4.6%

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.

04-12-2006 15:47:45 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +10.9%

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

07-29-2008 23:45:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

05-10-2009 15:31:17 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

01-09-2012 15:18:59 | More by acurtis
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -8.1%

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.

01-23-2012 19:46:33 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of kjkinsey


4/5  rDev +1.3%

01-20-2013 20:10:52 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of zestar


3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

05-16-2014 06:01:51 | More by zestar
Photo of Texasfan549


4/5  rDev +1.3%

02-04-2013 03:05:43 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow


4/5  rDev +1.3%

01-17-2013 06:45:46 | More by spycow
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

07-03-2009 16:10:03 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of jaydoc


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

10-26-2013 13:54:47 | More by jaydoc
Photo of GRG1313


1.95/5  rDev -50.6%

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.

05-15-2009 09:44:02 | More by GRG1313
Photo of kylehay2004


4/5  rDev +1.3%

12-24-2011 19:22:32 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

06-20-2012 22:34:15 | More by oberon
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr


3.25/5  rDev -17.7%

11-14-2011 22:25:03 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of JAHMUR


4/5  rDev +1.3%

11-27-2011 21:50:45 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of zeff80


4/5  rDev +1.3%

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.

07-19-2008 13:05:39 | More by zeff80
Photo of largadeer


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

04-06-2010 05:14:29 | More by largadeer
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +2%

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.

05-17-2012 09:02:45 | More by biboergosum
Photo of RblWthACoz


4/5  rDev +1.3%

10-21-2012 16:47:07 | More by RblWthACoz
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Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 741 ratings.