Great Lakes Blackout Stout | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

1,220 Reviews
Great Lakes Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Blackout Stout

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GreatPondBrewer on 11-30-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,220 | Ratings: 3,502
Photo of DeaconWhite82
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second favorite Great Lakes seasonal. Pours almost black with little head. I like the smell. Complex taste. Sweet, burnt, bitter. A lot going on. Too much carbonation linger. Gives you that high quality buzz. I bought a case 4 years running. It is good

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Photo of Blackop555
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown/black with thin, brown head that lasts shortly.

Smells roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and light alcohol.

Tastes chocolate, roasted malts, light char and light coffee. Finish is semi dry with a light coffee and smokey linger. Higher side of medium carbonation with smooth lower medium carbonation

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Garnet-jet with tan leggy cream. 4
Leather, ash, and rum barrel. 4.25
Chocolate cake, licorice, root beer, more chocolate icing, cherry skin, strong coffee, and slight earthy finish with some clean roast. 4
Creamy, chewy, medium. 4.25

Ton of chocolate, clean, no burn - this does a lot of things right. Dessert without cloying. Great Lakes with the mad skills on show. 4.25

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

Dark brown color with a bit of brown foam. Aroma has milk chocolate, pudding and sweet coffee. Taste starts on the sweet side as well with nice chocolate notes but finishes really bitter and roasty, even a bit ashy. Medium body and carbonation. It's a really classic imperial stout. Well made but nothing impressive.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into shaker pint.

A: Dark black in body with a creamy off white head on top.

S: Roasted Malts, chocolate, grains, light coffee

T: Follows the nose quite closely very rich slightly sweet but not too sweet and lots of roasted malts, chocolate, almost a coffee roast flavor and a little bit of anise and then followed by some alcohol heat.

M: Creamy and full not super thick drinks like a stout should.

O: This is a very solid regular stout the only thing I can ding it for is the alcohol is noticeable which is unpleasant otherwise this is Edmund Fitzgerald on steroids.

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Photo of zao77
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had it on tap served in a snifter glass. Next to no head and a trace of lacing. Smell is complex and would need to spend a little more time with this. Taste is overly sweet. This beer would be a great candidate for aging. Perhaps the sweetness would mellow out a bit? Feel was pretty thin for a RIS. Good beer but a little on the sweet side for me.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. I do not know exactly how old this bottle is but it is definitely has a few years in the bottle. The "For freshest taste, please enjoy by:" date on the label is 03/14/14.

The taste is incredibly dark and roasty with bittersweet chocolate, charcoal (?) and just a touch of lingering warmth in the finish. I imagine the taste flavors have smoothed out over the years. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Overall, a very solid imperial stout.

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Photo of Oopssorryy
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a little thinner than some of the other RIS brews I've been indulging in, but is just as dark, if not darker. Pitch black liquid with a generous sticky dark tan head that has some real staying power. This one laces all the way down the glass as you drink, leaving reminders of what was. I get roasted malt, hints of coffee bitterness, a little dark chocolate, and a twinge of black licorice in the nose, blending together for a wonderful scent.

The flavor starts off with the licorice and bittersweet chocolate. Starts sweet and goes bitter quickly. Once you swallow you are hit with a very boozy note, followed closely by roasted malt. I get some hints of the same fruity qualities you can find in some of the pricey dark chocolates. Personally I'm not a fan of the ABV being so obvious, and prefer a better hidden alcohol, so it will be effecting the score. If you don't mind that, or prefer it, raise the score a bit for you.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I'm used to. Still, it's a very smooth experience, going down extremely easily. It finishes on a bitter note, but is not what I'd call drying. It does leave a roasted malt flavor on the tongue that will stick with you for some time. Overall a good beer, but I've several other stouts I'd go to before this one.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a finger of khaki head foaming to the top. Head retention is fair. Tiny bubbles pop out of the abyss of black liquid to help feed a thin foamy ring around the edge of the glass. Lacing is non existent. Roasted and toasted malts both pop out of the aroma first, setting Blackout Stout up for a solid, but otherwise standard, stout aroma. Chocolate, with a smidge of caramel peek through the otherwise malt driven aroma. Flavor profile unlocks some more depth, with malt notes expanding on the roasted and toasted varieties by way of biscuit malts. Chocolate, caramel, and molasses are more pronounced in the flavor profile then aroma. Mouthfeel has a filling, slightly grainy texture, which gets more aggressive and filling as the beer warms. Thickness ranges from medium to medium-thick as the beer's temperature rises. Overall, Blackout makes for an excellent stout. It fits squarely between thin stouts and stouts that could be considered a meal, making this a pleasant stout to visit for hearty malt notes without the heart stopping thickness of other stouts.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.59/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/6/16...pours midnight black. Low foam, low bubble, pours smooth. Chocolately coffee nose, a touch sweet. Smooth bitter dark malt taste. Booze pokes through. Hints of whisky throughout. Powerful.

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Photo of FaustieMo
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This pours somewhat thick and produces a bubbly off-white head. I wish the head had better creaminess.

The aroma pushes a nice burnt caramel and very dark malts. Hidden are some minor notes of bittersweet chocolate and hops.

In the mouth, the feel is moderate in fullness. Roasty malt dominates the palate at first, but leaves you with some esters and dark chocolate sweetness at the end, especially as the beer approaches room temperature. The high alcohol content is detectable and makes this nicely warming.

A true imperial stout worth the try.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"Best by 5/6/16"; drank 1/8/16 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Dark brown appearance; purple emerged at the edges when held to the light.

A rough pour yielded a nice tan head; strong lace.

Fresh earth, cherry, cream & black coffee notes in the nose.

Medium thick, creamy mouthfeel.

Caramel & cherry flavors up front; black coffee & cream notes on the finish. Faint booze heat emerged as this warmed. Creamy & sweet, with bitter black coffee notes for ballast. A bit messy but still enjoyable.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass. best by 5/5/16, so aged 7 months past BB. Should be interesting.

Black/Brown body, small oatmeal colored head which eventually dissipates leaving okay lacing.

faintly boozy on the nose. some roasted malt. And as weird as this may seem, i swear a hint of Worcestershire sauce.

I cleansed the palate several times to try and figure out what i was tasting here. it is certainly pleasant, but i couldn't put my finger on it. not the usual cocoa/chocolate/coffee/toffee notes. but again, not unpleasant. sorry, i know I'm not being clear here.

mouth is between medium and full.

overall, a nice, if slightly odd stout. maybe it needs more (or less) aging.

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Photo of NickSMpls
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Black as night pour - not a glimmer of light shines through. Virtually no head and rather flat looking. Aroma is blackstrap molasses plus expresso and bitter chocolate. Taste is excellent, no burnt notes and soft - smooth. We very much enjoy their Edmund Fitzgerald and this amps it up to "11".

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Photo of Joe_Palooka
4.46/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just popped open a "best by 03/16/2014" and if this is two and a half years away from being best it had to be damn near perfect then! Poured with a firm two finger head that lingered and completely laced my snifter. Taste was even better than when it was fresh. Feel was very creamy. Blackout always has been an awesome stout but this 25th anniversary offering was fan-damn-tastic! I am glad I aged it and that I have few left to drink.

Update: Just purchased 3- 4 packs of Blackout 2016 for $5.00 per 4/pack....Hyvee Foods in Moline, Illinois. Thought it was a mistake and it probably was but it seems like the deal of the century after spending $155.00 for a case of Bells Black Note two weeks ago. Blackout ages well and improves as I have stated in my original post up above.

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Photo of Guppy314
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Courthaus Social in Arlington, pours as opaque black with a thin beige head. Aroma of roast malt and chocolate. Taste is totally malt-forward. I might persuade myself there could be coffee or caramel. But overall, flavors are isolated, harsh, and inharmonious; a good brew, but not great.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to pint glass. Aroma is sweet chocolate and BlackBerry, maybe cherry also. Touch of toasted barley. Appearance: Dark black color, small head. Looks almost a little thin. Taste: dark fruits, plum, fig, BlackBerry. Very tasty and sweet. Feel: flat. Only negative here is that it needs some carbonation. A very nice beer. Sad to see the Edmund Fitzgerald replaced by this as my favorite Great Lakes Beer."

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.81/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Here comes some midnight black color. Expected a greater head formation. The color is legit though. Nothing but burnt malt for the aroma.

Heavy body but not quite that sludge viscosity you've seen elsewhere. Has all the burnt things going on, smoke, charred, tobacco. Not like a rauchbier. Different, heartier, thicker vibe, less smoke, less meat. Not a lot of dark fruit bitterness here, the deep roast dominates any aspect like that, probably for the better for it.

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Photo of maltheaded
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is a winner, I wouldn't change a thing. Tastes like it was oak barreled. I like the flavors of Great Lakes brews, and this one doesn't disappoint. Tastes alot like dragon's milk. I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an old classic. Pours extremely dark brown with tiny orange highlights at the edges. Head is unremarable beige with about a five minute lifespan. The nose is nearly otherworldly. Starts with dark fruit before breaking into fresh cocoa powder, with a vague hoppiness in the background.

The flavors are very assertive, with dark fruits leading the way, followed by smokiness and some booze and finishing with chocolate and coffee. All of this with strong oppositional bitterness. Carbonation seems high but really dissipates and becomes meaningless quickly. This is actually quite smooth.

Really impressive stout that really ticks all the boxes for a tasty, meal-like stout with good flavors and high octane.

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Photo of BrokenEdge
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid brew and my favorite offering yet from Great Lakes. Pours dark brown, nearly black, with a thin tan head that quickly reduces down to a layer of foam. If the head was more impressive and long lasting, it would have greatly helped this beer's score, it is definitely the weakest point. Leaves good amounts of foamy lacing as you drink. Smell is roasted malt and raisin. While drinking, the taste of chocolate and vanilla makes its presence known. It's a very sweet RIS, not a lot of bitterness from either hops or charred flavors. But it's a mild enough sweetness to not seem overwhelming or sickening, very pleasant. Feels very creamy and smooth (nearly oily) going down, like a milk stout. Finishes somewhat bitter and clean. This isn't as huge of a stout as some other RIS are, but it's very easy to drink (doesn't feel like 9% at all) and just an enjoyable experience.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.87/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark black with a dark tan head. Smells like coffee, licorice and sweet roasted malts. Very sweet with a lot of molasses, licorice, roasted malts, coffee and char. Pretty solid RIS.

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Photo of zonker17
4.07/5  rDev -2.9%
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 drtth
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best by date of 6 May, 2015.

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a deep brownish black color with a 1/4-1/2" dark tan head that soon begins to recede leaving some foam, some speckles and some legs of lacing on the side. There's a nice irregular island of foam and a thin layer covering the rest of the liquid. Sipping creates sheets of foam that quickly become small speckles, patches and legs clinging to the glass. Some foam remains visible even to the end of the beer.

The aromas include dark roasted malt blended nicely with some dark chocolate. There are also what seems like touches of caramel and molasses mixed in as well.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose but with a touch of overall added sweetness that softens and smooths out the other flavors. There's no burn from the alcohol and it is definitely well concealed, so that may be the origin of the softening sweetness.

The mouthfeel is on the full bodied side and thick enough to be almost chewy. There's enough carbonation to create a creamy feel. The finish begins about mid-way through as the chocolate and sweetness give way to the roasted malt and bitterness. Last to leave the scene is that touch of dark roast and hop bitterness that lingers for a bit on the back of the palate.

This is a very nice Russian Imperial Stout that deserves to be ranked among some of the best out there. While it may or may not be world class it is definitely within shouting distance and what is even better is that it is produced on a regular basis and relatively easy to obtain. I'll be having this one again. My only thought about improving this beer is that I would prefer the sweetness to disappear a bit earlier in the finish so that the ending is a wee bit dryer and with a touch more prominance given to the bitterness.

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Photo of Ikeithbot
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Really a great offering of the Imperial Stout style. not much experimental going on here but the tastes are right on point. the smell is great the mouth feel is normal for an Imperial Stout very low alcohol taste not too bad for a 9.04 overall very good I would compare it to Rasputin by North Coast Brewing

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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 3,502 ratings.
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