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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,526 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,526
Reviews: 1,079
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 403
Gots: 326 | FT: 24
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: 2,526 | Reviews: 1,079 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

jhammerly, May 08, 2006
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.

geexploitation, May 07, 2006
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.

JiminKY, Apr 29, 2006
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.

iron78, Apr 21, 2006
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.

heyitsbyron, Apr 19, 2006
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.

blitz134, Apr 19, 2006
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.

neonbrown82, Apr 18, 2006
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.

jdmorgan, Apr 17, 2006
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!

AltBock, Apr 12, 2006
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.

Graham21, Apr 11, 2006
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.

ej285701, Apr 11, 2006
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.

nflmvp, Apr 11, 2006
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.

Zorro, Apr 09, 2006
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.

Chadbrew, Apr 09, 2006
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.

cproioi, Apr 08, 2006
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.

klewis, Apr 05, 2006
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.

blackie, Apr 05, 2006
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.

plaztikjezuz, Apr 02, 2006
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...

bennetj17, Mar 31, 2006
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.

CaptCleveland, Mar 30, 2006
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.

Blakaeris, Mar 30, 2006
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.

bashiba, Mar 28, 2006
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.

DaPeculierDane, Mar 27, 2006
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?

DuqTroops, Mar 27, 2006
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...

sopor, Mar 26, 2006
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,526 ratings.