Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

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2,823 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 2,823
Reviews: 1,102
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 423
Gots: 426 | FT: 34
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: 2,823 | Reviews: 1,102 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

12 oz bottle courtesy of Mike, thanks brother!

This beer pours a deep black with a long lasting 1 inch thick brown head. The aroma consists of roasted malts, chocolate and a very vibrant fruit. The taste follows the aroma with a very prominent malt presence and a bitter follow through. This was a great example of a RIS and I would love to try the barrel aged version of this.

Photo of darknova306
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Its aroma is one with a smooth roasted base. There are definitely some sweet caramel notes, with some lighter roasted notes, possibly brown malt or some dark toasted malt.

There is a smooth roasted bitterness with a touch of crystal malt sweetness. A serious chocolate character provides a nice layer on the roasted base malt flavor A moderate bitterness from the roasted malts and the hops hits the back of the tongue and mixes well with the smooth roasted chocolate flavor over the middle of the tongue. All these flavor mix to give a great finish.

As expected from a 9% ABV stout the body is heavy, but with a silky character that makes it go down easier than would be expected.

Overall I would call this a delicious imperial stout. The hops can become a bit harsh as you drink, but that's the only real complaint. The rich, smooth, roasted chocolate flavor works well with the silky body. This is definitely highly recommended, as the beers tend to be from Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Photo of Brew33
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's official, Great Lakes is the best brewery in the country. They can do no wrong.

This beer is awesome. Perfect stout. A little bit smoky for the style but I rather like it. Faint alcohol warmth. Buttery smooth finish. Sweet, complex, earthy. Wow. Fantastic beer. Don't hesitate, this stuff is the nectar of the gods.

Photo of hosehead83
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass

Deep, dark black with one inch tan head

Aroma-Roasted coffee, subtle chocolate and smoke

Taste-Delicious mix of dark roasted coffee,dark chocolate,raspberry jam and charcoal. Creamy with nice lacing all the way down the glass.
Dangerously drinkable at 9.0Abv. An excellent Russian Imperial.

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

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Label depicts a group of people sitting on a porch in the dark with candles, as someone arrives with a case of Great Lakes beer. Best by 07/28/09.

Appearance: Pours with just over 1 finger of medium tan head; very dense. This settles to a 1/4 finger layer. Nice lacing as I drink. The beer itself is the kind of dark brown that sucks light bulbs out of their sockets. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Roasted barley bitterness and dark fruits upfront with sweet alcohol in the finish. Hints of chocolate.

Taste: Sweet dark fruit upfront, with bitter dark chocolate in the finish. Slight milkiness, and incredibly smooth. Alcohol is present, but fairly well hidden, mainly evident in the warming sensation as the glass empties.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation level is average, high enough to prevent the drink from being cloying. Each tip of the glass brings about a cascade of bubbles as the CO2 is forced out of solution. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: Another incredible beer from Great Lakes, as expected. I am going to put s few of these in the cellar and will be interested to see how they develop. I imagine the alcohol edge, thought slight, will fade.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been sitting on this one for too long.

Pours a nice black with thin mocha head.

Scent is outstanding, coffee, roasted goodness, chocolate, and cream are present. Alcohol is not.

Taste resembles smell thankfully. Chocolate hits first, then a slightly bitter coffee bean finish. Really great.

Mouth is thick bodied and medium carbonation. Works well here.

Another winner from Great Lakes. I may have finally found my easy go-to stout.

Update: I have indeed found my easy go-to stout. I purchased a case of this, and couldn't be happier. Easily my favorite stout that isn't a quest to get, and one of a very elite club of beers that I have purchased a case of. Amazing beer.

Photo of wiseguy142
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours.. um.. black. Yep. No head, little visible carbonation. After the pour a few murky bubbles form about a millimeter of a head after a solid delay. Weird. Looks like a Guiness that's been sitting there overnight.

Aroma is of spicy coffee and roasted malt. Very clean aroma, not overly pungent.

Taste is also very clean. Very little coming from the alcohol. A very calming imperial stout if you will. Almost like a milk imperial stout. If I had to drink a strong stout during the summer, this would be it. What it lacks in pure outrageous flavor, which is common among most stouts of this type, it makes up for in drinkability and overall niceness. This is turning out to be a weird review since it's late and I'm getting tired. Nonetheless, this is the first and last beer I will ever deem 'nice.' Try it for yourself and see.

Photo of Reaper16
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served from a 12 oz. bottle into a 2009 Boulevard Smokestack Series goblet

Pours deep, deep brown. If you hold the glass up to light, you can actually see your fingers through the ruby/brown bottom of the drink. The two-finger tan head actually became almost white in color as it dissipated. Lacing all over the place like a kudzu growth.

Boatloads of chocolate and cocoa aromas hit the nose first and foremost. Some wood and raisin/berry on the back end of the nose. It is certainly appetizing.

Mmmmm. Blackout Stout is one chocolaty beer; its just loaded with the rounded bitterness of dark chocolate and the creaminess of milk chocolate. The dried dark fruits show up stronger than they did in the nose. There is a quick jab of piny hops in the middle of the drink experience, which gives way to a chocolate and coffee and wood finish. This is good drinks.

Blackout Stout is pretty thin for an RIS, but it still manages to feel slightly creamy on the tongue (or is it a taste illusion from all of the chocolate flavors?). The alcohol is hardly noticeable on the tongue. Yeah, its 9% ABV, but I want to have a couple at a time. The flavor profile commands you to keep drinking these.

I picked up a 4-pack of these when I was in Chicago on a whim at a small liqour store by the downtown Travelodge. That store held a Great Lakes tasting while I was in town. Judging by the quality of Blackout Stout, I'm sad that I didn't pick up the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter while I was at it. I can't get this beer in the Kansas City area, which saddens me. This is a beer comparable in flavor to that old favorite, Old Rasputin -- only Blackout Stout is better. This is a triumph; I look forward to the day that I can drink this again. Until that day, I'm pretty much "blacked-out."

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

Received in trade from Prototypic in the Secret Santa bif Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a fluffy tan head that dissipates quickly. Smells of cocoa and milk chocolate, a bit of roast, coffee and some alcohol as it warms. Tastes of cocoa and chocoalate followed by some roast and hop bitterness followed by some coffee leaving a roast bitterness in the finish. Creamy velvety smooth mouthfeel, thick body, low but ample carbonation. This is a great stout! one of the best I've had in a while. Huge creamy mouthfeel, just awesome.

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

Thanks to trader Bowersdm and Tilley4!

A coworker originally from OH told me she loved this brewery. So, of course, I had to try it.

Beer poured with a nice two finger head on it.

A rich, smooth tasting imp stout. Alcohol is somewhat hidden. Very drinkable in that dangerous but good kind of way.


Photo of dukedevil0
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 12 oz bottle from Archer Liquors in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours black with a finger of khaki head the reduces to nothing more than a rim. no lacing whatsoever

S: smells like roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate

T: tastes just like the scent, a little alcohol comes through

M: thinner than some RIS brews, but still full bodied, lots of carbonation

D: seems very drinkable for the style

Photo of DrewOSU
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from "From the Vine" in Columbus, OH:

A: Label says it all, pours licorice black, with a a thick, brown 1.5 inch tan head on pour. The thick head rushes down in layers, like muddy lake water. Good spotted lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate with a citrus backer

M/T: Light to medium body on the tongue, not a huge feeling beer. I get a coffee and roasted malt surge on the tongue on first impression, followed by a bitter and light syrupy 2nd punch. It finishes slightly bitter from the understated hop presence. Not totally clean aftertaste. The sweetness of the malts seems to stay with you.

D: The lighter body of this beer makes Blackout Stout a pretty drinkable beer, however the strong malt and semi bitter aftertaste can catch up with you. A very solid beer none the less.

Photo of hoplover82
5/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer about a month ago with my friend Jason, (thanks by the way). And He said it was going to be EPIC, and man was he right. I gave this beer a perfect score. I don't think I gave any other beer a perfect score, but this one I believe deserves it. It truely was epic in every sence. Outstanding indeed. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. Probably the best beer I've tried to date. I highly recommend this one.

Photo of spointon
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This stout poured a very dark black/brown without much light penetration and a 1" dense tan head. The head dropped slowly to a cap that stayed all the way down. Minor lace on the glass.

S= The aroma had a lot of roasted grain character with some mild sweetness and a rich roasted coffee beans present as well too. Not much alcohol present.

T= A burst of dark malt sweetness up front lead quickly into the bitterness of the roasted grains. Coffee and chocolate made an appearance, as did a short pop of rich dark berry sweetness. Alcohol made its appearance as the finish dried out a bit but retained the full roast character.

MF= Fuller side of medium bodied but still lighter than I expected for an imperial stout. Moderately crisp mouthfeel.

D= This was a great stout but not at all what I expected. Its sort of like an Imperial dry stout with a lot of roasted grain character as compared to most other RIS' I have had. All in all an interesting beer that was very drinkable despite the big ABV.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,823 ratings.