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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.

2,487 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,487
Reviews: 1,076
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 399
Gots: 320 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Blackout Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,487 | Reviews: 1,076 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OStrungT


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

This beer pours an inky blask color, with a thin brown head. The head fades quickly, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a sweet caramel malty aroma. I can smell some chocolate. Also, I detect some dark fruit aromas. Some figs mostly. It also has a slight coffee aroma. A hint of licorice also.

This beer tastes much like it smells. The coffee is a little more present in the flavor than in the aroma. Also, a little less chocolate. It tastes good though.

This beer is very full bodied. It goes down smooth, however, leaving a malty, chocolate and coffee aftertaste. It is carbonated just right. The alcohol warms my throat slightly as it goes down.

This beer would probably not be the best session beer. It is high in alcohol, and the flavor is quite aggressive.

Overall: Thanks to Faro for this treat. It is great. I am drinking the 06 right now. I will add a review for the 05 in a few days when I drink that.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2007 04:17:46 | More by OStrungT
Photo of emerge077


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared 2005 bottle.

Super midnight black body, topped with a tan cappucino tinged head of foam. Spindly spots of lacing ring the glass. Looking good for a two-year old brew.

Slight sweetness to the aroma, banana esters, almond, caramel malt are all present.

Hops are still there, but way in the back. Subdued bitterness results, meshing well with the charred malts in the middle. Earthiness lingers well into the finish, with a mild coffee bean presence. Dark baker's chocolate runs through the whole experience, very tasty and satisfying. Nutty and dry in the finish, which lasts for a good while. Any notion of alcohol heat has been subdued, but it still packs some strength. Creamy feel to it...easy to get lost with this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2007 01:23:05 | More by emerge077
Photo of franksnbeans


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night with the slightest ruby hue if held to a strong light. A finger of off white head that dies quick and lacing occurs. Smells very roasty, sweet chocolate and bakers chocolate and a hint of cherry like fruity aroma. Taste is big on the roast, very tasty, the chocolate shows and the fruit drops an extremely subtle hint. Smooth as silk in the mouth with a tickle of carbonation and slightest hop bite on the finish. No ABV apparant and this one is very drinkable. A must try.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 14:10:55 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of RickSawyer


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

Poured from a bottle. Date printed on label = 7/29/07. Not the best label, but that is just my graphic design background shining through... this isn't label advocate.

Pours tar black with little to no light escaping through the glass. Buckhide colored thin line of head resides quickly. Clings to glass lightly...

Smells of dark fruits, dates and prunes. Sweet malts, not so much a roasted flavor in the smell that can be consistant with the style, more of a smoked smell. Refreshingly sweet smell.

Tastes.... GREAT! Sweet, nutty, dark chocolate, dark fruit flavors give way to a LIGHT floral hop finish with a dark coffee bitter aftertaste left in the mouth. Carbonated perfectly to match, not too much, and not 'cask ale-esque' either. Absolutly no hints of alcohol other than a slight warming feeling in the throat and chest after sipping. This one could sneak up on you... Mouthfeel is average for the style, don't need a spoon to scoop out of the cup, but still has enough body to keep my tounge interested.

Notes: First beer I have had from Great Lakes and I am impressed. Whatever the midwest has going on, please send some my way because I haven't had something from that region that I haven't enjoyed. In an area so rich with WONDERFUL imperial stouts I hope this one doesn't sit in the shadows.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2007 01:28:00 | More by RickSawyer
Photo of rallison


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a truly beautiful jet black with a 1 finger tan head that leaves a ton of lacing on the glass.

Smells delicious. Roasted coffee. Dark chocolate. Raisins. Espresso. This is how I like them!

First taste reaffirms the delicious smells. Chocolate. Espresso. Molasses. Raisins. Roasted malts. Like a wonderfully sweet, roasted coffee drink. With alcohol. Just deliciously balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel is just as I like on an RIS - rich and thick, but with just enough carbonation to keep it from being heavy. I like my RISs nice and strong (loving the 10%+ stuff), but this pulls off the balance just perfectly - no weak RIS here!

Drinkability is very nice on this as well - wish I had some more bottles!

Highly recommended. This is up there with the best of them. Bell's Expedition is still better by a touch, but I would love to have this available in CA!

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 08:41:27 | More by rallison
Photo of umustdrink


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a trade from kssweene
Served at cellar temp

A - Oily black color. Head is light brown and fades to a thick ring. Heavy lacing.

S - Rich roasted and toasted malts. Creamy and slightly bitter with some noticeable alcohol.

T/M - The taste starts out smooth, silky, with a nice hoppy bitterness. Quickly into a rich roasted malt flavor, still very creamy but nicely balanced with bitterness and dark fruits. The bitterness sticks around through the whole tasting. There's also a very warm alcohol presence, which combined with the rich malty flavor leaves a whiskey like aftertaste.

D - An excellent imperial stout, strong and luxurious with relatively complex flavors.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 03:23:25 | More by umustdrink
Photo of TheBierBand


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 4 pack of 12 oz. bottles. Poured the first one into my goblet to produce a 1" dark tan head... It took a hard pour to do this.... The beer is ebony in color and quite opaque even when held up to a bright light source.

The aroma was great.... lots of caramel malty sweetness and chocolate. Also a hint of coffee.... like starbucks opened next door!

The taste: Great ... lots of chocolate, coffee, caramel... big and bold. A deep dark musty-ness and charcoal finish it off. I like it.... very much!

Mouthfeel: Heavy and rich like an RIS should be... low carbonation.

Drinkability: Very nice.... a well done RIS... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. I'll have to take my three favorite RIS's and do a side by side comparison sometime.... GLBC Blackout Stout, Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S. The Crusher, and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.... all pretty even in my book....

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 19:35:31 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of boogles


4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


Affinity is subjective, of course. To frame my simple review, I mostly like IPAs and Stouts, but not only double IPAs or double stouts, and I like many varieties down to good pale ale. I've had many beers, and consider experiencing craft brews a venture worth pursuing.

For the record, I am compelled to point out that Great Lakes labels this as an imperial stout, not a Russian imperial stout as Beeradvocate lists it, and I agree with the Great Lakes designation. But I am going by taste, not science, and I do not claim expertise.

I curiously spotted this at a small but dedicated local store. I may have had slightly skewed expectations because I really like the Great Lakes porter (Edmund Fitz.), which, here in Columbus, OH, is available even at giant grocery stores. This stout, however, is what the porter wishes it could, and imagines itself, to be. It is good enough that I am now prepared to make reservations at whatever hotel is within walking distance of the brewery, and I will make the trip, knowing I will end up beyond the limit--it is sooo good that this ridiculous indulgence will be quite sane.

(... so far--still haven't tried the 3X Floyd Breakfast, on my to-do list, nor any of the non-bottled West coast champions, FWIW, which isn't much. Life is way too short. Quick disclaimer: I have not otherwise made the exclamation, "best beer ever," and I make this statement carefully, soberly, and sincerely.)

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2007 03:31:47 | More by boogles
Photo of seaoflament


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this one in a trade with Jay23, thanks man! Freshness date of 8/2/07.

Well, it pours like a RIS should, jet black and has a little less than a finger of foam. The aroma is full and bold! It includes chocolate (milk sweet and bitter), coffee, toffee, roasted barley, maple and subtle woody hops. I believe it’s the alcohol and hops which give this brew a faint wood-like aroma, but it’s just a guess. I love having those brews you just want to ‘bite’ into, and for me this is one of those beers. The taste is rich with roasted malts, coffee, and chocolate. The mouthfeel is thick and velvety; it seems like one of those beers you eat instead of drink. This is a wonderful stout that would go great on a cold/rainy night. I’ll save my last bottle, or get some more via trading, to age or wait until the cold season starts.

I actually said this out loud so I thought it would be right for the review, “this is a good freakin’ stout.”

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2007 04:02:33 | More by seaoflament
Photo of TexIndy


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good as extra from Faro - many thanks! Poured from a 12oz bottle with a best by date of 8/2 so just passed but no biggie into a pint glass. Pitch black color even against a light. It had a smaller than expected brown head that quickly settled into a collar with a little foam in center. The aroma was strong on coffee with some roasted malts and a good whiff of alcohol. I liked the Siberian Night aroma much better. The taste pretty much followed the smell and was heavy on coffee and roasted malts. Alcohol was a player but not too overbearing. Mouthfeel was heavy and creamy with pleasing aftertaste. Drinkability is high on this one. Not an everyday beer but could see drinking this ofter during the winter months. Overall, an excellent beer worthy of its top 100 ranking. Highly recommend. (4.5, RR, T, Y)

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2007 03:07:40 | More by TexIndy
Photo of weeare138


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to dickinsonbeer for this brew, which I've been sitting on for over a year...
Appears a pitch black with a small tan head that slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of espresso, caramel, cream, dark chocolate, confectioners sugar, cocoa, roasted grains, and mild tobacco.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas of goodness with creamy vanilla coming through.
Mouthfeel is thick, rich, heavy, sweet, syrupy, roasty, molasses filled, boozy, with a touch of coconut milk. Delicious stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2007 19:55:47 | More by weeare138
Photo of GreenWBush


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle somehow tucked itself into my cellar silently. I can’t really remember how it got there. Anyway, it was marked ‘Best Before AUG 04/05’ so I’d assume its just about a year and a half old at the time of consumption.

Sturdy black in construction with a tan-capped somewhat meager head and lace reduction.

Nose is warm and silky with hints of drizzled cocoa, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and milk. Delectable to whiff with its noticeable appreciation from age.

Taste is much like the aroma, especially in the qualities of ‘silk’. Harmonius perfection in a bottle. A warming glow that lasts. Roast has lost some of its acrid qualities. Overall smoothing. Reminds me of a high-quality mocha java coffee.

Mouthfeel is again like a high quality Arabian coffee. Powdery. Chocolate milk.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2007 08:06:51 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of lackenhauser


4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep black in color with a nice sized cocoa head on top. Nice level or roasted aroma and a somewhat coffeeish tinge. Deliciously decadent and rich roasted flavor. Burnt coffee taste to it that is quite nice. Lingering roasted flavors. Just a whisper of alcohol to boost the overall picture. Great body. Very full but balanced against the level of flavor. Just a great beer all around. Had wanted to try this one for ages. Right up there with my perennial favorite Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2007 01:34:06 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of botham

New York

3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into an english imperial pint glass. pours a relatively clear black with four fingers of tan head that is not very dense, but leaves great lacings on the glass.

smells strongly of chocolate roasted malts, there is a coffee base with a slight bite of alcohol in the aroma as well. smells wonderful!

tastes very malty and roasty up front, with a definite presence of alcohol. could have covered that up a little better. the coffee aroma is no where to be tasted. there is a fruity character in the base, which lends itself to ale yeast. the aroma of this brew is much more interesting than the taste.

aftertaste is of weak hops. mildy dry.

mouthfeel is sharp from the alcohol, with a creamy texture, and a less than smooth finish.

drinkability is mediocre. the alcohol and unbalanced flavors take away from the wonderful aroma of this brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2007 02:41:44 | More by botham
Photo of witster18


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Smell is like strong roasted coffeebeans, sweet,sun-dried prune and cherry....and you can pick up on the semi-sweet chocolate as well. Pours a huge, well-retaining greyish/tan head. There are only little flakes of deep red at the side of this glass...the rest is pitch black. The taste is hoppier than most stouts....and the chocolate jumps way out to say hello. Then the mouthfeel takes over with it's oily, flavor-holding beauty. The finish is bitter chocolate and banana and back comes the sweet-dried fruit. Leaves a nice itch on my throat. Thank you sir may I have another. Another strong effort...but a touch behind thier porter on my list. Low carbonation and great taste make this a dangerously drinkable brew @ this ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2007 20:55:31 | More by witster18
Photo of Slar211


4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle purchased in a four-pack for $7.99 from The Wine Barrel in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. They still have a good amount left for those seeking this seasonal brew.

Appearance: Pours black as night into a pint glass, with a foamy tan head.

Smell: Coffee and dark chocolate, very heavy in the nose and inviting.

Taste: Simple but delicious balance of rich coffee and dark chocolate, with some smoky backbone.

Mouthfeel: Amazingly creamy and smooth, almost like ice cream.

Drinkability: Outstanding for a stout. What a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 19:54:10 | More by Slar211
Photo of Halcyondays


3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Black body, with thick tan head which quickly dissipates to leave little lacing.

S: The smell is the best part of this beer. It is very good, smells of dark fruits, roasted barley, thick dark chocolate, some soy sauce and molasses.

T: Roasted barley predominately, a bit too boozy, hop biterness evident at the end.

M: I'm missing the heft and body of a traditional RIS. Feels like a porter, not a 9% stout. Not going to completely bash it since it feels good beerwise, just a bit too thin.

D: It's allright, not the best RIS out there for sure. I guess I expected more from it being in the top 100. A good beer, it tastes good, would have it again, it just didn't live up to my expectations.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2007 05:31:41 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of MDekker


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

Pours out black as night, with some toast-colored head that vanishes pretty fast. Decent lacing as the level drops. Looks good. Smells of dark roasted java, and bitter chocolate. Enticing. Hints of alcohol too. Upon the first sip I really hit by dark chocolate and licorice. It makes me think of ripened cherries, too. Lingering dark bitterness hangs on at the end. It's really quite good. It has a nice consistency, too - not syrupy thick, but it has some chewy moments in the mouth. The high alcohol would keep me from packing in a lot of it, but it's a pleasing brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2007 01:31:42 | More by MDekker
Photo of BrewSomerville

Ontario (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Aromas of chocolate & dark, roasted coffee...strong aromas of both. Somewhat sweet smelling. Molasses? Hops are not really detected in the aroma.

Looks onyx black. Mocha coloured head. Average head retention. Good lacing.

Taste is very similar to the aroma; chocolate and coffee. The alcohol really comes out to play on your tongue (9% ABV). Some hop flavour can be found if you are looking for it. Bittering hops must have done their job here, because it doesn't taste as sweet as the aroma had me anticipating. It's difficult to describe the hop flavouring though... I would have to say Floral, grassy, & herbal. The hops build in intensity as you approach the bottom of your glass.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, thick and a bit sticky. Very smooth & silky. Fine carbonation & and not over done, the CO2 was used sparingly here as it is supposed to be with a good stout. Very nice mouthfeel.

Overall, a good brew. I prefer my stouts with a lower ABV, but this is an IMPERIAL stout so it is being true to its style.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2007 18:26:26 | More by BrewSomerville
Photo of BeerTruth


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to barleywinebrewer and nchrist13 for this one!

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours an opaque black with a one finger tan head that dies down to a thin lacing for the rest of the time. Stickiness is decent, nothing to go crazy about. I absolutely love this smell, almost like an oatmeal stout. Very sweet milk chocolate odor with a sweet oat background. Hints of coffee and espresso as well, can't detect any alcohol in the nose at all. Taste, wow...very balanced. Starts off with roasted malt then the coffee flavor dominates the tongue. Towards the end, hops emerge and balance out this one very well. This might be my favorite tasting Imperial Stouts by far. So smooth for 9% abv. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a fair amount of carbonation, just enough for this style. Taste keeps getting better and better as the temperature rises. Drinkability is amazing. Pick this one up for sure.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 05:22:57 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of scott


4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


After a couple of months in climate controlled hibernation...

Gorgeous. Dark. Excellent retention and lace.
One powerful nose beckons for immediate consumption, but alerts you to pay close attention to the complex tale it is about to tell. This is so well balanced and masterfully crafted, that simple words of roast/coffee/baker's chocolate and the like don't adequately portray what is really going on here.
For as big as it is, the body is quite delicate, with a pleasantly dry finish that only begs for you to pull in more. Very impressive that it is almost crisp and refreshing on a lukewarm Ohio night. Go figure.
Hands down one of, if not the best RIS out there. The only thing that makes this more enjoyable is a bath in a Jim Beam barrel which is completely sublime. So recommended, if I had the money, I'd buy it for you. Never pass this one up.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2007 01:43:50 | More by scott
Photo of Reed415


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a black color with a thick dark tan head

S - Dark chocolate, coffee, leafy hops, roasted nuts in the nose

T - Very similar to the much, full of dark chocolate coffee, Roasted flavors, balance by some nice mild hops.

M - Full bodied, Moderation carbonation.

D - Very complex and balanced stout

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2007 18:32:02 | More by Reed415
Photo of mdm46410


4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. This Imperial Stout poured a solid black with a thick tan head that slowly faded away, leaving some excellent lacing around the glass. Just a bit of light is visible through the beer. The beer has nice big chocolate aroma, with notes of lightly roasted malts and some hop undertones. The flavor has quite a bit going on. You can taste cherries, milk chocolate, hints of coffee, and a touch of alcohol. I really enjoyed the flavor of this brew. The mouthfeel is full-bodied with a healthy dose of carbonation. Just a little bit thinner than I would prefer. The thin mouthfeel and unwanted level of carbonation are my only complaints. Overall, a very well done stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 02:30:26 | More by mdm46410
Photo of jaxon53


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this brew from brandoman63 through the Brews-n-Tunes BIF.

Served at cellar temperature into my Oversized snifter, from a 12 oz. bottle. Poured a deep, spent motor oil black that no light could pass through. Just about an inch of thick coffee brown head rose from the glass. Head slowly settled into impressive lacing. Smell was of fine milk chocolate, freshly brewed coffee, some subtle hop tones, and a smooth touch of vanilla, not bad at all. Taste was of Espresso, chocolate, some woold like flavors, vanilla, some hops, and a little alcohol burn at the back of my throat. The smell was better than the taste in my opinion, but still had a great flavor to it. Mildly carbonated with plenty of warming alcohol. Had a somewhat thick and full mouthfeel to it. Seemed pretty well balanced. Very drinkable. A pretty solid beer in my book,

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2007 19:15:38 | More by jaxon53
Photo of KingG


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

Received in a trade about 18 months ago. Time to pop it.

Served at cellar temp and poured into my Duvel tulip glass/

Appearance is good. Extremely black liquid. Robust, mocha colored head forms but thins out through the drinking session.

Smell is very good. Espresso, Turkish coffee, dark and semi-sweet chocolate. Alcohol fumes and vanilla bean are in the background as well.

Taste is very good. While the smell focuses more on the coffee, the flavor is dominated by the dark chocolate. Large roasted malt profile too. The flavor is a tad bit thin when compared to the higher-ranked RIS's but still very nice.

Mouthfeel is very good. Nice, Smooth, creamy, full-bodied. Carbonation is subdued but i believe that's from the aging process.

Drinkability is good. Another 12oz bottle wouldn't be a problem.

A nice chocolatey treat. Nice combination of coffee and chocolate flavors. A fine RIS that would start a session off quite well. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2007 03:31:58 | More by KingG
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,487 ratings.