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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout | Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None

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BA SCORE
4.36/5
Outstanding
1,820 Ratings
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 11-29-2005

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#337
Reviews:
423
Ratings:
1,820
pDev:
8.72%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,362
Gots:
338
Trade:
32
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,820 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours dark, dark brown, a shade away from pitch black.  A finger of khaki foam forms with strong retention.

S: Strong, sweet bourbon is very prominent with milk chocolate and caramel sweetness to accompany.  Roasted malts and slight coffee are certainly in the background, but they help to balance the sweetness a bit.  

T: Again, sweet bourbon is extremely strong, a bit too strong for my taste.  Sweet caramel is also present, though not as strong as in the aroma.  Dark chocolate and very light roasted malts are in the background.  The booze is quite strong and distracting.

M: Relatively thick and creamy.

O: While certainly not bad, this beer is quite boozy and the bourbon is in your face.  I also wish there was more roasted malt and dark chocolate present. Maybe I'll wait a year and re-review.

 818 characters

Photo of T_Hass
3.71/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheBrewo
3.71/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

We pour a brew a color completely deserving of the name “Blackout”. It sits oily and jet black, letting zero light through its center. It holds a one finger head of big coffee colored bubbles, showing decent retention, and receding at a medium pace into a big aggregate covering most of the liquid’s surface. Punctate spots of lacing stick all around the glass. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears relatively active. The aroma gives massive bourbon from the very first whiff, mixing with warming and drying oakiness, milk chocolate nibs, thickly roasted chocolate and brown malts, sweet vanilla cake icing, ethanolic sting, and black cherries. With warmth comes enhanced char, whisky burn, and melted milk chocolate. Our first impression is that the flavoring is very robust, charred, and much more booze-forward than expected. As we sip, the taste opens with the darkest roasted coffee and chocolate malts that give smoke and charcoal, soured acidity, and inherent grainy sweetness. The remainder of the front is filled by dried oaky woodiness, moss, those aromatic, syrupy dark cherries, and white sugar sweetness. The middle comes to a peak with the union of bone chilling booziness, rock salt, and hugely soured char of fire-ruined malts. Pulling to the finish are notes of authentic bourbon heat, rumbles of charred coffee beans, those continuous flashes of white sugars, roasted chocolate malts, rotten molasses, and green grassiness. The aftertaste breathes of bready malts, rum soaked fruitcake, bourbon, charred coffee and chocolate malts, soy sauce, baker’s yeast, and drying wood barreling. The body is full, and the carbonation is lighter. The mouth is coated with oily slickness and sugary stickiness is brushed across the lips, with the booze and burnt malts eventually sucking much of the moisture from the palate. Each sip gives nice slurp, smack, pop, and froth, with slightly lesser creaminess. The abv is appropriate but warming, and the beer is definitely a slow sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this beer was the huge, warming, and inviting nose. While this component of the beer approaches comparability to the top of the heap beers like Bourbon County, the taste strays a bit, focusing much more on the outright presence of booze, and seeing how roasty and charred we could go with the malts. This swings things out of that perfect balance, with loss of necessary sweetness, and what are essentially burnt malts. Sadly this beer marks the rare case where the standard base beer is considerably smoother than the barrel aged version. That being said, this guy sips wells, is certainly palatable, and is a treat for any enthusiast.

 2,690 characters

Photo of Gtreid
3.72/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pretty much black, with slight reddish hues around the edges. Big wet sand colored head, probably close to 3 fingers.

A: Lots o whiskey. Big buorbon notes followed by a complex malt profile that consisted of chocolate, roast, and earth.

T: The forward whiskey flavor leads way to chocolate, vanilla, caramel, earthy hops, and a slight coffee note. Finshes pretty boozy, sweet, and slightly dry.

M: Way too high carbonation here. Very sharp on the palate, not nearly smooth enough. Heavy body.

O: Although this is a solid BA stout, it is not near the top of the list. I liked it, just didn't love it. The overcarbonation was the brews downfall. Skal.

 693 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
3.72/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this 2009 release bomber from a nice new trader shrxxm216, thanks brett!

A: Pours a dark black color though slightly thin with a slow arriving khaki colored one finger head that reduces down to just a tiny rim and not really any lacing.

S: Smells awesome, like a triple chocolate cookie, milk and dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, even some nutmeg, tobacco

T: Tastes similar to the smell, but not nearly as pleasant - lots of chocolate both milk and dark, roasted malts, but less vanilla, oak, tobacco flavors - a slight boozy taste...this really just tastes like a mess of flavor

M: This is my biggest disappointment with this beer and maybe it would be better on tap, but it's so much thinner than I would ever want a top notch imperial stout to be. This is close porter territory for me. I'm guessing that barrel aging thinned it out some. The carbonation is so low that this is almost like a cask ale.

D: It doesn't really feel like a BIG beer, but there is a slight alcohol flavor and it just doesn't hold up to my expectations for flavor and mouthfeel

 1,079 characters

Photo of ChefAndy555
3.72/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of Ryan011235
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an E&J Cask & Cream glass on 1/1611

2516 Series

Pours a cola brown that settles dark. When held to the light it reveals deep hues of ruby; similar to grape juice in that respect. One and a half fingers of loose, tan colored foam that immediately began to fizzle out from the inside. Thin skim of retention. Good lace.

Though it doesn't smell bad, the nose seems of the timid order. Musty oak & soft vanilla permeate an otherwise restrained base beer. Hints of earthy hops in the mid-section. Moderate roasted notes lie beyond with subtle undertones of chocolate, coffee & a tangy twinge. No booze.

One sip brings an array of clustered, disheveled flavors all clamoring for attention. Let's see if I can make some sense of the madness. The base beer is in good standing, offering familiar notes of smooth, roasted chocolate, modest earthy hops & hints of coffee. Possibly the barrel is what's muddying up the mix; what with charred oak & sweet whiskey heat that carries the finish. The stout & the barrel are uncomfortable bedfellows in this instance. The culmination is too sweet.

Full bodied & appropriately viscous with gritty underpinnings. Moderate carbonation for the style; has a bit of a kick but isn't too prickly or brash. Finishes hot & slick with barrel & roasted chocolate at odds once again.

Honestly, I am a bit bummed with this one; it's sorely lacking integration, in my opinion. This is the first time I've had this beer so I have no prior vintage by which to compare. Perhaps some time will put it at ease; then again, perhaps not. As is, it's good but far from great.

 1,604 characters

Photo of punkrkr27
3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Inky black pour with a small, short lived, tan head. Mildly chocolaty aroma with a hint of dark fruit and bourbon. Rich milk chocolate flavor with hints of espresso, dark fruit, toasted almond, and a nice smoky bourbon kick on the end. The body is wonderfully full, velvety and decadent with soft carbonation. Not immensely complex, but great balance.

 351 characters

Photo of McNazz
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of WesMantooth
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is one of a few barrel aged beers in which I prefer the regular version better. I just think it drinks way too sweet and the body has a little bit too much carbonation giving it a soapy feel. It also smells a lot like soy sauce. I would guess that this is a Jack Daniels barrel. It tastes more like cheap whisky instead of good bourbon. I also notice a lot more black licorice than in the base beer. Still above average, but pretty disappointed.

 450 characters

Photo of tarheels86
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

651mL 2009 ed courtesy of beeranddogs. The pour is clear cola, not black, with ruby highlights. The beer is almost the opposite of normal Blackout in that you have to really coax a head out of this thing. Even swirling, pouring from ten stories high; the head is about a quarter inch of yellowish tan foam that has okay retention and leaves little swathy lace. I understand that barrel aged beers may have less carbonation and head retention, but after the beer is finished in the barrel, it gets put back into the brite tank for conditioning in the bottle. So it should have good retention and rise up healthily. But the pour is dismal, making it hard to get a big aroma out of the beer. The muted bourbon first comes across a bit oxidized, slight red apples, lots of cocoa butter, and marzipan. As it warms, the nose comes into play with big bourbon, coconut, vanilla. It is quite mellowed out but very apparent. The taste is thinning, a bit watery. Really lacks the richness and bitterness of normal Blackout. There is definitely milk chocolate, warming bourbon, slight oak, lots of vanilla and cream. But the body is not well integrated. Very little carbonation doesn’t help the mouthfeel and lack of bitterness makes the body rely on vanilla and bourbon with no drying oak, no spicy oak, no spicy alcohol even. Just sort of a sweet mess that is hard to fall in love with. 11/8/2010 8/3/7/4/15=3.7

 1,403 characters

Photo of themaj
3.74/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Schlais
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of farnold
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Beercanman1
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.75/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of beercanman
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Durb777
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of ajzy
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Romulux
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of HopsintheSack
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of SourAddict
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Photo of Daffron24
3.75/5  rDev -14%

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.36 out of 5 with 1,820 ratings
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