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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 jwc215
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black (rubyish at very bottom of glass) with a tan head that descends to a thin cover and stays, leaving some lacing.

The smell is of iced coffee, chocolate and light roast. There's an underlying fruity/earthy backing and some caramel.

The taste is sweet - chocolate and caramel (a bit nutty) with medium coffee-ish roast, turning to a piney/citric bitterish dryness in the finish.

It is verlvety smooth in a (fuller side of?) medium body.

Smooth and delicious with a nice balance. This is a very good example of an American-style porter.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of metallic and contains roasted dark malts, coffee and some hops.

T: The taste is very smoky with strong flavors of coffee and dark chocolate. There's a decent hops presence that provides a little bit of balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty especially if you're into the smokier beers, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, it's a good beer to drink for while if you're looking for a smoky porter, but there are some better ones out there.

Photo of djeucalyptus
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a. poured from a bomber yielding a giant rich and creamy mocha head perched atop blackness. Caramel and ruby hints peek through around the edges and faintly glow when held up to light. The lacing is subtle and wispy, but clings nicely down the glass.

s. Beautiful aromas of rich chocolate, cherries, molasses and cocoa compete for dominance of aroma. The usual roasted malt, burnt bread and toast are there, but take a back seat to the beautiful cocoa and cherry aromas. There's just a subtle hint of coffee peeking through.

t. taste echoes the aroma, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Molasses, raisins, cocoa, and some sour cherry blend beautifully with the richness and darkness of the flavors. A hint of bitterness at the end keep the sweetness of the sour cherry notes from being overpowering.

m. wow, the mouthfeel is nothing short of impressive. Incredibly smooth and creamy, it goes down beautifully without being overly chewy or thick. Just thick enough to hold up the flavors. The malt and sweetness drowns out any hint of bitterness on tongue. Pretty close to incredible.

d. While it's thick and a bit heavy, I could easily drink a few of these. Smooth, balanced, incredibly palatable, and not too far from perfect. I'm definitely regretting not bringing another bottle back with me. One of the better strong porters I've had, this is definitely worth picking up if you have the opportunity.

Photo of deepsouth
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this beer poured an opaque brown with some ruby hints. nearly zilch head.

the smell is of chocolate and toffee and some slightly burnt characteristics. smells good, but the smell isn't really in your face.

the taste is consistent with the smell. good but not wowing.

the mouthfeel is thin for a porter.

overall, i was disappointed in this beer. i'm not sure what my expectations were, but they were obviously too much. this beer was easy enough to drink, but i wouldn't seek it out.

Photo of PatronWizard
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

These guys make some of the best damn labels.

Pours dark as night, maybe a brown hue around the edges. Head didn't last long.

Smell of coffee and charcoal. Taste of coffee and charcoal. I've noticed a smoky taste in porters that I've had lately. The ones I really like don't have it.

Wow, ran out of notes. Guess I went off to enjoy this and forgot to write anything else down.

Overall: eh, worth a try

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

Had a delicious glass of this beer at TJ's everyday the other night.

The beer pours the expected black color with good head retention and lacing. The beer has an interesting aroma, consisting of cherry, coffee, chocolate and black licorise. The licorise actually seems to dominate, but there is enough cherry flavor to keep it from becoming overwhelming. The flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose, again consisting primarily of cherry and licorise. This beer is exceptionally smooth, and actually sort of reminds of the Black Albert in that regard. It has a very rich mouthfeel, but without coming across as tiring or heavy (just like the Black Albert IMO). This beer is quite drinkable, though it's not the sort of beer one could pound down two or three pints of at a sitting.

A very impressive porter from Ballast Point. One of the better one's I've had in a while, at least among porters that were not aged in some sort of wood (like a Jack Daniels barrel for instance).

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

pours a nice dark robust black. has slight rich brown highlights when held up to the light but im lucky i can see through this beer at all. has a nice amount of head on the initial pour. fades medium fast to leave a nice amount of lacing.

smell is full of rich roasted malts, a bit of chocolate.

nice flavor. i get alot of the malty character of this beer. a bit of chocolate with a slight bitter at the end. a very well balanced beer. full flavored, amazing finish.

mouth feel= awesome. super smooth. nice amount of carbonation throughout the brew. a very robust full flavored beer. i would expect this beer to be alot heavier but its very easy to drink. i could easily see myself putting back a few bombers without missing a beat.

a stand up porter. i had a chance to try the barrel aged down at ballast point and it was great, but it just goes to show you barrel age a great beer and what comes out is magic.

Photo of Kadonny
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the hand pump at TJs in Paoli PA. Nice to see a bar in PA carrying a cask keg of BP from sunny CA!

A: A deep dark brown, almost black with no light filtering at all. A nice half finger tight foamy light brown head.

S: Dark roasty smells with hints of burnt coffee and nice hops.

T: Again, the very dark roasted malt flavor prevails with hints of dark coffee/espresso, some dark chocolate. The nice hops come shining through in the flavor from the middle to end of the taste. Nice lingering bitterness and roastiness. Nice balanced beer as I love a good hoppy porter.

M: Very creamy and smooth (cask) but the hops sit in the mouth and linger. No hints of alcohol.

D: High. A nice medium ABV with the creamy mouthfeel makes these go down silky smooth.

Overall a fantastic porter that I am lucky enough to have on a hand pump. Another great beer from BP, they keep churning out winners. I would drink this again in a heartbeat, great beer.

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

This beer pours a rich mahogany brown with a full tan head that retains well and laces the glass to the end. Aroma is richly brewed coffee and smooth malts. Slight fruit hints of sweetness, no alcohol anywhere, and I can't detect any hop presence in the aroma.
Taste is a very nice balance of coffee with the slightest hint of hops in the end. Malts are very obvious throughout giving a toasted flavor to the brew that is very enjoyable. In the mouth its medium bodied and not as thick as some porters I"ve tried. Nicely carbonated and not chewy or so malt heavy that its a one and done brew. Between the even keel with the flavors and the 6%abv this is a great beer to enjoy several of with or without a meal.

Photo of BeerDetective
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on cask a few days ago, it took over for Stoudts Oatmeal Stout at the bar. I liked its appearance, nice and black, but its flavor was a bit too hoppy still, rather overpowering some of the roasty flavor I like in a good porter, like say, Fuller's for example. All in all a nice representation of the style, and it gets points for being on cask which I love..

Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brownish black color with a creamy tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass and good retention as well.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts with some chocolate notes and just a hint of coffee in the background.

T- The taste starts out pretty smooth and malty with a lot of roasted malt. The finish is mildly bitter, but the hops are certainly not the focus of this brew.

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is a very drinkable Porter with a good amount of flavor.

Overall, Black Marlin Porter is a very enjoyable beer. It is one of the better American Porters that I have tried. Recommended.

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

Appearance: This one's a very, very dark brown with some ruby-esque highlights around the edges. Sitting atop is a two finger deep, mocha colored head. Retention was good, but light lacing lined the glass.

Smell: Roasted malts dominate the nose initially. Very, very inviting. Chocolate malts are secondary, but are every bit as impressive. Slightly sweet smelling. Hops are obviously strong in the mix. Much moreso than your average Porter. They give it a bit of an earthy vibe, as well as...dare I say...a citric element? Very impressive.

Taste: The flavor profile is very consistent with the nose. Roasted malts are easily the most prominent flavor. But, there's plenty of sweet chocolate to complement it. There's even a nice coffee flavor if you're paying attention. The hops are really impressive and add a lot of character to this beer. They are a little earthy and citric. Overall, it's pretty straight forward. Not quite as impressive as the nose. But, very good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and has a smooth feel. I wouldn't go so far as to characterize it as creamy. But, it's easy drinking. Carbonation is pretty light and well done. Drinkability is good. I've got no problems tackling a bomber. But, more than that would be a stretch. I'm not much for sessioning Porters.

Ballast Point brewed a really nice Porter here. It's a very approachable, drinkable beer. Easily among the top Porters out there. It is straight forward and lacks subtle nuances, but is very well put together. Certainly recommended.

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

22oz bottle into nonic.

Deep and dark black with light ruby edges at the bottom of the glass. A one finger tan head settles to a thin cap with a fuzzy rim.

Deep and roasty grains with a mix of black coffee and chocolate aromas. Not much hop aroma to speak of.

The roasted and bitter malts are there from start to finish, with more of the bitter flavors sticking around. A light creaminess comes into the middle. The chocolate repeats in the flavor. The hops are light, maybe showing up toward the end to give a little bit of citrusy flavors. The finish is the lingering dark and roasted grains.

A pretty good porter, maybe bordering on a stout. It's rather complex, and enjoyable. Recommended.

Photo of jdhilt
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a three finger beige head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving some lace. Black as midnight, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Coffee nose. Flavor is sweet roasted coffee/chocolate with almost burnt coffee finish, nice porter. $5.25 for a 22oz bottle from Yankee Spirits South Attleboro, Ma.

Photo of AlexJ
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown almost black with a frothy mocha head that has goos retention and sticky lace.

Aroma is dark roast malts, coffee, earth, light campfire, and a hint of fruit.

Flavor nice but not overly complex. A nice roasted malt and dark sugar note accented by light pine, wood, earth, and dry chocolate.

Body just shy of medium with an average mouthfeel and good drinkability. A good session-style porter.

Photo of Kegatron
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very dark brown (almost black) with some garnet highlights around the bottom and 2 fingers of creamy tan head. Retains into a nice thin layer that left some moderate lacing behind. The aroma smells of coffee, nuts, roasted malts, caramel sweetness, and just a splash of citrus and touch of earth in the back.

The taste is some chocolate and caramel sweetness with an undercurrent of coffee and roast running through it. There is a light hop profile in the back along with some citrus tang. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with a carbonation that's mellow but seems a touch thin for the style.

Decent Porter from Ballast Point that is fairly robust with a good drinkability. I'd check out another bottle of this sometime down the line.

Photo of objectivemonkey
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into an imperial pint, pours a pretty solid black, nice inch thick light tan head, a bit of falling, bubbly lacing. The aroma is full of roasted malt and chocolates, some coffee as it warms. Same thing in the taste, nicely roasted malts, chocolates, coffee, toffee, some caramels, quite nice. The body is also pretty good, nice body and carbonation, pretty smooth. Everything here adds up to a very easy to drink, highly enjoyable porter.

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

Out of a birthday bomber from my girlfriend, (thanks cupcake!) this brew poured into my glass a deep black with some garnet highlights. Foamy, thick cap of one finger tan head formed and displayed decent lacing. Good retention, got a little rocky after a hot minute. Aromas were of lightly of chocolate, hints of charcoal. Not as deep as the brew suggests. Classic flavors of dark chocolate giving it a semi- sweet character that becomes more pronounced as it warms. Roasted malts, barley, charcoal notes again, really coats the tongue. Syrupy finish. Hops come punching in after, especially with the warmth. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and filling, good mouthfeel and apropos for the style. Good example of the style (and a competitive one!) from the city that produces Sierra Nevada Porter. Score.

Photo of ffejherb
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bomber into shaker pint glass on 8/11/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Black body with hazlenut brown accents and two fingers of rocky burnt tan head that settled down to about a quarter inch of retention and left sparse lacing around the glass.

S - Mild roasted malt with hints of milk chocolate and a nutty character reminiscent of walnut. Very little hop presence with perhaps only a mild earthy quality. Overall, this porter has a fairly subdued aroma.

T - Mild chocolate sweetness with a bit of nuttiness and some mild roasted maltiness. Hop palate is light and earthy.

M - Medium, fairly robust body that's perhaps a tad thin and moderately fizzy. Mild bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel is quite smooth overall.

D - Solid porter from Ballast Point. However, I enjoy their hoppy brews a little more. Still, this is a nice porter that is quite drinkable despite a nose that is fairly lacking.

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

Consumed 08/10/08.

Clear, dark brown pour yields a thin light tan head that quickly dissipates to the proper thin skin of foam and somewhat sticky lacing.

Aroma of candied sugar and molasses. Slight chocolate note as well.

Thin and a little creamy as it enters the mouth, but a bit coating, this one has a surprising flavor profile. A little chocolate and coffee up front, as expected, with a sort of thinner-than-a-stout character to the flavor. Slightly sweet. Almost has a nut brown ale flavor character. Then the bitterness hits. Mild but marked, still more roasted and bitter than expected on the back end with a slightly dry, sweet finish. A touch of alcohol warmth as well.

This porter may deviate somewhat from a typical porter, but I couldn't be happier with it.

One of the best porters I have had in a long time.

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

Pours a dark brown color with a frothy, light brown head that retains pretty well. Smells of roastiness, milk chocolate, lactose, vanilla. Reminds me of the Robust Porter from Smuttynose which I absolutely love. Taste is more roastiness, lactose, some vanilla notes, hop spice, very tasty. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, slightly dry finish. Great porter and extremely drinkable. Proust.

Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an espresso brown color with a rocky tan cap that fades rather quickly but manages to leave a few squiggles behind

Smell: Dark cocoa; somewhat roasty, with hints of charcoal and currants

Taste: The beer has a nice roasty flavor that hits the tongue but by mid-palate, the west coast tendency to throw the hops in the brew kettle becomes apparent, when the citrusy quality joins the fray; the combination of the roasted malt and the hops creates an interesting currant flavor, too; after the swallow, the fruit remains and tends to overshadow the roasty elements, although the chocolate flavors linger into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Although this isn't classic, I do like the flavor profile the hops bring to the table

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

Almost black with a little root beer color around the edges under light. Tan head that pillows up well, but does not stand for long. Medium aroma of roast and cocoa. Burnt flavors of coffee and chocolate, medium body and a slightly acrid, hoppy finish. At first I did not care much for this beer, but letting it warm up considerably has improved every aspect of its character.

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

Cracked open this 22 oz bottle last night because it's been in the fridge too long and needs to be polished off. Once into the pint glasses, you can see it has a beautiful dark brown color to it. Pretty generous sized head that had some staying power. Faint smell was of chocolate. First sip surprised me. This was the first time I had tried anything from this brewery, and this porter was excellent. Lots of flavors of roasted barley, coca beans, and coffee were present. Nice mouthfeel to it, thick enough to be a porter but it was smooth enough to be very drinkable. This beer is a very nice find if you enjoy porters, and I will actively search out more styles from this brewery.

Photo of asabreed
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: A deep deep amber when some light comes through it. Unfortunately there's hardly any head on the beer. Even with subsequent pours as it warms, hardly any lacing or head, which is really odd.

Smell: Roasted malt but not burned, with mild coffee aromas along with cream, maple and vanilla, with a twinge of earthy citrus from the hops. More sweet than anything, but nice and balanced, especially with the touches of darker roasted malt aromas.

Taste: Initial roasted flavors into some citrus hops and an earthy backbone. Sweeter than I anticipated, but there's a nice creaminess to everything, with more of the lighter coffee flavors and cream showing up rather than being completely roasted in its dominance. A nice balance of lighter citrus hops comes in later to curb both the sweetness and darker malt flavors. It's not taking me into unknown territory, but I'm impressed with the landscape it's presenting.

Mouthfeel: Oddly lighter bodied for a porter with this much flavor, with not much chewiness or fullness, yet the carbonation isn't underdone and works well

Drinkability: A solid and highly drinkable porter. Not much risk is taken here, but they set out to make a solid brew, or so it seems, and they've succeeded.

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