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

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,527 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,527
Reviews: 397
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 1,331
Gots: 320 | FT: 33
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,527 | Reviews: 397
Photo of kscaldef
4.11/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Winter 2011/2012 release

A: Jet black, thin mocha head with little retention

S: Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, molasses

T: Chocolate, but with a sharp undernote of alcohol. Woody bite. Light notes of cherry and fig.

M: Very low carbonation. Despite that, maintains only medium body keeping the drinkability high, marred only by a slight harsh finish.

Photo of jegross2
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Company.
Score: 91

2012 vintage bottle ("2516 series") served in a tulip/snifter hybrid glass and enjoyed on 08/13/12. A big thanks to Nick for hooking me up with this bottle!

Appearance: Pours a thin film of tan head that quickly dissipates into a thin bubby tan ring around the glass. Poor lacing with oily cling and slightly below average retention. Black bodied with a strip of brown highlight at the top of the glass. 4/5

Smell: Lots of roasted coffee notes followed by milk and raw chocolate, mild bourbon notes and a little fig. As it warms, the bourbon aromas grow a little boozy. 4.25/5

Taste: Bourbon flavor upfront with a coffee twist followed by raisin/fig towards the finish. Creamy milk chocolate on the midpalate. There is tobacco flavor on the back half too. The beer has a boozy brown sugar flavor that turns to a caramel malt flavor in the aftertaste. Slight bourbon bite as the beer warms. My impression is that this is the kind of beer that is better aged than fresh. 4/5

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus bodied, light carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel. Slightly roasty and mildly bitter. 4/5

Overall: A little boozy, just like the base beer. My impression is that this is the kind of beer that is better aged than fresh. The barrel aging adds some nice complexity to an already solid base beer, but I felt that this one was a bit over-hyped overall. A beer I would seek out again? Absolutely. "Top 100" worthy? Not even close.

Recommendation: Nab a bottle of this if you like the base beer, but do not trade your cellar to acquire a bottle. I would recommend sitting on this vintage (2012) another 6 months if you have a bottle or two.

Pairings: Vanilla almond biscotti.

Cost: $26 for a four pack of 12 oz bottles ($7 if purchased individually).

Photo of KevSal
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

another big thanks to dblab, thanks bud!
been on a huge ba kick, heard alot about this guy, lets see how it measures up to the others (ba pt5, adam ftw, bcs 2011, ba 4d etc..)

2012 vintage 12oz bottle split between 2 eclipse snifters.

a- looks good, like the name its all black but has slight dark brown edges. slight head that dissapears quickly.

s- this one smells spectacular! tons of chocolate brownie with a strong zong of vanilla. slight alcohol in the back.

t- follows the nose but with a nice roastiness coming through from base beer. nice chocolate and barrel flavors. hint of oatmeal. slight touch of alch on the finish. has some interesting flavors that sets it apart from the usual ba stout. very nice.

m- body is thick, but medium for the style.

o- very good beer, one id love to have alongside the others mentioned above. i like the level of alch(8-10%) on this one i think its a sweet spot for most beer. its great to see how well some restrain the booze (like the 14% bcs) but its always nice to see a brewery try to brew a great beer and succeed.

side note: i really like seeing more big beers in 12ozers

Photo of brdc
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks clockworkorange for this one. Large capped bottle. Compared directly to an aged bottle of the regular blackout stout.

Poured into a snifter, it is pitch black, opaque, with a creamy tan head.
Aroma is pleasant and the barrel aging added to the complexity; malts do not feel as charred as the original version, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla and bourbon make an appearance.
Full bodied, soother than the original as the bourbon notes are more pleasant than the alcohol bite of the original; it is also less charred, a bit less bitter than the original. Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla. Still bitter, but drinkability is significantly higher than the original.

Photo of kmanjohnson
4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of Stevedore
4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from the 2013 vintage, put out in room temperature from my beer fridge for about 15 minutes then poured into a Bell's snifter and quaffed today, 5/30/2013. Thanks to BarrytheBear for providing me with this excellent beer in a trade.

Aroma: Sickly sweet and roasty maltiness, kind of like a milk stout but with a humongous vanilla nose. A little bit of oak, but mostly vanilla and bourbon. Strong, strong nose that definitely foretells whats in store for me.

Colour: Pitch black, though it illuminates a very subtle dark brown in the light. Pours with a 1cm thick brown head that dissipates quickly into a very thin collar. Not much lacing besides a little bit of condensation on the glass. Actually fairly normal looking barrel-aged stout.

Flavour: Hot damn. This is strong on the vanilla and bourbon for sure. Gets a little roast malt in there but it is quite boozy in a bourbon manner, for sure. I get that nice oakiness combined with a bit of vanilla in the end as well. Very heavy on the bourbon, and as it warms up I get more chocolate and nuts, presumably from the malt combination. Near the end of each sip, I get a good hoppy bitterness as well, like espresso. Very sweet but hoppy beer in general with lots of bourbon heat. In other words, this is a pretty complex barrel-aged stout.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied, chewy, viscous. Decent carbonation, nothing special- if anything, a bit undercarbonated. The aftertaste is very dry and sticky; a combination of vanilla, oak and coffee that gets on my palate like white on rice. Along with the heat that's present even from the very beginning, it makes this beer a sipper, which is the way it should be.

Overall: Excellent bourbon barrel-aged stout, not too over the top but brings plenty of flavour. Sounds like GLBC's modus operandi to me here. It's sweet, dry, hot, bourbon-ey, and bitter all at once. Very complex but not too over the top with any one thing. A true pleasure to sip on. Hopefully I don't black out tonight; that would be ironic. Anyway, this is a bit pricey at $30/4pk and I think I would rather pick up BCBS and hang onto it for a year. That being said, I don't think I would mind buying a 4-pack ever year if I lived close to Cleveland. So that's my 2 cents here- great beer for sure.

Photo of kenzilka007
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of commis
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Bells tulip.

Very dark brown, approaching black, with deep ruby highlights. Cappuccino colored head about 1 finger deep, dissipates quickly but comes back vigorously with a swirl. The liquid coats and sticks to the glass but there is no lace. Nice looking beer.

Dark chocolate, butterscotch, burnt toast. Aromas are not overly strong but well defined and harmonious. Definitely some butterscotch, but it works just fine. As this warms I'm picking up more smokey notes. Cigar smoke. it's nice.

I'm not normally a fan of bourbon forward stouts. I love Bourbon as a predominant accent but not usually the star of the show. I feel, however, that GL does an awesome job of smacking you right in the face with the Bourbon while still keeping it from becoming overwhelming. I think the roasty nature of the base-beer helps keep the sweetness from the barrel from getting to be to much. Burnt marshmellowy and nutty. Great depth with the rise in temp, with just enough alc to let you know your enjoying an adult beverage.

I find this to be of Medium body for an Imperial Stout. It's not as heavy as most of it's peers, but I can find no fault because it still does not leave my tongue dry. It finds a way to coat it but doesn't cling at all. Carbonation seems a bit lower than I normally like, but that is most likely why it's thinner body is not an issue.

Awesome. This is great. It's so easy to drink because of the body and balance, but has none of the normal issues with a lighter bodies imp stout (astringency, tannin perception, being 'hot')...I like it. I've never had it before, and I'm glad I drank it for brunch today instead of including it in a trade (almost did).

Photo of allenson21
4.15/5  rDev -5%

Photo of TheBronze
4.15/5  rDev -5%

Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber, 2008 vintage received in a past trade with JCB. Thanks again Jason!

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a 2.5 finger frothy beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Large rings and chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Complex aroma with a prominent barrel character complimented by deep roasted malt notes. Lots of earthy oak/wood in the nose but this is countered by hints of dark chocolate, oatmeal, coffee/espresso bean and toast.

Chewy, viscous body with a flavor profile that's similar to the aroma. Lots of dry, toasted earthy oak/wood flavor up front that is countered by a very roasted dark malt presence. Hints of bitter dark chocolate, burnt toast, oatmeal and deeply roasted coffee bean. A bit heavy on the roasted side for my liking resulting in a slightly acrid/burnt flavor but there is enough sweetness to balance things out. As the palate adjust, this becomes less harsh and the maltier, especially chocolate, notes start to come forward. Some alcohol sweetness but not much heat at 9.5%. Slight warmth n the finish. Very good!

Photo of billshmeinke
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Big thanks to Raznug for this bottle.

An inky black body with a light beige one inch head. Head dies down to an island of foam with with a ring around the edge of the glass. A cap of foam can be resurrected with a few swirls of the glass.

Smells of chocolate, bourbon, oak, charcoal, black currants, some oaky vanilla, and port wine. Smells nice and smokey and sweet.

Tastes of chocolate, rum raisin ice cream, oaky vanilla, black currants, smoke, some tannins, port wine, and bourbon. The oak and tannins are pretty prominent. Letting the the sweet flavors hang out in the background a little more.

So here is the disappointing part about this beer. The mouthfeel is quite thin. Low carbonation. Wish this was a little thicker and more syrupy.

Quite good overall, does show it's alcohol a bit which is just fine with me. Just the mouthfeel. Too darn thin. Oh well, if you are looking for an exceptional BA stout that's a little on the thin side this should be your thing.

Photo of vonnegut21
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep black with minimal head.

S: Nice barrel character, toasted malt, chocolate, Hints of vanilla and caramel. An excellent tasting beer.

T: Vanilla, caramel, bourbon and baker's chocolate. Mild roasted malt and slight hop bitterness. Very mild flavor profile for a barrel aged beer.

M: Mild carbonation, and a bit thin honestly. I'd like a little more body in my barrel aged stout.

O: A pretty nice barrel aged stout. Definitely worth seeking out, but not up there with the elite BA stouts out there.

Photo of Brewski
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BlastBeats
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle of Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout -- poured into two snifters and shared w/ my brother.

Appearance: pours the dark black color that's typical of many barrel-aged stouts.. although the head on this one is a little lighter than expected; it swirls into a collection of small tan bubbles.

Smell: smells great. The bourbon is really pronounced in the aroma.

Taste: one taste and you're able to tell that this one is vastly different from the non-barreled version. Actually, I didn't care for the first few sips, but thankfully my palate readjusted. The regular Blackout has a character reminiscent of milk chocolate, with distinct coffee undertones - those attributes seem to have been replaced w/ a hefty dose of oak and mellow bourbon flavors - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. With each ensuing sip, this beer kept getting better.

Mouthfeel: I think the mouthfeel is adequate - not too full, but at the same time, I definitely wouldn't want this any thinner.

Overall: Great Lakes is a really well-rounded brewery. It seems like all of their offerings are enjoyable and this one is no exception. Seek and enjoy advocates.

Photo of Josbor11
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of gcamparone
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of TheBullsHorn
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can be said about this beer that hasn't already been said in other reviews. A fantastic russian imperial stout to begin with, gets raised to a complex degree when the booze and the wood are introduced from the bourbon barrel-aging. The nose comes big with notes of booze, tobacco, burnt sugar, and caramel with wood coming through in between. Same again when it comes to the palate. All those flavors with added pleasure of bourbon, and everything that that spirit brings to the table. An exceptional ale.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another from a stack of found notes ~ this one dated Nov 7, 2010.

22 oz. bottle, sent late in 2009 by one of two fine BAs (trep or pecorasc?), poured to a large snifter. '2516 Series', labeled 9.0% ABV; undated, but about 1 year old at consumption time.

A: Dark, but not 'black'; glugs from the bottle with a slight transparency/thinness. A fractional head, maybe a centimeter or so of bone/eggshell cream ebbs to a swirling film. Some fleeting bubbles rise and lace webbing sticks like snowflakes.

S: Love the scent! strong (but not overpowering) bourbon woodiness and spiced grain with warm vanilla, all engulfing fudgy chocolate. Rich and just sweet enough, excellent roast/liquor blend.

T: Sweetly spiced oak, slightly resinous. Wave upon wave of dusty baker's chocolate and cookie dough. Darkroast roast covers some earthy fruit, some sweetly over-ripened berries, maybe? But the baseline here is chocolate, lots of it. Flavors seem mellow but deep, a nice tweaking of the delicious 'regular' Blackout Stout.

D: May have thinned some in its year of cellaring, which means the end result is a little thinner feeling, but soothing and velvety all the same. Maybe a little more carbonated 'oomph' was expected, but it's still a pleasingly warm medium-bodied mouth-coater.

M: Heat is diminished, drinkability flourishes. An easy sipper, surprisingly gentle on the palate. I'd be interested to compare year-aged versus fresh, but that's for another day. Well done, GLBC.

Photo of Vdubb86
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Darkness snifter

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this rarity

This pours a dark brown with a beige foam. Distinctively lighter in color than most beers of it's genre. The aromatics are a little on the bourbon side with some caramel malt mixed in. This is apparently still a pretty hot beer. The taste confirmed the punch of the bourbon, but the oak and the vanilla helped calm down. Interestingly the roast and chocolate flavors were secondary to the bourbon barrel notes. This was a tad astringent still, but not too much to not really enjoy this beer. It was a pleasure drinking this beer, and it goes to show GLBC can make good beer. Why they don't do it more often, I can't say.

Photo of jaasen64
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, huge thanks to RyanMcFly1985. Poured into Founders snifter. 2516 Series (not sure what that means), bottled in 2012.

A- Pours a dark black slightly brown, mostly opaque but slightly translucent around the edges. A thin mocha head forms when pouring but quickly fades to leave pretty much no head. Some very light carbonation. Leaves some very light spotty lacing.

S- The heavy bourbon presence is definitely the first thing that hits you. Mostly bourbon but also some vanilla oak, dark fruits, light roasted malts, and some very light dark chocolate.

T- Definite bourbon but not nearly as much as in the aroma, dark fruits, vanilla from the oak, dark fruits on the finish mixed with a tiny bit of dark chocolate and more bourbon. Taste lingers for a little while.

M- Medium bodied, definitely a sipper, packs a tiny bit of heat, despite the heat though it is easy to drink, fairly low carbonation that fit well with the stout tastes.

O- This was definitely a nice BA Imperial Stout that was interesting to try. The nose was a little bit too dominated by the bourbon, but the taste was nicely balanced. This beer was definitely a sipper, there was a tiny bit of heat and the bourbon presence is a little bit heavy. The beer was nicely done with a fairly nice balance (bourbon could have been toned down a tiny bit), plenty of complex tastes, nice use of barrel aging, and a nice mouthfeel despite the slight heat. Not a beer that I'd seek out all the time, but definitely an interesting try.

Photo of TmKeisySC
4.17/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Darkness snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a frothy 1.5 finger frappachino colored head with big bubbles at the top and moderate retention. Beer is a comparatively thin, opaque black. Lacing is stringy with some spottiness and moderate stick.

S: Nose is very subtle for a -bal aged beer. Muted chocolate, cocoa powder, and roasted malt. Next to no booziness or heat. Slight touch of brownie and molasses.

T: Opens sweet milk chocolate, molasses, honey, and a slight bourbon heat. Brown sugar, fudge brownie, sweet liquorice, prunes, raisins, and coca-cola towards the middle. A tickle of bourbon at the end followed by a brown sugar and honey finish and a sweet, chocolate aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Filmy and oily in the mouth but not really heavy or sticky. Goes down super smooth with very little heat considering the abv. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers.

D: One of the easiest drinking -bal aged imperial stouts that I've come across, this is a completely different animal compared to the regular blackout stout which I wasn't a huge fan of. Not fantastically complex but it has all the sweet, roasty, bourbony character that I need. Well worth searching out and I can't wait to see how this one develops.

Photo of chrismattlin
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/13/12
*From notes

-- I picked this up at the brewery during the release on 1/16/12 --

A: Well it's dark - like that's a surprise. I mean it's got the word "Blackout" in it's name. Did you think it was gonna be anything but? A generous pour yields a 1.5 mocha head and a creamy, thick collar as the head fades.

S: Chocolate brownie batter and a touch of red fruit. As it warms, some of that lovely bourbon makes it's way into my nostrils.

T: Vanilla, toasted coconut and a bit of warm bourbon are the stars of the show. It's really well put together. There's a bit of a hop bite and charred malt on the back end.

M: Having had this on tap at the brewery, I was extremely disappointed in the mouthfeel. It felt like a weak cask ale. This bottled version though, is worlds better. Thick, dense and yes, the carbonation is right on. Not nearly the oily mess I found at the pub a couple of months ago.

O: What a great beer. Isn't it sick how well Great Lakes brews? How is it that they're not talked about as one of the best brewery in the good ol' US of A? Really, folks. Like 95% of their portfolio, their BA Blackout shines in most every way. Worthy of the hype, and something I recommend drinking fresh.

A hearty two thumbs up.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,527 ratings.