Apr 19, 2012

Samuel Adams Dark Depths

Sam Adams Dark Depths photo

Along with a bottle of their Cinder Bock, I also picked up this bottle of Samuel Adams Dark Depths. And much like Cinder Bock, this beer is also a mash-up of styles — combining elements of a baltic porter and black IPA. Unlike the Cinder Bock, however, this one doesn’t really lean too heavily on one or the other style, instead it pretty much sits right in the middle of the two.

Which is also a nice way of saying that it really doesn’t do much else, but sit right in the middle of the road in terms of it’s overall appeal. And confuse the taste buds a good deal.


Dark Depths pours a reddish brown in color with a slowly falling light brown head.


The beer sort of smells like a hoppy porter. It has a robust, dark malt character with hints of chocolate, grain and grassy hops.


While this brew smells like a hopped-up porter, it tastes more like a black IPA. Since smell and taste are so closely tied to one another, this is where the confusion starts. The beer still has a decent bit of roast malt as it’s backbone, but also carries a solid helping of hops that bring a healthy dose of grapefruit citrus and bitterness to the table. The beer isn’t full enough on the palate to drive the porter end of the spectrum, but also not light enough for an IPA.


There are times when I want a beer to challenge me. To take my taste buds to placed they’ve never been before. Other times, I just want a beer. Samuel Adams Dark Depths, I think, attempts to challenge, but more often than not, each sip just confused my palate. I can see what the company was trying to do with the beer, but they weren’t as successful as the Cinder Bock. Not sure that I would buy this one again.


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