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Black Marlin Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

819 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 819
Reviews: 301
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 42
Gots: 75 | 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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-26-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 819 | Reviews: 301 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

The carbonation off of a hard pour gives a quick, cascading effect to the head, and what a head it is--a huge rocky, bubbly mass that has some great clinging action on the glass. Nearly all of the way black with dark brown on the edges. Mild charred grain, faint smoke, charcoal, dark-roasted coffee and a little bit of black currant in the aroma. So damn smooth, we're not sure if a beer could be any more smooth. Creamy medium body. Heavy amount of mocha flavor here, with a more cocoa powder and medium-roasted coffee mix. The hops are on too, balancing and throwing some flavor at the taste buds with herbal and faint tobacco flavors. Hint of black currant and chocolate cake batter in the middle. Dry finish with mineral and charred wood flavors.

Jam-packed with flavor and very drinkable, too drinkable if there is such a thing. Ballast Point gives the American Porter respect.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got it on tap, poured into a Standard Pint glass. Looks pretty good. Poured and close to a black color, extremely dark brown with dark amber highlights. There is a small tan colored head that goes away pretty quickly and there hardly any lacing to it, just a couple of random specks left on the glass. The aroma is pretty good. Smells of sweetroasted, toasted malts, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate. Slightly smokey with a very slight aroma of maybe dry hops. The taste is a little of a step up from the smell. Has similar features, but the hops stand out a bit more in the taste than the smell. The smokeyness is a little harder to distinguish in the flavor, but tastes and feels very well balanced overall. It's full bodied but the mouthfeel is very good, very smooth, a very drinkable porter.

Photo of Dogbrick
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sample at Alan's HSC initation. Thanks Rogueone for sharing! The beer pours a very dark brown color with a medium thin beige head that dissipates steadily. Spotty lacing on the glass.Nice roasted coffee aroma with notes of chocolate and malt. Medium body with flavors of roasted malt, coffee, chocolate and hops. The finish is dry and roasty with a mildly bitter hops and coffee aftertaste. Pretty enjoyable from start to finish.

Photo of Genghis22
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a ruddy brown, with ruby and mahagony highlights. Nice rich brown head that subsided nicely.

S - Roasted malt, with touches of cocoa, coffee and rubbing alcohol.

T - Roasted malts hit the tongue first, but are quickly intercepted by the hops. They provide a quick blast of bitterness and shock the tastebuds. The aftertase is much smoother. The nutty, roasted malt flavors come back, and are quite nice.

M - Medium to full bodied beer, but quite watery. Very hard to describe. It fills the mouth, and feels like a big beer, but goes down quickly and feels watery as you sip it. The carbonation is plentiful, but very fine. I think this explains the issues I have with the body. The fine carbonation may make it seem more full bodied than it is.

D - A solid effort, but nothing to seek out. I've had lots of porters that were worse, and lots of porters that were better. This is a nice dark beer, with decent flavor. I would drink it again, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Photo of MisterClean
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had at home while watching a game.

A - Dark brown in color, with a mocha head, and dissipates slow.

S/T - Chocolate and light roast coffee, with some bittering hops.

M - Creamy, rich, full bodied, and malt dominated.

D - Very good. This would be my ideal attempt at homebrewing a porter.

Photo of HalfFull
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and clear ruby brown with an inch or so of tan head from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Offers good initial retention and lacing, decreasing through the glass yet holding a surface ring.

Nose is rich with cocoa and grated chocolate with some light woody hops mixed in. Just slightly roasted in nature, it's one sided to a degree but quite nice pleasant and dry.

Flavor follows the nose with spicy chocolate notes most prevalent. Finishes with a lingering malt structure of moderate length. Medium to full bodied and offering a good carbonation level keeping this beer more interesting than the tap version which glosses over too quickly. Easy drinking with a bit of a coarse chocolate texture on the finish, otherwise quite smooth and well constructed for its 6.0%.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep dark brown with garnet highlights and a quarter inch of light tan foam on top that leaves sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas of dark roasted malts with a bit of a burnt accent. Hints of chocolate and coffee meld in with a nice hoppy character as well.

First sip brings smooth roasted dark malts with a touch of a burnt flavor. Smoky chocolate and coffee tones move down into a nice kick of hop bitterness. Lingering bitter roast on the finish. Pretty tasty porter.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth. Good carbonation making this an easy drinking porter. Hops work well in here and the only thing I'm not really digging is a lingering bitter roast on the finish. I haven't had many west coast porters but this is quite tasty and I wouldn't mind drinking it again. Cheers to Ballast Point.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown in color. Nearly black. A little screen of film on top of the beer. A little froth around the edges.
Smell is chocolate, piney hops and some dark roasted malts.
Taste is more chocolate, the hops make themselves a little more present. Good carbonation and mouthfeel. This is very solid for a porter.
Very sessionable and easy drinking. Could drink this very often.

Photo of mirish72
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We're finally starting to see Ballast Point in Massachusetts, which is a good thing. I picked up this bomber at Julio's, but have seen the porter available all across the state (the DIPA not so much).

Pours black with reddish highlights. Minimal head and a sweet malty aroma. Very smooth roasted malt finish with a bit of chocolate & vanilla. You can taste the hops, but the beer is very balanced and drinkable.

Definitely a beer I would like to have more of and I am looking forward to trying more offerings from Ballast Point.

Photo of botham
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at the Blue Water in San Diego. pours a deep chocolate brown with amber highlights with minimal head and a soapy rim after a few seconds.

aroma is lightly roasted with a bit of chocolate and vanilla. wonderfully rich in the nose.

taste is more of the same with a supremely roasted character and a rich malty finish of black malts and a bit of nutty warmth on the back end.

mouthfeel is full bodied and malty smooth with a finish that lingers.

drinkability is good. very mellow, easy going and flavorful. a solid porter; quintessential for the style.

Photo of Onenote81
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a deep dark brownish black with just whisps of ruby on the edges. Big rocky tan head rests on top. Retention is average, but it leaves nice pretty lacing. Smells of roasted nuts and breads, coffee, and the faintest of cocoa beans.

The mouth is somewhat creamy, but there is a bit of carbonation in this that makes it a touch bubbly. Flavor is very chocolate forward. Plenty of bitter roasted nuttiness mixed with the sweet chocolate makes this absolutely a treat to sip! Some wine characteristics are in there, but very subtley. This is a wonderful Porter from an excellent brewery. Everything I've had from here has been top notch, and this is no exception.

Photo of Jayli
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap 7/18 at The Dirty Truth
This beer pours a dark borderline mahogany- brown color with about a 1/2 inch of tan creamy head to it. Nice head retention to it with thick sticky lacing coating the sides of the glass. Nose is of bitter chocolate with a strong coffee influence, and just a touch of smoke. The taste started with some toffee and caramel flavoring that I didn't pick up in the nose, lending it's way to some roasted malts, bitter chocolate and a lighter coffee flavoring in the finish.
Medium body with light to moderate carbonation, nice dry finish to it. This beer goes down very easily, and one can sit with for a while.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly black with tan head. Nose has a bit of a smokey, woody note with roasted, chocolate, and coffee notes. Palate is in line with the nose, especially the roasty flavors and some smoked wood. Chocolate is not sweet. Finish is somewhat dry also.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at TND.

A- Black marlin is not quite all the wayt there as the color is more of a very dirty and dark brown. Not much of a head on this just some scattered foam on the surface, no lacing.

S- Smells like a porter with roasted malts and some caramel with it. Some mollasses and some hops in the distance, not this beers main focus. Some chocolate and cocco, not much coffee.

T- A very tasty porter here, one of the better ones ive had recently. Robust roasted malts giving off some chocolate and a bit more coffee than smell. Molasses are a great touch. Also getting some vanilla in here which is always welcome.

M- A creamy and medium mouthfeel with a low amount of carbonation. Just a bit of a watery feel towards the end of the gulp.

D- A bit above a session beer and I could of drank more. This one is now on my radar for a bottle purchase to compare. Not mindblowing, but solid.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this brew in a trade with danielcurtis81, Thanks Dan!

22oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

Black with a rising beige head that stayed as a fairly thick layer and left a bunch of lacing.
The aroma is of roasted malt, good for the style.
The taste is rich and roasted malty goodness with dark chocolate and espresso coffee notes as well, delicious.
Medium bodied with a smooth & creamy feel.
It's very easy to drink this tasty porter.

Photo of Haybeerman
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark brown/black color. Poured a 2 finger creamy chocolate head with good retention. Thick splotches of lace.

S: Sweet toasted malts, molasses and cream. Earthy hay/musty smell.

T: Big toasted malts; coffee and cocoa. Slightly sweet vanilla and cream. Enough bitter to balance but not to bite.

M: Full body; thick and chewy. Low carbonation. Scary thick and smooth. Perfect bitter in the finish.

Overall- An excellent session beer. I could drink this one all afternoon.

Photo of jeffjeff1
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a good, refreshing beer. I enjoyed it.

Appearance- almost black, opaque, red highlights when held to the light

Smell- dark fruit, chocolate

Taste- chocolate, coffee

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, creamy, smooth

Drinkability- very drinkable, thoroughly enjoyed it

Photo of SPRichard
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured dark chocolate black....ruby red highlights when held up to the light....thin tan head that left spotty lacing

bitter dark chocolate....roasted malts....dark fruit hiding...a hint of hops

the bitter dark chocolate from the nose showed up on the first sip...dry, dark roasted malts...hints of caramel and coffee...the chocolate was the predominate flavor in this one

medium bodied with a bitter aftertaste from the dark chocolate and malts

if you like a chocolate dominated porter then this one is for you...it's not just one dimensional as far as the chocolate goes...the coffee and hops hide in there and pop their heads out hear and there

Photo of LordofTime25
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a dark brownish black with a thick tan head. Leaves good lacing with good head retention.

Smells of cream, cocoa, and molasses malt.

Tastes of chocolate, molasses malt, and vanilla.

Very creamy and smooth in the mouth, but has a nice dry finish to it.

Could drink this all night!

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a nonic pint glass. The porter appears a dark chestnut color with about two fingers of ecru foam. Nose and flavor are of medium roasted grains, caramel, a touch of vanilla, molasses, mild cocoa. About medium bodied and amply carbonated for the style. Worth seeking out.

Photo of GRG1313
1.95/5  rDev -50.8%
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.

Photo of atsprings
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle into a DFH signature glass pours an almost opaque black with a nice frothy off-white head that lasts as a thin layer and leaves great lacing on the glass. Aroma is a nice amount of brown malt and slight cocoa. The taste is a nice amount cocoa blending nicely with brown malts and a hint of coffee and a nice hop balance. The beer is fairly light bodied and quite smooth and refreshing. This is a very enjoyable porter.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ballast Point- Black Marlin Porter

A- Deep dark brownish black with a thick tan head. Good thick lacing and a solid head retention.
S- Cream, cocoa powder, and molasses malt.
T- Very smooth and creamy. Good milk chocolate cocoa powder, molasses malt, and a touch of vanilla.
M- Starts off very creamy and smooth. The body is thick, malty, and sweet. a good dry truffle chocolate bitterness finishes this one off.

Overall- An excellent session beer. I could drink this one all afternoon.

Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.