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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

400 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 400
Hads: 1,660
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 1,331
Gots: 339 | FT: 37
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
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Reviews: 400 | Hads: 1,660
Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jim for this one! 12oz bottle

A: Pours black, very dark, with a small tan head on top. Decent retention leaving a small ring with patch of foam on top. Very thin sheets of lacing.

S: Mmm, some bourbon and chocolate. There is a hint of vanilla, brown sugar, and a little wood.

T: Upfront some slightly roasty malt and chocolate, while the finish is full of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. The finish is slightly sweet.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: A nice sipping beer. Thinner than most in the style, not thick and syrupy, a little more body I think would have helped. But all in all, a solid BA RIS. (662 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 bottle care of ClockworkOrange at a tasting on 11/13/10. Thanks for sharing this Jason!

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a deep color of brown with decent clarity and some lighter brown and reddish hues around the edges. There is little to no signs of a head except for a thin collection of bubbles around the perimeter of the glass. Swirls barely aggitate more bubbles but create a thin leggy amount of lacing.

The aroma of this brew is exactly what I love about barrel aged beers. It smells of sweet vanilla and oak that is completely bourbon filled that accents the boozy smell to this brew. There is a minor amount of dark grain which imparts some chocolate character to round out the nose.

The taste is again boubon filled like the nose suggested that warms the back of the throat. There are some citrusy tangy hops present along with a long drawn out flavor of coffee, chocolate and vanilla. This is a smooth offering that has a light touch of oxidation.

Medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. Very well balanced and a great example. It leaves a lasting bourbon flavor which might be distracting for some, but I loved it. I would certainly seek this one out to have again. For being 2 years old at this point, it could have aged even longer but if I had bottles of this it would be very difficult to not open them up and enjoy now. (1,370 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Lunch. Thanks Paul!

2009 vintage. Served alongside Great Lakes Blackout Stout.

A: Dark black with about an inch of beige head atop the beer.

S: Bourbon, roasted malt, oak, vanilla.

T: Well-balanced and tasty. This beer has a lot of flavor. Everything is integrated into the overall taste very nicely. There were a few other world class barrel-aged beers sampled this night. While this is a really well-crafted brew, it is not quite in the upper echelon of barrel-aged imperial stouts, in my opinion.

M: A decent feel. For 9%, the alcohol comes through a bit to strongly. I would be somewhat more at ease with this if the beer was in the 11+% abv range.

D: A solid beer and good example of the style. (722 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.55/5  rDev -18%
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. (2,597 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle split with oglmcdgl, into a Duvel tulip.

Barrel Aged Blackout pours a pretty black color resulting in a black body. The liquid out the bottle is dark brown though. A stealth pour yielded only a few cm of ivory white loose bubbles, very weak looking.

Smell is a bit brighter though with barrel oak blasting up the nose, and this is when it's cold. Mix of roasted malt and bakers chocolate, fudge. Vanilla and bourbon. A small hit of dark fruit with warming no alcohol.

By god this is great beer, it's very well mixed two years in. Vanilla from the oak is large yet not sweet, bourbon from the oak is pleasant yet not overbearing. Under that blackout does it's thing with a mix of chocolate and roasted malt.

This is really smooth, it's smooth as hell. Goes down easy as pie. Feel is above medium bodied with low carb, not stingy in any way. The aftertaste is smooth minimal and consists of vanilla.

Im glad I tried it and this is one that lives up to the hype. Im sure the two years in the bottle helped alot. This was all too easy to drink like a fish. (1,069 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured pitch black in color with a very thin tan head barely forming around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has some great bourbon flavors to it. I get brown sugar and vanilla mixing with dark chocolate and roasty coffee flavors. The bourbon is a little bold and slightly hot, but it also really compliments the beer well. It's not a perfect aroma, but it's pretty damn good.

The taste shows the dark chocolate and bourbon right off the bat. In the finish more of the vanilla and oak barrel flavors mix with a roasty, coffee and bitter-sweet chocolate flavor. Again, the bourbon is a little hot in the finish but otherwise it's a pretty perfect compliment to the beer.

The mouthfeel is heavy and thick with carbonation being low. It's a really great mouthfeel for the style. Overall it was a great beer. The bourbon was really bold and flavorful in it, but the base beer also got to shine through. All the flavors really came together very well in it. I can't wait to see how this one develops with some age on it. Great beer overall. (1,092 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Meridian Pint DC, into a snifter glass. Thanks also to Bernie from Great Lakes for the extra sip.

Giant truly jet black midnight body, with a small collar of tan caramel appearance. Some minor scattered lacing while drinking.

Nose has a traditional bourbon barrel aged beer sense, super caramel and paralines but not much more varied than that. Small hints of brown sugar giving to a coca cola sweetness.

Taste matches nose. A typical bourbon aged stout, with a matching malt density. Texture brings a prickly caramel but slightly too carbonated with hint of gas taking away the brews better tastes on the palate.

Overall pretty dam solid. As it warms even mild licorice and molasses creep in making for one classic enjoyable drink. I would certainly partake of this beverage any day! (806 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottling date.

Pours a black ooze, but looks soft. Nice creamy slightly soapy white foam. Great lacing.

Aroma is sweet raisin, plum, blackstrap leather, some tobacco, chocolate and roasted coffee. Smells rich, soft and 'lish

yeah, tastes good, too. A bit too sweet for me. The roastiness is subdued and the chocolate loses its punch. Raisin and black plum come forward. Hints of caramel. No wood I could detect. Coffee strengthens.

Feels a bit slick and flat. Gotta get this sticky sweet off my teeth, bubbles would work. Actually didn't finish it because the feel just didn't grow on me in a good way. Other than that, it was easy drinking. ABV is well hidden (671 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - The body is black, but the pour belies transparency. Deep brown it would seem. Just-shy-of-mocha head. A hefty collar remains.

Smell - Bourbon smacks you around a bit. After my nostrils regain their balance, vanilla is the strongest flavor. Roasted malts all about, mostly coffee. Nice.

Taste - At first, I was a little let down. It's a ton of bourbon compared to the stout. After a few sips, though, it really shines with its depth of flavors. The bourbon is strong at first, surely, but vanilla is the persisting flavor that continues into a coffee roast. Midrange yields and chocolatey flavor that lingers into a dark fruit and touch of earthiness. I was tempted to give it a 5 for flavor.

Mouthfeel - And here is it's downfall from greatness. It's still a pretty thin stout. Well, not thin, but definitely not chewy enough for the barrel intensity. It's hot from the barrel and nearly drowned out.

Overall - Only on close inspection is this a really great beer. I would be hard pressed to admit this is better than the original, as the barrel masks a great deal of the beer's qualities. Nonetheless, I am a sucker for bourbon and its barrels. Well done. (1,234 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish amber. Off white head forms and leaves some lace. Aroma of malt, coffee, vanilla, of course, some bourbon. In the taste, roasted malt, vanilla, smoke, wood and a warming booze. You get a lot of the barrel with this brew. Roasted and a lot of tannins drying it out. Full bodied, smooth, dry and satisfying. Overall, a different beast than the regular, more coffee and vanilla tasting version. A standalone giant in its own right. (450 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from Prototypic, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a very dark brown with only the faintest of ruby highlights when held to light. Smallish mocha head dissipates quickly. Smells of Vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is bourbon, followed by roast and chocolate, then some alcohol, faint dark dried fruits, leaving a lingering bitter roast and bourbon on the tongue. Yum! Body is medium, mouthfeel is oily/creamy, carbonation is low but appropriate. Great smelling and tasting brew. The only thing I would change is maybe a bit of a thicker body. (584 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
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! (1,103 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this brew...
Appears a pitch black with a small dark tan head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, caramel, rich, sugar infused whipped butter.
Taste is of the same wonderful smells.
Mouthfeel is just ever so slightly thin but the rich flavors are still there and very enticing. (344 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is almost black and the dark brown head is small. Retention is decent and there is some lacing. Aroma is of chocoloate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and a very little bourbon. BA Blackout tastes like bittersweet chocolate. There is some coffee but a small amount. The alcohol is noticeable. The bourbon that was absent in the aroma is more apparent in the flavor, but still understated. Finish is bitter chocolate and alcohol. Medium - full bodied with medium carbonation. (477 characters)

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. (925 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
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. (380 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Generously provided by Brad (ygtbsm94) at the BA gathering at Max's yesterday.

The beer pours a brownish black color with an impressive creamy head. Head retention is very, very good, with lots of sticky lacing all around. Surprisingly, the nose is a bit muted, though I do get some light coffee and chocolate. What there is smells pretty good. Flavors on the palate pretty much replicate the nose, except there is nothing shy about the amount of flavor I get. I get a huge, rich, creamy presense of milk chocolate, cherry and coffee, with a hint of licorice. The mouthfeel is really impressive in this beer, and comes across as long, smooth and very creamy. Drinkability is very, very good for such a big beer, and I could see myself getting into trouble drinking this one.

The regular blackout stout isn't bad, but this is truly exceptional. Very well done. (861 characters)

Photo of kscaldef
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Winter 2011/2012 release

A: Jet black, thin mocha head with little retention

S: Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, molasses

T: Chocolate, but with a sharp undernote of alcohol. Woody bite. Light notes of cherry and fig.

M: Very low carbonation. Despite that, maintains only medium body keeping the drinkability high, marred only by a slight harsh finish. (352 characters)

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. (1,386 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
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. (414 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BA review #700. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Black with half a finger of bubbly light brown head that very quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Huge bourbon aroma up front with vanilla and oak complimenting it. Some roasted malts and chocolate in the background.

T - Bourbon, vanilla and oak up front. Toasted oats, chocolate an some sweetness in the middle. Warming alcohol and bourbon returning in the finish.

M - Medium body. A little thin at times and definitely thin for the style. Moderate carbonation that was a little heavy for my liking.

O - This was very good but missed the mark for me (based on expectation). Needs more body and less carbonation. Mouth feel got considerably better in after about a half hour in the glass. (754 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle into a tulip.

dark black pour with a slight head. smell is big on bourbon...expected. taste is very smooth and drinkable. slight bourbon but it didnt overpower the chocolate notes at all and you get a lot of the original beer flavor too. the big knock for me on this beer though is the mouthfeel...almost a thin body. way way too thin for a BA stout, we were joking that this was a session BA stout. still though, the flavor is solid. just wish it had SOME sort of body. (483 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/13/12
*From notes

-- I picked this up at the brewery during the release on 1/16/12 --

A: Well it's dark - like that's a surprise. I mean it's got the word "Blackout" in it's name. Did you think it was gonna be anything but? A generous pour yields a 1.5 mocha head and a creamy, thick collar as the head fades.

S: Chocolate brownie batter and a touch of red fruit. As it warms, some of that lovely bourbon makes it's way into my nostrils.

T: Vanilla, toasted coconut and a bit of warm bourbon are the stars of the show. It's really well put together. There's a bit of a hop bite and charred malt on the back end.

M: Having had this on tap at the brewery, I was extremely disappointed in the mouthfeel. It felt like a weak cask ale. This bottled version though, is worlds better. Thick, dense and yes, the carbonation is right on. Not nearly the oily mess I found at the pub a couple of months ago.

O: What a great beer. Isn't it sick how well Great Lakes brews? How is it that they're not talked about as one of the best brewery in the good ol' US of A? Really, folks. Like 95% of their portfolio, their BA Blackout shines in most every way. Worthy of the hype, and something I recommend drinking fresh.

A hearty two thumbs up. (1,278 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained in trade with unclejedi. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head recedes promptly, with leggy dwindling lace. Aroma is dark grains, vanilla, and alcohol. Taste is roasty sweetness upfront, barrel character in the middle, and alcohol warmth at the close. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, almost seems to evaporate off the tongue, and drinkability is very nice for the style. Could stand for a bit more body, but all in all a great offering. (557 characters)

Photo of aasher
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
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. (891 characters)

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 400 ratings.