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

Not Rated.
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

1,341 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,341
Reviews: 383
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 1,228
Gots: 281 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co. visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Dogbrick on 11-29-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,341 | Reviews: 383 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of DrJay
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of ClockworkOrange. Thanks!
Very dark with faint chestnut edges. Carbonation looked low on the pour, since a very thin light brown cap appeared and I wasn't all that careful. Fine bubbles formed a solid collar. Spotty lacing. Caramel and whiskey aromas, vanilla, oak, dark chocolate, malt, light roast. Very nice aroma, lots of character without any single trait overpowering the rest. Roast was more prominent in the flavour and bitterness was solid, yet fairly soft, throughout. Faint hop flavour towards the end. Whiskey and booze gave the palate a tingle from start to finish. Bittersweet and milk chocolate notes, vanilla, drying oak, caramel, dry cocoa in the finish. Fine carbonation, a little on the low side. The body was between medium and full, a little on the light side for a RIS, but this aided drinkability. Plenty of warmth without being hot. Overall, a well crafted and balanced barrel-aged beer.

DrJay, Feb 04, 2009
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -8.5%

Zaphog, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of liamt07
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

liamt07, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
4.22/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

HopHead84, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of ShanePB
3.25/5  rDev -25.6%

ShanePB, May 28, 2013
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes on 12.20.2011

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip. This followed the none BA version.

A - Pours a dark brown with a very thin dark tan head that is gone almost instantly.

S - Vanilla, bourbon, chocolate and oak.

T - Again nice vanilla and chocolate, with a bourbon-oak finish.

D - Still smooth and nice. Lower carbonation and again a thinner body like the standard Blackout.

O - I was very impressed. A great tasting beer, but again a bit thin.

HuskyinPDX, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of johnnnniee
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from Prototypic, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a very dark brown with only the faintest of ruby highlights when held to light. Smallish mocha head dissipates quickly. Smells of Vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is bourbon, followed by roast and chocolate, then some alcohol, faint dark dried fruits, leaving a lingering bitter roast and bourbon on the tongue. Yum! Body is medium, mouthfeel is oily/creamy, carbonation is low but appropriate. Great smelling and tasting brew. The only thing I would change is maybe a bit of a thicker body.

johnnnniee, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +3%

iL0VEbeer, Apr 19, 2013
Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -8.5%

tobelerone, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.43/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2010 version, had on tap at the brewpub in Jan 2011. $6.50 for a 10-12oz goblet, nice.

Dark brown with about 1 finger of tan foam. The aroma is very vanilla-forward, more oak than bourbon and closer to Black Ops than my recollection of bottled BA Blackout. Either way it smells very good. Cocoa, sweet and roasty malts, and tons of vanilla.

All this comes through in the flavor, plus a dose of bourbon, very good. I love this beer, one of my favorites in bottle form and very good from the keg as well.

TurdFurgison, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of Alieniloquium
4.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - The body is black, but the pour belies transparency. Deep brown it would seem. Just-shy-of-mocha head. A hefty collar remains.

Smell - Bourbon smacks you around a bit. After my nostrils regain their balance, vanilla is the strongest flavor. Roasted malts all about, mostly coffee. Nice.

Taste - At first, I was a little let down. It's a ton of bourbon compared to the stout. After a few sips, though, it really shines with its depth of flavors. The bourbon is strong at first, surely, but vanilla is the persisting flavor that continues into a coffee roast. Midrange yields and chocolatey flavor that lingers into a dark fruit and touch of earthiness. I was tempted to give it a 5 for flavor.

Mouthfeel - And here is it's downfall from greatness. It's still a pretty thin stout. Well, not thin, but definitely not chewy enough for the barrel intensity. It's hot from the barrel and nearly drowned out.

Overall - Only on close inspection is this a really great beer. I would be hard pressed to admit this is better than the original, as the barrel masks a great deal of the beer's qualities. Nonetheless, I am a sucker for bourbon and its barrels. Well done.

Alieniloquium, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of THECPJ
4.5/5  rDev +3%

THECPJ, Jan 05, 2012
Photo of wordemupg
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 24/06/14 cheers schnarr84 for the bottle

A not exactly a blackout as I can see half way to the other side under the fast falling finger of foam that leaves no lace, some wide legs on 9.5%? seems odd

S vanilla, sweet bourbon, coco nibs, chocolate syrup, raisins, plums, some charred wood, a little more booze then expected at 9.5% but it doesn't hinder the cause, smells sweet but sexy

T thankfully it mimics the smell, faint sweetened coffee, booze keeps this one from true glory, some licorice I didn't notice on the nose, plenty of barrel, tastes as good as the smell

M a little thin but silky upon entry and almost creams up from the bubbles, its hot for 9.5% some tannins and almost numbs your lips

O looks and feels basic but smells and tastes awesome, either the booze is poorly concealed or this clocks in a little higher then the label states, legs and booze throughout? I gotta feeling this one picked up some ABV in the barrel

Even though the most important aspects are well taken care of I think this one's not living up to its potential fresh, thankfully I'm going to have a second bottle to age, cheers Patrick!!

wordemupg, Jun 24, 2014
Photo of drummermattie02
3.5/5  rDev -19.9%

drummermattie02, Jan 30, 2014
Photo of Rhettroactive
4.23/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 3/13/12
*From notes

-- I picked this up at the brewery during the release on 1/16/12 --

A: Well it's dark - like that's a surprise. I mean it's got the word "Blackout" in it's name. Did you think it was gonna be anything but? A generous pour yields a 1.5 mocha head and a creamy, thick collar as the head fades.

S: Chocolate brownie batter and a touch of red fruit. As it warms, some of that lovely bourbon makes it's way into my nostrils.

T: Vanilla, toasted coconut and a bit of warm bourbon are the stars of the show. It's really well put together. There's a bit of a hop bite and charred malt on the back end.

M: Having had this on tap at the brewery, I was extremely disappointed in the mouthfeel. It felt like a weak cask ale. This bottled version though, is worlds better. Thick, dense and yes, the carbonation is right on. Not nearly the oily mess I found at the pub a couple of months ago.

O: What a great beer. Isn't it sick how well Great Lakes brews? How is it that they're not talked about as one of the best brewery in the good ol' US of A? Really, folks. Like 95% of their portfolio, their BA Blackout shines in most every way. Worthy of the hype, and something I recommend drinking fresh.

A hearty two thumbs up.

Rhettroactive, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of xnicknj
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

on tap at BA Blackout release

Pours a heavy, inky black color with a small ruby hue outlining the beer's form. A smaller tannish head bubbles up, retaining slightly and leaving some patches of lacing around the glass.

Whoa - the scents here were dead on, with notes of roasted dark malts, toffee, light vanilla, pleasant oakiness, and just enough bourbon.

Begins with some caramel malts and some roasted warmth. Caramel, molasses, and hints of coffee pierce through. Vanilla and some leathery oak tones warm the palate. Pleasant, enhancing bourbon rounds out the flavors as the beer becomes slightly warm and boozy, but not over the top. The flavors are all so balanced, without any component becoming overpowering.

A bit thinner body for the style, but still pretty full, with nice carbonation and some velvet smoothness. So delicious and drinkable, and not out of control with the ABV, despite being a little warm. I finished a sample, immediately bought a full glass, and still wanted more. One of my favorite barrel aged stouts right now.

xnicknj, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
3.73/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Ethan for bringing this over to our pre On Photon tasting...2010 bottle drank into an Orval glass...Dark brown pour with a disappointing lack of carbonation, a light tan head is there for a second then gone...The aroma is full of peat on the front, and just incredibly sweet, molasses with sugar, no depth...The taste is also sweet but a typical barrel aged sweetness of bourbon or vanilla, just sugary sweet. You can't even tell this is barrel aged except for a slight wood finish. A little roasty helps the boringness.

I was really excited to try this but came away disappointed. I had the 09 on tap and it was much better. Would like to try to more to see if 10 just sucks or its just better on tap. This is an above average RIS but a below average BA RIS, doesn't add anything to the beer.

jrallen34, Dec 19, 2010
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!

BeerFMAndy, May 09, 2011
Photo of chippo33
4/5  rDev -8.5%

chippo33, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BA review #700. Poured in to CBS Snifter.

A - Black with half a finger of bubbly light brown head that very quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - Huge bourbon aroma up front with vanilla and oak complimenting it. Some roasted malts and chocolate in the background.

T - Bourbon, vanilla and oak up front. Toasted oats, chocolate an some sweetness in the middle. Warming alcohol and bourbon returning in the finish.

M - Medium body. A little thin at times and definitely thin for the style. Moderate carbonation that was a little heavy for my liking.

O - This was very good but missed the mark for me (based on expectation). Needs more body and less carbonation. Mouth feel got considerably better in after about a half hour in the glass.

TheSevenDuffs, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of atrocity
4.4/5  rDev +0.7%

atrocity, Sep 14, 2014
Photo of KAF
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

KAF, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Cynic-ale, Nov 10, 2013
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...

thagr81us, Apr 07, 2011
Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
97 out of 100 based on 1,341 ratings.