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Squatters Outer Darkness | Utah Brewers Cooperative

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
162 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
162
Ratings:
545
Avg:
4.02
pDev:
19.9%
 
 
Wants:
66
Gots:
171
For Trade:
9
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Reviews: 162 | Ratings: 545
Photo of drpimento
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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 ferrari29
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into a stemmed-Tulip shaped glass

A - Lights out, black colored body; not much head formed; good amount of lacing though; light brown trim around the edge of the glass

S - Licorice; dark roasted malt; chocolate - dark; leather and smokey; raisin; small grassy hop

T - Coffee stout; dark chocolate; licorice; semi-high ABV taste, alcohol; hops; toasted bread; raisin fig; dark fruit; bitter with a slight touch of hoppy grass

M - Coffee-espresso; heavy-full body; slightly effervescent; tangy and bitter

D - Great, well-balanced RIS; worth a shot, very easy to drink and pair with desserts

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Photo of Pegasus
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an obsidian black, crowned by a moderate, dense dark tan cloud-top head, which retains quite well. The lacing is quite thick and glass-coating.

Aroma: Strong hop notes, dominate the aroma, as well as earthy, smoky, and black bread notes. Amost all this complexity, there are also sweet alcohol notes, although they are overshadowed by the hops and malt.

Taste: Opens with a strong wave of hops, atop a massive dark malt presence. The malts are wonderfully complex, offering up charcoal, dark bread, bitter cocoa, coffee, earth, and smoke. The hop presence plays a supporting role, although superbly well, with the moderate presence providing a graceful balance to the stunning palate conjured up by the malts. Beneath all this, there is sweet, slightly vinous alcohol, although it is subtle and graceful. Finishes with lingering notes of charcoal and herbal hops.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft and velvety.

Drinkability/notes: Very well-done, graceful and superbly complex without being over-the-top. Recommended.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pop-off crown, served in a Belgian chalice.

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Photo of Beernoisseur
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Cresant
3.37/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of EnJeiBee
4.02/5  rDev 0%
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 cosmicevan
3.7/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

been sitting on this one for a while waiting for the right night...for some reason, that night is tonight. not sure of the vintage, but the label is yellow and it says reserve series with golden foil.

a - opened the bottle and filled my darkness snifter. beer poured a sludgy pewter black with a thin cream colored head that slowly evaporated leaving slimy lacing all over the side of the glass.

s - bold and complex, but nicely balanced at first. notes of milk chocolate with roasted malt. some charred burnt matches in the background. i can pick up the alc in the nose as well, but as a mentholated coolness in my nose. no leading flavors, a subtle mix.

t - roasted malt with a touch of rubber at first. there are some notes of coffee and a touch of bitterness, but mostly just roasted malt with alcohol. some bakers chocolate on the finish. gets better and more milk chocolatey as it opens up.

m - full and tingly. medium heavy. silky.

o - overall, in the land of big and bold RIS ruling my world, outer darkness is worth a try...but not one that i'll actively be seeking out again and again. don't get me wrong, it's good...just not great.

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very interesting greyish/tan tinted muddied black with some dark bourbon and oil hues. It appears to have a viscousity of clean oil fresh out the plastic bottle or a cognac. Skim of medium-dark brown head. Head settles out to a pattern akin to a cross section of different neuronal bodies (non-geek: different sized whole circles and rings in varying depths) that remain stagnant. I'm a little nervous given the liquor looking quality of the pour.

S: Espresso, oak, bourbon, booze, smokiness like a casual smoker's breath, musk. Lesser notes of cinnamon, molasses, licorice, and maple. Overall all flavors are mild but there is a wealth of docile variety in the nose.

T: Pretty smooth, less action vs. the nose. Some hop filling bitterness effervesces some of the more subdued flavors detected in the nose. This has a roastiness to it that is light and faded, yet leaves you so intrigued. Zero alcohol. The oaking seems to be more believable than spirit-barrel aged now, yet I almost wanna say there's a rum like quality hiding underneath the floorboards in this beer.

M: Carbonation is low and appropriate. Mouthfeel is full initially via the subtle bitter hop wave. Surprisingly very drinkable.

O: A very interesting brew atypical for the style. My expectations changed a few times throughout enjoying this.

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Photo of maximum12
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Squatters recently showed up just across the big river in Wisconsin, & I snatched this one up when it appeared. One more beer I don't have to pay FedEx to haul to my doorstep. Yeehaaa! 22 oz. bomber passed into a couple of nicely molded pieces of glassware.

Pour is black. Shockingly frilly head. Like an English royal wedding in a cup. Nose, ah, give me a hat for that too. Beautiful deep chocolate, sweet malts, nice charred edge. I like.

Outer Darkness is a classic Russki with an edge of charred forest. Roasted & toasted is the name of the game, cut nicely with powdered chocolate. Sleek malt base. Mild hop nip that really adds to the brew. Then the blaze of roast takes over & brings this one right up & over the edge of Char Canyon. Lovely. I love char. You hear that? I LOVE CHAR! Dammit, I could drink this until my brain developed holes in it. Right on, man.

This is an excellent RIS, hews right to the standard & then jacks it up a couple notches. The roast is just perky. Love it. Hope there's still another bottle on the shelves.

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

Outer Darkness is code. It's the name for Hell in Mormonism. But it's not ordinary Hell--it's Hell for the most extremely evil. Utah's alcohol laws are extremely evil.

This beer is not evil in the least. Nice dark color and dark chocolate head. The mouthfeel is thick and slightly prickly with carbonation. The aroma and taste are very good. The smell is very sweet chocolate liqueur, toast, and brown sugar. The taste is lovely caramel--interesting for this style--and chocolate (brownie?) with a coffee finish. Also molasses. The alcohol is completely hidden.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.94/5  rDev -2%
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 nlmartin
3.61/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer was chilled and allowed to warm up. The beer was served in a shaker pint.

A- The body of the beer is indeed black with no opaqueness to light. The head was one finger high after a hard pour. The color of the head is caramel. Nice head retention. Thick rings of lacing marks the beers passage.

S- The aroma of acidic over cooked coffee rises out of the glass. Coupled with the intial aroma is the smell of cocoa dark roasted malts nearing chared at times. Dark fruit tones peak out from time to time.

T- The flavor of the beer is brown sugar / molasses sweetened darkly roasted and toasted malts. Cocoa dipped raisins and dark fruit. Nice earthy almost smoked finish.

M- The body of the beer is slightly fuller than medium. The carbonation is on the low end but works well with the overall beer. The beer is 10% with no alcohol noted except as a nice warming.

O- This is a pretty good stab at the RIS. The beer only gets better as it warms up.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 25 ounce bottle that was born on 02/22/2011. After removing the foil wrapping, it goes into the Deschutes tulip...

As the stream emerges from the neck of the bottle, it takes on a dark brown color with purple hues near the edges; once in the glass, however, it is completely black. A centimeter of brown, bubbly head rises, but doesn’t hand around long. Smells of dark fruits (plum, raisin, date), brown sugar, caramel, and mocha. Fruitier than expected, but still good. A bit of roasty character rounds out the nose. Taste begins with the fruit, moves into chocolate, coffee, caramel, and even a bit of vanilla before the roasted malt and coffee ground finish it out. A bit of warming alcohol on the finish. Mouth is nice and smooth, and finishes nicely (slightly dry, not sticky). Overall, a good RIS that I'll gladly have again. With some age, I could certainly see this only improving.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.62/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into tulip. No dating info.

Really like the label. Pours a midnight black with dark tan mocha head. Head retention was minimal as was the lacing. Smell is a burnt wood char with chocolate and coffee components. Minor pine hoppiness and some dark fruits. Flavour was distinctly a burnt coffee and bittersweet chocolate. There is some molasses, raisins, prunes and pepper. Mouthfeel was decently smooth and medium-light heavy body. Overall a pretty non-descript RIS, nothing that stood out as special.

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Photo of champ103
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of HosP
3.45/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

The beer is dark brown, bordering on black, with 1/2" of tan head that leaves a considerable amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma brings roast, chocolate, booze. Really nice flavor, and easy to drink. Alcohol presence is subtle, allowing chocolate and roast flavors to take center stage. The feel is full bodied with appropriate carbonation. Overall, a very solid beer. I would definitely have this again.

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Photo of baconsausage
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark with a lingering thin tan head tat laces all the way down the glass. Sweet chocolate malt, coffee and vanilla on the nose. Sweet dark and bready flavors are balanced and accentuated by vanilla and stone fruit, and a burnt orange hop bitterness. A little saccharine taste that is the only off flavor here. A different and unique imperial that is very enjoyable.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
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 drabmuh
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Paul, thanks! I liked this beer. Beer is black with a tan head, nice retention, some lacing, moderate to low carbonation. Looks like a beer.

Beer is sweet with liquor bourbon, mild roast, mild smoke, some sweet fudge.

Beer is medium to big in body, very sweet on the onset, mild to moderate bitterness on the backend. A good beer overall, the bourbon and some chocolate fill out the midpalate a lot. Really nice. I'd have this again. There was a lot left in the bottle the following morning after the tasting but I think that is because this was late in the day and people were fatigued. I know I was.

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Photo of zhanson88
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer during a layover at Salt Lake airport at the Squatters pub....I was very pleasantly surprised to see that they had some bottles on location. This was the most recent version of Outer Darkness, brewed in 2010. Served in a tulip.

Appearance: Pours pitch black and opaque, with maybe the slightest hint of ruby around the edges. About 1.5 fingers of espresso colored head form. Excellent head retention and lacing, with very good legs as well. Pretty impressive looking.

Smell: I get some roasted malts, bitter and milk chocolate, licorice and molasses. Light char as well. It smells a bit on the sweeter side.

Taste: Roasted malts, quite a bit of milk chocolate, licorice, a touch of alcohol. Turns pretty charred on the back end with some coffee bitterness. Up front it's pretty sweet with the milk chocolate and licorice, but the char and roast balance it out pretty well. Not going to lie, I really enjoyed this.

Mouthfeel/Overall: This beer is between light and medium bodied with a fair amount of carbonation for a RIS. Reasonably smooth, but could be creamier. Overall, I was impressed. Great flavor and reasonably complex imperial stout. The chances of me getting hold of another bottle are pretty slim but I would jump at it if I had the chance.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -5.5%
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.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.18/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of samtallica
1.92/5  rDev -52.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

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.

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Squatters Outer Darkness from Utah Brewers Cooperative
4.02 out of 5 based on 545 ratings.
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