The taste is subdued for a porter exhibiting little hop bite, greatly reduced smokey flavors, and only a touch of the coffee sensation. The aftertaste exhibits most of the coffee bean tastes and I was only able to really draw out the cafe flavors with that obnoxious mouth smacking breathing after a sip. As the beer warms, more hop resin flavors emerge but nothing crazy.
That all being said I really did enjoy this beer. As a personal preference I prefer other ales to porters (you've probably noticed from my prior posts). I find at times that roasted malts in porters can be too smokey and drown out hop and malted barley flavors. That is just not the case with Ballast Point's porter. I found it pretty easy to suck down a bomber of this brew and there was just enough hop resins to remind me of my other favorite west coast style beers. If you are into a smooth porter I'd recommend that you 'get to the point' and grab the black marlin. Cheers.