1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

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

Not Rated.
Gritty McDuff's Black Fly StoutGritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

369 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 369
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 32
Gots: 23 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: Todd on 11-10-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 369 | Reviews: 195
Reviews by meehandennis:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wife actually drank this while there in Portland and I tasted a little o it and here is what I got from it.Pours a deep black with red highlights showing thru a deep almond colored light creamy head.I noticed somebitterness in the aroma with some dark roast coffee,flavor is of unsweetened chocolate and some earthiness with that bitterness I got in the aroma popping up in the finish.All in all seemed to be a pretty solid stout.

Photo of JMD71
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Wonderful deep brown, almost black color with very little light penetrating. Poured from a bottle, I got very little head at all & what head there was disappeared very quickly which surprised me for a stout. Also, it was visibly highly carbonated which also surprised me for a stout.

Smell: Nice, subtle coffee-like aroma. Slightly roasted malt smell in the background.

Taste: Good roasty, smoky flavor with slight coffee hints. A bit on the watery side compared to other stouts in the class, but ok. Flavor lingers just long enough & ends fairly crisp. Bitter hop finish balances roasty, smoky flavor.

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery, crisp & dry. Not as much body as I would like in a stout. The high carbonation also makes for a slightly different mouthfeel than with other stouts.

Drinkability: This is fairly drinkable as it is not as heavy & rich as some other stouts. The high carbonation also lends to its drinkability, but wasn't really what I expected from a stout.

Comments: This was an average stout, but not my favorite. The high carbonation & thin, watery body makes for a slightly different twist on a regular stout. I did like the flavor & drinkability, but would choose a smoother, less carbonated stout in the future if looking for a beer in this style.

Photo of JasonA
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Note: This is brew from last year that has been in my fridge for quite a while. Might be past its prime.

Pours a light black, little to no head. Not much carbonation.

Smells a roasted malt

Roasted malt, dry buscuit. Drying finish. No real bite. might be something unnatural left.

Sits. Just sits, no real action out side of roasted dry malt.

Nothing special. Wont actively seek this brew again.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a black, black color with a thick coffee-colored head. It had a predominately coffee aroma, with a little bit of roasted grain. Taste was all coffee, but maybe a little chocolate snuck in. I thought it was a little thin in the mouthfeel department, but still very drinkable. If you like stout, you'll like this beer. If you're not a big stout fan, forget it.

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

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck twist bottle with a “best enjoyed before” freshness date clearly notched.

Appearance: Opaque black coloured brew with a big towering head after a hard pouring then very slowly settling into a thin tiny bubbled light brown lace, this is one of those heads that leaves rings all the way down the glass.

Smell: Brownies and fudge come to mind off the first whiff, underlying black currant fruitiness with a laid back alcohol. Smooth and clean to the nose.

Taste: Creamy smooth mouth feel, moderate carbonation and a medium to full malt body. First is a rush of mild roasted malt and subdued black currant fruitiness, then the roasted kicks things up a notch by unleashing an even burnt charcoal bitterness. Malt sweetness holds this brew together in the beginning then the dryness sets in to make the mouth beg for more. Hops are a tad bitter and pungent with a quick snappy hop oil twang in the back ground. Touch of acrid to the roasted character to pleasantly pucker the palate for a brief moment, lingering suggestions of espresso and vague chocolate flavour make up the end.

Notes: One of the top stouts brewed in the US, very well balanced and is even more heavenly on nitro-tap. Certainly a stout lovers stout.

Photo of merlin48
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Beale Street Barbeque, in Bath, Maine, on 7/21/04, and enjoyed with a pulled pork sandwich. This glass arrives with an opaque, deep and dark body, with a large, tan head that lasts forever. Profuse, patches of lace decorate the glass.

Aroma begins with burnt, roasted, coffee, with hints of chocolate and grassy hops in the background.

Mouthfeel is rich and coating, but is medium bodied, lighter than I was expecting.

Taste features lots of roasted malts, plenty of coffee flavor here. Very smooth and enjoyable, but not very complex. Grassy hops provide a nice dryness. Nice, bitter coffee finish.

Smooth and tasty, with very good drinkability. A must try, American dry stout.

Photo of tigg924
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: huge head, dark black color

Smell:burnt malt, wood, expresso

Taste: burnt malt, black coffee, and dark chocolate

Mouthfeel: dry, almost chalky, medium heavy body

Drinkability: I could have a couple of these again. It is very dry and solid.

Photo of RTEdmunds
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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.

Photo of far333
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's really black. Light doesn't get through at all. Big, fat, lumpy, brown, foamy head. Starts out an inch high and settles out a bit, but never really leaves. The inside of the glass is coated as the head slides down. Aroma is full of different smells - roasted malt, chocolate, bits of coffee and raisin, and some hops. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, moderate to low carbonation. Bitter chocolate and coffee flavor, roasted malt, and raisin. Bitter tingly aftertaste sits in the roof of my mouth. Flavor gets bigger and rounder with each sip. Great stuff.

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

Pours jet black with a beautiful tan/espresso colored head. Great retention and lacing. Smells of dark malts, coffe, chocolate, all the good stuff. The taste just envelopes your palate. Dark malts, followed by slightly dry malt, no bitter finish, just wonderful. Mouthfeel is what you'd expect from a stout, thick and hearty. Highly drinkable. The draught version is definitely superior to the bottle IMHO. A must drink brew when you can get some.

Photo of BadBadger
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout is a very enjoyable version of an Irish Dry Stout. I must confess, that initially, I was not enthralled from my first exposure. However, this is worthy of giving a go. As subsequent samplings (perhaps unintentional aging is a factor here). It pours a nice dark color with a monster sized head. The smell is malty. The taste is a very nice balance of sweet malt and slight burnt coffee bittering. It has a nice dry mouthfeel indeed. A nicely drinkable stout.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge chunky mocha head over a black-as-night body. I had trouble getting this into the glass due to the amount of carbonation and the expanding head. Once I did, it had decent head retention and lace. Aromas of coffee and roasted malt—fairly clean. Crisp in the mouth, with a mineral/cola like character. Flavors of roasted grain, a bit of vinous fruit and a light coffee presence. Medium-full bodied, a tad on the lean side for a stout. True to style, it's drying.

This beer is definitely superior on draught. This was one of my favorites at the pub when living ME in the 90s, but from the bottle it didn’t have the same complexity of flavor or creamy mouthfeel from the nitro. The abundance of carbonation may have really thrown things off, but his is still a tasty dry stout. Certainly more complex than the most common Irish versions of the sample I've tried. I'll try to review it on draught the next time I'm in ME.

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.

Photo of mcarroll10177
4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at the Great Lost Bear in Portland.

A- jet black with a coffee head and tons of lacing the coats the glass with every pull.

S- roasted malts through the nose , very nice

T- roasted malts with some charred hops with a slightly bitter finish

M- creamy and balanced with just the right amount of carbination

D- the best irish dry stout I have tasted to date and one I will have again and again

Photo of DVTO2
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very nice full bodied stout with a thick head when poured. It has a dark color with a nice balance of malt and hops. The taste is rich and full, rich taste with a hint of sweetness and cocoa. I could make this a regular in my refrigerator. A very nice stout.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gritty McDuff's- BlackFly Stout

Appearance- Thick black with a huge creamy head. Big messy lacing.
Smell- Not much, Light and sweet regular coffee. Lighty roasted coffee beans, mild caramel malt.
Taste- Smokey roasted coffee with cream and sugar. Light touch of a caramel malt.
Mouthfeel- Very very smooth! Feels like it foams up in your mouth.

Overall- A good looking and good feeling beer that produces a nice tasting Stout. This is too easy to drink!!

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a mug.

Near-black color, Totally opaque. 2" thick mocha colored head. noticable bubbles. The head has good retention leaving minimal lacing behind and concentrated around the edge.

Smells of roasty wheat, chocolate and caramel malted barley and an earthy and herbal hop scent underneath.

Tasted of roasted grains and a burnt caramel flavored malted barley, with chocolate and smoked oak flavors coming forward. The Willamette and yakima hop clusters makes for a nice herbal and almost spicey hop finish.

Full body, Feels clean, active and sort of "thin" for the style. It's suprisingly active and bubbly which makes it crisp and pretty refreshing. Instead of a heavy, chewy feel, it's very light but not without a bit of substance going down.

This is a light-weight stout that's easy to drink and refreshing to boot. Does not lack in good stout flavors though.

Photo of jmz62565
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An ink black color with a massive three finger head that lasts.A nice coffee smell with a bit of sweetness mixed in.The taste is a dry,coffee,chocolate,and cola like flavor.It has a slight hickory smokieness to start and ends with a sweet aftertaste.This has a medium feel,a little light for my taste,but not bad.This is a good offerring from Gritty's and I'm sure I'll have more of this.

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good initial head on black, lace. Smoke and coffee aroma. Taste of wood, smoke, coffee, chocolate malt,a spot of fuitiness, drying finish. Licorice on aftertaste. Good for its style, well malted but in a word balanced and very quaffable. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of alovesupreme
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark with light coming through the thin parts of glass. Nice head light head with fair retention.
Lots of roasted malt, along with a smell I cant put my finger on. Almost tastes like charcoal, with a very roasted taste. Some hops in the mix but the lingering bitter aftertaste comes from the roasted malt as much as the hops.
Good carbonation but mouthfeel could have been a little more full.
I may get this again in the future but am in no rush.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black in color with limited ruby highlights at the base but some wider glints of dark mahogany at the rim. The full, dark tan head drops shortly but keeps a thin surface coating and leaves some spotty lace. The aroma offers rich dark chocolate and espresso. The body is light with a very fine, median carbonation that leaves it gently zesty in the mouth. The flavor starts dry with a distinct burnt currant fruitiness that mellows into more caramel, chocolate, and left-on-the-burner-too-long coffee notes before finishing with a splash of leafy hop flavor and a long lasting burnt malt character (similar to black malt - although probably from very dark British chocolate and roasted barley). Throughout the glass the combination of the lightly tart fruitiness followed by the acrid roastiness and long dull finish becomes quite endearing. Very unique. Probably a bit too much flavor to make it a good session brew, but definitely interesting and rich enough to make a pint last for alot longer than usual. I'd love to taste this cask-conditioned on handpump.

Photo of ElGordo
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark, inky black topped by a small khaki-colored head. Aroma of rich roasted malt, dark fruit, and a touch of espresso. Medium-bodied (for a stout) with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Roasted malt is the main component of the palate, balanced by a nice but subdued hop profile, accented by espresso, dark fruit, and a touch of something akin to Horlick's malt. Finishes dry and slightly smoky. A nice, easy-drinking stout, brewed at one of the friendliest places I visited in Maine.

Photo of cjgator3
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Best Before May 2009

A- Pours a dark black color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is pretty good, dark roasted malts and coffee notes.

T- The taste is dark roasted malts with a good amount of bitterness and a dry finish.

M- The mouthfeel is on the light side with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This beer packs more flavor than the low ABV suggests making it pretty drinkable.

Overall, Black Fly Stout is a pretty good Dry Stout that is recommended.

Photo of tempest
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tall light-tan head with good lacing. Aroma rich with roasted malts. Flavor is also heavy with the malt flavor, complimented with touch of chocolate. Lasting bitterness through the flavor. Although the flavor was very nice, I would have liked to see more complex flavors out of this beer. Good mouthfeel and drinkability.

A very good traditional stout, but falls short of being a great one.

to view more.
Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 369 ratings.