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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 Tsar_Riga


4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Opaque, dark brown, almost black, with a dark tan head that is minimal, but sufficient to lace down the glass.

S - Mostly roast malt, but a touch of chocolate.

T - Delicious roasted coffee and malted notes of toasted bread, with dark chocolate hints. A bitter back end. A warmth of alcohol runs throughout, and the fade almost hints to barrels.

M - Good solid coating, but the alcohol burn helps prevent a cloying note.

O - Very solid choice from the growler selections at Jungle Jim's. I like this stout quite well. Will be looking for it again the next time I'm in Ohio.

Serving type: growler

02-22-2014 21:31:37 | More by Tsar_Riga
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from growler into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours an almost pitch black color with a small fizzy head of a cream color. The head fades almost instantly leaving only a very tiny level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite heavy of a roasted malt smell also containing a big sweetness with brown sugar and vanilla most prevalent. Along with these smells are some other darker aromas of cocoa and coffee along with some other sweet smells of caramel and a bit of a bourbon aroma.

Taste – The taste begins dark and sweet with lots of roasted malt flavors mixed with a huge vanilla and brown sugar taste. The sweet flavors remain strong throughout the taste with other flavors of toffee and some dark fruit flavors of raisin, plum, and fig all developing after the initial taste. Other darker flavors of cocoa and some toast come to the tongue more toward the middle of the taste. Toward the end some coffee and a lighter earthy hop flavor come to the tongue balancing out some of the sweeter flavors nicely. With a warming bourbon boozy flavor coming to the flavor profile at the very end, one is left with a nice warming, sweet, and robust dark flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thicker and creamier side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. Both the thicker body and the lower carbonation are fantastic for the dark and boozy flavors of the brew with it also accentuating the multitude of sweet flavors in the beer with it furthermore making for one fantastic slow sipper.

Overall – This is one sweeter but still balanced and massively flavorful imperial stout. Very tasty!!

Serving type: growler

01-23-2014 02:26:21 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of Realbeer1542

New York

4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Oil black - nice shine. Small tan head that dissipates to excellent lacing.

Smell - Coffee, Chocolate, Dark Malts - enticing.

Taste - Tried at about 57 degrees. Balanced and strong. Great for a cold winter night. Starts with coffee and finishes smooth.

Mouthfeel - Exactly what you would expect from an imperial stout. Coats the tongue and finishes with enough flavor to let you savor the beer without being overpowered. Hides the alcohol well. .

Overall - Very good imperial stout and one I will buy again. Would love to age but don't have the willpower. Growler is enough to share between one and one half large men or four small women.

Serving type: growler

01-03-2014 23:09:57 | More by Realbeer1542
Photo of ONUMello


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

The following notes are from a side-by-side tasting of the 2013 edition from a growler and the 2012 edition in a bottle. Scores are from the 2013.

Poured from a growler into a nonic pint glass
A: Pitch black, 1/2-finger head
S: Full of molasses, burnt espresso beans, roasted malt and a hint of cocoa
T: Matches the nose but with such intensity & complexity adding some bitterness. Honestly the finish may be the best part of this beer as it all crescendos into a rich, full mocha flavor that lingers forever
M: Full-bodied, a hint of carbonation, very well balanced
O: Wonderful beer, love drinking this each fall

2012 edition, best by date of 3/19/13 but aged until today, poured into a nonic pint glass
A: Pitch black, one-finger head (4)
S: Somewhat muted initially with burnt coffee and grain, adds fig as it warms up (4)
T: Like the 2013 but a bit sweeter... a bit less cocoa but adds fig, otherwise same dark coffee/grains. Still nice complexity/bitterness/balance (4.5+)
M: Ditto 2013 but a touch sweeter (4.5)
O: I doubt the 2013 will evolve to add the sweetness but interesting to compare the two as they are both excellent yet different beers (4.5)

Serving type: growler

12-08-2013 20:09:13 | More by ONUMello
Photo of rappmann

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler the day after purchase into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

A - Dark black, no light is getting through, one finger of dark tan/mocha head, that doesn't stay long.

S - Dark chocolate, smokiness, maltiness. A hint of coffee in there somewhere too.

T - Bitter chocolate, nicely balanced, but it's a bit hot in the finish, good on a cold winter night.

M - Heavy and thick, this beer is a sipper, and thankfully I had a friend to split the growler with.

O - a good beer, but not an outstanding beer. Glad I got to try it, but for me it didn't quite live up to the hype.

Serving type: growler

12-08-2012 17:09:14 | More by rappmann
Photo of Tilley4


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

Picked up a growler of this at Chuck's in BG a few weeks ago and cracked it recently... Reviewing from notes...

Glugs out of the growler a thick viscous black with the aromas of chocolate, anise, and a bit of raisins... a fairly interesting combo...

Smooth and silky throughout, the drinkability is good on this stout... Slightly sweet and smoky with the anise coming through strong on the finish as well as the chocolate...

I had no problem finishing this growler off in record time... Enjoyed every sip as well..

Serving type: growler

04-01-2011 20:29:56 | More by Tilley4
Photo of hwy61mb


4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I went to the Great Lakes Brewing Company and had an excellent dinner on February 5th. After dinner I purchased a growler of Blackout Stout. Today I opened that growler and poured the contents into a pair of snifters for me and guest.

The initial pour was violent and left quite a large head. This head soon disappeared, giving way to a fair amount of lacing. The beer is very dark, opaque, black, with a khaki head.

The predominant smell is coffee. I also smell booze and some unplaceable sweetness. It's also a little nutty in the nose.

The taste is delicious. It hits the top of my tongue and coats the inside of my mouth with dark roasty stoutness. The carbonation is more than I expected. Coffee is also very prevalent in the taste. I also taste a little licorice. This is very drinkable for a Russian Imperial Stout, I will drink at least another glass before the night is out.

Serving type: growler

02-12-2011 02:05:37 | More by hwy61mb
Photo of aasher


4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured from a growler, courtesy of my good friend Matt (MTC1287). It poured the blackest of blacks with a one finger dark khaki head. It looked great. This brew smells of deep roasted dark malts with a great amount of fresh coffee beans. I feel the caffeine going through my nostrils. The flavor is very heavy on the coffee and deep roasted notes. This beer is heavy! It tastes like my French roast coffee every morning. If only I could switch them out. It's superb. Mad props to Matt for the growler. It's full bodied and drinks with a lot of carbonation and is very crisp. This beer is very drinkable for the content and is an exceptional RIS. I feel I'd rate it even higher with age. Great beer by Great Lakes!

Serving type: growler

01-29-2011 08:43:37 | More by aasher
Photo of bamadog


4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super pumped to be getting this in a growler, and it makes me just that much more excited for the bottles to be hitting the shelves again next month! Pour is from the growler to a snifter - this is my second opportunity to review this fine stout from different containers.

Appearance: Just like the name suggests, this beer is pitch black and the body is entirely opaque; starts with a 1/2 finger dark tan head that looks creamy but fades to nothing in a matter of moments; no real lacing to speak of at all either.

Smell: Quite potent and robust; lots of deep and dark bittersweet chocolate scents that are slightly syrupy and lots of burnt/roasted coffee ground aspects; there is also a light and slightly earthy bitter hoppiness lingering around in the nose as well.

Taste: Outstanding, much like the smell... Tons of those deep and dark roasted and toasted malts combine with that bittersweet baker's chocolate, backed up with a very slight earthy hoppiness and a faint flavor of alcohol way in the back (yet still very well blended); slight flavors of vanilla and wood as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel could be just a little thicker, but it's very smooth and creamy overall; carbonation is soft and allows the the body that fluid creaminess and it leaves a firm and solid stickiness all over the mouth; the belly is left quite warm from the 9% ABV.

Drinkability: Easily my favorite overall RIS and I'm so excited for this time of year as I'll be able to add to my vertical of it; amazing flavors and smells from my go-to brewery since getting back East that create the perfect cold winter night brew. Thank you GLBC, thank you.

Serving type: growler

01-26-2010 04:38:29 | More by bamadog
Photo of pwoods


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

64oz. growler, filled at Party Source, poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a solid black with no visibility. 1 finger of deep mocha head forms after a hard pour. Some retention and decent lacing.

S: Very bitter coffee notes with plenty of charred, chalky malts. A touch of sweetness in the back.

T/M: A nice mixture between sweet chocolate and strong bitter coffee. Hops seem a bit on the weak side. Body is above medium but not quite full. Carbonation is very low but seems to add a nice smoothness to things.

D: Tasty and pretty easy to drink but lacks a bit of hop balance.

Serving type: growler

02-25-2008 04:04:14 | More by pwoods
Photo of akorsak


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

A 1/2 gallon screwtop growler filled at Capone's in Norristown, PA. The M and D evaluations are the same as my earlier on-tap review.

A: The stout is a thick oily black color that allows absolutely nothing through it. The head is a thick white color that is large but doesn't lace.

S: The aroma is acrid burnt malts with a subtle wine-like character that mixes with some sweet chocolate. The alcohol is not shy.

T: The stout lives up the 'Imperial' moniker. There are dark and dense malts that provide a strong flavor base, highlighting some chocolate and caramel sweetness that mixes well with the sharp bitterness of the burnt malts. Some thick bready malts escape burning and add a dry alefruit element. All these flavors bask in the strength of the alcohol.

M: The mouthfeel is both dry and sharp and exquisitely lush, providing burnt, sweet and acidic flavors.

D: At 9%, this is not a beer to pound but every sip of the pint was delicious.

Serving type: growler

03-30-2007 00:46:54 | More by akorsak
Photo of Phatz


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

WOW. Now that is nice.

Appearance: Pour an absolute black with a frothy tan head.

Smell: Chocolate roasty malts cocoa and a touch of smokiness.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The flavor is exceptional but in the smooth hearty mouthfeel the whole experience in the mouth from texture to taste is magnificent. Dark roast malts chocolate shavings caramel licorice all flavor the cheeks with a smooth soft chewy rich milk chocolaty beer. The hops are light but show through at the back end and the aftertaste is just right dry. nice!

Drinkability: This is a beer I could drink day and night, though at 9% ABV it would make for a rather un-productive life =)

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: growler

03-29-2007 21:48:31 | More by Phatz
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
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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,351 ratings.