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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

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,131 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1131
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: 1,131 | Reviews: 372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 03:34:21 | More by Sammy
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UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:04:12 | More by UCLABrewN84
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BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.6/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 22:40:08 | More by BuckeyeNation
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mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 23:47:02 | More by mikesgroove
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womencantsail

California

4.38/5  rDev 0%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 04:26:40 | More by womencantsail
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brentk56

North Carolina

4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
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

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2011 02:25:34 | More by brentk56
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 02:10:08 | More by Phyl21ca
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BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 03:03:44 | More by BEERchitect
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Thorpe429

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 13:10:30 | More by Thorpe429
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 22:37:01 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 21:55:24 | More by TMoney2591
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feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small snifter.

Solid black color, with minimal head.

Aroma, sweet, rich, bourbony, decadent. Molasses, anise, a bit of charcoal, but mostly sweet whiskey.

There's the same in the taste, only more intensely. Thick and rich, the imperial stout qualities that were hiding behind the bourbon in the aroma are coming forward in the flavor.
Big and roasty, loads of dark malt, gets drier, more of a dry roast, coating the throat, very satisfying. Almost refreshing!
Wait, did I say that about a thick, dark richly roasting RIS, aged in bourbon? Maybe I did...
It's -10 outside. In this weather, that's refreshment!

I'm a sucker for bourbon, and love an RIS. This one is quite a nice accomplishment. Doesn't quite do enough for me with each sip, something in it lacks complexity, but a little more comes out in the swallow, it rushes further flavor back along the throat. And then there's the heat that follows, and the fullness of flavor, and the warmth...damn, I'm glad my heat is working, and I'm glad I cracked this open tonight of all nights. Hey, I just heard it may get to 2 above later tomorrow...right on!

A wonderful drink, and many praises to BuckeyeNation for getting this out to me!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 08:18:09 | More by feloniousmonk
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MasterSki

Illinois

4.24/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 bottle shared by ChrisPro. I've had this a few times, but always seem to miss taking notes, so thanks for the opportunity. Served in a Närke snifter.

A - Tan foam settles to a thick collar, leaving behind stray specks of lace. Near-black body. Largely what you'd expect from this style.

S - Lots of coconut and vanilla, oak, and a touch of spicy bourbon. Base beer imparts some baker's chocolate and roast. Alcohol is pretty tame at this stage.

T - The taste is significantly more sweeter, with more caramel, fudge, and even a light biscuit note from the base beer's malt profile. Less oak and light bourbon to taste. More balanced, and I think that's more by design than due to age.

M - Chewy, medium-full body, with low carbonation, and a sticky and viscous finish. Not very oaky or tannic, with some mild alcohol warmth.

D - A well-made barrel-aged stout that displays the restraint I'd expect from a fairly conservative brewery like Great Lakes. I'd certainly drink it again if it were on-tap or readily available in bottles, and I think the exorbitant trade demands have abated now that supply has increased; was somewhat overhyped when it was only 600 bottles. Still, a nice spin on an already solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2013 22:54:48 | More by MasterSki
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TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from pochman, courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2009 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, licorice, roasted malts and chocolate.

T: The taste starts with a hearty roasted malt character that is quickly followed by a good combination of flavors including chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and licorice. The hops presence is extremely mild but is exactly where it should be for this type of beer to provide a good balance. There is a bit of an alcohol sting combined with the barrel-aging essence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

O: Tasty with good complexity, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good beer to sip on for a very long time.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 04:39:50 | More by TheManiacalOne
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drabmuh

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Paul for bringing this one out. Served side by side with a bottle of Blackout stout. Decent head, beer is black, head is brown, the head rallies to leave some lacing on the walls of the glass. Looks good.

There is a mild oak aroma that is hiding behind a nice bourbony / liquor aroma. It doesn't smell hot but this is a "tiny" beer at 9%, I wouldn't expect it to be hot. Its roasty mildly, maybe some sweetness in there too. Smells good.

Beer is thinner than other stouts I've had recently but it tastes good. There is a nice bourbon character to the whole thing and the sweetness plays off well with the alcohol and the caramel from the bourbon barrel. There may be some mild vanilla in there from the oak but its not dominant at all. Its a good beer, deserving of its place among the middle of the best barrel aged bourbon stouts. I wish it were more available.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 21:28:14 | More by drabmuh
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Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle # 142/900; Vintage 2006; Sampled December 2007
Minimally carbonated, a slightly vigorous pour produces only a scant, quarter-finger thick, light brown colored head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring. The beer is an opaque, deep, black, brownish tinged color. The aroma is fairly oak focused as this is the first thing that I notice; spicy oak, a bit of buttery oak and a touch of vanillin are noticeable in that order as far as magnitude as well. It is actually pretty hard to notice any of the other notes underneath the oak; perhaps a touch of burnt cherry aromatics and some toasted-burnt grain. After the beer has warmed a bit and I hae revisited the nose, I can now pick out flavors of molasses, but the aroma is still way more oak dominated that I would wish.

Starts out a bit thin, but picks up some heft pretty quickly and in fact coats the mouth enough to be noticed as this lingers on through to the finish. Still this is not really heavy for an Imperial Stout, but is by no means light either. The light carbonation probably adds a bit to the perceived thinness. The finish has an interesting, toasted / roasted flavor which brings out a distinct nuttiness akin to a super Nut-Brown Ale. The flavor is not nearly as oak driven as the nose is, in fact the flavors the oak adds contribute a nice supporting character to the brew. Flavors of burnt cherries, blackened raisin, strong black coffee or slightly watered-down espresso, chocolate extract and blackened whole grain toast round out the malt contributed notes. The oak adds / contributes to flavors of rum, vanillin, burnt toffee, a touch of butterscotch and some bourbon-like flavors (really a mix of the alcohol and the previous three mentioned flavors). As the beer warms a bit the alcohol and spicy oak notes add something similar to the flavors found in cola; something sort of akin to clove, cardamom and molasses.

Somehow this beer is strangely thin; I would like it to be a bit more full, textured and rich. This does have enough complexity though to keep it interesting. This really needs to be served on the warm side of cool (no where near the 45°F mentioned on the bottle); somewhere north of 60°F / 16°C should do it; at this temperature it picks up a bit more fullness and perhaps a touch more round, malt flavors to help balance things out. Compared to the regular version though, this beer is really missing a lot of malt character & complexity; seems some how heavily filtered (which can actually mechanically happen inside a barrel) and stripped down. Not bad, just not the beer it was originally.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 03:45:10 | More by Gueuzedude
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WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fellow BA and friend dtx00 traded this, appearance was pitch black nearly opaque with a big foaming tan head. I must say this is awesome stuff, just like the regular version. Aromatics big oak barrel whiskey aging effects hints of vanilla/toffee and oak going strong, a touch of anise and dark chocolate/coffee roasted malts with a hint of cherry fruitiness going on. Flavor is layered with a balanced whiskey barrel aging and rock solid big stout flavors, probably the most drinkable version out there beside fresh KBS. Again big alcohol but not overly boozey, just some whiskey barrel aged vanilla/charred oak/and hints of cherry to go with a big ol' stout from Cleveland. Dark roasted malts bring out some dark chocolate notes but not much in the way of strong coffee tones. Mouthfeel is full bodied defnitely warming and even carbonation some versions are almost flat this one had enough bubbles flowing to make each sip easy going on the palate. Overall excellent version above and beyond qauality and definitely highly sought out amongst our little online community, for a reason!!!

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 17:25:48 | More by WVbeergeek
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barleywinefiend

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured deep brown with a light tan cap

S: Faded bourbon, light cocoa, roasted malt and booze

T: Immediate faded bourbon, hints of vanilla, minute cocoa with tobacco and old wood. Booze was noticable but faded

M: Big body overall but I felt it was a bit thin on the way down

O: Good overall, nice drinking RIS but was looking for a bit more taste, heartiness and complexity.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 15:11:26 | More by barleywinefiend
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StonedTrippin

Colorado

4.09/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

many thanks to thebrewo for hooking this one up via trade. it is a real treat. pours not quite black, with a shiny glow and an inch or so of rich mocha lather on top. the nose is not alcoholic at all, very impressive. lots of deep roast, some lighter coffee notes, and a lot of vanilla from the bourbon barrel. some char too, but it isn't bitter to the taste at all, and is in fact more on the sweet side. some licorice notes in the taste as well, and a warming chocolaty finish that reminds me of some of the top rated barrel aged imperial stouts on BA. what I love the most about this beer is its feel, its not a big heavy syrupy sticky mess like so many of these can be. its still full bodied, but drinkably so, not weighty or overly sweet or boozy. almost reminds me of the eclipse series, with that touch of honey but pleasant lightness in a dark beer. it seems weird to call this an everyday barrel aged imperial stout, but it kind of is. its something I could see myself drinking a lot more of than many of the others. the buzz is nice, and the finish is glorious, staying on the palate for quite some time. probably the best great lakes offering ive ever had.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2013 18:26:16 | More by StonedTrippin
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mdfb79

New York

4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/25/10 notes. Big thanks to Lunch for bringing this one, I've wanted to try it for a while. Thanks Paul! 2009 Vintage.

a - Pours a dark black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, and oak. Well balanced and very nice.

t - Tastes of bourbon, toasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts. Hint of oak.

m - Medium body and low carbonation; smooth and easy to drink for a barrel aged RIS.

d - I enjoyed this one a lot, but it was slightly disappointing. Don't get me wrong, this is a great beer, but I don't know how much of an improvement it is on the normal Blackout Stout. We tried BA Sexual Chocolate, Ivan the Terrible, and this in a tasting and I think everyone was in agreement that this was the third in that group. I thought it smelt very good, and again, it is very good and I'd definitely drink it again, but I would try and get another bottle of BA SC or Ivan before another bottle of this.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 16:56:58 | More by mdfb79
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kojevergas

Texas

3.53/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently rated #95 on the top 250 beers list. Acquired for $13.00 (I know...) at a local SoCal bottle shop and served into a flared stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given its current ratings as well as my previous good experiences with beers from this brewery. Bottle is 12 fl oz, brown glass, and has a branded "25 years" pry-off cap. Reviewed as a barrel aged imperial stout because it identifies as such on the label. Bottled in 2013. 9.5% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of nice khaki colour. Way too thin, though. Not much creaminess either. Little froth. Looks a bit like a cask ale (and I mean that in a bad way). Retention is okay; it reduces to a floater ring within 40 seconds and the ring hangs around an additional minute and a half. Not a great head for the style, but not a bad one per se. Just a bit underwhelming.

Body colour is an opaque jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's pretty par for the course as far as barrel aged imperial stouts are concerned. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Milk chocolate, chocolate malt, vanilla (but not evocative vanilla bean, more vanilla from bourbon), a hint of molasses, buried roast, and more sweet chocolate notes. Not getting any of the toasty oak I look for in the best of the best barrel aged stouts. The bourbon is surprisingly buried as well, which may be a good sign in that it's subtly complementary of the base beer, or may be a bad sign in that it doesn't commit to the barrel notes. Tasting will reveal all.

No off flavours are overtly obvious. No yeast or hop character is detectable, nor is any alcohol. By no means a boozy or hot aroma. I look for coffee, but don't find any. Likewise for dark fruit.

It does seem a bit too sweet for my tastes based solely on the aroma.

Overall, it's an appealing aroma of fairly high strength.

T: Caramel, dark malts, and chocolate malts fill out the overly sweet body, with some lurking chocolate-covered cherry notes hiding beneath the surface. Vanilla lends still more sweetness, and it isn't particularly welcome. No toasty oak, interesting woody barrel notes, or coffee here. Lacks roast - to its detriment. Some licorice and molasses. A bit of heat hits on the climax and stays through the finish, accompanying the one-dimensional bourbon character. Overall, it's rather narrow for the style; it doesn't have the diversity and depth of flavour that great beers in the style do. The balance is imperfect as well, with too much sweetness coming through as well as a bit of alcohol. I wouldn't call it simple, but it lacks the complexity of better barrel aged imperial stouts. Certainly not a subtle beer either.

As it warms, the third act takes on more bourbon and the vanilla evens out a bit, accompanied by a bit of cocoa dust. I like it warmer. I think the bourbon accentuates the base beer, but it's by no means a perfect marriage.

Flavour intensity is high. Flavour duration is above average. Pretty good amplitude.

No off-flavours, yeast, or hop character comes through. I don't get any charred or burnt qualities either.

Mf: Heavy on the palate, but not overbearing. Filling, sticky, chewy. Thick and full-bodied. Just a touch syrupy. It's a big beer, that's for sure. The mouthfeel complements the flavour profile nicely, but it does get a bit thin right on the finish - which is also where the beer works best. Not an ideal execution of texture for the style, but respectable given the beer's aims. More roasted character (perhaps ideally featuring some rich coffee roast as well) would lend the beer needed subtle coarseness and dryness; it's slick-smooth and wet as is, which doesn't really suit it best. I do like the softness. Unrefreshing. Not harsh, oily, or gushed.

Dr: A tasty little imperial stout from a brewery I really admire. I like it, but top 100? Undeserved. I wouldn't buy it again at this price point, but it is good stuff. There are far better beers in the style well below its price. Recommended for fans of sweeter takes on the style. I'm looking forward to trying the regular blackout. Drinkable for the ABV, but it's still a sipper.

I'd like to revisit this with some age on it; I think a good two years would suit it nicely. Another solid brew from Great Lakes - just not a world-class one.

Low B

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 03:56:06 | More by kojevergas
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akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 02:41:04 | More by akorsak
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2008 03:49:40 | More by Zorro
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Wasatch

Utah

3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to unclejedi for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
2009 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a black color, some carbonation, not much of a head at all, a couple of tiny islands appear. The nose is malty, with some oak notes, chocolate, toffee, some spice. The taste is malty, nice oak note, chocolate/toffe, with some spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, but not what it's hyped up to be.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 01:17:50 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev -5.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 06:24:44 | More by corby112
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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,131 ratings.