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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.

2,553 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,553
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 408
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: 2,553 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
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)

TexIndy, Aug 18, 2007
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.

weeare138, Aug 16, 2007
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.

GreenWBush, Aug 07, 2007
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.

lackenhauser, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of botham
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.

botham, Jul 31, 2007
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.

witster18, Jul 17, 2007
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.

Slar211, Jul 11, 2007
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.

Halcyondays, Jul 11, 2007
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.

MDekker, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of BrewSomerville
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.

BrewSomerville, Jul 02, 2007
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.

BeerTruth, Jun 24, 2007
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.

scott, Jun 21, 2007
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

Reed415, Jun 14, 2007
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.

mdm46410, Jun 12, 2007
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,

jaxon53, Jun 09, 2007
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.

KingG, May 31, 2007
Photo of
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Clear (I think) dark, dark brown liquid. Mahogany at edges. Small, creamy, brown head. No lacing, nice legs.

Medicinal and alcoholic. Touch of chocolate. Sweet, dark fruits. Coffee. Blackstrap molasses. A lot going on, but a bit milder aroma than I was expecting.

Taste hits me with coffee and roast notes at first. Alcohol. Sweet taste of chocolate, bittersweet, of course. Raisins. Molasses. Finish is herbal and grassy. Overall, nice balance of sweet and bitter components.

Medium - heavy body. Carbonation is bigger than appearance suggests. Medium at least, and could be turned down just a bit. Fairly dry. Alcohol warming noticeable.

Very nice stout. Quite drinkable despite ABV and body. Marred, IMO, by just a touch too much carbonation. I would certainly drink again, glad I got a 4 pack.

, May 29, 2007
Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking beer. Pours a deep flat black color, with a nice big white head.

Aromas are a bit smokey, with notes of burnt coffee, and bitter chocolate.

Flavors are dry, and surprisingly bitter. There is a bitter coffee like quality, some cocoa, and a creamy dark sweet sugary taste on the finish. Pretty nice RIS. Not very complex, this is pretty straight forward.

Mouthfeel seems a touch light for a RIS, but it's still above average.

All in all? A nice representation of the style. Needs a bit more body, but it's still an enjoyable and very drinkable RIS.

I received a few bottles of this in BIFs, thanks everyone!

flexabull, May 13, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Jdoolin : Poured a deep black color stout with a nice foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of chocolate and coffee malt is well balance with a medium hoppy finish. Taste is really well balance between chocolate malt, some dry roasted malt and a medium bitter finish. Body was quite full with some adequate carbonation. Overall, I thought this was well done and alcohol was not perceptible. I might have lack some complexity but it was still quite enjoyable.

Phyl21ca, May 09, 2007
Photo of steamingheap
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out dark black with a creamy tan head that quickly falls. Deep chocolate roasted smells highlight the aroma. There is an element of dark fruit. Chocolate flavors start the flavor profile and become replaced with deep malty sweetness. The dark fruits are present mid-taste as well. There is just enough bitterness and alcohol bite to balance out the deep malt profile. The bitterness in the aftertaste seems more like roasted/toasted bitterness that lingers long after the beer is gone. At 9% alcohol, this beer hides it dangerously well. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and really rounds the beer out nicely.

This is a fantastic brew that really brings out the deep roasted and chocolate flavors that stouts should have. The roasted malt bitterness makes up for the fact that it isn't as hoppy as I would have personally liked. Perfect with a small piece of dark chocolate.

steamingheap, May 07, 2007
Photo of Luchman
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz 2006 bottle poured into a small snifter

A: Pours out looking like cola but looks black, smooth, and velvety in the glass. Atop sits a short lived ¼ inch head, tan/dark cocoa in color. Fades leaving a creamy lacing on the sides. 4.5

S: Mmmmm.. Smells delicious. Chocolate, smooth mocha coffee, a nice caramel/toffee note, and a slight hint of some dark fruits and breads. A hint of alcohol is there as well, which I think, enhances the smell of this beer. A slight bit of hops are there, but this is definitely malt dominate. Again, smells delicious.

T: Chocolate and coffee lead it here with a nice touch of roasted malts, and the dark bread/fruits. A nice and slight smoky, earthy tone is there as well. Alcohol, again, leaves its trace, but it is pleasantly welcomed. A few more sips in and I get that nice caramel touch to it. No hops to speak of really, but that may be from the bottle being a year old. However, a bitterness on the tongue is present at the end.

M: Mouth feel is full with a low/medium carbonation that fits it well. Great.

D: Definitely an awesome stout. Great Lakes did nothing out of the ordinary but did everything right with this one. A few more sips into it and the alcohol presence was starting to bring this beer down, which surprises me since this is only a 9% abv beer. Even though one is enough for a sitting, I will be revisiting this one.

Luchman, May 07, 2007
Photo of Vancer
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just a joy sippin’ on this brew. Smooth and silky, the 9% was barely discernable, although the cheeks got rosy red.

Almost a jet black pour with ruby red edges, smallish tan head, probably due to the high %

Chocolate malt and toasted smores in the aroma. Each quaff glides down with notes of a chocolate shake laced with licorice – maybe a spoonful of dark cherry and plum for each bottle.

Geez, I could drink these all evening, SLOWLY.

Many thanks to Mike (mcallister) for the brew, sent in the SimplyBeer BIF.

Vancer, May 04, 2007
Photo of BladeRunner
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great Stout let me tell you. I did not give it a perfect score, because I haven't tried enough stouts, so there could possibly be a better tasting stout. If I do not happen to find a better stout out there, then I will revise my review and give it a perfect score.

Using a snifter, it pours a nice deep black, with a tan head that doesn't stay too long. The lacing is semi-thin, and isn't too sticky. I smell mocha espresso, and a some alcohol prescense.

Taste is very smooth for having such a high alcohol percentage.
Espresso hints of flavor hit your mouth right away, and the prescense of alchol is rather suttle for what you might first expect from this beer. It tastes better slightly warmed up, so I recommend you take your time with this beer.

Mouthfeel was outstanding, almost like fireworks going on in my mouth. It has a very tingly mouthfeel, that almost tickles the tongue.

I gave it's drinkability high just for taste alone, and all you need is a 4-pack, because it has such a high alcohol percentage. If your drinking just for taste, than this is highly drinkable. Just take your time with this beer.

BladeRunner, May 04, 2007
Photo of westweasel
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The appearance of this beer was a deep, dark brown & black mahogany color with about 1/4 inch of tan head. The aroma was very roasty with some dark chocolate, coffee, and a little bit of citrusy lemon.

The taste had a strong roasty bite that would morph into hop bitterness in the finish - a clean transition from one to the other. There was no strong alcohol taste.

The mouthfeel was full with some light carbonation.

The drinkability was excellent. You don't taste the strong alcohol at all. I would prefer it to be a tad bit sweeter, but that's just me.

westweasel, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of JustinOSU99
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich black color with an excellent one-inch thick tan head.
S: Coffee, Chocolate, Malts, Espresso, Vanilla Bean
T: Strong high alcohol taste that mimics the great smell of the beer. Heavy taste of dark chocolate, roasted nuts, coffee, licorice, very complex.
M: Feels incredibly light for a stout which I love. Definitely goes down smooth with a nice bitter aftertaste.
D: Excellent stout. One I would love to have more of.

JustinOSU99, Apr 26, 2007
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,553 ratings.