Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout | Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company

very good
197 Reviews
Gritty McDuff's Black Fly StoutGritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout

Brewed by:
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States

Style: Irish Dry Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by Todd on 11-10-2001

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Reviews: 197 | Ratings: 395
Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black color with a nice brown head that shrank to a ring which left some lace on the glass. Coffee and dark chocolate aromas. Creamy, rich mouthfeel with a rather full body and complex flavor.
Malt sweetness on the outset gives way to a burnt, almost smoky coffee-like bitter. Fades out to sharp,dry hop finish. The flavors only got stronger and more complex towards the end of the glass ( I overchilled it a bit, 50 to 55 degrees Farenheit is best for this stuff).
A great stout and considering my location I really need to remember to pick this fine beer up more often. If you can ever get it on a nitro tap it is head and shoulders above Guinness.

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Photo of OhioLimoncello
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%

Best stout ever! Brewed in a traditional Irish style, this all-malt stout is well balanced, and packed with roasted flavor. If in Maine, you need to look for this one. Sold in bottles and on tap at their Freeport, ME restaurant and pub.

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Photo of mcarroll10177
4.56/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed at the Great Lost Bear in Portland.

A- jet black with a coffee head and tons of lacing the coats the glass with every pull.

S- roasted malts through the nose , very nice

T- roasted malts with some charred hops with a slightly bitter finish

M- creamy and balanced with just the right amount of carbination

D- the best irish dry stout I have tasted to date and one I will have again and again

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Photo of blatherbeard
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had avoided this beer since i am on a porter kick and historically haven't loved most stouts.

When i poured this beer i almost fell out of my chair. Nice BLACK color with a sweet looking tan almost brown head. It almost reminded me of a chocolate stout in color.

When i sniffed the brew i found a faint smell of carmel, chocolate and a strong malty, bitter coffee smell.

As i sipped the brew, i instantly tasted the coffee but it washed away with a smooth aftertaste of a porter with strong chocolate afterbite. A bit bitter but not so that it clenched your jaws.

A lot thinner tasting than it looks, i liked that. I expected a meal and got a dessert. Bra-vo. One of my new favorite porter/stout beers.

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck twist bottle with a “best enjoyed before” freshness date clearly notched.

Appearance: Opaque black coloured brew with a big towering head after a hard pouring then very slowly settling into a thin tiny bubbled light brown lace, this is one of those heads that leaves rings all the way down the glass.

Smell: Brownies and fudge come to mind off the first whiff, underlying black currant fruitiness with a laid back alcohol. Smooth and clean to the nose.

Taste: Creamy smooth mouth feel, moderate carbonation and a medium to full malt body. First is a rush of mild roasted malt and subdued black currant fruitiness, then the roasted kicks things up a notch by unleashing an even burnt charcoal bitterness. Malt sweetness holds this brew together in the beginning then the dryness sets in to make the mouth beg for more. Hops are a tad bitter and pungent with a quick snappy hop oil twang in the back ground. Touch of acrid to the roasted character to pleasantly pucker the palate for a brief moment, lingering suggestions of espresso and vague chocolate flavour make up the end.

Notes: One of the top stouts brewed in the US, very well balanced and is even more heavenly on nitro-tap. Certainly a stout lovers stout.

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Photo of DVTO2
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very nice full bodied stout with a thick head when poured. It has a dark color with a nice balance of malt and hops. The taste is rich and full, rich taste with a hint of sweetness and cocoa. I could make this a regular in my refrigerator. A very nice stout.

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Photo of BeerKangaroo
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass:

A: dark brown almost black colored body with a lumpy tan four finger head. The head begins to fade after a minute or two. The lacing is spotty lacing throughout.

S: coffee, with a hint of smoky chocolate. There is some light cinnamon and pepper.

T: bitter through the coffee and becomes balanced with some light milk chocolate.

M: medium, very smooth, no aftertaste, dry finish, some carbonation is felt on the tongue

O: this is an excellent choice for an Irish Dry Stout, probably one of the better beers by Gritty's.

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Photo of Spiceboy
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of StevieW
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beauty in the glass. Deep dark midnight black. Great big fissy beige head. Fades fast but circles the glass nicely. Smells are balanced and not overwheming combinations of coffee, chocolate, and just enough bitter roasted finish. Taste is even and smooth, subltle coffess undertones, slighltly chocolate. Perfect crisp dry hop finish. No chalk like, slimy aftertaste. Very balanced and flavorful. One of my new all-time favorites. I carried a couple home from my summer trip, would love to try it on tap.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the Horseshoe

Black perfection with a finger's worth of milk chocolate cream on top. Sweet chocolate aroma. Wonderful texture, silky smooth and rich. Chocolate and coffee flavors with no burnt or smoky tones. Slight citrus hops. One of those beers that you know you're going to have two at the first sip.

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Photo of pbrian
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great dry stout. Black with tan head. Chocolate/coffee aromas. Nice burnt malt flavors nicely balanced with a dose of hop bitterness. Finishes dry and light bodied, perfect for enticing you into another. Nice lacing down the glass. I wish I grabbed more than two.

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Photo of Brent
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of the most well-balanced stouts I've come across. Poured a delightful, inky black with a mocha colored head. Roasted malt aroma with a hint of sweetness. Nicely roasted malt flavors that retained a nice, fresh aspect. Firm bittering at the finish, juxteposed against a bit of sweetness that almost, but not quite, ventured into sweet stout territory. Exceptional drinkability, one of those beers that seems to just evaporate from the glass. Thanks to Far333 for this gem.

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Photo of velo343
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - A nearly opaque, jet black with a medium, coffee-colored head. Dissipates quite quickly, leaving some very light foam sitting on top of the beer.

Smell - Lots of roasted barley, the chocolate is super intense and mixes quite well with a full-bodied coffee smell, like a triple mocha without the milk--just espresso and dark chocolate. A whole lot of sweetness coming off this one. I'm also reminded of freshly baked raisin pie.

Taste - A very robust dark roasted barley taste. It sort of lingers for a while and then hits with a sharp whack. A bit of that raisin-like flavor subdues the crisp roastiness just a hair. On the lighter side of medium bodied, with a tight carbonation.

Drinkability - Oh yeah. Very refreshing and easy to drink, not at all overpowered by chocolate and coffee flavors. Just a healthy smattering of roasted barley, nearly perfect for an Irish Stout. Thank you sir, may I have another?

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Photo of 1sophrosyne1
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at the bar in Portland, the back half of the pint alongside lobster poutine.
Near black pour that won't let light pass. A fair tan-brown head fell fast, but the remaining ring held on well.
Smells largely of roasted malt with some coffee...and just a hint of creosote that comes through in the flavor.
Creamy mesquite and roasted malt come in up front. Then the taste of artichokes grilled to the point of charred byproducts fill the center. Mixed nuts pop up late with a subtly sweet almond end. Marvelous complexity.
The mouthfeel is medium bodied with some heft pierced by the right amount of carbonation. Smooth, almost silky, with subtle tannic/earthy drying on the end--makes you reach for another gulp.
This is the best regularly available Gritty's brew that I was able to taste. Worth going back for more!

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Photo of BassAssassin
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours nearly black with a one finger thick, tan head that really lasts.

S: Roasted malts, nutty, slightly smoky. A bit of unsweetened chocolate and coffee.

T: Loaded with roasted malt character. Distinct chocolate flavor with hint of tobacco and coffee. Bitterness is quite even tempered, just helping to balance. Definitely on the sweeter side. However, finish is dry.

M: Medium in body. Grainy texture. Lively and bubbly, although, maybe a bit too carbonated.

D: Very well done. One of my favorite stouts. Light enough to drink several. Yet, flavorful enough to pair with a variety of foods.

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Photo of billybob
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours pitch black from the bottle with a brown two finger head that settles to just cover the beer with some spotty lacing. no light comes through the glass with this beer. aromas of roasted malt and coffee, taste is same with a slight bitterness at the back of the palate and a dry finish. mouthfeel light, nicely carbonated. drank three from the sampler pack and could have drank three more. very nice beer.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.34/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I look at this beer and I just think, how much more black could this be? None, none more black.

Bottle to pint glass.

A- I'm getting back into my old band t-shirts because this is one very dark stout. I love how it pours and looks.

S- Coffee and dark chocolate with rich malt flavor.

T- Nice and dry. The more I let it settle and get warmer the more I tasted coffee and dark chocolate.

M- Slight carbonation with a dry following.

O- Great beer overall and a pleasure to drink.


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Photo of villainchiwwin
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

served in pint glass from nitro-tap at freeport gritty's
tar black with a rugged creamy tan head. excellent retention and thick sheets of lacing left behind. dark malty smell, hint of roasty chocolate. balanced taste of chocolate, coffee, and roasted caramel with nutty and earthy notes. appropriate amount of hops. long, dry bitter finish. delicious fluffy texture, smooth, full-bodied and pretty chewy.
heavenly dry stout on nitro-tap. my preferred gritty's brew.

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Photo of farfromstout
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at Gritty McDuff's

A: Black as can be.

S: Very subtle undertone of coffee or espresso.

T: Really liked the flavor of this one. Not overwhelming (for me) of anything particular. A slight complexity to it.

M: Smooth.

D: Had it with some shepard's pie, I was full but left wanting more...great drinkability.

Have been a recent stout convert and am truly finding that there are some great craft breweries out there. This is one of them.

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Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black color with a tall and medium bodied tan head that laces the glass nicely all the way down. The smell is of really of deep roasted malts, some caramel, chocolate, and coffee aromas. Really nice taste too - deep roasted malts, chocolatey flavors, some nice caramel flavors intertwined with nice coffee flavors. It has a really velvety and warming mouthfeel that really is nice and makes it a very drinkable stout. Well worth it.

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Photo of bum732
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black color with beautiful creamy head that dissipates within a couple minutes. Not much lacing behind, but some residual head throughout. Smells of coffee, grass, some chocolate a little alcohol. Tastes of chalky dry chocolate, earthy and creamy. Finishes quite dry and chalky, a little metallic. Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth, great amount of carbonation for the style.

A great dry stout, i prefer this very much over guiness. Has a better taste and more drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of Murph
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with a good brown head that subsides to a nice film with a great lace. The brew has strong coffee aromas with solid roasted malt/chocolate characteristics. Great bittersweet chocolate characteristics mix well with the coffe and roasted flavors in this brew and make it very smooth and enjoyable. The bitterness of the coffee flavors and the roasted/burnt malt leaves a nice lingering finish behind. Definitely a very drinkable brew. I don't think they know hot to make bad beer in Maine. Thanks to the Bierman for this sample.

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Photo of UnionMade
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a deep, opaque black, topped with a nitro creamy khaki head. Great lacing, forming dense rings of drink lines as you sip down your pint. A thick clump of head remains in the bottom of the pint, after the beer is finished.
Aroma is very roasty, with a touch of smokiness. Strong coffee and chocolate, with a hint of fig and currant. A little unusual, with the smokiness. Very nice, and particularly powerful smelling for a nitro pour.
The flavor starts with a rich roastiness, coupled with some dark roast coffee. Some chocolate comes through in the middle, with light fig and currant esteriness. A suggestion of prune. Great fruitiness, very strong. The chocolate lingers through the rest of the sip, with some very light hopping in the finish. Very dry, in the traditional irish stout way. No apparent smokiness in the taste. Light bodied, with a creamy smooth nitro carbonation. A little tinniness from the nitro, but mostly overwhelmed with the roastiness. A lingering roasted coffee flavor in the aftertaste.
A very nice stout. Probably one of my favorites for a nitro tap.

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Photo of Bounty628
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Black Fly Stout is brewed in the traditional Irish dry stout fashion and has a 4.10% ABV. The beer certainly stands to be a rather decent session selection and is a good stout to sip year round, not just on one day in March.

Poured from a 12 ounce brown bottle into a standard pint glass, the Black Fly Stout poured a nearly opaque and beautiful black color with a very nice chocolate covered head. The head did seem to dissipate rather quickly as compared to other stouts and a faint amount of lacing held to the glass throughout the sips.

Upon pouring, the smells quickly noticed were those of coffee and chocolate. Upon a bit more observation, the roasted malts could keenly be noticed as well as some background hints of dried cherries were observed in the nose.

One complaint about the beer was the slightly high carbonation that was noted post-pour. I though that for a stout offering there could have been a bit less carbonation, but that was one of the few complaints of the beer.

There was a magnificently great roasted malt taste that proved Black Fly Stout to be a rather solid performer in terms of stouts that are available on the market. The medium body of this particular stout also held a good hop finish after each sip that seemed to cap off the taste of the beer well.

Though at times I have noticed some microbrewed "dry" stouts to be simply too "dry" it did seem as though this Irish dry stout transcended the one criticism I often times have about the style of beer and did not exhibit a burnt or overdone taste. There was, in fact, a very smooth and pleasant nature to the sipping quality of this beer.

That said, Black Fly Stout is a very easy drinking stout thanks largely in part to the well crafted body of the offering along with the emphasis placed upon providing nothing but an excellent tasting version of an Irish dry stout.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Almost black in the glass, but not quite. Hints of ruby at the edges. Looks fairly clear. Big, creamy tan head looks very enticing and it doesn't budge an inch, ever. Lacing forms creamy rings on the glass. This is one great looking beer.

S: Acidic burnt malts and roast. Black coffee, bitter dark chocolate, nutty and woody. There's almost a creamy milk chocolate aspect to it as well. Raw cocoa. The nose is surprisingly malt-rich and complex, and it takes a little while to fully open.

T: Burnt malt at the outset. Black coffee, some acidity, spent coffee grounds, bitter dark chocolate, ghost-like hints of caramel and molasses. A little nutty and woody. Roasted and toasted grains. The acidity gives it an almost metallic edge for just an instant and lends that small sour twang that is expected of the style. Hops lend a green sort of bitterness that stays in a supporting role. Dry throughout. Finishes with tastes of raw cocoa, burnt malt, coffee grounds, and bitter dark chocolate.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. It sits rather lightly in the mouth, but it is luxuriously creamy and mouth-filling. A moderate amount of forceful, small-bubbled carbonation adds a bit of a crisp and even refreshing bite. Insanely smooth. Maybe the best mouthfeel I've come across in an Irish Dry. Beats the hell out of anything nitro can do.

O: This is just an all-around great beer, and a great representation of the style. It's rich, dark, tasty, and infinitely sessionable. More complex than your average Irish Dry to boot. What more could you want? I wish I could swap out every Guinness tap around me with this stuff.

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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 395 ratings.
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