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: 63 | Ratings: 239
Photo of h0wdy
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look: Deep brown that has a near black look to it.
Smell: A large amount of coffee and nutty kick. Also with a chocolate after noise to it.
Taste: Mostly coffee and there is a chocolate finish to it, essentially the same as the smell of this.
Feeling: A relatively light drink that has a smooth finish without a kick to it.
Overall: Worth trying this drink.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Buck89
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass. A beautiful dark brown color out of the bottle, producing a large and rocky light tan head. Bright roasted coffee on the nose, with a bit of dark chocolate and vanilla. No surprises on the first sip: the fresh coffee showed up immediately and lingered clear to the finish. Great notes of vanilla and chocolate malt throughout. A bit of char and toast as well. Medium-bodied. The flavor-to-ABV ratio is huge here. Well done.

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Photo of Roguer
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Modest tan head from a careful pour; very dark body, nearly black shot through with dark brown.

Big coffee aroma, which yields to roasted barley, nuts, and a very noticeable chocolate presence. Very similar to FBS.

Starts thin up front, but very soon waves of chocolate (and to a lesser extent coffee) come crashing through. It's a lovely, organic chocolate flavor, similar to Young's Double Chocolate, neither too sweet nor too bitter. The coffee is most prominent immediately up front, and on the bitter, roasty finish. Hints of cream and pecans, and very light notes of banana and red grape round out the profile, but it's the adjuncts which really shine here.

Slightly thin, but not unduly so, given the 6%. For the ABV, in fact, this is one of the most flavor-packed breakfast-style stouts on the market.

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Photo of gshak
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 22oz bottle into a Kostritzer goblet, at fridge temperature. No bottled on date noticed.
A- pours a beautiful black with a mocha colored head that dissipated into thin ring that lasted the distance. Lacing noted where the beer had been.
S - very muted, possibly because of the cold temperature. Coffee, roasted malt, bakers chocolate, some toasted bread is noted.
T - Black coffee, unsweetened dark chocolate, roasted grains, and earthy hops are all noted on the palate. I would have preferred a bit more sweetness in the beer, perhaps lactose. I think this beer would totally rock with some lactose, and nitro.
M- medium.
O - a very solid porter, and the combination of chocolate and coffee works extremely well.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.46/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of K-Dog
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
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 barnzy78
4.08/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of hophugger
4.36/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.29/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours jet black with a solid creamy head, looks good. especially for a 6% porter

smells like chocolate and coffee. oddly enough i get notes of PB&J in this

taste is full of coffee and finishes with light chocolate. taste is pretty good, full flavor for 6%

this is prettty good. nothing special but a good porter, especially considering it's only 6%. worth a try for a bomber. this bomber only ran me $6 so def worth it

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: 2F tight tan head with OK retention, leaves a fair amount of lacing and a cap and ring. Beer is very dark brown.

S: Lots of coffee and unsweetened cocoa, roasted malts, a hint of vanilla.

T: The base porter comes through more here with roasted and burned malts up front, then coffee and cocoa and a tiny bit of vanilla. As is often the case with these, the cocoa really lingers through the end. This works for me.

F: Light to medium bodied, light to medium carbonation. Good balance and construction as it avoids both cloying sweetness and overt bitterness.

O: This sort of thing is my wheelhouse and delivers very nicely for me. I like it.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
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 EMH73
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
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 57md
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
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 BeerDawgs
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Dark brown, no clarity, 1 finger of head and some nice lacing left on top of the brew

S - Coffee beans, fresh brewed, chocolate

T - Great mix of coffee and cocoa, with neither dominating. Easy drinking

F - Full body, creamy

O - A very tasty porter. Light and easy to drink. Definitely with my $5 for the 22oz bomber

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

 1,042 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -2.9%
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 THSdrummer
4.04/5  rDev -1.9%
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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Photo of argock
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
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 biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev -1%
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 cjgiant
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
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 Bluerabbitbell
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice! Had this at industry public house in Robinson Center. Probably will never make it to San Diego to visit the brewery, so this will have to do! There is a special flavor note that Leah and I are getting, but we can't identify it. Cherry, vanilla, chocolate. Either way, it's good!

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev +0.2%
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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of waterski
3.8/5  rDev -7.8%
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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Mocha Marlin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 239 ratings.
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