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Shallow Grave - Heretic Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Shallow GraveShallow Grave

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

54 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 238
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 20.51%
Wants: 21
Gots: 36 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 238
Photo of SHODriver
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured into a nonic pint to a deep black with ruby edges and a small tan head with decent retention
S: smells of coffee and chocolate with a bit of bitter hops and a touch of roasted barley
T: roasty and chocolatey with some coffee flavors a bit of caramel sweetness as well through the middle but the roast and chocolate battle it back. swallow is coffee and a bit of bittering hops with a touch of chocolate
M: smooth body and a medium amount of heft on the palate. it feels a little thick for a porter. good carb as well
O: pretty impressive. it's a well made beer and it tastes good. it's a little heavy but it makes up for it with flavor and the carbonation helps keep it from being too big. It's a solid beer and I look forward to trying some other stuff from Heretic Brewing.

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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 hopsolutely
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at an odd SF Irish-curry house that I'm both surprised and grateful to have stopped at.. . a remarkable local imperial stout.

Pours a near-black with decent head & lacing, although thinner (less creamy) mouthfeel than I’d expected from the robust aroma and taste. Aroma of roasted chocolate malts with coffee and caramel tones. Remarkably well balanced taste hides the 7% ABV very (frighteningly) well. Roasted malt sweetness with a hop backbone that carries the dry finish nicely.

A well brewed beer that I would definitely seek out again.

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Photo of JesseLara
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured solid black, loved the color as it filled the glass.

Damn tasty porter. A bit more burned taste than others, and me likey.

Expected sweeter, surprised it was slightly bitter instead. Interesting.

No head when poured from tap, somewhat disappointing.

Good lacing on the way down throughout the pint.

Smelled like someone was toasting some dark chocolate, mocha laced, coffee beans.

Could see having this again, and may do so right now.

I hit the Hofbräu tonight knowing Heretic brewing was on tap for pint night. I've had the Evil Twin before and enjoyed it so I was hoping I was in for more of the same, and I was not disappointed.

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

With aromas of coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate, this ale pours from the bottle with much promise. The body of the beer is dark brown/black and the tan head of foam maintains its presence for some time, leaving a good deal of lacing as you consume.

Heretic Shallow Grave Porter is a full bodied beer with a taste that combines coffee, chocolate, and roasted malt- exactly as expected based on the aroma. Digging deeper, there are some other flavors such as caramel, some milk, and some toasted notes. The beer finishes bitter, with the taste of bittersweet chocolate and hops.

This is a very tasty porter, but potential consumers must remember that the overall flavor profile leans toward the bitter side and this bitter finish could prove to be a turnoff for some- at least those who prefer their porter taste a little sweeter. I still find this a good porter overall, but even I admit this is not the type of beer I could consume on a regular basis. It is not a session beer by any stretch, but it is still flavorful and interesting enough to consider a drink or two when the urge for a bitter, robust porter strikes.

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Photo of stlunatic15
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Black & thick (that's what she said). Hardly any head or foam. Lacing falls along down the pint glass.

S - Difficult to tell since I have a stuffy nose at the moment, but I can contract some mocha (which I fucking love).

T - Spicy! Little kick of heat in the end there. Still maintains its standard Porter profile of coffee/chocolate/spice. However, it really tastes like a Chipotle porter. Reminds me of Mikkeller's, but not as smokey.

M - A bit different from the typical porters. A slight burn sensation occurs in the back of the throat as you're swallowing (not a negative aspect, though). I also noticed that it's not as thick or viscous as other porters. I'm actually diggin' the mouthfeel on this one - it's interesting.

O - Not as chocolate/coffee forward compared to most porters, but this is still a damn good one.

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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 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 JustinQ
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type: 22 oz bottle Poured into Imperial Pint.

Appearence: Opaque, No red hue even in the right light, though it may be my lighting. Tan, maybe even brown colored head.

Smell: Chocolate, Roast, sweetness, almost like hot cocoa aroma. No hops no Diacetyl.

Taste: Chocolatey Roast flavor, Classic Porter beer with a fruity sort of twist to it. In my opinion the fruitinss comes from a yeast character.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy then dry in the end. Perfect for a late night relaxing.

Overall: Great beer. I am amazed. This is really a great beer. Good job to Jamil and all the folks at Heretic

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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 Falcon91Wolvrn03
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – A super dark brown beer, with a good tan head and nice lacing.

Smell – The smell wasn’t very strong; roasted malt and a little chocolate.

Taste – A very classic porter. Roasted malts with a little extra sweetness that makes it above average.

Mouthfeel – Medium body, lightly creamy, good carbonation for the style.

Drinkability – This is an easy drinking porter. It’s above average, but I didn’t find anything exceptional.

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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 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 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 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 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 shleepy
3.2/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Gourmet Haus Staudt in Redwood City on 3/8/2012.

A: Dark brown. Small, off-white head.

S: Chocolate, faint toastiness.

T: Roasty chocolate milk. That about sums it up.

M: Medium to heavy body. Not as velvety smooth as some better porters/stouts (even something like Velvet Merlin).

O: OK for the style (I don't remember ever having an awful porter, though), but nothing too interesting.

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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 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 DocJitsu
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear reddish-black with a root beer head. Poor head retention. Dark chocolate and sorghum bouquet. Dry dark chocolate flavor that yields to a bitter coffee finish. It was strongly recommended that I have this beer. He must've been drunk. Heretic's Evil Cousin and Evil Twin are both far more interesting.

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Photo of Philousa
2.38/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours an inky black with a half finger tan head. Chocolatey, roasty, and sweet aromas. Some phenolic plastic characteristics. I get some fresh coffee as it warms up. Dark chocolate hits the tongue first. Thick caramel flavor turns to bitter chocolate and coffee. Phenol is not as pronounced in the taste, but still there. Good mouthfeel, quite creamy. Balanced, drinkable.

Just not very impressed. Obviously the plastic aroma isn't appetizing and it stuck with me throughout, even though it wasn't that pronounced. Hopefully I got a bad bottle, because the other reviews show this can be a great beer.

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Photo of Srsly
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Verdugo Bar

S - very roasty, lots of coffee notes along with dark chocolate and some sweeter malts underneath.

T - starts well, with coffee and chocolate in the primary positions, as in the nose. A nice example of the style until...

M - Wham! I got hit with a fatty bitter finish that totally caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting it and honestly it felt pretty harsh.

O - I liked the flavor profile and the smell, I would even say they were above average for the style. However, that bitter finish hurt my enjoyment of the beer. I'm even more surprised at how intensely bitter it tasted because I see on their website that it's only supposed to be 33 IBU. Interesting.

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Photo of Merkur
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Stone Brewery Bistro as one of their guest taps.

Beer pours a nice rich, dark brown color. Beer laces the glass all the way down. Very nice.

The beer smells of nice, roasty dark chocolate.

The beer tastes the same as it smells. Very robust and flavorful with a great roasty flavor throughout.

The feel was fairly thick, but not too much so.

Overall, a very nice flavorful porter.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed this beer at Healthy Spirits earlier tonight and was anxious to crack it open. I'm a long time listener to Jamil Z's Brewing Network-aired shows and am stoked he finally opened up his own brewery.

Pouring this one into a 3 floyds pint glass. Very dark brown with a medium tan head, good formation and retention. Attractive lacing clinging to the glass.

Nose at first, is spot on for a robust porter with dark chocolate and prominent roasted maltiness. Smoky, earthy, hints of caramel. French pressed coffee.

Roasted malts lurch forward again here on the palette. Brewed coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Bitterness is moderate/moderately high although the hop flavors are modest, making sure the robust malt profile takes center stage. Just enough hint of malt sweetness to keep this from being over-the-top roasty. Slight burnt flavor. Dry finish.

Medium-full in body with a hefty thickness you might expect from a beer this dark and roasty. Carbonation is sufficient for the style and in concert with the rest of the character.

Russian River Brewing has made my favorite robust porter ever since I first sampled it over 3 years ago. And now sitting here with my 3/4 full pint glass of Heretic Shallow Grave, I'd have to say it's going to be a photo finish on which of the two I prefer. Absolutely delicious. Job well done Jamil & Co!

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

I dug myself a shallow grave with a nonic pint.

Appearance- The body is as dark brown as dark brown can get before being called "black". Of course, the body is completely opaque. The brown sugar foam is incredibly dense and the lid is very smooth. It grew to almost two-fingers, and has retained it's mass well.

The beer also produces a good amount of sheet lacing with each drink.

Smell- Well that is something special! A good amount of milk chocolate and only a little roast. Even a little bit of tart and dark fruit is showing, kind of smells like figs.

Taste- Whoo! That is very roasty! It is almost overwhelming on the first couple of sips. Then a very great thing happens, cocoa powder and a slight piney, hop bitterness begin to cover the palate.

The finish is long and has a ton of that roasted malt and only a slight bitterness. Some big flavors in this one!

Mouth feel- This is fantastically creamy with very good coating. Chewy certainly applies to the viscous feel of this beer. For such big roastiness, it finishes so easy.

Overall- This porter has a nose that promises a slightly sweeter palate. However, it surprises with huge roastiness and sublime cocoa flavors. The hop bitterness is a nice touch and not over done.

This is a great porter that I would gladly have again.

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Shallow Grave from Heretic Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.