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.

2,793 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,793
Reviews: 1,097
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 422
Gots: 420 | 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
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: 2,793 | Reviews: 1,097 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xpimptastikx
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Crazynelson for this one.

Pours the darkest chocolate color and is opaque in the glass. It could only muster a sheet of milk chocolate head that left moderate lacing. Smells strong of coffee with hint of chocolate and malts. Taste is stronger of chocolate with a nice bittersweet coffee finish. Drinkability is good with the 9% abv.

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

A-Black with dark brown highlights and a thin tan head that reduced to a thin ring. Spotty lace left behind.

S-Heavy roasted malts, chocolate, alcohol heat and a bit of dark fruit.

T-Dark roasted malty chocolate with a passing alcohol burn. Bourbonesque without the vanilla notes. Very full flavoured.

M-Medium heavy body with flavours that linger long. Extremely sliky smooth.

D-9%---What? This drink pretty good! Alcohol is certainly present but it doesnt get in the way of enjoying this one. Nicely done, a RIS to be proud of.

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

2007 bottle ordered last year from Archer Liquors. I won't waste time rehashing too many details of the profile of this frequently reviewed brew for the 500+ time. But I will note that this smells and tastes awesome. Not as dry and soy saucy as some RIS, which is a plus in my book. Molasses, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and soy sauce are all present. I don't get the reviews saying this tastes dry. Maybe it's the one year of age, but this has a fair amount of sweetness in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium/thick body, somewhat sticky, with light/medium carbonation. Overall, I have to say I think this is a great, easy drinking, every day imperial stout. Doesn't knock your socks off, but it's pretty clean, well balanced, not cloying, and doesn't venture too far in any crazy direction.

And the name of the brew reminds me of the miserable experience I had when the east coast (including Ohio and Michigan) was blacked out. I was on flight from San Francisco back home to Michigan. Somewhere over Wyoming, the captain announced, without explanation, that we were being rerouted to Minneapolis. They just dropped us all off at the gate at 8 pm without telling us why, and left us to our own devices. Upon learning I'd have trouble getting a flight to Detroit for at least two days, I just rented a car and drove straight through the night back to Detroit. Miserable at the time, but BO Stout helps erase the bad memories.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.58/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris for bringing this to a beer tasting at a good friends house.

Pours an opaque dark black with a dark brown head.

Aroma is sweet maltiness. Chocolate, sugar, molasses, caramel and a touch of coffee.

Taste is about the same as the aroma. Very good for the style but it's nothing special.

Mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and well balanced. It's not too thick and easy to drink.

This was a great beer but was overshadowed by the barrel-aged version which was delicious beyond belief.

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

A - Pours the darkest of browns to black, hefty light mocha head. Lots of webby lacing.

S - Coffee and sweet malt are the first things that hit me.

T - Very chocolate milk, with coffee. Tasty.

M - Lighter than the BA version, but serviceable. Creamy, balanced.

D - For the style, very!

Photo of Bitterbill
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours a very dark brown with some reddish highlights. Not much of a head formed and it's light in the lacing department.

The smell has nice notes of chocolate and coffee with some roasted malt but that is on the faint side.

The taste is big chocolate flavour up front with a nice lightish coffee infusion and some roasted malt goodness. There's some nice bitterness here but there's a lot of sweet going on here as well making for a nice balance.

Hmmm...the alcohol is very well hidden so the drinkability is very good. The mouthfeel is medium and it's lightly carbonated. A very tasty RIS!

I got this bottle in a trade but, yeah it had to happen, I forgot who the great trader was. Great choice, buddy!

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

A: Deep dark brown with red edges when held to the light. Thick beige head with fair retention. Thick lacing

S: Coffee and cocoa then a smoky whiskey aroma. Also vanilla and toffee.

T: Very dry, smokey hop bitterness. Warming alcohol and peat flavors with solid roasted malt foiundation. Dry and "puckering" finish.

M: Full body. Very little carbonation. Very dry in the finish.

D: A must have if you want to try an imperial stout...key word A (1 is more than ample in ones setting)

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

Received from Abankovich in recent trade. Thanks Andy!

This stout poured a dark opaque black color with pecan brown highlights around the edges. It was capped off by a small dark brown head that left some incredible lacing for the entire beer. The smell is a combination of roasted malt, bitter chocolate, currants, and a certain nutty quality to is as well. The flavor profile follows the nice very nicely with upfront flavors of dark roasted grain, bitter chocolate, dark fruits, coffee, and anise. There is a hint of sweetness and smoke lingering on the back of the palate as well. I don't get any alchohol burn either from the 9%. The mouthfeel is very thick and chewy, but it still manages to render itself very smooth. Someone needs to tell this beer it has 9% ABV in it, because the way it drank I would have had many more of these. Excellent stout that I wish i could get in Indiana.

Photo of imperialbigswig
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- nice and dark, very nice head retention for the style.
N- Big chocolates, coffee accents, and some sort of cream?
T- Love this, chocolates and coffee, but mostly chocolates, big malts, litle hop tones, very well put together.
M- Now this is a little off, the body is a little flabby, and even slightly watery. Not that dry chewiness I'm looking for.
D-even though I typically think this style should not be overly drinkable, the lighter body coupled with the warm chocolately creaminess makes this beer extremely hard to put down.

This is a great beer. If you're looking for a great RIS that you could drink all night and still love, then this is your beer.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of moose3285 - great extra, thanks!! Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, dark, but not opaque, with a nice, bubbly, two-finger head with great retention. Lacing is swiss cheese like, sticky, and very nice looking. The beer isn't too terribly thick looking - it doesn't really fall out of bottle, but flows out, rather gracefully. Good start.

Aroma: Spicy, grassy, chocolately, with a noticeable amount of toasted malt astringencies. A little faint and not as complex as the taste, but nice.

Taste: A nice and spicy RIS. Toasty malts are big here, and a distinct breadiness is actually still detectable in this one (the dark malts don't utterly dominate, though they are prominent). The roasted notes are largely chocolatey and milky, and there's a significant smoky/char contribution, as well. There's an unusually large amount of spiciness, though, both from an earthy hop note and a warming alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, milky, and devilishly smooth. Not a thick RIS at all, but it does have a surprisingly large amount of carbonation, which enhances the spicy alcohol slightly too much, perhaps, but by and large a really great, great feeling beer, and it only improves as it warms.

Drinkability: A solid RIS, spicy, robust, flavorful, but not knock-you-on-your-ass-able - it's a mere 9.0%! Ok, that's still high, but, not for the style. A real tasty one, and worth seeking out - I'd love to try the barrel-aged version one day, as I'm sure that would really round out the flavor profile on this one. Give it a shot.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to David Eddie for the sample. This beer has some age on it from the cellar. Age didn't do it harm.

Pours a nice 1 1/2 finger head with excellent retention.

Chocolate malts come through with a touch of perle hops that provide an undertone of mintyness.

This beer has the perfect amount of body and carbonation and flavor. The chocolate and caramel flavor pull through ever so nicely and are balanaced ever so slightly by the perle hops that provide a nice minty undertone. It is not overly complex, just good. It's fairly simple chocolate/caramel flavoring with some muted coffee flavor.

This beer is so creamy and smooth. I could drink this beer forever.

Wow is a good word to describe this beer.

Thank you much DavidEddie

Photo of PatronWizard
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Don't remember where I got this, but I think it was at Lone Hill Liquor on a pilgrimage with OlieIPA and Mauerhan.

As expected Blackout Stout is black. Decent beige head that falls down quickly.

Smells of coffe, black licorice, and alcohol. Alcohol is much more hidden in the taste. Very smooth. Another sip and... very smooth. Diggin the smoothness. Great beer. Gotta go...

Overall: very good beer

Photo of 7ways
3.48/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to try this just based on the name. Poured into a snifter.

Appears dark brown bordering on black with a fleeting dark brown head and milky lace. Looks like a typical stout, nothing unexpected. And the smell was much less than expected. Roasty dark malt meld, a hint of sweet chocolate and more than a hint of alcohol. I tasted more of the same, plus tobacco and old coffee on the lingering finish. Surprisingly good hop balance, but not enough to mask the full red wine booziness. The carbonation was also typical, mouthfeel was silky but thin. Felt aerated the warmer it got. I've had so many lighter bodied RIS's lately that I'm questioning my own definition of a full bodied beer.

A solid RIS, but a little too basic for me. I'm ready to move on after half of it. Would probably go well with a cigarette.

Photo of OlieIPA
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Patron Wizard gave this beer to me...thank you buddy...here's to you!!

A: Almost like a flat soda with just about no head. More transparent then I'm used to.

S: A mixture of molasses and alcohol. Maybe some coffee undertones perhaps.

T: Much more chocolate and coffee taste then the smell indicates. Molasses is apparent with a slight burnt after taste. The alchohol is hidden well throughout the sip.

M: Thinner then most RIS's with a very gentle carbonation.

D: Probably one of the most easy going RIS's around; could enjoy all night.

Overall: The best thing about this beer is the taste...which is remarkable! Other then that, the beer displays very average to above average qualities that a lot of RIS's out there have. A very good beer that is "try it" on my list. You won't be disapointed, but won't be blown away either.

Photo of maximum12
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sholland119 for this tasty treat in my favorite style.

It's also my favorite style of RIS: creamy & slick in the mouth. There's a definite feel of the 9% ABV blazing into the back of the mouth & down, down, down. I wish it weren't such a warm evening in MN now.

This is a smoooth-drinking, top-notch beer that's perfectly balanced: not over the top (alcohol, coffee, malts, hops, anything) but has hints & gobbles of everything that is good & holy in a beer.

I'm smiling now.

Photo of whoneeds8
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to DuqTroops for the bottle.

Poured into pint glass out Black with a thin tan head. Very good lacing that sticks around for most of the time I'm drinking it.

Taste is very good. Has a slight sweet chocolate taste that doesn't really last long. The flavor then goes to an alchol flatness.

Smell is roasted sweet smell.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Hardly any carbonation. Thick, but not dry.

Overall, of the limited number of RIS I've had, this would probably be the most drinkable for me.

Photo of jwinship83
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- black body with a small lasting sticky coffee colored head. very nice.

S- roasted malt, dark chocolate, a small amount of coffee, and just a hint of booze

T- very roasty. you can taste the alcohol. chocolate is in here too. lots of coffee and hops in the finish.

M- wonderfully thick and oh so smooth.

D- one of my favorite RIS to date. i picked this up cheap because its past the breweries best by date, but this shows no signs of ruining. give this one a try, i can see why its in the top 100. great lakes shows its ability to master yet another style. if it wasnt so strong you could drink this one all day. the 12oz size makes it possible to have more than one, but not several.

Photo of BWH3
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep dark brown w/ hints of toffee and red when tilted and held to the light. Solid beige head fades slowly to a thin layer of foam a top the dark concoction. Still as a moonless night. Just lovely.

S: Cocoa > coffee hits the nose. The burnt, smoky flavor of whiskey and tobacco make me feel I am drinking at a 60s era poker game. Vanilla and toffee notes temper these more robust flavors. Overall, deep, earthy, and manly.

T: An extremely mineral like and smoky bitterness. The hops are shockingly dry nearly extracting the moisture from my mucous membranes. The alcohol heat and whisky aromas ignite the peat flavored bitterness into a roasted grain bon fire. And this bitterness smolders forever. The only negatives are the exceptional dryness.

M: Viscous and sticky despite the lack of sweetness. As stated above, very good head retention and very dry.

D: A must grab for the fans of the Russian Imperial Stouts.

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

A- Nice and jet black dark beer. There is very little head...I mean there is no head. Looks good for a RIS.

S- Smells like a starbucks. There is a touch of chocolate with the coffee. Smells thin.

T- Coffee does dominate the taste, but the chocolate is there as well. Nice a bitter tasting. Despite the thin smellingness this feels nice and thick. Nice solid tasting RIS, but it isn't extremely complex.

M- Kinda thick, but grainy feeling.

D- Easy to drink, nice solid RIS beer. Would be a great session beer.

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

A black, opaque color, with a hint of red at the bottom of the glass. A coffee colored head forms, not thick, and dissolves away quickly. The scent of chocolate and coffee, followed by dried fruit, mostly currants and raisons, along with cream scent at the end. A malty strength in the taste at the start, bringing along the flavors of bitter chocolate and hearty dark bread flavor. Midway across a coffee bitterness comes out and ends with a mild citrus, with a touch of grassiness at the end. A thick, slick, and oily mouthfeel, with a mild warming sensation from alchol at the back of the throat. Man, this is a very good imperial stout, very good scent and flavor, makes this a must try beer.

Photo of webmanspidey
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick, dark, and oily. Minimal head.

Smells roasted dark malts, raisins, and molasses. Very inviting.

Taste is very sweet and alcoholic.. maybe a little too far on the strong alcoholic taste side. Very powerful. A slow sipping beer.

Sweeter than other imperial stouts I have had. Lots of alcohol finish.

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

Blackout seems appropriate. This brew is black, no light shining through. There is a nice finger and a half tan head, decent retention. Good clingy lacing.

Definite roasted/burnt malt picked up first by the nose. There is a sweet aroma to the brew, somewhat of a chocolate smell.

Heavy on the front end with roasted malt and dark coffee. Chocolate flavors appear as you enjoy. Not a sweet chocolate, think unsweetened cocoa. Slight bitterness in back but not an assertive bitterness.

Full mouth feel and very creamy. Some what of a milky texture.

Very enjoyable brew. Though not a style which is meant to be sessionable by any mean, this is as easy to drink as any RIS. If my endorsement meant anything this is one I could get behind.

Photo of brushtachio
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

black hole in a pint glass. Not a photon of light can penetrate my glass. On tap at the Vue in Hudson. Long lasting khaki head that leaves nice rings.

Served a little too cold and was almost odorless at first! Warming brought chocolate, overoasted coffee, a touch of sweet dark fruit.

Taste and mouthfeel are first rate. Smooth and oily. Moderately to heavily hopped.

Not a session beer but damn drinkable for an RIS.

Photo of soulgrowl
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: About as black as black can be, with edges of cola-brown and a fair but fleeting camel-brown head.

Smell: Loads of orange, falling somewhere between Orange Crush and Grand Marnier, steeped in chocolate syrup and coffee. A big honey aroma emerges from the darkness as well, very nice and unexpected for the style - it isn't a dark, funky, buckwheat honey, either, it's bright and fruity like acacia or clover. Big on booze, calling to mind a well-stocked cabinet of liqueurs: Kahlua, Sambuca, and Drambuie among them.

Taste: The flavor is not quite that of a really good RIS - rather, it is like an echo of a really good RIS. Sweet and potently alcoholic, it is clear this is malty, but the actual flavors from those malts never really come into focus. Coffee and chocolate, orange and apple, toffee and oatmeal are all suggested but never articulated. It mostly tastes like a rum and Coke - sweet and sharply boozy.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick and chewy, but also plenty dry and sharp.

Drinkability: It grows on you as you sip it - an unusual RIS that doesn't quite deliver the richness I hope for in the style, but interesting nonetheless.

Photo of dnichols
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black as the blackest night. It had a chocolate brown head that stood about two fingers and lasted forever.

S: It is full of chocolate flavors (milk, dark, bakers...it has it all), coffee, dark sugars and darkly roasted malts.

T: This was a real taste treat. It tasted like a mouth full of dark rich imported chocolate laced with fine brewed espresso. It was creamy and rich and hid the alcohol well.

M: It is full bodied, creamy and oily on the tongue. It finishes warm and clean. There is little carbonation.

D: It is the kind of beer you save for special occasions. Not a session beer but a great beer for any season and anytime you need a treat.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,793 ratings.