Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 1,703
Avg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%
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: 1,703
Photo of Vierenner
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Amazing! On my want list for nearly a year and find it on tap at South Park Tavern!! Great Lakes selected SPT for 2 kegs tonight. First one tapped at 4p, gone by 6. It is everything I had hoped for. Smooth, sweet, little/no hop bite, bourbon flavors. A refreshing, sipping beer ... world-class. A halo beer.

 307 characters

Photo of tedpeer
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Josh for this trade in line at Darkness 2008.

bomber poured into a new belgium tulip.

A - Poured a black. Just a whispy tan head with ring around. Some lacing.

S - Very complex smell. Alcohol, coffee and dark chocolate.

T - Bourbon, coffee and sweet malt. Very minor bitter finish. Warmth from alcohol.

M - Medium mouthfeel, but it coats the mouth.

D - Yes. Easy drinking for the ABV.

 400 characters

Photo of brstls4drmrs
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to silverX for this gem.

A - poured into a sweetH2O tulip black as night with a thin tan head. Very nice lacing remains and the liquid looks quite bold.

S - good amount of fig with dark chocolate and a pitch of booze. Slight sweet caramel comes in with a faint buttery scent that makes my mouth water.

T - dark chocolate, fig and hints of coffee in there but not too heavy a all. No if booze intake which doesn't surprise me since its below 10%. Sight malty character to it as well bu only after a few sips for me.

M - very soothing but not too thick or thin for that matter. Just perfectly in the middle.

O - a great stout. I would love to get more of these.

 676 characters

Photo of joshuaseresse
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage. Received this bottle from Kegatron, thanks a bunch Heath! Shared with some upright BAs. Poured into my town hall snifter:

A - Pours motor oil with only thin head. Light bubbles in the middle. Lacing is on the light side.

S - Slightly boozy bourbon and caramel. Light brown sugar, chocolate and vanilla.

T - Smooth bourbon and oak. Chocolate and roast. Really nice bourbon flavor and done really well.

M - Pretty good carbonation but the aging is showing nicely because its nice and smooth. Thinner than most BA stouts but its pretty awesome.

D - Really nice and smooth. This one drinks pretty easy. Nice bourbon notes and great flavors makes this one worth it. Nice that its two years old but it would have been even better in another year. Worth seeking and trying.

 786 characters

Photo of tarheels86
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

651mL 2009 ed courtesy of beeranddogs. The pour is clear cola, not black, with ruby highlights. The beer is almost the opposite of normal Blackout in that you have to really coax a head out of this thing. Even swirling, pouring from ten stories high; the head is about a quarter inch of yellowish tan foam that has okay retention and leaves little swathy lace. I understand that barrel aged beers may have less carbonation and head retention, but after the beer is finished in the barrel, it gets put back into the brite tank for conditioning in the bottle. So it should have good retention and rise up healthily. But the pour is dismal, making it hard to get a big aroma out of the beer. The muted bourbon first comes across a bit oxidized, slight red apples, lots of cocoa butter, and marzipan. As it warms, the nose comes into play with big bourbon, coconut, vanilla. It is quite mellowed out but very apparent. The taste is thinning, a bit watery. Really lacks the richness and bitterness of normal Blackout. There is definitely milk chocolate, warming bourbon, slight oak, lots of vanilla and cream. But the body is not well integrated. Very little carbonation doesn’t help the mouthfeel and lack of bitterness makes the body rely on vanilla and bourbon with no drying oak, no spicy oak, no spicy alcohol even. Just sort of a sweet mess that is hard to fall in love with. 11/8/2010 8/3/7/4/15=3.7

 1,403 characters

Photo of JNewbs
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All I can really say is - oh my goodness. Had this on tap at the brewpub yesterday, and I can say without lying that it was my second favorite Imp Stout that I have ever tasted. The most remarkable thing about the beer, to me, was that it tasted unbelievably good even when it was technically too cold. I realized I had drank the first one before I even let it warm up to the right temp, and I had to order another just to see what would happen. Lastly, according to the sign at the brewpub this is a 9.5% beer, not a 9%.

A: Nothing to complain about here - dark black, with a mocha colored head that hung around for a while.

S: The nose of this one did not come close to hinting at how good it tasted, IMO, so though it smelled pretty good, I have to ding it for that reason.

T: Here we go. Dominated by chocolate notes. There is definitely the bourbon, and some of the Blackout Stout's roasted notes, but this was a choco-bomb to me. Smooth, rich, luxurious, a little boozy but not too much. Delicious.

M: Felt like other good Impy Stouts. Thick, smooth, not too viscous. No complaints here either.

D: I killed two of them in about a half hour...

 1,153 characters

Photo of warrenout330
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pour, 28oz snifter for pleasure

A- pours a pitch black color, 1 finger thick tan colored head... sticky lacing to my snifter....

S- smooth milk chocolate, faint coffee, boozy hot Bourbon, soft vanilla wood

T- smooth chocolate, milky taste, boozy Bourbon, sweet vanilla, woody undertones... slight roasted coffee

M- a tad slick and oily, slight water mouth feel, thinner than I imagine which brings this to point ... hot Bourbon booze on the tongue.... numbing sensation on the tongue

O- my first experience with this beer and event ... this has caught me off guard and opened a path for this style and following ... but lacks in the feel for a full body...will keep a few but I'm looking for ptfbba with these extras

 734 characters

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

 1,004 characters

Photo of MudDrinker
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black with skinny brown head.

Smell - Bourbon, butterscotch, chocolate and caramel.

Taste - Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon. Dry honey, butterscotch, vanilla, dark chocolate, dark roast coffee and lots of caramel and toffee sweetening the burn. As to be expected with bourbon, plenty of alcohol present in the flavor.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied. Sticky, a little syrupy. Bourbon burn is present throughout.

Overall - This stuff is pretty amazing, but I can really only take one a night. It's kind of like a bourbon & caramel ice cream shake with a looootttt of bourbon.

I like it!

A completely different beast from Blackout Stout (which is still a great beer).

 684 characters

Photo of kasper
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Props to bakerslp for hookin me up w/ this one.

A: Pours a few shades from black with a minimal tan-colored creamy head that swooshes its way down to just a ring. Spotted wet lacing forms around the glass when you swirl.

S: Great smell; Huge bourbon aroma followed by vanilla and oak wood with hints of leather and chocolate. Faint acidity in the background, likely also from the barrel.

T: Oh this is delicious. Flavors of chocolate malts and vanilla swirl before bursting with sweet bourbon. You're treated to a comforting finish of dry oak and some of the lingering booze. Everything is in sync here.

M: The feel is exactly what I look for in these kinds of beers. Smooth, mild carbonation, a bit slick, but certainly not overbearing and sludge-like.

D: This is an extremely enjoyable beer. Not too thin, not too thick, just about right. The bourbon is balanced by the malt and vanilla and doesn't overwhelm the palate like some similar brews *$*cough*^$ blackops^#...What? Anyway. World glass. Smooth as hell. Seek this out. Lives up to the hype. I'm going to take down this whole bomber and sleep like a baby.

 1,120 characters

Photo of FishPondManager
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 702 characters

Photo of GabrielM
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared from cmurren25, a very generous BA. Thanks again Chad! Poured into a Bruery snifter.

A - just as a BLACKOUT stout should look - as dark as a bottomless pit in the center of a supernova. Plus a bit of off-white head atop, which is comforting.

S - sweet bourbon and malt dominate the nose, with some oak, vanilla and maybe cinnamon on the back end.

T - delicious, but not as sweet as expected. There is definitely some warmth to it which is providing a bite, but I like it.

M - outstanding! I can't believe how smooth and creamy this one is. Almost undercarbonated but it sits perfectly on the palate and goes down like a milkshake. Very impressive.

O - a great BBA stout that I've been wanting to try for a good while now. Thanks again Chad!

 763 characters

Photo of youngblood
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

 651 characters

Photo of danh53
3.32/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

First thing I noticed is cola which dominates the nose and the taste. There is some milk chocolate creaminess with some coffee. The mouth feel is smooth but very thin for the style. Bourbon is prominent and oak character is well integrated, but too much cola for me. I won't be seeking more of this.

 299 characters

Photo of hayesez
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a BIF from brokenleadedcask....extremely generous! Thanks Darren!

Split this with friends...poured into a Bruery tulip and a Dogfish Head globe. Pours a deep, dark brown...nearly black. About halfway through the pour into the first glass, I could tell this guy had virtually no carbonation. I dumped it in there, but still produced virtually no head. A good looking color, but very disappointed with the head. I'm not sure if this is the norm, but I generally expect something on top of the brew. Zero lacing left on the sides.

Smells strongly of chocolate. A bit of tobacco as well as some vanilla and a bit of the alcohol kick that you might expect from barrel aging...not much, but a little.

The taste is excellent - much as I would expect from what I smelled, a strong semi-sweet chocolate taste that is quickly followed by the a bit of the barrel alcohol. Hints of vanilla and a tiny bit of dark fruit. A few seconds after each drink, I get the remnants of tobacco...almost like I just smoked a cigar. This really is a great tasting beer. Unfortunately, the lack of carbonation is really a downer. It is a creamy beer that has a decent mouthfeel, save for the poor carbonation. Still, this is good stuff.

Overall, I really like this beer. Although BA obviously makes appearance and mouthfeel contributors to the ranking, the taste is top notch. This will end up being ranked a bit lower by their standards, but I would still drink this at any time. A very, very solid tasting beer.

Consumed: 3/17/2010 - 3:30 a.m. (got up early for St. Patrick's Day....this beer will kick of the celebration for me!)

 1,622 characters

Photo of boothbeer
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 release.

A- Name of this beer says it all. This is pitch black. I was surprised though with the very little amount of head and the color. Very light colored- off white head. No lacing.

S-Smell of very smooth bourbon. Some roasty malts, and lots of coffee aroma,but the bourbon overpowers in a good way.

T- Holy Bourbon! But again, not in a bad way. Not too much burn. Some toasted flavors and coffee and vanilla really come through. Great flavor.

M- Very good. Oily texture, but a little thinner than expected. Mild carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. I think a pint might be my limit due to the bourbon flavor. But this is a great beer and I hope to try it again.

 674 characters

Photo of brian44556
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

 823 characters

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was pretty blown away by this beer. I've had a lot of barrel aged stouts but this one stood out. Really rich, creamy, thick; like enjoying a bourbon-chocolate milkshake. I highly recommend!

 191 characters

Photo of BlastBeats
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 1,144 characters

Photo of travMI13
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes 1/21/11, with fellow BA'a AngryNucleus and BeRanger. Beer #7 of the night.

2012 vintage. 6 oz. pour into a Founders snifter. Thanks to BeRanger for scoring this one.

A: Black with deep red edges and a half of a finger of off-white head. Very significant lacing.

S: Espresso beans with a touch of dark fruit. Does not smell boozy at all. I honestly couldn't smell the bourbon here.

T: Blackberries, espresso, and oak. The after taste is vanilla. I love the flavor of this. I only got a touch of bourbon, and I was surprised by that. So smooth. The flavors blend together nicely.

M: Very dry mouthfeel, yet with a fruity sweetness. Interesting. This beer is incredibly smooth.

O: A fantastic bourbon barrel imperial stout with very unique flavors. I really enjoyed how mellow the bourbon was. It allowed the other flavors to really come through significantly. This was a very unique bourbon barrel stout experience. Great Lakes did a great job with this. I'm glad I have a couple more bottles of this to enjoy.

 1,033 characters

Photo of Gerberr
4.6/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a Toppling Goliath sniffer from a 12 Oz bottle, bottled in 2015. Little to no head, thin lacing around the edge.

L: Black as night, no light sneaks through. Obviously with a name like it has you wouldn't expect it to.

S: Not much for smell here, faint coffee and roasted malt.

T: Wonderful. Toffee, coffee, caramel, plums. I really enjoy the barrel flavor on this beer. Brings out a light fruity side I'm not used to in alot of barrel aged brews. Curious as to the whiskey they got the barrels from. This beer is also fairly sweet, making it a great night cap.

F: For all the flavors going on you would expect it to be thick and viscous, not the case. It's pretty thin, but it is a stout and not a RIS.

Overall: Great beer, nice change of pace from other barrel aged stouts. This is thinner, fruity, sweet, and the barrel taste shines.

 855 characters

Photo of mbudner
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to jwelsh for this one.

A-Pours a deep brown to black with no head and looks like no carbonation.

S-Some charred wood, marshmallows, maybe even the entire smores. A bit of whiskey, but not overwhelming at all. Some vanilla and other barrel notes. Chocolate

T-All of the same flavors listed in the smell. The whiskey is a bit more predominant in the flavor than it was in the aroma. Very oaky, chocolate, very balanced.

MF-A little thin and low on the carbonation. Nice and creamy though.

D-Really great, the whiskey doesn't dominate the beer too much. Really a solid BA stout.

 592 characters

Photo of fastpass17
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Mike
22oz Bomber Bottle

A: Very close to black in color, tan colored head, with good carbonation.

S: Vanilla and, bourbon waft through the nose followed by coffee, chocolate and, oak.

T: The beer starts with bourbon, vanilla bean, dark chocolate roasted malt, a balanced sweetness in the middle and, finishes off clean with a touch of alcohol heat.

M,D: This beer sticks to the palate, and is delicious, one large bottle enjoyed with friends is plenty but, I would have one every night if possible.

 509 characters

Photo of HotHands
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the Jan 2013 release, fresh from the brewery.

A - jet black. Small tan head.

S - chocolate and coffee overwhelmed by boozy bourbon.

T - Taste follows the nose. Strong charred bourbon flavor. Sweet but definitely not too much - it starts off a bit sweet and then the bourbon-hop punch whisks it away. A chocolate finish similar to Brooklyn BCS. Bourbon lingers for a long time.

M - In my opinion, the right consistency for an imperial stout, not too thick, well balanced.

Overall - an already solid stout that is very well complemented by the bourbon. A good balance of flavors shows that the brewers really know what they're doing with this barrel-aged stout.

 672 characters

Photo of imaguitargod
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah finally, the 2008 edition of the Barrel Aged Blackout Stout...so tasty. Head this on tap and poured into a 8 ounce whiskey glass. Very little head with no lacing. Beautifully black in it's color with blood red edges. First a huge whiskey/oak/alcohol taste hits your tongue then the roasted chocolate malts flood the palate. The aging really mellowed the beer but for the better. Wish I could drink this everyday....

Jonathan Passow

 435 characters

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