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

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BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Ohio, United States | website

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
Reviews:
419
Ratings:
1,792
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,372
Gots:
349
For Trade:
35
User Reviews
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,792
Photo of sonicdescent
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice deep brown that appears black without light, leaving a nice creamy tan head and good lacing.

Smell is fantastic. Bourbon is present but not overwhelming over the already fantastic Blackout smell, chocolate, coffee, cream.

Taste is really great as well, pretty much an accurate mirror of the smell and just the right amount of bourbon flavor.

Mouth is a little more thin that I would have liked and it doesn't quite coat the mouth, but the carbonation is low and right.

Drinkability is good, I can't wait to get back out to Ohio to pick up some more when it hits. Blackout is one of if not my one favorite "easy" to get imperial stout, this is a damn good version of it.

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Photo of iadler
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks for exitmusic00 bringing this over. '10 bottle poured into two tulips.

A- Pours a dark black with a two finger mocha head that dissipates into a thin cap with minimal lacing

S- Freshly baked flour-less chocolate cake with caramel, vanilla bean, dark fruits, bourbon and roasted malt.

T- Big dark chocolate notes, with with slightly bitter coffee beans, bread, caramel and roasted malt. Bourbon is present, but very well blended with the other flavors.

M- Medium carbonation with a medium body. Finishes a bit roasted. The mouthfeel could be a bit thicker.

O- Very impressed with this beer. The bourbon was noticeable but not overpowering by any means. Really well balanced and a easy drinking beer with no sign of the high ABV.

Thanks Matt!

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

A - Pours a deep dark black with a dark tan head

S - Strong smells of dark chocalte, molases, and just overall sweet

T - Deep chocolate, molases, and the taste of oak and the dack ground of whiskey. Perfectly designed as they had intended. During the middle of this beer, as it warmed up, I swear it tasted exactly like a Entemans Chocolate brownie. (the brownies from the display at the end of the isle.)

M - Thick and creamy. Sharp bitterenss at the end.

D - Only one of these bottles at a time. This is definetly a sipping beer for those cold winter nights, and will surely warm you up.

WAY TO GO GREAT LAKES!!!

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

200th (Last) Review

Tap @ Coles 10 oz. pour

A: Midnight black in color, caramel colored lacing, no more than a few centimeters in length. Aesthetically pleasing on the eyes.

S: Bourbon, chocolate, coffee bean, heat, vanilla bean, charcoal.

T: The bourbon and the heat of the alcohol give way first. Upon intake, you get the backlash of the coffee and the vanilla together, which is superb.

M: High viscosity, chewy, big tannin on the palate that lingers with a sting. The star.

O: This was my Whale. Complete Satisfactory!

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Photo of MrDanno96
4.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

January 2012 Vintage from the bottle.

A: Dark as night with about a finger of tan head. A decent amount of foamy lacing.

S: Bourbon and woodiness, with very faint hints of vanilla and roasted malt. Chocolately notes come through as the brew warms. Not quite as in your face as other BBA stouts, but still good.

T: Roasted malt and bitter chocolate are actually almost just a prominent as the bourbon barrel. Again not as in your face as most barrel aged brews, but very good balance.

M: Barely full bodied, which is a rarity for a barrel aged stout - they're usually thick and syrupy. It works for this beer, though, since it isn't as big as many other barrel aged beers. Alcohol is apparent, but does not interfere.

O: A very good beer. This was the first time I had had this in its bottled form (living in Cleveland, it isn't too hard to get some on draft around release time). I like the fresh bottle a little more than the fresh tap. A little more balance, not as much alcohol presence (though there is still some). Not quite as good as some of the elite BBA stouts like BCBS, but a great beer nonetheless. The Ohio 12% cap on abv probably does not help Great Lakes in this respect, but they turn out amazing beer anyway.

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

Sampled pour from a 12 oz bottle from the 2015 batch. Pours nearly black with deep rich brown around the edges. About 1/4 inch of khaki head on top of this moderately viscous brew. Nose is a combination of brown sugar, molasses and booze - the booze notes dominate. Vanilla, brown sugar and of course bourbon dominate the taste. Bourbon contributes to a warming finish.

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Photo of franksnbeans
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out black as night with a mohogany hue. Big cocoa head dies slow and leaves sheets of lacing. The nose is big on chocolate, bakers chocolate, a little toffee like note and a hint of bourbon. Taste starts off with big chocolate followed by a long lingering bourbon finish but not boozy. Full in the mouth and a true sipper. A tasty brew.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

PatronWizard...for the crap you give me, I still have to thank you for this incredible beer.

A: Dark and black liquid that displayed a nice tan looking head. Lacing was good as well.

S: Wow! An incredible and robust coffee aroma along with a good amount a oak presence.

T: Again...Wow! Flavor profile is dominated by a espresso/coffee character along with hints of chocolate and caramel. This beer is also bourbony (bad spelling...I know), but not overwhelming like the KBS; blends in very well with the rest of the flavors.

M: Full-body with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: At 9% ABV, this beer hides the alcohol very well. The flavor and aroma profile is also very awesome as well.

Overall: One of those beers that you have to say "Wow!" to. The aroma made me excited, as did the taste. A must try...seriously. Cheers!!!!

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Photo of LAp
4.49/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap in a 12oz snifter. Opaque black with a half-to-one finger mocha head. Nose is sweet bourbon. Palate is bourbon and chocolate (little cocoa though - very little bittersweet). Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, solidly done. Overall, this is a great beer, but it's hard to shake the feeling that this beer owes that fact more to the style in which it resides than the brewery itself. The palate is somewhat monotonous, but the notes it relies upon are deep and very rich (reminiscent almost of KBS, though not as well executed). The profile intrinsic to the style's palate is hard to argue with. Great Lakes didn't make anything overwhelmingly groundbreaking here, but it is a respectable brew that fits well in an intrinsically outstanding style of beer.

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Photo of gonzo46and2
5/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Chris for bringing this one to the tasting at Matt's this weekend.

Pours a black that nearly no light can penetrate.

Aroma is wonderful. There's a big bourbon presence with the normal aroma of an Imperial Stout. Chocolate, caramel, coffee, bread, and brown sugar.

Taste is off the charts! Sweet cocoa, bitter chocolate, coffee, molasses, and a huge bourbon profile.

Mouthfeel is thick, sticky and sweet.

This was probably the best stout I've ever had. I can't wait to get my hands on some more of this heavenly nectar.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass, revealing deep black body under a thin and slightly airy-looking head. Very little lacing. I would have expected the head on this brew to be a bit... thicker. Smells awesome, though, with chocolate, toasted coconut, candied bacon and a little burnt caramel on the nose. Very nice smells, sweet-suggesting.

Tastes very sweet and very hazlenutty (frangelico?) with milk chocolate and caramel presence throughout. Slightly toasted. Lots of vanilla, some coconut milk richness but body is on the lighter side of heavy and flows easily from the alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is a little thinner and only a touch syrupy, but this drinks like a big beer: a flavorful sipper.

Overall it's pretty good. I am always amazed at the variations of RIS offered. This one is somewhere in the middle of all those.

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Photo of tjthresh
3.52/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Black. No real head that I saw. At least it surely didn't last too long. Typical BA imperial stout aromas. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, some roast. Typical BA flavors. Bourbon, vanilla, oak, chocolate, some roast. Medium body. Silky. Light carbonation. There really isn't much here to set it apart for the rest of this sort. It really reminds me a lot of Schlafly BA Imperial Stout.

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Photo of montageman
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Bomber #416 out of 900. Poured into a pint glass. This is a dark beer - pours thick like syrup, very dark brown with a little tan head that disappears qucikly leaving a little bit of lacing. Smells warm and roasty like bourbon, vanilla, and dark chocolate. No doubt that the smell is extremely inviting. Awesome flavor here - bitter coffee/roasted malt upfront, vanilla sweetness segues into a bourbon-ish finish - very complex. Very thick in the mouth - almost chewy, slight carbonation. Definitely a dessert beer for me - a little too sweet to have more than one, but definitely an incredible brew. I would be interested in seeing what some aging would do to this. Highly recommended.

Thanks to McAllister for this one.

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Photo of cabsandking
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The union of bourbon and stout might even be a better marriage than peanut butter and jelly. Great Lakes does not disappoint here and probably my favorite brew of theirs to date.
Pours a dense black color and thin layer of lace swirl. Not too much in the nose (this might account for being poured too cold) but faintly detectable notes of chocolate, espresso, and bourbon. The taste is outstanding with notes of dark chocolate, espresso, brown sugar and roasted malts all surrounded by a blanket of smooth bourbon character. Bourbon increases towards the end of the gulp and is even more apparent in the finish along with some sweet, chary, aged oak bourbon barrel notes. Mouth feel is very smooth. This brew is enormously enjoyable and despite its nine percent abv, it goes extremely easily.

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Photo of marvin213
3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It has essentially no head. Though black as a country night, little foam suggests a thin body. The smell is nice. As I had, hoped, this seems like a testimony to the oak barrel--no sweet bourbon or other such influence--just a nose of rustic oak on big RIS. It's a deep, consistent, chocolatey, raisin-liquid. There are malts and anise, and there is oak barrel in a barn, untouched and virgin.

So why do I feel guilty about missing the bourbon? Do I compare this among all barrel-aged brews, or just non-bourbon BA brews? There's a difference! Oddly, I can't help but wonder what it'd be like aged in a Buffalo Trace barrel. It's good, but underwhelming. It's that flatness I feared at the outset! I'd like to have it again, but I am unlikely to seek it out.

Edit: After reading other reviews, I see it is indeed bourbon barrels. I'm shocked. I really don't get bourbon. Maybe this one's not just flat...but flatlined? But how wouldn't I get more nose? Perhaps I started too cold. I suppose I get it more as it warms, but I do not get a well-blended bourbon beer. I smelled goodness, and can get some of that (goodness), but for me the good bourbon has left the building.

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Photo of wyattshotmaker
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i believe this is the 2012 batch.

poured into a snifter, just a shade lighter than black, negligible though. thin tan head. nothin crazy, looks like an imperial stout.

nose:slightly overdone oatmeal raisin cookies soaked in bourbon, touch of coffee.

dark fruit, coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, bourbon is present but doesn't really over whelm. could use a touch more roasted character, still a solid beer.

mouthfeel is a touch lacking. still a solid beer.

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

In a BIF box from Vonerichs - thanks!

12oz, 2013 vintage into 10oz wine glass.

The coloring is nice with slight feathering from black to coffee at the edges. But there is no lacing, no evidence of carb at all once it settles into the glass.

The sharp booze note is very upfront but as this mellows and wood, bourbon and roast all pop up.

Well balanced taste with this bottle perhaps needing a few more moths of age to blunt the booze edge. A bit of caramel-vodka aftertaste which is also a rather stark departure from the expectation.

A bit flat, nothing wrong with that but would have preferred more carbonation.

(212th)

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Photo of SirSketch
3.96/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Firm tan head that stays. Primarily black in color with just a small amount of deep red highlights.

S - Mainly bourbon in the aroma and a strong oak character. The whiskey works well with the roasty/burnt smell in the beer. Great vanilla aroma, too.

T - Thankfully, the bourbon and malt flavor contributions are more balanced than in the aroma. Big on the chocolate and french roast coffee flavors. Maybe a bit of astringency from the dark grain. One of the better bourbon characteristics I've had in a beer.

M/D - Very smooth, buttery mouthfeel that makes this beer a pleasure to drink. Overall, a great example of bourbon barrel aging.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

<i>14/400</i>... Poured an opaque black color with a small, tan head that left light lacing on the glass. Aroma of vanilla oak, some butter, lots of bourbon, roast, caramel malts, and nuts. Taste of chocolate, some smoke, vanilla oak, roast, some light spices, and finishing with a whisky / alcohol burn. Thin mouthfeel for an impy.

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Photo of dukedevil0
3.72/5  rDev -14.1%
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

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Photo of schwemjw
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A dark black with a tan/ mocha head that stayed awhile.

S: WOW! A ton of bourbon in here. Oak and coffee swirl around the nostrils. Brown sugar with a hint of caramel. Little bit of real dark chocolate. I could smell this from a mile away. Hints of vanilla are tempting with the slightest bit of coffee bitterness.

T: BOURBON! Lots of vanilla intermingled with deep roasted malt, a hint of a rye bread, caramel and butterscotch. The chocolate is a deep dark chocolate and there is definitely a roasted nut quality here. A dry bitter finish that carries on. Tons of bourbon with a lot of booze at the end. Oak and raisin play with my taste buds while a licorice hints at the sides of my tongue. More please.

M: Full bodied but never over bearing or syrupy. no carbonation but defnitely warming.

O: I absolutely love this beer. I love blackout stout and this just kicks it up a notch. Bigger and bolder with a good hit of bourbon. this is not one to pass on! /96

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Photo of rtaps
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours black with a small light brown head, that has fairly short retention. looks viscous and leaves spotty lacing behind

roasted chocolate brownies, coffee, dark fruits, mild bourbon notes

very rich milk chocolate, with some coffee notes, some bourbon heat on the back end

medium bodied and carbonation, and viscous

overall the nose is great and got better as it warmed, the taste fallowed the nose it was great and got better and had more depth as it warmed, would love to get more bottles of this. thanks PittRooney for the trade

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Photo of Mauerhan
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

FIRST off HUGE thanks to patronwizard for cracking this gem. i am pretty excited for this. lets be honest here people... im flying at full mast at this point.

pours a dark black with a rich ruby red highlight. thick mocha head sits about 1 finger tall. nice lacing

smells rich. malt. woody. coffee. sexy.

taste is fucking awesome. enough said. coffee. chocolate woods. god this thing is good

mouth is smooth and creamy. fucking awesome.

i love this beer. and would probably give up a night with olie for another bottle. any takers?

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Photo of danh53
3.32/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

First thing I noticed is cola which dominates the nose and the taste. There is some milk chocolate creaminess with some coffee. The mouth feel is smooth but very thin for the style. Bourbon is prominent and oak character is well integrated, but too much cola for me. I won't be seeking more of this.

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Photo of Skrypt
3.99/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Swamp Head snifter. Bottled 2013. Served at 55F.

Pours a thick beige head that dissipates quickly, but that's probably due to this glass having been run through the dishwasher.

Really faint nose. Not really picking up much of anything outside of a little smoke, bourbon and vanilla.

The front is a really subtle light, floral hop taste that lasts for a second and is followed by a coffee-like bitterness and milk chocolate. The finish is dominated by bourbon.

This is a nice full-bodied stout that has a really surprising softness in the mouth, as if it were carbonated with nitrogen. Medium carbonation overall, though. There's a pretty good bit of alcohol heat.

Overall, this is a really enjoyable brew, but the barrel aging actually took away some of the subtlety that makes the original so good. The barrel characteristics haven't integrated very well. I'm going to let my second bottle sit in the cellar for 12 months or so and see how it compares to the regular Blackout then.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 419 ratings.
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