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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: 501
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: 501
Photo of portia99
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle (born on 02/22/11) received in trade with Wasatch. Thanks again John! Poured into a Bruery tulip.

A - Pours a thick body of nearly pitch black except for some rich ruby/mahogany highlights on the edges when held to the light. A low finger of capuccino colored foam rests for a minute or so and falls to a loose collar and rocky islands on the surface...nice sheets of lacing left on the glass. Good looking impy stout.

S - Quite low in aroma overall. Mostly I'm able to pick up milk and dark chocolates. Some booze is present at a lower level, along with some dark fruit, touch of anise and dark roasted malts way in the background. What is here is good, but intensity is a bit lacking.

T - Dark fruit and deeply charred and dark roasted malts take center stage here. A bit of a burnt toast character is present. Not positive but I think I'm getting some hints of cherries in the flavors and dark chocolate joins the mix too. Finishes with some mild booze and a hit of molasses.

M - Rather full mouthfeel...carbonation is at a lower level and gives this a velvety smooth creaminess to the feel. Alcohol is noticeable but doesn't really contribute any warmth to the feel - well contained overall.

O - Overall, a solid example of the RIS style. Fairly well balanced and with decent complexity - although lacking in the finer nuances that could make others in this style great. Would easily enjoy having this again sometime in the future.

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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 tavernjef
3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous dark brown pour settling inky black in the glass with a mighty thick dark tan foam of mashed up graham cracker-like quality. The lacing is more like shelving as it grabs on to the glass with thickly set curtains of foamy soup.

Aroma is a bit sherry-like in its warmth and medicinal, which is a bit off putting. Quite sweet rounded in with milk chocolate and soured milk. A touch of very ripe dates and raisin waft about in its sweet nose.

Taste is tangy and dark with a bright side to its fruityness as earthy dark cherry, fig, and nuts mix with a clean, fluffy milken-esque sourness and chocolate coating of sweetness. It's fairly unique in its taste, but a little too bright, medicinal, and overly sweet for an RIS. The chocolate tones are nice along with what I think of like s'mores with marshmellow sweetness, burntish stuff, and graham cracker dustings. Tangy, broading, and earthy sweet with a dark fruity pep coated in chocolate, cocoa, and graham cracker.

Body is tangy, creamy, silken, and quick to unfold on the tongue with chocolatey fluff, creamed milk, and dark fruity tang. Keeps a tang on the tongue that lasts. Not quite as rich or thick as I'd like out of an RIS, but not bad.

Outer Darkness is more like a Imperial Milk Stout to me then a RIS. It's got more things going for it than not. But it could use a beefed up body and tone and remove its medicinal touches...

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - when poured it looks like oil, dark dark black, a little thick looking, with a very low level of tan-colored foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell - very strong smell, but in a good way, much like molasses.

Taste and Mouthfeel - not as strong of a taste as I was expecting. Hints of caramel or maple sugar underneath a strong sense of malt and roasted-ness. Texture is pretty thick, but not overwhelming. Aftertaste is a little bitter, but also not overwhelming.

Overall - not a bad brew at all. Not terribly interesting in its taste span, but still interesting taste in general.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours dark as night into my snifter with two fingers of dense mocha head that has great retention and plenty of sticky lacing.

S - Lots of chocolate malts, bitter sweet cocoa notes, roasted malts, anise, dark fruits and a touch of booze.

T - Deep roasted malts, bitter sweet chocolate, espresso, anise, a little hope bite and finishes with a molasses booze combination.

M - A little to bright/crisp for my liking, has a big think body and seems slightly unbalanced with noticeable alcohol.

O - So far the best beer I've had from Squatters. Solid offering of a Russian Imperial and I look forward to trying more from the "reserve series."

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured two fingers of brown head on a pitch black body.
The aroma is black licorice, burnt wood, roasted malt and dark chocolate. Smells amazing.
The taste is almost equal to the aroma. Smooth throughout; roasted malt, touch of burnt, moderate bitterness to round it out. Excellent.
The texture is smooth with moderate carbonation.
Nailed it.

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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 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 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 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 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 ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an effectively black body with a tan-colored head, though it dissipates easily despite pleas and cries to stick around.

Smell: Vaunting malt-packed roastiness with vanilla, dark chocolate liqueur, though also a bit fudgy, and a clump of molasses. Mildly fruity hint of cherry skins -- no cherries -- just the skins, thanks.

Taste: Starts sweet, races towards ardent roast, then, it gives you a sip of smooth liquor with insulating notes of chocolate, vanilla bean, and coffee. Blurred fruitiness flaunting an edge of dark cherry. Light spiciness. Rather subtle oak character. Some hop character and bitterness penetrating the heavy layer of malts. Roasty, warming, lightly spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-light carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: The thumb points... up!

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

It's getting along toward imperial stout season. This particular entry from squatters is pretty damn good. It's also extra hoppy for an imperial stout. The aroma is very herbal, with sweet vanilla and toffee. The flavor is surprisingly bitter, with sweetness in the somewhat distant background. Dark chocolate and molasses dominate the flavor with coffee and burntness playing supporting roles. Mouthfeel is full, as you'd expect.

This beer is a treat, but it's one that I'd have to be in the mood for.

Moving on to an entirely different subject, I love that this beer is brewed in Salt Lake City, and the name references a somewhat deep doctrinal element from Mormonism. Well played, Squatters.

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Photo of EnJeiBee
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - It poured dark as the night with a thick deep tan head. The head slowly receded leaving minimal lacing in it's wake

S - Dark chocolate, roast malt, a light hints of a smoky spiciness

T - Rich deep flavors that match the nose combine with a great hop bitterness and sweet cherry-like tang that wasn't present in the aroma.

M - Not quite full bodied and silky smooth. It reads more like a heavy milk stout on the palate than I expected. Although many people have noted slight heat from the alcohol, I did not.

O - I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. Although it isn't quite what you would expect from a RIS, I was happy with it. The nose and flavor were subtly complex and the mouthfeel was great!

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Photo of Mora2000
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to swalden28 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a very nice black color with a large brown head. The aroma is dark chocolate with some bitterness. The flavor is chocolate, roasted malt, pepper and smoke. Thick, inky mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Photo of BigE90
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: poured a pitch black with a vibrant head into tulip. Great stout appearance.

S: very malty with a touch of molasses and chocolate coming through

T: wow, this was served very cold to start, approx 36 degrees. Flavors were a bit lacking at first, just a sharp stout bite that left me wondering what do I have. After a 30 minute wait to let it warm up, the flavors started to come through and the bite was gone. Just a sweet taste of chocolate and raisins that was very mellow and smooth.

M: a medium feel. Flavors evolved as it lingered in my mouth.

O: a good Russian imperial in my opinion. Would consume again.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had in 7oz bottle @ Squatters in the Salt Lake City Airport

Appearance - Pours near black with cola brown edging where light can penetrate. Half finger, cocoa brown head with fair retention before breaking down to a broken layer of surface suds. Virtually no lacing is left on the glass.

Smell - Sweet molasses met by a roasted malt edge. Hints of deep chocolate goodness.

Taste - Mmmm. Complex, deep and dark chocolate notes with a solid roasted coffee undertone. Molasses sweetness. Hints of raisin and fudge. Finish is bittersweet with jammy fruit and ground coffee earthiness.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with a light, syrupy texture. Low carbonation. The finish is a booze-influenced bone dry finish.

Overall - A fantastic impy. Hits on all the right notes. Think Old Raspy meets Founders Imperial Stout and you've got a good idea of where this stands. Maybe the best thing to ever come out of Utah? :P

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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 Gushue3
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tom for this bottle. Date on bottle is 02/22/11

Poured into my Stone IRS snifter.

A Pours very dark dark brown, almost pitch black. Sits opaque in my glass and theres a large 2 finger milk chocolate head about it. Really big retention thats hesitant to go down but leaves retention when it finally does. Looks mighty fine to me, verge of 5

S Big roast upfront with a slight alcohol shiff, but not nose buring. Chocolate and some dark fruits in there. Smells nice.

T Follows the nose with a big roast but sweet malts. Some bitterness comes toward the middle that has a bittersweet finish. Some alcohol and chhoclate underneath it all. Nice flavors.

M Feels about a medium to heavy thickness and feels a little light. Does that make sense? I'd like a little heavier.


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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 drpimento
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice beer. Let it warm some out of the fridge. Poured with a nice tan, foamy, frothy, thick head and some lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is fairly mild, roast, malt, leather, toffee. Flavor is similar to nose, bittersweet up front followed by a little carbonic tang. Finish is like flavor, balanced, with some alcohol warmth. Very nice

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Photo of corywalston
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

A. Aggressive poor. A beautiful reverse waterfall of bubbles. 2inch of brown head that retains its shape. No carbonation. Color is black
S. Roasted malt, Smokey, chocolate, coffee, nutty, creamy.
T. Same as it smells. Also taste charcoal and the alcohol is very evident and astringent.
M. Creamy, syrup, heat for the alcohol
O. The first sip is good with all the flavor of an RIS. But the rest of the bottle is rough to get down due to the taste of alcohol. The alcohol taste the way Isopropyl alcohol smells. It is very over powering it gives me a slight headache. On the other hand it delivers one hell of a buzz for 10.5%. If you’re an RIS lover like me than I recommend you skip this on your quest to the perfect RIS.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep black color with a brown colored head on top. The retention was pretty good on this and the lacing was nice and sticky. The smell of the beer is robust, big amounts of roasted and chocolate malt. The taste of the beer is complex, there is a bit of sweetness to it that reminds me of molasses, the roasted and chocolate malts give the beer some additional depth. There is a solid amount of bitterness in there also. The mouthfeel is thick there is a nice carbonation as well. Overall it's a good brew. I think it's a little underrated on here.

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