Squatters Outer Darkness - Utah Brewers Cooperative
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Ratings: 367 | Reviews: 129 | Display Reviews Only:
1.85/5 rDev -54.3%
Not sure of vintage on this as there is no bottling or best by date. Embossed bottle with gold foil poured into a 10oz brandy snifter.
A: Pours deep black with a 1 finger khaki head. Lacing sticks to the glass as I drink.
S: Booze hits the nose first and is almost overwhelming. Behind the booze are roasted chocolaty notes, raisins, and a slight tartness.
T: The booze and tart finish are all I taste in the first sip. Subsequent sips reveal dried fruit and well hidden chocolate. As I continue to sip all I can focus on is this weird solventy tartness and the heat. I can't even finish the 8 oz pour.
M: Medium-heavy body with good carbonation. Maybe a little over carbonated for my tastes but that is the least of this beer's problems.
O: I guess the appearance was nice but as I said, I can't finish this pour. Maybe it'd be better fresh and this appears to be an older bottle.
06-08-2011 23:30:48 | More by samtallica
1.98/5 rDev -51.1%
Tasting Date: 2/19/2011 - review from notes.
Service/Appearance: Had a little beer lineup one night with a friend, and served this into just a standard glass. Pours very dark brown with a relatively small, light brown head. Lacing is light on glass, but still apparent.
Nose: Something is off with this. Not what I expect with an alleged RIS - no real sweetness detected. Heavy char, an almost meaty, salty scent.
Taste: Unfortunately, taste only confirms what the nose foreshadowed. Nothing remotely normal about what I expect in a RIS -- looking at other reviews, maybe I had a flawed bottle or something. The most prevalent taste (after 2 or 3 more very hesitant sips) was beef jerky.
Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous, just offputting because of the taste.
Overall: I'll entertain the notion that I had a bad bottle of this, but this one was not impressive. Color and mouthfeel were ok, which saved it from total failure.
03-31-2011 23:22:09 | More by Eldritch
3.13/5 rDev -22.7%
Thanks to foofaa for busting this one out for us to try.
A - Pours jet black with a small half finger tall tan head leaving light lace down the glass.
S - Smells is all over the place. Initially there are hints of smoke, chocolate, and coffee with a weird off aroma sneaking in at the end of each sniff, almost brett like. As it warms the off aroma diminishes and it replaced by a huge maple syrup kick. Minus the off aroma this one is pretty good.
T - Starts off with lots of dark roasted malt quickly giving way to a mix of coffee grounds, dark chocolate, and plenty of smoke. The off flavor remains, really messing with the flow of the other flavors. Just like the nose, it slowly fades but it is still there. Finish is pretty roasty with some sweetness.
M - Medium-Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Dark, roasty feel that doesn't linger on the pallet for very long. There is a weird off flavor in there initially, slowly fading as it warms.
O - I am not sure what was going on with this one. Initially we thought it may be infected since it was giving off some weird off flavors and aromas but as it warmed up a bit it got a little bit better. I wouldn't mind giving it another go at a later time.
01-09-2012 23:38:26 | More by orangesol
3.15/5 rDev -22.2%
22 oz bottle split with steepH2O while sitting next to the new firepit and generally enjoying the emerging burst of sun from behind the tree stand that guards his backyard.
Pours black with some big league soda bubbles, a consistent and long lasting cream colored head and a ruinous trotching of this here New Belgium goblet. Steep wants less carbonation...I'll concur, though I like what this beer does to this glass.
Grape, sweet malt, coffee, nuts, and wood. On the sweeter side of what I prefer in a RIS.
Woodiness creeps and lingers after the sip, leaving a long drying finish. Not sure if there's barrel here, but it plays strong at the finish and once I perceive it, does not go away but hits harder.
A tad too thin, too sweet, and too carbonated to carry this into the upper eschelon. Having this back to back with Black Metal, this fell short of that beer.
06-11-2011 22:44:37 | More by BarrytheBear
3.18/5 rDev -21.5%
A: Pours a pitch black color. A small tan head of about a centimeter forms, and recedes in a minute. Nice lace is left behind though.
S: Roasted malt, acrid coffee, bitter bakers chocolate. Fairly simple and straight forward.
T: Again a large amount of roast and coffee. The coffee is very acrid and sharp. Bitter chocolate and some bitter hops pokes its head through. Two different bitter flavors that work at odds along with plenty of alcohol.
M/D: A full body with good carbonation. Creamy and smooth. Lots of hot alcohol that makes this harder to drink than I would like.
A fairly average RIS. Not bad, but nothing something I would recommend. Pretty much a one and done for me.
08-10-2011 02:22:59 | More by champ103
3.25/5 rDev -19.8%
750 mL bottle tried 18 Oct 2011. Served in the 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter.
Large brown foamy head. Medium carbonation. Clear dark brown in color. Aromas of ethanol, dried fruit, lightly charred malts. Lots of roasty malt, almost burnt. Alcohol. Some very dark chocolate and cocoa. Burnt wood. Heavy body, lots of alcohol. Licorice and cough syrup in the finish and aftertaste.
It's boozy and hot in the outer darkness.
02-05-2012 00:50:44 | More by htomsirveaux
3.3/5 rDev -18.5%
1 pint 9 fl oz brown glass bottle (Born: 09/03/13) with interesting label art and gold foiled-over branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Whole Foods HQ and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current 90 rating. 10.5% ABV confirmed. Reviewed as a Russian Imperial Stout because it's identified clearly as such on the front of the label. "Reserve series." "65 IBU's [sic]."
Paired with Swiss chocolate.
Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of nice khaki-tan colour. Nice fluffy creaminess. Pretty good thickness. Nice consistency. Not as luscious or milky as would be an ideal for an Imperial Stout, but attractive, certainly. Inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is pretty good for the high ABV - about 3-4 minutes.
Body colour is a solid opaque black. No yeast particles are visible.
Overall, it's pretty standard fare for an imperial stout. Certainly above average, but not mind-blowing. While not unique or special, it's definitely appealing and I'm looking forward to trying it. There are no egregious flaws.
Sm: Too milky and airy. It lacks substance and depth; this is a very empty aroma. Unevocative milk chocolate, timid dark malts, some coffee/dark chocolate bitterness. Roasted barley notes are sorely lacking. As it warms, a bit more malty sweetness emerges, but it's still lackluster. Faint vanilla. Shallow oak. Faint sweet fruits - cherry, perhaps? If so, it's one of the most mediocre cherry notes I've ever encountered in an imperial stout. With further warmth, I pick up some appealing cocoa dust.
No yeast character, hop character, or overt alcohol is detectable. I'm a bit underwhelmed so far, but I'm optimistic. Aroma is of below average strength. I can't believe how timid it is. It does seem soft, to its credit.
T: Dark malts, chocolate malts, a bit of molasses. Dark chocolate and accompanying bitterness emerges about the climax, joined by faint unevocative coffee notes. There's little of interest in the coffee notes - no roast, espresso, creaminess, or anything intriguing. There's not even the depth of say cold-pressed Folgers; all I get is a weak earthiness and bitterness that isn't flattering. A bit of artificial vanillicin comes through on the finish. There's really no evocative oak wood here at all. A bit of cocoa dust. Hints of tar. Some luckily faded anise (I despise licorice/anise). A bit burnt. Where's the roasted barley? The lack of roast is really hurting the flavour profile. Bitterness/sweetness is messy and imbalanced. Slightly burnt.
Below average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. It's pretty underwhelming in that the complexity and subtlety is quite limited for the style. Balance is decent and it has some fair cohesion, but it's by no means a gestalt build.
No yeast character or hop character comes through. There is a bit of alcohol presence, but it doesn't detract that much.
I'm pretty disappointed, to be honest. This is a rather boring build for an imperial stout overall. I like it in a general sense, and there are no off flavours or anything, but there's just nothing remarkable about it.
Mf: A bit sticky and chewy. Smooth and wet. Nice body and thickness. Decent presence on the palate. It could really use more of a soft creamy feel. Not luscious. Overcarbonated. Suits the flavour profile decently, but doesn't come off custom-tailored to it.
Not oily, astringent, hot, boozy, gushed, rough, or harsh.
Dr: Drinkable enough for its pretty well hidden 10.5% ABV. I'm a bit dumbfounded by its current 90 rating; are Utah residents artificially inflating this rating or something? I mean, maybe this is incredible stuff if you only drink Utah beers. Snark aside, it's a run-of-the-mill Russian Imperial Stout with little to offer the discerning drinker. A forgettable beer I wouldn't bother with again. I wouldn't recommend it to friends or trade partners. Worth trying once, but ultimately quite mundane.
The vanillicin and cocoa dust were the highlights for me, but the lack of roast and generally lazy balance really hold it back.
Might age decently. Worth throwing in your cellar if you've got space and patience.
Pairs well with chocolate, but which imperial stout doesn't?
11-15-2013 01:58:15 | More by kojevergas
3.4/5 rDev -16%
Served this 25 oz. brown bottle in a Sierra Nevada Hops glass. No date, but a yellow label. The body was an opaque dark brown with a rich dark tan head. Viscous, dense and creamy. Taking a drink left me with a "chocolate milk mustache". There was a persistent cap that left some lacing.
The smell was Faintly of cocoa. Walnuts. The aroma was the weakest characteristic of this beer.
The taste was a light roasty bitterness and mild fruitiness. Chocolate and cream. Mild flavors and very well hidden alcohol made this one very easy to drink.
The mouthfeel was creamy with a rich body. Fine carbonation.
11-05-2011 12:14:53 | More by Cresant
3.4/5 rDev -16%
Can't remember what generous BA sent this to me, but whoever it was thanks! Poured 750ml into a snifter.
A- Pours black with a big dark brown head. Leaves a lot of lace on the glass with a thin cap left on top.
S- Roasted aroma dominated by chocolate. A little sweet notes mixed with some coffee notes. Still unsure how I feel on the nose.
T- Interesting flavors. Chocolate flavors come to the front right off the bat. Roasted coffee flavors follow well behind in the middle. Turns a little sweet and some slight bitterness from some hops come through. Really throws off the end of the beer for me. Some hotness comes through as it warms too.
M- Full body, low carbonation. Feels a little thick and chewy.
O- Not the best RIS I've had by far. Flavors are in there, just need to be brought out more and balanced better. Still not bad to drink, just not on the same level as some of the good RIS's out there.
07-11-2011 03:24:40 | More by HosP
3.45/5 rDev -14.8%
Poured into a Surly pint glass. Dark black, but not all light sucking. Beautiful light brown two finger head. Lace is sticky and patched to the end.
Smell is medium roasted coffee and just a hint of chocolate. I do get a hint of tart also. Quite a bit of alcohol is present in the nose.
Taste is kind of a tart, sweet, bitter, smooth battle all at once. The overall taste is roasted flavors, but the pallet has to go through quite a battle to get the reward (pick it).
The mouth is as expected. Rich, smooth and full. Chewy to the end. There is a bit of alcohol warming that is quite nice.
I was a bit disappointed with this one, but not a bad representation of the style. Maybe if you are looking to dabble in the heaving hitting RIS's this one isn't a bad choice to start you journey with.
05-15-2011 07:22:52 | More by azdback
3.45/5 rDev -14.8%
BIG thanks to Trappistlover for this one!
A: Great carbonation. More then to be expected from such a big brew. Rich and dark. No light is getting through here. Lots of lacing!
S: Big malts mixed with some chocolate and alcohol. Maybe some coffee and some molasses.
T: Very smooth chocolate and alcohol burn with a dry end taste of burnt coffee.
O: I really enjoyed this beer and happy I got to try it. Taste is pretty on point with an RIS and not too far off from others in the style. Still a great beer though.
05-28-2011 02:23:48 | More by Alpar
3.48/5 rDev -14.1%
I've had this one in the basement in Salt Lake for the last year waiting for the Christmas visit. Born date is the auspicious 11/01/11 to counteract, I hope, the theological implications of the name.
Very dark, very winey, very thick. First impression is a huge malty explosion followed by a hoppy burn. Burnt sugar with alcohol heat. The buttery and fruity flavor is a perhaps an artifact of aging. Smell of alcohol, plastic, and Butterfingers. Huge cocoa flavor with sort of a nutty, buttery, caramel taste, and maybe a little oxidized.
Creamy bubbles last for glass after glass. I'll have to try a fresh one next year. From the 22 oz bottle bought at the Utah Liquor Store in Sugar House.
12-24-2012 04:51:57 | More by mactrail
3.48/5 rDev -14.1%
Outer Darkness, Russian Style Imperial Stout ("Russian Style"? I don't think there's a single Imperial Stout from Russia. It's not in the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. The style is named after the Russian Empire.)
Squatter Beers, Reserve Series, Salt Lake City, Utah, Utah Brewers Cooperative.
10.5 % alcohol by volume.
"Russian Style Imperial Stout is one of the most intensely flavored beers a brewer can create. Outer Darkness goes through multiple mashes to achieve it's high original gravity. Outer Darkness has 65 IBUs, is black as night and cold cellared like a Siberian winter. We hope you have as much fun drinking it as we did making it.
Please share with a friend and consume responsibly. (nope, drinking alone.)
Brewing a more Sudstainable future." Oh, terrible puns.
Let's drink it up!
Deep, stygian darkness (what?), creamy, cocoa/tan head, lush and lively. Looking great.
Vast aromatics…rich cocoa, and espresso notes, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting…lightly hoppy, massive malt. Very nice.
Taste: all that and more. Richness aplenty, deep malt flavor, nicely textured…but, all in all, this one doesn't go far enough.
Or is it me? I'm going to open a bottle of Expedition Stout, and drink them side by side. See if this Outer Darkness is really lacking. (Mmmm, I'm tempted to compare with a Surly Darkness, but that would be a long night!)
(I have to admit, and I didn't realize it at first, but there's an advantage the Expedition has…it's a 2008.)
We have to adjust for temperature, as the Expedition bottle came straight out of the fridge, but, to take a phrase from "Community", the Bell's beer is streets ahead. More flavors, more depth, more charcoal, tar, more sweet molasses, mixed with bitterness, hops, char, …the expedition has an edge on it that the utah beer wishes it had. It's a boozy stout, that lack s the extra character a great one requires.
The squatters beer barely tastes "imperial"…it may be strong, it may be full-bodied, but it's a minor league player. I'm getting the feeling these guys don't really understand imperial stouts. They can't just be high alcohol, it has to have more. This one just lacks, and lacks, and lacks.
They'll have to try harder to get a "Russian Style Imperial Stout" worth anyone's attention.
09-11-2011 09:38:12 | More by feloniousmonk
Squatters Outer Darkness from Utah Brewers Cooperative
90 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.