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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

723 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 723
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 31
Gots: 42 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Marlin Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 723 | Reviews: 295 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JDV


4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Fordest for this delicious bomber!
Black pour, medium sized tan nicely lasting head. Smell is rich, highly and well roasted without smelling burnt. Taste is rich, nice body, coffee, rich dark roast. Damn good porter. Perfect balance of sweet/bitter/roastiness, leaving a lasting pleasant roast finish. Hard to beat this porter in my opinion, and well worth getting. This really, really hit the spot.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 18:42:11 | More by JDV
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to grub for sharing this bomber.

Pours a clear cola brown/red, thin tan head forms, leaves a thin layer, and some spotty lacing on the glass. Smell is very fruity, toffee, cola, bit of roast, chemicals, a bit astringent, kind of strange. Taste is similar, very fruity, caramel, chocolate roast, oats and bread in the middle, cola, light spiciness, weird chemical kind of flavour I can't place. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, feels a bit thin on the palate. Not bad, but had a weird fruity/chemical thing going on that I wasn't a big fan of. Thanks for sharing Russ!

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 20:49:22 | More by Viggo
Photo of SetarconeX


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Inky black with a dark brown froth. Smells like charcoal and chocolate. Really a rather nice smell. I took a few extra whiffs just to savor it.

Tastes much thicker than your average Porter, with quick a bit of burnt flavor. Not as malty as I might have expected from a brew this dark, instead tasting almost dusty. Really a unique brew. I like it quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2008 02:21:07 | More by SetarconeX
Photo of grub

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bax72 hooked me up with this one as part of BC2. thanks chris!

22oz bottle. sampled feb 2/08.

pours deep brown, not quite opaque. with a small dense pale brown head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves only a few spots of lace.

aroma is nice. great fruity character. dark chocolate. bit of coffee. toasted wheat bread. touch of milk chocolate. light caramel sweetness. just a hint of alcohol.

taste is good. bittersweet chocolate. roasty and toasty. bready malt. medium bitterness level. bit of dark chocolate. touch of alcohol. doesn't quite have the hoppy presence that i expect from an american porter.

mouthfeel is nice. there's a bit of sting from the medium carbonation a bit of burnt astringency from the roast. medium body.

drinkability is good. it hides its alcohol quite well. a nice porter, but it just doesn't wow me.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2008 01:09:49 | More by grub
Photo of DoubleJ


4.83/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Hollingshead's in a half-liter mug, on to the beer:

The beer's appearance is jet black, topped by a puffy head. Aroma is soft and sweet with cocoa. The taste is exceptionally smooth, soft, and sweet. Soft chunks of chocolate, which get brushed up by a pinch of hops. Coffee notes sit underneath it all. There isn't much of a roasted edge to it, making it easy to quaff.

Simply amazing. That's all I have to say.

(and having it on-tap again 3 years later, I stand by my original score. Wonderful dark nectar this remains.)

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2008 03:00:09 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of bashiba


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured jet black with a thick creamy cocoa head, great retention with moderate lacing.

Smell had a chocolate milk sweetness with some minor smoke and burnt grain odor.

Flavor is light and mild with a nice bit of light cocoa, coffee, and creamy sweet malts finishing with a burnt malt and smokey flavor.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a slightly dry lingering finish.

Very easy to drink, subtle yet mildly complex, very easy to drink, great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2008 02:29:32 | More by bashiba
Photo of Scoobydank


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Dark borwn color that you can not see though. The head is a full brown that just melts away
S:Dark roasted malt right away. A bit of milk chocolate with a faint coffee.
T: Wow, what a reversal from the smell. Strong coffee right up front with that milk chocolate coming on the back pallat.
M:Pretty surpisingly fizz. The fizz has a nice round feeling to it though.
D: Great example of a porter all around.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 20:50:08 | More by Scoobydank
Photo of NitroGen


3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

P: 22 oz. Bomber

A: Pours a dark brown with reddish hues a finger of tan foam that quickly settles to a scant cover

S: Malted Milk Balls, deep chocolate and coffee with a slight finish

T: Dark roasted malt, which is slightly sweet, begins the taste and stays for the finish.

M: Feels great in the mouth, as the flavor profile is very pleasing. However, the taste is a bit one dimensional, as there is no change in taste from beginning to end. After reading the bottle I was anticipating stronger hop notes and a bit more complexity to the taste

D: This is a fine beer, and I would have another. Will buy more as it is a solid porter. One or two at a time would be enough before moving on for something else.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2007 03:36:28 | More by NitroGen
Photo of tempest


3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

I was impressed by the depth of flavor and aroma here, but mouthfeel seemed almost watery, seriously detracting from the experience. The aroma at first reminded me of Rogue's Chocolate Stout, with its super-smooth cocoa aroma. But then I also pulled some black licorice and black roasted grains. The taste focuses in more on the seemingly burnt grains, with a slight ash and charcoal taste. Then, like I said, a plain, water-like feel came in the middle of the flavors and made me feel like I was drinking a much lighter beer. Alas.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 17:24:08 | More by tempest
Photo of dfillius


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bomber into a pint glass

A: Dark black with some crimson tomes along the edges when held up to the light. One finger of tan tight head. Head has amazing retention!

S: Hazelnut and roasted coffee beans

T: Coffee and hazelnut. I can't taste much else, but what I can taste is well balanced and hearty.

M: Creamy, satin smoothness.

D: Delicious, with not too much alcohol! More please!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2007 19:06:21 | More by dfillius
Photo of Gusler


4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On the pour from the 22 ounce bottle, a black walnut brown tinged with ruby red highlights, the head a large tan creamy delight that very slowly gives way, the lacing a tight skirt to surround the glass. Nose is rich in toasted grain, caramel, hints of coffee and chocolate, simply made my mouth water, start is rich in malt, the toasted grain gives it a pleasant bite, top is moderate to almost full in feel. Finish is benign in its acidity, the hops perfection in their spiciness, sweet toasted malt, coffee and chocolate to the very end, dry, and simply a great beer from a top ten brewery in my books.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2007 19:44:56 | More by Gusler
Photo of Overlord


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Really, really enjoyable porter.

Pours a nice deep brownish black, with some reddish hues. More carbonation than I come to expect from a porter, and a nice robust head that never went completely away.

Mouthfeel is thin, but the carbonation really goes fantastically with this porter. In fact, Ballast Point has managed to merge a cola-like carbonation with a dark, strongly flavored beer. More vanilla than I usually see, but this is mostly coffee, bitter chocolate, and toffee. Extraordinarily drinkable and enjoyable. Actually, it might be the most drinkable porter I've ever tried. Not the best, mind you, but one that I could easily return for three or four bombers and not grow tired of it.

Not the best Ballast Point brew I've tried (that would be the Dorado DIPA), but my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2007 07:30:53 | More by Overlord
Photo of gpcollen1


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice and dark into my Smutty big Beer Glass. Cocoa head rises and inch or so and is slow to settle. Aroma is rich with coffee and chocolate with a touch of rich toffee.

Taste follows the nose a bit in the Chocolate, coffee and toffee - all very present. HAs a cola-like fizz on the tongue and a slight sweet and slightly sour creep of flavor up the tongue. Rounds out from dry to very dry with a slight bitterness. Seems a hair thin but not too thin at all - probably just makes it more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2007 00:36:47 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of Wasatch


3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, a little fizzy tannish head appears, not much sticky lacing at all. The nose is malty, some chocolate, toffee, and lots of caramel. The taste is malty, good dose of chocolate/toffee/caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little porter, might buy it again, we'll see.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2007 23:20:47 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Bighuge


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost opaque. Thin light beige head. Lacing is minimal. Nice nose of dark roasted malts, char, coffee and caramel. Agreeable flavor with the nice chocolate/burnt malt/coffee thing going on. A nice little ying-yang deal of sweet vs bitter going on. On one side, you've got the sweet caramel malt back bone and some carmelized sugar traits. On the other hand are the intriguing bitter char notes and coffee bean. Overall a nice blend of flavors. The body of this beer hovers around medium and the carbonation is appropriately on the low side. Ballast Point in Minnesota?? I'll take it.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2007 03:38:00 | More by Bighuge
Photo of bjohnson


3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to solomon420 for the chance to try this offering. Much appreciated.

Pours a very dark brown color with reddish hues towards the bottom. Toffee colored one finger soft looking head holds for fifteen seconds and then dissipates from the middle out. White lacing down the glass. Roasted malt notes with hints of coffee beans and chocolate.

Mouthfeel is sthin. Tails out towards the end. Nice level of carbonation. Roasted malt and coffee bean notes. Not as robust as it could be, though it hints it could be something more. Slight infusion of milk chocolate. Coffee notes stay on the palate into the finish. Slight leafy bitterness. A very drinkable porter although not one that I'd go running after. Middle of the road.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2007 04:58:38 | More by bjohnson
Photo of DaPeculierDane


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Brewbaca for the sample.

Pours into a pint glass a rubied obsidian with a thick and moderately lasting brown head. Well above average appearance. Great aroma. Pungent, consisting mostly of bitter chocolate and citrus hops. Coffee too. It is exactly what I look for in a good porter. Taste is quite nice as well, with the exception of a mild booziness that becomes prominent as the beer warms. Other than that, this beer is just fine. Flavor includes tons of chocolate, hints of coffee, and perhaps just a pinch of vanilla. The roasted dark malt character is deep, pervasive, and unyielding in its intensity. Mouthfeel and texture are very nice. This is a full but not filling beer. It is slick, balanced, and light enough on the carbonation to give it some creaminess. Hopping is well done to create a dry, moderately bitter finish. Very nice. One of the best example of the style I’ve had in some time.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 16:14:26 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of blitz134


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black, but shows dark crimson highlights when held up to the light. Very small head on the pour, mocha in color, but reduced to barely a skim layer.

Dark toasted malts really come through. Chocolate brownies are the predominant aroma. A little hopping as well. Has a touch of lactose. Pretty nice aroma, quite inviting and definitely more dominant that other porters I’ve had.

Fairly assertive flavor, again lots of dark toasted malts. A bit of coffee and toffee play into this. I find this like a toned down stout. A little bitter and astringent in the end, but nothing that detracts. After the swallow the dark toasted malt flavors just seem to hang on in the back of the throat.

Good mouthfeel, medium bodied. Lower carbonation levels fit in well. Coats the mouth well and the flavor lingers.

Good overall drinkability too. I really wanted something easy to drink tonight that was a bit roasty and this fits the bill well. Just a good, solid beer in all the categories.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2007 03:06:38 | More by blitz134
Photo of bradybeer


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown-almost black with quickly disapearing head with a hit of hops. Tatse reminds me of a good bitter chocolate bar but with a slight hop bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is what I expect in a robust porter-not heavy but not thin either. Drinkability is high as this beer is one that I could have in over aboundance during one our many foggy nights

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2007 19:50:45 | More by bradybeer
Photo of arizcards


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at AJ's at the end of October for $3.79.

Beer poured a deep brown with mahogany undertones. Head was tan but has dissapated quickly leaving some lacing behind. Nose is malty and chocolately, very nice. Taste is of roasted malts accented by chocolate balanced by a nice bittering hop finish. The flavors get more pronounced the more it warms. Mouthfeel is delectably smooth and creamy, which makes the beer for me. Overall drinkability is good. This is the first Ballast Point beer I have tried and I will be seeking this and their other offerings out in the future!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2007 22:51:57 | More by arizcards
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown, totally opaque. Head is a good finger tall, a medium creamy latte colored mass floating on top of the body.

S: Dried cocoa, fresh dough, distant fresh brewed coffee, burnt toast and vanilla.

T: Begins sort of a chocolate laced butter with vanilla wafts. Really basic coffee transitions in with milk chocolate simplicity. Really minor bitterness can be found but is played down dramatically. Finishes little bit of red grape and toffee.

M: Medium body, decent mouthfeel.

D: Man, pretty boring porter. Bummer because I love Ballast Point.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2007 01:18:41 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of Barleywhiner


3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown/black, with a thin head. The aroma is malty, but not overpowering. The taste is sweet at first, turning into a slightly dirty after taste as it finishes. The mouthfeel is a little watery. It is a beer that is easy to drink, but not to complex and therefore not all that interesting, still overall a good beer, and worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 03:28:44 | More by Barleywhiner
Photo of neonbrown82


4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Very good porter. I had all but given up on Ballast Point until fellow BA spazaru read my review for Big Eye IPA and suggested I try this before losing hope. I'm glad I listened to him. As a matter of fact, I'll probably try the ESB as well (and if I remember correctly there is still another that I can get around here).

The beer pours to a very dark brown, damn near black. Has a nice brownish head, but the retention leaves a little to be desired. Lacing isn't bad. A little spotty, but good.

The smell is quite good as well. Very chocolatey, if not a bit ashy from black patent malt. Has a good amount of caramel malt in it as well. A hint of smoke as well. The taste is just as good with all of the same elements. Starts off a bit sweet from the caramel malt and fades into an intense chocolate. An ashy, smoky black patent malt flavor dominates late in the finish. The chocolate malt and coffee flavor lingers well into the aftertaste. Quite pleasant.

My only gripe is that it has too much caramel and black patent, which creates an almost buttery sweetness up front, followed by a dry ashy mouthfeel. The body is fairly full for a porter as well. Has only a hint of alcohol flavor, even despite being a drinkable 6%. Overall, it is a very good robust porter. Thanks again to spazaru for convincing me not to give up on this brewery. I will most likely drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2007 04:35:57 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of flexabull


4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark color, almost black. The head is somewhat small, and white.

Aromas are of roasted malts, and some light coffee notes.

There is a definite hop bite noted in this beer. But it's nice, and not overwhelming. The rest of the flavor are of dark roasted malts, and bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel is good especially full on the first sip, finish is nice as well.

Drinkability? Oh yeah. This is a nice and drinkable Porter. I enjoyed it more and more as I got to the bottom of the glass. My second beer from Ballast Point, and I am not disappointed. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2007 07:51:03 | More by flexabull
Photo of rayjay


3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Although the Big Eye IPA is a beer to behold, this porter seemed pale in comparison (pun intended). Nothing bad or offensive, but merely an average porter, with below average carbonation, and a sticky sweet mouthfeel. The roasted aromas are all there, as are the thick malts, with an emphasis on the carmel malts. Reminds me of a porter home brewed from an extract kit. Good, definately not great.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2007 01:49:08 | More by rayjay
Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 723 ratings.