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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

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,131 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1131
Reviews: 372
rAvg: 4.38
pDev: 9.36%


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: 1,131 | Reviews: 372 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2013. Tasted alongside regular Blackout Stout. Teku glass.

A: Pours mostly black, a dark coffee brown around the edges, with a half finger of light brown head which recedes quickly to a thick ring. Quite good clarity. Good retention for what's there, and a few streaks and dots of lacing.

S: Sweet, round whiskey, oak, and vanilla, and alcohol burn.

T: Bourbon that burns a little as it goes down, vanilla extract and oak, an undertone of chocolate malt and roast which imparts some structure, with a long, slightly boozy and barrel-y finish.

M: Medium-full body and medium-light, slightly sharp carbonation.

O: The barrel treatment is a bit on the harsher end, esp. with the alcohol burn, and the base characteristics are pretty overwhelmed. Some of the harshness mellows out as it warms to room temperature, but it remains.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 04:43:46 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of seaoflament
seaoflament

California

4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mcallister for the trade, I got this one back in Nov 07 so I think it's a good guess that this is from the 07 release. 2516 Series on the label.

Almost completely dark with only the slightest hints of ruby on the sides. A soft inch of mocha colored foam rose to the top of the glass and receded very slowly back into the beer. Good retention, a bit of lacing, and a swirl brings back some more foam which is quite impressive for a BA beer.

Bourbon on the nose as I first started pouring but once it's in the glass I can pick up some dry oak, vanilla, wet grains, sugar cookies, dark roasted malts, and bitter chocolate. Not as complex as I thought it would be but still quite good. A little more brown sugar and some lactic sweetness. Lots of dry oak, tannins, and cocoa. Vanilla seems to intensify a bit more as the beer warms up.

More chocolate on the flavor than the aroma...wow, very smooth. The barrel seems to have faded to the background but it is so darn tasty. Hints of vanilla, crème, oak, an toasted malts. A little alcohol heat in the finish and somewhat tingly on the tongue too. As the beer warms up it's all chocolate in the finish with hints of oak.

Very smooth and rich upfront but a tad thin in the middle and finish, low carbonation. Thinner body as it warms up but it's expected from a BA beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2009 05:03:25 | More by seaoflament
Photo of rodkin
rodkin

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottling.

Pretty standard appearance. Black, kind of thick looking but honestly not as much as I would expect. Tiny little head that disappears almost completely, leaving minimal lacing around the side of the glass.

Smell is coffee, chocolate, some barrel, bit of heat, maybe a little vanilla. More of the slightly bitter burnt malt flavors than the sweet ones, though.

Taste confirms the smell. Burnt coffee grounds, dark chocolate, some bourbon, and just a little hint of vanilla sweetness. It's actually pretty nice, avoids a cloying sweetness. A little milk chocolate on the way down, especially as it warms. Maybe a tiny bit of dark fruit, too. It's not too hot, but it does have a kind of boozy flavor.

Mouthfeel is fine. Not too thick, but it works pretty well. Decent carb, decently creamy.

Overall, a pretty good BA stout. A bit too boozy for my taste, which hurts drinkability, but it's got some good flavors. I'd be curious to see what some age does to it. Didn't really blow me away, though... maybe I've just been having too many stouts recently.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 04:07:20 | More by rodkin
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2013

I'm a huge fan of Blackout and I am happy to have this one in my hands. It's been a want of mine for quite some time that a gracious local BA put into my hands.

It's black as it's namesake and has a central pillow and flanking ring of mocha foam. Smells of graham, oak, toasted malts, residually melted sugars, a hint of craft caramel, some vanilla, alcohol and raw oats. Flavor follows suit: malts, oak, vanilla, oak, leathery, a bit of fig, a solid molasses undertone (nothing too overpowering, just a complement), and some nougat. Nearly full bodied with slightly hi carb and a semi dry finish. This a really tasty beer. I'm glad to have had it, and I would drink it again for certain.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 09:20:22 | More by harrymel
Photo of Jredner
Jredner

Florida

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 CharlesDarwin
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 ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -8.7%
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!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 23:21:00 | More by ffejherb
Photo of squaremile
squaremile

Oregon

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

Had at the recent BA tasting at Bailey's Taproom. After having a number of world class imperial stouts, we cracked this and wows were heard around the table. Color is pitch black with a small head, aroma is a bit boozy but pleasant. The taste is a great balance of coffee and barrel flavors balanced by a light sweetness. It was not an overpowering beer, but very well executed and unique.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 22:46:26 | More by squaremile
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black with browning around the edges. finger of head.
The aroma and flavors give off vanilla, i am kinda surprised by how much on the palate actually. good stuff. there is a solid roasted malt backbone through the center of this holding it all toghether and it has aspects that remind me of coffee a bit. Chocolate is here too but melded with bourbon into a creamy concoction. Good stuff all around. I wish the mouthfeel had a bit more viscosity....but i say that about every stout. :)

The flavors are best in show here, good stuff. If this got a bit more body, and a bit more aromatics, it would be more awesome...er.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2011 03:11:41 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

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

Poured from '10 bomber into tulip glass. Pours opaque dark brown color with a small off white creamy head. Smells like chocolate liquor, vanilla, brown sugar and molasses. Initial taste is a medium body that coats the mouth with caramel and roasty smokiness. Quite a lot of warming from alcohol. Finishing with chocolate and warming alcohol presence. Flavor hangs around for a while, but doesn't quite match up to the regular blackout stout that I really love. A still good beer nonetheless, but I'd rather get a six pack of the regular one which is much easier.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2012 17:29:03 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of kawilliams81
kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

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

Poured from a. 12 oz bottle into a 8 oz snifter. 2011 vintage.

A- pours black with a 1 finger dark tan head. Small blotches and trails of lacing.

S- big coffee nose, roast, vanilla and some bourbon.

T- bitter coffee and dark roasted malts. Bourbon and vanilla come into play in the middle. Finishes with a abv, bourbon note.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Drinks easily with a sligh bitter bite near the finish.

O- nice BA stout but not one I will seek out every year.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 03:12:30 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

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

Thanx Damian74Shensky:

Bottled 2013:

Into a pint glass:

A: pitch black body with about a finger of a tan head that rises and falls and leaves some clingy lacing that eventually spider webs

S: bourbon up front, chocolate and vanilla power through with a nice sort of oakiness coming out in a roasty sort of way

T: pretty much the same flavors from the smell

M: heavy - not sessionable, this is a sipper, yet it comes across very smooth

O: well, I would say this is very good for its style and well pretty good to me, probably would have liked it more if I let it age a bit longer

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 17:46:00 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Skrypt
Skrypt

Florida

4/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Swamp Head snifter. Bottled 2013. Served at 55F.

Pours a thick beige head that dissipates quickly, but that's probably due to this glass having been run through the dishwasher.

Really faint nose. Not really picking up much of anything outside of a little smoke, bourbon and vanilla.

The front is a really subtle light, floral hop taste that lasts for a second and is followed by a coffee-like bitterness and milk chocolate. The finish is dominated by bourbon.

This is a nice full-bodied stout that has a really surprising softness in the mouth, as if it were carbonated with nitrogen. Medium carbonation overall, though. There's a pretty good bit of alcohol heat.

Overall, this is a really enjoyable brew, but the barrel aging actually took away some of the subtlety that makes the original so good. The barrel characteristics haven't integrated very well. I'm going to let my second bottle sit in the cellar for 12 months or so and see how it compares to the regular Blackout then.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 21:30:39 | More by Skrypt
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to unclejedi for this brew.

22oz. Bomber
2009 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a black color, some carbonation, not much of a head at all, a couple of tiny islands appear. The nose is malty, with some oak notes, chocolate, toffee, some spice. The taste is malty, nice oak note, chocolate/toffe, with some spices. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew, but not what it's hyped up to be.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2009 01:17:50 | More by Wasatch
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Waited till my birthday to crack my first one of these. Poured into a snifter.

A- Its very difficult to get any head on this beer at all yet somehow there are tons of pearls of lacing polka dotting the glass. I must say that the beer didnt look very thick on the pour (at least by BA RIS standards.)

S- Oak is quite strong here giving the beer a smooth vanilla smell. Bourbon is there but it brings a boozy smell more than anything else, I would like more character from the bourbon. Milk chocolate and a shot of anise intermingle with currants and mulberries.

T- While not the heaviest on bourbon, this one does allow the boozy stuff to jump out at you. The bourbon and alcohol are certainly the last flavors left in your mouth, and boy do they stick around. Do they over stay their welcome? Thats subjective, but it could be the case for many people. Lots of barrel notes of wood and vanilla. Since the barrels dominate I have to poke around the flavor profile to find the Blackout Stout beneath. Its there, with its nice chocolatiness, but it does like to give you a run around.

M- Low carbonation, as the pour already had me thinking. Thats no worry though, a BA stout that has a lot of carbonation either has a problem or isnt executed to my liking. This is thin as compared to lots of it's peers.

D- 2010's batch is feeling much higher than the listed 9.5% even though my bottle says 9% even. Im having a hard time believing either. Place this blind in front of most people and they would guess around the 11% mark.

The verdict: A good beer, one for the cellar. I didnt put myself too far out of the way to obtain my allotment and for that Im glad. As it stands, I wouldnt do much more for some of this. We will stash one and see what it becomes. I have a feeling it will be a late bloomer.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2010 01:15:11 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of kbutler1
kbutler1

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Thanks to Peter for opening this one up from the most recent release. Poured into a tulip glass a dark brown color with a slight tan head. The aroma is very subtle with slight hints of roast and booze. Medium mouthfeel. The oak is pretty subdued with notes of vanilla. The one thing I would say is that this beer is very smooth and easy drinking. I wish it had more of a oak barrel flavor to it but it does have a fair amount of vanilla flavors. The appearance of this really upsets me, there is no head and no lace, booo.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 21:19:54 | More by kbutler1
Photo of ShogoKawada
ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ah, goin' through the review notebook. Got this one from a BIF, I do believe. Mucho thanks to the fine individual who sent this along.

A- Nice motor oil pour with a brown sugar, thick 2cm head that has tremendous staying power (and visual appeal). Wow, that's a nice pour.

S- Big bourbony sweetness. Vanilla and caramel, pretty light, not much char.

T- A lot stronger roast malt presence than I found in the nose. Bitter chocolate and a bit of molasses, def. oak presence and straight bourbon are noted too. Explosive flavors- very agressive, and well-executed. I'm impressed.

M- Lower than average carbonation, but since the flavors are on point, I'll suffer through it ;)

D- Moderate. b-bal stouts are a dime a dozen these days, but it takes more than a barrel and a stout to make a good beer. This one is just that- a (very) good beer. I would not hesitate to drink this one again. Impressive.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2011 15:13:54 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of Sammy
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 ricke
ricke

Sweden

3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, quite pale for the style, with an off-white head.

The aroma is lightly roasted with notes of milk chocolate, bourbon, toasted almonds, ashes and salty licorice.

The flavor is quite sweet with delicate malty backbone of roasted coffee, caramel, fudge and chocolate. Bourbon, almonds, vanilla and some light smoky notes. The finish is lightly bitter with lingering notes of oak, bourbon and salty licorice. Medium body, smooth carbonation.

I had high expectations on this one, and unfortunately they weren't really met. A decent barrel aged imperial stout, no more.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 14:13:55 | More by ricke
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

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

BA review #700. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Black with half a finger of bubbly light brown head that very quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Huge bourbon aroma up front with vanilla and oak complimenting it. Some roasted malts and chocolate in the background.

T - Bourbon, vanilla and oak up front. Toasted oats, chocolate an some sweetness in the middle. Warming alcohol and bourbon returning in the finish.

M - Medium body. A little thin at times and definitely thin for the style. Moderate carbonation that was a little heavy for my liking.

O - This was very good but missed the mark for me (based on expectation). Needs more body and less carbonation. Mouth feel got considerably better in after about a half hour in the glass.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 22:20:56 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a finger of tan head that recedes into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of sweet cocoa with vanilla, oak, and bourbon dominate. There are also notes of toffee and sweet chocolate.

T: sweet cocoa and bourbon dominate with vanilla, toffee, and oak also very prevalent. The finish is lightly boozy and sweet.

M: thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is nice and lively on the tongue.

O: a good beer, overall. Not terribly complex, but quite tasty nonetheless

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 23:56:01 | More by n2185
Photo of khiasmus
khiasmus

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is the rhythm of the night. The horns blaring, jarring lights glaring in the corners of the eyes, a cold wind whipping the streets far below, swaying the building, and only black when he looks up. Well, almost only black. The city's dank glow cast a hint of brown about the edges of the field of vision, a few small puffs of soap-bubble cloud drift by at eye level, then he is left with the cold, lonely blackness.
The aroma of the city drifts upwards, the massive amounts of bourbon from the distillery many long stories below. The city is rank with it, dripping with it. It is tearing apart families and building empires, creating both pleasure and misery, heartbreak, fatigue... The shoppes, then, a leather-shoppe, mingling with the bourbon as he kneels on the edge... A cream-sweetness, the old ice cream place, vanillins, the oak barrels of the fire-water plants, the warm stench of alcohol, burnt, spent grain.
And the flavours of that city... as many as the aromas, if not quite as piquant. Bourbon, of course. The cornerstone. World-class licorice, vanilla fudge, sweet oak-alcohol, alcohol, alcohol in the finish, and the burnt grain that wafts through, it's necessary for the plant, necessary for the city's survival, the constant burnt grain floating down the river, children laugh and play...
It's thin, though. warming and dry, wry humor, the humor that is built upon deep despair. Low carbonation, as any good distillery town should have... Few bubbly people, there's far too much to be somber about, too many bloody faces walking the streets, too many children without fathers.
The city is enjoyable for a tourist. You wouldn't want to live there, you wouldn't want to drink it constantly as the locals do, it will draw you in. WATCH OUT! It will draw you in, you'll never escape, you'll grow old and red, your world will become an endless dreamscape.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 23:31:09 | More by khiasmus
Photo of Jmoore50
Jmoore50

Nevada

3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The appearance on this one is dark dark black with a one finger mocha tan colored head. It is a fluffy head that leaves a light lacing on the glass. Although the lacing does not last forever, it has some grainy legs that like to creep on the sides of the glass. A good looking Imperial Stout.

The smell is of chocolate, bourbon oak barrels, ABV heat, burnt and roasted grains, earth.

The taste is a little thin, which is a common problem with barrel aged imperial stouts. The barrel thins out a base beer making everything else a little light on the palate. This beer has lots of burnt and roasted grains, earth, chocolate and bourbon. I am not sure if this bottle is a blend of barrel and un-barrel beer, but it is not very intense. Everything is somewhat muted, and I think it is because this beer is going through its transitional period. It is turning into something different and better, and we popped the bottle a little early. I can see this turning into something great, but not now.

The body is light and a bit hot with some graininess. It is a bit hot and incredibly astringent. Sucks your palate dry, the glass of water was refilled a few times by the end.

This is a good beer, but I opened to a bit too soon before its full transition. I am not sure what this would have tasted like fresh, but a year or so is going to be this beers time to shine.
J

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 01:40:44 | More by Jmoore50
Photo of ne0m00re
ne0m00re

Ohio

3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11/06/10- Had this one on-tap at the GL brew pub.
A: Pitch black, brown hues, thinner cream collar.
S: Nice vanilla bourbon, molasses, light cigar, clean, not woodsy.
T: Sweet, cigar, molasses, smokey burnt, close to DL with vanilla and oak.
M: Sticky sweet, with some carbonation.
D: Pretty good for a couple glasses.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2010 05:33:07 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of SirSketch
SirSketch

Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Firm tan head that stays. Primarily black in color with just a small amount of deep red highlights.

S - Mainly bourbon in the aroma and a strong oak character. The whiskey works well with the roasty/burnt smell in the beer. Great vanilla aroma, too.

T - Thankfully, the bourbon and malt flavor contributions are more balanced than in the aroma. Big on the chocolate and french roast coffee flavors. Maybe a bit of astringency from the dark grain. One of the better bourbon characteristics I've had in a beer.

M/D - Very smooth, buttery mouthfeel that makes this beer a pleasure to drink. Overall, a great example of bourbon barrel aging.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 00:56:35 | More by SirSketch
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,131 ratings.