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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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: 1,337
Gots: 340 | 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 beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

-@ Unos, Maple Shade, N.J. Tapped at 6pm. Kicked at 6:16. Served cold in a chalice.

A: Inky black coloring, no head, no lace. Deep coloring.

S: Nose of fresh espresso, dark chocolate, vanilla bean with a sweet roasty backing. Sweet caramel. Moderate awareness, little alcohol detection. Fairly lasting.

T: Flavor was dark sweet chocolate, freshly roasted espresso, vanilla bean. Exceptionally smooth flavor, very well refined. Sweet caramel mixes with the vanillla laced roastiness. Sweet dark fruit, light mention of bourbon, its the smooth silky roastiness that is the highlight here.

M: Silky smooth texture, lightly milky, little or no carbonation, a very nice feel.

O: Overall silky texture, cleanly brewed,exceptionally smooth BA version of their black out stout. Only 1 keg in N.J. this year 2015-june, which kicked 16 min. in and glad to have been served. $8 pour, well worth. it. Abv% is hidden in the flavor, but you feel it afterwards. (957 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of ClockworkOrange. Thanks!
Very dark with faint chestnut edges. Carbonation looked low on the pour, since a very thin light brown cap appeared and I wasn't all that careful. Fine bubbles formed a solid collar. Spotty lacing. Caramel and whiskey aromas, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, malt, light roast. Very nice aroma, lots of character without any single trait overpowering the rest. Roast was more prominent in the flavour and bitterness was solid, yet fairly soft, throughout. Faint hop flavour towards the end. Whiskey and booze gave the palate a tingle from start to finish. Bittersweet and milk chocolate notes, vanilla, drying oak, caramel, dry cocoa in the finish. Fine carbonation, a little on the low side. The body was between medium and full, a little on the light side for a RIS, but this aided drinkability. Plenty of warmth without being hot. Overall, a well crafted and balanced barrel-aged beer. (929 characters)

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

22 oz bomber, big thanks to ClockworkOrange for sending this up.

Pours a deep opaque black, some brown in the edges, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots, looks like a stout. Smell is crazy, very nutty, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, some coffee roast, toffee, peanut brittle, nice barrel character, dark fruit, more bourbon, smells great. Taste is great as well, buttery oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and coffee, toffee, sweet brown sugar middle, a bit toasty with corn syrup and bourbon in the finish. Really nice flavour. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, alcohol is well hidden but some heat does come through in the finish. Really nice example of bourbon barrel aging RIS, very well done. Thanks Jason! (792 characters)

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

Taken from notes on 12.20.2011

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. This followed the none BA version.

A - Pours a dark brown with a very thin dark tan head that is gone almost instantly.

S - Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and oak.

T - Again nice vanilla and chocolate, with a bourbon-oak finish.

D - Still smooth and nice. Lower carbonation and again a thinner body like the standard Blackout.

O - I was very impressed. A great tasting beer, but again a bit thin. (469 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black color, definitely fitting of the moniker blackout stout. Even a decent almost 1 inch amass of tan head on the top of it, really impressive appearance for a barrel aged stout. Aroma, nice and mild actually, really the best barrel aroma this side of Eclipse. Everything you'd want, chocolate, vanilla, oak, mild bourbon, even caramel and just the slightest amount of smoke/charred edge from the barrel.

And all those aromas are plenty evident as flavor as well. Rather than make a gigantic bourbon bomb (king henry) with no complexity, they went soft, I generally think the 8-10% abv range to be perfect for barrel aged stouts, the malt body absorbs lots of the heat, and you're not breathing that alcohol fire/heat while you sip on the beer. Carbonation is right on point here, low overall, but perfect for style, brings out head, the aroma, but allows the nice viscosity to chill. The sweetness is minimal, keeps the beer in the creamy category rather than sweet. Not that there is anything wrong with a sweet bal aged stout (chocolate rain).

Doesn't try and be overly complex, massive, etc. . .

It really fits into that niche of bal aged stouts like Central Waters & Fifty Fifty's Eclipse: Really damn good beers, great blending, lack of heat, nice chocolate. Rather than trying to be the biggest, they just focus on being the best.

Highly recommend. Soon enough, this beer won't be on the top100 list anymore because there's always some new, uber rare beer made in an area of the country that isn't known for beer, and it will become even easier to acquire. I look forward to that day. If you're reading this, and you have a bottle of blackout stout, yes, you can offer it in a trade to me. (1,704 characters)

Photo of wordemupg
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 24/06/14 cheers schnarr84 for the bottle

A not exactly a blackout as I can see half way to the other side under the fast falling finger of foam that leaves no lace, some wide legs on 9.5%? seems odd

S vanilla, sweet bourbon, coco nibs, chocolate syrup, raisins, plums, some charred wood, a little more booze then expected at 9.5% but it doesn't hinder the cause, smells sweet but sexy

T thankfully it mimics the smell, faint sweetened coffee, booze keeps this one from true glory, some licorice I didn't notice on the nose, plenty of barrel, tastes as good as the smell

M a little thin but silky upon entry and almost creams up from the bubbles, its hot for 9.5% some tannins and almost numbs your lips

O looks and feels basic but smells and tastes awesome, either the booze is poorly concealed or this clocks in a little higher then the label states, legs and booze throughout? I gotta feeling this one picked up some ABV in the barrel

Even though the most important aspects are well taken care of I think this one's not living up to its potential fresh, thankfully I'm going to have a second bottle to age, cheers Patrick!! (1,165 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2010 version, had on tap at the brewpub in Jan 2011. $6.50 for a 10-12oz goblet, nice.

Dark brown with about 1 finger of tan foam. The aroma is very vanilla-forward, more oak than bourbon and closer to Black Ops than my recollection of bottled BA Blackout. Either way it smells very good. Cocoa, sweet and roasty malts, and tons of vanilla.

All this comes through in the flavor, plus a dose of bourbon, very good. I love this beer, one of my favorites in bottle form and very good from the keg as well. (516 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml Bottle received in trade with iguenard - thanks! 2014 edition

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, wood/booze

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and faint coffee. There is also nutty/pie crust type flavour

Overall - I was expecting it to be a little thicker looking, but its fairly light and lively and it has a tremendous flavour. It's a big beer but it is still very well balanced and all the flavours work very well together. The barrel aging isn't all that pronounced, it just accentuates the beer a touch. A high quality brew that is surprising not cloying in the least. (859 characters)

Photo of claspada
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle (650ml bottle) shared by HimerMan at a recent bottle share.

Pours a viscous black color without much in the way of head formation and very little carbonation. Should be expected with 6 years of age on this.

Aromas begin really, really smooth nose with notes of vanilla, dark and milk chocolate with complementary oak and light bourbon. As it warms that dark fruity characteristic that comes from aging dark malt forward beers begin to emerge more and more. Lovin' it.

The tastes begin with a sweetish dark toffee and dark chocolate flavors. Mild sweetness, mild oak and no apparent alcohol warmth. The chocolate and roast provide a balance of sweet and bitter. The bourbon adds some marshmellow/vanilla sweetness. Same dark fruits as the nose emerge more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium to high bodied with low, non-existent carbonation but thankfully the ABV is below 10, so the potential syrupy-texture that can occur in this style is not a problem. Low carbonation creates a finish that is thick and creamy.

Overall this was super, age has done nothing to lower the quality of the original product and if anything it has only added to the complexity and quality. This is one smooth beer and I am grateful for the opportunity to taste this. This only proves that cellaring beer is a great practice if you have the discipline. I appreciate the less than 10% ABV making this much more "drinkable" compared to many of the monsters that are produced in today's imperial heavy craft beer market. (1,524 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ethan for bringing this over to our pre On Photon tasting...2010 bottle drank into an Orval glass...Dark brown pour with a disappointing lack of carbonation, a light tan head is there for a second then gone...The aroma is full of peat on the front, and just incredibly sweet, molasses with sugar, no depth...The taste is also sweet but a typical barrel aged sweetness of bourbon or vanilla, just sugary sweet. You can't even tell this is barrel aged except for a slight wood finish. A little roasty helps the boringness.

I was really excited to try this but came away disappointed. I had the 09 on tap and it was much better. Would like to try to more to see if 10 just sucks or its just better on tap. This is an above average RIS but a below average BA RIS, doesn't add anything to the beer. (804 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chris graciously shared this beer on the 2nd night of drinking so epic, I'm surprised Turisas haven't sung a song about it. Or maybe Tankard? 2008 vintage

A: Pitch black with dark brown highlights and a disappointingly light (in color) brown head that lasts

S: Mellow with the balance leaning heavily towards chocolate and cream. Coffee gets more pronounced as it warms up but in many ways, it makes me think of a simpler Abyss - great balance between the barrel and RIS character without the deep complexity. Mild vanilla and not much oak. Excellent.

T: Wow. Incredible balance between the barrel and RIS characteristics. Barrel character is mild, warming and is noticed towards the finish, appearing only as the beer warms up, lending a hint of vanilla and bourbon. For the most part, this is a graceful Blackout with chocolate, cream and coffee beautifully balanced. Not very tannic, nor is it very woody. Finishes with a hint of coffee bitterness and bourbon, pretty awesome.

M: The carbonation and finish are fantastic and work beautifully - soft and gentle. The body, though, is a little thin for my liking

D: The balance between flavors makes this one easy drinker

**Edit 11 Feb 2012**
I got a 2009 vintage from goryshkewych a long time ago. Thank you, George! largadeer and Arbitrator raved about this particular vintage, but I think it's dropped off since its peak. The nose really does evolve. Initially reminiscent of the 09 Elijah Craig Eclipse with a nice blend of coconut, caramel and vanilla, as it warms up, chocolate, bourbon, oak and milk chocolate (milk duds) appear. In particular, it has a Cheerios-like character that I don't particularly care for. Smooth and boozy, both on the nose and palate, this is quite enjoyable. 4/4/4 (1,754 characters)

Photo of xnicknj
4.72/5  rDev +9%
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. (1,049 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
9.0% ABV, Best served at 55°F, 2516 Series.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for splitting this elusive bottle!

A - Totally black and deserving of it's name, this stout pours with nice clarity that disappears in the glass as quickly as the low tan head.

S - Thick and rich, the aroma is potent with roasted black malts and cold coffee. Light notes of barrel on the back end with a touch of bourbon.

T - Rich chocolaty flavor backed by roasted coffee and strong but not boozy bourbon barrel flavor. Awesome!

M - Full-bodied and rich with a smooth feel and light warming alcohol finish, Barrel-aged Blackout is an awesome feeling beer!

O - A fantastic brew all around, the barrel in this is nuanced, not hot and over-the-top like some others out there. Fantastic! (806 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle shared by Thirstybird. 2009 vintage. Pours 2-3 shades shy of black with zero head; just a few clusters of bubbles. Nose is malty, suggests artificial sweetener and cocoa (reminds me a bit of BA IST). Taste is much better than implied by the nose. There is a suggestion of spirits, but this is not a bourbony BA beer. Flavor profile reveals chocolate, roast and some earthiness. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style - body is medium-light with a mild, easy carbonation. All and all, a very drinkable and approachable beer but lacking some of the bolder characteristics of the style. (595 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of Auslander pours a rick black color with a moderate cap of tan head. Retention is decent and just a little lace.

Nose is outstanding! Lots of wood, unsweetened chocolate and vanilla. Damn near perfect...not too sweet, a great balance of stout and barrel.

This is my first Barrel Aged Blackout and it is much better than the regular version, which is a pretty good beer in its own right...my point is this is one of the most improved barrel treatments to a beer I have had in quite some time. The vanilla is so rich, I would have guessed it was a vanilla infused stout if had blind. Not too fruity and the chocolate is bold. Its not too boozy, not over-the-top sweet and has great flow. Mouthfeel is not overly thick, but it is adequate and the carbonation is supple and smooth. This is a great beer, one of the most impressive I have had in awhile, thanks Auslander! (893 characters)

Photo of cpetrone84
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is dark brown with a tight toffee colored head. Nose is light bourbon and wood, fair bit of sweet milk chocolate, hints of anise and chewy caramel. Taste has more wood, lots. Fairly forward bourbon notes, lots of rich milk chocolate and some sweeter caramel type malt. Full bodied, thick and creamy with strong carbonation and some alcohol burn through the finish. Heavy on the bourbon and wood side. (405 characters)

Photo of Brenden
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Sean (Shawn?...anyway, twohearteddean) for busting this one out at out last Toledo tasting. I just found my notes.

This beer is about as black as beer and be and really isn't letting any light through. A thick tan foam resides on top, really only reaching not quite one finger tall and leaving moderate lacing sticking to the glass.
The smell is delicious, all the coffee and cocoa one would hope to find in here with the smoky notes and big barley malts presence I had hoped for. Light sweetness underneath is detectable in notes of caramel, toffee, and very dark fruits. A bourbon-lie fusel alcohol presence is certainly noticeable. A very faint okay touch I hope is more noticeable in the flavor is also detectable.
...And it is. Some other complexities drop off very, very slightly as this warms and allows a touch more of the oak and the bourbon / cognac heat to come through. Otherwise, big malts offer up all the roastiness, coffee, cocoa, caramel and dark fruits found in the nose with a touch of nuttiness now to be discovered in the flavor.
The body is thick, huge and robust, as expected. Otherwise, this is surprisingly dry for a stout, which I assume can be attributed to the barrel. Carbonation is just enough and this is a very rich, smooth beer.
Since "drinkability" is now "overall", it gets a higher score. After all, would I like more? Of course. But could I have more? No, no I could not. (1,416 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared during a small Charlotte BA tasting with marine1975, caSSino, CarolinaKevin, and GehenHerzog. Big thanks goes out to sproser (Secret Santa '10 BIF) and my boy Lunch for allowing me to have multiple bottles of this beauty! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured black with a one finger light tan head that remained throughout. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cream, wood, slight smoke, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was definitely a great brew. Very smooth flavor going on here that made it very easy to drink. 9.5%!? This could have gotten me in trouble for sure. The aroma on this one was not slacking either. A definite must try and I'm glad I got to share this with some local BAs. This was the highlight of the tasting for me... (921 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle #68 of 400, courtesy of a colleague who was in the right place at the right time last weekend. Inky black color with a thin dark brown head and quick lacing. Heady bourbon, chocolate malt and coffee aroma. Rich, chewy body with a bourbon character that is not too dominant. Loads of coffee and chocolate flavors underneath, making for an eminently drinkable beer from beginnins to end. The finish is sweet malt and warming alcohol, which I was definitely feeling after a mere 11oz. This is world class stuff. (520 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 Vintage. Huge thanks to beerwolf77 for sharing!

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color. Produced a decent tan colored head that dissipated to bubbles. Some lace.

(S)- A nice mellow roasted profile. Bits of molasses, cocoa, and dry bready notes.

(T)- A nice richness. Raisin, cocoa, and molasses. Has a nice oaky vanilla and strong bourbon characters on the finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A mild roasted quality with a rich bourbon flavored core. Mildly bitter with an overall sweet profile.

(D)- A great barrel aged stout. It really has taken on the qualities of the oak and bourbon to its core and has meshed well with the overall base beer. Sweet and rich with an overall oaky dryness. Some good stuff right here. (786 characters)

Photo of popery
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From notes, 8/22/10. 2006 vintage. Pours black with just a few bubbles on top that dissipate pretty quickly. Didn't expect much appearance-wise, anyway. Excellent barrel-aged stout. Very smooth feel. Some well-blended oxidation really added a nice aged flavor. Great bourbon aroma with a big chocolate and roasted malt flavor. The whole thing was blended into a velvety soft package. Some light vanilla and oak around the edges. Very little alcohol burn, at least at this point. Great beer. (490 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.97/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Curran last night.

This one pours a moderately dark black, not the darkest I've ever seen, with a quarter inch head, and not a whole lot of lacing.

This one smells like cookie dough, chocolate, and some light sweet bourbon.

This is one of more balanced, lighter BA stouts out there. It tastes really good, but it seems to lack the general oomph I'm looking for in this style. It's got a lot of cocoa powder, cookie dough, and vanilla flavors, with a milder bourbon presence than expected. If I were to guess, this is probably blended and not 100% barrel aged.

This is a bit thin for the style, but that's probably a part of the 9.5% ABV- a few notches lower than the typical BA RIS. It's got a very creamy mouthfeel, with a lower level of carbonation.

This is not quite at the level of other big name BA stouts. It's also (843 characters)

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

A - A super dark mohagany that comes through brown/ruby on the edges. Minimal light, tan head that dissipated rather quickly, left the sides of the glass clean. Looks a little flatish.

S - Mild chocolate, roasted malts, a little bit of bitter in there. Some toffee and a hint of coffee, nothing overpowering, a nice blend.

T - Roasted malts, a hint of vanilla, some cocoa, not as much of a soy sauce or molasses taste as I was expecting. Taste is better than the nose. Slightly fruity, pretty good complexity.

M - This is where the beer ranks fairly average for me. Under carbonated and a little bit flat, would have liked it to be heavier, stickier, and have more of a bite.

D - Did the entire 22 oz bomber without a problem, and I want more beer. Very easy, course, I might just be an alcoholic. (801 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to bpfrush for trading me this beer! Thanks Brian! This beer has been on my radar for a long time; it good to get some closure! lol.

Vintage 2010.

650ml bomber poured into a CBS snifter.

Appearance: Black motor oil colored beer with very thin cap of white head that settles quickly to ring around the snifter. Spotty lacing on the side.

Smell: A surprisingly weak nose on this beer. Faint roasted malts and some smoke. U get just a hint of barrel notes in the nose. Also a faint metallic smell is noted from the beer.

Taste: The taste of this beer is also very subtle just like the nose. The beer has two phases when you taste it. It starts off tasting like the regular blackout stout and finishes with the barrel notes becoming more evident. When you first taste this beer it starts out with a mild to moderate roast like a bigger version of blackout stout. Then the roast just builds in the beer with every sip. Close to the end of the beer you get more of the roast because it just continues to build. Smoke is noted in the middle of the beer and it almost like the smoke makes the base beer transition into the barrel notes. In the finish you get subtle notes of oak, vanilla, tobacco, molasses, black licorice, and some booze that is gone as quick as you sense it. I also taste a chocolate covered coffee bean and a lactose note in the finish. The bourbon is the last thing that you taste and its sweet with a barely noticable sour note. Fairly decent complexity, but I wish there was stronger flavors in this beer. The beer gets sweeter in a "chocolaty bourbon" kind of way and the roastiness almost becomes "expresso like" and both become more pronounced as the beer gets closer to room temperature.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer with low end of moderate carbonation levels. The beer is thin for a barrel aged stout. I think the beer is well carbonated and it really helps to make this beer taste better.

Overall: It reminds me alot of a Barrel aged Milk Stout brewed with coffee. Its just not a really strong flavorful barrel aged beer. Its a solid beer that has decent complexity, but I was underwhelmed by the nose, taste, and mouthfeel of this beer. Even though I was fairly critical on this beer, I still did enjoy drink this beer. My recommendation is to drink this beer at room temperature because this beer really needs time to open up so you can get the most enjoyment/flavor out of this beer. I am also thinking that this beer might be better to drink fresh. (2,495 characters)

Photo of maximum12
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Don't like stories with your reviews? Take your grumpy butt elsewhere!

This is a bottle of 2008 BA Blackout. I'd set up three trades for this white whale - & all three fell through, with the other end vanishing & ceasing to respond to bmails. I was bummed. ISOs, bmails, almost deals, no BA Blackout. Then two fine BA members teamed up behind my back.

My wife, nursingbeer, decided to do something extra nice for our 10th anniversary. She sought out a saint among saints, sholland119, asking if he could put together a nice box for me. Well, on our anniversary she gave me a box of beer - 2 bombers of Unfiltered Double Simcoe (one of my all-time favorites), a 2009 Darklord (really???) & a 2008 BA Blackout Stout. No shit!! The two sneaks got me one of the beers I've wanted most for the past two years.

On to the beer which, for her trouble, I split with my rather marvelous wife. Poured black, with a hissing dark cap on it that fell quickly. Dark black. Smells great. Barrel, along w/roasted malt & hints of coffee come out of the goblet.

After all this trouble, wouldn't it suck if I didn't like it? Ha! Not much chance of that, since the base beer is great. And this is...sublime. The bourbon on this sucker is dead on, subtle, but with a bite to it, where it doesn't start to warm my chest cavity until about halfway down. The base beer is there underneath, & it supports the barrel-aged aspect wonderfully, although there's more vanilla & a touch of chocolate that I don't recall in the standard Blackout. Silky smooth going down. As it warms, the aroma improves even more, & it takes on a more oily feel to it. Damn. I could drink this until the cows woke up.

Perfect. Only my second pure five. Scott & Molly, thank you!! (1,739 characters)

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