1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,373 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,373
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,242
Gots: 273 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Dogbrick on 11-29-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,373 | Reviews: 383 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by DavoleBomb:
Photo of DavoleBomb
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a snifter. 2010 vintage.

5.0 A: Black color. Two full fingers of ultra creamy light brown head that retains extremely well and leaves plentiful lacing. Outstanding.

5.0 S: The regular BO is one of my favorites and the nose on this one does not disappoint. Semisweet chocolate, indulgent caramel, dark fruits with emphasis on plum, molasses, and hints of smoke and coffee. The barrel adds subtle oak and vanilla. The bourbon plays a complementary role offering leather and earth.

4.5 T: Taste resembles the nose, except that the bourbon is a bit more apparent in the taste. Lots of sweet chocolate, caramel, tons of molasses, hints of brown sugar, plum and prune fruitiness, and light smoke and coffee. Good amount of oak and a decent vanilla contribution. The bourbon is leathery and earthy and adds melon and raisiny fruitiness. A bit of booze from the bourbon, but pleasant in a warming manner.

4.5 M: Heavier medium body. I usually prefer heavier bodies on imperials, but this body works for this beer. It probably has something to do with how clean and well crafted GL brews are. Good creaminess and incredibly smooth.

5.0 D: Great Lakes has only disappointed me once. Everything else I've had has been world class and this is no different. This beer epitomizes balance between the beer and barrel and uses a stellar recipe and perfect technique. Excellent beer.

DavoleBomb, Sep 29, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

DanGeo, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +3%

tectactoe, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, quite pale for the style, with an off-white head.

The aroma is lightly roasted with notes of milk chocolate, bourbon, toasted almonds, ashes and salty licorice.

The flavor is quite sweet with delicate malty backbone of roasted coffee, caramel, fudge and chocolate. Bourbon, almonds, vanilla and some light smoky notes. The finish is lightly bitter with lingering notes of oak, bourbon and salty licorice. Medium body, smooth carbonation.

I had high expectations on this one, and unfortunately they weren't really met. A decent barrel aged imperial stout, no more.

ricke, Jun 29, 2010
Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev +3%

OhioBobcat, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Schlais, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of Spaten454
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Spaten454, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

SanFranJake, Jul 21, 2013
Photo of delaced21
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

delaced21, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3%

SkiBum22, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of Ben7773
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Ben7773, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of newk340
4/5  rDev -8.5%

newk340, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of Sam_Gladieux
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Sam_Gladieux, Mar 29, 2014
Photo of marvin213
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has essentially no head. Though black as a country night, little foam suggests a thin body. The smell is nice. As I had, hoped, this seems like a testimony to the oak barrel--no sweet bourbon or other such influence--just a nose of rustic oak on big RIS. It's a deep, consistent, chocolatey, raisin-liquid. There are malts and anise, and there is oak barrel in a barn, untouched and virgin.

So why do I feel guilty about missing the bourbon? Do I compare this among all barrel-aged brews, or just non-bourbon BA brews? There's a difference! Oddly, I can't help but wonder what it'd be like aged in a Buffalo Trace barrel. It's good, but underwhelming. It's that flatness I feared at the outset! I'd like to have it again, but I am unlikely to seek it out.

Edit: After reading other reviews, I see it is indeed bourbon barrels. I'm shocked. I really don't get bourbon. Maybe this one's not just flat...but flatlined? But how wouldn't I get more nose? Perhaps I started too cold. I suppose I get it more as it warms, but I do not get a well-blended bourbon beer. I smelled goodness, and can get some of that (goodness), but for me the good bourbon has left the building.

marvin213, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of babyhobbes
3.43/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 22oz bottle

Dark brown with not much of a head.
Smells of alcohol with an odd whiskey/bourbon type smell. I thought these were just regular oak-barrels, but used barrels. I don't know, there definitely a bourbony sort of odor. It's a little disconcerting.

Taste: Well, it's got a good chocolate malt flavor, but the alcohol is pretty strong. It's really almost too much, to be honest.

This is pretty thin.

Drinkability: This is a great beer, but really drinks like a nice whiskey, I can't possibly drink more than one and it's getting tough to finish this bottle.

This is a good beer, but the alcohol flavor, together with the thin watery mouthfeel is a turnoff. I thought it would age better, but I think I liked it better last year.

babyhobbes, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of Callmecoon
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Callmecoon, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of bishopdc0
3.11/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Got in a trade.

Poured into my tulip.

The beer is pour black with a very small head.
The nose is a mix of alcohol caramel coconut general bourbon barrel aroma dominate. As it warms the overwhelming alcohol smell subsides.

The taste is mainly bourbon wiht hints of sweetness and a tad vanilla.

The mouth is a bit thin with a overwhelming level of carbonation, given the style. The alcohol warms and leaves a little numbing on the lips and tongue.

I don't want to be one of those people but given the "hype" around this beer it is lackluster. Good flavors but no the flavors are good.

bishopdc0, Apr 29, 2013
Photo of Snikwad1020
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Snikwad1020, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of tjthresh
3.53/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black. No real head that I saw. At least it surely didn't last too long. Typical BA imperial stout aromas. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, some roast. Typical BA flavors. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, some roast. Medium body. Silky. Light carbonation. There really isn't much here to set it apart for the rest of this sort. It really reminds me a lot of Schlafly BA Imperial Stout.

tjthresh, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of badbeer
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black, but brown at the edges with a very light tan head that retains well and leaves bits of lacing. Sweet smell like a coffee with creamer; oak, vanilla, and bourbon is also present. It immediately gives me sweet malt and vanilla flavors. It also has some creamy, lactose notes to it. Roastiness seems rather subdued in comparison to the regular Blackout Stout. Amazingly smooth going down; full bodied with light carbonation. Great beer, thanks go to kmweaver for the bottle!

badbeer, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of Shankopotamus
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Shankopotamus, Apr 20, 2014
Photo of fenlop54
4/5  rDev -8.5%

fenlop54, May 06, 2014
Photo of BigE90
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

BigE90, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

fo1ksguitar, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of Prospero
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Prospero, Feb 07, 2013
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,373 ratings.