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

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

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very good

338 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 338
Reviews: 190
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 26
Gots: 16 | 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:
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: 338 | Reviews: 190 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mentor
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

Thanks to Sulldaddy for this one. Obtained March 2005 and consumed about a week later. Bottled March 2005. Pours a ridiculous nine (maybe ten) finger dead-brown head over a pitch black liquid. Smells of almost nothing. Water? WTF, this isn't shaping up very good. Very gentle roast and a vegetable that is likely the hops. Immediate taste is lightly sugary with light roast coming in shortly thereafter. As the swallow starts, I get some chocolate with a hint of molasses. Hops rise in the aftertaste with an oily aromatic Fuggles quality. Medium bodied and a bit more carbonated than I would like (which is surprising, as I would have expect all the carbonation to have blown out with the head I got). A light cherry sour sits on my tongue afterward in an interesting twist. Too bad the bottle was way overcarbonated. I only got a half a beer out of it and can't review any more. After a bad start, it the mix of flavors was getting interesting. The smell has changed and there is noticable chocolate, molasses, and coffee to be gleaned from my empty glass.

mentor, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of LuckySevens82
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

12 oz bottle courtesy of Sulldaddy.
Pours a deep black with a very nice, loosley bubbled tan head. The head on this one is massive. Even with a very delicate pour, I easily had 3 fingers within the first 2 seconds of the pour. Neat, I haven't had a beer like that in a while. Lacing is nice and retention is, much to my dismay as I'd like to get this into a glass, very good.
Smell is slight malt, clean hops, toastiness and just a hint of hops.
Taste is very good for an Irish Dry. A little hop bitterness, burnt grains, some sweet undertones...caramel and just a hint of milk chocolate.
A very pleasant stout. I could easily drink this one all night. Carbonation is great, taste is fantastic. I wish Irish pubs would serve this instead of Guinness!

LuckySevens82, Mar 23, 2005
Photo of Hibernator
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

While visiting Maine recently I picked up a single of the Black Fly Stout.

I had this out of a 12 oz long neck brown bottle with the best before date clearly notched for March 2005.

This pours a nice looking jet black with some ruby highlights toward the bottom of the beer. Massive tan colored head on top.

The head was a little too much and over the top. I had to stop even with a passive pour just for this beer not to overflow in the imperial pint glass. I guess this was my first indication that the carbonation levels on this beer was off.

Aroma of sweet cream, Hershey's chocolate milk and dark roasted malts.

Buttery chocolate taste with some dark roasted malt flavors mixed. The mouthfeel had a seltzer water type of carbonation feel that really detracted from the quality of this beer. The sip started out as a very promising stout, but the finish gives way to a watered down seltzer explosion.

Once I get beyond what my be a fluke and an off batch of this beer, I like it. I was hoping for more, but this is a nice Northern New England version of an Irish Dry Stout...with the creamy diacetyl and all.

Hibernator, Feb 24, 2005
Photo of carln26
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Inky black color with a pleasant creamy off white head. Mild roast hop aroma with hints of dark chocolate and coffee. The taste is very subtle. Layers of roast malt. A little chocolate backed by a mild bitterness. Creamy smooth mouth feel very drinkable. This is a very subtle beer. A pretty good beer of the style, but the soft flavors are a little too tame for me.

carln26, Feb 20, 2005
Photo of gentlebubbles
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%

on tap at the Horseshoe

Black perfection with a finger's worth of milk chocolate cream on top. Sweet chocolate aroma. Wonderful texture, silky smooth and rich. Chocolate and coffee flavors with no burnt or smoky tones. Slight citrus hops. One of those beers that you know you're going to have two at the first sip.

gentlebubbles, Dec 12, 2004
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

a nice stout from the gritty's folks. it pours a damn near black colour with a moderate tan head that leaves only minimal residue on the glass, which was a bit perplexing to me. the smell is of roasted malt, chocolate, a touch of sweetness and a touch of coffee as well. the flavour incorporates everything listed above into a creamy goodness that is spot on in terms of balance. chocolate and malt mix evenly throughout, with the start being a bit sweeter and the finish holding a touch of hop and coffee for a dry flavour that hits the spot. the fullness and creaminess of this brew are simply outstanding. this is a nice example of the style. recommended.

SixpointJMH, Oct 26, 2004
Photo of Brent
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%

This is one of the most well-balanced stouts I've come across. Poured a delightful, inky black with a mocha colored head. Roasted malt aroma with a hint of sweetness. Nicely roasted malt flavors that retained a nice, fresh aspect. Firm bittering at the finish, juxteposed against a bit of sweetness that almost, but not quite, ventured into sweet stout territory. Exceptional drinkability, one of those beers that seems to just evaporate from the glass. Thanks to Far333 for this gem.

Brent, Oct 17, 2004
Photo of PatandDavid
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

Had this on tap at Redbones. And yes I know the nitro-tap probably minused 25% or more of the flavor, but big deal, it was one beer. Pour was very very dark, rosy tones on the bottom of the pint. 1/3 inch of thick tan foam on top. Aroma consisted of roasted and dark chocolate notes (trying to decide if it's 60 or 70% cocoa solids, ha!). Mouthfeel is smooth and thin. Beer is all about the roasted finish with alcohol dryness coming in at the very end. Nice to try it this way.

PatandDavid, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of shippos
4.13/5  rDev +7%

poured absolutly black with a decent tan head
has a sweet aroma to it with roated barley character that you would typically find in a dry stout but does have a subtle hop aroma. smooth and nicley balanced very excellent marriage between the roasted barley and hops are barely noticable. very well brewed and very drinkable.

shippos, Aug 21, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

merlin48, Jul 28, 2004
Photo of ManekiNeko
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

22 oz. bomber served slightly chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black with no colored highlights. It's darkness... darkness. Smallish brown head that receded to a film and left clingy bits of foam on the side of the glass.

Smell: Prunes and dark cherries and burnt/bitter malt goodness. Precious little hops.

Taste: Dark and bitter, oh so bitter. Wackloads of dried fruits. No real coffee or chocolatey tastes except on the tail end of the finish. Bitter, but not bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: A little thin to my tastes. Not an 90 lb weakling... but a 120 lb. weakling for sure.

Drinkability: Like Nina Simone, I need a little sugar in my bowl. This was enjoyable, overall, but I'm looking for something else in a stout, namely bittersweetness and roasted malts.

ManekiNeko, Jul 17, 2004
Photo of ybnorml
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

The color of this beer is dark brown/nearly ink black. I had a big light brown/dark beige head. There was chocolate and coffee in the aroma, with just a hint of licorice. The chocolate and coffee flavors ended with a smooth roasted bitterness. It seemed kind of watery on the tongue and there was a prickely carbonation sensation that was a little more than I would have liked.

ybnorml, Apr 29, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

On tap at Gritty's.
It pours dark coffee color with a foamy beige head and a fair amount of sticky, webby lace.
A big smoky malt aroma is followed by smells of coffee, chocolate, and to a lesser degree, cut hay.
This is a medium bodied stout, with good taste of roasted malt and plenty of coffee with sugar and dark bitter chocolate flavors.
A fairly edgy dry hop taste mixes with a mild citrusy bitterness and a faint taste of black pepper.
It finishes dry and clean.

BeerResearcher, Mar 23, 2004
Photo of CRJMellor
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Pours a deep black with a huge white head that deposits big puffy droplets of lace to the Guiness pint.
Aroma of chocolate malt, hint of peat and espresso with a nutty, bitter background.
Flavor has a milk chocolate front that proceeds into a cup coffee with a floral hop finish.
Mouthfeel is creamy front and robust middle that finihses like a dry stout should.
Drinkability is very high, very good beer.
Thanks to PBrian for this addition.

CRJMellor, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of ppoitras
3.63/5  rDev -6%

22ozer from an October trip up to the Freeport brewery, fridged since then. The usual interesting Gritty's label artwork, this one showing hordes of black flies that have been rumored to dwell in Maine.

Poured an opaque deep brownish black into an imperial pint glass, with a small toffee-colored head, which was gone within minutes. Sparse lace present during the drinking experience. Essences of coffee and burnt grain make their aromas known delicately, no overpowering smells here. Taste continues along the same lines, with bitterness entering the flavor equation late, and then closes out with a heightening of the initial flavors. Drinkability gets an upswing because it seems not as hearty as some of the other brews in its style. An acceptable representation of the style, but not the top of the heap.

ppoitras, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of AllThingsNinja
4/5  rDev +3.6%

I picked up a six-pack of this over the weekend, and must say that I'm impressed. It's one of the better bottled stout's that I've had in a while. It's not Bells, by any means, but it's quite nice.

The dark black beer had a hint of red if the light caught it just right. Its head was a light brown. The aroma was of roasted malt, which was also the primary flavor. The flavor was incredibly rich with strong coffee notes and a hint of caramel. The only drawback was it's relative lack of complexity. It's still a very drinkable beer.

AllThingsNinja, Feb 10, 2004
Photo of edchicma
4/5  rDev +3.6%

An all around above average stout...nice dark color with a "chunky" head and nice lacing. Smell was smoky, taste was well rounded with smoky undertones. Aftertaste was slightly bitter in a nice way. Mouthfeel was medium with a very drinkable quality. This brew is a good representation of the category. Recommend trying.

edchicma, Nov 28, 2003
Photo of oberon
3.9/5  rDev +1%

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.

oberon, Nov 14, 2003
Photo of aracauna
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

The body was black with ruby edges. I was getting smoke out the wazoo with this beer, but I don't see any mention of smoke elsewhere, but I swear it was there. A good bit of chocolate and a little roast support it. I'm not big on the smoke, but it wasn't quite too much for this beer.

aracauna, Oct 13, 2003
Photo of UnionMade
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

The beer is a deep, opaque black, topped with a nitro creamy khaki head. Great lacing, forming dense rings of drink lines as you sip down your pint. A thick clump of head remains in the bottom of the pint, after the beer is finished.
Aroma is very roasty, with a touch of smokiness. Strong coffee and chocolate, with a hint of fig and currant. A little unusual, with the smokiness. Very nice, and particularly powerful smelling for a nitro pour.
The flavor starts with a rich roastiness, coupled with some dark roast coffee. Some chocolate comes through in the middle, with light fig and currant esteriness. A suggestion of prune. Great fruitiness, very strong. The chocolate lingers through the rest of the sip, with some very light hopping in the finish. Very dry, in the traditional irish stout way. No apparent smokiness in the taste. Light bodied, with a creamy smooth nitro carbonation. A little tinniness from the nitro, but mostly overwhelmed with the roastiness. A lingering roasted coffee flavor in the aftertaste.
A very nice stout. Probably one of my favorites for a nitro tap.

UnionMade, Oct 07, 2003
Photo of moulefrite
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Black as night with superb lacing and stick. Sampled at Gritty's in Freeport (great place for a beer by the way!). I loved the nitro head with its luxuriously creamy head. Aromas included bitter and sweet, with chocolate and espresso dominating. The mouthfeel was medium bodied and oh so silky due to the nitro tapage package. The carbonation was subdued and done just right. The taste was the clincher in this one! Awesome flavors featuring again bittersweet chocolate, tang hop and a a sublime roasted malt character. This was an easy to enjoy stout and one not pass up if you find it!

moulefrite, Sep 28, 2003
Photo of 86MonteSS
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Smooth, dark, bitter... all that razzmatazz that's associated with every single other stout in the world.

I'm a little surprised to see this one ranked above Gritty's others. The Best Bitter and Best Brown really rocked my socks off but this one seemed a little bland. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a huge fan of plain jane stouts, but c'mon, dude, seriously. Seriously. Gritty might have made a good stout for the stout lover, but not for the ambidextrous beer drinker.

86MonteSS, Sep 23, 2003
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

From a 12oz bottle.

Jet black in the glass with an appealing 1/4 inch tan head with some evidence of lace. Smells creamy and sweet. Hints of burnt malt.

Hits the tongue with bitter roasted malt. Fades to smooth chocolately flavor. Medium-heavy body with that burnt malt lingering on the back of the tongue. Very drinkable and affordable. A solid local stout.

ViveLaChouffe, Sep 08, 2003
Photo of scottum
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a black with a tan head. Good roasty burnt style flavors with an underlying fruity stout feel. Nice mouthfeel and drinkability. Solid balance. This would be a real treat on creamy nitro, but still quite nice in the bottle. One of the better stouts available around the east coast.

scottum, Aug 16, 2003
Photo of yankeeheel
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

yankeeheel, Aug 03, 2003
Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 338 ratings.