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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout - Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Gritty McDuff's Black Fly StoutGritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout

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very good

309 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 309
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.47%

Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
Irish Dry Stout |  4.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
There's beer and then there's stout, and Gritty McDuff 's Black Fly Stout is the real deal. Black Fly is a dry, all-malt stout packed with roasted flavor. We use six different grains in the brewing of this dark masterpiece and balance the full palate with Oregon Willamette and Yakima Clusters hops. Like the legendary Irish stouts that inspired it, Black Fly Stout is rich, robust and a touch mysterious. The finest stout west of Galway Bay!

16 IBU

(Beer added by: Todd on 11-10-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 309 | Reviews: 190 | Show All Ratings:


3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass
A: Jet black with a khaki head the grows legs and clings to the glass.
S: Very mild. Hints of chocolate and roasted malts.
T: Chocolate, roasted and dark malt, glimpse of coffee. Underlying hop bitterness that finishes dry.
M: Silky mouthfeel; a tad more than medium-bodied.
O: Hands down the best beer Gritty's offers. I would drink it again.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-02-2014 00:03:27 | More by JOHNKNEEGEEZ
Photo of Omnium


3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From Notes on 10-17-13, On-Tap at the brewpub.

A - Black brownish in color with two fingers of nice khaki head, thick lacing.
S - Not a potent aroma, but some decent roasted malts and nutty character.
T - Smooth roasted chocolates, decent bitterness, coffee in the back.
M - Velvety smooth and creamy, not overly thick.
O - Decent stout, mouthfeel is the best.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2014 16:14:35 | More by Omnium
Photo of scotorum


3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 22 oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith English nonick pint glass

a: Black with clear ruby highlights when seen through light, although that took awhile to determine since at first pour the tan head took up eht entire glass! Several further pours were needed to finally fill the glass, and even then there was still a good one inch takk rocky head of foam.

s: Nothing notable.

t: Mild fruit over watery dark malt. Slight bitter ashy aftertaste. Almost Belgian in its fruitiness. Can't account for the fact that what I am tasting is so very different from the description above: "Black Fly is a dry, all-malt stout packed with roasted flavor. We use six different grains in the brewing of this dark masterpiece and balance the full palate with Oregon Willamette and Yakima Clusters hops. Like the legendary Irish stouts that inspired it, Black Fly Stout is rich, robust" Mine was neither roasty nor hoppy, nor particularly robust.

m: Light to moderate, sometimes seeming watery.

o: A surprisingly Belgianish stout, as though some yeast jumped over to Gritty's from Allagash. I was a bit disappointed at the beginning for that reason, since I had been expecting a heavier smokier more traditional stout flavor. But it is tasty enough, and gradually becomes more pleasing until it has warmed over sixty degrees, when it becomes somewhat bitter. The very low ABV allows you to drink the whole bomber and still remain fairly clear-headed.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 03:23:35 | More by scotorum
Photo of Ohmmygawd


4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I look at this beer and I just think, how much more black could this be? None, none more black.

Bottle to pint glass.

A- I'm getting back into my old band t-shirts because this is one very dark stout. I love how it pours and looks.

S- Coffee and dark chocolate with rich malt flavor.

T- Nice and dry. The more I let it settle and get warmer the more I tasted coffee and dark chocolate.

M- Slight carbonation with a dry following.

O- Great beer overall and a pleasure to drink.


Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 00:04:42 | More by Ohmmygawd
Photo of brureview


4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is important to drink this stout warmer- 50+F- which brings out the full malt character of the beer.

Poured in a stein- a beautiful deep chocolate color with a 3F head. I also sampled it in a Imperial pint glass, but I liked the taste better in the stein.

The aroma was not strong- characteristic of the style- roasted malt.

The mouth feel was moderate.

The taste changes dramatically with warming: there is a smooth roasted malt character that is reminiscent of the Guinness I remember in Ireland back in the 80's. Some chocolate.
Smooth finish.

Overall, an excellent Irish Stout. However, the serving temp is very important. "Above Board" as I heard a number of Irish bartenders say a while back.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2013 02:01:51 | More by brureview
Photo of 1sophrosyne1


4.39/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the bar in Portland, the back half of the pint alongside lobster poutine.
Near black pour that won't let light pass. A fair tan-brown head fell fast, but the remaining ring held on well.
Smells largely of roasted malt with some coffee...and just a hint of creosote that comes through in the flavor.
Creamy mesquite and roasted malt come in up front. Then the taste of artichokes grilled to the point of charred byproducts fill the center. Mixed nuts pop up late with a subtly sweet almond end. Marvelous complexity.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some heft pierced by the right amount of carbonation. Smooth, almost silky, with subtle tannic/earthy drying on the end--makes you reach for another gulp.
This is the best regularly available Gritty's brew that I was able to taste. Worth going back for more!

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2013 23:15:48 | More by 1sophrosyne1
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-When are nitro pours not pretty? Very dark, nearing black if it isn't already there. Big, persistent, creamy, thick, cushy head. Drapes of lace.

S-Rather light but it has the necessary ingredients. Roast coffee and some darker chocolate with some light lactic notes.

T-Some solid coffee and even a bit of char. Powdered cocoa. Maybe a bit of toasted nuttiness.

M-When are nitro pours not great on the palate? Creamy, flatter, lush.

O/D-A good nitro offering that I would grab again probably.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-24-2013 00:13:19 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of StonedTrippin


4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

easily the best beer on at grittys, hands down. honestly the only one I had that I would care to drink again. it pours a really dark brown, almost black, letting not a smidge of light pass. the head is only small, but its a clue to the delicious creamy texture of this brew. lots of roast in nose and taste, not quite burnt, but still rather bitter, with faint English hops being detectable in the finish. the flavor fits the style guidelines well, but the mouthfeel is what makes this beer a keeper, its subtle and mellow for a beer as flavorful as this. its got a very full body, and feels like it could have come from a nitro tap, even though it didn't. I liked it more and more as it warmed, and while it might not be the best accompaniment to a lobster roll, it felt right as I drank it. really the only decent beer happening from these guys, so get some while you can.

Serving type: on-tap

08-19-2013 19:27:16 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Abilow33

New York

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A good stout with a nice crisp taste. It was very flavorable and went well with my food. The beer had a thick head that hung around on the glass until the end. The beer had a distinctive smell. The beer is lighter than many stouts and is very easy to drink. Over all a good beer. I wish I could have had another.

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2013 13:01:13 | More by Abilow33
Photo of metter98

New York

3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is close to being jet black—bottom of the glass appears to be very dark red in color when it is held to a bright light. It has a high amount of visible carbonation and poured with a three finger high brownish tan head that kept on growing for a few minutes and then eventually slightly died down, somewhat resembling a root beer float in appearance.
S: Light to moderate aromas of roasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and is also accompanied by a light amount of bitterness from the underlying hops.
M: It feels light-bodied, slightly thin and a little smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This stout seems somewhat lighter compared to other beers in the style but is very easy to drink—that is once the massive head finally subsides. I wouldn’t consider the bottled version to be sessionable but having this on a nitro-tap might be a different story.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 01:59:54 | More by metter98
Photo of kjfinnerty


4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A - midnight black body, off-white/tan head 1/2 inch thick after nitrogen settled out & maintained throughout consumption
S - roasty, light chocolate, and light coffee
T - Nice malt flavor, not overwhelming, roasted bitterness
M - thick for a dry stout, but still thin enough to go down easy
O - An excellent dry stout. This is one I would order again

Note: I had this beer maybe 10 years ago and I remember enjoying it then. I'm happy to see my taste for this beer had withstood the test of time.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-09-2013 10:49:06 | More by kjfinnerty
Photo of PicoPapa


3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle. Pours a pitch black color with some brown hues. Over an inch of thick, frothy tan head. Tons of lacing. The aroma is earthy and malty. Slightly sour with an aroma that reminds me a bit of an Oatmeal Stout. The taste is malty with hints of chocolate and earth. Roasty towards the end with a slightly sour finish. Heavily carbonated. Slick, tingly mouthfeel. Overall, good example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 18:18:59 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Bukowski Tavern in Boston, MA

A: Pours an opaque yet clear jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some cola brown + very dark amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of roasted malts with some moderate notes of chocolate and coffee.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of dark and roasted malts, just on the border of being burnt. Those are followed by the flavors of dark chocolate and espresso. Moderate amounts of bitterness that fades rather quickly.

M: Just heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy and smooth with some light dryness in the finish.

O: The beer is pretty well balanced overall, though the hop flavors are not really pronounced they balance out the sweetness of the malts. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2013 22:18:28 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of ryan1788a5


4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Almost black in the glass, but not quite. Hints of ruby at the edges. Looks fairly clear. Big, creamy tan head looks very enticing and it doesn't budge an inch, ever. Lacing forms creamy rings on the glass. This is one great looking beer.

S: Acidic burnt malts and roast. Black coffee, bitter dark chocolate, nutty and woody. There's almost a creamy milk chocolate aspect to it as well. Raw cocoa. The nose is surprisingly malt-rich and complex, and it takes a little while to fully open.

T: Burnt malt at the outset. Black coffee, some acidity, spent coffee grounds, bitter dark chocolate, ghost-like hints of caramel and molasses. A little nutty and woody. Roasted and toasted grains. The acidity gives it an almost metallic edge for just an instant and lends that small sour twang that is expected of the style. Hops lend a green sort of bitterness that stays in a supporting role. Dry throughout. Finishes with tastes of raw cocoa, burnt malt, coffee grounds, and bitter dark chocolate.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. It sits rather lightly in the mouth, but it is luxuriously creamy and mouth-filling. A moderate amount of forceful, small-bubbled carbonation adds a bit of a crisp and even refreshing bite. Insanely smooth. Maybe the best mouthfeel I've come across in an Irish Dry. Beats the hell out of anything nitro can do.

O: This is just an all-around great beer, and a great representation of the style. It's rich, dark, tasty, and infinitely sessionable. More complex than your average Irish Dry to boot. What more could you want? I wish I could swap out every Guinness tap around me with this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 06:59:10 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of RTEdmunds

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice khaki colored head, moderate lacing. Inky black color.

Smoky in the nose, and some underlying earthyness.

Roasted barley up front, even tastes a bit like oats. Follows up with a bitter expresso finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice, but I would prefer a bit more body/creaminess. I can imagine this being great on nitro.

Pretty solid overall and I'm glad I picked it up.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2012 01:37:03 | More by RTEdmunds
Photo of bth86


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Wow- this beer has a very nice, thick, two finger tan head. It settles and leaves a nice lacing down the glass. The beer itself appears jet black- as I hold the glass up to the light- nothing passes through it.

S: I get a smokey scent to it, oatmeal, little bit of coffee

T: Nice smokey charcoal character, coffee again, a bit of chocolate, a little bit of a sour aftertaste

M: Very smooth, just enough carbonation, very dry finish

O: I really liked this one! Probably one of the best stouts I've had in a long while. I think that this one is a must try!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 00:20:02 | More by bth86
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass:

A: dark brown almost black colored body with a lumpy tan four finger head. The head begins to fade after a minute or two. The lacing is spotty lacing throughout.

S: coffee, with a hint of smoky chocolate. There is some light cinnamon and pepper.

T: bitter through the coffee and becomes balanced with some light milk chocolate.

M: medium, very smooth, no aftertaste, dry finish, some carbonation is felt on the tongue

O: this is an excellent choice for an Irish Dry Stout, probably one of the better beers by Gritty's.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 17:20:35 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of capeannbass36


3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a dark brown, black topped with a 2 finger tan head. Spotty lacing throughout.

S- Coffee, a hint of chocolate. Perhaps a touch of smoke.

T- Chocolate, then coffee. Slight hint of smoke.

M- First thought was way too light for a stout.
Apparently that is to be expected on an Irish Dry Stout. Dry finish.

O- Sat on way too long. Buried behind other brews.
Will have to try again...fresh.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2012 22:09:30 | More by capeannbass36
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, the beer is jet black, with a brown highlight around the edges. There is a thin film of milk-chocolate colored head that coats the top of the brew. Aromas are of deep coffee, campfire smoke and char, very bitter and dark chocolate, and some sharp spicing throughout (maybe some cinnamon and pepper). Flavors are light and very dry, with a dark roasted coffee ground flavor front and center, followed by campfire smoke and a meaty highlight. The body is light, smooth, and extremely dry, which is a perfect representation of the style. The aftertaste is mostly smoke, with a rich and semisweet highlight. The finish is dry, and extremely clean. Chocolatey notes finish off as the flavors clear. Very tasty beer...great for a campfire!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 02:20:50 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of cbutova


3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Black ale poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle. Big tan head forms with nice size and retention. Good coats of lace down the glass.

S- Relaxed roast malt, oatmeal and grains hint, raisins and dark fruit note. Decent overall strength.

T- Light stout consisting of roast malt, cocoa, raisins and a tart dark fruit aspect, not sure of bottle age but it doesn't seem oxidized, maybe a slight infection... Grain flavor as well.

MF- Light bubbly body with a somewhat watery feel. Slight roast bitterness.

I originally reviewed this as a regular stout, it makes a bit more sense as an Irish Dry. I will try another bottle soon to see if this one was not good and fresh.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 16:40:38 | More by cbutova
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an absolute pitch black color (no light penetration) from a 22 oz bomber, with no ABV or freshness date on the label.
Huge two finger tan color head that dissipates slowly leaving behind some nice lace.
Aroma is high on malt with notes of cocoa, milk chocolate, roasted coffee and some licorice evident.
Taste is predominantly of roasted malts, and the bitterness in the finish is just right.
Medium bodied stout that is very easy to drink. Not as dry as I was expecting from the aroma.
This is a very nice example of an irish dry stout.
Definitely worth trying and is highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 02:30:30 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of glid02


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nitro at Bukowski’s in Boston.

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a thick off-white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of muted roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and hints of smooth coffee. Also present are slight amounts of leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malts up front are joined quickly by semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Midway through very light amounts of coffee and lighter still hints of char come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer and thought it was well done, although I think it would benefit from CO2 as opposed to nitrogen. Still, it’s worth a shot however you find it.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-14-2011 20:55:11 | More by glid02
Photo of jondeelee


3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smells deep and earthy, as if smelling fresh peat moss, with additional heavy emphasis on chocolate malts, and the wholesome aroma of spent grain bread.

The darker flavors are the first on the tongue, and dominate most of the mouthful, bringing notes of burnt grains and chocolate malts, tobacco, dark toffees, black coffee, caramelized brown sugar, and dark fruit esters. The tobacco and burnt-black grains came on stronger near the end of the mouthful for me, and stuck around on my soft palate for quite awhile after I'd swallowed. Hops add a nice background bitter fuzz, but manage to avoid the grapefruity, floral notes that can come along with that--notes which would be unwelcome in a beer such as this. I was surprised, however, that the brew lacked the viscosity that I'd expected, given the massive number of ingredients, and the mouthfeel came across as even thinner than a soda. This was slightly unsatisfying, but the fullness of the flavors went a long way towards making up for it.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 19:23:49 | More by jondeelee
Photo of andrewinski1

New Hampshire

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass. Excellent black body with a nice tan colored head.

The aroma smells like slight bitter malt. It's not particularly strong but it's what I expected.

The taste is relatively mild but quite tasty. The start is dry and crisp. The finish is nice and chocolatey with a mild amount of sweetness.

The feel is light and fluffy with soft carbonation.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-03-2011 23:26:09 | More by andrewinski1
Photo of rinhaak


3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black, with an almost reddish hue. Very little head on my beer poured at Logan airport. But what little head is there is thick and doesn't dissolve.

Nose is very strong. Sweet with vanilla, chocolate, and caramel.

With so much character in the nose, I was a little disappointed with the mouth. Zero carbonation, there is little of the strong chocolate and vanilla from the nose. The finish is lovely, though, as roasted barley-style Malts come through.

Very drinkable, it doesn't taste as dark as it actually is.

Serving type: on-tap

02-20-2011 22:50:15 | More by rinhaak
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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 309 ratings.