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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

1,341 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,341
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,228
Gots: 281 | FT: 26
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: 1,341 | Reviews: 383 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billshmeinke
4.15/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Big thanks to Raznug for this bottle.

An inky black body with a light beige one inch head. Head dies down to an island of foam with with a ring around the edge of the glass. A cap of foam can be resurrected with a few swirls of the glass.

Smells of chocolate, bourbon, oak, charcoal, black currants, some oaky vanilla, and port wine. Smells nice and smokey and sweet.

Tastes of chocolate, rum raisin ice cream, oaky vanilla, black currants, smoke, some tannins, port wine, and bourbon. The oak and tannins are pretty prominent. Letting the the sweet flavors hang out in the background a little more.

So here is the disappointing part about this beer. The mouthfeel is quite thin. Low carbonation. Wish this was a little thicker and more syrupy.

Quite good overall, does show it's alcohol a bit which is just fine with me. Just the mouthfeel. Too darn thin. Oh well, if you are looking for an exceptional BA stout that's a little on the thin side this should be your thing.

billshmeinke, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of TheBullsHorn
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What can be said about this beer that hasn't already been said in other reviews. A fantastic russian imperial stout to begin with, gets raised to a complex degree when the booze and the wood are introduced from the bourbon barrel-aging. The nose comes big with notes of booze, tobacco, burnt sugar, and caramel with wood coming through in between. Same again when it comes to the palate. All those flavors with added pleasure of bourbon, and everything that that spirit brings to the table. An exceptional ale.

TheBullsHorn, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of ppoitras
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained in trade with unclejedi. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" light brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Head recedes promptly, with leggy dwindling lace. Aroma is dark grains, vanilla, and alcohol. Taste is roasty sweetness upfront, barrel character in the middle, and alcohol warmth at the close. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, almost seems to evaporate off the tongue, and drinkability is very nice for the style. Could stand for a bit more body, but all in all a great offering.

ppoitras, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of homebrew311
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this at a recent tasting.

A: pours dark brown, some light passes through, thin head, some lacing

S: nose features a considerable amount of oak up front. The bourbon character is there and features notes of vanilla and molasses. Chocolate and raisins come through towards the finish.

T: oak and bourbon up front, lots of vanilla and chocolate. It seems as if the barrel aging has really transformed this beer- having difficult tasting the base beer. Finish is dry. This has awesome balance for a barrel aged stout...the bourbon is in now way overpowering.

MF: a little thinner than expected, or I should say thinner than I remember the regular Blackout Stout being. Carbonation is mellow.

D: This has exceptional drinkability for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Lots of flavor, ABV goes undetected. Great brew!

homebrew311, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Westsidethreat, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of BlastBeats
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle of Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout -- poured into two snifters and shared w/ my brother.

Appearance: pours the dark black color that's typical of many barrel-aged stouts.. although the head on this one is a little lighter than expected; it swirls into a collection of small tan bubbles.

Smell: smells great. The bourbon is really pronounced in the aroma.

Taste: one taste and you're able to tell that this one is vastly different from the non-barreled version. Actually, I didn't care for the first few sips, but thankfully my palate readjusted. The regular Blackout has a character reminiscent of milk chocolate, with distinct coffee undertones - those attributes seem to have been replaced w/ a hefty dose of oak and mellow bourbon flavors - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. With each ensuing sip, this beer kept getting better.

Mouthfeel: I think the mouthfeel is adequate - not too full, but at the same time, I definitely wouldn't want this any thinner.

Overall: Great Lakes is a really well-rounded brewery. It seems like all of their offerings are enjoyable and this one is no exception. Seek and enjoy advocates.

BlastBeats, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of commis
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber poured into a Bells tulip.

Very dark brown, approaching black, with deep ruby highlights. Cappuccino colored head about 1 finger deep, dissipates quickly but comes back vigorously with a swirl. The liquid coats and sticks to the glass but there is no lace. Nice looking beer.

Dark chocolate, butterscotch, burnt toast. Aromas are not overly strong but well defined and harmonious. Definitely some butterscotch, but it works just fine. As this warms I'm picking up more smokey notes. Cigar smoke. it's nice.

I'm not normally a fan of bourbon forward stouts. I love Bourbon as a predominant accent but not usually the star of the show. I feel, however, that GL does an awesome job of smacking you right in the face with the Bourbon while still keeping it from becoming overwhelming. I think the roasty nature of the base-beer helps keep the sweetness from the barrel from getting to be to much. Burnt marshmellowy and nutty. Great depth with the rise in temp, with just enough alc to let you know your enjoying an adult beverage.

I find this to be of Medium body for an Imperial Stout. It's not as heavy as most of it's peers, but I can find no fault because it still does not leave my tongue dry. It finds a way to coat it but doesn't cling at all. Carbonation seems a bit lower than I normally like, but that is most likely why it's thinner body is not an issue.

Awesome. This is great. It's so easy to drink because of the body and balance, but has none of the normal issues with a lighter bodies imp stout (astringency, tannin perception, being 'hot')...I like it. I've never had it before, and I'm glad I drank it for brunch today instead of including it in a trade (almost did).

commis, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of BakaGaijin
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A - pours with very little head.

S - mild coffee smell and chocolate milk. A hint of bleached white toast.

T- Some bourbon and roasted malt up front. Some cocoa. A bit more bitterness on the finish then I would like.

M - Wow. Wow. Wow. This mouthfeel is incredible. Silken. Nicely carbonated. I almost don't want to swallow this.

O - Really good barrel-aged stout. The alcohol is not very noticeable. The mouthfeel is incredible and the taste is very good.

BakaGaijin, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of orangesol
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I shared this one on our Black Friday beer trip. I believe it was a 2010.

A - Pours jet black with a small one finger tall head leaving very little lace down the glass.

S - Smells of bourbon, dry oak, dark chocolate, coffee, charred wood, and lots of dark roasted malt. This one smells pretty good.

T - Starts off with a big dose of warm bourbon up front quickly giving way to a mix of chocolate, coffee grounds, tobacco, dark roasted malt, and lots of dry oak tannins. The flavors were all there but it never really took me all the way.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Good balance overall but the booze does take a tole on the pallet over the course of the bottle and it develops a bit of a chalky feel toward the end of the bottle.

O - A very good take on the style. I enjoyed it but compared to say...bourbon barrel plead the 5th, which I had only a short time before this, it just doesn't compare. I wouldn't turn it down in the future, thats for sure.

orangesol, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of JDV
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to miketd for so generously offering up a bottle of this rarity!! Dark, opaque black pour that holds a light to medium head poured into a snifter. Nose is rich and complex with dark semi-sweet roasted malt, an appropriate and not overwhelming amount of bourbon, and notes of spicy oak and vanilla. Very good job of incorporating the barrell, and not just the bourbon. Flavor is dark and roasty with a good amount of bourbon and a woodsy, light vanilla and almost spiced flavor to go along. Alcohol came into play as it warmed up a bit more than I'd like, but even with that, it was a fantastic beer, and most importantly, the bourbon barrel didn't ruin the beer, but added new complementing flavors. Fantastic.

JDV, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of dlello2
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black but thin enough to get some red hues shining through easily. Small amount of head, gone quick.

S - Great smell. Lots of caramel, bourbon, raisins, some alcohol )but not enough to be off-putting). Quite delicious.

T - First a caramel chocolate sweetness. Then the tiniest amount of alcohol followed by a nice roasted coffee. Really a lot going on. The flavor lingers nicely. Maybe the tiniest bit hot at this point --it's pretty fresh for a BA beer. I like it.

M - Nicely carbonated, good feeling as it goes down. Light to medium body. Not oily or thick.

O - This is a really nice beer. It gets a lot of bonus points for being as complex as it is. It's changed a lot as it's warmed up (as expected). I love the base beer and I cannot wait to see what happens to this with a year or 2 of age on it. I have 3 more 2012's... plan on drinking one in a few months, one in a year, and one a couple years down the road. I'll try to edit this as I go!

dlello2, Mar 14, 2012
Photo of genog
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Franksnbeans for sharing this one!

Pours a thick like motor oil black color with a light brown creamy head that sticks around to leave a fair amount of lacing on the top of my pint glass. Smell is like a cookie with milk chocolate and some dark coffee notes, as well as the roasted malt aroma. Taste is moderately sweet with a bittersweet finish. Medium mouthfeeling with a creamy dry texture, and soft carbonation allowing the bourbon notes to really kick in.

genog, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, 2008 vintage, poured into a tulip.

Pours dark, dark brown out of the bottle and is completely opaque black in the glass with a small, short-lived tan head that recedes to a collar, leaves spotty lacing on the sides.

The aroma is nice - dark and roasty with the bourbon barrel only complimenting things. There are dark chocolate malts and roasted coffee mainly with the vanilla from the oak and a little bourbon coming through in the background.

The bourbon steps forward a little in the taste with the vanilla coming in up front as well. The backbone is still mainly chocolate sweetness and dark roasted malts but the finish brings back the barrel presence with a definite burn going down.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with soft carbonation and a slightly dry oaky finish.

This is a very good bourbon barrel stout with the barrel character coming out aggressively in the taste. Overall, it's a big sweet and smooth imperial stout that's got a bit more chocolate than the typical RIS.

gford217, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of Vdubb86
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Darkness snifter

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this rarity

This pours a dark brown with a beige foam. Distinctively lighter in color than most beers of it's genre. The aromatics are a little on the bourbon side with some caramel malt mixed in. This is apparently still a pretty hot beer. The taste confirmed the punch of the bourbon, but the oak and the vanilla helped calm down. Interestingly the roast and chocolate flavors were secondary to the bourbon barrel notes. This was a tad astringent still, but not too much to not really enjoy this beer. It was a pleasure drinking this beer, and it goes to show GLBC can make good beer. Why they don't do it more often, I can't say.

Vdubb86, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of jaasen64
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, huge thanks to RyanMcFly1985. Poured into Founders snifter. 2516 Series (not sure what that means), bottled in 2012.

A- Pours a dark black slightly brown, mostly opaque but slightly translucent around the edges. A thin mocha head forms when pouring but quickly fades to leave pretty much no head. Some very light carbonation. Leaves some very light spotty lacing.

S- The heavy bourbon presence is definitely the first thing that hits you. Mostly bourbon but also some vanilla oak, dark fruits, light roasted malts, and some very light dark chocolate.

T- Definite bourbon but not nearly as much as in the aroma, dark fruits, vanilla from the oak, dark fruits on the finish mixed with a tiny bit of dark chocolate and more bourbon. Taste lingers for a little while.

M- Medium bodied, definitely a sipper, packs a tiny bit of heat, despite the heat though it is easy to drink, fairly low carbonation that fit well with the stout tastes.

O- This was definitely a nice BA Imperial Stout that was interesting to try. The nose was a little bit too dominated by the bourbon, but the taste was nicely balanced. This beer was definitely a sipper, there was a tiny bit of heat and the bourbon presence is a little bit heavy. The beer was nicely done with a fairly nice balance (bourbon could have been toned down a tiny bit), plenty of complex tastes, nice use of barrel aging, and a nice mouthfeel despite the slight heat. Not a beer that I'd seek out all the time, but definitely an interesting try.

jaasen64, Aug 02, 2012
Photo of Phigg1102
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%

Phigg1102, Aug 26, 2014
Photo of EgadBananas
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks for the hookup John!

Appearance: midnight black, mildly viscus, meager near finger brown head, fast dissipation.

Aroma: toasty oak, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, woodsy char, subtle coffee, light fusel notes, toffee.

Taste: milk chocolate, fainter coffee, slight booze, roasted wood, vanilla, nouget, bourbon-y caramel.

***Great balance, not too daunting, but the 12oz is perfect. The barrel takes away from the great coffee notes in the regular version, but I'd call it a fair trade off. Good drinkability, and a BA stout that can stand up with the best. $7 is a great value for this stout.

EgadBananas, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of spinrsx
4.21/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml Bottle received in trade with iguenard - thanks! 2014 edition

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, grains, coffee, wood/booze

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and faint coffee. There is also nutty/pie crust type flavour

Overall - I was expecting it to be a little thicker looking, but its fairly light and lively and it has a tremendous flavour. It's a big beer but it is still very well balanced and all the flavours work very well together. The barrel aging isn't all that pronounced, it just accentuates the beer a touch. A high quality brew that is surprising not cloying in the least.

spinrsx, Apr 21, 2014
Photo of dogfishandi
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage. 12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a darkness snifter.

pours out pretty much opaque black, some rubiness evident on the edges in the light. a nice creamy light mocha colored head with good retention. some thin lacing and just a bit of legs left on the glass after a swirl.

nice, warming bourbon in the aroma, turns into some solvent like booze as it warms. behind the bourbon is some vanilla and a bit of some cocoa and roasted, burnt malts.

very nice taste, the bourbon is very strong and right at the forefront. some nice mellow vanilla and oaky barrel qualitites go with the bourbon nicely. also some very nice dark chocolate flavors. rich and boozey, very nice taste.

just a bit too thin for the style IMO, but it has a nice rich feel to it. a nice low amount of carbonation.

a very good barrel aged impy stout, but the bourbon is very strong with it being so fresh which might be a turn off to some and it does come off a bit thin. i think age will greatly improve this beer as it didnt really seem to live up to some of the older vintages ive had in the past.

dogfishandi, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of wcudwight
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Sepiroth for the beer.
Black in color with a small lasting fizzy chocolate colored head. Nice lacing for the style.
Bourbon and charcoal in the aroma.
Nice mixture of RIS and bourbon flavors with neither overwhelming the other. RIS flavors include chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts. The roasted malts are not as strong as most RISs though the beer does not miss it much b/c the bourbon flavors fill in nicely. I'm really starting to like these bourbon aged beers.
Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style but the bourbon adds a nice sharpness that keeps the mouthfeel interesting.
Good, drinkable, another fine beer from Great Lakes brewing.

wcudwight, Apr 02, 2008
Photo of AgentZero
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - A super dark mohagany that comes through brown/ruby on the edges. Minimal light, tan head that dissipated rather quickly, left the sides of the glass clean. Looks a little flatish.

S - Mild chocolate, roasted malts, a little bit of bitter in there. Some toffee and a hint of coffee, nothing overpowering, a nice blend.

T - Roasted malts, a hint of vanilla, some cocoa, not as much of a soy sauce or molasses taste as I was expecting. Taste is better than the nose. Slightly fruity, pretty good complexity.

M - This is where the beer ranks fairly average for me. Under carbonated and a little bit flat, would have liked it to be heavier, stickier, and have more of a bite.

D - Did the entire 22 oz bomber without a problem, and I want more beer. Very easy, course, I might just be an alcoholic.

AgentZero, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of abuliarose
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass, revealing deep black body under a thin and slightly airy-looking head. Very little lacing. I would have expected the head on this brew to be a bit... thicker. Smells awesome, though, with chocolate, toasted coconut, candied bacon and a little burnt caramel on the nose. Very nice smells, sweet-suggesting.

Tastes very sweet and very hazlenutty (frangelico?) with milk chocolate and caramel presence throughout. Slightly toasted. Lots of vanilla, some coconut milk richness but body is on the lighter side of heavy and flows easily from the alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is a little thinner and only a touch syrupy, but this drinks like a big beer: a flavorful sipper.

Overall it's pretty good. I am always amazed at the variations of RIS offered. This one is somewhere in the middle of all those.

abuliarose, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of mistakebythelake
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

'10 vintage From notes at GLBC brewpub on 1/17/11.

Pours a brownish black with good head and lacing into a 10 oz snifter. Quite the vanilla and oak on the nose with some bourbon and coffee in there as well. Throughly enjoyed the tastes of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and malts. Full mouthfeel, good carbonation and very creamy. Could have had a couple of these, but wanted to try some other brewpub only releases there.

Have had this years vintage in the bottle as well and it is shaping up nicely.

mistakebythelake, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of HopHead84
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

HopHead84, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of korguy123
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 thanks to silverX

A- Totally opaque black pour with a three finger large bubbled soapy light tan head that quickly deflates. Leaves a finger width cap and soapy lacing.

S- Chocolate and brown sugar with huge vanilla and bourbon/ oak. Slight licorice with molasses. Much more rounded than regular blackout.

T- Chocolate sauce, brown sugar, massive vanilla notes. Sweet and roasty. Smooth and chewey. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M- Creamy and smooth with slight alcohol warmth.

O- Excellent beer, very well crafted and awesome seeing how balanced this base beer can be with extra love.

korguy123, Jan 21, 2012
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,341 ratings.