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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 Rastacouere
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Almost black, diminishing light brown head. Well roasted grains hit the nose, closing on coffee and having that oatmeal touch (whether they use any or not) that I love in big stouts, flour-like with strong biscuity aspects. Very cookieish palate, feels like pastries. Well rounded edges, strong dark fruit components (plums, blackberries..). Anise suggestions come in right before the chocolate ice cream light lactic aspect that miraculously fades away completely to leave way to the roastiness. Very subtle for an impy, yet multi-faceted and admirable imo. Mellow alcohol feels procures a gently fruit liqueur or grand marnier note. One of the best tasting imperials I’ve had I would say, but the other aspects were not as admirable. Carbonation for one may be a bit too expressive rather than letting the flavours speak for themselves, it would fit on a smaller stout, here it seems to reduce a bit the punch of this medium body.

Rastacouere, Nov 08, 2005
Photo of far333
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark brown, so opaque that it looks impenetrable. Very low head of fine light brown bubbles. Inviting aroma with a presence all its own, with bits of cocoa and bitter coffee, but also ripe plum and raisins, a distinct cherry tang, and some oakey smoke.

Flavor is rich and biting, with a smooth, full and creamy mouthfeel. Lots going on here - an initial carbonation and hop tingle, followed by sweet cocoa, morphing slowly to bitter espresso, mouthfeel turns tannic and powdery, and the tip of the tongue starts to tingle, charred oak emerges followed by thick molasses. Finishes crisp, almost with a pucker, and leathery coffee grounds and tobacco run up the sides of the cheeks. The ABV is well-hidden but peeks out now and then.

Pretty drinkable because it's so complex and makes me curous for more, but a sipper for sure. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sending this one along.

far333, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of UnionMade
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this bottle for a little while, hiding in the back of the fridge, but thanks so much to Mikeys01 for giving it to me. 12oz bottle marked MAY 29 04.
Pitch black. Completely opaque. Finely bubbled collar. Smells of blackened malt, molasses, earth, and woodsmoke. Coffee, baker's chocolate, and treacle. Milder fruity notes of prune, red grape, and black cherry. Acohol comes through as it warms. Enters the palate with a looming charred malt richness. Generous amounts of espresso, unsweetened mocha latte style, drizzled with powdered cinnamon and streaks of cherry syrup. Thick rivulets of roasted malt coat the palate, sliding like black oil into a hop flavor akin to forest earth. Damp, earthy, and woody, finishing on a dryish, powdery note. Chunks of prune and toffee. Malt and fruitiness increase dramatically with warmth, strengthening the complexity and balance. Charry, smoky, roasted barley bittersweetness. Alcohol is barely noticable in a slight thinner-ish feel down the throat. Strong, but well balanced, this one's quite the sipper.
A great imperial stout. I could stand for a bit softer a carbonation, as it seems to fight the greasy slickness the body provides. The mouthfeel couple be perfect with something just a bit more relenting. It gives a bit of a carbonated bite to the finish, which I could do without. A fairly minor complaint, if it's really one at all. I should have saved the bottle for a cooler night on the porch, hoodie on and comfortable shoes, when the wind starts chasing fallen leaves down the street in a late October breeze. Ah well.

UnionMade, Oct 19, 2005
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Jet black body explodes a nice brownish tan head, but it takes a good vigorous pour.

Smokey malt is very fragrent with notes of chocolate and toffee.

Wow is all I think after the first sip, and then I remember that I still have to write a review. Enters the mouth like a viking army on a red bull high. Well balanced smokey malt, silky sweetness, almost sherry like. Alcohol really warms the belly. Leaves a warm electric fuzzy hue on the mouth that is very plesent.

Huge success and a real joy to drink.

SPLITGRIN, Oct 19, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another thank you goes out to DirtyLou.

Poured a midnight black. Could not get any sort of a head to form on top without trying.

Nose is loaded full of coffee, chocolate and lots of burnt/toasted malts. I can smell it even when it is two feet away from the nose.

Flavor is very rich and bold--and it does a great job at hiding the alcohol. Lots of caramel, chocolate, and coffee. The toasted malts are more sweet than dry and rasping on the taste buds. Hops are present but very mild nd their bitters just slightly accentuate the sweetness

Mouthfeel is fairly heavy and a bit oily. Not dry but rather satisfying to the palate.

Tough to put down and the ABV is nicely concealed.

MuddyFeet, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle slightly chilled into a tulip glass.

It pours with a 2cm slightly tan head, that quickly fizzes out to a surface layer. Dark brown/ruby in color with very minimal light getting through.

Aroma is of sweet caramel malts w/ dark chocolate and a slight twangy aroma that is of plums or rasberries- I also get the hint of a slight beefjerky aroma (plums and salt = soy maybe?) that I could bet was the alcohol tingling my nose a bit.

Sipping, I notice a lot of sweet caramel flavor with some bitter cocoa flavors up front along with it that gives way to the sweetness of the caramel & plum flavors. Some hops noticable, but not as bold as other reviewers state IMO. Very good!

Full-bodied with some light carbonation, which is nice since the flavor is so bold and yummy! Alcohol is not as noticable for a 9%-er. Well done brew!

Overall, i'd love to get some more of this one! I enjoyed very much, and I could handle another one in a sitting i think!

Fish113d, Oct 10, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been sitting on a single from Riley's for a while now. Got rained on walking home from class yesterday, so I figured I'd drink something to warm me up a bit.

Pours maybe the darkest crude oil black I've even experienced, with a coating of chocolate brown foam that the 9% abv quickly devoured. Has a lot going on in the nose: coffee, dark fruits, smoked wood and alcohol fumes. One of the most complex beers I've ever tasted: bittersweet chocolate, burnt coffee grounds, smoked beef jerky, spicey dark fruit remeniscent of a belgian strong dark and a no-nonsense alcohol kick in the face. This stout means business. Mouthfeel is thick as oil but well carbonated and goes down smooth. This was a pretty intense stout, the flavors don't always mesh (ie beef jerky with dark fruit) but it never gets out of control. A truly big beer for a cold night.

Golden2wenty1, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Opaque thick black body with a smallish tan head that drops quickly leaving light rings of lace. Rich chocolate malts with big ripe fruit notes of plums and figs. There is a lighter roasted malt scent mingling in the background. Bitter sweet dark chocolate covered dark fruits hit you first in the flavor. Mild alcohol notes mix with a bit of roastiness as it warms. Some vinous qualities are there. Bitter roasty finish, definitely one of the best tasting imperial stouts I have ever had. Creamy smooth feel with a slick feel going down. Ample bodied to carry the flavor. With so much going on this goes down faster than I like but it keep me sipping…. quickly. Highly recommended.

meathookjones, Sep 13, 2005
Photo of edbeered
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an opaque black color with a brown head that dissipates quickly. There are a lot of intense flavors( a burnt chocolaty toasty malt, a hop presence on the tip of the tongue, and a fruity prune flavor), yet the flavors carefully balance one another. This is a high alcohol beer, yet you barely taste the alcohol. Drinking this is an intense and enjoyable experience. A slow sipper worth savoring.

edbeered, Sep 07, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. This beer pours out as dark as the name suggests. The dark brown head quickly disappeared. The aroma is dark, roasted malt with licorice and chocolate. Sweet up front with a blast of roasted malt. Lot's of cocoa flavor. Warming alcohol. Full, thick mouthfeel. Low level of carbonation. This beer is pretty wild, even for an imperial stout. All the flavors are extreme. I really enjoyed my bottle, but it wouldn't want more than one.

beveragecaptain, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of BrewMaster
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark murky black with no light coming through, sandy brown head with a firm top and excellent retention. Light sediment settles back into the bottle.

Smell: Chocolate, espresso beans, brown sugar, and sweet and sloppy maltiness.

Taste: Sour and sweet with choclate, toast, and a creamy sandy flavor. There's a noticeable hop bitterness from the middle to end. Caramel and some nutty and roasty flavors in the last third of the flavor. The middle is surprisingly thin but still very tasty as the bitterness shows up. I like the balanced and diverse flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied , smooth, sticky, and quite creamy.

Drinkability: Awesomely balanced with more than just your "typical" stout flavors. The rich chocolate flavor is great but I like that there is some hop bitterness to balance out all of the malty and sweet components. Well done.

BrewMaster, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of rdailey76
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What do I find when I walked into a suburban, off the beaten path, chain liquor store??? A perfectly aged four pack of Blackout Stout. I had to pick this up, eventhough it is pushing August and I typically enjoy pleasures like this during a long winters night. On with the review...

Appearance: Perfect as perfect can be. Pitch black in color with a generous 1/4 inch caramel head.

Smell: The first thing that hits the nose is the undertone of alcohol mixed in with that overwhelming hoppy goodness. Almost barley winish I might say. A little deeper in the nose I pick up the more traditional stout characteristics.

Taste: A nice malty balance up front and a nice hoppy kick to finish. I get that nice dark roast coffee taste when I smack my tongue to the roof of my mouth.

Mouthfeel: Dare I say creamy? I just can't find the right word I guess, so we will go with pleasant.

Drinkability: I think GLBC knows what they are doing with just a 4 pack. More than that could be dangerous or somewhat adventerous. I enjoyed it as as a nightcap and would enjoy another to guarantee a full 8 hours at night.

rdailey76, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of battlekow
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Looks absolutely gorgeous, a black hole crowned with a thick, creamy milk chocolate-colored head. I almost don't want to drink it. Smells toasted and burnt. Upfront taste is sweeter than their Edmund Fitzgerald porter, but less creamy. It tastes a little of prunes and molasses, like the Baltic porters I experimented with the other day, but not nearly as offensive. Doesn't really live up to the nose until the end, with a bitter, coffee, toasty finish. I wish it was a little more bitter. Mouthfeel is outstanding, very smooth; this beer does an excellent job of disguising its 9% ABV. I would, however, prefered a little more bitterness. I like the Edmund Fitzgerald better, but this is still a very good beer. Great Lakes is quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries.

battlekow, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another exceptional brew obtained from deejaydan during B&G BIF. Thank you.

Obsidian with a dark tan head that falls to a sturdy ring. Nose is sweet dates soaked in molasses. Taste is a sweet charcoal mix of malt and hops. The alcohol bathed prunes comes through in the finish. Complex and delicious. Mouthfeel starts a little thin, but quickly ramps up in an oily fullness that is very satisfying. This is an easy drinking stout and highly recommended.

pentathlete, Jun 28, 2005
Photo of Realale
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Impenetrable black. Small extremely fine mocha head retreats to a thin, incomplete cap.

Mmmmm. Dark chocolate, touch medium roast espresso, rich, yeasty, brown bread. Interesting touch of red hot as it warms. Bit winey, which I find appealing in an Imperial Stout.

Full and rich on the palate with waves of soft malt. Chocolate is the top note, but rich bready goodness is the star. The coffee notes from the nose are relegated to late on the finish where they come out to provide some balancing bitterness. This teeters on the verge of unbalanced, but manages to keep it together. The finish seems to last a week. Great fun!

Gorgeous, silky rich mouthfeel. Very well done. Quite drinkable for what it is. Another top notch offering from one of my favorite breweries.

Best before July 11, 2005.

Realale, Jun 23, 2005
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.43/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - total blackout with a strong rim of bubbles.

Aroma - charred, roasty coffee beans, a hint of alcohol.

Taste - smoky malts, sweet espresso, a bit of soy sauce. No change until the swallow, from there a very warming alcohol influence takes over.

Mouthfeel - smooth and syrupy, the heaviness makes for a long finish.

Drinkability - it's a sipper for sure, good for whenever the lights are on or off...

brewdlyhooked13, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting again. Thsi beer pours a nice black color with a finger of head taht falls to a healthy ring over the top. The nose is a combination of fig, coffee, chocolate and a puff of alcohol. The flavor is nice, starying as a semi-sweet fig, moving to chocolate and finishing like a nice coffee bitter, but not offensive. The feel is thick, with a light carbonation. Very nice and coating. Drinkability is very nice on thie beer. The alcohol is not all that prevalent in the flavor. I really do like this beer. Very nice stout.

kmpitz2, Jun 04, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
3.88/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(part of a sampler at the Great Lakes brewpub)

No one else like this one at my table so I knew it's not for the light beer drinking crowd. It's bold and fresh, but not over the top. Hints of syrup and alcohol are apparent in both the taste and smell, but not as overwhelming as other russian imperial Stouts I've tried.

Personally, this had many of the characteristics as the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Worth a try, but definitely not for everyone.

Backer2004, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of mntlover
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black no light getting thru this baby with a finger and half nice brwon head that falls slowly and leaves patchy lace behind.

Aroma is nice roasted malts chocolate dominates over the expresso nice fruity esters cherries mostly, light hints of citrus hops blend perfectly with the other fruity aromas.

Taste is bitter chocolate followed up by coffee with fruit notes coming out in the middle. The fruity notes linger untill a burnt bitterness is picked up and amplified by some citrusy hops and lingering carbonation and bitter coating. Quite a tastey Impy Stout very light alcohol hints in the finish otherwise none noted.

Mouthfeel is little more the medium but not as full as others in the same class. Still pretty nice though.

Drinkability is good, not a bad Impy Stout would recommend to others or have in my DBF if it was locally available. Bottle said for fresh taste enjoy by 04/2005 but tasted fine to me sure it would still be fine year or more from now.

mntlover, May 31, 2005
Photo of merlin48
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours an inky, old motor oil body, quite opaque. Two cm light brown head retains well, and leaves some patchy lace behind.

Aroma: Dark roasted malts open the show with burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, nutty hazelnut, smoked almonds, and a kiss of cherries. Some smoky, campfire wood adds an interesting complexity to the excellent nose.

Mouthfeel: Coating and smooth, yet medium bodied. A nice combination.

Taste: Wow! Very nice. Dark roasted malts are compelling, with old coffee bitterness, bittersweet medium chocolate, and a hint of cherries. A solid "whomp" of fruit esters enters midway through, and adds some McIntosh apple notes to the cherries. The pleasing fruit esters are accompanied by a note of fusel alcohol, and combine quite well on the palate. Lots of nutty flavors add to the mix, with smoked almonds and hazelnuts adding a kiss of smokiness. Expected bitter roasty finish concludes this pleasant bottle.

Drinkability/Impression: This is a kickass American impy stout that is accented with an excellent array of fruit esters and smoky nuttiness that compliments the dark, roasted malts perfectly. Highly recommended!

merlin48, May 30, 2005
Photo of RedDiamond
3.43/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has a delicious coffee aroma that breaks down after awhile into a sherry-like smell, and finally, strong alcohol. A dark brown head of short duration caps a solidly black, laceless body. The taste has a touch of sweetness in an otherwise roasted environment with a predominance of EtOH.

The bottle is not conditioned, but I appreciate both the stamped freshness date and the suggested serving temperature on the label. In the end, the taste of alcohol was overbearing, and the body was sullen.

RedDiamond, May 16, 2005
Photo of wailingwench
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This doesn't merit 5.0's as at the brewery, it was way to harsh, the hops and alc hadn't mellowed out.

Special thanks to the dude who works on the bottling line for giving us 2 4 packs. I forgot your name, but Im pretty sure that you knew we wouldn't remember.

6 bottles laid down to rest, review from last 2 drank on the night of the first 80 degree day in Blo, 2005.

Eye Candy: Jet black, dark brown swirls, crimson red hue. Huge foamy tan head. Superb retention. Consistency of maple syrup.

The Nose Knows: Rum soaked dark fruit, red wine, roasted coffee beans, bitter hops soaked in chocolate.

Tongueland: Sweet dark fruit, figs, raisins, expresso, bitter chocolate, toffee, resinous hops and sweet cocoa to finish. Alcohol dimished by aging, but still intermixed. Tongue coating. Practically a beer shake. The head was practically enjoyable by itself.

wailingwench, May 12, 2005
Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark enough to be called black for simplicity. Small cocoa froth head without much tenacity. Meager lacing. Thick, but with some carbonation bubbles evident.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee as expected. A bit of lactose milkiness in the nose as well. It has a good roasted personality and the faintest bit of hop character evident in the scent.

Taste: Chocolate and coffee unified with some bitterness from the hops to produce a baker's chocolate feel. This black momma has some creamy aspects as well. Rich, but not as powerful as I was hoping.

Mouthfeel: The Great Lakes mouthfeel lies beneath the thickness. It seems that all of the beers I have sampled from this brewer have this "house" personality when it comes to mouthfeel. It always seems to border on flatness. This is about middle of the path as far as an imperial stout body is concerned.

Drinkability: This particular stout is unintrusive and does not produce any offensive qualities. Still, it seems a bit weak as an imperial. I would surely drink this one again though.

SupaCelt, May 04, 2005
Photo of UncleJimbo
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown, longneck bottle, capped, dated.

This stout poured an opaque black color with creamy, brown foam that settled and clung to the glass. The smell was a rich, dark malty aroma with resinous hops, and notes of licorice and molasses. The smell improved as the beer warmed. The taste was very richly malty with dark malt, molasses, and dried fruit (prunes). The alcohol was well hidden. The mouthfeel was rich and creamy and smooth with full body and moderate carbonation. This was a very nice, moderately complex imperial stout, but not over the top in intensity.

UncleJimbo, May 03, 2005
Photo of malty
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck with a freshness date of BB 7-11-05.

Opaque black with dark ruby highlights on the very edge of my trumpet rimmed pilsner glass. Scarce beige head that audibly fizzy which settles down to a tiny halo.

Scent is wonderfully fresh of dark chocolate, licorice and herbally hops. ReminiSCENT of a freshly baked chocolate cake with fudge frosting. For some reason 'Lion Stout' comes to mind (?).

Taste is very straight forward with not much depth. Steady chocolate and a dash of vanilla. Smooth and sweet. A tad rummy with a decent follow through of fresh herbally hops (again). Flavor seems to dissipate quickly after the nice crisp hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slighly oily mouthfeel. Semi-dry (clean) ending.

Drinkability is good due to it's somewhat calm nature for such a traditionaly bold style.

Overall a sturdy offering. I'm a bit surprised this interpretation isn't a little bolder seeing their porter and pale are full-on expressions of the style. An Imperial for beginners and veterans to enjoy. GLBC has yet to dissapoint me.

malty, Apr 27, 2005
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,549 ratings.