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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

767 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 767
Reviews: 298
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 37
Gots: 58 | 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: 767 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of far333
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Opaque motor oil colored, nearly black, with a thick and frothy oatmeal colored head that rises up quickly and pops loudly as it settles down to a half inch of tightly bubbled lumpy foam.

Aroma of sweet dark malt, mild cocoa and some fig.

Flavor initially of mild cocoa, morphs immediately to light coffee, smokey wood, fig and plum, some molasses, and a firm licorice flavor that seems to ride along and punctuate the whole experience.

Rich and full, creamy mouthfeel, very satisfying. Very enjoyable beer and highly drinkable because I like the style and I could have several of these without getting knocked down.

far333, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of sweetbrew82
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz. into a pint glass/ no freshness date

P: Rusty brown from the bottle, and sits black with rosy highlights on the edge of the glass. Light brown head is thick, creamy, and sticky with good retention. Settles to a thick halo with rings of lace left behind.

A: Roasted malts, cocoa powder, coffee, wood, and some citrusy hops in there as well.

T: Pretty sweet overall from the roasted malts, chocolate, caramel, and coffee flavors. Then, the palate is turned bitter from the citric hops that arrive late. Cocoa powder registers on the tail-end, along with a bit of astringency that I can't quite put my finger on. I also get a woody undertone to this beer that I find enjoyable. Nothing too complex or mind-blowing here, but well put together for a full-flavored experience.

M & D: Medium bodied, smooth, and gently carbonated for a little bubbly bite. Decent drinkability to this one, but that astringency is kind of unappetizing.

Notes: Straightforward, simple, well-hopped American Porter that drinks very easily. I would recommend this to anyone who would like a nice and mellow porter to give them an idea of the style.

sweetbrew82, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of nick76
3.03/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma is dusty and chocolaty with toasted malt and metal. The appearance is dark brown with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is a little thin. Overall not too bad but not too good either. This is pretty much a standard average porter.

nick76, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of illidurit
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour: Bomber to pint glass. Darkest brown, clear, with a thin beige head that fizzles out pretty quickly. A tiny amount of lacing.

Nose: Toasted grains, cream and coffee, some roast.

Mouth: Black coffee, slightly sour roast, some charcoal. Lacks some sweetness and body. Very dry, maybe a little astringent. Overall just seems a little watered down.

illidurit, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DrDogbeer for this one.

Pours from the 650ml bottle into a pint glass a coffee-with-a-touch-of-cream colored black with some dark toffee highlights. Huge mocha colored head with tons of lacing. The head remains a whipped egg-white consistency on top of the beer.

Aroma is slightly fruity and slightly alkaline and salty. Similar amounts of coffee and chocolate with minimal dark fruitiness.

Really nice flavors in this one. Burnt grains almost immediately that are like sweet coffee. A touch of chcoclate. Large toast and roasted grains as well without being bitter or astringent, just like a porter should be.

Nearly full bodied and creamy on the tongue with a somewhat oily and fruity finish. A really nice example of the basic american porter.

SaCkErZ9, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of cvfish
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured black, but had some reddish brown highlights on the side, that created a good frothy tan head that had decent retention and left some lacing along the side

S - The aromas that escaped this beer were roasted malts, coffee, and some dark fruits

T - This beer had a good flow on the palate, some nice roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, coffee, and dried plums

M - The mouth one this beer was moderately creamy, medium to thick bodied, and had a little bit of carbonation to it

D - This was a good Porter, complex and tasty with the body I would expect, however, since it is not distributed here, I do not think I will search it out, but if I am somewhere and see this, I will not hesitate to drink this again

cvfish, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of sulldaddy
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am pouring a cellar temp bottle into a snifter. the beer pours a cola brown hue with a 2 cm fizzy tan head foaming up and fading fairly quickly to an edge layer. The aroma is caramel and some brown sugar with hints of roasted malt as well. Bottle claims assertive hopping, but I dont get much on the nose from the green stuff.
First sip reveals a silky smooth textured average body with gentle rolling carbonation.
Flavor is as advertised from the nose with brown sugar notes and roasted malt dominating. Again the hops are not what I would call assertive. I get some faint hints on the finish with a little bit of an herbal presence but nothing more. I dont mind this as I like malty porters but the label claims assertive hopping and dont find em. The ABV is completely hidden and this beer is VERY drinkable. A nice brew for any time of year. check it out if you see it!

sulldaddy, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of BeerManDan
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with some tan foam and nice lace on the side of the glass. The smell of roasted malts and also a hint of smoke and chocolate filled the nose. The flavor was of roasted malts, chocolate and smoke. The only set back for me, is that it was a little to bitter. The over bitterness is what made this porter not one of my favorites. Overall, it had a nice pleasant flavor, the color was right, but, the over bitterness was the main turn-off!

BeerManDan, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Charcoal smoke and barley dominate the taste of this excellent porter. It's a pretty good looking beer with a fading head that leaves some lacing. The liquid is a deep dark brown with light cola coloring on the edges. The nose gives the first taste of charcoal smoke. Some hops also come through without overwhelming. It smells like a dry porter, if that makes sense. The flavor has some initial chocolate and caramel, but the wonderful charcoal flavor establishes itself quickly and knocks down the sweetness. There is a mildly bitter finish, possibly with citric hops but I can't quite taste them in such a roasty beer. The alcohol is used beautifully. It warms up the whole palate, like a good Imperial Stout or something. American Porter is a middle-of-the-pack style for my preferences, but I am really enjoying this Black Marlin. Maybe, it's just that porters often surprise because I don't expect to like them, or maybe I'm just better at avoiding bad examples.

popery, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of cvstrickland
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 22-ounce bomber bottle with a kickass tail-walker of a "billy" on the label, poured into an imperial pint willi glass yields a clear reddish mahogany body capped with 4 fingers of fine-bubbled beige foam. The head takes its sweet time consolidating into larger, soapier bubbles that settle slowly, leaving lots of drippy-webbed lacing on the glass.

The smell is mild and chocolaty with a touch of orchard fruit and a dry, dark-roasted edge.

The taste is mild, mellow, and pretty chocolaty-delicious. The same dry, almost coffee-like roastiness that teased the nose also tickles the tastebuds, and a sweet graininess midway the drink yields to the dusty-dry earthy finish that closes the proceedings.

The drink is light-medium in body with very good carbonation and drinkability.

cvstrickland, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of xhcadamx
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

xhcadamx, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I bought this at thirsty's in York and just pulled it out of the crisper for a taste- poured chilled in my
Boddingtons's glass

A - A very dark brown w/ ruby highlights and a modest tan head of 1/4 inch. The cap is smooth and dissipates rapidly although the bead is fine

S - Basically roasted notes are the major scent element, like coffee w/ a mild ester. There is subtle cocoa of chocolate malt, but you have to search for it

M -A roasted malt feel w/ toasted pale accent. The feel seems highly carbonated for the style and the sweetness is light. There is less depth and more roast than it needs as it finishes on the dry side

T - A nice coffee flavor upfront of roasted malt, but the taste is a bit one dimensional and it seems to have more in common with a dry stout. The yeast is clean and malt is nice with toasted notes and a bit more residual roasted, not quite smoked flavor. There is hop flavor, but mild and with a pine edge that only exists to balance the malt flavor.

D - An average porter - no more, no less...it is pretty standard in most aspects. It just doesn't 'wow' me, it is well made and has no real flaws, but lacks any complexity to put it above average drinkability for me.

Slatetank, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Barley's in Charlotte, NC.

Pours a very dark brown color, almost black, with chestnut highlights on the edges. Head is one-finger of tan foam that sticks around for a while before receding into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. The last half of the bomber yields a tiny bit of yeast that lightens the beer a bit. There's not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells of roasted malts up front, but as it warms some light citrus hop aromas come out.

Tastes very good. Lots of roasted malt flavors up front with a slightly bitter ending. Much like the smell, as it warms the hops come out a bit more. Very light citrus flavors come out near the end, and as I finish the bottle the balance is nearly perfect.

Mouthfeel is good. Good thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I let this get a bit too cold, because as it warms the flavors work seamlessly together and it's hard to put this beer down.

Overall this is a treat. A very well done American Porter that's worth a shot.

glid02, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of Brewsmith
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 22 oz. bottle purchased locally. Aroma is malty, almost like a burnt raisin. A little sweet. Pours like black coffee with a creamy tan head. First is the dark caramel raisin flavor followed by some toasty malt and dark chocolate with a little roast in the finish. Some hop character, but subtle in the background. Very balanced and drinkable. Smooth mouthfeel with a fairly dry finish. I really enjoy this beer.

Brewsmith, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of Minkybut
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this big beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer poured a black as night color with a nice head. However the head soos diapreared for good. The lacing hung on great though. The smell was nice and roasted dark coffee smell with a great nuttty taste attached. I really liked this .Buy again for sure.

Minkybut, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of ArrogantB
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ballast point recently showed up in Colorado and so I picked this up. Black, whoa, shocking. Smells good and like a porter should but what strikes me is the flavor. Robust and strong flavor, almost like a stout, very nice. I may need to buy another to make a final judgment but this was cool.

ArrogantB, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle at 56 degrees.

Pours opaque black with barely a tinge of mahagony in the shoulder of the tulip. A dense two-plus inch head of tan settled slowly, leaving behind plenty of clingy lacework and a solid skim coat on the surface.

Roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and espresso grounds lead off the nose. Hints of vanilla and ash follow through.

Full bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. Chewy but not massive.

Bitter black forest batter, crumbled embers, and dark roast start the palate. Shades of ashy, acrid malts follow through.

Finishes with lingering roast and charred bits.

Pretty tasty, but theres a nagging ash component which kind of builds as the beer drinks.
Ones enough.

brewandbbq, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of thespaceman
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark black in appearance, little to no clarity whatsoever, pours a HUGE tan head, decent lacing.

Smell: The nose features an array of espresso beans, chocolate, truffle.. nice fruit aromas as well. A good blend of hops and spices to keep the nose interested.

Taste: A deep impact of roasted malt, coffee bean, chocolate and caramel. A nice bite on the end with a fruity/estery note.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery for a porter, decent carbonation. If this was a tad thicker It would probably be even more enjoyable.

Drinkability: This is an excellent porter that represents the style perfectly. The combination of spices, maltiness and fruit make this one a sure bet. And at 6.0ABV, this one goes down like a dream.

thespaceman, Nov 24, 2008
Photo of SShelly
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Vendome, 22 oz.

Pours a dark chocolate black with LARGE tan head (very, very gentle pour yielded a huge head) with >4 min retention.

Nice roasty, malty chocolate aroma, not overly strong.

Flavor is a mixture of roast, light chocolate and some hop bitterness, leaves an aftertaste of cocoa (not powdery though). medium mouthfeel, but lively carbonation in the mouth.

Another drinkable beer from B.P. could have had bolder flavors but pretty damn good.

SShelly, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of hopdog
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a dark, dark brown with a huge 4.5 finger) light brown head. Aromas of roasted malts, chocolate, smoke and some coffee. Tastes of milk chocolate (stronger than the aroma), roasted malts, caramel and light coffee. Starts out medium sweet and ends in a light bitter finish.

Notes from 1/14/06

hopdog, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of RonfromJersey
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown to black body, with a hint of ruby at the edge of the glass bottom. Beige head is four fingers of extremely frothy micro bubbles. Good lacing.

Assertive roast coffee aroma. Bit of milk in the coffee.

Taste follows. Plenty of well roasted iced coffee with a bit of milk. Nice strong hop bite at the swallow.

Smooth medium plus body is nicely slick. Good easy drinking beer.

A tasty roasty and hoppy porter worthy of a try.

RonfromJersey, Nov 19, 2008
Photo of Bung
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown/black pour with a cream colored head. Earthy roast malt aromas. Tastes similarly with coffee and mocha tones. Solid medium body. Slight creaminess. Finish a little smokey with nice coffee and hop bitterness. Well balanced and drinkable. One of the best examples of the style I've had in a while.

Bung, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of RedChrome
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very dark chocolate brown body. Milk foam texture to the light brown colored head which rose to an inch. Small carbonation bubbles rising right at base of head.

A very sweet chocolate malt aroma. Dark fruit scents are primarily plums and figs. A very nice hop bitterness in the background. Nice balance of scents.

A very bitter covering to the malted base. Sweetbread and plum flavors have a bit of grittiness to them. A nice balance as in the scent.

Very watery. This one rolls of the tongue very quick and doesn't leave much flavor. Carbonation a bit strong.

Not a bad beer. This one would work well with a beef stew. Another above average offering from a good brewery. Try it if you like porters.

RedChrome, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black (rubyish at very bottom of glass) with a tan head that descends to a thin cover and stays, leaving some lacing.

The smell is of iced coffee, chocolate and light roast. There's an underlying fruity/earthy backing and some caramel.

The taste is sweet - chocolate and caramel (a bit nutty) with medium coffee-ish roast, turning to a piney/citric bitterish dryness in the finish.

It is verlvety smooth in a (fuller side of?) medium body.

Smooth and delicious with a nice balance. This is a very good example of an American-style porter.

jwc215, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of metallic and contains roasted dark malts, coffee and some hops.

T: The taste is very smoky with strong flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. There's a decent hops presence that provides a little bit of balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty especially if you're into the smokier beers, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, it's a good beer to drink for while if you're looking for a smoky porter, but there are some better ones out there.

TheManiacalOne, Oct 19, 2008
Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 767 ratings.