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 jondeelee
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Depths opens with a hoppy nose, the aromas coming out somewhere between medium-light and medium in strength. Hops provide nice grapefruit and pine touches. Malts are also present in decent quantities, these bringing strong toffee and vanilla-based notes, mixed with toasted whole grain bread crust and floury baguettes. As a whole, the nose is intriguing, though I did want for a bit more punch and pizzazz.

On the tongue, the beer proves more flavorful and enticing than the nose hinted at, the malts coming across strong in waves of vanilla, caramel, and toast crust, with strong touches of fig and faint hints of tawny port. The hops are also much stronger here, bringing huge pink grapefruits that play oddly, but nicely off of the dark fruit esters, as well as pine sap. The beer does have a noticeable alcohol vapor lingering at the edges, which is strange considering the fairly light 7.6% ABV. Black pepper spices provide an interesting grounding. The hops become more present as the beer is held on the tongue and the sugars die off, and similarly dominate the aftertaste, joined by roasted pecans and subtle ashy tones. Mouthfeel is medium, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, this is good fare, though I don't find that it quite matches up with the other brews in this series. The flavors are quite nice, bold, and nuanced, but I simply wanted a bit more character and presence, especially from the hops.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Samuel Adams Dark Depths (batch 1) is an unusual beer. I don't think I like it.

A: Dark red colour and a huge 3 cm head that lasts quite awhile. 4.5

S: Malty with strong spicy hoppiness. 4

T: Malty with hints of spicy hops and some bitterness. This is a strange beer and I'm not exactly sure what I'm tasting. Salt? Smoke? 3.5

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: 3

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

A - Pours a dark black cherry color into my Belgian tulip glass with an easily light colored caramel head that's four fingers deep!

S - This is an odd one...mild onion and garlic resin, a little earthy, And some chocolate and pine notes. Honestly, this was a tough one for me to peg in the aroma for some reason.

T - Taste mimics the aroma, unusual. Toasted malt, mild onion, some pine, alcohol effervesence, and some buried citrus rind. I'm getting alot of fusel alcohol for only 7.6%.

M - Medium to thick medium body, mild carbonation on the tongue is borderline smooth.

O - it's an IPA, no wait, it's a Baltic porter - my palette is confused. Definitely a unique beer.

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Photo of YeastInception
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of Tilley4
2.64/5  rDev -28.5%
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 mdfb79
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Rschis16
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark hued beer with tones of deep ruby. Thick three finger light tan head sits on top and leaves a patchwork of lacing with it as it slowly dissapates. Fresh in your face hops it the nose first, with a nice balance of grapefruity citrus and a resiny earthiness. Backing it is a full dark roasted malt aroma, balancing this nose very nicely. Underneath the citrusy aroma is a very slight tobacco or leather aroma that meshes very well.

Interesting taste profile. The roasted malts are reminiscent of a porter, lighter than a stout but still very present. It is also very hoppy however and the combination seems to give off a complex burnt bitterness. There is a nice coffee note in the middle that contributes to this and then moves into a pretty intense citrusy but earthy hop flavor. The smokiness of the coffee and malt flavors almost clashes with this high amount of hops, but in an interesting way that I really like. It might be the grapefruity citrus that gives it that weird twist. Very prickly and playful throughout from a pretty high carbonation level. More than a touch of alcohol, but it is part of the profile and works well. Its actually not that noticeable due to the intensity of the flavors. It finishes dry and crisp with a lingering aftertaste of coffee and bitter hops. The finish is a little lackluster however because it moves into a watery feel at the very end.

After reviewing, the label really does it justice. It is complex and interesting in its contrast, while being chock-full of great flavors. I would recommend it to others.

 1,572 characters

Photo of jboyer
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of shanblur
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cryptic freshness info. Poured into tulip. A - Dark brown mahogany color with an off white head. Moderate lacing. S - Roasted malt and piney, spicy hops. Some sweet malt and chocolate aromas as well. T - Roasted malts overpowered by piney hops, but strikes a nice balance. Sweet malt seems to linger and sticks to the tongue. M - Smooth and creamy with a light carbonation. A good beer. Liked it better than I thought I would.

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Photo of Independant
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a dark brown color with a 2" head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam.

Smell: some fruit sweetness, earthiness, and some pine notes come through to the nose.

Taste: nice malty base with citrus, some earthiness, bits of chocolate, and a moderate bitterness. Alcohol is well hidden here.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and a bit dry at the finish. Long lasting aftertaste as the flavors linger in the mouth.

Overall: a nice slow sipping beer that leans towards a black IPA. Moderately refreshing, but definitely satisfying.

 578 characters

Photo of CP20
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of SHCC
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of RollBeerTide
4.5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of homebrew311
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours cola brown with 2 fingers of cocoa brown head,, decent lacing, good clarity, somewhat light for a baltic porter/ipa or whatever it actually is

S: nose is rather hoppy, big notes of pine, lemon, candy, some grassiness comes through, a bit of roast in the back

T: somewhat bitter to start with a bit of sweetness, roasted barley, chocolate, and coffee come through, they kind of compete with the pine hop profile

MF: mellow carbonation, light body

O: well this beer doesn't fit in a neat classification so its hard to review it as a Baltic Porter when it seems more like an American Black Ale. That being said, it is very hoppy and features a decent roast profile. Kind of a identity crisis if you ask me.

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Photo of jbertsch
2/5  rDev -45.8%

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

Poured like a slick jet black oil with little head. I was a bit puzzled, because I thought when we tasted this one, that the label said Baltic IPA. So when we poured it, again, I am thinking along the lines of other Black IPAs

There wasnt much of any distinguishable aromas here. The first sip was big and bold, lacking carbonation, hoppiness crispness.
I thought, "Strange for an IPA?" I looked at the back of the bottle and saw Porter there.

That explained the missing hop and bitter I was expecting. Still, this one was ok, nothing to really sing its praise, but also nothing to knock it down.

It just wasnt' to be likings. I love Porters and Stouts as a whole, but I will probably pass this one up

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Photo of Brad007
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been a while since I've reviewed a baltic.

Pours a very dark brown color with a huge head that fades to reveal lacing on the edges.

Cocoa, brown sugar and a creamy texture compliment the slight citrus tint of the hops.

The taste leans more towards an imperial stout with sweet roasty malt, citrus hops and a creamy finish. Hmm. Maybe I'm wrong on the roast then?

Very clean finish for such a jumble of flavors. Good amount of citrus/pine hops at the end.

A mixed bag of flavors. It's not a baltic porter because baltic porters do not place as much emphasis on the hops as this does. Still, it's very enjoyable as is so I have to give a fair mark.

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Photo of PeteRiz
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

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)

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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.

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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

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