Outside The Lines
Trillium Brewing Company

Outside The LinesOutside The Lines
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Stout - American Imperial
4.32 | pDev: 6.71%
Trillium Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Outside The LinesOutside The Lines
Notes: When we met the Omnipollo team in California at the inaugural RateBeer Best Fest, we knew we had to find a way to brew together. #sweden

We decided to go beyond our comfort zone to craft an immensely complex Imperial Stout that landed at 12.7% abv. Then came a balanced addition of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans and subtle hint of green cardamom to accent a liberal dose of cold brewed medium roast Barrington Gold coffee.

MALT: American 2-row Barley, Black (Patent), C-60, Caramunich, Roasted Barley, Special B, Dextrine, C-120, Pale Chocolate

HOPS: Columbus
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 258 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 7/8/16; drank 8/12/16 @ the Golgi Apparatus.

Black/brown appearance.

Minimal dark khaki head; minimal lace.

Coconut, lavender & dark milk chocolate notes in the nose.

Thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Coconut & milk chocolate flavors up front; dry lavender notes on the finish. No booze heat.

A touch too sweet right now; perhaps a few months would benefit this...but it's quite good as-is.

Jul 01, 2019
Photo of spacecake9
spacecake9 from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black with a small tan ring around the edge.
S - Vanilla and cardamom on the nose.
T - Flavor is an excellent balance of coffee vanilla and cardamom.
M - Thick and creamy mouth feel.
O - Excellent beer, best use of cardamon in a beer I have tasted.

May 13, 2017
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch from Colorado

4.93/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks goes out to colby600 for this brew.


Poured into a goblet a very nice dark brown color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger, which also leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, very nice chocolate/toffee, coffee, roasty. The taste is very nice, malty, very nice touch of chocolate/toffee/coffee, roasty, very nice sweetness. Full body, ABV hidden very well. A pretty complex brew. Overall, this is a very tasty brew. Trillium can do American Impy Stouts.Thanks Bill!

Apr 02, 2017
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle. Black body with a small khaki head. Smells of strong coffee, vanilla, and a faint bit of cardamom. Tastes of vanilla and coffee. The coffee is more aggressive than the Omnipollo version. This also seems less sweet, though. It’s a trade off, but I think it works better on the Omnipollo version. Medium carbonation. Medium heavy. Very tasty, but a little bit less impressive than the Omnipollo.

Feb 16, 2017
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Regular, non-barrel-aged. And since the fact that it's not BA warrants a clear explanation, it gets me thinking about how maybe we should start thinking about BA stouts as their own distinct style. Which, of course, we all already do. But in a formal sense.

Gorgeous pour. Completely opaque with a retentive, brown head.

Smells like a medium-strength spiced stout, with absolutely no intense nodes betraying the beer's elevated strength. Fruit, molasses, and pie spice. Straightforward and pleasant.

Tastes dangerously tame. Chocolate and dates up front, moving into nodes that are kinda medicinal like peppermint candies only without any mintiness. That's an idiot description, I'm aware, but I can't put it any other way: it's some kind of spice that I associate dumbly with old timey candies even though it lacks the defining characteristics of those candies. This isn't the most intense of the flavors--they all blend together well--but it's the most unique, and so I focus on it the most. And while I like it, I don't love it.

So... it's different, and not in a cheap sense. They were trying something new and it works well. It comes close to working excellently.

Jan 05, 2017
Photo of aleigator
aleigator from Germany

3.74/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Yields an entirely black color with a small, immediately collapsing head.

Smells of coffee, herbal cardamom, tooth paste and wooden vanilla. Lots of bitter chocolate mingles into this strange spicy foundation, along with some warmed up toffee.

Drinks almost still, very sweet, with a silk, medium mouthfeel.

Very sweet from the beginning with scorched malts and fudgy bitter chocolate. Then spicy, herbal and dry cardamom kicks in, reminiscent of fresh mint, drowned in warming, boozy chocolate. Gets a little peppery during mid palate which goes very well with the dark chocolate, playing along with the warmth of the beer. Finishes with lots of rock sugar, more dark chocolate, which benefits from the freshness of the cardamom and mousse au chocolate.

I found it strange on the nose but pleasant on the taste, very convincing for its rich chocolate presence, enhanced by the spice.

Jan 04, 2017
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, bordering on black. Gorgeous mocha colored head. This is Delicious! Balanced spices. Definitely vanilla and cardamom come through more than the coffee. Slick, medium to thick mouth feel. Super smooth. Dryish finish. Bitterness helps cut through the sweetness. Solid.

Dec 09, 2016
Photo of craftbeersweden
craftbeersweden from Sweden

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had the Omnipollo version here in Sweden ABV: 12 % instead ogf Trillium, 12.7 %

Pitch black beer with almost no head. No lacing stays on the glass.

Nose: Coffee, vanilla ,dark chocolate, nuts, brown sugar, molasses, toffee, caramel and a hint of bourbon.
Taste: Sweet caramel malt, roasted malt, cofee, vanilla, a lot of dry, dark chocolate, chocolate nibs, brown sugar, spicees and herbal notes.
Moutch: Full body. Light and crisp carbonation. Thick and creamy. Dry, bitter ending.

Nov 19, 2016
Photo of CNoj012
CNoj012 from New York

4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a completely opaque jet black with a huge, late forming, dark brown head that sticks around forever and leaves some of the most unbelievable lacing I've ever seen in a stout. The glass looks like a kaleidoscope pattern. I usually pour pretty aggressively, but actually went with a bit more finesse on this one too.

Smell is milk chocolate brownie batter, bitter coffee and a hint of smokiness.

Taste is the same with an odd herbal flavor I'm guessing is the cardamom.

Feel is thick, velvety and smooth. Really coats the whole palate. There is a weird cooling sensation on the aftertaste reminiscent of menthol that I'm not a huge fan of.

Overall a very good beer, but I wish they left out the cardamom. Glad I bought 2nd bottle though.

Nov 16, 2016
Photo of ManapuaMan
ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unlike any stout, or beer, I've ever had before. Holy shit what is this libation? Motor oil black pour that's incredibly viscous with a walnut head that lingers and froths throughout. Aroma is coffee, chocolate, charcoal, smoke, vanilla...and something like raw, unprocessed sugar cane stalk. Taste is...exotic. It follows the aroma in profile but that something extra...I'm assuming that's the cardamom. Is that Turkish coffee? Not sure, but it works beautifully in this beer. Rich, sweet, thick, bitter, roasty and raw...gorgeous. The beer coats the mouth but it doesn't oversatay its welcome. Unreal.

Nov 13, 2016
Photo of Sheppard
Sheppard from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours black with tan head. Smells of coffee and soy sauce. There's a lot of Hershey's chocolate syrup flavor. Some soy sauce as well. The coffee is on the finish. I'm getting more and more cardamom as it warms, and I can't say I'm crazy about it. I do think they've done a good job of capturing the turkish coffee style, and for that I do think that Trillium and Omnipolo deserve credit. I am just not crazy about it. The base just isn't great to me.

Oct 21, 2016
Photo of kevanb
kevanb from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle, poured into a Trillium snifter glass. Enjoyed on 10.9.16, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a jet black color, nicely opaque with cola brown hues and a thick tan head, great retention and lace. The nose is great, really pops out of the glass, tons of coffee bean vanilla with strong cardamom, quite adjunct forward, but the strong chocolate malt backbone and roasted grains really help balance things while a touch of booze and caramel linger nicely. The flavors really pop, huge chocolate cake burst with strong coffee, vanilla bean, big cardamom presence that feels a bit overly herbal relative to the other adjuncts, but the roasted grains reign this beer back in. The mouthfeel is great, coating, thick, smooth with a gentle full body and a dry finish.

Verdict: A very nice adjunct forward stout from Trillium and Omnipollo. Perhaps too much cardamom in the end as it really dominates things at times but overall, the coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavors make for a complex and delicious beer.

Oct 18, 2016
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing from California

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours black with a cocoa-powder colored, quarter-finger width head that dissipates quickly, leaving a mostly barren surface and a thin ring of suds around the edge of the glass. A few random spots make up the lacing.

Smell - Chocolate syrup, vanilla, herbal/spicy character from the cardamom, a hint of coffee roast beneath.

Taste - Follows the nose. Syrupy chocolate is the predominant flavor here, with lesser notes of vanilla, herbal (and slightly minty) character and spice upfront and into mid-taste. Coffee roast comes in moderately in the back end, but never really punches through the thick chocolate wall; rather lays beneath. A hint of booze in the finish.

Mouthfeel - On the plus-side of full-bodied with low carbonation. Syrupy texture leaves a slight stickiness on the lips. Finishes with a bit of dryness and there's a slight belly warming sensation from the alcohol.

Overall - If you love sweet, thick and syrupy chocolate-centric beers, this one's right up your alley. The chocolate flavor isn't as complex as, say, Rogue's Double Chocolate stout, and the coffee is hardly noticeable, but the cardimom puts a nice spin on what otherwise be a fairly boring impy stout.

Oct 18, 2016
Photo of Furlinator
Furlinator from California

4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque near black with a half-inch tan head that fades to a thin ring on top and leaves thick spots of lace. The smell is of dark chocolate, herbal spice and faint coffee. The taste follows with dark chocolate, cinnamon-like cardamom, coffee and faint vanilla. Full texture with low carbonation. Nice balance between all of the components. Tastes like Mexican hot chocolate. Very good.

Oct 04, 2016
Photo of gcamparone
gcamparone from Rhode Island

4.64/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Trilllium tulip glass. Thanks Steve for picking this up for me.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black body with a 2 finger brown head that reduces at a moderate rate, leaving spotty lacing in it's path.

Aromas are delicious and inviting.. mocha, roasted coffee, vanilla, milk chocolate, some spices in the background.

Awesome on the tongue as well.. freshly ground coffee, sweet milk chocolate, roasty follow through, dark chocolate and light vanilla, finishes with bittersweet chocolate.

Mouthfeel is fantastic - one of the thicker stouts I've had.. heavy mouthfeel, silky rich body, low carbonation.

Overall a fantastic beer! If you're in the market for a rich stout with a lot of flavor (and alcohol!), this is the one for you!

Sep 16, 2016
Photo of Ciocanelu
Ciocanelu from Romania

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black color with mocha head. Aroma is malty with nice coffee, chocolate, biscuits, cake, cinnamon and some other spices. Taste starts sweet and spicy with cinnamon and slight cardamom. Finish is more like a spiced coffee. Heavy body with smooth mouthfeel. Really good overall, sweet and spicy but quite easy to drink.

Sep 11, 2016
Photo of Hyptochrons
Hyptochrons from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

sexy looking brew, about as perfect as a stout could look. notes of dark fruit, cherry, plums, pear, molasses, roastyness, burnt malts, subtle vanilla, leather, woodyness, strong spice. mouthfeel is on point. overall definitely an interesting beer but somehow the flavors just dont quite jive and the spice creates an off-putting flavor on the finish.

Aug 24, 2016
Photo of Johnct
Johnct from New York

3.74/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

By far the sweetest thickest stout I've ever had. It's like coffee flavored maple syrup. A lot of people look for that in a stout, myself included, but this actually takes it too far. I'm glad I only ordered a 5oz pour, but I could only get through 2.5oz of it. It's cloying and becomes almost undrinkable.

Aug 24, 2016
Photo of WesMantooth
WesMantooth from Ohio

4.44/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A July bottled 25.4oz beast poured fairly gently into a snifter.

Man is this thing viscous. One of the thicker beers I have seen in awhile. Think Hoppin Frog DORIS or Ted Fidy. It is pitch black with a dark brown frothy head.

It smells like vanilla, more vanilla, and some roasted coffee notes and chocolate with a bit of a baking spice.

It pretty much tastes like it smells. Tons of vanilla. Like Bourbon County level. Very rich. Very authentic. The cold brew coffee is smooth. So much so that it kind of hides in the background. The chocolate is much more sweet than bitter. I don't really notice any hops or alcohol, but there is a distinct all spice/cloves like kick apparently from the cardamom that borders on a mild pepper bite.

The body is full, and velvety textured.

I would like to see a little more coffee, or bitterness in general, to balance out the sweetness a bit. As good as it is, there is no way I could have drank it by myself. In fact, I split it 3 ways and that was about perfect

Aug 23, 2016
Photo of cbutova
cbutova from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- 750ml pours a motor oil brew into a becher with a deep mocha brown cap. The frothy cap falls slowly to a wide ring and drops spotty lace.

S- Fudge, the dark fruits and spices. Very deep, decadent almost truffle like dessert feel. Intense chocolate, medium roast earthy coffee, cardamom, vanilla sweets and a touch of dried cherry.

T- Fudge brownies really come to mind. This brew is beyond rich as layers and layers of dark choclate dessert cascade onto the taste buds. The cardamom is felt with spicy hints and some earthy floral character. The coffee is somewhat subtle here probably because of the intense rich stout base reigns supreme. Deeply darkened grains, toasted nuts, chocolate malts, spicy raisins, vanilla sweets and medium roast coffee beans.

MF- Very thick and slick oily body. The texture is both chewy and creamy and carbonation is at a moderately low level. Finishes warm.

The base stout here is rich, roasty, fruity and luscious. Many amazing things can happen if you can brew a big stout this good.

Aug 15, 2016
Photo of Severymusic
Severymusic from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

visited the Canton location on 8/15/16 and got the 10oz from the tap.

While I'm not asserting this beer sucks, it's just not what I like in a stout. On the first few sips, it was very sweet, to the point where I felt it took away from more important flavors and feels and that didn't improve much as time went on. I can't smell that well but the smell did not match or even really complement the taste (so take that as you will, your experience may be different) Being almost 13%, it's super smooth and hits hard but feels a little like cough syrup in density. Overall it's enjoyable and I would drink it again but I think Night Shift's Lechedor has ruined my scale of what strong, complex stouts can taste like.

Aug 15, 2016
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black pour with a thick, dark cream colored lacing, sticks like cotton candy to the sides of the glass.

S - Sweet dark roasted chocolate, vanilla, cardamon, light menthol.

T - Dark roasted sweet chocolate, some menthol, cocoa, vanilla, cardamon, ends with a bittersweet chocolate char that lingers. ABV is nicely hidden.

M - Thick, rich, velvety, heavy body, leaves a sticky residue on the lips.

O - This is a fantastic beer.

Aug 12, 2016
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out as a rich oily looking black color with a decent brown head on top. The smell of the beer has a lot of roasted aromas to it with some subtle herbal spiciness in there too. The taste is a little on the sweet side but the coffee and spice calm it down a bit. The feel of the beer is bold and slick. Overall it's a very good Stout.

Aug 12, 2016
Photo of MD03
MD03 from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Real creamy with that definite bite. Good chocolate, coffee base and a touch of vanilla. Had to put this down after one glass but its one of the best imperial stouts I've had outside of abourbon series.

Aug 11, 2016
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft at the source.

Opaque, near black body with a thin, beige collar. Aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, roast, chocolate. Wonderful flavor, following the aroma. Superb balance and elegant mouthfeel. Wonderful.

Aug 07, 2016
Outside The Lines from Trillium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 258 ratings