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

BA SCORE
96
world-class
1,809 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
1,809
Reviews:
420
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,365
Gots:
340
For Trade:
35
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,809 |  Reviews: 420
Photo of Thorpe429
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Dark Lord Day 2009

A: Good, dark black color without too much head.

S: Sweet, dark malts with a good amount of bourbon.

T: Very nice, and more complex than the nose let on. Plenty of roasted malt with underlying sweetness. The bourbon definitely comes through and coats the palate in a very nice way.

M: Pretty thick without having too much carbonation. A good jolt of alcohol.

D: Very, very nice. Great Lakes can simply seem to do no wrong.

 457 characters

Photo of mothman
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into snifter

Color is black with tan head, very small head. Due to light pour.

Aroma: Sweet caramel and sugar, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, coffee. Amazing how everything flows so well.

Taste: Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, sweet caramel. Very awesome.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, sweet. Near perfect. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Clean.

Overall, one of my new favorite beer. It is really awesome. I am impressed and want more. Very great flavors and extremely drinkable.

 488 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from pochman, courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2009 so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, licorice, roasted malts and chocolate.

T: The taste starts with a hearty roasted malt character that is quickly followed by a good combination of flavors including chocolate, coffee, dark fruit and licorice. The hops presence is extremely mild but is exactly where it should be for this type of beer to provide a good balance. There is a bit of an alcohol sting combined with the barrel-aging essence. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

O: Tasty with good complexity, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, very good representation of style, this is a very good beer to sip on for a very long time.

 1,001 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kegatron
4.24/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours an unassuming, black body with a small white head.

Smell: Chocolatey, caramel-coated dark maltiness with bourbon notes of vanilla, oak, and coconut cream.

Taste: Sweet dark maltiness with a creamy caramel-chocolate taste. Mild sweetness. Growing alcohol warmth. The bourbon kicks in alongside an increased sweetness. Distinct wood hint and a taste of canned coconut cream. Never more than a faint roastiness. Drying, bourbony finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite nice, Great Lakes, but then again so was your original Blackout.

 586 characters

Photo of billab914
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my CBS snifter. It poured pitch black in color with a very thin tan head barely forming around the edges of the glass.

The aroma has some great bourbon flavors to it. I get brown sugar and vanilla mixing with dark chocolate and roasty coffee flavors. The bourbon is a little bold and slightly hot, but it also really compliments the beer well. It's not a perfect aroma, but it's pretty damn good.

The taste shows the dark chocolate and bourbon right off the bat. In the finish more of the vanilla and oak barrel flavors mix with a roasty, coffee and bitter-sweet chocolate flavor. Again, the bourbon is a little hot in the finish but otherwise it's a pretty perfect compliment to the beer.

The mouthfeel is heavy and thick with carbonation being low. It's a really great mouthfeel for the style. Overall it was a great beer. The bourbon was really bold and flavorful in it, but the base beer also got to shine through. All the flavors really came together very well in it. I can't wait to see how this one develops with some age on it. Great beer overall.

 1,092 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

October 2007 release. Purchased at the Great Lakes gift shop. Obliterative onyx with a sliver of sepia along the bottom edge. The three finger crown is the exact color of golden brown sugar and has a creamy solidity about it. Bourbon barrel-aged beers tend not to be lace monsters, but this one is pretty impressive in that regard.

Oddly enough, the aroma isn't bursting at the seams with bourbon. I love the fact that the GL brewers see this ale as an RIS that is accented with whiskey, not completely saturated with it. Dark chocolate, espresso and vanilla bean are joined by exactly the right amount of bourbon. Perfection.

The flavor profile is pretty much as expected. In other words, bourbon whiskey is at least as prominent as stout, without overwhelming the base beer. First impression: this offering is roughly as good as Blackout Stout, but not appreciably better.

For whatever reason, the body/mouthfeel seems to take a hit when a beer is barrel-aged. In any case, this special release doesn't taste as chock full of malt as the standard version. The flavor profile includes chocolate liqueur, ground coffee beans, a surprising amount of vanilla, dark brown sugar, blackstrap molasses and... America's greatest spirit. If I'm not mistaken, the barrels were acquired from the Jim Beam distillery. Good choice. Jim Beam Black is one of my standbys.

As noted above, the mouthfeel falls short of perfection. That doesn't mean, however, that it's less than pleasureable. Great Lakes is one of the best 'mouthfeel breweries' around and they've done themselves proud yet again. Time and warming add a light creaminess to the festivities.

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout combines my second favorite style with my first or second favorite liquor, and is brewed by one of my favorite breweries. How could it fail to be anything less than amazing? Thanks to my brother for securing a double handful of this exceptional ale last autumn. I can't wait until this October when I can replenish my stock. Highly recommended.

 2,030 characters

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Jim for this one! 12oz bottle

A: Pours black, very dark, with a small tan head on top. Decent retention leaving a small ring with patch of foam on top. Very thin sheets of lacing.

S: Mmm, some bourbon and chocolate. There is a hint of vanilla, brown sugar, and a little wood.

T: Upfront some slightly roasty malt and chocolate, while the finish is full of bourbon, vanilla, and oak. The finish is slightly sweet.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. Slightly dry finish.

O: A nice sipping beer. Thinner than most in the style, not thick and syrupy, a little more body I think would have helped. But all in all, a solid BA RIS.

 662 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to the kind BA who sent this one mu way. Another one I had been trying to track down for a while. Twenty Two ounce bottle was served in oversized wine glass at cellar temperature. Consumed on 08/11/2008.

A very dark and very big pour on this one. Poured jet black, with absolutely no light penetrating it whatsoever. Nice tan head about two inches in height came up over the top rather quickly and stayed for a good couple minutes, at which point it decided to settle down into a tin cover of about a half an inch in height that stayed with it until the very end. Lots of sticky side glass lacing on this one just helped to complete the package.

The aroma was very big, and to be honest, much sweeter then I thought it would be. Lots of chocolate notes here on the smell, roasted coffee, hints of bourbon and vanilla as well. Very nice and complex without being terribly overdone. The flavor was much more of the same. Started with a warm rush of bourbon and wood, with touches of vanilla thrown in as well. Rich with lots of lactose flavor and sweet milk chocolate. A smooth, creamy body, very nice carbonation on this one I have to admit. As it warms it starts to mellow a bit, some light alcohol notes in the back and more of a pungent vanilla taste. Woody, with lots of oak like hints mixed in, but again, primarily sweet and not too heavy on the bourbon. A very fine nightcap, I enjoyed this one over the course of several hours and it made a fine sipper next to the TV.

Overall I thought this was a great BA beer. Not the heavy, dripping with bourbon and whiskey tones that you tend to see sometimes, this was much more subdued, with gentle hints layered on top of an already good beer. I would love to get another one to see how this holds up.

 1,773 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to foofaa for sharing this on my birthday, enjoyed chilled from a mug.

The color is black as the name, very thick sandstone head with creamy appearance, lace sticks very well and retention is very good. The smell is bready with slight sweet caramel and vanilla odor with slight roasted and peppery tinged aroma with nice toffee and light bourbon sweet woody nose. The feel is great it starts sweet with mild tannin and full middle with great carbonation adding levity with slight roast and hint of alcohol as it finishes.

The flavor is very full with lots of toffee, cocoa, wood with vanilla and bourbon interwoven with slight coffee and bready flavors from the yeast with a toasted and spiced taste which brings out some dark fruit toward the middle with mild earthy hints of raisin and chocolate toward the finish with oak blending well throughout the flavor. Overall this is a splendid oak aged stout, it satisfied from first taste and I didn't want to drain the glass, but it left me feeling satisfied and it is one of the most drinkable wood aged stouts I have had.

 1,082 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mdfb79
4.3/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 09/25/10 notes. Big thanks to Lunch for bringing this one, I've wanted to try it for a while. Thanks Paul! 2009 Vintage.

a - Pours a dark black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts, chocolate, and oak. Well balanced and very nice.

t - Tastes of bourbon, toasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malts. Hint of oak.

m - Medium body and low carbonation; smooth and easy to drink for a barrel aged RIS.

d - I enjoyed this one a lot, but it was slightly disappointing. Don't get me wrong, this is a great beer, but I don't know how much of an improvement it is on the normal Blackout Stout. We tried BA Sexual Chocolate, Ivan the Terrible, and this in a tasting and I think everyone was in agreement that this was the third in that group. I thought it smelt very good, and again, it is very good and I'd definitely drink it again, but I would try and get another bottle of BA SC or Ivan before another bottle of this.

 993 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Deuane and Sean for sending me bottles of this. Not sure which one I opened. A bottle from 2009.

A: The pour is viscous and black without much in the way of head formation and very little carbonation.

S: A really smooth nose with notes of vanilla, chocolate, oak, whiskey, and maybe some marshmallow.

T: The flavor profile is somewhat heavy on the whiskey, providing nice oak and vanilla notes. The chocolate and roast provide a balance of sweet and bitter.

M: Very lowly carbonated with a full body and somewhat thick and creamy.

D: This is one smooth beer. I can see why everyone talks this one up. I'm very pleased to have an extra in my arsenal.

 664 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.22/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I shared this one on our Black Friday beer trip. I believe it was a 2010.

A - Pours jet black with a small one finger tall head leaving very little lace down the glass.

S - Smells of bourbon, dry oak, dark chocolate, coffee, charred wood, and lots of dark roasted malt. This one smells pretty good.

T - Starts off with a big dose of warm bourbon up front quickly giving way to a mix of chocolate, coffee grounds, tobacco, dark roasted malt, and lots of dry oak tannins. The flavors were all there but it never really took me all the way.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Good balance overall but the booze does take a tole on the pallet over the course of the bottle and it develops a bit of a chalky feel toward the end of the bottle.

O - A very good take on the style. I enjoyed it but compared to say...bourbon barrel plead the 5th, which I had only a short time before this, it just doesn't compare. I wouldn't turn it down in the future, thats for sure.

 983 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TMoney2591
4.32/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Big thanks to Cuzco for this major Want!

Reviewed blind as part of Blind BIF #4. It pours a slick, oily black-brown topped by a relatively short-lived finger or so of khaki foam. The nose comprises chocolate syrup, roasted malts, vanilla, oak, buttercream, caramel, and molasses. On the tongue, chocolate and oak kick up the most dust, followed by whiskey, roasted malts, and a smidgen of vanilla bean.The body is heavy, but still in my medium range, with a light carbonation and a very smooth, lightly chewy feel. Overall, definitely better than the normal Blackout and a damn fine and tasty stout generally-speaking. Great times.

 667 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of ZEB89
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,809 ratings.
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