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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,482 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,482
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 400
Gots: 320 | FT: 25
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: 2,482 | Reviews: 1,076 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

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

On-tap at the brewpub, 12/28/10.

A: Pours pitch black with a small tan head.

S: Aroma is of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts.

T: All notes of smell follow through into taste; where just a bit of bitter hops make themselves known. Great balance all around; never too sweet.

M: Oily and smooth, medium to thick body. Low carbonation, especially for a Great Lakes brew.

D: Very drinkable and enjoyable; while I'm not rushing back to take sip after sip like I am with my very favorite beers, I fully enjoyed my glass and could easily have had another.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2010 17:47:30 | More by AwYeh
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
StoneBrewFanatic

Virginia

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

A - Pours solid black into my tulip glass with about a finger of off white head, decent retention and lacing.

S - Roasted malts, a bit of smoke, some tobacco, bitter chocolate, sweet dark fruit.

T - Sweet roasted caramel malts and toffee notes. Dark fruit notes are also present and as it mellows the coffee notes really come out paired with the bitter cocoa. There is a slight alcohol presence as well.

M - Smooth and creamy, extremely well balanced.

D - Great lakes rarely disappoints and this is no exception. Fantastic beer and I only wish it was more widely distributed.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 15:14:45 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of codewarrior
codewarrior

New York

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

12oz Poured into a tulip pint. Bottle has a best by date of 08/30/10 (I'm not sure if that's the best by or the bottling date ... but it's drinking really well)

I enjoyed a bottle of this with my grandfather a few days before Christmas. When I told him I had brought some Cleveland beer, he had to have some, and loved it. For my part I got to sip on one of the best bang-for-buck RIS I've had while listening to tales of Cleveland of years past. Is everyone's grandfather from Cleveland? It seems like they are. And also, Cleveland seems ... pretty damn spectacular (maybe they weren't joking on 30 Rock?).

L: Black as night with ample head. Pretty standard in the look department, which for a RIS means that I'm about to enjoy this.

S: Deep roast with lots of hoppy bite to it, great depth of booze as well. This thing is a hot mess ... in a good way.

D: Wall of malt, with a bitter, roasted hop kick. Booze kicks in behind that. Just nice all around.

F: Thick, oily and wonderful. 'nuff said.

D: Awesome. Well done Cleveland.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2010 21:48:10 | More by codewarrior
Photo of Brez07
Brez07

Maine

3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled on 8/2/10

A: Pours brown into the glass, but once there it's what you'd think - black. Very limited amount of head

S: I'm initially greeted with a whiff of alcohol. Quickly overtaken by roasted malt and some dark fruit

T: Big roasted malt and smoke flavors. The roast hits you upfront, the smoke finishes the sip off. There is some baking chocolate hidden in there

M: Medium bodied. Certainly not the thickest of stouts out there. Appropriate carbonation

D: Might be one of the roastier stouts I've had. Wish this was a little more balanced. Worth a try though

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 22:14:55 | More by Brez07
Photo of jhimstedt
jhimstedt

Texas

3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - About 1/4 inch head, light tan. Not foamy or creamy, but tight and carbonated; held on briefly, no lacing. Not opaque, but little translucent with reddish/brown hues. Thin looking pour

S - prunes, tobacco, roasted malts, little booze, slight bit of coffee and vanilla.

T - The middle palette is mostly sweet, fruit and vanilla. Finishes with all roast, coffee and finally some chocolate. Slight cherry and tartness on the beginning of finish.

M - medium bodied, thin but not watery. well carbonated.

Quite a nice drinkable RIS. Not exactly what I look for usually, but would definitely try and get more. Could be a little chewier for me, but otherwise quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2010 03:08:47 | More by jhimstedt
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

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

2010 vintage - 12oz bottle poured into large snifter glass. thanks gill!

Pours a deep inky black with a thinner tan head. Fades to slightly retained film across the beer, leaving spots of lacing on the glass.

Plenty of scents in the nose, beginning with licorice, followed by raisins and dates, a hint of chocolate, and a bit of booze.

Begins with some dark sweetness coupled with licorice. Faint hop bitterness gives way to more candied fruit. A heavy roasted malt backbone supports the beer with molasses and semisweet chocolate. Finishes with some dark sweetness and a bit of booze.

Fuller body, medium carbonation, smooth and creamy with a little lingering chewyness in the feel. A really nice sipper of a RIS, great flavor and the alcohol is masked well.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 05:48:28 | More by xnicknj
Photo of chalsk
chalsk

New Jersey

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

A major thank you to Damico for a bottle of this delicious RIS. Pours a black color with a caramel colored head. Aroma of roasted malt and chocolate, with hints of grapefruit. Sweet start, then roasty maltiness to the bitters. Bitters are at the perfect level. As the bitters fade, a velvety chocolate finish carries you home. What makes this beer special is the roasty flavor that hits in the middle and lingers through the finish. It gives the beer another level. Very nicely done.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2010 02:11:42 | More by chalsk
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

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

Had on tap at Bocktown Beer and Grille on 11/10
Served in a tulip.

A: This beer pours jet black with a one finger of light brown head. Head recedes immediately and leaves wispy streaks of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is roasted, charred malts, bitter chocolate and a bit of caramel sweetness.

T: Taste starts with a sweet toffee and caramel malts mingled with a bit of dark fruit flavoring before moving in to a nice roasted malt that really fills out the middle. Finish has some semi-sweet licorice and a coffee, charred malts.

M: Full bodied, medium carbonation, nice silky, creamy mouthfeel.

D: Goes down easily, nice kick, very good representation of style. I've had this one in bottle before but on tap is even better. I really wish Great Lakes was distributed this way!

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2010 21:18:21 | More by Jayli
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - It pours a deep brown-black with a crimson sheen and a bit of tan froth atop. Head is moderately-lived and deposits some lace. Visibly, it seems on the less-viscous side of the style.

S - Big roastiness is first and foremost, producing notes of chocolate, coffee, molasses and burnt sugar. There is a slight evergreen hoppiness on the finish that is very well-apportioned.

T - My first impression is that this brew has very good flavor, exceptional even. Succeeding quaffs confirm this to be one of the best straightforward RIS', a denizen of the realm of Stone IRS, Marshal Zhukov, and (the criminally underrated) LA Serpent Stout. The flavor is a delicious composite of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, heavy roast, tobacco, and molasses with the slightest nip of green pine-y hop on the finish. None of the flavors are too- anything, everything is so easily appreciable; that is perhaps the greatest aspect of this brew.

M - Owing to lesser viscosity, the body is a bit skinny to match up with the overall impression I get from the brew. It doesn't necessarily need to be bigger, but it at least should be a bit more velvety or creamier. That said, it is still quite nice, it's just that I could see room for improvement.

D - Big fan. Good stuff. Worthy of its notoriety.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 18:14:59 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of surlytheduff
surlytheduff

Michigan

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

Drank from an extra long Harpo's heavy metal tulip. Poured an inky black, with a solid three finger mocha frothy head. Smelled of chocolate and rich coffee, molasses, alcohol and sweet roasty grains.

Tasted sweet and a slightly fruity up front, alcohol heat in the middle wrapped around a prominent coffee/dark chocolate flavor, and a slight bitterness at the end. Felt thick and rich, robust, not too chewy, well carbonated. This is a nice regional (to me, anyway) representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 03:06:54 | More by surlytheduff
Photo of TheFightfan1
TheFightfan1

Pennsylvania

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

Poured into a snifter. Poured an opague black with a nice creamy light brown heading. Left tremndous lacing all throughout.

Smell has a heavy coffee aroma.Bittersweet chocolate aroma with a touch of smoke.

Taste does have the same bittersweet chocolate as in the aroma. Middle in is a slight molasses touch with a wood taste.There is a slight hot booze finish that leaves a little burn down the throat. Hops do make there presence known.

Mouth is mid-full bodied. Great carbonation. Somewhat gritty on the palate not velvety texture that I am used to.

Damn I would really like to try the barrel aged version of this brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 23:43:16 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It was good to see a "best by 8/02/10" on the label. A little age is good on an imperial stout

A - Pours a nice deep back with an inch of cocoa head. Looks nice.

S - On the nose semi- bitter coffee, mostly dark chocolates and slight fruit. Smells and looks heavy.

T - Starts off bitter with a creamy sort of texture and toward the middle you get a bit of hops along side of chocolate and finishes rather smooth with little to no ABV burn

M - Still a sipper though. Heavy beer

D - Man I kind of liked this more than the founder Imperial but never more than the breakfast stout. Still a nice addition to one of my favorite imperial stouts. Well done Great Lakes!

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 04:35:43 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of GabrielM
GabrielM

New Mexico

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

Poured into a snifter.

A - so dark that all I see when looking into it is my reflection, so I'm happy. Also a nice bit of head.

S - coffee, roasted malt, some chocolate and maybe dark fruit.

T - a slight espresso bitterness up front, which smooths out to a bit of chocolate and vanilla.

M - really nice. Perfect carbonation and well balanced flavors.

D - really tasty and decently easy to drink, but there is a tiny bit of heat to it, so a year on the cellar might be exactly what this brew needs.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 00:13:05 | More by GabrielM
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip from a 12oz bottle. I believe this is a 2009 version.

A - Pours a dark dark oil brown with a thin .25 inch head. The color is nice and tan. The head recedes quite quickly and down to a thin skinny ring around the glass. Amore vigorous pour of whats left in the bottle produces a very densely packed array of bubbles. Very nice.

S - Starts off sweet and chocolaty with some nice booze hints that aren't too intense but offer a very nice overall aroma. Slight vanilla hints and some cinnamon as well. The boozy warmth and chocolatey goodness really come through as it warms.

T & M - A bit more oily on the tongue than on the pour. Starts off with nice caramel and boozy sweetness but that isn't too intense or a turn off. Nice slightly roasted notes com through after that as well. Slight hints of vanilla and cinnamon are very prevalent as well as some nice maple syrup. Yum. There is some chocolate in there but I wouldn't say its the prevalent flavor of this Stout. The roasted coffee nature is there but it isn't too strong. Very well balanced in terms of stouts. there are some hop notes on the back end that I can perceive but still a very malt heavy beer. Body i nice and rich with some good medium-full body and nice oily feel.

D - This RIS is very good I enjoyed it throughly yet I have others that are easier to come by that I would rank higher than this. Still good and with an ABV that isn't too crazy.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 01:22:14 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

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

2009
The 2009 was similar in appearance to the 2010. The smell was more subtle and the body was a bit more thin than the 2010. The chocolate was a little more muted.

4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4 / 4.5

2008
The 2008 was my favorite of the prior year vintages. I enjoyed this more than the 2009 and 2007. Again, the appearance was very similar to the others (dark black, with brown and mahogany hues). This vintage was very thick and creamy with tons of chocolate.

4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5

2007
When I got to Great Lakes I beelined for the 2007. Poured into a 5oz sample glass. Similar appearance as the others, not much different. The nose was very oaky and rather dry with cocoa nibs (almost like regular Blackout).

4.5 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4 / 4.5

There you have it folks. Overall, I would rank them as follows:

1. 2008
2. 2010
3. 2009
4. 2007

Pretty amazing stuff. I'm glad I have a few for those cold winter PA nights coming down the pipeline.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2010 15:35:50 | More by treyrab
Photo of kellyst
kellyst

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black and opaque with a milk chocolate looking head that sticks around. Lots of lacing in the glass as this one goes down. Aroma is coffee and chocolate with slight citrusy hops in the background. The taste is huge. Chocolate is dominant than coffee. There is some slight licorice in the background and citrusy hop flavor. No noticeable molasses or dark fruit. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden. I can't believe this is a 9% abv beer. Drinkability is also very good for a 9% beer. Carbonation is appropriate and the mouthfeel is luxuriously rich. I'm not a huge fan of RIS and usually prefer barleywines during the cold winter months, but this is a well made beer that I will seek out this winter.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 15:49:09 | More by kellyst
Photo of SiepJones
SiepJones

Pennsylvania

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

Poured into a Snifter

A: Pours a midnight black with no clarity. A half inch of mocha brown head sits on top of this beer. The head dissipates to some traces of bubbles.

S: Strong presence of alcohol in the nose, with hints of dark chocolate and a strong backing of dark fruit.

T: Roast malt, some coco, lots of dark fruits and a boozy finish.

M: The mouth is full and creamy, there is a slight tingle from the alcohol.

D: A good RIS however high ABV and strong alcohol presence make this beer a one and done for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 02:27:01 | More by SiepJones
Photo of TuckerCarlson
TuckerCarlson

Pennsylvania

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

I haven't reviewed in forever, but here goes:

Served at around cellar temperature (took it out of the fridge while I went grocery shopping) in a Bud American Ale glass (imperial pint with etched base for continuous bubbling). Well past the "please enjoy by" date of 8/2/2010 on the bottle, but I'm not particularly concerned, considering the style.

a: totally opaque, and not much head or head retention; what remains appears creamy and tan; slight lacing (head and lacing could have been stronger with a more aggressive pour)

s: dark, strong; fruity, alcoholic, and slightly burnt

t: sweet up front, moving into dark/burnt flavors on the tongue with drying from the alcohol, resolving into this flavor common in my favorite dark beers that I can only describe as somewhat grassy; chocolate and raisins through the second two-thirds; fruitier and not as heavily laden with dark/burnt flavors as North Coast Old Rasputin and Victory Storm King

m: not terribly carbonated, which is good; thick, but not the most viscous beer I've drank

d: it's hard to talk about a Russian Imperial Stout as "drinkable", but this rates pretty well in terms of enjoyability; excellent as a dessert, and a much better alternative to chocolate mousse; I'll probably reach for Edmund Fitzgerald (from Great Lakes) or Victory Storm King (in the RIS category) more often, but this is a decadent, delicious offering from a solid brewery

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 01:44:38 | More by TuckerCarlson
Photo of brewnic
brewnic

Minnesota

3.68/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Creamy, a lot of chocolate malts in the front but not as heavy or thick as Russian Imperials. Good well balanced with the malt and alcohol content. Just a little watery good if you're looking to drink a couple of glasses of RIS but when you are having just one might not be my first choice.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2010 20:57:23 | More by brewnic
Photo of mirish72
mirish72

Massachusetts

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

Another gift from the midwest connection, thanks for the 4 pack. Poured into a snifter after letting it warm up for a few minutes. It pours jet black with an incredible chocolate head. The beer smells of incredible roasted malts, powerful aroma. Has an incrediblely toasted taste, lot of malt, chocolate, coffee flavors all around with a sweet aftertaste. Incredible stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2010 01:33:04 | More by mirish72
Photo of sisuspeed
sisuspeed

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Romulux for the bottle!
Enjoy by 8/30/10, reviewed on 10/11/10

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip glass. The body is essentially blacked out with a thin tan head on top. Light lacing left behind.

Sweet, chocolaty malts with good amount of roastiness and a touch of coffee on the nose. Faint hops and almost a malted milk ball aroma to it.

Dark bitter malts are balanced out with sweet chocolate on the tongue. Hints of wood and possibly a touch of anise. Hops have mostly faded, but add another level of faint bitterness. Nicely balanced, featuring dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is somewhat smooth, but a bit over-carbonated for the style. Body is substantial, but slightly thin. Warming alcohol lingers.

Drinkability is pretty good. Nice chocolaty flavor and balanced between sweet and bitter. On the lighter side for a RIS, but still a treat to drink. That being said, I'd still grab an Old Rasputin over this. Worth trying, fairly tasty, but not great. I'm still intrigued to try the barrel aged version, but I'm a little skeptical since the body is already somewhat thin for the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2010 00:52:25 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of abuliarose
abuliarose

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter, revealing deep black body under a thin slightly tanned head. Not much head here, but some lacing. Looks a little thin on the pour, but we'll see about the mouthfeel. Smells nice and roasted chocolate malty but also with a watery quality that reminds me of Guinness. Some vanilla. Light, simple smells.

Tastes sweet and slightly roasted. Nice vanilla and chocolate character along with a little dark fruit and what can only be described as licking a sanded stone. Mouthfeel is very watery, with fine carbonation and light body; sweet but drying. Exceptionally drinkable for an RIS, of course, given the texture and easiness of taste.

Overall this beer is great for a stronger stout, but a little weaker than what I look for in an RIS. Still, it's a nice one to throw back.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2010 00:52:10 | More by abuliarose
Photo of kirkpjr
kirkpjr

Alabama

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

Decided to drink my last one of these with the cooler weather coming in.
Best by 8/22/10.

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a slightly heavy black color with a very nice looking 2 fingers of head. Head is chunky and a beige color. Sheets of lacing coat the glass with the head remaining in a thin ring.

S: Robust coffee and heavy roasted malt with some chocolate in the background.

T: Nice strong bitter and chocolate punch up front. The roasted malts coat the palette and a sweetness lingers from the chocolate. I feel like the heat has died down off this a little bit.

M: Moderate carbonation and a little above average in body. Smooth and creamy with just the right carbonation kick.

D: Highly drinkable RIS. Not as rich as others but easily consumed.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 22:44:06 | More by kirkpjr
Photo of DanThomas
DanThomas

Minnesota

3.3/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great Lakes beers are more fussy than most when it comes to expiration dates--which I'm fine with, a fresh GLBC beer is the finest on the planet--and I got this one a little past its prime (08/30/10 expiration, drank on 09/27/10). Would try again for that reason, but still pretty solid beer.

A- Extremely dark brown, thin white rim, and still bubbling nearly 10 minutes after pouring! This beer looks exactly as it should--intimidating.

S- Not much here, maybe due to the expiration date. Roasted coffee, alcohol, and some sort of dark fruit like a fig or a dark cherry.

T- Thick roasted coffee taste (I'm generally a big fan) that is brought down by heavy, burning alcohol that is bourbon-like and a mildly sour taste. Still a nice, clean bitter finish that is surprising and refreshing.

M- Smooth carbonation, substantial thick and oily mouthfeel. Loving the finish on this beer, despite it's expiration issues.

D- Would be higher if not for that heavy alcohol presence. I had a bottle before this one, the day it expired on 08/30, and I remember the alcohol being practically absent, even dangerously so, so a lot of my problems with this beer are, I think, due to the expiration date. For that reason I am elevating my scores a little bit and will probably change it once I get a fresh batch.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 21:49:17 | More by DanThomas
Photo of punkrkr27
punkrkr27

Michigan

3.15/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown pour that lets just a hint of light through with a big, loose tan head. Aroma of cocoa powder, dark fruit, booze and day old coffee. More cocoa in the flavor along with some hints of toffee, raisins, rum, butterscotch, alcohol and stale coffee. The body is oily and too thin for an imperial. It's over carbonated as well. It's not offensive or bad but it just falls short on every point I want in a good impy.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 19:27:52 | More by punkrkr27
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,482 ratings.