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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.

3,000 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,000
Reviews: 1,137
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 435
Gots: 513 | FT: 33
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: GreatPondBrewer on 11-30-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,000 | Reviews: 1,137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint goblet - best by 4/20/12

$9.99 a four pack at Weilands .

A: Poured blackout black with a two finger tan head that descended into a thin creamy lacing , decent carbonation.

S: Slight hops upfront with hints of chocolate and mild coffee.

T: Slight hops with dark fruit , slight coffee and chocolate , roasted malt and barley.

O: Overall this a solid RIS- while it warms more flavors come to the front - slightly sweet - well balanced and blended stout that will become a regular in my fridge when it gets released.

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

Bottle served in a snifter.

Appearance: Pours a dark black with a thick, light colored, creamy head.

Smell: The aroma is of primarily of dark fruits such as raisins, but there is a strong note of bread presumably from the yeast strain.

Taste: The taste is similar to the aroma in that there is a lot of dark fruit flavor going on with a strong ester profile from the yeast. A slight hint of booziness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thick mouthfeel with a sweet finish.

Overall: A tasty stout - especially if you lean towards the sweeter side of the stout family. A surprising flavor profile compared to most other imperial stouts with only subtle hints of the typical roasted malt bitterness you find in most imperial stouts these days.

Photo of Jesse13713
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pitch black. A foamy chocolate-like film on the surface.

Smell - Honey and oak. Chocolate and coffee.

Taste - Dark chocolate and a bit of espresso. A bit of chocolate milk. A slight alcoholic sting. Rich, dark oak and slightly citrus-like hops.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Quite drinkable for a 9% ABV. A delicious, smooth and oaky stout.

Photo of dubinsky
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a snifter. Best by 8/22/10 (I never new stouts needed to be drank fresh)

A – Pours a very dark brown, almost black as expected with some red highlights as it pours from the bottle. It poured rather thin and as a result only generated a shallow, one finger tan color head which fell pretty quickly as I let the beer come to temperature. No lacing to speak of with little to no retention.

S – Nice coffee and espresso and bitter chocolate are followed by roasted oats and a slight boozy aroma. I’m expecting this to be a coffee bomb from the aroma.

T – Wow, this is delicious. I was expecting a more a bitter and boozy beer from the smell, but this surprised me. There is a nice hop bitterness up front, but afterward it sweetens up fast and smooths out nicely. Huge semi-sweet dark chocolate followed by a nice coffee flavor.

M - Creamy mouth-feel with a nice light carbonation. Very smooth and silky. Like some really rich dark chocolate.

D – This beer really surprised me. I was expecting a boozy RIS, but what I got was a very smooth, and well balanced beer. I had to force myself to sip it rather than chug it. Very drinkable and with this high an ABV, very dangerous. I will definitely seek this out again.

Photo of AgentZero
3.63/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Black beer with a khaki head that dissipated to a tight ring and partial cap.

S - Lots of roast and chocolate. Has a good bit of toasted malts, molasses, and a bit of coffee. Smells has a bit of heat on it.

T - Roasted malts, molasses, a bit of coffee. This had a surprising amount of alcohol in this, which I wasn't expecting as I've never heard anything about this having much heat on it. Some chocolate sweetness.

M - Full bodied, lower carbonation.

O - The initial taste was pretty good, but the heat got to me so much I could only finish about half of the 12 oz bottle. A pretty good beer, but too hard for me to drink.

Photo of ike4tay45
4.45/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with 1/4 to 1/2 inch head that's dark and steady. Very attractive.

S: Aroma shows wonderful complexity. Deep rich fruity quality that surrounds roast, coffee, dark malt. This aroma is outstanding.

T: Flavor matches aroma, but carries with it more of the roast. Slight burnt coffee character. Slight fruitiness (but less than the aroma). Sweetness that's intense, but not excessive and lets the roast dominate. Don't detect much alcohol in flavor, but feel it later.

M: Mouthfeel was thick, a little sticky, with just the right anount of carbonation.

Overall: This beer blew me away immediately. Easily one of the more immediately accessible beers for this style. Might not have as intense character as others in this style, but overall an extremely pleasurable beer.

Photo of thagr81us
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to Lunch for sending me this one in a past trade as an extra! Bottled on 08/02/10! Served from bottle into Surly Darkness snifter. Poured pitch black with a one finger tan that subsided to a half finger very slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, dark chocolate, caramel, and subtle alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, caramel, dark chocolate, and alcohol. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. I had a feeling this was going to be good as I've had the barrel aged version quite a few times now and had never had the base beer (funny how that works out huh?). A very smooth brew with some nicely balanced flavors to keep you coming back for more. The aroma was quite pleasant as well. A definite must try rather it is barrel aged or not.

Photo of harrymel
3.89/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 08FEB11, redone 16AUG11. Grade based on latest.
Bottle says: Best by 08/30/10.

A: They don't call it blackout stout for no reason. This beer is black, no translucency. No head formed at pouring, only thin film can be agitated, but this dissipates quickly. No laces. Edit: this.

S: Yum! Smells of cocoa, malt, sweetened chex cereal (oddly), cinnamon, sugar, hints of graham. Edit: add wet soil to the mix.

T: Yum again! Cocoa, grahams, charred marshmallow, happy mouth. Edit: Heavy on molasses at this point, some metals.

M: Thick, sticky, with moderate carbonation. Creamy. Very good. Edit: same. dry finish.

D: I could go for a second one of these. Definitely a warmer temp beer. Goddamn tasty.
Edit: This is a good beer, I fear it may be better at the six monthish mark. I would like to try a fresh bottle, as I've only had expired and aged. Good beer still.

Photo of Bendurgin
3.96/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Andy gave me a bottle of this. Poured into a pint glass. This one pours very dark brown with two fingers of creamy khaki colored head. Nice retention with sticky lace.

Kind of your standard run of the mill aromas on this one. Sweet bakers chocolate and a little bit of roasty coffee. A little bit two dimensional here and kind of faint. Dark roasted malts with sweet bakers chocolate in the finish. A little bit of coffee. Standard flavors for an RIS but spot on anyway you look at it.

Creamy and full robust feel on this one. Overall this is a no nonsense RIS. A really enjoyable well made beer.

Photo of Knapp85
3.8/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured out as a black rich looking liquid. The head was creamy and brown in color. The lacing looked good on the glass. The smell of the beer was roasted with some coffee and chocolate on the nose. I slight amount of dark fruit in there too with some booze. The taste of the beer had a good strength to it, lots of chocolate upfront and bad a burnt toast flavor in the back end. The flavor wasn't as strong as some of the Russian Imperials out there. The mouthfeel was thick and full bodied. Overall I found this beer to be damn good and would enjoy having it again one day.

Photo of Slatetank
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

original review Look -4.5 Smell 4.5 Taste 5 Feel 5 Overall 5
I enjoyed this courtesy of tenderbranson69 enjoyed in a tasting glass cool.

Appearance is deep brown with a thick looking body and thin ring of ecru cream. The smell has lots of vanillaand mild bitter aroma of slight wood which could be the hops w/light smokiness and gentle toffe accents. The cocoa presence is deep in the nose. The feel is full with moderate carbonation and gentle sweetness w/ moderate bitterness and mild sweet feel as it finishes with a goodly amount of spice but mild roasted textures in general.

This tastes like a luscious stout right off the bat it has some woody notes with a lot of cocoa and sweet caramel giving a smooth taste with bits of toast and slight hop edge which has a mellow woody bitterness and subtle toffee in there which provides a nice balance to the alcohol and hops w/ slight vanilla creaminess midway into a mild pepper and gentle molasses element near the end of the taste. Overall this is incredibly smooth and easy to drink for the abv, pretty much nails it for me with a lot of dark grain flavor without an abundance of bitterness to take away, a wonderful beer and instense amount of flavor, just great in every way.

re-review 2/5/2015 enjoyed chilled in a stout glass.
black as advertized with thin light tan head after settling and very fine bead with spots of lace sticking. The smell is good with malty aroma with caramel scent and mild roast aroma with gentle alcohol w/ a subtle milk chocolate quality. The feel is rich with creamy, roast and medium carbonation with light sweet flavor and full body with mild bitterness with subtle alcohol as it finishes semi-dry

The taste has lush malt layers with creamy caramel interwoven with chocolate malt roastiness and slight smooth with low bitterness and semi-sweet almost dessert-like with a coffee/cocoa and caramel blend of malt qualities as it finishes with mostly dry and mild alcohol flavor with low harshness and some raisin-like sweet flavors. Overall this is a wonderful stout with lots to like but finishes a bit sweet -not as drinkable as I remember but still worthy and one I recommend as a great example of the style.

Photo of Sixofsigmas
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

Inch of tan foam on top of a black as night stout.
Smells of booze, espresso, burnt malt, mocha...
The taste begins with chocolatey notes and then coffee, with a load of dark malt saturation on the back end. It's boozey without the warmth.
Little bit too much carb for a stout, dark bittery burnt finish that is very sticky and lingers.
Very drinkable, but not sessionable for someone who wants their liver to last.

Photo of Bennettrox
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by 8/2/10. Not sure how old this one is, but my first blackout.

A - Dark rich black, tan 1 finger head.

S - Heavy roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, and a little bit of dark fruits.

T - More toasted malts, chocolate, coffee, caramel, and raisins.

M - Thick and a good amount of carbonation. The alcohol becomes a bit more evident as this warms up.

O - Pretty damn good RIS. Not as sweet as most RIS's which is nice. This evidently wast before it's prime according to the brewery but I enjoyed it all the same. Will seek out a fresh one next time.

Photo of andrewinski1
3.57/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one from Mike recently. Thanks for hitting a want! Poured into a tulip. Nice black body with a half inch tan head.

Really nice aroma here. There is a strong sweet chocolatey aroma. The smell hints at vanilla, but that could be my mind suggesting it.

The taste starts out dry crisp and bitter, but quickly reveals nice sweet mocha flavors. The finish has a nice blend of sweet and bitter as well.

The body is medium to medium-large, and the carbonation is a little more sharp than creamy.

A good beer throughout. It wouldn't supplant my favorites, but the aroma is very enjoyable.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one has been aged about a year and a half. 12 oz bottle pours a near-black color with a creamy, light brown head. Wonderful retention and lacing.

Nose is quite chocolaty with a surprising amount of light fruit flesh - almost mango-y. Light on the roast and moderate sweetness.

Taste balances sweetness with some toast and roast pretty well and has a pleasant fruity yeast presence. Not as well integrated as I had hoped after spending some time in the cellar. I'd like to try it fresh to see if I like it more. After having a few other stellar GL beers, I am a bit let down by this one. Mouthfeel is not overly full and the whole package just doesnt quite come together perfectly for me.

Photo of output01x
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap in a snifter glass at the Great Lakes brewpub.

A 1 1/2 finger tan-colored head rests atop a pure black body with no traces of color when held to light. The head recedes in a couple minutes to a thin dusting and thick foam ring. Very little lacing can be found throughout consumption.

Dark malts dominate the nose with aromas of burnt coffee beans and dark chocolate. Dark fruit notes are also present. A slightly boozy smell is detected.

A dark mocha flavor flows over the taste buds and mingles with notes of raisins and plums. A dry coffee aftertaste lingers between sips. Dark and sweet, the bold flavors leave no room for the 9% ABV to poke through.

Full bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer coats your mouth well but does not get too sticky. While not exactly creamy, the great carbonation cerainly helps the drinkability considerably.

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

A: just like the name its all black, not too much head to speak of just a thin tan layer

S: Sweet malts with a liquorish smell in there. also a chocolate note

T: Taste is more robust then then smell, liquorish with roasted notes along with nice sweet malts.

M: Med to heavy mouth with light carbonation

Overall: Great Lakes is an awesome brewery and this was an awesome beer! A real shame I can not get them here in AZ

Photo of beerpirates
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottel poured into my lost abbey stemware glass

Pours solid black with a minimal light-mocha head with no lacing and little retention.
Nose is roasted, ground-coffee, baker’s chocolate, and just a hint of candied raisins.
Taste is malty but with noticeable hoppy bitterness. Dark chocolate is strong on the mid-palate, but the finish picks up bitterness and lingers for quite a while. Notes of coffee with cream, and burnt-resin from the hops.
Not a ton of layering but definitely pleasant overall and with interesting balance. The palate feels a bit over-carbonated to be, but that may be the hops in stout which I’m just not use to. It is slightly thinner than I would look for in a serious RIS too, but still is pleasant overall on the palate. The alcohol is noticeable but not out of balance.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleased to get this recently as an extra, and its either an '09 or '10 batch with a freshest by 8/10 date on it.
The color on this is very enticing, not entirely black, but with dark purple plum within. Theres very little head to speak of, mocha colored, superfine bubbles. All thats left 15 seconds after the pour is the delicious brew, and how delicious it is.
The nose yields HUGE toffee dominating everything. Im instantly in love with sticking my nose in the glass to get whiff after whiff. Behind the toffee lies coffee and chewy roasted malts. I dont have any other bottles of this to compare it to, but this just seems to be perfect.
Coffee bitterness comes through on the palate and takes over a little compared to the toffee i found on the nose. Even though i loved the overwhelming toffee, i also enjoy how its sharing the front seat now. This is almost the definition of a "chewy" beer to me, at the right temperature, it literally just takes over my mouth with a chewy texture. The bitterness on the finish is just enough to make its presence known, i like how its on the mellower side. I will definitely he hunting down more of this to both try fresh, and throw in the cellar to try at different intervals. Very nice brew.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a recent trade. Says better before august 2010... tasted on february 2011. Tasting notes: Even though its past its date, I think the alcohol content might have help... and this beer should still be great. Dark black color. Nice brown head on top of it. Creamy looking. Disappear quickly. Aroma of chocolate with some light notes of coffee. Very nice in the mouth. Chocolate with a nice bitter finish. Not very hoppy, but there is a hop bite to it. So easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden. Nicely done. This one fresh must be awesome.

Thanks ritzkiss.

Photo of brian44556
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this on-tap at Sergio's. Poured into a Tulip glass. I'm guessing 2011 vintage??

This beer pours a great motor oil color, has a thick, dark tan head and leaves good lacing around the glass. I caught strong smells of chocolate and roasted malt. The smell was great, but the taste blew me away. Great sweet chocolate taste with a bitter finish. I loved the mixture of hops and chocolate. It was a perfect balance. The carbonation was on point and the beer was a perfect thickness for a RIS. This was the best RIS I have had to date. Love everything about it. Unfortunately I have never seen bottles of this around the area, but next year I will definitely be on the look out. Great job Great Lakes!

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an oversized snifter. This particular bottle was brewed in the Winter of 2009-10. Presents as a dark, dark brown, almost black, with a thi tan head that clings ot the rim and wisps out from the center.

Has a malty, bready smell, with decent alcohol, minty coffee, and bold vanilla. Perhaps dark chocolate as well?

Mildl malt gives way to a minty dark chocolate, bitter coffee, and muted alcohol. Hop bitterness pick up half way in, but drops off before it is finished. Rather, it leaves a black coffee aftertaste which is quite pleasant.

Full bodied, I'd describe this as creamy more so that smooth. Nice bitterness keeps it from seeming too sweet.

One of my favorite RIS, this brew is even better on tap than it is from the bottle. If you can get it on tap, you should, now!

Photo of Tilley4
4.05/5  rDev -3.8%
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..

Photo of thecarster1
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of DaveHS
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 3,000 ratings.