Ballast Point’s Black Marlin & Evelyn Duncan’s Picking Up

Now that we’re fully into April, it is, sadly, getting very close to the point of putting our stouts and porters behind us and moving towards the pales, ales, and wheats. But before we go, let’s take a look at Ballast Point’s excellent Black Marlin Porter and Evelyn Duncan’s fantastic “Picking Up.”

Ballast Point’s Black Marlin Porter

Ballast Point Black Marlin


Lots of delicious coffee and malt right up front with this one. It smells like a deep, rich porter in all the right ways.

I mean, Ballast Point can rarely do wrong. Very nicely balanced malt and coffee on the first taste with just a tiny bite to it. An overall smooth and velvety finish.

10/10 For a Pointed Nose Named Beer
9/10 For a porter/stout brew
9/10 Overall

Evelyn Duncan’s Picking Up

During the depression
my mother, teetotaler,
but thrifty to a fault,
surprised my father and me
when she cobbled up a still,
kept it on a shelf behind the kitchen stove,
and salvaged a crate of too-ripe pears
by making brandy, pouring it into Mason jars,
and storing them on the cellar stairs.

When my father found a better job at last,
and movers came one day to move our stuff,
“A shame to have this go to waste," we heard my mother say,
offering them the brandy, which they polished off.
They soon grew happy at their work,
hanging a chamber pot and her Sunday dress
on outside panels of their battered truck
and speeding off into the dusk
before she could protest.

We closed the house, cranked the Model-A, and started out,
following over stony mountain ruts,
but soon were stopping now and then
when headlights showed familiar shapes
lying in the road or ditch: first
the chamber pot and dress; next, 
a chair, a bucket, and a box of sheets.
But drunk with hope, we praised our luck,
sang “Bringing in the Sheaves”
as we collected what the truck had dropped.

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