Dark Depths - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Dark DepthsDark Depths

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904 Ratings

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Ratings: 904
Reviews: 295
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 12.74%
Wants: 24
Gots: 44 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
Baltic Porter |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 01-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Combination between a Baltic Porter and an IPA.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 904 | Reviews: 295
Reviews by morningthief:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I love the hops and I love a good Baltic porter so I picked this up today to see how the two styles mesh.Poured into a 1/2 liter stein a deep dark roasted chesnut brown with some deep reddish hue,a huge fluffy tan colored crown that never really settles atop.Dark roast,molasses,and earthy hops in the nose,the hops are not in your face but are pretty "big".Heavy roast and molasses-like sweetness up front with a bit of coffee,the hops provide earthiness and leafy notes.Hmm I wanted to like this more than I did,I have had hopped up big porters,and American black ales but this is a little different.It's decent but not great although I applaud SA for giving it a try.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

In a pint glass this beer was a very dark brown with a thick tan head. There was abundant lacing.

A little light on the aroma. A bit of citrus and a bit of roasted malt.

Things came through more in the taste. Sweet chocolate, coffee. Some grapefruit.

The flavors all worked well together, making this nedium-bodied beer fun to drink.

Photo of warnerry
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear deep reddish-brown with almost two fingers of creamy tan head. Head has good retention leaves nice lacing.

S - Big chocolate aroma, somewhat herbal and a big dose of citrus hops. Some roasted malt as well.

T - taste is similarly chocolate forward, with a cocoa aspect as well. More roasted malts in the taste than the smell. Hops come in midway and bring orange seat bitterness through the finish. Pretty good, bit I was enjoying it more before the hops came in.

M - Medium mouthfeel starts with some creaminess, before turning bitter and dry.

O - Pretty good, but I think I would enjoy this more
than with a more subdued hop profile.

Photo of Beaver13
2.22/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours dark reddish brown with a medium light tan head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is strange - roasted malts and maybe some smokey, hoppy plastic and leather?

The flavor is sweet caramel malts with smokey roast that has decent resiny bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. It was too sweet with a lot of off notes that I couldn't quite identify.

Photo of Jason
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Very active carbonation, epic lacing, black, opaque

SMELL: Herbal, hop resin, faintly citric, coffee, sweetness, cocoa powder, dried plums, faint alcohol

TASTE: Very smooth, full bodied, roasty, very sweet, milk chocolate, burnt sugar, toffee, hop oil, hop bitterness, nougat, charred drying finish

Pretty good, seems a bit chaotic with sweetness, roasted flavors and hoppiness not meshing all of the way. Worth a try.

Photo of tigg924
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: chestnut brown in color, 1 inch head, clear, moderate carbonation

Smell: citrus hops and light baker's chocolate

Taste: baker's chocolate, some dark and milk chocolate, citrus hops especially towards the end.

Mouthfeel: medium-light bodied, moderate-high carbonation, sweet start that gets to be moderately bitter fairly quickly.

Overall: This strikes me as more of a sweet Black IPA than a Baltic Porter. I love the multiple layers of different chocolates in this one. I would pick this one up again if I was in the mood for a black ipa.

Photo of Mora2000
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a very dark brownish-red color with a tan head. The aroma is made up mainly of chocolate and roasted malt, with a little bit of pine thrown in from the hops. The flavor is similar. The pine from the hops adds a decent amount of bitterness, but there is also a chocolate and roasted malt backbone with a little bit of cream thrown in. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.12/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a Sam Adams Glass.

Appearance: Dark red carmel color, beige head of about three fingers that lasted a long time with heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smokey, hops, roasted malts?

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied, smoother that I thought it would be. Taste was a smoked flavor with bittersweet hops.

Overall: Not really my type of beer, surprised this was released with a summer IPA varity pack, I would think this was more of a fall/winter beer. Unfortunatly I did not enjoy this beer and will not buy it again.

Photo of bsp77
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Dimpled Mug.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown with thin light tan head.

Smell: Citrus and pine are most noticeable, over top of chocolate and a light roastiness. As with hoppy Imperial Stouts and strong Black Ales, the combination reminds me of roses and meat. Odd, but I have gotten used to it.

Taste: Tastes like a fruity, chocolatly, clean lager, but sabotaged with a buttload of citrusy and piney hops. The juxtaposition is great.

Feel: Definitely has the mouthfeel of a Baltic Porter (medium full body, moderate carbonation, smooth, clean), but with an unusually high level of dryness.

Overall: Fantastic clashing of styles that is way more adventurous than I expected of Sam Adams. Extremely impressed.

Photo of RTEdmunds
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with an extraordinarily large, billowy head. Thick head with good retention.

Deep roasted malt aromas with a bit of coffee in the background. Earthy and rich. Pretty nice.

Roasted flavors, big malt profile, and some coffee flavors again. Sweet as it warms up but pretty bitter initially.

Creamier body than I expected. Smooth and pretty drinkable. Alcohol content is masked.

This is not an amazing brew but certainly worth trying. Rich, pleasant, and roasty.

Photo of jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Depths opens with a hoppy nose, the aromas coming out somewhere between medium-light and medium in strength. Hops provide nice grapefruit and pine touches. Malts are also present in decent quantities, these bringing strong toffee and vanilla-based notes, mixed with toasted whole grain bread crust and floury baguettes. As a whole, the nose is intriguing, though I did want for a bit more punch and pizzazz.

On the tongue, the beer proves more flavorful and enticing than the nose hinted at, the malts coming across strong in waves of vanilla, caramel, and toast crust, with strong touches of fig and faint hints of tawny port. The hops are also much stronger here, bringing huge pink grapefruits that play oddly, but nicely off of the dark fruit esters, as well as pine sap. The beer does have a noticeable alcohol vapor lingering at the edges, which is strange considering the fairly light 7.6% ABV. Black pepper spices provide an interesting grounding. The hops become more present as the beer is held on the tongue and the sugars die off, and similarly dominate the aftertaste, joined by roasted pecans and subtle ashy tones. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good fare, though I don't find that it quite matches up with the other brews in this series. The flavors are quite nice, bold, and nuanced, but I simply wanted a bit more character and presence, especially from the hops.

Photo of joeworrall
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

interesting "small batch" brew from Sam Adams. It's labelled a Baltic Porter, but it's heavily hopped like an IPA with Zeus, Ahtanum, Saaz, Simcoe, East Kent Goldings & Topaz hops to go with Caramel & Munich Carafa malts.

The taste is almost toasty, and poured into a glass it's so dark you could mistake it for a stout rather than a porter.

Tonight I'm drinking it head-to-head with North Coast Old Rasputin Stout. both are good, and have a very "chewy" mouthfeel. Worth trying again, but perhaps against a less formidable opponent, I may like it better. Tonight, Old Rasputin is king.

Photo of MattyG85
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 650 ml bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown that is nearly black with a tint of ruby red. Lots of rising bubbles and a huge five finger light tan head that almost overflows and retains very well. Lots of lacing around the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of spicy, dank piney hops up front with some citrus grapefruit and oranges. Also some dark caramel malts with light hints of chocolate. The porter elements are pretty faint here as the hops dominate. Smells like an IPA that is slightly blackened.

Taste: Much as the smells leads. A fairly strong mix of spicy pine resiny hops and citrus hops. Hints of grapefruit and orange. Has a pretty substantial amount of caramel malts but not as dark and roasty as you would think. Hints of chocolate are pretty light. As an IPA it tastes pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, somewhat chewy, and finishes pretty dry.

Overall: A good tasting beer if you consider it more of a Black IPA than a Baltic Porter. Has a nice piney spice and good balance of malts.

Photo of far333
3.34/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Deep brown colored, nearly opaque, with ruby highlights. Frothy and firm oatmeal colored head full of dimples lingers a long while.

Low aroma of brown sugar and molasses, faint hop smells.

Malty flavor upfront, lots of molasses and crusty brown bread, some fennel seed, dark rich malt, roasty bitterness, faint hop flavors of grapefruit and pine, but an unpleasant metallic note lingers. Not enough hop aroma or flavor to say IPA on the label.

Rich and full mouthfeel, finishes a bit dry and tannic.

Overall, very average. High expectations not met.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this out, its dark, not heavy dark billion srm darkness and viscosity, but a dark brew over a relatively thinner body than most things this color, thin wisp of off white beige head on the top, around .33" in depth. Aroma, burnt roast, licorice, some bitter hop notes, toffee and chocolate malt (no chocolate itself).

Taste, plenty bitter, pretty heavy in that way in fact for a porter, but this calls itself a baltic ipa, which is different. Maybe because it doesn't have the thickness, they called it more of a porter. Relatively dry, a little anise residuals. A little more dark fruit figgy notes and aftertaste than I would hope for, the biggest complaint I have about baltic porters is all the dark fruit bitterness, or sometimes even sweetness. This being a SA beer, it doesn't go to hard at the edges, tries to be right around the middle, and for the most part, other than the higher than normal (way higher) hopping, it pretty much accomplishes what it set out to do. I think the roasted/burnt barley is the biggest signature on the beer.

The beer really runs across a lot of different style spectrums. Ultimately, this, like every other SA beer from this series, is interesting, decent, yet overpriced.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a weizen glass from a brown bottle

A - Dark brown with little light penetration with a 1.5 finger ecru head with excellent retention and good filmy lacing.

S - Dark chocolate, molasses, pine, citrus hops notes

T - Pretty sweet initially with roasted coffee, dark chocolate notes and a bit of caramel and molasses. Then moves into a more hoppy and bitter character with piney and citrus notes and a nice moderately bitter finish.

M - Medium-full body with moderate carbonation, chewy.

O - Very pleasant hybrid, would be a great fall/winter beer and excellent pairing with many savory foods.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark almost black color with a tan head forming thick, flowing above the rim of the glass. Aroma has herbal tea leaves, and other earth hop notes sticking out amongst the dark roasted malt layers. Even flavored dark roasted malt layers finishes dry with roasts, nothing offensive or too bitter especially for a "Baltic" IPA...pretty funny that they tried to relabel what the black IPA is called. A nice mix of chocolate and herbal hops makes up the flavor profile of this black IPA, pretty damn good nothing to gawk at for sure. Mouthfeel is medium bodied even carbonation flowing smooth, I'm really a fan of the style thus far in this beer at least. Overall keep drinking dark beers and occasionally blend your favorite porter with an IPA and you may get similar results.

Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Sam Adams "IPA Hop-ology" 12 pk dated best by Sept. 2012; bought and stored cold.

A: Pours clear but very dark brown. The medium size tan head looks quite dense Decent retention and great coverage of varying density on the glass. Great looking! 4.75

S: Primarily a piney hop aroma with a faint malt background. Hints of pepper and a spice mix I couldn't untangle. Fruity and flowery too. Unfortunately, the nose carries a bit of wet dog.

T: The flavor largely follows the aroma. There's plenty of piney hops, but way more tame and balanced than the aroma suggests. Some pepper and flowery notes. Odd impression of saltiness too.

M: Crisp; medium+ body; good medium+ carbonation but perhaps a tad too high.

O: My first Baltic IPA leaves the impression that SA has done a good job crafting a blend of two styles that really do not mesh nicely. Still, it is complex, unique and fun to drink. A rather balanced brew for an "IPA". I think I would prefer a hop mix that was more herbal/citrus and less piney.

Photo of OStrungT
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a reddish mohogany color, with a think and fluffy tan head. the head fades slowly, leaving a nice lacing.

This beer smells of sweet caramel malt. It is also sporting some toffee aroma. I get come citrusy and piney hop notes. A very mild chocolate aroma is also present.

This beer tastes like it smells. A nice mix of toffee, hops, and chocolate. It is pretty tastey.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. The alcohol content is well hidden in the taste and aroma. It leaves a slightly sweet aftertaste.

This beer might make a good session beer, but the 7.6% ABV might present a problem.

Overall: This beer is pretty good, and I am glad it came in the IPA pack so I could try it. I would probably buy a 6 pack of it.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a Nonic)
Batch #1
A- This beer pours a dense opaque black body with tiny bubbles trailing up the glass to a light tan creamy head with a second head of big bubbles

S- The green dark grassy aroma has some Noble hop aromas with it and a pine note in the finish.

T- The earthy pungent hops flavor has a slight juicy quality to it followed by a light smoky black roasted malt flavor and a softer black malt finish that doesn’t have any bitterness. The aftertaste is some black roasted malt with woody hops and some Noble hop characters mixed in aswell.

M- The creamy texture has a medium mouthfeel and a gentle fizz that compliments the beer nicely.

O- The nice blend leads heavy toward the hops with good depth and a very nice mellow dark roasted malt with no bitterness at all.

Photo of Brenden
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It looks really good, a deep dark brown that just lets some light in at the edges with a thick tan head about two fingers in height that leaves creamy lacing pretty thickly on the glass.
All's good in the aroma, offering up roasted malts with a woody charred edge, some sweetness and even a tinge of sugared raisin or plum mixed with a bit of floral and slightly citrusy hops notes.
The flavor essentially offers the same with a few of the elements amped up a bit; unfortunately, the most increased aspect is the char, which makes it a little too bitter and abrasive. It almost comes together, but not quite.
The feel is a little light and quite spritzy for a Baltic porter; a little depth and smoothness with an edge of the crispness and carbonation is needed for this beer.

Photo of rdilauro
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured like a slick jet black oil with little head. I was a bit puzzled, because I thought when we tasted this one, that the label said Baltic IPA. So when we poured it, again, I am thinking along the lines of other Black IPAs

There wasnt much of any distinguishable aromas here. The first sip was big and bold, lacking carbonation, hoppiness crispness.
I thought, "Strange for an IPA?" I looked at the back of the bottle and saw Porter there.

That explained the missing hop and bitter I was expecting. Still, this one was ok, nothing to really sing its praise, but also nothing to knock it down.

It just wasnt' to be likings. I love Porters and Stouts as a whole, but I will probably pass this one up

Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz squat bottle, another Whole Food Kahala procurement whilst in sunny, oh so sunny Honolulu.

This beer pours a clear, very dark cola hue, with three fingers of peppy foamy, bubbly beige head, which leaves a stellar honeycomb pattern of lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away. Purdy, indeed.

It smells of thin pine resin, some mild doughy yeast, slightly roasted caramel malt, and further softly spicy, earthy hops. The taste is bitter pine and citrus rind hops, sour, tangy, and somehow chocolaty toasted malt, some mild herbal tendencies, and a very subtle rising booze warming.

The bubbles are quite restrained, the body a pretty hefty medium weight, and smooth enough, if you're inclined to tolerate that tacky hop incursion. It finishes quite off-dry, the grainy malt showing some rather sweet backbone, amongst the roasted maltiness and lingering bitter hop melange.

A strange mixing of beer cultures, and given the result, a more or less successful one, if you're into this particular meshing of flavours - kind of an East Coast attempt at replicating the Cascadian Dark Ale. Once again, as in the war between the coasts for the IPA, the East loses, really for lack of a bracing hop effect - stylistically, of course.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep black with a one finger head upon pouring. Decent retention, leaving a very thin cap on top. Very nice lacing all around the glass, pretty thick.

S: A surprising amount of floral hops, some resin, a little bit of roasted malt, and coffee. As it warms a slight alcohol tinge comes forward.

T: Some cocoa, mild citrus and pine, more resiny hops and some roasted malt. Not really very hoppy though..nor is it full of dark malt and chocolate/coffee. Kind of confusing.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly chalky feel to it.

O: Not really sure what's going on with this beer. Not really very hoppy but it also isn't very malt. Expected it to be more like a black IPA, but it isn't.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oddly, has a 'Enjoy now or age it to further develop rich and unique flavors' note on the side of the bottle, but no bottled on date to give the drinker an idea of how old this might be.

Appearance - Pours deep brown with ruby edging where light can penetrate. Head is a light tan, 2 finger sud blanket with great retention. Thick layer of lacing coats the glass. This is an impressive looking beer.

Smell - Chocolate and black cherry, with touches of cola. Quite an inviting aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose to an extent. The chocolate notes from the carafa malt are most evident. Touches of roast give it a nice bit of bitterness to keep the chocolate from becoming cloying. Hits on low levels of cherry/fruit tartness after the roast dies down. Faint citrus notes mid-taste and into the finish. Faint coffee in the aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with soft, silky carbonation. Goes down with ease.

Overall - I didn't get much hoppiness from this brew; that I bought it at 'Close Out' pricing suggests this may have been sitting on the shelf for months on end. I can only guess the hops have broken down and are not the prominent force they may have been upon initial release. The suggestion to age an IPA, even a hybrid like this, seems misplaced. It stands to reason that a 'Baltic IPA' should be drank fresh to preserve the hoppy character. If aged, then does it not defeat the purpose of it being an IPA?

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Dark Depths from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.