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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.

2,351 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2351
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: 2,351 | Reviews: 1,073 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of 57md


3.91/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark brown with amber edges and a half finger of head that dissipated very quickly. The nose has only mild roasted notes. The flavor profile is considerably roastier than the nose might indicate. This offering is definitely full-bodied. The finish is hoppier than most other RISs, which is a touch odd, but certainly NOT unpleasant to my palate.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2014 04:29:49 | More by 57md
Photo of reebtaerG


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

Poured into a 10oz. tulip glass

A-pours a jet black with a thin white head that disappeared.

S-aromas of caramel, malt, cocoa and alcohol are present.

T-taste is chocolate, roasted coffee bean, very light bitter hops and dark fruit. Alcohol warmth comes through but is very well integrated.

M-nice medium body was expecting a fuller one.

O- great beer pretty good combination of hops an malt. Great Lakes did a great job on this RIS.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2014 03:18:23 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of Stevedore


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

On-tap at the Great Lakes Brewing Company's Brewpub in Ohio City. 12oz poured into a snifter today, 1/3/2014.

Comes well... pitch black, opaque and very mysterious. Head is a 1cm tan head that retains decently well but nothing special; the lacing is very nice however. Looks like a solid big stout.

Smells fantastic. Roast malts, milk chocolate sweetness, straight espresso shots to make things a bit more bitter. Very, very rich nose, one of the best I've had in a non-BA RIS.

Flavour is very similar to the nose in that it's very roasty, with a bit of smokiness, but that is very very subtle. Milk chocolate sweetness comes out quite a bit, and given that I'm a maniac for milk chocolate, that's a true pleasure for me. There is bitter espresso and earthy hops on the backend that balances everything out very nicely. Again, rich RIS with a lot of flavours. Not super complex, but complex enough and quite rich.

Full bodied, a bit chewy and viscous. Good carbonation which is just right. Not flat, not too creamy or custardy. Very rich as above, with the aftertaste being surprisingly bitter earthiness and coffee. Rich beer that is a great sipper. No ABV is apparent despite its 9%.

Very impressive RIS, one of the better ones I've had in the style. It's not as bitter as Plead the 5th, nor is it as hoppy as Obsidian Stout or Storm King, nor is it as rich as Founders' Imperial Stout, nor is it as complex as Darkness or Marshal Zhukov- but it's excellent and incorporates all the characteristics I have really come to enjoy from each of these other Russian Imperial Stouts. Recommend getting one four-pack of this beer for every winter.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 23:22:28 | More by Stevedore
Photo of jjboesen


4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah! Here we have another wonderful brew from Great Lakes: a Blackout Stout quaffed from a snifter. It looks imposing; its’ color is as black as the night, liquid tar crowned by a sticky wisp of vanilla froth. This black beauty emits a noticeable charcoal waft; the palate is socked with subtle bits of molasses and malt that make for a chewy mouthfeel. Is that a warm brownie slowly melting in my mouth? This is an exceptional beer to say the least.

A wonderful version of an Imperial Russian Stout, one that would make any czar weep for joy.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2013 23:33:20 | More by jjboesen
Photo of Florida9


4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011. On tap at Durty Nellie's.

A: Fully opaque black. Served with a fairly large, dark mocha colored, bubbly head. Lots of lacing. Much more than to be expected for the style.

S: heavily roasted malts, coffee, and a rather perceptible metallic tinge.

T: taste is much smoother. Roasted malts, coffee, slight sweetness, molasses, brown sugar. There is a slight hop character.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, mild bitterness

O: a very good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2013 23:02:46 | More by Florida9
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

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

A- exactly as the title suggests, black. Dark and creamy tan head that reduces to a skimming layer with awesome thick lace that surrounds the glass.

S- bittersweet chocolate with a bit if coffee and just a hunt of hop, some smoky malt notes as well.

T- sweet dark chocolate, notes of coffee and toffee, slightly smoky with some warming alcohol on the back end, finishes sweet and malty. After it warms up a bit, it develops a bit more heat in the finish

M- heavy bodied with low carbonation and a velvety mouthfeel and warming finish

O- so rich and complex, this is deniably a sipper. Luckily I've sample this on tap and in the bottle. I think I prefer the on tap version just a bit more.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2012 23:46:04 | More by Treyliff
Photo of MaximalC


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

Pours opaque ebony with a mound of mocha froth that sits there like it's its job (on tap served in a snifter). Almost had to dig through it to get to the actual brew. Exceptional. Lacing provides ample coverage of the glass for nearly the duration. Aroma is of boozy dark fruit, which is an apt descriptor of the flavor as well. More dark fruit on the front end with some oak and bourbon, and a silky alcoholic heat that massages the throat on the back end. An excellent warming effect, but not excessively so. A touch of dark chocolate is present as well. Just the right amount of mild carbonation for the style. This is a highly drinkable stout in spite of the evident alcohol. I had this from the bottle once upon a time and don't recall it tasting quite as good as it does on tap. Normally I like to diversify when there's a range of quality beers available, but this was good enough to keep me coming back for more. Recommended with extreme prejudice.

Note: The menu listed this as "Great Lakes Blackout Stout", but I have the sneaking suspicion that it may have actually been the barrel-aged variety based on the flavor and the other descriptions I've read. Guess I'll never really know for sure...

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2012 04:11:13 | More by MaximalC
Photo of HisDudness85


4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Typical Imperial Stout; Nice brown to off-white 1 inch head. Served in a 12 oz. Snifter.

S - Notable malt and dark coffee. Alcohol apparent but not overbearing.

T - Big Malt and Chocolate flavors turn to coffee grounds and smokiness. Somewhat hop character in the middle.

M - Light-to-medium carbonation.

O - Easily one of my favorite Imperials. All the expected flavors from a strong stout came through without having to be a coffee or chocolate stout. One to try for sure!!!

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2012 21:38:09 | More by HisDudness85
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: black in color with a short 1/4" head that breaks apart quickly.

Smell: huge roasted malt, bitter chocolate, a hint of cofee, and alcohol create a great aroma for the nose.

Taste: big malt profile. Loads of roasted flavors, bitter dark chocolate, coffee, prunes, and a hearty bitterness. Alcohol is definitely noticeable but fits into the flavor profile nicely.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Smooth at the start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Some dryness arrives late. Aftertaste is very long as the flavors linger in the mouth for a while.

Overall: a well balanced RIS that is slow sipping but extremely satisfying. A very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2012 21:30:20 | More by Gavage
Photo of codsmith


3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Sheffields on Clark. Served in tulip.

A: jet black with light tan head. Nice lacing all the way through.

S: sweet chocolate, slight coffee, slight clean hop aroma. There is an odd liquor aroma that I can't place.

T: fairly sweet and coffee like malt taste upfront, with an odd bitteness at the end. I think draft was way over carbonated.

M: over carbonated like crazy, it doesn't match either the style or ABV

O: might be a decent beer with correct carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2012 23:17:36 | More by codsmith
Photo of TheBrewo


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This brew was served from the tap at MacGregor’s Grill and Tap Room in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a Brooklyn Brewery tulip that was full to the brim. The coloring was pitch black, and it supported a film of a creamy coffee-colored head. As the beer disappeared it left spidery lacing around the glass. The carbonation was light, and large chunks of yeasty deposits sat at the bottom of the glass. The aroma was rich, with huge fiery roast. There were additions of raw chocolate, steel of coffee, white sugars, and dark cherries with other boozy fruitiness. The aroma as a whole gave off a warming vibe. As we sipped, the taste began with insanely roasted coffee malts, with sweeter cream to cut. The latter kept the darkness and smokiness from becoming overwhelming. The middle progressed with cleaner malts, with molasses sweetness. The fruit also began here, with obvious cherry and figs, all rolled in with stark alcohol. The finish was with more strong, peppery booze, and a hint of hot cayenne spice. There was medicinal phenolic bitterness, with the additional bite of grain and coffee. This was actually the most bitter and puckering part of the entire tasting. The aftertaste breathed with bitter but clean malts, sharp fusel alcohols, hearty coffee bite, and more of those deeper malts. Throughout, there was big booze with a great warming effect. The body was big and full, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip showed beautiful slurp and cream, with a devilish smack and pop. The liquid was silky smooth and soft to the touch, leaving the mouth entirely coated, with the faintest hint of heat and astringency. This beer is warming to the max. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks as a slow sipper, but could paradoxically be a chugger if you were in a hurry.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the feel. This was extraordinary for the style, staying soft and silky, with a satisfying clean coating. The feel reminded us quite a bit of Founders Breakfast Stout, and the two are really second to none in this department. The only complaint is that it becomes pretty heavy and sticky by the end, but this is really just a great excuse to curl up in front of the fire and split a bottle with someone.

Serving type: on-tap

01-26-2012 17:39:04 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of Rifugium


3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Capone's, Norristown, PA

Poured like a stout, if you can believe it: dark brown-black, with a frothy tan head that deposited some soapy lacing. Roasty character in the aroma, bitter notes of cocoa and coffee and a bit of ash. Flavors of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, tobacco ash, coffee bitterness. Heavier-medium mouthfeel, pretty smooth, and pretty drinkable overall.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 04:34:29 | More by Rifugium
Photo of righthereisay


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I sent myself this information on my blackberry while throwin' them down at Mad Mex in Mt Lebanon.

Draft in a Belgium tulip style glass.

Pours very dark brown with about a quarter inch of light brown foam. Looks really nice.

Smelled of alcohol, smokey, chocolate

I was very surprised at the taste. Very nice, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee. No alcohol taste at all...incredible for 9%.

VERY smooth. Nice body.

Surprised Great Lakes made this one. Maybe I will try some of their other beers. Didn't expect it to be this good....

Serving type: on-tap

01-15-2012 01:45:43 | More by righthereisay
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

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

I missed the bottles of this when it was at my local shop, so I was excited to see them put it on tap a couple weeks later. Came out in a Duvel chalice.

The nose is very rich and roasty with lots of smoke, burnt toast, cardboard. Dark black pour. Thick tan head. The lace coats the glass beautifully. Where the smoke took top tier in the aroma, it simmers down in the flavor, thankfully. Milk chocolate, roasted coffee, ghost-like smoke on the finish. Woodsy character in this one as well. Can't place it. Very rich beer. I liked it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 19:57:23 | More by Onenote81
Photo of lurpy1


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Having been shut out at home on scoring a bottle, back at work in Michigan, when I saw that it was on-tap at Crunchy's East Lansing, I was so excited I braved a crippling snowstorm to get my hands on a pint. 4 miles and 45 harrowing minutes later, me and my judgement impaired brain are bellying up to the bar.

Blackout Stout made it worth the while. Wholly opaque black pour, with not much head. No head make Mongo sad. But it is so dark it is like looking into the pit of eternal sorrow. The smell brings a lot of roast, cocoa, malt. Great-ass stuff. The taste is stout through and through, with a fantastic sweet note that carries throughout. And Blackout Stout goes down like castrol. I mean that as a compliment.

I count on Great Lakes for rock solid beers and not necessarily more, but this one is way above rock solid and in rarified are. Love the sweet. I might not necessarily recommend you risk your life to get this one. But you should definitely risk the integrity of your crappy rental car.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 01:18:16 | More by lurpy1
Photo of raznug


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:It pours black in color topped with an inch of dark tan head that appears thick and fluffy. Nice belgian lacing down the glass.
Smell: It smells of chocolate, coffee, roasted malt and very little alcohol.
Taste: It starts off with roasted malt followed by chocolatey notes. It finishes with a bitterness and almost a slight burnt flavor.
Mouthfeel: It is thick and heavy just like a stout should be but it is very easy to drink which makes for a delicious beer that can be enjoyed by a couple glasses.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2011 00:20:01 | More by raznug
Photo of Brewmeist


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a pint.

A- opaque blackened ale. Medium bodied head with a little bit of lacing. Typical stout apperance

S- smokey, oakey, chocolatey. Not overwhelming of booze but more of the flavor of the beer itself. Inviting.

T- heavy, coats and burns the throat. Light chocolatey start with malty burn finish. Perfect for washing the holiday sorrows away. Very nice taste

M- thick, heavy, full bodied. Presence is there in full effect. Hits a variety of pallette areas.

D- yes. Buy this beer. If you like a nice think drinkable potient stout it is worth your bottom dollar.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2011 22:10:56 | More by Brewmeist
Photo of katan


3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16 oz on tap at the GL outpost at CLE airport

A- Pours deep, dark, black, thick. The absence of light. Head formation is light, mocha, small amount of film.

S - A combination of roasted barley and bittersweet chocolate. A bit of a spicy yeast note in the background. Hops are not as present as the marketing would suggest.

T - Starts off malty, roasted barley. At times even coming off a little but burnt. Mid-stream brings in some chocolate, a bit of a bready flavor. Finishes with a hefty bitterness on the tongue, with lots of sticky burnt log flavors.

M - Full bodied, moderate carbonation. The most notable is the burnt flavors really like to stick to the tongue.

O - For a 9%, this beer is pretty easy drinking. A little bit filling. Distinguishes itself as more of a dark, burnt roast RIS. I don't feel like hopping was cleanly brought through. I want to find it in the middle, but it just seems like it gets eaten by the roast.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2011 21:19:48 | More by katan
Photo of jera1350


4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2009 vintage on-tap at Haute Dish.

Dark black with a little tan head of foam. Pretty nice retention and decent lacing.

A nice creamy sweetness with a little bit of roast and some smokiness.

The taste is a nice array of chocolate, smoke and light roasted malt. Moderately sweet and quite tasty overall.

Medium-full bodied, creamy carbonation and quite smooth.

Really tasty and enjoyable beer. The aging on this has mellowed any harshness and brought the flavor together quite well. A very well crafted and highly drinkable imperial stout.

Serving type: on-tap

12-12-2011 01:45:07 | More by jera1350
Photo of CuriousMonk


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

Poured on tap into tall snifter glass then again enjoyed from 12oz bottle into pint glass. The appearance is true to the style, deep black, tan head. The aroma is bitter chocolate, roasty, molasses. The flavor is chocolate (more than implied by the aroma), brown sugar and molasses, much sweeter than expected. Some roasty notes in there as well. The finish is roasty, and lingering resiny bitterness. The beer has a nice thick body, full, and creamy mouthfeel. Excellent Great Lakes offering and one that I will seek out every season!

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2011 19:42:56 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of dorianmarley


4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep black, with creamy, light head and nice lacing.

Nose is roasted, sweet hazelnut.

Taste has a fair amount of alcohol astringency, with smoky wood, dark chocolate, and vanilla extract.

Mouthfeel is refreshing for such a heavy brew.

Overall, an easy-going but powerful stout. It packs a punch but doesn't hurt.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2011 23:38:21 | More by dorianmarley
Photo of ike4tay45


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

A: Black with 1/4 to 1/2 inch head that's dark and steady. Very attractive.

S: Aroma shows wonderful complexity. Deep rich fruity quality that surrounds roast, coffee, dark malt. This aroma is outstanding.

T: Flavor matches aroma, but carries with it more of the roast. Slight burnt coffee character. Slight fruitiness (but less than the aroma). Sweetness that's intense, but not excessive and lets the roast dominate. Don't detect much alcohol in flavor, but feel it later.

M: Mouthfeel was thick, a little sticky, with just the right anount of carbonation.

Overall: This beer blew me away immediately. Easily one of the more immediately accessible beers for this style. Might not have as intense character as others in this style, but overall an extremely pleasurable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2011 17:59:11 | More by ike4tay45
Photo of output01x


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap in a snifter glass at the Great Lakes brewpub.

A 1 1/2 finger tan-colored head rests atop a pure black body with no traces of color when held to light. The head recedes in a couple minutes to a thin dusting and thick foam ring. Very little lacing can be found throughout consumption.

Dark malts dominate the nose with aromas of burnt coffee beans and dark chocolate. Dark fruit notes are also present. A slightly boozy smell is detected.

A dark mocha flavor flows over the taste buds and mingles with notes of raisins and plums. A dry coffee aftertaste lingers between sips. Dark and sweet, the bold flavors leave no room for the 9% ABV to poke through.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer coats your mouth well but does not get too sticky. While not exactly creamy, the great carbonation cerainly helps the drinkability considerably.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2011 17:42:44 | More by output01x
Photo of brian44556


4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this on-tap at Sergio's. Poured into a Tulip glass. I'm guessing 2011 vintage??

This beer pours a great motor oil color, has a thick, dark tan head and leaves good lacing around the glass. I caught strong smells of chocolate and roasted malt. The smell was great, but the taste blew me away. Great sweet chocolate taste with a bitter finish. I loved the mixture of hops and chocolate. It was a perfect balance. The carbonation was on point and the beer was a perfect thickness for a RIS. This was the best RIS I have had to date. Love everything about it. Unfortunately I have never seen bottles of this around the area, but next year I will definitely be on the look out. Great job Great Lakes!

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2011 17:21:26 | More by brian44556
Photo of Murrdogg


4.65/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at the GLBC brewery itself

A: A nice dark ruby stout. Yellowy/cream head with a good deal of lacing

S: strong coffee smell, pungent whiskey smell (love it already!)

T: alcohol attacks the tongue up front, but in a good way. Light coffee mid-taste, and a smooth finish. Burnt caramel in the background

M: robust mouth-feel.. More like a clean, smooth whiskey than a beer (which is awesome). Silky and goes down smooth, but with nice taste and richness

D: This is not one of those "drink 5 of" beers, this is a delicate, delicious, stand-alone (mostly) stout. Would be perfect as an after dinner dessert, or paired with a desert

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 18:39:04 | More by Murrdogg
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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,351 ratings.