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

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

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,425 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,425
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.92%
Wants: 1,269
Gots: 278 | FT: 22
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: 1,425 | Reviews: 387 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of youngblood
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours black as midnight. Super thick looking, not a ton of head but it sits rather mightily atop my glass. Low visible carbonation.
S - Smells incredible. Strong hints of bourbon, smooth oak, espresso, caramel, slight pine, tobacco. Yum.
T - The taste follows the nose rather closely. Lovely roasted flavors here. Lots of espresso, strongish bourbon, slightly sweet. Just amazing.
M - Great mouthfeel. Perfectly weighted on the tongue, super smooth.
D - Goes down ultra smooth for a 9%er.

Blackout Stout is one of my all time favorite stouts, so when I heard that they did BA I knew that I had to get one. It didn't disappoint, simply delicious.

Photo of Callenak
4.78/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of brewtus
4.79/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 release vintage poured into snifter. Pours black with a small off white head. Smell is full of great bourbon oak notes, some cinnamon, sweet marshmallow, some coffee , some chocolate. Taste starts with a hit of smooth bourbon oak barrel, some hints of cocoa, coffee, sweet dark fruit, again some cinnamon, small anise flavor. Texture is perfect, velvety smooth. Overall this beer is fantastic, I had one fresh and it was pretty hot, after about 8 months it's has aged wonderfully, amazing bba stout from an amazing Ohio brewery.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of brian44556
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received a 4oz pour at LB in SpringHurst. Never planned on being able to try this beer, especially on tap. Rep said it was aged for 7-9 months on Bourbon Barrel's.

Pours an opaque black. Little head is noticed and almost no lacing. Not an awesome looking beer, but the smell switches your senses. Smell is sweet bourbon and chocolate. A small hint of vanilla from the barrel. Taste is right on par with the nose. Notes of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit. Beer has a perfect texture and has carbonated perfectly. A small burn from the alcohol makes this one a nice sipper. What an amazing beer. Blackout Stout is one of the best RIS I have had the luxury of trying and adding a bourbon barrel to it makes it an awesomely different experience. Would like to try this side by side with the regular Blackout Stout.

Photo of mwegryn
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of scott
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

V.06
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.

Photo of Mauerhan
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FIRST off HUGE thanks to patronwizard for cracking this gem. i am pretty excited for this. lets be honest here people... im flying at full mast at this point.

pours a dark black with a rich ruby red highlight. thick mocha head sits about 1 finger tall. nice lacing

smells rich. malt. woody. coffee. sexy.

taste is fucking awesome. enough said. coffee. chocolate woods. god this thing is good

mouth is smooth and creamy. fucking awesome.

i love this beer. and would probably give up a night with olie for another bottle. any takers?

Photo of mbrasi
4.83/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of UA8
4.85/5  rDev +11%
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.

Photo of beerman207
4.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Kels for hooking Bamadog and I up at a tasting to celebrate her new job. This was aged from 2008.

A - Black as midnight - very dark - small head leaves some decent lacing behind. Very inviting

S - Oak, Coffee, bourbon, alcohol

T - Bourbon, coffee, alcohol present - fantastic flavor

M - Alcohol is dominant for me in the mouthfeel but in a good way. Very nice balance and feeling. This beer is very smooth. Much smoother than KBS.

D - The drinkability for this is very high considering the higher ABV. I could have easily had more of this. Wow. What a fantastic beer. Believe the hype on this one.

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

Photo of CFHMagnet
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got into Cleveland for the release yesterday nice and early. I have heard so many good things about this beer, and finally I was able to pick up a 4 of my own. I got a little aggressive while pouring this one into my snifter, and ended up with half a finger of mocha colored head. This dissipated in about a minute or so to leave a faint bubbly ring around the top of a black body. There seems to be absolutely no light passing through this sexy, delicious beast.

The nose is a delicious mix of dark chocolate, hints of vanilla, a bit of wood and some bourbon to top it off.

Upon taking a sip of this beer and exclaiming on how good it is, my fiancee proceeded to tell me that she wished I looked at her like that. Delicious dark roasted malt and dark chocolate are the beginning of the taste journey. Vanilla, a hint of something dark and raisin-esque and wood form the transition, then the ending is a bit of dark chocolate, a whisper of coffee and some bourbon.

This beer is full bodied and VERY amazingly creamy. Carbonation is just right. Even though bourbon is a strong characteristic of this beer, the alcohol burn associated with it is very mild and very pleasant. Warming. Perfect for a cold evening.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

400th review!

Had this on-tap at GL BA Blackout release... wow, what a beer!

Pours black with some ruby-amber highlights. Decent light brown head on it too. I was surprised that I could get any highlights out of this, most of the big stouts are black black black. It's nothing bad, just something different. I like it.

Nose brings out the bourbon, chocolate, dark malts, sweet goodness... Smells great. This is a big time stout. Taste is where this guy really shines--big rich stout flavors with a touch of oak and bourbon that really round out the beer. Bourbon aging is apparent, but not over-done. Very very good beer. If I had to describe it in terms of other big stouts, I would say that it's a slightly more robust (in malt profile) GI BCBS with the bourbon dialed back a bit. This one delivered for me.

Thick, viscous body, with a bit more carbonation than most of the big stouts. It works, though, and makes this a relatively easy drinking big beer. Overall, I was very happy with this. Well crafted in all respects, one of my new favorites, and I'm glad I'll be able to get it for the next few years!!

Photo of Vancer
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

Photo of Dogbrick
4.88/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of MrVonzipper
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled 1/12
Black. Nice 1cm tan head. Good retention, Good lacing. Fairly oily.

Big rich and bold nose. Fantastic. Big rich fudge chocolatey brownie. Dark roasted nuts. Mild bourbon. Nice vanilla and rich caramel. Mild oak.

Flavor is just amazing. From beginning to lingering after taste just delightful! Such perfect balance. Big fudgy chocolatey brownie with lovely vanilla and mellow bourbon. No heat what soever. so easy to drink!

Medium bodied. Not as viscous as anticipated. Silky smooth. Very little carbonation.

Overall just an amazing beer.

Photo of TomTwanks
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a GL snifter from a 2012 bottle.

P- poured a black color with about 1.5 finger mocha colored head. Promising so far...

A - like above, black as night with micro bubbles. Just how I like em'.

S - Jesus, probably the best smelling beer I've ever had, literally. So much vanilla, like sweet bourbon smell. Caramel smell is also present.

T - Holy crap, this isn't a joke. I've had the regular plenty but the barrel aging is just rediculous. So smooth upfront, mellowing into a nice EXTREMELY smooth bourbon mixed with a vanilla bean. I mean wow. Minimal expresso presence but a nice suddle milk chocolate taste. So complex, it's hard to put this class of beer into words.

M - actually not as heavy as I would have thought, which is not a bad thing. Carbonation is on point and is really appreciated.

O - So glad I have this beer. Best BA stout I've had to date. Can't wait until next year to buy more!

Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed on Friday, 29 October 2010 at Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland, OH. Drove up from New York with a buddy and met up with a second from California for this release, coinciding with a wedding perfectly that weekend. On tap in 10oz snifter. Color is black with a slight burgundy-orange color when held up to the light. One-finger head up to the brim, head is beige-caramel and super creamy. Lacing is married to the glass. Carbonation is lighter-than-average -- simply perfect! Heavy, yet slightly-sweet bourbon aroma, touch of vanilla, bite of toffee, hardly smell the hot alcohol, bittersweet chocolate stings the nose. The taste makes me want to cry. Bourbon flavor sails over the heads of heavy vanilla, toffee, slight maple, and milk chocolate. The bourbon and chocolate flavors stick to the tongue.

Nearing the bottom of the glass, the alcohol gets slightly hotter, and the vanilla has a hard time saying goodbye. Time to drink another.

Aging six 2010 bombers bought that morning, potentially trading 3 of those with others around Beer Advocate (just message me). I could write volumes about this beer, but I must stop to give my mind a rest. Legendary beer.

EDIT, 5 November 2010: One bomber left for trading, but in the middle of a couple of trades and job transition, will let you know (especially you guys that msg'd me) if/when I decide to trade one.

Photo of aforbes10
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a "career beer" for me, meaning that i've wanted to try it for most of my drinking "career." Now, thanks to a generous package from kkulacki, I have my chance (thanks, Konrad). Pours black but not overly viscous with a thin light brown head. Lacing is watery and quick. Smells extremely good...lots of chocolate and vanilla, with a rum/bourbon note, forcasting an alcohol filled deliciousness. Deep chocolate malt odor too, I can almost smell the crushed grain. Flavor is equally rewarding...big and chocolaty, with obvious oak and vanilla undertones. Barrel aging has not overwhelmed this beer, but actually improved it (and considerably, in my estimation) No extreme bitterness, just a hint of espresso. Alcohol obvious, but not distracting, on the finish, blending in well with the vanilla and malt. Delicious. Velvety mouthfeel, if a bit thin on the finish. Very, very good. It was worth the wait. Happy New Year!!!

Photo of hoplover82
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow! My goodness, this is one of those EPIC beers.

It pours a thick black with a thin tan head with lots of dotty and thin lines of lacing.

The aroma is strong and complex with roasty barley and slight bitter dark chocolate and licorice. As it warms, the toffee realy comes out.

The taste is just as complex and strong with roasted coffee as the dominant character with licorice, bitter dark chocolate and toffee in the background. The coffee lingers forever.

Full bodied and very thick and creamy, like drinking a beer smoothy.

Very drinkable, I could have another one of these!

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2013 12oz. bottle...

A: Pours a deep black with brown edges. There is one full finger of dark khaki colored head that fades pretty quickly. A think soft foam ring hugs the glass. There is minimal lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is big bourbon, milk chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. I get slight coffee and toffee, but it's basically bourbon and chocolate. Smells amazing.

T: The fist hit is sweet chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. It amazing. As it moves to the middle get some sweet bourbon heat and some dark chocolate bitters. The finish is a beautiful balance between the chocolate and the barrel ageing. I get hot bourbon alcohol, dark chocolate, caramel, and vanilla.

M: Full bodied beer. It's sweet and coating to start with robust flavors. It's mellow in the middle, and a bit harsher towards the back end. The hot alcohol burn shines in the back end as the chocolate fades. But it's smooth as it leaves the palate. So good.

O: Love this beer. Some vintages are better than others (2009 comes to mind as one of the best) but this 2013 vintage is outstanding. One of my favorite beers of all time. It's just incredibly drinkable for a 9.5% barrel aged stout. Love it.

Photo of imaguitargod
4.93/5  rDev +12.8%
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

Photo of CJArtanis
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I can't say enough about this beer. The first thing that comes to mind is the most important characteristic that can be associated with a beer, and wine for that matter, balance. This stout is so overly whelming balanced it's crazy. It's a creamy, velvety, roasty, chocolaty, bourbon flavored masterpiece. I've been brewing myself for 6 years now and can only aspire to craft a beer as grand as this. I could write forever about how delicious it is and it wouldn't do it any justice. If you haven't had this beer, I implore you to buy or get one in a trade. Outstanding!

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.95/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage.

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

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,425 ratings.