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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

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2,996 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,996
Reviews: 1,136
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 434
Gots: 515 | 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: 2,996 | Reviews: 1,136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip. Beer is black but its red at the corners. Big brown head falls away and leaves no lacing on the glass. Head breaks quickly and gravitates toward the glass.

Aroma is strong and almost porter like with a lot of smokiness and roast in there. Some hops and some sweetness. Slight alcohol in the nose.

Beer is thin to medium in body, sweet with a slight aftertaste. Lots of roast in the back of the mouth and it finishes a little dry. There is some alcohol in the palate and some carbonation that helps to carry the flavors through the palate. Its pretty good.

Photo of korguy123
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my favorite goblet

A- Thick creamy black goodness. Thin light tan head.

S- Burnt coffee, brown sugar, bitter sweet chocolate.

T- Strong black coffee, not nearly as sweet as it smells. Alcohol burn creeps up as it warms.

M- Quite thin, alcohol burn on the back of the tongue, bitter aftertaste that lingers for a minute or two.

D- Suprisingly quite drinkable for 9%. Probably won't have more than two in one sitting though.

This beer is well worth the little extra you pay at the store. Can't wait to get a little age on this one.

Photo of wedgie9
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted on draft at Goose Island Clybourn. Pours almost black with a red tint and a thin, off-white head. The aromas are coffee, milk and dark chocolate, and very darkly toasted malt. On the palate, the coffee and chocolate come through nicely, but there is definitely big alcohol. The beer is big bodied with a very long semi-sweet finish. Overall, this is exactly what I look for in a big stout.

Photo of MbpBugeye
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Much more of a head and lacing than most other RISs. The head even sticks around for a little bit. The beer is black but not as totally opaque as it could be. The thick head is the best part of this look.

S- Lots of dark fruits. Chocolate covered raisins, molasses, roasted malts, nuts, coffee. None of the scents override the others. They play nicely against each other.

T- Light coffee, cream, raisins, milk chocolate and slight amount of booze. This is totally a smaller RIS than most out on the market but I feel like its a way more accurate example of the traditional stout of Cathrine the Great's era.

M- Mild carbonation and slightly less than huge body. Its actually very creamy and smooth. Slight stickiness.

D- Much more drinkable than a lot of the other American takes on this style. Im sad to see this one go but really excited for Lake Erie Monster.

Photo of AdamMY
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is Average for a stout, except this poured very little head, all of which quickly faded.

The aroma is nice with hits of hops, coffee and malt. Its actually quite chocolaty the more I breath in.

Wow the taste is great, and the carbonation really makes the flavors pop. Lots of malt with a hint of a roasted element to it. I am also picking up a hint of a grapefruit like taste which adds a very nice element to it.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy .

Dangerously drinkable for a 9% abv beer.

Photo of Aenema
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drink by 8/2/10
Appearance - Dark brown, deep ruby highlights around the edges . Thin tan head quickly fades.
Smell - Hops, roasted malts, dark fruit, smokiness.
Taste - Espresso, dark chocolate finish. Unfortunately I didn't taste much of the dark fruit or smokiness I found on the nose, but the roasted espresso flavor was great.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, yet still rich. Moderate carbonation.
Drinkability - Fairly drinkable. This an intense, roasty stout. However, the alcohol is not distracting nor is the beer too sweet or rich.
Overall - Very enjoyable stout with a great nose and well crafted flavors. Not a very complex beer in terms of taste, but it does do a very good job at what it does.

Photo of alkemy
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nearly black, dark brown with chestnut and ruby highlighting. The head is two inches of rich, creamy tan head, but mostly dissipates in five minutes or so. Bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee are the first things the nose picks up. In the background are hints of dark fruits and alcohol. Really earthy taste with a some smokiness. For me, the coffee/espresso taste is stronger than the smell. The bitter chocolate is secondary, but really comes on in the finish. It's almost a reversal from the smell. You can feel the warming alcohol more than taste it. It's got a very rich and creamy feel.

Photo of bound4er
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 12 oz. bottle with best by date of 8/22/10.

A. Black appearance with a tan, frothy head. Lacing is prevalent in a big way.

S. Dark chocolate, roasted malt, vanilla cream and coffee. Really nice nose to this stuff.

T. Nice carryover from the nose to the palate with many of the same flavors. Roasty, toasty malt with coffee and bitter chocolate. Ends with some lingering, hop bitterness.

M. Creamy, rich feel that one would expect from a good RIS. Low carbonation.

D. Being a RIS this isn't going to be a beer that one sessions. That said, I could easily have a couple without a problem. It slides pretty easily - always quickly inviting me back for another sip. I put this in the same category as Founders Imperial and North Coast Old Rasputin in terms of flavor, enjoyability and price. A solid offering from Great Lakes.

Photo of Morey
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours an opaque black color, however, you can see some brown around the edges when held up to the light. Nice biege colored head at first, but it's now settled to a very thin lace with minimal head retention.

Aroma yields a hint of smokiness up front. Some dark fruits and a good amount of dark chocolate as well.

Taste is bold and rich. I'm getting even more chocolate in the taste than I did in the smell. Somewhat sweet, yet there's enough bitterness there to balance things out. Smooth and velvety finish.

Mouthfeel is spot on. Feels much thicker than it appears. The carbonation is on the low side.

Really nice IS overall.

Morey's Bottom Line: A good Imperial Stout for sure. I expect nothing less from Great Lakes. They make great beer at a great price.

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

A- Looks a nice dark brown appearance with a thin head a decent amount of lacing.

S- Smells of chocolate, toffee, and coffee smells upfront, some alcohol apparent in the background

T- Roasted malts, bittersweet chocolate, a little nutty, can taste a small amount of alcohol in the aftertaste.

M- Thin but nice and smooth.

D- Very drinkable considering the alcohol content, goes down easy.

Photo of Hibernator
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great Lakes Blackout Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Best by August 2010
Served in a 20 oz Molson tulip glass

Pours a dark black, mainly opaque in appearance with some ruby highlights towards the bottom of the glassware. Runny trails of sticky lacings decorate the sides.

Whiffs of roasted coffee, chocolate and sugary sweetness.

Flavors of dark roasted malts with a smoky quality. Dairy sweetness and sweet sugars in there too. Hints of espresso, chocolate syrup and dark chocolates. I also detect some dark fruit flavors too. Assertive spicy hop snap on the finish.

The 9% ABV is very well hidden and the Blackout Stout is such a smooth and complex brew. Recommended.

Photo of wspscott
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip
(best by 7/28/09, I assume that Great Lakes has a standard 3 or 6 month best by date because there is no way a big RIS can't go a couple of years, I suspect that I got this spring/summer 2009)

Somewhat surprised that I have never reviewed this.

A: Pours with a one finger cappuccino colored head that drops almost immediately, leaves a thin ring around the edge of the glass. Color is as expected for the style, it doesn't look as "thick" as some other RISs.
S: The nose is some what muted, dried cherries and chocolate are most prominent with some roasty bitterness bringing up the rear. Strangely, I get hints of chocolate milkshakes as it warms.
T: The roasted malts are out in front, seems to be a little bit of black patent malt given the hints of ash. There are hints of chocolate in the background, along with a little bit of sweetness. No hint of alcohol.
M: Big, but not huge, not overwhelming like some in the style, no where near the viscosity that you frequently see. Low level of carbonation along with some residual sugar (I almost think there is a little lactose here) makes for a creamy mouthfeel without being cloying.
D: I really like this beer, it is an excellent example of the style. It seems to fit with the Great Lakes mentality of restrained and well-balanced which I have come to appreciate. This goes down very easy without any sign of 9% alcohol. Highly recommended.

Photo of nickadams2
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Pours dark brown with a thick light brown head that quickly dissipates. Thick with little lacing.

S_ Rich malt,coffee,and dark chocolate.

T_Heavy malt and dark chocolate up front. Bitter coffee nicely rounds out the sweetness of the malt.Slightly boozy.

M_Thick and viscous. Coats mouth nicely.

D_Real smooth for a big brew. Like to enjoy a couple in a sitting.

Photo of wordemupg
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass april24 2010

A very dark brown with some red when held to the light with a two finger thick mocha head that quickly fell to a thin film and left a few partial rings of lace

S some dark chocolate with some dark roasted coffee and a touch of booze

T a little more then the nose with a little molasses, licorice, the dark chocolate becomes a little lighter and the booze is still there but not the 9% I see on the bottle, about what I want in a RIS pretty tasty beer

M again what I like in a RIS its thick with a initial syrupy feel and it creams up a bit after the bubbles form, no complaints here

D a solid brew all around and for the strength it sunk like a ship, it's a little hot but nothing that hurts its cause

I see on the label it's recommended that I had consumed this beer 2 months ago so I'm assuming it's a few years old today, I still think it could spend some more time under the stairs but a great beer right now regardless. I would drink this often if it was available in my part of the world but for now I'll just have to thank ritzkiss for sending it my way.

Photo of oregonskibum
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark black with 1/2 inch tan, almost brown head that quickly disippates to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Lots of coffee aromas, roasted malts, a little caramel. Simple, but clean and nice smell. Some faint chocolate notes show up as the beer warms.

T: Dark coffee flavors hit early in the taste, continuing from the smell. Some caramel or toffee notes come in fairly quickly, building to a somewhat sweet taste. Notes of dark chocolate and a slight bitterness are also there. Finish is smooth.

M: Medium to full bodied and felt appropriate for the beer. Medium to low carbonation - just enough to keep the beer lively and not overly sticky on the tongue.

D: This isn't the greatest big stout out there, but it's a solid example of a non barrel-aged simple stout. Enjoyable and something I would hunt out again.

Photo of Kaiser81
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jojomdma for sending this over

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in my snifter glass. 8/22/10 date on it.

A - Pours a pitch black with about a finger width of mocha colored head. It dies down fairly quickly to leave some lacing on the glass.

S - Smells very roasty with hints of chocolate, dark fruits, and a touch of licorice. A touch of coffee bean and alcohol also comes through.

T - Nothing really jumps out and grabs the tongue. Some coffee soy sauce and licorice flavors are mixed in with a hint of espresso and dark/bitter chocolate. There is a roasty and sliight hint of booze aftertaste. Slight sourness in it too.

M - Creamy/heavy body with mild carbonation. It's nice.

D - It's ok. I'd prefer other stouts, but I would drink a bit of this.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.24/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to my buddy Jon for picking this one up for me. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Blue Point snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger semi-fine chocolate head that dissipates rather quickly. Beer is opaque black although not as thick as I'd like. Lacing is spotty with thick chunks emerging ever-so-slightly from the beer.

S: Chocolate, toasted malts, brownie, stale soy sauce, and licquorice. Incredibly subtle booziness drifts over my nose from this one.

T: Toasted maltiness that sours just a bit. Bitter brownie and licquorice along with trace bits of chocolate here and there a sprinkling of hoppiness in the background. This beer is greener than most, but shows it in such a way that its mostly hidden. My palate is a bit confused here. Finish is messy and leaves a toasted malt sourness that lingers on the palate for a long time.

M: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and quite lively on the tongue. Not so smooth or oily however, this is offset a little by the fact that the 9% is barely noticeable. Finish is
messy and leaves a stain on the palate.

D: I'm not really sure what the fuss is all about. I've heard a bit about this beer but overall, a bit disappointed. Just average in every way though the nose is unique in a heavy, subdued kind of way. Still, I'm not going out of my way for this one.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin tan head that soon dissipates. Extremely dark brown that is nearly black. You cannot see through this fella.

I detect molasses, espresso, toffee, and a bit of earthy wood or dirt in the scent.

The taste shows a lot of espresso, toffee, and a good amount of sweetness up front. There is an essencce of dark chocolate that finishes with a light bitterness.

The weakness of this beer seems to be the mouthfeel. Medium in body it is far less than it should be at 9% though it does present some stickiness.

This is a very drinkable beer and the more sips I take, the more I like it. Solid.

Photo of wedge421
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown/black with very little light brown head.

S - Deep dark chocolates, espresso beans and heavy malts. Very light aroma of the alcohol esters.

T - SLight hop bitterness, followed by roasted chocolate notes from the malts used. A slight alcohol burn is present in the finish. Finishes nice and dry.

D - At 9.0% this beer does not have a huge amount of drinkability. But it still is a treat every time you do get to have it.

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a purely black shade with chocolate colored medium fizzed head.
Smell is heavy in roasted coffee beans and malt-light earth comes through the thick malts.
Taste is like drinking through an iced coffee-roasted malts is strong.
Finish is very wet with the strong roasted after-life with a light bite.
Drinks very well-small bite here and sometimes the coffee bean can come through twinge too much.

Photo of animal69
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours an almost opaque brown-black color that light can actually penetrate w/ a thick lt. brown cap that settles into a pool on fine lace in my snifter

A- smell is mostly coffee and burnt toast, whole grain breads with some notes of burnt sugars and a bit of roasting nuts fill in the spaces, there are some hints of dark fruit, woody vanilin and a pleasing mineral as it warms but all are still quite subdued, no alcohol detected until the last sips

T- taste starts of with sharp roasted malts and a nice hop bitterness then turns to a french roast coffee/bittersweet dark chocolate, wood, toffee, caramel, bready cereal malt, a bit of roasted nuts, and believe it or not a smoked meat w/ soy-like flavor, very complex, finish is actually a bit dry with a hint of mineral, fantastic overall flavor, the only thing not present was the anise-like flavor most RIS's seem to have which IMO isn't a bad thing

M- a semi-dry, med-full bodied beer with just enough co2 to keep it from being sticky

D- jeez, at $9.19/4pk it's both affordable and great, i could easily deplete our area's entire supply, even in summer this would be a great late evening beer

Photo of claminat420
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured the typical dark shade with a nice tan/light brown head. A TRUE STOUT.

S- roasted flavor blended with some coffee and chocolate hints. malty.

T- just how it smells but better cuz it's getting you bombed!

M- medium bodied. really good carbonation on a hard pour.

D- after getting over the stomach flu and the first brew i've dranken i've been able to knock down the whole 4 pack no problem.

Overall- this is a must try for all stout fans!! for not being a stout fan i have to say i can tip my hat to this brew.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured black with some carbonation and a small amount of coffee-coloured head. Not as thick as many RIS tend to be.

S - The nose is bitter chocolate, licorice and coffee. There is also some dark fruit in the background.

T - Lots of roasted malts with coffee and some chocolate. There is a sweetness to this one - maybe a hint of molasses. There is a very slight alcohol taste with each sip that doesn't linger at all. A nice, complex stout.

M - Medium to full body. Some carbonation hinders a silky smooth finish that would really compliment this stout well.

D - An excellent RIS. Will definitely pick up at least a 4 pack of this every winter.

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

Typical stout pour - black like coal, with a creamy caramel colored head.

Smell is toasted malts, black licorice, coffee grinds, some mild traces of bitter chocolate, and no booziness whatsoever in the aroma. (which I thought I would get)

Taste is predominantly bitter chocolate with coffee. Underneath those two dominating flavors is hints of cherries, dark fruit, and actually has some tobacco/charcoal/smokiness mojo going on. The flavors balance well throughout with a dry bitterness ending the sip, while bitter chocolate and charcoal line the mouth afterwards.

Mouthfeel is medium but for an Imperial Stout, it's a little thin. The alcohol, though not detected in the nose, shows itself at the end with a moderate amount of warming in the throat.

Drinkability is very good. This is a stout that I've been wanting to try.

Photo of CharlatanSin
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Time to start hacking away at this backlog of review notes from my Wisconsin trip. That place, by the way, is beer heaven.

Blackout Stout. One of those things we've heard legends about here in NYC, but have never received. Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Blackout pours a deep, ominous black. The pour creates a big, pillowy tan head which recedes quickly and doesn't leave a ton of lacing.

S: Very sweet. Dark malts dominate, with a bit of dark fruit and chocolate. A tiny bit of booze as it warms. Faint but pleasant.

T/M: Quite good, but doesn't really stand out. The dark malts have more of a roasted taste than in the nose, which lends a nice bitterness. The chocolate is stronger, too. Bitter baker's chocolate. Maybe a tiny hint of booze. The mouthfeel is the best aspect here. Creamy, viscous and extremely coating, the way a good stout should be.

D/Overall: Very nice RIS, but not something I'd go out of my way for. Which is good, since going out of my way would require airfare.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,996 ratings.