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Shallow Grave - Heretic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Shallow GraveShallow Grave

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

56 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 56
Hads: 243
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 20%
Wants: 22
Gots: 38 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Heretic Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Zorro on 12-16-2011

Shallow Grave Porter is dark as night, perfect for a cool evening out in the woods. This is a big, dark ale with a complex and rich chocolate and caramel malt character followed by a touch of warmth and light malt sweetness, leaving you ready for more after each shovelful. You will love this so much you won’t have time to dig a six-footer, so make it a Shallow Grave.

We’re sure you’ll dig it.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 56 | Hads: 243
Photo of Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, Pours a dark brown with a tan head That disapates to a ring. Aroma dark chocolate backed with roasted coffee beans. Fairly light bodied with moderate carbonation. Taste bitter with plenty of chocolate, cocoa, roasty coffee notes.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap@ Iron Horse in the Sac Int Airport

Appearance - Served upin a pint with light khaki colored finger width head. Fair retention, brwaking down to a thin, broken layer of suds. Lace is sporty with a few streaks in there.

Smell - Aroma hits on strong caramel and milk chocolate notes. Faint roast. This is a nice smelling porter.

Taste - Chocolatey with a touch of earthy nuttiness. Fair caramel underbody. Faint roast. Finishes with decent balance and a hint of alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Goes down smooth enough, but nothing that notable.

Overall - Similar in a few.ways to their Chicilate Hazelnit Porter, but nearly as deep and flavorful. This is a god porter, but Given the chiice, Im taking the latter everytime.

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Photo of Act25
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

as good as most strong porters, sweet.

A dark brown colored beer with a small dense tan head that doesn't last, but laces.

S - An aromatic beer. Sweet with a strong chocolate and coffee. Little bit of toasted bread and vanilla scent. No real hop scent.

T Follows smell, a bit sweet. Big malt taste and a bitter finish. Sweeter than average, like a Milk Stout. Chocolate, vanilla and not much hops. Tasty, well rounded, lovely. As it warms more like a milkshake.

F Mouthfeel is thick. But lacking in finish.

On the sweet side, if you like Milk Stout you will like. Hides 7% well, the sum is greater than the parts.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber MFG 11/10/14 Lot 187 at 42 degrees into nonic
$ 6/bomber from Blackwell’s Wine and Spirits
Aroma of roasted malt and bitter chocolate
Head huge (Seven cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy settling to creamy, slowly diminishing to irregular 10 to 16 mm creamy ring and creamy layer
Lacing complete rings of tiny bubbles, some stalactites forming
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor very pleasing – light bitter chocolate and some caramel and coffee notes; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.75, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5

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Photo of JackieKu
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650ml bottle. Bottled on 2015-04-08.

A: Dark brown. The head was small but well retained.
S: Moderate toasted aroma. Biscuits.
T: Moderate cocoa/coffee flavors. Slightly vanilla. Low bitterness. A touch of sweetness. Finish is dry and cocoa like.
M: Medium bodied. Low carbonation.
O: A delicious, slightly above average, but not outstanding porter.

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Photo of TH28
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle. 4/3/15 production date. Appearance: Deep brown/ black and opaque, with a light brown, thick bubbled foam cap. Aroma: Light roasted coffee, chocolate, with a light touch of fruitiness Taste: Rich malt sweetness, light roasted malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and toast. Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, with moderately low carbonation. Finish: lingering roast and bitterness, but very smooth and pleasant Overall: A very smooth and roasty American Porter. Strong, flavorful malt showcase without any harsh or acrid flavor. Well done.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 3/2/15. Pours dark as a starless night. Significantly below normal head volume and retention, normal lacing.

Light nose of roast and cocoa.

Medium body with a texture that is quite smooth and has strong creamy notes. Excellent carbonation with a mild burst of effervescence from the middle on.

The very nice flavor profile is reasonably intense, a bit complex and superbly balanced. It begins with a mild blend of roast and cocoa. Chocolate is hinted at, at best. The middle brings a mild balancing hop bitterness with a hint of sweetness. The finish is a slow fade of hop and roast bitterness. This offering is certainly not bad, it is quite good actually, but lacks the flavor intensity and complexity of world class porters such as Victory at Sea or an outstanding one such as Founders.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: deep brilliant ebony with a ½” finely bubbled foam cap, dissipates to film
S: chocolate, some fruit, earthiness
T: Chocolate, toffee, hints of coffee, traces of cola, no big roast flavors.
F: Creamy but very effervescent for a porter. Fine carbonation and a lot of it, medium full body.
O: The big carbonation washes out some of the malt flavors but on the whole an excellent American Porter.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 12/22/14:
Pours deep brown bordering on black. Head builds up nicely, tan in color. It recedes fairly quickly to the edges, but sits in good volume there, some lacing.

Nose is roasted in general, but I get chocolate specifically, mildly, or maybe it's cocoa. It isn't too complex, but is quite nice.

The feel was a bit fuller in a cold pour, thinning a tad with warmth. The flavors are as straightforward as the nose. Roasted notes of weak coffee, but a stronger taste of unsweetened cocoa. There's a bit of cola bite early, and a hint of burnt wood and alcohol in the back.

This beer doesn't have a lots of frills. To me it's pushing on the border of my definition of a stout, as it's missing an apparent hop bitterness, relying more on the astringent, burnt grain flavors to bitter the beer. Personal definitions aside, a beer I would grab again given the chance.

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Photo of Boto
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

22oz bomber: This one pours a fairly opaque, inky dark brown color. There was foamy light brown head on it. It has a good nose. Chocolate, some sweetness and roasted malts. The taste is good. Some chocolate sweet malts, with some roastiness in the background. Some hops in the background just knocking down the sweetness, but just letting a little through. Some milkiness to the taste. Slightly more than medium bodied. Nice.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This pours a ruby cola color with cocoa foam. I get a kick of dank hops atop a coffee punch. There’s a bit of coffee and a touch of resin on the finish. I found it interesting and engaging. A bit off the usual for the style but I liked it.

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Photo of zac16125
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle into a pint glass
no bottling dates

A: Opaque black, 3 fingers width of light tan head that has good retention and leaves lots of lacing. 4.5

S: Big chocolate notes, roasted malt, caramel, whipping cream. A pretty big sweetness, blends nicely with the roasty porter notes. Straightforward, but very nice. 4.25

T: Like the nose its a combination of roasty notes and sweetness. Too much sweetness in my opinion. Its kind of got that cheap chocolate sugary sweetness to it. A bit of bitterness as well helps to balance things out. 3.75

M/D: Fuller side of medium body, but not thick. May actually be a bit thin for the flavors it carries. Carbonation appropriate. Drinkability is limited by the at times cloying sweetness. 3.5

O: Good, not great. Worthy of a try, but not something I would likely get again. 3.75

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is jet black, with a frothy, bubbly, light, filmy, light tan head. Aromas of mocha, char, campfire, chocolate, and hints of cream highlights. Flavors are bitter roasted coffee forward, with notes of hazelnut, crème, and campfire smoke. Very light, dry bodied, with a smoky and bitter coffee aftertaste. The finish is dry, with a smoky and bittersweet linger.

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Photo of 57md
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep dark brown color. Hearty body. The roast is certainly present but not super potent. This offering finishes off with an odd note at the end.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%

Pours a thin head on a black body.
The aroma is roasted malt and chocolate, nice.
The taste is a great balance of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee with a a slight bitterness.
The texture is thick with lower carbonation.
A superb porter.

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Photo of efhart
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This porter almost had it all with great taste, balance and hints of chocolate, caramel, coffee. The color was deep and alluring with a slight foam on top. My only issue with this porter was it was just a shade on the thin side for body. This was not enough to ruin the beer for me as I would drink it again, but just a bit unexpected.

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Photo of brewski09
4.78/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had this on tap at the Fairfield tap room as a part of a sampler in December 2013. I was quite impressed.

A - Black, small head. About what you would expect from a porter.

S - chocolate, moderate roast. well balanced and a little sweetness to it.

T - This is where this beer hooked me. I tasted it and kinda went "that's a really nice beer, but nothing too special." Then the back end of the beer hit me and the depth was shocking. This is a flavor that sticks in your mind but eludes description. There was definitely chocolate, light roasted depth, a mild coffee like note, but then back to chocolate. This just kept going.

M - Silky and full with some sweetness, but not cloying. Definitely a little astringency from the dark malts, but well balanced. Quite impressive.

O - Wish I could have brought some home with me. Its on my list next time I visit the area. I've told the people I know passing through they have to go to the taproom and they have to try this beer.

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Photo of jj139
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On Tap at Brewery

A - Dark, dark brown with a tan/mocha one finger head. Lacing is present but not very thick or heavy.

S - Roasted Malt, dark coffee, caramel, chocolate, with hints of toast and raisins.

T - Coffee was very upfront right off the bat followed by the caramel. Roasted malts rounded out the flavors.

M - Medium body with medium/low carbonation. Creamy finish with just a hint of bitterness.

O - A very good solid porter, while I am not going to give up drinking Black Butte Porters, this will find its way into my fridge on a regular basis.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with a mocha head.

S: Dark roast coffee, earthy espresso, bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt in the nose.

T: Cocoa powder is the dominant flavor, with some espresso, coffee, bittersweet chocolate and roasted malt.

M: Medium-full bodied and smooth.

O: A great example of the style, quite tasty, robust, roasty and coffee-forward.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Arbitrator for the bottle.

Appearance: Deep dark brown. Starts with a decent sized dark tan head. Drops to a small creamy collar and cap. Nice smooth pour. Minimal to moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Solidly roasted with some faint hints of cocoa. Chocolate malt with some underlying caramel malt. Slightly sweet with some creamy, almost oat-like backing. Very knightly hopped. Small hint of coffee and a nice milky chocolate. A touch of smoke on the back of it all.

Taste: A hint of old coffee under a deeply roasted malt base. A hint of ash and char in the back as well. Chocolate malt in abundance tempered by a little caramel malt sweetness. Some cooked and caramelized sugars as well. Dark chocolate, cocoa, and bitter baker's chocolate. Some dark fruit and a hint of raisin. A touch grassy with some distinct alcohol on the back. Lots of roasted malt and increasingly sweet as it warms. Some grassy notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium leaning toward full body with a moderate carbonation. Nice and clean with a slick finish.

Overall: Dig a foot, take a sip. Rinse and repeat.

A decent enough porter. Heavier on the roasted malt than is typical, but crushes the chocolate aspect of it all.

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Photo of Takahiro
4.7/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just popped open a 6months old bottle
I did not intend age it, but ended up in my fridge for a very long time.

A: pitch dark black, heavy whipping tan foam that lasts several minutes
S: roasted malt, coffee, dry prune
T: rush of roasted malts, very well balanced with the malty back bone. very dark fruit taste (figs and prunes). some alcohol warming on tongue.
M: nice and dry finish. some alcohol sweetness

a great beer! this is one of the best porter/stout! highly recommend it

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22-oz bomber to tulip. Bottled 1-28-2013. Traded for at Bottlecraft in San Diego (North Park, thanks Brian!) 5-29-2013. Consumed 6-29-2013.

A: very dark chestnut-coffee brown. medium carbonation with large mocha head fading quickly, but 1/2-finger head lingers. very little lacing
S: the roasted malts appear here as dark chocolate, faint toffee and espresso, grape skin.
T: less impressive than the aroma - dark chocolate bitterness, smoke, not sweet
M: thin

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber poured into Sam Adams perfect pint

Deep dark brown with a perfect 1/2 inch chocolate brown head

Inviting to drink with the eyes, but the nose isn't strong. Difficult to pick up what is on the way.

Deep, rich chocolate flavors with a nice roast that stays roasty but doesn't convert to coffee. Dark chocolate richness with only mild bitterness that balances the flavor. Perfect mouthfeel that is rich and satisfying but not overly thick.

This beer stands up with Midwest heavyweights like Edmund Fitzgerald and Founders Porter.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

thanks to archenemybrew for this beer!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with 3 fingers of tan head that results from a hard pour. Spotty lacing and good head retention.

Smell: Chocolate and mild roast malts! This is a great smelling porter!

Taste: Exactly like the nose. Nice chocolate note with a mellow roast malt flavor. As you keep drinking this beer, the roast starts to build a little bit. A hint of sassparilla and light smoke in the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Really nice and easy drinking porter. Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style with just a little bit of creaminess. Not a hint of 7% abv. A well made beer.

Overall: Great example of a porter. Great chocolate notes; thats definately my favorite part about this beer. Its a solid beer for sure.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second beer of my NYE taste-a-thon. First beer from Jamil and Heretic.

Pours VERY dark into my pint glass, hints of ruby shine through at the right angle when held up to the light.

Delicious roasted goodness on the nose. Sweet chocolate notes as well.

Tastes more like an American Stout than an American Porter (is there such a nothing? Not according to the BJCP). Roasty and bitter. Hint of hop character. Bitterness is a touch strong for a Porter.

Mouthfeel is nice. Thickish and well carbonated. Spot on for the style.

Overall this is a good beer. It somewhat straddles the lines between American Stout and Robust Porter, but honestly should have been called a stout. Naming/marketing discrepancies aside, this is definitely a really nice beer. Highly recommend seeking it out if you're not afraid of stouts or robust porters.

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Shallow Grave from Heretic Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.