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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 nrbw23
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a thin tan colored head and leaves little lacing.

S- Right off the bat bourbon all over the place, followed by a wood smell, sweet chocolate, touch of darker fruits, roasted malts and cream. Really awesome smell.

T- Again bourbon very good. Right on with the nose again. Everything is balanced out really well.

M- Medium to full in body, creamy and right on with the carbonation.

D- Had this at the pub and drank two of them and it was so easy to drink. I wish I could of made it up there when the bottles were for sale.

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Photo of phattysbox
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a trade with clockworkorange - thanks for the brew!!

Shared among friends and poured into DFH snifter glass. With an aggressive pour, this brew comes out jet black and viscous. Hardly any head, and what head there was dissapears into a thin ring of lace.

The smell was the best thing about this brew. Bourbon, vanilla and nice oak undertones, followed by a sweet malty base. The nose gets better as the brew warms but the alcohol does get noticably hotter. Initial taste is all vanilla! Sweet malts pervade from front to back with a clear bourbon undertow. Hop profile is minimal and could barely detect any. Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and velvety smooth.

For me drinkability was a bit down since I did not find the alcohol hidden to well. This is evident as the brew warms. Overall however, this brew is fantastic and is a great contender among barrel-aged RIMPs. Another BA that shared this with me suggested that this brew is far superior to the un-barreled version.

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Photo of sliverX
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Dark almost black in color, rich tan head that lasted some time. Smelled very much of whiskey. Tasted like they had brewed the stout using whiskey instead of water which wasn't a bad thing... whiskey, stout (dark roasted barley) and a hint of coffee were the basic tastes. More coffee presence as the beer warmed. Isn't something you would have more than a glass of as it was 11% abv and to me was more of a dessert/after dinner type...

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

thanks to EGledhill for the chance to try this great beer!

a - pitch black with a khaki head that quickly settles to a nice ring around the edges.

S - slight oak, vanilla and abv warmth

T - creamy smooth dark malts, vanilla, chocolate and bourbon.

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, creamy smooth, silky with a soft vanilla bourbon aftertaste.

D - silky smooth, incredibly approachable and balanced. Drinks so easily it's borderline dangerous.

wow, the regular stout is good and worth trying if you get a chance. This release, hands down excellent! I can't say enough my appreciation to EGledhill for sending me this gem!

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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 jpiper
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at GL. I've been drinking this at the source about every other day since the release. I've never had a beer whose flavor was so dependent on what I had eaten immediately prior than this one. First day I was disappointed; second I was impressed; third day was also a let down, until I started in on the pretzels, then it was pretty good; fourth day was best of all. So I asked if they mixed the batches or went straight from barrel to keg. Evidently they mix them. So, I rate with an emphasis on the good days. This beer can be impressive. I imagine giving this one some time to mellow out can only help, but the barrel aging surely takes this a step or two about the regular Blackout. So creamy and delicious.

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Photo of Deuane
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub during the mug club member release party.

A-Deep dark, almost black, brown with ruby highlights. Small tan head holds on and finally lets go to a rim of film along the edges. Spotty lace clings behind.

S-Present, but not overwhelming, bourbon notes with oak, vanilla, earth, tobacco and bitter chocolate swirling with roasty/toasty malt.

T-Mmmm, mmmm, mmm! A bif ole mouthful smooth, mellow oak aged bourbon. Vanilla and caramel malt sweetness are complimented by dry/bitter tones of chocolate, oak, espresso and tobacco. Alcohol heat certainly present but not offensive. All well supported by a healthy dose of roasted malt.

M-Medium-heavy body with a super smooth and luscious!

D-Big and robust...a brew with serious kahones! A beer that deserves more (shhh lets keep it to ourselves) hype. Who cares as long as I can get more in the future.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the good fortune of coming across this beer at the Great Lakes brewpub in Cleveland, OH. Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout is certainly not retired, unless the version I had was a further aged release of a previous year. I'd assume not, however, as it was listed at 10% ABV. Served in a snifter.

Pours a seal brown body with a decent head of light khaki foam that retreats to a ring of large bubbles. Not quite as dark as most in its category, as I could see through the brew halfway through the snifter. The aroma was heavy on the bourbon, with a backbone of dark, sweet chocolate. A solvent-like alcohol note lurked below the upper notes.

The flavor, as the 5.0 rating suggests, was exceptional. Rich, dark chocolate notes covered the palate with a background of earthy hops and vanilla undertones. Bourbon whiskey and oak are saved for the finale, as a spicy, wooden booziness rides out for an enjoyable finish. The body isn't overly thick or viscous, drinking more like a porter. It also wasn't as hot as the normal Blackout Stout, although I would love to see how this stuff tastes after a year or more in the cellar. Overall, a fantastic brew from the solid beer-makers from Ohio. The two glasses I had of this stuff went down dangerously easily, and I can only hope I cross paths with this beer again.

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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 kels
5/5  rDev +15.5%
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!

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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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4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to the kind BA who sent this one mu way. Another one I had been trying to track down for a while. Twenty Two ounce bottle was served in oversized wine glass at cellar temperature. Consumed on 08/11/2008.

A very dark and very big pour on this one. Poured jet black, with absolutely no light penetrating it whatsoever. Nice tan head about two inches in height came up over the top rather quickly and stayed for a good couple minutes, at which point it decided to settle down into a tin cover of about a half an inch in height that stayed with it until the very end. Lots of sticky side glass lacing on this one just helped to complete the package.

The aroma was very big, and to be honest, much sweeter then I thought it would be. Lots of chocolate notes here on the smell, roasted coffee, hints of bourbon and vanilla as well. Very nice and complex without being terribly overdone. The flavor was much more of the same. Started with a warm rush of bourbon and wood, with touches of vanilla thrown in as well. Rich with lots of lactose flavor and sweet milk chocolate. A smooth, creamy body, very nice carbonation on this one I have to admit. As it warms it starts to mellow a bit, some light alcohol notes in the back and more of a pungent vanilla taste. Woody, with lots of oak like hints mixed in, but again, primarily sweet and not too heavy on the bourbon. A very fine nightcap, I enjoyed this one over the course of several hours and it made a fine sipper next to the TV.

Overall I thought this was a great BA beer. Not the heavy, dripping with bourbon and whiskey tones that you tend to see sometimes, this was much more subdued, with gentle hints layered on top of an already good beer. I would love to get another one to see how this holds up.

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Photo of badbeer
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

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Photo of Crosling
2.19/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark ruby brown color with a small, light tan head. Needs to be much darker. Timid nose, with only a light hint of the barrel element. Thin mouth feel, low complexity and fairly depthless character overall. Some hints of caramel and corn whiskey, but there is hardly much of a beer underneath. This is a rerate of the newer bottling, but its a lot like the first: bland, poorly concentrated, lacking texture and just dull overall.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an unassuming, black body with a small white head.

Smell: Chocolatey, caramel-coated dark maltiness with bourbon notes of vanilla, oak, and coconut cream.

Taste: Sweet dark maltiness with a creamy caramel-chocolate taste. Mild sweetness. Growing alcohol warmth. The bourbon kicks in alongside an increased sweetness. Distinct wood hint and a taste of canned coconut cream. Never more than a faint roastiness. Drying, bourbony finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite nice, Great Lakes, but then again so was your original Blackout.

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Photo of Floydster
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle acquired from Sephiroth about six months ago and has been in the cellar ever since, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to try this brew, took me about two hours to get through last night, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Black color with no light going through even though it looked a little thin, 3/4 inch creamy tan head, stuck around for about five minutes, decent retention, great lacing for a barrel-aged beer

S-Aroma was awesome with a big spicy bourbon scent, lots of oak and vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malts, hint of espresso, somehow a bit of hoppiness, and figs

T-Bourbon did not waste any time in attacking my palate, stung my tongue on the initial sip which made me aware of how much whiskey had actually seaped into this one, some sweet vanilla in the middle, extremely dark chocolate at the end with an obvious oak character, got smoother as it warmed and the bourbon settled down a bit but not enough, the finish became slightly drier with a coffee feel that was barely recognizable, also got a little sweeter with some dark fruit and stronger vanilla flavors, nicely balanced and very enjoyable

M-Very spicy, hot, roasted, and sweet mouthfeel, seriously complex, taste lingered for a long time because of the booze presence, pretty thin body for a stout, perfect level of carbonation

D-I drank this whole bottle by myself but could not have drank much more, packs a punch at nine percent alcohol, incredibly smooth though, bourbon is present in taste but not too strong, light on the stomach for what it is

I was expecting a lot from this being that I gave up my last bottle of Angel's Share for it, worth all the hype and much better than the standard Blackout Stout from Great Lakes in my opinion, think this is brewed once a year and it is definitely worth seeking out, cannot really go wrong with a barrel aged stout, would love to drink again

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Photo of WeisGuy
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to markgugs for this bottle. Series 2516.

a - pours inky black with a one-finger tan head, retention around the edges mainly, decent lacing

s - very strong bourbon notes on the nose mixed with deeply roasted malt and caramel, some dark fruits, plum and hints of black cherry along with some dark chocolate as secondary aromas

t - intense dark maltiness up front with a very prominent dose of bourbon quickly following, when cold, the booziness tastes more like rum, but bourbon is definitely dominant when the beer warms a little, the finish has more strong bourbon notes mixed in with a lot of caramel and lighter plum notes, high cacao % chocolate lingers on the palate along with bourbon booziness and caramel for quite awhile, definitely tastes like it's stronger than 9%, but that's really not a bad thing here

m - full-bodied, moderate carbonation, the finish is slightly dry, but fairly well balanced between the bitterness and sweetness

d - surprisingly drinkable for a beer where booziness plays such a prominent role in the taste, complexity keeps me taking sips trying to decipher all the flavors, overall though, this is certainly a sipper

Great beer overall...definitely worthy of the high ratings. The booziness is strong, but it doesn't mask the other flavors. I much prefer this to the regular Blackout Stout. I have a feeling that a little more bottle aging would do this beer good.

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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 prototypic
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks go out to BuckeyeNation for his benevolence and generosity in sending me this fine beer.

Bottle labeled "Series 2516"

Appearance: It pours an extremely dark brown, nearly jet black color. The head is a dark, mocha brown color and is roughly two fingers deep. Retention was relatively good though lacing leaned toward the lighter end of the spectrum. In comparison, it's not materially different from Blackout Stout, which is also a very fine looking brew.

Smell: Clearly, it's elite in this regard. Very vibrant chocolate and roasted malt aroma is perfectly complemented with a touch of bourbon. The bourbon aroma is easily noticeable, but far from overwhelming. I gravitate more towards that combo as opposed to those where the bourbon is the primary feature. Roasted coffee, faint dark fruit, and light toasted nut aromas add complexity and depth. Alcohol appears to be masked very well. Hops make a slight appearance toward the end. There's no constructive way I could criticize the nose on this one. It truly is exceptional in every way.

Taste: Frankly, it's very similar to the nose. The bourbon flavor is blended very well with chocolate and roasted malts and complements those flavors very well. The bourbon again comes across as a secondary flavor. It's far from overwhelming. To me, the stout element of the beer is the primary attraction. There is a very nice roasted coffee flavor. Plum and toasted nut flavors are noteable, but not overly strong. It's very complex and flavorful. My only complaint is that the light hops that are noticeable in smell disappear in taste. Just a little light hop bitterness would perhaps take it to the next level. Very minor, constructive criticism. It's truly hard to take anything away from it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It definitely leans toward medium bodied. It's still a sipping beer and certainly one to savor. Carbonation is excellent. The mouthfeel is very creamy, smooth, and among the best I've had. Despite its high abv, it's very drinkable. I'm certainly appreciating the one bottle I have very much and am wishing I had more. This is an excellent bourbon barrel stout. It's clearly one of the best I've had the opportunity to try. Kentucky Breakfast Stout is perhaps a slight bit better, but not much. If you have the opportunity to try this one, you certainly should.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sepiroth for the beer.
Black in color with a small lasting fizzy chocolate colored head. Nice lacing for the style.
Bourbon and charcoal in the aroma.
Nice mixture of RIS and bourbon flavors with neither overwhelming the other. RIS flavors include chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. The roasted malts are not as strong as most RISs though the beer does not miss it much b/c the bourbon flavors fill in nicely. I'm really starting to like these bourbon aged beers.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but the bourbon adds a nice sharpness that keeps the mouthfeel interesting.
Good, drinkable, another fine beer from Great Lakes brewing.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

October 2007 release. Purchased at the Great Lakes gift shop. Obliterative onyx with a sliver of sepia along the bottom edge. The three finger crown is the exact color of golden brown sugar and has a creamy solidity about it. Bourbon barrel-aged beers tend not to be lace monsters, but this one is pretty impressive in that regard.

Oddly enough, the aroma isn't bursting at the seams with bourbon. I love the fact that the GL brewers see this ale as an RIS that is accented with whiskey, not completely saturated with it. Dark chocolate, espresso and vanilla bean are joined by exactly the right amount of bourbon. Perfection.

The flavor profile is pretty much as expected. In other words, bourbon whiskey is at least as prominent as stout, without overwhelming the base beer. First impression: this offering is roughly as good as Blackout Stout, but not appreciably better.

For whatever reason, the body/mouthfeel seems to take a hit when a beer is barrel-aged. In any case, this special release doesn't taste as chock full of malt as the standard version. The flavor profile includes chocolate liqueur, ground coffee beans, a surprising amount of vanilla, dark brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and... America's greatest spirit. If I'm not mistaken, the barrels were acquired from the Jim Beam distillery. Good choice. Jim Beam Black is one of my standbys.

As noted above, the mouthfeel falls short of perfection. That doesn't mean, however, that it's less than pleasureable. Great Lakes is one of the best 'mouthfeel breweries' around and they've done themselves proud yet again. Time and warming add a light creaminess to the festivities.

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout combines my second favorite style with my first or second favorite liquor, and is brewed by one of my favorite breweries. How could it fail to be anything less than amazing? Thanks to my brother for securing a double handful of this exceptional ale last autumn. I can't wait until this October when I can replenish my stock. Highly recommended.

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Photo of akorsak
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 650 mL bottle, number 540 of 900 from the 2006 release, from a Dark Lord Day 2007 trade with kirok1999.

A: The stout pours thick and dark as a blackout on a moonless night. Even when I hold the Troegenator mug to a light source, ruby highlights are few and far between. A small coating of tan head tops off the stout with moderate lacing.

S: The nose is heavy on bourbon, an oaky, corn-laden sweetness that is right at home amongst the burnt, charred grains of the stout.

T: WOW! This is a well-blended, balanced stout. The barrel aging (and subsequent cellar aging) has done wonders, concentrating a buttery, oaken boozy flavor that is sweet but not overpowering. The result is a nice warming bourbon flavor. Interspersed with the bourbon is the body of the beast: Blackout! Dark molasses, burnt toast and raisins, baker's chocolate define the moist stout. A subtle tartness pops up near the end of a sip, adding a twist before fading back to a bourbon finish. This is the best barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout (not American Double Stout, mind you) that I've had.

M: A near-perfect blend of bourbon and stout. Neither taste overpowers the other, instead they play nicely from the first sip to the last.

D: If you've got an '06 vintage laying around, it's drinkin' beautifully right now. The alcohol is present but never distracting and the bourbon-stout combo is a revelation.

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Photo of JDV
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to miketd for so generously offering up a bottle of this rarity!! Dark, opaque black pour that holds a light to medium head poured into a snifter. Nose is rich and complex with dark semi-sweet roasted malt, an appropriate and not overwhelming amount of bourbon, and notes of spicy oak and vanilla. Very good job of incorporating the barrell, and not just the bourbon. Flavor is dark and roasty with a good amount of bourbon and a woodsy, light vanilla and almost spiced flavor to go along. Alcohol came into play as it warmed up a bit more than I'd like, but even with that, it was a fantastic beer, and most importantly, the bourbon barrel didn't ruin the beer, but added new complementing flavors. Fantastic.

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Photo of Zorro
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through trade with Sephiroth.

Clear very dark brown colored beer with a thin brown head.

The smell is sweet chocolate and light bourbon with the required whiskey and vanilla aroma. Little bit of Kahlúa aroma in this, the coffee is there just toned down a bit. When you pour this at first it deceives you in to thinking this isn't a bourbon barrel beer and then it hits you in the scent. After the ethanol fumes get started this is all Kahlúa and Bourbon.

The taste starts out sweet but coffee bitter too with a big vanilla and bitter chocolate aftertaste. Fairly big whiskey taste here and it is a complex bourbon flavor. Oak, citrus, oak, vanilla, caramel, and flowers.

Mouthfeel is good.

A sipping beer here and quit high in alcohol. Not to thick a beer this is quite close to bourbon and coffee with crème in flavor and sensation. Still this is the sort of beer like KBS that is a one a night type of beer.

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