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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,528 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,528
Reviews: 1,079
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 403
Gots: 327 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 02-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,528 | Reviews: 1,079 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Josbor11
2.5/5  rDev -40.8%

Josbor11, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of spamages
2.5/5  rDev -40.8%

spamages, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of tmars13
2.5/5  rDev -40.8%

tmars13, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of ajzy
2.75/5  rDev -34.8%

ajzy, Jun 24, 2013
Photo of JLShepard
2.85/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: A pleasantly sweet coffee aroma is the first thing that catches your nose. It is followed up by a fairly strong smell of alcohol.

Appearance: Black as black can be, this is a very dark beer, which allows no light to pass through. It pours with a nice, half-inch deep head. Unfortunately, the head dissipates quickly, leaving a few islands of bubbles and a crown of bubbles around the top.

Taste: Chocolate and coffee flavors start this beer off, though they are quickly replaced by the strong taste of alcohol with a faint metallic edge to it. It fades into a pleasant hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth the whole way down, though with the failing of being a bit too thin.

Overall, a nice example of the style, though I'm not a fan of Imperial Stouts, as the alcohol taste is usually too strong for my liking. It is, however, a beautiful beer to look at, and reminisce about the power outage this beer commemorates.

JLShepard, Feb 03, 2005
Photo of kscaldef
2.9/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Loose one finger head which recedes to a dense layer of foam over a very dark brown body.

S: Noticeable coffee and chocolate.

T: Chocolate, with raisin undertones.

M: Nice, creamy body with medium carbonation. Unfortunately, that's followed by a rubbing alcohol finish.

O: This goes beyond hot, to where it's finishing like low-grade vodka. This could be enjoyable, but I'm cringing on every swallow. Not worth forcing myself to finish the bottle.

kscaldef, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of Yesac
2.95/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Thin brown bubbly head, bubbly lacing. Pours solid black.

S - Strong alcohol smell, Dark nuts/chocolate/coffee beans. Smell's great.

T - Nose is 9% stating it's presence. Pow. A scotch type taste with hints of coffee. Overbearing alcohol.

M - That 9% sticks on the palate, this brew is pretty heavily carbonated.

D - Not the smoothest imperial stout, the alcohol presence makes it hard to have more than one.

I paired this with dark chocolate which went well and helped me finish this bottle.

Thanks to dschuster03 for trading me this brew to taste.

Yesac, Jun 30, 2008
Photo of xpdrinker
2.98/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz extra thrown in by ChadlyG - Thanks! Best by 4/20/12.

A - Pours lighter than their Edmund Fitzgerald porter - very dark, but reddish brown under the light. Same khaki 1-finger head with same short-lived retention.

S - Not very much at all. Some dark malt and a hint of coffee, but not much else.

T - Molasses, dark caramelized sugar, very little coffee.

M - Medium carbonation, a little bit creamy but not ultimately washes out and doesn't stick. 9% ABV barely pops out at the finish, but it's there. 

O - With all the activity I see on the trade threads for BA Blackout, I'm surprised this wasn't a very big base stout. It has a nice 9% ABV but isn't very noticeable, and it's not entirely complex. Frail body with not a lot going on flavor-wise and almost nothing on the nose. Still worth a try and I'm actually more intrigued about the barrel-aged version.

xpdrinker, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Mavajo
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to Buckeyenation for the bottle.

Pours nearly black, but allows quite a bit of light through. You can pretty much see right through it as it pours, and the edges have quite a bit of transparency. Head is surprisingly white - probably weighs in as "off-white" overall. About two fingers thick, with decent retention. Almost no lacing. Just a bit too "light" looking for a big stout.

Nose is great. Cocoa/coffee and roasted malts. Very nice nose, which indicates that a great taste should follow. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Taste is quite a bit watered down, with some coffee/cocoa notes and a slight smokiness. It's a bit bland overall. Almost like someone took a very good stout, and then diluted it with water. Disappointing.

If I was bummed by the taste, the mouthfeel was worse. Thin body. Not what I want from a big stout. Carbonation was okay. Again, the watery character of this beer weighs in again here.

This brew is just boring. Mediocre taste, weak mouthfeel. I expected much better. It's not offensive or awful - it's just bland and boring. Possibly the most uninspired RIS/Double Stout I've ever had.

Mavajo, Mar 24, 2010
Photo of leinie13
3/5  rDev -28.9%

leinie13, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -28.9%

smartassboiler, Jun 15, 2013
Photo of spoonhawk
3/5  rDev -28.9%

spoonhawk, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of nucmedmario
3/5  rDev -28.9%

nucmedmario, Jan 12, 2012
Photo of amalburg
3/5  rDev -28.9%

amalburg, May 01, 2014
Photo of thebuck
3/5  rDev -28.9%

thebuck, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of Bluecane
3/5  rDev -28.9%

Bluecane, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of Grinnerman
3/5  rDev -28.9%

Grinnerman, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of stealth
3/5  rDev -28.9%

stealth, Dec 20, 2011
Photo of auroracrisis
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz into a snifter.

Deep, dark brown with red highlights and head that doesn't stick around. The body is a bit transparent for the style, allowing light to move through the edges of the beer. Looks flat, some legging when swirled.

Caramel syrup and cocoa at first on the nose, with a bit of rum like boozeyness. A hint at roast and vanilla extract upon further inspection.

Sweet cocoa powder and caramel syrup greet your palate with a nice vanilla extract and coconut like sweetness, then moves into a hint at medium roast coffee. A tiny hint of alcohol and earthy hops on the finish.

Definitely thin for the style, I'd say medium body. Almost no carbonation whatsoever and a touch of stickyness.

Odd sweetness for the style with minimal roast, but it isn't terrible. A not very authentic take on the style but an okay offering none the less, worth trying. And cheap.

auroracrisis, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -28.9%

jophish17, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of AlaskanYoung
3/5  rDev -28.9%

AlaskanYoung, Feb 28, 2014
Photo of rflips86
3/5  rDev -28.9%

rflips86, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of bobhits
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A. Pitch black, with a nice tan head. Pretty much what you'd expect. The Pour wasn't completely black so it could be darker if you're interested.

S. At first it almost had a macro smell (alcohol and something) but a big wiff shows that burnt stout smell with a hint of hops and a bit of something sweet I can't pull out.

T. HOPS. Wow...I've head stouts with hops in there but that's the first thing that hit me. It starts off sweet, moves to a nice burnt flavor and finishes with hop bitterness. I don't like calling all stouts chocolate flavored but clearly that's in there. It has a bit of a fruity flavor as well.

M. It starts out smooth, but there is a lot of alcohol bite in this beer. It doesn't really scream for large sips and at only 9% alcohol I'd expect it to be a bit more inviting.

As imperial stouts go this just isn't my cup of tea. I love a hoppy bitter beer, but not with a stout. I think this would be a lot better with some age, could very possibly be GREAT with age, but fresh it's just not working for me. This is the only Great lakes beer I haven't felt strongly about and I'll more than likely age the ones I have left to see if this mixes into something better.

Changes from 8/26/10

Two year old bottle and a bit more trained pallet. I feel in a lot of ways i got this beer right the first time. The only real change is that it's actually very drinkable and the mouthfeel while a touch "off" is a bit better. First tim earound I gave this beer 2's for mouth feel and drinkability, I'm bumping those scores up a touch.

I think I appreciate the hoppy stouts more today, but still I can't say this is an above average representation of this style. I like this beer a good bit now, but I'm a fan of RIS's so as with many styles I enjoy, average is a good thing!

bobhits, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour is opaque, a thin ring around the edges, not super viscous looking, but opaque.
Aroma is more roasty overall then anything, dryer and well attenuated is the impression the aroma gives.
The aroma told well, a dry roasty flavor profile, powdered dark chocolate, a bit of alcohol, and everything finishes real clean.
Mouthfeel is as noted well attenuated and clean and dry.

ChadQuest, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of jhamilton214
3/5  rDev -28.9%

jhamilton214, Jan 22, 2013
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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,528 ratings.