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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

801 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 801
Reviews: 299
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.13%
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: 801 | Reviews: 299 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ffejherb
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
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 +3.8%
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 +3.8%
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 +10.9%
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 -1.3%
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 -1.3%
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%
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.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet-black color with a foamy, caramel-colored, two-finger head that left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and had some grassy and floral notes.

T - Nicely balanced beer with a burnt toast maltiness and a sharp hop bite adding some bitterness.

M - It was smooth and creamy with a subtle sharp kick from the hops. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good porter. Yet another solid offering from Ballast Point.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22 oz bottle this poured a creamy black with a long-lasting tan head and moderate lacing rings. Nose of roasted malts with coffee, chocolate, ripe fruit, and a hint of hops. Mouthfeel medium and very smooth. Flavor is of roasted malts, but three is dry and slightly bitter finish. Very easy to drink and overall an excellent porter.

Photo of barefootbrewer
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured a thick black with a reddish/amber tint. The head was thick and creamy.

S: The aroma consisted of mainly caramel, roast and malty notes.

T: Big, deep malty flavor accentuated with coffee, chocolate and sweet notes. Hope are detectable in the finish.

M: This beer is full and lush.

D: Easing drinking beer. Interestingly enough...it is better while cold (don't usually run into that).

Photo of corey0212
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly black, with some reddish/brown highlights, small tan head fades quickly, but leaves a nice coating on top of the beer. Great smelling porter. Really rich, dark chocolate smell, roasted malty aroma, and a faint hoppy background. It's tasty...a bit of coffee grounds, some bitter chocolate. Pretty active carbonation, but it seems just right for the style. Creamy, but with some dryness at the finish. This seems like a pretty textbook American Porter, very drinkable, and I'd buy this again in a heartbeat.

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Black Marlin Porter from Ballast Point Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 801 ratings.