They say…

Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
"A joy to read" - Roger Protz
"Very authoritative" - Tim Webb.
"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter

Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter

Black Marlin

ABV: 6%
Origin: San Diego, California, USA

Underlining the vital link between commercial craft brewing and homebrewing around which the vibrant beer culture of San Diego flourishes, the Ballast Point brewery actually began in a homebrewing supplies shop. Opened in 1992, Jack White’s Home Brew Mart had been inspiring potential future craft brewers for four years when its owner got together with a regular customer, Yuseff Cherney, to create Ballast Point as a commercial brewery inside the shop, named for a small peninsula in San Diego Bay that’s now part of a naval base.

The brewery flourished, expanding in 2004 to its own site on the edge of the countryside area of Scripps Ranch to the north of the city, and now also includes San Diego’s only craft distillery making gin, rum and vodka. Reflecting Yuseff’s other passion, fishing, and the coastal location, the regular beers all take the names of fish species.

Ballast Point beers don’t shout quite as loudly as those of some of their neighbours. Though the brewery has produced its share of barrel aged and unusually flavoured specials, its mainstays are expertly made, well flavoured but balanced and approachable beers in everyday styles like pale ale, amber ale and wheat beer.

Ballast Point’s perfectly poised porter, Black Marlin, is a case in point, seamlessly integrating dark malt flavours with the fruity signature of US hops while keeping a relatively hefty 45 IBUs of bitterness under control. This black beer with a dense and foamy yellow-beige head has a rich aroma of chocolate, coffee and sticky brown malt, with only a light roastiness for the style.

The palate is sweetish but very complex, developing notes of plummy and citric fruit, herbal hop character and chocolate over a slightly cakey malt base. Roast malts make themselves known in a long and coffeeish finish with an emerging hop burr leading to a final powdery dryness.

My notes are based on a sample at the Great American Beer Festival in 2010.

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