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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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1,136 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1136
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: 1,136 | Reviews: 372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of OSUBeerStudent

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of trystero. Thanks Peter.

A - Opaque black with a moderately dense mocha head that pretty quickly dissipates to a ring around the edges. What I expect from such a stout.

S - Maybe a bit cold but nice, subtle. Very vanilla, oaky bourbon most prevalent but doesn't punch you in the face. Some coffee, chocolate, licorice present too. A very nice nose but fainter than expected.

T - The bourbon is pretty subtle. Not boozy like some of the other giants (KBS, BCBS). Definitely more oaky than many BBA stouts. More vanilla and oaky bourbon here, following the nose. Chocolate and coffee more present here than in the nose. Very pleasant and less boozy. No alcohol here. This is a BBA stout that's not super-sweet - the chocolate is bitter chocolate.

M - Fairly thick. The carbonation isn't super-high, so it definitely has a thick, almost coating feel. Because this beer isn't very sweet, though, the thickness doesn't lead to a syrupy feel. Very dry on the finish. Very drinkable.

Overall this is a very good beer. It definitely stands out from many of the other BBA stouts that are cropping up everywhere from the bitter chocolate and dry oak. It also benefits from being under 10% ABV in that there's no booziness to speak of. Definitely worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 01:05:51 | More by OSUBeerStudent
Photo of chefnash51


4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. Poured into my Duvel glass. Love the regular Blackout.. expectations are high

Seems like most of my great beer moments are enjoyed while I have the night to myself and I am parked in front of my LCD playing COD4..or COD WAW

anywho.. back to the review.

A - No real surprise.. BLACK. Small head with slight lacing

S - Great Smell.. stands out from other BA Imps. Nice bourbon barrel notes of vanilla and oak.. also picking some nice dark chocolate tones. Maybe some toffee in as it warms. Bitter Cacao.

M/T - This is some Damn Fine tasty brew. All the notes I was smelling seem to stand out and yet blend together so well.

D- This is where this beer shines. I have NEVER had such a drinkable BA Imp Stout. It's actually on the dangerous side of being too drinkable. WOW. I had to slow myself down from finishing in five minutes. So smooth.

bottom line.. love it.

thanks Zapata. true Gem.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 15:41:16 | More by chefnash51
Photo of DonFrap


4.25/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage poured from 12oz bottle into treehouse snifter

A: almost no head, very little lacing, no retention

S: strong bourbon smell, dark fruits, but overpowered by the bourbon. It's a smooth bourbon smell though.

T: Still pretty hot, but smoother than other bottles I've had. I've always though that BA blackout was a little too hot for my taste.

M: nice and heavy. I do wish there was a tad more carb.

O: I've had a few bottles of this, both fresh and aged. I definitely recommend sitting on this for at least a year, it ages well.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2013 23:22:40 | More by DonFrap
Photo of PenguinBeerFan


4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber. Celebrating an OSU Rose Bowl win with one of Ohio's finest brews.

A - Pours the typical inky black of any RIS. Almost no head, surprising, even with an aggressive pour.

S - Beautiful. Dark chocolate and bourbon dominate. Mouth watering.

T - I had this years batch on tap at the brewery, and was a little off put by the overpowering bourbon. It seems to have significantly mellowed in the bottled iteration. Terrific full malty body, hints of dark chocolate, a touch of hops, and just the right amount of bourbon on the swallow. I'd rank it above the KBS I had last week,

M - Full and smooth. Typical quality big stout fare.

D - Very smooth. Obviously not going to put away a case of it, but within the style, this goes down as easy as any I've ever had. Labeled at 9%, but from conversations I've had at the brewery this clocks in at 11-13%. Effects seem to confirm this.

Overall, wholly deserving of a place among the elite American beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2010 02:29:29 | More by PenguinBeerFan
Photo of TomTwanks


4.9/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a GL snifter from a 2012 bottle.

P- poured a black color with about 1.5 finger mocha colored head. Promising so far...

A - like above, black as night with micro bubbles. Just how I like em'.

S - Jesus, probably the best smelling beer I've ever had, literally. So much vanilla, like sweet bourbon smell. Caramel smell is also present.

T - Holy crap, this isn't a joke. I've had the regular plenty but the barrel aging is just rediculous. So smooth upfront, mellowing into a nice EXTREMELY smooth bourbon mixed with a vanilla bean. I mean wow. Minimal expresso presence but a nice suddle milk chocolate taste. So complex, it's hard to put this class of beer into words.

M - actually not as heavy as I would have thought, which is not a bad thing. Carbonation is on point and is really appreciated.

O - So glad I have this beer. Best BA stout I've had to date. Can't wait until next year to buy more!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 01:34:03 | More by TomTwanks
Photo of ike4tay45


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

A-Opaque black with a nice finger of tan head that left almost no lacing at all around the glass.

S-Bourbon, Chocolate, coffee and some hints of dark roasted nuts.

T-Same as the nose, nice bourbon, chocolate and coffee notes that mix well with the hops and malts perfect balance.

M-Rich, creamy, perfect balance.

O-Great brew especially for an RIS, loved this one great blend of everything.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 18:03:25 | More by ike4tay45
Photo of CrescentLake

New York

4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is not the barrel aged stout!... There needs to be a distinction created between the barrel-aged, which is a twelve year process, and simply, the annual "black out stout. " I've had both, I was at the brewpub on the 2006 release of the barrel... and i also enjoy it annually. Basically, the age provides the detph you might expect, but eitherway this beer is awesome. I have had both bottles and draft...it'll get you drunk! It's one of the best non-imperial stouts I've every enjoyed... BUT this is first Great Lakes I've reviewed...and (not to be arrogant) but I believe I have a complex beer pallate for a 22 year old, I believe the all Great Lakes beers have such a distinct and acquired/different taste, that once you dig in... your done, it's awesome...must be the water, but hopefully not Lake Erie. Maybe it's the hint of feral snakefish and zebra mussels.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2008 06:42:07 | More by CrescentLake
Photo of Skrypt


4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Swamp Head snifter. Bottled 2013. Served at 55F.

Pours a thick beige head that dissipates quickly, but that's probably due to this glass having been run through the dishwasher.

Really faint nose. Not really picking up much of anything outside of a little smoke, bourbon and vanilla.

The front is a really subtle light, floral hop taste that lasts for a second and is followed by a coffee-like bitterness and milk chocolate. The finish is dominated by bourbon.

This is a nice full-bodied stout that has a really surprising softness in the mouth, as if it were carbonated with nitrogen. Medium carbonation overall, though. There's a pretty good bit of alcohol heat.

Overall, this is a really enjoyable brew, but the barrel aging actually took away some of the subtlety that makes the original so good. The barrel characteristics haven't integrated very well. I'm going to let my second bottle sit in the cellar for 12 months or so and see how it compares to the regular Blackout then.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 21:30:39 | More by Skrypt
Photo of FishPondManager


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

2012 poured into a cigar city snifter

Pours a medium heavy black with one finger head. Mocha colored and quickly recedes to a creamy collar. Pockets of bubbles stick to the glass.

Smell is divine. Cocoa, caramel, grape jelly, and a perfect hint of bourbon. Hope it tastes this good.

Oh, mama. Roasty sweetness hits first followed up with a punch of bourbon. There's some vanilla in the flavor. The fruit isn't as strong as the smell. Everything melds even better as it warms now.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Somewhat bitter dry finish. Not as viscous and thick as the label might imply.

Overall, a fantastic brew. IM looking forward to seeing how it ages when I try this vintage again in the winter time.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2012 04:11:21 | More by FishPondManager
Photo of dankman38


4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Pours a deep ebony with a very pretty brown/tan head; the nose is as good or better than any I’ve smelled before with sweet carmel, alcohol, and a little bit of carbon (almost the best part of the beer); flavors of chocolate, coffee, csndy sugar and, malt impress upon you a general feeling that you will want more; the body is heavy but not cloying; the finish tells you that it was aged in bourbon barrels and leaves almost the full flavor of the beer in you mouth. This is one fantastic beer, it ties for first in my book.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2007 00:50:41 | More by dankman38
Photo of ArrogantJaron


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

A- Dark Inky color. Blackout is the perfect name for this beer. You could start a saying "That's the beer calling the kettle black." Very light, white head. No lacing.

S- Strong boozy smell atacks you on the first nose. Though the bourbon is dominant, dark chocolate comes through along with a sweet, almost cola scent.

T- After the initial bourbon blast, slight hints of chocolate and a white sugar (cola?) come to the top of your taste buds. It finishes with overpowering roasted coffee.

M- very smooth and almost deceivingly thin.

D- This is a very drinkable beer! At first the bourbon flavor is so overpowering, I thought I would stick with a 7 ounce pour. But as you get deeper into the drink, it's smooth, rich, and somewhat sweetness make it something i could sip on for hours. It is easily one of my Favorite RIS

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 07:27:17 | More by ArrogantJaron
Photo of MudDrinker


4.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black with skinny brown head.

Smell - Bourbon, butterscotch, chocolate and caramel.

Taste - Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. Dry honey, butterscotch, vanilla, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and lots of caramel and toffee sweetening the burn. As to be expected with bourbon, plenty of alcohol present in the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied. Sticky, a little syrupy. Bourbon burn is present throughout.

Overall - This stuff is pretty amazing, but I can really only take one a night. It's kind of like a bourbon & caramel ice cream shake with a looootttt of bourbon.

I like it!

A completely different beast from Blackout Stout (which is still a great beer).

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 19:37:23 | More by MudDrinker
Photo of unclejedi


4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I like this beer so much that going to Cleveland in October to buy it has become an annual pilgrimage for me. In the past, they've used Jim Beam barrels, but this year switched to Buffalo Trace barrels. My experience with other beers aged in Buffalo Trace barrels tells me that they do a great job barrel aging beer. Although I have yet to do a side by side with a prior BA Blackout vintage, I suspect the switch has lead to an improvement. The following is a review of one of these newer 2009 vintage bottles.

Appearance: Vigorous pour into a stemless wine glass produces almost no head, but a thin ring of foam forms after it settles. Color is black as an unlit cave and no light passes when held up to a nearby lamp

Smell: Hint of dark chocolate and very slight scent of bourbon

Taste: Initial flavor is a very nice balance of bourbon and dark chocolate, the bourbon is not overpowering the imperial stout flavors, but there is enough that you know its there. Very light vanilla note as it passes further over the tongue, and the finish is bitter chocolate. Blackout is one of my favorite imperial stouts perhaps because it is so chocolatey, and the addition of the bourbon flavors from the barrel, really helps turn those flavors up to 11.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body, easily coats all of the taste buds for full flavor exposure. Very light barely perceivable carbonation. Smooth finish with very little alcohol heat as it goes down.

Drinkability: I could drink this stuff all night long. Flavors intensify nicely as it warms up.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 06:45:50 | More by unclejedi
Photo of mlaroche


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

Thanks to route66pubs for this one!

Served in a snifter at about 55F, as the bottle recommends.

Appearance - not as jet black as most imperial stouts I've seen. Minimal head, faint lacing remains.

Smell - oak, bourbon, a little heat. Balanced.

Taste - dried fruits, roast malts. More balance than I'm used to in barrel aged stouts. The bourbon isn't as strong as I'm used to in the style - not in a bad way. Subtler than most.

Mouthfeel - light carbonation, appropriate for style. A little thinner than expected, but this is lighter ABV than most BA imperial stouts.

Drinkability - Very drinkable - tasty, isn't cloying is as some in the style (you know when people say "I could only drink 6 ounces of this" - I could definitely drink more like 12 ounces of this.).

Balance is great. This is more subtle than most in the style, but its complexity has me coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 03:07:09 | More by mlaroche
Photo of commis


4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Bells tulip.

Very dark brown, approaching black, with deep ruby highlights. Cappuccino colored head about 1 finger deep, dissipates quickly but comes back vigorously with a swirl. The liquid coats and sticks to the glass but there is no lace. Nice looking beer.

Dark chocolate, butterscotch, burnt toast. Aromas are not overly strong but well defined and harmonious. Definitely some butterscotch, but it works just fine. As this warms I'm picking up more smokey notes. Cigar smoke. it's nice.

I'm not normally a fan of bourbon forward stouts. I love Bourbon as a predominant accent but not usually the star of the show. I feel, however, that GL does an awesome job of smacking you right in the face with the Bourbon while still keeping it from becoming overwhelming. I think the roasty nature of the base-beer helps keep the sweetness from the barrel from getting to be to much. Burnt marshmellowy and nutty. Great depth with the rise in temp, with just enough alc to let you know your enjoying an adult beverage.

I find this to be of Medium body for an Imperial Stout. It's not as heavy as most of it's peers, but I can find no fault because it still does not leave my tongue dry. It finds a way to coat it but doesn't cling at all. Carbonation seems a bit lower than I normally like, but that is most likely why it's thinner body is not an issue.

Awesome. This is great. It's so easy to drink because of the body and balance, but has none of the normal issues with a lighter bodies imp stout (astringency, tannin perception, being 'hot')...I like it. I've never had it before, and I'm glad I drank it for brunch today instead of including it in a trade (almost did).

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 16:25:27 | More by commis
Photo of CLEmark


4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown amber.
Aroma of oak, coffee, caramel, malt, vanilla, and bourbon.
Taste, oak, hint of coffee, roasted malt, vanilla

Overall, very well balanced for a barrel age. The black out stout really holds it's own against the bourbon barrel. Very well done beer, I had a hard time finding anything wrong with it.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 14:43:04 | More by CLEmark
Photo of CJArtanis


4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I can't say enough about this beer. The first thing that comes to mind is the most important characteristic that can be associated with a beer, and wine for that matter, balance. This stout is so overly whelming balanced it's crazy. It's a creamy, velvety, roasty, chocolaty, bourbon flavored masterpiece. I've been brewing myself for 6 years now and can only aspire to craft a beer as grand as this. I could write forever about how delicious it is and it wouldn't do it any justice. If you haven't had this beer, I implore you to buy or get one in a trade. Outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2013 02:51:47 | More by CJArtanis
Photo of motobri


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

At GLBC Restaurant, great place, great atmosphere. I'm not going to bore you with a half-assed description of this beer. You can taste the burbon. The mouthfeel is not overly thick, but the alcohol is there, and the burbon barrel makes it that much more apparent. It's just an outstanding stout. outstanding beer. And I'm not a stout lover.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2006 03:58:37 | More by motobri
Photo of ynsane


4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a huge fan of the original Blackout Stout already, I just had to give the barrel aged version a whirl. I was impressed. The added oakiness (for better lack of term) was a grand addition to an already phenomenal brew. It added a great depth of flavor to the already great stout that Great Lakes has had brewing for a while. The mocha notes that start as you take your first sip are satisfying and enjoyable, while the finish hits you with notes of bourbon and vanilla. If you enjoyed the original, give this one a try. I do not think you will be disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2013 01:24:49 | More by ynsane
Photo of mwegryn


4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I see quite a few outside the Cleveland area have got to try this one. I've never had it in the bottle, only straight from the tap:) It has all the characteristics of the regular blackout to me. I taste dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and a hint of woodiness. The barrel aged adds the distinct flavor of bourbon, and also intensifies the woodiness. The first couple sips will definitely warm your throat. Probably not for anyone that thinks the average stout or porter is too intense. The only reason I gave drinkability a 4 is because of the abv% and richness, a couple will do just fine. I always look forward to this one every autumn. Overall, a very unique beer that any stout fan that can get their hands on some should try.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2008 01:14:31 | More by mwegryn
Photo of keller2343


4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Batch on release date 1/17/12

A - pours a weak tan head which dissipates quickly. Appearance is opaque dark brown.
S - Strong Bourbon Flavors, hints chocolate
T - Overwhelming bourbon, which I appreciate. Getting some chocolate and hints of coffee.
M - A little lighter than I expect from an RIS.
D - Loved it, excited to see how some aging smooths out the bourbon flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2012 02:18:11 | More by keller2343
Photo of Sulkanator

5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is truly the best beer that I have ever had. And I have had a LOT of quality beer in my 43 years. This beer is perfection in a bottle. I honestly do not know how another beer can ever eclipse the superb taste of this beer. At $30 a 4 pack though it isn't cheap. And if you are fortunate enough to have it on tap for the brief period of time it is available, you'd willingly pay more than $8 a beer for this gem.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 03:54:25 | More by Sulkanator
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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,136 ratings.