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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

409 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 409
Hads: 1,704
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 18.01%
Wants: 1,356
Gots: 341 | FT: 39
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:
Beer added by: Dogbrick on 11-29-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 409 | Hads: 1,704
Reviews by tarheels86:
Photo of tarheels86
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

651mL 2009 ed courtesy of beeranddogs. The pour is clear cola, not black, with ruby highlights. The beer is almost the opposite of normal Blackout in that you have to really coax a head out of this thing. Even swirling, pouring from ten stories high; the head is about a quarter inch of yellowish tan foam that has okay retention and leaves little swathy lace. I understand that barrel aged beers may have less carbonation and head retention, but after the beer is finished in the barrel, it gets put back into the brite tank for conditioning in the bottle. So it should have good retention and rise up healthily. But the pour is dismal, making it hard to get a big aroma out of the beer. The muted bourbon first comes across a bit oxidized, slight red apples, lots of cocoa butter, and marzipan. As it warms, the nose comes into play with big bourbon, coconut, vanilla. It is quite mellowed out but very apparent. The taste is thinning, a bit watery. Really lacks the richness and bitterness of normal Blackout. There is definitely milk chocolate, warming bourbon, slight oak, lots of vanilla and cream. But the body is not well integrated. Very little carbonation doesn’t help the mouthfeel and lack of bitterness makes the body rely on vanilla and bourbon with no drying oak, no spicy oak, no spicy alcohol even. Just sort of a sweet mess that is hard to fall in love with. 11/8/2010 8/3/7/4/15=3.7

 1,403 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head that fades quickly. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, coconut and vanilla. The tastes follows the nose but with more coconut and vanilla. Full creamy mouthfeel. Warming as it goes down. Just a fantastic beer that I hope to enjoy every year! Much better than the regular BO stout if you ask me. Well done GLB!!

 362 characters

Photo of gcamparone
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz glass into a snifter, split with a friend.

Pours a deep brown opaque body with a small brown head that reduces to leave a ring of foam.

Aromas of vanilla, bourbon booze, sweet caramel, milk chocolate and molasses come through. Allowed to warm for an hour or so.

Upfront is bittersweet chocolate, whiskey, vanilla, caramel, finish is roasty, coffee, toasted malt. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation.

Overall a solid BA stout, not quite bcbs but nice and balanced and flavorful.

 509 characters

Photo of maximum12
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Don't like stories with your reviews? Take your grumpy butt elsewhere!

This is a bottle of 2008 BA Blackout. I'd set up three trades for this white whale - & all three fell through, with the other end vanishing & ceasing to respond to bmails. I was bummed. ISOs, bmails, almost deals, no BA Blackout. Then two fine BA members teamed up behind my back.

My wife, nursingbeer, decided to do something extra nice for our 10th anniversary. She sought out a saint among saints, sholland119, asking if he could put together a nice box for me. Well, on our anniversary she gave me a box of beer - 2 bombers of Unfiltered Double Simcoe (one of my all-time favorites), a 2009 Darklord (really???) & a 2008 BA Blackout Stout. No shit!! The two sneaks got me one of the beers I've wanted most for the past two years.

On to the beer which, for her trouble, I split with my rather marvelous wife. Poured black, with a hissing dark cap on it that fell quickly. Dark black. Smells great. Barrel, along w/roasted malt & hints of coffee come out of the goblet.

After all this trouble, wouldn't it suck if I didn't like it? Ha! Not much chance of that, since the base beer is great. And this is...sublime. The bourbon on this sucker is dead on, subtle, but with a bite to it, where it doesn't start to warm my chest cavity until about halfway down. The base beer is there underneath, & it supports the barrel-aged aspect wonderfully, although there's more vanilla & a touch of chocolate that I don't recall in the standard Blackout. Silky smooth going down. As it warms, the aroma improves even more, & it takes on a more oily feel to it. Damn. I could drink this until the cows woke up.

Perfect. Only my second pure five. Scott & Molly, thank you!!

 1,739 characters

Photo of neurobot01
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 12oz bottle (acquired via trade) into a snifter at cellar temp.

Look: seemed to pour a little light and foamy to me, but the expected black with minimal head in the glass.

Smell: huge chocolate, vanilla, cherry. Pretty mild bourbon/barrel notes.

Taste: chocolatey, pretty sweet, mild bourbon, with some oak and maybe very minimal hops bitterness. Alcohol present but not dominant. No off flavors, but adds up to less than the sum of its parts nonetheless.

Feel: oily, a bit sudsy, medium-to-full bodied. Not at all dry.

Overall: pretty good, actually, but clearly a notch below the top tier. I was probably a bit hard on this; interested to see how the 2012, 2014, and non-BA iterations I've got in the cellar stack up.

 729 characters

Photo of Shawnadams330
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of DanGeo
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was pretty blown away by this beer. I've had a lot of barrel aged stouts but this one stood out. Really rich, creamy, thick; like enjoying a bourbon-chocolate milkshake. I highly recommend!

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Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ricke
3.94/5  rDev -9%
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.

 581 characters

Photo of OhioBobcat
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of ccapurso
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of cjn40277
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Spaten454
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of delaced21
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Ben7773
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of newk340
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of lateralundertow
3.59/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Sam_Gladieux
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of marvin213
3.94/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of babyhobbes
3.43/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

 746 characters

Photo of StoutFox
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 409 ratings.