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Squatters Outer Darkness | Utah Brewers Cooperative

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Squatters Outer DarknessSquatters Outer Darkness

Brewed by:
Utah Brewers Cooperative
| website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Welcome to the biggest beer Squatters Pub Brewery has ever made! A Russian Imperial Stout is one of the most intensely flavored beers a brewer can create. The combination of rich roasted barley, oak, molasses and licorice root combine to create an utterly unique and complex imperial stout experience.

We had to mash in twice to get our starting gravity of 27 plato (1.108 specific gravity). We boiled 3.5 hrs to enhance caramelization and used molasses and licorice root at the end of boil. Outer Darkness is aged with oak, has 65 IBUs and bottle conditioned. We hope you have as much fun drinking it as we did making it. Please share with another and drink wisely.

Added by Wasatch on 12-24-2009

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Reviews: 155 | Ratings: 529
Photo of Vdubb86
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter

Thanks to injuredreserve for this beer from the Show Someone What You're Made Of BIF.

This beer pours a beautiful blackness with and sandy brown foam. The aroma is a bit boozy at first, but then settles in to a slightly fruity, but mostly chocolate roast aroma that is expected with such a style. The flavor was coffee and lots of it. The thing about that is that nowhere on the label was the word coffee written anywhere. It is my estimation that this is all the product of roasted malt manipulation, and props to Squatters for that. The mouthfeel was a touch rough until it warmed up then it actually was more on the chewy side, like I prefer my stouts. Overall this was a very good beer, something that you would find me hard pressed to turn down at any time.

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Photo of azdback
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First of all. LOVE the label on this one!

Poured in line before dld. Pours a clean dark brown with a solid amount of light brown head that dissipates leaving a layer of bubbles on the corners and some lacing on the glass. Smells roasted and fruity. Dark plum and raisin on the nose. Tastes sharp and a bit bitter. The coffee gives a burnt taste that is not very appealing to me. A hint of chocolate and dark fruitiness but the roasted characteristics leave something to be desired.

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Photo of cavedave
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to acurtis for leaving this bottle that we didn't get to drink at a stout tasting.

Very dark brown, thick and opaque,topped by half a finger of brown/beige head that recedes to a lasting, lively skim.

Smell is medium strength aroma of caramel, chocolate, dark fruit, spicy alcohol, with hints of earthy hops and light molasses.

As it warms and opens the magnificent flavors of this really start to shine. It starts with some caramel and milk chocolate, picks up some figgy and fruity sweet, dark bread, spicy alcohol, and it finishes with the alcohol vapors ushering the mineraly, earthy hops to a marriage with clean, charry roast that gives it a wonderful complexity.

It drinks very light despite being highly viscous, perfect carbonation (med.) for the flavor profile, and a finish that isn't epic but is excellent.

This is one of the finest stouts I've tried. Low expectations for it were dashed on the rocks of superior taste, clean balanced complexity, and marvelous drinkability.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't remember who brought this. Was it Brendan or Paul? Either way, thanks!

A: The pour is thick and dark. Almost black with a nice viscosity and a small brown head.

S: Plenty of nice roasted malts on the nose. There's a hint of booze and a touch of smoke. A nice bit of coffee and plenty of dark chocolate. Maybe some molasses, earthy hops, and dark fruits.

T: Mild booze up front but there's tons of roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate. Definitely some dark fruits, earthy hops, and a moderate bitterness. Really robust and bold flavors.

M: Just about full in body with a smooth, medium carbonation.

O: Glad that I got to try this. I've been wanting to for awhile now.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Solid black with a dense mocha head and a thick layer of foam that remains for some time.

S - Roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, herbal, earthy hops.

T - Intense roasted malts, a good deal of black patent astringency, dark baking chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, cold black coffee and bitter herbal , earthy hops.

M - Full body with low carbonation. Thick and chewy.

D - Big, thick, sweet and burnt with some bitterness. A sipper for sure.

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Photo of glid02
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle shared by Andy, straight from Utah - thanks!

Pours black with a 1.5-finger light brown head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of strong roasted malts with hints of char. Also present are mild amounts of semi-sweet chocolate and tobacco.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Huge and robust roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of semi-sweet chocolate that cut the roast somewhat. Midway through the sip slight tobacco makes a brief appearance before being overtaken by moderate amounts of char. The char and roasted malts carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

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

Drinkability is great. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a very big fan of this beer, one of the more robust roasted big stouts I've had in a while. Very good and complex and well worth a shot.

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Photo of Eldritch
2.02/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty darned black, nice tan .5 inch head, slow to leave. Some lace gathering up.

S - A little soy, cocoa, coffee and baked cookies.

T - Mostly cocoa on top, soy barely there, cookies to finish. A small souring quality near end.

M - Medium to full body, good carb, chalky finish.

D - For the style and ABV, quite nice.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a snifter.
10.5% ABV, "Please share with a friend and enjoy responsibly", no date available.

Thanks to the DTrain for bringing this badass looking brew over!

A - Outer Darkness pours incredibly dark (imagine that!) with clarity but definitely not see-through in the snifter. A dense tan head crowns this beer and last quite a while with some dense left-over lace caked inside. Gorgeous!

S - The dark aroma is cold and faint but has big roast malt character to it with underlying bittersweet chocolate and a mineral finish. Low hops in the nose.

T - The outer fringes of this beer are laced with cold coffee and bitter chocolate as well as cocoa while the bulk of the flavor comes from intense roasted chocolate and black patent malts. Absolutely delicious!

M - A nicely tuned acrid bitter profile lends great balance to this somewhat sweeter beer. Thick, full-bodied, and smooth, it's a tasty, nice-feeling beer.

D - Like the label suggests, it's better shared. Smooth and tasty with a tiny alcohol warmth akin to a barleywine. A very nice brew.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This gem comes to me from Wasatch in our most recent trade. Thank you John.

This beer certainly has a good look in my snifter. Dark brown to black body that is completely opaque. The light brown head is more than two fingers tall, and is made up of tightly packed, small bubbles. Both lacing and retention are very good.

Surprisingly fruity aroma, with black cherry making its presence known. Even though I am surprised by the fruit, the roasted malts and chocolate are certainly more powerful.

The fruit is pretty prominent in the flavor also, with a big cherry flavor. Charred black malts, roasted flavors and a bit of roasted wood abound. Dry baker's chocolate is quite powerful, and a hint of coffee is underneath it. Some general toffee-like sweetness rounds out the malts. The finish is a little bit to hot, but stops short of harsh.

Mouthfeel is about what I would expect from the style; fairly good.

Outer Darkness is an enjoyable but not earth-shattering RIS. I'm glad that I got to try it.

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Photo of TheDTrain
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I knew nothing of this brew when I picked it up at Rays in Wauwatosa. Another pleasant surprise. Pours a very appealing heavy pitch black. A velvety smooth Russian Imperial Stout with complex blend of sharp malts up front, coffee, coco, mild caramel, hops, and a warming alcohol finish. Good shit.

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Photo of Allpe45
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown, black in the glass, with a creamy coffee colored head. Leaves nice lacing all over the sides of my snifter.

Aromas of roasted barley and malts, as well as various dark fruits. Hints of raisin.

Roasted malts and coffee assault the taste buds. Semi chocolate and molasses in the background with hop bitterness rounding everything out.

Thick and creamy. Everything I look for in an imperial stout. Light carbonation.

ABV is well masked. 10.5%? Really!? Gotta be careful with this one. This stout tastes great and goes down easily. The smell is on the complex side, but the taste is straightforward and solid.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours opaque black, with a small amount of tan head. Some fleeting lacing.

S: nose features big caramel malts along with roasted malts, this one smells like it leans towards the sweeter end of the spectrum when it comes to imperial stouts, not detecting any booziness on the nose

T: sharpness up front with a sweet malt profile, notes of caramel molasses and dark fruit, the roasted malts come in big towards the back, the finish is bitter. A fair amount of complexity and uniqueness going on here.

MF: smooth body, thick and velvety, a bit chewy, nice mellow carbonation

D: great balance, lots of flavor, well hidden alcohol...would recommend for any one to try

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Photo of JAXSON
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 rate.

I really can't give this one as detailed of a rating as I'd like to. Opened it right after Sloth, and in the middle of a tasting involving various other legendary imperial stouts and barleywines. Deep thick black, creamy brown head. Lightly bitter focusing on coffee and bitter chocolate. Not a terribly complex or rich flavor expression, but nice enough. Enjoyable. Thanks footbalm!

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

Pours black with a thick creamy tan head that leaves superb lacing.

Nose is chocolate malt, coffee and some alcohol;

Taste is coffee, chocolate malt, pronounced alcohol and some slight hop bitterness to round it out. The alcohol provides some good warming.

Has a nice mouthfeel to it, creamy and thick.

A tasty RIS, though the high ABV does cut down somewhat on it's drinkability.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/02/11 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a black color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, vanilla, and alcohol.

t - Tastes of chocolate, roasted malts, and light alcohol. Lots of roastiness in the taste.

m - Full body and low carbonation, thick and chewy body.

d - A thick, roasty RIS that I enjoyed. Would like to try again.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$10.99 for the bottle.

A: incredible pour, great thick tan head, deep black color
S: medium nose, treacle toffee, burnt coffee, very good
T: well-made beer, all the hallmarks of a good RIS, roasted, treacle, burnt malt up front with a great dose of hops, this one well age for a few years but is already very drinkable
M: velvety, well-balanced
D: good drinkability

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3/15/2010. Bottle. Pours black with a thick dark tan head. Aroma of booze, vanilla, roasted malt, lactose, milk chocolate, nougat, graham cracker. Flavor of booze, sweet malt, roasted malt, vanilla, coffee, bitter chocolate with a dark chocolate finish. A little strong but nice combination of roasted malt with the sweet vanilla, lactose, and chocolate notes. Impressive beer. It got better as you drank (or as it warmed I suppose). Delicious!

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Inky black pour with little initial head. However, a sturdyish tan foam forms after a minute or so and keeps nicely. Great stick, and a great look over all.

Similarly happy with the nose, which is powerful and complex enough for the style. I get some chalkiness among the dark chocolate, overripe fruit, and caramel. Hints of molasses and herbs, lightly charred all around. Very nice.

The taste profile follows, with a moderate sweetness that is definitely not cloying while cold - due to the thick nature, this one could get quite sticky towards room temp. Solid roast notes, with chocolate and coffee leading. Oak and herbal bitterness come in toward the tail end. The strong alcohol presence is reminiscent of drinking tequila and vanilla rum. Not necessarily a hugely bad thing, but this one is really hot when you stop to notice.

And it's rather easy to pass by. With its girth and velvety smooth nature, Outer Darkness glides right on by, and it's in the gullet before the heat gets turned on. Not a bad drinker, but its bite is worse than its bark.

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Photo of ebrauser
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. (approx. 3 weeks after bottling of the series) into a brandy glass

Appearance: Chocolate brown, impossible to see through, with a thin brown head. Classic Imperial stout.

Aroma: Potent chocolate, coffee, and alcohol in the nose, along with some prune and raisin notes. Swirling released an aroma slightly like rubbing alcohol.

Flavor: Strong fruity beginning doesn't do much to mask the intensity of the alcohol, which is present throughout. Notes of figs and raisins with coffee and a cherry like sweetness. Bitter finish, like a mix of dark chocolate and everclear.

Mouthfeel: Strong, heavy body that feels thick and syrupy going down. Doesn't coat the mouth much at all.

Overall: I'm wondering whether I cracked this one open too early after bottling, and I'm excited to let the second and third ones age (vertical test??) for a while. The beer lacks some complexity that I expected from Squatter's, but here's hoping that it comes out with time

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a jet black thick and viscous liquid with a mahogany brown head that is tight and creamy.

S-light notes of roasted to burnt malt, hints of chocolate, lots of sweetness and dark fruits.

T-very sweet, tons of roasted or burnt malts, notes of chooclate, light vanilla, very bitter and astringent burnt coffee, dark fruits in the back add some sweetness.

M-somewhat smooth, a little grainy on the palate, thinner, high carbonation.

D-nothing out of the norm here and little hot for the starndar flavors it provides. pretty average imperial stout and very burnt and bitter flavors fighting against lots of malty sweetness.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz waxed bottle. Thanks to Wasatch for this one.

Pours about as pitch black as I've ever seen with a dark mocha one finger head. The resulting lace is thick, leaving layers of foam behind.

Smell; relatively tame in the aroma department for a big RIS. Chocolate and espresso with a little alcohol sprinkled in, but overall the aromas are kind of subdued.

Taste; makes up for the somewhat lacking aroma. Milk chocolate, espresso beans, faint dark fruits and licorice. A mild smokiness floats through the middle with a touch of vanilla, and all topped off with just a little spicy alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and silky smooth. Dinkability is good, but as with all beers of this type, limited by the high abv.

This one damn good RIS. Glad to see breweries making beers like this in Utah.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An opaque black beer. Has a thick and creamy dark brown head and nice lace.The aroma is spicy sweet with nice bittersweet chocolate notes floating in the background. A big chocolaty character start out the taste with inviting spicy notes following. Nice licorice and piney hops on the finish. All around a good silky mouthfeel. An excellent example of the style...
Thanks John

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Photo of gford217
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to wasatch for this one, 22oz bottle poured into a tulip.

First off, this is a truly gorgeous looking beer in the glass. Completely pitch black with a frothy mocha head that showing exceptional retention and sheets of lacing.

The aroma is huge and roasty - tons of heavily toasted dark malts, cocoa and espresso. There is also some sweet dark fruits and molasses fighting to get out of the burnt malts.

The taste is just as massive. it's got dark chocolate, molasses, espresso and most prominently, toasted black malts which really anchor this thing. The finish is almost smoky with some charred wood in addition to licorice. Whoa, big.

The mouthfeel is pretty full and thick with a strong enough carbonation to keep it from getting too syrupy.

I have to say this one really surprised me. This is one of the best stright-up RISs I've had in recent memory. Complex, full-bodied yet still oddly drinkable. Wonderful.

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Squatters Outer Darkness from Utah Brewers Cooperative
89 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.