Blackout Stout | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Blackout StoutBlackout Stout
3,582 Ratings
Blackout StoutBlackout 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 3,582 |  Reviews: 1,238
Photo of kmpitz2
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting again. Thsi beer pours a nice black color with a finger of head taht falls to a healthy ring over the top. The nose is a combination of fig, coffee, chocolate and a puff of alcohol. The flavor is nice, starying as a semi-sweet fig, moving to chocolate and finishing like a nice coffee bitter, but not offensive. The feel is thick, with a light carbonation. Very nice and coating. Drinkability is very nice on thie beer. The alcohol is not all that prevalent in the flavor. I really do like this beer. Very nice stout.

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Photo of Backer2004
3.87/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(part of a sampler at the Great Lakes brewpub)

No one else like this one at my table so I knew it's not for the light beer drinking crowd. It's bold and fresh, but not over the top. Hints of syrup and alcohol are apparent in both the taste and smell, but not as overwhelming as other russian imperial Stouts I've tried.

Personally, this had many of the characteristics as the Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Worth a try, but definitely not for everyone.

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Photo of mntlover
4.32/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black no light getting thru this baby with a finger and half nice brwon head that falls slowly and leaves patchy lace behind.

Aroma is nice roasted malts chocolate dominates over the expresso nice fruity esters cherries mostly, light hints of citrus hops blend perfectly with the other fruity aromas.

Taste is bitter chocolate followed up by coffee with fruit notes coming out in the middle. The fruity notes linger untill a burnt bitterness is picked up and amplified by some citrusy hops and lingering carbonation and bitter coating. Quite a tastey Impy Stout very light alcohol hints in the finish otherwise none noted.

Mouthfeel is little more the medium but not as full as others in the same class. Still pretty nice though.

Drinkability is good, not a bad Impy Stout would recommend to others or have in my DBF if it was locally available. Bottle said for fresh taste enjoy by 04/2005 but tasted fine to me sure it would still be fine year or more from now.

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Photo of merlin48
4.52/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours an inky, old motor oil body, quite opaque. Two cm light brown head retains well, and leaves some patchy lace behind.

Aroma: Dark roasted malts open the show with burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, nutty hazelnut, smoked almonds, and a kiss of cherries. Some smoky, campfire wood adds an interesting complexity to the excellent nose.

Mouthfeel: Coating and smooth, yet medium bodied. A nice combination.

Taste: Wow! Very nice. Dark roasted malts are compelling, with old coffee bitterness, bittersweet medium chocolate, and a hint of cherries. A solid "whomp" of fruit esters enters midway through, and adds some McIntosh apple notes to the cherries. The pleasing fruit esters are accompanied by a note of fusel alcohol, and combine quite well on the palate. Lots of nutty flavors add to the mix, with smoked almonds and hazelnuts adding a kiss of smokiness. Expected bitter roasty finish concludes this pleasant bottle.

Drinkability/Impression: This is a kickass American impy stout that is accented with an excellent array of fruit esters and smoky nuttiness that compliments the dark, roasted malts perfectly. Highly recommended!

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Photo of RedDiamond
3.42/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Has a delicious coffee aroma that breaks down after awhile into a sherry-like smell, and finally, strong alcohol. A dark brown head of short duration caps a solidly black, laceless body. The taste has a touch of sweetness in an otherwise roasted environment with a predominance of EtOH.

The bottle is not conditioned, but I appreciate both the stamped freshness date and the suggested serving temperature on the label. In the end, the taste of alcohol was overbearing, and the body was sullen.

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Photo of wailingwench
4.58/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This doesn't merit 5.0's as at the brewery, it was way to harsh, the hops and alc hadn't mellowed out.

Special thanks to the dude who works on the bottling line for giving us 2 4 packs. I forgot your name, but Im pretty sure that you knew we wouldn't remember.

6 bottles laid down to rest, review from last 2 drank on the night of the first 80 degree day in Blo, 2005.

Eye Candy: Jet black, dark brown swirls, crimson red hue. Huge foamy tan head. Superb retention. Consistency of maple syrup.

The Nose Knows: Rum soaked dark fruit, red wine, roasted coffee beans, bitter hops soaked in chocolate.

Tongueland: Sweet dark fruit, figs, raisins, expresso, bitter chocolate, toffee, resinous hops and sweet cocoa to finish. Alcohol dimished by aging, but still intermixed. Tongue coating. Practically a beer shake. The head was practically enjoyable by itself.

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Photo of SupaCelt
4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark enough to be called black for simplicity. Small cocoa froth head without much tenacity. Meager lacing. Thick, but with some carbonation bubbles evident.

Smell: Chocolate and coffee as expected. A bit of lactose milkiness in the nose as well. It has a good roasted personality and the faintest bit of hop character evident in the scent.

Taste: Chocolate and coffee unified with some bitterness from the hops to produce a baker's chocolate feel. This black momma has some creamy aspects as well. Rich, but not as powerful as I was hoping.

Mouthfeel: The Great Lakes mouthfeel lies beneath the thickness. It seems that all of the beers I have sampled from this brewer have this "house" personality when it comes to mouthfeel. It always seems to border on flatness. This is about middle of the path as far as an imperial stout body is concerned.

Drinkability: This particular stout is unintrusive and does not produce any offensive qualities. Still, it seems a bit weak as an imperial. I would surely drink this one again though.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.17/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz brown, longneck bottle, capped, dated.

This stout poured an opaque black color with creamy, brown foam that settled and clung to the glass. The smell was a rich, dark malty aroma with resinous hops, and notes of licorice and molasses. The smell improved as the beer warmed. The taste was very richly malty with dark malt, molasses, and dried fruit (prunes). The alcohol was well hidden. The mouthfeel was rich and creamy and smooth with full body and moderate carbonation. This was a very nice, moderately complex imperial stout, but not over the top in intensity.

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Photo of malty
4.12/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck with a freshness date of BB 7-11-05.

Opaque black with dark ruby highlights on the very edge of my trumpet rimmed pilsner glass. Scarce beige head that audibly fizzy which settles down to a tiny halo.

Scent is wonderfully fresh of dark chocolate, licorice and herbally hops. ReminiSCENT of a freshly baked chocolate cake with fudge frosting. For some reason 'Lion Stout' comes to mind (?).

Taste is very straight forward with not much depth. Steady chocolate and a dash of vanilla. Smooth and sweet. A tad rummy with a decent follow through of fresh herbally hops (again). Flavor seems to dissipate quickly after the nice crisp hop finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slighly oily mouthfeel. Semi-dry (clean) ending.

Drinkability is good due to it's somewhat calm nature for such a traditionaly bold style.

Overall a sturdy offering. I'm a bit surprised this interpretation isn't a little bolder seeing their porter and pale are full-on expressions of the style. An Imperial for beginners and veterans to enjoy. GLBC has yet to dissapoint me.

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.38/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: thick black body, like ink. Small caramel colored head, that disapated rather quickly.

smell: sweet and very malty, with some roasted barley just coming through, though I had to really try to smell it. There's a slight smoke aroma as well.

taste: Wow! So much more than I was expecting based on the aroma. Tons of smokey malty goodness in here, with a good dose of bitterness to finish it off. There is some of the sweetness that's suggested in the smell at the very begining, but it quickly gives way to the roasted barley flavor.

mouthfeel: I wish this were a little less carbonated, it feels a bit crisp for a imperial stout. Otherwise it feels good going down.

drinkability: Certainly one of the more drinkable imperials I've had. There's nothing overwhelming, and it certainly isn't too rich.

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4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty damn opaque stout that smells like booze, java, kahlua, and cola.
There is an initial spice that ends quickly, giving way to oats, dark chocolate, a myriad of roasted nuts, and raisinettes in the finish. This is all taking place under an implied coffee umbrella.
This is a bit slick in the mouth. By the end of the glass, all traces of head are gone and it looks like I"m drinking ink. and loving it.

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Photo of euskera
4.2/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out jet black into my snifter. Smell is subdued, pleasant sweetness with a little coffee overtone.

Taste is delightful; more reserved that some of the other Imperials I've tasted. Concentrated malts, roasted and sweet, with a little hint of hop bitterness in there for balance. I tasted caramel, even a hint of raisins.

Nice robust mouthfeel and devilishly drinkable. I only wish I had bought more of this. Highly recommended.

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Photo of gimmehead
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apearance: Black with a 1+ finger chocolate milkshake colored head

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate, bitter coffee, black licorice, alcohol

Taste: Rich roasted malts, bitter and slightly burnt coffee, alcohol

Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth, very nice

Drinkability: ABV is very warming,but bitterness takes over. Probably wouldn't drink more than a 4 pack.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.53/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at GLBC's brewpub. A perfectly formed dark tan head sat atop a blacker than black stout. The appearance seems to absorb light, due to its density. When swirled, some residue is left on the glass like a strong whiskey. The aroma was filled with roasted malt, with bitter chocolate, alcohol, and plenty of coffee. A slight smokiness is also present, adding some complexity to the nose. Taste begins very smoothly with lots of malt - big and creamy. Some bitter coffee and burnt malt flavors are apparent as well. Some caramel and chocolate are floating around in there too. Slightly piney but definitely citrous hops make a short-lived appearance near the end before being overthrown by that great roasted aftertaste. A slight alcohol presence adds some warmth to the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is by no means thin, but it is not as fat and chewy and some RISs. A very drinkable RIS, I could seriously enjoy this year-round (hopefully someday this will be offered year-round).

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Photo of maxpower
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night black with a decent brown head that leaves some lacing in my glass, chocolate, coffee, and tobacco aromas. Burnt coffee, chocolate and roasted nutty flavors, full bodied with a thick and creamy mouthfeel, has a nice smokey bitter finish, alcohol very well hidden, drinks like a regular stout, very nice.

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Photo of bnuttz
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a small quickly fading tan head into my chalice. Smells of coffee, chocolate, toffee, and caramel, with a slight bit of herbal hops popping through. Taste is sweet at first. Sticky caramel and bitter coffee dominate the taste. There is a definite dark chocolate and molassses presence here also. Some piney hops poke through at the end, but are not overpowering as they are in some impys. There is an ever so slight alcohol presence with this one too. The bitter coffee lingers in the mouth, as this one coats nicely but yet remains somewhat thin. I really would love to drink these all the time, one of my top imperial stouts.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.13/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BA cmaruschak for scoring me some of this from all the central Ohio stout hounds! It was well worth the wait.

Presentation: Cool little rundown on the side of the bottle stating that it is brewed in honor of the big power grid failure that hit the Great Lakes region in 2003. States that "for freshest taste please enjoy by Juy 11/05". I always feel like saving a bottle for the day after their recommendation out of spite but I need to get over that little tendency.

Appearance: Inky and syrupy black pour developing into a billowy and tightly carbonated tan head.

Smell: Vinous notes, dark dried fruit, and a hint of blended alcohol and cocoa to finish.

Taste: Bitter chocolate and black malts up front with some powdered sugar, chocolate, molasses, and raisins. A drying alcohol finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and dry with a whole lot of character.

Drinkability: Dangerously deceptive. The alcohol is hidden well. This is a great stout. It tastes very fresh and raw. I'm going to lay a few down and see what time does to this one. This is definitely another fine offering from one of my favorite breweries!

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.47/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated best before July 11, 05. Served at 55°. Pours an opaque jet black color with a brown, short-lived head. Intense espresso nose with notes of black-strap molasses, chocolate and plum brandy. The flavor is equally as intense; black patent and chocolate malts, espresso, bakers' chocolate, treacle, and plum all wrapped up in a chewy mouthfeel that is finished nicely with the further bittering quality of hops. Very flavorful. Drinkability is actually great for a 9%er. Well done, GLBC!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.55/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was happy to find this at my local the other day. Deep dark charcoal night pour into my tulip glass with a nice dark tan bubbly head. No light is getting through here..bring your candles. Big molasses, bitter coffee, sweet cocoa, dark fruits and some piney hops. The nose is very bold and rich...inviting.

First sip brings a big, bold burnt chocolate maltiness mixed with coffee, rich molasses, hints of vanilla and a nice bitter piney hoppiess. Wow. A cornucopia of flavors explode across the palate....this is just a damn fine imperial stout. There's a nice interplay between the sweet and bitter flavors as well.

Superbly lush, full bodied, creamy and thick. This is how I like my stouts!! It's a joy to drink this brew, especially after a hard days work. The alcohol is well hidden and I could easily see having a few of these. Another great brew from Great Lakes...highly recommended to all fans of imperial stouts.

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Photo of JLShepard
2.89/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: A pleasantly sweet coffee aroma is the first thing that catches your nose. It is followed up by a fairly strong smell of alcohol.

Appearance: Black as black can be, this is a very dark beer, which allows no light to pass through. It pours with a nice, half-inch deep head. Unfortunately, the head dissipates quickly, leaving a few islands of bubbles and a crown of bubbles around the top.

Taste: Chocolate and coffee flavors start this beer off, though they are quickly replaced by the strong taste of alcohol with a faint metallic edge to it. It fades into a pleasant hop finish.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth the whole way down, though with the failing of being a bit too thin.

Overall, a nice example of the style, though I'm not a fan of Imperial Stouts, as the alcohol taste is usually too strong for my liking. It is, however, a beautiful beer to look at, and reminisce about the power outage this beer commemorates.

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Photo of foXXtail
4.18/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed to commemorate the great Northeast Power outage of August 2003, this beer celebrates good old fashioned neighborhood porch parties.

The Blackout Stout, as the name suggests, pours as inky purple black as I remember the sky being that night - even holding the beer up directly to the light allows none to pass through. Mounded on top of the midnight-hewed brew is a generous dollop of tan head. The head fades slowly, and still provides full coverage at the bottom of the glass. The nose is earthy - with lots of chocolate and espresso scents, all headed up by a strong vodka smell. There is no mistaking the high alcohol kick of this brew.

The taste is quite strong. Alcohol hits first, backed up by a slight grassiness. Right behind the surge of vodka flavor is strong chocolate and burnt espresso. The strong grassy hop flavor brings up the back. Also prevalent in the taste is a metallic flavor, like copper, and a strange caramel maltiness. The beer provides perfect carbonation for the style, but is far too thin.

A terrific brew that doesn't "eat like a meal."

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

Black out light is what this does, nothing penetrates its oily blackish body. Grows a very thin cocoa brown cap thats foamy thick and thins out slowly leaving a slight skim and a good collar. Lace is thin and subsides some glaring oily spots but mostly a small curtain sticking close to the collaring is what continues to keep.

Aroma is of fresh coffee with tiny bits of chocolate and maintains a roasty deepness.

Taste is roasty, semi-heavy in the front, heavier as it goes with chocolate depositing hints as the roasty black malts and coffee sooth their way across the palate. Darker fruit notes of raisin and plum supersede some empty areas where the roast and coffee miss. Some darker toffee too. Its got a good hold from front to back thats quite nice to undertake. Finishes complex with a slight drying mix of piney burnt hop flavor, more roast, some dark fruit notes, and slight coffee. Overall, quite soothing and smooth with just a nudge of alcoholic warmth after each sip and/or gulp.

Feel is favorable in smoothness, not quite as thick as I wanted, but clean, slightly oily/creamy, roasty, and well bodied in about a medium/heavy porter sense. Great finisher with a heavy set return and warmth.

Drinkable and dangerously so. Gone from my glass quickly with this stuff. So smooth and inviting with nice rich flavors that aren't, either, to heavy or to shy, its nearly perfect in that regards. It gains a heavier hold as it wavers off after each sip. A good quality to have; has that nice heavy return of chocolate and roast thats killer to just cinder in your throat. A fine Imperial stout.

Many large border-crossing thanks to cokes for the samples!

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Photo of Jason
3.93/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with a freshness date on the label. I am sure this beer will do well many months after the freshness date has expired.

Appearance: Thickly cropped tan head forms with a trail of spider web like lace. Midnight black color lets no light through.

Smell: Hints of charcoal and black currants with a faint smokiness in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Creamy dark chocolate flavor is dominant with burnt grain and dark roasted coffee within. Hops are a bit dim with some oily residue and bitterness in the back end.

Drinkability & Notes: Not bad, not bad at all … had to pair this with some chocolate and it did very well with the dark chocolate.

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Photo of clvand0
4.08/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A friend brought this to a club meeting for us to sample. Came in a 12 ounce bottle Pours a dark color with a tall off-white head that sticks around for a while and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is of dark malts and lots of coffee. A little bit of sweetness too. The flavor is thick and malty. Lots of coffee. Great mouthfeel and drinkability.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.37/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to WVBeergeek for this great beer.

Aroma shows wonderful complexity. Deep rich fruity quality that surrounds roast, coffee, dark malt. This aroma is outstanding.

Black with 1/4 to 1/2 inch head that's dark and steady. Very attractive.

Flavor matches aroma, but carries with it more of the roast. Slight burnt coffee character. Slight fruitiness (but less than the aroma). Sweetness that's intense, but not excessive and lets the roast dominate. Don't detect much alcohol in flavor, but feel it later.

Wonderfully and appropriately rich, but maybe not quite as full as others in this category. Carbonation adds to the softness.

This beer blew me away immediately. Easily one of the more immediately accessible beers for this style. Might not have as intense character as others in this style, but overall an extremely pleasurable beer.

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Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.2 out of 5 with 3,582 ratings