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
97
world-class

1,431 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,431
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 1,272
Gots: 279 | FT: 23
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: 1,431 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

400th review!

Had this on-tap at GL BA Blackout release... wow, what a beer!

Pours black with some ruby-amber highlights. Decent light brown head on it too. I was surprised that I could get any highlights out of this, most of the big stouts are black black black. It's nothing bad, just something different. I like it.

Nose brings out the bourbon, chocolate, dark malts, sweet goodness... Smells great. This is a big time stout. Taste is where this guy really shines--big rich stout flavors with a touch of oak and bourbon that really round out the beer. Bourbon aging is apparent, but not over-done. Very very good beer. If I had to describe it in terms of other big stouts, I would say that it's a slightly more robust (in malt profile) GI BCBS with the bourbon dialed back a bit. This one delivered for me.

Thick, viscous body, with a bit more carbonation than most of the big stouts. It works, though, and makes this a relatively easy drinking big beer. Overall, I was very happy with this. Well crafted in all respects, one of my new favorites, and I'm glad I'll be able to get it for the next few years!!

Photo of JNewbs
4.6/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All I can really say is - oh my goodness. Had this on tap at the brewpub yesterday, and I can say without lying that it was my second favorite Imp Stout that I have ever tasted. The most remarkable thing about the beer, to me, was that it tasted unbelievably good even when it was technically too cold. I realized I had drank the first one before I even let it warm up to the right temp, and I had to order another just to see what would happen. Lastly, according to the sign at the brewpub this is a 9.5% beer, not a 9%.

A: Nothing to complain about here - dark black, with a mocha colored head that hung around for a while.

S: The nose of this one did not come close to hinting at how good it tasted, IMO, so though it smelled pretty good, I have to ding it for that reason.

T: Here we go. Dominated by chocolate notes. There is definitely the bourbon, and some of the Blackout Stout's roasted notes, but this was a choco-bomb to me. Smooth, rich, luxurious, a little boozy but not too much. Delicious.

M: Felt like other good Impy Stouts. Thick, smooth, not too viscous. No complaints here either.

D: I killed two of them in about a half hour...

Photo of treyrab
4.72/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had the 2010 BABO the other night at the release party. Here goes:

2010
A: Pours a dark brown with a moderately dark khaki head. Decent head retention. Held up to the light there is clearly brown hues and some scarlet and mahogany colors as well.

S: The smell is spot on, really. It is almost as if they are learning from experience and really perfecting this beer. It was a perfect blend of bourbon (more bourbon that prior vintages), rich, dark, sweet chocolate, cocoa nibs, slight oak dryness, and sweet vanilla.

T: The taste resembles the smell again with great bourbon (again, more than prior vintages), sweet vanilla, oak dryness, and rich dark chocolate.

M/D: Spot on for the style. Not thick or chewy, just a perfect balanced Imperial Stout. Nice and creamy.

4.5 / 4.5 / 5 / 4.5 / 4.5

Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Paul for bringing this one out. Served side by side with a bottle of Blackout stout. Decent head, beer is black, head is brown, the head rallies to leave some lacing on the walls of the glass. Looks good.

There is a mild oak aroma that is hiding behind a nice bourbony / liquor aroma. It doesn't smell hot but this is a "tiny" beer at 9%, I wouldn't expect it to be hot. Its roasty mildly, maybe some sweetness in there too. Smells good.

Beer is thinner than other stouts I've had recently but it tastes good. There is a nice bourbon character to the whole thing and the sweetness plays off well with the alcohol and the caramel from the bourbon barrel. There may be some mild vanilla in there from the oak but its not dominant at all. Its a good beer, deserving of its place among the middle of the best barrel aged bourbon stouts. I wish it were more available.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/25/10 notes. Big thanks to Lunch for bringing this one, I've wanted to try it for a while. Thanks Paul! 2009 Vintage.

a - Pours a dark black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, and oak. Well balanced and very nice.

t - Tastes of bourbon, toasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts. Hint of oak.

m - Medium body and low carbonation; smooth and easy to drink for a barrel aged RIS.

d - I enjoyed this one a lot, but it was slightly disappointing. Don't get me wrong, this is a great beer, but I don't know how much of an improvement it is on the normal Blackout Stout. We tried BA Sexual Chocolate, Ivan the Terrible, and this in a tasting and I think everyone was in agreement that this was the third in that group. I thought it smelt very good, and again, it is very good and I'd definitely drink it again, but I would try and get another bottle of BA SC or Ivan before another bottle of this.

Photo of goblue3509
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a thin slight off white head and almost no lacing at all. The aroma is of vanilla, oak, and bourbon notes, with a slight hint of dark fruts present. The taste has a roasted malt backbone with hints of vanilla, chocolate, and oak, also the bourbon alcohol flavor really comes through at the end of the drink. The mouthfeel is low carbonation a little slick and slightly creamy. The drinkability is about average, the bourbon alcohol flavor is not as enjoyable as other ris's. The taste didn't seem as balanced as others.

Photo of hooliganlife
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to jamie for this

vintage 2009 poured into a Bells tulip

pour is dark cola with hints of brown. very light creamy head leaving only a slight ring around the glass.

lots of vanilla, oak, and bourbon as the dominating scents very smooth. hints of candied dark fruit.. light molasses.

bourbon, and lots of it. nice mixture of vanilla and oak. very light molasses and dark fruit. nice light coffee and roasted malt finish. bourbon is very smooth and never really over powering. a year has done this well

quite smooth. body is a bit light and thin but nice moderate carbonation fills it out. slight burn from the booze.

one of the best bourbon barrel stouts i have had. very well blended and never over powering in any way. lower ABV than most -bal aged stouts. wish this was available in a 12oz.

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, quite pale for the style, with an off-white head.

The aroma is lightly roasted with notes of milk chocolate, bourbon, toasted almonds, ashes and salty licorice.

The flavor is quite sweet with delicate malty backbone of roasted coffee, caramel, fudge and chocolate. Bourbon, almonds, vanilla and some light smoky notes. The finish is lightly bitter with lingering notes of oak, bourbon and salty licorice. Medium body, smooth carbonation.

I had high expectations on this one, and unfortunately they weren't really met. A decent barrel aged imperial stout, no more.

Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

Photo of mlaroche
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of adamette
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of DmanGTR
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for breaking this out at our little tasting. Review from notes on 4/3/10. 2009 vintage.

A - Poured very dark brown, almost black (but not quite) with a light tan bubbly head. Looks actively carbonated. Decent retention. Mahogany hues in the light. 4.0

S - Wow, bourbon overpowers everything. Bourbon all over the place. A bit of ash, dark fruit, and roast somewhere in there but somewhat lost. Could use a bit more balance I think. But still, a pleasing aroma. 3.5

T - Actually, this is a bit different from the aroma. The balance is there and actually very nicely executed. You can tell this beer has been aging in bourbon barrels for a while; highly assertive vanilla, charred oak, and deep blackberry tones. However, there is a characteristic ashy flavor of Blackout Stout that I don't appreciate as much and it is noticeable in the BA Blackout. 4.0

M - Decently big body, but I would put it more in the scale of medium bodied. Very smooth carbonation and a slight prickle on the palate. 4.0

D - Very nicely drinkable. Again, that distinct ash is hindering me a touch but overall, a nice beer.

Photo of nickd717
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber via trade thanks to Deuane on BA, who was really generous and sent some awesome stuff. Shared at a tasting hosted by Nick3 on BA.

Pours darkest brown - not quite black, as a little light makes its way through when you tilt the glass to the side. A small tan head fades slowly to a thick ring and swirling foam.

The aroma is very nice. The roast and milk chocolate of Blackout Stout are evident, along with some coffee and slight oaky barrel notes. Just a little bit of bourbony booze detectable.

It's almost mind-boggling how great the flavor on this one is. I thought regular Blackout was great, but as is often the case, putting that sucker in a barrel bumped that up to the next level. As intense as this is, it's also very subtle and balanced. Roast and rich chocolate dominate, with wood, vanilla, whiskey, and candied dark fruits. Not at all overwhelming.

Amazingly smooth on the palate with medium-full body. Not cloying or syrupy like some others in the style can be.

Damn, this is excellent. One of my new favorites. I'm definitely going to have to seek this out again.

Photo of womencantsail
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane and Sean for sending me bottles of this. Not sure which one I opened. A bottle from 2009.

A: The pour is viscous and black without much in the way of head formation and very little carbonation.

S: A really smooth nose with notes of vanilla, chocolate, oak, whiskey, and maybe some marshmallow.

T: The flavor profile is somewhat heavy on the whiskey, providing nice oak and vanilla notes. The chocolate and roast provide a balance of sweet and bitter.

M: Very lowly carbonated with a full body and somewhat thick and creamy.

D: This is one smooth beer. I can see why everyone talks this one up. I'm very pleased to have an extra in my arsenal.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"2516 Series," which I guess is the same as the 2009 bottling. A million thanks to kels for facilitating this one. Have held onto it as long as I possibly could--it was screaming to finally be released from its glass prison...first sip is a big "cheers!" to Kelley.

Pours a midnight black with super-subtle rust-brown and ruby hues. Head is a light tan but doesn't hang around very long. Turns to a thin crown quickly.

Aroma is a mixture of dark fruit (esp. fig and raisin), touch of alcohol, freshly cut wood, and spent coffee grounds. There wasn't much chill on this, but even with warming it started to recall whiskey each time I brought it to the nose.

Upon the tongue the wood is prominent, and together with the warmth of the alcohol it gives the impression of being as much aligned with whiskey or other spirits as much as it belongs to the beer family. But everything balances out pretty well -- there are liqueur-soaked dark berry, fig and plum elements, a nice helping of vanilla, and a watery milk-chocolate vibe. Leaves a lasting finish, yet again favoring the alcohol and wood.

Texturally it's a smooth, gliding, slick kind of thing...not as thick as many stouts, not as chewy, which makes it particularly easy to drink. A little sticky, and without much carbonation (fine by me).

If I think this was a little underwhelming, that's only because it's ranked so incredibly high on this site. A little too woody and alcoholic, could use more big gooey chocolate, thick sweet cream and coffee characteristics--the stuff of my favorite stouts--but still a good stout? No doubt about it.

Photo of mbudner
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jwelsh for this one.

A-Pours a deep brown to black with no head and looks like no carbonation.

S-Some charred wood, marshmallows, maybe even the entire smores. A bit of whiskey, but not overwhelming at all. Some vanilla and other barrel notes. Chocolate

T-All of the same flavors listed in the smell. The whiskey is a bit more predominant in the flavor than it was in the aroma. Very oaky, chocolate, very balanced.

MF-A little thin and low on the carbonation. Nice and creamy though.

D-Really great, the whiskey doesn't dominate the beer too much. Really a solid BA stout.

Photo of Jmoore50
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The appearance on this one is dark dark black with a one finger mocha tan colored head. It is a fluffy head that leaves a light lacing on the glass. Although the lacing does not last forever, it has some grainy legs that like to creep on the sides of the glass. A good looking Imperial Stout.

The smell is of chocolate, bourbon oak barrels, ABV heat, burnt and roasted grains, earth.

The taste is a little thin, which is a common problem with barrel aged imperial stouts. The barrel thins out a base beer making everything else a little light on the palate. This beer has lots of burnt and roasted grains, earth, chocolate and bourbon. I am not sure if this bottle is a blend of barrel and un-barrel beer, but it is not very intense. Everything is somewhat muted, and I think it is because this beer is going through its transitional period. It is turning into something different and better, and we popped the bottle a little early. I can see this turning into something great, but not now.

The body is light and a bit hot with some graininess. It is a bit hot and incredibly astringent. Sucks your palate dry, the glass of water was refilled a few times by the end.

This is a good beer, but I opened to a bit too soon before its full transition. I am not sure what this would have tasted like fresh, but a year or so is going to be this beers time to shine.
J

Photo of steve8robin
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade. Very excited to split this one with some friends. Tried back to back with a standard Blackout Stout...

A: Looks ok. Dark with slight ruby highlights. No head.

S: Get some caramel, cocao and candi sugars upfront. Roasty chocolate in the middle with slight booziness on the backend. Scents are hidden and you really need to try hard to get a good whiff.

T: Awesome! Taste really saved this one. Cocao, tootsie roll, slight bitter chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruits upfront blended perfectly. Fantastic!

M: Smooth as a baby's bottom! Perfect balance of carbonation and water. Leaves a nice stickiness on the palate.

D: Goes down very easy. Nice!

All in all, this brew worried me with the look and the smell. I thought this one was going to be a disappointment until I got to the taste! Definitely worth hunting down if you like stouts. Super smooth. Like a finer version of Aphrodite in the taste.

Photo of craytonic
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 release bottle, consumed 3/22/10

Appearance: Black, with a nice, creamy brown sugar head.

Smell: I smell bourbon! Lots of it actually, delicious bourbon. Also some fudge, toffee chocolate, cappuccino, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste: Bourbon in the front, dominant without being overbearing. Also dark brown sugar, sweet molasses, fudge, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cappuccino, oak and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth and creamy

Drinkability: High, although the ABV felt (I didn't actually taste it) much higher than 9%. One of my favorites for the style.

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.35/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bottle into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very deep brown, almost black, with just a little bit of light coming in around the edges of the glass. The pour produces about a quarter finger of mocha colored head but recedes quickly leaving just a bit around the rim of the glass.

S- The smell is of big, bold roasted malt with some dark, bitter chocolate. There also happens to be just a little bit of coffee to go along with a hint of cinnamon. The alcohol is just a tad present on the tail end.

T- Like the nose, a heavy dose of roasted malt is the first thing to hit your tongue. Some dark chocolate melds well with some brown sugar and again picking up just a small hint of cinnamon. The alcohol is barely even noticeable even when the beers warms. Pretty nice balance.

M- A medium bodied brew that I felt could have been just a little bit thicker. Just a slight bitterness on the tip of the tongue. A little more carbonation than the head would have you believe.

D- Like any RIS, your drinkability is going to be lower than some other beers. Again, this would be a one and done beer but only because of the amount of alcohol in there. Other than that this is a good sipper and gives that nice warming effect so it's good for these cold Wisconsin nights.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a wispy shallow off tan head that fades quickly, leaving negligible lacing in it's wake. A moderately intense heavily roasted malt note shares the space with a nice but understated barrel aged character. The mouth feel is medium-heavy bodied, adequately carbonated with a silky smooth texture that compliments the taste REALLY well. Barely enough 'coating' nature to complement the flavors. Full flavored (4.25), moderate levels of bourbon capture your attention while a roasted and 'well TOASTed' thing happens. The feel lacks the substance to complement with enough 'hang time'. The 9% ABV is REAL (..and will kick butt._) however..this one MUST keep on - keep'in on. Many thanks for the opportunity, Kev!!

Photo of hayesez
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a BIF from brokenleadedcask....extremely generous! Thanks Darren!

Split this with friends...poured into a Bruery tulip and a Dogfish Head globe. Pours a deep, dark brown...nearly black. About halfway through the pour into the first glass, I could tell this guy had virtually no carbonation. I dumped it in there, but still produced virtually no head. A good looking color, but very disappointed with the head. I'm not sure if this is the norm, but I generally expect something on top of the brew. Zero lacing left on the sides.

Smells strongly of chocolate. A bit of tobacco as well as some vanilla and a bit of the alcohol kick that you might expect from barrel aging...not much, but a little.

The taste is excellent - much as I would expect from what I smelled, a strong semi-sweet chocolate taste that is quickly followed by the a bit of the barrel alcohol. Hints of vanilla and a tiny bit of dark fruit. A few seconds after each drink, I get the remnants of tobacco...almost like I just smoked a cigar. This really is a great tasting beer. Unfortunately, the lack of carbonation is really a downer. It is a creamy beer that has a decent mouthfeel, save for the poor carbonation. Still, this is good stuff.

Overall, I really like this beer. Although BA obviously makes appearance and mouthfeel contributors to the ranking, the taste is top notch. This will end up being ranked a bit lower by their standards, but I would still drink this at any time. A very, very solid tasting beer.

Consumed: 3/17/2010 - 3:30 a.m. (got up early for St. Patrick's Day....this beer will kick of the celebration for me!)

Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

A: Deep black body. Thin-ish tan head with mediocre retention, but decent light lacing.

S: Delicately complex. Subtle bourbon oaks and vanilla. Deep milk and semi-sweet chocolates. Rich, warming caramel.

T: Much like the nose, the highlight of this beer is the refined delicacy. I hesitate to say mellow, but certainly tactfully restrained. Everything you would expect is here in moderation: bourbon like notes of oak and vanilla, chocolates, and caramel. Didn't pick up any coffee, but I am not going to complain as the flavor profile is sufficiently layered without those notes.

M: On the lighter end of a body I'd expect. Certainly not thin, however. Good, clean finish. No sign of the booze.

D: Top notch. Subtlety sometimes is king. This is the champion of barrel aged subtlety.

Photo of jdklks
3.83/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

An aggressive pour yields a small light brown head that dissipates quickly and is quite thin. The body is black through the middle with amber/brown edges and looks a lot lighter than I've come to expect or desire from the style. The smell is fantastic. Nice and strong like I like the aroma eminating from the glass. Hints of chocolate, roasted malts (which is reminiscent of dry coffee beans), the slightest hint of the barrel aging, caramel, and maybe some licorice.

The flavor is very good, but the beer is under-carbonated to a fault. sweet malts up front, plumb and cherries. Bitter chocolate and a little vanilla through the middle along with some wet oak barrel flavors that give way to a slightly burnt bitter coffee finish and an alcoholic burn in the esophagus and aftertaste. Maybe a hint of molasses, and definitely some licorice. Flat cola. If this beer was better carbonated, the flavors would explode, and it would truly be a treat. Still good though.

Mouthfeel is both thin and undercarbonated, and this is a less than pleasing combination. The drinkability is okay for the style, and the flavor is good enough to keep you reaching for more, but the lack of carbonation is detrimental to every category except the aroma.

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,431 ratings.