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Great Lakes Blackout Stout | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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1,207 Reviews

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: 1,207 | Ratings: 3,439
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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Photo of enrique_m
3.92/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: black as burnt motor oil, cinnamon colored head and little lacing.
smell: light chocolate smell.
taste: chocolate and roasted malts.
feel full bodied and full of flavor.
overall pretty good.

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Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This was a very good Russian Imperial Stout that was sent to me from a friend in Ohio

(L) Very dark, almost black with a think brown head.

(A) The aroma is roasted coffee and chocolate.

(T) The taste is roasted malts, and chocolate, dark fruit, and a lingering pleasant bitterness.

(F) Medium, moderate carbonation.

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Photo of hardysf
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was nice brew. Very similar to regular Dark Horse Plead the Fifth in that they both have a lot of chocolate/fudge notes with some bitterness and hop presence. I prefer Plead just a bit more but this one has its place too.

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Photo of jaypaul522
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Got during the holidays. Poured into a tulip glass and got thin head over very dark colored beer. The aroma was chocolate and slight raisin, with malt. The taste is very smooth, and you can taste the chocolate very well. The feel is full bodied, but not overly so or I would have rated this beer higher. After-taste is very pleasant, and the alcohol doesn't overpower the good flavor. An excellent stout.

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Photo of ksimons
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beer review #900
A-almost black in color but with dark brown highlights in the light with a thin layer of khaki colored head

S-roasted malt, dark roasted coffee, and chocolate

T-roasted malt and dark coffee dominate the taste with sweet chocolate, dark fruits, and then has a bitter finish

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, bitter finish

Overall a very enjoyable and well balanced RIS, good amount of roastedness with chocolate

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Photo of Bierman9
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Got a 4-pack of 12oz bottles at Krugel's in Wilkes-Barre last week ($11.99)....

Poured into a small tulip.... It's a very dark chestnut brown color, nearly opaque. Can't see what the carbo situation is, but the head is thin and fine, mostly rim-clinging, with decent lacing. Smells of mocha covered malted milk balls... It is quite smooth going down, and a medium to medium-plus for body.

Taste is milk-chocolatey, with a smidge of molasses as well. Has some toffee, and subtle hints of raisins and currants. Hopping is light but detectable, with a smidge of florality.... Not bad, all-in-all... Prosit!!

4.03/5 rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.95/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

trying this beer as we speak. Nice dark color. Smooth going. Hint of chocolate and raisins . Smells delicious with the malts and chocolate. Kinda like drinking a raisinette.

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Photo of EMV
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a glass into a tulip

L: Pours a dark, dark brown color... clear and nearly black. reddish hints as I hold it up to the light. Thin tan head with thick lacing.

S: Roast and espresso... hints of cocoa.

T/F: Roasted malts... dark sugars, sweet and smooth. Strong notes of coffee and also a bit of chocolate made more apparent by the sugars. A mild but noticeable hop presence towards the finish. Warming and creamy.

O: A fine Russian Imperial Stout... strong on the cocoa and burnt sugar character... clean with a very nice mouthfeel. Overall very solid beer. Dangerously drinkable.

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

Included as an extra from a trade. It's a solid little stout. Pales in comparison BCBS (in it's wonderful taste and presentation) and Black Metal (in it's funk and going out there) from JK. It is a solid lil beer but nothing that grabs my attention like the others I mentioned above. Has notes of chocolate and a bit of spice. Glad I tried it but eh.

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Photo of beerwolf72
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid stout that doesn't get much love in Southern Ohio. It usually treats me pretty well, not too thick, not too thin. Slightly smoky, slightly sweet. Just enough mouthfeel to let you know you're drinking a stout. Always stock up to get me through the winter.

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Photo of m_hall
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip. This stout is a very, very dark reddish brown (basically black with some highlights under illumination around the edges.) Head is one-finger tall, tan, and dense, falling away to a thin film. Lacing is light and spotty.

Nose is sweetly aromatic and malty, with notes of dark berries, vanilla, and a nice alcohol tang at the end. Very nice, a little less 'dense' than a lot of Imps.

Flavor comes in with malt right up front, lots of dark semi-chocolate, brown sugar, and toffee, with a nice bit of dark fruit (blackberry, raisin) supporting. The mid-palate continues with the cocoa, while adding a touch of coffee bitterness. The finish is slightly dry and bittersweet, and lingers briefly, with just a trace of earthy hops.

Mouth-feel was medium, just a bit oily, very drink-able. Carbonation is light, and alcohol is present as a nice warmth, but this doesn't feel at all like a 9% abv beer, at all. It would be surprisingly easy to drink more than one of these in a sitting.

Overall, Blackout is an interesting change of pace in the world of Imperial Stouts- the lighter body in particular sets this one apart. Some hardcore fans might find this one a bit thinner than they'd like, but on the other hand the change of pace is something I found nicely refreshing. There's a lot of room within the guidelines of a given style, and it's good to see a craft brewery playing in those confines.

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Photo of CNoj012
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a very dark brown with ruby highlights and is almost completely opaque. The head is two fingers and light brown with decent retention that eventually recedes to a small cap. There are also nice slim sheets of hanging lacing. The smell is roasted malts, chocolate and coffee with the slightest hint of nuttiness. Taste is the same with a nice hop bitterness on the back end. Feel is medium and viscous, really coats the whole mouth. Overall a very nice stout. Will certainly be picking up another 4pk.

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black with large bubbles that cling to the side of the glass and head that thins to less than a lace. Smell has roast malt aromas and some hints of chocolate. Goes down very dry and not highly carbonated like expected. It's slightly bitter also. Overall highly drinkable imperial stout. Two thumbs up.

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Great Lakes Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.19 out of 5 based on 3,439 ratings.
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