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

Gritty McDuff's Black Fly StoutGritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout
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Irish Dry Stout
Ranked #18
Ranked #14,644
3.88 | pDev: 11.86%
Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Maine, United States
Very Good
Gritty McDuff's Black Fly StoutGritty McDuff's Black 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: 198 | Ratings: 398
Photo of tigg924
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
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 +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.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: HUGE forming head... Required a slow pour. Lasts for quite a time, and has a shimmer in the foam. Big, puffy, cloud.

S: A kinda strange smell... Sulfur? Maltiness and sweetness... Some light coffee and chocolate, but the notes of sulfur are a little weird.

T: Roasted malts,almost burnt, coffee, and hints of chocolate with a touch of hoppy bitterness. A nice little citrusy flavour.

M + D: Lighter, as they often are... There is a soft creaminess there, carbonation has a little bite. Pretty good... full flavoured for an Irish Dry.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.48/5  rDev -36.1%
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 DefenCorps
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.

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Photo of Yeastcakes
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving notes: Augustiner glass, cellar temp.
Aroma: Very open aroma, roast hit me as soon as I put this pour to my nose.
Appearance: Nice finger of tan head, opaque and black.
Mouthfeel: medium body, light carbonation. No noticable alcohol warmth.
Taste: Strong coffee roast flavor, little else comes through. Light bitterness lingers from roast but is not too strong.
Drinkability: A very drinkable stout that represents Gritty's well. I would pick this up again if I was looking for a good coffee stout.

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Photo of damienblack
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on nitro-tap at Horseshoe Pub in Hudson as part of Gritty's 21st celebration.

Head almost non existent, big and black, not much to appearance. Cocoey smell, but not superstrongly of chocolate. Smelled a little chalky, but not in a bad way.

Features a slightly chocolatey albeit chalky flavor. Flavor is pretty straight forward, blackened, not overly sweet malt, the standard gritty's feel (prolly from the yeast), and a bit of hops. Little thin, not quite watery but feels like there should be something a little more. Very drying, leaves my mouth parched after. Very drinkable, no bad flavors or kickbacks or anything. If you're looking for a sessionable, low-powered stout that still has a flavor, this is a good bet.

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Photo of sprucetip
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes. On tap at Portland brewpub.

Ultimate black, but appeared lighter at first with Guinness like cascade underway. Creamy, thick, light mocha head. Big retention and lacing.

Malty sweetness, chocolate, roasted grains, in that order. Very pleasant. If not faint, definitely short legs.

One of those where I'd like more scoring options. A 4 seems too high, 3.5 not high enough. A very nicely balanced, albeit light, blend of chocolate, coffee, roasted grains and malty sweetness. Nice, if mellow.

Lightly carbonated, thin feeling. Not as creamy as it appearance would indicate.

Pretty much poundable. Enough flavor to keep you interested, but but thin enough to allow multiples.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into shaker pint on 2/9/09.

A - Poured a pitch black body with just a slice of deep burgundy at the bottom and almost a finger of burnt tan head that was quick to recede into a patchy veil and left sparse lacing around the glass.

S - Dry roasted malt and dark chocolate notes dominate the aroma. To a lesser degree, an earthy hop character is also present, as well as a slight nutty astringency.

T - Initial flavor is dry roasted malt mingling with bitter dark chocolate and coffee notes. A subtle nutty flavor appears midway through and adds a bit of an astringent aspect. Black Fly finishes with a pretty aggressive dry, earthy hop bitterness, which surprised me.

M - Medium bodied with lively, bristling carbonation and a slight oily texture, albeit a tad watery. Finish is quite dry and bitter on the palate. Perhaps the mouthfeel is a little too carbonated overall.

D - This one was better than I had anticipated. There is a good deal of earthy hop bitterness in here, which was surprising. Overall, this is a solid Irish stout.

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

I have tried and enjoyed this one several time but this review is based off a sampling at the brewery in Auburn, ME. From a nitro-tap this brew was an opaque black color with a one finger head of mocha-like foam. The retention of the tight cap was good and the lacing off it in thick sheets was outstanding. The aroma was soft but appropriate, roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate with a general dryness. The flavors were similar, with an added elements of caramel sweetness and a bitter, coffee finish. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body slightly watery and the carbonation a little too soft. But it was still very sessionable for a dark brew and a great example of the style that I will happily enjoy again.

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Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a pitch black into a dimpled mug, with a quarter inch tan head.

S - Faint smell of chocolate and hops, can't really pick up much more from the smell. Even more chocolate and a stronger coffee aroma came through as it warmed, I upped my rating a bit.

T - Bitter and roasted, slight hop bitterness. Roasted coffee, and more of the chocolate taste coming through as well. A huge bitter and acidic twang lingers on the tongue.

M - Great creamy mouthfeel, this may be the best part of this beer.

D - Being a Dry Irish Stout fan, I could drink this all night long. Low on alcohol, great mouthfeel, real easy to drink. Beamish still has my number one spot, but this beats out O'Hara's. Unless we're talking about Grittys on nitro-tap, then it's by far my favorite Irish Stout.

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Photo of csmiley
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to ph2001 for this brew.

A - Pours a very dark brown. Comes close to black. A dark cola color is present in the right light. Head is beige and comes to a towering height of just under 2 inches. It quickly turns rocky and stays around for a long while. Webs of lace remain in the glass.

S - Cocoa and roasted notes come through in the nose first. A little smokey in the middle followed by a light coffee aroma that is just barely noticeable behind the smokiness. A sweeter milk chocolate rounds things out.

T - Starts out with a dry, roasted smokiness that kind of shocks the palate at first. Not really what was expected based on the aroma. Ground coffee comes through nicely about midway. Chocolate flavor is bittersweet and goes very well as a backdrop to the other flavors. A hint of dark fruit and alcohol is present at the tail end.

M - Medium bodied with too much carbonation. Finish is dry and roasty, sticking around for just long enough. Carbonation is a little too active. The word "fizzy" comes to mind.

D - Drinkability is good. The classic stout characteristics are present and come together in a nice way for this beer. The only material flaw is the over carbonation. Normally this is something that can correct itself as the beer warms but this one just couldn't get it done. Overall it is a good beer that I could recommend to anyone that likes a good stout.

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Photo of bum732
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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 k4df4l
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.

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Photo of tmoneyba
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from World of Beer.

Poured a dark brown color with a large frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted chocolate aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium roasted bittersweet flavor with a medium bittersweet finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met and is good for style.

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

Picked this up on a recent trip to Maine. Beer pours a jet black in the glass with about a 1/4 inch tan head with some evidence of lace. It smells creamy and sweet, hints of burnt malt and slight chocolate. Taste is on par with the smell - bitter roasted malt at first that then fades to smooth chocolately flavor. Medium-heavy body slight carbonation. It's a decent stout, though I've had better.

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Photo of albern
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a rather thin bodied, light dry stout, that has lots to recommend it. It pours a deep, inky black with a thin tannish head, that doesn't retain all that much. The nose on the beer is slightly off at first, with some syrupy odd notes. As the beer settles, there is a chocolate and cocoa aroma that emerges, also a tad bit of coffee and currants or some other heavy fruit. There is a clearly dry roasted aspect to the aroma of this beer.

The taste is definitely light bodied, yet with deep roasted grains, some fruitiness behind the largely dry character to the beer, and an almost charred coffee and chocolate flavor. The wateriness of the beer, the roasted dry malts, the charred coffee and chocolate flavors, and the slight fruitiness in the background make this an interesting, slightly complex, and eminently drinkable stout. The mouthfeel is a tad oily, and the aftertaste is very thin. A nice change up and worth seeking out.

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Photo of DVTO2
4.5/5  rDev +16%
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 Reagan1984
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the darkest brown possible. Just this side of black, The head was tan colored and very aggressive and creamy. 3 fingers plus. Insane retention. Spotty lacing

Aroma was more chocolate than anything else. Actually a bit more like cocoa powder.

Flavor was fantastic. Again, I'll say cocoa powder to light chocolate. With a very subtle smoky quality. Very smooth for a stout, despite some of the rich flavors. The finish seems to be a nice mix of roasted malt and some hop bitterness.

Body was much lighter than I remember from when I had it on tap. Silky smooth, almost creamy texture and mouth feel.

Very, very drinkable!!

Really enjoy it.

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Photo of blatherbeard
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
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 alovesupreme
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark with light coming through the thin parts of glass. Nice head light head with fair retention.
Lots of roasted malt, along with a smell I cant put my finger on. Almost tastes like charcoal, with a very roasted taste. Some hops in the mix but the lingering bitter aftertaste comes from the roasted malt as much as the hops.
Good carbonation but mouthfeel could have been a little more full.
I may get this again in the future but am in no rush.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into two pint glasses. Extremely dark black color, with a moderately sized brown head. Lots of carbonation for a stout. Smelled a lot like coffee rinds. Taste was somewhat on the bitter side, as it really had a roasted barley flavor to it. Not much sweetness to act as a counterbalance at all. Reminded me a lot of a Guinness Extra Stout. For the style, it was dead on: drinkable, but with enough dryness to not be a session beer. This was a nice change of pace from other stouts that I have had lately. Not many local brewers can do an Irish Dry Stout and have it taste this authentic. Good job Gritty's.

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Photo of Kallessin
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown/black with a small foamy tan head.

Strong dark chocolate/coffee aroma. Some earthy hops mixed in.

Roasted coffee and chocolate flavors at first. After several mouthfuls these flavors subside a little and give way to more dry bitter and burnt flavors that hang around for a while.

Very smooth and dry. Fairly thin. Leaves a little stickiness. Has quite a bit of carbonation that tingles a little.

Overall a great beer. Very easy to drink because it's thin, and has a good amount of flavor.

I first tasted this on draft at Gritty's in Freeport and was great on a warm day for lunch. Definitely give this one a try.

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Photo of JasonA
3.03/5  rDev -21.9%
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 cjgator3
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Best Before May 2009

A- Pours a dark black color with a light tan head.

S- The aroma is pretty good, dark roasted malts and coffee notes.

T- The taste is dark roasted malts with a good amount of bitterness and a dry finish.

M- The mouthfeel is on the light side with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This beer packs more flavor than the low ABV suggests making it pretty drinkable.

Overall, Black Fly Stout is a pretty good Dry Stout that is recommended.

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Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout from Gritty McDuff's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 398 ratings