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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

790 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 39
Gots: 60 | 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: 790 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
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 -10.1%
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
Photo of ph2001
2.73/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle in pint glass

near black, a very deep carmel brown color. theres a small amount of head that leaves quickly. smells hoppy and malty but very mild.

medium light body. the flavors here are very mild. there's nothing wrong with them, but there's nothing significant about them either. very plain and boring. could be thicker, creamier, sweeter, anything. not good not bad, 2.5, middle of the road flavor. not worth the $6 for it, try something else.

ph2001, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good porter, enjoyed at Mondial 2008. Chocolate stouty aroma. Dark, with some lace. Creamy mouthfeel,smartly hopped,a tasty citrus undercurrent of flavour, smooth drinking with coffee and gentle woodiness, gentle carbonation.I wish I could have this again right now back home.

Sammy, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of JordanC
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown to black appearance and head that stayed for a bit, which I always take note of.

Smelled like chocolate and sweet molasses. It was nice, but not too complex.

A very good taste with cocoa flavors winning out and a sort of sour maltiness. Sounds bad but tasted good.

Sort of a medium body to it, not too thick but smooth and creamy.

I really liked the beer and would drink a few more,as soon as I try the rest of the world's stouts and porters. Something I would recommend and enjoyed especially because the brewery is local!

JordanC, May 28, 2008
Photo of bbothen
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, almost black color with a nice looking frothy 1 finger head that stays awhile.

S - Big chocolate nose. Iced coffee. Roasted malt. Very nice.

T - Chocolate, caramel, toasty goodness. Not overly hoppy at all. The sweet malt & roasted flavor are the stars of the party here.

M - Medium. Smooth & slightly creamy. Lingering faint hops.

D - Very good. This is a fine beer that I could have many of.

I enjoyed this quite a bit. Probably more than my scores would lead you to believe. It's not a bad thing to an above average porter. WHich I think this is.

bbothen, May 24, 2008
Photo of smcolw
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Impressive head with lots of rockiness while it recedes slowly. Nice lace. The color is deep, dark brown. A minimal amount of light shines through.

The smell reminds me of cocoa frothed up. There's a touch of stale ice from an opened freezer.

Relatively sweet for a porter. The body is thinner than most. Beyond that, this has some very nice (and complex) flavors: toffee, mocha, vanilla, light hazelnut, and enough hop to give a touch of bitterness.

smcolw, May 18, 2008
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber served in a shaker pint. Poured a deep brown/black with a slight tan head. Lots of cocoa in the aroma. Roasty/chocolatey malt flavors predominate. A little sweetness.
Not a lot of hops, just enough to balance the sweetness. Dry malt finish with more chocolate. A solid porter. Nothing that blows you away, but very drinkable.

homebrewhawk, May 18, 2008
Photo of AltBock
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was able to get this Ballast Point beer on-tap at the Drafting Room in Spring House on 5/10/2008. They served it to me in a standard American pint glass.

Black Marlin poured a beautiful dark chocolate black with some bright ruby red highlights along the side. The head of foam was tan in color and close to being 1/2 inch in height. This tan head of foam quickly dissipated into a handful of tan rings and one spot of tan lace around the glass. I thought the color of this beer was just great! The aroma was lightly sour with bitter dark chocolate, roasted malts, a pinch of roasted hops, and a dark fruit hiding in the background. The taste was also lightly sour, but it wasn't a beer gone bad sour. It was one of those good sour tastes. Anyway, the taste was lightly sour with bitter dark chocolate, dry and dark roasted malts, a splash of caramel, a pinch of roasted coffee, and some roasted hops at the finish. If any one of those flavors stood out, it would have to be the chocolate. The chocolate ruled this taste. The mouthfeel was medium to full bodied with a nice dark and lightly bitter aftertaste of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and a hint of roasted hops. As you can tell I enjoyed this Porter very much and wouldn't mind having another one of these. In the end, it's just a great roasted chocolately Porter.

AltBock, May 11, 2008
Photo of akorsak
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 650 mL bomber from Westy's.

A: The porter is dark and mysterious, black with cola brown hints throughout, especially on close inspection. A small head emerged on pour but did not stick around.

S: Big nose! This one is full of deep, bitter burnt notes and touches of hop bitterness. The aroma has a charred element that crowds out most other scents.

T: The charred nose manages to hide itself before the beer hits the tongue. The harsh aromas are replaced by softer, chocolate/caramel malts touched only by hints of over-toasting. The porter body has a slightly sour taste that I crave in a good porter. The ale does, however, lack an appreciable hop finish, allowing the dark malts to remain strong throughout.

M: The mouthfeel is soft, tangy with the burnt notes and slight sourness. Nothing to get too worked up about though.

D: This is a good session porter, flavorful with a moderate abv that keeps the tastebuds buzzing.

akorsak, May 10, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ,

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a thick off-white head with good retention and great lacing in a pint glass.

S: Roasted malt, a bit of dark fruit coffee.

T: Very roasted taste for a porter, but the char bitterness is restrained giving a nice full flavour of espresso coffee and dark chocolate. Light charcoal notes as well in there, but they do not overpower the beer.

M: Medium-bodied, seems like a bigger beer than it actually is, lingering flavour profile, oily.

D: A quite good porter beer from San Diego, nothing makes me go crazy, but a tasty, relatively inexpensive session beer.

Halcyondays, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of dashirey
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got a couple bombers in a case split.

A - Very dark brown almost black, but when held to the light red/ruby hues shine through. There was a tan one finger head that when dissapted leaves a small think layer with some lacing left on the glass.

S - Some malt, chocolate, & coffee are detected in the nose.

T - Roasted malts mostly. I cannot seem to pinpoint much else. Don't get me wrong it wasn't a bad taste, just mot too much there.

M - Nice carbonation, smooth drinking, medium bodied.

D - Very easy drinking beer. I really liked it, but really nothing spectacular.

dashirey, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of of mocha colored head. Average lacing & head retention

s: Chocolate, vanilla, & some faint herbal hops up front, plus some brown sugar

T: Vanilla, iron, & coffee grounds, along with a bit of baker's chocolate up front. Rich chocolate, leafy & minty hops as this warms. Finishes smooth, choclatey & with a touch of mint

MF: Medium bodied, oily smooth & low carbonation

Drinks easy, but doesn't quite pull itself together as a session porter, flavor just weren't strong enough for me. A decent, not great porter, my least favorite beer from Ballast Point

russpowell, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of BeerTruth
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sirhc for this one.

22 oz. bomber poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a dark cola with a big two finger khaki colored head that dies down to a frothy layer. Thin foamy walls stick to the sides of the glass. Smokey caramel malt, charred oak, and sweet toffee up front in the nose. There's also a light floral hop aroma as well. A faint scent of alcohol can be detected in the smell too. Bitter french roast coffee ice cream flavor at first with a smoked wood flavor towards the end. Lemongrass and hops linger throughout on the tongue, very interesting. Dry birch aftertaste with a hint of cocoa and brown sugar. Nice medium body with a smooth texture. Pretty solid carbonation that tingles all the way down. Very enjoyable mouthfeel for a porter. Not being a fan of porters, this beer really surpised me. The Kansas vs. Memphis game just started, I'll be asleep by halftime.

BeerTruth, Apr 08, 2008
Photo of jaxon53
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served this slightly chilled in a pint glass, from a twenty-two ounce brown bottle.My second beer from Ballast Point so far.

Appearance: This one pours out a deep brown color, that looks black once it's in the glass. Some deep ruby highlights shine through when held up to the light. Beer is capped by a fine bubbly, frothy, two finger, mocha brown head, from a somewhat hard pour. Great head retention, leaving a generous coating lace on the glass as it slowly fades.

Smell: This brew has a quite noticeable, floral hoppiness to it. Lots of balancing roasted malt aromas, that gave off an almost smokey, dark chocolate vibe. Just a slight hint of burnt black coffee sits well in the background with a bit of caramel.

Taste: Tastes just as hoppy as it smells. Perfectly balanced by the sweet roasty/toasty malt flavors. A slight coffee bitterness paired up with some semi-sweet chocolate. A little smoke and some almost burnt toffee and caramel flavors. Not a bit of noticeable alcohol in this beer. Finishes smooth and a tad sweet. Flavors compilment eachother nicely.

Mouthfeel: A nice medium bodied mouthfeel here. Just a notch under creamy but not watery. Smooth, palate coating and pleasant with the perfect amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Great drinkability! Very clean, smooth, and easy to drink. A great Porter from Ballast Point.

jaxon53, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This one was almost solid black with a nice ruby hue.

Smell - This Porter had a big, burnt malt aroma with lots of fruity sugars and a quality hop balance. It was difficult to pick out the fruits, but they were very sweet and ripe.

Taste - The big, roasted malts came on strong here. I got chocolate for the first time along with chewy caramel and a nice, brown sugar. I should say that all of these flavors were very refined.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium-full bodied and very sweet. My lips were smacking after every sip.

Drinkability - I sucked down every gulp I could out of this bottle. This was incredibly smooth and balanced.

jayrod20, Apr 05, 2008
Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber, w/o freshness indication, but the label does give food pairing tips ""a great companion to assertive foods" nice...pours dark dark mahogany, near black, under a nice creamy dark tan head. Also leaves plentiful fine lace. Great looking stuff. Nose is softly of mild chocolate and some dark malt. More chocolate notes, plentiful dark malt, and moderate hop bit comes in late. Rich, creamy, chocolate milk shakeyness. Nice. Great to see brews from BP on the east coast. The more SD, Ca. brewers that distribute to my neck of the woods the better.

Billolick, Mar 30, 2008
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.

JDV, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of Viggo
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!

Viggo, Feb 22, 2008
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.

SetarconeX, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of grub
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.

grub, Feb 03, 2008
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.)

DoubleJ, Feb 01, 2008
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.

bashiba, Jan 26, 2008
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.

Scoobydank, Jan 13, 2008
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.

NitroGen, Dec 24, 2007
Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.