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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.

2,512 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,512
Reviews: 1,077
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 402
Gots: 324 | 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: 2,512 | Reviews: 1,077 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude


4/5  rDev -5.2%

Best by date of August 2005, Sampled June 2006
Pours a deep black color with a frothy, chocolate-cream colored head that is initially a finger thick. The aroma smells of burnt raisins, burnt cherries and burnt figs as I pour this beer into my tulip glass. As I go in for a deeper draught of the aroma, I start to get notes of chocolate and roasted espresso beans underneath the concentrated burnt fruit notes. A hint of alcohol rounds out the aromatics and gives this an almost fruit brandy sort of note. I really like how the roast notes mix with the fruit aromatics.

The taste is sweet, yet not cloying and an immediate sense that reminds me of cocoa powder hits my taste buds; a solid chocolate note as well as a bit of a chalky note that I get from cocoa powder. The finish has a certain roasted note that picks up an acidity similar to that in an espresso. This beer has quite a burnt grain character to it as well; adds a certain dryness to this beer that in combination with the acidity helps to balance the sweet notes. There is a nice compound bitterness here as well, a combination of both the roast grain bill and a solid hop level. Maybe this is a touch thinner than I like, but it definitely works on a hot day like today.

06-05-2006 03:48:33 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of bjohnson


4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

Thanks to hoppymeal for this offering from Great Lakes

A: Pours a midnight jet black color with an initial half finger caramel colored head that dissipates but hugs the sides of the glass nicely.
S: Aromas of burnt and roasted coffee and chocolate are the most dominant notes.
T & M: Chocolate and coffee are the most pronounced flavors with some caramel thrown in there also. Wow, complex mix of burnt and roasted flavors dance in the mouth. Nice and smooth as it goes down, however, still thick and full bodied. Slight bitterness in there also. Great tasting RIS. High abv is not noticeable.
D: Good drinking RIS. Wonderfully balanced and smooth.

05-30-2006 00:49:05 | More by bjohnson
Photo of SethB2


4.43/5  rDev +5%

Poured from a bottle into a chalice. Beer is exceptionally dark, earning the name 'blackout'. Holding it to light doesn't reveal anything either. Head it small and medium brown. Smell is awesome. I have never smelled as much coffee in a stout as I do in this one. Hiddent below that is a deep, ripe fruitiness melding with an excellent roasted quality. Taste is very good. Chocolatey malts up front followed by the coffee and sweetness going down. Very smooth. Mouthfeel is full and creamy with little carbonation, which works well for this beer. Drinkability is also nice.

Another excellent beer from an excellent brewery.

05-25-2006 02:14:02 | More by SethB2
Photo of unclecrappy


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

Tonight's forecast: Dark.

Appearance in the glass is black, with a medium tan head. Black. No color. Just swirly, oily black.

Aroma is that of other black things: coffee, heavy dark bread, chocolate.

Taste is ungodly. Big roasted malt flavor up front, tempered by a coffee/chocolate combination. I'm sure there are hops in here, but I can't find any. Just a touch of alcohol taste, but given the high ABV it's masked nicely.

If you could drink velvet, this is what it would be like.

Drinkability isn't perfect only because of the 9 percent -- I could drink these for hours if I didn't have to get up and go to work tomorrow. I love this beer.

05-21-2006 23:02:12 | More by unclecrappy
Photo of TurdFurgison


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle. The beer looked really good, pitch black color with a nice thick tan foam. And it smelled better than whatever thing you can think of which is known for smelling good. Chocolate and coffee and some very mild burnt malts. The taste was almost perfect too. It felt a little oily and the body was if anything a tad light for the style, but it worked really well. Anyway it kept the drinkability pretty high.

05-21-2006 13:31:02 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of Westsidethreat


4.03/5  rDev -4.5%

A: Pitch black...oh so dark. Thick, healthy oatmeal colored head with tight bubbles rests on top of the mysterious ooze. Nice brussels lace clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Aroma smells of pumpernickel, roasted malt, espresso and chocolate syrup.

T: Very rich and flavorful. More espresso flavors coupled with lots of chocolate syrup. Finishes with distinct roasted bitterness and alcohol vapors.

M: Very full bodied and thick. Lots going on.

D: This is a very nice stout but not in the A league.

05-20-2006 04:48:26 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

4.6/5  rDev +9%

grabbed a 4-pack at riverside in kent

looks like the oak aged yeti i tried last night (light absorbant), but the head is a little lighter in color. coffeecoffeecoffee aroma and—really—not much else. tastes a little like coffee, too (as least as i understand the taste of coffee to be). the flavor profile isn't as complex as peche mortel, but the coffee character is nice and blends well with the roasted malts. aside from the bitterness, hops are merely utilitarian in this fine brew

i love this damn brewery and this is one of its finest offerings

05-18-2006 03:56:47 | More by bruachan
Photo of bigdeuce


4.83/5  rDev +14.5%

This is the best stout ever! Sweet and milky with the nice toffe and caramel taste. What a great beer! Very deceptive in the fact that it is so drinkable. You just cannot drink too many, although you want to. Nice malty front, cool, not overwhelming, hops at the end. great lacing! Without a doubt, an incredible beer!

05-18-2006 02:30:27 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of trep

West Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +5%

2006 Edition

Black as night with a one inch tan head that forms then fades in an instant. Opaque as hell, no light is getting through this one except on the edges.

Dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruits, raisins, and alcohol are all present in the nose.

Alcohol bite up front then quickly steps aside to let the roasted malts and a little bitter hop taste make themselves known. Dark chocolate and mocha in the aftertaste. Incredible stuff and probably only gets better with age.

Very full body that coats your mouth. Hardly any carbonation, this one is thick but its no Expedition Stout.

Pretty easy drinking considering. The wonderful roasted malt, coffee and dark chocolate flavors all meld together in a beautiful harmony of beerdom.

Hands down a World Class Imperial Stout.

05-17-2006 04:52:35 | More by trep
Photo of Brian700


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

This beer pours a dark black with a brown head that settles down to a ring around my glass. There is some mild lacing.

The aroma is of chocolate and roasted malt.

The flavor is amazing. There are chocolate flavors blended with dark variety fruit and plenty of roasted malt. There are also coffee notes in the finish. This is a great tasting beer. Thanks to AKSmokedPorter for sending me a few bottles of this.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a pretty chewy beer but still pretty drinkable. I want to get my hands on some more of this one for sure.

05-15-2006 03:15:45 | More by Brian700
Photo of ultralarry2006


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left foamy tan one finger head that quickly receded to scant surface skim. Color is deepest brown, almost black like thickly brew french roast coffee.

Smell - Dried dark fruit and dark bread. Roasted malts, a little medicinal phenols, and slight alcohol astringency.

Taste - exactly as smell, the dates, plums, raisins, dark hearty bread. Medicine phenol and of an astringency from alcohol that warms. This is good beer and very rich.

Mouthfeel - very full and thick, and fairly slick, low carbonation.

Drinkabilty - this goes down smooth and easy. Would only have another one in a session given how rich this is and of course the high abv, but definitely this will be the opening to many future sessions.

05-08-2006 19:47:05 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of jhammerly


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Thanks to BigErn for this.

A rich, black pour into a goblet produced a huge head that slowly receeded into a thin film. The smell of roasted coffee notes and a pinch of alcohol. Sweet, burnt malt flavor and well-balanced hops. Mouthfeel is thick, but goes down rather smooth. Very drinkable for this style, though I would keep this to one bottle per sitting. I would like to try this again later on down the road.

05-08-2006 02:27:33 | More by jhammerly
Photo of geexploitation


4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

This one is a black hole -- no light escapes it. Nice, compact tan head that leaves slight lacing. The aroma is rich but not overloaded -- lots of dark impy stout smells like espresso, chocolate, and molasses. The taste follows up on the aroma, with sweet berries, then chocolates/espressoes, and then roasted malt bitterness. Throughout, the carbonation is perfect -- not too much, not too little, just right, and the overall mouthfeel is full, creamy, and well rounded. Just what you'd want from an imperial stout.

This isn't one of the flashier imperial stouts out there, and it's all the better for it. Just a solid, drinkable, and delicious stout that succeeds in all the ways it's supposed to.

05-07-2006 02:53:35 | More by geexploitation
Photo of JiminKY


4.9/5  rDev +16.1%

I am absolutely a big fan of Great Lakes beers, but I can honestly say this beer deserves top numbers. It is the finest Imperial or Double Stout I have tasted to date--and that includes Stone, Old Rasputin, Weyerbacher (raspberry), Bell's 7000 and DFH WWS.

A - Beautiful opague black with a thin tan ring of head. Thick, but not oily or flat in appearance.

S - The smell is not overpowering, but has distinct notes of black licorice and currant. Enticing without being overbearing.

T - Unbelieveable balance of flavor. Roastiness and alcohol perfectly blended.

M - It bathes your mouth without being cloying or overly sticky. A nice lingering aftertaste with just a hint of heat in the back of your throat.

D - Goes down a little too easily, but certainly packs a punch. An excellent, highly drinkable Imperial Stout.

04-29-2006 01:31:03 | More by JiminKY
Photo of iron78


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%

Black in the glass, with a dark brown head that thins quickly.
The smells are subtle and mellow, coffee...malt...and a touch of alcohol.
Flavors are smooth and transition nicely, roasted coffee with bakers chocolate int he background followed by a balance of malt and hops. Finishing with a touch or dried fruits and alcohol.
Very full in the mouth, but does not leave the mouth feeling coated.
Very enjoyable.

04-21-2006 17:49:38 | More by iron78
Photo of heyitsbyron


4.05/5  rDev -4%

Poured a single bottle ($1.35) into an imperial pint glass.

Not absolutely black, but pretty close. The head was minimal, 1cm or so, and it dissipated quickly. The consistency was very oily and head had some cool color swirls in it.

Smells like pure grain alcohol. Well no, that's an exagerration, but it's one of the boozier smelling beers. Otherwise, the toastiness of the malts fill the nose quite satisfactorily.

Unlike the smell, I think this is over the top hoppy with a good coffeeness to it. Though sweet initially, it's almost too bitter of a finish. I think most of the bitterness comes from toasted malts and not necessarily hops. A bit unbalanced for my tastes. Booze hidden well, but lacked more complex flavors.

Heavy, thick, slick. Well carbonated and very true to the style without being too syrupy. Satisfying to the point that you don't really want to drink it quickly or even have a whole bottle to yourself.

I found myself slowing down after the first couple sips. I think this stuff is a bit too bitter for the style and also the flavor doesn't follow the smell as well as it should. I don't think I could bring myself to buy a whole four pack when there are at least a couple more balanced high grav stouts for cheaper. Glad I tried it though.

04-19-2006 03:18:40 | More by heyitsbyron
Photo of blitz134


4.3/5  rDev +1.9%

Thanks to hoppymeal for this one...

There's a blackout in my glass. Pitch black body, light brown head came with about 3/4" thickness but reduced to a thin foam layer.

Aroma is strong chocolate and deep roasted coffee. Very smooth aroma with nothing harsh coming through. A bit of sweet fruit rounds it out.

Coffee and chocolate are at the forefront on this one and then it transitions to some sweeter notes of fresh dark fruit, plum and some raisin. Then there is a nice bitterness which lingers for a bit in the finish. A combination of smooth and bitter fight for a dominate position on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is creamy and full. Coats the entire mouth and the flavor lingers for quite a while. Drinkability is superb. No harshness to be found really and a nice play of flavors on the tongue make this one that is easy to enjoy.

04-19-2006 02:58:46 | More by blitz134
Photo of neonbrown82


4.6/5  rDev +9%

This is a very good Russian Imperial Stout. Pours to a very dark color, maybe not completely pitch black, though it is very opaque. Head is a light chocolatey color. Lacing doesn't stick, nor does the head stay around for long.

The smell is good. Very chocolatey with a nice bold coffee aroma. Very rich. Not briney in the least bit. The taste is similar, though even more exceptional. Tastes like dark chocolate with a very nice bold coffee roast. Nice balance between sweet, dry, and bitter.

The body is nice and thick. Decent carbonation. Quite drinkable for such a big stout. I love this stuff. I wish I had more.

04-18-2006 06:01:47 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of jdmorgan


3.68/5  rDev -12.8%

This beer had a small, but creamy head. The smell had dark and rich aromas of roasted malt with a hint of coffee. In addition, the aroma had sort of a sweet smell to it. The taste was very bold and the hop bitterness likewise had some "bite" to it. The taste of the high amount of alcohol in this beer was also present. The mouthfeel was medium/thick with low carbonation. Unfortunately, I felt that the high alcohol taste of this beer lowered it's drinkability for me. Nonetheless, this is a hearty imperial stout and would be a good companion with a meal. I believe those who enjoy imperial stouts will find this to be a quality beer which I recommend trying.

04-17-2006 20:25:28 | More by jdmorgan
Photo of AltBock


4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

I got this on-tap at the Great Lakes Brewpub. The bartender poured it into a small 12oz. or something a little smaller than that Snifter glass. The temperature was just right, not too cold and not too warm. I had this in bottles before, so I can say is that the flavor and everything else was enhanced just a little bit.

When it came to me in the Snifter glass, it was a pitch black color with a nice size (considering the size of the glass) off white head of foam. It receded very nicely leaving behind it plenty of that off white color lace. The smell was still the same of the bottled version but just a little better. The aroma was that of a pleasant mixture of roasted malts, roasted coffee beans, and just a hint of sweet chocolate in the background. On-tap enhanced the flavor of the sweet dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, roasted malt, and the hint of bitter hops at the end. Excellent! The mouthfeel was thick, full bodied, and this time I could feel the 9% ABV. Wow! A beer that is a must try on-tap. But becareful that ABV will sneak up on you. Way to go Great Lakes!

04-12-2006 20:07:11 | More by AltBock
Photo of Graham21


3.88/5  rDev -8.1%

1 cm head, almost dissapeared, looks like very low cabonation, coffee colored.

It smells like coffee and a milk chocolate, and roasted malt undertones,also maybe some fruit(berries?)

It tastes creamy, like milk chocolate, coffee, hoppy and malty. Good carbonation.

04-11-2006 05:41:03 | More by Graham21
Photo of ej285701


3.9/5  rDev -7.6%

12 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet. Best before date of Aug.10, 2006.

Pours an extremely dark brown with about an inch of tan head. Looks pretty good.

The smell is very sweet like a milk stout. It reminds me a lot of Bell's Speacial Double Cream Stout. It also smells of strong roasted malts as well as alcohol and a touch of bitter hops.

The taste is not as sweet as the nose, and the roasted malts are definitely more pronounced, as well as a biter-sweet chocolate flavor with some nice hops backing it. Alcohol is noticable as well. This beer is very full-flavored as the finish seems to last forever.

The mouthfeel is full-bodied, altough not as thick as some other imperial stouts. Still, it fits the style.

Dinkability is good, but I don't think I would want to have more than one in a sitting. The roastiness becomes a bit tiresome. I can see how some people may really like this, but I would take a Founder's Imperial Stout over this any day.

04-11-2006 05:00:44 | More by ej285701
Photo of nflmvp


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Poured pitch black with an ample inch and a half head that slowly faded to a nice creamy cover of carmel. Smell is smokey and peat like. Taste is also smokey and somewhat chocolately. Mouthfeel is full.

Overall drinkability is very good. A nice example of a RIS. Considering cracking another one of these, rather than tasting something different.

04-11-2006 00:44:04 | More by nflmvp
Photo of Zorro


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%

12 Oz Bottle sampled through the efforts of justcas and BIF across America.

Pours a very dark brown beer that is impenetrable by light except slightly around the edges. What little light that can shine through shows some red highlights. Small light brown head formation.

Smell is semi sweet and bready with a good chocolate aroma. Fruity aroma and clean with out any over roasted harsh scents like smoke. Slight cherry aroma but this does in fact smell like a chocolate cake; that isn't a bad thing though.

Taste is sweet for the style and fruity with a bitter aftertaste at the beginning. Good fruit flavor after the shock of the first sip, figs, raisins, cherry, and juicy fruit. Chocolate is much subdued in the taste as compare to the smell, it is here but it is far fainter than the fruity flavors. Coffee is also very subdued in this version of RIS. Pleasant faintly piney bitterness in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is very good.

Quite a tasty RIS and a good one for those who like the fruity complex flavors of RIS more than chocolate and coffee flavors. Lip smacking good beer here. This isn't a Stone RIS but it is damn tasty and a beer I can highly recommend.

04-09-2006 22:18:35 | More by Zorro
Photo of Chadbrew


3.83/5  rDev -9.2%

It fits the appearance of an Imperial Stout pretty good. A very dark beer topped with a creamy tan head. Not much in the way of aroma, maybe it’s too cold yet.
This is a very mellow Impy. There is some roast definitely, some alcohol, and certainly some bitterness too. Plenty of cocoa taste.
I usually don't enjoy stouts in the Spring/Summer especially Imperial Stouts but this was a good sipper anytime of the year.

BTW- This beer got better as it warmed.

04-09-2006 14:07:42 | More by Chadbrew
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,512 ratings.