Dark Depths | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
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Dark DepthsDark Depths

Brewed by:
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Baltic Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Combination between a Baltic Porter and an IPA.

Added by Bierman9 on 01-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 297 | Ratings: 915
Photo of Beaver13
2.22/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours dark reddish brown with a medium light tan head that goes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is strange - roasted malts and maybe some smokey, hoppy plastic and leather?

The flavor is sweet caramel malts with smokey roast that has decent resiny bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, I didn't really care for this. It was too sweet with a lot of off notes that I couldn't quite identify.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.33/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter on 4/30/12

Medium brown settles with a dark, rustic appearance. One and a half fingers of foam deflate, leaving a thinner layer of retention and some decent patches of lace.

Aromas of dark grains with a touch of tangy, roasted cocoa. Earthy, grassy hops give way to soap notions as the beer warms. There's a vague hint of something citric. The taste is similarly grainy and has something of an earthy, almost piney, hop kick. That said, there is a weird herbal flavor that emerges in the middle, likely owing to the hops; they don't seem at ease with the malts. The finish is a bit roasty and has a dustiness to it. The feel is a pillowy medium and carbonation is pretty low. The body seems a bit thin at times.

Overall, this is merely ok. It's certainly decent enough to finish the bottle, but I'm glad I didn't shell out money for the larger format. Better as it warms.

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Photo of beergoot
2.5/5  rDev -33.3%
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...

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Photo of Tilley4
2.64/5  rDev -29.6%
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...

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Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass. Reviewed live. Expectations are low - it just sounds like a poor idea to mix a Baltic Porter with an IPA. I'm prepared to be blown away - and I hope that I am - but shit don't bode well.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard pressure as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger head of light khaki colour, nice cream and thickness, and average retention. Colour is a dark caramel with amber hues. No yeast particles are visible, though it's nontransparent. No bubble show. A bit dull.

Sm: Lovely roast and dark malt qualities are intruded upon by invasive hop notes. The balance feels wrong, but I'm game. A moderate strength aroma.

T: The balance is indeed completely wrong. Baltic Porter notes compete with IPA notes outright, with the IPA losing; the drinker loses as a result. Dark malts fight with vague indistinct hops. Caramel is cut short by aggressive citrus. All things considered, it's scattershot but enjoyable. Admittedly, the balance could be worse. I wouldn't say it's refreshing, but I like it in a general sense (after all, I like beer).

Mf: Smooth and wet - at least both styles agree on that. Adequately thick and carbonated. Suits the flavour profile in a general sense.

Dr: Drinkable, but unremarkable. I won't be getting this again. An interesting attempt by Sam Adams, but one that fails. Meh. Move along, lads. Leave this one on the shelf where it belongs.


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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.84/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown, yet thinner viscosity, almost half inch of beige head. Aroma was burnt licorice, malt, toffee and chocolate malt.

Taste was very bitter, dark fruit stuff and licorice. Lots of roast. I don't dig the style, but this is prolly an average representation of a style that I would be ok with if it went away.

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Photo of BigBarley
2.99/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

A - Pours a healthy black, with about a finger of foamy, khaki head. When held directly up to light the beer could almost be called black-red. Not stout thick, but pretty close.

S - Extremely sweet, dark fruit, with that Sam Adams yeast hovering below, a nose of hops that smells like an English bitter in a lot of ways. Interesting and sweet, but I can't say I like this smell in general. As an aroma though, it's powerful and has depth

T - Extremely sweet, dark fruit all over the beer. Malts taste very off, and character is extremely unpleasant. Has all the hop complexity and presence of an IPA, but I guess I'm not a fan of these particular hops cause it comes off tasting wrong. Maybe it's an acquired taste, in fact I'm sure it is, but this particular blend of flavors, while pretty well balanced, come across tasting too sweet, too sour, and too bold in the wrong ways. Messy flavor and worse aftertaste.

M - Saves it. I'm going to finish this beer solely because it feels like a great porter and is as refreshing as any old IPA. Best of both worlds (and it worked this time)

O - This beer tries to be two things in a lot of ways. And it is. It's just that when the combined parts are bad as individual pieces, the end result is generally worse. Mouthfeel and appearance were great, and I liked SOME of the flavor and SOME of the smells, it's just that all together it came forth like a mess. ONLY one of these limited SA released I didn't enjoy, which surprised and disappointed me

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Photo of Krakistophales
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours black with a 3 finger creamy colored head

S: Tiny hints of bitter, black chocolate, grassy hop notes, slight hint of wood/oak and maybe caramel.

T: Much like the smell. Bitter, black chocolate up front, hints of grass mixed with wood, really chalky mouthfeel.

O: Not too impressed with this one. Very run of the mill porter, but Sam Adams' other bombers are pretty good.

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Photo of otzhorse2
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Full bodied beer with IPA taste. It is is earthy and thick but a slightly citrus flavor. All around a decent beer but wouldn't buy again. The beer is not the best Samuel Adams I have had to date. It poured heavy with a strong head and very aromatic.

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Photo of Beejay
3.01/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours medium brown, in the glass it is black with ruby brown tones when held to the light. The head is huge, and fluffy.

S: Caramel and burnt sugar, The hops come out in an earthy way. There is almost a touch of dark bitter chocolate, and perhaps a touch of stale coffee.

T: Some good bitterness, perhaps a little sappy and earthy. There is a caramel sweetness at first, but that is taken over by the hops. There is almost a lactose thing going on, but that just might be me. The finish is bitter chocolate, and maybe a touch metallic.

M: Medium to medium light in body, the carbonation is a little high, but I think it works for the brew. There is a nice softness, almost a creamy mouthfeel to it.

O: Overall a very interesting beer. A unique combination of dark malt and bitter hops. Good, but not fantastic.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
3.06/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle from the new Sam Adams hopology mix pack.... Into a duvel glass.

A: pours a dark cola brown with amber hues around the edges... Nice one finger of khaki head and excellent head retention that leavs a bit of lacing.

S: a bit of a citrus hops which are again subdued, as they were in the third voyage dipa, dark fruit backbone with notes of caramel and toffe... I get a touch of chocolate in there as well, but none of the roastyness mentioned by others... Overall I think the aroma I'm general is a bit subdued even when the brew warms to room temp.

T: much like the nose... A bit of dry chocolate and hops up front with the sweet dark fruits coming in on the finish. I get a light Metallicy note in there as well...

M: medium bodied with medium carbonation... Wish the mouthfeel had a bit more heft and creamyness to it.

O: I found this one to be a bit lacking in a few different ways.... More hops, more body, more aroma, all needed.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.07/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An interesting take on the "Black IPA" style.

It pours out a very dark brown with a thick, brown, 3 finger head.

The smells are citrusy, earthy and roasted malt.

It tastes very much the same. There is some citrus like orange peel and lemon zest, there is caramel and dark roasted malts with a slight hop bitterness.

Overall, pretty tasty, but not the best for this particular style.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.07/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A dark brown beer, with a huge frothy head and lots of lacing. It is quite pretty.

S - Clean lager yeast, grapefruit flesh, pine, dough.

T - The taste is rather earthy. There is pine and a bit of an iron metallic taste. There is a bit of a dark fruit malt flavor with a slightly acidic bite to it. Aftertaste is more of the foretastes with a bit of a medicinal bitterness.

M - Smooth as silk, thin, refreshing.

D - Not bad. The beer has a lot of flavor, but I'm not terribly enthused about it. It is mostly loud without saying anything.

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Photo of Cavanaghty
3.12/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a Sam Adams Glass.

Appearance: Dark red carmel color, beige head of about three fingers that lasted a long time with heavy lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smokey, hops, roasted malts?

Mouthfeel/Taste: Medium bodied, smoother that I thought it would be. Taste was a smoked flavor with bittersweet hops.

Overall: Not really my type of beer, surprised this was released with a summer IPA varity pack, I would think this was more of a fall/winter beer. Unfortunatly I did not enjoy this beer and will not buy it again.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep black with a one finger head upon pouring. Decent retention, leaving a very thin cap on top. Very nice lacing all around the glass, pretty thick.

S: A surprising amount of floral hops, some resin, a little bit of roasted malt, and coffee. As it warms a slight alcohol tinge comes forward.

T: Some cocoa, mild citrus and pine, more resiny hops and some roasted malt. Not really very hoppy though..nor is it full of dark malt and chocolate/coffee. Kind of confusing.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Slightly chalky feel to it.

O: Not really sure what's going on with this beer. Not really very hoppy but it also isn't very malt. Expected it to be more like a black IPA, but it isn't.

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Photo of yamar68
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, dark ruby with a massive swelling light brown head. Good lacing, good beading, a good looking beer.

Caramely hops, molasses, citrus fruits, muted malt presence.

Alcohol isn't exactly subtle on the tongue. Faded hops, caramel, warming alcohol. Definitely a unique beer, I'm far from convinced of the concept though.

Not too smooth going down... I can't say that I'll be looking for this one again in the future.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tumbler.

So, a hybrid Baltic porter/black IPA, eh? Well, I'll try anything once... It pours a deep black-brown highlighted in ruby and topped by a finger of light tan foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, dark chocolate powder, pine needles, dark greens, and a kiss of molasses. The taste holds notes of mild cocoa, bitter coffee, juniper sprigs, light roasted malts, pine resin, licorice, and eucalyptus. It's an odd amalgamation, but one that is not altogether offensive, surprisingly. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, an interesting beer, one that shows that you can hop up a Baltic porter without killing the character of the beer. I may not have been the biggest fan, but it's really not all bad, honestly.

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Photo of rangerred
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance is a very dark brown, almost black, with a 1.5 finger tan head. Really good head retention and lacing.

Smell is almost all piny hops. There isn't really any roasted malt detectable at all.

Flavor is all piny hops up front quickly followed by a rapidly increasing moderate to high bitterness. Maybe a tiny bit of roasted malt becomes detectable towards the finish with the faintest hint of cocoa. A little bit of dark fruit in there as well. Mouthfeel is pretty thin considering the abv.

Overall I am a little let down by this beer. I was hoping for a lot more roasted malt. It ends up being not much more than an average IPA.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. Sam Adams bomber into a globe glass. Shows a nice clear brown with ruby highlights. A firm pop of the cap predicts the lofty cap of foam. Good retention and lace.

Nose is hop dominant as the name might suggest, with pine and light malts. Bit sour/onion after the foam settles.

Flavor is rather creamy with a light malt profile. Moderate hop bitterness blends with some bitter chocolate malt notes a a bit of chocolate/pepper spice. Feel is light and a bit thin initially but firms up a bit through the finish. Minimal fruit esters.

Overall an interesting brew. Not as hoppy, particularly on the bitterness front, that you'd expect from a Black IPA. Yet not very complex in the malts either as for a Porter. Body is lighter than expected but the carbonation is firm enough to balance which keeps the feel relatively full. In the end, straddling too many fences and not enough character on its own to revisit but worth the experience.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of Tone
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of an off-tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, roasted malt, slight sweet malt, hint of syrup, and hint of spice. Fits the style of an IPA, but not really a Baltic Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, slight sweet malt, citrus hops, alcohol, hint of coffee, and a hint of syrup. Overall, lacking body complexity. Reminiscent of a black ale. The sourness of a Baltic Porter is drastically lacking.

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Photo of Seanibus
3.29/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beefy and rich, though with a sour-ish aftertaste.

Pours deep brownish-black with a big fluffy tan heads that holds and holds. The aroma is slight but coffeelike. The flavor is beefy and bitter, like coffee and ash with some burned caramel behind it and a prickly roll across the tongue, with a flowery hop somewhere back there.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured this out, its dark, not heavy dark billion srm darkness and viscosity, but a dark brew over a relatively thinner body than most things this color, thin wisp of off white beige head on the top, around .33" in depth. Aroma, burnt roast, licorice, some bitter hop notes, toffee and chocolate malt (no chocolate itself).

Taste, plenty bitter, pretty heavy in that way in fact for a porter, but this calls itself a baltic ipa, which is different. Maybe because it doesn't have the thickness, they called it more of a porter. Relatively dry, a little anise residuals. A little more dark fruit figgy notes and aftertaste than I would hope for, the biggest complaint I have about baltic porters is all the dark fruit bitterness, or sometimes even sweetness. This being a SA beer, it doesn't go to hard at the edges, tries to be right around the middle, and for the most part, other than the higher than normal (way higher) hopping, it pretty much accomplishes what it set out to do. I think the roasted/burnt barley is the biggest signature on the beer.

The beer really runs across a lot of different style spectrums. Ultimately, this, like every other SA beer from this series, is interesting, decent, yet overpriced.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.3/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22-oz. bottle into a pint glass. About three fingers of head. Color was black with hints of red in there. Cloudy brownish white lacing that stayed throughout the pour. Nice looking film on the sides that was wet, circular and consistent throughout the pour.

Smelled citrus hops up front. Seemed to be lemon zest more than anything else. This was mixed in with some chocolate malts. Good balance between the two main notes.

Not really anything good about the taste initially. Fairly creative, but missed pretty badly in my opinion. Started out with a bad mix of citrus hops and chocolate malts, but was instantly followed by an acidic, metallic aftertaste. I kept taking sips, but it didn’t get any better.

Medium body. Creamy, yet acidic texture. Above average carbonation. Astringent finish.

After the second part of the 22-oz. bomber, I decided that it wasn’t as bad as I originally thought. I bumped the taste and feel up a ½ rating each. Still would probably not try it again.

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Photo of babbules
3.31/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one had a dark, thickish pour with a very nice cream-colored head and a bit of lace. The flavor was mild, but balanced. I did expect more after seeing the nearly jet-black color and smelling the smoky, malty aroma. I was disappointed, but still enjoyed it overall. Not a bad black IPA-ish selection, especially for the price.

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Dark Depths from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
3.75 out of 5 based on 915 ratings.
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