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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 BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With the rise of Black IPAs, what base beer might provide the best display of flavors to support the hops onslaught? Though the jury is out, the experimentation is in with Sam Adam's rendition...

The beer pours as most Baltic Porters do- with a mostly clear dark brown, slightly purpleish hue that allows low lights of ruby and garnet to emit. Well headed with stark-white foam, creamy moderate formation and retention and low-lying lace, the beer seemingly suits the eye as a Baltic Porter.

Dry toast, grapey esters, and a focus on citrusy and resiny hops begin to shape the nose. There's a soft and sweet underlying body that allows the rise of toasted berries, confectioner's sugar, and raisony that's elegant; but the citrus and pine notes that are zesty and somewhat brash.

Flavors also start with a Porterish toasty and chocolaty taste that weaves in the Lager-like elements of mature malt taste yet with the grapey esters that make them so wonderful. Low on coffee taste- all that's surplanted at mid palate with the rise of white grapefruit, and leafy freshly mulled grasses, and orange zest that morph into pine resin bitterness as the malty and estery flavors fall and the hoppy taste develops into a dry sappy bitterness in finish.

Semi-malty and robutst to texture, the beer starts sweeter and more Porter-like. But the beer covers a lot of ground in a hurry, turning quickly to sharp citrusy bitterness to dry resiny (almost sticky) and crisp in finish. A linger of resiny bitterness and charred fruit chase into aftertaste for an extended enjoyment.

The true nature of IPAs are to showcase the hop's aroma, flavor, and bitterness; so I naturally find that the malt influence of toast, sugar, and esters to detract from what hops do best dimishes the character somewhat. But I like it that the exploration of what a base beer of "Black IPAs" should be takes me to the flavor combinations that I find here. Any fan of Stone's Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale should find favor with this offering.

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

Poured a 220z bomber into an imperial pint glass. No trademark "Best By" notch, only a note indicating that this beer can be consumed now or aged for later. Batch No. 1 indicated on back label.

A: Dark brown, almost black, nearly opaque. 2 finger tan head that lasts for a while and leaves thick, sticky lacing down the sides.

S: Mostly the citrus hops, with hints of roasted malts and a faint sweetness.

T: Citrusy hops are up front and dominate. Roasted bitterness is there with chocolate that lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Nice and thick. Low carbonation.

O: Definitely worth a try. If I hadn't grabbed the last bottle at the store, I would've liked to see how this one develops over time with the hops tamed. Thick for an American Black Ale, hoppy for a Baltic Porter. Take your pick; it's a solid brew regardless of style guidelines.

Photo of rlee1390
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep clear brown when pouring that in the glass is black, two finger head that is almost tan.

S-Roasted malt but is seems to be dominated by citrus hops.

T-Starts with some roasted malt and ends with some bitterness. The flavors do not mesh well and the citrus flavors from the hops is not present.

M-Medium bodied some carbonation and no where near as creamy as I was expecting.

O-A disappointment from SA. I was expecting better.

Photo of kew
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Nerudamann
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - dark brown/very close to jet black, with about two fingers' worth of light khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - the Saaz hops really come through in the aroma. Beyond that, all I can barely discern is a subtle sweetness.

Taste - there's a slight bite that's felt before it's tasted, probably from the Saaz hops which are then the first thing to be tasted. I think the malt blends then add in a layer of complexity that comes out in the middle of the taste, leaving the finish and aftertaste mostly with the bitterness of the hops. But the bitterness tends to fade in and out.

Mouthfeel - pretty well balanced, actually, but if it leans anywhere, it's toward the watery side.

Overall - not a bad brew at all. I usually feel that Sam Adams beers leave a bit to be desired in terms of complexity, but this one fares pretty well in my opinion.

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 vandemonian
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Dark Depths (batch 1) is an unusual beer. I don't think I like it.

A: Dark red colour and a huge 3 cm head that lasts quite awhile. 4.5

S: Malty with strong spicy hoppiness. 4

T: Malty with hints of spicy hops and some bitterness. This is a strange beer and I'm not exactly sure what I'm tasting. Salt? Smoke? 3.5

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: 3

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

A - Pours a dark black cherry color into my Belgian tulip glass with an easily light colored caramel head that's four fingers deep!

S - This is an odd one...mild onion and garlic resin, a little earthy, And some chocolate and pine notes. Honestly, this was a tough one for me to peg in the aroma for some reason.

T - Taste mimics the aroma, unusual. Toasted malt, mild onion, some pine, alcohol effervesence, and some buried citrus rind. I'm getting alot of fusel alcohol for only 7.6%.

M - Medium to thick medium body, mild carbonation on the tongue is borderline smooth.

O - it's an IPA, no wait, it's a Baltic porter - my palette is confused. Definitely a unique beer.

Photo of YeastInception
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Tilley4
2.64/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

One of the newest in the SA series... I was excited to give this a try as I generally like black IPAs...

A little chocolate on the nose, I guess, but most of what I'm getting is the garlic/onion thing from those Simcoe hops... Quite pungent and I can't say I'm digging it very much... Definitely more hoppy than roasted and I'm ok with that but I can tell I probably won't like this one just from the aromas...

I'm right... Hard to get through this one... Perhaps a little porter going on but this is all onions and garlic... Very Gubna-like with a little more roast to it but not something I will be re-visiting...I wanted to like this but I'm just not digging the hops used here...

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of chodinheaven
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark hued beer with tones of deep ruby. Thick three finger light tan head sits on top and leaves a patchwork of lacing with it as it slowly dissapates. Fresh in your face hops it the nose first, with a nice balance of grapefruity citrus and a resiny earthiness. Backing it is a full dark roasted malt aroma, balancing this nose very nicely. Underneath the citrusy aroma is a very slight tobacco or leather aroma that meshes very well.

Interesting taste profile. The roasted malts are reminiscent of a porter, lighter than a stout but still very present. It is also very hoppy however and the combination seems to give off a complex burnt bitterness. There is a nice coffee note in the middle that contributes to this and then moves into a pretty intense citrusy but earthy hop flavor. The smokiness of the coffee and malt flavors almost clashes with this high amount of hops, but in an interesting way that I really like. It might be the grapefruity citrus that gives it that weird twist. Very prickly and playful throughout from a pretty high carbonation level. More than a touch of alcohol, but it is part of the profile and works well. Its actually not that noticeable due to the intensity of the flavors. It finishes dry and crisp with a lingering aftertaste of coffee and bitter hops. The finish is a little lackluster however because it moves into a watery feel at the very end.

After reviewing, the label really does it justice. It is complex and interesting in its contrast, while being chock-full of great flavors. I would recommend it to others.

Photo of jboyer
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of shanblur
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cryptic freshness info. Poured into tulip. A - Dark brown mahogany color with an off white head. Moderate lacing. S - Roasted malt and piney, spicy hops. Some sweet malt and chocolate aromas as well. T - Roasted malts overpowered by piney hops, but strikes a nice balance. Sweet malt seems to linger and sticks to the tongue. M - Smooth and creamy with a light carbonation. A good beer. Liked it better than I thought I would.

Photo of Independant
3/5  rDev -18.7%

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

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 2" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: some fruit sweetness, earthiness, and some pine notes come through to the nose.

Taste: nice malty base with citrus, some earthiness, bits of chocolate, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Overall: a nice slow sipping beer that leans towards a black IPA. Moderately refreshing, but definitely satisfying.

Photo of CP20
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of SHCC
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of RollBeerTide
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of homebrew311
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours cola brown with 2 fingers of cocoa brown head,, decent lacing, good clarity, somewhat light for a baltic porter/ipa or whatever it actually is

S: nose is rather hoppy, big notes of pine, lemon, candy, some grassiness comes through, a bit of roast in the back

T: somewhat bitter to start with a bit of sweetness, roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee come through, they kind of compete with the pine hop profile

MF: mellow carbonation, light body

O: well this beer doesn't fit in a neat classification so its hard to review it as a Baltic Porter when it seems more like an American Black Ale. That being said, it is very hoppy and features a decent roast profile. Kind of a identity crisis if you ask me.

Photo of jbertsch
2/5  rDev -45.8%

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 Brad007
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a while since I've reviewed a baltic.

Pours a very dark brown color with a huge head that fades to reveal lacing on the edges.

Cocoa, brown sugar and a creamy texture compliment the slight citrus tint of the hops.

The taste leans more towards an imperial stout with sweet roasty malt, citrus hops and a creamy finish. Hmm. Maybe I'm wrong on the roast then?

Very clean finish for such a jumble of flavors. Good amount of citrus/pine hops at the end.

A mixed bag of flavors. It's not a baltic porter because baltic porters do not place as much emphasis on the hops as this does. Still, it's very enjoyable as is so I have to give a fair mark.

Photo of PeteRiz
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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