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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: 1,703
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 1,357
Gots: 340 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 409 | Hads: 1,703
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

400th review!

Had this on-tap at GL BA Blackout release... wow, what a beer!

Pours black with some ruby-amber highlights. Decent light brown head on it too. I was surprised that I could get any highlights out of this, most of the big stouts are black black black. It's nothing bad, just something different. I like it.

Nose brings out the bourbon, chocolate, dark malts, sweet goodness... Smells great. This is a big time stout. Taste is where this guy really shines--big rich stout flavors with a touch of oak and bourbon that really round out the beer. Bourbon aging is apparent, but not over-done. Very very good beer. If I had to describe it in terms of other big stouts, I would say that it's a slightly more robust (in malt profile) GI BCBS with the bourbon dialed back a bit. This one delivered for me.

Thick, viscous body, with a bit more carbonation than most of the big stouts. It works, though, and makes this a relatively easy drinking big beer. Overall, I was very happy with this. Well crafted in all respects, one of my new favorites, and I'm glad I'll be able to get it for the next few years!!

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Photo of Vancer
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer sent via the Simply Beer BIF from Mike (mcallister), thanks guy!

Oh man, label says bottle number 412 of 900, bottled in 2006.n This is one of those beers you hate to open, but then you realize - what the fork, let's rip into it.

Daaammn, this is bourbon with a stout backbone. Pure black, no head - the 9% dominates the pour and subdues all head. Beer just doesn't get any better than this.

Cherry boubon mash, guessing Jim Beam (one of my favorites). This thing takes your breath away, in a most enjoyable way. Luvly beer to start (hopefully) spring in 2008.

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle #68 of 400, courtesy of a colleague who was in the right place at the right time last weekend. Inky black color with a thin dark brown head and quick lacing. Heady bourbon, chocolate malt and coffee aroma. Rich, chewy body with a bourbon character that is not too dominant. Loads of coffee and chocolate flavors underneath, making for an eminently drinkable beer from beginnins to end. The finish is sweet malt and warming alcohol, which I was definitely feeling after a mere 11oz. This is world class stuff.

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Photo of beerman207
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Kels for hooking Bamadog and I up at a tasting to celebrate her new job. This was aged from 2008.

A - Black as midnight - very dark - small head leaves some decent lacing behind. Very inviting

S - Oak, Coffee, bourbon, alcohol

T - Bourbon, coffee, alcohol present - fantastic flavor

M - Alcohol is dominant for me in the mouthfeel but in a good way. Very nice balance and feeling. This beer is very smooth. Much smoother than KBS.

D - The drinkability for this is very high considering the higher ABV. I could have easily had more of this. Wow. What a fantastic beer. Believe the hype on this one.

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Photo of UA8
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours jet black with a small yet dense tan head

S- The scents of wonderful smokey bourbon barrels abound. backing of roasted cocoa malts with a touch of coffee.

T- This is a huge beer. Starts with the Taste of bourbon and roasted malts, mid palate fills with warming alcohol and a touch of hops, the finish come nearly 30 seconds or more after the beverage has left the mouth in the form of wonderfully rich coffee tones. I must say I'm very impressed hat the finish comes as late and pronounced as it does.

M- Nice and full could be a bit thicker for my liking.

D- Well if your having one which is what I had I would say the drinkability is splendid since it leaves you with a wonderful buzz. however if you plan on operating a motor vehicle that is probably where you'll want to stop. It says 10%, it feels more like12%+ which a person at the brewery said was very possible. This is a fantastic stout any way you slice it and well worth the trip to the brewery to experience it.

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Photo of Raziel313
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color is very deceiving. Very dark brown color not really stout like.
Smell is of bold chocolate and bourbon
Amazing flavor profile. Layered with loads of bourbon character. Great toffee flavor.
Mouth feel is like silk
Overall just straight blown away by how smooth this is. Will definitely be seeking out more of this.

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Photo of scott
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black!, with a tan thin-rimmed head, along with a nice rim to indicate higher than average alcohol. Well (not overly) carbonated.
Aroma of blissfully subdued bourbon & wood char, vanilla, slight coffee and chocolate.
Taste is incredible, with many notes found in the nose transfering over to the tongue. This has so many levels of complexity, although it won't overwhelm you. Imagine a nice piece of rich chocolate cake, and a bourbon with a splash as a wash.
Creamy and oh so nice, as it warms and opens up, this actually has a juicy, mouthwatering quality going on, that I never would expect.
This is barrel aging at it's best, and this is no doubt one of the best, if not the best, BA Stouts money can buy.
This brew deserves to have a rowdy, much anticipated "Blackout Day", because people in-the-know with this beer are lucky sonsabitches.
Actually, if Man was allowed to profess love to a Beer, now would be one of those times.

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FIRST off HUGE thanks to patronwizard for cracking this gem. i am pretty excited for this. lets be honest here people... im flying at full mast at this point.

pours a dark black with a rich ruby red highlight. thick mocha head sits about 1 finger tall. nice lacing

smells rich. malt. woody. coffee. sexy.

taste is fucking awesome. enough said. coffee. chocolate woods. god this thing is good

mouth is smooth and creamy. fucking awesome.

i love this beer. and would probably give up a night with olie for another bottle. any takers?

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Photo of brewtus
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 release vintage poured into snifter. Pours black with a small off white head. Smell is full of great bourbon oak notes, some cinnamon, sweet marshmallow, some coffee , some chocolate. Taste starts with a hit of smooth bourbon oak barrel, some hints of cocoa, coffee, sweet dark fruit, again some cinnamon, small anise flavor. Texture is perfect, velvety smooth. Overall this beer is fantastic, I had one fresh and it was pretty hot, after about 8 months it's has aged wonderfully, amazing bba stout from an amazing Ohio brewery.

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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!!

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well this will be my first review and I figured why not start with this yearly gem.

A - Served in a small snifter (8-10oz?) with a small tan head. Very dark almost mahogany.

S - Mmmm Bourbon. That was the first thing I smelled. Not much else, some roasted and dark chocolate hints in there. I just can't get enough of the bourbon smell!

T - Mmmmm more bourbon. Not overpowering but very tasty. Mostly tastes the same as it smells. The bourbon taste simmers down as it warms making finishing the glass easy (I sat with it for an hour, 15 minutes of that I debated whether to make love to it or drink it)

D - I could drink this all night. Well as long as I paced myself. This years batch is 10% ABV so it would be like babysitting it if I wanted to drink a lot of it.

Overall this is a great way to enjoy an already classic! I love the regular Blackout Stout. Then they throw it in some Bourbon Barrels? Absolutely genius! I definitely plan on making this a yearly ritual. Can't wait to get some more!

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Photo of mbrasi
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been wanting to try this one for awhile and had it side by side with a regular blackout and let me say, this beer was meant for oak. Aroma was a dead giveaway which one was oak aged. The oak aged was a lot more subdued and "earthy" than the regular. Side by side the barrel aged doesn't look any lighter than the regular. The mouthfeel of the oak is creamier than the original. There is a definite texture difference, carbonation is weak in both brews but is practically non-existent in the oak aged. This gives the oak aged a softer feel in the mouth. Regular is much more strong in alcohol flavor. This is why this brew is made for oak. The oak aged is smooth with sweetness to match. Alcohol is in the background but never detracts from the flavor profile. (Major weakness of the reg. b/o) Hints of smoke, oak, coffee, and licorice. This is one of the better stouts out there. Better than DL IMO.

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Photo of mwegryn
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I see quite a few outside the Cleveland area have got to try this one. I've never had it in the bottle, only straight from the tap:) It has all the characteristics of the regular blackout to me. I taste dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and a hint of woodiness. The barrel aged adds the distinct flavor of bourbon, and also intensifies the woodiness. The first couple sips will definitely warm your throat. Probably not for anyone that thinks the average stout or porter is too intense. The only reason I gave drinkability a 4 is because of the abv% and richness, a couple will do just fine. I always look forward to this one every autumn. Overall, a very unique beer that any stout fan that can get their hands on some should try.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber. 9% ABV. Bottle 51 of 900 from 2006. Big thanks to mcallister for picking this one up for me, and bringing it to me. Pours pitch black with virtually no highlights. Thick frothy mocha head trickles down to 1/2 inch rather quickly, but remains as a nice collar for some time. Roasty, oaky, and vanilla aroma. A bit boozy, bot not overly hot. Roasty flavor up front followed by burtn sugar, caramel, and finishing with a nice chocolate flavor. Throughout, the oak character compliments everything perfectly. The barrel flavor does not overwhelm, but sits in the background to lend a hand. Very smooth mouthfeel, a bit thin, with lower carbonation. Nice amount of sweetness. Warming, but not overpowering. This is a great example of how barrel aging can compliment an already solid beer, without overdoing it. Fantastic. Great Lakes never ceases to amaze me.

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Photo of fiver29
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Easily one of the best beers I have tried. You can certainly tell this beer was aged in Jim Beam Barrels. Here in Cleveland they do a Jim Beam tasting along with beer tasting with this special release. Strong bourbon and toasted coffee aroma. Pours black with nice head retention. Bourbon flavors abound a light mouthfeel followed by dark chocolate/coffee like flavors. Beautiful long finish.

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Photo of brian44556
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received a 4oz pour at LB in SpringHurst. Never planned on being able to try this beer, especially on tap. Rep said it was aged for 7-9 months on Bourbon Barrel's.

Pours an opaque black. Little head is noticed and almost no lacing. Not an awesome looking beer, but the smell switches your senses. Smell is sweet bourbon and chocolate. A small hint of vanilla from the barrel. Taste is right on par with the nose. Notes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit. Beer has a perfect texture and has carbonated perfectly. A small burn from the alcohol makes this one a nice sipper. What an amazing beer. Blackout Stout is one of the best RIS I have had the luxury of trying and adding a bourbon barrel to it makes it an awesomely different experience. Would like to try this side by side with the regular Blackout Stout.

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Photo of Callenak
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the GLBC, poured into a 10-12oz snifter.

Very excited to be able to try this on tap. I'm a big fan of barrel aged beers and have heard so much about this one. Poured a little cold for my taste but I allowed to warm up. Pours a pitch black with a small head that dissipates to nothing quickly.

The smell is actually chocolate first followed by the bourbon. Very pleasant. Nothing in the way of hops.

Taste is where this beer shines. I've actually never had the regular blackout, so not sure of what changes the barrel aging has on it. All I know is this is a great beer. Bourbon is very present with sweet chocolate, molasses and roasted barley flavors following.

It's actually not as thick as it looks. Compared to some other big, barrel-aged stouts I've had, it was a little thin.

They limit you to three of these at the brewery. After one, I was already feeling it. The second I was a happy camper, didn't attempt to do three. This is a sipping beer.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jdoncbus for this awesome trade!

It's been cellaring for several months now but I couldn't wait any longer. After chilling slightly in the fridge, I pop the cap and pour it into a globe glass.

It is truly black but I struggle in vain to see any color or light passing though. It has creamy tan head. Not much in the way of head retention or lacing but it's still a nice looker.

Aroma is awesome with the oak barrel coming through strong. It has a wonderful bourbon and vanilla smell overlaying the dark roasted malts. There's also a good dose of hops on the nose but it's overshadowed by the wood aging.

Flavor is intense and incredible as well. That oak aging brings all sorts of sweet bourbon and vanilla to the taste but it doesn't completely overwhelm like some. There is a great amount of roasted coffee and chocolate, some toffee and caramel sweetness, and a big bitter punch from the dark malts and hops.

Mouthfeel is fantastically smooth and creamy with very minimal harshness from the alcohol. It hides it's 9% well. Drinkability is great for the style and I will continue to enjoy every sip of this bottle until it runs dry. What a beer.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of youngblood
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black as midnight. Super thick looking, not a ton of head but it sits rather mightily atop my glass. Low visible carbonation.
S - Smells incredible. Strong hints of bourbon, smooth oak, espresso, caramel, slight pine, tobacco. Yum.
T - The taste follows the nose rather closely. Lovely roasted flavors here. Lots of espresso, strongish bourbon, slightly sweet. Just amazing.
M - Great mouthfeel. Perfectly weighted on the tongue, super smooth.
D - Goes down ultra smooth for a 9%er.

Blackout Stout is one of my all time favorite stouts, so when I heard that they did BA I knew that I had to get one. It didn't disappoint, simply delicious.

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Photo of Pencible
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampled at Snallygaster 2014. After waiting many years to try this legendary brew, it totally lived up to the hype. Wow. Tons of coffee, some chocolate and bourbon. So smooth and delicious.

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Photo of sukwonee
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black/really dark reddish brown, with very little head, some lacing. As I swirl the beer, the body appears to be a bit thinner.

S: Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, some burn char smell, roasted malt. Sweetness.

T: Wow. This may be my new favorite tasting stout. It's got coffee, chocolate, some bourbon/oak/vanilla, brown sugar, little of hops but not overpowering. You can taste the alchohol a bit at the end, but not too boozy.

M: A bit thin for my liking, but it's smooth and velvety.

O: Near perfect in my books. Very tasty stout!

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Photo of nlmartin
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dam I wish I remembered who traded this bottle to me. Anyhow thanks!

The beer was chilled and set out on the counter for about 20 minutes to warm up enough for consumption. The beer was served in a snifter.

A- The body of the beer is inky black. A thin burnt tan head rides the blackness. Scattering of lacing marks this beers rapid passage from my glass.

S- The aroma of the beer is very bourbon forward. Pleanty of vanilla, molasis dark roasted malts cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee, and yes I am getting figs and dates.

T Again very bourbon forward, lots of vanilla, molasis, dark cocoa, milk chocolate, fudge, brownies, brown sugar. It reminds me of bourbon balls. Very sweet but nicely balanced against the roast.

M- The body of the beer is moderate with gentle carbonation. A pleasant bourbon heat permeates the beer. If the body was a bit thicker this would bump another point.

O- This beer was an excellent bourbon barrel treatment of an already great beer. Very nicely executed.

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Photo of stakem
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle care of ClockworkOrange at a tasting on 11/13/10. Thanks for sharing this Jason!

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a deep color of brown with decent clarity and some lighter brown and reddish hues around the edges. There is little to no signs of a head except for a thin collection of bubbles around the perimeter of the glass. Swirls barely aggitate more bubbles but create a thin leggy amount of lacing.

The aroma of this brew is exactly what I love about barrel aged beers. It smells of sweet vanilla and oak that is completely bourbon filled that accents the boozy smell to this brew. There is a minor amount of dark grain which imparts some chocolate character to round out the nose.

The taste is again boubon filled like the nose suggested that warms the back of the throat. There are some citrusy tangy hops present along with a long drawn out flavor of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. This is a smooth offering that has a light touch of oxidation.

Medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. Very well balanced and a great example. It leaves a lasting bourbon flavor which might be distracting for some, but I loved it. I would certainly seek this one out to have again. For being 2 years old at this point, it could have aged even longer but if I had bottles of this it would be very difficult to not open them up and enjoy now.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at last nights tasting at Gordon's fine wine and spirits in waltham ma. A big thanks to all the managers at the three gordon's for bringing out some nice beers from their own cellar.

This beer pours black with a small amount of light tan head that quickly dissipates

The smell is a nice sweet bourbon scent with hints of vanilla and oak, with a nice roasted malt backround

The taste is pretty similar to the smell, there is a nice sweet bourbon flavor, with a little alcohol warmth. the vanilla and oack notes are there to and the beer is a little drier than i expected, but there is still a wonderful roasty malt backround, just no malt sweetness

this beer is a little lighter mouthfeel, but it works well, could easily have drank the whole bottle of this beer

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