Samuel Adams Dark Depths

Boston Beer Co.

Boston, MA

Dark Depths Baltic India Pale Ale

7.6% ABV

Sam Adams recently put out the two newest entries in its Batch No. 1, which I’m a fan of. I’ll get to their smoked bock next week, but up first is Dark Depths, their “Baltic IPA,” which isn’t really a style. I’ve heard it described as more of a black IPA – which isn’t really a style either? – or robust porter or baltic porter (one of my favorite styles) than anything else, but brewed with lager yeast. So, yeah … weird, but in a good way.

The beer pours pretty thinly. It’s really dark like a porter or stout, but a little light coming through the curve of the glass, giving it hints of ruby red and dark brown. There’s a huge rocky head and great lacing to top it off.

On the nose is an interesting IPA and malt mix. There’s a lots of orange, a bit of pineapple and grapefruit, but it’s all covered up by the roasted notes. Those give it chocolate and burnt coffee smells, and strangely enough, a little bit of soy sauce smell.

At the beginning, it’s like a straight-up black IPA. Very hoppy and slightly bitter on the front of the tongue. It really opens up midway through the mouth. The orange is very prominent, as is the maltiness and roasted notes and chocolate. There’s a sort of espresso quality to it. It works well to balance the hoppiness, more so than with most black IPAs. The lager yeast is nice touch. To me, it gives it more of a thicker, richer mouthfeel, but with a really clean dry finish.

Next in the series: Cinder Bock.

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