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Rackhouse Ale | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

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BA SCORE
4.13/5
Exceptional
77 Ratings
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TurdFurgison on 10-27-2005

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,867
Reviews:
39
Ratings:
77
pDev:
8.96%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
5
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of beercanman
5/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of SacoDeToro
4.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cask conditioned and on tap at the GABF.

The beer had a nice medium amber color with a small off-white head.

The beer was billed by Great Lakes as an American strong ale aged in bourbon barrels.

This beer had and outstanding and truly unique aroma. It was like a fresh whiff of sweet bourbon with notes of maple, vanilla, and malt in the background. No hops on the nose.

The flavor of the beer followed suit of the aroma. A rich caramel maltiness was mingled with a predominant bourbon flavor. The beer transitioned between flavors of malt, vanilla, maple, and bourbon with aplomb. The were a very slight amount of hops to prevent things from getting too sweet although the beer seemed perfectly attenuated. The beer was advertised as 9.5% abv with a scant 12 IBUs.

The carbonation was fine and tight. The mouthfeel was delicately creamy, which further added to the tremendous balance of complimentary flavors.

This beer was truly unique and outstanding. I'd never had a bourbon barrel aged beer until this and I'll never forget it. As an avid fan of bourbon brands like A.H. Hirsch and Van Winkle, this beer had some of the finest and purest bourbon accents.

 1,177 characters

Photo of nuttyviking
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

At Great Lakes Brewing, had a small shot of this amazing brew. So much bought a growler to take home to CT to share with my friends in Willimantic.

This strong ale at 9.5 or 10.0 or whatever is a mean brew, heat ensues in the body immediately after drinking. This is an alcohol bomb, but with tons of flavor and character.

Carbonation, none really

Head, slight to none

Nose, major aroma to this brew, so full of character, the bourbon aroma hits you and yet the malts and grains are very apparent.

Flavor is so subtle, after the nose you expect to be hit by booze, but no, an amazingly light rich character, plenty of depth, rolls across the tongue warming as it goes. The aftertaste is wonderful, a rich coat in your throat.

I guess they know how to cask age a beer in Cleveland.

 788 characters

Photo of MattPfeifer
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of MichaelJones
4.75/5  rDev +15%

Photo of adamette
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served into a snifter from tap at the brewery by Steve, day bartender at GLBC. This is the beer that replaced BA Blackout Stout once it was finished. I have waited about three weeks to taste it since I was not able to attend the release party in which it was first served. From the sign hanging on the bar..."Sweet Strong Ale aged in Oak Bourbon Barrels." 10.0% ABV also listed on the same sign at the bar.

A Opaque medium brown body under a nice light brown creamy head. Lacing is like a curtain on the inside of the snifter. Interesting, deep, inviting look. 4.5

S The bourbon is in the forefront for sure. Some malt sweetness is able to be smelled as well. The beer is devoid of any hops smell to my nose. 4.5

T Light roast malt lays the groundwork for this bourbon bomb of a beer. No hops tasted by me but I am quite sure that they are in there. Expertly brewed and one of GLBC's best. 5.0

M Nice and syrupy, sticky, just like I like this style to be. Make no mistake, this is one huge beer with the bourbon notes, the big malt presence and the alcohol content which would have been hidden well aside from the huge dose of bourbon! 5.0

D Certainly every drop of this will be savored and enjoyed but it is a sipper, meant to be enjoyed one per night. I will still rate it as "good" though due to its wonderful depth, complexity, interest making is such that I will drink every drop! 4.0

 1,394 characters

Photo of phattysbox
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brought a growler of this fine brew to a tasting in NYC... Split and shared among friends.

Growler was opened with a slow hiss - this beer was not carbonated very strongly when it was filled, but it maintained what carbonation it had very well. Poured into Unibroue tulip glass and the color resembles that of a rose(wine) - reddish to orange and light in color. Very clear. Small 1/4 inch head that recedes leaving a very thin lace.

Smell is AMAZING. Bourbon soaked sweet fruit hits the nose with undertones of vanilla, toffee, and oak. Great nose that comes off kind of boozy but a great way. Some malt here and there but the barrel really comes out in the nose.

With the smell all Bourbon I was really expecting a bourbon bomb but it was pleasantly subdued in the taste. Sweet candy fruit with a strong malt backbone. Caramel, raisins soaked in bourbon, and grainy huskiness in the aftertaste. Really complex and ABV is really not noticable.

Mouthfeel is average meduim body. Doesn't quite coat the tongue but definitely leaves its mark. Low carb. served this beer well.

Dangerous drinkability and not as sweet as I expected from other malt bombs that are out there. Well crafted and an outstanding brew.

 1,212 characters

Photo of Booner818
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of vrbulldog22
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of throwback
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of scott2269
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of greg4579
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of AlphaKingKegger
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'd like to Thank myself for cracking this one open. I truly am generous beyond all belief. From Mr. Stewarts noggin:

A: Beautiful deep amber color with a light head with thin ring around the edge.

S: Woody sweet vanilla bourbony goodness. Enough said.

T: Vanilla and wood smack your palate as a pleasant sweetness rides underneath.

M: Medium body with just enough carbonation to keep me happy.

D: I still have to finish this growler, and I'm definitely not dreading it. I'm glad this is a once a year pub exclusive because I think it makes it that much better.

 570 characters

Photo of kels
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a golden apricot shade. It is moderately cloudy, with light carbonation visible throughout. A good, solid ring of white, watery lacing skims the top of the beer and leaves behind light spots of lace on the walls of the glass.

Aroma is really complex and pleasantly mouthwatering. It is a little tart and almost wine-like with hints of grapes and herbs and a slight pungency that reminds me of tannins. There is a lightly toasted malt presence along with warm, earthy oak.

Taste echoes the aroma. It is slightly tart, slightly bitter and heavy on the alcohol. The fruity sweetness of tart, chewy cherries or apricots underlies a toasty, oaky grain and slight hop presence. There's an initial stickiness that fades with the heat of the alcohol to a dry warmth. The weight is moderate with a brightly carbonated finish.

This beer is incredibly drinkable, to a fault. It is really tasty and unique, and it goes down much too easily.

 945 characters

Photo of PenguinBeerFan
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Oily brown. Thick and syrupy with tight lacing. Very little head.

S - Atomic malt bomb, with a little bit of oak behind it. A little boozy smelly. Nothing outstanding, certainly nothing offensive.

T - Sweet, sweet, sweet. The oak aging manages to mellow it out just enough that it isn't sickly. This is a malt lovers dream.

M - Dense, syrupy, thick and luscious.

D - For 9.5% ABV (I'd wager it stronger than as listed which seems to be the case for GLBC's pub exclusives) this goes down easy. With as much malt as this brings to the table I'd expect it to get sickly after one or two, but the flavors from the barrel really bring this one full circle into something I can tear at to my hearts content.

 709 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a dark amber color and a modest head that, nevertheless, laces the chalice

Smell: Bourbon and a bit of caramel

Taste: Starts with a sweet caramel flavor that builds in intensity and then, whoosh, the bourbon arrives at mid-palate and provides an oaky bourbon-filled sweet finish

Mouthfeel: Full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Very subtly handled; just enough bourbon to make things interesting but you can still taste the beer

 507 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap draft of 2013 rack house. Pours a light Amber. Has a sweet and sour aroma. Flavor is tart, slightly sweet and very smooth. Leaves a nice sour after taste without the bitterness. Overall delicious

 202 characters

Photo of gobuccos
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sholland119
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to unclejedi for sending this one along!

A-Pours a cloudy pale brown amber, almost like iced tea. Not much head or lacing.

S-Bourbon, oak, white grapes and pineapple. Very nicely woody and sweet.

T-Much like the nose, the sweetness and wood dominate. Lots of white grape, mild citrus and pineapple with a bit of boozy warmth.

M-Medium bodied and lightly syrupy.

D-Very nice. This one slides right down and leaves me ready for another.

HV

 454 characters

Photo of jds16
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Ohiovania
4.31/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of treyrab
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

We got really lucky with this one. As we had lunch at Bocktown we were greeted by a Great Lakes Brewery Representative who provided us samples of three of their beers. They had told us that later that night Rackhouse would be on tap at Fatheads. With only a 1/6 barrel being tapped, we raced down to get a glass.

A: Poured into a snifter all the way to the rim, yielding no head. You could see a few bubbles of white/eggshell color, but nothing substantial. Perfectly clear mahogany and ruby red hues. Some amber and brick colors as well.

S: When cold, the only thing that could be made of the smell was bourbon and vanilla from the barrel aging. Albeit, that element is minot. Not a bourbon bomb at all, but very smooth and balanced. As it warms, the beer really shines. Vanilla, bourbon, rum-soaked dates and raisins, toffee, and brown sugar. Again, subtle and not overpowering, but well blended.

T: Similar to the smell, this got exponentially better as it warmed. The beer was complex, but in a subtle way. Not as powerful as some bourbon aged beers, but definitely more balanced and well blended. Nice rum-soaked dark fruits, vanilla and bourbon, chocolate, and toffee.

M/D: Nice and creamy. I drank two glasses with no problem. Could have enjoued a third or fourth as well.

 1,283 characters

Photo of robroc
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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Rackhouse Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.13 out of 5 with 77 ratings
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