1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Black Marlin Porter - Ballast Point Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Marlin PorterBlack Marlin Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

858 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 858
Reviews: 311
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 10.1%
Wants: 46
Gots: 86 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 858 | Reviews: 311
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
3.8/5  rDev -4%
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
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
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
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
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
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
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
3.8/5  rDev -4%
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
1.94/5  rDev -51%
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
3.96/5  rDev 0%
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
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
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
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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
3.83/5  rDev -3.3%
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
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
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
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
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
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
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
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
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
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
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
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
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
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
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
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.