Aug 21, 2015

Ballast Point Black Marlin

There’s a small bit of print on Black Marlin’s label that reads “Hop-forward porter” that more than aptly describes what you are about to get into once popping the cap from the bottle. This 6% ABV porter isn’t a hop bomb by any means, but it does pack in more hop character than your typical example of the style.

Roasty and rich up front, the beer transitions smoothly to a solid amount of pine and citrus to complete the experience. At 42 IBU, there’s a light bit of bitterness that helps accentuate the coffee aspect of the beer. My only quibble I have would be the body — I’d personally like to see it a touch fuller — not much, just a bit more oomph on the palate.


Black Marlin pours a dark, cola brown in color with a brown cap of foam that left behind a consistent crown around the glass.

Ballast Point Black Marlin photo


Wonderfully roasty with cocoa, herbal hop notes, soft pine, caramel and a touch of coffee.


Each sip starts off roasty and earthy with cocoa, dark roast coffee and a touch of char. The brew rounds out with piney hops and a hint of citrus within its dark depths. The moderately drying finish carries a lingering hop bitterness that hangs around for a good while. As stated, I’d like it to be a tad fuller.


When in search of hops, there are few better breweries that consistently offer what I need than Ballast Point. When in search of a solid, traditional porter, I’ll probably continue to look elsewhere, but if you’re in the mood for something that combines elements from both realms of the beer world, then Black Marlin might just be what you need.

Rating: 3.75/5

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