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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,928 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,928
Reviews: 1,125
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 423
Gots: 496 | FT: 35
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:
Beer added by: Wildman on 02-14-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,928 | Reviews: 1,125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Jeffo
3.48/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally got an older bottle of this from Shaebs99 quite a while back, and recently stole a somewhat newer bottle from SliverX while he wasn't looking. Thanks guys!

From a bottle into a snifter
Best before 14 August 2010

APPEARANCE: Completely transparent pour produces a small, medium-looking tan head that quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Lousy retention. Dark brown body, transparent, with zero carbonation evident. A ring remains and leaves some lacing dots down the glass. Way too thin and transparent a body, with relatively lousy head retention.

SMELL: Good nose of roasted and smoked malts, some cocoa, licorice, and some light coffee notes. A touch of vanilla in there as well. Very nice, and bold enough.

TASTE: Roasted and smoky beginning again, with some cocoa powder, dark chocolate and bitter coffee notes at the swallow. A little muted at the beginning, but the flavors really come out nicely after the swallow. Lots of cocoa, roasted malts, sweet vanilla cream notes and a touch of bitter coffee linger nicely on the palate.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth enough and finishes slightly dry.

OVERALL: I’ve had an older bottle of this that was best before 2008, which was far more boozy and abrasive than this bottling. The nose on this one was nice and the flavors worked well together. Unfortunately the look is simply far to thin and lack luster and the palate a little too average for top marks. Still, a good beer that I was glad to get another try at. Thanks again gents.

Photo of tjkinate
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted next to Plead the 5th, think this brew edges out the other slightly.

A: Single fingered, creamy khaki head with little retention settles to a thin film atop the deep dark brown bodied brew.

S: Coffee and vanilla notes are most prominent, hints of fruit, possibly cherry, poke through and was a welcome surprise.

T: Coffee flavors are fairly dominant, but overall I'd have to say this beer is extremely well balanced. A nice sugary backbone really round things out and make you forget you are drinking and Imperial stout.

M: Medium/light for the variety, very well carbonated somehow being crisp and smooth at the same time.

O: Really a quality brew that I will definitely look forward to getting again in the future. Can't wait to get my hands on the BA version.

Photo of JVan
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of time4abeer
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of ejl4
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Phelps
3.53/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sent by seeswo in the Blind Beers BIF, this is a 12-ounce with instructions to pour into a tulip. Done.

In the glass, the brew becomes deep purple-black that seems opaque until a hold to the light reveals cranberry highlights. A half-finger layer of fizzy cola-colored bubbles pops to a ring after about a minute.

Not much aroma here. A light blend of raisins, caramel, coffee beans, toast and very bubblegum.

Same deal here. A little more booze, very soft dark fruits and smooth coffee notes with a heap of spicy English hops. Dry, earthy finish.

Body is a soft, velvety medium. Carbonation is moderate, composed of tiny, fuzzy bubbles. A little throat-warming, with some tongue-numbing heat as well.

It’s growing on me. A subtle, easy-drinking brew. Before I removed the wrapping to find out what brew this was, the subtlety and soft roast made me think some kind of dunkel or very subdued porter? To find out it was Great Lakes Blackout Stout — when I enjoyed the barrel-aged version SO MUCH — was very surprising. I like this enough, but it’s just so subdued it’s hard to believe this one is as popular as it is.

Photo of Jefe73
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of codsmith
3.56/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Sheffields on Clark. Served in tulip.

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

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

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

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

O: might be a decent beer with correct carbonation.

4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled 8/27/11. Best by date of 8/02/10. (Great Lakes really needs to extend the 'best by' window for this beer as it is has only been in the cellar for a year or so.) 12oz bottle to pint glass. $3.75 for the single.

A: Pours with a small 1 finger, light brown in color, creamy in texture and semi-long lasting. After it recedes, a thin collar remains. Almost no film or lacing. The body is black all the way through.

S: Glorious malt mixture with chocolate syrup and fudge dominating plus the right amount of molasses in the background. The roastiness of the mall bill has lost its prominence through aging, but an earthy, musky character has developed adding a clever amount of subtlety and complexity.

T: Big notes of chocolate in various forms. Gently charred wood, soil and light shoe leather. Leafy tobacco plus the faintest touch of anise on the back end. A super clean alcohol is apparent on both the nose and palate. This beer is ready to drink when fresh, but a year or two really steps up the character and nuance.

M: The carbonation is exactly where it should be. Lightly fizzy on the tongue with just the right amount of 'life.' Drinks like a 9% beer should, with a somewhat alcohol-laden texture.

O: This beer is perfect, or very close to it, on so many levels. Interestingly, I wasn't terribly impressed with the barrel aged version (though it was very good as well). I just think the standard blackout is a better RIS than BA Blackout is a -bbl aged stout. Might have to re-visit that one again soon though.

Photo of duffcalifornia
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of AshleyMiller
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Head is creamy and dark tan. Drops to a thin cap that lasts forever. Nice retention. Thick and heavy.

Smell: Epic level roasted malts. Chocolate and baker's chocolate. Hints of milk chocolate and cocoa as well. So very chocolatey. Some hints of booze. Day old coffee. Very roasted, Biscuity. Leather and wood with a touch of char and sweetness.

Taste: Booze, chocolate, cocoa, and caramel. Big up front sweetness tempered bu a huge roasted component. Burnt, borders on char at times. Sweet, burnt deliciousness. Meaty. Lots of malt depth. Hints of citrus on the outside.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than expected, but still holds a nice medium body. Carbonation is low and on point. Touch dry from the ABV.

Overall: A solid take on the style. Nice and drinkable without ever crossing the line in to absurd or over-the-top. Great depth of flavor and the malts really shine.

Photo of jtmartino
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to chadquest for hooking this one up.

Poured into my Bruery snifter from a bottle at 47F. Single finger of creamy, light tan head. Sweet aroma, reminds me of bbq sauce and chocolate. Yes, BBQ sauce. Taste is sweet up front, with caramel and toffee notes, followed by coffee and chocolate and very mild bitterness from the malt. Very smooth, thick and creamy mouthfeel, with perfect carbonation. Sticky, but in a good way.

As this beer warmed up, the beer became sweeter and smoother. Hides the alcohol well. A very enjoyable experience - probably one of my top 10 RI stouts.

Photo of claytong
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of RedSpecial1
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, opaque black with a couple of fingers of tan frothy head with large bubbles.

S: Aromas of toasty coffee, cocoa, and a hint of alcohol are most noticeable. There is also a faint aroma of mineral hardness.

T: Thick roasty flavors lead the way followed by a sweet dark malt character with an alcohol twang at its tail end. It then finishes with a coffee-like bitterness that lingers.

M: This beer has a very thick body with a decent amount of carbonation that adds a slight "sting" to the deeper flavors present. The way it almost coats the mouth makes it seem syrupy, but it isn't sweet enough to be unpleasant.

O: An excellent stout with big bold flavors that meld together pleasantly with none overpowering the other.

Photo of TheBrewo
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.11/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours jet black with a two finger tan head. Looks pretty good for the style

S- chocolate malts dominate, with slight hints of coffee. Very mild aroma overall

T- very strong chocolate taste, with a slightly bitter coffee finish. Mild booze. Very nice

M- very thick body. Gotta cut it with a knife. Love it

O- very, very good, and affordable too. Can't get much better for an off the shelf RIS

Photo of rogueleonardi
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Photo of Tenchi221
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of angrybabboon
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Review adapted from notes taken 1/21/12

Appearance: Black - creamy off-white head, sticks around for a while, sticky lacing

Smell: Moderately burnt and sweet - some creaminess, perhaps some lactose? - charred, but sweetness is really the most remarkable aroma - malty, some leather

Taste: Mild for an RIS, but good - burnt, roasted, a little charred - but lightly sweet, too - malty and something that tastes like lactose - sweet, but in a balanced way - some complexity, not really harsh in any way

Mouthfeel: Medium to full, nicely carbonated, a little sticky, good but a bit light for the style

Overall: Very good, but not exceptional

This is a good example of an RIS. It's a bit mild, compared to some decidedly ridiculous beers of this style, but I like it. I am curious how it would age.

Photo of hilgart1
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of swatsjon
4/5  rDev -5%

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Beer isn't as black as I expected, but very dark. Like as if it were dark, but your eyes have adjusted to the "Blackout" a little bit (according to the bottle this beer is named after the Blackout of 2003). Nice looking tan colored head with small bubbles. Doesn't stick around too long and not much in the way of lacing, but enough. Decent looking for the style, but nothing overly special.

At first whiff, I thought I might have gotten a bad bottle or the beer might be infected, but as the review went on I changed my mind. Steady aromas of sweet chocolate, almost like chocolate syrup. Tones of coffee as well, super roasty. Back to the original statement, there's a slight off tone here, like a slight sour fruit or something like that. It fades while you're drinking it, and it's not strong enough to throw anything off, but it's there.

WOW, the taste is freaking awesome! I didn't expect that at all, especially based on the smell. Sweet chocolate and somewhat sweetened coffee. Hops are present, but not strong in the flavor, more the mouthfeel. Nothing really too complex about Blackout Stout. Straight to the point and really darn tasty.

Mouthfeel is darn near perfect. Good carbonation level and silky smooth. I wouldn't have guessed this one at 9% alcohol, no burn or bit from it at all. Big flavor and the liquid isn't overly thick. Smooth with a nice dry finish (from the hops mentioned earlier). This beer drinks really fast, insanely drinkable. Overall this is an awesome beer and a great Imperial Stout.

Thanks to bpfrush for the killer extra!

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,928 ratings.