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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.

2,549 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,549
Reviews: 1,078
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 407
Gots: 327 | 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: 2,549 | Reviews: 1,078 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Re-reviewed for the context of Imperial/Russion Stout Session...4th in line for myself, expatsteve, DaPeculierDane, and Golden2wenty1

appearance: probably the darkest of the bunch (at least at this point of the tasting)...opaque darkness, creamy chocolate head with some strong lacing left behind

smell: dark and mysterious...heavy on the licorice, a strong bitterness, dark roasted coffee, booze covered plum/dark cherry and other dark fruit

taste: strong licorice flavour, big roasted malt, dark roasted coffee flavours, strong booze presence, plum, raisin, dark cherry, nice espresso touch, light bourbon...good stout

mouthfeel: high bitterness, strong abv, medium-full body

drinkability: good, slightly inhibited by bitterness

dirtylou, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours black with splashes of ruby. Produces a brief 1/4 inch head, and leaves a little lacing on top of the glass. Medium viscosity.

Aroma: Raisins, molasses and some nice chocolate malts. A tickle of booze keeps the nose tight and impressive.

Taste: Nice espresso flourish over raisins and chocolates. A little bitterness in the finish, and a warm glow left in the throat. Chocolate and roasted coffee developments on the middle palate. Really good flavor, with sweetness balancing other elements out.

Mouthfeel: Bitterness balances the thicker body of this beer. Low carbonation, smooth and almost creamy. Perfect stout body.

Drinkability: Balanced flavor with lots of nice malt developments. Not the most complex of imperial stouts, but definitely one of the more nicely executed.

expatsteve, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of sabrills70
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with a best before date of 10/06. Pours a jet black with a 1 finger head, great longevity and lace. Smells of highly roasted almost burnt malt mixed with chocolate, coffee and dried dark fruits. Tastes are similar with coffee being the main flavor. Alcohol comes flying through and is warming all the way down. Hops are a bit subtle but there is a nice roasted bitterness that lingers in the mouth. This stuff screams for some chocolate cake. It is smooth and creamy an although tasty it is a bit heavy to be super drinkable, but do not pass this beer by if you see it. Just drink it slowly and enjoy.

sabrills70, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of badbeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out completely black with a nice tan head leaving a very nice lacing. Hops, coffee, and a bit of cocoa in the nose. Taste explodes on the tongue, starting with currants and chocolate, then transforming into a little cherry flavor and a lot of roastiness. Amazing taste, I loved it. Low-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied, would have like it a little thicker. Takes a while to drink, but each sip was savored. Definitely a nice beer, try it if you see it available, but don't fret if you don't.

badbeer, Jul 19, 2006
Photo of kirok1999
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a thick, oily black with a tan head that quickly dissapates.

Smell- Charcoal, chocolate, and coffee.

Taste- Matches the smell. Sweet malted charcoal, with coffee and chocolate backbone. Nice mild carbonation that warms nicely with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel- Oily and thick. Slides down and the alcohol warms the whole experience.

Drinkability- Way too drinkable. The taste makes it outstanding as a cold winter night brew.

kirok1999, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of denjen
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dennis: They say some good can come from everything bad. This beer is based off the 2003 power outage that affected a lot of the northeastern US. Smelling of roasty malts the beer tastes like what you would expect from an imperial stout, strong dark chocolate tastes combined with burnt toast hints. I"m sure there are some hop somewhere but I can't pick them out from the rich taste. Certainly no the richest/thickest Imperial stout I've had, but at 9% it certianly will keep you warm at night. But as the label shows, any friend who shows up with (24-pack) $53 bucks of beer in a black out is always welcome.
Jen: As a general rule of thumb, Great Lakes makes some outstanding beers. This one seems to fall short by just a hair. It starts with a nice scent of roasted malts. The taste follows up nicely with a dry espresso taste and dark chocolate (not creamy like milk chocolate, more like a Hersheys Special Dark mini bar). There is a definite dryness to this that leaves your mouth with a taste that lingers only for a short while. On the exhale, I get a twinge of the 9% alcohol. The body of this beer is just too thin for me, and that is where this brew falls up a hair short. I feel a Russian Imperial Stout should coat your mouth and hang around for a while after swallowing. I would, however, never turn this down, as I am a stout lover and this is a very good one to have!

denjen, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of veggiemafia
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. into a snifter.

REALLY REALLY black, intensely black. Black with a passion. Moderate head formation, but that quickly dissolves.

Smell is nice, but a little boozy. The biggest thing I get once this is warmer is bourbon, with notes of espresso, vanilla and prunes behind the bourbon.

Taste is much bigger on coffee and dark roasted grains. There's gotta be 3 or 4% black malt in here, and it's really nice. Finishes dry and nice.

Mouthfeel is a little flat, and a little sticky, but very luxurious.

One of the more drinkable RIS's I've encountered.

Doesn't hold a candle to 2004 Stone IRS, but what does, really?

veggiemafia, Jul 05, 2006
Photo of Illini5596
4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An absolute work of art. The Blackout Stout is well named, being deep black in color, letting no light through at all. The head on mine was a deep rich darm creamy foam, making this look quite regal. The taste... paradise, Great Lakes has produced some find beers in the past but they absolutely hit this one out of the park. Deep, rich, full bodied, complex, with the flavor of dark roasted grains, coffee, and chocolate with a good creamy feel.

This is the beer all stouts aspire to be, hands down one of the most phenominal beers I have ever tasted. A little strong to drink every day, but go out and try some immediately, you will regret it if you don't!

Illini5596, Jun 30, 2006
Photo of edmundfitzoil
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle with another slick GLBC label on it and a best by date of Aug. 10, 2006.

Poured pitch black with a very thin, tiny bubbled tan head. This is one very black beer. A nose of nearly all sorts of dark chocolate and roasted maltiness. Blackout Stout began as a dry hoppiness sweeps the tongue, then a flash of black licorice and dark, dark chocolate tones. Roasted malts and a background alcohol flavor round out this stout. Full bodied, but super drinkable because of the hidden alcohol in the flavor. This one is another winner from Great Lakes.

edmundfitzoil, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of orfeu
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Maximum respect to nflmvp for the two bottles of Blackout Stout he included in our recent trade!

Best before Aug 10 2006. Just below cellar temp, poured into a 17-ounce snifter. Black like demonic ichor with a thin desert-khaki head. Aromas of fresh black plums in the middle of summer, slightly smoky roasted malts, earthy and piney hops, and just a touch of alcohol vapor. The taste is full of wonderful roasty and vinous flavors. Brief bitter pine-sap hops at the beginning. Dark cherry appears in the middle, right after a slight touch of cabernet bite. The finish is all dark roasted malts, like the tastiest burnt toast and dark topsoil sandwich. The 9% alcohol is apparent but expertly melded with the density of the overall flavor. Medium body and a slick, chewy mouthfeel. I would love to have this available where I live, but its rarity for me makes it that much more special. Stunning RIS.

orfeu, Jun 17, 2006
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.9/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The head starts out beautiful with a lacing that clings to the glass nicely, really nice. Has a dark black color.

The smell has a plum flavor to it along with a sweet coffee smell.

Taste is smooth and sweet with some fruitiness. Dark fruit mixes with sweet dark chocolate.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, very enjoyable.

I would like to have another of these soon. I enjoyed it very much.

Erdinger2003, Jun 12, 2006
Photo of frazbri
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great Lakes Blackout Stout (2006 release) poured deep black topped by a thick mocha head and outstanding lacing. Aroma had notes of freshly brewed coffee, chocolate, and just a hint of lemon zest. Flavors of rich dark chocolate, espresso and herbal bitterness. It was medium in body with moderate carbonation.

Blackout Stout is a B paper from an A student. It's good, but it doesn't have the body of the elite imperial stouts. The bitterness needs more counterpoint as well. At times, the hops become a solo act. Blackout is far from a failure, but it isn't truly special.

frazbri, Jun 06, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Gueuzedude, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

bjohnson, May 30, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

SethB2, May 25, 2006
Photo of unclecrappy
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

unclecrappy, May 22, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

TurdFurgison, May 21, 2006
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Westsidethreat, May 20, 2006
Photo of bruachan
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

bruachan, May 18, 2006
Photo of bigdeuce
4.83/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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!

bigdeuce, May 18, 2006
Photo of trep
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

trep, May 17, 2006
Photo of Brian700
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Brian700, May 15, 2006
Photo of ultralarry2006
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

ultralarry2006, May 08, 2006
Photo of jhammerly
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jhammerly, May 08, 2006
Photo of geexploitation
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

geexploitation, May 07, 2006
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,549 ratings.