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

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,427 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,427
Reviews: 388
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 1,270
Gots: 278 | FT: 22
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: 1,427 | Reviews: 388 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ArrogantJaron
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
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

Photo of boothbeer
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 release.

A- Name of this beer says it all. This is pitch black. I was surprised though with the very little amount of head and the color. Very light colored- off white head. No lacing.

S-Smell of very smooth bourbon. Some roasty malts, and lots of coffee aroma,but the bourbon overpowers in a good way.

T- Holy Bourbon! But again, not in a bad way. Not too much burn. Some toasted flavors and coffee and vanilla really come through. Great flavor.

M- Very good. Oily texture, but a little thinner than expected. Mild carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. I think a pint might be my limit due to the bourbon flavor. But this is a great beer and I hope to try it again.

Photo of PenguinBeerFan
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of portia99
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of nonstick. Thanks again Chris! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours pitch black (really black...blackest beer I've seen) with a thin collar of off-white buttles and a couple of small islands on the surface. No lacing.

S - Tons of coffee, burnt and dark roasted malts. Little to no hop aroma. As it warms a little I start to pick up some vanilla and a little hit of alcohol. Aroma is a little on the light side.

T - Coffee, dark roasted malts...very roasty overall. Lots of vanilla and some wood. Very rich and creamy, a touch of sweetness. Very smooth. This is a great tasting imperial stout, the barrel aging adds some nice touches to this.

M - This might be the best part of the beer. Very thick and full bodied, wouldn't really cal it syrupy...more like heavy cream...a liquid 'down comforter'. Just amazing.

D - This is an extremely smooth RIS...easily in my top 3. Definitely would like to see another bottle of this...have to keep my eye out to trade for more. Alcohol isn't really noticeable, just rich, cream, and roasty. Excellent - highly recommended.

Photo of Sean9689
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, 22oz bomber, into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black (hence, Blackout) with a tannish colored head that builds up to about a fingers-worth of head and then disipiates down to a thin cap and a tan ring around the edge and some lacing on the side of the glass.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, bourbon, gingerbread, vanilla, cinnamon, expresso, and caramel. I'm mostly picking up the sweetness of this one, and really not much of the bourbon or oak. Each swirl of the glass refreshes the sweetness, but no alcohol hotness in sight. Amongst the best-smelling RIS's I've ever had.

T - Not near as sweet as the nose. Bitter dark chocolate and expresso are most prevalent and once the initial bitter notes back off, there's a slight sweetness on the finish. The oak and bourbon is there, but it adds to the beer and melds well with the bitter chocolate and coffee notes.

M - Medium bodied, perhaps a bit too thin for me, but still a rich beer nonetheless. Carbonation is slightly tingles and the finish is dry, and leaves you wanting to refresh your palate with more Blackout goodness.

D - The 2008 vintage is drinking nicely at the moment. The alcohol is hidden pretty well and once detected, adds to the overall flavor. I'm going to wait a while to open a 2009, but I'll add my notes here when I do so.

Photo of coldmeat23
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Super thanks to my Ohio hook-up for this one!

Yes, it pours pitch black. It forms a head of about one-fingers worth of light brown colored foam. This dissipates, rather quickly, leaving a thin, filmy, surface covering. The lacing is in tiny spots, but rather sticky.

No surprises in the nose. Big notes of chocolates and coffees. Good presence of oakiness and roasted malt notes. Light hints of booze and dark fruits.

Good god, that's good.
This is super balanced and delicious. Dark roasted coffee beans, some of them covered in dark chocolate, are having a great time swimming around in the chocolate milk pool. The lifeguard, brown sugar, who is wearing his famous caramel bathing suit, dips in from time to time, just to check things out. The figs and plums are sunbathing by the side of the pool, while the cherries are sitting on the edge, dangling into the milky goodness. Someone is having a cookout, because I get notes of oak and hints of smoke, also.

This one is full-bodied with a mild level of carbonation. It has a light creaminess to it, which makes it very silky-smooth and lucious.

Okay, the 9.00%abv helps it have a mild warming effect, on the way down. Other than that though, the abv is almost undetected. The smoothness, of body and flavor, make this one super easy to drink.
If anything, I'd say that this beer is probably under-hyped. It's that good.

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

Huge thanks go out to sproser for including this in an amazing box.

Pours a pitch death black with an ok tan head that requires a vigorous pour to form, but lingers pretty well and leaves ok lacing.

Nose is alot of roasted malt, a dose of booze, and a little chocolate profile.

Wow. This is quite excellent. Starts of with huge notes of chocolate and cream. Shortly after big portions of roasted malt come out alongside a slight liquor note. Wood and chocolate come out again around the finish, and a small suprise of some relatively significant bitterness. The aftertaste lingers with a great melding of roasted malt, bitterness, booze, and some chocolate. Incredibly complex, turning a page with every sip.

Mouthfeel is pretty much flawless here. Nice and chewy with the perfect amount of carbonation. A nice light dryness on the finish but mostly big and slick.

Drinkability is pretty much what you would expect out of a 9% impy stout. Pretty solid, will finish the bomber with ease.

Overall, this is a very very nice barrel aged imperial stout. The original blackout is a classic, so i expected nothing less than excellence here, and they came through. There are better barrel aged stouts out there, but very, VERY few. The complexity is a marvel here, as it changes with every sip, so much going on. Would love to see how this would do with age, I think it would do amazingly well with a couple years on it. Definitely pick some up if you get the chance, excellent beer.

Photo of unclejedi
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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

Reviewing from notes taken at the Great Lakes BA Blackout release party this fall. Had it on tap for the second time and it was quite a treat. Traded away four of my six bottle allocations and looking to enjoy one myself here in the near future!

Appearance- Comes off the tap an opaque black with a minimal ring of tan head much in the league of many barrel-aged stouts that I've had. Spot on for the style.

Smell- Complex, tasty, and interesting. Lots of very well blended notes of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, burnt coffee, sweet molasses, and brown sugar. The wood is very evident here but rounded out nicely through the roastiness and coffee accents that show through from the base stout.

Taste- Again, lots of bourbon, vanilla, and wood here. However, as will the nose, the roasted qualities of the original base stout blend nicely with the barrels (this year Buffalo Trace for the first time rather than Jim Beam) and show through. Some warming alcohol on the way down but not sharp by any means.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is silky smooth and substantial, though oddly not as heavy as I was expecting. Drinkability is surprisingly good as I found that the roasted elements in the taste helped minimize some of the overwhelming sweetness I usual find in this style. Goes down quite easy.

Overall, one of the big boys. Try this if you can, it's very good and I'd say one of the best barrel-aged offerings out of the state of Ohio.

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

When in doubt, just barrel-age it. It's kinda like bacon; any dish is immediately improve by adding bacon, even ice cream.

As with the original, the Barrel Aged Blackout is almost black, almost opaque, and almost holds an ideal head. The thin and lightly tanned foam struggles to retain, but does eventually succum to the lighter carbonation and alcohols. Very light lacing all arround.

Espresso and cocoa dominate the glass with intense level of flavor. These flavors alternate with each sip, never knowing which will prevail on the next. Backup flavors of cherries, licorice, and rum-like alcohols give rise to the esters and strength of the Stout. Caramel sweetness emerges from the alcohols with a sugary-sweet teeth coating feel. Quite hot and with a harsh cough-syrup numbing quality, this beer proves to be quite young and unrefined. The malt flavor in the aftertaste is accompanied by a woody, nutty taste that helps with dryness and complex flavors thanks to the barrel aging. The oak accentuates the sweetness of the beer while adding these nutty notes for added depth.

I remember when Arrogant Bastard came out in an oak aged version, the sweetness was more pronounced and the woods rounded out the alcohols. This beer takes on the same results, just in a Stout-like way. If this beer was less alcoholic in the mouthfeel, it could rival the greats.

Thanks Boatshoes!

Photo of maximum12
5/5  rDev +14.4%
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!!

Photo of alcstradamus
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for the trade boatshoes

This poured a pitch black color with the latest forming head I've ever seen. I actually thought it was flat at first, because I did a pour dead center into the middle of my tulip and got nothing. I turned around to set the bottle down and when I turned back suddenly there was a quarter inch of head sitting there. Spooky.

Smell is a lovely blend of roasted malts, sweet dark fruit, wood, chocolate, and toffee. The bourbon is surprisingly mellow, I thought this one would be a little more bold since it is so young. Not that I'm complaining....this is pretty damn nice.

The taste, while good, doesn't quite hit the level that the smell did. In my opinion, the base beer for this is a solid stout but honestly I didn't see how barrel aging it could turn it into a world class beer, and as I sit here and sip on it I feel my suspicions were correct. While the barrel does add some complexities, it still comes off rather generic in the world of giant barrel aged monstrosities. I suppose there is a time and a place for generic, but never will I call it world class. What we have here is just a damn good barrel aged stout--nothing more, nothing less.

Mouthfeel is medium/full and relatively flat. There are some bubbles, but not a whole lot. More carbonation probably would have helped this quite a bit, because in its current heavy state the complexities don't seem to blend as well as they should. All that being said, it still NEARLY works.

I'm actually surprised to see that this beer is only 9%. I would have guess it was in the 11-13 range, probably because of the heaviness on the tongue which causes the volatiles to just sit and burn away. It really isn't very hot, but it is hotter than it should be. Nonetheless, this is a solid beer but I'm really not sure it should be as highly rated as it is. But that is up for you to decide for yourself....seek this out!

Photo of Wasatch
3.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to unclejedi for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
2009 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a black color, some carbonation, not much of a head at all, a couple of tiny islands appear. The nose is malty, with some oak notes, chocolate, toffee, some spice. The taste is malty, nice oak note, chocolate/toffe, with some spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, but not what it's hyped up to be.

Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, 2008 vintage, poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and is completely opaque black in the glass with a small, short-lived tan head that recedes to a collar, leaves spotty lacing on the sides.

The aroma is nice - dark and roasty with the bourbon barrel only complimenting things. There are dark chocolate malts and roasted coffee mainly with the vanilla from the oak and a little bourbon coming through in the background.

The bourbon steps forward a little in the taste with the vanilla coming in up front as well. The backbone is still mainly chocolate sweetness and dark roasted malts but the finish brings back the barrel presence with a definite burn going down.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation and a slightly dry oaky finish.

This is a very good bourbon barrel stout with the barrel character coming out aggressively in the taste. Overall, it's a big sweet and smooth imperial stout that's got a bit more chocolate than the typical RIS.

Photo of dukedevil0
3.68/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this 2009 release bomber from a nice new trader shrxxm216, thanks brett!

A: Pours a dark black color though slightly thin with a slow arriving khaki colored one finger head that reduces down to just a tiny rim and not really any lacing.

S: Smells awesome, like a triple chocolate cookie, milk and dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, even some nutmeg, tobacco

T: Tastes similar to the smell, but not nearly as pleasant - lots of chocolate both milk and dark, roasted malts, but less vanilla, oak, tobacco flavors - a slight boozy taste...this really just tastes like a mess of flavor

M: This is my biggest disappointment with this beer and maybe it would be better on tap, but it's so much thinner than I would ever want a top notch imperial stout to be. This is close porter territory for me. I'm guessing that barrel aging thinned it out some. The carbonation is so low that this is almost like a cask ale.

D: It doesn't really feel like a BIG beer, but there is a slight alcohol flavor and it just doesn't hold up to my expectations for flavor and mouthfeel

Photo of mothman
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter

Color is black with tan head, very small head. Due to light pour.

Aroma: Sweet caramel and sugar, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, coffee. Amazing how everything flows so well.

Taste: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, sweet caramel. Very awesome.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, sweet. Near perfect. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Clean.

Overall, one of my new favorite beer. It is really awesome. I am impressed and want more. Very great flavors and extremely drinkable.

Photo of koopa
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from a nice BA thanks!

Appearance: Very dark brown / borderline black body with a nice dark brown crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: A good amount of bourbon and sweet oak over some roast malt.

Taste: Sweet oak dominates, followed by roast malt, mild chocolate notes and some bourbon...the exact opposite of the nose!

Mouthfeel: Disappointing until it warms ups. Then you get a body that is on the fuller side of medium with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good considering the strength.

I didn't like it as much as I was hoping to but its a solid brew.

Photo of rhinos00
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Didn't make it to the release, but this gem was still on-tap almost a week later. Poured into a snifter. Served a little on the cold side, tried to give it some time to warm up. 2009 Version (aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels).

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brown, borderline black. Produced two fingers width of cream colored head; reduced to a frothy ring.

S- Notes of chocolate, subtle vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Very mellow, but a complete package in terms of complexity.

T- Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and bourbon create a perfect blend as soon as it touches the palate. More on the mellow side at first, yet quite complex. The bourbon comes forward a little more in the finish along with some of the barrel qualities.

M- At first it was slightly watered down and not as viscous as I had hoped for. However, after I let this beer warm up, the body thickened a bit and was more than satisfactory.

D- For a BA RIS, this was incredibly drinkable. At 10% abv. can't ask for much more.

Overall, a little more bourbon forward then some I have had in the past, but still maintained the subtle complexities of an aged bottle. Incredibly smooth and a perfect fit between BA RIS that have too much bourbon and BA RIS that do not have enough bourbon qualities in them.

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

22oz. brown bottle poured into a snifter. '08 bottles, notes from awhile back.

A: Pours pitch black with good viscosity. Nice big strong dark tan head forms and holds nicely. Nice lacing.

S: Bourbon isn't quite as potent as on tap but very balanced as always with GLBC. Nice mellow coffee and chocolate. Some juicy hops and alcohol add even more depth.

T/M: Just a great balanc of everything. all the flavors are so potent but very balanced with melds together nicely. A great, robust stout booming with rich caramel and molasses and even some nutty flavors. Great bourbon and alcohol warmth mix in and add depth. Just so damn complex. Body is full and silky smoothy without geting cloying.

D: Pretty damn high for a RIS, especially a bourbon barrel stout. a fantastic offering.

Photo of khiasmus
3.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is the rhythm of the night. The horns blaring, jarring lights glaring in the corners of the eyes, a cold wind whipping the streets far below, swaying the building, and only black when he looks up. Well, almost only black. The city's dank glow cast a hint of brown about the edges of the field of vision, a few small puffs of soap-bubble cloud drift by at eye level, then he is left with the cold, lonely blackness.
The aroma of the city drifts upwards, the massive amounts of bourbon from the distillery many long stories below. The city is rank with it, dripping with it. It is tearing apart families and building empires, creating both pleasure and misery, heartbreak, fatigue... The shoppes, then, a leather-shoppe, mingling with the bourbon as he kneels on the edge... A cream-sweetness, the old ice cream place, vanillins, the oak barrels of the fire-water plants, the warm stench of alcohol, burnt, spent grain.
And the flavours of that city... as many as the aromas, if not quite as piquant. Bourbon, of course. The cornerstone. World-class licorice, vanilla fudge, sweet oak-alcohol, alcohol, alcohol in the finish, and the burnt grain that wafts through, it's necessary for the plant, necessary for the city's survival, the constant burnt grain floating down the river, children laugh and play...
It's thin, though. warming and dry, wry humor, the humor that is built upon deep despair. Low carbonation, as any good distillery town should have... Few bubbly people, there's far too much to be somber about, too many bloody faces walking the streets, too many children without fathers.
The city is enjoyable for a tourist. You wouldn't want to live there, you wouldn't want to drink it constantly as the locals do, it will draw you in. WATCH OUT! It will draw you in, you'll never escape, you'll grow old and red, your world will become an endless dreamscape.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes:

2516 Series.

Pours a cola color. Decent head, retention, and lacing.

No mistaking this is a BA stout from the aroma...big time roasted barley, bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, espresso, etc etc. Slightly nutty quality, too.

I hate to give this beer a 3.5 for flavor, but it was just a little too hot. The 9% ABV made itself known early and often. Some time in the cellar would do good, but this is still a damn good beer. It's got all of the elements of a dynamite imperial stout, but just a little too much heat. Will hopefully be re-visiting this one soon.

Photo of fiver29
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Easily one of the best beers I have tried. You can certainly tell this beer was aged in Jim Beam Barrels. Here in Cleveland they do a Jim Beam tasting along with beer tasting with this special release. Strong bourbon and toasted coffee aroma. Pours black with nice head retention. Bourbon flavors abound a light mouthfeel followed by dark chocolate/coffee like flavors. Beautiful long finish.

Photo of John_M
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium off-white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of of well balanced vanilla, bourbon, oak with some deep roasted malt. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some bourbon. Vanilla and deep roasted malt with not one flavor overtaking the other. Body is lightly creamy while being full and carbonation is perfect for style, i.e. about average with no apparent alcohol. Easily drinkable with just enough character.

Photo of rayjay
3.63/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Viscous looking black beer without significant carbonation or foam. Tiny islands of foam do persist though.

Lots of whiskey on the nose, a bit distracting. Smells like Canadian whiskey. Lots of sweet malts too, masking the roasted malts.

Very smooth and sweet, leading more to the Canadian whiskey parallel. Reminds me of a Dr Pepper and Canadian whiskey drink. Not a malt sweetness, more of a syrup-type sweetness, definitely bogarting the spotlight a bit. Roasted malts and hop bitterness are noticeable, but you have to look for them. I detect a lot more carmel malt than I remember being in the regular version (which I love). No heat at all, but gives you whiskey fume breath with every sip. I wish the wood was more up front.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, guess I was expecting a heavier mouthfeel. Still pretty good. Carbonation is low. Smooth, but not the velvet mouthfeel type. More like whiskey drink on ice smooth.

Definitely drinkable, although drinking a bomber solo is a challenge. A good beer worth seeking out, but a bit of a let-down based on other reviews. I just really think the liquor is too dominant and distracting. Cheers!

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,427 ratings.