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Dark Depths - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Dark DepthsDark Depths

Educational use only; do not reuse.

898 Ratings

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Ratings: 898
Reviews: 292
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: 898 | Reviews: 292
Photo of zeff80
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a two-finger, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled roasty and malty with a touch of pine.

T - It tasted roasty and of bitter piney hops. There was a touch of booziness and some sweet toffee.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a nice Baltic Porter. I've had better, but this is pretty tasty.

Photo of schoon
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of RyanGoodman
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of TechTriumph
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes on 03/15/12:
No freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - One inch off-white creamy and slightly billowy head with nice retention; Approaching black in color with just a bit of garnet light coming through; Impressive layers of lacing left behind

S - Really nice blend of aromas here that I wish came across a bit stronger; Notes of spicy, orange, and just a bit of piney hops, along with cinnamon, caramel, chocolate, and woody/earthy characteristics

T - Pretty mild bitterness for the first half of the taste; Good showing of hops here with mostly herbal and spicy varieties, with a lesser dose of pine and citrus; Caramel, chocolate, floral/anise, dark fruit, and earthy flavors are noticeable, but play more as a sidekick to the hops; Faint smoky flavor comes through as well; As the beer warms, hop flavors begin to subside, allowing other flavors to shine/stand out more

M - Low amount of carbonation; Between medium and full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel; Somewhat dry in the finish that leaves a syrupy coat on the tongue

O - I was really looking forward to trying this beer as I have found an interest in the hopped up black ales and porters that have started to appear recently. I think Sam Adams did a pretty nice job on this one and managed to create a good blend of porter and IPA qualities that enhance one another. Overall, this brew is one of the Small Batch Series offerings that I enjoyed the most, and I look forward to having it again when the IPA Hop-ology variety pack comes out.

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 TheBishopco
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of KTCamm
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark black with some light showing areas of brown. 2 full inches light brown foam, which fills and sits. Puffy and persistent. Smell has notes of pine, roasting, grass, citrus. Loads of lacing. Taste is full of flavorful chocolatey malt/citrus hop, yet lighter bodied and refreshing. Clean finish. Really interesting blend and flavor combination.

Everything here works for me here - solid!

Photo of twelveinches
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours black with a one finger tan head. When held up to light, cherry red tones fade through. Nice.

S- mild hoppy aroma, kind of sweet. Meh.

T- a little roasty, a little sweet....not much of a hop flavor there though

M- medium bodied. It's fine

O- not really crazy about this, but it's not bad

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

Batch 1

Poured a very dark brown that is non-translucent and appears to be totally filtered. Poured a robust, tightly laced, mocha cream colored head that reduced to a thin layer on top. First smells are of a dark, undiscnerable citrus with full fledged malts. The malts are definite prevalent over the hops. Tastes of roast, caramel, and sweetened coffee overwhelm. It is very crisp and doesn't have much bitterness to it. Extremely smooth. The 7.6% abv seems about right. Very drinkable. Great porter.


Photo of tlazaroff
4.5/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First impressions of the aroma were pine, but after a few sniffs it transforms into big papaya, lime, and mango. It also has an interesting burnt brown sugar component to back-up the perceived sweetness from the hops. Wonderful scent and I am thoroughly surprised here!

Aesthetically, the beer looks amazing. It is a deep, dark ruby color, but looks black until held to light. The tan head is a somewhat frothy and soapy mix which dissipates quickly but leaves brilliant lacing.

Firm bitterness up front, but it balances perfectly against the molasses-like malt quality. The aromas carry through on to the taste of this one with an extra little bit of roast that I couldn't smell.

Moderate carbonation and medium body with a balanced finish leading on the dry side slightly. The price is right on for this beer, and it is extremely (dangerously) drinkable for 7+%. Sam Adams pulled out all the stops here, and it doesn't disappoint. I'd buy this by the case.

Photo of puboflyons
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Batch Number 1. Sampled on March 15, 2012. It poured dark brown with a reddish hue and a tremendous mocha head that lingered for quite some time. Loads of lacing and agitated carbonation. The aroma explodes with dark malts with a moderate but clean hoppy character. Neither aroma overpowers the other but they also set themselves apart individually. The body is medium to bold. The taste begins with dark malts but ends bitterly hopped and acidic. The bite at the tail end lingers. I would say that Samuel Adams got this one right.

Photo of electtodefer
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of beergoot
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Dark ruby-red, mahogany body, excellent clarity. Good, two-finger thick light tan head. Good lacing...

Sweet spice, melon, lightly roasted malts in the aroma.

Taste is one weird mix of tannins, hints of burnt toast, nearly imperceptible chocolate notes, with a strange, over-the-top sweetness that is immediately followed by a harsh, almost phenolic bitterness. There's also a faint sense of grapefruit or orange juice in there, too...

Very soft and light mouthfeel; weak and watery, with overly-soft carbonation.

This is one weird beer. Looks and aroma promise some interesting things, yet the taste and mouthfeel is a jumble of conflicting, unbalanced flavors and textures. Between being billed as a Baltic IPA on the bottle, fermented with a lager yeast, and as a Baltic Porter (currently) in its BA category - this is a beer that doesn't have any apparent direction (not that off-the-wall combinations can't produce great new beer styles) and certainly comes across as a scrambled mess. No easily identifiable IPA characteristics, very little porter-like properties - lives up to neither label on the bottle. Forgettable and one I'll probably never go back to...Great for its looks, lousy in its taste...

Photo of Mitchster
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$5.99 for a 1pint 6fl oz bottle @ Bevco. Brewed with Two-row Harrington, Metcalf, Caramel 60, Munich, Carafa I. Hopped with Zeus, Ahtanum, Saaz, East Kent Goldings, Topaz, and Simco.
OG=18.5P, 7.6% ABV, 55 IBUs, 254 Calories/12 oz.

Pours out to a clear deep beautiful dark mahogany, forming a tall and creamy poofy light tan head with amazing retention and lacing...liked whipped cream. The aroma is wonderful...full of fresh green piney, grapefruity and skunky hops. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich with a medium dense body and moderate carbonation. The taste opens with the strongly piney hops and a moderate bitterness sets in which holds through and seems to get stronger in the finish. About halfway through, there is a brief sweetness that is followed by sharp and astringent espresso, but those are subtle in comparison to it's piney bitterness. I am really surprised that there isn't any chocolate malt or black patent, but I think part of it is an illusion of burnt grain bitterness due to the strong hop bitterness. Ends in grapefruit and pine. No perceptible off-flavors or aromas.

This is a nice beer. I wish it weren't so bitter and had more of those wonderful dark fruits (prunes, dates) that I love in a Baltic Porter, but also the wonderful hop nose and flavor of an IPA (sans the bitterness). If they dialed back the bittering hops, kept the flavor, aroma, and dry hops and bumped up the OG 10 points, this would make an awesome beer. As it stands, it's a decent stab at a Black IPA. If anything, this inspires me to brew what I wished it were...Interesting, but I probably won't buy it again.

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle into tulip, batch 1. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger khaki head with great retention that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Spotty lacing on the glass, with a good amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of big grapefruit, pine, and herbal hops; with a bit of roasted malt and caramel in the background. Decent aromas but was hoping for more dark malt presence. Taste of grapefruit, pine, herbal, caramel, roasted malt, molasses, dark fruit, and a bit of coffee. Good amount of pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, caramel, roasted malt, and dark fruit on the finish for a bit. Some nice roasted malt backbone in the taste, but the hop flavors are still most prominent. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lush mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming after the finish. Overall a very nice Black IPA, with plenty of flavor. I was hoping for a bigger roasted malt backbone, but it was still a very enjoyable offering.

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

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

Batch 1.

A: Dark cherry-cola pour appears black with a grain-gold head that was rocky and frumpy. Lasting retention with a good size lace band encircling the vessel.

S: Spicy peppery citrus, light sweet licorice backed with some sweetly toasted munich malt. Nice overall strength with some hints of dried grass lingering about.

T: The flavor was flowery and dry with a spicy bite of hops and licorice. Toasted grains and toffee with some fresh coffee. Citrus, grapefruit with some woodsy pine. Dry hoppy fade with a dry peppery flower touch.

M: Tight and bubbly mouthful, nice substance, dry citrus and coffee warmth with some oily hop resins being left behind.

O: Overall nice show of hops, not overwhelming but very well mannered and balanced with a roasted malt backing. Lager yeast is clean and crisp giving this a sharp drinkability factor. Worthy repeat.

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours a deep ruby/purple color with good clarity. The sand-colored head is prominent at first, but settles into a thin cap eventually. Lacing forms sloppy rings.

S: Green, grassy, and zesty/citric noble hops. Herbal edge. Mild grapefruity and tropical aromas too. Malts contribute bread and soft charcoal. Earthy. Mild fruit. The nose is pleasant enough, but a bit understated and not as forceful as it could be.

T: Herbal hops with a hint of citrus begin things. Darkfruit tastes of berry and cherry juice are forced into the background as a strong presence of grassy, oily, and spicy noble hops take control of the mid-palate. Only mildly bitter; the hops are more flavor-oriented. The malt base does not shrink in the face of all the hops. Toasted grain and bread crust, charcoal and slightly acrid smoke. Undercurrents of caramel and bitter dark chocolate unfold more as the beer warms. Finishes with lingering tastes of bitter dark chocolate and oily, grassy noble hops.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Very creamy and silky in the mouth with mild, prickly carbonation. Hop oils cut through too. Well done.

O: There are those who will be tempted to call this a Black IPA and be done with it. Then there are those who would point out that it would be asinine to call it such, seeing as it's brewed with a lager strain. Then there's the whole fermentation temperature conundrum and blah, blah, blah. Leave all that aside. At the end of the day, this is a pretty decent beer. Not excellent, but perfectly drinkable and a nice change of pace. It's been a while since I've had a beer other than, say, a pilsner that made such ample use of noble hops. The porter aspect of this beer holds its own too. The bitter dark chocolate flavors in particular played well with the oily, unctuous, and herbal noble hop tastes.

Photo of obrike
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought a bomber at HEB in Round Rock.

Nice looking brew...dark brown/black with a very clingy off-white lace.

Smell is quite tame, but I'm getting an interesting blend of burnt coffee, licorice, and molasses...just wish it were more prounounced.

Again, the taste is buried...seems to happen quite a bit with Sam Adams, which is unfortunate. Follows nose, but a hoppy bitter kick at the end wakes you up. Certainly a smooth mouthfeel, medium carbonation, goes down easy.

Not sure what to make of this one. Almost seems more like a winter warmer type of beer. A decent sipper, but not one i'd get again as the we get closer to spring and summer.

Photo of coz
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a stylish 22oz. "bomber" bottle into a standard pint glass.
Brown/black in color, with a huge head of tan foam.
Aroma-Citrussy hops, some roasted malt
Taste-Roasted malt, followed by a big wave of citrussy hops that all blend together very nicely. Great flavor and character. A tasty match for grilled meats or a piled-high toasted Reuben sandwich.

Photo of Donsmitty
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of John_M
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of prototypic
3.46/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Baltic IPA brewed with lager yeast. Very interesting.

Dark Depths pours a dark mahogany brown color. It’s not opaque. Backlighting reveals quite a few burgundy highlights. A lighter tan head caps it off and stands about two fingers tall. It’s very slow to recede and leaves a sticky, thick web of lace trailing down the glass. Not bad at all.

Frankly, the nose is very average. It’s not overtly bad, but it is very weak and needs more strength. It kicks off with light chocolate and subtle coffee. Light hop scents follow and are notable. Smells like grapefruit, pine, and grass. The malts and hops work fairly well together, but are just too weak. As it progresses, some roasty notes emerge. That pretty much wraps it up. Alcohol is blended well and isn’t strong. It’s okay. That’s all.

The flavor is a little better. It starts out with a mix of chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Bittersweet dark chocolate mixes well with roasted coffee notes throughout. Hops are fairly prominent. They feature citrus grapefruit and pineapple flavors. There are also some piney and grassy flavors, as well. They have a slight bitter kick. As is expected with most Baltic Porters, it is rather acidic. That produces an interesting mix of flavors given the hop presence. It’s not bad, but isn’t great. Alcohol is masked pretty well and isn’t all that noticeable. Finishes chocolaty, bitter, and acidic.

Dark Depths has a medium body that is relatively smooth. Carbonation is light and the bubbles feel soft. It goes down easy for the most part. It’d be even easier if I liked the flavor a little more.

I admire Boston Beer Company for trying new things. The results here aren’t bad, but aren’t great either. Dark Depths is a hoppy Baltic Porter. It’s reminiscent of a Black IPA, but is a little more mild mannered and balanced. I’d prefer it to lean harder in any direction. It’s not bad though. Worth checking out.

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Dark Depths from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
83 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.