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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

763 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 763
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 36
Gots: 55 | 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: 763 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mauerhan
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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 +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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
Photo of AlexJ
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost black with a frothy mocha head that has goos retention and sticky lace.

Aroma is dark roast malts, coffee, earth, light campfire, and a hint of fruit.

Flavor nice but not overly complex. A nice roasted malt and dark sugar note accented by light pine, wood, earth, and dry chocolate.

Body just shy of medium with an average mouthfeel and good drinkability. A good session-style porter.

AlexJ, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with some garnet highlights around the bottom and 2 fingers of creamy tan head. Retains into a nice thin layer that left some moderate lacing behind. The aroma smells of coffee, nuts, roasted malts, caramel sweetness, and just a splash of citrus and touch of earth in the back.

The taste is some chocolate and caramel sweetness with an undercurrent of coffee and roast running through it. There is a light hop profile in the back along with some citrus tang. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a carbonation that's mellow but seems a touch thin for the style.

Decent Porter from Ballast Point that is fairly robust with a good drinkability. I'd check out another bottle of this sometime down the line.

Kegatron, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of objectivemonkey
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into an imperial pint, pours a pretty solid black, nice inch thick light tan head, a bit of falling, bubbly lacing. The aroma is full of roasted malt and chocolates, some coffee as it warms. Same thing in the taste, nicely roasted malts, chocolates, coffee, toffee, some caramels, quite nice. The body is also pretty good, nice body and carbonation, pretty smooth. Everything here adds up to a very easy to drink, highly enjoyable porter.

objectivemonkey, Aug 21, 2008
Photo of thekevlarkid
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Out of a birthday bomber from my girlfriend, (thanks cupcake!) this brew poured into my glass a deep black with some garnet highlights. Foamy, thick cap of one finger tan head formed and displayed decent lacing. Good retention, got a little rocky after a hot minute. Aromas were of lightly of chocolate, hints of charcoal. Not as deep as the brew suggests. Classic flavors of dark chocolate giving it a semi- sweet character that becomes more pronounced as it warms. Roasted malts, barley, charcoal notes again, really coats the tongue. Syrupy finish. Hops come punching in after, especially with the warmth. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and filling, good mouthfeel and apropos for the style. Good example of the style (and a competitive one!) from the city that produces Sierra Nevada Porter. Score.

thekevlarkid, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of ffejherb
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into shaker pint glass on 8/11/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Black body with hazlenut brown accents and two fingers of rocky burnt tan head that settled down to about a quarter inch of retention and left sparse lacing around the glass.

S - Mild roasted malt with hints of milk chocolate and a nutty character reminiscent of walnut. Very little hop presence with perhaps only a mild earthy quality. Overall, this porter has a fairly subdued aroma.

T - Mild chocolate sweetness with a bit of nuttiness and some mild roasted maltiness. Hop palate is light and earthy.

M - Medium, fairly robust body that's perhaps a tad thin and moderately fizzy. Mild bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel is quite smooth overall.

D - Solid porter from Ballast Point. However, I enjoy their hoppy brews a little more. Still, this is a nice porter that is quite drinkable despite a nose that is fairly lacking.

ffejherb, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 08/10/08.

Clear, dark brown pour yields a thin light tan head that quickly dissipates to the proper thin skin of foam and somewhat sticky lacing.

Aroma of candied sugar and molasses. Slight chocolate note as well.

Thin and a little creamy as it enters the mouth, but a bit coating, this one has a surprising flavor profile. A little chocolate and coffee up front, as expected, with a sort of thinner-than-a-stout character to the flavor. Slightly sweet. Almost has a nut brown ale flavor character. Then the bitterness hits. Mild but marked, still more roasted and bitter than expected on the back end with a slightly dry, sweet finish. A touch of alcohol warmth as well.

This porter may deviate somewhat from a typical porter, but I couldn't be happier with it.

One of the best porters I have had in a long time.

charlzm, Aug 11, 2008
Photo of Doomcifer
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown color with a frothy, light brown head that retains pretty well. Smells of roastiness, milk chocolate, lactose, vanilla. Reminds me of the Robust Porter from Smuttynose which I absolutely love. Taste is more roastiness, lactose, some vanilla notes, hop spice, very tasty. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, slightly dry finish. Great porter and extremely drinkable. Proust.

Doomcifer, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
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 dedrinker
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Almost black with a little root beer color around the edges under light. Tan head that pillows up well, but does not stand for long. Medium aroma of roast and cocoa. Burnt flavors of coffee and chocolate, medium body and a slightly acrid, hoppy finish. At first I did not care much for this beer, but letting it warm up considerably has improved every aspect of its character.

dedrinker, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of morebeergood
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked open this 22 oz bottle last night because it's been in the fridge too long and needs to be polished off. Once into the pint glasses, you can see it has a beautiful dark brown color to it. Pretty generous sized head that had some staying power. Faint smell was of chocolate. First sip surprised me. This was the first time I had tried anything from this brewery, and this porter was excellent. Lots of flavors of roasted barley, coca beans, and coffee were present. Nice mouthfeel to it, thick enough to be a porter but it was smooth enough to be very drinkable. This beer is a very nice find if you enjoy porters, and I will actively search out more styles from this brewery.

morebeergood, Jul 25, 2008
Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep deep amber when some light comes through it. Unfortunately there's hardly any head on the beer. Even with subsequent pours as it warms, hardly any lacing or head, which is really odd.

Smell: Roasted malt but not burned, with mild coffee aromas along with cream, maple and vanilla, with a twinge of earthy citrus from the hops. More sweet than anything, but nice and balanced, especially with the touches of darker roasted malt aromas.

Taste: Initial roasted flavors into some citrus hops and an earthy backbone. Sweeter than I anticipated, but there's a nice creaminess to everything, with more of the lighter coffee flavors and cream showing up rather than being completely roasted in its dominance. A nice balance of lighter citrus hops comes in later to curb both the sweetness and darker malt flavors. It's not taking me into unknown territory, but I'm impressed with the landscape it's presenting.

Mouthfeel: Oddly lighter bodied for a porter with this much flavor, with not much chewiness or fullness, yet the carbonation isn't underdone and works well

Drinkability: A solid and highly drinkable porter. Not much risk is taken here, but they set out to make a solid brew, or so it seems, and they've succeeded.

asabreed, Jul 20, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +1%
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 rkuhnel
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a creamy black with a long-lasting tan head and moderate lacing rings. Nose of roasted malts with coffee, chocolate, ripe fruit, and a hint of hops. Mouthfeel medium and very smooth. Flavor is of roasted malts, but three is dry and slightly bitter finish. Very easy to drink and overall an excellent porter.

rkuhnel, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a thick black with a reddish/amber tint. The head was thick and creamy.

S: The aroma consisted of mainly caramel, roast and malty notes.

T: Big, deep malty flavor accentuated with coffee, chocolate and sweet notes. Hope are detectable in the finish.

M: This beer is full and lush.

D: Easing drinking beer. Interestingly enough...it is better while cold (don't usually run into that).

barefootbrewer, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of corey0212
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly black, with some reddish/brown highlights, small tan head fades quickly, but leaves a nice coating on top of the beer. Great smelling porter. Really rich, dark chocolate smell, roasted malty aroma, and a faint hoppy background. It's tasty...a bit of coffee grounds, some bitter chocolate. Pretty active carbonation, but it seems just right for the style. Creamy, but with some dryness at the finish. This seems like a pretty textbook American Porter, very drinkable, and I'd buy this again in a heartbeat.

corey0212, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Almost black with some cola-brown highlights around the edges. A nice finger tall head, slightly offwhite - a bit surprising considering the darkness of the brew.

S: Very warm roasted malts, powdery dark chocolate, almost a nuttiness (but not quite)

T: Very much like the aroma - a pleasant malt roast and a chocolate powder. A bit of a burnt woody or nutty like taste, but it's not either - something, rather, that seems to come from the malts.

M + D: Light on the carbonation, a decent sized body - not too thin. A touch of chewiness to it and a nod towards trying to finish dry, but perhaps falling just short. While it may not have knocked me off my feet, I find this to be a particularly nice porter, and could see myself having this around from time to time.

Proteus93, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of mully
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark some light in around the edges thin head with little lacing

chocolate, sweet and roast malt good, not deep but good

mocha a little bitter a little sweet, it's beer go figure, well crafted good beer, not an extreme beer but does not propose to be

good creamy mouthfeel

good drink ablity, nut to heavy, but not watered down, to style

I like it

mully, Jun 16, 2008
Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 763 ratings.