Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

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3,095 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,095
Reviews: 1,155
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 447
Gots: 552 | FT: 38
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: 3,095 | Reviews: 1,155
Photo of wolfeyshiz
4.9/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of Marina
3.88/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tastes good, but too heavy for me.

Photo of j0hnc2468
3.69/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Too boozey for me, but gd silky mouthfeel.

Photo of AnthonyMoran88
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rich flavor, crisp smooth, delicious winter beer

Photo of thegodfather2701
3.75/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of Jmamay22
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of the classics, although this one isnt always as easy to find as the other great lakes beers. i was lucky enough to have this one on tap during my travels, so awesome. its a dense stout, but not thick and sludgy like bourbon county or anything. in fact, it might be one of the better carbonated imperial stouts out there. its a lot like old rasputin from north coast i though, maybe a little less of the english ale yeast character in this one, but the grain bill feels very similar. its big and full bodied, but its also interesting, with maybe some oats or even rye in here in some proportion. it gives the beer a fluffy feeling, and i taste raisin and chocolate in here, its delicious without being overly complex. pillowy in its mouthfeel and well carbonated, which is uncommon and unexpected in the style, and the finish lasts forever. the booze is well hidden behind the unsweetened chocolate bitterness. a true gem, especially on tap. easily one of the best non barrel aged stouts in the country.

Photo of utopiajane
4.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A wonderful stout. Pitch black with a mocha colored head of faom that falls in streaks andlevaes spots to look at too. Roasty with a hint of chocolate on a deep sweet malt. Caramel and brown sugar. Taste follows that nose all the way. Big beautiful stout. Lots of maltiness. From the way it rolls on to the palate, to the way it envelopes the palate. It's all about the delicious malt. I love it. Roasty, with a bit of molasses, chocolate and a nuttiness. Dry firm and unending. A slight ting form alcohol on the nose and one on the palate at the very end with a friendly warmth.

Photo of ivorycannon
3.03/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Midnight black

Smell: Some dark chocolate, Caramel

Taste: Coffee , chocolate, some bitterness. Then it gets a bit sweet, like a cola taste.

Feel: Medium body

Overall: Not my favorite Ris but it is worth a try.

Photo of hopflyer
3.7/5  rDev -12.1%

Enjoy by 5/8/15. Really? A stout not implied to improve with age?

Pours black with brown highlights. Tan head dissipates to thin ring

Smells of coffee and bakers chocolate. A bit of plum. Maybe some ash.

First taste leans towards the dark fruit spectrum but has a bit of sweetness. Like a fruit snack flavor. Nothing exploding here but nothing off-putting either. A little bitterness detected and cancels the sweetness further thru. Not much depth.

Feel is less than medium body and pretty low carbonation. Kind of light for an RIS. A little alcohol burn.

Not too bad. The body and low carb in this doesn't hit the spot for me. Almost makes it a session stout if their is such a thing but I wouldn't really want more than one in a sitting.

Photo of Sandalwood
4/5  rDev -5%

Pours watery, black color with a small tannish head, there is a little lacing. The odor is strong with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, slightly smoky. The taste is a little thin, but full of flavor, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, very malty, slight pine, and some bitterness throughout.

Photo of polloenfuego
4.36/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks magnificent. Pours pitch black with a thin root beer head. The smell is typical of an RIS: roasts, chocolate and I also get treacle. The taste and feel is amazing. Smooth is the word. The roasts and chocolate blend together very well. To me this is almost a perfect taste, pleasant and inviting on a stormy winter's night.

So, now I know. Next time I am in the store, buy more. This is an excellent RIS and I would put it up against any of the non BA big boys for top of the heap.

Photo of beersnobraven
4.61/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Look: They call it Blackout Stout for a reason.
Smell: Big malty chocolate bomb.
Taste: Tastes like if a hot lava chocolate cake was cooled and put in a bottle. Delicious! It's really sweet for a Russian Imperial Stout, which some people might not like, but I love sweet beers myself.
Feel: Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I expected.
Overall: Another great offering from Great Lakes and a solid Imperial Stout. The unusual sweetness might be a turn-off to some, so maybe stay away from this brew if you're not into that, but if you are, it's hard to do better!

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(best by 05/13/2015 - poured into a Chouffe tulip)

L: black, at least super-dark brown, and relatively opaque... small cap of foam forms initially, pulls away leaving a thin collar... very scant lace for an ostensibly amply-hopped beer

S: upfront, nutty dark-roast coffee and a touch creme, base of cookie-esque malt... punchy whiff of fresh piney hops... maybe a little vanilla?... bold overall smell, straight-forward, classic, familiar and inviting

T: dense cookie malts with a thread/spread of moderately bitter chocolate and coffee flavors... coming across rather mellow, the hops and roast pop in the finish, holding in the back of the palate with a lovely, mild sweetness which is enhanced by the stealthy alcohol... bit of an almost caramelized BBQ char builds up in the aftertaste - wonderful... considering the exciting intensity of flavor, I'm a bit surprised that the aftertaste doesn't glow as brightly

F: upon first sip, surprisingly on the thinner, lighter side - in other words, very taut and slick-smooth... mellow sizzle going down... the booze attenuates it perhaps a bit too much, dulling the sugary malt roundness just enough... otherwise, stupid easy to knock back

O: has many of the moreish qualities that their Ed Fitz possesses... this is certainly in the upper echelon of American-style (non-adjunct, non-barrel-aged) strong stouts... wish I bought another bottle

Photo of tastybeer
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Completely opaque dark brown beer with a light brown foamy head.

S: Sugary cocoa, chocolate, cream, chocolate drizzled berries, caramel....delicious desserty things.

T & M: More chocolate and awesomeness. Soft around the edges, smooth, roasty malt and purpley fruits...

O: Very likable beer. Thick but easy drinking chocolate malty goodness.

Photo of BurrDManiac
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

There are several advantages to living in the northeast in the winter, and getting Blackout Stout in a growler is one of them. The mug is a black hole that defies the transmission of light. The flavor is rich with deep coffee and chocolate, without any alcoholic bite, and it leaves you with a touch of sweetness. Get it whenever the opportunity is available.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.71/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a finger high, with a khaki shade. While it's wonderfully creamy, its retention isn't very good at all. There is a bit of lacing left on the glass. (3.5)

Smell: My nose just got punched in the face with a ton of dark chocolate. As much as I love its chocolaty aroma, it's sadly lacking in roasted qualities. Instead, it favors brown sugar and even caramel notes. On the other hand, the presence of dark fruit suggests this is well attenuated - so it probably won't be cloying. And that's good, especially considering the nose is still nicely rich. (3.75)

Taste: It does a good job of directly following the nose. The first flavor on the palate is chocolaty, transforming into caramel, and then into a raisiny finish. Gentle kisses of hop bitterness and ashy roast also exist throughout. It's well balanced, if *slightly* favoring sweetness. Not the most complex, but very likable. (3.75)

Mouthfeel: Slightly light in its feel, with a lingering sweetness that's more slimy than creamy. Having said that, it's decently carbonated, and there's almost (almost, mind you) no alcohol coming through. And, if I can be honest, really easy to drink. Leave it to Great Lakes to make an imperial stout that's extremely easy going. (3.5)

Overall: It drinks like a bigger version of Edmund Fitzgerald. And I'm sorry, but I fail to see how that's remotely bad in any way. Because of that, though, it's missing a few 'stouty' characteristics to make it a proper world beater. Still, it's another rock-solid offering from Great Lakes. (3.75)

3.71/5: Not over-the-top or massive, just really easy to like

Photo of JMUbrewz
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%

Based on all other ratings of this beer, I'm thinking I got a bottle in the early stages of infection. I almost drain poured it after tasting it right out of the fridge. It was slightly tangy, with an unpleasant berryish flavor. I also got a tiny bit of soy sauce and some char. The beer did improve as it warmed up though, which is now making me question myself. The bottle was best by 4-15, I think? Not sure how far out GLBC dates bottles of Blackout, but I'm willing to bet this beer was mishandled at some point. GLBC has only been in our distro for a month. I'm being kind with this rating because I have a hard time believing this is what it's supposed to taste like. I'll have to try a different batch or a draft version to give this beer another shot.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Guinness pint glass.

A - Jet black, a half finger tan head that moved to a thin, but frothy lace. Great retention on the side of the glass.

S- Roasted malts, dark chocolate, grains. Not a hint of heat.

T - Interesting. Very chocolate forward, with some caramel and a touch of alcohol heat. There is also something on the finish I can't put my finger on. Cocoa powder? Not as much of the smoke or roastality (yep, that's a new word, ready for use) normally associated with RISs.

M - Good balance, has a soft feel with some heft, but decently carbonated (though below average) and does not get sticky.

O - A recommended RIS, but smoke/roast fans may not be impressed.

Photo of mr-jj
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle. Brought back from the Midwest in a friend's luggage. Best by 5/8/15.

Pours a deep brown, almost black with medium viscosity. Thin tan head with not a lot of lacing. Smell is dark roast coffee with some dark chocolate and roasted malt. Flavor is coffee and chocolate with some dark fruit. Some hop bitterness on the finish. Body is medium, but ample carbonation gives it a lighter feel.

Overall, this is an excellent RIS that brings all of its flavors together nicely.

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

Appearance- Black in color, opaque. Pours a half finger thick, tan/mocha colored head, frothy, dissipates to razor thin. Slight lacing on sides of glass.
Aroma- Predominantly roasted malts, accompanied by a certain grainy/yeasty aroma. Some slight chocolate notes poking through, also some coffee, cold bitter coffee grounds.
Taste- Sweet chocolate notes, a certain sweetness throughout, maybe some dark fruits as well. Bitter roasted malt, creamy caramel notes too. Lingering coffee and hop bitterness on the end.
Feel- Thinner to medium feel, not very sticky at all. Medium carbonation present.
Overall- Nice balance of flavors, an interesting sweetness throughout mostly chocolate but also has a certain dark fruit profile. Counterbalance of bitterness from wonderful coffee notes and slight hop. The aroma is suprisingly absent for the most part, just not much there, mouthfeel is also a tad thin, can get watery at times. Still, a very pleasent and flavorful beer.

Photo of spacebear09
4/5  rDev -5%

Appearance- Dark black beer with minimal head, even when attempting to pour from very far away from the glass.

Smell- Fudge, plums, dark chocolate

Taste- Very roasty with loads of dark fruit and an aftertaste of cloyingly sweet milk chocolate...

Mouthfeel- Creamy with the carbonation being almost nonexistent.

Overall- I remember this being my favorite RIS last year. Now, I drink this and appreciate it for being a good beer... but honestly I find it gross. There is a milk chocolate overtone that I think is absolutely disgusting. Way too sweet for an Imperial but too heavy to be a dessert stout. Still a well crafted beer, but I won't be buying it again anytime soon.

Photo of HattedClassic
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a decent brownish tan head that dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is an opaque black that has some very dark brown notes that are barely noticeable. The surface of the beer appears very slick and a little bit oily as well.

The beer smell is pretty good. The beer has the recognizable smell from the brewery's yeast that works well with the other subdued notes. The other notes consist of dark chocolate and hints of deep roasted malts. However, the smell most resembles a lighter version of Nutella, which is pretty good.

The taste is a bit sweeter than the smell. The yeast presence isn't very strong in the taste and is dominated by the stronger roasted malts and the sweet chocolate. The chocolate does a very good job of dulling the roasted malt taste while still maintaining a bit of roast. The closest taste that someone could compare to would be a slightly toasty Nutella. The bitter hops aren't very noticeable until the aftertaste and before then are actually the weakest note. The hops give a little bitterness and seem to help the roast come out instead of being a distinct flavor of its own.

The mouthfeel is very smooth and slick with very little carbonation. The beer is heavy bodied but it has a feel that makes it appear lighter.

Overall, a very good and interesting imperial stout. The stout seems to fall on the sweeter side instead of the roastier side, which is very unique.

Photo of snaotheus
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a little plastic hotel water cup. Best by 05/08/15 537-41DL.

Pours black and tarry with almost no head -- just a thin ring. Not much carbonation. Smell I coffee roast. Some chocolate and black licorice. Caramel.

Taste is sweet, strong bitter backbone. Heavy roast, almost burnt. Maybe caramel is the best way I can think of to describe the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is not light, but surprisingly light. Based on the viscous pour I thought it would be much thicker and heavier. Overall, very good.

Photo of nicholas2121
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great Lakes Blackout Stout brewed by Great Lakes Brewing Co., with an ABV of 9.0% This brew pours out a dark brown color, with a light brown head. Blackout Stout has the look of coffee. The smell is rich with flavor and malts. There is some sweetness in the smell of this brew. The taste is rich with flavor. This brew puts you in the mind of dark chocolate with roasted malts. There is a lot going on in this brew. Nothing overpowering in this brew, Blackout Stout has a real nice balance to it. The mouthfeel is rich and smooth. There is a lot of flavor, but a nice amount of smoothness. You can not pick up on the high ABV in this brew. Overall, I'm giving this brew a 4.5 out of 5. Great Lakes Brewing Co. did a nice job with this one. I would by this again.

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 3,095 ratings.