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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.

2,531 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,531
Reviews: 1,079
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 406
Gots: 328 | 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: 2,531 | Reviews: 1,079 | Display Reviews Only:
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..

Tilley4, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of thecarster1
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a chalice, not overly thick pour, dark black brown coloring, one fingers worth of tan head that fades to a ring around the glass and wispy lace.

s- sweet edge to the nose, dark and roasty, some molasses, dark coffee chocolate, nice nose.

t- bitter coffee grinds, sweet molasses, dark chocolate, lots of roast and smoke, no alcohol burn here at all - just the strength comes through with all the flavor.

m- full, coating, smooth.

d- nice, i'm enjoying this one alot, it's a nice sipper that i've been nursing for nearly an hour not getting sick of it, it's nowhere near an everyday drinker for me, but it's nice and i would definitely drink it again. really liked the masking of alcohol on this bad boy.

thecarster1, Mar 30, 2011
Photo of DaveHS
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to trxxpaxxs for this one.

A-Pours a deep chocolate brown with 1/2 inch of pillowy dark khaki head. Leaves sheets of lacing down the glass.

S-Cocoa powder, lactic sweetness, lightly roasted malts.

T/M-Very flavorful and rich, with an emphasis on chocolate malt. The back end is roasty and bitter, supported by chewy carbonation. The roastiness borders on charred wood smokiness, and has a residual buildup on the palate. Full bodied with low carbonation.

O-A very good imperial stout, worth seeking out.

DaveHS, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Old Raspy pint glass...

A - Pours black with a two finger tan head on a fairly passive pour. Good amount of head retention and sticky lacing...

S - Dark roasted malts, chocolate, dark coffee, and sweet caramel...

T - Toffee, caramel, coffee, and a good dose of chocolate. Ends on a hop bitterness with a touch of smokiness. Abv is well hidden...

M - Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Pretty light for the style...

D - A little light for likings, but still a solid brew. Would like to try this one a little fresher next time...


comfortablynumb1, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of cadizkyguy
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before August 22, 2010 so it's my guess this gem was bottled almost a year ago...

Poured into my favorite glass, my Duvel tulip.. Appearance, very impressive, a half inch frothy head that dissipates rather quickly with minimal lacing.. The beer is pitch black.

Bottle says best served at 55 degrees. I'm guessing this is a bit too chilled so I'll let it warm a bit to room temperature.

WOW !! As this beer warms up, I'm getting all sorts of smells... and great tastes with each sip. I might want to down this beer, but this is a sipper, even at a year old. To me, this blows away Goose Island Bourbon County Stout for Taste, Mouthfeel and Drinkability.

My new favorite from Great Lakes..

cadizkyguy, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of samie85
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Best Before 8/2/10. I decided to cellar this having had it fresh on multiple occasions.

A-Pours a pitch black with one finger light, cappuccino colored head.

S-Smells of sweet and roasted coffee with a bit of vanilla and a clean, earthy hop finish.

T-Roasted and bitter chocolate notes with a little sweet alcohol and some dark fruits.

M-The carbonation is a little high for my taste but a pretty rich body with a warming and dry feel.

D-A pretty nice RIS, but the alcohol is noticeable but not overwhelming to the palate.

samie85, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad I finally got some of this. It's always gotten away from me. Probably because I never ask for it when it comes out. This is the 2010 batch poured into my cigar city Snifter.

Pours a super dark black. Very thin tan head. Ok lacing.

Aroma is coffee forward but not like some other coffee stouts I've had. Some roasted grains and malt.

Tastes as it smells. But a bit more roast forward. A bit of coffee and sweetness.

Mouthfeel is smooth. Good carb.

Overall an excellent beer that I can't wait to get the BA version.

PeprSprYoFace, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of afksports
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Daaayyyyuuum! Thank you, Dan, for sharing this bottle dated 2007 (so maybe an 06?).

Had over dinner at Spice Cove in the East Village, this was the best beer of the night for me. Hands down. The smell of this Russian imperial stout from freakin Ohio was exceptional. It's dark black to rich brown appearance with a tan head poured into my Taj Mahal lager pint glass (doing it big, baby!) made me cry little tears of joy. When I smelled it... Amazing. Dark fruits, coffee, chocolate, roasty malts, all blended perfectly without a hint of booze. Easily the smoothest smelling RIS I've ever nose-fingered.

The taste.. Another wow. Rich rich malts that don't gave a hint of booze and have aged to the point where all the parts of the nose are tasted together. That's good. They are in excellent proportion. The mouthfeel is on point and this beer is ridiculously drinkable.

I doubt I'll get my hands on another one of these, so even after the version aged in bourbon barrels, this is the one I want.


afksports, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

259th review on BA
bottle to New Belgium Globe
Best by: 8/14/10

Thanks Beerhan for this one as an extra.

App- A very dark brown as to be expected with some brown highlights. I think it was a little to cold/old and only got a pretty thin looking one finger head to it. Some retention was seen with a little bit of lacing on it.

Smell- For being past it's prime so to speak I picked up a hefty boozy smell on this. Bitter dark chocolate with some small hops and a little bit of roasted malt.

Taste- It follows the nose a little bit with a nice dark chocolate with a the roasted malt but changes a bit to be similar to me in the sense of being a creamy dark chocolate gelato.

Mouth- Creamy feel like a good piece of chocolate. Medium bodied with a low/medium carb level.

Drink- This took some will power to not just slam the bottle. Was quite good, creamy, chocolatey and very palatable overall.

FosterJM, Feb 18, 2011
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

Murrdogg, Feb 15, 2011
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.

hwy61mb, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of trbergman
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a balloon glass. Label says best by 08/02/10, so this should be one year old today.

A - Pours a rich black with a half inch of light tan head.

S - Subdued espresso and bitter chocolate aromas. Notes of raisin and alcohol.

T - Smooth and mellow chocolate and coffee flavors with dried fruits, nuts, and a hint of oxidation. Hop bitterness is still assertive, with earthy hop flavor. Overall, a balanced fruity-mocha palate.

M - Big, full, and smooth, with just a prickle of heat.

D - A worthy imperial stout - not overly complex, but certainly merits a revisit. I wish I'd held on to another bottle or two, because further aging could improve this even more.

trbergman, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of OakedCanuck
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into tulip

A - Black, light mocha brown head, sticky lacing

S - Very roasty, strong chocolate, malt, background coffee

T/M/D - This thing is roasty as hell, in a good way. The chocolate and coffee taste like they were fused in a wood burning fireplace. This gives it a heavy mouthfeel and a lingering aftertaste. I picked up some tobacco and licorice on the back palate. A great winter sipper.

OakedCanuck, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of ptykozoon
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Big head, nice lacing, blackish brown. Pretty damn good.

Chocolate, dairy, roastiness and licorice.

Replicates nose well. Tasty as hell I might add. Mostly slightly roasted chocolate and milk chocolate.

The best part. Smooth as butter, no alcohol detected.

Fantastic beer, the barrel aged version I'm sure is outstanding.

ptykozoon, Jan 31, 2011
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!

aasher, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of Drazzamatazz
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Thin looking in appearance but with a nice dark chocolate brown that really glows nicely in the light. A straight down pour produced a nice head that receded quickly.

S: Lots of chocolate forward with a boozey punch. Come to think of it I actually smell coffee milk. Coffee milk that was made with dark roasted espresso.

T: Burnt caramel sweetness and slightly metallic twang bounce off one another. Considerable mocha flavor draws more attention to the coffee milk aroma. Really roasty and a little boozey.

M: Medium bodied yet very creamy. Carbonation is on lower end but is enough to work.

D: I really enjoyed this one, but due to the intense flavors and ABV its a one-er.

Drazzamatazz, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. 2009 vintage. Part of a side by side with Expedition Stout and Storm King.

Appearance: This pours visibly viscous out of the bottle, an onyx color with a touch of ruby here and there. 2 cm of dark tan foam rest on top, bubbling up with every swish of the glass and leaving spots of lace on the glass.

Smell: Espresso is the first thing I notice, followed by roasted and chocolate malts, cocoa, and a bit of smoke. There is a light spiciness that exists only on the depths of the aroma at this point.

Taste: A darker chocolate than I sensed in the aroma combines with an espresso flavor to start the flavor off strong. Sweet and bitter, with the dark malts playing second fiddle to these two dominant flavors. Some anise and light spicy notes step in at the end, but the hops are quite muted. Also, whether the alcohol was a big presence on its release is unknown, but it hides very well now. The finish is more coffee than chocolate.

Mouthfeel: The smoothness of this RIS is noticeable right away, almost on par with the flavor. Not silky smooth, but pretty darn good. Somewhat syrupy and sticky sweet.

Drinkability: At this point there is a ton of coffee dominating the flavor, which is a good thing for me. There are more complex Imperial Stouts out there, but this is like sweet coffee candy.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of PDXHops
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle courtesy of Ryan011235, poured into an oversized snifter. A modest head and even more modest lacing. Body is a deepish brown; porter would have been my style guess just based on looks.

The nose is full of rich roasted malts and milk chocolate, with hints of mixed berries. The berry flavor becomes quite pronounced as it warms up, and some molasses joins in with the chocolate to make for a rather sweet and tangy stout. It's just roasted enough to keep all that stuff under control. Some leafy bitterness and fresh coffee midswallow. The lingering warming alcohol is not at all out of place. Lack of fullness is a minor quibble. Some additional dark malts and upping the viscosity a notch would really take it to the next level.

Overall impression: Pretty good stuff here. I'm looking forward to the barrel-aged version I've got queued up in the beer fridge.

PDXHops, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of htomsirveaux
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tried 1 Aug 2010. Served in the 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Courtesy of a trader from a while ago, don't remember who...

Samll dark brown head. Lightly carbonated. Very dark brown, almost opaque. Dark roasted and burnt malts, cocoa and coffee in aroma. Sweet cocoa flavor. Lots of mocha. Creamy dark cocoa and coffee. Medium body, a bit lighter than expected. Finish and aftertaste are chocolately sweet with a bit of an ethanol burn.

A good non special release RIS.

htomsirveaux, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque without even the slightest trace of lighter color when held to a light source and a two finger yellowish beige head. Good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that leaves rings and chunks of lacing behind.

Deep roasted aroma with lots of dark malt, chocolate, burnt toast, roasted coffee bean, oatmeal and toffee. It smells slightly acrid but there is a subtle lactic cream presence as well that balances out the deep roasted presence in the nose.

Chewy full body that is roasty and smokey but not as much as the aroma suggests with lots of luscious, silky chocolate/mocha flavor. Pretty roasty up front and slightly acrid with hints of bitter dark chocolate, smoke, burnt toast and coffee bean but this is countered mid-palate by a lactic cream and sweeter malt flavor. Hints of chocolate, hazelnut, coffee, caramel, oatmeal and toffee. There is also an earthy, bitter hop presence that lingers throughout into a long dry finish. The ABV is very well masked but it is a bit too bitter/acrid/burnt tasting for my liking.

corby112, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of THECPJ
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 1/18/2011

A: chocolatey-based alcohol scent, perhaps molasses

Ap: black with a 1 finger mocha head, minimal lacing

B/T: mild carbonation, medium body, smooth

Af: chocolate, malts, minimal alcohol notes, doesn't linger long

O: smooth stout with not much aftertaste, smells like a high ABV brew, but doesn't taste that way


THECPJ, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of TKEbeerman
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my pint glass, this brew pours a really really dark brown. Although I've seen porters darker than this, the head on this brew is thick, impressive, and chocolate milk like.

S: The aroma is really chocolatey. There are small hints of fresh coffee, and a light hop tingle.

T: The flavor profile is a mix of milk chocolate and bitter dark chocolate (definitely due to hops), but the hops are very light, almost English is style. This stout is good, I just wish it had more depth.

MF/D: Mouthfeel is full and creamy, drinkability is great for an RIS.

Overall, I really don't know what to think about Blackout Stout. Its good, but it just doesn't jump out to me. The nose is great, but this whole be can be much more dynamic.

TKEbeerman, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of Lauthaha
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer glass.

Appearance: Beer is opaque; a dark, rich brown color. Carbonation is visible near the sides of the glass in moderate quantities. Head is a caramel-like tan color which leaves heavy lacing as it recedes slowly. After a few minutes, there is still a finger's worth of head remaining.

Smell: Rich in caramel maltiness. Some semi-sweet chocolate interspersed with a fresh, nutty aroma. Just a hint of vine fruit.

Taste: Heavy on the malt. From beneath the blanket of caramel, spiky hops poke at the tongue. Aftertaste is bitter with some spice notes towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and oily. The carbonation comes on slowly and stays mellow throughout the experience. Coats the mouth and remains to allow the drinker to enjoy the flavor for a longer period of time.

Drinkability: Pretty good! Not 100%, but definitely worth trying and keeping around.

Lauthaha, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
3.38/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a pitch black color with about a quarter inch of dense dark brown head that slowly faded into a thin collar around the glass. A million little specks of spotty lacing were left down the glass.
S: Light notes of roasted grains, creamy chocolate with hints of alcohol.
T: Follows the nose. Fairly sweet all around with big roasted malt notes. Alcohol is noticeable with a warm aftertaste. Not as much chocolate but it shows up in the finish. Aftertaste has a light hope bitterness to it and a touch of smoke.
M: Medium body with a mouthfeel that is a bit rough around the edges. Tingly carbonation.
D: I wasn't that impressed with this. It's good, but not great. I'm not loving the mouthfeel or aftertaste.

scottfrie, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of AwYeh
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.

AwYeh, Dec 29, 2010
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,531 ratings.