Great Lakes Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

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3,098 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,098
Reviews: 1,155
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 447
Gots: 554 | 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: 3,098 | Reviews: 1,155
Photo of shelt11
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like the barrel-aged better, but this is always a good one.

Photo of mchegash
3.64/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 4.5/5
Pours a deep black in color, with hints of dark brown-red visible near the edges of the glass, in the right light. About a finger of tan head which quickly dissipates down to minimal head. This beer really is quite black, it's beautiful, and fitting a beer named after one of the greatest American "blackouts" in recent history (NE US power outage of 2003).

Smell - 4.25/5
Roasty, chocolate malts, along with small hints of hops, (fruity?) sweetness, and alcohol. The smell reminds me of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald, which is an incredible beer.

Taste - 3.25/5
Fairly sweet, more hoppy than I was expecting. Has roasty fruity alcohol flavors. Not quite what I was expecting in the taste. It seems like the roastiness is less prominent than the aroma, and everything else is more prominent. I taste hints of banana and a weird kind of nasty earthiness. Not that the beer is terrible, but I must say I am rather disappointed in the taste. I was expecting more from Great Lakes.

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
Very smooth and creamy, slightly less than medium-bodied. Carbonation is light, which fits the beer well. Slightly bitter.

Overall - 3.5/5
Though I had high expectations, this beer did not deliver. The taste was not really what I was looking for. A beer this dark should have more roastiness/etc to it. But that's not really what I got here. The beer looked and smelled great, but besides that it was just average. I would say skip this beer and just pick up some Edmund Fitzgeralds.

Photo of ajm5108
3.46/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Some hickory smoked / wood fired taste on this one, not a cream / chocolatey stout but more of the fire & brimstone type. Some dark berry / burnt fruitcake is also present, and it finishes with a lingering toasted malt. Intriguing, but not exactly in my personal wheelhouse.

Photo of Nolang84
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

'Twas a good choice for my first Great Lakes gonna have to try the rest of their line up

Photo of fscottkey
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: [4.75] Pours a deep dark color with almost no light penetration. The beer forms a luscious 1 1/2 finger head. The head is dense tan bubbles. As the head recedes it leaves a thick layer of lacing on the glass. The bottle lists a drink by date of (05/13/15) and an ABV of (9.0%)

S: [4.50] Campfire wood, bacon, chocolate, malt, dark fruit. There is a lot on the nose.

T: [4.50] Sweet chocolate on the tip of the tongue. Some dark fruits in the mix too then roasted malts for a looooong finish. The taste goes on for a while.

M: [4.75] The mouthfeel is smooth and delicious. I will use the word luscious again. There is no sense of the 9.0% alcohol.

O: [4.50] This is an excellent Stout (one of the best I have had). It hits on all fronts. The nose is great and inviting and plays into the taste. The taste doesn't follow the nose exactly but continues a theme. The nose and body both share a great mild char and chocolate. The mouthfeel is velvety and sexy. I can't think of anything to knock this beer for.

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served out of a sniffer best buy 5/08/15chocolate Hershey bar on nose
T chocolate moca coffee with slight alcohol this is a must for stout lovers who dont care about barrel age

Photo of mikeg67
3.26/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, creamy, brown head and nice lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt, toast, dark fruit, alcohol and coffee, some sourness. Body is full, creamy and smooth. Taste is of toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit, herbal hops and unpleasant sourness. Something is very wrong with this bottle.

Photo of Roguer
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Extremely dark brew, clear as far as one can tell. 1 finger dark tan head; poor retention, nice lacing.

Huge coffee and chocolate notes from the malt, with a touch of banana ester. Smells strong without smelling boozy. Aroma is reminiscent of FIS and JA Framinghammer.

Flavor follows: this is a big, bold stout, with up-front notes of chocolate and coffee, followed by a slightly tart hint of dark fruit, and finished by an exceptionally bitter, incredibly roasted wash of the malt.

Big-bodied and medium-full feel; some foaming; no sting. Pretty drinkable with a dry, roasty finish with a touch of lingering hop oil.

This is a very solid RIS, one that I can only imagine makes for a fantastic base for barrel-aging. Not in FIS/Speedway/Ten-FIDY territory, but perhaps the tier immediately below.

Photo of cburke74
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yay! Love this beer. Five words.

Photo of MacMalt
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark, nearly opaque with thick, light tan head and thick lacing. Looks like a classic stout. Smell is burnt coffee and chocolate. I didn't discern the smell of any fruit or other sweet flavor. Taste emphasizes the coffee but there is a bitter hoppiness. I've read other reviews but I'm not tasting any dark fruit. You can taste the alcohol but at 9% it's not overwhelming. Good creamy mouth feel. Overall, this is a very good imperial stout but I'm missing the dark fruit.

Photo of Diaper-Daniels
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I mean...I like stouts and all. And I like this one. But I was hoping for a thicker, blacker, stouter stout. Uhh what?? Didn't hear me?? Did I stouter??

Photo of Godace
5/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites ever.

Photo of wedge
4.26/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.83/5  rDev -9%
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.

Photo of gabrielsyme
4.02/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark opaque black. Light, sweet aroma. Chocolate, coffee, mocha, little bitterness. Light carbonation.

Photo of pat61
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Photo of enjambed
4.4/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of Jacobob10
4.01/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of BuccoFan
2.75/5  rDev -34.7%
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.

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.25/5  rDev +1%
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!

Photo of tlaw
3.43/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Overall good, but doesn't stand up to some of the greats. Hard/near impossible to pour it with a head. Thin mouthfeel. Nice nose and good, though.

Photo of Kraj30
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

solid stout... just left me wanting a little more in taste profile

Photo of smanson56
4.48/5  rDev +6.4%
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!

Photo of Jeffreysan
5/5  rDev +18.8%
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!

Photo of Vaskotronic
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Sweet stout with limited head

Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 3,098 ratings.