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Dark Depths - Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Not Rated.
Dark DepthsDark Depths

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

877 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 877
Reviews: 292
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 25
Gots: 41 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 877 | Reviews: 292 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of datalager
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%

This beer pours black...but wait!?! Hold the tumbler up to the day-lit window and what you see is an extremely dark, but transparent chestnut red. Beautiful. The head is a thick and frothy two finger beige, whose variation in bubble size reminds me of rapidly cooking pancake batter. The head fades quickly, but ultimately leaves exceptional lacing.

The nose is confronted by a bitter hop as the cap is removed. After settling into the glass smells of smokey malt, chocolate and coffee present themselves. With increased sniff work additional hop can be revealed.

Once tasted I nearly threw myself for a loop! Bitter grapefruit and floral flavors bombarded my taste buds with the ferocity of an Imperial IPA...wow! I did not expect that! A second sip and slight presence of malt and chocolate nibs reside in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and mellow to the tongue, with a moderate dryness in the aftertaste.

Overall, if I were to attempt to explain this bizarre brew, I'd say it smells like a porter but tastes like an Imperial IPA. Strange, but intriguing. Although it wasn't my favorite ale from Boston Brewing, I certainly had no problem finishing off the full bomber. It was a good beer, and worthy of further investigation by any hop lover.

datalager, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of TTAmod
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

22 oz. bottle with no describable bottling date poured into tulip. Gotta be pretty fresh, though, right? Never seen this one before.

Saw "Baltic IPA" on the bottle and had to grab it.

A: Pours very dark brown. Almost black, but not quite. Head starts off a two finger dark khaki, but recedes to about a half finger. Lots of lacing prevalent. Looks good.

S: Faint citric hop is buried underneath chocolate, charred malt, and a bit of coffee and tobacco.

T: Smooth chocolate and vanilla up front. Charred malt, bit of leather and ash come after. All these flavors have a strong pine, herbal, earthy, and slightly citric hop bitterness. Finish is quite bitter, mostly of the earthy and herbal hop variety.

M: Pretty damn smooth. This ain't rough like most American Black Ales. Body is medium-heavy and creamy.

O: This is an odd one. I think most would immediately compare it to a Black IPA, but it's a bit different. The mouthfeel mainly sets this one apart. Also, with the Black IPAs that I've had, the hops are the main attraction, while the charred malts bring up the rear. With this beer, the smooth chocolate and roasted malts are the main attraction, and the hops bring up the rear.

Overall nice and fairly easy to drink. It is a bit too bitter in the end, though, in my opinion. Nice to see Sam Adams branching out. Not all of these beers are hits, but it's good to see experimentation.

TTAmod, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +8.1%

Baltic style IPA brewed with lager yeast? oh boy...

Sounds interesting if nothing else comes from it. Pours a very deep brown, black at the center, with deep garnet hues present when held up to the light. Big thick off white head with noticeable and good lacing. The nose is prominently citric hops with deep roasted malts hiding somewhere underneath them. Head retains pretty well.

Medium in body, wet, and with an after taste of leather, charcoal, and espresso beans. Flavors are literally hidden in the dark depths of this beer as I'm having trouble pulling them out. No real layers but the beer drinks as a single sip. Burnt coffee, caramel, bitter citric hop finish. Bitterness is high which is nice.

Fairly smooth and drinkable. Manages to be complex without being all over the place. IPA? no. Porter? yes. Unique. Despite the intrigue of being brewed with lager yeast I think an ale yeast may have done some of the heavier flavors a bit more justice.

Strangely drinkable. Mysterious as the baltic i guess.

I'm really glad these two new releases by Sam Adams weren't duds like like that last batch (with the exception of the Vixen)

jtierney89, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of jamesburkhart
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

jamesburkhart, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of nitro0292
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%

A "Baltic IPA" or a cross between a Baltic Porter and an IPA. Doesn't that mean this is a Black IPA or an "American Black Ale?"

A - Pours an opaque black with plenty of tan head standing, that sticks around for ages. Good lacing too.

S - Citrusy hops hit the nose first, followed by porter/stout characteristics of roast and bitter dark chocolate.

T - Citrus hops greet the tongue, followed by sweet(ish) chocolate-laced dark malts. Sip finishes bitter and fairly dry.

M - A little on the thin side and a could use a little more carbonation.

O - Not tremendously complex, but a solid brew worth a try. A good example of a well-balanced BIPA, not to sweet, not astringent.

nitro0292, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%

22oz bottle purchased at Shaw's in North Hampton. Pours a
dark brown body with a good persistent inch of light tan head. Smells roasty with chocolate and a good dose of citrussy hops. Hops hit the palate right away with orange and lemon. Roast and toast follow with espresso and caramel notes hitting more toward the end. Very drinkable for the size and complexity. Medium in body and carbonation. A little hoppier than I usually like to take my Baltic Porters, but an excellent beer nonetheless.

MrHurmateeowish, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of grahambo
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%

grahambo, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of jaidenjb
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

jaidenjb, Feb 15, 2012
Photo of C2H5
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%

Poured from a 22oz bottle, very dark brown with a huge foamy tan head that wont go away
Smells distinctly piney and malty, brown sugar and some alcohol
The taste begins with a combination of vanilla and sweet malt but ends quite pungent and bitter
Mouthfeel is smooth, a little drying, and aftertaste lingers quite a while
Overall, this tastes like a bitter black ipa. Interesting and a quite good, not one of my favorites, but glass in front of me is empty!

C2H5, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%

Appearance: rich dark brown. Thick and messy lacing, substantial head on the pour that covers the beer after settling down.
Smell: surprisingly bright hoppy edge.
Taste: nice blend of hops and smooth malt.
Mouthfeel: a little thin.
Overall: Sam A doesn't get a whole lotta love which I guess comes with the territory being the oxymoronic popular craft beer maker. This is a nice creation.

cindyjeffsmith, Feb 14, 2012
Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%

I drank this beer during BA's blackout yesterday so unfortunately this is from recent memory instead of live.

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a pint tumbler. Pours a very dark black (a little translucent ruby brown at the bottom of the glass around the edges) with a HUGE three finger cappuccino head despite my careful pouring. Head dissipates pretty quickly and leaves a little bit of lacing.

Smells like dark malt, maybe a hint of mocha, and definitely some piney hops.

Tastes great- earthy dark malt flavor balanced by medium dry hop finish. There's an element in the flavor that is hard to identify which I'm assuming was the lager yeast- effective for sure.

Mouthfeel is pretty good- could perhaps be a little more bubbly? Full bodied, robust, has that washing-it-down lager quality with a small bit of carbonation. Definitely an interesting brew and one I might seek out again (especially at 5.99).

Hopdaemon39, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of MoreThanWine
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%

Poured a 1.25" mocha head with long life. The body though clear during pour is absolutely black as coffee, in fact held to the light not any could penetrate. It smells ones of hops and then only a little of roasted malt. The taste mirrors the smell with both piney and citrusy hops, and the malt takes on a somewhat burnt sugar taste. The hop bitterness continues strong into the finish. A Baltic IPA indeed.

MoreThanWine, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev +2.2%

Pours a crystal clear deep brown with garnet highlights when held to light, huge frothy off white head has great retention and leaves lots of sticky lace on the way down. Smells very hoppy! Lots of pine and garlic with a little bit of caramel and roast to counter, but this one is all about hops. Taste holds a nice sweet caramel and chocolate malt backbone on top of a plethora of pine, resin, and green onion. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet resinous mouthfeel. I liked this one, in fact the bottle found its way empty much to quickly. My one criticism is that there is eminently more IPA than Baltic Porter in my glass. I found this more like a Black IPA with a hint more roast. Tasty brew, hard to put in a category.

johnnnniee, Feb 13, 2012
Photo of SawDog505
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured into a 16 oz Stella glass. Poured down the center and got a massive 3 inch tan head, with lots of lacing, and it took the head almost 10 minutes to settle. Color very dark, but some light can penetrate. Smell is citrus hops and dark malts, chocolate and some leather and tobacco. Reminds me of a black IPA. Taste is that, but not nearly as much citrus up front as I was expecting, a burst of hops in the finish, lots of leather. Body is medium to large for its ABV. Nice amount of carbonation, on the dry side, and drinkable enough. This isn't blowing me away, but not bad and a little different.

SawDog505, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%

Picked this one up tonight at the COOP for about $6... shared with inflatablechair... pours with a fantastic tan head.. great retention and lacing.. the brew is dark dark dark brown with pretty ruby highlights on the stem end of my tulip...

The hops smack you in the nose immediately... a definite unexpected smack in the nostrils... nice roasty notes somehow compliment a great citrus hoppiness...

Flavor is very nice... roasted malts... no real cocoa, but just roast malts.. the hops are still great and just barely balanced... enough sweetness to make all the flavors meld and bloom ... I am sooo surprised at the balance and a deft hand on all flavors... very well done.

The brew itself is very smooth carbonation... medium body.. again.. well done.


I would never have put this beer in the "baltic porter" category... Black IPA, American Black, Cascasdian Dark... etc... Just because a lager yeast is used doesn't separate it from it's closest cousins.

JohnGalt1, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of jburchett
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

jburchett, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured into a snifter. Batch #1.

4.0 A: Black color. A full three fingers of beige, creamy/frohty hybrid head. Retention is very good and moderate amounts of semi-regular lacing is left.

3.5 S: Earthy and herbal hops with perhaps a touch of citrus underneath. Moderate roast with semi-sweet chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Despite my reservations, the hops and dark malts work well together.

3.5 T: Like the nose, the hops and dark malts seem to live harmoniously, which is not the norm in my experience. Hops are mainly herbal and earthy with a touch of citrus. Mild bitterness. Malts offer molasses, some caramel, light chocolate, and a dusty graininess. Not bad here. Borderline 4.0.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Reasonably creamy. Feels right given the flavor profile.

3.5 D: Easily one of the better hoppy dark beers out there. I think a lot of it has to do with the lack of super citrusy hops and a reasonable bitterness.

DavoleBomb, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler pint, the beer is a very dark brown, almost black, with some ruby highlights around the edging. A decent, foamy, dense head of about an inch on the pour. Aromas are wet, resiny hops, pepper and basil spicing, and a subtle roasted malt sweetness. The beer's flavors skip right over the forward tongue and blossom onto the mid and rear tongue with a robust and smokey sweetness that is tangy and rich, possible a burnt caramel. Hops abound following the lead flavors, with a resiny and peppered character. Decent body that feels full with the initial flavors, but turns out to be light and crisp in mouth. It leaves a decent number of rings along the glass as you consume. The aftertaste is resiny and bitter, with some of the basil and pepper spicings loitering around on the palate. This leads to a decent linger in mouth at the finish, with a residue feel on the mid and rear tongue where all the action started. Not bad at all.

GarthDanielson, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev +8.1%

A: Pours a dark mahogany with a thick, rocky tan head.

S: On the nose, aromas of lemon, orange, and grapefruit are underscored by subtle coffee and roasted grain scents.

T: A fruity entry reveals notes of lemon, lime, bitter orange, grapefruit, and pine, while notes of coffee, cream, roasted grain, and bitter chocolate emerge around mid-palate. The finish is smooth with chocolate, coffee, and cream notes underscored by pine and citrus flavors.

M: Full-bodied, smooth, and creamy, but still rather dry. Carbonation is delicate and expressive. Alcohol presence is minimal.

O: I'm normally not a fan of hoppy porters and stouts, but this one is just perfectly balanced. This beer's smoothness and sublime integration of flavors compared to other heavily hopped dark beers is likely due to the fact that it is fermented with lager yeast. Honestly, I'm a little surprised that other brewers have not come up with the idea of a hoppy Baltic porter yet. In the end, this is a Sam Adams product not to miss.

mrfrancis, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%

Samuel Adams Dark Depths

Pours a dark brown sporting a light, billowing off white head and tops the beer quite nicely. Plenty of lace. Aroma of earthy hops, burnt malts, pine, herb, and floral notes. In the taste, roasted malt upfront, giving way to a nice piney, citrusy, earthy bitterness. Hints of anise, coffee and cocoa powder. Quite hoppy, malty, and some alcohol is definitely present. Overall, this hybrid between a baltic porter and IPA is pretty tasty. Nice hop character and malt body.

Stinkypuss, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%

A: Pours a dark ruby red color with about a fingers worth of tan head that retains well and leaves some nice lacing

S: Nice and hoppy, with a solid roasted malt background. Hops are mostly citrus with some floral notes

T: Everything all comes together here, including the citrus hops, roasted malts, and definite lager yeast that is reminiscent of the Boston Lager. The malts have a nice chocolate note to them as well as the roastiness. Coffee also comes through, as well as a possibility of some licorice, although that might just be the floral notes of the hops

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy

O: This is a nice hybrid style, but it should definitely be under the American Black Ale category as it's not quite a baltic porter and not an IPA either. Nice job either way by JK and co.

BEERMILER12, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.1%

nmann08, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev +8.1%

TimoP, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of TwelveOunces
4/5  rDev +8.1%

22 Oz bomber poured into a SA perfect Pint

Batch #1, enjoyed fresh

Let me just say that this beer is a "Baltic IPA" and is classified as a Baltic Porter on this Website. Baltic IPA isn't recognized as a style of beer on this site.

Note- Whoever put this up on beeradvocate spelled it wrong. Its Dark Depths, not Dark Depth.

A- Very very dark brown with amber tones. Very clear although dark. Nice light brown 3 finger head.
S- Whew, looks porter, smells IPA. This beer has an excellent citrus hop profile. Lots of mango and peach and lemon, some astringency. A good roasted malt presence and some toffee.
T- A lot of dark beer qualities up front like roasted malt and burnt caramel but its followed by a punch of hop bitterness. Chocolate malts and carafa are definitely present. Its really quite strange how the citrus flavors get caught in the malts and seem to blend together extremely well.
M- A stinging bitterness to the tongue. A somewhat sticky mouth feel. Lower side of carbonation. A smokey feeling aftertaste.
O- This is an excellent and very unique brew. I really love what Sam Adams is doing, entering the modern craft beer world that they helped influence. Its not quite an IPA, not really a Baltic Porter but I would say it fits in with the Black IPAs. Whatever it is, I recommend you give it a try.

TwelveOunces, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of PicoPapa
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%

22oz bottle. Batch #1. Pours a black color with an inch of frothy tan head. Tons of lacing. Aromas of roasted malts, citrus hops, and some hints of chocolate. Flavors of roasted malts, citrus, tropical fruits, espresso and some sweet chocolate. Floral hops at the end. A bit earthy. Creamy mouthfeel. Pretty decent brew. I like the Tasman Red and Third Voyage better, but this is still a beer in the series worth having.

PicoPapa, Feb 06, 2012
Dark Depths from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
84 out of 100 based on 877 ratings.