1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,787 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,787
Reviews: 1,097
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 423
Gots: 422 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 02-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Blackout Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,787 | Reviews: 1,097 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WakeandBake
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark brown/black color pour with a medium creamy brown head,that lasted a while,lots of lacing, Aroma of coffee,chocolate, Some licorice, light smoke,and maybe brown sugar. Big rich full flavor of charred malt,vanilla,chocolate,coffee,and a touch of bitter hops at the finish. Creamy mouthfeel,without being sticky, the medium carbonation keeps it lively. Very drinkable. A top notch Stout in every respect, very good

Thank you GLB

Photo of MisterDeeds
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appears to pour solid jet black, but a little light shows through a ruby glimmer.

Smells of roasted coffee and dark malts.

Taste has plenty going on for it. A bit of sweet malts, quickly dominated by a dark roasted coffee malts, and a bit of bitter finishing hops. The sweetness tries to find it's way back in on the finish as well, making this a very unique brew.

Mouthfeel is very nice for a stout. Nowhere near thin, but not three year old motor oil either.

Drinkability is a tough one for this brew, because while the taste and feel are phenomenal, the thick coating it leaves behind, and high octane level it packs would have me struggling after two. I would say it could be a perfect after dinner beer, or a nice brew to nurse on a cold night.

Special thanks to RixBeer for hooking me up with this one. If he has any left, I'd recommend you pay him a visit....

Photo of beerman207
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Nice lacing and two finger head poured that was mocha color

S- Smelled coffee, some chocolate present nice.

T- Very full bodied with coffee taste coming through. Very nice.

M- Medium body - nice overall feeling on the paate

D- Not sure that I would have many of these in a sitting as the ABV would prohibit but overall very drinakable.

Another great beer from Great Lakes

Photo of turamarth
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Blvd Smokestack goblet.

Appearance: Pitch black, some thin tannish bubbles on it, little to no head with a fairly vivacious pour.

Smell: Your basic stouty aromas, coffee, chocolate, earthy hints. But there seems to be a very nice blueberry smell. Reminds me a lot of this sidamo coffee I had a few weeks ago. Very sweet and berrylicshious.

Taste: Very sweet and malty. Nice coffee and chocolate notes. The alcohol is pretty present in the taste. Maybe some hints of berries, but not as much as in the nose. Pretty good.

Mouth: Pretty thick. Leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste. A pretty good feel.

Drink: Fairly drinkable. The alcohol seems to slow things down. But, enjoyable.

Photo of Rhynes2
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this straight from the bottle. It pours a thick creamy black. Very intense black color. Mouthfeel was great. Creamy is the best way to describe the feel of this brew. The taste really turned me on to stouts, extremely complex with notes of caramel and toasted nuts. Smell goes right along with the taste. Head was thick and frothy and stayed around the whole time. I was really happ to have picked this brew up while I could. Great call and I will be coming back for more next year.

Photo of Buebie
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked up a few of these from buckeysox, thanks man!

Poured from a brown long neck 12oz bottle, into a pub glass. A frothed up foamy light brown head resides ontop of the beer for several long minutes. Black in color, with the slightest ruby red glow from a somwhat bright lamp. The lace left is thick and coats the glass walls nicely.

Aroma of fudge that you would pour over ice cream, its a super sweet chocolate explosions. Reminds me a bit of liquid chocolate extract, without the grain alcahol side effects in aroma. Its malty and quite appealing in aroma. One of the stronger smelling chocolate beers that I can remember.

The taste upfront is super rich, creamy and delicate. A coating of thickness, milkfat like, without the slime and long lasting side effect, that quickly dissapates and allows me to enjoy, not be appauled in slime coating full thickness like some beers. This has perfect mouthfeel, with a carbonation presence that also quickly leaves. Well done on the mouthfeel, you guys nailed it!
Starting out sweet and again with a fudge like ice cream topping. Becomming increasingly bitter with grains and pine and grassy hops. The bittering cereal grain chocolate flavors are enjoyable to me, in that its not one solid flavor, but several complex flavor changes through the course of one sip.
Lingering bitter for a few minutes in chocolate, grains and hops. Some light warming into the swallow, but not anything that would indicate its 9%.

This is a super delicious RIS that was spot on for mouthfeel, aroma and taste. Absolutly satisfied with this beer. Anyone that says they enjoyed old rasputin ( i hated it) needs to try this to see what they are missing.

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful dark brown with a small ½ finger tan colored head. Smells of sweet dark fruits dominate the roasted malts. First sip is bitter then quickly sweet as my taste buds alert me that this is something special. Under carbonated and somewhat thin bodied, there is a coffee flavored finish that is truly amazing. The chocolate, coffee and dark fruits combine easily adding sweetness to the warming alcohol.

Photo of BaerBeer
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Goood beer. Bottle to Glass

A- Great light mocha head; Excellent, thick lacing that stayed throughout consumption. Deep Deep Black colored body

S- Smelled of burnt nuts, old coffee, with nodes of chocolate and a lot of yeast

T- Super sharp but not too tangy. Pretty yeasty tasting beer

M- Not slippery, slightly chewy, with a pleasant taste that kept getting better as I swished the beer around

D- Ultra drinkable....def. not a session beer but wouldn't mind putting a few of these backs

Definitely would recommend

Photo of MuchoCerveza
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When it comes to dark beers this one is definitely one of my favorites. As soon as you take a smell you know your in for a treat. You can actually smell the nuttiness of this beer.

The appearance and smell collectively lead you into a wonderful tasting beer. As soon as it hits your mouth you can taste the coffee with a small hint of bitterness lingering.

If your expecting a Guiness you won't get quite the same flavor but to me just as much enjoyment. I usually stick to the pale ales and IPA's but as far as a dark beer goes I don't think you can beat this one. Definitely recommend.

Photo of midnite2sixman
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Never seen this one around, but picked it up at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids, MI. Excited for this one!

Poured into a goblet, black as night with a brown sugary head that lingers for a while, not too large.

Massive blasts of coffee and espresso on the nose. Super dark chocolate as well. Smells almost earthy. Like mud.

Huge bitter coffee taste, extra strong, extra big, yet balanced enough where it doesn't knock you down. Roasty malts, burnt pizza crust, you name it, its there.

Not a heavy hitter on the tongue though, it is big, but balanced, with a tiny amount of cream and big coffee aftertaste.

Great Lakes swings and knocks another one out of the park. Delicious.

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

Had this on tap at Great Lakes. I will preface by saying this is one of my favorite beers of all time. Served in a snifter. Great aromas from this brew coffee, chocolate, very sweet. Thin head but great lacing. First sip was a smack to the face. This beer has some oomph. Taste is confirming of the smell. Very heavy mouthfeel and a little boozy, but a great sipper. I would definitely have this on tap again, but no more than one or two, that abv can sneak up on you.

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

Pours out a deep black with about two fingers of off white, creamy head. Excellent lacing and head retention. Smells are of dark sugars, roasted coffee, a slight hop smell and a bit of alcohol. Taste is roasted coffee mixed with a sweet and sugary flavor. A small amount of hop bitterness is detected, although it finishes off with the roasted flavor and a bit of alcoholic warmth. Mouthfeel is heavy, but a bit thin compared to some of the other RIS's I've had lately. Of the RIS's I've had so far though, this one is easily the best.

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

A: Totally and completely black. No light pulling through at all. A small head dissipates quickly to a tan ring. Very little webbed lacing.
S: Strong espresso notes and dark chocolate with a hint of notes.
T: Huge dark chocolate and massive coffee notes. These sweet malts are balanced out by a wonderful (and subtle) hop flavor. Burnt flavors round out the sip.
M: Incredibly full-bodied with a slick mouthfeel; bitter residuals coat the mouth.
D: This beer is great to sip on for an hour. I recommend this beer to anyone into complex, balanced and hearty brews.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Sam Adams glass.

Appearance: Pours brown, coca-cola color, with one finger of off-white, slightly tan head. Hints of red come through when held up to the light. Decent head retention. Heavy lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts, with hints of dark chocolate. An astringency from the alcohol comes through. Hints of hops in the background.

Taste: Roasted malts with a heavy alcohol kick right away - no escaping the booze in this one. The roasted flavor dominates, and lingers long into the aftertaste. It's almost a burnt flavor, but it's not bad. Hints of chocolate in the background, and a mild hop finish complements the roasted flavor. Pretty one-dimensional, as the roasted flavor really prevents any subtleties from coming through.

Mouthfeel: Just about perfect for an imperial stout. Thick, creamy, and good carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid imperial stout. It's easy enough to drink, though the alcohol coming through tempers that somewhat. It's somewhat one dimensional in flavor, but enjoyable. With a few tweaks, this beer could be really outstanding. If this was local to my area, I'd probably seek it out, but I won't go out of the way to get it.

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

A: Pours a deep dark black color, when held up to the light, you can see some small reddish/amber light peek through, very minimal. Offers a small tan head that quickly disappears.

S: Lots of roasted malt scents. Much more prevalent once it warms. Scents consist of roasted nuts, dark fruits, very small amount of dark chocolate and alcohol.

T: A good combination of dark chocolate, smoke, roasted malt and roasted coffee. Nothing over the top, but mixes so well.

M: Plenty of carbonation for this beer. Beer leaves a slight creamy taste on the palate, with some hints of alcohol.

D: A definite must try for any beer lover, especially Russian Imperial Stout lovers. A high ABV limits my consumption, but 1-2 in a sitting isn't bad. Beer gets better as it warms.

Photo of Ohiovania
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark like a stout should be with some nice tan head. A decent aroma but not nose grabbing as i was hoping. Taste was extremely alcoholic at first with just a bit of burnt coffee and semi-sweet chocolate BUT let this one warm up a bit. The flavor heavily develops as it warms and the heavy alcohol flavor almost completely dissipates and you are left with some more desirable caramelized burnt coffee flavors which makes this beer very easy to drink.

Photo of sgoodship
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 4 at the Binny's in the South Loop, Chicago. Weather was crazy in Chicago today. Had a whole bunch of snow, so a hearty stout was a good way to go.

A: Blackout is a great name because this stuff is as dark as they come. Hint of mahogany coming through the edges against the light. Gave a nice coffee finger head. No lacing and the head reduced quickly to a thick creamy ring that stayed around for the duration like a faithful old black Labrador.

S: Bitter, burned roasted malt. Little bit of burned sugar. A little chocolate. Nice. As the drink settled in the glass, I began to smell more whiskey type alcohol.

T: First taste was bitter coffee with a burnt roasted malt, it rushed quickly past a teaser of alcohol and went straight into a more bready malt finish with a slightly hoppy/bitter coffee-like aftertaste. As it warmed in the glass, the alcohol definitely started to become more dominant. As it warmed more, the alcohol stepped back a touch to allow for a licorice profile to creep in. Heavy alcohol flavor and licorice - two things I am not a huge fan of.

M: Smooth and a nice medium to full body but the alcohol and maybe the hops with an assist from the low carbonation give it a sharp burn that I could do without.

D: I am a huge fan of Great Lakes. I did not enjoy this as much as I did last year and I'm not sure if the beer changed or my taste changed. There is so much I love about this brew but the bitter combination of burnt malt and alcohol combined with a cloying type licorice makes it harder to drink than it needs to be. I'd be happier if it were a smoother drink but that's the beauty of beer - that's just my taste! Try it and enjoy it. I will certainly enjoy the 2 I have left and look forward to it next year.

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

Had this on tap at the brewery. It is very much black with a small fluffy eggshell-white head. It smells of roasted malts, coffee, and hint of chocolate. The taste is of everything I listed in the smell. Taste and smell are identical. Very tasty. You can also taste the alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel is of light/medium body. It's smoother than I expected. I could drink two of these in a row before probably getting a little tired of the taste, and also having to move on soon from the 9% ABV. This is another one of Great Lakes fantastic brews.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

been waiting for the arrival of this one for a while and pretty much lived up to all my expectations. poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. pours nearly opaque black with some small mocha colored head that faded quickly to a ring around the glass. a little bit of lacing. when held up to the light it reveals a slight rubiness.

i smell is lots of chocolate, lots of roasty malts, burnt if you will, some coffee as well as an aparent alcohol solvent like smell. the chocolate really makes this for me though.

amazing chocolate roasted flavors going on. some smokiness. also has some sweetness that reminds me of a oatmeal stout or a milk stout. alcohol noticable at first, but i find that diminishs rather quickly as i downed the 9% pint rather quickly. a little bit of hop bitterness and alcohol burn in the finish.

mouthfeel and body seemed a little light for a russian imperial stout. low carbonation. however, maybe its why this beer is so drinkable, i recommend this to any stout lover, or just plain beer lover alike.

also pairs very nicely with some dark chocolate. seems to add an extra bitterness to the finish as well as takes away some of the alcohol heat.

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

Pours out a dark brown color with a small tan head and very light lacing. There's a very nice chocolate aroma, almost like tootsie rolls, the slightest hint of coffee, and a nice roasted malt character. Taste is all chocolate. There must been a copious amount of chocolate malt that went into this brew. There's also a nice bit caramel flavor a warming booziness. This is a very tasty brew and probably has more chocolate flavor out of any non-chocolate stout beer I've had. Body is slightly lacking for the style, in my opinion, but it's still medium-full. Nice brew and would love to try the barrel aged version.

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

Appearance is black with a huge brown head. Lacing sticks to the edges until the last drop is gone.

The smell and taste are of strong coffee and hints of chocolate. The aftertaste leaves a nice flavor of hops as well.

Mouthfeel is great for this type of beer. Not too thick, but not too thin. It also goes down relatively well for a beer with such a high abv. It isn't something you could drink all day, but could down the 4 pack it comes in if you wanted to.

Overall, it's an amazing beer, but thats nothing new coming from Great Lakes so I didn't really expect much less. My only complaint is that it's a seasonal beer; I really wish this was year round. I think BA should start a petition!

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

A: Midnight dark black in color, fast dissipating head and no lacing found on the pint glass.

S: Robust coffee, dark chocolate, charcoal, molasses.

T: Rich dark chocolate, some hop presence, little coffee action noticed too.

M: Little thick in nature, sticky in a way. Lingering on the palate.

D: A sipper even if you didn't try. ABV is noticeable but not overwhelming in any way. Overall, not too shabby. I would recommended other RIS over this one, but by all means this is not a lil' runt.

Photo of HitokiriNate85
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12 oz. snifter.

A - I poured it pretty vigorously with a head that yielded a thin, off-white head that faded within a few seconds. Pitch black, as expected.

S - Not as big as I expected. There's some roasted malt and dark fruits. Decent, but it's really subdued.

T - Wow. Much bigger than the nose. Tons of roasted malt flavor. There's some hop bitterness, but not quite the kick I was expecting after reading the label. Finishing with dark fruitiness and some alcohol. The roasted malt is really the dominant flavor here. It has a woody twang to it, too.

MF - Pretty smooth, but at the same time, it's fairly thin for the style. I definitely prefer a thicker body. Carbonation, again, is what I'd consider average for the style.

D - The thinner body lends itself more to drinkability, and the price was decent as well. With just about any RIS I'd only have one in a night, which is fine, and not a pro or con to me.

Photo of homebrew311
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had a pint at Durty Nellies...

A: Pitch black with a frothy cream colored head. Laces around the glass as I sip. Leaves some nice legs.

S: I immediately detect roasted malts, a hint of smokiness, and a subtle vanilla sweetness.

T: The taste pretty much matches the smell. First you get that nice roasty robust maltiness that you would expect from an imperial stout. This is followed by the sweetness that I detected in the aroma. For the most part, it has a nice balance, but after sipping through half of it, the sweetness gets a little heavy.

M: This beer excels in the mouthfeel category. It is velvety, creamy, and smooth.

D: This beer is delicious, an excellent imperial stout. IT is nicely balanced, has a smooth body, the only gripe I have is the lingering sweetness.

Photo of DoctorDog
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a nonic. "For Freshest Taste, Please enjoy by 07/28/09" is stamped onto the label.

A- Deep dark brown, completely opaque in appearance. Way too hard of a pour produces 2 fingers of creamy light brown head, which fades gradually, leaving a thin-but-solid cap. Lacing is thick, sticky, and prevalent.

S- Sweet, earthy roastiness.

T- Moderately sweet, chocolate roastiness. Alcohol is lightly warming on the finish. For a brew this sweet, surprisingly tasty blend. I can't quite pin down exactly why, but this is really doing it for me.

M- Moderate carbonation, full, creamy, and smooth. Undoubtedly, superb.

D- Outstanding. Absolutely incredible for a 9% ABV RIS. I could see pairing with deserts, sipping slow, or even getting adventurous and having a session of these.

Future outlook: Great Lakes...made in state, available damn near everywhere here....and seemingly always putting out high-caliber brews, regardless of style. I will happily purchase this again.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,787 ratings.