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

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

400 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 400
Hads: 1,643
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 4.39%
Wants: 1,329
Gots: 335 | FT: 35
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Dogbrick on 11-29-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 400 | Hads: 1,643
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~ (528 characters)

Photo of JNewbs
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All I can really say is - oh my goodness. Had this on tap at the brewpub yesterday, and I can say without lying that it was my second favorite Imp Stout that I have ever tasted. The most remarkable thing about the beer, to me, was that it tasted unbelievably good even when it was technically too cold. I realized I had drank the first one before I even let it warm up to the right temp, and I had to order another just to see what would happen. Lastly, according to the sign at the brewpub this is a 9.5% beer, not a 9%.

A: Nothing to complain about here - dark black, with a mocha colored head that hung around for a while.

S: The nose of this one did not come close to hinting at how good it tasted, IMO, so though it smelled pretty good, I have to ding it for that reason.

T: Here we go. Dominated by chocolate notes. There is definitely the bourbon, and some of the Blackout Stout's roasted notes, but this was a choco-bomb to me. Smooth, rich, luxurious, a little boozy but not too much. Delicious.

M: Felt like other good Impy Stouts. Thick, smooth, not too viscous. No complaints here either.

D: I killed two of them in about a half hour... (1,153 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

BARREL

bottled in 2012 had alongside the non-barrel aged variety bottled 4/20/2012 both in oversized batch 2 TB snifters.

a - both brews are dark as night with a thin off cream colored head that fizzes away almost immediately leaving tiny bubble islands and a congregation of bubbles clinging to the glass on the surface. swirling the glass brings things back to life and the head is creamy...lacing is spotty at best. nice shine to both.

s - nose is uber complex. takes the regular and just mushes it through booze soaked wood. the wood has a nice presence and smells fantastic with the beer. really wonderful and unique smelling BA stout. takes the chocolate from the original and douses it in nuttiness.

t - takes the original and just douses it with bourbon. it really works even though bourbon heavy. the chocolate comes out more and is really rich and decadent. the nuttiness that was suggested in the nose is there, but not nearly as pronounced as suggested. but boy oh boy, this is a yummy brew

m - upon the first sip the thing that jumped out at me is that silky lush feel. i had just been sipping the non BA and this is the most pronounced difference. really fantastic, decadent, lush silky feel. way heavier than the non BA

o - overall, wow...really a wonderful BA stout. have had this a few times before, but gotta say it is certainly top tier for BA stouts. worth checking out. (1,396 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (1,063 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared during a small Charlotte BA tasting with marine1975, caSSino, CarolinaKevin, and GehenHerzog. Big thanks goes out to sproser (Secret Santa '10 BIF) and my boy Lunch for allowing me to have multiple bottles of this beauty! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured black with a one finger light tan head that remained throughout. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cream, wood, slight smoke, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was definitely a great brew. Very smooth flavor going on here that made it very easy to drink. 9.5%!? This could have gotten me in trouble for sure. The aroma on this one was not slacking either. A definite must try and I'm glad I got to share this with some local BAs. This was the highlight of the tasting for me... (921 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

A-nice black body with no head what so ever
S-sweet malty smell. Almost no bourbon whatsoever
T-wow. Nice bourbon, vanilla and oak flavor. Great combination and very complex
M-medium body and oh so smooth
O-nicely suprised with this brew. Great offering from great lakes (284 characters)

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

Big thanks to jwelsh for this one.

A-Pours a deep brown to black with no head and looks like no carbonation.

S-Some charred wood, marshmallows, maybe even the entire smores. A bit of whiskey, but not overwhelming at all. Some vanilla and other barrel notes. Chocolate

T-All of the same flavors listed in the smell. The whiskey is a bit more predominant in the flavor than it was in the aroma. Very oaky, chocolate, very balanced.

MF-A little thin and low on the carbonation. Nice and creamy though.

D-Really great, the whiskey doesn't dominate the beer too much. Really a solid BA stout. (592 characters)

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of Auslander pours a rick black color with a moderate cap of tan head. Retention is decent and just a little lace.

Nose is outstanding! Lots of wood, unsweetened chocolate and vanilla. Damn near perfect...not too sweet, a great balance of stout and barrel.

This is my first Barrel Aged Blackout and it is much better than the regular version, which is a pretty good beer in its own right...my point is this is one of the most improved barrel treatments to a beer I have had in quite some time. The vanilla is so rich, I would have guessed it was a vanilla infused stout if had blind. Not too fruity and the chocolate is bold. Its not too boozy, not over-the-top sweet and has great flow. Mouthfeel is not overly thick, but it is adequate and the carbonation is supple and smooth. This is a great beer, one of the most impressive I have had in awhile, thanks Auslander! (893 characters)

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

I got this beer in the Darkness Day BIF this past weekend in Minneapolis. Amazing score! I've wanted to try this forever. This bottle is the 2010 vintage.

It pours the darkest of browns in color, full in body, with a slight beige lacing around the glass. The aromas consist of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and toffee. It has a great nose for a bourbon barrel aged stout, with nice complexity. The flavors feature an array of flavors. You get a good amount of roasted malt up front, sweetened by vanilla, bourbon and toffee. It has phenomenal flavor. The bourbon is just the right amount. It drinks very, very smoothly and has great flavor. For a RIS, and a bourbon barrel aged version at that, it has amazing drinkability. It drinks a little fine but it really is fitting. This is a phenomenal beer, phenomenal. I love it. I'm eternally grateful for this bottle. (891 characters)

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

2013 edition, poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass
A: Black color with a 1/2-finger tan head that settles to a thin film
S: WOW. Tons of dark chocolate up front, some coffee, roasted malt, cream, a touch of hops. Mostly though it's just rich creamy hot chocolate (except the beer is cellar temp). I could smell this all day
T: Here the bourbon comes through much more than the nose, along with chocolate, coffee, & rich malt. A touch of heat right up front that smooths out as the palate develops
M: Rich, creamy, a hint of heat as mentioned in the taste
O: I know lots of Great Lakes' lighter beers are well loved, but between this & the Edmund Fitzgerald porter, I think dark beers are where they truly shine. $8 for a 12oz bottle seems a bit steep until you step back & look at what many restaurants are charging for BMC; I would happily buy more of this for that price. As the release tasting event showed, this beer ages like a champ so pop one now but set a few aside for a few years. (995 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 4thelvofbeer
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this for a while now. Traded for a few bottles and finally popped open a 2012 BA Blackout on 19 Jan 2013. No disappointment here:
A: looked a bit thin and lighter than I expected, but still poured a nice deep, dark brown with a quickly dissipating head.
S: smelled really nice, slight hints of bourbon on that classic blackout sweetness.
T: very nice, bourbon notes, alcohol is hidden very well behind sweet flavors of vanilla and syrup.
M: extremely smooth for a big caliber barrel aged stout!
O: exceeded expectations, as good as I expected....can't wait to drink another one!! (599 characters)

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle sent via trade. Opened 2.17.13
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BDeYeW3CEAE4W9V.jpg

A: Pours black as night with very little tan head. Some alcohol legs present.

S: Huge chocolate aroma up front, wasn't expecting that. Some coffee sandwiched in there with the barrel backing it up. Huge Chocolate and barrel. Just a fantastic smelling beer.

T: Packs a chocolate punch. Chocolate, with wood from the barrel. Some coffee bitterness on the finish. Some bourbon in there as well.

M: Medium bodied, creamy, some alcohol burn with a slight bitter (coffee) finish. Little sweet sticky-ness coats the mouth on the finish.

O: Wow, beer of the year so far. Really surprised me, esp since GL doesn't have a big barrel program. Only disappointing aspect is that I only have 3 more left from my 4 pack. (805 characters)

Photo of bobhits
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer without the bourbon is a subtle and complex "weak" imperial stout. With the bourbon this is an intense and full bodied sweat bourbon treat. I had the pleasure of having both on tap tonight and only regret not having a second!

Sadly appearance suffers when trying to pour a full glass (6oz) of beer so lets say this one is dark and should in theory have head. The aromas are vanilla, coffee, and chocolate, and the hop aroma of the base beer does make a few minor appearances.

This is a thick and creamy mildly under carbonated beast. Truly tasty and among the best beers I've had. This really does seem like a fully different beer from the base. Highly recommended but hell I love bourbon barrel stouts.

Cheers! (725 characters)

Photo of cabsandking
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (793 characters)

Photo of walleye
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
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. (471 characters)

Photo of nhindian
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review #150!

22oz bomber poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

2010 vintage.

Had a few bottles of this since the release back in October, but have been waiting for a special time to open this. Tomorrow's my birthday, so I figured I'd open it up now and drink it into the night and next morning!

A - For a beer named 'Blackout Stout', it's not the darkest beer I've seen by a longshot. There are rich, cola and chocolate colored highlights surrounding the beer and as the beer is tilted, you can easily see through it. Mostly just a very dark auburn color. A steady pour yields about a finger's worth of khaki colored head that has decent retention. Lacing is moderate, not much but what's there does last for a while. While drinking it's possible to see thin carbonation rising from the bottom, and there are patches of carbonation sticking to the side of the glass.

S - Smell is a very enticing combination of bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet malts, slight dark fruits. Surprisingly not much chocolate or coffee notes which normally are flooding these kind of beers. Reminds me of Four Roses Eclipse in the way that the bourbon is well-integrated with the base beer rather than it being the sole focus.

T - As in the nose, the barrel just adds so much to the normal Blackout Stout without completely overshadowing it. Bourbon is noticeable and readily apparent, but it is complemented by a lot of the vanilla and fresh oak from the barrel, and the chocolate that was absent from the nose makes its way into the taste side-by-side with the vanilla and lingers far into the finish. At first the alcohol is a bit too hot, but as the beer warms up the rest of the beer helps compensate.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with low carbonation. Incredibly smooth and creamy, with a finish full of bourbon, chocolate, and alcohol. Leaves a thin coating on the palate.

D - Drinkability is high. While at first the alcohol is certainly present, it cools off and melds perfectly with the rest of the beer. I sipped this over the course of an hour and a half and was happy the entire time. (2,077 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 keller2343
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Batch on release date 1/17/12

A - pours a weak tan head which dissipates quickly. Appearance is opaque dark brown.
S - Strong Bourbon Flavors, hints chocolate
T - Overwhelming bourbon, which I appreciate. Getting some chocolate and hints of coffee.
M - A little lighter than I expect from an RIS.
D - Loved it, excited to see how some aging smooths out the bourbon flavor. (378 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured pitch black in color with a very thin tan head barely forming around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has some great bourbon flavors to it. I get brown sugar and vanilla mixing with dark chocolate and roasty coffee flavors. The bourbon is a little bold and slightly hot, but it also really compliments the beer well. It's not a perfect aroma, but it's pretty damn good.

The taste shows the dark chocolate and bourbon right off the bat. In the finish more of the vanilla and oak barrel flavors mix with a roasty, coffee and bitter-sweet chocolate flavor. Again, the bourbon is a little hot in the finish but otherwise it's a pretty perfect compliment to the beer.

The mouthfeel is heavy and thick with carbonation being low. It's a really great mouthfeel for the style. Overall it was a great beer. The bourbon was really bold and flavorful in it, but the base beer also got to shine through. All the flavors really came together very well in it. I can't wait to see how this one develops with some age on it. Great beer overall. (1,092 characters)

Photo of hayesez
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a BIF from brokenleadedcask....extremely generous! Thanks Darren!

Split this with friends...poured into a Bruery tulip and a Dogfish Head globe. Pours a deep, dark brown...nearly black. About halfway through the pour into the first glass, I could tell this guy had virtually no carbonation. I dumped it in there, but still produced virtually no head. A good looking color, but very disappointed with the head. I'm not sure if this is the norm, but I generally expect something on top of the brew. Zero lacing left on the sides.

Smells strongly of chocolate. A bit of tobacco as well as some vanilla and a bit of the alcohol kick that you might expect from barrel aging...not much, but a little.

The taste is excellent - much as I would expect from what I smelled, a strong semi-sweet chocolate taste that is quickly followed by the a bit of the barrel alcohol. Hints of vanilla and a tiny bit of dark fruit. A few seconds after each drink, I get the remnants of tobacco...almost like I just smoked a cigar. This really is a great tasting beer. Unfortunately, the lack of carbonation is really a downer. It is a creamy beer that has a decent mouthfeel, save for the poor carbonation. Still, this is good stuff.

Overall, I really like this beer. Although BA obviously makes appearance and mouthfeel contributors to the ranking, the taste is top notch. This will end up being ranked a bit lower by their standards, but I would still drink this at any time. A very, very solid tasting beer.

Consumed: 3/17/2010 - 3:30 a.m. (got up early for St. Patrick's Day....this beer will kick of the celebration for me!) (1,622 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium off-white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of of well balanced vanilla, bourbon, oak with some deep roasted malt. Taste is also a well balanced mix between some bourbon. Vanilla and deep roasted malt with not one flavor overtaking the other. Body is lightly creamy while being full and carbonation is perfect for style, i.e. about average with no apparent alcohol. Easily drinkable with just enough character. (485 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (1,773 characters)

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

Poured from a 22oz bomber into three snifters. Thanks to pops and HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to brokenleadedcask for this from our latest trade!

2009 Vintage

A: Pours black with a slight cola-brown tint at the edges. A thin, brown-bread colored head fans out on top and soon disappears before leaving a creamy collar clinging to the glass.

S: Bourbon and vanilla-y oak at the onset that in no way overpower the complexities of the nose. Dark chocolate, carmelized dark fruit, fudge, heavily roasted malt, and espresso.

T: Exactly as above. The bourbon is so well integrated into this. Heather picked up some notes of black licorice/anise as it warmed up. Alcohol flavor is non-existant.

M: Stick to your ribs without being syrup-y. Just the right amount of bourbon heat keeps things from becoming too slick or too sweet.

O: A fantastic barrel aged beer. Also loved the relatively low (for the style) abv. (931 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to sarro. Pitch black with light off white head. Aroma of coffee, powdered chocolate, vanilla and smoke. Taste is bittersweet chocolate, coffee and rich crunchy cereal. A very nice layered and balanced imperial stout that benefits from barrel aging without being overdone. (286 characters)

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