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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

755 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 755
Reviews: 296
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 35
Gots: 51 | 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: 755 | Reviews: 296 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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%

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 21, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%

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
Photo of djeucalyptus
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%

a. poured from a bomber yielding a giant rich and creamy mocha head perched atop blackness. Caramel and ruby hints peek through around the edges and faintly glow when held up to light. The lacing is subtle and wispy, but clings nicely down the glass.

s. Beautiful aromas of rich chocolate, cherries, molasses and cocoa compete for dominance of aroma. The usual roasted malt, burnt bread and toast are there, but take a back seat to the beautiful cocoa and cherry aromas. There's just a subtle hint of coffee peeking through.

t. taste echoes the aroma, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Molasses, raisins, cocoa, and some sour cherry blend beautifully with the richness and darkness of the flavors. A hint of bitterness at the end keep the sweetness of the sour cherry notes from being overpowering.

m. wow, the mouthfeel is nothing short of impressive. Incredibly smooth and creamy, it goes down beautifully without being overly chewy or thick. Just thick enough to hold up the flavors. The malt and sweetness drowns out any hint of bitterness on tongue. Pretty close to incredible.

d. While it's thick and a bit heavy, I could easily drink a few of these. Smooth, balanced, incredibly palatable, and not too far from perfect. I'm definitely regretting not bringing another bottle back with me. One of the better strong porters I've had, this is definitely worth picking up if you have the opportunity.

djeucalyptus, Oct 08, 2008
Photo of deepsouth
3/5  rDev -24.1%

this beer poured an opaque brown with some ruby hints. nearly zilch head.

the smell is of chocolate and toffee and some slightly burnt characteristics. smells good, but the smell isn't really in your face.

the taste is consistent with the smell. good but not wowing.

the mouthfeel is thin for a porter.

overall, i was disappointed in this beer. i'm not sure what my expectations were, but they were obviously too much. this beer was easy enough to drink, but i wouldn't seek it out.

deepsouth, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of PatronWizard
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%

These guys make some of the best damn labels.

Pours dark as night, maybe a brown hue around the edges. Head didn't last long.

Smell of coffee and charcoal. Taste of coffee and charcoal. I've noticed a smoky taste in porters that I've had lately. The ones I really like don't have it.

Wow, ran out of notes. Guess I went off to enjoy this and forgot to write anything else down.

Overall: eh, worth a try

PatronWizard, Oct 05, 2008
Photo of John_M
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%

Had a delicious glass of this beer at TJ's everyday the other night.

The beer pours the expected black color with good head retention and lacing. The beer has an interesting aroma, consisting of cherry, coffee, chocolate and black licorise. The licorise actually seems to dominate, but there is enough cherry flavor to keep it from becoming overwhelming. The flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, again consisting primarily of cherry and licorise. This beer is exceptionally smooth, and actually sort of reminds of the Black Albert in that regard. It has a very rich mouthfeel, but without coming across as tiring or heavy (just like the Black Albert IMO). This beer is quite drinkable, though it's not the sort of beer one could pound down two or three pints of at a sitting.

A very impressive porter from Ballast Point. One of the better one's I've had in a while, at least among porters that were not aged in some sort of wood (like a Jack Daniels barrel for instance).

John_M, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of Mauerhan
4/5  rDev +1.3%

pours a nice dark robust black. has slight rich brown highlights when held up to the light but im lucky i can see through this beer at all. has a nice amount of head on the initial pour. fades medium fast to leave a nice amount of lacing.

smell is full of rich roasted malts, a bit of chocolate.

nice flavor. i get alot of the malty character of this beer. a bit of chocolate with a slight bitter at the end. a very well balanced beer. full flavored, amazing finish.

mouth feel= awesome. super smooth. nice amount of carbonation throughout the brew. a very robust full flavored beer. i would expect this beer to be alot heavier but its very easy to drink. i could easily see myself putting back a few bombers without missing a beat.

a stand up porter. i had a chance to try the barrel aged down at ballast point and it was great, but it just goes to show you barrel age a great beer and what comes out is magic.

Mauerhan, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of Kadonny
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%

Poured from the hand pump at TJs in Paoli PA. Nice to see a bar in PA carrying a cask keg of BP from sunny CA!

A: A deep dark brown, almost black with no light filtering at all. A nice half finger tight foamy light brown head.

S: Dark roasty smells with hints of burnt coffee and nice hops.

T: Again, the very dark roasted malt flavor prevails with hints of dark coffee/espresso, some dark chocolate. The nice hops come shining through in the flavor from the middle to end of the taste. Nice lingering bitterness and roastiness. Nice balanced beer as I love a good hoppy porter.

M: Very creamy and smooth (cask) but the hops sit in the mouth and linger. No hints of alcohol.

D: High. A nice medium ABV with the creamy mouthfeel makes these go down silky smooth.

Overall a fantastic porter that I am lucky enough to have on a hand pump. Another great beer from BP, they keep churning out winners. I would drink this again in a heartbeat, great beer.

Kadonny, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of LunaChick
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%

This beer pours a rich mahogany brown with a full tan head that retains well and laces the glass to the end. Aroma is richly brewed coffee and smooth malts. Slight fruit hints of sweetness, no alcohol anywhere, and I can't detect any hop presence in the aroma.
Taste is a very nice balance of coffee with the slightest hint of hops in the end. Malts are very obvious throughout giving a toasted flavor to the brew that is very enjoyable. In the mouth its medium bodied and not as thick as some porters I"ve tried. Nicely carbonated and not chewy or so malt heavy that its a one and done brew. Between the even keel with the flavors and the 6%abv this is a great beer to enjoy several of with or without a meal.

LunaChick, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of BeerDetective
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%

I had this beer on cask a few days ago, it took over for Stoudts Oatmeal Stout at the bar. I liked its appearance, nice and black, but its flavor was a bit too hoppy still, rather overpowering some of the roasty flavor I like in a good porter, like say, Fuller's for example. All in all a nice representation of the style, and it gets points for being on cask which I love..

BeerDetective, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a creamy tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass and good retention as well.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts with some chocolate notes and just a hint of coffee in the background.

T- The taste starts out pretty smooth and malty with a lot of roasted malt. The finish is mildly bitter, but the hops are certainly not the focus of this brew.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a very drinkable Porter with a good amount of flavor.

Overall, Black Marlin Porter is a very enjoyable beer. It is one of the better American Porters that I have tried. Recommended.

cjgator3, Sep 15, 2008
Photo of prototypic
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%

Appearance: This one's a very, very dark brown with some ruby-esque highlights around the edges. Sitting atop is a two finger deep, mocha colored head. Retention was good, but light lacing lined the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts dominate the nose initially. Very, very inviting. Chocolate malts are secondary, but are every bit as impressive. Slightly sweet smelling. Hops are obviously strong in the mix. Much moreso than your average Porter. They give it a bit of an earthy vibe, as well as...dare I say...a citric element? Very impressive.

Taste: The flavor profile is very consistent with the nose. Roasted malts are easily the most prominent flavor. But, there's plenty of sweet chocolate to complement it. There's even a nice coffee flavor if you're paying attention. The hops are really impressive and add a lot of character to this beer. They are a little earthy and citric. Overall, it's pretty straight forward. Not quite as impressive as the nose. But, very good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a smooth feel. I wouldn't go so far as to characterize it as creamy. But, it's easy drinking. Carbonation is pretty light and well done. Drinkability is good. I've got no problems tackling a bomber. But, more than that would be a stretch. I'm not much for sessioning Porters.

Ballast Point brewed a really nice Porter here. It's a very approachable, drinkable beer. Easily among the top Porters out there. It is straight forward and lacks subtle nuances, but is very well put together. Certainly recommended.

prototypic, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +1.3%

22oz bottle into nonic.

Deep and dark black with light ruby edges at the bottom of the glass. A one finger tan head settles to a thin cap with a fuzzy rim.

Deep and roasty grains with a mix of black coffee and chocolate aromas. Not much hop aroma to speak of.

The roasted and bitter malts are there from start to finish, with more of the bitter flavors sticking around. A light creaminess comes into the middle. The chocolate repeats in the flavor. The hops are light, maybe showing up toward the end to give a little bit of citrusy flavors. The finish is the lingering dark and roasted grains.

A pretty good porter, maybe bordering on a stout. It's rather complex, and enjoyable. Recommended.

BeerSox, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of jdhilt
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%

Pours a three finger beige head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black as midnight, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Coffee nose. Flavor is sweet roasted coffee/chocolate with almost burnt coffee finish, nice porter. $5.25 for a 22oz bottle from Yankee Spirits South Attleboro, Ma.

jdhilt, Aug 27, 2008
Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 755 ratings.