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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 UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Golden State Cafe in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours an opaque black with a dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, cocoa, and slight coffee bean aromas. Taste is the same with a mild roasty bitterness with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but it smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

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Photo of mactrail
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thoroughly black in the tall glass with a nice beige head rising high. Not too much aroma, just a note of dark malt. Pleasant mouthful of suds. Strikes the balance between sweet and dry. Fairly malty with more of a medium body. So dark, but the charred flavor seems to have been kept at a minimum. Just a hint of burnt raisin toast. A little bit woody, a touch of nut shells. Modest hops with a slight bitter aftertaste.

Nothing really stands out with this, but it's a very drinkable and pleasant Porter. 22 oz bottle from Olive Tree Market in San Diego.

12-08-2013 Update: Tried a bottle of this I had in the cool basement. Not very impressive. I poured the rest of it in the skillet with the chicken and apple sausage. Label says Bottled 10.29.12

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks nice. Tastes pretty darn good too. Smooth profile with nice thick malty tones and a smooth almost cookie dough kind of thing? (Almost, I say.) Just has a nice smooth character too it, and it's consistent. I like it. Way smooth, and extremely easy to drink. My first beer from Heretic, and I'm definitely impressed.

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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 Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nearly light proof dark brown colored beer with a small tan head that doesn't last.

Very aromatic beer. Sweet with a strong chocolate and burned Starbucks coffee scent. Little bit of toasted bread and vanilla scent. No real hop scent.

Starts out sweet with a strong patent malt taste and a strong bitter finish. Sweeter than average almost like a Milk Stout. Chocolate, vanilla and caramel are the strongest flavors. Tasty and well rounded.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Overall a super easy drinking Porter. Might be on the sweet side for some, if you like Milk Stout you will like this.

From the makers website:
abv: 7%
ibu: 33
srm: 33

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber purchased from Slowbeer in Melbourne.

Pours a dark, but relatively fluid black colour, with a fine ring of beige-foam around the edges. Spotty, patchy lace forms erratically. Body looks really quite light, and the carbonation, while fine, runs through it pretty quickly. Looks ok, if not spectacular.

Nose is pleasantly deep and dark, without being too sharp, smoky or ashy. Roasted notes, some chocolate, a bit of turned earth, tobacco and coconut. It's all pretty smooth, and while not aggressive, it's quite full-flavoured. Nice stuff.

The body is very light—it's the first thing I notice when I take a sip—meaning that although the flavours are pleasant, they feel a bit weak and thin. There's more of that nice chocolate and mildly roasted grain character, a hint of something vegetative and supple, and a slight coffee note on the finish. But for 7% ABV, I'm surprised at how dry and thin it feels. It really needs more.

It's a shame, more than anything, because in many ways this is a very nice beer. It has some pleasant, well-integrated flavours and subtle complexities, but it feels like it dropped the ball overall. It should be better.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 picked up today at the COOP... prepping stuff for dinner tomorrow... poured into my Cigar City snifter.... good dark tan head.... the brew is dark brown but still has great clarity. drapes of lace as the brew drops...

Wow.. the nose on this one is fantastic .. it just smells "brown" ... chocolate ... brownie batter ... deep caramel essence ... great malt profile without too much hop presence messing up a good thing.

Flavor begins with a nice dark malt bite.. chocolate/carob... lite coffee and roasty malt.. a bit of malt sweetness makes the roast components linger for a bit.. long lasting finish.. almost like a liqueur..

Body is medium and nicely coating.. sorta lighter carbonation lends to a higher drinkability with the overall brew... I dig this one for sure.


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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 dgilks
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque dark brown colour with no head. The head is a disappointment but the rest is good.

Roasty and clean with a clear coffee and roast malt note. Some earthiness. A classically English robust porter.

Roasty, earthy and dry with some maltiness on the palate and a nice chocolate undertone. Hints of fruit. Very good.

A medium body works well with moderate carbonation. A truly good beer without being exciting.

A nice enough porter. While I expected more from Jamil it is good and would hit a lot of the requirements to be called 'to style'.

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Photo of claspada
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black espresso color with no escaping light. Light brown soapy head that slowly recedes leaving some spotty lacing.

Aromas begin with typical standard for a porter. Light roasted espresso beans, milk and dark chocolate. Darker sweet toffee and caramelized malt aromas emerge as it warms. Much less roasty than your average porter, which I like.

The tastes directly follow the nose with lightly roasted coffee, dark and milk chocolate as well. The toffee, toasted bread and sweeter dark caramels become more dominant as it warms and overtake the roasted flavors. I really like this beer and it's perfectly balanced flavor profile.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish in somewhere between dry and semi-sweet. Perfect once again. ABV is no where to be found; drinks like a session porter but with much more flavor.

Overall, this was the third beer from Jamil and Heretic Brewing and all have been super. Really great porter, maybe one of the best I have ever had; up there with Fullers and Deschutes which is special company. Nothing mind-blowing, just super super solid. Recommended especially for the low price point.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Beer Deluxe.

A - Poured black with slight red edges. A bit of carbonation coming up the sides. Three finger brown, creamy head. A few spatterings of lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Chocolate and roast.

T - More of the same with a bit of coffee roast.

M - Mild carbonation, medium to full body and a sweet then dry finish.

O/D - Well within the style guidelines, just not really pushing the boundaries. Everything is done well and it's enjoyable.

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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 woosterbill
3.67/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Thanks, Matt, for sharing!

A: Black body, clear persimmon highlights. One finger of fine tan head. Mediocre retention, plenty of lace. Nice.

S: Vanilla, rotten fruit (in an OK way, I swear), chocolate, and light smoke. Interesting, and enjoyable.

T: Coffee, chocolate, char, and fruit. Dry, roasty finish. Still a little overripe tasting with the fruit, but pretty good.

M: Fairly light body, creamy carbonation. Nice.

O: While the fruitiness was a little off-putting, it also set this one apart from your normal Porter. Enjoyable beer, and well worth a try.


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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 ADZA
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours the darkest kola hue which leaves a mocha laced two finger head and nice lacing here and there,the smell is roasted dark malts,chocolate fudge,herbal earthy hops and milky coffee,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and velvety smooth with tastes of dark belgian chocolate,roasty dark malts,caramel fudge,earthy herbal hops and finished just like a nice bittersweet milky coffee and overall its a nice porter with a beautiful creamy feel and definately one of the better porters that ive tasted lately and would buy again cheers.

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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 srandycarter
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Almost black, brown. Tan head, fast to ring. Lots of cling.

S - Cocoa, choc chip cookies, very pleasant.

T - Not so nice. Astringent, harsh, no sweetness. Dry as all get out.

M - Good carb, medium body, balance is hard when it's so one sided.

D - Liked it up to smell!

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy chocolate head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lace.

S - Aroma is full of deep roasted chocolate malts with some coffee some sweet caramel and a touch of lactose sweetness.

T - Starts off with some rich roasted dark chocolate malts with some coffee and a bit of earthy hop. Through the middle some sweet caramel and a bit of hop bitterness and chocolate bitterness. The finish is a mix of roasted chocolate with a touch of sweetness and some coffee.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a sweet and roasty finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nicely balanced Porter. The chocolate and coffee flavors are near perfect and the touch of hop flavor is really 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 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 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 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 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 jmarsh123
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours black with a thin off white head that fades immediately with minimal lacing.

A little bit of chocolate and some roasted malt, but really struggling to find any substantial aroma to this.

Flavor is similar. A little chocolate and roasted malt. Not overly flavorful. Just a standard porter.

Thin for the style. I'd prefer a bit more creaminess. A tad too much carbonation as well.

I thought this one was pretty bland. There are no huge off flavors, but it kind of lacks flavor in general.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled May 12, From Jims.

Pours a two finger tan head over black body. Head lasts a while but not over long.

Aromas on the money. Dark and rich, choc and coffee over a subtle smoke element. Little wood.

Taste is more sessionable and light than the ABV and smell would suggest. More smoke on palate and cigarbox than the smell would suggest, add in chocoalte notes. Roast malts are quite smooth.

Mouthfeel a little light.

Very well made beer, just not massive - as such may not suit diehards.

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