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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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400 Reviews
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Reviews: 400
Hads: 1,658
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 4.39%
Wants: 1,334
Gots: 340 | FT: 37
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: 1,658
Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one came from bakerslp in a recent trade. Thanks! 2008 vintage.

A: Dark brown, not entirely opaque, some hints of transparency around the edges. Doesn't look terribly viscous. The head doesn't rise very high - a finger or so, and settles to a ring fairly fast.

S: Chocolatey sweetness, vanilla, hints of butterscotch and bourbon. Light alcohol presence, nothing jarring. Pretty pleasant.

T & M: Very similar to the aroma. Chocolatey with nice woody tannins to back it up. Slightly earthy. Bourbon flavors are balanced nicely, never overwhelming the base beer. Medium-light in body, moderate carbonation. Middleweight stuff, I'd say - balanced, not too heavy or rich, and very drinkable for the style.

Edit: Recently tried the '09 batch and it's exceptional. Bumping scores accordingly.

3/15/2011: Tried the 2010 batch and found it less impressive than '06 through '09, though it's still a pretty good beer. (916 characters)

Photo of sholland119
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to unclejedi for his generosity in sending this for Secret Halloween.

We enjoyed this one after a trip to the ER with what turned out to be (thankfully) a sprained rather than broken ankle. Boy was this a welcome treat.

A-Pours black as coal with little head and no lacing. My favorite color in beer.

S- Vanilla notes with bitter dark chocolate and caramel.

T-Lives up to the expectations. Sweet caramel and vanilla dominate the front with roasted coffee and bitter hops taking over in the finish. A bit of alcohol as it warms but not too much.

M-Rich and viscous and full bodied.

D-Is this really only 9% ABV? Insanely full flavored and drinkable at that alcohol level.

I am a big fan of the regular Blackout Stout. The barrel aging makes it amazing.

HV (769 characters)

Photo of AltBock
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with the usual Blackout Stout label. Everything was the same except the label is bigger, it's computer generated, the mighty words "Barrel Aged" in front of Blackout Stout, and a hand written number and bottled year on the side. Mine was bottle number #562 out of 900 from the 2006 bottling year. This was my Christmas present to myself. Let's see what 2 years of age did to this beer.

Appearance: I had no other choice then to pour this big beer into my Great Lakes Christmas Ale Snifter. Ok, who's the funny man who replaced my Stout with motor oil? That's not cool. I really wanted to try this bee....Wait a minute. This thick black liquid is the beer. I'm sorry! It's just that they shard the same density and color is why I first thought it was motor oil. I held this big black beer up to the light to see if light could penetrate this beer and light just bounced off it. It almost looked like this beer was wearing sunscreen the way the light bounced off it. I've never seen anything like it. On top of this pitch black liquid was a small skim of mocha film. It was either mocha color or a dark tan color. It was hard to tell what color it was because it receded away to fast. Even though the head of foam left this world too soon, it did mange to leave behind a tiny string of foamy rings and 2 to 4 spots of lace. I loved the beer's color, but was a little disappointed by the head of foam. It didn't matter all that much.

Smell: I'm not too sure what to think about the aroma. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it as much as I thought I would. The aroma was thick and roasted like it should be, but it wasn't all that potent. It smelled like it was missing that fire up its ass to come busting out of the glass. I swirled it around to see if I could wake it up, but nothing really happened. In the end, the aroma was thick and roasted with dark roasted malts, a speck of roasted espresso beans, a pinch of 90%+ dark chocolate, a few black cherries, charred oak, a gentle touch of alcohol and tobacco, and an bitsy bitsy amount of vanilla beans at the finish line. I really liked the amount of oak and dark roasted aromas that were contained in this aroma and how well it controlled the alcohol, but I just couldn't excited over it. It was just missing that kick that it needed.

Taste: The taste didn't disappoint at all. The taste was thick, chewy, roasted, and all the flavors in here were at the right strength. It had that kick that the aroma was missing. The taste didn't come in waves of flavors. It was just one big chewy dark roasted taste. This Barrel Aged Stout was chewy and heavily roasted with dark roasted malts, roasted espresso beans, lightly bitter dark chocolate, a nice gentle touch of charred oak, a hint of black cherries, a tiny speck of vanilla beans, a drop of bourbon, a subtle pinch of roasted hops, and a mild taste of alcohol. What was so nice about this taste was the fact that each and every dark roasted flavor (there's a lot of them too!) had the same amount of time in the spotlight. Not one flavor had more time than the other flavors. I know it was hard for the oak, bourbon, and alcohol to do that, but Great Lakes did it!

Mouthfeel: It was a thick, chewy roasted full bodied beer that never really exposed it's relatively high 9% ABV. I don't know how they did it, but they managed to hide the 9% ABV behind all of the dark roasted flavors. The aftertaste was almost as complex as the initial taste. The aftertaste was roasted and lightly sweet with roasted malts, roasted espresso beans, dark chocolate, a hint of bourbon, charred oak, and some lightly roasted hops. This roasted aftertaste will hang on for about 10 seconds and then it's gone.

Drinkability: I would absolutely love another one these. But if there is one big problem with this beer, it would have to be this beer's availability. It's one of those beers that are only available at the brewery one time a year and at a certain time. If you love thick chewy roasted Stouts or you just like Great Lakes, then this is the beer for you. That is if you can get your hands on one. How did I get my hands on one? I knew somebody who knew somebody, that knowes somebody who went to Great Lakes at the right time. (4,243 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured via 22oz. bomber into goblet on 12/19/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured an opaque, deep black body with slim tan head that receded into patchy film and left decent lacing around the glass.

S - Subtle nose for a barrel-aged stout with hints of bourbon, chocolate malt, licorice and a bit of alcohol.

T - Initial flavor is a mixture of bourbon, chocolate, mild coffee and woody notes with a definite oak presence. The bourbon rose to the forefront as the liquid approached room temperature.

M - Smooth and creamy texture with soft carbonation and a bit of heat from the alcohol presence.

D - The bourbon character is fairly subtle here, making this one go down quite easily. Good stuff! (711 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is almost black and the dark brown head is small. Retention is decent and there is some lacing. Aroma is of chocoloate, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and a very little bourbon. BA Blackout tastes like bittersweet chocolate. There is some coffee but a small amount. The alcohol is noticeable. The bourbon that was absent in the aroma is more apparent in the flavor, but still understated. Finish is bitter chocolate and alcohol. Medium - full bodied with medium carbonation. (477 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from Prototypic, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a very dark brown with only the faintest of ruby highlights when held to light. Smallish mocha head dissipates quickly. Smells of Vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is bourbon, followed by roast and chocolate, then some alcohol, faint dark dried fruits, leaving a lingering bitter roast and bourbon on the tongue. Yum! Body is medium, mouthfeel is oily/creamy, carbonation is low but appropriate. Great smelling and tasting brew. The only thing I would change is maybe a bit of a thicker body. (584 characters)

Photo of tedpeer
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Josh for this trade in line at Darkness 2008.

bomber poured into a new belgium tulip.

A - Poured a black. Just a whispy tan head with ring around. Some lacing.

S - Very complex smell. Alcohol, coffee and dark chocolate.

T - Bourbon, coffee and sweet malt. Very minor bitter finish. Warmth from alcohol.

M - Medium mouthfeel, but it coats the mouth.

D - Yes. Easy drinking for the ABV. (400 characters)

Photo of grub
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ClockworkOrange hooked me up with one of these. thanks jason! unclejedi also "forced" me to drink some of this at darkness day, so thanks jim!

22oz bottle. sampled dec 14/08.

pours black and nearly opaque, only barely showing brown at the edge. a small dense brown head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is great. dark chocolate. coffee. earthy and woody. vanilla. anise. bit of bourbon. alcohol. big biscuit and bready malt. bit of cracker.

taste is great. wow, this is where the barrel really comes alive. bourbon. vanilla. earthy and woody. dark and bittersweet chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. bit of alcohol. big biscuit and bready malt again. medium-low bitterness level, more chocolaty than hoppy. bit of dark fruit too. caramel. bit of toffee.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium-low carbonation level. pretty smooth.

drinkability is good. balanced and nice. the barrel character is very nice, but i get the feeling this would be even better with some time in the cellar to let it really mellow and mesh together. looking forward to trying this again. (1,120 characters)

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

22 oz bomber, big thanks to ClockworkOrange for sending this up.

Pours a deep opaque black, some brown in the edges, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots, looks like a stout. Smell is crazy, very nutty, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, some coffee roast, toffee, peanut brittle, nice barrel character, dark fruit, more bourbon, smells great. Taste is great as well, buttery oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and coffee, toffee, sweet brown sugar middle, a bit toasty with corn syrup and bourbon in the finish. Really nice flavour. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, alcohol is well hidden but some heat does come through in the finish. Really nice example of bourbon barrel aging RIS, very well done. Thanks Jason! (792 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.36/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Fresh 2008 Batch (well, 2 months old). Pours a finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells coffee roasty, flat oak, tannic, mild vanilla, some chocolate. Smells very dry and dominated by oak.

Tastes wet to start with alcohol and cherry-like tang biting in a way that cooperates with the drying edgy bourbon oak. Baker's chocolate, fig newton, iron, and onion underneath the dominant alcohol and oak. Leaves the tongue dry and a lingering rough alochol bite with chocolate edge. Meraganue aftertaste. Alcohol curts the mouthfeel to thin, but some dextrine plays on the tongue when swirled. Moderate carbonation. Bourbon County Stout Light. Very similar barrel and alcohol profile, but not the malt sweet and thick mouthfeel found in one of my favorites. Needs *alot* of time in the cellar for this one to pull together. (829 characters)

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

Super jet onyx black with a teeny tiny head of espresso foam that dies qucikly. Aromas of big booze, bourbon, adn wood with some nutty chocolate and coffee undertones. Taset is full up hot bourbon as well as deeply roasted malts and imperial stout notes. Dark fruit also makes an entrance. Mouthfeel is thick but not cloying. Drinkability remains high especially for bourbon lovers such as I. Great! (399 characters)

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Ben for hooking me up with a bottle.
Pours black with just a slight hint of head forming on the pour. Smell is strong bourbon, some dark chocolate.
Taste is more of the bourbon, but much more balanced than the last time I had tried this a couple years back. This version allows the underlying Blackout to stand up to the bourbon and still be seen. The barrel aging is complimentary and not dominant. Still pretty full on the mouth feel and not hot at all.
I would love to make it up to GLBC and experience this on draft. (535 characters)

Photo of egajdzis
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

<i>14/400</i>... Poured an opaque black color with a small, tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla oak, some butter, lots of bourbon, roast, caramel malts, and nuts. Taste of chocolate, some smoke, vanilla oak, roast, some light spices, and finishing with a whisky / alcohol burn. Thin mouthfeel for an impy. (344 characters)

Photo of gonzo46and2
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Chris for bringing this one to the tasting at Matt's this weekend.

Pours a black that nearly no light can penetrate.

Aroma is wonderful. There's a big bourbon presence with the normal aroma of an Imperial Stout. Chocolate, caramel, coffee, bread, and brown sugar.

Taste is off the charts! Sweet cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, and a huge bourbon profile.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky and sweet.

This was probably the best stout I've ever had. I can't wait to get my hands on some more of this heavenly nectar. (538 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours pitch black, small coffee head, leaves pretty fast. Ring remains. Webby sticky lacing.

S - Coffee up front, followed by chocolate and booze.

T - Booze is evident, silky chocolate and coffee notes.

M - Good balance, medium to heavy body, not as much carb as I would have liked.

D - Would tire pretty quick, regardless of how good it is. (349 characters)

Photo of imaguitargod
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah finally, the 2008 edition of the Barrel Aged Blackout Stout...so tasty. Head this on tap and poured into a 8 ounce whiskey glass. Very little head with no lacing. Beautifully black in it's color with blood red edges. First a huge whiskey/oak/alcohol taste hits your tongue then the roasted chocolate malts flood the palate. The aging really mellowed the beer but for the better. Wish I could drink this everyday....

Jonathan Passow (435 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a thin tan colored head and leaves little lacing.

S- Right off the bat bourbon all over the place, followed by a wood smell, sweet chocolate, touch of darker fruits, roasted malts and cream. Really awesome smell.

T- Again bourbon very good. Right on with the nose again. Everything is balanced out really well.

M- Medium to full in body, creamy and right on with the carbonation.

D- Had this at the pub and drank two of them and it was so easy to drink. I wish I could of made it up there when the bottles were for sale. (553 characters)

Photo of phattysbox
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a trade with clockworkorange - thanks for the brew!!

Shared among friends and poured into DFH snifter glass. With an aggressive pour, this brew comes out jet black and viscous. Hardly any head, and what head there was dissapears into a thin ring of lace.

The smell was the best thing about this brew. Bourbon, vanilla and nice oak undertones, followed by a sweet malty base. The nose gets better as the brew warms but the alcohol does get noticably hotter. Initial taste is all vanilla! Sweet malts pervade from front to back with a clear bourbon undertow. Hop profile is minimal and could barely detect any. Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and velvety smooth.

For me drinkability was a bit down since I did not find the alcohol hidden to well. This is evident as the brew warms. Overall however, this brew is fantastic and is a great contender among barrel-aged RIMPs. Another BA that shared this with me suggested that this brew is far superior to the un-barreled version. (977 characters)

Photo of sliverX
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Dark almost black in color, rich tan head that lasted some time. Smelled very much of whiskey. Tasted like they had brewed the stout using whiskey instead of water which wasn't a bad thing... whiskey, stout (dark roasted barley) and a hint of coffee were the basic tastes. More coffee presence as the beer warmed. Isn't something you would have more than a glass of as it was 11% abv and to me was more of a dessert/after dinner type... (457 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks to EGledhill for the chance to try this great beer!

a - pitch black with a khaki head that quickly settles to a nice ring around the edges.

S - slight oak, vanilla and abv warmth

T - creamy smooth dark malts, vanilla, chocolate and bourbon.

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, creamy smooth, silky with a soft vanilla bourbon aftertaste.

D - silky smooth, incredibly approachable and balanced. Drinks so easily it's borderline dangerous.

wow, the regular stout is good and worth trying if you get a chance. This release, hands down excellent! I can't say enough my appreciation to EGledhill for sending me this gem! (628 characters)

Photo of UA8
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours jet black with a small yet dense tan head

S- The scents of wonderful smokey bourbon barrels abound. backing of roasted cocoa malts with a touch of coffee.

T- This is a huge beer. Starts with the Taste of bourbon and roasted malts, mid palate fills with warming alcohol and a touch of hops, the finish come nearly 30 seconds or more after the beverage has left the mouth in the form of wonderfully rich coffee tones. I must say I'm very impressed hat the finish comes as late and pronounced as it does.

M- Nice and full could be a bit thicker for my liking.

D- Well if your having one which is what I had I would say the drinkability is splendid since it leaves you with a wonderful buzz. however if you plan on operating a motor vehicle that is probably where you'll want to stop. It says 10%, it feels more like12%+ which a person at the brewery said was very possible. This is a fantastic stout any way you slice it and well worth the trip to the brewery to experience it. (987 characters)

Photo of jpiper
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at GL. I've been drinking this at the source about every other day since the release. I've never had a beer whose flavor was so dependent on what I had eaten immediately prior than this one. First day I was disappointed; second I was impressed; third day was also a let down, until I started in on the pretzels, then it was pretty good; fourth day was best of all. So I asked if they mixed the batches or went straight from barrel to keg. Evidently they mix them. So, I rate with an emphasis on the good days. This beer can be impressive. I imagine giving this one some time to mellow out can only help, but the barrel aging surely takes this a step or two about the regular Blackout. So creamy and delicious. (716 characters)

Photo of Deuane
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub during the mug club member release party.

A-Deep dark, almost black, brown with ruby highlights. Small tan head holds on and finally lets go to a rim of film along the edges. Spotty lace clings behind.

S-Present, but not overwhelming, bourbon notes with oak, vanilla, earth, tobacco and bitter chocolate swirling with roasty/toasty malt.

T-Mmmm, mmmm, mmm! A bif ole mouthful smooth, mellow oak aged bourbon. Vanilla and caramel malt sweetness are complimented by dry/bitter tones of chocolate, oak, espresso and tobacco. Alcohol heat certainly present but not offensive. All well supported by a healthy dose of roasted malt.

M-Medium-heavy body with a super smooth and luscious!

D-Big and robust...a brew with serious kahones! A beer that deserves more (shhh lets keep it to ourselves) hype. Who cares as long as I can get more in the future. (873 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had the good fortune of coming across this beer at the Great Lakes brewpub in Cleveland, OH. Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout is certainly not retired, unless the version I had was a further aged release of a previous year. I'd assume not, however, as it was listed at 10% ABV. Served in a snifter.

Pours a seal brown body with a decent head of light khaki foam that retreats to a ring of large bubbles. Not quite as dark as most in its category, as I could see through the brew halfway through the snifter. The aroma was heavy on the bourbon, with a backbone of dark, sweet chocolate. A solvent-like alcohol note lurked below the upper notes.

The flavor, as the 5.0 rating suggests, was exceptional. Rich, dark chocolate notes covered the palate with a background of earthy hops and vanilla undertones. Bourbon whiskey and oak are saved for the finale, as a spicy, wooden booziness rides out for an enjoyable finish. The body isn't overly thick or viscous, drinking more like a porter. It also wasn't as hot as the normal Blackout Stout, although I would love to see how this stuff tastes after a year or more in the cellar. Overall, a fantastic brew from the solid beer-makers from Ohio. The two glasses I had of this stuff went down dangerously easily, and I can only hope I cross paths with this beer again. (1,309 characters)

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

Been wanting to try this one for awhile and had it side by side with a regular blackout and let me say, this beer was meant for oak. Aroma was a dead giveaway which one was oak aged. The oak aged was a lot more subdued and "earthy" than the regular. Side by side the barrel aged doesn't look any lighter than the regular. The mouthfeel of the oak is creamier than the original. There is a definite texture difference, carbonation is weak in both brews but is practically non-existent in the oak aged. This gives the oak aged a softer feel in the mouth. Regular is much more strong in alcohol flavor. This is why this brew is made for oak. The oak aged is smooth with sweetness to match. Alcohol is in the background but never detracts from the flavor profile. (Major weakness of the reg. b/o) Hints of smoke, oak, coffee, and licorice. This is one of the better stouts out there. Better than DL IMO. (899 characters)

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