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

very good
196 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: 196 | Ratings: 394
Photo of Bighuge
2.33/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This black beer throws out a hefty and rocky light brown head. It has some nice staying power. Lacing ability is negligible. Roasted barley dominates on the nose. The mouthfeel is too gaseous. It doesn't render the beer undrinkable, but it is nowhere near being the creamy mouthfeel it should be. Too much CO2. I dock the drinkability due to the mouthfeel and the subpar taste. This is just not a good tasting stout to me. There are some very slight roasted and chocolate tones if you look hard enough. I am very close to detecting an off flavor in this beer, but it is not substantial enough to nail down. It will not be hard to finish this beer, but I would not recommend this. There are tons of better stouts out there.

I will thank pbrian for the sample nonethless. I will always be willing to try anything that I've never tried before and pbrian helped my cause by sending me this beer.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
2.45/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Best Enjoyed Before: May 2008

Poured very brown black into my SA special glass. 2 fingers of beige head. The froth was pretty fizzy, both visually and audibly. Aromas of faint chocolate and vanilla
Taste of charred coffee
Fizzy mouthfeel
All round, really lacking in flavor

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.48/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

This one came from one of my recent trades with Wasatch. Thanks John.

This is a pretty good looking beer. I wouldn't quite call the body black; it is a dark brown with ruby hues around the edges. Black fly has a huge, light brown head that is creamy and has some great retention. Some pretty good lacing here also.

The smell has some dark malts and a touch of coffee in it.

The slight hint of coffee in the nose is huge in the flavor. The most coffee flavor I have experienced in a beer actually, and I think that it is actually too much. The coffee dominatees everything, leaving only a touch of chocolately and roasted flavors in there. A strange off-taste is also in there that is somewhat sour, but mostly just strange. I have to say I don't like this one at all.

Mouthfeel is thin and pretty highly carbonated, which is fine for a dry stout of this ABV.

Drinkability is awful. I really didn't like this one, and I was disappointed because I have liked all of the other Gritty beers I have tried.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
2.63/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This is one of those brews that believe me, I've tried very very hard to like. Had it several times in a bottle, and a couple of times on tap at both breweries - so no doubt about the quality of the samples.

Pours nice deep garnet/black if held up to the light. Tiny little fizzy head that leaves a sticky residue down the sides of the glass.

Smell is nice - coffee, some chocolate and roasty aromas.

Taste is all in the mouth. I love all styles, but this has thin, burnt coffee grounds-dregs of the coffee pot taste, like I washed out a cup of french roast.

Thin thin thin watery mouthfeel and finish. Watery is the key.

I'm done with this one. Not good -- love your label though!

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Photo of KarlosT
2.75/5  rDev -28.2%

Wow. Can't believe the high scores.

Got a flight at the Gritty McDuff's in Portland ME:
Halloween Ale
Cask Best Bitter
Maine's Best IPA
Pub Style

All were exactly the same amber color, with the same head. The aroma was exactly the same, except for the Pub Style. I also had a pint of their Black Fly Stout, which fortunately did have a different color.

I iterated between their Halloween Ale, their IPA, and their Cask Bitter. All were exactly the same, except that the Cask Bitter was slightly warmer.

When I suggested to the waitress that the beers might have been mis-poured, she said that they were correct, that she was also a bartender, and that she could tell from the color of the pours.

Assuming what I drank was correct ...

I found the beer was watery, and it was as though they used poor quality water. All their beers had an off after-taste ... as though their was a Gritty McDuffs flavor they added to all their beers (including their stout)

Mouth feel was watery. And a little evervescent ... a slight bite from the c02. Interesting, even the cask best bitter had a slight CO2 bite to it.

Very sorry I went to this pub. Food was ok. But the beers were mediocre to poor.

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Photo of Suds
2.76/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is a deep, solid black color with a thick brown head. It's a very nice-looking stout. The taste is interesting...licorice, barley, roasted malt, and some spicy hops. There's also a bit of sour-candy smell that's just a little off-putting. The taste is dry...way dry. Astringent and a little tart. The licorice character is a lot more pronounced in the taste. Dry and slightly light finish. Medium to light body. All in all, this is a pretty forgettable stout.

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Photo of Kegatron
2.81/5  rDev -26.6%
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.

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Photo of scooter231
2.81/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Meh, not my favorite stout ever. It was very pretty- sooo dark and great head and lacing. But that was about the only thing I really enjoyed here. The smell had coffee and woodyness going on, but nothing very complex. Taste was more coffee, some biscuit- and something I really didn't dig. Almost a rootbeer gone bad flavor. Mouthfeel was way too watery and thin. Just not my favorite- I'd like to try it on draft, though...

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Photo of JasonA
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Note: This is brew from last year that has been in my fridge for quite a while. Might be past its prime.

Pours a light black, little to no head. Not much carbonation.

Smells a roasted malt

Roasted malt, dry buscuit. Drying finish. No real bite. might be something unnatural left.

Sits. Just sits, no real action out side of roasted dry malt.

Nothing special. Wont actively seek this brew again.

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Photo of bultrey
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Red-tinged darkness, nearly black. Thin off-white head. Serious roast in the nose, like coffee grounds. Also a sharp, slightly sour tang. This reminds me of McNeill's brews -- probably because I just had one before this -- but it has that same slightly sour taste off the bat that is intense when cold, slightly annoying bu more subdued when warm. This also has a huge dark ash flavor, like licking a campfire. Rather thin on the mouthfeel, and not particularly exciting enough to invite another pint. A bit one-dimensional.

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Photo of riversider76
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black. Massive tan head, with good retention, and lacing. Smell is not strong. Roasted malts, and hops mostly. Body is thin,and carbonated. Taste is hopped up front, with a dry roasted malt finish. This is not my favorite style of beer, but you may like this one if It's yours.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint glass.

A - I believe this beer may be overcarbonated. When I got it to settle down it looked like a nice, near black stout with a big coca cola foam colored head.

S - Light mix of sweet and toasted malts.

T - Can pick up some roasty malt taste but it's very subdued. The aftertaste had a faint but nice espresso flavor.

M - Feels fairly full but has TONS of carbonation that makes it feel overdone.

D - Average at best. Not nearly enough flavor and all that fizzy feel makes it filling, yet not satisfying.

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Photo of foxmul924
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

(Bottle to Room-Temp Tulip Glass)

Color: Black with Beautiful, Chocolate-Colored Head, Decent Lace.

Smell: Smoky Notes of Coffee and Chocolate with a Hint of Dark Fruit.

Taste: ROASTED Malts--Typical Chocolate, Coffee Bitterness that Lacks a Clean Finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-Bodied Irish Stout...Lingering Build-Up on Sides of Tongue and Slightly Grainy.

Drinkability: In a Single Sitting, Not Sure I'd Want More than One. Needs Improvement in the Finish.

Other: Early Impressive Characteristics Simply Cannot Make Up for the Unsophisticated Texture and Low Alcohol Content.

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Photo of largadeer
3.14/5  rDev -18%
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.

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Photo of sstackho
3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, best before Nov 06. Pours black with an amazingly huge head. Now I'm not the most patient pourer in the world, but I can't seem to pour this one into a small glass without over half of it being head! Quite funny actually. I don't drink much stout, so take my review with a grain of malt. Aroma is fairly malty and leaves some of the head on my nose. Nice earthy flavour with some coffee aftertaste. Not bad.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.16/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was a black, black color with a thick coffee-colored head. It had a predominately coffee aroma, with a little bit of roasted grain. Taste was all coffee, but maybe a little chocolate snuck in. I thought it was a little thin in the mouthfeel department, but still very drinkable. If you like stout, you'll like this beer. If you're not a big stout fan, forget it.

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Photo of WesWes
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a towering tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry roasted scent that boasts of patent and roasted malts. It is quite dry to the nose. The taste is average. It has a weak, black malt flavor that is bitter and earthy. It has some roasted malt taste, but not enough to round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is decent. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an average dry stout. The malt bill is simplistic, so the taste lacks complexity. This is a very uninteresting beer.

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Photo of akahn
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Unfortunately, I reviewed this assuming for some reason that it was an American stout style... oops.

Pours a red-tinged black with a lasting brown head. Decent amount of lace. Faint dark malt aroma. Mild flavor of dark malt and a subtle hint of coffee. Unfortunately thin body, somewhat watery. Once again, an odd metallic and grain hull aftertaste. I don't find this to be a very good beer, but I suppose it would be drinkable, but the wateriness would get to me pretty quickly.

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Photo of luvND
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P: 12 oz bottle
A: I thought the review before mine a fluke, but I had a HUGE head as well despite gentle pour. Entire case is like this. Over half the glass is foam and it takes quite a while to settle. Other than that, color is black.
S: Roasty, coffee. Nice.
T: Malty and roasted up front. Not much in the hop dept. Overall, good but average.
M: Very light, watery.
D: Due to above, very drinkable, except that it would take me hours to drink a few waiting for all the heads to die down. Pour 2 at once?

Notes: Saw this case and got excited. Had it on tap years ago at the brewery while in Maine. This bottle does not do the tap version justice. As far as the excessive head, ? problem at the brewery?

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Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber with no freshness date to speak of. Opaque black body with few-fingers thick tan head that dissipates a tad quickly and leaves a fair bit of lacing. Smells mostly hoppy with some roast. Bitter anyways. Hops dominate the flavor, while roast or burnt malt play a big role too. Flavor is not overwealmingly strong. Not watery per se, but not as robust as some porters and stouts. A little more hop bitterness than I generally like in a stout. Fairly heavy-bodied. It's an okay beer overall though, worthwhile to try and have once in a while from a very worthwhile brewery. To be fair, the bottle might be a little old, though not expired.

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Photo of nvsblman
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark and opaque, pours with a thick, fluffy head. Pretty good head retention. Roasted malt aroma, with some chocolate, toffee. A little nutty too. Malty in flavor, chocolatey, hints of toffee, and a mild background bitterness. Slightly thin mouthfeel with pretty good carbonation.

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on tap at the brewpub in Portland. Well brewed coffee colored brew. Thick tan head with pretty lacing and retention.
Coffee and sweet overall aromas.
Very sweet brew with a cafe mocha and vanilla flavor taking over. Though it would be described as "creamy" it wasn't hearty or chewy. Nice to have on a warm summer evening, it came off as a sweeter Guinness. A bit more carbonated than expected. Overall, not bad, just a little more sweet and not with as much bite.

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Photo of matty
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pitch black colored beer with a slowly fading creamy brown head.Aroma is chocolate.Taste is cocoa and coffee.This is too thin and watery for me to rate this any higher.Overall though it's pretty decent and something I would purchase and recommend to my buddies.

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Photo of cbutova
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Black ale poured into a pint glass from a 22oz bottle. Big tan head forms with nice size and retention. Good coats of lace down the glass.

S- Relaxed roast malt, oatmeal and grains hint, raisins and dark fruit note. Decent overall strength.

T- Light stout consisting of roast malt, cocoa, raisins and a tart dark fruit aspect, not sure of bottle age but it doesn't seem oxidized, maybe a slight infection... Grain flavor as well.

MF- Light bubbly body with a somewhat watery feel. Slight roast bitterness.

I originally reviewed this as a regular stout, it makes a bit more sense as an Irish Dry. I will try another bottle soon to see if this one was not good and fresh.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass. Excellent black body with a nice tan colored head.

The aroma smells like slight bitter malt. It's not particularly strong but it's what I expected.

The taste is relatively mild but quite tasty. The start is dry and crisp. The finish is nice and chocolatey with a mild amount of sweetness.

The feel is light and fluffy with soft carbonation.

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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 394 ratings.
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