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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

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2,928 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 2,928
Reviews: 1,125
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 423
Gots: 496 | FT: 35
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: Wildman on 02-14-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,928 | Reviews: 1,125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnnnniee
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from Prototypic in the Secret Santa bif Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid black with a fluffy tan head that dissipates quickly. Smells of cocoa and milk chocolate, a bit of roast, coffee and some alcohol as it warms. Tastes of cocoa and chocoalate followed by some roast and hop bitterness followed by some coffee leaving a roast bitterness in the finish. Creamy velvety smooth mouthfeel, thick body, low but ample carbonation. This is a great stout! one of the best I've had in a while. Huge creamy mouthfeel, just awesome.

Photo of ScreamForMe
4.38/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trader Bowersdm and Tilley4!

A coworker originally from OH told me she loved this brewery. So, of course, I had to try it.

Beer poured with a nice two finger head on it.

A rich, smooth tasting imp stout. Alcohol is somewhat hidden. Very drinkable in that dangerous but good kind of way.


Photo of dukedevil0
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single 12 oz bottle from Archer Liquors in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours black with a finger of khaki head the reduces to nothing more than a rim. no lacing whatsoever

S: smells like roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate

T: tastes just like the scent, a little alcohol comes through

M: thinner than some RIS brews, but still full bodied, lots of carbonation

D: seems very drinkable for the style

Photo of DrewOSU
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from "From the Vine" in Columbus, OH:

A: Label says it all, pours licorice black, with a a thick, brown 1.5 inch tan head on pour. The thick head rushes down in layers, like muddy lake water. Good spotted lacing on the side of the glass.

S: Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate with a citrus backer

M/T: Light to medium body on the tongue, not a huge feeling beer. I get a coffee and roasted malt surge on the tongue on first impression, followed by a bitter and light syrupy 2nd punch. It finishes slightly bitter from the understated hop presence. Not totally clean aftertaste. The sweetness of the malts seems to stay with you.

D: The lighter body of this beer makes Blackout Stout a pretty drinkable beer, however the strong malt and semi bitter aftertaste can catch up with you. A very solid beer none the less.

Photo of hoplover82
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer about a month ago with my friend Jason, (thanks by the way). And He said it was going to be EPIC, and man was he right. I gave this beer a perfect score. I don't think I gave any other beer a perfect score, but this one I believe deserves it. It truely was epic in every sence. Outstanding indeed. I couldn't find anything wrong with it. Probably the best beer I've tried to date. I highly recommend this one.

Photo of spointon
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This stout poured a very dark black/brown without much light penetration and a 1" dense tan head. The head dropped slowly to a cap that stayed all the way down. Minor lace on the glass.

S= The aroma had a lot of roasted grain character with some mild sweetness and a rich roasted coffee beans present as well too. Not much alcohol present.

T= A burst of dark malt sweetness up front lead quickly into the bitterness of the roasted grains. Coffee and chocolate made an appearance, as did a short pop of rich dark berry sweetness. Alcohol made its appearance as the finish dried out a bit but retained the full roast character.

MF= Fuller side of medium bodied but still lighter than I expected for an imperial stout. Moderately crisp mouthfeel.

D= This was a great stout but not at all what I expected. Its sort of like an Imperial dry stout with a lot of roasted grain character as compared to most other RIS' I have had. All in all an interesting beer that was very drinkable despite the big ABV.

Photo of luciusgilmer
3.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

bottle served in tulip glass

A: Nothing exciting; yes, it's dark. The lack of a head concerned me a bit. A faint lacing, basically, and otherwise quite dark.

S: Fairly standardI: nice roasted flavor; I didn't sense the coffee tones others reported.

T: I didn't taste coffee either, which made me wonder whether this was an older bottle, though that should not matter much for this beer. It's a rich flavor, but not very distinguished.

M: I now see what others have meant by "oily" in some descriptions as I sense that after swirling it around. I think the foretaste and feel are great, but it leaves a bit of a pure alcohol aftertaste that is less pleasant. Good going down, and nice to savor in the mouth, but the aftertaste bothered me. (It's probably typical of some higher ABV beers, but not all have it.)

D: I like this brand a lot, but despite clearly quality ingredients and brewing, I don't see myself seeking this out. I also would not turn one down!

Photo of roadhouse
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

Appears a very deep black/mahogany color, ruby red when held up to the light. A three quarter inch tan head falls to a skim on top and leaves

Aroma is pretty heavy on the chocolate, there's also a bit of espresso and some smokiness. A touch of dried berries. No trace of alcohol.

Taste is like the aroma - heavy on the chocolate with the subtleties of dark fruit in the middle progressing towards chocolate and burnt wood in the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, pretty light for an RIS, but it's very nice and creamy. An easy one to drink for sure.

While of course it isn't as good as the rare RIS, it's a really good RIS that is actually available. I would compare it to Old Rasputin

Photo of dick783
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black like you would expect with a tan head that holds very small tight bubbles.

S - Very deep, dark, roasted smell.

T - Dark roasted coffee with a hint of bitter chocolate. The alcohol is there but only in the finish and works well with the taste.

M - Good, not too thin to too thick. Nothing to complain about here.

D - I could put down a couple of these without knowing it, its not too heavy and each sip tastes better and better. A perfect choice for a cold night like tonight.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.9/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

A- GLBC Blackout stout stands by it's name as it has an oil like blackness to it. No head whatsoever on the surface, which is surprising to me coming from a tap. 100% blackout.

S- Not as bold as expected with a mixture of chocolate, some coffee and malts galore giving off a roasty appeal. Cocco is also all over the place with no alcohol coming from this 9%er. A bit of grain with warming.

T- The taste of this RIS starts off sweet with the cocco coming into play but nothing over the top. Getting more chocolate than coffee which is a nice change from whatr i've been drinking lately. Burnt grains and roasted malts towards the middle leaving a slight bitter touch in the end on the tounge. None of the flaovors stand out making this well balanced.

M- A bit thin for an RIS especially coming from the tap. Was expecting more body from the look of the blackout. Otherwise this is smooth and rich with a overall dry appeal. A bit of alcohol is felt in the mouth, nicely masked.

D- Not sessionable at 9% but i would not mind cuddling up with a few of these on a cold night. Not my favorite RIS, but far from the worst. Actually the thinner body and dry finish make this more drinkable than most. I just wish they distributed to SEPA.

Photo of youngblood
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Pours very very dark. Tan head that remained through most of the drink. Quite pretty to look at.
S - Smells of caramel popcorn, espresso, faint green scent of hops.
T - Very strong coffee/espresso flavor up front. The backside has a buttery almost chocolate milk flavor to it. Fantastic!
M - Very full bodied. Rolls smoothly over the tongue.
D - Has good drinkability, at least I wanted to keep drinking them.

This is a great brew. One to take home and meet the parents.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.58/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark dark brown, no light gets through but it somehow manages to not quite hit black. The tan colored head has excellent retention and leaves a nice lacing effect behind.

Smells of dark roasted malts, coffee, and hints of chocolate.

Bitter up front, the bitterness mellows quickly to a dark chocolate and coffee taste.

The mouth feel is definately the weak point of the brew, it leaves the mouth with an oily coating that is not entirely pleasant.

Not a bad beer at all, certainly willing to drink more. All things considered, I would much prefer some other imperial stouts to this one.

Photo of markwise
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks sebletitje for the share. Pours cola brown with an off-white head, and lots of yellow lacing upon swirling. Nose is wood, chocolate, vanilla, ripe fruit, and some coffee-ness. Flavor is similar to aroma profile with an additional chocolate and some coffee bitterness in the finish. I have to agree with sebletitje in that the barrel aged version is incredible...

Photo of bowersdm
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. The bottle displays a Best Before date of 7/28/09. Served at 55 degrees per brewer's recommendations.

A - inky black, with no hint of light or ruby at top or bottom. A somewhat aggressive pour resulted into an overflowing beer. Once it stopped, the head stood 4cm tall. She was a thing of beauty. The beer left what can be partially described as a film of head down my glass as it was drank.

S - roasted barley, burnt/charred barley, black coffee, tobacco, smoke. no fruits and no chocolate noticeable.

T - roasted barley, burnt/charred barley, and black coffee got things kicked off. this gave way to a dark chocolate/cocoa and pretty hoppy finish (hoppy for an RIS). Alcohol was present as a warming sensation in the throat.

M - I'm not sure. At times, it seemed thin, but still creamy. At others, it seemed thick and chewy. It was very well carbonated.

D - once again Great Lakes produces a a stellar beer. This is definitely one of the better (if not the best) roasted barley heavy RIS I've ever had.

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

A: Dark, like oil.. Not texturally speaking, but color wise..Lots of creamy tan foam on top of there.. That's some good looking brew

S: fragrant, malty, and sweet.. smells like a mocha.. A big mocha.. with lots of chocolate.. Thems good smells..

T: Rich and dark. Not as much chocolate as the smell, but something sweet in the finish.. not really fruity.. but.. I can't describe it.. good though.. aftertaste is roasted-burnt coffee, but in a good way...

M: You almost want to chew this.. which would be very silly, because it is liquid.. so don't.

D: I can think of nothing better to do in a blackout than polish of a sixer of this.. after all, wouldn't want it to go bad...

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

Poured dark black color with average creamy head that lasted with good lacing. Aroma of moderate toasted malt and a toffee tone. Flavor is a complex heavy sweet with a heavy sweet with moderate bitter long finish. Medium to full creamy body with a light alcohol finish.

One of the better GL and stout brews, but not the best.

Photo of Frosty80
3.87/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color: pours a dark brown. sits black with a dark brown rim

Smell: dominated by coffee with a little chocolate

Taste: again dominated by roasted malt with some chocolate and just the right amount of hops to escort the alcohol and other flavors across the pallet

Mouthfeel: low-full body with a decent amount of carbonation

Notes: great stout. Great Lakes does a good job with their beers in general. i wish people up here would catch on to GL, but it seems to be an Ohio staple, primarily

Photo of eyncognito
3.83/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with thin tan head. Aroma is burnt malt, chocolate, and a touch of coffee-less bitter smelling the many RIS. A little on the mild side for a big bad stout.

Taste is roasty chocolate and coffee, touch of the burnt black patent malt. Finishes with a dry bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, somewhat oily and full-bodied, not unpleasant, but I've had better.

A very drinkable RIS, alcohol was undetectable in both the nose and flavor, only a pleasant warming. A well put together RIS, recommended, but nothing I'd get terribly excited about.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.27/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Freshest by Date 08/19/08 (Two yrs aged?)

As the name would imply, this one pours black. A two-finger head of espresso colored foam forms, but dissipates quickly. The lacing is foamy and slick, so it doesn't hang around long.

Deep, dark, roasted malts. Mild hints of bittersweet chocolate and coffee beans. Very subtle notes of oak and vanilla, not unlike bourbon. A light presence of dark fruits. Slight touch of a smoke and a hint of brown sugar.

Super dark roasted maltiness. Super bold, dark roasted coffee beans. Decent notes of bittersweet chocolate. Mild hints of vanilla and dark fruits. Dark cherries, with figs and dried plums.
Very tasty.

Definitely has that oily quality, which I love. Sadly, it's not quite full bodied enough, IMO. Upper-end of medium bodied, which is still enjoyable, just not close enough to perfect.

Here's another great R.I.S. with high drinkability. Super smooth and easy to drink. The 9.0%ABV is all but unnoticed. A slight warming effect is the only thing here to hint at the alcohol contained within.
I wish I could get this one, here in Oklahoma.

Photo of madtowndmb1
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This beer poured jet black with a tan head.

S: Smelled like sweet molasses and toasted grains. Very nice smell.

T: What a great taste! I t didn't blow me away but well balanced, toasted grains take the stage first. Then it moves to a coffee flavor, then right to a tongue coating chocolate flavor.

M: Just what I like about RIS's thick and sticky on your tongue. But still easy to get down.

D: I really liked this beer! I'm glad I have some more to drink. I'll probably get some more to cellar, since I'm not sure if I'll see it next year!

Photo of brewbucker
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoy by date of Oct 1st 2006

Ahhh. A nicely aged Blackout Stout. A lovely pour. Black with a nice tan head and sticky lacing. Aroma is fermented fruits, black currants, malt and just a slight touch of sourness. Flavor is outstanding. Not a hint!! I repeat!!! Not a hint of oxidation! Boozy dark fruits, rich malts, light molasses and hints of licorice. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich. I have had many stouts that have turned sour after aging but this is holding up great.

Photo of SykDoc
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of stoutsnipas and brdc, thank you gentlemen. Poured into a flute, it pours like motor oil that is opaque when held to the light and deep brown at the edges. A short-lived, khaki head occurs and reduces to a lattice-like lacing.

The aroma is subtle but complex with the usual culprits of dark chocolate/malt and coffee. There is also minimal bourbon and something that I can't quite put my finger on. Some oaky and sweet components.

The taste again has the usual of coffee and dark chocolate with minimal bourbon and an interesting addition of anise and caramel. You do catch a fair hint of the alcohol which warms the mouth, as well as hops.

The mouthfeel displays a medium body with fairly high carbonation. It leaves a sticky and dry finish that is quite nice.

Overall, this is a quite good beer and I would be interested to see how it ages and ages in the barrel. Either way, it is another Great Lakes beer that is good and I will continue to search for them when shopping.

Photo of Damian
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle
Enjoy by 8/18/08
Served in a snifter

Thanks to adamharbaugh for including this as an extra in our trade.

The beer poured an opaque, pitch black. Not a hint of light permeated this oily mass. The small, frothy, bubbly, tan head faded to a thin lasting ring. Spotty drops of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was a beautiful and harmonious blend of roasty and sweet. Potent, yet not over the top like some other Russian imperial stouts. Rich, malty and oaky with hints of bourbon. Deep and dark. Bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar and dark fruits also came through strong. As the beer warmed, the sweetness intensified.

The taste was magnificent as well. Similar to the aroma in many regards, except more dry and bitter (and possibly more intense). Sweet-ish up front. Coffee was most noticeable. Roasted malts also came through strong, along with an intense charred quality. Rich and oaky. Espresso notes were noticeable in the center. Some warming alcohol appeared on the back end. The finish was intense. Hoppy (in a piney and minty sort of way) and dry with a strong char flavor. Overall, remarkably well balanced. As the beer opened up, sweet toffee/caramel and brown sugar flavors emerged.

The mouthfeel was thick, creamy and smooth. Oily. Near full-bodied.

Drinkability was quite impressive. The well masked alcohol and balanced nature of this brew made it all too quaffable.

Some Russian imperial stouts receive praise for their intensity and brashness. Others however, are respected for their grace and finesse. This beer is definitely one of the latter. Overall, an incredibly well done version of the style.

Photo of UDbeernut
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap poured into a snifter

a: black body with a nie silky tan head, sith fair retention, reduces to a lacing ring aroud the glass

s: dark malt and chocolate, I do detect the alchohol in my nose

t: dark malt and chocolate flavors are strong, very nice. The alcohol is warming

m&d: full bodied beer with a buttery mouthfeel.


Photo of PhxHorn
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one pours a dark dark brown, almost black, with a quarter inch head. Smells strongly of coffee and chocolate. Tastes solidly of coffee, some chocolate, and molasses, nice flavor. Mouthfeel is a tad watery for a stout, and as I worked my way through the beer, the taste seemed to get less interesting and more two-dimensional. Not all that complex. Not bad, but not stellar, either.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,928 ratings.