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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

368 Ratings

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Ratings: 368
Reviews: 195
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 32
Gots: 22 | 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
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Ratings: 368 | Reviews: 195
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 Dithyramb
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at the brewpub in Portland. Well brewed coffee colored brew. Thick tan head with pretty lacing and retention.
Coffee and sweet overall aromas.
Very sweet brew with a cafe mocha and vanilla flavor taking over. Though it would be described as "creamy" it wasn't hearty or chewy. Nice to have on a warm summer evening, it came off as a sweeter Guinness. A bit more carbonated than expected. Overall, not bad, just a little more sweet and not with as much bite.

Photo of TastyTaste
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 22 oz bottle was a bonus from mdavis31481, thanks! Black body, head rises fast, fades fast, and leaves about 1/2" of creamy tan head.

Smell: Coffee is very evident, a little sweet chocolate, rich roasted grains.

Taste: Roasted malt, strong coffee, dry, bitter and a little sour, pretty average.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer, but not my favorite style, either. Still, a good change of pace from the beers I have been drinking lately.

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

A - black hole black, light cant escape it, it wells up a thin caramel colored head that is rather short lived

S - a dark ground coffee or even coffee beans aroma very very strong, overpowers all over aromas except for that of alcohol

T - well, to no surprise, this tastes like ground coffee, this actually tastes like an alcoholic iced coffee, other than a hop kick, like the aroma the coffee aspect id overpowering

M - bitter, and thin bodied, but a good bitter, not balanced, but not intended to be, you must like bitters to like this

D - high, if you like this kind, which i do

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

Red-tinged darkness, nearly black. Thin off-white head. Serious roast in the nose, like coffee grounds. Also a sharp, slightly sour tang. This reminds me of McNeill's brews -- probably because I just had one before this -- but it has that same slightly sour taste off the bat that is intense when cold, slightly annoying bu more subdued when warm. This also has a huge dark ash flavor, like licking a campfire. Rather thin on the mouthfeel, and not particularly exciting enough to invite another pint. A bit one-dimensional.

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

Poured from the 12oz. black bottle into a nonic pint glass the beer was a solid black color with a dense three-finger fluffy and sticky head. A tremendous head that blossomed even with a catious pour. Lacing clung all over the glass and the head retained at about a half-finger throughout the sample. No other signs of carbonation.

The smell was kilned and roasted malt, caramel, slight sweetness and roasted coffee beans.

The taste has a semi-bitter innitial start to it balanced with a heaping a dry roasted malt. A good balance here and this allowed other subtle flavors to be detected but not over-present. Some slight coffee and hints of milk chocolate too.

A medium-firm body with suprisingly ample carbonation and a semi-dry finish.

This was an enjoyable and sessionable stout. Had several of these over St. Pat's day and can easily see this as my beer of choice on that and other occasions. An enjoyable New England beer.

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.

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

Very dense, coffee-colored milkshake-like head with tremendous retention. Trails of lacing, but not much strength. Pours a smooth, deep brown in color.

Musty, earthy mocha and caramel coffee aromas. A touch of semi-sweet cream; vanilla.

Dark chocolate and strong espresso; an earthy hop character with a faint mustiness leading to an aggressive bitterness. A creamy quality prior to the dry finish. An aftertaste of dark chocolate and an airy, sweetened biscuit.

Medium bodied; over carbonated, airy, and dry.

A pleasant tasting Dry Stout. The carbonation is overpowering and takes away from some of this stout's true flavors.

Photo of akahn
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately, I reviewed this assuming for some reason that it was an American stout style... oops.

Pours a red-tinged black with a lasting brown head. Decent amount of lace. Faint dark malt aroma. Mild flavor of dark malt and a subtle hint of coffee. Unfortunately thin body, somewhat watery. Once again, an odd metallic and grain hull aftertaste. I don't find this to be a very good beer, but I suppose it would be drinkable, but the wateriness would get to me pretty quickly.

Photo of scooter231
2.81/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Meh, not my favorite stout ever. It was very pretty- sooo dark and great head and lacing. But that was about the only thing I really enjoyed here. The smell had coffee and woodyness going on, but nothing very complex. Taste was more coffee, some biscuit- and something I really didn't dig. Almost a rootbeer gone bad flavor. Mouthfeel was way too watery and thin. Just not my favorite- I'd like to try it on draft, though...

Photo of nvsblman
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark and opaque, pours with a thick, fluffy head. Pretty good head retention. Roasted malt aroma, with some chocolate, toffee. A little nutty too. Malty in flavor, chocolatey, hints of toffee, and a mild background bitterness. Slightly thin mouthfeel with pretty good carbonation.

Photo of MattBrooks
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Here's a real fun one! Pours as black as night with a semi-chocolate-y smell and taste. It's so dark and thick, that you can't see through it at all. It has a rich, full mouthfeel and goes down pretty easy, all things considered. This is a stout that you can put down a lot of without it becoming a problem. Very good but kinda hard to find.

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

Pours a dark brown almost black tint with a finger and a half brown head that leaves an abundance of lace as it goes down. Smells roasty, chocolatey, smokey goodness. It also smelled kind of like chalk dust to me... Mouthfeel is nice and goes down smoothly with a good fizzz. Leaves an irish cream taste in your mouth with highlights of chocolate, caramel, and roated malts. Very drinkable stout--Could have a few of these in a sitting. Probably Gritty's best beer as the malt notes hide the butteryness.

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 charlesw
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh, that's a dark pour! In my snifter (yeah, yeah, wrong glass - whatever) I can't see any light from my desk lamp through it. So, thick enough brownish-black. A big and thick dark head comes on, has pretty good staying power (several minutes) to finally tone back down to a solid ring and a very light lace.

Smells like... Light caramel note, some coffee, hint of chocolate...

Ah, bummer. Well, the first taste was incredible! Very rich, very full - all kinds of malty stuff going on - the same flavors from the nose, but moved around some. Lots of coffee, hints of caramel, some chocolate. Now, why "bummer"? Well, yeah. It was awesome for the first third of the glass which was mostly consumed over a minute or two at most. But now that I'm sitting back and letting flavors sit, taking time between sips, what have you, well, I'm getting off flavors. The aftertaste veers towards sour - maybe citrus hops at work? Well, unfortunately, this aftertaste is TERRIBLE when consumed with the next sip of fresh beer. Now, if you're following my logic here, this means a few things about drinking this one... You need to be eating while you're drinking it, you need to be slamming it back or you need to be drinking it at the rate of a mouthful every 5 minutes or so. The first choice seems easiest to accomplish - especially if, say, you're at $3 Dewey's (and you've got popcorn "a volonte"). Still, you know, I have to say that it tastes really good - just don't let it sit on your palate!

And, heck, even with that flavor issue I'm still gonna say that it's highly drinkable - under certain circumstances. So, hey, watch your circumstances and enjoy a pint! Cheers!

Photo of Gavage
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black in color with a milk chocolate 1 inch head. Some mild lacing develops through the drink. Aroma is of soft bitter chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is a nice balance of roasted malt, coffee, bitter chocolate, and a wisp of butter.

Medium / heavy in body. Crisp at the start. The finish is dry and crisp. The roasted malt and bitter chocolate linger long on the tongue. Superb drinkability. Definitely one to seek out.

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

Nice thick dark color. Can't even see through this one. Head disappears quickly. Foam laced the outside of the glass.

Malty aroma with hints of chocolate and maybe some coffee. The more time that passes, the better the chocolate comes through.

Malty flavor, but a twist of chocolate balances it out. The aftertaste smoothes things out with the rich coffee flavor. God transition from the chocolate to the coffee.

Very rich and easy going down, very good session brew.

Photo of villainchiwwin
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

served in pint glass from nitro-tap at freeport gritty's
tar black with a rugged creamy tan head. excellent retention and thick sheets of lacing left behind. dark malty smell, hint of roasty chocolate. balanced taste of chocolate, coffee, and roasted caramel with nutty and earthy notes. appropriate amount of hops. long, dry bitter finish. delicious fluffy texture, smooth, full-bodied and pretty chewy.
heavenly dry stout on nitro-tap. my preferred gritty's brew.

Photo of packetknife
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the increase in good stouts on the shelves I've seen, the style is starting to bore me. Gritty's was a welcome find and I try to be fair but I'm just not that excited about most stouts anymore (takes something really special). Anyway..

Solid near-pitch-black pour with a frothy tan head that held well and laced. A ton of baker's chocolate on the nose, some caramel, some oat bread. Not much coffee on the nose to me but plenty of roaster malts/coffee/cocoa on the tongue. Very smooth and agreeable all-around, nicely drinkable.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Keelkemper for sending this to me.

It pours a nice black color with a 3 finger head that falls to a sparse coating over top. A little too much head on the pour, but still where I want it after all is done. The nose is very nice and roasty. Good burnt malts come through. Light chocolate and coffee also comes through. I like it. The flavor is a little less bold than the nose. There are burnt malt notes, coffee bitterness coming through. It finishes nice and dry. Good flavor and a nice finish. The feel is moderate with a light carbonation. Overall, I really enjoy this brew. I had a bit earlier this week and was nit sure, but this bottle has me hooked. Very good beer. Smooth and enjoyable.

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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.