Squatters Outer Darkness | Utah Brewers Cooperative

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90
outstanding
564 Ratings
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Squatters Outer DarknessSquatters Outer Darkness
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Utah Brewers Cooperative

utahbeers.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
564
Reviews:
172
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
10.67%
 
 
Wants:
66
Gots:
181
For Trade:
9
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 564 |  Reviews: 172
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to ChewyLewy for sharing this one at Retsinis' tasting.

Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, and dark fruit aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa and char flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with nice cocoa and char qualities all around.

 590 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

 1,206 characters

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Knapp85
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

 568 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of kojevergas
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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?

Low B-

 4,553 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brentk56
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a fudge color with a modest head that leaves a few shards of lace behind

Smell: Roasty, with vague hints of chocolate, caramel and licorice

Taste: Very roasty, up front, with subtle hints of chocolate, caramel and licorice in the middle; some dark fruits add complexity after the swallow and into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low to moderate carbonation

Overall: Decent, but a bit too roasted without enough complexity to follow through; there are better examples of the style out there

 524 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with swingracex. 25 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 3/27/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, char, roasted malt, raisin, molasses, caramel, licorice, toast, floral, clove, oak, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted and dark malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, toast, molasses, caramel, raisin, licorice, floral, oak, clove, and roasted earthiness. Good amount of roasted coffee bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, char, raisin, molasses, toast, caramel, oak, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of deep roast with dark malt flavors and a fair amount of oak presence; with huge robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic Russian imperial stout! Huge complexity of roasted and dark malt flavors with moderate oak presence; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,442 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lunch for this, I think. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a color that is nearly black with a half-finger tan head that leaves some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose carries chocolate and plenty of roast along with a bit of bourbon and oak. The flavor is mostly roasted malt and bourbon along with a bit of oak. Mild vanilla as it warms. The body is medium with light carbonation. A nice beer.

 411 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mactrail
3.46/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

 695 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mendvicdog
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%

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Squatters Outer Darkness from Utah Brewers Cooperative
4.03 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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