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Rackhouse Ale - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Rackhouse Ale
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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

59 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 59
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.13%
Wants: 11
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: TurdFurgison on 10-27-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 59 | Reviews: 36 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bagman007
Bagman007

Texas

2.75/5  rDev -33.9%

Served on tap in a sampler glass at the brewery.

A- Dark amber coloring with a little bit of head.

S- Has a very strong whiskey scent to it.

T- Definitely has a whiskey type taste to it, but not too strong to where you start to think it's not a beer anymore. Has a bit of a smokey flavor as well.

M- Kinda strong tasting and heavy. Kind of like taking a mild straight shot of whiskey.

D- Might be very drinkable for some people, but definitely not for me. The fact that it is so strong also hinders it's drinkability.

Overall a very strong whiskey tasting beer. It tasted better than the waitress made it sound, but I still couldn't have too many of these.

12-28-2008 21:51:27 | More by Bagman007
Photo of LordAdmNelson
LordAdmNelson

Ohio

3.55/5  rDev -14.7%

At GL BA Blackout release party.

Pours a rich golden color with a bit of white head that recedes to a ring around the glass. Smell is decent, some oak and bourbon notes come through, with a bit of lighter malt. Flavor is similar, vanilla, oak, bourbon, and a bit of a light ale in the background. Description says oak bourbon barrel aged sweet ale, and that's a pretty apt description. Something about lighter beers aged in bourbon, however, doesn't work for me. It ends up getting an odd buttery flavor (not diacetyl) that I just don't particularly enjoy. Body is big enough to handle the bourbon, but not overpowering, carbonation is good. A sipper for sure, not a bad beer, just not my favorite.

10-31-2010 23:34:16 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of siege06nd
siege06nd

Virginia

3.58/5  rDev -13.9%

Served in a sampler cup at the GL BA Blackout release.

A. This brew is a very cloudy, medium orange brown color. A half finger of cream head appears and slowly settles, leaving about a quarter finger behind. Decent lacing. Nothing spectacular, but has a pleasant glow to it. Good.

S. A lot of bourbon, maple, vanilla, creamy malt, and caramel. A very sweet, thick smell, but balanced and with some subtle syrupy nuances. Hints of brown sugar and molasses. Bourbon covers most of it up though.

T. A lot of vanilla, maple, caramel, and some booziness on the back end. Barrel aging is apparent here, as the wood really comes through. A dry, boozy finish. Enjoyable, but just a little bit thin right now. Bourbon overpowers all of it and makes it a little one note. Ho hum.

M. Highly carbonated, perhaps too much so. A distinct thinness to this one. Lackluster.

O. Rackhouse is an interesting beer that I am certainly happy to have tried. But it is a bit thin and boozy at the moment. Just not enough malt to support the heat on this one. Wondering what time will do to this.

01-17-2012 01:37:59 | More by siege06nd
Photo of bamadog
bamadog

Kentucky

3.6/5  rDev -13.5%

Review is from notes taken on 10/13/2009 at the 2009 release of GLBC Barrel-aged Blackout Stout. Poured from the tap to a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy lemony/coppery color; body is far from clear and a short 1/4 finger head that fades immediately to a ring and a thin poly-wog in the center sits on top of the beer; thick washes of oily lacing slides back into the beer from the sides of the glass.

Smell: Very mild aromas - comes across the nose as sweet combined with some alcoholic vapor - a slightly citric quality is present as well. Like most GLBC offerings though, the nose is kind of weak.

Taste: The taste is overwhelmingly sweet, like candied honey and it almost turns my stomach as it's sooo sweet... Strong dose of alcohol; slightly citric quality of an orange is present as well and it comes across as a little acidic - reminiscent of an old ale mixed with honey.

Mouthfeel: Body is thick and viscous and leaves a solid coating all over the palate; mouth is VERY warm, as is the belly; very mild carbonation but that makes sense considering how thick the body is on this. Very nice overall.

Drinkability: Nice flavors, but it's heavy and the sweetness is just too much for my palate. I am glad, however, that I got to try this beer.

11-02-2009 04:18:10 | More by bamadog
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.65/5  rDev -12.3%

From tap to plastic cup at the BA Blackout release on 1/16/12

-- Thanks for sharing the experience, John! --

A: Gorgeous orange-amber. Top notch collar and lacing.

S: Alcohol esters, hot notes of wood and a bit banana and clove.

T: Really, really hot. There's no real balance here. It's a bourbon bomb from the start, an it never lets go. The yeast and malt profile fight to shine through, but in the end, they fail to make a lasting impression. Not bad, just a bit above average.

M: Creamy. And thank God, as a thin, weak beer couldn't carry the heavy bourbon profile this brew packs.

O: This is one for the cellar. GL's Rackhouse screams for time to mellow out a bit, as it's a hot bourbon bomb fresh. It lacks the proper balance, and left me burping whiskey esters for a while.

Approach cautiously.

01-17-2012 01:33:39 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -11.5%

on tap at BA Blackout release party

Pours a darker auburn color with some golden hues. Smaller head, with a touch of retained wispy film running across the top of the beer.

Notes of malted sweetness, oaky bourbon, brown sugar, and vanilla in the nose.

Begins strong with roasted malt and candied brown sugar. Dark fruit including raisins and figs alongside some vanilla tones. The oaked bourbon flavors are apparent, but not overboard, along with some alcohol warmth. The sweetness is heavy here, especially with the brown sugar and bourbon combining. Finishes boozy and sweet.

Lighter body for a barrel aged beer, fairly carbonated, and a bit sticky. A smaller sample of this was enough for me, as the booze and sweetness were a little bit much. It's described as a "bourbon barrel aged sweet ale," so this wasn't surprising but it just wasn't my style. I can see some people loving this though.

11-06-2010 17:25:17 | More by xnicknj
Photo of cabsandking
cabsandking

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -10.3%

Very dark opaque brown with a creamy, beige, fine bubbled head that fades to a fine lace. Oak barrel aromas all over, tobacco, sweet bourbon, and vanilla. The bourbon barrel is pretty clear in this one, candy sugar, big vanilla, lacto-bourbon and cloying. Fruity flavors are to be found but hard to put my finger on particulars with such strong bourbon character. Smooth body and a descent zip to creamy carbonation on a medium mouthfeel. Finishes with more bourbon and some prickly heat that cleans up considerably well. The taste is fantastic...if you love bourbon...if it’s difficult to pick out beer-ey-ness for the oaked bourbon is potent.

12-04-2007 17:34:08 | More by cabsandking
Photo of dustylong
dustylong

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Had this beer at Greak Lakes brewpub. Pouts a dark color with a reddish tint with a decent head and some lacing (on-tap into a snifter). This is a very strong beer. Period. The smell is strong. Very alcohol...reminds me of barleywine a little bit (which I think someone else noted, and I agree with). Aged in bourbon barrels, which is very evident. Has a very strong taste it...Once again very alcoholic, with a bourbon flavor to it. Felt kind of rough in the mouth..not an easy beer to drink...Overall a very tasty beer, but a little much, even for me.

11-22-2006 04:04:20 | More by dustylong
Photo of KAP1356
KAP1356

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

07-22-2013 19:26:59 | More by KAP1356
Photo of Stinger80OH
Stinger80OH

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

01-28-2013 15:49:33 | More by Stinger80OH
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

Had this on-tap at Great Lakes on 10/23/05. This was served only from the pub, so I was told. Presented to me in a chalice glass, very dark color brown, almost a red shade of black. Thin wispy head on top, almost non-existent.

The aroma was strong old ale, or alcohol-laden barleywine. Very powerful and a little bit scary. The flavor was very full, very rich, and burned my throat. It was hard to believe it was beer. I would have guessed brandy or something of that sort. The after-taste was chocolate, but I douldn't detect any burnt malt flavors.

I had to rate kind of low on drinkability, because it's hard to finish one chalice. The flavor was great and all, but my lord it was too strong in alcohol burn.

Try it if you see it. But be careful.

10-27-2005 20:00:45 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of chaz01
chaz01

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -7.9%

I was able to get a growler from a 1/6 barrel leftover from a local Great Lakes Beer Tasting event here in Dayton. As a side note, great event hosted at Dorothy Lane Market, and Lisa from Great Lakes did a great job.

A: Dark mahogany, a little cloudy. Not much head, but that maybe due to I was unable to open the growler until a few days following the event.

S: Woody and oak aromas with an alcohol presence, more rum-like than bourbon.

T: I'm picking up a big alcohol presence, but again like the aroma, not necessarily bourbon flavors. Fruity raisins and dates flavor complement the alcohol, with a little bit of bourbon flavors in the aftertaste.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation, syrupy mouthfeel

D: Nice sipping beer for a cool Autumn evening. Very easily drinkable that can sneak up on you. A couple glasses out of my growler and I am definitely feeling it.

10-20-2010 02:39:50 | More by chaz01
Photo of pwoods
pwoods

Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -7.5%

On tap down in the cellar of the brewpub during the bourbon event.

Served in a 5oz. snifter. Notes.

A: Pours a cloudy, murky golden peach color. Decent sized pearly white, somewhat frothy head. Some retention and a bit of lacing.

S: Plenty of bourbon and woody notes. Surprisingly there is a lot of citrus, pineapple and mango. Some lighter malts but they're mostly dominated by the bourbon and oak.

T/M: More of the bourbon and barrel flavors. Plenty of the citrus with pineapple and mango and even some tartness. Not a bunch of bitterness, though. Body is medium or so with good carbonation.

D: Higher ABV and gets a bit too sweet as it warms up. Interesting, though.

10-20-2009 02:06:18 | More by pwoods
Photo of cpetrone84
cpetrone84

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

Pour is hazy copper amber with a tan head. Nose is fairy sweet with a good amount of wood and notes of bourbon. Notes of berries, vanilla, and toffee. Taste is quite sweet. Wood is a bit more moderate with a nice bourbon interplay. There are layers of toffee, vanilla, caramel and cherry in the back. Stronger carbonation with a relatively drinkable body and fairly soft palate. Pretty good stuff, taste is a bit more deep and integrated.

02-15-2014 02:43:19 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of Urbancaver
Urbancaver

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -6.3%

thin clear tannish brown with red hues and minimal head that dissipated immediately. Smells strongly of bourbon... not much else. tastes like a malty bourbon concoction with not much else going on. a bit thin but well carbonated and overall very drinkable.

12-12-2010 19:46:58 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -4.3%

One of the tougher GLBC beers to try, I really wish they'd bottle this too! Had my first taste of this at the BA Blackout Release Party.

Pours a honey amber color. Darker in the center. I didn't get much head from my pour, but then again this beer is really light on the carbonation.

Smells very delicate, surprising coming from a BA beer. Softly sweet with hints of honey, clover, and floral hops. Mild vanilla and citrus comes through occasionally.

The beer also tastes quite delicate. I would like to know how long they age it in barrels, because it's nothing like the hot BA stouts that are becoming so popular. It was very light and crisp - no lingering aftertaste or stickiness. There's a sweet twang of alcohol and it's mildly warming on the way down. The flavor is slightly oaky with honey once more coming though predominately. Also essence of orange and of sweet honeyed lemon tea. When I sat back and stopped trying to dissect every nuance I suppose the beer has a mild sweet sherry-like quality to it.

Goes down super smooth and finishes with a slight earthy hoppiness. Not really boozy despite the 9.5%.

I found this to be a very drinkable brew. Not my favorite of GLBC, but a real treat worth seeking out for sure.

11-08-2010 17:17:28 | More by Spider889
Photo of Tyrawlings
Tyrawlings

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.8%

02-11-2012 01:27:39 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of Morey
Morey

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -3.8%

02-23-2014 13:12:28 | More by Morey
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.8%

Lovey shade of amber/mohagony. Off white head is rich and creamy with very good retention and some sticky lace left behind.

Rich sweet caramel malt, rediculous amounts of sweet toffee, toasted oak, coconut, brown sugar, candied fruits and dried fruits, fig especially. Also a hint of butterscotch on the ending.

Lush, sweet, palate coating mouthfeel. Very sweet and malty. Toasted oak, with a vanilla, toasted coconut edge. Bourbon is nicely integrated. Brown sugar, fig, other dried fruit round out the flavors. Many nutty flavors in here as well especially chestnut and even some hazlenut. The overall RS level of this does hurt the drinkability however. A sipper for sure.

10-10-2006 16:28:08 | More by mcallister
Photo of Artjsantos
Artjsantos

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.8%

01-21-2014 13:15:58 | More by Artjsantos
Photo of warrenout330
warrenout330

Ohio

4/5  rDev -3.8%

01-22-2013 05:35:10 | More by warrenout330
Photo of Bones54
Bones54

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -3.1%

This is a wierd one for me. After having the Bourbon Barrel Aged Blackout Stout I couldn't wait to get up to the brewery and try a bourbon aged ale. I wasn't sure what to really expect. Poured in a snifter this brew has an amazing appearance. A dark ruby beer, with a practically no head. The appearance of this brew is intimidating and mysterious all at the same time. The taste... Yup, there is the ale taste-it's present. But wow, taste that bourbon. So smooth and sweet. Get comfortable because this one is going to take a while to finish. Overall, to the weekend "lets get hammered warrior" this brew is going to taste like a watered down bourbon. To the more refined tastes, this is a brew that will be enjoyed and respected- yet the bourbon seems to overpower. Great brew, but I'd rather GLB used the bourbon barrels for the blackout stout.

11-16-2006 05:09:00 | More by Bones54
Photo of boatshoes
boatshoes

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev -1.9%

Had this on tap at the Great Lakes BA Blackout release party and am reviewing from my notes that I took while meeting some new Beeradvocate friends. Remembered having this one the previous year at the GABF and was very excited to try it again. Lived up to my memories and expectations.

Appearance- Poured a hazy amber into first my five ounce sampler and a subsequent 9oz snifterful as well. Minimal ring of head around the edges of the glass, but a fair amount of mild, evenly distributed carbonation beading up the glass. Oddly, I didn't remember this one being a shade of amber, but it was in fact the same beer.

Smell- Nice nose. Smells heavily of vanilla and oak with some bourbon and a touch of leather coming through as well. Very rich and sweet smelling.

Taste- Hugely prominent vanilla and wood for me here. The bourbon really comes across as vanilla forward for me, but the oak has really smoothed everything out here. More complex notes of perhaps a mild tobacco, along with the leather I detected earlier in the nose. Very sweet but blends together very well. Almost tastes like a liqueur.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- The mouthfeel on this one is really outstanding. Silky smooth, rich, and substantial. However, despite how much I liked this one, I can't really give it high marks on drinkability. It is very very sweet and not conducive to drinking more than one really. That being said, I really liked this beer.

Overall, excellent. I really like this one as a dessert beer or a nightcap. I wish they would bottle this and sell it along with the BA Blackout.

11-17-2009 23:47:58 | More by boatshoes
Photo of yeahnatenelson
yeahnatenelson

Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Imbibed at Kegs For Kids Chicago 2010 - taken from notes.

Appearance -- Pours a medium amber hue, nice clarity, sudsy beige head.

Smell -- Honey, caramel, dates and figs, vanilla oakiness, faint bourbon. Some buttery diacetyl in the mix, but not terribly distracting.

Taste -- Rich malty notes abound: toffee, spiced rum raisin, date, caramel, buttered toast. Bourbon and oak are present, but don't dominate. Oak tannin dryness in the finish.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full in body, not too heavy, with moderate prickly carbonation.

Drinkability -- I was told this beer was barrel-aged 6mo's - works for me. the barrel notes worked in tandem with what the malts were doing. This was probably the most easy-drinking barrel-aged beer I've ever had. Not my favorite of the category, but a beer I would gladly have again given the opportunity.

10-03-2010 21:56:57 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of Osiris9588
Osiris9588

Ohio

4.13/5  rDev -0.7%

Had this on tap at the brewery. Pours a deep mahogany color with a creamy off-white head that shows solid retention and ample lacing.

The smell offers plenty of malt, fruit, and a strong bourbon note. The taste follows, along with caramel, toffee, and a bit of dried cherry--the bourbon characteristics are present to an amazing degree. I like bourbon, and I also really liked this beer.

The mouth is full and complex, sweet yet well carbonated and robust. The hight alcohol does limit the drinkablity a bit, but it's time well spent with this ale.

11-28-2006 00:34:30 | More by Osiris9588
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Rackhouse Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.