Black Marlin
Ballast Point Brewing Company

Black MarlinBlack Marlin
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Porter - American
Ranked #95
Ranked #10,097
3.97 | pDev: 9.82%
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States
Very Good
Black MarlinBlack Marlin
Reviews: 345 | Ratings: 1,059 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jeffdr123
jeffdr123 from Florida

3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Baseline Hollywood Studios. Pornstar Coca-Cola Brown. Nice roast the elements. A little more coffee flavor than I usually like. Probably won't order again.

Dec 29, 2019
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WoodBrew from Ohio

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

I tried this at Ballast Points new Chicago location. It poured an opaque dark with tan head that did not leave much lace. The scent had hints of chocolate and earth. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with sweet roast and peat presence. The mouthfeel was medium in body with good carbonation. Overall its a solid beer.

Sep 08, 2018
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fairly standard porter. Dark brown body, one finger offwhite head. Short retention and no lacing. Smell brings a bit of milk chocolate, fair bit of roast, light earth, touch of dark fruit. Flavour follows, although while the chocolate and roast are appropriate up front, there isn't much on the finish, seems to get watery towards the end. Medium thinner body, appropriately carbonated, mild earthy finish that seems to let you down after the initial burst of chocolate and roast. Still a fairly smooth drinking beer.

Jun 24, 2018
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VABA from Virginia

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

A-Pours a dark color with a nice head and lacing
A-Aroma has slight chocolate hints
T-The taste follows the nose with slight chocolate flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A nice Porter

May 14, 2018
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brenn79 from Idaho

4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22 oz bottle- Pours mostly black with a fairly small light tan head that reduces to a blanket. Aroma is dark roasted malts, dark berries, cocoa. The taste is cocoa up front, quality coffee, the hops are noticeable, but not distracting, dark roasted malts, really well blended beer here. Tasty.

Apr 10, 2018
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Viaduck from California

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very, very dark, almost black with a generous coarse tan head. Smells sweet, caramel & dark chocolate. Flavor is dark roasted coffee & roasted malt. Not much hop flavor but everything is nicely balanced. Feels thinner than it looks but plenty of carbonation.

Sep 12, 2017
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patre_tim from Thailand

4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a hint of Ruby went held to a very bright light. Topped with fout fingers of foamy, frothy, beige head. It leaves an amazing snow like lacing.

It smells dark tar, like cigarettes chocolate dusted Coco truffles, slightly smoky, coffee and almost dark fudge brownie like.

Hints of dark chocolate, cocoa dark charred notes on the finish almost like charcoal, but overall it's very smooth slightly sweet, yet still quite dry.

Medium body, medium light, smooth carbonation.

I got this one in Chang Mai, Thailand and I'm drinking it here July 5, 2017. Very well done for the style, very smooth, very worth seeking out.

Jul 05, 2017
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maltznhopz from Nevada

3.82/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass. Smell of malts and toffee. Taste follows suite, with a very smooth and creamy feel. Medium carbination. Overall decent porter.

May 31, 2017
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Everydayoff from Thailand

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

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

Charcoal black with some brown tinge in color, it comes with thick frothy tan head that stands with pretty good retention before gradually subsiding to some bubble film on the surface and leaving numerous amount of sticky lacing patch and spot on the glass-side.

In a nose, I get the traditional roasted malt, black coffee, and chocolate note. Not so surprise with the vanilla, caramel, some smoke, and dark bread but a bit surprise with a bold hop aroma of citrus, tropical, earthy, and spice that is well mingled with all others.

The taste as well follows what is displayed in the aroma. Heavy dose of roasted malt, black coffee, chocolate, some smoke, vanilla, caramel, and dark bread while hop is being nicely complement with notes of citrus, earthy, spice, and some bitterness that is also reinforced by roasted profile.

The body is medium with some good crisp and moderate carbonation to carry well the smooth mouthfeel, very dry finish.

Good and very well balance Porter, all the characters are harmoniously arranged and displayed in good shape.

Mar 01, 2017
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Bum4ever from California

4.04/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L: black with a tan head. Some lacing
S: chocolate and coffe.
T: good overall flavor and balance.
F: little light for a porter.
O: good solid porter, in the lighter side. But very drinkable.

Jan 23, 2017
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AnthonyJS from California

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fantastic porter. It's rich and malty rather than strong and roasty like some porters and stouts. Mildly sweet with hints of chocolate and coffee, and the flavors are well balanced as should be expected. This is a wholly satisfying and rich beer that should please any porter or stout fan.

Nov 19, 2016
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WayneEsten from California

4.23/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I like porters. This one's distinct; I described it to my brother as "very smooth going down with a bit of a hard landing." The finish is dry and unlike some porters and many stouts, the coffee is held in check and not allowed to dominate over the malt, barley and chocolate; it's well balanced. Now, I was drinking a fair amount of Deschutes Black Butte Porter because, based on my taste, I considered it the best of the porters I've tried. However, this one is right up there with the Deschutes and it may have even a little more body. I'm having to make room for more bottles.

Oct 09, 2016
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EMH73 from New York

3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on tap, poured an almost black color with a fairly well retained half inch head that left a little lacing. Smell was mostly malts with a hint of coffee and caramel. Taste was primarily roasted malts with notes of caramel, coffee, chocolate and dark fruits. Moderated carbonated and medium mouthfeel. Very good, but nothing special.

Sep 20, 2016
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Rogerlb from California

4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black, has a nice malt and lager aroma.

Taste is creamy. And malty goodness, but no roasty aspect and therefore quite mellow. Caramel and vanilla notes no doubt contribute. There's a slight dark fruit like plum. The professed hops merely give it body without any real bitter or citrus influence, and this has a better feel than some porters, which tend to be watery. Not here. At 6% you could drink it all day. It's nothing spectacular but quite close to a perfect way to spend your evening.

Jul 25, 2016
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delta490 from Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours deep brown, with a big foamy light tan head. The head has very good retention aided by solid steady carbonation. The aroma is a little light, more caramel and a hint of hops and grain with no chocolate. The taste is almost like a schwarzbier, but with a little more caramel to balance the roasted malt flavor. The body is lighter and the carbonation is pretty strong throughout.

Mar 24, 2016
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ivehadthatbrew from Nevada

3.66/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look (3.75): A dark black pour with a lighter tan head. Around the edges this brew looks brown, not a jet black brew. Decent carbonation that likes to cling to the glass as it pours.

Smell (4): Pleasant chocolate and coffee bitterness coming off this guy. Possibly some darker fruit flavors hidden in there.

Taste (3.5): At first you're hit with citrus (lemon or lime peels?) flavors that lead into more piney bitter tones. This turns into a malted chocolatey creamy flavor. There's a weak bitter presence before it ends.

Mouthfeel (3.75): Creamy, silky and grainy mouthfeel. Even with the tropical and pine flavors at first there's not much acidic tones or boozey feels.

Overall (3.5): Not much of an ending to this. It starts out pretty fantastic and builds up really well before it decides to end suddenly. It's not my favorite porter...

Mar 10, 2016
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KomodoDragon from Virginia

3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with red highlights. Small cream colored bubbly head.

Earthy smells with raisin and dark fruits.

I immediately pick up dates and sugary raisins in the front end of the taste. Typical porter sweetness along with some roasted malts. Burn and some bitterness in the finish. There is a lightness to this brew. But quite a bit too fizzy in the feel for my preference.

Good porter with a bonus hoppy kick.

Feb 16, 2016
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Thirstygoat from Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An older bottle I put away years ago. I has the gold & black cap.

Pours coal blacj with tan to copper head.
The faintest hint of the hops with a dab of sweetness on the nose
taste of roast coffee, the sweetness and a residue of the faded hops
nice velvety mouthfeel
For might taste letting the hops age out, not exactly planned, seems to have worked out. I enjoyed this

Jan 16, 2016
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NHSTEVE from New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Faint smell of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and hops. The label states a hoppy twist on a classic English porter. I would have called this beer a black IPA not a porter. In a porter I don't plan on a hop flavor. Beer felt thin like a IPA not thick like a good porter or stout. Is a average porter but a good black IPA.

Dec 29, 2015
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beergoot from Colorado

4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Squid-ink black body; dense, very thick, dull bone colored head. Charred grain aroma; coffee beans; bitter, dark chocolate. Dark roasted grains; carob; mocha and cream; subtle, bitter edge; mild tanginess. Heavy body, smooth and silky mouthfeel; creamy; semi-sweet finish.

This beer exhibits an excellent combination of depth, complexity and balance. There is a richness and silkiness throughout, especially with the flavors and mouthfeel. A gentle warmth and mild chocolate sweetness encompasses every sip while a soft a velvety feel makes every last swallow a most pleasant experience. Good stuff...

Dec 27, 2015
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flyingpig from Scotland

3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

650ml bottle from Brewdog brewery website (£6.00):
Another enjoyable Ballast Point beer, this one was a well-balanced & easy to drink porter from the brewery that came through with good sweetness, some rich chocolate & an earthy bitterness that also boasted the odd subtle hops too. The beer was a ridiculously smooth & easy one to drink & that was perhaps its best feature but the smell & taste weren't bad either thankfully; I wouldn't mind having this one again.

Dec 22, 2015
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.35/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours deep-deep brown color with a one finger tan colored head. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading over time to leave a good level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is big of a roasty smell, mixed with some grainy aromas and a moderately sweeter smell of chocolate and vanilla. Along with these smells comes some other aromas of a dark fruit nature of cherry and plum along with a little bit of a wood smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a lightly roasted and slightly cocoa sweet flavor. As the taste advances more roast and a little more sweet in the nature of caramel and vanilla come to the tongue. Along with these developing flavors comes some light burnt tastes as well as some more earthy hop flavors. In the end, the mix of hop, sweet, and roast are joined by some grain to leave a moderately dark, but sweeter, kind of weak black IPA like flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is somewhat thin for a porter of 6% abv. with a carbonation level that is average to slightly higher. I would have liked a little less carbonation and a little more chewiness/creaminess for this one; better accentuating the roast and sweet.

Overall – Not bad, but not really anything outstanding either. I was expecting something more in the traditional porter style, but instead was delivered something akin to a black IPA mixed with a porter.

Dec 19, 2015
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RJLarse from Washington

4.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bomber of Black Marlin in a bottle shop, poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a black walnut color, opaque with a garnet red hue when held up to light.

Smell is a sweet chocolate espresso aroma.

Taste is a bitter charcoal roasted grain flavor up front, with a little chocolate sweetness followed by a dry bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied but clean and minimally cloying.

Overall a very good coffee flavored porter.

Dec 14, 2015
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SawDog505 from New Hampshire

4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a 13 oz tulip glass, 276 of 15, nice and fresh. Pours a very dark brown, with a 3 inch tan head that leaves behind tons of lace.

Smell is cocoa, faint roasted coffee, vanilla, and toffee.

Taste is more aggressive with loads of roasty coffee and chocolate backed up with vanilla and toffee in the fairly aggressive finish.

Body is medium for the style and heft, perfect amount of life, a little dry as it should be, and excellent drinkability.

Overall this is a excellent American porter, with everything I love about the style and at $4.99 a bomber very affordable.

Oct 22, 2015
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Jeffsta1 from Washington

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark black color, pale fine head.

Smells rich, good, clean.

Taste is more IPA than porter: hops dominate the malt.

Feel is a bit light, carbonated relative to what I want in a porter.

Overall: I suppose there's room for a beer like this, but not in my frig.

Sep 08, 2015
Black Marlin from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 1059 ratings