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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1136
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.36%


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: 1,136 | Reviews: 372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a "career beer" for me, meaning that i've wanted to try it for most of my drinking "career." Now, thanks to a generous package from kkulacki, I have my chance (thanks, Konrad). Pours black but not overly viscous with a thin light brown head. Lacing is watery and quick. Smells extremely good...lots of chocolate and vanilla, with a rum/bourbon note, forcasting an alcohol filled deliciousness. Deep chocolate malt odor too, I can almost smell the crushed grain. Flavor is equally rewarding...big and chocolaty, with obvious oak and vanilla undertones. Barrel aging has not overwhelmed this beer, but actually improved it (and considerably, in my estimation) No extreme bitterness, just a hint of espresso. Alcohol obvious, but not distracting, on the finish, blending in well with the vanilla and malt. Delicious. Velvety mouthfeel, if a bit thin on the finish. Very, very good. It was worth the wait. Happy New Year!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2009 06:19:12 | More by aforbes10
Photo of hoplover82
hoplover82

Texas

4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! My goodness, this is one of those EPIC beers.

It pours a thick black with a thin tan head with lots of dotty and thin lines of lacing.

The aroma is strong and complex with roasty barley and slight bitter dark chocolate and licorice. As it warms, the toffee realy comes out.

The taste is just as complex and strong with roasted coffee as the dominant character with licorice, bitter dark chocolate and toffee in the background. The coffee lingers forever.

Full bodied and very thick and creamy, like drinking a beer smoothy.

Very drinkable, I could have another one of these!

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2009 07:14:21 | More by hoplover82
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
ToAzwethinkweizm

Maryland

4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on Friday, 29 October 2010 at Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, OH. Drove up from New York with a buddy and met up with a second from California for this release, coinciding with a wedding perfectly that weekend. On tap in 10oz snifter. Color is black with a slight burgundy-orange color when held up to the light. One-finger head up to the brim, head is beige-caramel and super creamy. Lacing is married to the glass. Carbonation is lighter-than-average -- simply perfect! Heavy, yet slightly-sweet bourbon aroma, touch of vanilla, bite of toffee, hardly smell the hot alcohol, bittersweet chocolate stings the nose. The taste makes me want to cry. Bourbon flavor sails over the heads of heavy vanilla, toffee, slight maple, and milk chocolate. The bourbon and chocolate flavors stick to the tongue.

Nearing the bottom of the glass, the alcohol gets slightly hotter, and the vanilla has a hard time saying goodbye. Time to drink another.

Aging six 2010 bombers bought that morning, potentially trading 3 of those with others around Beer Advocate (just message me). I could write volumes about this beer, but I must stop to give my mind a rest. Legendary beer.

EDIT, 5 November 2010: One bomber left for trading, but in the middle of a couple of trades and job transition, will let you know (especially you guys that msg'd me) if/when I decide to trade one.

Serving type: on-tap

11-02-2010 01:09:41 | More by ToAzwethinkweizm
Photo of TomTwanks
TomTwanks

Ohio

4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a GL snifter from a 2012 bottle.

P- poured a black color with about 1.5 finger mocha colored head. Promising so far...

A - like above, black as night with micro bubbles. Just how I like em'.

S - Jesus, probably the best smelling beer I've ever had, literally. So much vanilla, like sweet bourbon smell. Caramel smell is also present.

T - Holy crap, this isn't a joke. I've had the regular plenty but the barrel aging is just rediculous. So smooth upfront, mellowing into a nice EXTREMELY smooth bourbon mixed with a vanilla bean. I mean wow. Minimal expresso presence but a nice suddle milk chocolate taste. So complex, it's hard to put this class of beer into words.

M - actually not as heavy as I would have thought, which is not a bad thing. Carbonation is on point and is really appreciated.

O - So glad I have this beer. Best BA stout I've had to date. Can't wait until next year to buy more!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 01:34:03 | More by TomTwanks
Photo of MrVonzipper
MrVonzipper

California

4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 1/12
Black. Nice 1cm tan head. Good retention, Good lacing. Fairly oily.

Big rich and bold nose. Fantastic. Big rich fudge chocolatey brownie. Dark roasted nuts. Mild bourbon. Nice vanilla and rich caramel. Mild oak.

Flavor is just amazing. From beginning to lingering after taste just delightful! Such perfect balance. Big fudgy chocolatey brownie with lovely vanilla and mellow bourbon. No heat what soever. so easy to drink!

Medium bodied. Not as viscous as anticipated. Silky smooth. Very little carbonation.

Overall just an amazing beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2012 04:55:55 | More by MrVonzipper
Photo of trxxpaxxs
trxxpaxxs

New York

4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 12oz. bottle...

A: Pours a deep black with brown edges. There is one full finger of dark khaki colored head that fades pretty quickly. A think soft foam ring hugs the glass. There is minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is big bourbon, milk chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. I get slight coffee and toffee, but it's basically bourbon and chocolate. Smells amazing.

T: The fist hit is sweet chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. It amazing. As it moves to the middle get some sweet bourbon heat and some dark chocolate bitters. The finish is a beautiful balance between the chocolate and the barrel ageing. I get hot bourbon alcohol, dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla.

M: Full bodied beer. It's sweet and coating to start with robust flavors. It's mellow in the middle, and a bit harsher towards the back end. The hot alcohol burn shines in the back end as the chocolate fades. But it's smooth as it leaves the palate. So good.

O: Love this beer. Some vintages are better than others (2009 comes to mind as one of the best) but this 2013 vintage is outstanding. One of my favorite beers of all time. It's just incredibly drinkable for a 9.5% barrel aged stout. Love it.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2013 23:16:56 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of imaguitargod
imaguitargod

Ohio

4.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah finally, the 2008 edition of the Barrel Aged Blackout Stout...so tasty. Head this on tap and poured into a 8 ounce whiskey glass. Very little head with no lacing. Beautifully black in it's color with blood red edges. First a huge whiskey/oak/alcohol taste hits your tongue then the roasted chocolate malts flood the palate. The aging really mellowed the beer but for the better. Wish I could drink this everyday....

Jonathan Passow

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2008 17:46:27 | More by imaguitargod
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage.

Pours a deep deathly black letting no light through when held to light. Head is short and short lived but nice for a Barrel aged stout that is three years old. Nose has a distinct mix of bourbon and chocolate that is wonderful. I could just sit and smell this beer all night. Sweet bourbon notes grace the tongue so smooth and consistant. Chocolaty and syrupy without being to heavy. Candied and oh so good flavor profile that just lasts and lasts. A bit of tingling bourbon on the back of the tongue. This brew has aged wonderfully. Mouthfeel is full of rich coco. Highly drinkable, as a matter of fact you dont want the glass to end.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 23:25:47 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of beachbum1975
beachbum1975

Ohio

4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pwoods shared this one at my place with ftownthrowdown and drewOSU. Thanks, dude!

Appeared light to medium viscosity. Clear, brownish to black color with an impressive ½ CREAMY moderately tan head. Great spotty lacing up the sides of my tulip as I sip. Beautiful thing to look at.

I smell the barrel, vanilla, chocolate and some phenols. Smells amazingly strong and tasty.

Wow, this beer is phenomenal! The big alcohol presence isn't masked in this one. Medium bodied with full flavor. Vanilla, bourbon, oaky woodiness, coffee, fireplace smokiness at times. Finishes with a lovely roasted, caramel, sweet buttery pecan type finish. Alcohol is just right on this one.

I really can't think of a better barrel-aged Russian Imperial stout. Top notch, amazing - this should be in the top ten. Don't think for a second this is "just" a barrel aged version of Blackout - it is, but MUCH more with the addition of the aging. Recommended...

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2009 15:28:06 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of Tifore
Tifore

Ohio

4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the GLBC brewpub after a twelve hour work day. Lets just say.... Perfect!

A - Pours super dark and not see through at all. Looks absolutely delicious. The head is about a finger high and dissapates quickly.

S - Oh the smell of this beer makes me smile. Smells of chocolate and caramel. Sweetness. Bourbon comes through and makes me want to drink so bad. Malts hit the nose as well as a slight oak-y-ness.

T - The first sip brings bourbon and oak straight to the tounge. Lots of malts and sweet tastes come after. I get slight chocolate at the end as well as lots of alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is suprisingly light for such a big beer. Lots of carbonation makes it easy to drink, but beware one or two of these and you will definitely feel it.

D - I love this beer. I bought 4 Bombers at the release and kept two for myself, trading the other two. I will be be ageing one in my cellar for a few years. I'm thinking two or three years will produce great things for this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2010 22:22:11 | More by Tifore
Photo of CJArtanis
CJArtanis

Florida

4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I can't say enough about this beer. The first thing that comes to mind is the most important characteristic that can be associated with a beer, and wine for that matter, balance. This stout is so overly whelming balanced it's crazy. It's a creamy, velvety, roasty, chocolaty, bourbon flavored masterpiece. I've been brewing myself for 6 years now and can only aspire to craft a beer as grand as this. I could write forever about how delicious it is and it wouldn't do it any justice. If you haven't had this beer, I implore you to buy or get one in a trade. Outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 02:51:47 | More by CJArtanis
Photo of CLEmark
CLEmark

Ohio

4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown amber.
Aroma of oak, coffee, caramel, malt, vanilla, and bourbon.
Taste, oak, hint of coffee, roasted malt, vanilla

Overall, very well balanced for a barrel age. The black out stout really holds it's own against the bourbon barrel. Very well done beer, I had a hard time finding anything wrong with it.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 14:43:04 | More by CLEmark
Photo of irishmoss
irishmoss

Ohio

4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter glass in the basement bar of the brewery, allowed the beer to warm up for a several minutes. Wow...
Pitch black night trapped in a glass with fresh esspresso colored ring of head circling around the edges. Small, patchy specks of lace left on the sides of the glass.
The aroma is an oaked Jim Beam scent up front that gives way to burnt brown sugar, French pressed coffee, and dark chocolate.
The Jim Beam and oak flavors blend very, very well with espresso and chocolate flavors. There are hints of vanilla beans and torched sugars. The flavors are complex and very well blended, makes me wonder how long this was aged for? This is so well done, not overly oakey or leathery like some other barrel aged beers that come to mind.
Thick & chewy on the mouthfeel, and just plan old creepy on the the drinkability.
Very well done and by far one of my favorites, I only wish this wasn't so hard to come by....

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2006 13:44:43 | More by irishmoss
Photo of CaptDavyJones
CaptDavyJones

New York

4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap (10 oz) at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse. Poured almost pitch black color with crimson red hues along the sides. Thin tan colored head that dissipated fairly quickly. Tiny stream of bubbles surface around the edges consistently.
Aroma is nothing short of spectacular. Bourbon cask aroma, with lots of vanilla, oak and hints of caramel, some coffee and milk chocolate. It is very aromatic, yet it is not very overwhelming.
Taste akin to the aroma is high on bourbon, with a nice taste of vanilla/sweetness taking over the bourbon, which finally gives way to smooth yet bitter chocolate and coffee notes with just a hint of bitterness in the finish. Surprisingly clean finish. Full-bodied and silky smooth on the palate.
This has to be hands-down one of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts I have had so far, period. Nothing short of spectacular.
The levels of balance achieved in the aging process is just fantastic, and no words can express it more than actually getting a taste of it. I was told by the Great Lakes employees that they only make 800 bottles a year which are sold only at the brewery. It's a shame it is not sold elsewhere. If you enjoy the regular Black Out Stout; which is also very good, then you will absolutely, positively enjoy this one.
Definitely worth a try and comes highly, highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2011 18:46:39 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of Bones54
Bones54

Ohio

5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow!!!! Now this is a beer with class. This dark as night, smooth sipping beauty is simply amazing. The bourbon aroma is strong, but the flavor it provides is perfect. It takes the already great Blackout Stout to a whole new level.

Definately a sipping beer, and one that gets better with each sip. Thank you Great Lakes!

Edit:
10/20/06
Went down to the brewery again this week to have this limited release on tap before it goes away. Probably the best beer I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2006 05:30:51 | More by Bones54
Photo of kels
kels

Virginia

5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Traveled to Cleveland with my brother yesterday to pick up a few of these at the brewery and try it on tap. I've always liked regular blackout stout, and I just couldn't miss this.

Appearance: Deep, rich chocolate brown - practically black. Held a short, frothy deep tan head with light lacing throughout drinking. Reminds me of the foam at the top of hot chocolate.

Smell: The smell was amazing - exactly like bourbon, but better. Charred oak, sweet chocolate and cream - smelled unbelievably delicious.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow. Wow. Words can hardly describe. I will admit to exclaiming that I wanted to eat it after the first sip because the taste was so incredibly delicious. I tasted different dimensions with every sip - toasted coffee beans, dark creamy bitter chocolate, bourbon - big bourbon, creaminess and charred oak. The alcohol is strong, as in bourbon, and it has a wonderful warming effect - not sharp or stinging in any way. The mouth is very creamy with low carbonation, just enough to keep it from being flat.

Drinkability: It tastes so good, that I could drink a lot more than I should. We even went back to the brewpub later in the day to have another.

I know that a perfect rating should be really rare, but this beer definitely deserves it. I have never enjoyed a beer this much in my life. Great job, Great Lakes!

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2008 18:04:20 | More by kels
Photo of gonzo46and2
gonzo46and2

Florida

5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Chris for bringing this one to the tasting at Matt's this weekend.

Pours a black that nearly no light can penetrate.

Aroma is wonderful. There's a big bourbon presence with the normal aroma of an Imperial Stout. Chocolate, caramel, coffee, bread, and brown sugar.

Taste is off the charts! Sweet cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, and a huge bourbon profile.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky and sweet.

This was probably the best stout I've ever had. I can't wait to get my hands on some more of this heavenly nectar.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 05:16:20 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dear God,

When I die, please have this on tap at the Pearly Gates Bar and Grill - It wouldn't be heaven without it!

Cheers, Jampics2

(Seriously - this is the best beer I have ever had. More bourbon than the Founders KBS, smoother than Abyss, and rarer and "more special" than Darklord or just about anything else.) On to the good stuff:

A - Pours with little head. Blacker than Dick Cheney's soul.

S - Smells like luscious cocoa and a bit of bourbon spiceyness. You can tell this is going to be boozy, but alluring nonetheless.

T - Tastes like heaven - chocolate and bitter into vanilla bourbon bliss. The way this holds together is amazing. It's extreme in every fashion, but somehow everything balances out. Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Mr. Burns has every malady known to mankind and that's what's keeping him alive.

M - A little on the stingey side, but hearty and everything I'd want an RIS to be.

D - I had 4 the night it went on tap at GL. Not my shining moment, but it's so good I could just keep drinking it. If it wasn't so limited in bottles, I could see opening 2 in a night.

Overall, this is A++. This is the perfect beer IMO.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 12:15:01 | More by jampics2
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +14.2%
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!!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 03:27:13 | More by maximum12
Photo of Vierenner
Vierenner

Ohio

5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing! On my want list for nearly a year and find it on tap at South Park Tavern!! Great Lakes selected SPT for 2 kegs tonight. First one tapped at 4p, gone by 6. It is everything I had hoped for. Smooth, sweet, little/no hop bite, bourbon flavors. A refreshing, sipping beer ... world-class. A halo beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2011 00:43:02 | More by Vierenner
Photo of VncentLIFE
VncentLIFE

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Im drinking this thanks to the GL rep for NC! Thanks! 2012 Vintage.

Initial pour had fizzy carbonation. I can see small bubbles coming to the surface, but only on tap. pitch black body. Caramel colored head.

Dark chocolate aroma fills the air upon pour and through the end. Small hints of booze and bourbon. Maybe coffee, but dominated by the chocolate. Ah Blackout, how I love you so.

Hm the taste. Its exactly what I expected from the nose. Blackout is there, and it did not lose its presence whatsoever. The carbonation feels prickly, but its surprisingly smooth. Almost scary smooth. There isnt as much bitterness as I expected, but the barre. added some nice vanilla. That vanilla really goes well with the powdered milk and dark chocolate. Very slight hints of oak, but I cant get over how the bourbon notes, oak, and chocolate mesh together sooo well.

Every BA Stout should aim for this mouthfeel. It almost feels like its on Nitro-tap. Very creamy and smooth with tiny bubbles. Body is somewhere in the middle.

The finish is somewhat bitter, and the roasted malts come through. But then the bourbon notes of vanilla and oak come through to balance out the chewy malt. As it warms, the oak really comes out. It adds this level of woody just adds to complexity.

I know I gave a perfect to Siberian Night, but this is a totally different monster. I prefer both Blackout and BA Blackout to Siberian Night. Im scared of this beer for good reason, its scary good.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 23:47:47 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of Sulkanator
Sulkanator


5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is truly the best beer that I have ever had. And I have had a LOT of quality beer in my 43 years. This beer is perfection in a bottle. I honestly do not know how another beer can ever eclipse the superb taste of this beer. At $30 a 4 pack though it isn't cheap. And if you are fortunate enough to have it on tap for the brief period of time it is available, you'd willingly pay more than $8 a beer for this gem.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 03:54:25 | More by Sulkanator
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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,136 ratings.