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

Gritty McDuff's Black Fly StoutGritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout
398 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 398 |  Reviews: 197
Photo of AmherstPhantom
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into my UMass pint glass.

A: Dark and opaque with small hints of amber when held to the light. Tight slightly tan head, struggling to make a full inch. Lacing is adequate.

S: I might have served this one a bit too cold. Not smelling much. Coffee is definite. Faint hints of dark chocolate. Even fainter hints of hops.

T: Roasted malts, coffee beans, much like the smell.

M: A bit thin for a stout. But it is a bit smoother than most stouts.

D: I would imagine this would be even more drinkable a tad bit warmer than I drank it (right out of the fridge.) After Yankee Brew News' latest edition about session beers, this would be on the list. Surprising, for a stout.

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Photo of luvND
3.31/5  rDev -14.2%
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 Tbn2
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 1 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured beer from bottle into pint glass

A-The only negative about this beer. When I poured the beer (I thought I was pouring it easy) a creamy tan head filled the entire glass. It took me about five minutes to pour the beer. The body of the beer is jet black with no light shinning through.

S-Lots of coffee, earthy grain and hops, and chocolate aromas. In the background a hint of yeast.

T/M-Great! Just like the smell at first, then the hops kick in a bit finishes off with a great dry stout taste. I think the body of the beer has a little watery feel, but I like my stouts on the creamy side.

Overall this only draw back from this beer was the head. I'm sure it was a fluke because no one else mentioned any trouble with it. Pick some up...its a good brew.

Drink'em if ya got'em...

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Photo of OtherShoe2
2.63/5  rDev -31.9%
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 msolar
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good beer - It has nice flavors of bitter coffee with a nice lingering flavor. I drank it in a bomber from the brewery and still think it's a great New England stout.

I'd consider this one of Gritty's best beers. If you're looking for another Maine-brewed stout also check out Bar Harbor's Cadillac.

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Photo of Drew966
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout pours an opaque black with a chocolate milk colored head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is malty, perhaps a bit of chocolate. The mouthfeel is very thin. Bitter chocolate and coffee flavors are definitely front and center. A bit on the bitter side. Some nutiness as the beer warms. I think I'd like a little more body, but it's definitely a decent stout. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of largadeer
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
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 paulthebeerguru
3.82/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of erosier
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
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 RustyDiamond
2.45/5  rDev -36.5%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black Fly is actually really, really dark brown with orangish gold highlights. The brown sugar colored crown is as soft and as airy as cotton candy, while being almost as sticky. An eye pleasing array of lace finds its way to the upper reaches of the glass as the head loses altitude.

The nose is definitely black... as in black malt. There's also plenty of power, which is almost always a good thing. The bittersweet chocolatiness that results from well-roasted barley is, far and away, the dominant aroma. Yowza!

The amount of crushed coffee bean flavor that is delivered when stout meets palate is incredible. It makes me wonder whether coffee was added, although neither the Gritty McD website nor the label mention it. Rarely have I experienced such a disconnect between the aroma (very little java) and the flavor (an java explosion).

The brewery sure did favor the dark end of the malt spectrum, but they didn't add enough of it. With more substance, this stuff could be killer. Surely they can find a way to beef up Black Fly and still keep the ABV in sessionable range. A shortage of malt sugars keeps things on the bitter side, despite almost no hop flavor and a paltry 16 IBUs.

Irish dry stouts don't need, and probably shouldn't have, full mouthfeels. That said, BFS is a fraction too skinny for my tastes. On the positive side, the lack of heft and the laid back carbonation would make putting away a swarm of these suckers no trouble at all.

Black Fly Stout is my third Gritty McDuff's brew and is probably my least favorite. It's still good beer, though, and is probably a gotta-have for dark beer lovin' BAs in the state of Maine.

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Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
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.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in color, no ruby notes around the edge. Tan head that drops quickly and only manages to leave the faintest lacing. Smell of chocolate and coffee and some cherry in the background. Also a little bit of burnt smokeyness. Taste matches the smell but it's really the finish that makes this stand out. It finishes so dry and clean with no aftertaste. It's not a lack of flavors upfront because it's a tasty medium bodied beer, but it's just a surprizingly clean fishish. Overall a very good brew. The best of the Gritty variety case and the only one that seemed to match up to what is available fresh at the brewpub.

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Photo of Bounty628
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
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 tkeHijacker
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black opaque with slight amber huhs when held up to the light, thick coffee colored head that fades at a nice rate which leaves little lace.

S: Highly of roasted coffee sticky toffee smells also present

T: chocolaty toffee at first with a slight bite at the front that fades quickly and nicely.

M: Light carbonation allows you to keep this one around in your mouth to fully enjoy. Great medium body.

D: Good drinkability, good body, good taste, these will keep me coming back.

tasted on 2/6/08

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on nitro-tap at deep ellum (allston, ma)

dark cola black, typical nitro stout appearance with great creamy head and thick lacing all the way down the glass.

in fact, the head is an espresso-like foam, with similar aroma. some hint of molasses as things warm up.

taste is also much more coffee note than other irish dry stouts on nitro. some faint, mild acidity in addition to the gentle bitterness. some notes of hearty, charred malts.

a bit thin, but definitely smooth. almost silky when rolled on tongue.

a great session stout

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Best enjoyed at the source; Gritty's in Freeport, Maine with a healthy helping of Shepherd's Pie (also flavored with Black Fly Stout, FYI).

Black Fly is atop the beer menu board in Gritty's for a reason. Our drafts arrived with copious head that diminished to a nice, sticky lace, smelling of dark roasted malt with a hint of dry spruce and Starbuck's coffee. Delicious, but oddly not all that filling for a stout; smooth (if maybe a little watery at the end) in the mouth with a surprisingly clean finish. Good enough to drink a few, for sure.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a nice dark black color, nice carbonation, huge foamy tan head, lots and lots of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is malty, some toffee/caramel. The taste is malty, with some toffee/caramel. The finish is slightly dry/bitter. Medium body. Drinkable, a pretty tasty/sessionable brew.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark opaque cola color with a moderate dark and frothy khaki head with great retention that hung around for most of the drink. For aroma there was a rich dark roasted nature with a bit of dried fruitiness (cherries) and oats. An oily slick mouthful with a dark burnt roastedness fills the mouth gently warming and yielding to a slighty smokey and dark roasted coffee flavor. There is a very nice bold and charred bitterness and woodiness to this beer. The dried cherries, dark roasted coffee and burnt roasted malts all blend together almost seamlessly producing a light bodied dark roasted flavor. There is definitely a nice dried fruitiness from the cherries emerging in the middle of the palate before finishing with a nice charred and smoky lacing on the tongue. The texture is very smooth overall, light to medium body and with a soft carbonation. The drinkability is fairly good per style.

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Photo of spiffysamurai
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured into the pint glass in a dark black with a little chocolate colored head at the top.

S: Upon first smell the faint smell of chocolate and some coffee came to mind, definely can smell the hops but burnt chocolate is the dominating smell.

T: The taste of this beer makes me think of a normal stout. Nice and clean, faint taste of chocolate and coffee and one gets the nice taste of hops at the end. The aftertaste once again reminds me of burnt but nice chocolate.

M: This stout feel great in the mouth. The beer becomes extremely creamy in the mouth.

D: With a low ABV this beer is quite drinkable and a great beer to chill with during the summer months or curling up in the winter.

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Photo of foxmul924
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
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 BassAssassin
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
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 aerozeppl
3.46/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this one a while ago. From notes

A: Pours jet black with a massive 4 finger tan head. Nice lacing as well. Impressive

S: Roasted malt and chocolate Fairly typical for a stout.

T:Really bitter from the roasted malt. Finished with hints of chocolate.

M: Thin for a stout and very carbonated.

D: Decent drinkability. The bitterness cuts it down quite a bit. Overall a decent stout.

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Photo of EStreet20
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
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 reeder
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 398 ratings
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