FlacoAlto (4234) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 4, 2007
Hand bottle from cbkschubertWeeHeavySD (3387) - Portland, Oregon, USA - JUL 19, 2007
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.
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
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. jason (1836) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 9, 2007
Hand Bottle from Growler. Big thanks to cbkschubert for sending me this one. Pours a lighter black body with thin head. Aroma is of roasted malt, faint whisky smell, light oak. Flavor is sugary, chocolate, roasted malt, very subtle whicsky notes, light oak. Very smooth. A nice way of barrel aging a Porter without going over the top. OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - JUL 1, 2007
Growler via trade with cbkschubert - Thanks Craig! - Pours black wtih a short tan head that fades pretty quick but leaves scant lace. Aromas of whiskey, oak, chocolate, and roasted malts. Flavor is roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee, and a light amount of whiskey and oak. Smooth and easy to drink on the palate with a dry finish. Pretty nice brew!! Glad I got to try this one!
cbkschubert (2901) - BFE, Arizona, USA - JUN 19, 2007
Growler from Ballast Point (Linda Vista) - Pours a dark brown color with a one finger thick creamy light tan head. A small foam ring was left around the glass from start to finish. Light spotty lacing. Aroma is light roasted malt and whiskey/oak. Flavor is roasted malt, light coffee, and light whiskey. A smooth, medium body beer. Palate is left slightly dry. A very nice beer. brianjames1 (539) - Northridge, California, USA - MAY 11, 2007
Growler from ballast point, rich dark brew, everything a porter should be plus the addition of the barrel giving it a more intense flavor....excellent.....hats off to ballast point for another excellent brew! brettpace (176) - New York City, New York, USA - MAY 6, 2007
A buddy of mine had this on his wedding day. This is a pretty good beer, I expected more though... hapjydeuce (1005) - Carlsbad, California, USA - APR 24, 2007
Earlier Rating: 5/1/2007 Total Score: 3.9
Tasted from a growler at the Ballast point brewery. Beer was very good, and full flavored. Coffee, chocolate, but not as thick as a stout, one of the better porters.
UPDATED: APR 3, 2009 Sampler at the brewery, right across from the USD campus before class as a matter of fact heheh. Also on tap at OBriens later in March ’09. Nice pitch black color with a small dark tan head. Aroma of bourbon and roasted malt, not too strong though. Great flavor! Chocolately and smokey with a great mouthfeel, that ends silky smooth. A nice dry alcohol finish, and the whiskey notes stand out as well. There is a light hint of acidity throughout, mixed in with ash and burnt wood. jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - APR 15, 2007
UPDATED: APR 24, 2007 Sampled at the brewery - this took a huge dump on the normal Black Marlin. Now this is what I’m talkin about! Delicious - full of flavor, very creamy and silky on the palate...great beer.