Black Fly Stout
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

Black Fly StoutBlack Fly Stout
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Stout - Irish Dry
Ranked #18
Ranked #18,053
3.88 | pDev: 12.63%
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Very Good
Black Fly StoutBlack Fly Stout
Notes: There's beer and then there's stout, and Gritty McDuff 's Black Fly Stout is the real deal. Black Fly is a dry, all-malt stout packed with roasted flavor. We use six different grains in the brewing of this dark masterpiece and balance the full palate with Oregon Willamette and Yakima Clusters hops. Like the legendary Irish stouts that inspired it, Black Fly Stout is rich, robust and a touch mysterious. The finest stout west of Galway Bay!

16 IBU
Reviews: 199 | Ratings: 399 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Tarps68:
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Tarps68 from Massachusetts

3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Jun 06, 2014
More User Reviews:
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largadeer from California

3.14/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black in color. Tons of foam formed from an average pour, at least 3 inches worth, which took a moment to settle into a quarter-inch layer.

Smell: Dark roasted coffee and unsweetened chocolate, plenty of black malt in this one. There's something slightly off about the aroma - a bit of sulfur in background.

Taste & mouthfeel: Perfectly dry with a big black coffee flavor. Moderate bitterness, largely from the dark malts; no noticeable hop character. There's a slight metallic twang to the finish along with a hint of acidity - overall it's not quite as clean as I would like, but it's certainly not bad. Body is on the lighter side, even for the style it's a bit watery.

May 13, 2008
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

2.81/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured an excessively mammouth tan head that I basically had to pour out of the glass as it wouldn't settle. Aroma of sweet malt and a somewhat acidic coffee scent.

Tastes is somewhat lacking. Malt & mild coffee up front with a somewhat bittering hop finish. A thin & watery mouthfull with decent carbonation.

Kinda meh, about this one. Nothing really stood out to me although I could see this being quite sessionable for some people.

Mar 28, 2007
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Drewtechie24 from Rhode Island

4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Dec 15, 2015
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MasterSki from Canada (ON)

3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Reagen1984 for tossing one of these in a recent trade. Served in my FOBAB mini-pint glass.

A - Huge foam that that quickly dissipates to two fingers and then slowly fades and leaves some spotty lacing. Dark, dark brown that is slightly lighter at the edges. Great lookin' brew.

S - Very bitter roasted malts, some hints of hazelnut. There's also some dry smokiness to it, and a faint metallic twang. The smell isn't very rich, but it's plenty potent.

T - Lots of smokiness, dry roasted nuts, espresso, and burnt malt. Maybe a hint of chocolate sweetness in the finish. The aftertaste is surprisingly clean, with only a light bitterness to it.

M - Very dry, with some chalkiness to it. A nice amount of carbonation tingle, but not overdone. Very appropriate for the style.

D - The low ABV made this really easy to drink. I could see this being a great replacement for Guinness - much more flavor to it.

Mar 29, 2009
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TBonez477 from Vermont

3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bottle into snifter

A: Pours dark brown almost black, with a finger of red-brown head. Head dissipates quickly, indicating high carbonation level.

S: Aroma is that of anise and dark fruit and hints at the dry mouth feel to come.

T: Roasted malts, anise and finish of hop bitterness.

M: Thin and very carbonated, dry.

O: Not my favorite version of a stout, lacking sweetness and depth. More of an Irish stout than American.

Feb 08, 2015
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Atron67 from Wisconsin

3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- took awhile to pour cuz the head was so large nice dark color with a huge brown head,
S- generally dark malt smell with a little roasted scent thrown in, not bad but pretty standard
T- pretty good, roasted taste characterizes it pretty much, doesnt seem to complex but is enjoyable, pretty smooth for a 'roasted' flavor too
M- really light for a stout,
D- its a good beer, pretty light for a stout, but smooth and repeatably drinkable
its not a heavy stout that you drink one and are done

Feb 17, 2007
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Grogsky from Canada ()

3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great looking dark stout with a creamy white head that lasted with the beer. Nice coffee notes in both aroma and flavour. Feel, however, was more like a lager than a stout - not very creamy

Apr 23, 2016
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t0rin0 from California

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Nov 19, 2012
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Jmark747 from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sep 03, 2017
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paulthebeerguru from Florida

3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gritty's Black Fly Stout
12oz. brown bottle

A: poured into a snifter. Black Fly pours a deep mahogany/pitch black color with a nice tan head on top. The retention level is a little low, and leaves a halo effect atop of the beer. Very mild lacing.

S: nice sweet roasted malt aroma. Some hints of caramel and toffee. Very sweet aroma. No hops aromas that I can pull. A slight aroma of potpourri

T: Nice flavors of toffee, coffee, and a hint of caramel. A little watery for my liking in the overall flavor, but a good stout flavor nonetheless. This beer has that Maine beer flavor.

M: smooth and creamy. Mild carbonation level. Body is a little thin.

D: very nice session stout, but a little thin, as I am use to extreme brews.

May 09, 2008
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Spiceboy from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the closest American Stout I've had to my Gold Standard(Guinness Draught:) Just wish I could get it in PA as I've only had this Maine brewed beer in the New England area.

Dec 16, 2015
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DefenCorps from Oregon

3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received from xumbi in a recent trade. Thanks, Jim! The label indicates a best by date of May, 2009

A: Black with reddish dark brown highlights. Dark brown head with excellent retention and some lace. Visible carbonation.

S: Light and toasty with some roast and burnt malts. Mildly nutty, mildly metallic. Pretty darned good

T: Opens up with a ton of burnt malt bitterness that reminds me of dark chocolate and coffee grounds. Plenty of flavor, a little one-dimensional, though

M: Light, crisp with carbonation and a palate-stimulating bitterness make for a very decent beer

D: This one went down in a heartbeat. Very easy drinking.

Mar 02, 2009
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ecto from New York

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jul 30, 2016
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reeder from California

3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This stout is dark. I mean pitch black. Even with a gentle pour, a huge head developed. This hinted at the mouthfeel that was to follow.

The smell was really interesting. It definitely had a smoky stout kind of smell. But not really as much chocolate or coffee as I'm used to. It had more of a meaty kind of smell.

Solid taste. Similar to the smell. Not very complex. A little sweet. Definitely dry.

I didn't like the mouthfeel. I thought it was way too carbonated. Or maybe it was just the dryness exaggerating the carbonation.

Overall, a fairly drinkable stout. Not my favorite though.

Oct 08, 2007
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mmorris15 from Maine

4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dec 20, 2016
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k4df4l from Pennsylvania

3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Uncapps with a substantial hiss and foggy co2 escapes from the bottle. Pours with a massive amount of dusty tan coloured foam requiring quite a bit of patience to wait to pour the rest of the bottle. Inky black body with ample carbonation.

Aromas of roast barley, clean sweet malt and a faint sharp acrid note like bitter espresso. Flavor is similar with initial malt sweetness accompanied by roasted barley/coffee flavor and tarrish molasses.. Light acrid/acidic brightness leading into the dry and lightly minerally finish. Overall very nice but the over carbonation accentuates the more bitter & acrid elements of the flavor.

Jan 10, 2009
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Hmeadq from Ohio

4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Feb 19, 2016
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tmrocker from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.1%

Dec 18, 2011
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FedJack from New York

3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Mar 16, 2016
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sethmeister from New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz into pint glass; best before April 07

Pours pure black with two fingers of fizzy, fuzzy tan head. No lace.

Scent of earthy cold coffee, bitter dark chocolate.

Taste is dark bitter chocolate, cold espresso, roasted malts with some tart fruits and a lasting bitter burnt finish. It does remind me a little of an oatmeal stout.

Mouthfeel is a prickly mouthcoating medium with a long astringent finish.

Drinkability is very high.

I distinctly remember the first draught pint of Black Fly I had years ago. It was at the brewpub in Portland and it was served at cellar temp on a warm summer day. It was the most delicious beer I had ever tasted. This bottle doesn't quite have that magic but it stands up to the memory well enough. Gritty's still makes a hell of a good stout and at 4.10% abv its a session beer to boot. Still one of my favorites.

Mar 25, 2007
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Obriain from New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sep 26, 2016
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KOPBeerDrinker from North Carolina

3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, leaving about a half of an inch of tan head, which quickly receded. The brew is dark black in color. The nose is dominated by chocolate with some coffee notes. Maybe a hint of fruit. Tasted of chocolate and coffee, and some roasty malt. Mouthfeel is silky and on the thin side. Very smooth and easy to drink.

Mar 30, 2008
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug.
The appearance was a dark brown close to black color with a tan foamy head that slid off appropriately with some mild stringy lace.
The aroma had a nice blend of roasty to ashy coffee to char-like toastiness. Some accompanying dark chocolate provides some bitterness.
The flavor seemed to lean towards the ash and char. Then an appropriate bitterness entered in nicely with a light dose of dark fruits. Mild aftertaste of sweet ash, roast/char, and dark chocolate bitterness.
The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied, seemed just a touch under. With a nice touch of carbonation, somewhat light and an appropriate ABV, this beer finishes with some ash and roast, fairly dry and quick.
Overall, probably one of the best beers Gritty's has ever done. The price ($5.99 a bomber) makes you want to seek whenever they put this out.

Sep 15, 2018
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Brad007 from Vermont

3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black color with decent carbonation. Aroma is strong with coffee notes. Taste is similar, except that the mouthfeel is somewhat thin. Roast coffee with just a tiny hint of sweet chocolate in the finish. Not too bad for a stout. It's definitely a stout for one thing and a good one.

May 28, 2007
Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 399 ratings