Black Marlin - Chipotle, Cocoa Nibs And Orange Peel | Ballast Point Brewing Company

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24 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ballast Point Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 01-14-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 24 |  Reviews: 8
Photo of StephRai
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Fettpopps
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of Droidiphile
5/5  rDev +46.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I sampled this beer on tap in the podunk town of El Sobrante, CA.

This is a German Rauchbier. No mistake. I assume the previous reviewers have never tasted a rauch because nobody properly identified the style. "American Porter" it is not. Anchor Brewing makes a true Porter. This smokey flavored brew is a rauch, all the way.

Delicious - if you like rauch. The nose, on the mouth, and after taste are all spot on for a German Rauch.

I have had Rauchbier from Fassla and Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany. I can tell you from first hand comparison, Black Marlin is an excellent and world class rauch. I suppose they didn't want to market it as a German "smoke" beer, so called an American Porter. Bah! It's a rauch, and a damn good one!

 737 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled at DeCicco's Harrison , NY

THIS SHIT IS DAMN HOT w/ chili spicing, my lips are tingling and my nose is running. If you don't like chili peppers/hot n spicy beer stay away from this beer....having said that...

This beer pours darkest of browns under a larger lite mocha head, that receedes fairly quickly, leaving a blotchy film, thin collar and some moderate strands of lace.

Nose is of chili pepper spice, with a background of chocolate and hints of orange.

On the palate the end of each sip is puntuated by an assault of chile spice flavor, chocolate as well but its quickly overwhelmed by the spice. Chili congregates in the back of the mouth, on the tongue and lips and down the throat.

I consider myself a bit of a chili head, putting hot sauce on everything and enjoying moderatly hot and spicy foods quite a bit. This beer is too hot and too spiced up, makeing it not overly enjoyable to drink more then a glass or two.

My strategy will be to cut this spice bomb with some sweeter beer to make it more palatable. If I was making chili in the next few days, I could add a glass or so of this to bring the heat to my pot.

 1,148 characters

Photo of Gww1864
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of cbutova
3.9/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sampled last week during SDBW, reviewed from notes.

A- Black bodied from the tap with some brown edges. Small off white head with a nice cremay texture and good retention. Spotty lace leaves patches around the glass.

S- Smoky classic mexican chipotle peppers dominate my initial whiff of this. Flesh pepper vegetables and all smoke with hints of good cocoa powder backing this. Toasted nuts and some fruit as well.

T- Fairly spicy, not as bad as Habanero Sculpin but a nice level for a beer that I would drink as a Chile Beer. Cocoa powder nibs are nice and some orange peel in the finish but comes in third from the extras. Super nice smoky pepper flesh vegetable, charred skin of pepper, dates, roasted cracked grains.

MF- Silky and slightly creamy moderately thick body. Carbonation is at a medium level. Some roasty bitterness in the finish and a spicy heat dry burn.

Nice use of cocoa and great extraction of chipotle flavors. If you don't like smoked peppers this might not be for you but it uses them so well. Medium heat level for a chili head.

 1,057 characters

Photo of EB1
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Soto
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of dfhhead25
2.5/5  rDev -26.7%

Photo of Pecan
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Johnny58
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of TheRuss9585
3/5  rDev -12%

Photo of JohnQBeer
4/5  rDev +17.3%

Photo of SupremePie
4.75/5  rDev +39.3%

Photo of Dogzbone
1/5  rDev -70.7%

Photo of Gmann
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a muddy chocolate brown color with a short toasted khaki colored head that quickly disipated into a light ring.

The aroma is of a nice brown bread, pumpernickle. Some earthy wood notes as well as a subtle smokiness from the chipotles. The aroma is not very strong but it is pleasant.

I can feel the heat from the peppers before even taking a real sip. The base beer is a fairly weak porter base. Some roast notes but feels light. They can say they put in cocoa nibs and orange peel but you ain't going to taste them beyond the blast of the chipotles. Actually you do get orange peel before the heat blasts you. There is more heat to the chipotles than the actual smoked pepper flavor. The beer is woody and perhaps has a cocoa husk flavor. I can deal with the heat just wish it brought more of the smokey flavor. *Update, the beer does take on more of the pepper flavor as it warms and the heat doesn't seem as strong but it could be that I am just getting used to it.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation. Sweet on the palate with a heat offset? Would drink nice if it didn't have the burn. A little too aggresive with the pepper heat.

An interesting brew. The porter base handles the pepper decently but is ultimately overwhelmed. They should cut down on the heat and focus more on the chipotle smokiness.

 1,318 characters

Photo of AlexChillton
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours black with a medium off-white head, fair head retention overall.

S: Chocolate covered orange, some sweet malt, no hint of heat.

T: While the nose is all chocolate and orange, the taste is dominated by a bombardment of chipotle heat. May be the most capsaicin dominated brew I've ever had. Finishes all orange though.

M: Medium-bodied, soft carbonation, but a bit thin at times.

O: This is really a beer where 6 oz. is enough. A tasty beer, but can be tough to drink because of the all enveloping heat.

 538 characters

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of srandycarter
3.72/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A darker brown, but not close to black. No head whatsoever. No lace whatsoever.

S - Cocoa and smokiness are the dominant smells. The heat part of the pepper hits the nose at the very end.

T - Nice full porter flavor, the cocoa comes out in the center and the heat gets you a little in the back of the throat in the end.

M - Creamy, smoky texture, medium body, nice balance, lightly carbed.

D - Definitely a fun one to try.

 431 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
2.55/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On tap at O'Brien's

A: Black with a nice looking one finger sand colored head.

S: I expected to get a lot of the chipotle, but instead I picked up a ton of artificial orange, almost like an orange liquor. Reminded me way too much of orange Pine-Sol. Some faint hints of cocoa and leather in the background.

T: I didn't really taste much at first after taking a sip and then, before any flavors could really emerge, there was a huge blast of heat. I never really tasted anything but the chipotles in this. Maybe a hint of tobacco on the finish. A major letdown for me.

 572 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.02/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


On tap at the Ballast Point Smokin' Hot night at O'Brien's. There were 10+ new pepper iterations of Ballast Point beers, so I decided to try one.

A: Ruddy dark brown with a small beige head.

S: Pronounced chipotle pepper with spicy notes. Cocoa is evident, and it blends with dark chocolate and roasted grains. Orange peel is light.

T: Chipotle up front with a quick entrance by cocoa nibs and an air of dignified restraint exhibited by orange peel. Pepper heat waxes almost immediately. Malt displays a moderate roast. I'm getting heart burn from this.

M: Lower full body with moderate carbonation.

Overall: The flavor is a big step down from Black Marlin. It also burns the palate and throat. This is reported as a level 2 on a heat scale of 1-5, but I think that's a lie. This is higher than level 2.

 819 characters

Black Marlin - Chipotle, Cocoa Nibs And Orange Peel from Ballast Point Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.41 out of 5 with 24 ratings