Mocha Marlin | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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Mocha MarlinMocha Marlin

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Coffee and chocolate come together in this brew.
Our Black Marlin Porter is the perfect beer for a mocha mashup. The addition of coffee and cocoa plays perfectly off the roasty, chocolaty flavors of this English porter, while a hint of vanilla smooths it all out. It’s full-bodied, but not too sweet; try it for breakfast…or dessert.

42 IBU

Added by dmorgan310 on 11-22-2015

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Reviews: 66 | Ratings: 246
Photo of fscottkey
3.21/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A: [4.00] The bottle lists the ABV (6.0%). I think there is a Julian code on the bottom - but I am not sure. The beer pours out almost 50% black beer and 50% dense Mocha head. Lots of lacing on the glass.

S: [3.50] Good coffee aroma coming through. Behing that some charred marshmallow and vanilla.

T: [3.00] The coffee is not there like it is in the nose. I get a lot more of the charred flavor with hints of coffee in the back. There is some sweetness from the malts. Overall the flavor feels a little synthetic.

M: [2.75] Thin. That hit me before the actual taste - the feel is thinned out.

O: [3.25] The beer looks great and the nose was promising but the mouthfeel is really weak and that the biggest disappointment. The flavor lacks any real coffee or chocolate character. I would not buy this again.

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Photo of Zorro
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black colored ale with a tall brown colored head.

Smells strongly of coffee. Smell of char and wine notes of light roast coffee. Scents of caramel and smoke.

Starts out mildly sweet and tasting strongly of coffee. Wine notes and a little acid. Mild toffee flavor. Not really any bitterness to note.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a serviceable porter but an outstanding coffee beer.

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Photo of LeRose
3.61/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bomber into a nonic. Very dark brown, nearly black. A brief appearance of a tan porter head that vanishes quickly. Does not appear to be highly cabonated.

The first thing that hits in the aroma is strong coffee. Definitelt dominant at first. A bittersweet leaning towards dark chocolate follows and becomes more assertive as the beer warms. To my nose, the coffee dominates and the beer slightly misses the mark on the whole mocha business.

The taste is a bit more balanced than the aroma. I am not finding any sweetness to speak of, ample coffee and the chocolate is in a better balance versus the aroma. As the flavors develop, there us an acrid, burnt coffee note on the finish and a little vanilla or marshmallow flavors says hello. Again, not what I think of as a mocha, but it s OK. I am not getting any sweetness to this beer, and I think it needs it to deliver as a mocha.

The beer feels quite thin and light bodied. The carbonation is low, but acceptable for a porter.

All in all, it is a decent beer, if overpriced for what it is. Glad to have tried it, but won't make the starting lineup.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a tulip.
Pours a deep dark brown and half a finger of khaki head.
Aromas of deep roasted malt are there. Maybe some coffee notes.
Flavor is pretty standard porter maybe a bit of coffee, not much chocolate.
Mouthfeel was very thin. Would like it chewier.
All together this beer is substantially less impressive than Victory at Sea. It's ok, but weak.

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Photo of K-Dog
3.77/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was an ok non imperial porter. On the lighter side. The coffee and chocolate flavors are there but very suttle. Wish had a little more depth in the flavor. Overall not bad a worth a try espically at 5.99 a bomber.

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Photo of waterski
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a wide mouth glass. Dark and rich in appearance with a tan to light brown head which dissipated quickly. Temperature was near 55. Strong coffee nose reminded me of a craft coffee shop. Taste was lightly bitter coffee with some balanced hop notes on the finish. Not picking up the chocolate that the label suggests and the vanilla is mostly an afterthought. Let it warm up for an additional 20 minutes hoping the flavors would develop, but that didn't happen. The vanilla was maybe a bit more on the tail end. Overall a descent coffee style porter. I'd gladly order a pint at my favorite pub.

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Photo of teromous
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On the bottom of the bottle: "BM 213M 1626 08:55"

Appearance: Black body with a very vivacious, thick, large, foamy, light brown head. Outstanding head retention and lacing.

Aroma: It has a very nice aroma that smells just like coffee.

Taste: I am getting a strong coffee flavor up front and there is this roasted bitterness that follows through to the end. The aftertaste has this very light vanilla flavor. It is very nice. The label says this is a "porter with coffee, chocolate & natural flavors." I am not getting any chocolate but the coffee flavor is good.

Mouthfeel: The body is pretty lacking in the beer. It just feels a bit thin. The carbonation is good and the bitterness gives the mouth a bit of a bite which is nice but it feels noticeably absent of body.

Overall: Barring the lack of body or chocolate flavor the beer is good. What this really boils down to is if you like coffee, and if you do, you will like this beer. If you are a mocha lover you will probably wonder where the chocolate is. Overall I did think it was a pretty good beer but I don't think it's one I would buy more than one of.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.81/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer velvety and dark. Creamy tan head with streak lacing. Aroma is cocoa and espresso with hints of toasted marshmallow. The flavor really is like drinking a mocha. I found it to be just a tad too much on the sweet side for me, but still quite enjoyable. Silky smooth and rich. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of LampertLand
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Ballast Point Brewing 'Mocha Marlin' @ 6.0% , served from a 650 ml bottle purchased for $8.70
A-pour is a cola brown from the bottle to an almost black in the glass with a small tan head leaving a fine spotty lace along the pint
S-mocha (coffee & chocolate)
T-mocha , again coffee & chocolate , more of a bitter coffee finish on the swallow
MF-decent carbonation , big medium body , bitterness lingers
Ov-just an ok porter , just way too dry
prost LampertLand

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Photo of 57md
3.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed the complexity of the standard Marlin and I tend to like chocolate and mocha adjuncts in beer. Therefore, I had high hopes for this offering.

The chocolate notes are present in both the nose and the flavor profile but they are much milder than I expected from this offering. What's worse is that the really interesting flavors in Marlin - the slight essence of smoke, the solid roast - are buried underneath the mocha flavor.

The trade-off seems to not be worth it. I'll stick with the standard Marlin.

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Photo of tlema1
3.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: deep, dark brown, with a tan lacing head
S: coffee, bakers chocolate, roasted malts
T: follows the nose, nice coffee presence
F: rich, full bodied, creamy, bit of a dry toasty finish
O: very well done, I love BPs darker offerings

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Photo of q33jeff
3.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75


22oz. Bottle to goblet.

LOOK: dark black, small beige head, thin pour.
AROMA: Coffee and toast.
TASTE: coffee is most prevalent. Some chocolate sneaks in.
FEEL: is a bit thin, but I guess about right for a porter. Very weak carbonation.

Overall Decent, but something doesn't quite fit for me. A poor man's Victory at Sea.


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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours near black, dark cola brown with a cocoa-powder colored, rocky two-finger width head. Fair retention, settling to a thin, broken layer of suds with a fair ring around the edge of the glass. Fair lacing, with small spotting and a few broken lines.

Smell - Immediately hits with notes of coffee roast and milk chocolate. Hints of caramel and vanilla sit beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Hits first with mild coffee roast and milk chocolate sweetness, then lesser notes of vanilla cream and some caramel peak through by mid-taste. Finishes with the sweetness fading while the coffee roast holds firm in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium in body with subpar carbonation. A bit slick on the tongue, with a slightly watery finish. Goes down easy enough, but feels a bit thin for the flavor profile.

Overall - Pretty good flavor, but the mouthfeel falls a bit short. Not bad for the price (>$5 at Winco). If it sticks around, it might be an occasional buy there because their dark beer selection is sorely lacking.

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Photo of EMH73
3.89/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

All I can really say is that I like the base beer much better. The additional flavors of mocha and coffee do nothing to enhance the flavor of the base beer. I will stick with Marlin Porter.

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Photo of stortore
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into a snifter. Had 11/9/16.

Pours a very dark brown, opaque, with a one inch head and some thin, foamy lacing. The smell is coffee. chocolate, roasted malts, a light smokiness. The taste is coffee, less roasted malts than the nose, molasses, light vanilla. Would like a fuller body. Smooth, well carbonated, a good, but lighter body.

This is good, enjoyable to drink, but nothing unique.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Black, medium rocky almond head. Coffee beans, cocoa powder, and dark malts in the scent. The coffee is more pronounced in the flavor and subdues the cocoa and malt somewhat. Bitter and rich; light body, perhaps a little too light.

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Photo of GreatHammerhead
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Look: Black with a tan two finger head. Very good head retention.

Smell: roasted malts with dark coffee and chocolate notes tied together with a vein of alcohol.

Taste: Malts with dark black coffee with subtle mocha notes.

Feel: Thin, not to the point of being watery but too thin for the style.

Overall: A good beer but not anything really special.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.92/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap:
Wonderful creamy mocha cap that acts like stryrofoam atop the pour - never leaving.

Nice roasted coffee nose with a bit of chocolate in the mix.

Somehow the taste is more like a stale cup of coffee, but the coffee flavor, as it is, is decently strong. Little cigarette smoke and a dark, unsweetened chocolate is also perceived. With warmth, the chocolate comes out a bit more, especially up front, leaving the coffee taste to clean up.

Rather full flavor profile on a little too watery feel when cold. Warmth smooths the beer nicely, though. This leads to a weak astringency in the back of the taste to me.

Think the addition of coffee actually took a good thing and didn't quite improve on it. The coffee overtakes the beer, but not as well as other coffee beers I've had.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 11/9/2016 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in North Attleboro, MA, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains strong chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with very strong flavors of chocolate and coffee that are quickly followed by a hearty roasted malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of argock
3.99/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a clear glass tulip. 16267 on bottom of bottle.

A: Black with chestnut edges with 1-finger beige big bubbled head with dissipates quickly and leaves minimal to no lacing.

S: Delicious coffee and bitter dark chocolate with medium sweet caramel and fig.

T: The coffee is too harsh and prominent -- tastes like slightly burned black coffee. The chocolate tries to do battle but can't overcome the heft of the coffee component. The sweet porter base is very flavorful. Light herbal and floral hop notes come through with moderate bitterness too.

M: Fairly light bodied with light-medium carbonation -- very readily drinkable.

O: Solid effort but tone down the coffee by about a third and I think this would be a real crowd-pleaser.

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Photo of Ri0
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz bottle into chalice. Black with a 2 finger tan head. Nice porter aroma with hints of bitter chocolate and coffee beans. Flavor is a terrific chocolate cola with layered notes of cold coffee. Medium body with good carbonation. A nice beer to enjoy on a fall evening.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown / black color and a thick consistency. There was a two inch, creamy, tan-colored, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A very alluring aroma of coffee, chocolate, malt, and some vanilla.

T: Tasted of a good shot roasted malt, lots of chocolate, some coffee (not quite enough), a hint of vanilla, a little earthy hops for good measure, and some caramel. While the flavor doesn't quite live up to the aroma's promise, it is oddly pleasing. Definitely dark and complex.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a super smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer certainly has its flaws, but it is easy to drink and generally tasty.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ballast point is like turning into shock top or something. i mean, no new beers in ages, now just flavored variants of the same stuff. fortunately most of it is very good, but i am ready for new beers, not new additives. this is one of the better ones though, and mostly because it doesnt lose marlin as a base, still a nice roasty robust porter at its heart, a great beer to begin with. coffee and chocolate additions are prominent but not overpowering, much more coffee that chocolate, with a great earthy depth to it and a caramel sweet note as well. chocolate is dark and bitter and sort of blends into the dark grain a little bit, but adds some cool depth which is more evident as the beer warms up. lots of bitterness to this, the black malt is quite strong, but the beer is soft and smooth from the tap, really just the right feel for what it is. coffee lingers on the finish, the rest of it is gone. nice to have something hearty and dark like this here for the fall season, but i am not sure how many more of these ballast point additive beers i have the patience for. bring out something new. i just saw a cinnamon raisin version of one of them for goodness sake...

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut, near black body with a beige, bubbly head. Chocolate, coffee, espresso, dark roast aromas. Similar flavor. The beer finishes dry with lingering notes of cocoa powder and baker's chocolate. Pretty good.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with a finger of khaki head. Head retention is good, with so-so lacing as left overs. Aroma feels bold, and solid, with notes of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. Flavor profile is roasted malts with twinges of chocolate and coffee here and there. The flavor declines pretty rapidly before a long, bitter decaying lasting taste. Mouth feel is somewhat abrasive, with carbonation, but is otherwise smooth. It has a medium to medium-thin consistency that is a tad bit watery. Overall, it's a good porter with a better feel then most I have tried. Chocolate and coffee notes are nice, but could still use refinement. It's still fun to drink.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Mocha Marlin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 246 ratings.
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