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

BA SCORE
96
world-class
1,815 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:
1,815
Reviews:
423
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,363
Gots:
339
For Trade:
33
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,815 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Darkness snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a frothy 1.5 finger frappachino colored head with big bubbles at the top and moderate retention. Beer is a comparatively thin, opaque black. Lacing is stringy with some spottiness and moderate stick.

S: Nose is very subtle for a -bal aged beer. Muted chocolate, cocoa powder, and roasted malt. Next to no booziness or heat. Slight touch of brownie and molasses.

T: Opens sweet milk chocolate, molasses, honey, and a slight bourbon heat. Brown sugar, fudge brownie, sweet liquorice, prunes, raisins, and coca-cola towards the middle. A tickle of bourbon at the end followed by a brown sugar and honey finish and a sweet, chocolate aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Filmy and oily in the mouth but not really heavy or sticky. Goes down super smooth with very little heat considering the abv. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers.

D: One of the easiest drinking -bal aged imperial stouts that I've come across, this is a completely different animal compared to the regular blackout stout which I wasn't a huge fan of. Not fantastically complex but it has all the sweet, roasty, bourbony character that I need. Well worth searching out and I can't wait to see how this one develops.

 1,306 characters

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

A - Pours pitch black, small coffee head, leaves pretty fast. Ring remains. Webby sticky lacing.

S - Coffee up front, followed by chocolate and booze.

T - Booze is evident, silky chocolate and coffee notes.

M - Good balance, medium to heavy body, not as much carb as I would have liked.

D - Would tire pretty quick, regardless of how good it is.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this at a recent tasting.

A: pours dark brown, some light passes through, thin head, some lacing

S: nose features a considerable amount of oak up front. The bourbon character is there and features notes of vanilla and molasses. Chocolate and raisins come through towards the finish.

T: oak and bourbon up front, lots of vanilla and chocolate. It seems as if the barrel aging has really transformed this beer- having difficult tasting the base beer. Finish is dry. This has awesome balance for a barrel aged stout...the bourbon is in now way overpowering.

MF: a little thinner than expected, or I should say thinner than I remember the regular Blackout Stout being. Carbonation is mellow.

D: This has exceptional drinkability for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Lots of flavor, ABV goes undetected. Great brew!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, brew3crew!

Black throughout with a very small dark brown head. Not quite as thick and viscous as some beers within the style, though this is still quite thick. Leaves irregular, dotted lines of stick down the glass. Very pretty and appropriate for the style.

The aroma is rich and decadent with lots and lots of chocolate. There's only a faint trace of bourbon barrel in the aroma, but it's not really missed. The aroma is complete, rich, and decadent as is. Mild roast, slight coffee, and just a hint of alcohol heat. Complete.

The flavor is simply astounding. This is like liquid chocolate brownies. When I think of FTowne's wife's chocolate brownies, this is what I think of. Layers upon layers of rich, bitter, sweet, earthy chocolate. Still, the barrel character is minimal, but it's not missed.

Medium to full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Slightly creamy.

If I was given this blind, I may not even acknowledge the barrel. That being said, this is a chocolate lover's dream and I can't wait for my next sip...this beer is fantastic.

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Photo of jakea
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of koopa
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from a nice BA thanks!

Appearance: Very dark brown / borderline black body with a nice dark brown crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: A good amount of bourbon and sweet oak over some roast malt.

Taste: Sweet oak dominates, followed by roast malt, mild chocolate notes and some bourbon...the exact opposite of the nose!

Mouthfeel: Disappointing until it warms ups. Then you get a body that is on the fuller side of medium with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good considering the strength.

I didn't like it as much as I was hoping to but its a solid brew.

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Photo of durlta
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DIPAFAN
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Moses_Malone
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of chrismattlin
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of nrbw23
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a black color with a thin tan colored head and leaves little lacing.

S- Right off the bat bourbon all over the place, followed by a wood smell, sweet chocolate, touch of darker fruits, roasted malts and cream. Really awesome smell.

T- Again bourbon very good. Right on with the nose again. Everything is balanced out really well.

M- Medium to full in body, creamy and right on with the carbonation.

D- Had this at the pub and drank two of them and it was so easy to drink. I wish I could of made it up there when the bottles were for sale.

 553 characters

Photo of Exiled
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

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

22 0z. Bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Opaque black in color. A thin but tight tan head pours one finger thick and settles into a micro bubble ring around the edges of the glass. Thin sticky lacing.

S: Roasted coffee bean. Dark chocolate. Dark fruit. Vanilla. Charred wood. Bourbon.

T: Tastes of dark roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate dominate the front end of this brew. A soft hop bite tickles the tongue and is followed by balancing caramel malts. Sweet dark fruits are taken over by a hint of vanilla and raw earth. Flavors of charred oak and a warm bourbon finish.

M: Silky smooth and full bodied. Minimal carbonation. Warming and dry.

D: A richly complex elixir. The multitude of flavors are well balanced and the higher alcohol content is well hidden. Aging did a ton for this brew. Recommended.

 819 characters

Photo of harrymel
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2013

I'm a huge fan of Blackout and I am happy to have this one in my hands. It's been a want of mine for quite some time that a gracious local BA put into my hands.

It's black as it's namesake and has a central pillow and flanking ring of mocha foam. Smells of graham, oak, toasted malts, residually melted sugars, a hint of craft caramel, some vanilla, alcohol and raw oats. Flavor follows suit: malts, oak, vanilla, oak, leathery, a bit of fig, a solid molasses undertone (nothing too overpowering, just a complement), and some nougat. Nearly full bodied with slightly hi carb and a semi dry finish. This a really tasty beer. I'm glad to have had it, and I would drink it again for certain.

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Photo of BB1313
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. I've had this in the past. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours jet black, mocha head which fades and not overwhelming lacing or retention. Smells like a chocolate chip cookie. Lots of dark chocolate, vanilla, expresso, bourbon, oak/wood. Wow, this is alot boozier than I recall from the past. I always got very subtle bourbon notes, but it's very noticeable in this vintage. Dark chocolate dominates the flavors along with more oak and bourbon. Bittersweet. Mouthfeel is nice and on the lighter side; not heavy and well carbonated. Although the alcohol is noticeable and it finishes hot, it's very tasty and enjoyable. This makes a great sipper.

Great stout which will benefit from time. 2012 vintage is boozier than previous vintages I've had. Age this one!

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.46/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Danny1217
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of campfirebrew
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of wvsabbath
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black as night, nice 1 inch foamy head, and plenty of lacing,

Smell - Whiskey/bourbon, Roasty malts, vanilla, raisin, coffee, chocolate and some brown sugar/molasses.

Taste - First sip is bourbon heavy. Plenty of dark malts, coffee and chocolate notes as well. Has a nice hop bite to it, along with sweet brown sugar, molasses and vanilla. Oak comes in near the finish along with some alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel - Bourbon coats tongue along with coffee and malts. Palate gets hops, chocolate and lots of vanilla. Aftertaste is coffee, whiskey and oak/malty.

Overall - Really nice beer, the bourbon isn't overpowering at all, but its plenty strong enough. Nice balance, all the other flavors stand out well. The biggest gripe is the price. It works out at 8$ for a single 12 oz bottle. I still prefer kbs over this, and that's around 5$ a bottle. That along with it being a brewery only release for purchase is the only real downfalls.

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

Look: black as night with a 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention some film on the top with some spotty dots of lace

Smell: right away the bourbon greets you and that is then followed up by some chocolate fudge some slight coffee notes and finishes with a nice vanilla sweetness

Taste: much the same as the nose but it follows a slightly different pattern. Upfront is the chocolate brownie and roasted coffee flavors. That is followed up by some oak and vanilla and then the beer finishes with a splash of bourbon. Fantastic

Mouthfeel. Thick body and mild carbonation

Overall. This is an exceptional BA stout one of my favorite fresh. Highly recommended

 654 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"2516 Series," which I guess is the same as the 2009 bottling. A million thanks to kels for facilitating this one. Have held onto it as long as I possibly could--it was screaming to finally be released from its glass prison...first sip is a big "cheers!" to Kelley.

Pours a midnight black with super-subtle rust-brown and ruby hues. Head is a light tan but doesn't hang around very long. Turns to a thin crown quickly.

Aroma is a mixture of dark fruit (esp. fig and raisin), touch of alcohol, freshly cut wood, and spent coffee grounds. There wasn't much chill on this, but even with warming it started to recall whiskey each time I brought it to the nose.

Upon the tongue the wood is prominent, and together with the warmth of the alcohol it gives the impression of being as much aligned with whiskey or other spirits as much as it belongs to the beer family. But everything balances out pretty well -- there are liqueur-soaked dark berry, fig and plum elements, a nice helping of vanilla, and a watery milk-chocolate vibe. Leaves a lasting finish, yet again favoring the alcohol and wood.

Texturally it's a smooth, gliding, slick kind of thing...not as thick as many stouts, not as chewy, which makes it particularly easy to drink. A little sticky, and without much carbonation (fine by me).

If I think this was a little underwhelming, that's only because it's ranked so incredibly high on this site. A little too woody and alcoholic, could use more big gooey chocolate, thick sweet cream and coffee characteristics--the stuff of my favorite stouts--but still a good stout? No doubt about it.

 1,601 characters

Photo of Hendrick24
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,815 ratings.
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