Beer Review: Outer Dark from Wild Air Beerworks

Name: Outer Dark
Brewing Company: Wild Air Beerworks
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Style: Porter – Baltic
ABV: 7.8%

A complex, delicious ark lager whose deceptively smooth taste belies its ABV.

WildAir_OuterDark

From the untappd page for the beer:

A dark brown hue and notes of rich cacao and fresh roasted coffee makes this cold-fermented porter the perfect option for the cold nights ahead.

When I learned that the old Dark City Brewery location was going to be taken over by people from Last Wave Brewing, I was excited. I’ve enjoyed all the beers I’ve had from Last Wave and frankly, I had a less than great experience in my one visit to Dark City. What had me even more thrilled when I learned Wild Air Beerworks would be focusing (not exclusively) on Lagers and Saison/Open Fermented beers. Of the three beers I’ve thus far had from Wild Air, part of me landed on reviewing this one because I was the very first person to check in the beer on untappd.

So…here we are again with a Germanic Dark Lager. Yes, a Baltic Porter is indeed a Lager because it uses cold-fermented lager yeast. Named for the region in which the style was originally produced (countries like Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and especially Poland, among others), the beer is essentially the lager answer to Imperial Stout. I’ve reviewed a couple and had a few over the years here at the Triple T and as with some of the other Dark Lager styles I’ve featured, I’ve found myself particularly drawn to this dark lager.

But what about this beer, Outer Dark? How does a relatively complex style from a new brewery rank? I’ll try to tell you below..

I’m a little surprised, initially, at the look of the beer. Most Baltic Porters I’ve had have been quite dark, leaning more towards black than brown. This beer is a very murky looking brown. Quick whiff…smells fine

First sip is roasted elements, with cocoa and hints of chocolate being most prominent. There’s a thickness in the body of this beer that I appreciate, but aside from that, my initial impression doesn’t lead me to think this has as high an ABV as it does at 7.8%. One thing I appreciate is an element that isn’t present. Licorice is sometimes a prominent flavor in Baltic Porters. I DO NOT like licorice so I was very pleased that there was no licorice element in this beer.

The more I drink from the glass, the more impressed I am with this beer and the more robust the flavor profile reveals itself to be. The cocoa becomes more prominent / present and hints of coffee emerge, which is nice. I try to avoid coffee because it wrecks my system (even in the small amounts that are in coffee beer), but I love the flavor and a beer like this – where hints of coffee are present thanks to the malts – is very pleasing. As it warms a little bit, the flavors become robust and it feels like it is a touch sweeter.

Wild Air Beer Works is off to a fantastic start with their beer and if this Baltic Porter is a sign of the fun things to come, more of their beer will find its way into my fridge.

Recommended, link to 4.25 bottle cap untappd rating check in.

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