Blackout Stout
Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Blackout StoutBlackout Stout
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Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #90
ABV:
9.9%
Score:
93
Ranked #1,537
Avg:
4.2 | pDev: 8.57%
Reviews:
1,257
Ratings:
3,634
From:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
 
Ohio, United States
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  485
Gots
  733
SCORE
93
Outstanding
Blackout StoutBlackout Stout
Notes: Turn off the lights and turn on the flavor, because Blackout Stout is back and as dark as ever. Inspired by the infamous 2003 blackout that briefly left some 55 million people without power, the bold flavors of our Imperial Stout will light up even the darkest nights. Black malt and roasted barley cast notes of chocolate, dark fruit, and coffee, while earthy hops put the lights out on this shadowy brew with a pleasantly bitter finish.
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Reviews: 1,257 | Ratings: 3,634
Reviews by nmattis13:
Photo of nmattis13
3.26/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

More User Reviews:
Photo of Roguer
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Extremely dark brew, clear as far as one can tell. 1 finger dark tan head; poor retention, nice lacing.

Huge coffee and chocolate notes from the malt, with a touch of banana ester. Smells strong without smelling boozy. Aroma is reminiscent of FIS and JA Framinghammer.

Flavor follows: this is a big, bold stout, with up-front notes of chocolate and coffee, followed by a slightly tart hint of dark fruit, and finished by an exceptionally bitter, incredibly roasted wash of the malt.

Big-bodied and medium-full feel; some foaming; no sting. Pretty drinkable with a dry, roasty finish with a touch of lingering hop oil.

This is a very solid RIS, one that I can only imagine makes for a fantastic base for barrel-aging. Not in FIS/Speedway/Ten-FIDY territory, but perhaps the tier immediately below.

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Photo of thatfellow
4.63/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Enjoy by date of 6/11/2019.

Good head, a nice tan color that persists. Recarbonates well. First thing that I always notice with Blackout Stout is the aromatic effect. It smells roasty in a way that is distinctly unique to Great Lakes Brewing. The flavor is of roasted malts, is well balanced on the tongue, and is appropriately carbonated. Not too boozy but reminds you that it's an imperial stout. Beautiful opaque black color. Bottle artwork is enjoyable and thought provoking. A terrific seasonal winter stout that gets me excited for the cold every year.

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Photo of jpro
4.44/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delicious, drinkable imperial stout... A lot of flavor and very enjoyable.

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Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.75/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served out of a sniffer best buy 5/08/15chocolate Hershey bar on nose
T chocolate moca coffee with slight alcohol this is a must for stout lovers who dont care about barrel age

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

one of the classics, although this one isnt always as easy to find as the other great lakes beers. i was lucky enough to have this one on tap during my travels, so awesome. its a dense stout, but not thick and sludgy like bourbon county or anything. in fact, it might be one of the better carbonated imperial stouts out there. its a lot like old rasputin from north coast i though, maybe a little less of the english ale yeast character in this one, but the grain bill feels very similar. its big and full bodied, but its also interesting, with maybe some oats or even rye in here in some proportion. it gives the beer a fluffy feeling, and i taste raisin and chocolate in here, its delicious without being overly complex. pillowy in its mouthfeel and well carbonated, which is uncommon and unexpected in the style, and the finish lasts forever. the booze is well hidden behind the unsweetened chocolate bitterness. a true gem, especially on tap. easily one of the best non barrel aged stouts in the country.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.8/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

32 oz. growler filled several months ago poured into a NB snifter.

A note about the growler. It's a ceramic-topped swing and snap-lock bottle that has always held beer well, but this is the longest I've ever let a beer sit before tasting - it became a bit of an experiment to see how this stout would hold up in it over time. The condition of the beer confirms my conclusion that if properly filled, this style of growler (unopened, of course) will hold its beer properly rather indefinitely.

A - Pours a brown molasses into the glass. A one-finger head of rather fluffy British khaki foam disappears rather quickly, leaving a sheen of fine lace across the surface pocked by large, exploding bubbles. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is solid black, even at the edges of the glass.

S - Bacon! Sugars from dark molasses mix with notes of campfire char smoke and roasted malt. Just a touch of ABV. Chocolate syrup emerges from the background. Soft.

T - At the front, there's light-to-moderate roasted malt with a suggestion of lactose sweetener that gets cut off by just enough herbal hops to notice. That's followed by luscious 50% chocolate, followed by rich, chewy caramel. Bittering hops in the finish give the impression of moving the chocolate part of the profile into a more bitter semi-sweet taste.

M - Smooth, with a nice viscosity over the tongue. Silky. Just enough carbonation to support the body, which is close to moderate. A kaleidoscope of individual components mesh well together, but also stand alone enough for each to be noticed. Moderately long, but soft, finish that's a touch dry.

O - Easy-to-drink stout that leans heavily on dark sugars and chocolate in the taste profile. No coffee to speak of, just roasted malt. Could easily see this bourbon barrel-aged. Yummy. Another solid brew from Great Lakes.

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Photo of zonker17
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very dark pour with brown head that disappears. Faint roasty nose. Very sweet, molasses, burnt malt. Big body and moderate carbonation. Finished with a little bitterness but coats mouth with that sweet, almost syrupy feel.

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Photo of cokes
4.35/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black. Treated ever-so-slightly with ruby, but black for all intents and purposes. The head is compacted, for a while lasting, and tan.
Nose full of burn and char and roast. Echoes of bourbon and grape is it warms, but slight and fairly hollow. Solid and satifying nose-wise, yet not quite an adequate prelude.
Begins assertively roasted. Smoky even, with burnt trees and burnt rubber and spent charcoal. Not as incinerated as, say, Expedition or Rogue Imperial, but plenty fire-damaged as it is.
From the ashes, a sweetness seeps. Gooey caramel and vanilla bean. Hallmark blackened chocolate chip cookies (take note). Seared walnuts. Mocha coffee, with heavy espresso roasted bitterness.
Hopping resides, obviously, on the tail end, and it joins with the burnt hues. Enflamed pine trees and singed woody shrubs. Boozy, port traits are established here as well. Chocolatized brandy and still-smoldering, woody, bourbon-drenched embers. But the alcohol is largely concealed.
Mostly full in stature. Not the largest Imperial Stout. But a well realized and representative version of such. It may lack a little (and just a little) in overall nuance and depth, it is nonetheless as drinkable and enjoyable as any. And it just gets better as it exceeds cellar temp.
Well done, as expected.

That burnt chocolate chip cookie flavor just seems to resonate in the mouth and the memory, and I love it.

 1,400 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
4.27/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is from 2007, best by 8/2/07. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about a half inch tan head. It smells mostly like roasted malt and coffee, with some molasses and chocolate too. It tastes pretty much the same way to me, but with some dark fruit in the taste. There's more bitterness than sweetness in the taste. There's also a hoppy bitter aftertaste and a dry finish. Mouthfeel is creamy and oily, but a bit carbonated at the same time. Drinkability is pretty good considering the 9% ABV. The alcohol is noticable, but not overwhelming at all. Overall, I think this is a pretty decent beer.

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Photo of oneeye
4.45/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black coffee color with a little tan head.Looks like a tint of red to the body and the head.I'm going to let this puppy warm a bit.

S. Smells like coffee beans and dark chocolate.There's a hint of nuts with a smell of alcohol.

T. Bitter bite followed by the nutty/dark chocolate/coffee taste.Finishes with a warmth of alcohol and a touch of hops.

M. A little thinner than I expected but creamy and warm.

D. I had two durring this session and I thought that was perfect.It's a sipper and thats the way I like it.

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Photo of theghost3
4.07/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark, opaque brown; almost black. There's a 2-finger, cafe au lait head. Minimal lacing.

The smell is strong on the dark roasted coffee malts and slightly smokey. The taste is bitter-burnt coffee & dark chocolate malt with some slight dark fruit flavors. The mouthfeel is not real thick, slightly acidic.

This is a drinkable RIS. It's closer to Ten FIDY than Old Rasputin, but not quite in the same category of either of those.

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Photo of kayrex
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of Tenchi221
4/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of SebD
4.3/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it. It has a nice thick creamy tan head that dies down moderately slow and leaves nice lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of roasted malts, chocolate, light coffee, light earthy hops, faint smoke and dark fruit.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has loads of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, light coffee, some earthiness and very faint dark fruit on the back.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-med carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by good flavors and aromas. Solid stout!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of NMA
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JustinWhipple
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of BeerBeast
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bcm75
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of Hophead21
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of mkmarth
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MikeLovesBeer81
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of 1971bernat
4.5/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of aracauna
3.95/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A little light for an imperial with a bit of mahogany around the edges, the head is nicely tan and creamy. The aroma nicely roasty with a hint of fig. The flavor is sweet (a little sugary) and fruity (the fig again) with an almost metallic bitterness finishing it out.

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Photo of jmalex
4.4/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been sitting on this beer for about 9 months waiting for the perfect opportunity to bring it out. If my calculations are right, this review will be the one that gets me my mug.

Best by 07/15/07

APPEARANCE: Pours into a shaker pint a pitch black with almost black highlights. The head is a creamy brown, starts reasonably small, and shrinks to a medium collar with a decent amount of leftover bubbles. But despite the small head, some lacing forms on my glass as I drink.

SMELL: The aroma is mostly huge amounts of rich chocolate and roasted coffee. A bit of toffee and licorice comes through, as does a mild hop aroma (albeit nondescript). Huge aromas and it smells great.

TASTE: This beer is a beast and it comes at you from all angles. The chocolate and coffee notes are huge and hit you full force. Along with caramel and toffee, it's all there. The flavors last all the way through and then at the finish, the hops get to show their thing. They balance perfectly and add just the right bitterness to this beer. A less than subtle bourbony alcohol burn comes in at the very end, and though a bit jolting, it does add another layer of flavor to this beer.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is decently full, but it could even go fuller. It's big and only the slightest hair syrupy. Carbonation level is on the low end and exactly where it should be.

DRINKABILITY: The beer is huge so drinkability is not the best. But for the style, this has to rank right up with the upper echelon. Sure, the alcohol is present and it hurts it a bit, but this beer still goes down easier than it should.

It's sad to see one of my cellar staples go, but drinking this is a phenomenal experience. And it ages well. I need to find more of this. And soon.

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Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 93 out of 100 with 3634 ratings