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

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96
world-class
419 Reviews
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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:
1,371
Gots:
348
For Trade:
35
User Reviews
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,792
Photo of DmanGTR
3.88/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe for breaking this out at our little tasting. Review from notes on 4/3/10. 2009 vintage.

A - Poured very dark brown, almost black (but not quite) with a light tan bubbly head. Looks actively carbonated. Decent retention. Mahogany hues in the light. 4.0

S - Wow, bourbon overpowers everything. Bourbon all over the place. A bit of ash, dark fruit, and roast somewhere in there but somewhat lost. Could use a bit more balance I think. But still, a pleasing aroma. 3.5

T - Actually, this is a bit different from the aroma. The balance is there and actually very nicely executed. You can tell this beer has been aging in bourbon barrels for a while; highly assertive vanilla, charred oak, and deep blackberry tones. However, there is a characteristic ashy flavor of Blackout Stout that I don't appreciate as much and it is noticeable in the BA Blackout. 4.0

M - Decently big body, but I would put it more in the scale of medium bodied. Very smooth carbonation and a slight prickle on the palate. 4.0

D - Very nicely drinkable. Again, that distinct ash is hindering me a touch but overall, a nice beer.

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Photo of nickd717
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber via trade thanks to Deuane on BA, who was really generous and sent some awesome stuff. Shared at a tasting hosted by Nick3 on BA.

Pours darkest brown - not quite black, as a little light makes its way through when you tilt the glass to the side. A small tan head fades slowly to a thick ring and swirling foam.

The aroma is very nice. The roast and milk chocolate of Blackout Stout are evident, along with some coffee and slight oaky barrel notes. Just a little bit of bourbony booze detectable.

It's almost mind-boggling how great the flavor on this one is. I thought regular Blackout was great, but as is often the case, putting that sucker in a barrel bumped that up to the next level. As intense as this is, it's also very subtle and balanced. Roast and rich chocolate dominate, with wood, vanilla, whiskey, and candied dark fruits. Not at all overwhelming.

Amazingly smooth on the palate with medium-full body. Not cloying or syrupy like some others in the style can be.

Damn, this is excellent. One of my new favorites. I'm definitely going to have to seek this out again.

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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.

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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.

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

Big thanks to jwelsh for this one.

A-Pours a deep brown to black with no head and looks like no carbonation.

S-Some charred wood, marshmallows, maybe even the entire smores. A bit of whiskey, but not overwhelming at all. Some vanilla and other barrel notes. Chocolate

T-All of the same flavors listed in the smell. The whiskey is a bit more predominant in the flavor than it was in the aroma. Very oaky, chocolate, very balanced.

MF-A little thin and low on the carbonation. Nice and creamy though.

D-Really great, the whiskey doesn't dominate the beer too much. Really a solid BA stout.

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Photo of Jmoore50
3.93/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The appearance on this one is dark dark black with a one finger mocha tan colored head. It is a fluffy head that leaves a light lacing on the glass. Although the lacing does not last forever, it has some grainy legs that like to creep on the sides of the glass. A good looking Imperial Stout.

The smell is of chocolate, bourbon oak barrels, ABV heat, burnt and roasted grains, earth.

The taste is a little thin, which is a common problem with barrel aged imperial stouts. The barrel thins out a base beer making everything else a little light on the palate. This beer has lots of burnt and roasted grains, earth, chocolate and bourbon. I am not sure if this bottle is a blend of barrel and un-barrel beer, but it is not very intense. Everything is somewhat muted, and I think it is because this beer is going through its transitional period. It is turning into something different and better, and we popped the bottle a little early. I can see this turning into something great, but not now.

The body is light and a bit hot with some graininess. It is a bit hot and incredibly astringent. Sucks your palate dry, the glass of water was refilled a few times by the end.

This is a good beer, but I opened to a bit too soon before its full transition. I am not sure what this would have tasted like fresh, but a year or so is going to be this beers time to shine.
J

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Photo of steve8robin
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade. Very excited to split this one with some friends. Tried back to back with a standard Blackout Stout...

A: Looks ok. Dark with slight ruby highlights. No head.

S: Get some caramel, cocao and candi sugars upfront. Roasty chocolate in the middle with slight booziness on the backend. Scents are hidden and you really need to try hard to get a good whiff.

T: Awesome! Taste really saved this one. Cocao, tootsie roll, slight bitter chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruits upfront blended perfectly. Fantastic!

M: Smooth as a baby's bottom! Perfect balance of carbonation and water. Leaves a nice stickiness on the palate.

D: Goes down very easy. Nice!

All in all, this brew worried me with the look and the smell. I thought this one was going to be a disappointment until I got to the taste! Definitely worth hunting down if you like stouts. Super smooth. Like a finer version of Aphrodite in the taste.

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Photo of craytonic
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 release bottle, consumed 3/22/10

Appearance: Black, with a nice, creamy brown sugar head.

Smell: I smell bourbon! Lots of it actually, delicious bourbon. Also some fudge, toffee chocolate, cappuccino, caramel, and vanilla.

Taste: Bourbon in the front, dominant without being overbearing. Also dark brown sugar, sweet molasses, fudge, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, cappuccino, oak and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Velvety smooth and creamy

Drinkability: High, although the ABV felt (I didn't actually taste it) much higher than 9%. One of my favorites for the style.

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

Poured from 22oz bottle into Chimay chalice.

A- Pours a very deep brown, almost black, with just a little bit of light coming in around the edges of the glass. The pour produces about a quarter finger of mocha colored head but recedes quickly leaving just a bit around the rim of the glass.

S- The smell is of big, bold roasted malt with some dark, bitter chocolate. There also happens to be just a little bit of coffee to go along with a hint of cinnamon. The alcohol is just a tad present on the tail end.

T- Like the nose, a heavy dose of roasted malt is the first thing to hit your tongue. Some dark chocolate melds well with some brown sugar and again picking up just a small hint of cinnamon. The alcohol is barely even noticeable even when the beers warms. Pretty nice balance.

M- A medium bodied brew that I felt could have been just a little bit thicker. Just a slight bitterness on the tip of the tongue. A little more carbonation than the head would have you believe.

D- Like any RIS, your drinkability is going to be lower than some other beers. Again, this would be a one and done beer but only because of the amount of alcohol in there. Other than that this is a good sipper and gives that nice warming effect so it's good for these cold Wisconsin nights.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a wispy shallow off tan head that fades quickly, leaving negligible lacing in it's wake. A moderately intense heavily roasted malt note shares the space with a nice but understated barrel aged character. The mouth feel is medium-heavy bodied, adequately carbonated with a silky smooth texture that compliments the taste REALLY well. Barely enough 'coating' nature to complement the flavors. Full flavored (4.25), moderate levels of bourbon capture your attention while a roasted and 'well TOASTed' thing happens. The feel lacks the substance to complement with enough 'hang time'. The 9% ABV is REAL (..and will kick butt._) however..this one MUST keep on - keep'in on. Many thanks for the opportunity, Kev!!

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Photo of hayesez
4.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a BIF from brokenleadedcask....extremely generous! Thanks Darren!

Split this with friends...poured into a Bruery tulip and a Dogfish Head globe. Pours a deep, dark brown...nearly black. About halfway through the pour into the first glass, I could tell this guy had virtually no carbonation. I dumped it in there, but still produced virtually no head. A good looking color, but very disappointed with the head. I'm not sure if this is the norm, but I generally expect something on top of the brew. Zero lacing left on the sides.

Smells strongly of chocolate. A bit of tobacco as well as some vanilla and a bit of the alcohol kick that you might expect from barrel aging...not much, but a little.

The taste is excellent - much as I would expect from what I smelled, a strong semi-sweet chocolate taste that is quickly followed by the a bit of the barrel alcohol. Hints of vanilla and a tiny bit of dark fruit. A few seconds after each drink, I get the remnants of tobacco...almost like I just smoked a cigar. This really is a great tasting beer. Unfortunately, the lack of carbonation is really a downer. It is a creamy beer that has a decent mouthfeel, save for the poor carbonation. Still, this is good stuff.

Overall, I really like this beer. Although BA obviously makes appearance and mouthfeel contributors to the ranking, the taste is top notch. This will end up being ranked a bit lower by their standards, but I would still drink this at any time. A very, very solid tasting beer.

Consumed: 3/17/2010 - 3:30 a.m. (got up early for St. Patrick's Day....this beer will kick of the celebration for me!)

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Photo of callmemickey
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

A: Deep black body. Thin-ish tan head with mediocre retention, but decent light lacing.

S: Delicately complex. Subtle bourbon oaks and vanilla. Deep milk and semi-sweet chocolates. Rich, warming caramel.

T: Much like the nose, the highlight of this beer is the refined delicacy. I hesitate to say mellow, but certainly tactfully restrained. Everything you would expect is here in moderation: bourbon like notes of oak and vanilla, chocolates, and caramel. Didn't pick up any coffee, but I am not going to complain as the flavor profile is sufficiently layered without those notes.

M: On the lighter end of a body I'd expect. Certainly not thin, however. Good, clean finish. No sign of the booze.

D: Top notch. Subtlety sometimes is king. This is the champion of barrel aged subtlety.

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Photo of jdklks
3.84/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

An aggressive pour yields a small light brown head that dissipates quickly and is quite thin. The body is black through the middle with amber/brown edges and looks a lot lighter than I've come to expect or desire from the style. The smell is fantastic. Nice and strong like I like the aroma eminating from the glass. Hints of chocolate, roasted malts (which is reminiscent of dry coffee beans), the slightest hint of the barrel aging, caramel, and maybe some licorice.

The flavor is very good, but the beer is under-carbonated to a fault. sweet malts up front, plumb and cherries. Bitter chocolate and a little vanilla through the middle along with some wet oak barrel flavors that give way to a slightly burnt bitter coffee finish and an alcoholic burn in the esophagus and aftertaste. Maybe a hint of molasses, and definitely some licorice. Flat cola. If this beer was better carbonated, the flavors would explode, and it would truly be a treat. Still good though.

Mouthfeel is both thin and undercarbonated, and this is a less than pleasing combination. The drinkability is okay for the style, and the flavor is good enough to keep you reaching for more, but the lack of carbonation is detrimental to every category except the aroma.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 22 ounce bomber bottle - 2008 vintage. Uncapped and poured into my snifter. The stout appears an opaque black color with about a finger of dense tan head. Nose and flavors consist of licorice, bourbon, oak, dark and semi-sweet chocolates, some vanilla, more bourbon, dark roasted grains just shy of char, espresso, dark fruits. Certainly approaching full bodied and amply carbonated. Even though the bourbon is quite evident in the nose and taste, there is not much alcohol heat to speak of here. This one is rather drinkable after just a year in the bottle.

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Photo of punkrkr27
3.73/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of squaremile
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at the recent BA tasting at Bailey's Taproom. After having a number of world class imperial stouts, we cracked this and wows were heard around the table. Color is pitch black with a small head, aroma is a bit boozy but pleasant. The taste is a great balance of coffee and barrel flavors balanced by a light sweetness. It was not an overpowering beer, but very well executed and unique.

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.37/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I suppose I should try the regular blackout stout before jumping to this one, but oh well, this is what I got in front of me. Well the beer definitely lives up to it's title as being completely black. As was indicated in other reviews, there is not much heading, just a tiny bit of lacing. The nose is dominated by chocolate and bourbon, though there are some traces of dark fruit lingering in there too. Taste is once again, big on the bourbon and dark chocolate, with the alcohol really packing a punch. Mouthfeel is definitely viscous and filling. A few sips of this brew warms the blood quite a bit. This one works well drinking wise if sipped over a long period of time, however the big body and the hot alcohol might make this a beer better to share amongst friends, or family in my case. This beer lived up the hype for me, and I am surprised that it does not get as much recognition. I may look to acquire one or two more bottles, as I can see this beer going from great to world class with a few years of age behind it. Cheers to Mike for sending this one my way.

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Photo of ArrogantJaron
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark Inky color. Blackout is the perfect name for this beer. You could start a saying "That's the beer calling the kettle black." Very light, white head. No lacing.

S- Strong boozy smell atacks you on the first nose. Though the bourbon is dominant, dark chocolate comes through along with a sweet, almost cola scent.

T- After the initial bourbon blast, slight hints of chocolate and a white sugar (cola?) come to the top of your taste buds. It finishes with overpowering roasted coffee.

M- very smooth and almost deceivingly thin.

D- This is a very drinkable beer! At first the bourbon flavor is so overpowering, I thought I would stick with a 7 ounce pour. But as you get deeper into the drink, it's smooth, rich, and somewhat sweetness make it something i could sip on for hours. It is easily one of my Favorite RIS

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Photo of boothbeer
4.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 release.

A- Name of this beer says it all. This is pitch black. I was surprised though with the very little amount of head and the color. Very light colored- off white head. No lacing.

S-Smell of very smooth bourbon. Some roasty malts, and lots of coffee aroma,but the bourbon overpowers in a good way.

T- Holy Bourbon! But again, not in a bad way. Not too much burn. Some toasted flavors and coffee and vanilla really come through. Great flavor.

M- Very good. Oily texture, but a little thinner than expected. Mild carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. I think a pint might be my limit due to the bourbon flavor. But this is a great beer and I hope to try it again.

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Photo of PenguinBeerFan
4.69/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber. Celebrating an OSU Rose Bowl win with one of Ohio's finest brews.

A - Pours the typical inky black of any RIS. Almost no head, surprising, even with an aggressive pour.

S - Beautiful. Dark chocolate and bourbon dominate. Mouth watering.

T - I had this years batch on tap at the brewery, and was a little off put by the overpowering bourbon. It seems to have significantly mellowed in the bottled iteration. Terrific full malty body, hints of dark chocolate, a touch of hops, and just the right amount of bourbon on the swallow. I'd rank it above the KBS I had last week,

M - Full and smooth. Typical quality big stout fare.

D - Very smooth. Obviously not going to put away a case of it, but within the style, this goes down as easy as any I've ever had. Labeled at 9%, but from conversations I've had at the brewery this clocks in at 11-13%. Effects seem to confirm this.

Overall, wholly deserving of a place among the elite American beers.

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Photo of portia99
4.4/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle shared courtesy of nonstick. Thanks again Chris! Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Pours pitch black (really black...blackest beer I've seen) with a thin collar of off-white buttles and a couple of small islands on the surface. No lacing.

S - Tons of coffee, burnt and dark roasted malts. Little to no hop aroma. As it warms a little I start to pick up some vanilla and a little hit of alcohol. Aroma is a little on the light side.

T - Coffee, dark roasted malts...very roasty overall. Lots of vanilla and some wood. Very rich and creamy, a touch of sweetness. Very smooth. This is a great tasting imperial stout, the barrel aging adds some nice touches to this.

M - This might be the best part of the beer. Very thick and full bodied, wouldn't really cal it syrupy...more like heavy cream...a liquid 'down comforter'. Just amazing.

D - This is an extremely smooth RIS...easily in my top 3. Definitely would like to see another bottle of this...have to keep my eye out to trade for more. Alcohol isn't really noticeable, just rich, cream, and roasty. Excellent - highly recommended.

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Photo of Sean9689
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, 22oz bomber, into Darkness tulip.

A - Pours black (hence, Blackout) with a tannish colored head that builds up to about a fingers-worth of head and then disipiates down to a thin cap and a tan ring around the edge and some lacing on the side of the glass.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, bourbon, gingerbread, vanilla, cinnamon, expresso, and caramel. I'm mostly picking up the sweetness of this one, and really not much of the bourbon or oak. Each swirl of the glass refreshes the sweetness, but no alcohol hotness in sight. Amongst the best-smelling RIS's I've ever had.

T - Not near as sweet as the nose. Bitter dark chocolate and expresso are most prevalent and once the initial bitter notes back off, there's a slight sweetness on the finish. The oak and bourbon is there, but it adds to the beer and melds well with the bitter chocolate and coffee notes.

M - Medium bodied, perhaps a bit too thin for me, but still a rich beer nonetheless. Carbonation is slightly tingles and the finish is dry, and leaves you wanting to refresh your palate with more Blackout goodness.

D - The 2008 vintage is drinking nicely at the moment. The alcohol is hidden pretty well and once detected, adds to the overall flavor. I'm going to wait a while to open a 2009, but I'll add my notes here when I do so.

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Photo of coldmeat23
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees
Super thanks to my Ohio hook-up for this one!

Yes, it pours pitch black. It forms a head of about one-fingers worth of light brown colored foam. This dissipates, rather quickly, leaving a thin, filmy, surface covering. The lacing is in tiny spots, but rather sticky.

No surprises in the nose. Big notes of chocolates and coffees. Good presence of oakiness and roasted malt notes. Light hints of booze and dark fruits.

Good god, that's good.
This is super balanced and delicious. Dark roasted coffee beans, some of them covered in dark chocolate, are having a great time swimming around in the chocolate milk pool. The lifeguard, brown sugar, who is wearing his famous caramel bathing suit, dips in from time to time, just to check things out. The figs and plums are sunbathing by the side of the pool, while the cherries are sitting on the edge, dangling into the milky goodness. Someone is having a cookout, because I get notes of oak and hints of smoke, also.

This one is full-bodied with a mild level of carbonation. It has a light creaminess to it, which makes it very silky-smooth and lucious.

Okay, the 9.00%abv helps it have a mild warming effect, on the way down. Other than that though, the abv is almost undetected. The smoothness, of body and flavor, make this one super easy to drink.
If anything, I'd say that this beer is probably under-hyped. It's that good.

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

Huge thanks go out to sproser for including this in an amazing box.

Pours a pitch death black with an ok tan head that requires a vigorous pour to form, but lingers pretty well and leaves ok lacing.

Nose is alot of roasted malt, a dose of booze, and a little chocolate profile.

Wow. This is quite excellent. Starts of with huge notes of chocolate and cream. Shortly after big portions of roasted malt come out alongside a slight liquor note. Wood and chocolate come out again around the finish, and a small suprise of some relatively significant bitterness. The aftertaste lingers with a great melding of roasted malt, bitterness, booze, and some chocolate. Incredibly complex, turning a page with every sip.

Mouthfeel is pretty much flawless here. Nice and chewy with the perfect amount of carbonation. A nice light dryness on the finish but mostly big and slick.

Drinkability is pretty much what you would expect out of a 9% impy stout. Pretty solid, will finish the bomber with ease.

Overall, this is a very very nice barrel aged imperial stout. The original blackout is a classic, so i expected nothing less than excellence here, and they came through. There are better barrel aged stouts out there, but very, VERY few. The complexity is a marvel here, as it changes with every sip, so much going on. Would love to see how this would do with age, I think it would do amazingly well with a couple years on it. Definitely pick some up if you get the chance, excellent beer.

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

I like this beer so much that going to Cleveland in October to buy it has become an annual pilgrimage for me. In the past, they've used Jim Beam barrels, but this year switched to Buffalo Trace barrels. My experience with other beers aged in Buffalo Trace barrels tells me that they do a great job barrel aging beer. Although I have yet to do a side by side with a prior BA Blackout vintage, I suspect the switch has lead to an improvement. The following is a review of one of these newer 2009 vintage bottles.

Appearance: Vigorous pour into a stemless wine glass produces almost no head, but a thin ring of foam forms after it settles. Color is black as an unlit cave and no light passes when held up to a nearby lamp

Smell: Hint of dark chocolate and very slight scent of bourbon

Taste: Initial flavor is a very nice balance of bourbon and dark chocolate, the bourbon is not overpowering the imperial stout flavors, but there is enough that you know its there. Very light vanilla note as it passes further over the tongue, and the finish is bitter chocolate. Blackout is one of my favorite imperial stouts perhaps because it is so chocolatey, and the addition of the bourbon flavors from the barrel, really helps turn those flavors up to 11.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body, easily coats all of the taste buds for full flavor exposure. Very light barely perceivable carbonation. Smooth finish with very little alcohol heat as it goes down.

Drinkability: I could drink this stuff all night long. Flavors intensify nicely as it warms up.

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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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