The Commodore
Ballast Point Brewing Company

The CommodoreThe Commodore
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Stout - American
Ranked #324
Ranked #13,943
3.9 | pDev: 8.72%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
The CommodoreThe Commodore
Notes: The Commodore came out of our search for a medium-bodied American Stout. The recipe began at our R&D pilot brewery, but quickly became a favorite of our crew. Strong flavors of roast coffee and bittersweet chocolate balance with light citrusy hop aromas, highlighted by a crisp, bitter finish. One sip of this gold medal-winning stout will have you ready to take command of your own fleet.
Reviews: 169 | Ratings: 726 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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RyanK252 from California

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Mountain Rambler Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours nearly black with a frothy rich chocolate brown head that settles to a light layer and leaves some thick lacing.

S: Roasty, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, a little smoke, molasses, earthy notes, faint dark fruit, and a touch of toffee sweetness.

T: Roasted malt, dark bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and a little smoke, molasses, earthy, slightly herbal, faint dark fruit, and a bit of toffee sweetness.

M: Medium to full body, moderate carbonation.

O: Totally forgot I had this bottle hiding in my cellar. Seems to have held up pretty well, especially for only being 6.5%. Pretty solid stout. Wouldn't mind seeing it brewed again.

Feb 12, 2019
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craftbeersweden from Sweden

3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Tre Små Rum in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Dark brown to black beer with a beige head that leaves lacing on the glass.
Nose: Lots of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla, nuts and chocolate niblets.
Taste: Coffee, dark chocolate, cookies, cocoa powder, roasted malt and licorice.
Mouth: Full body. Low carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

Sep 26, 2018
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Martin194 from Iowa

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Opaque black with a small, light brown head.

Smell: Coffee, some sweetness, similar to brown sugar or dark fruits.

Taste: Coffee, some roastiness, hops; I couldn't smell a whole lot of citrus like they said I would be able to, but I can definitely taste some.

Feel: Full-bodied, normal carbonation, leaves a warm, dry, pleasantly bitter mouthfeel, similar to the feeling if you've ever crunched a coffee bean.

Overall: At the end of the day my review is going to be biased and higher than average because I just love these kinds of beers, but I loved this!

Aug 15, 2018
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AWolfAtTheDoor from Washington

3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Felt like getting a porter and stout sampler from my local Total Wine. Let's see what we've got.

Pours very very black. No light around the edges. .5" mocha colored head. Recedes quickly, very little lacing throughout session.

Burnt roast on the nose, with a hint of soy sauce.

Palate is a mix of earthy dirt-hop flavor, with a whack of roasted malts. Medium to low hop bitterness. This is a stout through and through. The roast level approaches acrid but JUST backs off before it gets over powering. I still think there's too much roast character. Slightly burnt finish lingers.

Medium-thin body that is buoyed by the roast character. With less roast, I think this would be perceived fuller bodied. Alcohol is present, but not unpleasant.

Overall this is a pretty good beer, but it's a little one dimensional. Yes it's a stout, it's supposed to be roasty, but it tastes like roasted dirt. Aroma is severely lacking as well. Definitely worth seeking out, glad I finally checked it off the list. This will not be a regular in my rotation through.

Mar 04, 2018
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Drinkzumbeer from Minnesota

3.01/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nose has some nice notes of dark chocolate and molasses but on the palate this brew was a little underwhelming. It was not full bodied and creamy as you would expect with this style. It was a bit watery on the finish and I only picked up on a light dark chocolate note. The bitter finish was nice and clean, but this brew was a little disappointing.

Nov 05, 2017
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gandres from Philippines

4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured to tulip glass
Sight: Black, light does not go through, brown foam
Smell: fragrant
Taste: Very good: low, bitterness
Feel: long finish, creamy, good follow through and lingering bitter aftertaste Overall: very good beer repeat: yes look for: no

Oct 09, 2017
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with a date

Very dark color with a rim of mocha head. Smell is chocolate, coffee grounds, cinder. Taste is very similar, but with some medicinal hops. Very easy to drink and boasts a respectable 6.5 ABV.

I will be buying this again, very enjoyable, simple stout

Sep 07, 2017
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bbtkd from South Dakota

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ballast Point The Commodore, 6.5% ABV, 62 IBU. Pours black and thick with a 1+ finger brown head, left excellent lacing. Nose is roasty malt, coffee, a little chocolate. Taste is roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, with a slight bitter close. Excellent mouthfeel - very smooth. Overall outstanding. I've been looking for a lower ABV (non-imperial) stout that would be a good daily drinker, and right now this is the leading candidate.

Jul 22, 2017
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RandyCongdon from Nevada

4.73/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I have been wanting to try this one for months, and I was not disappointed.

Look- As is typical,with many stouts, the beer itself is an almost black dark brown. The head is a very dark tan. It starts and holds for awhile at about 1/2" and is quite frothy. Don't forget the cool logo on the bottle.

Smell- Coffee, fruits and chocolate as advertised. A bit smoky, and quite pleasant.

Taste- Chocolate is slightly more pronounced than the coffee; there is also a mildly burnt taste. The overall taste is pretty bitter, which is probably why I favor this one over many other American Stouts.

Mouthfeel-This category is underrated. The finish, swallow and aftertaste can make or break a good tasting beer, in my opinion. The body is medium/heavy. The swallow and finish are extremely smooth, almost creamy. There is a lingering coffee aftertaste that is bitter and a little astringent on the tongue and lips. This alone puts this beer in the upper strata for me.

Overall- I will definitely be buying this one again. It is very well crafted, and I will highly recommend it to my customers. It would pair very well with carrot cake, coffee cake, spice cake, or dark chocolate (including chocolate cake, of course.) This is another win for Ballast Point.

Update 6/1/2017- Tonight, I paired The Conmodore with a nice Italian Dry Salami. It was a great match.

May 26, 2017
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Bombelsky from Poland

4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black opaque. Tan, three finger frothy head. Persisting. Decent lacing.
Moderate-strong aroma of coffee and dark chocolate upfront. Some roasted notes. Very low floral, earthy hops aroma.
Medium malt sweet and medium-high hop bitterness. Medium bodied, oily, medium carbonation, smooth, some roastiness. Long dry finish.


Apr 21, 2017
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.16/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many of you know by now that my Westie cuz, Colby Chandler, has been elevated to Vice-President at Ballast Point. I kid you not. I enjoyed Sculpin in Beta when he was a homebrewer back in 2002 & I still get a kick out of both BP's beers & labels. It makes me really happy when I can conduct even a small horizontal of BP's beers, like right now, starting with this one.

From the bottle: "Dry, Roasty Stout"; "Dedicated to the Craft".

I had a very fresh bottle, a large glass & some time on my hands, so I Pop!ped the cap & let fly. I initially got two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, foamy, deep-tan/light-brown head, but it slowly settled into a cap of the densest head in a while, refusing to move or dissipate. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44), allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose smelled of dark, bittersweet chocolate and my black morning coffee. A roastiness that I can really get behind. I generally disdain sweets, so sweet Stouts are not my bag. A beer that evokes the liquid that I almost have to force through the filter of my coffee maker at times, that is another story. Like Colby's dad, my uncle Rick, I am retired Navy & coffee is one thing - hot & black (like some of my women)! Cream & sugar = a hot milkshake, which may be fine for you, but is anathema for me. Ugh. Back to the beer. Man, was roasty the operative word. I have drank & reviewed Dry Irish Stouts that were less dry & roasty! The best part is that they managed to hold the bitterness in check in this one. The worst Stout that I ever drank was at McDini's Baja in San Diego in either 1987 or 1995. It was Sheaf Stout & it was so burnt & bitter that I have never forgotten it. If I ever see a bottle, I am snapping it up for a review. Perhaps my palate has evolved, but back then, it was awful. This is not the best Stout that I have ever drank & reviewed, but it is far from Sheaf status. Finish was dry, dark chocolaty with coffee overtones & a pleasant ramp-up to an evening of hockey.

Apr 18, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice dark color with a finger of head. Tons of roasted malt, coffee, cocoa on the nose and pretty much follows through on the palate as well with some added burnt caramel flavors.

Apr 10, 2017
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Ciocanelu from Romania

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really dark brown color with creamy, brown head. Aroma has really nice fudge and roasted malt. Taste follows with a nice roasted character, dark malt, some coffee and cacao beans, pretty bitter on the finish. Medium body, quite smooth mouthfeel. A legit, american style, roasty stout.

Mar 27, 2017
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ocelot2500 from Maryland

3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep ebony color with a tight, tan head that leaves little bits of lacing.

Smells of cocoa and coffee.

Tastes of the deep roasted notes. Cocoa and dark coffee lead off. This gives way to some molasses and burnt sugar. Roasted and earthy bitterness towards the end. Finishes with a lingering char note.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a solid stout.

Mar 26, 2017
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SABERG from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on draft at the Lady Killigrew in Turners Falls.
A - Dark and mysterious, great big mocha cap. Lacing the French would be proud of.
S - Cocoa, a touch of coffee, warm taosted malts.
T - Follows the nose well, toasted malts, a bit of bakers chcolate.
M - Full in body yet delightfully dry in the finish.
O - A very nice porter for sure, glad to have had this on draft.

Mar 05, 2017
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Everydayoff from Thailand

3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On-tap served in a snifter at Hair of the Dog, Bangkok.

Black as night in color with thick tan frothy head that stands with good retention, it slowly sinks to some bubble film on the surface and leaves sticky lacing wave all around.

In a nose, bold roasted coffee bean, dark and creamy chocolate, cocoa, licorice, toasted biscuit, dark bread, lightly sweet vanilla, cinnamon, citrusy, earthy and grassy hop.

The taste is just like the aroma (bold roasted coffee bean, dark and creamy chocolate, cocoa, licorice, toasted biscuit, dark bread, lightly sweet vanilla, cinnamon, citrusy, earthy and grassy hop) but with some more roasted astringency and bitter bite from both roasted malt and hop.

Medium body with good crisp and moderate lively carbonation through the palate, smooth through the mouthfeel, finish is dry.

This one is really showcase a pretty good American Stout, very straightforward and good drinkable.

Mar 01, 2017
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arizcards from Arizona

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had a pint at the brewpub in Little Italy with a late lunch today for $5.00.

Beer was served black as night with a nice tan head.

Nose had some nice roastiness with a hint of dark chocolate and coffee.

Taste was medium roasted malts with a touch of cocoa and coffee. Hopping was adequate enough to balance things out nicely.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall a solid offering that i would have again.

Feb 22, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at a UFC ppv party (200?), I know Uncle Jessie brought it, was kind of shocked. Didn't have that man pegged as a stout drinker like his brother.

Pours the usual black and thick color. Looks like Victory at Sea. Aroma is just a straight up roasted malt stout, this is going predictable, which is reliable, which is good.

Taste is more of the same, heavy roast, substantial two row, black patent, chocolate malt. No adjuncts. Good mouthfeel, rich and thick. Still keeps the roasty adjective going strong. A little bit dry, ashy and bitter on the back end. Reliable stuff. Hides alcohol pretty well.

Feb 15, 2017
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biboergosum from Canada

4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - the name of this brew reminds me of that character in Boardwalk Empire.

This beer pours a solid black abyss, with faint red-cola basal edges, and three fingers of puffy, rocky, and somewhat bubbly brown head, which leaves some decent broken web lace around the glass as it very slowly seeps away.

It smells of bittersweet cocoa powder, lightly roasted and bready caramel malt, sort of acrid coffee, some muddled dark orchard fruitiness, and a minor leafy, earthy, and piney green hoppiness. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, a touch of biscuity toffee, day-old cafe-au-lait, rich medium chocolate, a hint of black licorice, some free-range char, more hard to parse bruised stone fruit, and still understated earthy and floral hop bitters.

The carbonation is fairly low-key in its timid-seeming frothiness, the body an adequate middleweight, and generally smooth, maybe a suggestion of damp ashiness messing around a bit too much for the collective good. It finishes off-dry, but trending toward the latter, as the roasted and hoppy essences exhibit some lingering meddle.

Overall, this is a pretty sturdy version of the style, straightforward in its earnestness, and not trying to be something bigger (and not necessarily better). Full-flavoured, and easy to drink, with an extra point and a half of the ol' wowee sauce keeping to the shadows. Good stuff.

Feb 14, 2017
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GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fall 2015 vintage; drank 2/5/16 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Opaque brown/purple appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE tan head; frothy lace.

Fresh earth, cream, plum & dark chocolate notes in the nose.

Creamy, medium thick mouthfeel.

Fresh earth & dry plum flavors up front; bitter dark chocolate notes on the finish. Sort of a baby RIS; mildly harsh but still quaffable. Nice.

Jan 17, 2017
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Nugganooch from California

4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with my Stone IRS snifter glass
First sample was from 10/19/15

A solid house stout and instant winner for me. I would rank this slightly over Deschutes Obsidian in my book. Has a bit smoother body and more depth in flavor. The Commodore is quite roasty but not really the chocolate or coffee kind of roast. More like burnt toast and brown sugars-molasses. Coal black body with some ruddy edges and a great mocha tan heady stack over top. Mmmm rich and roasty. Only comes in at 6.5%ABV but drinks much bigger on the palate. Very smooth silken feel with a medium amount of filling body. Light drying lift towards the finish with some mild earthy roast bitterness. Very gratifying.

Jan 12, 2017
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bigflatsbeerman from New York

4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Interesting head on this stout after you pour, a dark off white if that's possible? I think the color is unusual and intriguing (maybe it was the lighting or my color blindness). I stopped drinking craft stouts because I found the roasty taste amped up too much, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Need to buy and revisit.

Jan 03, 2017
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AustinWadkins from Iowa

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark black with a milky 1/2 finger head.

Smells of roasted coffee, burnt caramel, dark fruits, roasted malts

Taste includes roasted malts, roasted coffee, dark fruits, chocolate, very creamy. Flavors develop as it gets warmer

Overall this was a great beer! (Once warmed)

Dec 30, 2016
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frkonalsh2003 from California

4.58/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer for a Christmas party. I know Bel-Air is pricey but yikes. Luckily the beer was pretty good though. Dry and roasty as claimed on the bottle but I picked up some bitter sweetness like dark chocolate with a charred texture. The coffee notes were minimal if at all which I didn't miss. The finish is dry and bitter and it lingers for a while.

Had this on what was probably the coldest night of the year in the 20s and outside! The firepit kept things warm but this stout is a very good cold weather beer.

Dec 30, 2016
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Spikester from Oregon

4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black with one finger of tan head. Rings of tan lace follow the recession.
Smell is dark roasted malts some coffee.
Taste is dark roasted malts molasses dark roasted coffee cocoa.
Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Finish is dry and bitter sweet.
Overall a nicely crafted stout. Leans toward the bitter end of the spectrum.

Dec 07, 2016
The Commodore from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 726 ratings