Black Marlin Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

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very good

804 Ratings

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Ratings: 804
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 43
Gots: 65 | 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: 804 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
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'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.

Photo of PhxHorn
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a slight tan head that dissapated pretty quickly. Smells mildy of charred malt, licorice, coffee. Moderately strong taste of charred malt (which is the strongest). licorice, coffee, a bit of chocolate. Decent mix of flavor, but the charred taste stands out a bit too much. Not a big deal, but the overall taste is a bit mild. Very drinkable, though I've had better porters. A good offering, but not Ballast Point's strongest. The Victory at Sea Vanilla Coffee Porter, now THAT'S a porter!

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ben for hookin a brotha up with a couple bombers of this one. I'll be sure to bring in a good one next time i swing through.

Pours a nice deep black/brown color that is virtually impenetrable but leaves some ruby highlights around the edges of the glass. A very nice light tan head lingers very very well and turns to ice cream leaving great chunky lacing.

Nose is alot of roasted malt and some slight coffee bean. A little bit of chocolate notes come out here as well. Quite roasty.

Wow! Talk about underrated, this is a very nice porter. A nice big roasty presence all the way through. Very much a robust porter. Some slight coffee and chocolate notes in there as well, but the roasted malt really shines. A bit dry on the finish, with a nice crisp dark malt bittering effect. The aftertaste lingers on with some light chocolate and big roasted malt. Did i mention that this porter is roasty?

Mouthfeel is pretty good, but maybe just a touch too thin. Carbonation is dead on.

Drinkability is very good. This one is a touch bitter on the finish, but it fits in with the big roastiness quite well. The abv is undectable.

Overall a nice suprise. I mean, I will always love Ballast Points IPAs and 3 sheets, among others, but its nice to see them produce a style they are not necessarily known for as well as this. Ballast is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries out there. Good stuff and great consistency from these guys. It was a blast to have them up here for GAKBBF, and I hope they make it up next year. Its only 3,767 miles, or is it 3676? something like that...

Photo of far333
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of nick76
3.03/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

Photo of illidurit
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of cvfish
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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

Photo of sulldaddy
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
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!

Photo of BeerManDan
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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!

Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Photo of cvstrickland
4/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of xhcadamx
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.38/5  rDev -14.6%
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 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.

Photo of glid02
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 804 ratings.