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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.

2,474 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,474
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 400
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Blackout Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,474 | Reviews: 1,076 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lunch


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

Served from a 12oz. bottle, obtained via trade as a generous extra with boatshoes (thanks man!), into my Brooklyn Brewery snifter at the appropriate temperature (03/06/10).

A: Pours a rather viscous and thick motor oil black, capped with a light tan head of approximately two fingers. Nice retention and some thick and patchy lacing.

S: Fragrant aroma of coffee and chocolate with some bitter dark chocolate and cocoa. Very rich and inviting.

T: The aroma translates perfectly in the palate with layers of chocolate covered coffee beans and rich cocoa. Some bitter dark chocolate helps to round out the flavor profile leaving a bit of lingering bitterness.

M: Fuller-bodied with low carbonation and quite thick.

D: The 9% shows is virtually undetectable, but like many Imperial Stouts the rich and thick qualities drag it down just bit.

Overall this was an exceptional Imperial Stout from Great Lakes and one that is deserving of its praise. Thanks again Fletch for including this as an extra in our trade! Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 21:58:19 | More by Lunch
Photo of BarrytheBear


3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Attractive pour yields black goodness accompanied by a smattering of off white head

Loads of coffee, raisin, and hops on the nose

Blackout opens to dark chocolate and raisin, punches with a tongue wrapping sweetness, and ends coffee and dank-like hops with the sweetness carrying through to the finish - as this beer opens up it falls apart a bit, revealing a less appealing, slightly cloying sweetness

A bit of weight on the mouthfeel, this beer balances nicely between a sticky oil slick and super model bad thinness

No problems with the drinkability of this beer and I do not detect any of the heat that is sometimes commented on

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 18:33:40 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of hawks10


4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap, March 10th, 2010 at Poor Phil's in Oak Park...

Served in a shaker...pours a very dark brown, not quite black...some light shows through around the edges. Small, one finger tan head that leaves some lacing on the way down...

Smells very roasty...dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt...

Initial taste of smooth chocolate gives way to a more bitter flavor of roasted malts/coffee and a nice showing from the hops. Alcohol is somewhat evident, pretty tasty...

Smooth and creamy on the palette, a bit thinner than expected but still very nice...

Good brew from Great Lakes, just a little thinner than I remember from the bottle. Could have a couple of these with no problem...

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2010 08:34:38 | More by hawks10
Photo of pattermj


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

A- Pours black but not as dark or think as you would think compared to others, bubbles but no real head yet again
S-coffee, malts
T-coffee, Chocolate, alcohol in that order with malts all through, no real hops
M- very smooth but really not as thick as what I expect an IS to be. Much closer to a standard stout feel. Can definitely taste the alcohol afterwards
D- Drinkable, not my fav from them but not bad.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2010 02:59:18 | More by pattermj
Photo of jmdrpi


4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

label says for freshest taste by 8/02/10, but no idea when bottled.
A - pours "blackout" black, with quarter inch khaki colored head. moderate lacing
S - bittersweet chocolate, espresso
T- roasted malt, a little sweetness. bitterness grows as the beer warms
M - smooth and creamy, no detection of the 9% abv
D - easy drinking for a RIS

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 03:44:23 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of AdamGarcia


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

12 btl into Chimay chalice. Been a fan of this beer (and GL in general) for a while, its about time I reviewed it.

A: Par for the course for an RIS. Deep black with just a bit of light that creeps through around the edges. Head vanishes quickly, leaving just a thin ring. Lacing clings after each sip.

S: Roasty, toasty goodness. Coffee. Dark chocolate.

T: Very nice. Expresso roast coffee is prominent. Just the right amount of bitterness, both from the malt and hops. Even picking up a little bit of cola in the finish. Very rich.

M: Could be a little more viscous, but ok overall. Carbonation is right on.

D: What one would expect. High abv isn't necessarily apparent. I could stand to have another.

If you haven't had this one, try it out. Great Lakes is a brewery that gets overlooked a little too much, even by those of us in the region. They may not do anything flashy in terms of packaging or advertising but they do make great beers that speak for themselves.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 05:53:50 | More by AdamGarcia
Photo of kiddynamite920


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

A: Pitch black, of course. Has some legs on it. Near brown head, one of the darker heads I've encountered.

S: Great roasty aroma. Alcohol mixed with dark fruits. Cocoa and cinnamon with some vanilla. A swirl brings out some hops and a kick of alcohol.

T: Big chocolate malt profile. Hits with a silky, luxurious dark malt smoothness. Alcohol burns the back of the throat later. Actually has a nice hop profile as well, in the bitter department. I would guess Goldings?

M: Very nice and robust. Not slick, but not chewy. Has the mouthfeel of an amped up milk stout.

D: Wish I had more than two. One's going away for some aging. Very drinkable, and although it may seem a bit hot now, I can only imagine some age on this brew. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 07:16:23 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of nickd717


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

Wow, what a great imperial stout. People tell me I overrate imperial stouts and need to rate more to style, but man, I really love this style and I can't bring myself to deny such a great beer a good rating. This one is more subtle than others. 12oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

Pours just about black with a one-finger tan head that fades slowly. Lacing coats the inside of the glass.

Aroma is roasty with sweet caramel and lots of chocolate, along with some slight dark fruit notes.

Flavor is very nice and incredibly balanced. Mildly sweet, with caramel, toffee, roast, and chocolate. A little anise and some hop bitterness also. Complex yet subtle.

The mouthfeel is really outstanding. Medium body for the style with incredible smoothness.

Very drinkable for an imperial stout. Overall an amazing beer, a really fine example of the style. Subtle and balanced rather than in-your-face. Time to go seek out BA Blackout.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 02:20:25 | More by nickd717
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

black as the wv coal....surprisingly thin head but laces on the swirl.
these beer is hanging on the sides of the glass..very leggy
deep roastiness..hints of chocolate, toffee, coffee and an unmistakable hop prescence in the nose as well.
Thick, full on the palate. Bitterness quickly overtakes the dark malty goodness of this one.
Roasted grain and a striking bitter edge from the strong hops.
LOVE IT!!! Must have more!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 00:37:57 | More by dmamiano
Photo of kegger22


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

Great Lakes Blackout Imperial Stout poured a very dark brown in color with a half-inch light brown head that reduced to a self sustaining collar.

The aroma was coffee first and chocolate second, though not over sweet; and roasted all over.

The taste was coffee dipped in chocolate, poured over alcohol soaked wood, and then smoked to perfection.

The mouth feel was full bodied with sufficient carbonation.

Drinkability was higher than most 9.00 ABV's because I wanted it to be.

Right up there with the Siberian Nights, Old Raspy and Black Chocolate Stout. This Cleveland native takes a backseat to no one.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 22:26:18 | More by kegger22
Photo of semibaked


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

Poured into a pint glass, btw this is from 2009.

A - Pours heavy on the black side with shades of black, with a huge amount of fluffy light beige head, kinda looks like the top of an ice cream soda.

S - Big whiff of dark molasses, maybe some spice, dark chocolate, coffee, and a tiny bit of sugary sweetness.

T - Big combination of dark roasted malts, hops, chocolate, coffee, and molasses. A lot of complexity.

M - Medium bodied stout and coats my toungue with a light oil consistency.

D - This is a very good RIS from a great brewering company, I highly recommend this and would love to try the BA version of this.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 01:03:31 | More by semibaked
Photo of steve8robin


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

Traded for a 4-pack of these...

A: Ok. Dark with slight ruby highlights around the edges. Small white head that quickly fades.

S: Smells of chocolate upfront followed by oak and malts. Middle is a hint of booziness. Smells like a Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

T: Upfront is a nice blend of chocolate, booziness, coffe, and hops. Not one overpowers the other. Roastiness in the middle with slight matls and citrus on the backend. A hoppier version of Black Chocolate Stout. Very good.

M: Syrupy with a decent amount of smoothness.

D: The blend on this one makes it a little over-bearing going down. Once you get past it, it goes down much easier.

All in all, I'm very glad I got to try this brew. If you have the opportunity, definitely give this brew a try. This is like a blend of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and Imperial Stout Trooper. Great brew if you like stouts.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2010 01:53:15 | More by steve8robin
Photo of Jmoore50


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

Got this in my Black Booty BIF. Served into a Great Lakes pint glass.

The appearance is dark and thick. It is no doubtingly black with very dark cocoa edges. The head on this thing! It pours a two finger coffee colored head that does not want to leave. It is so thick and foamy, incredibly enjoyable. The legs are not noticeable because the lacing on this one is thick. The head on this beer is just leaving the thickest trails!

The smell is of coffee with some piney hops. Baking cocoa and sweet chocolate notes in there as well. The coffee is a dry bitter coffee smell.

The taste is pretty full action palate assault. Roasted grains with burnt coffee and a bit of the hop bitterness. Lots of grain action going on with loads of earthy and bread flavors.

The mouthfeel is more like syrup, thick and luscious. Overall amazing palate destroyer, just a big fat slug of a beer!

Good drinkability at 9%. This thing is thick, I cannot believe the oil that came in this bottle. Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 23:13:02 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dunt for this one. I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. It pours thick, jet black, with a 2+ finger white head. There are huge coffee and chocolate notes in the nose, more than some coffee stouts I have had. The coffee flavor is very rich, with supple chocolate in the background. It is very thick and the taste coat every part of the mouth. Very well carbonated and easy to sip on. This beer is underated.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 22:41:00 | More by bonkers
Photo of zimm421


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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Appears jet black with a thin tan head that dissipates fairly quickly, and leaves good lacing down the glass.

In the nose, there are hints of chocolate, both sweet and bittersweet, as well as coffee and some alcohol scents. The taste is dominated by chocolates, again sweet and bittersweet, as well as alcohol and some caramel in the background. The aftertaste is pleasant, and slightly bitter. The taste is very complex, with really a lot going on, but not one part dominates over the others.

The mouthfeel starts out very smooth, but does have a little bite towards the end, presumably from some carbonation but definitely the alcohol as well. It is definitely creamy and thick, and goes down smooth. The drinkibility is great, this brew is so inviting and goes well after a nice dinner. Something that is great to drink on a cold night, and would go great with dessert or just by itself.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2010 03:34:45 | More by zimm421
Photo of sidetracked


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin brown head that dissipates quickly.

Smells of bitter roasted malts with a hint of sweetness.

Tastes of roasted malts with a lot of bitter baking chocolate. There's a little sweetness, but the bitterness really dominates. Finishes slightly dry with a long lingering bitter chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel is full bodied with no real chewyness. Low carbonation.

The body is a little lacking and the bitterness is a bit much over time, but overall a good imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 02:41:41 | More by sidetracked
Photo of cpetrone84


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

A-pours a deep brown color, looking black, red hues shine through. Dark mocha colored head, thin and bubbly. There is some retention and a small amount of lacing left on the glass

S-the nose is fair in strength, it brings a fair amount of molasses, some dark chocolate, notes of vanilla, hints of smoked wood, slightly burnt coffee, and a touch of anise

T-big flavors here, very nice and amped up from the nose. The molasses comes in first, a touch of smokey wood chips, nice dark chocolate and a hint of vanilla. Notes of slightly burnt coffee, then the sweet dark fruits come in. Ripe plum and a hint of dark cherry.

M-lighter end of full body, thick, it is extremely smooth and creamy, a high amount of carbonation providing a nice crisp finish.

D-this drinks easy, the body isn't so big you can only drink one; but it is still thick giving the feel of a stout. Great complexity on the flavors with a very nice blending. Fantastic!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 02:59:18 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of sitarist


4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- They should call it the black hole, no light escapes. Pours a deep dark black with two fingers of a crema tan head that last awhile. Lots of lacing.

S- Bakers chocolate, chocolate liquor, a bit of alcohol, and a hint of coffee. The scents are invitingly strong and straight forward.

T- I prefer my chocolate 72% cacao, this taste like 82%. The hops and malt are well balanced. The flavors are pretty much bitter chocolate, with a slight alcohol presence, and a slight espresso aftertaste.

M- Heavy bodied, medium carbonation, slightly sticky, slightly bitter and dry. Every thing is well balanced.

D- For being so full flavored and bodied its pretty drinkable. Its a warming sipper. One or two are all I can do.

Notes- What a difference a year makes; last year I really couldn't appreciate this beer. I'm stocking up this year!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2010 02:22:37 | More by sitarist
Photo of BeerVikingSailor


4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh beer for 2010 season, poured from bottle into GL pint glass....perfect pre-birthday gift to myself, this is one of my fav RIS!

A - nice total black(out) color, no light showing, nice thick foamy tan head, some lacing

S - great smelling stout, it jumps out at you, great aromas of burnt chocolate malts, cocoa, some coffee in there as well....bit boozy.

T - TFA (totally freakin awesome), perfect example of what a Russian Imp. Stout should taste like! Some hops up front, balanced well with the massive malt presense, and almost smoky dark chocolate feel....dry well hidden alcohol in the finish....drink too many of these too fast and your head will be spinning!

MF - lovely, tasty beer, feels good all the way around....let it warm up a bit, and the malt / hop flavors appear even more balanced...yummy!

D - super drinkable, a "go to stout" around here for sure; only problem is that is goes down a little too easy! Could polish off a 4 pack of this easily, but would then fall into a deep late winter slumber! Best savored slowly and enjoyed....going to age a few of these in the cellar to see how it does...

Great RIS from Great Lakes, a winner!

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2010 12:42:53 | More by BeerVikingSailor
Photo of betterbgood


3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I been drinking this beer for years now, I had it continuously in the growler, but this review comes from the bottle, did some irish car bombs also with it in the past, i digress

first off the appearance is black,i even held it up to the screen, no light came through, (black out)

the smell is of caramel, vanilla, chocolate malts aroma

the taste is creamy, not watery, nice bodied flavor of just great RIS, cant' explain sorry this is a review but,

mouthfeel is a smooth thickness of what a stout suggest perfect

drinkability is about the four pack it comes in.

I poured this stout in a Samuel Adams perfect pint glass, i think i'm going to drink every beer in this glass, it has all the characteristics of every glassware

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 23:18:30 | More by betterbgood
Photo of fastsrt

New York

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

12 ounce bottle to a tulip pint glass
A: opaque black with a tan frothy head about 2 fingers diminishing quickly. but the lace covers the glass in thick patches.
S: chocolate malts, a bit of alcohol, a hint of coffee.
T: creamy rich chocolate, old drip coffee, no booze what so ever the balance is perfect.
M: low carbonation leaving a thick rich coating on the pallet. great feel form start to finish. I will say that that I have had better body out of other RIS.
D: high for the style , could drink these down, this is a perfectly balanced RIS, this is great lakes best brew,

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2010 06:32:07 | More by fastsrt
Photo of ne0m00re


4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite beers, for sentimental and practical reasons alike. It was probably just released today, but I have a four pack of bottles in my fridge, one of which I poured for this review.

12 oz bottle poured into an oversized red wine glass to capture the aroma.

A: Opaque black, with the thinnest red hue around the edges. The head is dense; it pours thick and dies down to a strong lace.
S: Chocolate, creamy coffee with a hint of alcohol and mild fruit... that I can't quite put a finger on at the moment (black currant or cherry, maybe?).
T: Creamy balance of alcoholic, roasted malts, chocolate espresso, and a bourbon vanilla charred flavor that lingers.
M: Thin, but creamy with a sharp, alcoholic finish.
D: This beer drinks like a good cigar. You take your time with it, but you can have one after another.

Like I said, this is one of my favorites. I'd compare the overall experience to Flying Dog's Gonzo.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 02:18:55 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of bakeller


3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle with best by date of 7/28/2009 into my DFH signature glass.

A: Jet black through and through with a minimal tan head even with a vigorous pour.

S: Coffee and chocolate on the nose with a whiff of alcohol. Quite sweet smelling with a ton of roasty malt.

T: Taste is fairly dominant with roasted malt and chocolate picks up some bitterness in the finish which reminds me of a nice espresso

M: Really the highlight of this beer. Very minimal carbonation with very slow cascading bubbles up the side of the glass. The lack of CO2 give it a very smooth and velvety feel. Has almost a syrup quality and coats the mouth and tongue allowing the taste to linger for quite some time.

D: Very respectable RIS, could not drink a ton of these but certainly a nice treat on a cold winter night.

After 3+ years of age the alcohol is well hidden in the taste but it still has a wonderful warming effect. Would not hesitate aging this well past the best buy date that is listed on the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2010 02:52:06 | More by bakeller
Photo of stephens101


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

Impenetrably black with a bit over one finger of pure tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves a thin sheet of lace all around the glass. At the nose sweet chocolates are noticed followed quickly by some bitter chocolates, a very faint woodiness and some distant hops. Tastes of cocoa with a vein of sweet chocolates through the middle and alcohol heat and burnt wood in the end. Fairly creamy with some dry edges, and goes down easily despite the alcohol (very little heat is noticed). Thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2010 00:41:35 | More by stephens101
Photo of getkrunkhoe


4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

sampled on 8-12-09 (from notes)

App-Beautiful rich dark color,very little tan head, not much but thin laced head.

Ar-cocoa,molasses,roasty like WHOA!, subtle vanilla note, a touch of dark fruits (which explains the bit of tartness in the finish).

T-nice chocolaty goodness,roast is present, and I get a bit of tart or bite towards the end;mild but there.

MF-carbonation is nice,its a bit tart (as i mentioned already) you can feel the tart as it goes down.

D-not too rich, not too lacking, just a great approachable Stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2010 19:44:22 | More by getkrunkhoe
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,474 ratings.