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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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2,917 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,917
Reviews: 1,121
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%
Wants: 420
Gots: 493 | 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: 2,917 | Reviews: 1,121 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Stark black with a sandy, creamy head. Bottle is dated as best enjoyed by Aug. 18, '08, so it's a touch dated - but the style dictates that it will typically be just fine for a while afterwards.

S: A toasted malt (over being roasted or nearly burnt), coffee notes, some nuttiness.

T: Straight up coffee flavours - more a natural malt-flavouring hinting towards coffee rather than flavours brought out by infusing a beer with coffee. Notes of unsweetened chocolate are in there, as well. Hints of charcoal. A very light sweetness on the end that tops things off. Very nice.

M: A nice creaminess that is reminiscent of a milky drink. Carbonation works together with that beautifully. If this is what the little age overdue causes, I'll take more just like it. Fantastic.

D: A big beast. It goes great lengths to hide that, but in the end, the alcohol trumps. Easy does it, or it might hurt in the morning.

Photo of thethrone
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep dark brown with generous foarmy tan head. Good retention,

S - Strong, complex aroma which features roasted coffee, dark fruits, dark malts.

T - The start features dark chocolate and rich dark malts. Follows with some woodiness, vanilla. Finishes with a a bite of hops for balance.

M - Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Has a bit of a grainy feel on the tongue at the finish.

D - Hides its alcohol level pretty well, and has all the characteristics of a solid RIS. Definately a beer worth seeking out.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this bastard up at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield in July. It's been sitting in the cellar up until about 30 minutes ago. 12 oz bottle cracked, and poured aggressively into large tulip glass.

A: Dark, clear brown on the pour. Black as it rested with a gorgeous, 2 finger, creamy mocha head that sticks around for a few minutes, leaving trace amounts of gooey lacing up the walls of the glass.

S: High amounts of "Milky Way-like creaminess', ground coffee, smoke and ash on the nose.

T: Rich pounding of coffee and light alcohol on the front, followed by smoke, banana. The beer finishes with a nice, coffee aftertaste.

M: Surprisingly light-bodied with an average amount of flavor coming through for a RIS. Solid and well-balanced.

Overall, a nice example of a RIS.

Photo of yourefragile
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Deep brown/black color, against light has some deep reds against the light. Very still, little carbonation. Mocha head that slowly dissipates to a ring and think splotchy film. Streaks and specks of lacing.
S: Very strong, roasted malt smell with smokey dark chocolate and espresso notes. Slightly sweet and dark fruit. Very earthy and woodsy.
T: Medium body, very light carbonation, overall smooth mouthfeel with a pinch of hop bitterness in the finish. Finish remains slightly dry and earthy like the smell. Very strong roasted, burnt malt flavor. Complemented by espresso and dark chocolate flavor. Slight sweetness and dark fruitiness. Very nice balance of flavors without being overwhelming and well hidden alcohol. One of my favorite GLBC beers and an excellent RIS at the price and availability. A definite sipper, but still very drinkable. Hops have faded, but are still present, very nice at 6 months out.

Photo of d0ggnate
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've saved this one for a few months in the fridge. Now's the time.

A: Rich, dark as night pour fills my glass and finished with a half finger mocha tan head. This layer begins as tightly laced but fades quickly to a ring around the glass.
S: A rich, roasted coffee aroma pushes through first. A bit of a creamy smell. Almost a bit woodsy.
T: Bitter chocolate and continued creamed coffee taste. Hazelnut is what I suspect. I feel this is my morning coffee gone cold, but in the best way possible.
M: Very sharp flavors. Distinct carbonation without visual evidence. Not as viscous as the pour appeared it would be.
D: Delicious! I had never heard of this one and thought I would be underwhelmed, yet I find myself excited. Great stuff.

Photo of mashedpotatoes
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This really is a great beer. Better than I could have imagined. Pitch black and light does not penetrate; Blackout Stout is properly named. Head rises nice and even like a low rumbling freight train as with all stouts, levels off about 1/2 inch then dissipates leaving a nice creamy top layer. The coffee and toffee taste hits first then immediately followed by bitter dark chocolate, it's truly delicious! Although the high Abv is readily present, it's not overwhelming. The texture is perfect, silky smooth just like a real Stout should be. Drinkability is not extremely high due to the high Abv, I would say enjoy just a couple and call it a night.

Photo of orcasteve
3.78/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dry, haevy rich and packed with aholcaol, notes of bitter chocalat and coffiee, this is 9% abv and no excuses, this is a siper for sure, i only wish that i cracked this one open in the fall or winter insted of an 80 digree day in summer. this one is one that i wish that i could have this around all the time.

Photo of Jwale73
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this one from ThirstyBird (thanks Rian). Best enjoyed by 08/02/08 indicated on the label. Served in my DFH snifter. Poured one shade shy of black; no light penetration on this one. Half-inch tan colored head lost cohesion and broke down into a skim of foam and ringlets leaving behind only specks of lacing as the brew receded. Nose suggests dark fruit and chocolate on a malt backbone. Taste reveals espresso and some chocolate flavors, followed by a charred finish; dark fruit is nowhere to be found. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied without being at all viscous with a bit of carbonation burn concentrated at the front of the tongue. Good drinkability. Very flavorful without being cloyingly sweet. Alcohol is well hidden for a 9% abv. A little lighter-bodied RIS puts this on the fringes of the style, but a very nice offering nonetheless.

Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Leftmindedrighty for the trade.

This is certainly an American interpretation, IMO, for the big and clean malt flavors. Blackout Stout is rich with roasted barley and dry dark chocolate flavors. As it warms there's a hint of the alcohol, but that's to be expected. The aroma smells sort of like toasted chocolate bread and there's also a great aftertaste that keeps the focus on the dry, dark grains along with a touch of chocolate liquor. A great beer.

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

POurs jet black with a tannish color head. In the aroma, sweet oatmeal and a roasty malt. In the taste, chocolate, oatmeal, and a small hop note in the end. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry chocolate aftertaste. A very nice beer, big but not, nice small hop presence, and a big chocolate maltiness.

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

Thanks to t0rin0 for throwing this in as an extra in a trade!

Pours pitch black with a tan head. Nose is not very evident, but there is malt and coffee thing with some molasses. Flavor is smooth and fairly sweet with a bit of coffee on the back side. Molasses is there too. Thick and robust, but not massively complex. There has to be a load of alcohol in here because I am feeling the hit after a third of a pint, and I have only had a few beers tonight. Feel is slick on liquid and the carbonation is low but good. Nice to drink. A smooth and slick stout.

Photo of dancinwillie
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle reads: For freshest taste, please enjoy by: 08/18/08.

I've let this one warm for 20 minutes or so after opening, and another 10 after pour.

Poured into a chalice, black, with deep ruby highlights. Dense dark tan head that seems to be hanging around. After about 10 minutes, it drops down to a sheet of tan foam.

Aroma of roasted coffee fill my nose. good coffee too, sweet chocolate, and a little raison waft upwards as well.

Taste of bittersweet chocolate, mixed with a roasted coffee flavor leads off. An interesting malted milk flavor comes into play, but it's fleeting, as is the subdued citrus hop flavor. I am, however, happy that I can at least detect the hop flavor, as I think some Imperial Stouts seem to be entirely too unbalanced, but back to the beer at hand. For being 9% alcohol, there is very little bite/burn, but you can feel a very small amount of heat, but a nice warming heat.

Mouthfeel is a tad thin for my liking, but not so much as it is a problem. Low level of carbonation lets the flavor kind of build, as opposed to just hammering you.

I probably drink at least 2 or 3 of these at a sitting, but I would probably be happy to have the next day off from work. Deceptively drinkable, and I look forward to cellaring the other 3 from the 4-pack to see how they hold up after the recommended drinking time of 8/18/08.

Photo of bbothen
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black with a small tan colored skim of head across the top.

Smells of malted milk, slight roasted aroma, faint cocao as well. Nothing dominate.

Whatever the nose lacked....is made up in the flavor.

Plum & raisin flavors with some chocolate, sugar, toasted/roasted malts, and a nice hop bitterness. Noticable alcohol presence. This tastes fantastic.

Rich, lush, creamy, smooth, chewy. Perfect as far as I'm concerned for an imperial stout.

Drinkability is good for an impy stout. It's a big beer though, one may be enough for a sitting.

This is a fantastic imp stout. Wish I had more. Will be seeking out again.

Photo of kinger
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Seasonal brew from Great Lakes, I was looking forward to it's release and grabbed a four pack soon after they hit the shelves. Great Lakes makes some very nice beers including this Imperial Stout. The beer is dark black once poured into my glass a thick head is formed. The head does become much thinner, but it sticks around for the duration of the brew which is highly unusual for a strong imperial stout, a real nice touch. There is moderate lacing. The aroma is a usual mix of roasted malts with touches of coffee and hops, but then the chocolate malts come alive and seem to dominate the thick aroma. Aside from the abundance of chocolate malts the alcohol can actually be detected with the nose, it seems to let you know that this beer needs to be enjoyed slowly. The mouthfeel is the one aspect where this beer falls short of greatness. There is an immediately recognized thinness to the beer especially thin for an imperial stout. The finish is satisfying and relatively smooth. Great taste with this one. All of the dark roasted malts create a nice flavor that is accented with a generous amount of hops that lead right into a well deserved bitter aftertaste. The chocolate malts also stand out in the overall flavor, but the coffee is more abundant than originally detected with the aroma. For an Imperial Stout Great Lakes has created a wonderful example, not the best around but surely worth trying. 5/12/06...Enjoyed the other two tonight mixed in with some other cellared Impy Stouts. Wow I upped my ratings in a couple categories, and for good reason. This is the most Aggressive Stout I have had, Absolutely killer.

Photo of kyleec
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: opaque with very little tan head.

S: chocolate, a little coffee and sweet alcohol, almost fruity. Actually the more I sniff it the more fruit I get.

T/M/D: creamy chocolate, not too sweet or bitter, and a little alcoholic fruit. The roastiness really comes through at the end. Aftertaste is roasted grains or roasted coffee beans. It's a light roast, though. Not too much carbonation. Very drinkable. This is a nice, well-balanced stout and I could sip one after another.

Photo of MiguelMandingo
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this as a birthday present back in April from JDV. Thanks Deniz!

Poured a 12oz bottle into a shaped pint glass.

Appearance - It produced a solid 2 finger head after a vigorous pour. It was a light tannish color with the texture of rocky latte foam. It slowly dissipated to a thin crown that left behind a a decent bit of lacing. The beer itself is an opaque black color and only allows light through the perimeter of the glass. Looks like a pretty tasty RIS.

Smell - The scent is pretty tasty smelling. There is a large dry cocoa powder component intermingled with dark fruits, primarily cherry. There is a nice roastiness in the scent that is closely tied to coffee grounds.

Taste - This brew is pretty damn tasty. The flavor is very similar to the scent. There is an initial flavor of chocolate and cocoa powder and coffee-like roastiness. The cocoa gives way to a dark fruit flavor of cherry and a relatively sizable blast of anise. The brew rounds out with a nice hop bitterness which ties nicely with the bitter flavor of the cocoa powder.

Mouthfeel - The mouthfeel is a little thin for a RIS, but the mouthfeel makes it extremely quaffable. The carbonation level is nearly perfect for this brew - moderate; enough to prick the tip of the tongue and enough to keep it interesting without killing the flavor. The beer is sticky or oily, but a happy medium between the two. I would have wanted just a little more body.

Drinkability - This is an awesome RIS. I wish that Great Lakes Brewing was available in Texas. It has a great flavor and scent, extremely quaffable, and I just realized that this is a 9% ABV brew. I wouldn't have known that if I hadn't just read the ABV listing at the top of this webpage. Solid offering from GLB - great job! Keep 'em coming.

Thanks again Deniz!

Photo of DoubleJ
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Lone Hill Liquor, on to the beer:

It's dark, but there's no head to it as it sits in my snifter. Big tones of baker's chocolate and mild coffee beans in the nose. It hints vanilla and bourbon too. As I taste the beer, I am moved by the biting alcohol, the layers of semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate, echos reminiscent of Kahlua, and hot vanilla. Roasted flavors are powdery on the palate and the hops are kept in check. The beer gives my tongue a prickly feel. Delicious.

Photo of purplehatjoan
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured with no head whatsoever - it had a small patch of froth in the center of glass and a ring of tiny bubbles along the sides of the glass which was tan-brown. The beer color was brunette/near black. The aroma had a hint of coffee, and I do not like bean juice. The taste had a hint of coffee, so it was not to my particular fancy...however, the taste was so slight that I could drink the whole 12 oz. myself without concern. The feel of the beer after swallow was a hallo of tingling about the other rim of my tongue with the hint of coffee hitting the tip. Not bad, but I personally prefer less coffee flavoring and smell for my beverage of chose.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch-black body with a rich, frothy tan head. Thick, caked lacing on the glass.

Nose is sweet intense coffee, really nice.

Flavor is very dark and deep, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, this one has it all. ABV is noticeable, but not as much as I would expect.

Mouthfeel is creamy and rich, like a stout milkshake.

Drinkability is very, very good.

Solidly great on all counts, a wonderful brew.

Photo of thisisshsas
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A- Appears as solid a black as any beer I've had before, very pretty dark cream head.
S- Roasted barley smell as potent as any other beer I've had. Chocolate overtones with a little coffee smell also noticeable.
T-strong, nearly molasses- like taste, extremely bitter alcohol very evident, a unique flavor.
M- exceptional swirl inside your mouth, allows the flavor to be enjoyed even more.
D- Strong flavor and thickness makes this a once a nigt beer. A great finisher to a dinner with a chocolate, but not something you could drink more than once in one night and enjoy it.

Photo of mhewes
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A : Pours a nice black with a two finger tan head. Leaves some good lacing on the glass

S : Roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee beans

T : Strong roasted malt flavor, chocolate and coffee notes. A dry finish with a touch of bitterness, mainly a bitter chocolate flavor

M : Creamy and smooth

D : Love it and would love to have more. With the alcohol, probably wouldn't go for too many in one night though.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle > Chimay goblet

This one is in the "almost opaque" catagory but with a bit of light popping through the top. An initial light brown mocha head crowns at 1" high and dissipates pretty fast.

This one is roastie malt, nutty chocolate, coffee beans, musty, spicey hop in the background. Woody alcohol with sweet, dark berries.

The malt flavor is complex but it's not as thick and heady as some. The feel is rather crisp and light for this style, medium to full range, edging to the medium side. The flacor's include: earthy coffee grounds, light chocolate cocoa, a pleasantly sweet-fruits edge rolls in and then mutates to this great balance of spicey, wet-earth flavored hops. The heat feels more like 15% not 9% which seems to enhance the already spicey-tangy hops. The unique and bold spicey hops finish might be my favorite aspect of this stout.

This really is a very easy drinking stout because of it's light body but some time in the dungeon might turn this one into a real beast.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous character with huge homemade rye bread head. Espresso dark body that pours like motor oil. Meaty beaty big and bouncy.

Strong coffee bean aroma with slight pine and fairly grassy hop aroma - Heavy charred malt with slight molasses kick. Surprisingly very clean.

Sweet, creamy ultra-roasted malt with mocha/chocolate syrup and lots of BBQ char. This is solid, well-balanced stuff.

Mouthfeel is luxurious. Full and deep coffee and slight earthy feel with a clean, powerful, long finish.

For the wallop and extra full flavor of this offering it is very clean drinking. One of the best...this is prime real estate.

Photo of Domingo
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting to see reviews on this item falling off a little bit.
Pours a standard deep black with a medium to dark brown head. Spot on for an RIS.
Smells like roasted almonds, chocolate (not just cocoa), brandied fruits, and coffee. Again, spot-on for style.
The taste of this item falls under the "less dry RIS" category. Typically they're either dry and very roasty or sweeter and focused more on malt presence. Blackout walks a fine line between those two, but it leans in the sweeter direction, which I appreciate. Drier varieties tend to make me lose interest faster, plus the bitter roast flavors can be overwhelming. Not so with Blackout. You get more of a milk chocolate character that can be paired with desserts and sweeter meat sauces.
Texture is smooth as silk and it goes down like a normal stout would.
At 9%, it's incredibly drinkable and had I had more than 4 bottles of it, I would've had another.
Not the absolute best RIS, but it's still great and among the best.

Photo of jojox
3.8/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a - very dark brown, black really but not "inky" black. Thin, smooth head that isn't going anywhere.

s - a little yeasty? Maybe a bit oxidized/"twangy"? I'm not sure I'm identifying this smell correctly but I didn't notice it anymore by the end of the bottle.

t - large and bitter up front; becoming balanced by the malt towards the end. A bit of oxidation I think. A lot of coffee. Long, nice finish. Really well balanced IMO. Bitterness is rather 1 dimensional, though.

f - beautifully silky-smooth. Perfect carbonation level. So smooth!

D - I'd have another. But a 6 pack?

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,917 ratings.