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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

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2,448 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,448
Reviews: 1,074
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 388
Gots: 318 | FT: 26
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: 2,448 | Reviews: 1,074 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bpfrush


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

11-14-2011 14:03:48 | More by bpfrush
Photo of mater


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

11-14-2011 07:24:26 | More by mater
Photo of Hophead717


4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce fresh bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

A: Dark as the night with a one finger mocha head that quickly dissipates to a thin film on top. A lot of lacing sticks to the glass.

S: All the scents you would want from an imperial stout. Roasted malt, espresso, and cocoa power. It's a beautiful roasted coffee/dark chocolate mix. It smells delicious.

T: Wow. Up front, there's a light bitterness from the hops and roasted malt. This quickly gives way to notes of coffee, not overpowering as some coffee flavors can be in stouts, but very pleasant. Next came the big shocker: a milk chocolate flavor that borders on sweet. It reminded me of what I would taste in a milk stout. It was unexpected and entirely delicious!

M: The beer is nicely carbonated and full bodied, without being heavy. Really impressive for an imperial stout.

O: An incredible stout. I really wish it wasn't a seasonal. In fact, this is probably my favorite stout/porter that I've tired (in an admittedly small sample size). I'll be heading to the store tomorrow to buy another two or three four packs!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 04:32:26 | More by Hophead717
Photo of slentz


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

2011 Vintage. Bottle to tulip at about 50 degrees.

A: Slow pour down the center of the glass leads to a finger and a half of off white / mocha colored head comprised of medium sized bubbles. Beer pours the color of coffee but as it settles down in the glass its black as night with no light penetrating it. As the head recedes it leaves a very little lacing. 4.5

S: Smells very sweet with hints of chocolate and a bit of coffee. Getting roasted malts a some hops in the nose, with a hint of alcohol underlying. Not a bad smelling stout but the nose is somewhat muted 4.0

T: Taste is pretty good...although a bit sweet..almost has a cherry cola taste but is backed up with coffee and chocolate notes. Alcohol shows itself more in the taste than the nose as it is somewhat noticeable at this time. Hops are definitely there as well. 4.0

M: Mouthfeel is very good this is a pretty thick stout; leaves a nice coating on the teeth and gums. Carbonation is very good. 4.5

O: Overall this is a very good beer but I think it needs some time for the hops to settle down. I have a few more so it will be interesting to see how it develops. 4.0

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2011 01:32:53 | More by slentz
Photo of smerrell


4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pitch black

Smell: roasted malts, chocolate

taste: A ton of chocolate malts and roasted goodness. A long finish that is just right

mouthfeel:: not too carbonated, nice and soft

Overall: Great Lakes never fails to impress. This is a great stout that is not too heavy. It has a "clean" taste which I really like

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 23:21:42 | More by smerrell
Photo of Centennial


4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage poured into pint glass

A. nice dark black with brown hue and 2 finger tan head with good retention.

S. Rich roasted malt, mocha espresso, earthy hops

T. Chocolate malts, mild coffee, good balance from the hops lends to a clean finish and minimum alcohol feeling.

M. Creamy, but on the thin side, still enough body to leave me happy.

O. Very good Imperial stout. Not a coffee or chocolate bomb, on the hoppier side and a dangerously drinkable 9%.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 04:36:58 | More by Centennial
Photo of smakawhat


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

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A solid but very light almost tan head forms with a good consistency, but falls slowly. Body color is very dark brown almost black here quite impressive.

Nose is small malt, kind of wet, sort of strangely mushy. Seems a bit subdued but at least impressionable.

Taste is at least rich. Good very velvety and a decent thick body without being cloying or sticky. Roast soft malts accent throughout bringing small hints of licorice and bitter chocolate. Not one single detectable sense of boozyness at all on the palate, but a nice warming in the stomach feel after a few sips.

Overall I thought after the smell that this was going to be disappointing. I was a little concerned because this is from such a great brewery I respect. After one taste though, they still delivered and I am digging this probably even more cause I figured it wasn't going to be that great. Great beer, I will drink this anytime.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2011 00:44:51 | More by smakawhat
Photo of siege06nd


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

Poured into my Great Lakes British pint glass...

A: Its namesake is appropriate, as Blackout Stout pours dark as night with only the faintest trace of tobacco brown on the very edges of the glass, and only then after I hold it closely up to the light. A half finger head slowly recedes to a lingering quarter finger ring around the glass. The head is light tan, a refreshing change of pace from the mocha color I am accustomed to from the typical RIS. This one looks very very good.

S: Yep, that's a stout. Strong notes of cocoa and roasted coffee are immediately apparent. I also detect a trace of dark fruit...maybe cherry or fig? Smells really good, and surprisingly complex for a non-BA, readily available RIS. The chocolate and coffee notes are refined here to allow some of the dark fruit flavors to have a say. Well integrated all around.

T: Sweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, dark fruit, and a surprisingly hoppy finish. It's on the drier side, not nearly as syrupy sweet and chocolatey as many of the RIS's I come across these days, but I think it works to Blackout's advantage. Really enjoying the additional layer of complexity with the dark fruit blending nicely with the standard cocoa/coffee flavors.

M: Fairly highly carbonated for a stout, I think a touch less carbonation would serve this one well. Other than that, all of the flavors are very well-integrated. The chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, and hops combine to create a very tasty stout that is relatively light drinking.

O: Blackout Stout is a great beer. All of the standard flavors are mastered with the hop and dark fruit presence adding an unexpected treat. It shades on the drier side and I fear the prevalence of BA RIS's these days may lead some to view this beer as thin, but that would be a huge mistake. Blackout Stout is a wonderful achievement. Great great great job to the GL Brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 22:14:15 | More by siege06nd
Photo of IdrinkGas


4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a LA tulip. Fit it all in there in one pour.
Small head produced a watery lacing around half of the glass.

Chocolate roasty notes stand out the most. Also get a faint fruitiness.

Again its mostly roasty cocoa. Fair amount of malt balanced with a nice hop presence in the finish. Alcohol is well hidden.

Medium carbonation but surprisingly thin for 9% ABV. Pretty dry finish.

I've had the BA version of this beer sitting in the cellar for while. I think its time to crack that open.
Solid RIS!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 06:47:33 | More by IdrinkGas
Photo of DrewV

New York

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown liquid, definitely not an opaque black, with a 1-1/2 finger mocha head.

S: Smell is classic stout: coffee, roasty malts, with some hops poking through, particularly the Northern Brewer (minty). Actually smells a bit more "refreshing" rather than a hearty roasted coffee aroma.

T: Definitely follows the nose, with the minty coffee leading the way. A bit different than other stouts and not quite as robust. I think I prefer a bit more roast and less mint.

M: Creamy, full mouthfeel. Highest marks here. Perfect carbonation. I doubt the mouthfeel of this can be improved upon, as it's virtually perfect as is.

O: A solid stout and the minty creaminess of the brew completely hides the 9% ABV. Drinkability is extremely high; you could easily pound 3 or 4 of these in succession if you were so inclined. The only thing holding this back from a really solid A or A+ is the Northern Brewer hops (which definitely do their job of hiding the ABV, by the way). I just prefer a bit less mint in my stouts, that's all.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2011 01:01:39 | More by DrewV
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured almost pitch black color into an oversized brandy snifter from a 12 oz bottle, with ABV and 'best-by' date on the label.
One finger tan colored head that dissipates slowly. Good carbonation, a constant steady stream of bubbles can be seen.
Aroma is so complex, molasses, caramel, roasted malts, milk chocolate, coffee, hints of licorice and dark fruits (raisins) in the nose. And it only gets more complex as the beer warms up.
Taste upfront is a little sweet upfront, with the roasted/smoked malts make their presence felt as they coat the palate. Hint of bitterness in the finish. Hints of chocolate and coffee are noticeable. Exceptionally smooth and almost full-bodied stout.
The alcohol is masked very well. Extremely drinkable stout.
I usually take my time with my RIS and Imperial Porters, but this one was just too delicious. This is exactly what I expect in a RIS, fits the bill perfectly.
Top class stout and one that I wish was not a seasonal. Great Lakes never disappoints me with their brews and this is no exception.
Definitely worth and try and comes highly recommended. If you are someone that enjoys stouts, then you absolutely must try this stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 20:20:41 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark black, with some traces of tanish brown. Really nice thick creamy 2 inch head, and plenty of lacing.

Smell - Malts, coffee, chocolate, licorice, some dark fruits like plum. Fig, some alcohol and nut round this out.

Taste - Roasted malts and coffee with some chocolate start this beer out. Very balanced and flavorful. There are some hops mixed in, rasin and plum just add some more flavor. Fig and some licorice also comes out with each drink.

Mouthfeel - Thick and bold, but really its rather easy on mouth. Tounge gets the malts, and some hops. Palette gets alot of sweet flavors like chocolate and the roasted malts. Aftertaste is really nice, sweet and enjoyable.

Overall - Ive had this beer many times before but its never been this flavorful, balanced and alcohol masked so well. Last few years releases were strong, alcohol was present in each drink. With the 2011 version, much more malt and coffee presence, and i hardly get much alcohol in each drink. This is a insanely smooth and drinkiable beer. I liked it before, but now great lakes tweeked there recipe and quite simply made one of the best stouts out there, get this one for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 04:24:17 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of Hoptometrist


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from the bottle into a tulip glass

A- Poured black with a finger and a half espresso colored ice cream like head. Nice red tinge on the head. Left some lace, ring of head stayed around for a long time.

S- Sweet malts, chocolate, dark fruit like a belgian strong dark ale, licorice, and some alcohol

T- Lots of sweet maltiness, bittersweet chocolate, licorice, raisin, and figs. Some alcohol comes through in the taste.

M- Sticky, full bodied, soft on the palate, no alcohol burn, some nice warming

O- A very drinkable RIS. The mouthfeel on this beer is what you want out of a big stout. Very flavorful and on the sweeter side for a RIS.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 00:04:52 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of jegross2


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

Reviewing the Blackout Stout by Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Score: 90

2011 vintage bottle served in a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a deep red/brown, with light barely penetrating the perimeter. A thin tan head mostly dissipates upon settle. 4/5

Aroma: A creamy chocolate aroma mixed with sweet red wine. Malty, roasted coffee present towards the end of the aroma. As it warms, faint alcohol presence becomes more apparent. 4/5

Taste: Wow. Very balanced. There is a slight licorice flavor at first, with subtle warmth from the booziness. The warming alcohol does not overwhelm, and it quickly subside for a delectable finish of unsweetened chocolate with a hint of smoky wood flavor. This is a truly delicious russian imperial stout. The finish lingers, and is slightly sweet. This is the kind of beer that fondly leaves you with a memory of what you just drank. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: this is a medium-to-full bodied beer with a slight warming sensation. It is not as viscous as an oatmeal stout, but this beer is far from thin. In contrast to the Sasquatch Stout I recently tried (and DO NOT recommend), this is how a stout should feel. 4/5

Overall: This beer is delicious and not too heavy to fill you up after just one. Very balanced and drinkable, certainly worth the price of a four-pack.

Recommendation: I would recommend this beer to beer lovers and casual drinkers alike. It is very smooth, and hides the ABV well, while at the same time providing complex flavors.

Pairing: Dark chocolate cake.

Cost: $12.99 for a four pack.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 03:47:38 | More by jegross2
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2011 version has finally arrived...

A: Pours a super dark brown, verging on completely black. There is only a thin mocha head that leaves a ring around the top of the beer. Minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: Smells earthy with notes of plum and raisin. Minimal dark chocolate. There is some licorice, but nothing overwhelming. I actually feel that the nose is the worst part about this beer.

T: Starts off sweet and chocolaty. There are some really mellow bittersweet flavors in this beer. I love it, but I've had this same beer with age on it, and it's much better when it sits around for about a year.

M: Full bodied beer. Starts off sweet and malty, and finishes sticky.

O: This is a good beer when it is fresh, but it's amazing when it has a year on it. I plan on buying a case this year, and every year after.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 22:52:01 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of CFHMagnet


4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A moderately quick pour yielded a finger of sandy colored head. The body is a dark, dark opaque brown. The head slowly dies down over time but holds out at a little under half a finger.

Strong dark fruit smells up front mixes with a nice roasted malt. Alcohol is also a strong smell along with a bit of chocolate and coffee.

Taste is to the smell, but the malt, chocolate and coffee are a little stronger here. The tail end also seems to have a bit of roasted nut flavors and a slight alcohol warmth. Very good.

This is the perfect time of year for a nice heavy full bodied stout. The carbonation helps propel this one over the tongue and down the throat. Dark fruit and roasted nut make up the aftertaste that sticks around with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 22:18:45 | More by CFHMagnet
Photo of BeerBuckeye


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown that becomes opaque in the glass, nice one finger mocha head, seems to dissipate slowly and live a decent amount of lacing.

S - A lot of chocolate, dark fruits, and booziness in the nose. A bit of licorice, a hint of coffee. Very sweet, though.

T - Good blend of bitter coffee and sweet chocolate & fruit. I actually like how sweet this beer ends up being. Reminds me of sort of a dark mocha with a tinge of raisins or even strawberries. Nice blend here.

M - Silky smooth, booze, for as prominent as it was in the nose, actually was barely noticeable in the mouth.

Overall - I wasn't too impressed with just the smell and appearance, but it actually did a great job with taste and mouthfeel. Very smooth blend of bitter and sweet. GL has brewed a quality RIS here.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 00:11:12 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of Gushue3


4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Jdiddy for this beer and others that I cant wait to drink!
Happy International Stout Day urrbudy.

A Pours medium bodied brown and sits in my glass with around a 1 finger head. Decent retention that leaves some head around the edges and and a little bit of lacing. Body is black and im looking for brown spots but cant find any.

S Sweet malt upfront with a roast. Little bit of coffee and a slight dark fruit.

T Big roast upfront that follows through out. bitter chocolate come out toward the middle that coasts to semi bitter finish.

M Full mouthfeel, and smaller carnobation. goes down perfectly. Really nice feeling stout.

O Really nice beer all around. hits everything i like nicely. I want some more.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2011 01:28:07 | More by Gushue3
Photo of ColdPoncho


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

Enjoy by 4/20/12

A - dark black body with a medium tan head.

S - Intense blackness, strong dark fruits and chocolate. Pretty intense.

T - Dark roastiness, Dark fruits, definitely some hoppy bitterness. This is a nice complexity. I like this beer. Also, pretty darned sweet

M - thick and smooth, Very nice.

O - a fine beer, for sure. Another great one from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 21:48:36 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of mdaschaf


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage.

A: Pours a very thick black color, no light penetration at all. Very nice tan colored head on top with pretty good retention. Sporadic lacing left behind.

S: Right away I get TON of molasses as well as some milk chocolate and a little cream.

T: More molasses along with some chocolate and roasty malt. There is a little caramel and a slight sweetness. A hint of coffee and a little bit of cream.

M: Medium bodied with low to medium carbonation giving it a smooth mouthfeel.

O: A nice beer. The level of molasses caught me off guard, but I liked it, especially mixed with the chocolate flavors.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 03:03:37 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of InebriatedJoker


4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint goblet - best by 4/20/12

$9.99 a four pack at Weilands .

A: Poured blackout black with a two finger tan head that descended into a thin creamy lacing , decent carbonation.

S: Slight hops upfront with hints of chocolate and mild coffee.

T: Slight hops with dark fruit , slight coffee and chocolate , roasted malt and barley.

O: Overall this a solid RIS- while it warms more flavors come to the front - slightly sweet - well balanced and blended stout that will become a regular in my fridge when it gets released.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2011 13:25:03 | More by InebriatedJoker
Photo of agomega


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

Bottle served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a thick, light colored, creamy head.

Smell: The aroma is of primarily of dark fruits such as raisins, but there is a strong note of bread presumably from the yeast strain.

Taste: The taste is similar to the aroma in that there is a lot of dark fruit flavor going on with a strong ester profile from the yeast. A slight hint of booziness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick mouthfeel with a sweet finish.

Overall: A tasty stout - especially if you lean towards the sweeter side of the stout family. A surprising flavor profile compared to most other imperial stouts with only subtle hints of the typical roasted malt bitterness you find in most imperial stouts these days.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 20:18:14 | More by agomega
Photo of Jesse13713


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

Appearance - Pitch black. A foamy chocolate-like film on the surface.

Smell - Honey and oak. Chocolate and coffee.

Taste - Dark chocolate and a bit of espresso. A bit of chocolate milk. A slight alcoholic sting. Rich, dark oak and slightly citrus-like hops.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Quite drinkable for a 9% ABV. A delicious, smooth and oaky stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2011 20:57:42 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of dubinsky


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

12 oz bottle into a snifter. Best by 8/22/10 (I never new stouts needed to be drank fresh)

A – Pours a very dark brown, almost black as expected with some red highlights as it pours from the bottle. It poured rather thin and as a result only generated a shallow, one finger tan color head which fell pretty quickly as I let the beer come to temperature. No lacing to speak of with little to no retention.

S – Nice coffee and espresso and bitter chocolate are followed by roasted oats and a slight boozy aroma. I’m expecting this to be a coffee bomb from the aroma.

T – Wow, this is delicious. I was expecting a more a bitter and boozy beer from the smell, but this surprised me. There is a nice hop bitterness up front, but afterward it sweetens up fast and smooths out nicely. Huge semi-sweet dark chocolate followed by a nice coffee flavor.

M - Creamy mouth-feel with a nice light carbonation. Very smooth and silky. Like some really rich dark chocolate.

D – This beer really surprised me. I was expecting a boozy RIS, but what I got was a very smooth, and well balanced beer. I had to force myself to sip it rather than chug it. Very drinkable and with this high an ABV, very dangerous. I will definitely seek this out again.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2011 03:53:59 | More by dubinsky
Photo of AgentZero


3.6/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Black beer with a khaki head that dissipated to a tight ring and partial cap.

S - Lots of roast and chocolate. Has a good bit of toasted malts, molasses, and a bit of coffee. Smells has a bit of heat on it.

T - Roasted malts, molasses, a bit of coffee. This had a surprising amount of alcohol in this, which I wasn't expecting as I've never heard anything about this having much heat on it. Some chocolate sweetness.

M - Full bodied, lower carbonation.

O - The initial taste was pretty good, but the heat got to me so much I could only finish about half of the 12 oz bottle. A pretty good beer, but too hard for me to drink.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 04:20:13 | More by AgentZero
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,448 ratings.