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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 cproioi


4.15/5  rDev -1.7%

A: Wonderful black body that leaves no room for light to pass through at all.
S: Very interesting smell of roasted malt and some mocha.
T: This is where this beer shines. Had a very rich dark chocolate taste and an over all very full taste that begs to be paired with a rich chocolate dessert.
M: Pretty thick that thickened as it warmed.
D: A beer that should be drank slowly as you share time with friends. However, be careful this beer should be taken seriously.

04-08-2006 04:31:59 | More by cproioi
Photo of klewis


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

8/10/06 freshness date

A: Pours an impermeable black with a small fluffy head that quickly subsides. The beer leaves lots of lacing that casually slips back into the beer after each sip.

S: Rich aromas of chocolate and roasted malt. A touch of hops in the back of the bouquet.

T: Malty with earthy flavors up front, followed by a smooth hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Despite an active carbonation, this beer is quite soft and smooth in texture. Its body is as expected for the style.

D: This is a very accessible RIS that isn't as overwhelming as some in the taste and ABV categories, making it quite drinkable. And at the 4/$8.99 price tag, this is quite a good value.

04-05-2006 03:37:57 | More by klewis
Photo of blackie


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

appearance: The pour produces a thin, dark mocha head that soon becomes just a ring around the glass. The beer is nearly black in color.

smell: At the forefront are aromas of roast coffee, almost burnt grain, and an earthiness. Along with those are bittersweet chocolate and spicy green hop aromas. There is a considerable alcohol note, though not detracting, and somewhat expected. I'd like to see a little more malt character, as the hop aroma actually hides quite a bit of it.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a light medium, and the body on the ligher end of the heavy range.

taste: Up front are mixed flavors of different chocolates intermingled with a moderate roasted flavor. The flavors are very smooth and well mixed so that it is hard to pick out this individuals. Hints of cream, smoke, wood, and alcohol are also found. The hop flavor is moderate, though still elusive given all the dark characters. A light to moderate bitterness lingers with a roasted chocolatey flavor into the finish.

drinkability: Good drinkability for a beer of this weight. Alcohol pretty well hidden.

Picked up while somewhere in the Midwest visiting dirtylou, probably cellared for the better part of a year. There is a best by date of July 11, 2005 printed on the bottle.

11-01-06: The hops have calmed down, allowing more complexity to come through in the nose, and this baby has become downright delicious. Bumping smell, mouthfeel, and drinkability up 0.5.

04-05-2006 02:59:59 | More by blackie
Photo of plaztikjezuz


4/5  rDev -5.2%

bought a bottle at odies big ten in lansing, michigan. ($3.09)
pours black with ruby highlights when you hold it up to the light.
the aroma is rich and roasty.
the flavor is malty bit of coffee and chocolate, roasted malt, toffee, hop spice.
the mouthfeel is pleasent and creamy.
this is a great stout, i'm making sure i get a few in my cellar.

04-02-2006 04:30:37 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of bennetj17


4/5  rDev -5.2%

Dark black pour, but doesn't appear as viscous as anitcipated. The near 1/2 inch tan head dissipates quickly into a touch of froth. A nice ring lingers for a while but eventually fades to nothing. The smell is a great asset to this beer; very toasty and strong, with light notes of chocolate and coffee. The taste begins subtle and turns into a nice roasted coffee flavor with hints of sweet mocha flavor. Moderate bitterness lingers, slight alcohol also. The mouthfeel has quite a medicore thickness for an Imperial Stout, although its quite smooth with decent carbonation. Drinkablity was decent. Usually these beers improve as they warm in your hand, but this one lost its initial sweetness and just became slightly bitter/sour. Luckily the alcohol is pretty well blended. Overall I expected greater things from this top brew...

03-31-2006 17:39:36 | More by bennetj17
Photo of CaptCleveland


4.85/5  rDev +14.9%

Fresh 4-pack purchased at local supermarket. Drink by date Sept/06.

A: Pours a dark, oily-black color, tight 1/2 inch head retained after pour into room temperature pint glass.

S: A delight: burnt chocolate, roasted coffee and piny hops.

M: Smooth, medium mouthfeel; not expected with this much alcohol and that dark, oily texture. Pleasant surprise.

D: Smooth, goes down easy; alcohol hidden in complex flavors including malt and nice amount of hops. Could easily have 2-3, until the alcohol catches up.

An exceptional imperial stout.

03-30-2006 03:54:47 | More by CaptCleveland
Photo of Blakaeris


4.43/5  rDev +5%

Poured pitch black with a tan bubbly head.

Smell is dark burnt grain and roasted malt with a slight smokiness. Coffee and bitter chocolate. A touch of dark fruit.

Taste is the sweetness of molasses losing the battle with the bitterness of coffee, dark malt, and chocolate. Dark fruit and cherries round this one out.Complex and satisfying. Finish dry with decent hops. Alcohol adds a slight bite, but not enough to give away the high ABV.

Mouthfeel is amazingly soft and full. Very nice.

Very nicely done, but could be a little more complex.

03-30-2006 02:40:28 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba


4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

Poured a very deep black with burgundy highlights and a thick creamy dark tan head with good lacing and retention.

Smell is full of fresh coffee and bitter chocolate.

Taste is a pleasant mix of coffee and chocolate flavors mixing in with a great burnt maltiness, there is a touch of alcohol taste, it transitions well into a nice bitter and slightly herbal hop finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the medium side with a great creaminess to it.

Overall and extremely drinkable Imp Stout.

03-28-2006 03:11:39 | More by bashiba
Photo of DaPeculierDane


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%

The thing that strikes me most about his beer is the supremely smooth transition between its wonderful creamy upfront chocolate sweetness and its intense bitter hopped/alcohol finish. The aromas and flavors are huge, consisting largely of chocolate, coffee, tobacco, brown sugar, cherries, plums, smoke and burnt… burntness. Appearance is great. The beer is almost pure blackness. The crown is creamy and thick and leaves a nice coating around the edge of the glass. Drinkability is insane when I’ve had this stuff on tap. The bottled variety was a little more difficult to drink. The alcohol seemed less covered to me.

03-27-2006 18:32:40 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of DuqTroops


4.7/5  rDev +11.4%

Appearance - very very black with a brownish color head.

Smell - chocolate and cocoa

Taste – very malty and smooth. i can taste a lot of the coffee flavoring here. Great drink!

Mouthfeel - full flavoring

Drinkability - could not have tasted or felt better.

Comments - Who needs the power grid?

03-27-2006 05:50:29 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of sopor


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a dark red-tinted cola black. A perfect creamy-looking mocha colored head fills the airspace of my pint mug fully, almost to the point of overflowing, thank god for surface tension! This head can stick nearly half an inch over the rim of the glass! Absolutely black in the glass, with cherry-wood and mahogany highlights at the edges of the glass. Head is dissipating very slowly and leaving splotch lace on the glass. A thin film makes it all the way through the pint, with lace forming until the very end (I drank it pretty quick...)

Smells of creamy coffe and bitter dry roast malt. Hints of bittersweet chocolate mingle with notes of roast nuts.

A very well balancesd, very drinkable Imperial Stout. I'm a Pale Ale kinda guy, but this beer is showing me the light, or should I say dark! Starts with bittersweet chocolate leading into nutty roast malt with just the barest touch of bitter black malts and coffee. A very balanced hop addition ties the brew off and leaves you with an aftertaste of hop and chocolate/malt bitterness. Very pleasant IMO, I am an IPA fan, and this is a whole new kind of wonderful bitterness.

Body is full and thick, though not too heavy and oilly like I was afraid it might be.

A great flavor profile and not overly thick body make Blackout an incredible and very drinkable stout. Now if you can handle the 9% abv like its nothing, then you could probably pound this. As for me... this is my second beer today... I'm going to take a nap after this...

03-26-2006 00:32:49 | More by sopor
Photo of DrJay


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%

Black with faint ruby/mahogany highlights. The dense cap of brown foam left delicate lacing behind as it subsided to a solid ring. Rich roasted aroma with generous malty sweetness. Faint ripe fruit and alcohol as well. The flavour starts with a straightforward malt sweetness, roast and semi-sweet chocolate. Bitterness blends in nicely throughout. There's a hint of fruit and molasses towards the end and light alcohol warmth/spiciness carries through the finish, along with lingering caramel and roasted sweetness. Full bodied, low carbonation, creamy texture that's a little on the viscous side. This is a beauty. Another reason to plan a trip to visit Great Lakes.

03-25-2006 01:49:43 | More by DrJay
Photo of waldowin


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Pours an inky black. Not very thick, and the thin brown head fades quickly. Impressively black though, and good lacing from the ring that remains of the head.

Faint smell of smoke, espresso roast, dark chocolate and raisins, with a hint of alcohol. Not very strong, but what's there smells good.

Tastes of espresso, hints of fig and chocolate, and a light bitter finish. The hops add a grapefruit tartness to the mix. As it warms, it grows ever more complex. The alcohol is noticeable, but still, very tasty!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, if not a bit thin for the style. Finish is a bit astringent, but leaves you ready for more coffee goodness.

For a beer this high in ABV, it's very drinkable. Just make sure to keep it in a window between 40-45 degrees. Any colder and it's just a rough alcohol/roast, any warmer and the coffee and hops make it sour.

03-23-2006 08:22:36 | More by waldowin
Photo of warriorsoul


4.28/5  rDev +1.4%

Thanks to Buckspin for this one...been holding onto this for a while and today feels like the right time to enjoy...last day of winter.
Dense black with half a finger of cocoa-colored head that disappears within minutes, except a thin creamy layer that leaves behind some magnificent lacing.
Aroma is a masterful blend of dark chocolate, fig, espresso, and roasted malt...no alcohol in the nose.
Taste is real impressive...very rich, sweet chocolate, robust coffee, caramel and a small amount of bittering hops. The bitterness remains just a touch in the finish...otherwise, quite clean. Again, no hint of the alcohol...just how do you make 9% disappear? I feel it as it warms me up, but a very drinkable high gravity brew.
Mouthfeel is smooth, quite thick and goes down too easy...this is one I'd snag a full case and sit on a good 12 for a year or two. One excellent brew from GL.

03-19-2006 22:52:50 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of Frozensoul327


3.93/5  rDev -6.9%

Solid. Pours out to a coffee black color with a big, dense head of cocoa colored foam. Lotsa lace in uniform rings. Nice. Lower level of carbonation. Aromas of malty coffee and chocolate are noted, with a earthy dirt element. Interesting and pleasing. Taste is full bodied and complex; flavors of roasted malts, wood, mild and aged whisky, grain and dark chocolate all stand out. Mouthfeel is creamy yet not overly thick or heavy. A rather drinkable RIS, considering the 9% ABV. This one could possibly benefit from a few months of aging. In anycase, it was good when I had it. Recommended.

03-16-2006 01:21:09 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of Crosling


3.55/5  rDev -15.9%

Pours suprisingly light but appears black inside the glass. Seriously subtle and lacking aroma of coffee beans, malt (chocolate, roast), strawberry extract, pine, apple and raisins. In terms of flavor, this is equally balanced by the dark malt, burnt fruit and sharp hop characteristics. Front palate begins with a hint of fruit then leads into a nice chocolate, roast, coffee bean flavor and finishes with a reasonable and acceptable hop flavor and bitterness. Lacking in texture. Just not a very good Imperial and I was really hoping to like this.

03-15-2006 03:13:37 | More by Crosling
Photo of ypsifly


4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

12oz with a rather jumbled best before date that seems to read Aug 10/06, purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a pint glass.

"It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black." Small light tan head that just sits there and leaves minimal lace.

Lots of dark roast coffee and nuts in the nose. Cocoa and milk chocolate with a bit of carob.

The taste is full of roasted malts that were pulled away from the fire at just the right moment. Dark roasted coffee and nuts with just enough chocolate flavors to keep it away from being burnt and acidic. Enough bitterness from the hops comes through to really round out the flavors. Bold and equally tasty.

Full thick mouth that is not oily or syrupy in any way. The finish is clean and this beer deserves the hype it gets.

03-13-2006 05:34:12 | More by ypsifly
Photo of BigDaddyWil


4.33/5  rDev +2.6%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.
Best before date Aug. 10th 2006.

Midnight black color, no light is getting through this stout. A nice one finger thick, tan colored head. Some lacing that disappears quite quickly. Fantastic smelling stout!!! Good mix coffee and chocolate up front and fades to a smoky, slightly sour smell. Very nice!! Another great tasting stout, perfect combination of chocolate and coffee. Good amount of roasted malt and ends with some dark bitterness. Maybe tobacco and smoke flavors also. Medium light body feel, maybe a tad thin for me. All in all an excellent drinking stout, that makes a great after dinner treat. Nice job Great Lakes!!!

03-12-2006 23:26:19 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of evanackerman


4.1/5  rDev -2.8%

beer pours black as night with a billowing tan head that is in no hurry to disappear. thick lacing stays behind as the beer is consumed.

smell does not have a whole lot going on, typical stout aroma, not my favorite.

taste is big bold roasted barley followed by a nice hop bitterness that lingers on long after the sip. there is a hint of alcohol burn in the back of the throat but the flavor is minimal.

mouthfeel is thick and creamy, perfect stout feel.

drinkability is pretty damn good for 9 %. i could drink more than one of these happily. too bad they only come in four packs.

another great offering from an outstanding brewery. seriously, these guys do no wrong. fabulous!

03-12-2006 20:35:30 | More by evanackerman
Photo of becktone


4.8/5  rDev +13.7%

Blackout Stout is exactly that, black. There is no hint of clarity in this beer, it is opaque. It pours with a small creamy looking head, however it dosen't last very long. This could be due to the temperature at which I poured it or to the glass not being clean enough. There is a small amount of lacing which slowly works its way back towards the beer when the glass is tipped to take a drink. It looks pretty good, however some head retention would be nice.

To the nose this beer is very intense. It has a nice complex aroma to it. There are noticible roasted/burnt aromas in the foreground in the nose of this beer. I also detect a coffee and chocolate aroma as well. An expected aroma from a RIS. Don't detect a strong hop presence.

When the beer hits the palate one can see that it is a very complex brew. To begin with it starts off with a sweet malt character that makes my mouth water. It is then followed by coffee and chocolate flavors which in turn are overtaken by the roasted/burnt flavor of this beer. There is also a dark fruit flavor and aroma implied by this brew. The aftertaste is chiefly composed of the roasted flavors but in the long run it is the coffee and chocolate flavors which last the longest. This beer may be 9% abv but it is well hidden(as it warms up the alcohol begins to become easier to detect, more apparent though not by much).

The mouthfeel of this beer is great. Blackout has a nice full bodied feel to it and the carbonation is appropriate to the style. It finishes in a semi-dry kind of way. First it seems to finish without leaving the palate dry, however after a few moments the palate does feel dry. This is a great beer and I'll definitely be buying this one every season, I really can't wait to try this on tap, should be good. It goes down easy if you like Russian Imperial Stouts, however it is a beer that is meant to be "nursed" in my opinion. If you don't nurse it then you're missing out on the great taste of this beer.

03-10-2006 00:07:03 | More by becktone
Photo of allboutbierge


4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

I havent wrote a review in about two years. Haven't really been active on the site but it looks good!

Anyways, business...

Poured a full but not frothy head with a dirty sandish colored head. Left tons of lace. Smelled warmth and sweetness. Less bitter than expected flavors. Some dark coffee flavors. No real alcohol taste. Mouthfeel is noticeably carbonated. Solid beer with a relaxing feeling. Digestif is good.

Good beer.

03-07-2006 06:47:49 | More by allboutbierge
Photo of Bumpon10s


3.95/5  rDev -6.4%

A - A beautiful black color with just the smallest tan head. ours a little thicker than the average beer, but noting too heavy.

S - Nose is very roasty, rich and warming. Although not too terribly complex in smell, let's run down the taste.

T - Roasty again to say the least. A little grainy in the taste, a touch of rye and rougher wheats perhaps. A nice flavor, but is lacking a rich finish. Also, the alcohol seems a bit more pronounced than the 9% would have you beleive.

M - Mouthfeel is great, nice and thick, coats all of the surfaces. A slippery greasy feel, with the alcohol tingle usually found in higher ABV beers.

D - This beer has left me satisfied, but not jumping out of my chair to grab another. A good RIS, but there are sure better one's to be had. Overall, I did like this beer.

03-06-2006 06:35:44 | More by Bumpon10s
Photo of fightingwords


4.43/5  rDev +5%

Poured from a bottle into a .5L siedel.

A--super dark brown, much like their Edmund Fitzgerald porter. Held up to the light it yeilded a redish clarity. The head was latte brown and super thin. The lacing was perfect the whole way down.

S--I honestly cannot say enough about this smell. I could smell this beer all night long. The complexity of the odors was amazing. Strong dark roast coffee with a nuty chocolate note. I could smell some earthy hop notes.

T--It has a good smooth coffee and chocolate flavor. Interesing hop and malt balance. I really though the flavors were even, and just great. The organic hop and malt flavors did an amazing job of hiding a rather high ABV.

M--Smooth and light-to-medium body finished clean and a little quicker than I wanted. I was hoping this would be a beer that stuck with me all night.

D--I could drink several of these just to smell them over and over. I just can't take the higher ABV. I'm a smaller guy (about 150lbs) and the alcohol went straight to my head. I don't enjoy getting drunk and this beer would get me there fast.

O--Ive found my new favorite beer. Not enough good things to say. Watch out for the ABV if you avoid getting too taken away. Sold in 4 packs. I buy 2 at a time. I cannot wait to take a trip to the brewery and see this one in process.

03-05-2006 05:17:25 | More by fightingwords
Photo of schoolboy


4.47/5  rDev +5.9%

It's here! The 2006 batch hit one of my favorite stores today (it wasn't in yesterday). Ever since last year's I've been waiting for another taste. This may be the perfect stout. It is a very complex but not bewildering combination of flavors. Nothing out of place. Nothing harsh or biting. Just gobs of flavor. Loads of alcohol well disguised, but you don't want to guzzle this stuff. This is your special occaision stout (it's Friday, that's special) as opposed to a Thirsty Dog Siberian Night, which is your every day stout.

I picked up a couple four packs today and I really should just grab a couple cases and put it away (just in case of a power failure).

03-04-2006 00:25:15 | More by schoolboy
Photo of NClifestyle

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

What a brilliant stout. Great lakes beers are so solid, makes me wish the brewery was closer. This beer was extremely smooth and easy to drink for a RIS.
Pitch black, medium head of thick cream.
Smells of chocolate and coffee. Taste was similar, but even sweeter than the smell. It might have even been a touch too sweet, and kept it from being a 5. Biting roasted character and hops show up in the back, but can't knock out the sweet malt.
This beer had ample tingle, even burning, although I didn't really taste the alcohol. Suprisingly east to drink for such a strong beer.


03-03-2006 18:06:09 | More by NClifestyle
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,512 ratings.