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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.

1,152 Ratings
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
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Ratings: 1,152 | Reviews: 374 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle. Rambling aroma of thinning nuts, fire and marshmallow. Coffees come forth, but fade quickly. Subdued and absent. Pours deep brown with ruby corners and a rim of tan. Light carbonation. A machismo of coffee rubs against the grain of background wood and toothy sugars. Chewiness absent. Bright and nostril burning. Fairly dry and not overly heavy. Nutty dry. Smack excels in this beer with a never ending carousel of left over coffee tannins, chocolate dust, chipotle and edges of earth. Thanks for sharing, Andy!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2007 12:56:41 | More by CharlesDarwin
Photo of Tyrawlings


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

22 0z. Bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Opaque black in color. A thin but tight tan head pours one finger thick and settles into a micro bubble ring around the edges of the glass. Thin sticky lacing.

S: Roasted coffee bean. Dark chocolate. Dark fruit. Vanilla. Charred wood. Bourbon.

T: Tastes of dark roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate dominate the front end of this brew. A soft hop bite tickles the tongue and is followed by balancing caramel malts. Sweet dark fruits are taken over by a hint of vanilla and raw earth. Flavors of charred oak and a warm bourbon finish.

M: Silky smooth and full bodied. Minimal carbonation. Warming and dry.

D: A richly complex elixir. The multitude of flavors are well balanced and the higher alcohol content is well hidden. Aging did a ton for this brew. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2007 15:52:20 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of hoppymeal


4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle 360 of 900 from 2006 release. Pours black, an agressive pour yields a very small light to medium tan head that quickly fades. Aroma is somewhat smoky like burnt leaves, a light cocoa sweetness and cola aroma leads into a boozy and woodiness. Some soft sweet vanilla up front in the taste, slightly cola-y before a good bite of alcohol and drying finish. Leaves a nice roasty dry aftertaste with a small bit of tangy acidity. Medium to heavy in body, quite soft on the palette at first, finishes with a decent bite and drying hoppy and woodiness. Very nice beer, love the biting finish and dry roasty aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2007 03:17:39 | More by hoppymeal
Photo of scott


4.83/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black!, with a tan thin-rimmed head, along with a nice rim to indicate higher than average alcohol. Well (not overly) carbonated.
Aroma of blissfully subdued bourbon & wood char, vanilla, slight coffee and chocolate.
Taste is incredible, with many notes found in the nose transfering over to the tongue. This has so many levels of complexity, although it won't overwhelm you. Imagine a nice piece of rich chocolate cake, and a bourbon with a splash as a wash.
Creamy and oh so nice, as it warms and opens up, this actually has a juicy, mouthwatering quality going on, that I never would expect.
This is barrel aging at it's best, and this is no doubt one of the best, if not the best, BA Stouts money can buy.
This brew deserves to have a rowdy, much anticipated "Blackout Day", because people in-the-know with this beer are lucky sonsabitches.
Actually, if Man was allowed to profess love to a Beer, now would be one of those times.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2007 18:06:01 | More by scott
Photo of Bierguy5


4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber. 9% ABV. Bottle 51 of 900 from 2006. Big thanks to mcallister for picking this one up for me, and bringing it to me. Pours pitch black with virtually no highlights. Thick frothy mocha head trickles down to 1/2 inch rather quickly, but remains as a nice collar for some time. Roasty, oaky, and vanilla aroma. A bit boozy, bot not overly hot. Roasty flavor up front followed by burtn sugar, caramel, and finishing with a nice chocolate flavor. Throughout, the oak character compliments everything perfectly. The barrel flavor does not overwhelm, but sits in the background to lend a hand. Very smooth mouthfeel, a bit thin, with lower carbonation. Nice amount of sweetness. Warming, but not overpowering. This is a great example of how barrel aging can compliment an already solid beer, without overdoing it. Fantastic. Great Lakes never ceases to amaze me.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 03:53:19 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of Westsidethreat


4.18/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Callenak for this one. I had to give up a barrel aged beer for this one myself. Bottle 409/900 2006 vintage

A: Some wierd chunky white substance formed under the cap around the underside of the glass which had to be removed before pouring. Pours thinner than one would have expected. Viscosity for a 9% imp stout is much lower than normal. Beer is dark but not black with a crisp aspect to it. Head is shaky at best, there's a minor film at the top of the beer with a dark beige weak ring around the glass.

S: Major bourbon on the nose. I also get some smore's (chocolate, graham as well as marshmallow), port and oak.

T: Starts like a bourbon and coke with the coke adding that familiar cola twang to the front of the tongue. Chocolate moves in quick leaning towards the chocolate icing side with a woody character to it. Really vinous, oily and slick with solid muffin dough aspects. Alcohol is there with minor licorice, cafe au lait and vanilla.

M: Smooth and silky but thin overall.

D: I love bourbon beers but this one is on the heavy end. Its really so strong that is masks the beer opposed to "enhancing" it. In all honesty, the original Blackout wasn't a favorite of mine so I actually like this one better. But it is off balanced and could be dialed back a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2007 17:27:42 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of Jredner


4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bourbon, vanilla, oak, light pineapple, chocolate and essresso all appear in this very intense aroma. The body is deep black and holds a diminishing, wispy mocha head.

Smooth roasted dark chocolate in the fore is followed by a heavy bourbon blast which then rolls toward vanilla, roasted/burnt malt and milk chocolate flakes and creamed coffee. It almost seems less intense than the original as far as the base flavor, but barrel aging can sometimes alter beers in odd ways. I’d actually say i like this version a bit better than the original.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 13:39:39 | More by Jredner
Photo of montageman


4.72/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Bomber #416 out of 900. Poured into a pint glass. This is a dark beer - pours thick like syrup, very dark brown with a little tan head that disappears qucikly leaving a little bit of lacing. Smells warm and roasty like bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolate. No doubt that the smell is extremely inviting. Awesome flavor here - bitter coffee/roasted malt upfront, vanilla sweetness segues into a bourbon-ish finish - very complex. Very thick in the mouth - almost chewy, slight carbonation. Definitely a dessert beer for me - a little too sweet to have more than one, but definitely an incredible brew. I would be interested in seeing what some aging would do to this. Highly recommended.

Thanks to McAllister for this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2007 01:35:56 | More by montageman
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this one is good if you're looking for a big bourbon character. my friend thought it was too much, but i loved it. the whiskey is immediately detectable, but it melds well with the roasty smells

this is about as complex as beer can get: the bourbon is huge, but not dominant enough to override the actual beer. vanilla, toffee, coffee, chocolate (particularly at the finish)

excellent beer. served in a classy snifter and oh-so-delicious. i'm priviledged

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2006 00:34:41 | More by bruachan
Photo of cabsandking


4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The union of bourbon and stout might even be a better marriage than peanut butter and jelly. Great Lakes does not disappoint here and probably my favorite brew of theirs to date.
Pours a dense black color and thin layer of lace swirl. Not too much in the nose (this might account for being poured too cold) but faintly detectable notes of chocolate, espresso, and bourbon. The taste is outstanding with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, brown sugar and roasted malts all surrounded by a blanket of smooth bourbon character. Bourbon increases towards the end of the gulp and is even more apparent in the finish along with some sweet, chary, aged oak bourbon barrel notes. Mouth feel is very smooth. This brew is enormously enjoyable and despite its nine percent abv, it goes extremely easily.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2006 18:12:08 | More by cabsandking
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottles courtesy of both Sliffy and JSquires. An imperial stout yes, not a Russian. Another good example of a bourbon barrel aged. But I would like some other tastes besides bourbon. The stout is black, the head is off-white and gourgeous with bubbles. There is active carbonation. Seems a slice thinner than the non-barrelled.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2006 03:34:21 | More by Sammy
Photo of Callenak


4.78/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the GLBC, poured into a 10-12oz snifter.

Very excited to be able to try this on tap. I'm a big fan of barrel aged beers and have heard so much about this one. Poured a little cold for my taste but I allowed to warm up. Pours a pitch black with a small head that dissipates to nothing quickly.

The smell is actually chocolate first followed by the bourbon. Very pleasant. Nothing in the way of hops.

Taste is where this beer shines. I've actually never had the regular blackout, so not sure of what changes the barrel aging has on it. All I know is this is a great beer. Bourbon is very present with sweet chocolate, molasses and roasted barley flavors following.

It's actually not as thick as it looks. Compared to some other big, barrel-aged stouts I've had, it was a little thin.

They limit you to three of these at the brewery. After one, I was already feeling it. The second I was a happy camper, didn't attempt to do three. This is a sipping beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2006 22:56:31 | More by Callenak
Photo of Realale


3.83/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black. Very fine light brown head stays throughout the snifter, leaving some lacing.

Nose is a whiff of alcohol, followed by coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, and a touch of ash over rich, brown bready malt. The bourbon influence is thankfully pretty restrained, and well-integrated.

Medium full in the mouth. Really mouthfilling stuff. Malt, malt, malt. Chocolate, bready, and yeasty. Touch of bitterness to balance. Again, the bourbon influence is quite subdued - there's a touch more caramelly sweetness, and a hint of bourbon flavor. Well done, but I believe I prefer the regular version.

Mouthfeel is bit more highly carbonated than I'd prefer. It seems to work against the body of the beer rather than with it. Quite drinkable for what it is, but the snifter was more than enough for me. Kudos to Great Lakes for not going over-the-top with the wood or bourbon flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2006 16:56:04 | More by Realale
Photo of motobri


4.45/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

At GLBC Restaurant, great place, great atmosphere. I'm not going to bore you with a half-assed description of this beer. You can taste the burbon. The mouthfeel is not overly thick, but the alcohol is there, and the burbon barrel makes it that much more apparent. It's just an outstanding stout. outstanding beer. And I'm not a stout lover.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2006 03:58:37 | More by motobri
Photo of neenerzig


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

I had to try this beer, simple as that. And since all the bombers are sold out I headed to the brewery earlier today to try some on tap. As of 3:30 this afternoon this beer was still available on tap at the GLBC. If you saw a guy with glasses and sort of long hair wearing a black Trogdor The Burninator sweatshirt ordering a glass from at the bar on the first floor around 3:30 P.M., then you saw me. This beer was drawn from the tap into a snifter. this beer is an exteremely dark brown/black color that lets in no light whatsoever. The tan colored head was about one finger thick upon being dran from the tap and then dwindled to next to nothing about 2 or 3 minutes later. Almost zero lacing to speak of. Aromas of coffee, caramel, hints of dark chocolate, a roasty Jim Beam oak, and alcohol are certianly strongly presen here. Sweet flavors of coffee, caramel, alcohol, roasty malt, and cherry are all present here. Has a sort of dry and bitter aftertaste. Beware of the 9% ABv as it really starts to hit you after a few sips. In fact, I overheard the bartender say to some other guys that this beer could be as high as 11% ABV. They aren't really sure if the ABV% increases during the year long barrel aging process. I thought this wine had some almost red wine like qualities in both semll and taste upon being dran from the tap. the flavors really open up more as this beer warms up a bit and the wine like qualities, for the most part, go away. This beer has an excellent crisp and frothy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This beer is quite drinkable, especially considering its high ABV content. Go to the brewery and get some while you can! An excellent stout!


Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2006 21:32:09 | More by neenerzig
Photo of irishmoss


4.97/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter glass in the basement bar of the brewery, allowed the beer to warm up for a several minutes. Wow...
Pitch black night trapped in a glass with fresh esspresso colored ring of head circling around the edges. Small, patchy specks of lace left on the sides of the glass.
The aroma is an oaked Jim Beam scent up front that gives way to burnt brown sugar, French pressed coffee, and dark chocolate.
The Jim Beam and oak flavors blend very, very well with espresso and chocolate flavors. There are hints of vanilla beans and torched sugars. The flavors are complex and very well blended, makes me wonder how long this was aged for? This is so well done, not overly oakey or leathery like some other barrel aged beers that come to mind.
Thick & chewy on the mouthfeel, and just plan old creepy on the the drinkability.
Very well done and by far one of my favorites, I only wish this wasn't so hard to come by....

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2006 13:44:43 | More by irishmoss
Photo of Sephiroth


4.47/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with decent head for a barrel-aged beer. Black is the color. Slight lacing. Aroma of coffee, bourbon, and vanilla.

Taste has plenty of chocolate-laced coffee. Anise combined with oak and leather. Oh yeah, there's bourbon and vanilla there too. Mouthfeel is quite full, the finish is lengthy. High drinkability for this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2006 00:24:27 | More by Sephiroth
Photo of Bones54


5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow!!!! Now this is a beer with class. This dark as night, smooth sipping beauty is simply amazing. The bourbon aroma is strong, but the flavor it provides is perfect. It takes the already great Blackout Stout to a whole new level.

Definately a sipping beer, and one that gets better with each sip. Thank you Great Lakes!

Went down to the brewery again this week to have this limited release on tap before it goes away. Probably the best beer I've ever had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2006 05:30:51 | More by Bones54
Photo of mcallister


4.68/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Black! Creamy mocha head nice and thick rests at the top of the snifter. Beer is served way too cold so while waiting about 10 minutes now for things to warm up a little the head has faded some but still leaves a layer of creamy head with a thick ring around the glass. This is a deep opaque black.

First thing you notice on the nose is the thick layers of toasted oak with a heavy dose of Jim Beam. It's the little nuances that excite the senses. Rich with dark bitter chocolate, strong brewed coffee, roasted burnt malts, black cherry, anise, and caramelized sugars. Toffee mollasses and some floral hops round things out.

This one packs quite the punch. Very warming in the chest. The forefront again is the bourbon flavors as well as toasty vanilla oak. Rich plush mouth with a medium finish of what I'd say is about 40 seconds. The finish mainly consists of strong mocha coffee. A rich creamy middle is consumed with a chocolate covered cherry, black curran, crème brulee, and burnt malts. Entry is a bit thin but it evens itself out. Smooth and viscous overall. The first drink is all the alcohol after that you adapt to this beast. Complex and well balanced. Damn good job by GLBC!

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2006 16:26:31 | More by mcallister
Photo of kirok1999


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

Been waiting for this one for a long time. Just came in fresh from Cleveland.

Appearance- Not as black as I had expected but still very dark with a nice clingy lacy head.

Smell- Astounding, caramel, coffee, cherries, chocolate, everything fits together perfectly.

Taste- Again, astounding. Smooth and creamy, tasting just like it smells. Bitter chocolate malts with enough hops to give it a nice bite at the end. This is one complex brew. Has Great Lakes ever made a bad brew?

Mouthfeel- Thick and chewey, clings to the tongue.

Drinkability- Heavy and intense make this one a sipper. Yet I think I could sip way too many of them in one night.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2006 22:35:14 | More by kirok1999
Photo of quasimoto


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

A - Pours a deep dark black with a dark tan head

S - Strong smells of dark chocalte, molases, and just overall sweet

T - Deep chocolate, molases, and the taste of oak and the dack ground of whiskey. Perfectly designed as they had intended. During the middle of this beer, as it warmed up, I swear it tasted exactly like a Entemans Chocolate brownie. (the brownies from the display at the end of the isle.)

M - Thick and creamy. Sharp bitterenss at the end.

D - Only one of these bottles at a time. This is definetly a sipping beer for those cold winter nights, and will surely warm you up.


Serving type: bottle

01-22-2006 03:28:48 | More by quasimoto
Photo of weeare138


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

Much thanks to hopdog for sharing this brew...
Appears a pitch black with a small dark tan head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, caramel, rich, sugar infused whipped butter.
Taste is of the same wonderful smells.
Mouthfeel is just ever so slightly thin but the rich flavors are still there and very enticing.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2006 18:00:52 | More by weeare138
Photo of walleye


4.53/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here I am sitting in my favorite brewery ( Kuhnhenns) enjoying a beer or 2 when a a few other people who rate beer show up. Jsquires goes to his vehicle and comes back with this wonderful beer. talk about being in the right place at the right time. as pailhead said bottle 108. poured black with a light brown head. aroma roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, alcohol. dark fruits, molasses, and vanilla. flavor the same as aroma but more robust and a nice touch of bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2006 19:42:47 | More by walleye
Photo of Dogbrick


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

22oz bottle #68 of 400, courtesy of a colleague who was in the right place at the right time last weekend. Inky black color with a thin dark brown head and quick lacing. Heady bourbon, chocolate malt and coffee aroma. Rich, chewy body with a bourbon character that is not too dominant. Loads of coffee and chocolate flavors underneath, making for an eminently drinkable beer from beginnins to end. The finish is sweet malt and warming alcohol, which I was definitely feeling after a mere 11oz. This is world class stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 13:47:21 | More by Dogbrick
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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,152 ratings.