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

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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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 196 | Ratings: 393
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 CaptDavyJones
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an absolute pitch black color (no light penetration) from a 22 oz bomber, with no ABV or freshness date on the label.
Huge two finger tan color head that dissipates slowly leaving behind some nice lace.
Aroma is high on malt with notes of cocoa, milk chocolate, roasted coffee and some licorice evident.
Taste is predominantly of roasted malts, and the bitterness in the finish is just right.
Medium bodied stout that is very easy to drink. Not as dry as I was expecting from the aroma.
This is a very nice example of an irish dry stout.
Definitely worth trying and is highly recommended.

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Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nitro at Bukowski’s in Boston.

Pours black with dark brown highlights and a thick off-white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of muted roasted malts with good amounts of dark chocolate and hints of smooth coffee. Also present are slight amounts of leafy hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth roasted malts up front are joined quickly by semi-sweet chocolate flavors. Midway through very light amounts of coffee and lighter still hints of char come into play, fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with smooth carbonation.

Overall I enjoyed this beer and thought it was well done, although I think it would benefit from CO2 as opposed to nitrogen. Still, it’s worth a shot however you find it.

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Photo of jondeelee
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Smells deep and earthy, as if smelling fresh peat moss, with additional heavy emphasis on chocolate malts, and the wholesome aroma of spent grain bread.

The darker flavors are the first on the tongue, and dominate most of the mouthful, bringing notes of burnt grains and chocolate malts, tobacco, dark toffees, black coffee, caramelized brown sugar, and dark fruit esters. The tobacco and burnt-black grains came on stronger near the end of the mouthful for me, and stuck around on my soft palate for quite awhile after I'd swallowed. Hops add a nice background bitter fuzz, but manage to avoid the grapefruity, floral notes that can come along with that--notes which would be unwelcome in a beer such as this. I was surprised, however, that the brew lacked the viscosity that I'd expected, given the massive number of ingredients, and the mouthfeel came across as even thinner than a soda. This was slightly unsatisfying, but the fullness of the flavors went a long way towards making up for it.

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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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Photo of rinhaak
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black, with an almost reddish hue. Very little head on my beer poured at Logan airport. But what little head is there is thick and doesn't dissolve.

Nose is very strong. Sweet with vanilla, chocolate, and caramel.

With so much character in the nose, I was a little disappointed with the mouth. Zero carbonation, there is little of the strong chocolate and vanilla from the nose. The finish is lovely, though, as roasted barley-style Malts come through.

Very drinkable, it doesn't taste as dark as it actually is.

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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 NCSUdo
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle

A: Black body under a small to medium sized tan head. Good lace and retention.

S: Sweet, some citrus hops, some nutty and roasted undertones, and maybe a hint of chocolate.

T: Sweet up front before roasted, almost smoky malt character shows up, nutty. Overall finish is on the roasted side.

M/D: Full bodied, carbonation is low. Very drinkability. Good beer.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber purchased at the Freeport Grittys poured into a pint glass.

Pours dark black with light foam and off white color.

Roasted malty smell. Hints of coffee, some dark chocolate as well.

Rich roasted taste, thick in the mouth. Minimal bittering, very smooth. Coffee aftertaste. Bittering picks up as beer warms.

Very dry finish. Excellent stout. Low ABV makes it really drinkable. And super tasty.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Admittedly I am not well versed in this style. But a local store had 2 for 5 Black Fly bombers! I remember buying a Gritty's variety pack some time ago and enjoying every one of the beers.

A - Completely opaque and black as the night. 2 finger light brown head that has great retention and sticky lacing.

S - Very mild. Chocolate and roasted malt/grains. Definitely inviting but not much going on.

T - Roasted malt with lingering tastes of coffee and chocolate. I'm getting some earthy hops in the relatively dry finish. Delicious and well balanced.

M - Medium bodied and slightly oily with minimal carbonation. Pretty nice mouthfeel for a stout, creamy and slightly chewy.

D - Very drinkable, I will have no problem finishing the 22oz. I would not session a beer this dark however.

Overall, this was pretty good. I will try and sample Gritty's other offerings when possible.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 22 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on July 17, 2010. The pour is rich black with about a half inch of silky tan head and excellent lacing. The aroma is full of grains and charcoal fired malts with a notable but light hoppiness. The taste is nice and dry, dark, and decent with hops. I could not quite define it but it wasn't bad at all.

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Photo of bpbieste
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I lost my review when the page didn't save after I hit the "review" button. So, I'll try to paraphrase

Appearance: Dark appearance, with a thickness approaching molasses.

Smell: Mild aroma, chocolate and coffee odors.

Taste: Roasted Malts, chocolate and coffe, as expected.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good stout. Easy to drink. I would recommend this to anyone.

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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 DNICE555
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On nitro tap at Redbones.

A - Midnight black, 4 finger creamy tan head, great looking stout. Head stays and coats the whole glass.

S - Butterscotch, chocolate, coffee.

T - Roasted malts, butterscotch, chocolate, and and coffee.

M - Low carbonation, very creamy.

D - 4.1%??? Wow, tons of body and flavor for this abv.

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Photo of Viggo
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On nitro tap at Redbones. Didn't think this was so low of an ABV, had lots of flavour!

Pours a dark ruby red, almost black away from the light, thick light tan head forms, drops rings and chunks of lace on its way down to a thick layer.

Smell is nice, very roast, light chocolate and caramel, toast, lightly fruity, some raisins, brown sugar, biscuit, light but good.

Taste is similar, chocolate roastiness, caramel, raisin, some dark fruit, brown sugar, coffee grinds, nice malts, good solid chocolate roast bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonanation, smooth and creamy. Kind of a neat dry cocoa powder finish. A pretty quality stout.

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Photo of Blitzstyle
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottel into a pint glass. Absolute pitch black with a big head that sticks around.

Smells metallic and roasted malt, a hint of coffee.

Taste like coffe and dark chocolate, the dark malt is also very present.

It doesn't linger very long on the tounge. Some bubbles on the tounge and on the way down. Not as creamy as I wanted it to be.

Could knock a couple of these down a night good drinkablity.

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Photo of schoolboy
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Another of my mini-tour of New England brews, Gritty's Black Fly was about what I expected. It certainly is strong and drinkable. With an impressive flavor.

This brew does not apologize for it's strength, it wallows in it, for better or for worse. I will not give it extremely high or low marks, but getting critical about stouts is tough. The style is powerful and thus can hide all sorts of imperfections, but it also carries baggage. This one is generally good, and I would both buy it again and try other things from this company. It FEELS like a Maine stout should.

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Photo of gameface23
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On nitro-tap at Gritty McDuff's.

A: Pitch black with a creamy finger-sized head.

S: Not much going on here, but I never really pick anything up with stouts unless they have coffee in them. My nose is much better at detecting hops than malt.

T: Pretty impressive roasted and smokey malts.

M: Creamy because of the nitro-tap, but not that full-bodied.

D: I could've stayed in the bar all night and kicked back a bunch of theses.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Nearly opaque black with some ruby edges. Nice pillowy, tan head. Aroma is great, much more fruity and licorice-like than I expected, with the requisite roasty tanginess of a stout as well.

Flavor is pretty good, though not as full as some stouts of similar strength. Lots of acidic, lactic tang coupled with some behind the scenes coffee flavors and roasted malt. Slightest bit of dark fruit. Not sweet, and the bitterness from the roast comes through nicely. Mouthfeel was smooth, but oddly a bit waxy; I'd imagine the nitro-tap would make a difference with this brew.

Overall very drinkable and definitely above-par.

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Photo of stonequarrywest
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour was dark brown/black with a massive airy head...
Aroma is a weird burnt malt cocoa/coffee smell
Taste is kinda bitter and dried coffee grounds
Thin dry mouthfell with too much carbonation in my eyes.
Not great but Im not into the Dry Irish stouts so much

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

"Saints and sinners, something within us. We are lord of flies." - Iron Maiden

On nitro at Bukowski's, Boston.

Opaque black with a large tan head. Nitro inspired foam covers everything in its path.

Smells of roast malt, mild char and light coffee. Brownies too.

Roasty malt, brown sugar and brownie mix chocolate. Sour char in back that I'm not a fan of. Mouthfeel was exceptionaly smooth though I'm not sure how much of that is Gritty's and how much is nitro.

Good stuff.

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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 drjamyma
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The bartender asked me how I liked my Oatmeal stout, and I said it was good but I preferred stouts with a thicker mouth feel, kind of like Guinness. He poured me a super cold pint of this Black Fly Stout and I was very impressed.

A - Black with a creamy head that took it's time to dissipate. Actually to be honest, I drank it before it even had a chance.

S- slight coffee, chalk, woody; The beer being so cold didn't accentuate the smell very well, but it was fine with me.

T- Because the beer was so cold, the flavors were very subtle. A slight bite of hops, like I said similar to guinness, with hints of chocolate and coffee.

M- A nice thick creamy cold stout poured ice cold. Half the pleasure of drinking this was the mouth feel and the fact it was brought to such a nice chill temp.

D- I could have drank quite a few of these.

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Photo of tigg924
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: huge head, dark black color

Smell:burnt malt, wood, expresso

Taste: burnt malt, black coffee, and dark chocolate

Mouthfeel: dry, almost chalky, medium heavy body

Drinkability: I could have a couple of these again. It is very dry and solid.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 393 ratings.
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