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Squatters Outer Darkness - Utah Brewers Cooperative

Not Rated.
Squatters Outer DarknessSquatters Outer Darkness

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

150 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 150
Hads: 502
Avg: 4.01
pDev: 20.2%
Wants: 62
Gots: 147 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
Utah Brewers Cooperative visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wasatch on 12-24-2009

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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 150 | Hads: 502
Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, stamped with BORN/03/27/12. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch and a half tan head that stayed around for a long time. There's also a good amount of lacing. The brew smells like roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, and some coffee. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also the addition of some licorice, dark fruit and burnt/charred malt. There's also a nice lingering bitter roasty finish that gets sweeter as the beer warms up more. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's a little creamy with medium/high carbonation. I think this is a good overall brew. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Captured this one in a nice Chimay snifter, the body is pitch black, my super bright bicycle led light won’t even shine through it. The head is a nice dark tan color and slowly builds up. As I poured it out it looked like a headless beer, but after a few seconds, almost 8 seconds, the head forms and it starts off rather thick and slowly thins out into a few island bubbles all gathered by a thick wall of lacing. The aroma is rather light, I can pick up some dark fruits, alcohol and mild fig and coffee mixes. Very thick bodied, it really envelopes your tongue, and it pretty smooth tasting. The flavors are a bit mild at first but do pick up as it gets warmer. More coffee and roasted malts and hops come out. T the light side if you ask me this is a really smooth ale and I highly recommend drinking after its warmed up a bit, the aroma is still o

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/12 vintage. Poured from a 750 ml into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head. Big amoeba blotches all over the glass.

S- chocolate, roast, molasses

T- roasted malts, dark fruits, bitter molasses takes center stage in this beer.

M- medium body and carbonation. Very creamy, smooth feel that finishes slightly dry.

O- good RIS, but not a fan of bitter molasses that is actuated in this beer.

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

Born on 11/01/11, so more than a year old at the date of review (11/26/12). Poured into a small tulip glass and allowed to warm before pouring. Thanks to KCBaby for sending this my way.

Appearance- Deep black monster with a light mocha-colored head. Average head on pour, receded fairly quickly to leave a persistent top.

Smell- Deep coffee notes, bitter chocolate, bran, molasses. More so than perhaps any beer I've sampled yet, it smells like a brewery during production. Damp barley. Very strong aromatic punch for a stout.

Taste- A true big Russian Imperial Stout. Slight hoppiness and coffee in the open leads to a heavy, sweet malt presence in the middle. Bitter chocolate finish. Slight alcohol on the close, but melded nicely. A bit dry in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation level is a bit hit or miss. Feel is a bit oily and viscous. It's balanced, but not as creamy as I would like for the style. Alcohol masked very well, though.

Overall- The dryness and mouthfeel lead to ok drinkability. I'd like to try this fresh to compare, I wonder how in your face the hops are, since they are still prevalent in the taste a year later. The molasses and malt dominance might be because of the age as well, but I don't sense any flavor vacuum from something that may have faded.

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Photo of cfrobrew
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber 2012.

Appearance: Pitch black truly opaque and oil like

Scent: Sweet Strong milk Chocolate with espresso.

Taste: Dark Chocolate, coffee not as much as the scent but strong. The alcohol is strong, may subside with age but still works withe flavor

Mouth Feel: Thick and smooth, very pleasant. light head that is renewed with every sip.

Overall: Excellent Russian Imperial stout, great flavor, strong but not overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle poured into a snifter

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Photo of johnnieoz
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber born on 2/22/11, purchased at the Las Vegas Town Square Whole Foods in August 2011, consumed this late Oct. 2012 evening (the first chilly one in Austin, TX) in my trusty Jämtlands Bryggeri tulip.

A: Espresso with a true crema.

S: Sweet, burnt molasses and licorice dominate.

T: Truly delicious sweet malt flavors, balanced by some hops, and corralled by the molasses, licorice additions and oakiness.

F: Almost as viscous as I like it with a sweet n' oaky aftertaste that coats the palate and gullet.

O: For those of us that prefer double/imperial stouts w/o coffee or cocoa, this ranks second only to the Abyss IMHO. It's a great RIS that aged well regardless and I believe most folks would appreciate its quality.

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Photo of DRyan
3.82/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle "born on" 11/1/11, poured 10/26/12

A: Pours inky black with a dark an head. The head is not as vigorous as some stouts, but recedes very slowly and leaves a LOT of lacing.
S: Roasty, chocolatey, with some nuttiness, a little different that most Imperial Stouts, but easily identifiable as such.
T: Dark chocolate, licorice, lots of malty goodness, with some bitterness and some alcohol sting (but not much). There is also an odd bit too it, an aftertaste that for whatever reason makes me think "cough syrup," though it tastes nothing like cough syrup. I didn't age this bottle, I bought it a couple of months ago, so I don't know how it was stored for its first 10 months of life... this might be a bit of "left out in the light and heat" I'm tasting
M: Smooth and silky, with very fine carbonation. A great feeling, one of the nicer IS's I've had as far that that goes.
D: Would be amazing if it weren't for that aftertaste; I need to try a fresh bottle and see if that aftertaste is still there. For a 10.5% beer it drinks easily, and diesn't sit as heavy as a lot of stouts, Imperial or otherwise.

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Photo of 604growler
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the airport pub and they poured me a small glass from the bottle. Tastes a lot like an old Rasputin but more licorice taste. Very nice.

a - high tan head, black, not much to improve on here
s - licorice, molasses, smoke, very nice
t - licorice, molasses,not too much bitterness making it a very nice RIS
m - no complaints here
overall I think this is as good as any available to me. I'd take this over old Raspy and that's one of my go to beers. Comparable to the Speedway Stout I had two days ago

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Photo of alexgash
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Born 03/27/12.

Very dark, used oil brown-black body. Pinkie finger of dense, creamy, dirty peanut brown head. Good lacing. Big roasted malt and coffee on the nose. Plenty of dark chocolate, molasses, sugary dark fruits, and licorice as well. Very nice.

Charred malt and herbal hop bitterness up front. Milk chocolate and molasses sweetness follow. A little fig and singed caramel. Dark chocolate and coffee bitterness increase into the finish. Woody, tannin-like flavors are there as well. Lingering malty sweetness. Medium-full body with a slightly overcarbonated feel. Still, this a very good imperial stout!

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

Beer #58 in my great Utah Brew Hunt.

A very roasted stout. Minor amount of molasses on it too. But the roasty tone is the main thing going on here. Nice unwavering flavor. Mild booze tone on the backside, but not so much that it's killing the experience. I like this beer. It's a fairly easy to drink RIS.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle pours a viscous black color with a small but brown head. Decent retention and it leaves a solid wall of thin head on the side of the glass.

Nose is a rich chocolate and dark fruit tinged in smoke. Rich and bold with a moderate sweetness. Nice.

Pretty good complexity of licorice, roast and dark, unsweetened chocolate. There is some definite hoppy bitterness on the end, leafy and still pungent after about 6 months. The alcohol is still not quite smoothed out, but overall it is pretty good. I cant decide if some more age would be good for it, but I have a couple I'll be experimenting with.

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

A: Poured a nice, slick deep black color with a small brown cap with nice bubbles and moderate lacing

S: Big roasted malt, bitter chocolate, wood, light bourbon and black licorice

T. Yup, that would be black licorice and bitter chocolate I taste along a big burnt harshness which sordoves fades away but the booze seems to elevate the burnt aroma. The finish is rather dry, smokey and somewhat bitter with cocoa and earthiness and a hint of coffee beans

M: Big bodied, digging it, not a robust creamy Stout but it is a RIS with some BA influence so.. but a in your face kinda guy

O: Overall, I dug it but I wanted some sweet molasses damn it.

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Photo of RustyP
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml purchased for $8.99. Poured into a snifter. Consumed a little over 4 months after bottling.

A: Black, black, black with just the slightest hint of dark reddish-brown showing at the edges when held to light. A semi-vigorous pour initially seemed as though it wouldn’t yield any head at all. However, as the last ounce or 2 entered the glass, a milk-chocolate brown head blossomed quickly, reaching 1.5-fingers at most before dissipating a few minutes later. By the time the head settled, there was a thin orangish-brown ring of creamy foam with some medium-sized bubbles still floating in the middle. A moderate amount of lacing stuck to the sides of the glass.

S: A swirl of the liquid produced a strong dark chocolate / French roast coffee aroma, underlined by mild dark fruit and raisins. A small amount of brighter caramel sweetness is barely noticeable, pushed aside by the more assertive smoky / roasty aromas. No hops that I can detect. Very inviting!

T: Initially hits the tongue with a bit of caramel / molasses sweetness that braces the taste buds for the smoky, bitter onslaught. Next, mild fruitiness, then smoky dark roast coffee, then mild dark chocolate and anise. Bittering hops kick in about midway through the taste and linger until the end. Finishes dry and slightly chalky, like a strong cup of black coffee brewed in a French press. A slight alcohol burn can be felt after swallowing, but isn’t present in the taste. Each sip begs for another.

M: Smooth, creamy, medium-to-full-bodied with high carbonation for a RIS. I found it highly drinkable.

Overall: The coffee aroma is what makes this Imperial Stout a winner for me. Well, that and the price. If the flavor followed through 100% on what the nose indicates, this would be top-notch.

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

Thanks Bruce! Pours a pitch black color with a small brownish tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is very chocolatey. Tons of sweet chocolate with some pleasant vanilla notes. Fresh nuts as well...peanuts, almonds, and cashews. Light hints of mocha and dark fruits. Sugary molasses. Taste is sweet molasses at first with nice hints of brown sugar. Sweet vanilla with dark and milk chocolate. Very nutty with a ton of dark and roasted malt. Mellow dark fruit flavors...dates, raisins, plums. Finishes sweet with some bittersweet chocolate. Mouthfeel is full bodied and highly carbonated, especially for this particular style. Drinkability is high for such a big beer. Overall, I really enjoy this beer and will be seeking out other brews from this brewery.

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Photo of kagent777
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 Bottle purchased on the day of re-release about 1.5 yrs ago. Poured into my CCB snifter.

Appearance: Black beer that pours very thickly. Just a ring of carbonation around the edge of the glass. Not much lacing.

Smell: Oaky and strong roasted malts. Alcohol along with some chocolaty semi sweetness.

Taste: The taste follows the smells. Oak and roasted malts. Some sweet char and chocolate. Molasses and licorice. I also get some dried fruit, raisins, and fresh red grape juice. Some lingering bitterness after the initial sweetness fades. A big flavor profile, but not too complex, maybe with more age (I have one more bottle purhcased at the same time.)

Mouthfeel: The carbonation may be a little too strong for this big of a beer. It actually gives the front of the tongue a bit of a jolt at the front end of the sip. The body is nice and thick as it should be.

Overall: Maybe I am tough on this one because it is easy for me to get. Or maybe I do not know what I am talking about. Nothing wrong with the beer, except that I would not carb quite so much. I am curious to see what another year and a half will do for the other bottle.

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

A. Oily black, quarter inch pretty head great brown color that I don't know exactly how to describe it.

S. Oak, then Licorice, then soy sauce, not joking, even asked my Asian roommate

T. Chocolate, Licorice, Oak, must be my imagination but almost thought of bourbon but after warming up, just realize is all of the flavors coming together and me wishing there was bourbon.

M. Not as thick or creamy, I like that, its a very light feel

O. Great beer, I like it a lot and will try it in the bottle tomorrow to see if I can notice a difference. Recommend this to anyone who is like me an on a stout kick in the summer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice. Bottle says born on 01/17/12.

Appearance: Pours a dark and oily black with no other color coming through. Moderate amount of bubbles. About two fingers of tan head that slowly recede to a thin creamy layer. Decent lacing on the glass.

Smell: Big aroma of dark roasted malts with good hints of chocolate and coffee. A considerable amount of molasses along with some licorice. Also some hints of vanilla, oak, and dark fruits including raisin, fig, and prune. Smells pretty robust and good.

Taste: Tastes as big as it smells. Lots of dark roasted caramel malts. Big notes of chocolate and coffee. The licorice/anise presence is really big here. Its almost too much but starts to blend in better as you go. Lots of molasses throughout. Subtle hints of oak and vanilla. Near the back are some dark raisin, prune, and fig. Some earthy hops towards the finish.

Mouthfeel: A fairly thick, full body with a moderate level of carbonation. Creamy, somewhat sticky and syrupy. Still goes down fairly smooth and the high alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Overall: A pretty solid imperial stout. Very rich and fairly complex. Its what I would look for in a big stout.

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

Perfect looking imperial stout; jet black with a huge brown head that settles down slowly. Extensive lacing on the glass. Nice aroma of roasted, burnt malt, bittersweet chocolate, molasses.

The taste falls a little short. The nose packs a lot of fudgy chocolate goodness but in the flavor there’s much less chocolate and it’s all of the bitter variety; lacks sweetness and instead is dominated by burnt malt and overall bitterness; some molasses and caramel but buried beneath the strong roasted burnt flavor. Hints of coffee and anise, oak and vanilla. Lingering bitter finish with some warming booziness.

Outer Darkness also feels a little too thin, medium-bodied rather than full, with a bit too much carbonation. Not smooth and chewy enough for the style. Not a bad imperial but also not anything exceptional, unfortunately. Still glad I got a chance to try this one.

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Photo of jdense
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big bottle shared with colleague to celebrate new hire, 5.7.12.

Dark brown head over opaque dark brown body, medium dissipation with above average lacing. Pretty intense nose, chocolate, some molasses, plenty of roast backed by citrus hop aromas. Taste is very chocolatey upfront, roast prominent but not as much as in the nose, molasses stickiness, the licorice root helps to balance the dark chocolate notes, grapefruit to balance the sweetness, quite complex. Mouthfeel is well on the heavy side of medium, like drinking motor oil, slick and lubricating, not a lot of effervescence. A pretty pleasant surprise, I'm starting to become a fan of this brewery's big beers. Worth a try.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

one of the most intense beers ive had in awhile. pours thick sludgy black and strong, no light through at all, surprisingly active mocha head. nose is huge, licorice, tobacco, alcohol, oak, and bitter bitter coffee all combine for a sensory overload with this one. you can smell this one from neighboring tables, i swear to god. flavor is equally complex and robust, but perhaps a touch more mellow than the nose. the oak seems to have smoothed everything out nicely. there is a spicy sweet molasses hit up front, followed by waves of dark chocolate, licorice, coffee, and finally burning hot alcohol (especially as it warms up to room temperature). the feel is nice, very thick full body, and laid back carbonation make this a slow sipper. we enjoyed it with a slice of peanut butter chocolate pie, which i found to be an excellent compliment. this was one of the better squatters beers i tried, the depth here is unrivaled.

edit: I had a bottle of this last night with about a year on it. turns out even a little age goes a long way, this has mellowed out on alcohol, and the flavors have developed really nicely. wow, just wow. I bumped taste up from a 4. got to get me some more to cellar even longer!

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Opaque like you'd assume a RIS should be - big head, with two fingers. Deep brown head - like medium toast.

Highly-malted nose, licorice seems to be primary, but supported with some smoke. Big nose, but little depth here.

Almost brutish in how much is packed into this beer - I get a lot of raisins, some licorice, campfire smoke. Seems a little disjointed though.

Thick, like filtering stout sediment through the teeth and back to the tongue. Sticky, a little hot to close.

Strange thing - some good things going on here in this beer. Nothing outstanding, but it could be a decent long-evening sipper. And that is its intent tonight.

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

On-tap @ Brewforia Beer Market, served in a small chalice.

A: Opaque dark brown & black, with a brown head that leaves behind some lace. Very stout-like. Carbonation seems lower.

S: Malts and stout aromas right up front; chocolate, cocoa and cacao beans, fudge, lots of dark malt, roasty notes, some dark fruit (maybe prune or fig), and a kiss of earthy hop.

T: Follows the nose; cacao and dark bittersweet cocoa powder, fudge and black malt, hints of oily herbal hops, some roasty bitterness, a hint of smooth caramel, and alcohol is more present here with a noticeable burn...taste finishes with milk chocolate on the aftertaste.

MF: Excellent; oily, creamy, smooth pretty full body, lower carbonation, with a touch of alcohol burn.

O: Definitely better than I remembered from the first bottle. This beer needs to be consumed fresh. Recommended.

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Photo of Efeswasmy1st
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle among friends at Bodega Brew Pub in La Crosse, WI. Appearance is light black, with some head. Aroma is bourbon, fig, and other ripe fruits. Taste is same, with complexity in the bourbon and fig. Palate is easy, wanting more. Overall, give me more when it is available.

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A pitch black body with 1-finger's worth of coffee colored head that swiftly falls to a thin and spotty cap. Leaves some OK lacing.

S- Slight oaky vanilla, maybe cinnamon, cloves, a little hot pepper aroma as well. Also, of course, roasted malts, deep dark chocolate, and espresso.

T- Spicy up front, like hot peppers, vanilla, oak, a touch of warmth from the ABV, more spices, good bitterness in the back end, and a touch of bittersweet chocolate.

MF- A little lighter than I would've liked, but not too thin where as to detract from the flavors.

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Squatters Outer Darkness from Utah Brewers Cooperative
89 out of 100 based on 150 ratings.