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

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,625 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,625
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.72%
Wants: 1,333
Gots: 333 | FT: 38
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,625 | Reviews: 406
Photo of dcloeren
3.65/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown/mahogany with ruby red edges. Produced a finger of cinnamon colored head that quickly disappeared into the "blackout".

The nose is a little softer than I would like but still quite nice. Chocolate, a touch of bourbon but not nearly enough... vanilla bean on the end.

The taste follows the nose and is a little more bourbon forward... still, I wish that it would have more of a bite but they have taken the bit out and have left this beer with the more caramelized version of what the bourbon would be like without the heat...

The body is light for a RIS but has a very appropriate amount of carbonation. Very easy drinking and I am just now realizing this while I'm typing this but my glass is almost empty.

Overall, this was a delightful BBA stout but by no means was it top notch. It is lacking in the body more so than anything but it is definitely one of the softest BBA stouts I have had. Take this for what you want but while this was a good beer, I was not impressed.

Photo of lurpy1
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 and 2010 vintages broken out at a tasting. What a treat!

First, the 2009 comes out. The older the better, right? Wrong. Sour. Unhappy faces about. Barrel-aged beer dumped into the bushes. Bushes now happy, bushes don't know the beer has gone over.

2010 next. Initially paranoia that this one is putrified too. No, we're OK.

Pours a deep, contemplative black, with no head whatsoever. The smell is molasses, vanilla, heavy bourbon. Delicious. But when it comes to taste, I do find the bourbon tramples on the base beer. And that's a shame, the base beer has an incredible sweet note that gets lost in the barrel aging. Make no mistake, I like this beer, maybe even enough to trade it for one of my kids, but I did like the base beer a bit more.

Mouthfeel is good and slick.

I liked it very much, but what it really did for me is remind me of how much I liked the un-barreled version.

Photo of jaasen64
4.17/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of kawilliams81
4/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of OSUBeerStudent
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of trystero. Thanks Peter.

A - Opaque black with a moderately dense mocha head that pretty quickly dissipates to a ring around the edges. What I expect from such a stout.

S - Maybe a bit cold but nice, subtle. Very vanilla, oaky bourbon most prevalent but doesn't punch you in the face. Some coffee, chocolate, licorice present too. A very nice nose but fainter than expected.

T - The bourbon is pretty subtle. Not boozy like some of the other giants (KBS, BCBS). Definitely more oaky than many BBA stouts. More vanilla and oaky bourbon here, following the nose. Chocolate and coffee more present here than in the nose. Very pleasant and less boozy. No alcohol here. This is a BBA stout that's not super-sweet - the chocolate is bitter chocolate.

M - Fairly thick. The carbonation isn't super-high, so it definitely has a thick, almost coating feel. Because this beer isn't very sweet, though, the thickness doesn't lead to a syrupy feel. Very dry on the finish. Very drinkable.

Overall this is a very good beer. It definitely stands out from many of the other BBA stouts that are cropping up everywhere from the bitter chocolate and dry oak. It also benefits from being under 10% ABV in that there's no booziness to speak of. Definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of claspada
4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle (650ml bottle) shared by HimerMan at a recent bottle share.

Pours a viscous black color without much in the way of head formation and very little carbonation. Should be expected with 6 years of age on this.

Aromas begin really, really smooth nose with notes of vanilla, dark and milk chocolate with complementary oak and light bourbon. As it warms that dark fruity characteristic that comes from aging dark malt forward beers begin to emerge more and more. Lovin' it.

The tastes begin with a sweetish dark toffee and dark chocolate flavors. Mild sweetness, mild oak and no apparent alcohol warmth. The chocolate and roast provide a balance of sweet and bitter. The bourbon adds some marshmellow/vanilla sweetness. Same dark fruits as the nose emerge more and more as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium to high bodied with low, non-existent carbonation but thankfully the ABV is below 10, so the potential syrupy-texture that can occur in this style is not a problem. Low carbonation creates a finish that is thick and creamy.

Overall this was super, age has done nothing to lower the quality of the original product and if anything it has only added to the complexity and quality. This is one smooth beer and I am grateful for the opportunity to taste this. This only proves that cellaring beer is a great practice if you have the discipline. I appreciate the less than 10% ABV making this much more "drinkable" compared to many of the monsters that are produced in today's imperial heavy craft beer market.

Photo of Mavajo
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a slightly watery looking black with a thin cream/eggshell head. Not really impressive. Nose is a bit on the faint side - a mild bourbon medley. Roasty dark chocolate on the palate with a bit of molasses, licorice and anise, and noticeable but not overpowering bourbon notes with mild caramel and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel with brisk carbonation.

A pretty balanced bourbon barrel stout. Personally, not a fan of the roastiness, but this is to be expected since I feel similarly about the regular Blackout Stout. Good beer, but not worth going to much trouble to seek out, in my opinion. Much better BA stouts out there, IMO.

Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to foofaa for sharing this on my birthday, enjoyed chilled from a mug.

The color is black as the name, very thick sandstone head with creamy appearance, lace sticks very well and retention is very good. The smell is bready with slight sweet caramel and vanilla odor with slight roasted and peppery tinged aroma with nice toffee and light bourbon sweet woody nose. The feel is great it starts sweet with mild tannin and full middle with great carbonation adding levity with slight roast and hint of alcohol as it finishes.

The flavor is very full with lots of toffee, cocoa, wood with vanilla and bourbon interwoven with slight coffee and bready flavors from the yeast with a toasted and spiced taste which brings out some dark fruit toward the middle with mild earthy hints of raisin and chocolate toward the finish with oak blending well throughout the flavor. Overall this is a splendid oak aged stout, it satisfied from first taste and I didn't want to drain the glass, but it left me feeling satisfied and it is one of the most drinkable wood aged stouts I have had.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz 2012 edition. Not sure who sent this, but thanks! Into a Stone IRS glass.

A: Inky black with a light tan head, foams up to about a quarter of an inch and quickly fades to a small cap. No lacing to speak of. Nice looking beer.

S: Rich with toffee, coffee, oak, and whisky. Definite boozy note, but not out of place. Nice amount of coffee and burnt malt. Not one dimensional in any direction, just a nice blend of everything that makes a bourbon stout awesome.

T: Taste follows the nose nicely with a huge bourbon note, definite barrel presence. Oaky and full of vanilla and whisky. Nice chocolate as well as a decent amount of toffee.

M: Warming, but not hot, a little thinner thank I'd like and the carbonation is a touch high, still very tasty.

O: A solid barrel aged imperial stout. Nothing else really to say! Glad to try it and wish I could get it regularly.

Photo of BlastBeats
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Photo of sukwonee
4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black/really dark reddish brown, with very little head, some lacing. As I swirl the beer, the body appears to be a bit thinner.

S: Coffee, chocolate, bourbon, some burn char smell, roasted malt. Sweetness.

T: Wow. This may be my new favorite tasting stout. It's got coffee, chocolate, some bourbon/oak/vanilla, brown sugar, little of hops but not overpowering. You can taste the alchohol a bit at the end, but not too boozy.

M: A bit thin for my liking, but it's smooth and velvety.

O: Near perfect in my books. Very tasty stout!

Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jim for this one! 12oz bottle

A: Pours black, very dark, with a small tan head on top. Decent retention leaving a small ring with patch of foam on top. Very thin sheets of lacing.

S: Mmm, some bourbon and chocolate. There is a hint of vanilla, brown sugar, and a little wood.

T: Upfront some slightly roasty malt and chocolate, while the finish is full of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. The finish is slightly sweet.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: A nice sipping beer. Thinner than most in the style, not thick and syrupy, a little more body I think would have helped. But all in all, a solid BA RIS.

Photo of buschbeer
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle
Served in a Great Lakes snifter
2516 Series

A - It is black as night. There is absolutely no light coming through. A small mocha head is short lived.

S - I get some molasses, vanilla, dark chocolate, and a little anise.

T - The old bourbon smacked me right in the kisser. Oddly enough, it tastes like Blackout Stout with bourbon in it. There is plenty of bourbon, along with chocolate and molasses.

M - Nice and thick

O - If you like the taste of bourbon and stouts, you will probably like this beer. I am glad I had the opportunity to have it. Thanks Auslander.

Photo of rodkin
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of NorthsideFred
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying a 2009 bottle thanks to Kels. I've been holding onto this for almost two years. Thought this would a be great gift to myself for fathers day.

A: Looks good. Almost black with very little carbonation and minimal lacing.

S: Excellent. Bourbon and damp oak are the predominant smells.

T: Very nice. The bourbon grabs you first, but I also get chocolate and a hint of smokiness.

M: Full bodied, silky smooth.

O: Top notch all the way!

I don't know if I'll ever be fortunate enough to land this again. One can only hope.

Photo of Spider889
3.92/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Vintage: "2516 Series"

The snifter of this that I had at the release party seemed underwhelming, but I interpreted it as a rushed keg (I want to say they kept pushing back the release date due to space/tank availability issues. The carbonation was low and the beer seemed lackluster and soapy to some extent (but still desirable).

This bottle rectifies that, and falls more in line with past releases...

A - Poured into a Cigar City snifter. The beer is a dense black. Blackout Stout has never been the thickest of beers, 2011 vintage more than I remember in years past, even. But somehow this bottle of BA Blackout seems thicker than the base beer (normally I find this to be the reverse). The head is rather short, a greyish cream color, but has decent enough staying power over time. Only the slightest hint of lace feebly clings to my glass.

S - The aroma is the best part of this beer - at least this year's vintage, at this point in the aging process. Vanilla and oak are huge here, and appreciably make this one to inhale over and over again.A slight roasty chocolate notion falls in line behind the luscious vanilla, and as I dig deeper still - often by literally getting my nose deep into the snifter - I can find ripe bourbon whiskey character. It's slightly fruity and a little boozy with a dollop of honeyed sweetness on the back end.

T - The bourbon is really prominent this year. I find it slightly off-putting for my tastes. The bourbon is not hot by any means, but just potent. It masks much of the base beer which disappoints. The fruity character of the bourbon almost tricks me into thinking that there's a tartness to the beer, but closer inspection tells me that yes, this is only the prominence of the barrel. Charred oak and mild ash hints to what this beer once was, and a subtle sweet chocolate note foretells what this beer will one day become if cellared. In any case, this beer is still delicious, but needs some extended age for me.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Sticky texture with a nice mocha coffee finish/aftertaste.

O - There's a reason this is one of my favorite beers - Great Lakes knows their stuff. This year's vintage is simply more whiskey-forward than I remember from last year. Ought to age very well.

Photo of Brabander
4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle a few weeks ago from my beerbuddy Jeffo. Thanks for this one Jeff!

Drank it yesterday in my Struise glass, like always i drink my beers in my Struise glass.

Nice pour with a creamy strong lightbrown head and a pitch black/very darkbrown fluid. Good start!

Smell of coffee and very dark chocolate. Very easy drinkable but a strong one. Enjoyed it till the last drop. Mouthfeel was very nice, this is a friendly RIP to drink, not the best i ever had but it is a good one!

Photo of Gosox8787
4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. waxed bottle chilled and served into a Kate the Great snifter. Big thanks to Urbancaver for the bottle. 2012 vintage.

Appearance: Appears to be pretty black in color. A nice creamy medium brown head with pretty nice retention.

Aroma: Lots of chocolate and fudge notes upfront. Some roasted coffee beans and bourbon notes really stand out too. Definitely is pretty barrel forward, but not quite close to Bourbon County. Caramel and vanilla round it out quite nicely.

Taste: The chocolate and fudge notes again dominate, but there is enough bitterness to keep this from being cloying. Really nice layered coffee and vanilla. The bourbon is definitely front and center without making this boozy at all.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy. Nice carbonation.

Overall, a really nice and balanced bourbon barrel stout. Definitely a nice strong barrel presence and really nicely balanced for how fresh it is. I would definitely get this again.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

Photo of beergod1
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an 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, Beer is almost gone, and still has good head retention and some lacing on the glass. Great beer.

Photo of Dope
4.57/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 year old bottle.

A: Black pour with a small light brown head despite the aggressive pour. Fades somewhat slowly, leaving decent lacing behind.

S: Lots of bourbon in the nose. Toffee, wonderful strong burnt caramel and molasses. Creamy roasted malt peeks through with some dark chocolate and coffee. Lots of vanilla and some oak. The caramel aroma is great with the vanilla.

T: Smooth bourbon up front. Again, wonderful caramel flavor. A bit of toffee and oak with it. A little bit of burn and then turns into a somewhat bitter chocolate and coffee roasted malt character. As it warms it starts to take on a brownie batter quality with some espresso. Vanilla throughout but especially in the lingering aftertaste. Hints of anise here and there.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth.

O: What a great barrel-aged RIS. The caramel and the vanilla from the bourbon is great on its own, but combined with the blackout stout just makes it stellar. A complex, well-balanced yet smooth and creamy RIS. Not hot like a lot of barrel-aged beers either. One of the nicest and easy-drinking versions around. Second only to something like a KBS, this was a borderline 5 on taste.

Photo of derkfromwi
4.38/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2012

A: Half-finger dark tan head, black, though pour, and edges of glass show deep dark golden-brown color, good carbonation, decent lacing

S: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, oak, coffee

T: Bourbon, dark chocolate, sweet caramel, toasted malts, oak, coffee, slight bitterness, nicely balanced

M: Smooth, decent carbonation, slightly warming

O: Very good RIS, enjoyed this after a regular Blackout and thought the barrel aging really enhanced this beer

Photo of siege06nd
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a CBS snifter...

A: True to its namesake, this one is pitch black. A thin ring of cream colored head forms a neck around the top of the beer. Very thin, spotty lacing.

S: MMmmm, excellent. Lots of baking chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Fairly good wood presence as well, lending a slight earthiness to the nose on this one. Quite a bit of coconut and some faint traces of ripe fruit. This bouquet is top notch.

T: Chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon. The barrel is quite apparent on this and the bourbon is bold only a few months after release. Age should be interesting for this brew. Really nice profile, though, with plenty of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and caramel with a healthy dose of bourbon. Maybe one of the most "bourbon-ey" barrel aged stouts I have had, though in this case it is a decided benefit rather than being overwhelmingly brash. There's a simplicity yet a quality here that I just don't feel is found in other BA stouts out there.

M: Hints of thinness linger throughout this beer. The base beer isn't quite complex enough, and the overall experience hits the right notes, but doesn't present much in the way of surprises or depth. That being said, it is still good.

O: At first glance, I think this beer drinks a little thin. But as I enjoy and consider it more, I realize that it's not thin, just focused. This is chocolatey, vanilla-infused, coconut-laden, and filled with nice bourbon notes. A simpler BA stout, no doubt, but top-notch all the same. Very much enjoy this one.

Photo of FishPondManager
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 poured into a cigar city snifter

Pours a medium heavy black with one finger head. Mocha colored and quickly recedes to a creamy collar. Pockets of bubbles stick to the glass.

Smell is divine. Cocoa, caramel, grape jelly, and a perfect hint of bourbon. Hope it tastes this good.

Oh, mama. Roasty sweetness hits first followed up with a punch of bourbon. There's some vanilla in the flavor. The fruit isn't as strong as the smell. Everything melds even better as it warms now.

Mouthfeel is creamy. Somewhat bitter dry finish. Not as viscous and thick as the label might imply.

Overall, a fantastic brew. IM looking forward to seeing how it ages when I try this vintage again in the winter time.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black color, definitely fitting of the moniker blackout stout. Even a decent almost 1 inch amass of tan head on the top of it, really impressive appearance for a barrel aged stout. Aroma, nice and mild actually, really the best barrel aroma this side of Eclipse. Everything you'd want, chocolate, vanilla, oak, mild bourbon, even caramel and just the slightest amount of smoke/charred edge from the barrel.

And all those aromas are plenty evident as flavor as well. Rather than make a gigantic bourbon bomb (king henry) with no complexity, they went soft, I generally think the 8-10% abv range to be perfect for barrel aged stouts, the malt body absorbs lots of the heat, and you're not breathing that alcohol fire/heat while you sip on the beer. Carbonation is right on point here, low overall, but perfect for style, brings out head, the aroma, but allows the nice viscosity to chill. The sweetness is minimal, keeps the beer in the creamy category rather than sweet. Not that there is anything wrong with a sweet bal aged stout (chocolate rain).

Doesn't try and be overly complex, massive, etc. . .

It really fits into that niche of bal aged stouts like Central Waters & Fifty Fifty's Eclipse: Really damn good beers, great blending, lack of heat, nice chocolate. Rather than trying to be the biggest, they just focus on being the best.

Highly recommend. Soon enough, this beer won't be on the top100 list anymore because there's always some new, uber rare beer made in an area of the country that isn't known for beer, and it will become even easier to acquire. I look forward to that day. If you're reading this, and you have a bottle of blackout stout, yes, you can offer it in a trade to me.

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,625 ratings.