1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,152 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1152
Reviews: 374
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.13%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 1,152 | Reviews: 374 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of drgonzo3705
drgonzo3705

Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well this will be my first review and I figured why not start with this yearly gem.

A - Served in a small snifter (8-10oz?) with a small tan head. Very dark almost mahogany.

S - Mmmm Bourbon. That was the first thing I smelled. Not much else, some roasted and dark chocolate hints in there. I just can't get enough of the bourbon smell!

T - Mmmmm more bourbon. Not overpowering but very tasty. Mostly tastes the same as it smells. The bourbon taste simmers down as it warms making finishing the glass easy (I sat with it for an hour, 15 minutes of that I debated whether to make love to it or drink it)

D - I could drink this all night. Well as long as I paced myself. This years batch is 10% ABV so it would be like babysitting it if I wanted to drink a lot of it.

Overall this is a great way to enjoy an already classic! I love the regular Blackout Stout. Then they throw it in some Bourbon Barrels? Absolutely genius! I definitely plan on making this a yearly ritual. Can't wait to get some more!

Serving type: on-tap

10-17-2008 00:02:19 | More by drgonzo3705
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.95/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage.

Pours a deep deathly black letting no light through when held to light. Head is short and short lived but nice for a Barrel aged stout that is three years old. Nose has a distinct mix of bourbon and chocolate that is wonderful. I could just sit and smell this beer all night. Sweet bourbon notes grace the tongue so smooth and consistant. Chocolaty and syrupy without being to heavy. Candied and oh so good flavor profile that just lasts and lasts. A bit of tingling bourbon on the back of the tongue. This brew has aged wonderfully. Mouthfeel is full of rich coco. Highly drinkable, as a matter of fact you dont want the glass to end.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 23:25:47 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to the kind BA who sent this one mu way. Another one I had been trying to track down for a while. Twenty Two ounce bottle was served in oversized wine glass at cellar temperature. Consumed on 08/11/2008.

A very dark and very big pour on this one. Poured jet black, with absolutely no light penetrating it whatsoever. Nice tan head about two inches in height came up over the top rather quickly and stayed for a good couple minutes, at which point it decided to settle down into a tin cover of about a half an inch in height that stayed with it until the very end. Lots of sticky side glass lacing on this one just helped to complete the package.

The aroma was very big, and to be honest, much sweeter then I thought it would be. Lots of chocolate notes here on the smell, roasted coffee, hints of bourbon and vanilla as well. Very nice and complex without being terribly overdone. The flavor was much more of the same. Started with a warm rush of bourbon and wood, with touches of vanilla thrown in as well. Rich with lots of lactose flavor and sweet milk chocolate. A smooth, creamy body, very nice carbonation on this one I have to admit. As it warms it starts to mellow a bit, some light alcohol notes in the back and more of a pungent vanilla taste. Woody, with lots of oak like hints mixed in, but again, primarily sweet and not too heavy on the bourbon. A very fine nightcap, I enjoyed this one over the course of several hours and it made a fine sipper next to the TV.

Overall I thought this was a great BA beer. Not the heavy, dripping with bourbon and whiskey tones that you tend to see sometimes, this was much more subdued, with gentle hints layered on top of an already good beer. I would love to get another one to see how this holds up.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 23:47:02 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black, but brown at the edges with a very light tan head that retains well and leaves bits of lacing. Sweet smell like a coffee with creamer; oak, vanilla, and bourbon is also present. It immediately gives me sweet malt and vanilla flavors. It also has some creamy, lactose notes to it. Roastiness seems rather subdued in comparison to the regular Blackout Stout. Amazingly smooth going down; full bodied with light carbonation. Great beer, thanks go to kmweaver for the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 00:33:12 | More by badbeer
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.23/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark ruby brown color with a small, light tan head. Needs to be much darker. Timid nose, with only a light hint of the barrel element. Thin mouth feel, low complexity and fairly depthless character overall. Some hints of caramel and corn whiskey, but there is hardly much of a beer underneath. This is a rerate of the newer bottling, but its a lot like the first: bland, poorly concentrated, lacking texture and just dull overall.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2008 16:41:13 | More by Crosling
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4.43/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an unassuming, black body with a small white head.

Smell: Chocolatey, caramel-coated dark maltiness with bourbon notes of vanilla, oak, and coconut cream.

Taste: Sweet dark maltiness with a creamy caramel-chocolate taste. Mild sweetness. Growing alcohol warmth. The bourbon kicks in alongside an increased sweetness. Distinct wood hint and a taste of canned coconut cream. Never more than a faint roastiness. Drying, bourbony finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite nice, Great Lakes, but then again so was your original Blackout.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2008 22:37:01 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

4.58/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle acquired from Sephiroth about six months ago and has been in the cellar ever since, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to try this brew, took me about two hours to get through last night, poured into my Chimay goblet

A-Black color with no light going through even though it looked a little thin, 3/4 inch creamy tan head, stuck around for about five minutes, decent retention, great lacing for a barrel-aged beer

S-Aroma was awesome with a big spicy bourbon scent, lots of oak and vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted malts, hint of espresso, somehow a bit of hoppiness, and figs

T-Bourbon did not waste any time in attacking my palate, stung my tongue on the initial sip which made me aware of how much whiskey had actually seaped into this one, some sweet vanilla in the middle, extremely dark chocolate at the end with an obvious oak character, got smoother as it warmed and the bourbon settled down a bit but not enough, the finish became slightly drier with a coffee feel that was barely recognizable, also got a little sweeter with some dark fruit and stronger vanilla flavors, nicely balanced and very enjoyable

M-Very spicy, hot, roasted, and sweet mouthfeel, seriously complex, taste lingered for a long time because of the booze presence, pretty thin body for a stout, perfect level of carbonation

D-I drank this whole bottle by myself but could not have drank much more, packs a punch at nine percent alcohol, incredibly smooth though, bourbon is present in taste but not too strong, light on the stomach for what it is

I was expecting a lot from this being that I gave up my last bottle of Angel's Share for it, worth all the hype and much better than the standard Blackout Stout from Great Lakes in my opinion, think this is brewed once a year and it is definitely worth seeking out, cannot really go wrong with a barrel aged stout, would love to drink again

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2008 16:49:12 | More by Floydster
Photo of WeisGuy
WeisGuy

New York

4.38/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to markgugs for this bottle. Series 2516.

a - pours inky black with a one-finger tan head, retention around the edges mainly, decent lacing

s - very strong bourbon notes on the nose mixed with deeply roasted malt and caramel, some dark fruits, plum and hints of black cherry along with some dark chocolate as secondary aromas

t - intense dark maltiness up front with a very prominent dose of bourbon quickly following, when cold, the booziness tastes more like rum, but bourbon is definitely dominant when the beer warms a little, the finish has more strong bourbon notes mixed in with a lot of caramel and lighter plum notes, high cacao % chocolate lingers on the palate along with bourbon booziness and caramel for quite awhile, definitely tastes like it's stronger than 9%, but that's really not a bad thing here

m - full-bodied, moderate carbonation, the finish is slightly dry, but fairly well balanced between the bitterness and sweetness

d - surprisingly drinkable for a beer where booziness plays such a prominent role in the taste, complexity keeps me taking sips trying to decipher all the flavors, overall though, this is certainly a sipper

Great beer overall...definitely worthy of the high ratings. The booziness is strong, but it doesn't mask the other flavors. I much prefer this to the regular Blackout Stout. I have a feeling that a little more bottle aging would do this beer good.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2008 00:55:33 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beer sent via the Simply Beer BIF from Mike (mcallister), thanks guy!

Oh man, label says bottle number 412 of 900, bottled in 2006.n This is one of those beers you hate to open, but then you realize - what the fork, let's rip into it.

Daaammn, this is bourbon with a stout backbone. Pure black, no head - the 9% dominates the pour and subdues all head. Beer just doesn't get any better than this.

Cherry boubon mash, guessing Jim Beam (one of my favorites). This thing takes your breath away, in a most enjoyable way. Luvly beer to start (hopefully) spring in 2008.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2008 18:52:04 | More by Vancer
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks go out to BuckeyeNation for his benevolence and generosity in sending me this fine beer.

Bottle labeled "Series 2516"

Appearance: It pours an extremely dark brown, nearly jet black color. The head is a dark, mocha brown color and is roughly two fingers deep. Retention was relatively good though lacing leaned toward the lighter end of the spectrum. In comparison, it's not materially different from Blackout Stout, which is also a very fine looking brew.

Smell: Clearly, it's elite in this regard. Very vibrant chocolate and roasted malt aroma is perfectly complemented with a touch of bourbon. The bourbon aroma is easily noticeable, but far from overwhelming. I gravitate more towards that combo as opposed to those where the bourbon is the primary feature. Roasted coffee, faint dark fruit, and light toasted nut aromas add complexity and depth. Alcohol appears to be masked very well. Hops make a slight appearance toward the end. There's no constructive way I could criticize the nose on this one. It truly is exceptional in every way.

Taste: Frankly, it's very similar to the nose. The bourbon flavor is blended very well with chocolate and roasted malts and complements those flavors very well. The bourbon again comes across as a secondary flavor. It's far from overwhelming. To me, the stout element of the beer is the primary attraction. There is a very nice roasted coffee flavor. Plum and toasted nut flavors are noteable, but not overly strong. It's very complex and flavorful. My only complaint is that the light hops that are noticeable in smell disappear in taste. Just a little light hop bitterness would perhaps take it to the next level. Very minor, constructive criticism. It's truly hard to take anything away from it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It definitely leans toward medium bodied. It's still a sipping beer and certainly one to savor. Carbonation is excellent. The mouthfeel is very creamy, smooth, and among the best I've had. Despite its high abv, it's very drinkable. I'm certainly appreciating the one bottle I have very much and am wishing I had more. This is an excellent bourbon barrel stout. It's clearly one of the best I've had the opportunity to try. Kentucky Breakfast Stout is perhaps a slight bit better, but not much. If you have the opportunity to try this one, you certainly should.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2008 02:13:31 | More by prototypic
Photo of wcudwight
wcudwight

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sepiroth for the beer.
Black in color with a small lasting fizzy chocolate colored head. Nice lacing for the style.
Bourbon and charcoal in the aroma.
Nice mixture of RIS and bourbon flavors with neither overwhelming the other. RIS flavors include chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. The roasted malts are not as strong as most RISs though the beer does not miss it much b/c the bourbon flavors fill in nicely. I'm really starting to like these bourbon aged beers.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but the bourbon adds a nice sharpness that keeps the mouthfeel interesting.
Good, drinkable, another fine beer from Great Lakes brewing.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 03:55:49 | More by wcudwight
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

October 2007 release. Purchased at the Great Lakes gift shop. Obliterative onyx with a sliver of sepia along the bottom edge. The three finger crown is the exact color of golden brown sugar and has a creamy solidity about it. Bourbon barrel-aged beers tend not to be lace monsters, but this one is pretty impressive in that regard.

Oddly enough, the aroma isn't bursting at the seams with bourbon. I love the fact that the GL brewers see this ale as an RIS that is accented with whiskey, not completely saturated with it. Dark chocolate, espresso and vanilla bean are joined by exactly the right amount of bourbon. Perfection.

The flavor profile is pretty much as expected. In other words, bourbon whiskey is at least as prominent as stout, without overwhelming the base beer. First impression: this offering is roughly as good as Blackout Stout, but not appreciably better.

For whatever reason, the body/mouthfeel seems to take a hit when a beer is barrel-aged. In any case, this special release doesn't taste as chock full of malt as the standard version. The flavor profile includes chocolate liqueur, ground coffee beans, a surprising amount of vanilla, dark brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and... America's greatest spirit. If I'm not mistaken, the barrels were acquired from the Jim Beam distillery. Good choice. Jim Beam Black is one of my standbys.

As noted above, the mouthfeel falls short of perfection. That doesn't mean, however, that it's less than pleasureable. Great Lakes is one of the best 'mouthfeel breweries' around and they've done themselves proud yet again. Time and warming add a light creaminess to the festivities.

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout combines my second favorite style with my first or second favorite liquor, and is brewed by one of my favorite breweries. How could it fail to be anything less than amazing? Thanks to my brother for securing a double handful of this exceptional ale last autumn. I can't wait until this October when I can replenish my stock. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2008 22:40:08 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 650 mL bottle, number 540 of 900 from the 2006 release, from a Dark Lord Day 2007 trade with kirok1999.

A: The stout pours thick and dark as a blackout on a moonless night. Even when I hold the Troegenator mug to a light source, ruby highlights are few and far between. A small coating of tan head tops off the stout with moderate lacing.

S: The nose is heavy on bourbon, an oaky, corn-laden sweetness that is right at home amongst the burnt, charred grains of the stout.

T: WOW! This is a well-blended, balanced stout. The barrel aging (and subsequent cellar aging) has done wonders, concentrating a buttery, oaken boozy flavor that is sweet but not overpowering. The result is a nice warming bourbon flavor. Interspersed with the bourbon is the body of the beast: Blackout! Dark molasses, burnt toast and raisins, baker's chocolate define the moist stout. A subtle tartness pops up near the end of a sip, adding a twist before fading back to a bourbon finish. This is the best barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout (not American Double Stout, mind you) that I've had.

M: A near-perfect blend of bourbon and stout. Neither taste overpowers the other, instead they play nicely from the first sip to the last.

D: If you've got an '06 vintage laying around, it's drinkin' beautifully right now. The alcohol is present but never distracting and the bourbon-stout combo is a revelation.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 02:41:04 | More by akorsak
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to miketd for so generously offering up a bottle of this rarity!! Dark, opaque black pour that holds a light to medium head poured into a snifter. Nose is rich and complex with dark semi-sweet roasted malt, an appropriate and not overwhelming amount of bourbon, and notes of spicy oak and vanilla. Very good job of incorporating the barrell, and not just the bourbon. Flavor is dark and roasty with a good amount of bourbon and a woodsy, light vanilla and almost spiced flavor to go along. Alcohol came into play as it warmed up a bit more than I'd like, but even with that, it was a fantastic beer, and most importantly, the bourbon barrel didn't ruin the beer, but added new complementing flavors. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 03:26:35 | More by JDV
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through trade with Sephiroth.

Clear very dark brown colored beer with a thin brown head.

The smell is sweet chocolate and light bourbon with the required whiskey and vanilla aroma. Little bit of Kahlúa aroma in this, the coffee is there just toned down a bit. When you pour this at first it deceives you in to thinking this isn't a bourbon barrel beer and then it hits you in the scent. After the ethanol fumes get started this is all Kahlúa and Bourbon.

The taste starts out sweet but coffee bitter too with a big vanilla and bitter chocolate aftertaste. Fairly big whiskey taste here and it is a complex bourbon flavor. Oak, citrus, oak, vanilla, caramel, and flowers.

Mouthfeel is good.

A sipping beer here and quit high in alcohol. Not to thick a beer this is quite close to bourbon and coffee with crème in flavor and sensation. Still this is the sort of beer like KBS that is a one a night type of beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2008 03:49:40 | More by Zorro
Photo of mwegryn
mwegryn

Ohio

4.8/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I see quite a few outside the Cleveland area have got to try this one. I've never had it in the bottle, only straight from the tap:) It has all the characteristics of the regular blackout to me. I taste dark chocolate, espresso, vanilla, and a hint of woodiness. The barrel aged adds the distinct flavor of bourbon, and also intensifies the woodiness. The first couple sips will definitely warm your throat. Probably not for anyone that thinks the average stout or porter is too intense. The only reason I gave drinkability a 4 is because of the abv% and richness, a couple will do just fine. I always look forward to this one every autumn. Overall, a very unique beer that any stout fan that can get their hands on some should try.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2008 01:14:31 | More by mwegryn
Photo of BeerTruth
BeerTruth

Connecticut

4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sephiroth for this brewski.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic. Series 2516.

Pours a midnight black with a one finger tan colored head that quickly dies down to an outter ring of bubbles. Thin webbing left on the sides of the glass. Smell is a wonderful blend of roasted barley, carmelized sugar, vanilla, raisins, bourbon, almond, and smoked oak. Sweet aroma overall, extremely enjoyable. Probably one of the best smelling RIS I've ever put my nose to. Smokey caramel malt up front with fresh ground coffee flavors. Bourbon and whiskey sweetness on the tongue from start to finish, but just the right amount. Aftertaste is almost oatmeal stout like with kick. Not the heavy body most RIS have, but for that reason I love the mouthfeel. Slick carbonation that coats the mouth. I really like this twist on the style. I could see some people not liking this because of the almost thin mouthfeel, but to each their own. I'm a bit up in the air as to whether or not age will help this one, but I have an extra bottle so what the hell, let's give it a shot.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 01:37:23 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small snifter.

Solid black color, with minimal head.

Aroma, sweet, rich, bourbony, decadent. Molasses, anise, a bit of charcoal, but mostly sweet whiskey.

There's the same in the taste, only more intensely. Thick and rich, the imperial stout qualities that were hiding behind the bourbon in the aroma are coming forward in the flavor.
Big and roasty, loads of dark malt, gets drier, more of a dry roast, coating the throat, very satisfying. Almost refreshing!
Wait, did I say that about a thick, dark richly roasting RIS, aged in bourbon? Maybe I did...
It's -10 outside. In this weather, that's refreshment!

I'm a sucker for bourbon, and love an RIS. This one is quite a nice accomplishment. Doesn't quite do enough for me with each sip, something in it lacks complexity, but a little more comes out in the swallow, it rushes further flavor back along the throat. And then there's the heat that follows, and the fullness of flavor, and the warmth...damn, I'm glad my heat is working, and I'm glad I cracked this open tonight of all nights. Hey, I just heard it may get to 2 above later tomorrow...right on!

A wonderful drink, and many praises to BuckeyeNation for getting this out to me!

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 08:18:09 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of CrescentLake
CrescentLake

New York

4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is not the barrel aged stout!... There needs to be a distinction created between the barrel-aged, which is a twelve year process, and simply, the annual "black out stout. " I've had both, I was at the brewpub on the 2006 release of the barrel... and i also enjoy it annually. Basically, the age provides the detph you might expect, but eitherway this beer is awesome. I have had both bottles and draft...it'll get you drunk! It's one of the best non-imperial stouts I've every enjoyed... BUT this is first Great Lakes I've reviewed...and (not to be arrogant) but I believe I have a complex beer pallate for a 22 year old, I believe the all Great Lakes beers have such a distinct and acquired/different taste, that once you dig in... your done, it's awesome...must be the water, but hopefully not Lake Erie. Maybe it's the hint of feral snakefish and zebra mussels.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2008 06:42:07 | More by CrescentLake
Photo of Overlord
Overlord

California

4.33/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a light tan head. Carbonation settles down fairly quickly.

Big smelling and tasting beer. Gigantic coffee and chocolate overtones, with a larger than expected licorice and caramel aftertaste. Maybe a hint of vanilla and ... currant? ... rounding it out. Boozy, oaky, and bourbony.

Delicious, but a bit overpowering by the time you get to the bottom of the bottle. I swear there's some hops in here, as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2008 08:28:45 | More by Overlord
Photo of genog
genog

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Franksnbeans for sharing this one!

Pours a thick like motor oil black color with a light brown creamy head that sticks around to leave a fair amount of lacing on the top of my pint glass. Smell is like a cookie with milk chocolate and some dark coffee notes, as well as the roasted malt aroma. Taste is moderately sweet with a bittersweet finish. Medium mouthfeeling with a creamy dry texture, and soft carbonation allowing the bourbon notes to really kick in.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2007 22:04:03 | More by genog
Photo of franksnbeans
franksnbeans

Ohio

4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black as night with a mohogany hue. Big cocoa head dies slow and leaves sheets of lacing. The nose is big on chocolate, bakers chocolate, a little toffee like note and a hint of bourbon. Taste starts off with big chocolate followed by a long lingering bourbon finish but not boozy. Full in the mouth and a true sipper. A tasty brew.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 03:38:42 | More by franksnbeans
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.58/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle # 142/900; Vintage 2006; Sampled December 2007
Minimally carbonated, a slightly vigorous pour produces only a scant, quarter-finger thick, light brown colored head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring. The beer is an opaque, deep, black, brownish tinged color. The aroma is fairly oak focused as this is the first thing that I notice; spicy oak, a bit of buttery oak and a touch of vanillin are noticeable in that order as far as magnitude as well. It is actually pretty hard to notice any of the other notes underneath the oak; perhaps a touch of burnt cherry aromatics and some toasted-burnt grain. After the beer has warmed a bit and I hae revisited the nose, I can now pick out flavors of molasses, but the aroma is still way more oak dominated that I would wish.

Starts out a bit thin, but picks up some heft pretty quickly and in fact coats the mouth enough to be noticed as this lingers on through to the finish. Still this is not really heavy for an Imperial Stout, but is by no means light either. The light carbonation probably adds a bit to the perceived thinness. The finish has an interesting, toasted / roasted flavor which brings out a distinct nuttiness akin to a super Nut-Brown Ale. The flavor is not nearly as oak driven as the nose is, in fact the flavors the oak adds contribute a nice supporting character to the brew. Flavors of burnt cherries, blackened raisin, strong black coffee or slightly watered-down espresso, chocolate extract and blackened whole grain toast round out the malt contributed notes. The oak adds / contributes to flavors of rum, vanillin, burnt toffee, a touch of butterscotch and some bourbon-like flavors (really a mix of the alcohol and the previous three mentioned flavors). As the beer warms a bit the alcohol and spicy oak notes add something similar to the flavors found in cola; something sort of akin to clove, cardamom and molasses.

Somehow this beer is strangely thin; I would like it to be a bit more full, textured and rich. This does have enough complexity though to keep it interesting. This really needs to be served on the warm side of cool (no where near the 45°F mentioned on the bottle); somewhere north of 60°F / 16°C should do it; at this temperature it picks up a bit more fullness and perhaps a touch more round, malt flavors to help balance things out. Compared to the regular version though, this beer is really missing a lot of malt character & complexity; seems some how heavily filtered (which can actually mechanically happen inside a barrel) and stripped down. Not bad, just not the beer it was originally.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2007 03:45:10 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of babyhobbes
babyhobbes

Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2005 22oz bottle

Dark brown with not much of a head.
Smells of alcohol with an odd whiskey/bourbon type smell. I thought these were just regular oak-barrels, but used barrels. I don't know, there definitely a bourbony sort of odor. It's a little disconcerting.

Taste: Well, it's got a good chocolate malt flavor, but the alcohol is pretty strong. It's really almost too much, to be honest.

This is pretty thin.

Drinkability: This is a great beer, but really drinks like a nice whiskey, I can't possibly drink more than one and it's getting tough to finish this bottle.

This is a good beer, but the alcohol flavor, together with the thin watery mouthfeel is a turnoff. I thought it would age better, but I think I liked it better last year.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2007 20:38:16 | More by babyhobbes
Photo of dankman38
dankman38

Ohio

4.6/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub. Pours a deep ebony with a very pretty brown/tan head; the nose is as good or better than any I’ve smelled before with sweet carmel, alcohol, and a little bit of carbon (almost the best part of the beer); flavors of chocolate, coffee, csndy sugar and, malt impress upon you a general feeling that you will want more; the body is heavy but not cloying; the finish tells you that it was aged in bourbon barrels and leaves almost the full flavor of the beer in you mouth. This is one fantastic beer, it ties for first in my book.

Serving type: on-tap

10-20-2007 00:50:41 | More by dankman38
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,152 ratings.