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 farrago
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Moderate depth to the creamy finger plus head, deep tan color with very good retention, same thing with the lacing, broad streaks which stick around for some time. The liquid is a murky muddy brown with orange rust tones and it lightens around the edges, tiny bubbles form active beads. The nose is sweetly roasted featuring chocolate, caramel, butterscotch and licorice, some plum, black grape and cherry fruit scents, not devoid of hoppiness but not that green, some straw or hay, floral but wish it had more leafiness, ends with an uptick in smoky tar, alcohol is present. Full-bodied and somewhat foursquare in the mouth with less carbonation than needed for its density. Again plays up the cocoa, mocha, caramel, cola and creamed coffee aspects, here balanced out by a metallic earthiness. More breadiness and yeast, mild dose of esters. The florality gets muted, same for the dark fruits albeit there’s some prune in there. Opens and unclenches a touch through the finish as orange citrus and hops cleanse some. It is boozy but not unbalanced, little about it conveys a sense of an IPA, but drinkable for sure.

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Photo of joeworrall
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

interesting "small batch" brew from Sam Adams. It's labelled a Baltic Porter, but it's heavily hopped like an IPA with Zeus, Ahtanum, Saaz, Simcoe, East Kent Goldings & Topaz hops to go with Caramel & Munich Carafa malts.

The taste is almost toasty, and poured into a glass it's so dark you could mistake it for a stout rather than a porter.

Tonight I'm drinking it head-to-head with North Coast Old Rasputin Stout. both are good, and have a very "chewy" mouthfeel. Worth trying again, but perhaps against a less formidable opponent, I may like it better. Tonight, Old Rasputin is king.

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Photo of rx-beer
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown, almost black, that doesn't let any light through except for some ruby streaks near the edges. About an inch of tan head fades to a thin ribbon and leaves behind thin, clingy lacing. Nose has notes of caramel and malt, a touch of hops, and lightly smokey. Taste is a cross between a porter and a light pale ale: hops are present from the get go but not overpowering; notes of malty caramel and toffee; Smokey and toasty. Feels silky smooth with full body. Lightly astringent. Very light carbonation. Dry finish.

I'm not big on IPA's and PA's but I really dig this beer. Very well balanced flavor with a beautiful color. Would definitely have another if I ever get my hands on it again.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a two finger mocha head that reduced to a thin layer and left nice lacing on the glass. It is a pitch black color with some clarity when held up to light and bubbles can be vividly seen coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Citrus, mocha, burnt molasses, sourness, yeasty, alcohol, cola, and toasted malts.

Taste: Same as above, but the traditional flavors I was expecting from the scent. You can notice molasses, smokey flavors, and dark fruits along with everything else mentioned above. I am starting to pick up citrus hops more and more with every taste. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, low to medium carbonation, a little booze, and a little sourness.

Overall: Pretty much a citrusy Baltic porter. I nice mix of two styles of beer. Balanced, hoppy, and enjoyable.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a blackish red with a nice off white head. Smells of floral and citrus hops with a little maltiness. Tastes of slight coffee and chocolate and nice earthy hops. Beer is carbonated good for medium/heavy body and goes down smooth. Overall a pretty good beer.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oddly, has a 'Enjoy now or age it to further develop rich and unique flavors' note on the side of the bottle, but no bottled on date to give the drinker an idea of how old this might be.

Appearance - Pours deep brown with ruby edging where light can penetrate. Head is a light tan, 2 finger sud blanket with great retention. Thick layer of lacing coats the glass. This is an impressive looking beer.

Smell - Chocolate and black cherry, with touches of cola. Quite an inviting aroma.

Taste - Follows the nose to an extent. The chocolate notes from the carafa malt are most evident. Touches of roast give it a nice bit of bitterness to keep the chocolate from becoming cloying. Hits on low levels of cherry/fruit tartness after the roast dies down. Faint citrus notes mid-taste and into the finish. Faint coffee in the aftertaste as well.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full in body with soft, silky carbonation. Goes down with ease.

Overall - I didn't get much hoppiness from this brew; that I bought it at 'Close Out' pricing suggests this may have been sitting on the shelf for months on end. I can only guess the hops have broken down and are not the prominent force they may have been upon initial release. The suggestion to age an IPA, even a hybrid like this, seems misplaced. It stands to reason that a 'Baltic IPA' should be drank fresh to preserve the hoppy character. If aged, then does it not defeat the purpose of it being an IPA?

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.46/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Dark Depths pours a very dark almost black hue with a small long lasting and lacing head. There is a roasted aroma with blackened hops finishing off. The taste has an almost sour boozy porter taste, with a small kick of blackened hops, lots of biscuit flavors, and overall tastes almost burnt. Full flavors, but an odd combo, not the most drinkable. Overall its like a burnt hoppy boozy porter, interesting, but its just a rather okay beer.

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Photo of Walletsworth
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a nice dark brown color and pours with a finger of head with great lacing. Has a chocolate smell with a hint of hoppiness. Tastes smooth. Not much bitterness at all. Wish it had a little more hop in the taste. All that comes through is the chocolate.

Overall it was a nice beer. Probably wouldn't buy again but I'm glad I tried it at least.

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Photo of Hoptopher
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The appearance of this beer is great. Very dark with some red hues. Beautiful tan two finger head that held up well. When it dropped it left a nice lace on top and on the glass.
Smell is good, malty goodness up front that smells sweet with a hint of chocolate. Some fruitiness in there, I detect plum. Slight earthy hop smell.
Taste overpowered with sweet maltiness, not the hop presence I hoped for but a good taste nonetheless.
This is an overall good beer. I don't have any experience with Baltic ales put I am sure I'll pick this one up again this winter.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unable to review this beer because it is no longer brewed. Remembered it as a hoppy black ale. Very good. Roasted malts with some light chocolate flavor.

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Photo of mitch3114
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into two pint glasses and shared with a friend

A- Beautiful, thick creamy, fluffy off-white, uneven head, a little sticky. Very dark ale. Almost black, but with a slight reddish hue, looking thinner than a stout, like cola but with much less carbonation. Cool label art!

S- Smell was unexpected, very fragrant, slight pine, fruity, mandarin orange, a slight dark roasty smell, maybe a hint of chocolate.

T- Not quite as good as the smell, similar but subdued. More roasted flavor than the smell. Tasted like a lighter body IPA like Sam's Whitewater IPA poured into a porter. Interesting. The hop presence was just about right for what I was hoping/expecting. The hops weren't really bitter (although who knows how long it was sitting on the shelf), just citrusy and really tasty. This combination of flavors melded very well.

M- The mouthfeel was a bit on the lighter side. This didn't drink like a black IPA, more like a porter. There was decent carbonation which to me black IPA's typically lack. It was surprisingly refreshing on the hot summer night.

O- Overall, this was a decent offering from Sam Adam's. It had a nice fluffy head and it was a tasty aromatic brew that went down pretty nicely. I am glad they kept this one under 8% as many of their beers in their specialty line-up seem to be very high in ABV. I think it was just right.

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Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Medium dark chestnut; huge frothy tan head, long lasting; good lacing

Aroma: Caramel; roasted grains; dried fruit; smells great; slightly smoky

Taste: Initial hit of roasted grains and hop bitterness; malty and juicy too; slightly bitter in the mid, but well balanced with sweetness; finishes semi-sweet with warming alcohol notes; yum

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of Curtis
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great job blending sweet malt and ipa. Mouthfeel is somewhere in the middle of both styles. Malt flavor is wonderful.. could have used a bit more aroma. This one will be even better in the fall/winter but quite good on summer nights. Overall a very good beer.. almost like a hoppier version ofanderson valley's boont amber....

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.87/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: This is a tough one. As an IPA, it is extremely unique in color. But let's be real...this is really more of a light porter. I'm going to split the difference on this one.

Smell: Some coffee and pine. Refreshing, but too subdued.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Subtle coffee with a pine finish. Similarly to the smell, it's too subdued, but I enjoy how unique it is for an IPA. Clean coffee mouthfeel with a lager finish. Definitely my favorite part of this beer.

Overall Drinkability: One of the better coffee IPAs...actually it's probably the only one.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.99/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A: Four fingers of head rise and fall quickly. The beer is dark and near black.

S: It smells great!! Fruity, round, and pleasant. Chocolate, papaya, and musty old ale style yeast.

T: Delicious! Light roast, light body, heavy dark fruit (currants, blueberries, blackberries). Quite sweet. The aftertaste is a little weird. Lager yeast is...sourish? Maybe this is the citric hops (Zeus and Simcoe), actually. Odd.

M: Light and smooth.

O: This was really interesting! Worthwhile. My biggest criticism is that is gets less good the more I drink.

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