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Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,346 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2346
Reviews: 1073
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 8.77%

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: 2,346 | Reviews: 1,073 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of andrewjraab


4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pour pitch black with a khacki foamy head. Nice spotty lace on the glass.

S - Coffee, chocolate, whiskey, wood, cherries.

T - Smooth and creamy mouth feel, vanilla, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, hops present in the bitter aftertaste.

O - I love that the 2003 black out came to inspire a great brew - A day that will live in my personal hell, so I'm glad that something good came from it. All and all this is one smooth and really nice RIS.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2013 03:13:22 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of MNishCT77

District of Columbia

3.96/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can obtained at Whole Foods on P St., NW, D.C. area, 2013 vintage, poured into my *** snifter glass, drank 12/4/13 over an hour

A: 2/3 - pitch black, no clarity, poured with a creamy mahogany head that settled into a subtle glass lacing with some mild froth on top. low-to-moderate carbonation

S: 9/12 - dark chocolate, coffee and alcohol notes predominate, which become more prominent as the beer warms

T: 18/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a soft bitterness supplied by the chocolate and roasted malts; in the middle of the mouth, it's mostly creamy malt complexity with some caramel and residual alcohol; moderate aftertaste yet invites subsequent sips

M: 4/5 - creamy, big mouthfeel, moderate alcohol, subtle aftertaste

O: 8/10 - very good RIS from an excellent brewery, and, to be honest, I wouldn't have expected less from GLBCO there are no gross flaws, but, for me, it fails to wow like some of the best American imperial stouts; definitely worth a shot though

TOTAL = 41/50

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2013 03:38:24 | More by MNishCT77
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black. Tan head.
Smell: Toasted malt. Some coffee.
Taste: Toasted malt. Chocolate and coffee.

I enjoyed this. It didn't feel like the usual punch of an Imp, but it was very delicious. Toasted malt was the overall theme, with coffee and chocolate in the background. The finish was quite dry. It left almost a slightly sour blackberry taste in your mouth. Actually, it's very much like that. I would probably get this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 04:08:24 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of TheSSG


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

Pours a thick, off-tan head that has great persistence and laces well. Acidic, toasted malt in the nose. Black. A thick, viscous liquid pours into the mouth with massive, delicious toasted malt that is reminiscent of chocolate. A slight sweetness is also present. As the chocolate moves into a more coffee-like flavor, the bitterness peaks at a nice medium level. The finish is coffee that lingers softly.

This is really nice. It is insanely drinkable for a Russian Imperial stout. It has a wonderful, soft sweetness blended with a sublime chocolate toasted malt flavor, and just enough bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 02:46:17 | More by TheSSG
Photo of guityler83


4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: A moderatley aggressive pour into a tulip glass produced a modest half finger of dark tan / mocha colored head made of tiny bubbles. Th foam quickly fell into the black opaque liquid leaving behind a tiny ring around the edge of the glass. When swirled the beer kicked up some good alcohol legs, living up to the over 9% rating.

S: Strong roasted malt character, low/moderate dark fruit aroma (plums/raisins) and an underlying sweetness. Mild earthy, herbal hop aroma kicks up as its swirled. faint amounts of englishy yeast esters.

T: Firm roasty, ashy, dark cocoa flavors on the first sip. a moderate earthy bitterness on par with the hop aroma keeps the malt character from becoming overpowering but the balance is on the malt side. Sweeter dark fruit flavors (again similar to the aroma) are more aparent as the beer warms up.

M: Big body on this beer with mild carbonation. alcohol warmth is present with almost no astringancy (surprising from how dark the beer is).

O: A big roasty, english hop flavored, imperial stout that is good to sip whilst watching a B-movie or horror flick. The sweetness wasn't my thing but I did like the hop presence in this beer. I think with a little age this one could be up there with the best of them.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 03:05:47 | More by guityler83
Photo of MilkMan126


4.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, almost black appearance. Nearly opaque with a small medium-dense head.

Smells like dark malt, licorice, and caramel.

Tasty - a lot of flavor. Dark roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and some caramel sweetness followed by a nice structured kick from the hops. I can taste a smokiness and dark fruit flavors that provide a nice complexity! The dark malt and smoky flavor have an extra push in the end with a reminder that it's 9%.

A full body and long aftertaste. It isn't that thick though... and it has a lot of carbonation that seems to cut in impolitely.

Overall, another solid GL beer. There is an intentional complexity through the use of dark malts, fresh hops, and a hint of smokiness - well done!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2013 01:49:55 | More by MilkMan126
Photo of BEEER


4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark black color with a small light brown head that diminishes to just a ring while leaving a light oily lacing. Aroma has nice rich maltyness and cocoa notes. Flavor is smooth and rich with strong roasted cocoa, creamy chocolates, coffee notes, and a light bitterness. So delicious, complex and balanced all around.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 01:06:01 | More by BEEER
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Single bottle from Premier Gourmet, poured into a snifter glass.

Near black with caramel edges, about a half inch of head from a vigorous pour. Great lacing, nice ring of foam.

Nose is caramel, chocolate, coffee, big of fruit. Very nice, but mild.

Tasty stout. Nice roasted flavor, chocolate and coffee, mild smoke and licorice.

Milder bodied, slightly higher than usual carbonation. Alcohol well masked.

As usual, another very well-crafted brew from Great Lakes.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 23:24:39 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark, thick black, with a mocha colored head (1 inch or so), and good lacing down the glass.

Smells massively of roasted malt and chocolate.

Great chocolately sweetness in the taste here, is balanced by some enjoyable roasty bitterness. A lot of malt was clearly put into this brew. A bit smokey.

Full, creamy body. Not the thickest, gloopiest stout I've ever had, but it's very nicely full. Low carbonation. Drinkable for the size.

Would buy this one again for sure. On the lookout for the BA version.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2013 00:58:29 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of tsauce2


4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

P: 12 fl oz bottle poured in to a DFH tulip.

A: SRM is black. Opaque. Head is very light tan, 1/2 in, dissipates to outsides of glass. Light carbonation. Light lacing.

S: Dark roast malt, oat, coffee, hints of caramel.

T: Picking up dark roast malt and oats primarily. Nice hop balance; simcoe is a nice addition. Aftertaste is drm and light coffee.

M: Full body. Hops give a nice balance. Semi-dry aftertaste.

O: Very good RIS. This beer ages very nicely as well. Would love to try the barreled version.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2013 20:12:01 | More by tsauce2
Photo of fitrock2112


3.76/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured Blackout Stout into Belgian Tulip.

A - Pours black as coal with no light getting through. One half finger of mocha head.

S - Roasted malts, and bitter coffee on first sniff. A touch of Baker's chocolate in there as well.

T - Getting dark chocolates, bitter coffee. Mid palate getting roasted malts. A little of alcohol on the aftertaste. Not bad.

M - It has a medium mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Just wish it was a bit fuller for a RIS.

O - A bit disappointed with this offering from Great Lakes. I know they can do better!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2013 00:30:00 | More by fitrock2112
Photo of Brenden


4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A thick, heavy, motor oil-viscous black beer, there's no question of this beer's intent. The almost medium brown head stands up, not especially tall but not at all short, and it's thick, hefty and creamy. It's certainly got some strength to it, and it proves it not only by staying the whole session through, but by depositing itself in thick patching with lots of interlacing webbing to nearly the bottom of the glass.
It's not as big in the nose as the flavor, but it's got a great backbone of big roasted malts and the typical bittersweet cocoa and coffee notes with a bit of creamy smoothness and a faint hint of vanilla-like sweetness.
The notes in the aroma come out in the flavor but bigger, with a stronger char to it, a light touch of charcoal and wood, and little fusel alcohol. A bit more of the creamy sweetness is well integrated.
It's got the body, nice and rich with a good thickness to it. It's almost milky. It's not huge but it doesn't disappoint by any means, and it does stand up to the bigger ones. It's nicve and smooth with just a little char into the finish before going smooth again.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2013 20:43:22 | More by Brenden
Photo of justin_nj

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle dated "please enjoy by 4/28/13".

A: Pours black with a reddish tinge around the edge of the glass. Minimal head that dissipated quickly and left a ring of small bubbles around the surface of the glass. Decent lacing.

S: A bit of coffee, dark chocolate, cream, roasted malt, and a hint of soy sauce that I picked up on the first smell of the beer but could barely find again. Nothing spectacular but a nice smelling stout.

T: Coffee bitterness up front that turns into sweet chocolate in the middle of the mouth. The huge roast qualities come in immediately as you swallow the beer. Dark fruits, raisins, figs, a hint of dark cherry are apparent as the beer warms up as well as sweet coffee. Slight alcohol as it goes down but it's a very drinkable imperial stout. Coffee and hop bitterness, and roasted/burnt malt linger long after each sip.

M: Medium body that coats your entire mouth. Very creamy and slick. Pop of carbonation as it goes down. Carbonation makes it seem lighter bodied than it actually is. The alcohol is noticeable and provides a slight bit of warming, but not nearly to the point where you have to sip on it.

O: Highly enjoyable. This beer sticks around on your palate for quite a while. It's a very roasty and bitter stout. A bit over carbonated for me, but I'd drink this any time the opportunity presents itself. Great Lakes never disappoints.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 04:02:14 | More by justin_nj
Photo of pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by 05/05/12. Tasted alongside BA Blackout Stout. Teku glass.

A: Pours mostly black, a dark coffee brown around the edges, with a half finger of light brown head which recedes quickly to a thick ring. Quite good clarity. Good retention for what's there, and a few streaks and dots of lacing.

S: Roasted malt and a little chocolate, *slight* soy sauce, and cream.

T: Coffee-forward with a little roasted malt and milk chocolate, and more milk chocolate on a long finish. Nicely balanced, all three flavors come through but none dominates.

M: Medium-light body and medium-high carbonation which softens over the course of the pour.

O: Overall, a tasty, well balanced stout. Smells a little oxidized, but that may be due to being after the best by date (oops). I'd be happy to have regular access to this.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 04:42:52 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of MI_gal616


4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A beautiful black stout with little to no head.

I'm surprised the smell is not stronger, but there are some good roated malts and deep, dark chocolate notes. Smell could be reduced since best by date was 3/19 and today is 3/26.

On the palate, this becomes the beer it was talked up to me to be. Stong coffee notes, rich and super flavorful. The malt base leaves a hint of caramel right up front, but some piney hop bitterness comes through on the aftertaste, making this a classic Imperial Stout.

Full bodied and creamy with a fair bit of carbonation. Some day I would love to try this on a nitro tap, just out of curiosity.

This is a solid beer. Perfect especially since the snow just keeps falling outside my window.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2013 23:57:42 | More by MI_gal616
Photo of jjboesen


4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah! Here we have another wonderful brew from Great Lakes: a Blackout Stout quaffed from a snifter. It looks imposing; its’ color is as black as the night, liquid tar crowned by a sticky wisp of vanilla froth. This black beauty emits a noticeable charcoal waft; the palate is socked with subtle bits of molasses and malt that make for a chewy mouthfeel. Is that a warm brownie slowly melting in my mouth? This is an exceptional beer to say the least.

A wonderful version of an Imperial Russian Stout, one that would make any czar weep for joy.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2013 23:33:20 | More by jjboesen
Photo of brewskis


4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours predictably pretty dark black but does have a hint of ruby red with no head and a thin ring of lacing. Smells of milk chocolate, raisin, roasted coffee, dark bready malts, soy sauce, some pine. Taste starts with raisin, some dark chocolate, coffee. Then get more raisin, as well as plum, some pine, some breadiness. Then the finish includes, a little pine or grapefruit, roasted malt, some coffee, milk chocolate, little heat, some carmel, little soy sauce, maybe some licorice but I could just be imagining that. Pretty complex with a full body and a creamy and slick mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation, but too much in my opinion. This is a very solid imperial stout that is on the verge of world class.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 04:17:12 | More by brewskis
Photo of sommersb


3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tasted On: 03-19-2013
Freshness: Best by 03-19-2013
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

Appearance: Deep black and opaque beer. The thin tan head does not have much retention but leaves a fair amount of lace on the glass.

Smells are primarily coffee roast and dark maltiness. Lesser aromas include chocolate and earthy hops.

The taste has the bitterness of coffee and also bittersweet chocolates and roasted grains. The hop bitterness is fairly aggressive and unfortunately lends itself to some harshness. As the beer warms it seems to mellow a bit and becomes more approachable.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, with carbonation in the medium or high range. The finish is dry and features coffee-like bitter roast flavors. I also get some alcohol warmth from the 9% ABV.

Overall a good stout, although in my opinion the hop bitterness is too pronounced. I've had stouts with higher IBUs that seem to be able to balance the beer better than in this example.

Thanks to buschbeer for the try!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2013 05:16:29 | More by sommersb
Photo of oline73


4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

The beer pours a very dark almost black color with several fingers of thick tan head. The head fades to a nice layer rather quickly and leaves some lacing on the side of the glass. I wasn't in love with the smell of this beer. I'm getting some sweet malt and dark fruit, but there is a slightly off note that I'm having trouble describing. Fortunately, the note that I didn't like in the smell didn't show up in the taste. While this was a very roasty beer, I thought the roast was quite smooth. I'm also getting dark chocolate and some dark fruit. The finish is sweet and roasty. The alcohol is quite well hidden. I'd have another bottle in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 05:01:47 | More by oline73
Photo of screamking


4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours black with a small 1 finger khaki head which is gone in a matter of seconds. 4

Aroma-coffee, roasted malts, milk chocolate, rasians, licorice, fresh baked sugar cookies, mild vanilla. 4.5

Taste-milk chocolate right up front, light coffee, roasted malts, lots of vanilla, plum, brown sugar. 4.5

Feel-full bodied, coats palate fully and ends with a bitter blast, alcohol sneaks in at the end. 4

Overall- Great Lakes makes great beer and this one falls right in line. As this beer warms its vanilla flavor seems to become more prevalent. Almost reminiscent of a bourbon aged stout. This one will sneak up on you, tasting higher alcohol than 9% would suggest. This is a great RIS, one of the top tier out there. 4.25

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2013 06:38:56 | More by screamking
Photo of Florida9


4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011. On tap at Durty Nellie's.

A: Fully opaque black. Served with a fairly large, dark mocha colored, bubbly head. Lots of lacing. Much more than to be expected for the style.

S: heavily roasted malts, coffee, and a rather perceptible metallic tinge.

T: taste is much smoother. Roasted malts, coffee, slight sweetness, molasses, brown sugar. There is a slight hop character.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, mild bitterness

O: a very good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2013 23:02:46 | More by Florida9
Photo of barczar


4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2011 vintage.

Pours an opaque black brown with a frothy half inch cappuccino head that dissipates slowly leaving thick sheets of lacing.

Deep roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla, and light coffee ground notes form the initial aroma. Fruity scents of dark cherries and raspberries add complexity.

Flavor is initially fruity and somewhat alcoholic, followed by malt sweetness and a roasty, somewhat dry finish. Dark berries a touch of citrus underlie the profile, with burnt breadcrust and coffee forming the backbone, complemented by light chocolate and toast notes. A bit on the sweet side.

Body is fairly viscous, with carbonation that's higher than expected, and significant alcohol heat.

More fruity than I recall. Carbonation is a bit high, and alcohol is borderline fusel, even with some age. Still, fairly complex brew with some outstanding flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 22:20:54 | More by barczar
Photo of C20Percent


4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a darks brown with a 1/4 finger's worth of tan head on top. Clean body. Head is bubbly enough. I think lacing will tell the story. Kind of just above average for me. Lacing is thin. So, appearance is the low point of this beer.

S: Roastiness mixed with some sweetness. Vanilla. Slight hop aroma. Nice chocolate backbone. Quality smells all around -- work well together. One doesn't overpower the other.

T: Chocoately flavors mixed with a nice roasted malt flavor. Some vanilla, yet. Nice, slightly bitter finish. Can't tell if the sweetness is coming from the chocolate of the vanilla. Pretty good, though.

M: Almost a heavy body. Beer not thin by any means. Smooth and creamy -- thumbs up there. Very nice carbonation combined with a good buttery feel. Coats the mouth in goodness. Chewiness is slightly odd -- brings out the alcohol instead of the malts. A bit disappointing, but otherwise very very good.

O: I let this brew sit a while. It mellowed out the malts nicely. Good brew. Would definitely recommend. Don't think it's at the level of Old Rasputin, but quite good.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 19:18:17 | More by C20Percent
Photo of superspak


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

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 10/28/2012. Pours pitch black color with a 1 finger dense dark khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, toast, toffee, raisin, pine, floral, light anise, dark bread, and herbal earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance. Taste of big milk chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, dark bread, toffee, light char, light smoke, pine, floral, and herbal earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toffee, light char, light smoke, dark bread, floral, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice flavor robustness, balance, and complexity; with zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Russian imperial stout. Great balance and complexity of flavors; and extremely smooth to sip on. A highly enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2013 05:21:35 | More by superspak
Photo of Scotchboy


3.99/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first time trying this: thanks to two awesome BA's for the bottles! Poured into my Rock Island snifter...

A: Pours dark brown, but somewhat lighter that I expected. Still, nearly opaque black in the glass.

S: Semi-sweet malty profile with underlying impressions of roast; dark caramel, chocolate, molasses and brown sugar. Definite RIS profile; agreeable, but lacking in muscle IMO.

T: More coffee is found here, interwoven with a lot of the same flavors from the nose; darker chocolate, caramel and molasses (I really get a lot of this in this particular beer), possibly anise? on the finish.

MF: Creamy medium/full mouthfeel with lighter carbonation and just a hint of alcohol.

O: Not as roast-prominent as I thought it'd be...moderate sweetness. Even with the two strikes against it (look and lack of roast) this thing is still mighty tasty and deserved of a spot in the BoF Top 100.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 15:48:33 | More by Scotchboy
Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 2,346 ratings.