Recently I took another visit to Ballast Point Brewery, a practice that is becoming happily commonplace for me. I love that their brewery is right in the heart of San Diego, and I can pop over whenever my little beer-stained heart desires. When I received their email that they were releasing a Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Marlin Porter, I could not resist the beckoning call.
And while I was there, might as well taste through several of their other delicious varieties, right? Now THAT is a inane question...I decided to go for the gusto, right out of the starting block with the Sea Monster Stout. Go big or go home, I say.
Sea Monster Stout: 10% ABV: Tons of rich, roasted coffee, with some toffee notes. The roasted malt bitterness on the finish can be categorized as resembling something between coffee, tea, and tree bark, with those tell-tale tannins that cause the puckering in our happy mouths. Rich and delicious!
Dorado DIPA 2010: 8% ABV: Hahaha, smells like pot. Seriously herbaceous guys. Lots of tree fruit and herb on the palate. But there is something on the nose here I don't like. The fruit is off, as if it is OVER-ripe. There is also a heavy perfume aspect to this beer that is borderline off-putting. Did I have a bad glass? I am determined to try this beer again in the future, as I know it has many adoring fans....
Abandon Ship: 8% ABV: Made with Beechwood-smoked German Malts. Nice smokiness and meaty aspects here. Subtle and balanced, this beer, like the Stone Smoked Porter, would be a lovely pair with grilled foods, such as ribs, burgers, and smoked meats.
Bourbon Barrel Black Marlin Porter: 5.9% ABV: This beer, aged 12-18 months in barrel, has aromas of sweet oak, sugar-coated cherries, dark caro syrup with herbs stirred in. I realize the sweet/herb combo sounds a bit unusual, but that is the smell, and it is quite nice! There is a touch of perfume here, but it is subtle and balanced.
I decided to do a taste-test with this beer up against the original Black Marlin Porter, and the original was JUST as I remembered it. CLICK HERE to see my review of Black Marlin Porter from my 100 beers 30 days Stouts vs. Porters Challenge!
Tongue Buckler: 10.5% ABV: I have already reviewed this beer, but let me reiterate that I love the nose on this one! This time, bright vibrant aromas of red flowers with aromatic green foliage (think geraniums), with round, smooth notes of caramel and toffee in the background. I had to buy an extra few of these to take home with me!
Victory at Sea: 10% ABV: Mmmm, I have ONE word for you. Chocolate. Make that two words. Dark chocolate. Think a Godiva Dark Chocolate Milk, and there you have it. And I lovvvve Godiva, so this one was a slam-dunk. Combine a definite presence of tobacco, and you have some people's idea of the perfect vices in liquid form. I couldn't drink alot of this, but what I had, I enjoyed like all those forbidden desserts we all find ourselves craving from the other side of the glass case.