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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,032 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 3,032
Reviews: 1,147
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 435
Gots: 535 | 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:
Beer added by: GreatPondBrewer on 11-30-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,032 | Reviews: 1,147
Photo of oregonskibum
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark black with 1/2 inch tan, almost brown head that quickly disippates to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Lots of coffee aromas, roasted malts, a little caramel. Simple, but clean and nice smell. Some faint chocolate notes show up as the beer warms.

T: Dark coffee flavors hit early in the taste, continuing from the smell. Some caramel or toffee notes come in fairly quickly, building to a somewhat sweet taste. Notes of dark chocolate and a slight bitterness are also there. Finish is smooth.

M: Medium to full bodied and felt appropriate for the beer. Medium to low carbonation - just enough to keep the beer lively and not overly sticky on the tongue.

D: This isn't the greatest big stout out there, but it's a solid example of a non barrel-aged simple stout. Enjoyable and something I would hunt out again.

Photo of Kaiser81
3.76/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jojomdma for sending this over

Poured from a 12 oz bottle in my snifter glass. 8/22/10 date on it.

A - Pours a pitch black with about a finger width of mocha colored head. It dies down fairly quickly to leave some lacing on the glass.

S - Smells very roasty with hints of chocolate, dark fruits, and a touch of licorice. A touch of coffee bean and alcohol also comes through.

T - Nothing really jumps out and grabs the tongue. Some coffee soy sauce and licorice flavors are mixed in with a hint of espresso and dark/bitter chocolate. There is a roasty and sliight hint of booze aftertaste. Slight sourness in it too.

M - Creamy/heavy body with mild carbonation. It's nice.

D - It's ok. I'd prefer other stouts, but I would drink a bit of this.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.24/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to my buddy Jon for picking this one up for me. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my Blue Point snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a 1 finger semi-fine chocolate head that dissipates rather quickly. Beer is opaque black although not as thick as I'd like. Lacing is spotty with thick chunks emerging ever-so-slightly from the beer.

S: Chocolate, toasted malts, brownie, stale soy sauce, and licquorice. Incredibly subtle booziness drifts over my nose from this one.

T: Toasted maltiness that sours just a bit. Bitter brownie and licquorice along with trace bits of chocolate here and there a sprinkling of hoppiness in the background. This beer is greener than most, but shows it in such a way that its mostly hidden. My palate is a bit confused here. Finish is messy and leaves a toasted malt sourness that lingers on the palate for a long time.

M: Medium bodied, moderate carbonation, and quite lively on the tongue. Not so smooth or oily however, this is offset a little by the fact that the 9% is barely noticeable. Finish is
messy and leaves a stain on the palate.

D: I'm not really sure what the fuss is all about. I've heard a bit about this beer but overall, a bit disappointed. Just average in every way though the nose is unique in a heavy, subdued kind of way. Still, I'm not going out of my way for this one.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thin tan head that soon dissipates. Extremely dark brown that is nearly black. You cannot see through this fella.

I detect molasses, espresso, toffee, and a bit of earthy wood or dirt in the scent.

The taste shows a lot of espresso, toffee, and a good amount of sweetness up front. There is an essencce of dark chocolate that finishes with a light bitterness.

The weakness of this beer seems to be the mouthfeel. Medium in body it is far less than it should be at 9% though it does present some stickiness.

This is a very drinkable beer and the more sips I take, the more I like it. Solid.

Photo of wedge421
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown/black with very little light brown head.

S - Deep dark chocolates, espresso beans and heavy malts. Very light aroma of the alcohol esters.

T - SLight hop bitterness, followed by roasted chocolate notes from the malts used. A slight alcohol burn is present in the finish. Finishes nice and dry.

D - At 9.0% this beer does not have a huge amount of drinkability. But it still is a treat every time you do get to have it.

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a purely black shade with chocolate colored medium fizzed head.
Smell is heavy in roasted coffee beans and malt-light earth comes through the thick malts.
Taste is like drinking through an iced coffee-roasted malts is strong.
Finish is very wet with the strong roasted after-life with a light bite.
Drinks very well-small bite here and sometimes the coffee bean can come through twinge too much.

Photo of animal69
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- pours an almost opaque brown-black color that light can actually penetrate w/ a thick lt. brown cap that settles into a pool on fine lace in my snifter

A- smell is mostly coffee and burnt toast, whole grain breads with some notes of burnt sugars and a bit of roasting nuts fill in the spaces, there are some hints of dark fruit, woody vanilin and a pleasing mineral as it warms but all are still quite subdued, no alcohol detected until the last sips

T- taste starts of with sharp roasted malts and a nice hop bitterness then turns to a french roast coffee/bittersweet dark chocolate, wood, toffee, caramel, bready cereal malt, a bit of roasted nuts, and believe it or not a smoked meat w/ soy-like flavor, very complex, finish is actually a bit dry with a hint of mineral, fantastic overall flavor, the only thing not present was the anise-like flavor most RIS's seem to have which IMO isn't a bad thing

M- a semi-dry, med-full bodied beer with just enough co2 to keep it from being sticky

D- jeez, at $9.19/4pk it's both affordable and great, i could easily deplete our area's entire supply, even in summer this would be a great late evening beer

Photo of claminat420
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured the typical dark shade with a nice tan/light brown head. A TRUE STOUT.

S- roasted flavor blended with some coffee and chocolate hints. malty.

T- just how it smells but better cuz it's getting you bombed!

M- medium bodied. really good carbonation on a hard pour.

D- after getting over the stomach flu and the first brew i've dranken i've been able to knock down the whole 4 pack no problem.

Overall- this is a must try for all stout fans!! for not being a stout fan i have to say i can tip my hat to this brew.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.97/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured black with some carbonation and a small amount of coffee-coloured head. Not as thick as many RIS tend to be.

S - The nose is bitter chocolate, licorice and coffee. There is also some dark fruit in the background.

T - Lots of roasted malts with coffee and some chocolate. There is a sweetness to this one - maybe a hint of molasses. There is a very slight alcohol taste with each sip that doesn't linger at all. A nice, complex stout.

M - Medium to full body. Some carbonation hinders a silky smooth finish that would really compliment this stout well.

D - An excellent RIS. Will definitely pick up at least a 4 pack of this every winter.

Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical stout pour - black like coal, with a creamy caramel colored head.

Smell is toasted malts, black licorice, coffee grinds, some mild traces of bitter chocolate, and no booziness whatsoever in the aroma. (which I thought I would get)

Taste is predominantly bitter chocolate with coffee. Underneath those two dominating flavors is hints of cherries, dark fruit, and actually has some tobacco/charcoal/smokiness mojo going on. The flavors balance well throughout with a dry bitterness ending the sip, while bitter chocolate and charcoal line the mouth afterwards.

Mouthfeel is medium but for an Imperial Stout, it's a little thin. The alcohol, though not detected in the nose, shows itself at the end with a moderate amount of warming in the throat.

Drinkability is very good. This is a stout that I've been wanting to try.

Photo of CharlatanSin
3.93/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Time to start hacking away at this backlog of review notes from my Wisconsin trip. That place, by the way, is beer heaven.

Blackout Stout. One of those things we've heard legends about here in NYC, but have never received. Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Blackout pours a deep, ominous black. The pour creates a big, pillowy tan head which recedes quickly and doesn't leave a ton of lacing.

S: Very sweet. Dark malts dominate, with a bit of dark fruit and chocolate. A tiny bit of booze as it warms. Faint but pleasant.

T/M: Quite good, but doesn't really stand out. The dark malts have more of a roasted taste than in the nose, which lends a nice bitterness. The chocolate is stronger, too. Bitter baker's chocolate. Maybe a tiny hint of booze. The mouthfeel is the best aspect here. Creamy, viscous and extremely coating, the way a good stout should be.

D/Overall: Very nice RIS, but not something I'd go out of my way for. Which is good, since going out of my way would require airfare.

Photo of TheGordianKnot
4.08/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased on tap at a pub, but received in a regular pint glass... Would have preferred a tulip or snifter, but o well.

A- Beautiful black with a very small caramel head (perhaps the bartender wasn't sure how to pour)

S- Had a very sweet and coffee/toffee like smell

T- Decent imperial stout. Very prominent bourbon taste, which wasn't what I quite fancy, but the hops balanced nicely

M- Everything one would expect in an imperial stout

D- My first drink was the best. I gulped down a good third of it and noticed the different flavors on my tongue (the roasted barley, bitter hops, and sweetness of the malt were wonderful for this first 5 seconds!) with a decent aftertaste. Towards the end, it seemed like it kept getting thicker and thicker and the bourbon flavor got to be a bit much.

Overall, not a bad imperial stout. Imperials are not my stout of choice, but one can absolutely appreciate what Great Lakes did with this. I tend to feel that GL is overrated (being from Ohio people go absolutely crazy for the stuff, not knowning anything about beer; just that it's from Ohio) but this was a gem to find, especially on tap! I was about to get a guinness after to balance out the flavor and mouthfeel, but realized that would have tasted like water after this bad boy, so I got an IPA with my burger instead. I would enjoy again...

Photo of MrDanno96
3.51/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pretty impressive. I filled my snifter all the way to the top and it almost looks like the glass is painted black - that's how little light is getting through this thing. Just a thin tannish white head crowns the brew.

S: Feint roasty aromas are the primary scents here. Dark roast coffee, roasted malt, and black patent. Maybe some hints of bitter chocolate. A little underwhelming to be honest - this could use a stronger nose.

T: Like the nose, the taste is kind of one dimensional. Lots of roasted malt character dominates the flavor: black patent, espresso, bittersweet chocolate, and burnt coffee. A little sweetness is detectable at the beginning of each sip - chocolate and hits of dark fruit and molasses. This is quickly covered up, however, but the aforementioned dark malts. The finish is harshly bitter - too much black patent malt IMO. Sometimes the "burnt coffee" flavor can be desirable in big stouts, but here it's just a little to abrasive.

M: Full bodied with a slightly harsh finish of burnt coffee and alcohol.

D: This stout is simply O.K. IMHO. I think it could benefit greatly from sacrificing a little of its "blackout" color by trading a little of the darker roasted malts for some slightly sweeter malts. Perhaps a little more chocolate malt would do this brew good. I'll throw a couple in the cellar and see if a year takes some of the bitter bite out of the flavor.

Photo of crossovert
3.78/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, 2010 vintage.

Pours into my snifter a thick, dark blackish brown. The head is thick and tan with lots of large and small bubbles. It stays a long tie before receding and leaving behind lacing.

The smell is perhaps a bit underwhelming. It is heavy on bready dark malt scent with a bit of alcohol and sugar. There is also some faint chocolate, coffee, and raisin.

The mouthfeel is big and thick. The taste is predominantly roasted dark chocolate with some coffee. There is a light hop bite and some dark fruitiness and alcoholic kick. The end of the mouthfeel is slightly cloying.

This is a good RIS but there are better ones out there, I am eager to try this with some age on it however as it might just be too fresh. I also would like to try the BA version.

Photo of Pabs311
3.71/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours almost black w/ rich mocha head that lingers for quit a while and slowly settle leaving some good looking lacing.

S-sweet roasted malts and some coffee and hints of bittersweet chocolate. not an overly impressive nose.

T-good coffee character, roasted malts and a dry finsih. once again not overly impressed.

M/D- medium0light bodied, low carbonation. very drinkable. i dunno what happened here, but i wasn't overly impressed. hopefully the other 2 i aquired will drink better in a few months.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottles poured a dark black using the Sam Adams pefect pint glass. Decent amount of foam lacing the glass. The taste comes through as dark roasted chocolate. A very smooth stout overall and quite drinkable. No trace of the 9% alc at all in any sip. A pretty good stout overall, nothing amazing, but good. Glad I finally got to try this one. Would have no issues drinking this again.

Photo of Poormon79
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up recently in a 4 pack. I plan on getting all three of the special brew greal lakes plans to put out.

A: very dark. RIS standard black. put to light a hint of red is present.

S: somewhat of a sweet roasted malts. small chocolate smell

T: the roasted malts come through. chocolate sense comes with the smell

D: i could sip on this bad boy all night.

Unfortunatly it was fairly expensive at $11 something a 4 pack. But very worth it. Ill let a bottle sit for awhile

Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

WOW..nice.smooth for an Imperial stout, Black , Malty, a slight alcohol finish, but all of the typical stout traits, even a little touch of smoke. Aroma of Dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted malts, alcohol, mocha and coffee. Flavor is sweet roasted malts, tabacco and chocolate, . Great balance. Smooth, creamy and very easy drinking. Alcohol is a bit noticeable. Very good beer, but did you expect any less from Great Lakes. Let this 9% bitch sit a year.

Photo of JoePat
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2010
This beer pours a very dark brown if not black with a thin tan head that really seams to stick around as it warms.
It smells mostly of bitter chocolate with some roasted coffee too but the chocolate is what stands out.
I get a lot of the roasted bitterness with chocolate hiding underneath. Some coffee notes in the aftertaste.
The mouthfeel is very creamy but the bitterness balances it out so it goes down smooth not too rich.
A very drinkable stout at 9% and the price doesn't hurt it either.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nighttime black, I get it, blackout stout. Where's the carbonation? Burnt aroma.

Medium bodied for an imperial. Not sludge, but not Guinness thin either. A little more on the bitter side. Feels warm. Feels like tobacco too. Fire, smoke, everything surrounding something that is burnt, it has a coal feel complimenting the burnt chocolate. Cold campfire night stout.

I woudln't say that this beer is unique, its a pretty standard IS with a smoky bent, unlike the rauchbier smoky feel. I guess I would say its most similar to what I imagine an Alaskan Imperial Smoked Porter would be like.

Not a bad price for a big middle of the road stout.

Photo of ColForbinBC
4.03/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap, served in a snifter

A pitch black body with a frothy, cappuccino color head that recedes slowly to form a thin layer of thick foam. Excellent retention and spider web lacing.

The aroma is more fresh roasted coffee and bitter chocolate than anything else. Some dark cherries and a mild hint of booze. Everything in a pretty good balance, nothing leaps out and smacks me around.

The flavor profile is similar to the nose only with more roast. Dark, Belgian chocolate up front with lingering roast coffee and dark cherry in tow. The finish is bitter and roasty with just a touch of warming. Again, everything is in a very good balance and nothing overwhelms. Not a large, gargantuan stout by any means, but big and playful.

Smooth and lush, with a very easy drinking quality. It's so well-balanced that it goes down super smooth. The flavors are bold without being overpowering which bodes well for its drinkability. The finish is bitter and a lingering roast.

Photo of Scrapss
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Thick and dark as night. Inert 2 finger deep tan head that dissipated. Has very slight legs. Some lacing.

S: I sense coffee, tobacco, chocolate and roasted sensations with ever so slight hop note. It smells like a toned-down, refined Sam Adams Triple Bock.

T: Smell delivers and taste follows, all the strongly malt, chocolate and lively burnt and roasted notes with mellowing flavors. Very sharp and short lived bite. Alcohol is barely present, it is slight and not nearly as powerful as SA/TB.

M: Chocolate bite, thin, smooths into strongly warming feeling. Faintly reminds me of John Walker Black Label, but at a very reduced ABV. All the flavors fall off nicely at the finish, leaving a smooth, then very slightly dry feeling. Not what I expected at all.

D: This is a rather good and certainly a pleasurable sip.

I really like this concoction. It reminds me of a Sam Adams Triple Bock but (pleasantly) muted and filtered to the point of refinement. Great Lakes continues to deliver quality brew!

Photo of WorldWideStout
4.19/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of pecorasc as an extra he knew I wanted. Been looking forward to trying this for awhile - thanks Sam!

A: The pour is a regular brown, lighter than I expected. In the snifter, it becomes darker. Head rose to about two fingers but left the glass with no trace fairly quickly.

S: As I poured I could smell some chocolate. Closer sniffs were rewarded with more of this, though more bitter than originally anticipated, and a definite brownie smell, which I had heretofore read of rather dubiously in others' reviews of stouts. There were also aspects of baker's chocolate and cocoa in the mix.

T: Starts off with some unripened dark fruit, followed by the brownie/baker's chocolate, which just sort of fades away. Aftertaste is bitter cocoa beans, though it's not too intense.

M: Not as full-bodied as I'd like, though it does improve drinkability. There is also a bit of chalkiness; perhaps because of the flavors, I am reminded of a bit of cocoa powder that hasn't yet dissolved. This sensation is at least somewhat conjured up, as there is certainly no sediment floating about; regardless, it is unique but not unpleasant.

D: Quite high for a decently alcoholic and flavorful brew.

I was in the mood for a more chocolately stout, and I got it. I'm not a huge fan of the dark fruit notes in this one, but luckily they play a secondary role. I'm glad I got to have this, and now I'm even more interested in the barrel-aged version!

Photo of Mavajo
3.06/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to Buckeyenation for the bottle.

Pours nearly black, but allows quite a bit of light through. You can pretty much see right through it as it pours, and the edges have quite a bit of transparency. Head is surprisingly white - probably weighs in as "off-white" overall. About two fingers thick, with decent retention. Almost no lacing. Just a bit too "light" looking for a big stout.

Nose is great. Cocoa/coffee and roasted malts. Very nice nose, which indicates that a great taste should follow. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Taste is quite a bit watered down, with some coffee/cocoa notes and a slight smokiness. It's a bit bland overall. Almost like someone took a very good stout, and then diluted it with water. Disappointing.

If I was bummed by the taste, the mouthfeel was worse. Thin body. Not what I want from a big stout. Carbonation was okay. Again, the watery character of this beer weighs in again here.

This brew is just boring. Mediocre taste, weak mouthfeel. I expected much better. It's not offensive or awful - it's just bland and boring. Possibly the most uninspired RIS/Double Stout I've ever had.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.35/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to pimpmyporter for sending this beer my way.

Poured into my imperial pint glass the beer is dark brown bordering on black. The beige head rises to about two fingers before settling to leave just spots of lace.

The aroma is a heavy dose of roasted malt along with generous amount of coffee and hints of chocolate. Light hint of bitterness.

The flavor is very nice blend of roast bready malts with black bitter coffee and hints of chocolate fudge. Great mix of these components.

Full body with light carbonation. Hangs on the tongue.

Overall a super easy drinking RIS if there ever was one. I'm glad I scored a handful of bottles.

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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 3,032 ratings.