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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
419 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
419
Ratings:
1,781
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,377
Gots:
353
For Trade:
34
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 11-29-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,781
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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of tekstr1der
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours almost black, though much lighter than any other of this style I’ve seen. Aroma is notes of chocolate and espresso, but kind of mild. Whiskey 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 don’t much enjoy whiskey, so perhaps I’m not being exactly objective.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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~

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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.

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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!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.