Squatters Hell's Keep - Utah Brewers Cooperative

Not Rated.
Squatters Hell's KeepSquatters Hell's Keep

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BA SCORE
85
very good

45 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 90
rAvg: 3.76
pDev: 5.59%
Wants: 2
Gots: 12 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Utah Brewers Cooperative visit their website


Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  7.75% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wasatch on 08-11-2009

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 90
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.28/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml, waxed-cap bottle into Bruery tulip. Another thanks to Wasatch for another great Utah beer.

Pours cloudy golden-copper, with a big, creamy 3 finger-head on top. Nice retention, as the head eventually settles down into a half-inch thick creamy head. Loads of lacing gone wild.

Nose has a surprisingly big dose of higher alcohols, white pepper, candy sugar, just a bit of pear mixed in with the spiciness, maybe a bit of banana but nothing close to what you'd find in a hefe - dry, spicy, and with a pale sweetness.

Taste rachets the nose up a notch. The initial peppery yeast note holds up malt body that is at once bready, hinting at pears and even tropical fruit, and with a nice depth that goes beyond a simple pils malt bill. Maybe a bit of vienna? Finish is long, lush, with the yeast riding out on point with a nice mix of peppery spiciness, floral notes, just a bit of tangy yeast.

Mouthfeel is creamy, medium bodied that headed into full, dry, carbonation that moves from smooth and creamy to spritzy.

Drinkability is good, very good actually, surprisingly so. Delicious beer, with a big dose of higher alcohols. (1,134 characters)

Photo of Maltzilla
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to John for this bad boy!

Appearance: The carbonation really plays a strong role in this beer's appearance . . . almost like poring a glass of champagne! Golden, bubbly, light and crisp looking.

Smell: Got a good amount of fruit notes on this one. Some citrus and very nice spice to it as well.

Taste:Very nice flavor, got some fruits again and definitely good warmth from the alcohol, but nothing overpowering (despite it being quite high in ABV)

Mouthfeel & Drinkability: Love this beer. It's deceptively drinkable despite the high alcohol content. You could easily drink this all night and get yourself into a lot of trouble by the end of the evening. The champagne yeast makes this every palatable and enjoyable. (731 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.18/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let this bottle warm a bit from the fridge. Poured with a large, foamy, frothy, fluffy, slightly thick, off white head that slowly settles and some lace. Color is a clear golden amber with lots of bubble trails. Aroma is yeast, hop, malt, spice, vineous. Flavor is a little on the sweet side with some bitterness and carbonic tang to balance. Body is a little soft, full, and carbonation is very good. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. This beer is virtually indistinguishable from the Belgians and super easy drinking. It's not that it's so unique in its characteristics as it is in its being so true to style. Great beer! (633 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.17/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden/orange color. A two finger, well formed head sticks around for a minute. As the foam gently recedes, lots of lace is left behind.
S: Earthy, spicy, phenolic, and estery yeast. I like it. Lemon rind and orange fruity aromas. Fresh cut grass and hay. I light peppermint like sweetness as well. This is great.
T: Follows the nose, and it is very enjoyable as well. Spicy, earthy, esters. Lemon and orange. Some bread/biscuit as well. Grassy hops and a light lingering bitterness.
M/D: A medium body that is perfectly crisp, clean, and dry. Very refreshing. Easy to drink. I will enjoy this bottle on this slow late afternoon.

I did not have a lot of expectations for some reason. Maybe because I was not a big fan of the stout in the same series. Though this is a very nice example of the style. Very well made, and highly recommend. (854 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of my most recent trade with Wasatch... Huge thanks buddy.

Looked like the cap might be leaking through a thin layer of black wax.. some small bubbles of beer were blowing out.... So I did what any self-respecting BA would do... Immediately chilled it down a bit and cracked it... Poured into my small La Trappe goblet.

Thankfully, the beer was still plenty carbonated .... very carbonated actually, I think some Boise heat and UPS jostling may have just forced up some beer into the neck.

Easy 2 finger thick egg shell white head... the brew is a slightly hazy pale sunset gold.

Nose is pretty spicy.. with some apple skin... fairly malty... good aroma across the board.

Flavor is every bit a well made BSPA.. fruity esters reminds of a slightly underripe pear... quite a nice bite of white pepper too... good bitterness.

The body is lite/medium with a bunch of carbonation.

No problems with the cap made it's way into the finished bottle .... the smallest amount of beer actually made it out and in fact my only "real" complaint is I would even like the carbonation notched back a tad more.... Thanks again John.

Edit: Glad John shipped this in a styro shipper.... looks like it probably spent most of the trip upright.

4/4/4.5/3.5/4 (1,249 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.13/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

smell: slight fruit and spicy aromas, slight banana notes

taste: balanced beer with the alcohol being so high and sweet flavor. But the overall flavor was dull and nothing dominating flavor

mouthfeel: Very cool with the champage yeats added. light bodied with tons of carbonation. Becareful pouring. It the most carbonated beer I have ever had.

drinkability: overall a decent belgan and I would try again (408 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours very hazy golden amber color with nice 2-3 finger pillowing white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of pear, apple, banana, herbal, floral, pepper, clove, lemon, bubblegum, and yeast spiciness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of lemon, pear, banana, bubblegum, pepper, clove, herbal, floral, earth, biscuit, and yeast spices. Lingering notes of lemon, pear, banana, pepper, clove, biscuit, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; no cloying flavors at all. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a fairly creamy and prickly mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong golden ale. Great complexity and balance of flavors; very smooth and crisp to sip on. Really enjoyed this one. (1,014 characters)

Photo of BeardedRiker
4.03/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This will be my third Squatters beer. So far I've enjoyed all of what they've had to offer. Their Hop Rising was delicious, their Outer Darkness wasn't as "stout" as I like my stouts but it was still a good brew, and now I'm having this Hell's Pass. It's good to see the brewery making a variety of beer styles.

I poured this baby into my Duvel glass and oh, does it look delightful. The beer is a crystal clear golden. I don't know if my glass has etching at the bottom of it but there is some serious bubble-age coming from the bottom, like a hot spring. The head forms a bit slowly but gets lovely, white, and foamy. There's some exceptional lacing on my glass, leaving a thin layer of once-head around the glass. A nice thin layer of bubbles remains on top throughout drinking.

I get a triumvirate of smells coming from Hell's Keep. Interestingly, it does not smell of fire, pitch, stone, blood, sweat, excrement, or any other smell I'd associate with a keep that's in Hell. Mostly what I get is Belgian yeast, a white sugary sweetness, and slight lemon citrus. Underlying is a hay-like aroma that adds a sort of saison/barnyard character. Some booziness tingles the nose just a tad but it doesn't intrude.

The taste is much like the smell except the hops and hay maltiness are more pronounced. I'd say the flavors are all balanced here perfectly. It might not be the most tasty beer you'll have (That's a stupid statement, I admit) but they're all good and all well-balanced. Just a bit of bitterness at the beginning with some lemon and some banana as well. Sweet bananas, yes, that's a good description of the sweetness, though the banana isn't very strong. After the hop bitterness and fruity sweetness comes the flavors that linger like the grainy malts, a bit of warming booze, and the white sugary sweetness. It reminds me of a sugar cookie in a way.

Hell's Keep is an overall smooth beer but there's enough carbonation to tingle the tongue at the beginning. It's medium-bodied and very easy to drink.

This is another enjoyable offering from Squatters. I hope to see more from them in the future. (2,114 characters)

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Grant - thanks!

Pours a clear golden color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of green apples, mild citrus, grassy hops, pale malt, and coriander, in that order.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Crisp pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of green apple and grapefruit peel flavors. Midway through the sip mild amounts of spices jump into play - coriander as with the aroma - and are buttressed by grassy hop flavors. The ending is mildly bitter.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I thought this was a solid beer however no one facet really stood out to me. Still, it's worth a shot. (845 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle
Waxed/Cap
3000 Bottles For Now

Poured into a tulip a very nice golden yellow color, slightly hazy, nice carbonation, huge three-finger foamy head, with tons of sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a nice yeast note, with some corinander and other spices. The taste is malty, with some yeast, slightly sweet, nice bannana notes. Medium body, not much ABV, but still hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew. (457 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy golden orange color. Large white head that takes some time to go down. Scent is buttery at first... A lot of butter and diacetyl. Belgian yeast and pears with green apples and more butter. Taste is initially buttery with some lovely Belgian yeast flavors. Buttery popcorn flavor with fresh pears and some melon. Light clove. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. Drinkability is high. Overall, first beer I've had from this brewery, and it's definitely tasty. (478 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
3.98/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

25oz bottle courtesy of JohnGalt1.

A: Cloudy golden honey shade with a huge frothy white head and great retention.

S: Floral hops and yeast are most prominent. Somewhat earthy with a little apple and grain aroma.

T: Flavor is spicy and phenolic initially with banana, pear, and perfect touch of sweetness. Hops are pretty restrained and the finish is long and fruity.

M: Feel is soft with heavy, but fine carbonation.

Thought this was a solid example of the style, and a pretty well balanced beer lacking any glaring weaknesses. A very drinkable BSPA. Thanks for the opportunity Toby. (589 characters)

Photo of RedHaze
3.96/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for the bottle.

Pours a mildly hazy golden color with a mountainous head that takes forever to sink to a thick cap. The foam leaves behind a thick sheeting of lace behind.

Smell; wheat, lemons and pepper kick things off, followed by a little banana and alcohol. There's a faint sweetness in the aroma, but it's way in the background.

Taste; wheat malt and lemongrass with a touch of coriander. Bananas, pepper and a some other spices I can't place fill out the middle, and the finish is dry, and a little bit alcoholic which only helps accentuate the pepper and leading to a somewhat drying effect. After the first few sips the alcohol fades almost completely away.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe just a touch thin, but I think it suites the flavor of the beer perfectly. Drinkability is really good, as I find that I have to force myself to slow down a little.

My first beer from Utah, and it's a damn good one. (938 characters)

Photo of stonequarrywest
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one courtesy of Wasatch... Thanks

Poured into a large DFH Snifter.
Yellow Gold pour with an extremely soft and fluffy off white head of about 2 inches. Great lacing throughout this bottle.
A little spice nose with a malty side.
A taste of a good crisp pear...somehat sweet with a back heat of ABV maybe. NOt usually abig fan of these style, but I tell you this one will definitely make me seek them out. I really enjoyed it.
A bit more carbonatin than i like but it works out....very drinkable !!

Not to mention the label is phenomenal!!! (546 characters)

Photo of alexgash
3.95/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle with wax cap. Awesome label art!

Insane carbonation out of the cold, carefully-handled bottle. I now understand why there was a warning label attached to the neck of the bottle! Giant, rocky, marshmallowy, creamy-white head sits atop a very bubbly (champagne-like) clear golden body. Nose of candied fruits, powdered sugar, banana-y esters, feed hay, and peppery hops.

Light metallic bitterness up front. Soft wheat and tropical fruit notes follow. Banana-y esters dominate, with some grassy, peppery hoppiness around the edges. Slightly warming with some rummy alcoholh is a little drier, with lingering banana. Medium-bodied with a slightly watery feel after the explosive initial carbonation. Not bad, and it's good to see some high-octane, "big-bottle" beers being made in Utah. Keep changing those laws! (825 characters)

Photo of gford217
3.92/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle courtesy of Wasatch shared with the crew at the Brick Store.

Pours clear golden with a big fluffy white head that recedes quickly to a soapy swirl and small collar leaving some delicate lacing along the sides.

Aroma is one part earthy and one part sweet fruits. There is a herbal yeasty spiciness up front which melds nicely with pears and green apples.

The sweet fruits are still there in the taste but the herbs and spices are more prevalent than in the aroma and leave a dry woody finish at the end.

The mouthfeel is probably a little light for the style with a huge carbonation that doesn't help much given the slightly watery body.

It's a solid effort from Squatters and though it's not world class it's drinkable with a highly earthy character. (768 characters)

Photo of ocelot2500
3.91/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with a tight, frothy head that fades slowly and leaves a solid sheet of lacing on the glass.

Smells of some grassy notes and a little yeast spice.

Tastes of mostly a dry, bready malt character with some yeast additions. There is a good amount of citrus grassy notes as well, but the beer does not have a sharp edge. Very lightly sweet with some hidden apple notes. Yeast adds peppery notes in the middle. Alcohol also sneaks in, but does not detract.

Mouthfeel is full with a smooth amount of carbonation. (535 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.9/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy pale golden with several fingers of white eggshell looking head that stays for quite some time.

S - Spicy with some apple, pale malts, hints of clove and lemon, herbal with belgian yeast notes.

T - Spicy, lemon and apple, light clove, bready pale malts, slight herbal hops and yeasty esters.

M - Medium body with high carbonation.

D - Nice and refreshing on the first 70+ degree day of the year. (417 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a quite good hoppy belgian ale. pours cloudy orange juice from concentrate yellow colow, with a fluffy white head, indicative of the nice belgian yeast that is featured in the aroma and flavor of this american bent on a belgian pale ale. smells like citric hops and belgian yeast in equal parts, and tastes about the same. the yeast up front, hops later on. the feel is excellent, very bubbly and a medium body. this beer really surprised me as most of the other brews at squatters were pretty average. this one stood out as a bold yet balanced expertly crafted ale. a must try when you visit. (593 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
3.86/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great job with carbonation and a meringue-like head. Golden body is soothing in appearance, translucent, but hazy if you pitch the trub into the glass from the bottle bottom. Nose has plenty of yummy esters and bready notes. Hint of tropical fruit. Fruity on the palate as well with some wild flavors keeping things interesting. Bready. Clean. Finishes somewhat sweet. Alcohol masked well.

Should be a regular 12 oz release, not some special gold topped bomber. (462 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.8/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Misty, mustard straw colored with a medium-sized white head which retains and laces well.
The nose brings pears dusted in powdered sugar and cloves, candied lemon peel, and basil-like leafiness.
It brings a sugary, rock-candy sweetness upon touching the teeth. Backings of melon and pear. A touch of caramel, then it dries a bit with wheat toast. Yeast adds clove, banana, and pepper, and just a touch of oxidized, brown-bag deadness. Not a flaw or distraction on it own, but perhaps a suggestion that it not likely to age well. Lemon peel later on, with touches of herbs, as it ends and lingers with sugary white grape vinousness.
Uppity carbonation upfront, giving lift to the moderately full body making it seem much lighter. The bubbles slow over time, but never fade entirely, giving it a bit more girth, but it never feels fat. It's drinkable beyond it's ABV, but it's sip-worthy too.
It may lack a bit in total depth, but it hits mostly all the right notes. If it were priced differently ($16/750mL bottle at the brewpub, $10 in stores), I'd absolutely return. There's a good deal of likeability as well as versitility here. (1,132 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

25oz bottle courtesy of Wasatch! Excellent extra in a trade!

A: Gold in color, not much of a head, about half an inch that disappeared as soon as it got there. Fairly cloudy. Decent lacing. Nice looking beer, except for the lack of head.

S: Pale malts, spicy Belgian yeast, a little bit of a hop kick, definitely noble in variety. Fairly sugary smelling. All in all smells pretty good.

T: Pale malts, definite spicy yeast strain, slightly apple in flavor, has a sort of cider profile, lots of esters from the yeast strain. Spicy hop bite in the end of it. Not too shabby really. Pretty darn tasty.

M: Not sure if something happened with this bottle but it is definitely flat, and that hurts this beer, as most, if not all Belgian's should have a pronounced carbonation. Dry finish saves it, slightly warm alcohol.

D: Easy to drink, but a little carbonation would be nice, minus that fact this is a tasty beer. A little sad to see its a one time only beer, but still nice. Definitely recommended if you can snag a bottle from Squatters. Nice beer, would drink again. (1,074 characters)

Photo of NStLincoln
3.76/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw color out of a 24oz bottle. The head looks just like whipped egg whites. Even leaves the same kind of frothy lacing around the pint glass.

Dusty cloves and a that smell when you put yeast in warm water to activate it.

First thing I notice on the the palate is an alcohol kick on the back end, not unpleasant, but it's there. Also some muted bananas, baking spices, and just a smidge of tropical flavors. (426 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
3.74/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle bought and shared by T. Thanks
Cloudy golden with loud pop but smallish head for style.
Mix of soft yeast character and pale malt with a bready/doughy character.
Malt flavor matched the aroma. Again with modest yeast characteristics. A couple shots of hop flavor with bittering to cut sweetness. Long reasonable dry finish.
A little bigger than moderate feel and some fullness from carbonation.
A solid drinking ale. Worth a taste and can assist in meeting a belgian fix. (479 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.73/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks,
John!

Slight leakage from the wax dipped bottle..thankfully, John knew what he was doing by putting it in a baggie.

Light hiss when I popped the cap, it pours a cloudy colour of peach with close to a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is nice and spicy with big notes of clove, yeastiness, corriander, and lemon zest.

The taste is yeasty and spicy and fruity, very authentic for the style, me thinks. Lemon zest and bananas come out nicely with corriander following suit and the cloves are not as strong in the taste as in the smell and that's fine with me. Some bready malt tones are hanging around mid palate..good tasting brew here.

It has a medium body and is very high in carbonation, maybe a tad too much and was the cause of the seapage.

Drinkability? It drinks well for the abv and is tasty so...it's a pretty easy drinker for me.

Hehe...the brewers in Utah are constantly bringing out new beers. You hear that, Wyoming?!?! /hint hint. (986 characters)

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Squatters Hell's Keep from Utah Brewers Cooperative
85 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.