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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,357 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2357
Reviews: 1073
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%

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: 2,357 | Reviews: 1,073 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pkalix


4.01/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch dark brown, slight tan head on top.
Smell is adjunct, crummy stuff…. Roasted barley….
Taste is sweet and malty. Decent, but very commercial. Very “corn” ish kind of taste.
Kind of chalky, but decent flavor. Not so “corn” ish in the taste, but very general in the stout taste. Overall, just decent.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2014 02:40:54 | More by pkalix
Photo of gillagorilla


4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Minimal, rapidly dissipating slightly mocha head with an ok collar.

S: A nice roasted malt and that is about it.

T: Lots of roasted malt which dominates the flavor. It gets a bit sweeter as it warms. Good tasting but not terribly complex. which is not a bad thing and I feel can be a good thing for stouts, because it is usually a good sign that they are versatile (great for Barrel Aging, which this one is and for additions, like fruit). Malt Mondays all the way.

M: Prickly with nice even carbonation.

O: This is really good and its funny that I got them in my two back to back in person trades as extras. Also, I had the BA version first. This is a great base stout, but not as good as Expedition.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 01:23:45 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of AmishLightning


4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Big Black and Beautiful. Thicker pour with the perfect head formation. Good lacing on the glass. About a one finger head after a steady pour.

Smell: Literally brought tears to my eyes when I first caught a wiff. A malty bomb mixed with coffee aromas and a little bit of coco to keep it interesting. Perfect amounts of each nothing was over-powerful or out of place.

Taste: An amazing beer, this certainly is. I have never tasted such rich malts before in my life. This beer is perfect for what I have always wanted. Super-rich malt flavors give this brew an impeccable sweetness. A little bit of bitter from the roasted malts add a good balance to the overall taste. The specialty malts definitely do there job in making this fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Thick but not oily as some Russian imperial stouts can end up tasting. Little carbonation as most high ABV beers can tend to be. I really appreciate the bit of alcohol warming that happens at the end of the beer. It lets you know whats its all about, and I think the low carbonation helps to not mask that feeling.

Overall: This is probably my favorite beer to date. The maltiness and aroma definitely make this brew something more than real. I really don;t know how to describe how I am feeling right now. It is a mix of elation and wonder. Many people may think this review to be over-exaggerated, but actually this is just about the perfect beer for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 00:36:18 | More by AmishLightning
Photo of patre_tim


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Black with an amber tinge near the edges, a finger of ruddy deep brown head. Too blacked out to see any carbonation.

S: Dark toasted notes, chocolate, Kailua, coffee, floral fruitiness, light sweetness, some alcohol, soy sauce, cedar.

T: Coffee, dark chocolate, floral notes, fruitiness, cedar

M: Smooth, heavy body totally hiding the alcohol minus the throat burn, medium carbonation.

O: Great one. Drank on March 29, 2014, BBD, March 18, 2013 so had for over a year after ‘expiry’ in my cellar. Really enjoying it, classic style.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 15:59:26 | More by patre_tim
Photo of TreyIsWilson


4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours pitch black with a one-finger foamy tan head.

S - Mostly roasted malts with a light amount of dark chocolate.

T - Starts off sweet with ripe dark fruits upfront. Big flavors of roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee come next. Finish has a nice earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Sticky dry finish.

O - This is a delicious beer. Nicely balanced and thoroughly enjoyable. A definite winner.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2014 01:33:27 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of rjp217


3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle dated 3/16/14 for an enjoy by freshest date, hmmm...

A - Pitch black, frothy off white one finger head with great lace retention. Nice looker

S - Not much in terms of aroma unfortunately. Lots of smoke and a little bit of dark chocolate but mainly smoke, strange

T - Thankfully, the total opposite of the aroma. Huge dark chocolate notes, black licorice, ash, chocolate pudding

M - Medium body, mild carbonation, bite on the tongue, slight burn on the palate

Overall, this beer has some ups and downs in my opinion. Looks great as most RIS' do with a muted aroma which was unfortunate. The redeeming and most important quality is it has great, quality flavors that round out very well. This is a good take on the style for sure. I'd like to see how some age mellows it out in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 19:37:25 | More by rjp217
Photo of dank203

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black with khaki head. Aroma has figs, black cherry, plum, raisin. Then chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Flavor is well balanced and subtle. Coffee/roasted malt, hops, chocolate malt. Feel is drinkable for abv. a bit creamy. I prefer this over most of its peers.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 01:06:18 | More by dank203
Photo of rangerred


3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a thin dark tan head. The head fades to a fairly thick ring around the edge of the glass with a few spots of thin lacing.

The aroma is loaded with dark fruit and has an overall sweet quality to it. Cherries and pipe tobacco come to mind along with dark chocolate and raspberries. A touch of dark roasted coffee too.

The flavor is very sweet; almost too much. Lots of fruit in the way of raspberries and cherries with the tobacco a little lighter than it was in the flavor. Dark chocolate with coffee and some licorice. The sweetness is present throughout with it limiting the drinkability somewhat. Sticky finish.

Overall, I like the flavors in this beer but the mouthfeel leaves a bit to be desired. A bit thin in the middle but too sticky at the end and too much sweetness through it all. Not bad, though.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 02:34:22 | More by rangerred
Photo of msquared36


3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nearly black and opaque. The look lives up to the name. Thick mocha head with decent lacing.

Aroma is smoke and berry.

First sip is predominantly tobacco. Faint dark chocolate and alcohol aftertaste. Mellows as it warms. Tobacco still noticeable, but the overall taste is brighter. Traditional Great Lakes hop backbone definitely there.

Smooth, thick mouthfeel.

Nice sipping stout. Evolves as you drink it.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 00:21:45 | More by msquared36
Photo of tmm313


4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black in the glass. Poured a creamy 2 finger head with aggressive pour. Dissipated into nice thin surface coating and ring. Killer lacing and trailing.

S- Big coffee up front. Caramel, roasted malts, raisins, and nice easy booze behind that. Pine and citrus at the very end.

T- Wow. I took a few sips before it reached the suggested 55 degrees, but this thing came to life after it warmed. Super sweet up front: overly ripened dark fruits mixed with orange citrus, caramel, and just plain old sugar. Booze starts to emerge midway, followed by coffee, dark chocolate, and hints of cherry. Finish is an awesome mix of dark roast coffee, pine, and dark fruit sweetness. This was one of those that was too detailed for my poor brain to find words for.

M- Medium bodied, but on the thinner side. Slick on the tongue and very drying.

O- I'm a bit conflicted. Once this warmed, it was, without a doubt, the sweetest beer I've ever put in my mouth. It was like a coffee you accidentally put 1 or 2 too many sugar packets into. But at the same time, after each sweet assault up front, the flavors glided into either complimentary or contrasting flavors. Each aftertaste shifted its focus as well. I can't help but be impressed by the range of sensations this one puts you through.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 00:39:24 | More by tmm313
Photo of WanderingFool


4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Blackout Stout pours like motor oil with a moderate sized, creamy brown head on top. The foam fades slowly leaving a netted pattern of lace on the glass.

The aroma is malty with notes of chocolate, roast malt, coffee, nuts, and dark fruit.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is smooth and creamy with a firm fizz on the tip of the tongue. The flavor is rich with tastes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and nuts. It finishes with some bitter citrus. Once gone the chocolate and roast malt lingers on the palate.

This is a tasty, smooth easy drinking beer. The flavors really come through as the beer warms.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 01:32:06 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Black body, with thin red highlights. Four level fingers of rich medium-to-dark tan foam. Waves of drippy lace.

Inviting aroma of chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits.

Taste begins with coffee, a mix of dark fruits, and a current of chocolate syrup.

Full, rich mouthfeel, but could be a bit more so.

A quality imperial stout, well worth purchasing.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2014 04:53:16 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Finger width tan head. Thick, dark black color. Some lacing left around the glass.

Aroma - Dark chocolate comes through the nose first, followed by roasted coffee, vanilla, and caramel. A great smelling RIS.

Taste - Similar to the smell; dark chocolate, vanilla, caramel, a bit of nutty flavor as well. Enjoyed ever sip of this beer; tasted amazing.

Mouthfeel - Some carbonation at the start; silky smooth across the tongue; sticky on the finish.

Overall - Another great brew from the Midwest. I can only imagine how good the BA version of this beer is. Can't wait to have another.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 15:39:26 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of BMMillsy


4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from jbwimer. Thanks bud! Pours dark brown to black with some light shining through the pour--a bit more than the BA version--and settles black in the glass with a half finger khaki colored head. Aromas of milk and dark chocolate, some roast, and more chocolate. Flavor is big roastiness with a nice balance of chocolate that is not too sweet. Lingering roast on the palate and a nice bitterness to finish. Velvety mouthfeel that is medium plus and super drinkable for the style. A really nice brew as usual from GL. Very drinkable and on the lighter side for the style but still plenty of big roast and chocolate flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 23:54:48 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of BrewUSA


3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Great Lake Brewing Blackout Stout is a Russian Imperial Stout that boasts a big 9%ABV~ About as deep pitch black as you can get, very little brownish reflects off with the iPhone flashlight test~ A medium to full bodied head that hung around enough to hear one Led Zeppelin track~ Smell is heavy malt, raisin, Soy Sauce, Earthy, Coffee, Sugar Cookie and Vanilla~ Feel is HUGE, really like a liquid solid, it's big, bold and very present, any heaver and I could substitute it for my 10w 20 yeah... Its chewy and HUGE~ Taste is Chocolate, Coffee, Molasses, an army of malt, some dark bread, Brown Sugar, Licorice, Dark Fruit, Toast, Charcoal, Cookies and Cream and espresso~ Nice and silky smooth, however a huge alcohol burn lingers on the after taste, a bit too much for a 9%, I'm from Cleveland... I'll say it: Blackout Stout is overrated, sure I'll buy it every time it comes out, GLBC needs to work on balancing and mellowing this one out~ Overall: 74

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 22:18:39 | More by BrewUSA
Photo of mlhyatt


3.84/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to elkevo for this beer in a trade.

A- jet black with little foam that disappears into a very thin lace

S- coffee. Mostly coffee with a little bit of malt and chocolate.

T- coffee again. Thats the main taste i get.

M- a little bit thin and watery but the carbonation is good. Not too harsh and the alcohol is hidden very well.

O- a good beer but the coffee taste was way too strong it didn't blend well with the malt. It reminded me a lot of terrapin oatmeal coffee wnb. The mouthfeel was a little bit too thin as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 05:50:16 | More by mlhyatt
Photo of templar316


4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick, black, heavy! the perfect beer to get you through a long winter night, a night without power. it's better heated up by the fire. the soft head belies the layers of roasty deliciousness. Sweet molasses, cola, tart cherry, and coffee walk through the flavor profile. remarkably easy drinking for the abv.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2014 04:54:56 | More by templar316
Photo of jdb288

New Jersey

3.26/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle (2013, fresh). Pour is murky black with slight head. Aroma is yeast, a bit of coffee. Taste is malt - roasted but not sweet. Some hop traits in the background but not as aggressive as the malt here. Well balanced and an easy drinker but nothing crazy.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 15:33:16 | More by jdb288
Photo of dar482

New York

4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a black color with some brown coming through the light with a light tan head.

The aroma has robust roasted coffee, some nuttiness, dark brown sugar and caramel, roasty malt, some creaminess, some alcohol in the back.

The flavor follows with a light black slight sweet coffee. Roasted malt, a sweet boozy black cherry, currant. The finish has some ashy and smoke notes. Strong hops come through with a bit of woodiness and earthiness. Alcohol throughout comes through.

I had this blind tasted with Thirsty Dog Siberian Night and that won out by a reasonable margin.

The beer comes in a black color with a hint of brown coming through the light with a light tan head.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 05:45:37 | More by dar482
Photo of keithmurray

New York

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - dark dark brown liquid with mocha colored head

Smell - expresso, Caramel, creamed coffee

Taste - chocolate, expresso, mocha, roasted coffee bean, creamed coffee, caramel

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, high carbonation, sweet upfront, good amount of roastiness and bitterness to give this a balance, flavors linger. Proper amount

Overall - recommended Russian Imperial Stout. I find this to be on the sweeter side for the style, but enjoyable.

Price Point - $10.99/4 pk 12 oz bottles

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 00:29:03 | More by keithmurray
Photo of ItsMe


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz into a snifter.

Appearance - About a finger of creamy white head dissipates quickly a small ring of lacing. This beer pours quite dark as there's no light coming through the center of the glass. Blackout indeed. Not much in terms of alcohol legs for such a big beer.

Smell - Burnt malt, coffee, chocolate, cream, raisins, biscuits, hops, barley, and all that good stuff. Certainly smells nice.

Taste - Right off the bat this is a sweet beer. Toffee/candy sweetness up front, charred malts, dark fruits and mocha coffee. The alcohol makes a very meek presence on the back end of the pallet. Pretty impressive masking of the high ABV.

MF - My least favorite part of this beer, but it's not that bad. It's dangerously drinkable because it feels so light and smooth. Very creamy. But for me, it's a bit TOO heavy on the carbonation. It almost has a cola feel to it.

Overall - Another win for the boys and girls at Great Lakes. This beer is so delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2014 03:44:00 | More by ItsMe
Photo of ThickNStout


3.79/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from IAmJacksHopTongue (thanks Reid!). Best by 3/14/14. Served in a Clown Shoes snifter.

Pours cola black with a tight, quarter finger cap of tan head. The misiscule halo of foam that remains leaves wide webs of lace.

Aromas of dark fruits, slight smoke, mild roast malts and cocoa.

Taste follows the nose. Cherry skins, dark chocolate, darkened malts, a little smoke, burnt coffee, earthy bark, hints of licorice and a little molasses. Very little alcohol presence.

Creamy medium body with light carbonation. Bitter, roasty cocoa finish.

A well-crafted, no-frills imperial stout. I'm not clamoring for more but I won't turn it down either.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 03:16:14 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of gr0g

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Black in color, capped with about one finger of foam. The head fades fairly quickly and leaves spotty lacing behind. Aromas of coffee, chocolate, and even vanilla (despite this not being the barrel-aged version). A whiff of fusel alcohol, too, but that's forgivable given the style. Semi-sweet dark chocolate and vanilla notes are most prevalent.

Flavor is rich and roasty, with just a touch of sweetness. Getting mostly dark chocolate as far as flavors go. Oh, and more than a trace of alcohol, which intrudes quite a bit into the flavor. Mouthfeel starts off prickly then suddenly transitions to kind of flat and lifeless.

Great Lakes makes some excellent beers, but this 2013 Blackout Stout did not live up to its ratings. Plenty of better Imperial Stouts out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2014 02:56:49 | More by gr0g
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.21/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Note: 2013 Vintage

A: Pours an opaque yet clear jet black in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation along the edges of the glass and some very faint dark cola brown highlights when held up to the light. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy dark beige head that reduces to a small to medium sized patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted, almost charred malts along with some lighter notes of dark chocolate, coffee, and dark fruits (raisin and plum). The dark fruit aromas fades as the beer comes up to room temperature.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark roasted, almost charred malts with a light note of dark chocolate. There are light notes of freshly ground coffee and moderate notes of dark fruits (plum and raisin). Very light hints of vanilla and moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish which fade slowly.

M: Just shy of full bodied with slightly more than moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

O: I found this beer to be very enjoyable and has a great flavor/aroma. Very easy to drink with well hidden alcohol, I would be happy to have a couple of these but alas I was only able to find one when searching the local beer stores this year. Definitely worth grabbing if you come across it and wishing I could find the barrel aged version.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2014 02:24:27 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Maxwell


4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark brown, and sits in the glass as midnight black. It forms a head of tan colored bubbles atop the beer, but swiftly whittles that away to a scrim. In body, the beer is slightly viscous and nearly perfectly opaque, which just hints of ruby light escaping through the edges of the glass. On the nose, the beer smells of medium roast coffee, with baker’s chocolate and dark fruit notes dancing in and out of the nostrils. It smells almost like a blend of hot cocoa and coffee. Touches of creamy milk even show themselves to the nose. On the tongue, the beer tastes surprisingly sweet and fruity in its beginnings, but dries out perfectly with bitter roast and a touch of herbal hops in the finish. Slightly tart acidity also shows its face at the beginning of the sip, but is bulled away by the rich roasted bitters. In flavor, the beer begins as plum juice, milk chocolate, and a touch of raisins. This moves forward into rich dark roast coffee notes and then char and a light bite of herbal hops on the finish. The dark fruit returns on the finish and aftertaste, and sits nicely on the palate for a while. In the mouth, the beer feels just below full in body, with a smoothness that borders on being thin given the beer’s alcohol percentage and style. The mouth is left coffee-bitter but with a lot of acid-canceling saliva swimming in the cheeks. Overall, this is a nice imperial stout. In terms of the Russian Imperial Stout, it falls a little flat for what I look for in the style, but it has some awesome imperial stout characters that work perfectly. I want more roast and charred malt flavors in this beer in order to see it as an RIS, but its deeply fruity and tart malt character at the beginning was really quite intriguing and made the beer interesting and complex to sip. The mouthfeel was a bit thin overall for what I wanted for the style, but that does make the beer easy to sip. This is a really nice imperial stout with some funky character. Not my favorite in the style, but a nice interpretation.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 22:15:42 | More by Maxwell
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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,357 ratings.