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: 245
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 BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With the acclaim of so many strong flavored, dark beers laced with coffee and chocolate, the natural procession is to hold such flavors in such esteem to suggest a high price tag and an over-the-top intensity. Yet when a milder mannered version of those flavors hit the market, a more somber, sensible and calmer tone graces the beer aisle. ...and that's a good thing.

Ballast Point's Mocha Marlin pours with a rich dark brown hue, easily mistaken for stout. Its rich mocha cap carries the medium intense scent of expected coffee and chocolate bud does so on malty-rich taste of caramel, cream, vanilla and brown sugar.

As the ale crosses the middle palate, its sweetness slowly relaxes and allows the more robust flavors to come through. Slowly intensifying coffee turns to a french press version. Chocolate turns to bittersweet varieties. Malty structures turn to whopper's candy and bready starch. And any hop bitterness is easily disguised as a broad woodsy taste that's reminiscent of walnut and heavy toast.

Full bodied but relaxed at the same time, the porter is off-roast and simmers nicely with those chocolaty, coffee-like smoothness. Silky, yet robust the texture is of burnt cream, silk and campfire. A long aftertaste of chocolate frames the lasting memories as a light alcohol chases a taste of kaluha and cream.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle - maybe I am having this one for breakfast...maybe I am.

This beer pours a fairly solid black, with orange cola basal edges, and three chubby fingers of puffy, rocky, and chunky brown head, which leaves some smushed webbed lace around the glass as it very slowly sinks away.

It smells of roasted craft coffee, bittersweet chocolate, gritty and grainy caramel malt, vanilla cookies, and some very plain earthy and floral green hop bitters. The taste is bready and doughy caramel malt, Coffee Crisp candy bars (coffee, and chocolate wafers, mostly - hey, Hallowe'en was a few days ago, and there's lots of that stuff still kicking about around here), vanilla pudding, a twinge of sugary black licorice, and more tame leafy, earthy, and gently perfumed floral hoppiness.

The carbonation is quite low-key in its barely supportive frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and genuinely smooth, with a nice aerosol creaminess apparently there from the get-go. It finishes off-dry, the cocoa, coffee, and caramel doing one good hipster java shop impression!

Overall, this comes across as a well-made, rich and luxurious coffee and chocolate enhanced Porter, with nothing out of place or worth complaining about here, nuh-uh. Easy to drink, and enjoyable, however, it's really giving me the urge to go out and find something salty or savoury to share with it!

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Photo of brentk56
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours with an impressive bubble show that produces a full three fingers of mocha foam; multiple strands of lacing top the fudge brown liquid

Smell: Mocha tones waft, with chocolate and coffee with hints of caramel and earthy hop

Taste: The chocolate, coffee and caramel fade in and out while creating the mocha flavor profile; the hops provide balance to the sweeter elements, in the middle; the finish is nicely balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Pretty impressive coffee porter, particularly for such a reasonable price

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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 dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours an opaque yet still clear jet black in color with moderate amounts of fine active visible carbonation rising quickly along the edges of the glass and faint dark cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy dark mocha colored head that reduces to a couple of small to medium sized patches of medium thick film surrounded by a large patch of thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of freshly brewed coffee with moderate aromas of roasted malts and chocolate/cocoa. Light hints of earthy hops and vanilla.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted malts with moderate to strong flavors of moderately sweet chocolate. That is followed by moderate flavors of freshly brewed coffee and light flavors of vanilla. Hints of earthy hops in the finish. There is a slightly heavier than moderate amount of lingering roasty bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Initially slightly creamy with a moderate amount of dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and easy to drink with really nice coffee aromas and a nice mixture of coffee + chocolate flavors. The hints of vanilla smooth it out a bit. Not overly sweet but still rich. Definitely one to pick up and the price point on this one makes it an easier choice.

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Photo of russpowell
4.22/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours ebony with 2+ of caramel colored head. Good head retention & better than average lacing

S: Coffee, a little vanilla, some choclolate & black currant as this warms

T: Follows the nose, a little caramel & roastyness, drynesss as well up front. Woody hops, roastyness & a little vanilla as this warms. Finishes dry, roasty & with a little mocha sweetness

MF: Medium body, creamy carbonation

Flavorful Porter that's easy to drink, plenty of coffee presence

 469 characters

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 smakawhat
4.27/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Real big winner in the looks column here. Dark walnut black out of the bottle, nearly oily pour. Liquid hits the glass in silence nearly and creates a great cascading head of easily three dark tall fingers of truly light mocha color. Fine bubbles almost nitrous but nice light clumpy ring lacing matches out as it settles to a solid light tan. Great looking porter.

That's some nice coffee joe on the nose for the aroma. Soft coffee fruity acidity a bit, and an almost milky chocolate sensation coming off the brew. Good vanilla and milky tones matching with this. Slight hint of roasted malts go for some porter quality, but the beer also feels larger because of this excellent coffee/chocolate/cream combination.

Oh here we got on the palate. Nice rich milk chocolate quality on first sip. Mid palate has creamy but also classic light bodied roast and coffee flavors without the harsh sour or acidity. Very nice finish, a great lingering hop oil that really slowly builds and adds some hints of fruity and sharp pine towards the end, which really pulls out the coffee character of the brew. Excellent creamy palate, that really tops of the sweetness and vanilla like tones but doesn't go overboard.

A real nice topped up high accented porter that feels also very grounded. Great job from the guys at BP.

 1,369 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bomber bottle, a good value at $5.99 per at Peekskill Bev, Peekskill, NY

Pours dark and stout like, lighter mocha head leaves nice looking fine film, and a load of splattered fine sheeting.

Sniff of chocolate and cafe au lait.

Smooth, tasty, flavorful and dangerously easy drinking flovored porter/stout. moderate chocolate and coffee notes....basically delicious...would go great with a decadent chocolate dessert

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Swillburger/The Playhouse in Rochester, NY.

This one pours a fairly dark black, with a small head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like roasty and smokey coffee, smells like very heavily roasted coffee. There's some dark chocolate on the nose, too.

This has a wonderfully smoky and roasty flavor, both from the coffee and the malts. I like the coffee used here, but it definitely almost feels too dark, and too roasty. It's nearly at that line, but doesn't quite cross it. There's some slight chocolate too, and a nice creamy taste.

This has a nice creaminess to the mouthfeel, with a slightly lingering bitter finish.

I've been down on these guys for a while, but this restored my faith in them a bit.

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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 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.

 685 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 fl oz bottle sealed with ballast point logo pressure cap.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: opaque black body. Head pours a tall, frothy, and substantial. Head color is light to medium brown. Head has excellent staying power and leaves thick lacing behind on all surfaces of the glass. Thin cap remains on the beer during the entire drinking session.

Smell: No surprise here with the nose. Milk chocolate and freshly roasted coffee beans. This porter smells more sweet than roasty. A hint of vanilla as well which is a surprise because I don't think this has any vanilla beans added to this beer.

Taste: Moderately roasty coffee beans is the main flavor. The coffee is bold, acidic, earthy, smokey, and slightly nutty. The chocolate is much harder to find in the flavor even though it easily overpowers the coffee in the nose. As the roasted coffee mellows out at the end of each sip you detect a light sweetness of premium milk chocolates.

Mouthfeel: medium body with moderate carbonation. Creamy carbonation and slightly oily mouthfeel.

Overall: My guess is that Mocha Marlin is Victory at Sea without the addition of vanilla. This is really solid and at a price point of $4.99 a bomber this is an easy choice when in the mood for a fantastic coffee porter. As always Ballast point does a fantastic job with adjuncts in dark beer styles.

 1,353 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, no apparent freshness date
A - rocky light brown head holds good retention atop a near black ale
S - big chocolate and coffee aroma with hints of caramel & vanilla
T - as the label suggests, coffee, chocolate, and vanilla pair well with the dark malts, caramel malt, and earthy hops
M - medium body, ample carbonation, finishes well balanced and modestly bitter
O - really good, easy drinking and flavorful porter. Nice pricepoint ($4.99). I'd buy this again if I saw it.

 486 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark blackish brown. Moderate amount of bubbles and a big two finger tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A roasty and sweet dark malt driven aroma with a scent of coffee and chocolate. Dark roasted malt with a scent of coffee beans, chocolate, toast, biscuit, nuts, caramel, toffee, and smoke along with yeast. Sweet scent of vanilla and milk lactose. Subtle hints of earthy hops. A really nice aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty and sweet dark malt forward taste with notes of coffee and chocolate. Dark roasted barley malt with good notes of coffee beans and chocolate along with some biscuit, toast, caramel, toffee, nuts, and smoke with some yeast. Sweet taste of milk lactose and vanilla. Light earthy hop bitterness towards the finish. A very good roasty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, silky, and smooth with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A very good Coffee Porter. Good balance of roasty bitterness and sweetness.

 1,068 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.33/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12/11/16...pours pitch black, deep and dark, 1/4 inch tan foam sits and rests. Coffee based smell that evolves into a milk chocolate sweetness. Some grit in there too. Smooth roasted malt flavorful taste. The coffee's there and dark chocolate too. Slight bitter but subsides with the cocoa. Middle creaminess. Fantastic.

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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 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.

 769 characters

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 BEERMILER12
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a pitch black color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fades down to a nice cap that leaves lots of lacing

S: Lots of coffee and chocolate up front along with plenty of roast and a light sweetness. A touch of vanilla in there as well

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the coffee and cocoa and then goes into the roast and some light bitterness and vanilla notes. Bitterness builds up towards the finish with the coffee and roasted malt combo. Finishes with lingering coffee and a hint of char

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. On the dry side

O: A nice English porter that holds up to the mocha addition very nicely. Remains extremely easy to drink at 6%. Worth checking out

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Photo of hophugger
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful deep color with magnificent tan head. Aromas abound with coffee and sweet chocolate. Taste is lots of coffee with a back of milk and bitter chocolate(great balance). Overall, tons of flavor, well balanced between the chocolate and coffee and overall a terrific brew, balanced and extremely enjoyably. Slight bitter coffee finish, but still manages to be clean.

 370 characters

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was such a nice surprise at the Ballast Point brewery in Miramar. Amazing chocolate and coffee notes and incredible amount of flavor at 6% (menu listed this at 6%, not 7.2%, and called it Mocha Black Marlin, not Mocha Marlin).

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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 ordybill
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark brown to black color with a medium sized tan head. The aroma is roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. The taste matches the nose and is awesome.

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Mocha Marlin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.11 out of 5 based on 245 ratings.
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