badlizard (5535) - Berkeley, California, USA - MAY 2, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Got a growler fill from the brewery. Black with a fizzy tan head. Wonderful bourbon vanilla and oak aroma. Good strong bourbon taste, robust coffee flavors, mild vanilla, and a good roasty, oaky dry finish. Excellent.
JorisPPattyn (8343) - Ursel, BELGIUM - APR 23, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Draught Deep brown beer with a reddish shine, little head. Obvious vanilla, oak and Bourbon, some roasted notes and again, lots of oats. Warming MF for obvious alcohol (Bourbon), sweet nutty dark worts and just enough discreet hops - great balance! Warming, but not aggressive in MF. Very good B.B.A. porter, much more balanced than most of its ilk.
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - FEB 18, 2008
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Tap @ O’Briens. Poured black with a beige head. Chocolate aroma with a light roast and very light bourbon. the flavor too had a light roast. Some woody notes on the finish. The beer finished thin with a light body.
Earlier Rating: 12/10/2007 Total Score: 3.4
Tap @ Ballast Point. Cask. Poured with a large creamy tan head. The beer itself was black and fairly opaque. The aroma was of coffee and wood with mild vanilla notes. The flavor had a light roast and woody notes. The guy pouring said it was a whiskey barrel but I don’t really get and whiskey. Light bodied and smooth.
FoolishMortal (990) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 21, 2007
3.4 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap at the 11th anniversary. Nearly opaque black brown with a light brown nitro head. Faint barrel characters, slight vanilla and oak. Slight bourbon up front. Light roastiness, muted citric hop component that seems out of harmony with the barrel flavors. Ruddy chocolate in the finish, with some toastiness. Mouthfeel is medium, somewhat dry. Not too terribly different than regular Black Marlin.
wetherel (1836) - Encinitas, California, USA - OCT 21, 2007
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
UPDATED: JAN 17, 2008 Tried from bourbon barrel aged nitro tap at Ballast Point’s 11th anniversary celebration. A very nice everyday stout. A little toward the bland side. Low aroma. Not dry nor sweet. No off flavors. Pretty good, but nothing interesting. Microbubble nitro head. Pitch black liquid.7,4,7,3,16:3.7
1/15/07:Tried again at OBriens on tap: 7,4,7,3,16:3.7
JohnC (3004) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - OCT 20, 2007
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
on tap at ballast point’s anniv party
black, tasty, but I really didn’t get a lot of the whiskey barrel. Not much different than the regular black marlin
Naven (1000) - Poway, California, USA - OCT 13, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
On tap @ Hamiltons. Nitro. Black as night, smells like molasses. Flavor is strong on the whiskey. Almost like an Irish whiskey flavor. In fact, the whiskey was a little distracting. I probably would have liked this more if it were not on Nitro. Good, but tough to put down as it warmed. Strong on the whiskey.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 4, 2007
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Hand bottle from cbkschubert
Dispensed carefully into my tulip glass, this beer is topped by a frothy, initially one-finger thick, dusty, light brown colored head that never quite stops covering the top of this beer. The beer shows a brilliantly clear, chocolate brown color as I pour it, but sits in the glass a deep brown, almost black color. The aroma is interesting, it is not nearly as barrel influenced as I thought it might be, but it is clearly influenced by the oak & whiskey; notes of vanillin, a mellow-yet-spicy oak character and a sourish whiskey note are definitely noticeable. Dark malt aromatics reside underneath the barrel character; at times notes of toasty malt, browned biscuits, touches of chocolate and even some coffee-like aromatics are noticeable.
This has a fairly light mouthfeel to it, which is only worth mentioning as most barrel aged beers are alcohol monsters, and this most definitely is not. The beer is lightly tart (from the dark malts, though perhaps accented by whiskey notes) up front. In the finish, after the beer has left my mouth, I get an interesting flavor melange of sweet whiskey, cherries and chocolate. The barrel character is quite well held in check, it is not nearly as overwhelming as it could be in this standard strength Porter. The oak provides a touch of woodiness, some tannic structure and a distinct spiciness. The whiskey flavors are fairly subtle, but, in combination with the oak, provide some sharpness and a bit of hot character to this beer. Standard Porter flavors contribute here, but definitely are secondary to the somehow subtle barrel notes; this is a bit confusing of course. As the beer warms, a dusty, toasty, yet distinctive, malt character becomes much more noticeable; chocolate, smooth roast malt and lots of toasted flavors are apparent. Even the body picks up a bit more heft and starts to have a light creamy feel to it.
Putting a regular strength beer in a whiskey barrel is an interesting concept; this one was done quite well as the barrel character could have easily dominated this beer. Having said that, I probably would prefer if this beer were a little stronger / richer and definitely maltier. Still this is a tasty brew, one which I am quite happy to be drinking right now. Allowing the beer to warm a bit definitely improves the balance of this beer.
WeeHeavySD (3361) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 19, 2007
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Sampler at Ballast Point. Tasty and full of a big mouthful of bourbon flavor. Much like normal Black Marlin but with more pop and bang. I enjoyed it a lot but held off on the growler fill.
smhncabot (310) - Cabot, Arkansas, USA - JUL 13, 2007
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
hand bottle from growler. thanks to cbkschubert through trade with drmatt. aroma is musty oak and smoke with roasted malt and choco hidden behind. taste is a slightly sour oak, roast and bittersweet cocoa with slight toffee sweet behind. finish is bourbon dry with some smoky roast behind. its quite nice the whiskey is in balance and not overpowering as in other examples.