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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Reviews: 400
Hads: 1,646
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 4.39%
Wants: 1,330
Gots: 337 | FT: 35
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: 1,646
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 bryanbullock
4.31/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Has the look of used motor oil with extremely small amount of carbonation, the bubbles dissipate very quickly. Somewhat more transparent than what I expected.

S - Bourbon forward on the nose, with hints of oak and coffee.

T- The taste is a amalgamation of bourbon and malt, the sweetness pairs effortlessly with the coffee bitters. Small hints of vanilla.

M- Good thick viscosity, smooth all the way through, lacks carbonation.

O- Damn good beer, not as superior to the standard blackout stout that I am already very fond of. (534 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle into a tulip.

dark black pour with a slight head. smell is big on bourbon...expected. taste is very smooth and drinkable. slight bourbon but it didnt overpower the chocolate notes at all and you get a lot of the original beer flavor too. the big knock for me on this beer though is the mouthfeel...almost a thin body. way way too thin for a BA stout, we were joking that this was a session BA stout. still though, the flavor is solid. just wish it had SOME sort of body. (483 characters)

Photo of JohnG190
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Jeff for the trade! Pours black with brown highlights when held to the light. Thin tan head that fades quickly. Not a lot of lacing to speak of. Lots of roasted coffee on the nose. Notes of chocolate, bourbon, and some dark fruit, notably fig. Bourbon on the front of the palate followed by coffee and sweet, dark fruit. Milk chocolate and tobacco on the back end. Nice malty caramel aftertaste. Bourbon gets more and more prominent as it warms. Medium bodied with light carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. Overall a solid BA stout, a little over-hyped, but I'd seek it out again! (587 characters)

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

What can be said about this beer that hasn't already been said in other reviews. A fantastic russian imperial stout to begin with, gets raised to a complex degree when the booze and the wood are introduced from the bourbon barrel-aging. The nose comes big with notes of booze, tobacco, burnt sugar, and caramel with wood coming through in between. Same again when it comes to the palate. All those flavors with added pleasure of bourbon, and everything that that spirit brings to the table. An exceptional ale. (510 characters)

Photo of CLEmark
4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

Overall, very well balanced for a barrel age. The black out stout really holds it's own against the bourbon barrel. Very well done beer, I had a hard time finding anything wrong with it. (325 characters)

Photo of MusicaleMike
3.4/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pouring this to celebrate the end of my local blackout! Thank god that's over...
BA Blackout pours with a deep brown body, about cola colored. A modest tan head rises about only a half inch thick with moderate head retention. Nothing impressive about its appearance for an imperial stout.

However, in the aroma I find much to be impressed with! I smell raisins, dates, boozy alcohol, oak, leather, drunken cherries, chocolate, and soy sauce. Nothing really dominates here, but it's rather well-balanced. It's a rich aroma for sure, and it promises a complex palate.

Up front, this full bodied beer has a booziness on the roof of the mouth. The flavor is a mix of oak, whisky, fruitiness, cocoa, and finally, espresso on the finish. Carbonation is medium, with a mildly bitter hop finish. It's definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum for the style.

One could call this a "drinkable" Imperial Stout, because the abv, while high, is still under 10%. The body is not viscous, and the booziness is mostly contained. It's not the best example of a barrel-aged impy stout. It's not the worst either. It's somewhere in the middle. (1,134 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from jbwimer. Huge thanks for this big want of mine. Bottle pours pitch black into my tulip with a small half finger khaki brown head. Aroma of loads of rich chocolate fudgy goodness, some roasty grains, bourbon, oak, coconut. Flavor is big sweet chocolate up feont with plenty of bourbon and roast, it finishes with huge vanilla from the barrel, some light coconut and chocolate and oh my lord so smooth. Velvety smooth mouthfeel with low carbonation, heavy body. This is fantastic. The finish is one of the best and it is so velvety smooth. Right up there with the best BA stouts and yet much more drinkable. Great Lakes is just such an incredible brewery. (665 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish amber. Off white head forms and leaves some lace. Aroma of malt, coffee, vanilla, of course, some bourbon. In the taste, roasted malt, vanilla, smoke, wood and a warming booze. You get a lot of the barrel with this brew. Roasted and a lot of tannins drying it out. Full bodied, smooth, dry and satisfying. Overall, a different beast than the regular, more coffee and vanilla tasting version. A standalone giant in its own right. (450 characters)

Photo of Seanniek91
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 2013 12oz bottle into a Crooked Stave tulip.

Appearance- Black with quick bubbly off-mocha head that left some good lacing.

Smell- Some vanilla and caramel from the bourbon, milk chocolate, light oak, light booze, no real hop presence, decent chocolate malt backbone.

Taste- Mildly bitter chocolate, vanilla, sweet bourbon, caramel and chocolate malts,super light hops. Light whiskey tinge. Lightly bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Pretty well carbonated, which I wasn't expecting from the pour. Lightly hot. Medium body.

Overall- Solid BA stout. A little hot and a little over carbonated, but still quite pleasant. (632 characters)

Photo of MCain04
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 yr old bottle, poured into a Vault Brewing Co Snifter at around 50F.

Pours a dark brown, near black body, light tan head of good thickness with decent retention, some lacing.

Smell is a lot more bourbon barrel forward than I expected. Heavy bourbon and vanilla, with oak, roasty malt, toffee, and chocolate.

Taste is pretty much along the nose. Really nice bourbon barrel character with a lot of vanilla, bourbon, toffee, and chocolate. A smooth taste. Aftertaste is bitter and roasty. No alcohol burn whatsoever.

Mouthfeel is medium at best. However, the carbonation is about right and it is fairly smooth with a dry finish, not overly sticky.

Overall, this is an excellent BA RIS, one that I am enjoying immensely. It could definitely use a thicker mouthfeel, but is still quite delicious. Worth seeking out. (818 characters)

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

In a BIF box from Vonerichs - thanks!

12oz, 2013 vintage into 10oz wine glass.

The coloring is nice with slight feathering from black to coffee at the edges. But there is no lacing, no evidence of carb at all once it settles into the glass.

The sharp booze note is very upfront but as this mellows and wood, bourbon and roast all pop up.

Well balanced taste with this bottle perhaps needing a few more moths of age to blunt the booze edge. A bit of caramel-vodka aftertaste which is also a rather stark departure from the expectation.

A bit flat, nothing wrong with that but would have preferred more carbonation.

(212th) (628 characters)

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

2013 release vintage poured into snifter. Pours black with a small off white head. Smell is full of great bourbon oak notes, some cinnamon, sweet marshmallow, some coffee , some chocolate. Taste starts with a hit of smooth bourbon oak barrel, some hints of cocoa, coffee, sweet dark fruit, again some cinnamon, small anise flavor. Texture is perfect, velvety smooth. Overall this beer is fantastic, I had one fresh and it was pretty hot, after about 8 months it's has aged wonderfully, amazing bba stout from an amazing Ohio brewery. (533 characters)

Photo of ynsane
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a huge fan of the original Blackout Stout already, I just had to give the barrel aged version a whirl. I was impressed. The added oakiness (for better lack of term) was a grand addition to an already phenomenal brew. It added a great depth of flavor to the already great stout that Great Lakes has had brewing for a while. The mocha notes that start as you take your first sip are satisfying and enjoyable, while the finish hits you with notes of bourbon and vanilla. If you enjoyed the original, give this one a try. I do not think you will be disappointed. (564 characters)

Photo of harrymel
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2013

I'm a huge fan of Blackout and I am happy to have this one in my hands. It's been a want of mine for quite some time that a gracious local BA put into my hands.

It's black as it's namesake and has a central pillow and flanking ring of mocha foam. Smells of graham, oak, toasted malts, residually melted sugars, a hint of craft caramel, some vanilla, alcohol and raw oats. Flavor follows suit: malts, oak, vanilla, oak, leathery, a bit of fig, a solid molasses undertone (nothing too overpowering, just a complement), and some nougat. Nearly full bodied with slightly hi carb and a semi dry finish. This a really tasty beer. I'm glad to have had it, and I would drink it again for certain. (703 characters)

Photo of CJArtanis
4.95/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I can't say enough about this beer. The first thing that comes to mind is the most important characteristic that can be associated with a beer, and wine for that matter, balance. This stout is so overly whelming balanced it's crazy. It's a creamy, velvety, roasty, chocolaty, bourbon flavored masterpiece. I've been brewing myself for 6 years now and can only aspire to craft a beer as grand as this. I could write forever about how delicious it is and it wouldn't do it any justice. If you haven't had this beer, I implore you to buy or get one in a trade. Outstanding! (570 characters)

Photo of Skrypt
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

Overall, this is a really enjoyable brew, but the barrel aging actually took away some of the subtlety that makes the original so good. The barrel characteristics haven't integrated very well. I'm going to let my second bottle sit in the cellar for 12 months or so and see how it compares to the regular Blackout then. (1,018 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently rated #95 on the top 250 beers list. Acquired for $13.00 (I know...) at a local SoCal bottle shop and served into a flared stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given its current ratings as well as my previous good experiences with beers from this brewery. Bottle is 12 fl oz, brown glass, and has a branded "25 years" pry-off cap. Reviewed as a barrel aged imperial stout because it identifies as such on the label. Bottled in 2013. 9.5% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of nice khaki colour. Way too thin, though. Not much creaminess either. Little froth. Looks a bit like a cask ale (and I mean that in a bad way). Retention is okay; it reduces to a floater ring within 40 seconds and the ring hangs around an additional minute and a half. Not a great head for the style, but not a bad one per se. Just a bit underwhelming.

Body colour is an opaque jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's pretty par for the course as far as barrel aged imperial stouts are concerned. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Milk chocolate, chocolate malt, vanilla (but not evocative vanilla bean, more vanilla from bourbon), a hint of molasses, buried roast, and more sweet chocolate notes. Not getting any of the toasty oak I look for in the best of the best barrel aged stouts. The bourbon is surprisingly buried as well, which may be a good sign in that it's subtly complementary of the base beer, or may be a bad sign in that it doesn't commit to the barrel notes. Tasting will reveal all.

No off flavours are overtly obvious. No yeast or hop character is detectable, nor is any alcohol. By no means a boozy or hot aroma. I look for coffee, but don't find any. Likewise for dark fruit.

It does seem a bit too sweet for my tastes based solely on the aroma.

Overall, it's an appealing aroma of fairly high strength.

T: Caramel, dark malts, and chocolate malts fill out the overly sweet body, with some lurking chocolate-covered cherry notes hiding beneath the surface. Vanilla lends still more sweetness, and it isn't particularly welcome. No toasty oak, interesting woody barrel notes, or coffee here. Lacks roast - to its detriment. Some licorice and molasses. A bit of heat hits on the climax and stays through the finish, accompanying the one-dimensional bourbon character. Overall, it's rather narrow for the style; it doesn't have the diversity and depth of flavour that great beers in the style do. The balance is imperfect as well, with too much sweetness coming through as well as a bit of alcohol. I wouldn't call it simple, but it lacks the complexity of better barrel aged imperial stouts. Certainly not a subtle beer either.

As it warms, the third act takes on more bourbon and the vanilla evens out a bit, accompanied by a bit of cocoa dust. I like it warmer. I think the bourbon accentuates the base beer, but it's by no means a perfect marriage.

Flavour intensity is high. Flavour duration is above average. Pretty good amplitude.

No off-flavours, yeast, or hop character comes through. I don't get any charred or burnt qualities either.

Mf: Heavy on the palate, but not overbearing. Filling, sticky, chewy. Thick and full-bodied. Just a touch syrupy. It's a big beer, that's for sure. The mouthfeel complements the flavour profile nicely, but it does get a bit thin right on the finish - which is also where the beer works best. Not an ideal execution of texture for the style, but respectable given the beer's aims. More roasted character (perhaps ideally featuring some rich coffee roast as well) would lend the beer needed subtle coarseness and dryness; it's slick-smooth and wet as is, which doesn't really suit it best. I do like the softness. Unrefreshing. Not harsh, oily, or gushed.

Dr: A tasty little imperial stout from a brewery I really admire. I like it, but top 100? Undeserved. I wouldn't buy it again at this price point, but it is good stuff. There are far better beers in the style well below its price. Recommended for fans of sweeter takes on the style. I'm looking forward to trying the regular blackout. Drinkable for the ABV, but it's still a sipper.

I'd like to revisit this with some age on it; I think a good two years would suit it nicely. Another solid brew from Great Lakes - just not a world-class one.

Low B (4,588 characters)

Photo of DonFrap
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage poured from 12oz bottle into treehouse snifter

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

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

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

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

O: I've had a few bottles of this, both fresh and aged. I definitely recommend sitting on this for at least a year, it ages well. (542 characters)

Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter glass. 2013 edition courtesy of ZRT.

A - Pours pitch black, muddy, with one finger of quick-fizzling sorbet head. A halo remains for the duration and it shows great lacing.

S - Rich, dark chocolate and banana. Bourbon aging has added a lot to the nose. Boozey, but also sweet and complex.

T - Sweet on the tongue initially. Black jelly beans, chocolate syrup, banana, and dark fruits all contribute. Subtle bourbon and char on the finish. The barrel carries through the finish and lingers for a while afterwards. Wow, this stuff is delicious.

M - Thick enough, velvety smooth, and appropriate carbonation. Maybe a touch boozey, but I attribute this mostly to the bourbon, which is invited.

O - The ubarraled version is delicious, but the barrel aging has mellowed the somewhat bitter char and added in layers of sweet complexity. Bourbon is prominent, but not overpowering. I am glad I got a few of these, as I am interested to see how it ages. (997 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle, this treat was a handsome black color with little bubbles forming on the sides of the glass. From the aroma, one gets the hint that this is going to be a good one. A generous boozy aroma jumps out of this one, with malts and dark fruits hiding in the background. In the initial taste, one notes the booze, vanilla, dark fruits, spicy malt, and sweetness that reminds me of gummi bears. In the aftertaste, the taste evolves into burnt sugar with boozy warm malts. The thick texture allows the warming to continue all the way to the belly. This is a really good example of what a barrel aged stout should taste like. (638 characters)

Photo of Vonerichs
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black opaque body with little head. Once it's subsided it's a very tranquil looking flat black surface.

There's layers of smells piled up. Vanilla, oak, toasted marshmallow, chocolate, and heavy on the bourbon.

The taste is also impressive. It's a 2013 bottle, heavy on the bourbon and hot in a good way. Roast and vanilla, bourbon, root beer, and a dash of soy.

Mouthfeel is smooth but a tad bit thin. Low carbonation.

This was a fantastic beer. I wish it had a little heavier body, but otherwise great. (512 characters)

Photo of schwemjw
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark black with a tan/ mocha head that stayed awhile.

S: WOW! A ton of bourbon in here. Oak and coffee swirl around the nostrils. Brown sugar with a hint of caramel. Little bit of real dark chocolate. I could smell this from a mile away. Hints of vanilla are tempting with the slightest bit of coffee bitterness.

T: BOURBON! Lots of vanilla intermingled with deep roasted malt, a hint of a rye bread, caramel and butterscotch. The chocolate is a deep dark chocolate and there is definitely a roasted nut quality here. A dry bitter finish that carries on. Tons of bourbon with a lot of booze at the end. Oak and raisin play with my taste buds while a licorice hints at the sides of my tongue. More please.

M: Full bodied but never over bearing or syrupy. no carbonation but defnitely warming.

O: I absolutely love this beer. I love blackout stout and this just kicks it up a notch. Bigger and bolder with a good hit of bourbon. this is not one to pass on! /96 (970 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
3.77/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 12oz. I have had this a bunch, first review

A- Pitch black to dark brown. Transparent around the edges, but full in the middle. Minimal coffee lacing with low legs. No sticking to the glass, very watery like a CW BA Stout,,,, blah

S- Burnt toffee>sweet malt>dark fruits> and finally the barrel. Thin smelling.

T- Burnt sugar and toffee> sweet malt> barrel> dark fruit.

M- Just fn thin. So sick of thin midwest ba stouts. Central Waters crushes thin BA stouts, Great Lakes has crushed every vintage... whatever, this was an extra. Tastes good when you think of it that way.

O- Just done with Central Waters and Great Lakes. I invite Founders and Goose Island. (689 characters)

Photo of Holland
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown to black pour with a small tan head that clings to the edge of the glass but doesn't touch the middle.

S: bourbon sweetness, toffee, burnt sugar, and dark sweet malt.

T: great balance of sweetness of toffee and bourbon with the earthy bitterness of hops and dark chocolate.

M: great carbonation, but could use just a tad more body to it. Still a fantastic feel to this beer.

O: Excellent beer, quite different from the sweet barrel aged stouts that I like (BCBS, Black Note) and much better bourbon flavor than the hoppier and drier stouts like Abyss and BA Blackbeerd. Maybe it's the time I'm drinking it (5 months after release), but it's delicious. (673 characters)

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