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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,031 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 3,031
Reviews: 1,147
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 434
Gots: 531 | 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:
Beer added by: GreatPondBrewer on 11-30-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,031 | Reviews: 1,147
Photo of Dangus
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. Drank at roughly 50-55 degrees.

Appearance- Black! Very dark with a tan head. Head fades to a thin cap but leaves nice lacing.

Smell- Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, hop notes as well.

Taste- Big roasted malt flavor with dark chocolate and some black coffee bitterness. Hop flavor comes along in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Medium to full bodied with just a hint of carbonation. Very nice.

Drinkability- This is a beer that I would not session. It has 9.0% alcohol and just one or two is enough to make you feel nice. Any more and you are disrespecting the beer. Just kick back and savor this beer. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Photo of mgbickel
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duck Rabbit snifter. A thick, 1 ½ finger of dark caramel colored foam formed instantly and receded slowly, leaving lots of lace on my glass. The body is as dark as possible...blackish black...living up to the name.

Very nice nose...lots of roasted malts, rich coffee beans, dark chocolate and a little smokiness.

Man...I am glad the flavors follow the nose...delicious! The roasted malts hit the palate first before the bitter/sweet cocoa takes over. The finish sees black coffee bitterness meeting a resurgence of roasted malts.

The mouth feel is medium, creamy and a tad oily with light to moderate carbonation.

This is a very easy to drink stout. Highly recommended for anyone who has access to Great Lakes' stuff. One to keep stocked up.

Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth snifter/tulip glass. Pours a very dark, but not completely oil-like colored stout. Consistency appears a little thin. HUGE frothy off-white head with awesome retention. Lacing is wonderful too...very sticky, and long lasting. Appearance is the best part of this beer!

Aroma is decent. Coffee beans, roasted malts, maybe vanilla. Not boozy at all.

Flavor is good...but just slightly better than your average coffee stout. Lot's of coffee in the flavor, not a lot of sweetness to compliment the sharp coffee bitterness. Again, roasted malts are dominent. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is just about middle of the road. Overall, a good stout...obviously I wish this was the bourbon barrel aged though!

Photo of lstokes
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at Memphis Taproom in Philadelphia, and it was quite the experience--it's pitch-black with a cocoa head and nice lacing, and smells like smokey chocolate coffee.

The taste improves on the smell, with the chocolate, some vanilla, and licorice coming to the fore and the coffee receding a bit. The mouthfeel is mostly smooth and rich but dries out a surprising amount at the end, as well as getting smokier.

Still, this was an awesome dessert stout, and I would definitely drink again and again and again!

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

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

This beer appears a deep, ominous black with a big beige head and adequate lacing. Aromas consist of roasted malt, bitter chocolates, and slight alcohol. This beer is very solid. I've wanted to try it for a while now, and I am certainly not disappointed. The finish is drier than I expected. A good brew, and one I plan to drink more often, as it is available in the local area now.

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

On tap at the brewpub. Pours a deep opaque black with a thin tan head. Smells very roasty, with some coffee and to a lesser extent, some chocolate. A nice bitterness upfront, with the roasted malt flavour. Nice amount of coffee in there, without being a coffee stout. Incredibly smooth. A great sipping beer on this lovely Cleveland day.

Photo of liquidcraft
3.72/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

About a 1/2 inch tan head that got outta the way quick. Poured smooth, doesn't appear to be particularly thick and there is a moderate amount of carbonation. The aroma doesn't get up in my nose the way some beers can, its relatively mild but detectable. Very roasty; coffee, chocolate and a little hoppy brightness.

I appreciate the way the taste follows the nose, it is an honest beer. The roasted malts and coffee are most noticeable, little bit chocolate in there and some sweetness starts to come through as it warms. Temperature is playing a large role in this one, every sip is a little bit more enjoyable and a little less bitter. Its got a nice, mild smoothness balanced with some carbonation. Didn't really catch much alcohol. Coffee drinkers check this one out, good brew and not too hard to find.

Photo of BB1313
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best before 8/30/10. This has always been a unique beer to me. Poured into standard pint glass. Beautiful brown head, nothing white about it, fades and leaves nice lacing. This beer has a deep, dark black color. The smell is great, just somewhat faint. Scents of roasted chocolate and coffee. Tastes pretty burnt, same great flavors of coffee and chocolate w/ a little vanilla. This beer is very smooth and on the thinner side, not thick and chewy at all. Carbonation is there. With it not being on the heavy side, the drinkabilty is good. The flavors really shine on this one.

GLBC comes through w/ an amazing RIS to look forward to each spring.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a nice dark black with a light tint of dark brown, small head forms on an aggressive pour, nice and brown, a thin rim forms and some nice bubbles in the center from the etching. Nose is very nice, it's got tons of roasted coffee and a light floral sweetness, I'm excited!

Wow, taste right off is very smokey, lots of sharp roasty character. Almost a bit of maple here and some nice woodiness as well. Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy, it's a bit syrupy but it's not over the top, the light carbonation cuts it well. A bit of dark chocolate on the finish as well.

Photo of GregSVT
4.29/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: As I poured this it almost looked like a black lager and not a stout. In the glass it's black with brown highlights on the edges and a small dark tan head that fades to a ring leaving a bit of lacing.

S: The nose is really good. It has tons of dark fruits and roasted malt aromas...maybe a bit of chocolate milk.

T: The taste is completely different from the nose. It starts with a roasted coffee taste that quickly changes to a sweet dark fruit flavor and finishes with roasty malt. As it warms more sweet flavors arise like molasses and brewers licorice.

M: The feel is creamy and velvety but just a tad thin...the carbonation helps in the body department pulling it up the full side of medium.

D: I could drink this and Brooklyn BCS as my regular stouts when they're released every year. Great beer from a great brewery.

The color of the beer pouring into the glass scared me into thinking this would be super thin and not enjoyable but it surprised me. This really reminded me of Bells Expo but the roasty flavors balanced out the sweetness...Expo is way too sweet for me. Good stuff and recommended if you have ever wanted to try it.

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.

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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 3,031 ratings.