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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

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,373 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,373
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,242
Gots: 274 | FT: 25
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: 1,373 | Reviews: 383 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottles courtesy of both Sliffy and JSquires. An imperial stout yes, not a Russian. Another good example of a bourbon barrel aged. But I would like some other tastes besides bourbon. The stout is black, the head is off-white and gourgeous with bubbles. There is active carbonation. Seems a slice thinner than the non-barrelled.

Sammy, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jmacdaddy2008 for sending me this one!

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown color with a 1 inch khaki head that fades to an oily cap. Random thin streaks and spots of lace dot the glass on the drink down. Smells of bourbon, vanilla, wood, and cocoa powder. Tastes of bourbon, vanilla, cocoa powder, and slight coffee. There is a definite alcohol warmth felt in the back of the throat with each sip. This beer has lower carbonation and is a bit flat with a thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS with some nice bourbon qualities but it's not as good as I thought it would be. I am glad I got to try this one though.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

djrn2, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

zestar, Jun 18, 2013
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -8.5%

spycow, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Dark Lord Day 2009

A: Good, dark black color without too much head.

S: Sweet, dark malts with a good amount of bourbon.

T: Very nice, and more complex than the nose let on. Plenty of roasted malt with underlying sweetness. The bourbon definitely comes through and coats the palate in a very nice way.

M: Pretty thick without having too much carbonation. A good jolt of alcohol.

D: Very, very nice. Great Lakes can simply seem to do no wrong.

Thorpe429, May 01, 2009
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

acurtis, Dec 14, 2011
Photo of nmann08
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

nmann08, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of metter98
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high tan head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of dark chocolate.
T: The taste starts out with initial flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging and finishes with dark chocolate.
M: It feel just about full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with some warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer has a great balance; it has lots of big notes and they all seem to come through—you can definitely taste both the bourbon and the stout.

metter98, May 11, 2014
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Texasfan549, May 14, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Zip's in Cincinnati

Appearance: Arrives in a snifter with a finger of ecru foam on top of the black liquid; leaves just a bit of lacing behind

Smell: Subtle hints of bourbon waft above the chocolate, vanilla and oak elements

Taste: Up front, the chocolate, bourbon and vanilla elements blend together with some fruit and licorice arriving at mid-palate; all the elements come together in the finish in a balanced fashion

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; very smooth

Overall: In terms of balance, this has to be one of the best examples of a bourbon barrel aged stout I have encountered; I was told it was a year old and the flavors have mellowed perfectly

brentk56, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When in doubt, just barrel-age it. It's kinda like bacon; any dish is immediately improve by adding bacon, even ice cream.

As with the original, the Barrel Aged Blackout is almost black, almost opaque, and almost holds an ideal head. The thin and lightly tanned foam struggles to retain, but does eventually succum to the lighter carbonation and alcohols. Very light lacing all arround.

Espresso and cocoa dominate the glass with intense level of flavor. These flavors alternate with each sip, never knowing which will prevail on the next. Backup flavors of cherries, licorice, and rum-like alcohols give rise to the esters and strength of the Stout. Caramel sweetness emerges from the alcohols with a sugary-sweet teeth coating feel. Quite hot and with a harsh cough-syrup numbing quality, this beer proves to be quite young and unrefined. The malt flavor in the aftertaste is accompanied by a woody, nutty taste that helps with dryness and complex flavors thanks to the barrel aging. The oak accentuates the sweetness of the beer while adding these nutty notes for added depth.

I remember when Arrogant Bastard came out in an oak aged version, the sweetness was more pronounced and the woods rounded out the alcohols. This beer takes on the same results, just in a Stout-like way. If this beer was less alcoholic in the mouthfeel, it could rival the greats.

Thanks Boatshoes!

BEERchitect, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

kjkinsey, May 07, 2013
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium off-white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of of well balanced vanilla, bourbon, oak with some deep roasted malt. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some bourbon. Vanilla and deep roasted malt with not one flavor overtaking the other. Body is lightly creamy while being full and carbonation is perfect for style, i.e. about average with no apparent alcohol. Easily drinkable with just enough character.

Phyl21ca, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
4.5/5  rDev +3%

GRG1313, Dec 10, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +3%
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.

mikesgroove, Aug 13, 2008
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -8.5%

ygtbsm94, Jan 18, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane and Sean for sending me bottles of this. Not sure which one I opened. A bottle from 2009.

A: The pour is viscous and black without much in the way of head formation and very little carbonation.

S: A really smooth nose with notes of vanilla, chocolate, oak, whiskey, and maybe some marshmallow.

T: The flavor profile is somewhat heavy on the whiskey, providing nice oak and vanilla notes. The chocolate and roast provide a balance of sweet and bitter.

M: Very lowly carbonated with a full body and somewhat thick and creamy.

D: This is one smooth beer. I can see why everyone talks this one up. I'm very pleased to have an extra in my arsenal.

womencantsail, Apr 21, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Knapp85, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -8.5%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came from bakerslp in a recent trade. Thanks! 2008 vintage.

A: Dark brown, not entirely opaque, some hints of transparency around the edges. Doesn't look terribly viscous. The head doesn't rise very high - a finger or so, and settles to a ring fairly fast.

S: Chocolatey sweetness, vanilla, hints of butterscotch and bourbon. Light alcohol presence, nothing jarring. Pretty pleasant.

T & M: Very similar to the aroma. Chocolatey with nice woody tannins to back it up. Slightly earthy. Bourbon flavors are balanced nicely, never overwhelming the base beer. Medium-light in body, moderate carbonation. Middleweight stuff, I'd say - balanced, not too heavy or rich, and very drinkable for the style.

Edit: Recently tried the '09 batch and it's exceptional. Bumping scores accordingly.

3/15/2011: Tried the 2010 batch and found it less impressive than '06 through '09, though it's still a pretty good beer.

largadeer, Jan 01, 2009
Photo of TMoney2591
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to Cuzco for this major Want!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF #4. It pours a slick, oily black-brown topped by a relatively short-lived finger or so of khaki foam. The nose comprises chocolate syrup, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, buttercream, caramel, and molasses. On the tongue, chocolate and oak kick up the most dust, followed by whiskey, roasted malts, and a smidgen of vanilla bean.The body is heavy, but still in my medium range, with a light carbonation and a very smooth, lightly chewy feel. Overall, definitely better than the normal Blackout and a damn fine and tasty stout generally-speaking. Great times.

TMoney2591, Feb 18, 2011
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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,373 ratings.