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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

409 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 409
Hads: 1,704
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 18.01%
Wants: 1,357
Gots: 340 | FT: 39
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 409 | Hads: 1,704
Photo of Skrypt
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.53/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Currently rated #95 on the top 250 beers list. Acquired for $13.00 (I know...) at a local SoCal bottle shop and served into a flared stem-snifter/tulip hybrid glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky high given its current ratings as well as my previous good experiences with beers from this brewery. Bottle is 12 fl oz, brown glass, and has a branded "25 years" pry-off cap. Reviewed as a barrel aged imperial stout because it identifies as such on the label. Bottled in 2013. 9.5% ABV confirmed.

Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of nice khaki colour. Way too thin, though. Not much creaminess either. Little froth. Looks a bit like a cask ale (and I mean that in a bad way). Retention is okay; it reduces to a floater ring within 40 seconds and the ring hangs around an additional minute and a half. Not a great head for the style, but not a bad one per se. Just a bit underwhelming.

Body colour is an opaque jet black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's pretty par for the course as far as barrel aged imperial stouts are concerned. Looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Milk chocolate, chocolate malt, vanilla (but not evocative vanilla bean, more vanilla from bourbon), a hint of molasses, buried roast, and more sweet chocolate notes. Not getting any of the toasty oak I look for in the best of the best barrel aged stouts. The bourbon is surprisingly buried as well, which may be a good sign in that it's subtly complementary of the base beer, or may be a bad sign in that it doesn't commit to the barrel notes. Tasting will reveal all.

No off flavours are overtly obvious. No yeast or hop character is detectable, nor is any alcohol. By no means a boozy or hot aroma. I look for coffee, but don't find any. Likewise for dark fruit.

It does seem a bit too sweet for my tastes based solely on the aroma.

Overall, it's an appealing aroma of fairly high strength.

T: Caramel, dark malts, and chocolate malts fill out the overly sweet body, with some lurking chocolate-covered cherry notes hiding beneath the surface. Vanilla lends still more sweetness, and it isn't particularly welcome. No toasty oak, interesting woody barrel notes, or coffee here. Lacks roast - to its detriment. Some licorice and molasses. A bit of heat hits on the climax and stays through the finish, accompanying the one-dimensional bourbon character. Overall, it's rather narrow for the style; it doesn't have the diversity and depth of flavour that great beers in the style do. The balance is imperfect as well, with too much sweetness coming through as well as a bit of alcohol. I wouldn't call it simple, but it lacks the complexity of better barrel aged imperial stouts. Certainly not a subtle beer either.

As it warms, the third act takes on more bourbon and the vanilla evens out a bit, accompanied by a bit of cocoa dust. I like it warmer. I think the bourbon accentuates the base beer, but it's by no means a perfect marriage.

Flavour intensity is high. Flavour duration is above average. Pretty good amplitude.

No off-flavours, yeast, or hop character comes through. I don't get any charred or burnt qualities either.

Mf: Heavy on the palate, but not overbearing. Filling, sticky, chewy. Thick and full-bodied. Just a touch syrupy. It's a big beer, that's for sure. The mouthfeel complements the flavour profile nicely, but it does get a bit thin right on the finish - which is also where the beer works best. Not an ideal execution of texture for the style, but respectable given the beer's aims. More roasted character (perhaps ideally featuring some rich coffee roast as well) would lend the beer needed subtle coarseness and dryness; it's slick-smooth and wet as is, which doesn't really suit it best. I do like the softness. Unrefreshing. Not harsh, oily, or gushed.

Dr: A tasty little imperial stout from a brewery I really admire. I like it, but top 100? Undeserved. I wouldn't buy it again at this price point, but it is good stuff. There are far better beers in the style well below its price. Recommended for fans of sweeter takes on the style. I'm looking forward to trying the regular blackout. Drinkable for the ABV, but it's still a sipper.

I'd like to revisit this with some age on it; I think a good two years would suit it nicely. Another solid brew from Great Lakes - just not a world-class one.

Low B

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Photo of DonFrap
4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage poured from 12oz bottle into treehouse snifter

A: almost no head, very little lacing, no retention

S: strong bourbon smell, dark fruits, but overpowered by the bourbon. It's a smooth bourbon smell though.

T: Still pretty hot, but smoother than other bottles I've had. I've always though that BA blackout was a little too hot for my taste.

M: nice and heavy. I do wish there was a tad more carb.

O: I've had a few bottles of this, both fresh and aged. I definitely recommend sitting on this for at least a year, it ages well.

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Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter glass. 2013 edition courtesy of ZRT.

A - Pours pitch black, muddy, with one finger of quick-fizzling sorbet head. A halo remains for the duration and it shows great lacing.

S - Rich, dark chocolate and banana. Bourbon aging has added a lot to the nose. Boozey, but also sweet and complex.

T - Sweet on the tongue initially. Black jelly beans, chocolate syrup, banana, and dark fruits all contribute. Subtle bourbon and char on the finish. The barrel carries through the finish and lingers for a while afterwards. Wow, this stuff is delicious.

M - Thick enough, velvety smooth, and appropriate carbonation. Maybe a touch boozey, but I attribute this mostly to the bourbon, which is invited.

O - The ubarraled version is delicious, but the barrel aging has mellowed the somewhat bitter char and added in layers of sweet complexity. Bourbon is prominent, but not overpowering. I am glad I got a few of these, as I am interested to see how it ages.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle, this treat was a handsome black color with little bubbles forming on the sides of the glass. From the aroma, one gets the hint that this is going to be a good one. A generous boozy aroma jumps out of this one, with malts and dark fruits hiding in the background. In the initial taste, one notes the booze, vanilla, dark fruits, spicy malt, and sweetness that reminds me of gummi bears. In the aftertaste, the taste evolves into burnt sugar with boozy warm malts. The thick texture allows the warming to continue all the way to the belly. This is a really good example of what a barrel aged stout should taste like.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black opaque body with little head. Once it's subsided it's a very tranquil looking flat black surface.

There's layers of smells piled up. Vanilla, oak, toasted marshmallow, chocolate, and heavy on the bourbon.

The taste is also impressive. It's a 2013 bottle, heavy on the bourbon and hot in a good way. Roast and vanilla, bourbon, root beer, and a dash of soy.

Mouthfeel is smooth but a tad bit thin. Low carbonation.

This was a fantastic beer. I wish it had a little heavier body, but otherwise great.

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Photo of schwemjw
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark black with a tan/ mocha head that stayed awhile.

S: WOW! A ton of bourbon in here. Oak and coffee swirl around the nostrils. Brown sugar with a hint of caramel. Little bit of real dark chocolate. I could smell this from a mile away. Hints of vanilla are tempting with the slightest bit of coffee bitterness.

T: BOURBON! Lots of vanilla intermingled with deep roasted malt, a hint of a rye bread, caramel and butterscotch. The chocolate is a deep dark chocolate and there is definitely a roasted nut quality here. A dry bitter finish that carries on. Tons of bourbon with a lot of booze at the end. Oak and raisin play with my taste buds while a licorice hints at the sides of my tongue. More please.

M: Full bodied but never over bearing or syrupy. no carbonation but defnitely warming.

O: I absolutely love this beer. I love blackout stout and this just kicks it up a notch. Bigger and bolder with a good hit of bourbon. this is not one to pass on! /96

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Photo of gueuzedreg
3.77/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 12oz. I have had this a bunch, first review

A- Pitch black to dark brown. Transparent around the edges, but full in the middle. Minimal coffee lacing with low legs. No sticking to the glass, very watery like a CW BA Stout,,,, blah

S- Burnt toffee>sweet malt>dark fruits> and finally the barrel. Thin smelling.

T- Burnt sugar and toffee> sweet malt> barrel> dark fruit.

M- Just fn thin. So sick of thin midwest ba stouts. Central Waters crushes thin BA stouts, Great Lakes has crushed every vintage... whatever, this was an extra. Tastes good when you think of it that way.

O- Just done with Central Waters and Great Lakes. I invite Founders and Goose Island.

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Photo of Holland
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: dark brown to black pour with a small tan head that clings to the edge of the glass but doesn't touch the middle.

S: bourbon sweetness, toffee, burnt sugar, and dark sweet malt.

T: great balance of sweetness of toffee and bourbon with the earthy bitterness of hops and dark chocolate.

M: great carbonation, but could use just a tad more body to it. Still a fantastic feel to this beer.

O: Excellent beer, quite different from the sweet barrel aged stouts that I like (BCBS, Black Note) and much better bourbon flavor than the hoppier and drier stouts like Abyss and BA Blackbeerd. Maybe it's the time I'm drinking it (5 months after release), but it's delicious.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

many thanks to thebrewo for hooking this one up via trade. it is a real treat. pours not quite black, with a shiny glow and an inch or so of rich mocha lather on top. the nose is not alcoholic at all, very impressive. lots of deep roast, some lighter coffee notes, and a lot of vanilla from the bourbon barrel. some char too, but it isn't bitter to the taste at all, and is in fact more on the sweet side. some licorice notes in the taste as well, and a warming chocolaty finish that reminds me of some of the top rated barrel aged imperial stouts on BA. what I love the most about this beer is its feel, its not a big heavy syrupy sticky mess like so many of these can be. its still full bodied, but drinkably so, not weighty or overly sweet or boozy. almost reminds me of the eclipse series, with that touch of honey but pleasant lightness in a dark beer. it seems weird to call this an everyday barrel aged imperial stout, but it kind of is. its something I could see myself drinking a lot more of than many of the others. the buzz is nice, and the finish is glorious, staying on the palate for quite some time. probably the best great lakes offering ive ever had.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.14/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from the 2013 vintage, put out in room temperature from my beer fridge for about 15 minutes then poured into a Bell's snifter and quaffed today, 5/30/2013. Thanks to BarrytheBear for providing me with this excellent beer in a trade.

Aroma: Sickly sweet and roasty maltiness, kind of like a milk stout but with a humongous vanilla nose. A little bit of oak, but mostly vanilla and bourbon. Strong, strong nose that definitely foretells whats in store for me.

Colour: Pitch black, though it illuminates a very subtle dark brown in the light. Pours with a 1cm thick brown head that dissipates quickly into a very thin collar. Not much lacing besides a little bit of condensation on the glass. Actually fairly normal looking barrel-aged stout.

Flavour: Hot damn. This is strong on the vanilla and bourbon for sure. Gets a little roast malt in there but it is quite boozy in a bourbon manner, for sure. I get that nice oakiness combined with a bit of vanilla in the end as well. Very heavy on the bourbon, and as it warms up I get more chocolate and nuts, presumably from the malt combination. Near the end of each sip, I get a good hoppy bitterness as well, like espresso. Very sweet but hoppy beer in general with lots of bourbon heat. In other words, this is a pretty complex barrel-aged stout.

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied, chewy, viscous. Decent carbonation, nothing special- if anything, a bit undercarbonated. The aftertaste is very dry and sticky; a combination of vanilla, oak and coffee that gets on my palate like white on rice. Along with the heat that's present even from the very beginning, it makes this beer a sipper, which is the way it should be.

Overall: Excellent bourbon barrel-aged stout, not too over the top but brings plenty of flavour. Sounds like GLBC's modus operandi to me here. It's sweet, dry, hot, bourbon-ey, and bitter all at once. Very complex but not too over the top with any one thing. A true pleasure to sip on. Hopefully I don't black out tonight; that would be ironic. Anyway, this is a bit pricey at $30/4pk and I think I would rather pick up BCBS and hang onto it for a year. That being said, I don't think I would mind buying a 4-pack ever year if I lived close to Cleveland. So that's my 2 cents here- great beer for sure.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: Very cool label in the traditional GLBC style. Label has a small description of the beer, ABV info, brewed on date, brewery info, web info, and serving temp recommendation. Neck label has a cool back story on the beer. 25th Anniversary Cap.

Appearance: Appearance: I allowed this to warm for 10min before pouring from its 12oz bottle into a 16oz snifter. An aggressive pour lead to a 1 finger tan foam head of medium density atop a jet black colored beer that lets absolutely no light through. Retention was a solid 2min 9sec before fading to a thin foam coating and ring. Very good lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Aroma has strong hints of bourbon throughout. Vanilla and hints of roast coffee and a chocolate malt can be detected. A light anise spice is apparent along with hints of alcohol.

Flavor/Taste: Taste starts out a bit nutty with hits of chocolate followed by a woody vanilla flavor. Finishes with a roast coffee taste. A nice bourbon backbone can be tasted throughout. Alcohol is also detectable throughout.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: On the heavier side of medium bodied with a medium carbonation and an oily creamy mouthfeel. Drinkability is medium.

Overall/Comments: Very good offering that is complex in the nose as well as on the palette. BABOS lives up to the hype that surrounds it. Be prepared for this to fall on the expensive side but I think that is to be expected from a limited release. Classified as a Russian Imperial Stout at 9.5% ABV. Consumed 3/15/13.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2012 bottling date.

Pours a black ooze, but looks soft. Nice creamy slightly soapy white foam. Great lacing.

Aroma is sweet raisin, plum, blackstrap leather, some tobacco, chocolate and roasted coffee. Smells rich, soft and 'lish

yeah, tastes good, too. A bit too sweet for me. The roastiness is subdued and the chocolate loses its punch. Raisin and black plum come forward. Hints of caramel. No wood I could detect. Coffee strengthens.

Feels a bit slick and flat. Gotta get this sticky sweet off my teeth, bubbles would work. Actually didn't finish it because the feel just didn't grow on me in a good way. Other than that, it was easy drinking. ABV is well hidden

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.06/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

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Photo of sommersb
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted On: 05-17-2013
Freshness: 2013 Vintage
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Snifter
Purchased: Received in a trade

A: Black and opaque, with just a touch of brown seen on the edges when held to light. The tan head fades quickly after pouring, with a low amount of lace. Makes sense for a 9.5% beer I'd say.

S: Complex aromas of dark cherry, oak, rich malts, vanilla and sweet dark fruits like dates.

T: Super-rich taste, with malty sweetness plus coffee roasts, molasses, and whiskey, which gives a nice warming of alcohol.

M: Thick bodied and highly carbonated, with a creamy mouthfeel. Finishes semi-sweet with more dark fruity richness, plus oak and vanillas.

O: All in all a tasty, complex and rich brew. This is one you want to drink slowly and savor at the end of the day. My only knock would be that is was perhaps too rich and sweet, but it's still an exceptional beer. I liked this one much more than the standard Blackout.

Thanks to buschbeer for this one

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Photo of rlee1390
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Black in the glass, not much head and doesn't last either. Near the edges it seems like more of a deep brown.

S-Bourbon, vanilla, sweet chocolate malt. Some roasted malt and very little coffee.

T-Bourbon and vanilla, chocolate and molasses a little sweet. Some coffee and roasted malt.

M-Heavy, not much carbonation, thick and sticky.

O-A great BA stout, doesn't rank up there with KBS, BCBS etc but still yummy.

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Photo of bishopdc0
3.14/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Got in a trade.

Poured into my tulip.

The beer is pour black with a very small head.
The nose is a mix of alcohol caramel coconut general bourbon barrel aroma dominate. As it warms the overwhelming alcohol smell subsides.

The taste is mainly bourbon wiht hints of sweetness and a tad vanilla.

The mouth is a bit thin with a overwhelming level of carbonation, given the style. The alcohol warms and leaves a little numbing on the lips and tongue.

I don't want to be one of those people but given the "hype" around this beer it is lackluster. Good flavors but no the flavors are good.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.9/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black as night, nice 1 inch foamy head, and plenty of lacing,

Smell - Whiskey/bourbon, Roasty malts, vanilla, raisin, coffee, chocolate and some brown sugar/molasses.

Taste - First sip is bourbon heavy. Plenty of dark malts, coffee and chocolate notes as well. Has a nice hop bite to it, along with sweet brown sugar, molasses and vanilla. Oak comes in near the finish along with some alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel - Bourbon coats tongue along with coffee and malts. Palate gets hops, chocolate and lots of vanilla. Aftertaste is coffee, whiskey and oak/malty.

Overall - Really nice beer, the bourbon isn't overpowering at all, but its plenty strong enough. Nice balance, all the other flavors stand out well. The biggest gripe is the price. It works out at 8$ for a single 12 oz bottle. I still prefer kbs over this, and that's around 5$ a bottle. That along with it being a brewery only release for purchase is the only real downfalls.

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Photo of Treebs
3.55/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle served in Westbrook snifter. 2012/2013 bottle.

A: Pours a semi-translucent black color with some dark ruby edges. A light khaki head forms on the pour and recedes quickly to a thin ring. No real lace.

S: Bourbon up front with some toasted coconut and a little vanilla. Smooth oak barrel with some rich chocolate notes, fudge and a little roasted malts.

T: Light chocolate with minimal bourbon. Oaky with light vanilla and some odd residual heat on the back end. Light roast as well.

M: Very thin bodied, but the finish is smooth. Medium high carbonation as well.

O: This was alright, but I'm just not a fan of this beer or the base. It's too thin to begin with and the barrel aging thins this out even more and the base gets kind of lost.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.71/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

We pour a brew a color completely deserving of the name “Blackout”. It sits oily and jet black, letting zero light through its center. It holds a one finger head of big coffee colored bubbles, showing decent retention, and receding at a medium pace into a big aggregate covering most of the liquid’s surface. Punctate spots of lacing stick all around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears relatively active. The aroma gives massive bourbon from the very first whiff, mixing with warming and drying oakiness, milk chocolate nibs, thickly roasted chocolate and brown malts, sweet vanilla cake icing, ethanolic sting, and black cherries. With warmth comes enhanced char, whisky burn, and melted milk chocolate. Our first impression is that the flavoring is very robust, charred, and much more booze-forward than expected. As we sip, the taste opens with the darkest roasted coffee and chocolate malts that give smoke and charcoal, soured acidity, and inherent grainy sweetness. The remainder of the front is filled by dried oaky woodiness, moss, those aromatic, syrupy dark cherries, and white sugar sweetness. The middle comes to a peak with the union of bone chilling booziness, rock salt, and hugely soured char of fire-ruined malts. Pulling to the finish are notes of authentic bourbon heat, rumbles of charred coffee beans, those continuous flashes of white sugars, roasted chocolate malts, rotten molasses, and green grassiness. The aftertaste breathes of bready malts, rum soaked fruitcake, bourbon, charred coffee and chocolate malts, soy sauce, baker’s yeast, and drying wood barreling. The body is full, and the carbonation is lighter. The mouth is coated with oily slickness and sugary stickiness is brushed across the lips, with the booze and burnt malts eventually sucking much of the moisture from the palate. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, pop, and froth, with slightly lesser creaminess. The abv is appropriate but warming, and the beer is definitely a slow sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the huge, warming, and inviting nose. While this component of the beer approaches comparability to the top of the heap beers like Bourbon County, the taste strays a bit, focusing much more on the outright presence of booze, and seeing how roasty and charred we could go with the malts. This swings things out of that perfect balance, with loss of necessary sweetness, and what are essentially burnt malts. Sadly this beer marks the rare case where the standard base beer is considerably smoother than the barrel aged version. That being said, this guy sips wells, is certainly palatable, and is a treat for any enthusiast.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black with a thin light brown head. Leaves tons of soapy spots down the glass.

S: A good amount of bourbon right away, and it smells awesome. Brownie batter, toffee, caramel, some vanilla, barrel and some faint tobacco.

T: Opens on a pretty big roasted note, with some faint dark chocolate and astringent black coffee. Bourbon comes on strong on the finish and leaves a slightly hot, drying finish. A touch of peat and anise on the finish as well. There's a touch of sweetness in here, but it's beaten away pretty quickly by the darker, bolder flavors. A very tasty stout, but a bit much if you don't like them dark and nasty. Luckily, I do.

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Photo of russwbeck
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks nhindian!

A: The beer is pitch black with about a finger of light brown head. The head's retention is decent, and it laces my glass in thin wisps. 4

S: The aroma is quite robust and really works the entire spectrum of bourbon and stout. Things start off with roasted malt and some booze, but the baker's chocolate, whiskey, and vanilla really take the nose over quickly. The beer even smells thick. The finish is of oak and some more roast. I thought the aroma could use another factor to make it stand out, along with toning down the booziness. Either way it's a really solid overall aroma. 4.5

T: The taste starts off small, chocolate mostly, but then an assault of booze and vanilla comes your way. The assault calms into a nice taste of bourbon and oak, with the chocolate coming back into play, and it all finishes with a cool boozy oakiness and slight roast. This beer is very much like a smooth bourbon, with a chocolately body. The chocolate is sweet to curb what would otherwise be an offensive amount of alcohol. It's a very nice balance. 4

MF: The body is very full with a lower than average amount of carbonation. Despite all the alcohol I found this to be very drinkable. I was surprised to find the alcohol to be that prominent despite the beer being below 10% ABV. It's my lone detraction from this otherwise well concocted drink. 3.5

O: This beer was damn good. Probably the best beer I've ever had from Ohio. Really glad I got a full 4pack as I fully expect this to improve after a year or so as the bourbon cools off a bit. Don't miss this one! 4

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Photo of kscaldef
4.11/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Winter 2011/2012 release

A: Jet black, thin mocha head with little retention

S: Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, molasses

T: Chocolate, but with a sharp undernote of alcohol. Woody bite. Light notes of cherry and fig.

M: Very low carbonation. Despite that, maintains only medium body keeping the drinkability high, marred only by a slight harsh finish.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.62/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from Exitmusic00. Thanks! 2012 vintage.

A: Inky black/ a shade over mahogany. A rim of fizzing light mocha head. Light on the legs.

N: Chocolate, molasses, caramel, and loads of vanilla. Honey and brown sugar. This is a very sweet nose, but it's not cloying. A little bit of black licorice is about as bitter as it gets.

T: Dark chocolate, caramel, and more vanilla. There's some ground coffee bits and licorice. Oak and a hefty bitterness. Some honey.

M: Heavily carbonated and a bit lighter than I'd prefer.

O: A well balanced stout that doesn't blow me away. It seems to have lost a little bit of what makes bourbon and Imperial stouts great. I blame a lot of that on the lack of heft in the beer. Still, you won't go too wrong with it.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 409 ratings.