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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout - Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

400 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 400
Hads: 1,660
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 1,335
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 danh53
3.32/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

First thing I noticed is cola which dominates the nose and the taste. There is some milk chocolate creaminess with some coffee. The mouth feel is smooth but very thin for the style. Bourbon is prominent and oak character is well integrated, but too much cola for me. I won't be seeking more of this. (299 characters)

Photo of Raziel313
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

The color is very deceiving. Very dark brown color not really stout like.
Smell is of bold chocolate and bourbon
Amazing flavor profile. Layered with loads of bourbon character. Great toffee flavor.
Mouth feel is like silk
Overall just straight blown away by how smooth this is. Will definitely be seeking out more of this. (326 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep dark brown almost black like oil with just a little thinner viscosity and khaki colored head. Bourbon, roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a bourbon warmth and chocolatey depth. (248 characters)

Photo of Gerberr
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Toppling Goliath sniffer from a 12 Oz bottle, bottled in 2015. Little to no head, thin lacing around the edge.

L: Black as night, no light sneaks through. Obviously with a name like it has you wouldn't expect it to.

S: Not much for smell here, faint coffee and roasted malt.

T: Wonderful. Toffee, coffee, caramel, plums. I really enjoy the barrel flavor on this beer. Brings out a light fruity side I'm not used to in alot of barrel aged brews. Curious as to the whiskey they got the barrels from. This beer is also fairly sweet, making it a great night cap.

F: For all the flavors going on you would expect it to be thick and viscous, not the case. It's pretty thin, but it is a stout and not a RIS.

Overall: Great beer, nice change of pace from other barrel aged stouts. This is thinner, fruity, sweet, and the barrel taste shines. (855 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The flavors are thick and creamy with huge chocolate, coconut, light vanilla, toffee, some butterscotch and fudge. Though the feel is a touch thin it still gives up a creaminess. (178 characters)

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 dar482
4.71/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer offers caramel, bourbon sweetness, cacao bitterness, a bitter dark chocolate, a medium mouthfeel. A robust BA stout that definitely is different from the base. An interesting vanilla, sweetness, and smoothing out of the bee from the barrel. (249 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: Pitch brown body. Mocha, clingy, and sticky head that drapes and melts from the sides of the glass.
Smell: Easy bourbon, medium roasted malts, molasses, vanilla, and the right amount of sweetness. This smells smooth. Memorable concoction of aromas. Taste: The taste replicates the smell. There is also light nuttiness, and back-seat roast. The bourbon-barreling gracefully melds with the base beer to create an ideal barrel-aged stout. The BAing brings the base up a couple of notches.
Feel: The feel is nothing to complain about, and exceeds my expectations.

Overall - For me the base beer was a superior stout. The barrel-aged stout is much-improved, and makes this barrel-aged stout exceptional. Overall, compared to the original, the taste is polished. (782 characters)

Photo of WesMantooth
3.86/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is one of a few barrel aged beers in which I prefer the regular version better. Looks and smells outstanding. I just think it drinks way too sweet and the body has a little bit too much carbonation giving it a soapy feel. I would guess that this is a Jack Daniels barrel beer. It tastes like cheap whisky instead of good bourbon. I also notice a lot more black licorice than in the base beer. Still above average, but pretty disappointed. (443 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 neurobot01
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 12oz bottle (acquired via trade) into a snifter at cellar temp.

Look: seemed to pour a little light and foamy to me, but the expected black with minimal head in the glass.

Smell: huge chocolate, vanilla, cherry. Pretty mild bourbon/barrel notes.

Taste: chocolatey, pretty sweet, mild bourbon, with some oak and maybe very minimal hops bitterness. Alcohol present but not dominant. No off flavors, but adds up to less than the sum of its parts nonetheless.

Feel: oily, a bit sudsy, medium-to-full bodied. Not at all dry.

Overall: pretty good, actually, but clearly a notch below the top tier. I was probably a bit hard on this; interested to see how the 2012, 2014, and non-BA iterations I've got in the cellar stack up. (729 characters)

Photo of tekstr1der
3.71/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours almost black, though much lighter than any other of this style I’ve seen. Aroma is multi with notes of chocolate and espresso, but kind of mild. Whisky barrel aging makes itself an obvious taste upfront, and on each sip toward the bottom of the glass. Quickly mellows into semi sweet chocolate and roasted malts. Decent brew overall, but not a great example of an imperial stout. I’m don’t much enjoy whisky, so perhaps I’m not being exactly objective. (466 characters)

Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a one finger tan head that fades quickly. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, coconut and vanilla. The tastes follows the nose but with more coconut and vanilla. Full creamy mouthfeel. Warming as it goes down. Just a fantastic beer that I hope to enjoy every year! Much better than the regular BO stout if you ask me. Well done GLB!! (362 characters)

Photo of gcamparone
4.16/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz glass into a snifter, split with a friend.

Pours a deep brown opaque body with a small brown head that reduces to leave a ring of foam.

Aromas of vanilla, bourbon booze, sweet caramel, milk chocolate and molasses come through. Allowed to warm for an hour or so.

Upfront is bittersweet chocolate, whiskey, vanilla, caramel, finish is roasty, coffee, toasted malt. Mouthfeel is medium with low carbonation.

Overall a solid BA stout, not quite bcbs but nice and balanced and flavorful. (509 characters)

Photo of angelmonster
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewing 2013 vintage, been on my want list for many years.

Pours a black body, head is tan in color. Head retention was slightly below average and lacing was above average.

Smells of sweet bourbon, vanilla, chocolate malts, and a hint of honey. For 10% abv, I definitely got a good whiff of alcohol.

Taste is a mix of a classic imperial stout, deep roasted malts, combined with sharp bourbon notes. Surprised at the raw ethanol characteristics of the beer, at almost two years old the beer still has a kick to it. Chocolate and burnt malts offset that unpleasant heat. Beer finishes with some vanilla sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated. Head died fast and unfortunately didn't contribute any.

Overall this was a good beer but it was a little underwhelming. The hype surrounding this beer as one of the top 250 in the world probably raised my expectations somewhat. Bourbon was pretty pronounced but all the other flavors were kinda muted. Glad I got to try it but It wasn't anywhere close to the top barrel aged stouts out there. (1,063 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a brownish black. a small tannish head that has strong retention and leaves a small lacing behind. some brownish alcohol legs. opaque with darkness.

Smell: brown sugar, bourbon, dark fruits. chocolate and alcohol warmth

Taste: opens up with a good kick of bourbon and booze. sweet notes of brown sugar and dark fruits. towards the backend there is some dark malts ranging from roasted to some slight chocolate. strong alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel: heavy, sweet and strong alcoholic warmth and bitterness.

Overall: a very solid ba stout. certainly worth a try and one I'd happily go for again but not going to give up too much for it. great sweetness that isn't cloying and full of complexity. I wouldn't expect anything less than this from Great Lakes. (771 characters)

Photo of BrewUSA
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look 9/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 91/100

Nice and very well balanced BA stout. Is very good and has some real good flavor. It is a bit light for such a big stout. Which I guess is good since it makes for easy drinking. I was told to let I sit a year and didn't. In retrospect I wish I would have. The problem is I am from Cleveland and needed something celebratory since I found out Lebron came back today~ (528 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 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 pmlondrigan
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a stout. Black, lighter then tan head boardering on off white. Sticky lacing, relative good staying power in the head. Aroma is some what muted, what is there smells of vanilla mixed with chocolate milk and light roast. But again it is very faint, however as it 'breaths' the aroma pronounces itself more. Flavor wins all the points here. Nice marriage of barrel to beer. Chocolate, roast, and vanilla mesh seemlessly with bourbon barrel vanilla and toffee. Velvety smooth mouthfeel and rich. Little hint of alocohole here and there, actually kinda hot-ish for a beer of 9.5%. That's it that's all, great beer here. (626 characters)

Photo of BakaGaijin
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A - pours with very little head.

S - mild coffee smell and chocolate milk. A hint of bleached white toast.

T- Some bourbon and roasted malt up front. Some cocoa. A bit more bitterness on the finish then I would like.

M - Wow. Wow. Wow. This mouthfeel is incredible. Silken. Nicely carbonated. I almost don't want to swallow this.

O - Really good barrel-aged stout. The alcohol is not very noticeable. The mouthfeel is incredible and the taste is very good. (462 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at RFD, Washington, DC

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a half finger high tan head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles on the center and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate to strong aromas of bourbon are present in the nose along with notes of dark chocolate.
T: The taste starts out with initial flavors of bourbon from the barrel aging and finishes with dark chocolate.
M: It feel just about full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation along with some warming from the alcohol.
O: This beer has a great balance; it has lots of big notes and they all seem to come through—you can definitely taste both the bourbon and the stout. (703 characters)

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

200th (Last) Review

Tap @ Coles 10 oz. pour

A: Midnight black in color, caramel colored lacing, no more than a few centimeters in length. Aesthetically pleasing on the eyes.

S: Bourbon, chocolate, coffee bean, heat, vanilla bean, charcoal.

T: The bourbon and the heat of the alcohol give way first. Upon intake, you get the backlash of the coffee and the vanilla together, which is superb.

M: High viscosity, chewy, big tannin on the palate that lingers with a sting. The star.

O: This was my Whale. Complete Satisfactory! (530 characters)

Photo of hops202
4.61/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle poured into snifter. 2014 Vintage

A - pours black with hints of brown around the edges

S - tons of bourbon, some vanilla and sugar

T - bourbon up front, with lots of burnt sugar, some caramel and vanilla and less chocolate than expected having been very familiar with the regular blackout stout.

M - very smooth but almost a bit to thin

O - incredibly delicious barrel aged version of an already phenomenal stout (425 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
3.87/5  rDev -10.6%

Poured into a nonic pint glass at Local Roots in Powell, OH.

A- Black, small off-white ring of head, very slight amount of light coming through on the edges.

S- Unripe banana, chocolate, slight dark fruit, coffee, slight vanilla.

T- Chocolate covered cherry, coffee, some alcohol coming through.

M- A bit on the thin side for a barrel aged imperial stout.

O- I was really lucky to find this on tap while I was in Columbus for the weekend. I was a bit disappointed by this one, not a that big of a barrel presence to me. I might even say I prefer Dragon's Milk to this. (578 characters)

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