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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.

2,513 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,513
Reviews: 1,077
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 402
Gots: 324 | 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: 2,513 | Reviews: 1,077 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopHead84


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

Consumed on 8/16/2009 and poured into a snifter. 2008 vintage. Thanks for the bottle largadeer. Pours black (surprised?) with a one finger light brown and creamy head. The beer has pretty good retention and some lacing is left on my glass.

The aroma is very roasted. Notes of dark chocolate are evident with equally powerful coffee. I get some subtle dark fruits, but can't pinpoint anything specific. The extra roasted malt is definitely the prominent characteristic on the aroma.

The flavor is not surprising; it's very roasted with dark unsweetened chocolate. The black coffee flavor is strong and slightly astringent. The finish is ashen with a low medium level of bitterness and lingering coffee with some final heat.

The beer is full bodied with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is viscous, somewhat syrupy, and full.

08-18-2009 20:33:18 | More by HopHead84
Photo of rayjay


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

2008 vintage

Creamy frothy stout with a mocha head. Sticky retention.

Dusty chocolate malt aroma. The essence of it.

Flavors are quite complex, mostly playing off the dusty chocolate notes. Perfect subtle sweetness is just enough to ward off the roasted bitterness. Old school vibe. Well-rounded for such a big beer.

Creamy whipped mouthfeel.

Excellent drinkability for such a strong beer. One of the best in it's class. Cheers!

08-16-2009 04:15:54 | More by rayjay
Photo of Pencible


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

2004 vintage. (I didn't actually have this on tap; I had it from a bottle. I just wanted to be able to make a second entry on BA, for the 5-year aged version.)

This poured an opaque black ruby with a little bit of tan head. It smelled like rich molasses and brown sugar and sweet dark chocolate, with a bit of roasted coffee and prune. It tasted like molasses and honey wheat and roasted coffee, with some bitter chocolate and raisin. It was slightly thick with a bit of carbonation, and had a smooth bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a huge improvement over the fresh bottle. My what five years have done! It had a great scent and taste that were super smooth and rich. It was somewhere between a sweet stout and a very malty barleywine, and it worked. The body was a bit lacking, but this was otherwise a great beer. Easy enough to gulp, but much more rewarding to sip.

08-11-2009 20:34:27 | More by Pencible
Photo of rye726


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

Pours a dark brown with a thin tan head. Some light lacing along the glass.

Nose has roasted malts, cocoa, coffee, molasses, ripe fruits and piney hops.

Taste also has a big roasty malt presence well balanced by bitter molasses, cocoa, espresso beans, raisins, figs and floral hops.

Creamy body is nicely carbonated, but just a bit thin. Tasty stout from Great Lakes. Would love to try the BA version.

08-11-2009 03:47:24 | More by rye726
Photo of callmemickey


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

A: Healthy off white cap covers a dark brown/black body... light lacing.. good retention before forming a tight ring with some skim in the middle

S: Light chocolate aromas dominate a roasted malt base... not a whole lot going on here that is distinctive... some booze sneaks its way in

T: Much of the same... a pleasant chocolate taste dominates with some other elements creeping in.. notably caramel and coffee... slight booze burn

M: Medium bodied.. good, clean finish... a tad thin in parts

D: Good.. but nothing distinguishes itself here... its not as complex as the russian imperial stout category demands from its best... nice thing is, it was relatively cheap... worth a shot

08-09-2009 05:49:02 | More by callmemickey
Photo of damienblack


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

Big thanks to BuckeyeNation for this in trade!

Pours deep, dark, sludgey and mysterious. At first tranquil looking, but leaves some sweet lacing trails. Upon smelling, I can't smell if this is a chocolate or a coffee bomb, but I'm getting both distinctly. Overall roastiness I guess is the main sensation, with a good bit of chocolate in there. Very smooth, no hint of the booziness. Not very hoppy for a RIS. May be a bit thin in the mouth for a big stout though, the initial heft doesn't really stick on the palate. Still, a good balance between creamy and slick, and if we could get this here, would be another great choice for sessionable imperial stout.

08-03-2009 03:50:18 | More by damienblack
Photo of beertooth


3.93/5  rDev -6.9%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. I haven't had this one in a couple of years and I picked up a 4 pack tonight. 'Best by: 08/02/09'.

Deep black liquid with amber highlights capped with a finger of mocha head. There is no lacing.

The nose is full of dark malt, chocolate, coffee, a little booze. There is some licorice and brownie batter too.

The first gulp gives me what I expected. Lot's of dark, rich roasted malt, cake batter, licorice, coffee.

Mouthfeel is slick and somewhat full.

I don't know why I never pick this up when it's out. It's a great beer and really hits the spot when I'm in a big stout mood. I guess I'll be buying more of this before it's gone this year. Probably my favorite Great Lakes beer.

07-31-2009 05:29:54 | More by beertooth
Photo of carps12


3.78/5  rDev -10.4%

2008 vintage. Poured into my duck rabbit snifter.

Black. Frothy head around the edges. A nice sweet malt smell with some roastiness. Hops are detected under the malt as well. It kind of has a clove smell to it. Taste is loaded with malt that coats the mouth and finishes with a nice sweet bitterness. The malt is detected on the finish more than the bitterness. Wow, swirling this around in the mouth has a great thick creaminess thats enjoyable. Prickly carbonation on the finish. Hops are noticeable. A solid beer.

07-31-2009 02:11:46 | More by carps12
Photo of spartan30


3.9/5  rDev -7.6%

P: Pours very dark, living up to it's namesake perfectly, holding it up to the light the color reminds me of Jager (not a bad thing). A 1/4 inch hot cocoa colored head quickly dissipates. Light lacing low carbonation looks very smooth. Over all a good presentation.

S: Light aroma, not to strong, lacks presence but you'll get it if your persistent. A roasty , light/sweet maltiness, nice vanilla notes as well.

T: The taste comes at you fast, a malty, slightly chocolate and licorice flavor finishing with a little hoppiness.

M: Mouth feel is medium heavy, not much carbonation, it goes down easy. Its a solid stout. You could have a couple of these no prob, but like most imperials I find them more of a desert or night-cap, not to be quickly imbibed, just savored.

07-29-2009 01:22:53 | More by spartan30
Photo of OldSchoolGamer


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

This is going to be my last Blackout Stout until next year. Here is my review:

A: Pours a pitch black color with a light tan head. Lacing is present. Light does penetrate around the edges. Not as thick as some stouts.

S: Lots of roasted malts on the nose. A hint of coffee and chocolate. Pretty typical stout smell.

T: Typical aroma leads to an excellent taste. Lots of roasted malts right off the bat. Lots of smoke character as well. Coffee and chocolate add to the nice smoke and roast character. Taste actually reminds me of burnt toast. On par with Old Raputin, if not a little better.

M: Medium to heavy bodied. Not nearly as thick as a lot of Imperial Stouts, but still very nice. Coats the mouth somewhat.

D: The slightly lighter body makes this Imperial Stout a bit easier to session. Not a session beer by any means, but could drink 2-3 of these at a time. Excellent taste adds to the drinkability. Very good overall.

One of Great Lakes best beers. Lots of nice complex flavors with an easy drinkability. This is not a super thick 'in your face' Imperial Stout, it is more of a refined and classic interpretation. Can't wait till next spring so I can have more of this gem.

07-27-2009 18:23:41 | More by OldSchoolGamer
Photo of mjl21


4.43/5  rDev +5%

Acquired via trade...thanks Mike! 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Enjoy by date of 7/28/09. Comes in at 9%.

A-Pours black with a 3/4 dark tan head that has fairly minimal retention. It forms a filmy layer that sticks around.

S-When the bottle is first cracked, I get chocolate and some roasted notes. When it is poured into the glass I also pick up on vanilla, lots of molasses, and some nutty notes. There is also some stone fruit that is noticeable. The roasted notes become stronger as it warms.

T-The initial taste is chocolate and molasses. The molasses is fairly strong. In the middle some vanilla and the stone fruit flavors come out. It has a nice roasty aftertaste. There is some hop bitterness that also lingers.

M-It is thick, but not super sludgy. It has good carbonation. Leaves a sticky feeling on the lips.

D-Just an awesome beer. Would buy this often if it was available in my area. The booze is very well hidden.

This was another great Midwest RIS. I really want to try the BA version. Really good stuff.

07-27-2009 17:11:26 | More by mjl21
Photo of TheViolator666


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%

Been meaning to review this one, a local favorite of mine.
Grabbed one of the few 4 packs left on the shelves, as this was released back in February.

12 oz. bottle poured in to Stone 12th Anniv. stout glass.

A: Pours deep black. No light will pass through this one. Very light lacing left on the glass. Nice tan head with adequate retention.

S: Instantly hit with deeply roasted malt, smells like cold coffee.

T: Strong coffee flavor immediately. Deep roasted/burnt malt with a definite hop presence at 85 IBU. The malt leaves a bitter coffee aftertaste that'll keep you coming back. Unsweetened dark chocolate is thrown in the mix as well. A slight ethanol burn shows up in the finish, especially as the beer warms up.

M/D: Great. Low carbonation and very thick mouthfeel.

Overall, a top-tier RIS. Very excited to try this Barrel-Aged version of this to say the least.

07-21-2009 01:05:04 | More by TheViolator666
Photo of hike20


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Pours black with a rich brown head. The aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and a hint of raisins. Chocolate flavor is quickly followed by malt, caramel, licorice, then a light smokiness. Alcohol provides a finishing burn. Mouthfeel is nice and chewy, though now as nice as some impy's I've tried. Overall very complex and quite good.

07-17-2009 23:30:21 | More by hike20
Photo of sweemzander


4.13/5  rDev -2.1%

12oz. poured into a snifter. Best by 7/28/09, though I am sure this can age more even longer than that.

(A)- Pours opaque black. Big head formed and dissipated down to a light layer of dense light brown suds. Some sticky lacing here and there.

(S)- Lots of roasted dark chocolate on the nose. Its like a rich mocha only more chocolate in the ratio compared to espresso. Some raisin aromas mixed into it as well.

(T)- Really strong in the roasted malt which oozes dark chocolate. The raisins are in there too.

(M)- Thick, but not super thick. Full-bodied. Sweet and bitter at the same time with a good carbonation level.

(D)- This RIS is simple, straightforward, yet decadent. Chocolate lovers unite! Super sweet and super roasted. A for sure sipper that could replace any dessert involving chocolate. The few extra months this had in the bottle since it was put in there over this past winter did wonders for it! If you have any of this, its really good right now in my opinion! However brace yourselves, this is not for the weak minded.

07-17-2009 00:29:18 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%

Pours a deep, warm, opaque sable that is just a red tomcat whisker above black. Head is thick and dark tan, but disappears quickly - half a point off there. Aroma is rich and fills the nose with smoke, fine coffee, unsweetened chocolate and molasses. Flavor does not disappoint - rich and lip-smacking, it is like fine roast coffee mixed with unsweet chocolate, a hint of charcoal and a touch of molasses. Texture is thick, oily, smooth and lively so it doesn't just slide down the pipes but fairly dances its way to the tummy. A must for all stouties!

07-15-2009 01:13:20 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of scruffwhor


4.68/5  rDev +10.9%

12oz bottle aged for about 2 and a half years.

Pours an almost jet black motor oil hue, but has some noticeable and eye pleasing brownie highlights. A filmy, light brown head slow disintegrates into nothing. The aroma is super complex. Notes of peet, deep roastd coffee, sensual chocolate, and some single malt whisley aromas. This beer isn't even aged in oak barrels! The hopping definetly mellowed with age. But the hops still impart an overall earthy falvor to thsi very dark and complex malt bomb. The coffee and chocolate are smooth and roasty bitter to almost brunt. Then theres this vanilla wood, peet, whiskey barrel flavor and soothing alcoholic heat to the finish. This beer is awesome. I remeber it tasting great fresh, but aged... holy smokes!!!!

07-14-2009 05:44:52 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of generallee

New York

3.48/5  rDev -17.5%

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The body has a dark brown/black color that is nearly opaque. On top there is a Light tan head of modest size (about one finger) that fades down to just a small ring of bubbles that makes some slick lacing.

Smell: The aroma has lots of roasted malty grain and a heavy vodka like alcohol presence.

Taste/Mouth: It has a big sweet malt flavor up front with lots of roasted grain, roasted malt and roasted coffee notes. This is surrounded by a heavy boozy alcohol presence and tempered by solid hop bitterness. Also there is some mild odd fruitiness in there as well. The finish really hits you with sweet boozy alcohol that hangs on the tongue and warms the palate. The texture is full, smooth and slick with mild carbonation.

Notes: This is a big full bodied slow sipper.

07-13-2009 17:05:28 | More by generallee
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Acquired via trade from biegaman, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a deep black color with a short beige head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of chocolate and roasted malts along with some coffee and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste is typically RIS malty up front with a strong flavor of bitter-sweet dark chocolate, however, this beer isn't quite as thick or heavy as many big stouts. There's a very mild hops presence which is to be expected given the style and the fact that this beer is over 2 years-old. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky but clean for the style.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a really good big stout to drink for a long time especially with some age on it.

07-13-2009 03:34:17 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.65/5  rDev -13.5%

i've lost track of who to thank for this particular bottle, given as an extra earlier on in... i think march 09. vwcraig?

12oz bottle with best by date of 08/03/09. tasted in early may 2009. poured into tulip.

dark black, though not quite opaque, with reddish brown tint under direct light. 1-finger tan head, fades to wisps and ring. thin but relatively consistent lacing.

aroma: surprisingly fruity plum tones alongside the malty caramel. roast coffee and cocoa notes. earthy tones (from hops?)

taste: less fruity than the aroma, with caramel, but the roast and hops, along with possible fusel/phenol note can have moments of harshness in the bitterness and overall flavor. not horrible - it's still ok, but just isn't balanced, nor "robust". mild acidity and faint coffee tones in finish.

medium body, smooth enough, but some astringent character overall, which sort of also thins it out. mild to moderate carbonation helps with the body a little.

07-12-2009 11:51:06 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Arbitrator


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Chilled bottle into a glass. An extra courtesy of RoyMunson.

A: Pitch black, reflecting a well-chosen name. The head is a moderate-lived cocoa-colored affair that recedes into a floating patch of film on top of the brew. A few rings here and there, but generally no lacing.

S: Roasted grains, dark chocolate, some earthiness and a little dark berry note.

T: Follows the nose quite well, but leans toward a dark rum flavor with roasted grains, chocolate, and dark fruits rounding it out. There is some earthiness on the finish that I assume is a hop contribution, but it's not very pronounced. And that's just fine. This is on the sweeter side of the RIS spectrum, but it's not sugary or cloying. Just... rummy, as I mentioned earlier.

M: I refuse to believe this is 9%. No wonder I felt a little slow after drinking it. It goes down very smoothly, assisted by a heavy body. Carbonation is a tad too high to be silky.

D: This didn't blow my mind, but it was good enough that I'd want to get more. Well done.

07-08-2009 04:11:27 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of tatoodkelt


3.88/5  rDev -8.1%

Got this one as an trade extra from Auslander, thanks again man!

Consumed 7/4/09-from notes. Bottle poured into a pint glass. Best by date 8/03/09

A- As black as the name suggests with a thin cocoa head that lasted the whole glass. Pretty good lacing.

S- A little chocolate, a little roasty, very rich over-all.

T- Much like the smell with hints of alcohol in the aftertaste. Something else very faintly like dark fruit.

M- Very smooth but more watery than it looked. Medium body.

D- Very easy to drink but I wouldnt have more than one in a sitting before moving on to something else.

07-08-2009 02:12:11 | More by tatoodkelt
Photo of vacax


3.48/5  rDev -17.5%

Pours black with a fine tan head that displays good retention. Aromas of burnt sugar, dark fruity yeast, slight spiciness. Taste is similar to the aroma, along with rum soaked raisins. Dry roasty finish with some alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is full with a medium-high carbonation. Exceptionally fruity fruity and yeasty, and not in a good way for me.

07-05-2009 09:09:55 | More by vacax
Photo of shanecb


4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

A - Pours a nice dark, black color. Looks a lot like coffee if you tilt the glass. There was a little bit of a dark tan-colored head at the beginning, but that quickly went away.

S - Rich smell! Hints of chocolate and toasty grains. Almost has a sweet malty aroma to it as well.

T - Very much the same as the smell. The sweet maltiness definitely comes through, as do notes of chocolate. There's a definite hop flavor in the aftertaste. Can't particularly sense the alcohol either.

M - Only average to me. Seems a little thin in the mouth, not what I was expecting. The carbonation is incredibly mild. Nothing substantial to the mouthfeel.

D - Pretty good drinkability! It goes down very smooth, and the taste isn't overpowering in any way, so this is a pretty drinkable beer.

06-24-2009 16:53:06 | More by shanecb
Photo of Adamdc


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Picked this one up while driving through Ohio back in March. It has a 'best by' date of: 7/28/09

A: very nice deep black pour with a nicely formed 1 inch tan head with moderate lacing

A: chocolate, roast, molasses and hops---very nice aroma!

T: same as aroma but the hops kick in quickly and dominate the finish. Not getting any alcohol despite it's 9.00 ABV

M: I'd call it medium, not quite as thick as I think it should be but not bad

D: very drinkable! Very smooth. Goes down a little too well.

This is not in the same class as the 'big boys' but it's a very solid brew by an oustanding brewery (one of my favorites)!

UPDATE---I'm drinking a bottle that I've been cellaring from the above batch and it has all come together very nicely with almost a year on it. The lingering hop bitterness has mellowed and the chocolate comes through so much more on the aroma. This is fantastic. Silky smooth. I'm going to up the mouthfeel and the taste a half point! I wish I had some more of these!!

06-23-2009 03:24:04 | More by Adamdc
Photo of minterro


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%

A: black color beer with a brown head. bubbles stay ontop of the surface.

S: toasty and hoppy

T: its like how it smells, toasty grains. hint of chocolate. after finishing the sip if you take a breath of air, you can profoundly notice the 9.00 abv (damn did i just drink hard alcohol ahah).

M: smooth, mid-thick body good carbonation for this kind of beer (i like beer with less carbonation anyways).

D: for having a pretty thick body it was easy to drink becuase it tastes good.

Notes: a well made beer, would recommend it to anyone. let it warm, drink it slow, enjoy this beer... cause its 10$ for a 4-pack! if there is another major black out, i hope i have a 4-pack of this beer with me. when i finshed this beer i didn't want it to end.

06-19-2009 04:13:29 | More by minterro
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,513 ratings.