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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

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1,409 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,409
Reviews: 385
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 1,258
Gots: 280 | FT: 23
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
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Ratings: 1,409 | Reviews: 385 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by unclejedi:
Photo of unclejedi
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I like this beer so much that going to Cleveland in October to buy it has become an annual pilgrimage for me. In the past, they've used Jim Beam barrels, but this year switched to Buffalo Trace barrels. My experience with other beers aged in Buffalo Trace barrels tells me that they do a great job barrel aging beer. Although I have yet to do a side by side with a prior BA Blackout vintage, I suspect the switch has lead to an improvement. The following is a review of one of these newer 2009 vintage bottles.

Appearance: Vigorous pour into a stemless wine glass produces almost no head, but a thin ring of foam forms after it settles. Color is black as an unlit cave and no light passes when held up to a nearby lamp

Smell: Hint of dark chocolate and very slight scent of bourbon

Taste: Initial flavor is a very nice balance of bourbon and dark chocolate, the bourbon is not overpowering the imperial stout flavors, but there is enough that you know its there. Very light vanilla note as it passes further over the tongue, and the finish is bitter chocolate. Blackout is one of my favorite imperial stouts perhaps because it is so chocolatey, and the addition of the bourbon flavors from the barrel, really helps turn those flavors up to 11.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body, easily coats all of the taste buds for full flavor exposure. Very light barely perceivable carbonation. Smooth finish with very little alcohol heat as it goes down.

Drinkability: I could drink this stuff all night long. Flavors intensify nicely as it warms up.

unclejedi, Nov 21, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of Shawnadams330
4.62/5  rDev +5.7%

Shawnadams330, Today at 01:14 AM
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 ccapurso
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

ccapurso, Nov 01, 2014
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
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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,409 ratings.