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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.

2,563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,563
Reviews: 1,077
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 409
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: 2,563 | Reviews: 1,077 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown cola color with a cherry glow when held to the light. The head was but a collar of tan.

Smells of red apples, caramel, coffee and a hint of smoke.

Tastes of an astringent smokey coffee with a distant ambiguous fruitiness and some sweet cream.

Feels thick and viscous with lots of carbonation making this one a bit hard to handle.

An all right beer. I kept getting the impression that this was a double version of Ed Fitz. Oh well. Not my favorite for the style by far.

DarkerTheBetter, May 13, 2008
Photo of throwitallaway
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to roymunson for this! Poured from the bottle into a snifter. Extremely dark with no head. Aroma of chocolate, coffee, toffee and alcohol. Tastes pretty much exactly how it smells, with the alcohol being hidden better. There's also a quite pleasant underlying sweetness to the taste, which is countered by a bitterness from what tastes like roasted malts. Mouthfeel is fairly thick and chewy. I can only picture myself drinking one of these in a sitting, so drinkability isn't very high. Overall this is a nice RIS.

throwitallaway, May 12, 2008
Photo of genog
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got to have this on tap at Brazenhead. Poured into an imperial pint glass. Poured a cascading dark as night color with a tan head that lingered in the glass. Smell is dark roasted malt with hints of coffee, and chocolate. Taste is rich with those aromas present on the palate. Mouth feel is full and sparkles in the mouth. One of my favorite stouts just the right combination of everything.

genog, May 10, 2008
Photo of Thanby
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black (hence the name) with a tiny fringe of deep ruby and four fingers of foamy brown head that dies slow and leaves thick, sticky lacing.

Smells strongly of rich coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, and even a little ginger.

First taste is like a sip of cold black coffee. The dominant flavors are the coffee and dark chocolate, but they get balanced our around the sides by the sweeter caramel and toffee. Coffee lingers into the finish, making me wonder if this is actually beer (kidding).

Everything is present, especially as it warms in the mouth, but nothing is overpowering and it's all very balanced. The finish is clean and slightly bitter, and the body is on the heavy side of medium. The ABV is warming but not too potent, and there's no trace of esters or phenols. This is a superb RIS that's perfect for a cold winter night by the fire. Bold and tasty, but not breaking the style anywhere. One of my top five RIS.

Thanby, May 09, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to dschuster03 for the trade.

Pours opaque black with a good fluffy white head that dissipates in about 5 minutes and leaves good lace. Nose is mostly roasted malt and has a significant but not overpowering coffee presence and slight chocolate. Taste pretty much follows, some chocolate, coffee is there, Roasted malts, slight smoke and some vanilla. A good subtle hop bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but still pretty good. Drinkability is second to only a select few here, very very good. Overall this is a wonderfully balanced beer, and one that would defenitely be a go to if it was available here. yet another good one from great lakes, a brewery you don't hear alot about but should. Great brew, would love to try the barrel aged, and am excited to try one of the three bottles in the cellar after some time. Great beer.

AKBelgianBeast, May 06, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the GLBC.

Pours a dense black with a thin head of mocha colored tan foam. Retains well around the edges and with some thin wisps across the center that leaves a nice smattering of lace behind down the sides of the glass. The aroma posesses deep notes of chocolate, char, espresso, dark fruits, floral hops, a smidge of heat, and what I affectionately like to call the "Cleveland Funk".

The taste matches the aroma, with burnt roasted malts up front, cocoa and caramel sweetness, zippy coffee, tart cherry notes, and a lively bitterness that runs through the profile. The mouthfeel is chewy, thick, and slick across the palette but still maintains a pretty poppy carbonation upon first sip. The finish is warm, sticky, and lingering.

This is just a really solid RIS and one that I really look forward to each year. I'm glad that I was able to get out there in time to still have some on draft. Packed with bold flavors and a beefy, warm feel, it still stays pretty quaffable for its size. Great stuff as usual from the GLBC.

Kegatron, May 05, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - As dark of brown as could be without just being black. This foamy brown head that quickly faded away.

S - Roasted espresso smell with hints of alcohol as well.

T - Coffee taste with some funky taste on the back of the tongue. Roasted malts.

M/D - Very very creamy. Smooth feel with a nice little bite.

Definitely did not live up to the hype. Something just off with the taste. I will certainly grab one the next time I see it to give it a second shot.

ckeegan04, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Great Lakes Brewpub on 4/24.
Poured a thick, deep black with a pinky of coffee tan head. Good retention and nice lacing. Smells of dark chocolate, dark fruits, toasted malt, coffee, floral hops, alcohol warmth, and Cleveland air. Tastes of creamy cappuccino, milk chocolate, cherries, raisins, dark chocolate, and more coffee bitterness in the finish mixing with a slight citrus presence and alcohol warmth. Medium full body, sticky but smooth and creamy with a nice bitter finish. A little high on the sweetness but good stuff with a solid bitterness that overtakes most of the alcohol presence.

HopDerek, Apr 28, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wvbeergeek for the trade. Can't get any GL out here, it's been years since I've had this great stout.

Uber dark with a fine lacing, not much of a head. Poured after sitting at room temp for 10 minutes or so. Faint brown transparency highlights along the edges.

Strong burnt malt, tobacco, caramel cappuccino.

Burnt wood and smokey taste with big tobacco and coffee cocoa flavors.

A bit chewy and resinous. Sweetness is a bit pumped up and syrupy. Alcohol presense is notable, and a bit fusal. Not the amazing drinkability that other big stouts that i'd tried.

A must-try beer, for certain, but my stout experience has widened in the 3 years since i've had this one, and it's fallen a bit due to a lack of complexity and drinkability.

SurlyDuff, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of jdubjacket
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a black/deep brown color with a good head. Smells like roasted malt, coffee, with a little bit of bourbon/alcohol as an afterthought. Taste is very balanced between the hops and the malts. Somewhat of a basic stout taste with roasted malts being the primary taste coming out. Overall, a good stout. I've had better, but this is certainly not second tier.

jdubjacket, Apr 25, 2008
Photo of SQNfan
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was black in color and poured a 3/4" brown head that slowly dissipated. The nose was filled with bitter chocolate and coffee (general coffee, not expresso and anything heavy). In it is smooth and balanced with good richness. The flavors are similar to the nose with some added bourbon notes. This is a very well made and enjoyable Imperial Stout. Well done.

SQNfan, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of DrinkinBuddy
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a completely black with a nice 1 finger light/brown head with a subtle amount of lacing. Smells mostly of roasted coffee and bitter cocoa. The taste is really nice. Very flavorful semisweet chocolate and roasted grains. Nice bitter aftertaste leaves you wanting more. Mouthfeel was slightly too carbonated and not as smooth as expected. A little on the thin side as well. Alcohol was nicely masked and therefore I'd say I could easily make this a session brew. Overall, a very solid stout, but not my favorite. I will buy again.

DrinkinBuddy, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of illidurit
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of gunhaver. Pitch black with a one-finger brown head. Some lacing and average retention.

Aroma is of molasses and boozy chocolate.

Flavor is surprisingly non-robust. Tends toward the sweet side with the chocolatiness, with a modest effort from coffee to balance. Zero alcohol to be tasted here.

Mouthfeel lacks some of the heftiness in body that I expect from a top-notch imperial stout. Carbonation is a little low. This hurts the mouthfeel but boosts the drinkability.

illidurit, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of Natural510
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured on-tap at Station One (a bar with heavy emphasis on Great Lakes beers) in Springfield, Ohio.

Pours a dark ruddy-brown/near-black color with a decent pourous (not creamy) head. Bubbly carbonation rises to the top through the glass.
Smells of rich malts, mocha coffee, and the alcohol content itself.
Sweet dark chocolate and coffee are the first flavors which strike me. Roasted malts come through next and last thoughout the pint, and the trademark chalkiness of bitter cocoa in most stouts remains on the palate. Hops kick in subtley at the end, but maltiness & alcohol strength are the virtues here.
Buzzing mouthful throbs my tongue & insides with pleasure.
This is a smooth Imperial Stout which is interesting enough with its characteristics, but I wouldn't say differentiates itself enough from others of the style to truly stand out. A good seasonal offering nonetheless and especially designed for colder weather.

Natural510, Apr 21, 2008
Photo of SAS
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Great Lake Brewing Blackout Stout. Share with my bro out of my my Delirium Tulip.

Appearance: Pretty good chocately head on it. About a finger fades fast, doesn't really maintain that well. When held up a light I get just a tint a maroon at the edges.

Aroma: great! It reminds me of my favorite coffee house's dark roast... Dawson Taylor's Backcountry blend. But with a little bit choclate mixed in.

Flavor: Big and bold chocolate malts. There are some nicely balanced hops notes but in the end the malts over power

Mouth Feel: This beer hides 9% very well. I would not know it was that high unless Iread the bottle.. which obviously I did.

Drink ability: I could put down one or two of these but that is it. This a beer I want to share with friends. And, honestly let sit for while. I look forward to having another one down the road... And thanks to JohnGalt1 I'll get that opportunity.

SAS, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of ommegoose
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up the final four-pack of this at Evanston First Liquors.

Poured out into a pint glass. Dark, but not the darkest RIS I've seen. Fizzy dark tan head that did not last very long. Really not much in the way of lacing. A much harder pour on the next bottle got better results in terms of head and lacing, so I'll bump it up.

Great aroma. Tons of roasty, chocolate, coffee-scented malt. Not a lot of complexity, but it smells very good.

Dark roasted malts are there, as to be expected. Some milk chocolately notes. The creamy, milky notes are a highlight here. Coffee notes are more like a French roast. Not as bitter as espresso. Hops in the back are definitely secondary to the malt, but do well in enhancing the the bitterness of the coffee and chocolate flavors. I like that the hops don't clutter up the palate with out of place flavors. A citrus blend wouldn't work here. Some other RISs are too dry and bitter for my tastes, but this doesn't cross that line. I like the finish, which comes close to a Irish dry stout, but a little hoppier. Hints of charcoal are pleasing.

The mouthfeel is rather full, but also pretty slick. Alcohol is only slightly noticeable on the tongue, but can be a little hot going down.

I waited until my third beer to write my review. It's grown on me with each bottle. Easy to grab another one, even though I started to feel a little buzz well before I finished the first. If it were in bombers, one would be perfect.
I think this is very good, but getting it once a year is probably fine with me. It's in that bad price range where I could pay more for something that I definitely like better, or pay less for something good, but not quite this good. This is better than Old Rasputin, but that's a lot cheaper. Southern Tier Choklat is better, but more expensive. Anyway, fans of big stouts need to try this regardless.

ommegoose, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A. Quarter Inch Thick Malty Chocolate head. Poured into a snifter, (don't know why...strange bar). Appears very dark. Black.

S. Malty toasted Chocolate goodness. Hops are very subdued.

T. A nice kick to it initially then becomes quite dry. The notes of toasted malt are all there, and also has a slight sweetness to it. True to the style.

M. Very thick and earthy, coats the palate very nicely.

D. Could get used to drinking these. Had it at the bar with some buffalo chicken dip...had to set it aside as it does not pair well with hot sauce.

Overall: The bartenders favorite beer apparently. I enjoyed it as I do love stouts, and this one tastes very much like a russian stout. Pretty amazing.

Stinkypuss, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of tapman
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Brew Co. are usually pretty decent. Let's see how this one goes down.

Body is pitch black with deep brown/ruby undertones. Head is very small. Though tan and creamy looking, I would have liked more of a head and some stronger lacing.

Smells like sweet chocolate, bitter chocolate, mocha coffee/ mocha latte (creamy, chocolate milk smell if you can imagine). Chocolate and caramel, maybe some crystal, malts with a good touch of roasted barley. Perhpas a little bit of black patent. Smell is very enticing. Hop are small and bready/English.

When its cold the alcohol comes out right away and ithat's not too pleasant. It says serve at 55 degrees F, but I disagree. 60-65 is much better. After it warms creamy coffee and bitter roased malts come to the forefront as the alcohol recedes to the background. Decent amount of caramel malts in there, but the bitter black patent, or whatever is making it so bitter, isn't as balanced as I would like. The ingredients taste fresh and abundant so I don't think they really skimpted on anything.

Velvety and good, though a little thinner than an Old Rasputin, but a little heavier than a Stormking. Its ok.

Blackout stout is a decent RIS. Mellower than a Stormking, and not AS bitter as some other RISs out there, I would like to see a little more balance between coffee and the bitter roasted flavor. The aroma is misleading and I wish that it tasted more like it smells.

tapman, Apr 17, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz received in trade with Tilley4... shared with SAS.. mine in my trusty snifter.

1" head.. black brew.. good spotty lacing.

Aroma is a little char and dark fruits with more than enough chocolate.. smells like slightly sweetened fresh brewed coffee with a little bit of alcohol.

Flavor is dark chocolate and strong morning coffee.. subtle smoke .. getting some minor hoppiness cutting through the masses.. but it still tastes black from front to back. Mouthfeel is thick and fairly chewy.. lingering semi sweet mocha finish.. sticks with you for minutes easily. Really very drinkable for a brew this big.

I could easily go on with this review.. but I have other stuff to do.

Huge thanks to Tilley4.. Jason is an awesome trader... we must do it again ... soon!

JohnGalt1, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of Oxymoron
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Summer of 69? Pours a black colored hue with reddish tinge around the edges. A little help with the pour provided a frothy with a lighter tan head. Good retention and lacing through out although did dissipate over time. Some viscous sticking to the glass but limited.

The nose is malty but limited overall for a Imp Stout. A stronger astringent nose with roasted coffee and a touch of chocolate on the backend. Some solvent characteristics and a touch of chlorine as well. Hints of liquorish and anis. Lighter earthy tones, both peaty and some light hop undertones.

The taste is more maltier than the nose originally indicated but does lack some depth. There is a good roast quality with more of burnt flavor than coffee. Some lighter chocolate notes that give a rich flavor. Some lighter phenol and solvent flavors as well. Not getting much hop flavors but a light earthy undertone.

The body is closer to mid and to me is where this beer falls off. To start there is a good malt texture but the finish is just wispy/watery and lacks that depth. Almost like an American stout than Imp/Double Stout. There are some good textures, a silky finish, but I am looking for more. Overall good but could use some help.

Oxymoron, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Being born in the Midwest before moving south its sad that I had to turn to a guy from CANADA for this one. Thanks biegaman.

There comes a time when you get "wowed" by a great beer...this is such a time.

Served in the "I get to keep" glass from the brewery.

A: An inky matte black sort of hue with touches of red showing thru. The head is made up of a tight layer of tan-colored bubbles. The lacing is wide spread and webbed.

S: Wow. An array of roasted malt comes blasting at you. Fresh roasted coffee, buttery toffee, and bittersweet chocolate mostly. There is a hint of charcoal and smoke if you really concentrate.

T: The taste does not disappoint either. Tons of flavor to match the aroma. Very chocolatey with tons of coffee to back it up. Touches of vanilla and marshmellow sweetness really make this one shine. There is a bit of hop bite in the middle just enough to compliment all the toasted malt. This is a true gem.

M: Full-bodied brew. Very thick and yet creamy.

D: As drinkable as any stout out there and there are few RIS' that can touch it. Not of hint of the ABV in this one. I could set down with a six pack and drink until it was gone, or I feel over.

Overall: World class no doubt about it, deserves a higher rating than it gets. There are few that can rival this one in taste, and the drinkability is off the chart. I love it!

GLBC does it again...and does it very well. Get a bottle if you can, or, better yet, hit the brewpub to sample it from the tap.

tpd975, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. brown bottle

A: Poured into a snifter. Pours a pitch black color, with a nice tan head on top. Light retention rate, and a good amount of lacing.

S: very malty aroma. Rich and roasted characteristics. A lot of chocolate and toffee.

T: this is an extremely rich stout. Very sharp flavors of sweet roasted malts and toffee. A light amount of coffee flavors.

M: very smooth and creamy. The carbonation level is a little higher than I would like.

D: a very smooth stout, especially for being 9%. I could drink this consistantly.

paulthebeerguru, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of joepais
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to goryshkewych for this one
Bottle poured into my tulip glass produced a good fingers worth of tan head that quickly turns to a ring of lace around the glass the body of his brew was black with a little red around the edges

Aromas of roasted malts coffee and some hop flavor to it to it

It's got a great hop presence in the flavors along with the roasted malts and a little bit of alcohol

Medium body, not much carbonation on this so it makes it smooth going down

Sips really well, not a bad RIS would drink another one if I had it

joepais, Apr 13, 2008
Photo of BMoney575
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on 4-11-08
Best before 8-18-08

Pours thick and viscous, almost black with a little red peeking around the edges. The head fades quickly, leaving clingy fingers of lacing.

Smell is malty but not too sweet, quite subtle with a good amount of black licorice.

Taste is subtle, very, very dry, with lots of flavors that come in with the aftertaste. Roasted malt, lots of smoke, and a little bit of wood, finished by a pleasant alcohol kick.

Mouthfeel is great, super creamy, with subtle carbonation.

Drinkability is dangerously good, for 9%.

Overall, a very different kind of RIS. Reminds me a lot of an Irish Dry Stout. Surprisingly refreshing, and very drinkable.

BMoney575, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of ncvbc
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not quite what I had hoped but still not too poor. It's near black but surely see through around the edges of this glass. Thin head but somewhat high carbonation at first. Smells mainly of roasted coffee grains and light alchohol. I'll leave it at that. Taste is a little more expansive, featuring a caramel and chocolate but still more of the coffee in terms of malt. I didn't notice the bitter hops in the smell as much and must have thought it to be roast bitterness of the coffee. Well, it's there and really not bad at all. A weird combo of hops and roast flavors that really achieves a near balance. Mouthfeel is pretty silky with a bitter finish for a RIS. Good drinkability and mouthfeel but only because of that interesting factor. Glad I have a couple more to savor...

Thanks to hoppymeal, grub, cartdan, and DrJay for a bottle each.

ncvbc, Apr 10, 2008
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,563 ratings.