Dark Depths | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

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Dark DepthsDark Depths
917 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 917 |  Reviews: 296
Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: 1.5 beer tan head on a dark brown/black body with some light passing through.

S: nose is very very light with minimal earthy hops, roasted malts, coffee and smokey notes.

T: smokey, coffee and roasted malts. the hops provide an earthy note but I am not sure if this is more than a typical porter. The hops seems to provide more of a bittering and piney presence otherwise not sure if this is an IPA.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: not too special overall. Very drinkable and good tasting, just not very unique.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out nice and dark in color with a light brown colored head on top. The head was sticky and left a nice lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer had plenty of hops on the nose. The taste of the beer was has a really nice blend of IPA and Porter I think. The rich smoothness of the dark malts blend nicely with the tingling of the hops. The mouthfeel has a good amount of body to it along with a lightly creamy texture. Overall I think this was pretty good, I would drink it again.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish/brown mahogany color, medium sized white head to it. Not much present in the smell department. Nice mouthfeel, medium bodied, get some caramel and toffee notes, maybe some fig or raisin flavors on the back end. Pretty well balanced, finishes clean and smooth. Pretty solid beer all around, nice change of pace from the typical IPAs... worth a try if you see it around.

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is near black in color and has traces of brown near the bottom of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It has a moderate amount of visible carbonation and poured with a one and a half finger high beige head that took a long time to die down and also left lots of lacing around the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of licorice and roasted malts in the nose along with some faint hits of citrusy hops.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but is a little stronger and has a light amount of bitterness. No malty sweetness is detectable.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: Although it's dubbed as a "Baltic IPA", this beer definitely tastes more like a Baltic Porter, except that the hops from the IPA help from subduing sweetness and keeping this from becoming too sweet and malty.

Note: Batch #2

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Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz squat bottle, another Whole Foods Kahala procurement whilst in sunny, oh so sunny Honolulu.

This beer pours a clear, very dark cola hue, with three fingers of peppy, foamy, and bubbly beige head, which leaves a stellar honeycomb pattern of lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away. Purdy, indeed.

It smells of thin pine resin, some mild doughy yeast, slightly roasted caramel malt, and further softly spicy, earthy hops. The taste is bitter pine and citrus rind hops, sour, tangy, and somewhat chocolaty toasted malt, some mild herbal tendencies, and a very subtle rising booze warming.

The bubbles are quite restrained, the body a pretty hefty medium weight, and smooth enough, if you're inclined to tolerate that tacky hop incursion. It finishes quite off-dry, the grainy malt showing some rather sweet backbone, amongst that general roasty character, and a lingering bitter hop melange.

A strange mixing of beer cultures, and given the result, a more or less successful one, if you're into this particular meshing of flavours - kind of an East Coast attempt at replicating the Cascadian Dark Ale. Once again, as in the war between the coasts for the IPA, the East loses, really for lack of a bracing hop effect - stylistically, of course.

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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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -23.8%
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 emerge077
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark body, bright clarity with a ruby red glint in the light. Persistent creamy tan foam, leaves a bunch of lace and an ever present layer of skim on top. Thick rings of lacing form as the beer disappears.

Dry roasty grains, carob sweetness.

Tastes a bit sweet, carob and a dry herbal bitterness. Not much distinctive hop character besides the bitterness on the back end. Comes off more like a straight Baltic Porter than IPA as listed on the bottle. Medium bodied, a little too sweet and full to tackle a bottle solo. Thanks Wayne for sharing this one!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a light black color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of dry roasted malt with some pine floral hoppy notes. Taste is a mix between some lightly dry roasted malt notes with a pretty solid pine and citrus hoppy notes with a balanced bitter finish. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Interesting experience that I wouldn’t mind having again.

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Photo of largadeer
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

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

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from Sam Adams "IPA Hop-ology" 12 pk dated best by Sept. 2012; bought and stored cold.

A: Pours clear but very dark brown. The medium size tan head looks quite dense Decent retention and great coverage of varying density on the glass. Great looking! 4.75

S: Primarily a piney hop aroma with a faint malt background. Hints of pepper and a spice mix I couldn't untangle. Fruity and flowery too. Unfortunately, the nose carries a bit of wet dog.

T: The flavor largely follows the aroma. There's plenty of piney hops, but way more tame and balanced than the aroma suggests. Some pepper and flowery notes. Odd impression of saltiness too.

M: Crisp; medium+ body; good medium+ carbonation but perhaps a tad too high.

O: My first Baltic IPA leaves the impression that SA has done a good job crafting a blend of two styles that really do not mesh nicely. Still, it is complex, unique and fun to drink. A rather balanced brew for an "IPA". I think I would prefer a hop mix that was more herbal/citrus and less piney.

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Photo of jlindros
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a creamy darker colored 1.5 finger nice looking head that fades very slowly with nice lacing, over super dark molasses almost black colored beer with slight hints of burnt sienna light hinting its way through.

Nose has some earthy hops at first, earthy and slight grassy as well as a bit of spicy hops with a touch of pine. Under that is a nice dark malty aroma, not super malty but a nice dakr slight chocolatey hint of roast, creamy toasty brown malts, with a bit of caramel and toffee as well.

Taste brings more malts at first, toasty brown malts, caramel, toffee, a bit of cocoa and creamy milk chocolate, hint of dark roasty like malt as well. Then plenty of hops, earthy and a bit spicy hops, with some pine, slight grassy, and chewy. The creamy brown toasty malts with caramel add a nice addition. It gets fairly bitter but not too much, the hops are a bit too overpowering although that's what it's supposed to do. The malts and hops don't meld as well as they could, but still tasty components. Finish is fairly bitter still, earthy spicy and light piny hops, a bitter roasty malt flavor that gets a bit icky tasting, and a bit of toasty brown malts, caramel, etc.

Mouth is a bit fuller bodied, somewhat creamy and rich, decent carb.

Overall not bad, interesting flavors, the malts are quite nice, the hops are a bit icky bitter that go in the wrong direction from the hops, chewy and piny, spicy, too icky bitter. Overall really interesting but doesn't blend well. They pretty much did what I expected, with baltic porter and cascadian dark ale blended, but it just they just don't play well.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

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

A - Fluffy khaki head with great lace and nice retention. Black cola and cranberry body.

S - Moderately boozy. Bright herbal hop, char roast, and a touch of white grape.

T - Deep, rolling char. Slightly smokey in the center. A thick herbal and woody hop bitterness rises up to match the roast through a dry finish.

M - Dry, medium body. Smooth start but the backend fades off quickly.

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Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

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Dark Depths from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 917 ratings