A few weeks ago I was the lucky recipient of another shipment from Boston Beer, commonly known as Samuel (or Sam) Adams.
This time around the brewers from Boston sent this writer a 5 pack of 22s from their Single Batch Series.
So without further delay let’s get down to discussing Dark Depths Baltic India Pale Ale.
Dark, and fierce, this 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 rugged, mysterious, and full of flavor.
Baltic Porters date back to 18th century when the English style was exported along the trade routes of the Baltic Sea. However, the beer that took hold there was different than its English original. The new Baltic Porter retained the dark roasted malts but was higher in alcohol and used a lager yeast, common to the region from other beer styles. India Pale Ales have a similar history as they took the basis of an English Pale Ale and were strengthened and fortified for the journey to India.
In creating Dark Depths we began with the idea of the Baltic Porter, using dark roasted malts like Munich and Carafa that added a deep espresso character. To this base we added the bold and citrusy hop character of an IPA. The combination of American, Australian, English, and German hops give the beer a layered hop complexity with notes of grapefruit, orange, floral, and earthy pine. The lager yeast and cold fermentation brings together the rich malt and spicy hop flavors and adds a smoothness and balance to the brew.
Flavor: This beer has a lot of hop complexity with notes of orange citrus as well as earthy, herbal, and floral flavors and a big spicy character.
Color: Dark mahogany, 60 SRM
Original Gravity: 18.5 ° Plato
Alcohol by Vol/Wt: 7.6% ABV – 5.9%ABW
Calories/12 oz.: 254
Malt Varieties: Two-row Harrington, Metcalf, Caramel 60, Munich, Carafa I
Hop Variety: Zeus, Ahtanum, Saaz, East Kent Goldings, Topaz, and Simcoe hops
Yeast Strain: Samuel Adams lager yeast
Availability: Limited Release
First Brewed: 2011
You Should Try It. Paired with pork ribs, a juicy beef steak or earthy cheeses like fontina; Dark Depths has what it takes to be a unique beer in your fridge. Don't compare this to a Cascadian Dark Ale or Black India Pale as the brewery clearly wanted to distance itself from those two styles. Overall we think that Dark Depths is worth a try.
Samuel Adams Baltic India Pale Ale comes close to matching its namesake with a strong dark appearance save for accents of ruby around the bottom of the glass. Poured in a downward angle, into the glass, this India Pale Ale produces over two inches of strong, foamy head; before receding, leaving behind a curtain of lace.
Warming up Baltic India Pale Ale produces notes of tobacco, roasted malt, dark fruits (raisins, figs, etc.) as well as some mild sweet aroma. Further examination allows for hoppy notes of citrus, earth, and pine.
Sipping one can sum um an overall theme of sweetness, balanced out by roasted chocolate & dark fruits (again with the raisin, fig, grape mention) before bits of citrus and pine are notices. Overall this beer has a medium to strong weight to it and there is some noticeable alcohol burn.
Thought by your Colleagues
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.
About the photo’s author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.