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

BA SCORE
96
world-class
1,814 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
1,814
Reviews:
423
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,364
Gots:
339
For Trade:
34
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,814 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of FlakyBiscuit
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of Jules11788
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle courtesy of Auslander pours a rick black color with a moderate cap of tan head. Retention is decent and just a little lace.

Nose is outstanding! Lots of wood, unsweetened chocolate and vanilla. Damn near perfect...not too sweet, a great balance of stout and barrel.

This is my first Barrel Aged Blackout and it is much better than the regular version, which is a pretty good beer in its own right...my point is this is one of the most improved barrel treatments to a beer I have had in quite some time. The vanilla is so rich, I would have guessed it was a vanilla infused stout if had blind. Not too fruity and the chocolate is bold. Its not too boozy, not over-the-top sweet and has great flow. Mouthfeel is not overly thick, but it is adequate and the carbonation is supple and smooth. This is a great beer, one of the most impressive I have had in awhile, thanks Auslander!

 893 characters

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kuhnhenn snifter. 2012 bottle.

Appearance - The body is black, but the pour belies transparency. Deep brown it would seem. Just-shy-of-mocha head. A hefty collar remains.

Smell - Bourbon smacks you around a bit. After my nostrils regain their balance, vanilla is the strongest flavor. Roasted malts all about, mostly coffee. Nice.

Taste - At first, I was a little let down. It's a ton of bourbon compared to the stout. After a few sips, though, it really shines with its depth of flavors. The bourbon is strong at first, surely, but vanilla is the persisting flavor that continues into a coffee roast. Midrange yields and chocolatey flavor that lingers into a dark fruit and touch of earthiness. I was tempted to give it a 5 for flavor.

Mouthfeel - And here is it's downfall from greatness. It's still a pretty thin stout. Well, not thin, but definitely not chewy enough for the barrel intensity. It's hot from the barrel and nearly drowned out.

Overall - Only on close inspection is this a really great beer. I would be hard pressed to admit this is better than the original, as the barrel masks a great deal of the beer's qualities. Nonetheless, I am a sucker for bourbon and its barrels. Well done.

 1,234 characters

Photo of AleApostle
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of joshwith
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of Jryan2004
1/5  rDev -76.9%

Photo of bauermj
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of cfrances33
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to clegolfski, poured into a Hill Farmstead stem. 2012 vintage.

Pour: Completely pitch black with a half finger of tan head. Head manages to hang around even though it was relatively small, and leaves a decent amount of lacing. Body doesn't look super think, but this beer has some nice legs.

Smell: A nice combination of caramel, toffee, vanilla and dark fruits. Bourbon is in there, but in a very subdued, supporting role.

Taste: Oh my. This a delicious. Really nice chocolate and bourbon up front, that combines with the vanilla to form a distinct brownie character. Really holds onto milk chocolate goodness throughout the sip and lingers very well.

Mouthfeel: Another point where this beer particularly excels. Really smooth and velvety, with barely any burn. Chewy, but not in the dark fruit sort of way, and more in the brownie sort of way, following the taste.

Overall: An exceptional beer. I will absolutely be seeking more of this out.

 964 characters

Photo of ncaudle
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of apocalypsezombie
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of PatrickMDunleavy
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of BdubleEdubleRUN
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Mark000
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of dearthdawg
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of RMoeNay
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of AndresR
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of fo1ksguitar
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of tarheels86
3.74/5  rDev -13.6%
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 QCABeerTour
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of laxer8811
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of tjkinate
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Callmecoon
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

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

2012 vintage 12oz bottle, poured into a Goose Island Chalice

BA Blackout Stout has a very motor oil like consistency, extremely opaque, jet black color, hints of dark brown when held to the light. A TINY mocha colored head appears, tightly packed bubbles but it recedes straight away, leaving behind no lacing just a fine layer of film. The aroma is good, strong bourbon notes, dark bitter chocolate, sweet malt, charred wood, almost a hint of dark fruit, but alcohol really takes over at the end, loads of sweetness without much balance. The flavors are impeccable, great integration of bourbon, wood, chocolate and roast. Big notes of bourbon and wood jump out, smooth chocolate bridges the roasted coffee and malts together, very cohesive and well rounded, unfortunately, alcohol perseveres and lingers a bit too long for a 9.5% beer, mutes some of the subtleties and leaves a harsh feeling in the mouth. The body is certainly the highlight of this beer, spectacular texture, milky, creamy, full, robust, but most importantly, quaffable. Coats the mouth very well, adds so much to the finish, just a great creaminess that really helps the richness without diminishing the bitterness and roastiness.

Verdict: Wonderful stout from Great Lakes. Sad to see my last bottle go, but this has aged gracefully, I'd love to take a stab at keeping these in the cellar for more than 9 months, but temptation will likely get the best of me. The richness is spot on, great body, a well rounded and very pleasant barrel aged stout.

 1,521 characters

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,814 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.