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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.

1,153 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,153
Hads: 3,157
Avg: 4.19
pDev: 14.32%
Wants: 466
Gots: 566 | 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: GreatPondBrewer on 11-30-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Great Lakes Blackout Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,153 | Hads: 3,157
Photo of wedge
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black under a quickly diminishing beige head. A bubbly ring forms at the edges. Big roasted malt and dark chocolate aromas meet some hops and malted milk balls. Dark malty flavors of molasses, black malt char, dark fruits, vanilla, and a little coffee on the finish. Hoppier than most, but still secondary to the malts. Perhaps a bit less than full bodied, chewy, and smooth. A warming sensation grows deep in the throat, but things stay drinkable. Still a classic RIS - able to stand on its own without the addition of adjuncts or barrel aging.

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Utter blackness, negligible head even with a rough pour. Only a ring of bright tan bubbles.

S: Roasted malt, earth, pretty dark chocolate with piercing bitterness.

T: Chocolate, coffee, a bit of smoke, something nearly minty which I suppose is the hops. Slightly sweet, but quickly overpowered by profound bitterness. This advertised combo initially deterred me from considering this beer, but upon tasting it, it's pretty good.

M: Significantly filmy, while still being light-medium bodied. Very light carbonation.

O: The simplicity of the flavor profile and relatively light body make this a very drinkable RIS, but ultimately it's a dead end. Any more hops and it would break into black IPA territory, any more malt and it would be lost among the mediocre stouts. As it is, it's tasty and distinguished. In a supersaturated beer world, that's saying a lot.

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Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brilliant deep dark brown under a thin tan head. There is some light roast on the nose with traces of dark dried fruit. It has a big creamy palate with cried fruit, light roast and hints of mild coffee and chocolate flavors. Medium full body and medium low carbonation. Easy to drink, slightly warming.

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Photo of enjambed
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: fridge temp bottle poured into pint glass

Look: pretty much jet black. Reserved pour produces thin espresso head that leaves almost nothing. Lacing is moderate.

Smell: Charred and roasty. Dark chocolate and coffee come out as the most noticeable. A little bit of doughy sweetness.Little to no alcohol.

Taste: Similar to smell, very roasty but also smooth and goes down very well despite its warmth. A bit of black licorice in there is noticeable along with some fruitiness. Some bittersweet dark chocolate lingers in the finish, but not too long.

Feel: Thick like an imperial should be. Also very smooth, with not much carbonation. Finish is dry.

Overall: A nice and solid RIS. It's surprisingly pleasant and I found myself quaffing it a bit faster than most other beers at 9%, although it was still nice and creamy. Would probably drink again.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass, Best Before 5/8/2015.

Deep brown/black color and a small light brown head. Dissipates quickly leaving a thin film on top. Roasted malts dominate the aroma. Flavor follows suit buts adds some dark chocolate and espresso. Thin, silky mouthfeel with a predominant dryness. Medium to full bodoed with a long lasting flavor.

I'm really surprised by the low pDev value (8.55%). I would think there would be more disparity based on how thin it is and the lack of fruit character and complexity for the style. Certainly a unique brew.

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Photo of BuccoFan
2.75/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

With the Exception of their Nosferatu, I find nearly all of the Great Lakes' beers just average, and this is unquestionably the most disappointing one I've had. This has the absolute look and feel of a halfway decent porter; it has no business, in my opinion, advertising itself as an RIS. With the last few sips left in the glass, the liquid looked nearly identical to soda. Given its rating, I'm apparently in quite a minority here, but I think this is flat-out a bad stout.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - black with a great frothy tan head
Smell -tangy sweet smell but with lots of roasted coffee malts
Taste - strong dark rich coffee malt taste
Feel - creamy smooth but with slight carbonation.
Overall - fantastic russian imperial stout!

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Photo of smanson56
4.48/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm thinking this was a 2012 bottle as the best by date was 4/28/13. This stout had aged wonderfully and was very full bodied with a great nose. It was very smooth and had no alcohol taste. I had received this as an extra in a trade a while ago and wow what an extra. I am humbled to say the least!

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Photo of Jeffreysan
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2013 edition, 12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a quarter of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a thin halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed a few wispy clouds that collected in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow! Tons of massive roasted malt aroma, imparting strong notes of toasted pumpernickel bread, coffee and dark chocolate.

Taste: Spectacular! Jesus, what a flavor! Strong, big, bold roasted malt and coffee flavor up front imparting notes of toasted and buttered pumpernickel bread and café au lait without any coffee bitterness, followed by some strong brown sugar-like sweetness which lingers for quite a while in the mouth, and finished with some beautifully balanced hops. Goddamn, it’s delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and smooth, as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 9.0%, I’m very surprise at how little alcohol there is on the palate, as its’ incredibly well masked.

Overall: Goddamn, this in one of the best non-barrel-aged Imperial Stouts I’ve ever had!! Strong, big, bold flavors of roasted malt and strong amount of brown sugar, balanced beautifully with hops. This is another excellent beer from Great Lakes, and could easily become my favorite beer from that outstanding brewery! It’s fucking brilliant!

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Photo of tillmac62
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BBD 5/13/15. Pours black as a starless night. Above normal head volume, excellent lacing and retention. Nice complex nose of semi-sweet chocolate, molasses, roast notes, hints of vanilla and dark fruit (plum, date) in the background. Almost full bodied with a nice creamy texture. Slightly above normal carbonation with a touch of effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the finish. The outstanding flavor profile is intense, very complex and reasonably balanced. It begins with a wave of flavor that slowly separates into sweet dark chocolate over molasses, then flows into the subtle vanilla and dark fruit notes. The middle is a strong roast flavor over a roast and hop bitterness that puckers the tongue a bit over a caramel sweetness. The finish is a slow fade of caramel/molasses sweetness over a lingering bitterness with just a hint of alcohol. This one is an excellent example of a roast forward stout that is masterfully complex and reasonably balanced with sweetness.

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Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark black, with brown hints around the edges as you move it under light. A light tan head caps it, lasting a good way into the beer and leaving nice soapy lacing. The aroma is a blend of deep roasted malts and dark fruits, (raisins, figs) and the taste follows closely along. It is much sweeter than I would have expected, but that is not a bad thing. The body is a little lighter in weight (not as slick or heavy) but still quite good.

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Photo of PaulyB83
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 04/23/15 Poured into a tulip glass.

L- Pitch black, small light white-brown head that dissipates quickly.

S- Sweet, licorice, light roasty acidic smell, little bit of dark fruits.

T- Sweet milk chocolate, plum, light coffee, finishes with some bitter chocolate and hops.

F- Medium, a bit on the lighter side for an imperial stout.

O- Kinda find this one to be a bit too much sweetness forward and lacking in a big flavor to match that sweetness. In my opinion it's pretty forgettable, a bit hard to find, at least in my area, and on the pricey side compared to others in its league that I prefer far more.

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Photo of dbl_delta
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

"Best by" date on bottle was 05/08/15.

Aggressive pour into pint glass resulted in less than one finger head, which dissipated rapidly. It's dark - not the blackest porter I've ever seen, put pretty darned dark.

Malty up front, with coffee, cream, chocolate...followed by a rather sneaky alcohol glow and finishing with smoke, caramel, and a hint of hops. A whole lotta stuff going on here.

Mouthfeel is slick and maybe a little thin for my taste, but it's certainly not off-putting. A very easy beer to drink. Reminds me of their Edmund F. in some ways, with chocolate.

Overall, this is another solid offering from Great Lakes. Wish I'd bought another bottle.

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Photo of mabermud
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The body appears brown, looks a little shabby, and it also appears thin. The head looks unkempt. The aroma is of malt, milk chocolate, and wafts of faint alcohol. Everything is getting better. Now, the taste does not disappoint. Sweetness, lactose, milk chocolate, some faded licorice, and char at the end. There is nothing about the feel that jumps out, but it compliments the overall experience well. I think it could use some body and some carb action, it is shallow.

Overall, I dig it. This stout vaguely reminds me of Narwhal, but I like this a tad better. It is sweeter and smoother.

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Photo of humuloner22
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have never tried any of the Great Lakes stouts before. This is a good start!

Appearance: Dark but not as dark as some, head is virtually nonexistent. When the beer settles there is not even a spec of lacing.

Smell: Kind of boozy but not too bad, dark malts, dark fruits, some chocolate. A little like a chocolate covered raisin in that respect.

Taste: Dark roasted malts, not too boozy, dark fruits, prunes, raisins, and some minor chocolate notes, but not very prominent. Mouthfeel is pretty clean which I can appreciate. Its not a cloying beer at all, which for a stout this was a a good thing. It also avoided the dreaded licorice that some maintain.

Overall: This is the best Great Lakes beer I have had. I need to try more of the special releases. They are beginning t surprise me! Still not my favorite brewery but they definitely do darker beers better than the ales, in my opinion.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated BB 04/22/15 at 50 degrees into tulip
Aroma faint roasted malt
Head small (2 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and layer
Lacing initially complete coverage of tiny bubbles, then small islands of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor – bitter chocolate; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium to full, slightly oily, soft carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fantastic imperial stout, served on draft into snifter at Harding Tavern. Light on the nose, with no big roasted notes apparent until you take the first sip here. More complexity opens up as this warms. Great smooth, thick body and mouthfeel which falls short of oily. Retains minimal head, appearance similar to a cola. Excellent chocolate and hint of hop notes come through here. For the high ABV this is devastatingly drinkable, much like the other beers in GLBC’s stable. Outstanding.

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Photo of tedvr
4.19/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours really thick and dark, with a medium creamy head. Smells of grains, molasses and burnt coffee. Very full taste of raisins, burnt coffee and a dark cherry taste. Creamy mouthfeel with little carbonation. Overall a very good Imperial Stout that is multi-dimensional.

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Photo of Bone53
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance (4.25): Black with the slightest mahogany tent around the edges when put up to the light. A finger or two of light brown head

Smell (4.25): Roasted malt, milk chocolate, slight coffee

Taste (3.75): I get a lot of milk chocolate throughout with a roasted molasses undertone, maybe the slightest hint of coffee if you search for it. Not very complex, but tasty nontheless

Mouthfeel (4.5): The feel is superb considering the abv; Medium body and a silky smooth. Feels like im drinking a regular stout. Cant really detect the alcohol until it wams then just slightly

Overall (4): This is one of those beers that i find great generally speaking, but lacks within the style. It drinks more like a regular stout in mouthfeel and aroma. In fact, i find this strikingly similar to Deschutes Obsidian. It has a very traditional stout taste without any bells and whistles we often see in Russians nowadays. Other than that i really cant say anything bad about it. If this was labeled a regular stout id give it 4.5+ but as a RIS i give it a 4. Cant knock GL for playing it safe with this one

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Photo of KyleDeem5150
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Tastes and smells a lot like Brazil Nuts. You know, those weird looking dark and triangular nuts that are usually in holiday (in the shell) mixed nuts. Maybe that's just me but I feel pretty strongly about it. Other than that, I really liked "StonedTrippin" 's review. He sums it up nicely.

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Photo of Bshaw22
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thin for the style but really tasty. Something of a session imperial stout if there is one. Really toasty and choclately. This stout is underrated because it's not as thick and dense as some of the big hitters. Probably not an ager so drink fresh because the flavors are spot on.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed form a growler in a Liefmans snifter. This fine imperial stout pours a thick oily black with a little dark brown on the edges with a solid inch of foam that dissipates to a thin pool with moderate lacing. Nose of black coffee, dark chocolate, and crème brulee. Flavors are dark chocolate to the front and sides, dark molasses and black strong coffee to the back and on the aftertaste. Some dark berry notes and light smoke come in as it warms on the back as well as a good dose of alcohol warmth. Slick smooth body and good carbonation makes it an easy drinker and a shinning example of the style. Finishes sweet and wet without being too sweet. Very nice.


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Photo of wolfeyshiz
4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ya, like other reviews have said it does have that potent taste you would expect from a beer with 9% alcohol, but if that's what you're expecting then you're in for a treat. Great flavor and texture for a beer as strong as this.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A-Pours nearly pitch black with a mocha head. The head dissipates slowly but leaves no lacing or cascaing.

S-roasted malt, chocolate, coffee

T-similar to the nose as chocolate and coffee stand out the most. Its slightly bitter with some fruit rind coming through as well and just a hint of charcoal and roast.

M-not as thick as I would prefer for an imperial stout. As others have said it does have a good amount of carbonation.

D-Very drinkable given its thinner body/mouthfeel, complexity, and alcohol content (if you are used to drinking higher gravity beers).

Overall, a middle of the road imperial stout. Not something I would seek out but definitely wouldn't decline if offered.

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Photo of Jmamay22
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a blackout black with a tan head that quickly dissipates to a thin collar. Smells of roast, chocolate, and faint hint of vanilla that comes and goes. Very smooth mouthfeel. I imagine some oats helped to create the silkiness. Carbonation is light, which accentuates the smooth feel.

Taste is less roasted than the scent. A nice well rounded chocolate flavor. Hops only provide balance without creating any strong bitterness or flavor. Only a hint of alcohol warmth. Very well rounded imperial stout that doesn't punch you in the face as many in the style can. Very well done.

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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 1,153 ratings.