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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.

410 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 410
Hads: 1,707
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 18.01%
Wants: 1,355
Gots: 342 | 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: 410 | Hads: 1,707
Photo of Josh012012
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not sure if this was ba or not. Was on tap and advertised as "aged" but had little if any barrel character.

But an awesome beer drank like what I would imagine a triple oatmeal stout would.. very roasts and some other all the overwhelming sweetness that I remember from regular was gone.. awesome!

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Photo of Gregaroo
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at GLBC event at City Taphouse in Philly. I had just downed a SN Narwhal, so this IRS was next up. Served in a short snifter for some reason. Nice, but I was not taken by the bourbon barrel overtones. Great bbl aged stout that I'll go back to again when I find it. So glad you guys were at the City Taphouse.

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Photo of SoCal_Matt
4.65/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2015 vintage served in a Teku.

Pours a very dark brown with minimal head. Chocolate, oak, sweet dark fruit, and bourbon on the nose. Taste is similar to the aroma and it's a bit sweet. In addition to flavors in the aroma I'm getting a little roasted coffee and nice charred flavor that I absolutely love. Mouthfeel is thick, but not syrupy like BCBS. Overall, this is a fantastic BA stout that stands out to me with the charred finish that it has. I really like the base beer as well, and the added barrel aging makes it even better!

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Photo of Stevem68
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark chocolate color. Has a sweet aroma of bourbon. Flavor is bourbon, carmally and very smooth. Leaves a little bit of a warm mouthfeel. Overall pretty delicious

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Photo of Immortale25
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Label says Bottled In 2015.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/4 inch tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some sheer swirls of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves tiny clots behind.

S- Lots of dark chocolate, char and of course bourbon. Definitely on the not-so-sweet side with more molasses and chicory than vanilla and brown sugar.

T- More dark chocolate and now some vanilla shows up along with some oak. As far as actual bourbon flavor though, there's not a whole lot. There's also not a lot of added complexity to the base beer from its time on the barrel. Very drinkable for the ABV but there's just not much extra to latch onto compared to other BA stouts. Bitter, charry aftertaste.

M- Semi-creamy with medium carbonation and a full body.

O- A slight disappointment. It tastes good but doesn't deliver the wow factor of other BBA beers. A bit too carbonated and there's just not enough barrel presence.

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Photo of mschantz
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled pour from a 12 oz bottle from the 2015 batch. Pours nearly black with deep rich brown around the edges. About 1/4 inch of khaki head on top of this moderately viscous brew. Nose is a combination of brown sugar, molasses and booze - the booze notes dominate. Vanilla, brown sugar and of course bourbon dominate the taste. Bourbon contributes to a warming finish.

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Photo of weonfire
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really enjoyed that the beer, the dark chocolates, roasts and malts came first and the bourbon was certainly present - just not dominate force as such in some BA stouts. I would say, a very well balanced BA stout. I could drink more than 1 (12+ oz) of these in one sitting.

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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 Raj
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2014 bottle. 12oz pour. Aged at room temp.

A: black with dark brown highlights. Minimal head. Leaves a little coating on the glass but not vicious.
S: upfront fudgey, chocolate. oaky, light vanilla, dark fruit (very dark cherry or prune), cola. Some bourbon on the nose, but more dominated by chocolate and oaky notes.
T: taste is very similar, starts with bittersweet chocolate, vanilla, oaky notes, dark fruit. Pretty smooth. Some roast and slight bitterness to balance. Still has the cola flavor. I do get some bourbon and slight alcohol burn toward the end.
M: medium, but a little thin compared to what I expect from a BA stout.
O: solid BA stout. Nice balance of the expected flavors, do wish it was a little thicker and less cola.

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Photo of Houser
4.36/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

really liked this one, but was disappointed in the beer itself if we are talking all things considered. wanted it to be a thick, blackout. was a bit thin for me, though nice barrel character.

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Photo of danh53
3.32/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

First thing I noticed is cola which dominates the nose and the taste. There is some milk chocolate creaminess with some coffee. The mouth feel is smooth but very thin for the style. Bourbon is prominent and oak character is well integrated, but too much cola for me. I won't be seeking more of this.

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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 TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown almost black like oil with just a little thinner viscosity and khaki colored head. Bourbon, roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a bourbon warmth and chocolatey depth.

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Photo of Gerberr
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Toppling Goliath sniffer from a 12 Oz bottle, bottled in 2015. Little to no head, thin lacing around the edge.

L: Black as night, no light sneaks through. Obviously with a name like it has you wouldn't expect it to.

S: Not much for smell here, faint coffee and roasted malt.

T: Wonderful. Toffee, coffee, caramel, plums. I really enjoy the barrel flavor on this beer. Brings out a light fruity side I'm not used to in alot of barrel aged brews. Curious as to the whiskey they got the barrels from. This beer is also fairly sweet, making it a great night cap.

F: For all the flavors going on you would expect it to be thick and viscous, not the case. It's pretty thin, but it is a stout and not a RIS.

Overall: Great beer, nice change of pace from other barrel aged stouts. This is thinner, fruity, sweet, and the barrel taste shines.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The flavors are thick and creamy with huge chocolate, coconut, light vanilla, toffee, some butterscotch and fudge. Though the feel is a touch thin it still gives up a creaminess.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-@ Unos, Maple Shade, N.J. Tapped at 6pm. Kicked at 6:16. Served cold in a chalice.

A: Inky black coloring, no head, no lace. Deep coloring.

S: Nose of fresh espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla bean with a sweet roasty backing. Sweet caramel. Moderate awareness, little alcohol detection. Fairly lasting.

T: Flavor was dark sweet chocolate, freshly roasted espresso, vanilla bean. Exceptionally smooth flavor, very well refined. Sweet caramel mixes with the vanillla laced roastiness. Sweet dark fruit, light mention of bourbon, its the smooth silky roastiness that is the highlight here.

M: Silky smooth texture, lightly milky, little or no carbonation, a very nice feel.

O: Overall silky texture, cleanly brewed,exceptionally smooth BA version of their black out stout. Only 1 keg in N.J. this year 2015-june, which kicked 16 min. in and glad to have been served. $8 pour, well worth. it. Abv% is hidden in the flavor, but you feel it afterwards.

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Photo of dar482
4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer offers caramel, bourbon sweetness, cacao bitterness, a bitter dark chocolate, a medium mouthfeel. A robust BA stout that definitely is different from the base. An interesting vanilla, sweetness, and smoothing out of the bee from the barrel.

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Photo of mabermud
4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pitch brown body. Mocha, clingy, and sticky head that drapes and melts from the sides of the glass.
Smell: Easy bourbon, medium roasted malts, molasses, vanilla, and the right amount of sweetness. This smells smooth. Memorable concoction of aromas. Taste: The taste replicates the smell. There is also light nuttiness, and back-seat roast. The bourbon-barreling gracefully melds with the base beer to create an ideal barrel-aged stout. The BAing brings the base up a couple of notches.
Feel: The feel is nothing to complain about, and exceeds my expectations.

Overall - For me the base beer was a superior stout. The barrel-aged stout is much-improved, and makes this barrel-aged stout exceptional. Overall, compared to the original, the taste is polished.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is one of a few barrel aged beers in which I prefer the regular version better. Looks and smells outstanding. I just think it drinks way too sweet and the body has a little bit too much carbonation giving it a soapy feel. I would guess that this is a Jack Daniels barrel beer. It tastes like cheap whisky instead of good bourbon. I also notice a lot more black licorice than in the base beer. Still above average, but pretty disappointed.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran last night.

This one pours a moderately dark black, not the darkest I've ever seen, with a quarter inch head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

This one smells like cookie dough, chocolate, and some light sweet bourbon.

This is one of more balanced, lighter BA stouts out there. It tastes really good, but it seems to lack the general oomph I'm looking for in this style. It's got a lot of cocoa powder, cookie dough, and vanilla flavors, with a milder bourbon presence than expected. If I were to guess, this is probably blended and not 100% barrel aged.

This is a bit thin for the style, but that's probably a part of the 9.5% ABV- a few notches lower than the typical BA RIS. It's got a very creamy mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation.

This is not quite at the level of other big name BA stouts. It's also

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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.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours almost black, though much lighter than any other of this style I’ve seen. Aroma is notes of chocolate and espresso, but kind of mild. Whiskey barrel aging makes itself an obvious taste upfront, and on each sip toward the bottom of the glass. Quickly mellows into semi sweet chocolate and roasted malts. Decent brew overall, but not a great example of an imperial stout. I don’t much enjoy whiskey, so perhaps I’m not being exactly objective.

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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 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.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewing 2013 vintage, been on my want list for many years.

Pours a black body, head is tan in color. Head retention was slightly below average and lacing was above average.

Smells of sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate malts, and a hint of honey. For 10% abv, I definitely got a good whiff of alcohol.

Taste is a mix of a classic imperial stout, deep roasted malts, combined with sharp bourbon notes. Surprised at the raw ethanol characteristics of the beer, at almost two years old the beer still has a kick to it. Chocolate and burnt malts offset that unpleasant heat. Beer finishes with some vanilla sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Head died fast and unfortunately didn't contribute any.

Overall this was a good beer but it was a little underwhelming. The hype surrounding this beer as one of the top 250 in the world probably raised my expectations somewhat. Bourbon was pretty pronounced but all the other flavors were kinda muted. Glad I got to try it but It wasn't anywhere close to the top barrel aged stouts out there.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.