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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 WesM63
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a medium dark brown with a nice 2finger golden brown head.

S: Not super strong, roasted malts, alcohol and some caramel.

T: Roasted malts with a slight hoppy bite at the end.

M: Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation.

O: This one perplexed me. When I purchased it, I was expecting a different take an a standard IPA/DIPA (The label says "Baltic IPA"). It wasn't until I took a drink that I realized this is something else entirely.

In my eyes, this is a poor version of a Belgian quad. Honestly, that's nearly exactly what it tastes like, minus the somewhat hoppy bite.

Therefore, I've docked it a few points. As a Belgian Quad, it's not terrible. I'm confused as to what it should be and that makes me wonder what Sam Adams was thinking...

(I've never had a "Baltic Porter", so my apologies if they are similar to a Belgian quad)

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mechanicalprints
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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

Fairly black with some rust around the edges, and a tan/cream head of some thickness that compacts into rocky topography.

First aroma from the bottle of earthy, leafy hops, then after it pours into the glass you can smell the coffee and chocolate of roasted malts.

The flavor is more on the hoppy side with herbal, leafy, citrus hop character underpinned by the roasted malt.

Medium-to-full body with some astringently burnt malt notes and more herbal leafy hops on the finish.

I rather admire this beer, although I am frequently a hater of this producer. That makes this an objective unbiased review. Go to sleep kids. This is a worthwhile sleepy time brew.

Photo of rab53
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of PintPal
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into Boulevard Smokestack Tulip

Pours a dark reddish black with a thick dense dark tan head, leaves nice lacing as it retreats.

Fruity hops accompany roasty malts and a hint of boozy alcohol float in the aroma. Definitely feels like an IPA from the aroma in my opinion.

Huge hop bitterness at first gives way to a rush of roasted malts in the taste. Bittersweet chocolate and a touch of roasty nuttiness lingers for a long time. The lagering of this beer fives it a very smooth refreshing profile. Each sip leaves me waiting for another, this is a surprisingly delicious brew.

The mouthfeel has a pleasant medium body with a tongue coating characteristic. Noticeable carbonation but this doesn't overpower the nice sticky chewy booziness.

Overall a very refreshing, tasty, pleasant beer. The hop bitterness does not overwhelm the delicious malts. Surprisingly drinkable for a 7.6 abv

Sidenote: I love the hop and malt detailing on the bottle

Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured unto a Sam Adams signature pint.

Appearance: An almost black, technically dark brown with a 1/2" tan head. Settles after a sip or maybe even before you grab the glass.

Smell: Hops, slight floral atmosphere but nothing potent to the smell.

Taste: Slight piney, little floral, might need some slight tweaking. but Overall tastes pretty good.

Mouth: Medium carbonation, just smooth.

Overall: As far as a black IPA, this is already one of my favorites. Built for drinking and a somewhat easy consumption. Dark Depths is not hard to drink but it is definitely an acquired taste. Salud!

Photo of daledeee
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one and got a near black body with a light tan head and great lacing

Nose was kind of strange with an odd hop smell. Some might say a little skunky.

Taste was malty with oak and not overly bitter but some dark coffee is at hand. The mouth feel is incredible with great creaminess from the head. It has a very strong after taste of hops and This is an interesting beer.

Photo of marct
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Merkur
3.36/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a rich dark black color with a good bit of tan head. Almost 2 fingers worth.

Beer smells roasty and earthy, wtih a bit of hops. Not much to smell.

Beer tastes roasty on the initial sip and then follows with some very light citrusy and bitter hops. Hops and malt are both a bit too understated for my liking.

Mouthfeel is just too thick.

Overall, just misses the mark. Could have used either more roasty or hoppy. Both seem to be a bit too muted in this beer.

Photo of JoeBloe
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a rich dark brown and put up a tight 2-finger head -
thick lacing all the way down the glass - light aroma of resin-ey hops and roasty malt - taste is as expected from the nose, mildly hoppy with a slightly burnt malt, hint of chocolate finish -
easy drinker, smooth and ever so slightly sticky with decent carbonation - worth a try -

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

Tangy and bitter black ale. Very dark in the Affligem chalice with a jammy rich flavor. Hops are not so aromatic but provide a hearty backdrop of flavor with a bitter aftertaste. Reminds me of the "Cascadian" black IPAs that are making the rounds. More of the charred malt flavor. A little residual sweetness. Starts to get tart as you sip. Woody and a little astringent.

Really nice touch of foam on top, but the lacing and creamy carbonation are way above average. Another interesting and impeccably made brew from SA.

From Mega Liquor in Hemet, Calif. I hadn't seen this one before.

Photo of shand
4.01/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a beautiful dark brown with a huge head. Retention and lacing are excellent. Aroma is heavy on the piney hops, with a bit of roastiness in the back. The taste is heavy on the hops at first, but this is quickly balanced out with caramel malts, chocolate, and a touch of coffee. Finish is lingering chocolate sweetness with a touch of piney hop bite. A good balance between a Baltic Porter and an IPA, offering both sides of the coin in one sip. The mouthfeel is slick and delicately carbonated, and the drinkability is about what you'd expect. Overall, a solid black ale (well, lager, but you get the picture).

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

A: Poured from the bottle into a Sam Smith's nonic-style pint glass. Body is dark brown/black with a nice foamy 1+ finger tan head that retains well and leaves good lace.

S: Not too strong in the nose. Some roasty characteristics, also some earthiness.

T: A bit of chocolate malt and roasted barley malt, followed by modest hop bitterness - slightly juicy, citrusy hops. Faint roasted char lingers in the aftertaste.

M: Medium in heft, carbonation is modest.

O: Decent. Kind of between a Porter and an American Black Ale.

Photo of DoctorDog
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 1pint 6 oz bottle into a nonic.

A- Pours mahogany brown and opaque. Massive 3+ fingers of creamy tan head, which fades very slowly to a nice cap. Great retention and lots of sticky lacing.

S- Piny hops, followed by chocolate and roasty malt/coffee notes.

T- Pine needle bitterness smack first, and the roasted/burnt notes attack next....sweet molasses and caramel char...

M- Moderate carbonation with a medium-full feel.

O- Good. What can I say, I am enjoying this beer...a nice enmeshment of styles that is proving flavorful and easy to drink.

Future outlook: Hmmm...I like this enough to buy again, but as a "brewed once" release...might not make its way back to my lips again...

Photo of Florida9
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Baltic IPA? Like we needed yet another name for this category of beers as if there weren't enough already. Beer is a very dark mahogany brown in color. Forms a sizable tan colored head with excellent retention and lots of lacing. Aroma is of roasted malts, citrus, grapefruit, and a bit of coffee. Taste is much of the same with a strong roasted malt quality and some citrus hops on the end. Mild-to-moderate bitterness. A good beer, not the best black IPA I've had, but better than most.

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

I plumbed the Depths of this beer with a glass stein.

Appearance- I easily get three-fingers and then some of maple syrup foam on a hard pour. The lid is chock full of bubbles of various sizes, bursting expediently.

The body certainly is like gazing into the abyss, opaque and dark with only a slight ring of dark brown highlights. I am pretty impressed with head retention and see a nice layer of cratering sheet lace.

Smell- A very nice piney fragrance rises out of the glass, definitely an IPA in here. As for a porter, I sense an acidity that is a little roasty, kind of like used up coffee grounds. There is also a rye breadiness buried in the beer.

Taste- The porter and ipa fight for who gets to deliver first on the palate. The roastiness of the porter is much more apparent on the palate, a little smokey and burnt.

The piney IPA flavor meshes extremely well with the acidic porter, and the two flow together into a nice finish. The roast really sticks to the roof of the mouth and the pine is just beneath that. A very long finish is always appreciated.

Mouth feel- Creamy, a good medium body, this beer delivers here easily. The finish is really roasty and that might scare some drinkers off.

Overall- This combination had me a little nervous from the start, but it soon became obvious all of my worries were unfounded. The two styles fit together better than Lego bricks.

The pine character of the hops is a great compliment to the roasted quality of the porter. I think I would have like this even more if the malt had been a little sweeter and not quite as acidic.

Photo of JizackFH
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a dark brown color. There are some red hues when this is held up to the light. There is a little more than two fingers of light tan head resting on top. thee head has awesome retention, and it leaves a nice sheet of lace behind on the glass.

S - The nose gives off a nice hoppy aroma right away, as well as some roasted malt. There are also some aromas of citrus, caramel, and a little bit of earthiness.

T - The taste follows the nose. It starts off with some dark roasted malt and a nice citrus hop flavor. There are some flavors of chocolate, molasses, and caramel. The finish leaves some lingering roasted malt and citrus hop bitterness behind on the palate.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. There is some roasted malt bitterness and some hop bitterness that comes out right away. There is some caramel and malty sweetness in the background the help balance things out. There is some lingering bitterness in the finish.

O - This has good drinkability. There is good flavor, and it goes down easy. I could easily see myself drinking a few glasses of this in a night. Overall, I think it is a good beer, and I would drink it again. I would have put this more in the category of a black IPA than a Baltic Porter though. I recommend trying it out. It is a nice beer and I think you'll enjoy it. (Unless you don't like black IPAs)

Photo of barnzy78
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle; I find the name "Baltic IPA" to be confusing/misleading. I think I'll just review it as a beer, rather than going by the Baltic Porter tag it has. Anyway, pours near black with some ruby & mahogany hues when held to the light. Foamy, bubbly, khaki colored head holds decent retention and leaves some sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas are floral, citric hops, and roasted malts. Tastes are full flavored with layers of complexity and notes of up-front pine and grapefruit followed by roasted grains, balsamic vinegar, burnt sugar, and anise. Finishes bitter, but balanced. Mouth-feel is medium bodied - I was hoping for it to be a little fuller, but this is acceptable. Overall, I think the intention was a black IPA rather than a Baltic Porter as listed above? If this is supposed to be a Baltic porter it's a poor representation of the style, but if it's a black IPA it's a better example of the style. Good flavors and aroma - I like it for what it is - an experiment.

Photo of morningthief
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of codon2004
4/5  rDev +8.4%

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

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.

Photo of TTAmod
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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)

Photo of jamesburkhart
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.