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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 claspada
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
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 BeerFMAndy
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
9.0% ABV, Best served at 55°F, 2516 Series.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 for splitting this elusive bottle!

A - Totally black and deserving of it's name, this stout pours with nice clarity that disappears in the glass as quickly as the low tan head.

S - Thick and rich, the aroma is potent with roasted black malts and cold coffee. Light notes of barrel on the back end with a touch of bourbon.

T - Rich chocolaty flavor backed by roasted coffee and strong but not boozy bourbon barrel flavor. Awesome!

M - Full-bodied and rich with a smooth feel and light warming alcohol finish, Barrel-aged Blackout is an awesome feeling beer!

O - A fantastic brew all around, the barrel in this is nuanced, not hot and over-the-top like some others out there. Fantastic!

Photo of aasher
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer in the Darkness Day BIF this past weekend in Minneapolis. Amazing score! I've wanted to try this forever. This bottle is the 2010 vintage.

It pours the darkest of browns in color, full in body, with a slight beige lacing around the glass. The aromas consist of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and toffee. It has a great nose for a bourbon barrel aged stout, with nice complexity. The flavors feature an array of flavors. You get a good amount of roasted malt up front, sweetened by vanilla, bourbon and toffee. It has phenomenal flavor. The bourbon is just the right amount. It drinks very, very smoothly and has great flavor. For a RIS, and a bourbon barrel aged version at that, it has amazing drinkability. It drinks a little fine but it really is fitting. This is a phenomenal beer, phenomenal. I love it. I'm eternally grateful for this bottle.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle into a tulip.

dark black pour with a slight head. smell is big on bourbon...expected. taste is very smooth and drinkable. slight bourbon but it didnt overpower the chocolate notes at all and you get a lot of the original beer flavor too. the big knock for me on this beer though is the mouthfeel...almost a thin body. way way too thin for a BA stout, we were joking that this was a session BA stout. still though, the flavor is solid. just wish it had SOME sort of body.

Photo of Duff27
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of kscaldef
4.08/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

Photo of bsuedekum
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

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.

Photo of tectactoe
4.5/5  rDev +3%

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.53/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of Auslander pours a rick black color with a moderate cap of tan head. Retention is decent and just a little lace.

Nose is outstanding! Lots of wood, unsweetened chocolate and vanilla. Damn near perfect...not too sweet, a great balance of stout and barrel.

This is my first Barrel Aged Blackout and it is much better than the regular version, which is a pretty good beer in its own right...my point is this is one of the most improved barrel treatments to a beer I have had in quite some time. The vanilla is so rich, I would have guessed it was a vanilla infused stout if had blind. Not too fruity and the chocolate is bold. Its not too boozy, not over-the-top sweet and has great flow. Mouthfeel is not overly thick, but it is adequate and the carbonation is supple and smooth. This is a great beer, one of the most impressive I have had in awhile, thanks Auslander!

Photo of DefenCorps
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chris graciously shared this beer on the 2nd night of drinking so epic, I'm surprised Turisas haven't sung a song about it. Or maybe Tankard? 2008 vintage

A: Pitch black with dark brown highlights and a disappointingly light (in color) brown head that lasts

S: Mellow with the balance leaning heavily towards chocolate and cream. Coffee gets more pronounced as it warms up but in many ways, it makes me think of a simpler Abyss - great balance between the barrel and RIS character without the deep complexity. Mild vanilla and not much oak. Excellent.

T: Wow. Incredible balance between the barrel and RIS characteristics. Barrel character is mild, warming and is noticed towards the finish, appearing only as the beer warms up, lending a hint of vanilla and bourbon. For the most part, this is a graceful Blackout with chocolate, cream and coffee beautifully balanced. Not very tannic, nor is it very woody. Finishes with a hint of coffee bitterness and bourbon, pretty awesome.

M: The carbonation and finish are fantastic and work beautifully - soft and gentle. The body, though, is a little thin for my liking

D: The balance between flavors makes this one easy drinker

**Edit 11 Feb 2012**
I got a 2009 vintage from goryshkewych a long time ago. Thank you, George! largadeer and Arbitrator raved about this particular vintage, but I think it's dropped off since its peak. The nose really does evolve. Initially reminiscent of the 09 Elijah Craig Eclipse with a nice blend of coconut, caramel and vanilla, as it warms up, chocolate, bourbon, oak and milk chocolate (milk duds) appear. In particular, it has a Cheerios-like character that I don't particularly care for. Smooth and boozy, both on the nose and palate, this is quite enjoyable. 4/4/4

Photo of thagr81us
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared during a small Charlotte BA tasting with marine1975, caSSino, CarolinaKevin, and GehenHerzog. Big thanks goes out to sproser (Secret Santa '10 BIF) and my boy Lunch for allowing me to have multiple bottles of this beauty! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured black with a one finger light tan head that remained throughout. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cream, wood, slight smoke, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was definitely a great brew. Very smooth flavor going on here that made it very easy to drink. 9.5%!? This could have gotten me in trouble for sure. The aroma on this one was not slacking either. A definite must try and I'm glad I got to share this with some local BAs. This was the highlight of the tasting for me...

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 eawolff99
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

Photo of KevinGordon
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of WOLFGANG
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of enelson
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of Brenden
4.45/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks Sean (Shawn?...anyway, twohearteddean) for busting this one out at out last Toledo tasting. I just found my notes.

This beer is about as black as beer and be and really isn't letting any light through. A thick tan foam resides on top, really only reaching not quite one finger tall and leaving moderate lacing sticking to the glass.
The smell is delicious, all the coffee and cocoa one would hope to find in here with the smoky notes and big barley malts presence I had hoped for. Light sweetness underneath is detectable in notes of caramel, toffee, and very dark fruits. A bourbon-lie fusel alcohol presence is certainly noticeable. A very faint okay touch I hope is more noticeable in the flavor is also detectable.
...And it is. Some other complexities drop off very, very slightly as this warms and allows a touch more of the oak and the bourbon / cognac heat to come through. Otherwise, big malts offer up all the roastiness, coffee, cocoa, caramel and dark fruits found in the nose with a touch of nuttiness now to be discovered in the flavor.
The body is thick, huge and robust, as expected. Otherwise, this is surprisingly dry for a stout, which I assume can be attributed to the barrel. Carbonation is just enough and this is a very rich, smooth beer.
Since "drinkability" is now "overall", it gets a higher score. After all, would I like more? Of course. But could I have more? No, no I could not.

Photo of pathman
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Dicers
4.5/5  rDev +3%

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.

Photo of sweemzander
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. 2010 Vintage. Huge thanks to beerwolf77 for sharing!

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color. Produced a decent tan colored head that dissipated to bubbles. Some lace.

(S)- A nice mellow roasted profile. Bits of molasses, cocoa, and dry bready notes.

(T)- A nice richness. Raisin, cocoa, and molasses. Has a nice oaky vanilla and strong bourbon characters on the finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A mild roasted quality with a rich bourbon flavored core. Mildly bitter with an overall sweet profile.

(D)- A great barrel aged stout. It really has taken on the qualities of the oak and bourbon to its core and has meshed well with the overall base beer. Sweet and rich with an overall oaky dryness. Some good stuff right here.

Photo of Jwale73
4.05/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle shared by Thirstybird. 2009 vintage. Pours 2-3 shades shy of black with zero head; just a few clusters of bubbles. Nose is malty, suggests artificial sweetener and cocoa (reminds me a bit of BA IST). Taste is much better than implied by the nose. There is a suggestion of spirits, but this is not a bourbony BA beer. Flavor profile reveals chocolate, roast and some earthiness. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for the style - body is medium-light with a mild, easy carbonation. All and all, a very drinkable and approachable beer but lacking some of the bolder characteristics of the style.

Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -31.4%

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