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Wiseacre Brewing // Gotta Get Up to Get Down

Wiseacre Brewing // Gotta Get Up to Get Down

The coffee Wiseacre employed for Gotta Get Up to Get Down was a natural Ethiopia Konga, roasted by Chicago’s Metropolis Coffee Company. This coffee is produced in the Yirgacheffe region, which is situated in the Sidama province. Approximately 800 farmers that live in the Konga district […]

New Harvest Coffee Roasters // Kenya Barichu Karatina AA

New Harvest Coffee Roasters // Kenya Barichu Karatina AA

Karatina is a Kikuyu name for a “tree” that produces some fruits used to brew the famous Muratina beer, which was used by the Kikuyu to celebrate and perform rituals. Within the vicinity of the factory, there is a town with the famous Karatina open […]

Ballast Point Brewing Company // Mocha Marlin

Ballast Point Brewing Company // Mocha Marlin

Ballast Point Mocha Marlin recently the rank of the brewery’s “enhanced’ bottle lineup. That’s our way of describing the expanding line of core beers that have extra ingredients, like grapefruit, Thai chili, or pineapple. Mocha Marlin starts its life as the brewery’s year-round Black Marlin Porter, and is then infused with heavy doses of coffee and chocolate. The coffee Ballast Point used for this beer was roasted by Caffe Calabria.

Caffe Calabria was chosen because a bunch of the crew lived in the neighborhood and were big fans of the coffee they roast. The brew master worked with the roaster to get the right beans, roasted to the right level, to avoid as much bitterness as possible.

Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping the Mocha Marlin, from Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, California. Feel free to pull up a chair.

THECOFFEEDETAILS

region: Valle de Cauca, Colombia // Tarrazu. Costa Rica
farm: N/A
producer: N/A
association: N/A
elevation: 1600 – 1700 // 1800 meters above sea level
cultivars: Various // Bourbon, Caturra, Typica
process: fully washed, patio dried

THEBEERDETAILS

style: English Porter
abv: 6.0%
ibu: 42
color: Black
stemware: Tulip

CUPPINGNOTES

Mocha Marlin pours a very, very dark brown—nearly black, but with a red hue around the edges of the globe when held up to the light—with a frothy milk chocolate brown head that quickly settles to a much lighter layer and leaves behind spotty lacing. The aroma, unsurprisingly, has heavy scents of roasty coffee and bittersweet chocolate, but also has a very sweet nuance of vanilla and toffee.

The flavor is a bit more unbalanced than the nose, but features the same players. The beer’s mouthfeel is really thin and light bodied, and there’s a fair amount of carbonation, but overall the body is acceptable for an English porter. I am not finding any sweetness to speak of up front, though there is an ample helping of coffee and dark chocolate. As the flavors develop, however, there us an acrid, burnt toast note, roasted malts, very faint dark fruits, and a little bit of vanilla, and these flavors continue to develop through the finish.

FINALTHOUGHTS

I went into Ballast Point’s Mocha Marlin with really high expectations; not just because Ballast Point consistently produces some of the best beers on the market, but because their other coffee-infused offerings—Victory at Sea Imperial Porter and its Peppermint variant—are two of the best coffee-beers I’ve sampled here at the Table. Unfortunately, I came away from this tasting disappointed.

It’s pretty well-known that when it comes to coffee-infused stouts and porters, I prefer the body to be pretty full. Mocha Marlin’s profile was pretty thin and carbonated. Considering this is an English-style porter, that sort of mouthfeel is perfectly fine; however, the beer’s thinness unintentionally exposed this roasty’s coffee’s flaws. And when the coffee’s roastiness and oils mixed with acrid burnt toast and bitter malt notes of the beer… It didn’t make for a pleasant drinking experience. Now, if this were a stout with a really full, heavy, viscous mouthfeel, it might have concealed those flavors a bit better.

What were your thoughts of this one? Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome! Feel free to enter a comment below. Also remember to like us on Facebookfollow us on Twitter, and follow us on Instagram!

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SwitchBox Coffee Roasters // Ethiopia Nekisse

SwitchBox Coffee Roasters // Ethiopia Nekisse

Post-Ethiopia Commodity Exchange in 2008, Ninety Plus had to pivot in a major way. With no longer having access to small farm holders picking the best garden coffee from some of their favorite sites in Aricha and Beloya, they moved to the private sector in Sidama and […]

PERC Coffee // Kenya Kianderi AA

PERC Coffee // Kenya Kianderi AA

Situated 120km north of Nairobi, Kianderi is in Murang’a county, bordering the more well known Nyeri District to the south of Mt. Kenya. Smallholder farmers in this area are generally of Kikuyu ethnicity. Kianderi ‘Factory’ is a washing station established by the Weithaga Farmer Cooperative […]