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Dark Depths - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Dark DepthsDark Depths

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

839 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 839
Reviews: 290
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.43%

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:
Combination between a Baltic Porter and an IPA.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 01-09-2012)
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Ratings: 839 | Reviews: 290 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Reaper16


3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on-tap @ The Alcove, Tuscaloosa, AL into a tasting glass

Pours a dark brown color that you'd expect from a Baltic Porter(ish) beer. Plenty of creme head on here too. Lots of red highlights in the body when held up to light.

The aroma on this beer is wild. It's quite vegetal. My first impulse was to say "plant food," but then I thought "no, this smells like an actual plant." Then it hit me: aloe vera. This beer (on-tap anyway) smells distinctly like aloe vera. The hop profile in the nose is green and medicinal. The actual maltiness is masked by all these green aromas. Too fresh? Perhaps.

The backbone of the beer is immediately noticeable on the palate. There's some chalky, powdery cocoa flavors. Not as many dark fruits as I was expecting; actually, there really isn't any dark fruit to speak of here. There are, however, hops. The orange marmalade kind.

The mouthfeel is very smooth. Lager smooth, I suppose. I can't know for sure by just tasting it whether or not this beer ACTUALLY was fermented lager-style (like true Baltic Porters are), but I could see it. Overall, this is correctly labeled on the beer's packaging. On BA? I'd maybe list it as an American Black Ale. It has a lot more in common with Black IPAs than it does with Baltic Porters. Still, this is a fine effort. Perhaps the best entry in the Sam Adams limited-release line.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2012 06:03:29 | More by Reaper16
Photo of CHickman

New York

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from 4/6/2012, on tap at the Lark in East Northport, NY: pours pitch black color with brown around the edges as light shines through, leaving a 1 finger tan head that faded slowly and left decent spotty lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, cocoa powder, chocolate, burnt wood, light vanilla, floral hops, citrus and herbs; not a typical porter nose with nice IPA accents.

Tastes like it smells, with coffee, roasted malts, cocoa powder, peat moss, chocolate, burnt wood, light vanilla, floral hops, citrus hops, brown sugar, toasted nuts, and herbs or spices like pepper and coriander.

Mouthfeel is light, creamy and smooth, with mild carbonation, a medium body and a grainy smoky finish that was slightly bitter. ABV was completely hidden, making this seem lighter.

A very tasty porter overall that was smooth and had just enough hop bite and lightness to it to make it go down a lot easier and faster than most porters. A very nice new beer from Sam Adams that they should continue to brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2012 18:07:51 | More by CHickman
Photo of Gatch


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Papago Brewing in Scottsdale, AZ.

A: Deep, dark brown with blood red hues when held up to light. Fluffy, bubbly, light brown head with good retention leaving behind some solid lace.

S: Roasted malt with a piney, spicy hop backbone.

T: Nicely roasted malt with a good hop presence and a little spice in the finish. Some creamy lactose sugar in there as well. Charcoal and peat notes. Piney, dry, bitter American hops.

M: Smooth, easy drinking. Great roasted flavor on the palate.

O: Clean, crisp, and surprisingly refreshing. A unique style that brings together two great beers. The main characteristics of each style are retained which is a credit to SA. A fine beer that I would gladly drink again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2012 23:05:03 | More by Gatch
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The description sounded intriguing, and so... on tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a dark cola color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is OK, but really seems a bit dialed down, even for a baltic porter. In any event, I get some light coffee, chocolate and vanilla. It's attractive enough... I just wish there was a bit more to it. On the palate.... seriously SA, this is the best you can do with this style? I get some coffee grounds, vanilla and burnt toast, but it's on a fairly sweet frame that's just not working all that well for me. There's also a hint of alcoholic heat on the finish, which only further serves to detract from this beer's drinkability (thank God I only ordered a sample size pour). Mouthfeel is otherwise medium bodied to fairly full, with some coffee grounds and hoppy bitterness in the finish.

Mehhh... I give SA an A for effort, but this just isn't working for me.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2012 21:33:35 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of AtrumAnimus


4.58/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a delightfully dark color with with a rich tan head that is thick and settles slowly leaving a good amount of ,acing down the glass.

The nose is a rich spicy malt with a hint of the complexity in the hopping and that lager yeast and the roasted malt. The nose is complex and I really like it. The Boston Lager people outdid themselves on the nose.

The taste is rather pleasant and very complex. The malt is dominant and the flavor has spicy notes that match the nose. and is rather effervescent on the palate. There is a very distinctive hop finish that is pleasant as well. If I had to describe this beer in one word it would be balance. The complexity of the yeast, hops and malt are all very well balanced and pretty damn good. The 7.6% alcohol is there but doesn't detract from the flavor at all.

The mouthfell is a little bit more watery than I expected based on the visual inspection but is more than made up for with the complex and enjoyable flavors.

Overall I would rate this is a heavier darker beer that would be easy to enjoy on a summer day when I typically avoid these types of beers. The lighter mouthfeel combined with the rich nose, rich flavor make it a very versatile beer that is extremely enjoyable.

This one goes on my buy list.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 00:30:23 | More by AtrumAnimus
Photo of Gr8-Nate

New Mexico

4.01/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a chilled mug, like my beer a little colder than usual, but then drink it slowly until it ups to like 60 degrees.
Smells of dark chocolate, caramel and some faint strawberries.
Looks dark and murky, just like the name of the beer, looks like a stout.
Great head of super condensed foam, barely any coca cola bubbles, creamy, dissipated a little early, but probably because the beer has great carbonation like all of Sam's beers. Good lacing.
Wow, great presence of rich malty chocolate malts, caramel, with a nice kicker of floral hops, and lime resin... got to really love the flavor full hops that coat your tongue afterwards. Alcohol is present but not to heavy.
Great carbonation, good bubble show, I have noticed Sam Adams is great for that.
Chewy oily mouth feel in a good way.
Great beer, gives a pinch than a punch to any good stout, malty punch(bold), and hop punch(bold)...
Would like another one soon.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 05:28:06 | More by Gr8-Nate
Photo of matjack85


3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I found this single 1 pint 6 oz bottle at the Binhny's store in Bloomingdale, IL for $5.99. When I saw it was a cross between a baltic porter and an IPA I had to try it, although I remain skeptical that these two styles make a good marriage.

Be careful with the pour. Even with a slow pour and a tilted glass, the head rises fast and fills over half the glass with beige colored foam. It takes about 3 mioutes for the head to subside, leaving behind a ton of nice lacing.

Very malty aroma along with touches of cocoa powder, plums, pine, and grapefruit hops.

It has both a caramel and bready malt sweetness to it along with some dark fruit flavors. Hop bitterness is mild despite the 55 IBU rating, but the hops do give it an herbal, pine, and grapefruit flavor. There is also a trace of cocoa powder in the finish.

Medium body with low to moderate carbonation.

It's an interesting experiment, but I still think I prefer my porters to be porters and my IPA's to be IPA's. It's drinkable, but it's not going to be one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 09:28:22 | More by matjack85
Photo of Ozzylizard


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No date bottle but 'Batch 1", cellared in a bottle shop's reefer, 40-42 degrees, into a goblet.
Aroma figgy
Head small (1.5 cm), light brown, creamy, mostly diminishing
Fair rings of lacing
Body dark brown
Begins moderately sweet with a fig/date flavor - no diacetyl, no hops, no maltiness
Ends the same.
Body is medium to full with a creamy texture and lively carbonation.

Actually better flavor than I remember from the first time I tried it a couple of years ago - don't recall the figginess.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2014 13:21:57 | More by Ozzylizard
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Moderate depth to the creamy finger plus head, deep tan color with very good retention, same thing with the lacing, broad streaks which stick around for some time. The liquid is a murky muddy brown with orange rust tones and it lightens around the edges, tiny bubbles form active beads. The nose is sweetly roasted featuring chocolate, caramel, butterscotch and licorice, some plum, black grape and cherry fruit scents, not devoid of hoppiness but not that green, some straw or hay, floral but wish it had more leafiness, ends with an uptick in smoky tar, alcohol is present. Full-bodied and somewhat foursquare in the mouth with less carbonation than needed for its density. Again plays up the cocoa, mocha, caramel, cola and creamed coffee aspects, here balanced out by a metallic earthiness. More breadiness and yeast, mild dose of esters. The florality gets muted, same for the dark fruits albeit there’s some prune in there. Opens and unclenches a touch through the finish as orange citrus and hops cleanse some. It is boozy but not unbalanced, little about it conveys a sense of an IPA, but drinkable for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2013 23:52:37 | More by farrago
Photo of joeworrall


3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2013 03:54:14 | More by joeworrall
Photo of rx-beer

Puerto Rico

3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black, that doesn't let any light through except for some ruby streaks near the edges. About an inch of tan head fades to a thin ribbon and leaves behind thin, clingy lacing. Nose has notes of caramel and malt, a touch of hops, and lightly smokey. Taste is a cross between a porter and a light pale ale: hops are present from the get go but not overpowering; notes of malty caramel and toffee; Smokey and toasty. Feels silky smooth with full body. Lightly astringent. Very light carbonation. Dry finish.

I'm not big on IPA's and PA's but I really dig this beer. Very well balanced flavor with a beautiful color. Would definitely have another if I ever get my hands on it again.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 04:54:36 | More by rx-beer
Photo of Flounder57


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer and left nice lacing on the glass. It is a pitch black color with some clarity when held up to light and bubbles can be vividly seen coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Citrus, mocha, burnt molasses, sourness, yeasty, alcohol, cola, and toasted malts.

Taste: Same as above, but the traditional flavors I was expecting from the scent. You can notice molasses, smokey flavors, and dark fruits along with everything else mentioned above. I am starting to pick up citrus hops more and more with every taste. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, a little booze, and a little sourness.

Overall: Pretty much a citrusy Baltic porter. I nice mix of two styles of beer. Balanced, hoppy, and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2013 06:32:35 | More by Flounder57
Photo of cyclonece09


3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a blackish red with a nice off white head. Smells of floral and citrus hops with a little maltiness. Tastes of slight coffee and chocolate and nice earthy hops. Beer is carbonated good for medium/heavy body and goes down smooth. Overall a pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2013 19:34:56 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of TheSixthRing


3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
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?

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 01:26:11 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of vette2006c5r


3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark Depths pours a very dark almost black hue with a small long lasting and lacing head. There is a roasted aroma with blackened hops finishing off. The taste has an almost sour boozy porter taste, with a small kick of blackened hops, lots of biscuit flavors, and overall tastes almost burnt. Full flavors, but an odd combo, not the most drinkable. Overall its like a burnt hoppy boozy porter, interesting, but its just a rather okay beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2013 01:20:30 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of Walletsworth

North Dakota

3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a nice dark brown color and pours with a finger of head with great lacing. Has a chocolate smell with a hint of hoppiness. Tastes smooth. Not much bitterness at all. Wish it had a little more hop in the taste. All that comes through is the chocolate.

Overall it was a nice beer. Probably wouldn't buy again but I'm glad I tried it at least.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 00:40:55 | More by Walletsworth
Photo of Hoptopher


3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The appearance of this beer is great. Very dark with some red hues. Beautiful tan two finger head that held up well. When it dropped it left a nice lace on top and on the glass.
Smell is good, malty goodness up front that smells sweet with a hint of chocolate. Some fruitiness in there, I detect plum. Slight earthy hop smell.
Taste overpowered with sweet maltiness, not the hop presence I hoped for but a good taste nonetheless.
This is an overall good beer. I don't have any experience with Baltic ales put I am sure I'll pick this one up again this winter.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 20:43:02 | More by Hoptopher
Photo of mitch3114

New York

3.49/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into two pint glasses and shared with a friend

A- Beautiful, thick creamy, fluffy off-white, uneven head, a little sticky. Very dark ale. Almost black, but with a slight reddish hue, looking thinner than a stout, like cola but with much less carbonation. Cool label art!

S- Smell was unexpected, very fragrant, slight pine, fruity, mandarin orange, a slight dark roasty smell, maybe a hint of chocolate.

T- Not quite as good as the smell, similar but subdued. More roasted flavor than the smell. Tasted like a lighter body IPA like Sam's Whitewater IPA poured into a porter. Interesting. The hop presence was just about right for what I was hoping/expecting. The hops weren't really bitter (although who knows how long it was sitting on the shelf), just citrusy and really tasty. This combination of flavors melded very well.

M- The mouthfeel was a bit on the lighter side. This didn't drink like a black IPA, more like a porter. There was decent carbonation which to me black IPA's typically lack. It was surprisingly refreshing on the hot summer night.

O- Overall, this was a decent offering from Sam Adam's. It had a nice fluffy head and it was a tasty aromatic brew that went down pretty nicely. I am glad they kept this one under 8% as many of their beers in their specialty line-up seem to be very high in ABV. I think it was just right.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 14:30:11 | More by mitch3114
Photo of IchLiebeBier


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Medium dark chestnut; huge frothy tan head, long lasting; good lacing

Aroma: Caramel; roasted grains; dried fruit; smells great; slightly smoky

Taste: Initial hit of roasted grains and hop bitterness; malty and juicy too; slightly bitter in the mid, but well balanced with sweetness; finishes semi-sweet with warming alcohol notes; yum

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 12:19:22 | More by IchLiebeBier
Photo of Curtis


3.99/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great job blending sweet malt and ipa. Mouthfeel is somewhere in the middle of both styles. Malt flavor is wonderful.. could have used a bit more aroma. This one will be even better in the fall/winter but quite good on summer nights. Overall a very good beer.. almost like a hoppier version ofanderson valley's boont amber....

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2013 05:50:55 | More by Curtis
Photo of tjsdomer2


3.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This is a tough one. As an IPA, it is extremely unique in color. But let's be real...this is really more of a light porter. I'm going to split the difference on this one.

Smell: Some coffee and pine. Refreshing, but too subdued.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Subtle coffee with a pine finish. Similarly to the smell, it's too subdued, but I enjoy how unique it is for an IPA. Clean coffee mouthfeel with a lager finish. Definitely my favorite part of this beer.

Overall Drinkability: One of the better coffee IPAs...actually it's probably the only one.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2013 00:42:32 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of AgentMunky


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A: Four fingers of head rise and fall quickly. The beer is dark and near black.

S: It smells great!! Fruity, round, and pleasant. Chocolate, papaya, and musty old ale style yeast.

T: Delicious! Light roast, light body, heavy dark fruit (currants, blueberries, blackberries). Quite sweet. The aftertaste is a little weird. Lager yeast is...sourish? Maybe this is the citric hops (Zeus and Simcoe), actually. Odd.

M: Light and smooth.

O: This was really interesting! Worthwhile. My biggest criticism is that is gets less good the more I drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 04:16:12 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of yesyouam

New York

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Dark Depths is a very dark, reddish brown beer with a thick, lumpy, beige head that decorates the glass with lacing. It smells dark, roasty and kind of smokey. There's a lighter, semi-sweet malt aroma that almost smells like sorghum. There may be a hint of lemon peel. It's smooth, soft and pretty full bodied. It has a pretty neat finish and leaves the teeth a little gritty. It's a bit sweet, but less so than I'd expect from a Baltic porter. The bitterness balances it out well and hints at grass, wood and fruit. There are notes of prunes and coffee. There are a quite a few flavors going on. I'm a fan of both Baltic porters and IPAs, but this is a very strange mash up. That said, they pulled this off better than I would have imagined possible.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 02:04:20 | More by yesyouam
Photo of rhoadsrage


4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 16:37:14 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of SportsandJorts


3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: a deep brown almost black. near opaque but lets a little light through. Three fingers of a foamy head that leaves a lacing behind.

Smell: citrusy hops along with roasted malts. smells good and fairly balanced

Taste: my first sip was good. but after that it started to fall apart. the roasted malts and citrus don't get along all to well. it seems balanced but as you get the taste built up in your mouth it kinda collides in a bad way.

Mouthfeel: it feels pretty creamy, which i like, but the bitterness lingers and eventually a dryness arrives and just leaves a bad taste

Overall: i definitely like the idea and know that it is doable, but this one falls apart. maybe its the hop choice maybe not.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2013 14:48:38 | More by SportsandJorts
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Dark Depths from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 839 ratings.