Khaos and I loaded up the car and hit the road to spend the Easter weekend with family which means one thing; I would be drinking the first beer of this year-long project somewhere other than my apartment (as you can see from the picture above). It would also be the first beer outside the state of California as Fifty-Two Bottles returns to its birthplace, Arizona.
While the concept of this little project was thought up in Orange County, this site was built in Arizona and it was only a matter of time before a beer was featured from here. Which brings us to beer number 16, Outer Darkness by Squatters Pubs and Beers.
Outer Darkness is the first beer from Squatters I’ve ever tried, in fact, that I’ve ever heard of. I picked up a bottle of this Russian imperial style stout from the local AJs, an upscale grocery store that has an amazing beer selection! In fact, their selection is so good that I might try and pick up several bottles for the next few weeks to come (or at least know that I have a great place to find beers while we’re out here visiting!).
To be honest, I picked this beer simply by sight and the fact that it was a Russian imperial stout (my favorite kind of stout). And I was pleasantly surprised by what was sitting in the bottle. But I will get back to that after this short story about my true first impression…
After peeling the gold foil back off the top I was greeted with “Twist off” printed on the cap. I instantly lost all hope for the beer and was hoping it would be at least adequate. After declaring to the family that I was already disappointed in the beer, I spent several minutes spinning the cap in circles with laughter behind me. So, I finally pulled out a bottle opener and snapped the cap right off to discover that it wasn’t a twist off at all, and faith was restored in the potential of the beer.
And rightfully so! This was a superb Russian imperial stout that poured dark with a thick, creamy head. It packed a powerful punch on first taste that continued to grow throughout the bottle. As any good imperial stout, it was very rich and I took my time savoring each sip.
At 10.5% abv, Outer Darkness is boasted on Squatter’s website as the biggest beer they make. It’s listed as part of their Reserve Series and they suggest you share it with a friend. I guess you can say I shared with a friend, I let Khaos steal a sip or two but this beer was just to good to not fully enjoy by myself.
Continuing in my recent run of good beers, I’m definitely giving this a “Thumbs up” as well as the “52′s Faves” seal of approval. I’m also counting my blessings because apparently Outer Darkness is only available in Squatter’s Pubs…in Utah. Now I really might have to see what AJs has to offer from this great brewery, or make a trip to Utah. Either way…