1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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.

1,151 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1151
Reviews: 374
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.13%

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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 1,151 | Reviews: 374 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of xnicknj


4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap at BA Blackout release

Pours a heavy, inky black color with a small ruby hue outlining the beer's form. A smaller tannish head bubbles up, retaining slightly and leaving some patches of lacing around the glass.

Whoa - the scents here were dead on, with notes of roasted dark malts, toffee, light vanilla, pleasant oakiness, and just enough bourbon.

Begins with some caramel malts and some roasted warmth. Caramel, molasses, and hints of coffee pierce through. Vanilla and some leathery oak tones warm the palate. Pleasant, enhancing bourbon rounds out the flavors as the beer becomes slightly warm and boozy, but not over the top. The flavors are all so balanced, without any component becoming overpowering.

A bit thinner body for the style, but still pretty full, with nice carbonation and some velvet smoothness. So delicious and drinkable, and not out of control with the ABV, despite being a little warm. I finished a sample, immediately bought a full glass, and still wanted more. One of my favorite barrel aged stouts right now.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2010 18:12:44 | More by xnicknj
Photo of inlimbo77


4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, from 2012 bottling. 2516 Series is denoted on the side. Purchased this for $9/btl at Pinocchio's in Media, PA
Boulevard snifter

A: Pours a really deep dark brown color. Almost black but not quite. There is some light and reddish hues getting through the top of the glass at the edges. Light tan head that only forms around the edges. Swirl shows the tight tan mocha head of about a quarter finger. Definitely some alcohol feet.

S: I get those typical bourbon notes: vanilla, oak, booze, etc. I get some chocolate and dark fruits as well.

T: I get a little dark chocolate bitterness up front. Right on the tip of the tongue. Then in the middle of the sip you get all the delicious bourbon goodness. I took away lots of vanilla and caramel. There is a little charred oak, but not a ton. Lots of chocolate mocha flavors in this one. The finish is long and you get a touch of warming down the back of the throat. The carbonation on this one is really nice to clear the palate.

M: It's definitely full but not of crazy thick as others in recent memory. Again the carbonation helps to wick the palate.

O: I am rating this very high. This is a solid A for me. So drinkable. Love it. I just wish I had another!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 15:04:54 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of rlee1390


4.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, not much head and doesn't last either. Near the edges it seems like more of a deep brown.

S-Bourbon, vanilla, sweet chocolate malt. Some roasted malt and very little coffee.

T-Bourbon and vanilla, chocolate and molasses a little sweet. Some coffee and roasted malt.

M-Heavy, not much carbonation, thick and sticky.

O-A great BA stout, doesn't rank up there with KBS, BCBS etc but still yummy.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2013 19:08:30 | More by rlee1390
Photo of JDV


4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 03:26:35 | More by JDV
Photo of Bierguy5


4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber. 9% ABV. Bottle 51 of 900 from 2006. Big thanks to mcallister for picking this one up for me, and bringing it to me. Pours pitch black with virtually no highlights. Thick frothy mocha head trickles down to 1/2 inch rather quickly, but remains as a nice collar for some time. Roasty, oaky, and vanilla aroma. A bit boozy, bot not overly hot. Roasty flavor up front followed by burtn sugar, caramel, and finishing with a nice chocolate flavor. Throughout, the oak character compliments everything perfectly. The barrel flavor does not overwhelm, but sits in the background to lend a hand. Very smooth mouthfeel, a bit thin, with lower carbonation. Nice amount of sweetness. Warming, but not overpowering. This is a great example of how barrel aging can compliment an already solid beer, without overdoing it. Fantastic. Great Lakes never ceases to amaze me.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 03:53:19 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of mentor


3.35/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Fresh 2008 Batch (well, 2 months old). Pours a finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells coffee roasty, flat oak, tannic, mild vanilla, some chocolate. Smells very dry and dominated by oak.

Tastes wet to start with alcohol and cherry-like tang biting in a way that cooperates with the drying edgy bourbon oak. Baker's chocolate, fig newton, iron, and onion underneath the dominant alcohol and oak. Leaves the tongue dry and a lingering rough alochol bite with chocolate edge. Meraganue aftertaste. Alcohol curts the mouthfeel to thin, but some dextrine plays on the tongue when swirled. Moderate carbonation. Bourbon County Stout Light. Very similar barrel and alcohol profile, but not the malt sweet and thick mouthfeel found in one of my favorites. Needs *alot* of time in the cellar for this one to pull together.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 09:08:17 | More by mentor
Photo of alleykatking


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

Poured from 22oz bottle. Thanks to LordAdmNelson
for this bottle! Mike anytime you need anything get ahold of me.

A- Pours a dark brown nearly black color. Red hues shows in hints when held to the light. One finger light brown head shows good retention. Streaky lacing on the sides of the glass when drank.

S- Roasted malts with hints of brown sugar and molasses in the front. Hints of bourbon and vanilla toward the middle with a nice chocolate undertone to it all. Coffee like notes in the back with some big alcohol notes. The aroma is pretty much right there and doesn't pack any surprises.

T- Light roasted malts with a nice brown sugar and vanilla flavor in the front of the beer. This gives way to a boozy bourbon and light oak flavor. The oak comes back in the ending of the beer with more alcohol. Coffee shows up in the middle with hints of roasted malts. Backend of the beer is a lot of semi-sweet chocolate with coffee roast. The alcohol comes in the ending as warming and not quite in your face although very much there.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Roasted malts, chocolate, and light bourbon booze are left on the palate. Aftertaste shows highlights of chocolate, warming alcohol, oak, and hints of vanilla. Flavors were very well balanced for the style and couldn't have asked for a better put together beer. No off flavors were present in this beer. Medium high alcohol drying on the palate.

D- This beer drinks with a smoothness that a lot of BA beers wish they had. The ABV limits this beer of course but the flavor makes it hard to put down. The blending of the barrel and beer is hard to beat and I can see why this has the praise it does.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 07:06:58 | More by alleykatking
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

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

22oz bottle from 2009.

Pours opaque black with a thin, quickly dissapating head of tan. A thin bead of foam remains for the duration with zero lacing.

Bourbon, char, bakers chocolate, and coffee start the nose. Hints of vanilla and Kahlua follow through.

Full bodied with a slightly oily mouthfeel. Not as thick and chewy as some of todays big RIS's.

Dark chocolate drizzled with bourbon and coffee dust on the palate. Boozy and rich with hints of smoke and vanilla.

Finishes with a bourbony warmth and charred chocolate.

A nicely balanced BA RIS, but thinner and less instense than the best examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 01:26:06 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of Phelps


4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle received from neorunner in the Blind Beers BIF. This was reviewed blind and poured into a pint glass.

The pour is gorgeous -- a creamy, inky dark brown that escapes from the bottle effortlessly. It creates a one-finger head of dense sandy-tan that hangs out for quite a while, collapsing eventually to a thick top layer of film and some smooth mountains of lace.

Lots of dark chocolate powder along with some sweet chocolate milk and espresso in the nose. There's also some very sweet Irish cream, along with molasses and a bit of maple.

Black strap molasses, lightly bitter espresso, marshmallows, cocoa powder, licorice, vanilla and a mild oakiness. The alcohol flavor is rather impressive, but well integrated. It's got a beautiful subtle sweetness and a hint of dark fruits that hit at the finish.

The mouthfeel is incredible! Medium-full body, incredibly silky and smooth, with an extremely subtle carbonation. The alcohol, like I said, is noticeable, but so well-integrated amidst the creaminess of the body and the other smooth flavors that I haven't even been paying attention to it.

I understand the cult following behind this beer. The oakiness melds with the other flavors, creating a smooth and sublime drinking experience.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 18:57:32 | More by Phelps
Photo of Ryan011235


3.73/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 1/1611

2516 Series

Pours a cola brown that settles dark. When held to the light it reveals deep hues of ruby; similar to grape juice in that respect. One and a half fingers of loose, tan colored foam that immediately began to fizzle out from the inside. Thin skim of retention. Good lace.

Though it doesn't smell bad, the nose seems of the timid order. Musty oak & soft vanilla permeate an otherwise restrained base beer. Hints of earthy hops in the mid-section. Moderate roasted notes lie beyond with subtle undertones of chocolate, coffee & a tangy twinge. No booze.

One sip brings an array of clustered, disheveled flavors all clamoring for attention. Let's see if I can make some sense of the madness. The base beer is in good standing, offering familiar notes of smooth, roasted chocolate, modest earthy hops & hints of coffee. Possibly the barrel is what's muddying up the mix; what with charred oak & sweet whiskey heat that carries the finish. The stout & the barrel are uncomfortable bedfellows in this instance. The culmination is too sweet.

Full bodied & appropriately viscous with gritty underpinnings. Moderate carbonation for the style; has a bit of a kick but isn't too prickly or brash. Finishes hot & slick with barrel & roasted chocolate at odds once again.

Honestly, I am a bit bummed with this one; it's sorely lacking integration, in my opinion. This is the first time I've had this beer so I have no prior vintage by which to compare. Perhaps some time will put it at ease; then again, perhaps not. As is, it's good but far from great.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 00:55:16 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of nrbw23


4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2008 20:11:05 | More by nrbw23
Photo of GilGarp


4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jdoncbus for this awesome trade!

It's been cellaring for several months now but I couldn't wait any longer. After chilling slightly in the fridge, I pop the cap and pour it into a globe glass.

It is truly black but I struggle in vain to see any color or light passing though. It has creamy tan head. Not much in the way of head retention or lacing but it's still a nice looker.

Aroma is awesome with the oak barrel coming through strong. It has a wonderful bourbon and vanilla smell overlaying the dark roasted malts. There's also a good dose of hops on the nose but it's overshadowed by the wood aging.

Flavor is intense and incredible as well. That oak aging brings all sorts of sweet bourbon and vanilla to the taste but it doesn't completely overwhelm like some. There is a great amount of roasted coffee and chocolate, some toffee and caramel sweetness, and a big bitter punch from the dark malts and hops.

Mouthfeel is fantastically smooth and creamy with very minimal harshness from the alcohol. It hides it's 9% well. Drinkability is great for the style and I will continue to enjoy every sip of this bottle until it runs dry. What a beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 01:16:07 | More by GilGarp
Photo of adamette


4.28/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the bottle that I bought on the release date late last fall at the brewery for something like $90 for the "case" of 8 bottles. "2516 Series" printed on the right upper side of the label. Poured into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A Great dark brown silky smooth head that lingers for an actually long 2 minutes before dissipating to a single layer on the top of the body which at first glance is jet black but in front of direct light allows the darkest of dark red hues through. One cannot make out anything through the beer, mind you, but the faintest of color comes through. The look is suitably sinister and commands a presence. I really like the dark brown silky smooth head. 5.0

S The label says that it is aged in oak barrels but I think that those oak barrels were once used to store bourbon since there is such a distinct smell of bourbon (in front of the dark roast malt that I expected). Other than the bourbon the smell is rather distant, consistent with an RIS. Personally, I absolutely LOVE what the bourbon smell does for this beer. 4.5

T Woahh...Bourbon is up front, in the middle and lingers afterwards but I love it. I do not recall the bourbon being THIS prominent in the taste on tap at the brewery (had a snifter of it when it was on tap) but it has been a while. The sweet, familiar bourbon taste offers the perfect companion to the dark roast malt taste. Whoever thought to pair these two tastes together is a genius! 4.5

M Syrupy sweetness of the bourbon thickens up what appears to me to be an RIS which is actually a bit thin. I do not feel the bigness that one would expect from the RIS or dark roast malt portion of the beer but the sweet, syrupy bourbon feel beefs up the feel effectively. 4.0

D I will finish (and enjoy) this 22 oz. bomber but would not dream of attempting a second one within the same day. The ABV is reasonable (listed at 9% on the label) but the bigness of both the taste and the feel drive down the drinkability for me down to a single pint. Of course, I will have to make the appropriate sacrifices to finish the remaining 6 ounces of my bomber! All of that being said, this beer is a joy to drink and enjoy. 3.5

Notes: Well, there it is, one of my hometown brewery's flagship artisan beers in a bottle. I think that I prefer the on tap version but this is a treat to be savored by many in the bottled form. This may be elitist but I still prefer the OTHER Bourbon Barrel aged Great Lakes beer, Rackhouse Ale to this one. Anyone reading this should attempt to seek it out!

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 02:25:58 | More by adamette
Photo of CuriousMonk


4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from '10 bomber into tulip glass. Pours opaque dark brown color with a small off white creamy head. Smells like chocolate liquor, vanilla, brown sugar and molasses. Initial taste is a medium body that coats the mouth with caramel and roasty smokiness. Quite a lot of warming from alcohol. Finishing with chocolate and warming alcohol presence. Flavor hangs around for a while, but doesn't quite match up to the regular blackout stout that I really love. A still good beer nonetheless, but I'd rather get a six pack of the regular one which is much easier.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2012 17:29:03 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 00:33:36 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of aasher


4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer in the Darkness Day BIF this past weekend in Minneapolis. Amazing score! I've wanted to try this forever. This bottle is the 2010 vintage.

It pours the darkest of browns in color, full in body, with a slight beige lacing around the glass. The aromas consist of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and toffee. It has a great nose for a bourbon barrel aged stout, with nice complexity. The flavors feature an array of flavors. You get a good amount of roasted malt up front, sweetened by vanilla, bourbon and toffee. It has phenomenal flavor. The bourbon is just the right amount. It drinks very, very smoothly and has great flavor. For a RIS, and a bourbon barrel aged version at that, it has amazing drinkability. It drinks a little fine but it really is fitting. This is a phenomenal beer, phenomenal. I love it. I'm eternally grateful for this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 06:19:26 | More by aasher
Photo of BMMillsy


4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from jbwimer. Huge thanks for this big want of mine. Bottle pours pitch black into my tulip with a small half finger khaki brown head. Aroma of loads of rich chocolate fudgy goodness, some roasty grains, bourbon, oak, coconut. Flavor is big sweet chocolate up feont with plenty of bourbon and roast, it finishes with huge vanilla from the barrel, some light coconut and chocolate and oh my lord so smooth. Velvety smooth mouthfeel with low carbonation, heavy body. This is fantastic. The finish is one of the best and it is so velvety smooth. Right up there with the best BA stouts and yet much more drinkable. Great Lakes is just such an incredible brewery.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2014 02:06:37 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of sholland119


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

Thanks to unclejedi for his generosity in sending this for Secret Halloween.

We enjoyed this one after a trip to the ER with what turned out to be (thankfully) a sprained rather than broken ankle. Boy was this a welcome treat.

A-Pours black as coal with little head and no lacing. My favorite color in beer.

S- Vanilla notes with bitter dark chocolate and caramel.

T-Lives up to the expectations. Sweet caramel and vanilla dominate the front with roasted coffee and bitter hops taking over in the finish. A bit of alcohol as it warms but not too much.

M-Rich and viscous and full bodied.

D-Is this really only 9% ABV? Insanely full flavored and drinkable at that alcohol level.

I am a big fan of the regular Blackout Stout. The barrel aging makes it amazing.


Serving type: bottle

12-27-2008 20:28:52 | More by sholland119
Photo of kbutler1


3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Thanks to Peter for opening this one up from the most recent release. Poured into a tulip glass a dark brown color with a slight tan head. The aroma is very subtle with slight hints of roast and booze. Medium mouthfeel. The oak is pretty subdued with notes of vanilla. The one thing I would say is that this beer is very smooth and easy drinking. I wish it had more of a oak barrel flavor to it but it does have a fair amount of vanilla flavors. The appearance of this really upsets me, there is no head and no lace, booo.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 21:19:54 | More by kbutler1
Photo of MbpBugeye


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

Waited till my birthday to crack my first one of these. Poured into a snifter.

A- Its very difficult to get any head on this beer at all yet somehow there are tons of pearls of lacing polka dotting the glass. I must say that the beer didnt look very thick on the pour (at least by BA RIS standards.)

S- Oak is quite strong here giving the beer a smooth vanilla smell. Bourbon is there but it brings a boozy smell more than anything else, I would like more character from the bourbon. Milk chocolate and a shot of anise intermingle with currants and mulberries.

T- While not the heaviest on bourbon, this one does allow the boozy stuff to jump out at you. The bourbon and alcohol are certainly the last flavors left in your mouth, and boy do they stick around. Do they over stay their welcome? Thats subjective, but it could be the case for many people. Lots of barrel notes of wood and vanilla. Since the barrels dominate I have to poke around the flavor profile to find the Blackout Stout beneath. Its there, with its nice chocolatiness, but it does like to give you a run around.

M- Low carbonation, as the pour already had me thinking. Thats no worry though, a BA stout that has a lot of carbonation either has a problem or isnt executed to my liking. This is thin as compared to lots of it's peers.

D- 2010's batch is feeling much higher than the listed 9.5% even though my bottle says 9% even. Im having a hard time believing either. Place this blind in front of most people and they would guess around the 11% mark.

The verdict: A good beer, one for the cellar. I didnt put myself too far out of the way to obtain my allotment and for that Im glad. As it stands, I wouldnt do much more for some of this. We will stash one and see what it becomes. I have a feeling it will be a late bloomer.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 01:15:11 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of portia99


4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of nonstick. Thanks again Chris! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours pitch black (really black...blackest beer I've seen) with a thin collar of off-white buttles and a couple of small islands on the surface. No lacing.

S - Tons of coffee, burnt and dark roasted malts. Little to no hop aroma. As it warms a little I start to pick up some vanilla and a little hit of alcohol. Aroma is a little on the light side.

T - Coffee, dark roasted malts...very roasty overall. Lots of vanilla and some wood. Very rich and creamy, a touch of sweetness. Very smooth. This is a great tasting imperial stout, the barrel aging adds some nice touches to this.

M - This might be the best part of the beer. Very thick and full bodied, wouldn't really cal it syrupy...more like heavy cream...a liquid 'down comforter'. Just amazing.

D - This is an extremely smooth RIS...easily in my top 3. Definitely would like to see another bottle of this...have to keep my eye out to trade for more. Alcohol isn't really noticeable, just rich, cream, and roasty. Excellent - highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2009 00:27:33 | More by portia99
Photo of buschbeer


4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle
Served in a Great Lakes snifter
2516 Series

A - It is black as night. There is absolutely no light coming through. A small mocha head is short lived.

S - I get some molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, and a little anise.

T - The old bourbon smacked me right in the kisser. Oddly enough, it tastes like Blackout Stout with bourbon in it. There is plenty of bourbon, along with chocolate and molasses.

M - Nice and thick

O - If you like the taste of bourbon and stouts, you will probably like this beer. I am glad I had the opportunity to have it. Thanks Auslander.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 17:21:46 | More by buschbeer
Photo of brdc


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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 19:34:27 | More by brdc
Photo of notchucknorris


4.49/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a thin light brown head. Leaves tons of soapy spots down the glass.

S: A good amount of bourbon right away, and it smells awesome. Brownie batter, toffee, caramel, some vanilla, barrel and some faint tobacco.

T: Opens on a pretty big roasted note, with some faint dark chocolate and astringent black coffee. Bourbon comes on strong on the finish and leaves a slightly hot, drying finish. A touch of peat and anise on the finish as well. There's a touch of sweetness in here, but it's beaten away pretty quickly by the darker, bolder flavors. A very tasty stout, but a bit much if you don't like them dark and nasty. Luckily, I do.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 04:47:41 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of TheBrewo


3.66/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

We pour a brew a color completely deserving of the name “Blackout”. It sits oily and jet black, letting zero light through its center. It holds a one finger head of big coffee colored bubbles, showing decent retention, and receding at a medium pace into a big aggregate covering most of the liquid’s surface. Punctate spots of lacing stick all around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears relatively active. The aroma gives massive bourbon from the very first whiff, mixing with warming and drying oakiness, milk chocolate nibs, thickly roasted chocolate and brown malts, sweet vanilla cake icing, ethanolic sting, and black cherries. With warmth comes enhanced char, whisky burn, and melted milk chocolate. Our first impression is that the flavoring is very robust, charred, and much more booze-forward than expected. As we sip, the taste opens with the darkest roasted coffee and chocolate malts that give smoke and charcoal, soured acidity, and inherent grainy sweetness. The remainder of the front is filled by dried oaky woodiness, moss, those aromatic, syrupy dark cherries, and white sugar sweetness. The middle comes to a peak with the union of bone chilling booziness, rock salt, and hugely soured char of fire-ruined malts. Pulling to the finish are notes of authentic bourbon heat, rumbles of charred coffee beans, those continuous flashes of white sugars, roasted chocolate malts, rotten molasses, and green grassiness. The aftertaste breathes of bready malts, rum soaked fruitcake, bourbon, charred coffee and chocolate malts, soy sauce, baker’s yeast, and drying wood barreling. The body is full, and the carbonation is lighter. The mouth is coated with oily slickness and sugary stickiness is brushed across the lips, with the booze and burnt malts eventually sucking much of the moisture from the palate. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, pop, and froth, with slightly lesser creaminess. The abv is appropriate but warming, and the beer is definitely a slow sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the huge, warming, and inviting nose. While this component of the beer approaches comparability to the top of the heap beers like Bourbon County, the taste strays a bit, focusing much more on the outright presence of booze, and seeing how roasty and charred we could go with the malts. This swings things out of that perfect balance, with loss of necessary sweetness, and what are essentially burnt malts. Sadly this beer marks the rare case where the standard base beer is considerably smoother than the barrel aged version. That being said, this guy sips wells, is certainly palatable, and is a treat for any enthusiast.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 00:45:39 | More by TheBrewo
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,151 ratings.