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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

361 Ratings

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Ratings: 361
Reviews: 194
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.21%
Wants: 29
Gots: 19 | 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: 361 | Reviews: 194 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A good American attempt of an Irish Stout. Looks dark black with an off white head that lasts. Low carbonation and rich looking. Smells lightly malty with caramel, roasted, toasted, and chocolate malts. No hop aroma. Tartness that is associated with cherries. Tastes largely of roasted malt and chocolate malt. Sweet caramel malts in the background. Firm, medium body holds on til the finish. Finishes dry and crisp. A creamy beer even without the nitro. Flavors give way to carcoal like finish makes this beer a little abrupt, but still a good beer.

Photo of smcolw
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly mahogany in color with light brown (thin) head. Spotty lace on the glass.

The smell is rather muted considering the style. Some chocolate, but what I really notice is an ice box odor...hmmm, odd.

Awesome balanced taste: notes of coffee, caramel, cream, spicy bittering hop. Full bodied with a slightly high carbonation. The aftertaste is similar to unsweetened cocoa. This truly makes up for the initial impression.

Photo of Fish113d
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring from a bottle into a tulip glass at room temperature, it pours a black color with a 2" frothy tan head with some nice clingage to the glass. As the head dissipates after a few minutes, it appears a little oily on top along with the nice surface layer.

Aroma is mild but interesting. Right away I can smell the brown malts, which have a nice nutty smell. Also, I get lots of butter in there as well; maybe even some buttered popcorn, which is interesting. However, nothing else doing here....kinda weak.

Taste is mostly bitter brown malts with a very oily texture, which can only be described as tasting the butter I smelled. Maybe a slight caramel flavor up front, but dark roasted malts and almonds come through mainly. On the swallow a little hops may pop through as well, but bitter and really disguised.

MOuthfeel is great! A little carbonation on the sip, but it quickly turns to a buttery smoooth feel that is very nice. Nicely balanced brew!

I'd recommend this one to anyone who loves the style, and even those who aren't.

Photo of MrSeth
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color with a light brown head. Although it settles pretty quickly for a stout, it lingers in a swirling thin layer for the duration.

The smell is milk chocolatey, toasted malt and citrus rind. The taste is a dark roast malt flavor.. it fills out the profile, but keeps a good balance for the style. There is again milk chocolate, citrus.. banana.. Mouthfeel: Clean, dry, with an abrupt finish. I wouldn't mind drinking a few more of these.

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

On-Tap @ Gritty McDuff's Portland, ME. A dark, nearly opaque brew, this one is. With a nice tan/khaki head on top. Aromas are very buttery, and English toffee like as well. Roasted malts are in there and sweet coffee makes an appearance as well. But where are the hops hidin', you may ask? I dunno. The taste is a bit better than the aromas, as some fersh hops are found in the back of this brew. The malt backbone is solidly great and the coffee and chocolate flavors work well with this here yeast and these diacetyl flavors. Mouthfeel is a bit light, but smooth. Drinkability is very good. A nice one from Gritty's.

Photo of mentor
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 361 ratings.