Dark Depths | Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

very good
297 Reviews
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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 yesyouam
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Samuel Adams Dark Depths is a very dark, reddish brown beer with a thick, lumpy, beige head that decorates the glass with lacing. It smells dark, roasty and kind of smokey. There's a lighter, semi-sweet malt aroma that almost smells like sorghum. There may be a hint of lemon peel. It's smooth, soft and pretty full bodied. It has a pretty neat finish and leaves the teeth a little gritty. It's a bit sweet, but less so than I'd expect from a Baltic porter. The bitterness balances it out well and hints at grass, wood and fruit. There are notes of prunes and coffee. There are a quite a few flavors going on. I'm a fan of both Baltic porters and IPAs, but this is a very strange mash up. That said, they pulled this off better than I would have imagined possible.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a Nonic)
Batch #1
A- This beer pours a dense opaque black body with tiny bubbles trailing up the glass to a light tan creamy head with a second head of big bubbles

S- The green dark grassy aroma has some Noble hop aromas with it and a pine note in the finish.

T- The earthy pungent hops flavor has a slight juicy quality to it followed by a light smoky black roasted malt flavor and a softer black malt finish that doesn’t have any bitterness. The aftertaste is some black roasted malt with woody hops and some Noble hop characters mixed in aswell.

M- The creamy texture has a medium mouthfeel and a gentle fizz that compliments the beer nicely.

O- The nice blend leads heavy toward the hops with good depth and a very nice mellow dark roasted malt with no bitterness at all.

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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 secondtooth
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours, as expected, a deep dark ruby, with a rich head of off-white suds. Lace is exquisite and beautiful!

Nose is malty. I get some fruit tones, and caramel malts. Kinda "meh" here.

Taste is rich and malty, with plenty of the toffee/caramel malts, as well some fruit notes underneath. Body is light, but flavor is rich and full. I get a tinge of hops at the finish, but calling this one an "IPA" seems a wee bit off to me.

Overall, not bad, but not one I'd pursue again, either.

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Photo of SSSBR1509
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- dark ruby red with black tints with a tan head
Nose-earthy piney hops intertwining with roasted malts with a slight smokeyness
Mouthfeel- medium bodied and carbonation
Taste-piney grapfruit like hops on the forefront followed by a roasted malt and slight chocolate sweetness
Overall- my favorite Sam adams beer by far too bad its limeted

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Photo of emerge077
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
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 Nugganooch
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle as part of the IPA Hopology pack
*Notes from 04/02/13 - FW Snifter glass

A: Pours a deep dark porter brown with a creamy top of dark sand colored suds. Collects rather dark and near black once in the glass. Some light bubbling action and a few light dots and squeak of lace upon the glass after each sip.

S: Smells of citrus zest and toasted bread. Has a bit of charcoal to it from the blackened malts with some light brewers licorice coming through. Very clean Lager yeast sort of void of any esters. Interesting aroma although a bit muted overall.

T: Tastes of tangerine, citrus peel, and pine with some real dark roasty malt character to it. I get mostly charcoal and black licorice to a lesser degree. A little toast with some burnt sugars. There is a nice encompassing bitterness to the beer and not much alcohol noted. Very clean and pretty smooth drink. I do like the selection of a Lager yeast here as it provides a nice clean canvas but I don’t think the flavors quite come together for me.

M: Pretty creamy texture overall with a moderate to lighter feel. Not bearing on the palate at all. Nice consistency from the carbonation. Clean finish that is somewhat wet.

D: Nice brew overall. Has a nice malt roastiness with a decent hop presence. Very smooth, clean, and easy to drink. Flavors probably won’t mesh with every palate but this one was somewhat enjoyable.

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Photo of wedge
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark chestnut color, topped off with a sizable off-white head of slowly receding, creamy foam. Smell is a balance of malt and hops, as expected. Roasted, dark chocolaty malts meet earthy, leafy, piney hops and a bit of raisin. Sweet, roasty flavor quickly gives way to grapefruit and pine resin. Some molasses and coffee. Not super bitter, but there is some bite. Nicely carbonated and decently crisp, making it quite drinkable, despite a little warmth. The lager yeast doesn't really come through at all for me, so I would put this in the Black Ale/Black IPA/Cascadian whatever category. An interesting concept and decent stuff overall.

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Photo of bmwats
3.74/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a handglass.

A: Dark brown. Pours about a 1 finger, foamy, brown-white head. Settles slowly, leaving a thick foam blanket behind in its wake, and a nice ring of foam around the rim. Spotted lacing.

S: Peaty malt, and roasted espresso.

T: Roasted coffee and peat, with a nice punchy hop character and a little dark unsweetened chocolate.

M: Hearty, but thin. Pungent finish lingers throughout.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere is very nice. Good coloration, solid head, and some persistent lacing. Nose is simple but full. Flavor is an odd combination of coffee and peat with a decent hop bite. Overall, this is a really solid quaff.

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single of this brew at my local establishment, Civera's. I was very curious to see how this beer would match up, given the ABV.

Appearance: Upon first pour, I'm introduced to a dark brown, almost black complexion that finishes with a slight hint of ruby. Leaves a skinny, foamy head that dissipates moderately. Lacing is actually quite nice, very appropriate for a porter.

Smell: The aroma fills the air with strong, herbal, hops and with a slight hint of black licorice. Roasted malts come into play with an undertone of dark chocolate towards the finish along with pine. Quite nice, well-balanced and very inviting.

Taste: Upon first taste, the instant rush of slightly sweet, dry roasted malts. Quite nice genuinely. Dark molasses brings together the sweet, while being complimented by a pretty solid pine flavor and inappreciably a hint of possibly toffee and coffee? I liked it and think this is an excellent example to my introduction to a Baltic Porter. Somewhere, vanilla finishes off the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation with medium to above medium body. Goes down relatively smooth and finishes off quite dry. Was expecting something a little more heavier.

Overall: When first pouring this brew, the dark coloring and robust complexion really brought on a great experience at the very start. The overload of roasted hops was a definite plus for this beer, and upon researching a Baltic Porter before opening this bottle, I was looking forward to an overload. Enjoyed this beer all the way through and looking forward to enjoying it again, if I can find it. Cheers!

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Photo of estlinska
3.84/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from Bomber to standard shaker on 3/24/13. This beer pours a dark brown to almost black the color of extremely well worn leather or shoe polish. Head is slightly off-white and voluminous with thick lacing all down the glass. This beer may be called a porter, but it is a very interesting nose. It screams of a black IPA, but there is a tooty-fruity effect in there with some grapefruit. Maybe the yeast is throwing a curve-ball there. The taste has a very good malt forward biscuit flavor and some syrup sweetness that was a little much. It has a very good bitterness to it too though, very fruity (tooty-fruity) but finishes very dry and crisp. I think if the malt was just a little less sweet this would go from a good beer to an exceptional beer. It's tasty, but the drinkability goes down about 2/3 through the glass. Overall, a good beer.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.64/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in a Sam Adams perfect pint

A - Pours dark reddish brown with a thin tan head. Very good retention with plenty of lacing.

S - Sweet roasted malts, caramelized sugar, faint dark fruit, faint citrus on the back end.

T - Actually follows the nose but with more punch. Roasted almost smoked malts, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, it's sweet but a leafy/citrus bitterness keeps it in check.

M - Medium full body, adequate carbonation.

A nice rustic porter with an edgy hop profile. Nice fruit and good malt depth keep this interesting.

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Photo of msondel
4.15/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving type was a bottle poured into a tulip glass.

This is the 3rd IPA I've had in Sam Adam's IPA mix pack and I'm pleasantly surprised by each of them. This one acts like a porter in my opinion. Very dark beer that has great balance and a nice dark roasted taste. I'd order this one again if I was in the mood for a porter, but wouldn't seek it out if I was thinking about a traditional IPA.

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Photo of DrJay
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut with a reddish hue and fluffy, tan/brown 1" cap. Chunky lacing with good head retention. Pine resin aroma with toffee and malt, smooth dark grains, bread and biscuit, with a hint of hop spiciness. Lingering bitterness with flavours of bread and toffee quite prominent, slight roast with caramel sweetness, pine, slight citrus with a hint of spice and alcohol, grassy hops in the finish that cut through the sweetness. Full bodied and creamy with slight warmth and nicely controlled astringency (quite low considering the dark malt content), quite smooth. Nicely balanced overall and quite drinkable. I thought it all worked well together.

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Photo of Duff27
3.59/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Two finger beige head on a dark red body. Great head retention and lacing. Cap and collar throughout.

Berry fruit nose, plums, blueberries. Cola.

Similar to the nose but more cola than berry. Distinct yet not overdone hop presence. Get a little cocoa on the backend. Hides it's alcohol well.

On the verge of being over carbonated for the style. Medium-medium thin mouthfeel.

Overall it wasn't bad. Thanks Kevin.

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Photo of chilidog
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I was pleased to find this as part of the hopology tour box, I was pleased to find the box period, can't find it in my town.

Pours black, hazy tan head that did fade only to lace well.

Aroma of citric pine, hop and roasted malt.

Taste is toasted malts followed by citric hop while other flavors come forward. Brown sugar sweetness, toffee, coffee, pine and bark.

Mouthfeel of sweet malts followed by hop oil bitterness that stays with you.

Overall a flavorful beer with many hidden twist and turns. I like the dark and the abv.

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Photo of Osirus
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

An IPA that is actually a lager. A good beer but too much for more than one at a setting, in my humble opinion.

Served out of a 12 oz bottle at room temperature.

Appearance. Dark amber, thin head but that could be the booziness.

Smell. Very hoppy, caramel. Citrusy, lagery, caramelly in that order. All in all, a very hoppy beer. Boozy.

Taste. Powerful citrus, caramel, wicked bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel. A little on the thinner side but still there. Carbonation is medium.

Overall. An IPA with a lagery taste...nice but it is a bit too much for me to have more than one at a time. Very hoppy, very powerful beer. Too hoppy for me. I have to admit, I am not the biggest IPA fan.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is Sam Adams' version of your typical Baltic Porter; it opens with a massive beige froth atop a tar black body - deep and imperivious to light. There is a heavy nose of malt, dark chocolate and caramel while the palate is overwhelmed by the 2 row malts and a feint of molasses, licorice and the aforementioned dark chocolate; all combined for a quick hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is somewhat boozy with a coffee aftertaste. Not a bad version of a great style. Very decent.

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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 StoutHunter
3.79/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Samuel Adams Dark Depths in their Hopology pack last week for $14.99 at Meijers. I have never had a Baltic IPA, but I think it might be similar to a Black IPA, either way i'm interested to check it out, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I think it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A- The label loos pretty nice, it had some nice artwork of an old school diver with a sea monster in the background, it's well done and it eye catching. It poured a slightly darker brown color that took on a deep and dark ruby color when held to the light with four fingers worth of slightly darker tan head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left lots of nice and sticky lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, the head and lacing were really nice, but the color could have been a bit darker.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness that has a brown sugar like aroma and is followed by a good amount of hops that impart some earthy and some medium citrus aromas. After that comes the malts which barely show up and impart a light grainy and medium roasted aroma. The aroma was nice but I wish the roasted malts showed up a little more to balance out all those hops a little.

T- The taste seems to be somewhat similar to the aroma, but it's much more balanced and it starts off with a slightly lower amount of medium sweetness that had a light brown sugar flavor to it and was followed by a good amount of malts that imparted a grainy, light chocolate, and medium roasted flavors. Up next comes the hops which impart an earthy and slightly medicinal hop flavor with only a slight bit of citrus hops coming though and it had a higher amount of medium bitterness with a light roasted and bitter earthy hop aftertaste. This was a nice tasting beer that was much more balanced than the aroma, but I wish the citrus hops showed up a little more.

M- Fairly smooth, medium creamy, a little dry, on the slightly thicker side of medium bodied with a nice amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was good and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer, I don't think it's a good example of a Baltic Porter, but the label says it's a Baltic IPA and as far as I can tell it's a decent example of that, the aroma led me to think this may be an unbalanced beer but when it came to the taste it turned out to be well balanced. This beer had ok drinkability, it went down fairly smooth and the flavors held my attention, but it was a little filling and it really isn't the type of beer I would drink multiples of, so one would be enough for me. What I liked the most about this beer was how balanced it was in the taste, the roasted malts showed up just enough and the hops provided a good amount of bitterness to balance everything out. What I liked the least about this beer was that the citrus hops didn't stick out a little more in the taste, if they did than I think this would be a pretty damn good Baltic IPA. I might buy a single of this if it was released it on it's own, but it's nothing I feel I need to buy a six pack of, I recommend it if your a fan of hoppier dark beers. All in all I was satisfied with this beer, it didn't blow me away by any means but it kept me entertained and I didn't mind drinking it. I like how Samuel Adams is really starting to blur the lines between styles, but I would like to see them put a good Baltic Porter before they put out a Baltic IPA. Good job guys, I can appreciate the originality in this brew.

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Photo of Founders_Fanatic
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Beer has a very deep red almost brown appearance. 1 finger width of off-white creamy head. I like the way this beer looks.
S: Brown sugar, citrus hops, slightly earthy smell
T: Herbal bitterness, toasted bread, slight sweet malts, grapefruit, alcohol, black licorice.
M: Very smooth feel, coats the mouth, lingering aftertase, dry finish
O: Alright beer, I don't think the Baltic Porter and IPA styles mix too well.

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Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.47/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Pours a deep dark reddish-brown with a two-finger khaki colored head. Nice sticky ringlets of lacing.

S - Moderatly strong aroma of earthiness not unlike fresh dirt, and medical hops.

T - Grainy, unroasted black malts forward, lending a burnt toast flavor. Some toffee and nutty esters. A somehwat unusual hop profile; equal parts earthy and herbal. Slightly spicy finish. Ashy. Kind of acrid. Flavors somewhat harsh and poorly blended. Lingering finish.

M - A bit of a creamy feel helps balance some of the graininess mentioned above. Lower end of medium bodied. Medium carbonation, which means it's considerably less than most SA beers.

O - This brew didnt really strike a chord, and I'll admit the "Baltic IPA" style seems to be a little lost on me as it seems to have blended the worst elements of both. (Porter malts without much sweetness; strangely medicinal hops) I just dont think the whole thing comes together that well. A bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.49/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-dark brown with a fairly sticky light tan head

S-surprisngly citrusy hops with just a small touch of dark roasted malts. actually not terrible smelling, i'm fairly impressed.

T-comes in with a nice aged and mellow flavor of dark malts along with a decent bitterness. has a nice matching after-taste with a slight hint of what seems to be nutmeg oddly enough. very creamy as well.

M-very creamy carbonation with a nice dry finish

O-one of the best Samuel Adams beers I've ever had. it's actually well done. great flavor, close to being a black IPA.

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Photo of jwc215
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by June 2013 on variety pack box, but individual bottle suggests to drink now or age.

Pours dark brown but hits black after poured. A tan, creamy to bubbly head has good staying power before becoming a swirling thick patch. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of toasted bread with some alcohol, roast, and an earthy to herbal bitterness.

The taste is of sweet chocolate (towards fudge) with roast, an earthy/herbal bitterness and some alcohol in the finish.

It hits full-bodied and pretty smooth despite the noticeable alcohol.

Nice flavors here, but they clash a bit. It's a hoppy Baltic Porter.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark, Fierce And Blustery. Across the cold and brackish waters of the Baltic, the English porter was transformed from a mild ale to a dark and complex lager that confounds definition. Immersed in dark, roasted malts and a bold citrus hop character, these big and contrasting flavors are brought together with the smoothness of a lager for a brew that's bold, mysterious, and full of flavor." Brewed in the style of a Baltic Porter. Available in 12 oz. bottles as part of the Samuel Adams Hopology variety pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a snifter. Served north of º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thick creamy tan-white head over a deep mahogany brown body. Plenty of carbonation. Head retention is very good and lacing is thin but strong. Very creamy and pleasing surface cover. 4

(Smell) Citrusy hop bouquet pairs with a lightly roasted caramel and sweet brown malt profile. Licorice and molasses are certainly there, but still the aroma is mild for a baltic porter, not as full bodied as I expected. A mild herbal but more citrusy bright hop-heavy selection was made here, a bit odd for the style. Beyond the bright hop profile, potency is rather shallow, seems a bit lackluster in aroma overall. 3.25

(Taste) Flavor is a bit more revealing than the aroma, with a mild semi-sweet malt profile led by clean caramel malts and licorice followed by a faint tart acidity and a mildly spicy, somewhat fruity hop profile. Nonetheless, assigning the title "Baltic" to this IPA may have been a bit of an overstatement in regards to my expectations for the depth of the style. The beer itself is very drinkable but shallow on depth. I expected a bit more depth to this ale but in keeping with the IPA tradition found that it is a decent beer on its own, despite being nothing similar to my expectations. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Creamy mild carbonation is decent for the style. Body is light for the style, medium overall. Alcohol presence is mild+. I liked the mild carbonation level, it was just faint enough to pair well with the beer and let some of the hop character take the front. 4.5

(Overall) My impressions of a Baltic Porter still stand firm despite that this beer in particular deviates sharply from the style, going for a much more liberally hop-forward and drinkable beer. This is certainly one of the most session-worthy Baltic beers I have had and while I enjoyed the flavor, found the style a bit misleading on its own. I would rather see this labeled as a brown IPA, but there probably isn't as big a market for that. 3.75

Boston Beer Company's
Samuel Adams Dark Depths Baltic IPA

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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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