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:
1,374
Gots:
348
For Trade:
36
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,792
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 warrenout330
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle pour, 28oz snifter for pleasure

A- pours a pitch black color, 1 finger thick tan colored head... sticky lacing to my snifter....

S- smooth milk chocolate, faint coffee, boozy hot Bourbon, soft vanilla wood

T- smooth chocolate, milky taste, boozy Bourbon, sweet vanilla, woody undertones... slight roasted coffee

M- a tad slick and oily, slight water mouth feel, thinner than I imagine which brings this to point ... hot Bourbon booze on the tongue.... numbing sensation on the tongue

O- my first experience with this beer and event ... this has caught me off guard and opened a path for this style and following ... but lacks in the feel for a full body...will keep a few but I'm looking for ptfbba with these extras

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Photo of Dope
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1 year old bottle.

A: Black pour with a small light brown head despite the aggressive pour. Fades somewhat slowly, leaving decent lacing behind.

S: Lots of bourbon in the nose. Toffee, wonderful strong burnt caramel and molasses. Creamy roasted malt peeks through with some dark chocolate and coffee. Lots of vanilla and some oak. The caramel aroma is great with the vanilla.

T: Smooth bourbon up front. Again, wonderful caramel flavor. A bit of toffee and oak with it. A little bit of burn and then turns into a somewhat bitter chocolate and coffee roasted malt character. As it warms it starts to take on a brownie batter quality with some espresso. Vanilla throughout but especially in the lingering aftertaste. Hints of anise here and there.

M: Thick, creamy, smooth.

O: What a great barrel-aged RIS. The caramel and the vanilla from the bourbon is great on its own, but combined with the blackout stout just makes it stellar. A complex, well-balanced yet smooth and creamy RIS. Not hot like a lot of barrel-aged beers either. One of the nicest and easy-drinking versions around. Second only to something like a KBS, this was a borderline 5 on taste.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Review from notes-on tap at GLBC on 8/13/11. This is actually the 3rd time I've had this beer-and the 2nd time I've had it on-tap

A- Body is big, thick, nearly black, viscous, and opaque. Served with a minimal head which retains well at a collar. Little to no lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- The base is pretty Russian Imperial Stout-like (moreso than original blackout to me)- dark chocolate, anise, currants. Lots of smooth woody wet oak overtones and big mildly sweet bourbon barrel presence at the back. All of these characters blend together nicely an one does not stand out more than another.

T- Flavor is much like the nose. Initial flavors of RIS-with highlights of anise and dark chocolate come through the most initially with just the slightest hint of bourbon sweetness as an overtone. The smooth woody oak rushes in and blends with the bourbon alcohol burn of the finish without detracting from the well put together RIS base beer.

M- Fantastic. Low to medium carbonation and a big, thick, smooth, viscous body.

O- This is my 3rd experience with this beer. All three times it has been an exceptional, stand out-BA RIS-one of my favorites in the category for sure. Its got a lot of everything with an exceptional blend. Great brew put together by Great Lakes.

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Photo of BrewUSA
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look 9/10
Smell 19/20
Taste 37/40
Feel 9/10
Drinkability 17/20

Overall 91/100

Nice and very well balanced BA stout. Is very good and has some real good flavor. It is a bit light for such a big stout. Which I guess is good since it makes for easy drinking. I was told to let I sit a year and didn't. In retrospect I wish I would have. The problem is I am from Cleveland and needed something celebratory since I found out Lebron came back today~

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Photo of JNewbs
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All I can really say is - oh my goodness. Had this on tap at the brewpub yesterday, and I can say without lying that it was my second favorite Imp Stout that I have ever tasted. The most remarkable thing about the beer, to me, was that it tasted unbelievably good even when it was technically too cold. I realized I had drank the first one before I even let it warm up to the right temp, and I had to order another just to see what would happen. Lastly, according to the sign at the brewpub this is a 9.5% beer, not a 9%.

A: Nothing to complain about here - dark black, with a mocha colored head that hung around for a while.

S: The nose of this one did not come close to hinting at how good it tasted, IMO, so though it smelled pretty good, I have to ding it for that reason.

T: Here we go. Dominated by chocolate notes. There is definitely the bourbon, and some of the Blackout Stout's roasted notes, but this was a choco-bomb to me. Smooth, rich, luxurious, a little boozy but not too much. Delicious.

M: Felt like other good Impy Stouts. Thick, smooth, not too viscous. No complaints here either.

D: I killed two of them in about a half hour...

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

BARREL

bottled in 2012 had alongside the non-barrel aged variety bottled 4/20/2012 both in oversized batch 2 TB snifters.

a - both brews are dark as night with a thin off cream colored head that fizzes away almost immediately leaving tiny bubble islands and a congregation of bubbles clinging to the glass on the surface. swirling the glass brings things back to life and the head is creamy...lacing is spotty at best. nice shine to both.

s - nose is uber complex. takes the regular and just mushes it through booze soaked wood. the wood has a nice presence and smells fantastic with the beer. really wonderful and unique smelling BA stout. takes the chocolate from the original and douses it in nuttiness.

t - takes the original and just douses it with bourbon. it really works even though bourbon heavy. the chocolate comes out more and is really rich and decadent. the nuttiness that was suggested in the nose is there, but not nearly as pronounced as suggested. but boy oh boy, this is a yummy brew

m - upon the first sip the thing that jumped out at me is that silky lush feel. i had just been sipping the non BA and this is the most pronounced difference. really fantastic, decadent, lush silky feel. way heavier than the non BA

o - overall, wow...really a wonderful BA stout. have had this a few times before, but gotta say it is certainly top tier for BA stouts. worth checking out.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.56/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Sephiroth for this brewski.

22 oz. bomber poured into a nonic. Series 2516.

Pours a midnight black with a one finger tan colored head that quickly dies down to an outter ring of bubbles. Thin webbing left on the sides of the glass. Smell is a wonderful blend of roasted barley, carmelized sugar, vanilla, raisins, bourbon, almond, and smoked oak. Sweet aroma overall, extremely enjoyable. Probably one of the best smelling RIS I've ever put my nose to. Smokey caramel malt up front with fresh ground coffee flavors. Bourbon and whiskey sweetness on the tongue from start to finish, but just the right amount. Aftertaste is almost oatmeal stout like with kick. Not the heavy body most RIS have, but for that reason I love the mouthfeel. Slick carbonation that coats the mouth. I really like this twist on the style. I could see some people not liking this because of the almost thin mouthfeel, but to each their own. I'm a bit up in the air as to whether or not age will help this one, but I have an extra bottle so what the hell, let's give it a shot.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Shared during a small Charlotte BA tasting with marine1975, caSSino, CarolinaKevin, and GehenHerzog. Big thanks goes out to sproser (Secret Santa '10 BIF) and my boy Lunch for allowing me to have multiple bottles of this beauty! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured black with a one finger light tan head that remained throughout. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cream, wood, slight smoke, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cream, wood, and sweet alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was definitely a great brew. Very smooth flavor going on here that made it very easy to drink. 9.5%!? This could have gotten me in trouble for sure. The aroma on this one was not slacking either. A definite must try and I'm glad I got to share this with some local BAs. This was the highlight of the tasting for me...

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Photo of brew3crew
4.55/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage

A-nice black body with no head what so ever
S-sweet malty smell. Almost no bourbon whatsoever
T-wow. Nice bourbon, vanilla and oak flavor. Great combination and very complex
M-medium body and oh so smooth
O-nicely suprised with this brew. Great offering from great lakes

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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 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!

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

I got this beer in the Darkness Day BIF this past weekend in Minneapolis. Amazing score! I've wanted to try this forever. This bottle is the 2010 vintage.

It pours the darkest of browns in color, full in body, with a slight beige lacing around the glass. The aromas consist of bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and toffee. It has a great nose for a bourbon barrel aged stout, with nice complexity. The flavors feature an array of flavors. You get a good amount of roasted malt up front, sweetened by vanilla, bourbon and toffee. It has phenomenal flavor. The bourbon is just the right amount. It drinks very, very smoothly and has great flavor. For a RIS, and a bourbon barrel aged version at that, it has amazing drinkability. It drinks a little fine but it really is fitting. This is a phenomenal beer, phenomenal. I love it. I'm eternally grateful for this bottle.

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

2013 edition, poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass
A: Black color with a 1/2-finger tan head that settles to a thin film
S: WOW. Tons of dark chocolate up front, some coffee, roasted malt, cream, a touch of hops. Mostly though it's just rich creamy hot chocolate (except the beer is cellar temp). I could smell this all day
T: Here the bourbon comes through much more than the nose, along with chocolate, coffee, & rich malt. A touch of heat right up front that smooths out as the palate develops
M: Rich, creamy, a hint of heat as mentioned in the taste
O: I know lots of Great Lakes' lighter beers are well loved, but between this & the Edmund Fitzgerald porter, I think dark beers are where they truly shine. $8 for a 12oz bottle seems a bit steep until you step back & look at what many restaurants are charging for BMC; I would happily buy more of this for that price. As the release tasting event showed, this beer ages like a champ so pop one now but set a few aside for a few years.

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Photo of Josh012012
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not sure if this was ba or not. Was on tap and advertised as "aged" but had little if any barrel character.

But an awesome beer drank like what I would imagine a triple oatmeal stout would.. very roasts and some other all the overwhelming sweetness that I remember from regular was gone.. awesome!

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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.

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Photo of 4thelvofbeer
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this for a while now. Traded for a few bottles and finally popped open a 2012 BA Blackout on 19 Jan 2013. No disappointment here:
A: looked a bit thin and lighter than I expected, but still poured a nice deep, dark brown with a quickly dissipating head.
S: smelled really nice, slight hints of bourbon on that classic blackout sweetness.
T: very nice, bourbon notes, alcohol is hidden very well behind sweet flavors of vanilla and syrup.
M: extremely smooth for a big caliber barrel aged stout!
O: exceeded expectations, as good as I expected....can't wait to drink another one!!

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Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle sent via trade. Opened 2.17.13
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BDeYeW3CEAE4W9V.jpg

A: Pours black as night with very little tan head. Some alcohol legs present.

S: Huge chocolate aroma up front, wasn't expecting that. Some coffee sandwiched in there with the barrel backing it up. Huge Chocolate and barrel. Just a fantastic smelling beer.

T: Packs a chocolate punch. Chocolate, with wood from the barrel. Some coffee bitterness on the finish. Some bourbon in there as well.

M: Medium bodied, creamy, some alcohol burn with a slight bitter (coffee) finish. Little sweet sticky-ness coats the mouth on the finish.

O: Wow, beer of the year so far. Really surprised me, esp since GL doesn't have a big barrel program. Only disappointing aspect is that I only have 3 more left from my 4 pack.

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Photo of bobhits
4.54/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer without the bourbon is a subtle and complex "weak" imperial stout. With the bourbon this is an intense and full bodied sweat bourbon treat. I had the pleasure of having both on tap tonight and only regret not having a second!

Sadly appearance suffers when trying to pour a full glass (6oz) of beer so lets say this one is dark and should in theory have head. The aromas are vanilla, coffee, and chocolate, and the hop aroma of the base beer does make a few minor appearances.

This is a thick and creamy mildly under carbonated beast. Truly tasty and among the best beers I've had. This really does seem like a fully different beer from the base. Highly recommended but hell I love bourbon barrel stouts.

Cheers!

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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 walleye
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here I am sitting in my favorite brewery ( Kuhnhenns) enjoying a beer or 2 when a a few other people who rate beer show up. Jsquires goes to his vehicle and comes back with this wonderful beer. talk about being in the right place at the right time. as pailhead said bottle 108. poured black with a light brown head. aroma roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, alcohol. dark fruits, molasses, and vanilla. flavor the same as aroma but more robust and a nice touch of bourbon.

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Photo of 98green
4.53/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap into a snifter. I'm not a fan of most of the Great Lakes offerings I've tried, but I'm a sucker for BBA stouts. Look is deep black, no head. Smell is all whiskey barrel and dark fruit. Taste is more of the same. Lots of dark fruit again, more whiskey. This one actually reminds me more of a quad than a big stout. Perhaps more like a muted version of Stone w00t. Feel gives more of that slick sweetness and a nice boozy burn. I enjoyed this one.

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

Review #150!

22oz bomber poured into a Great Lakes snifter.

2010 vintage.

Had a few bottles of this since the release back in October, but have been waiting for a special time to open this. Tomorrow's my birthday, so I figured I'd open it up now and drink it into the night and next morning!

A - For a beer named 'Blackout Stout', it's not the darkest beer I've seen by a longshot. There are rich, cola and chocolate colored highlights surrounding the beer and as the beer is tilted, you can easily see through it. Mostly just a very dark auburn color. A steady pour yields about a finger's worth of khaki colored head that has decent retention. Lacing is moderate, not much but what's there does last for a while. While drinking it's possible to see thin carbonation rising from the bottom, and there are patches of carbonation sticking to the side of the glass.

S - Smell is a very enticing combination of bourbon, oak, vanilla, sweet malts, slight dark fruits. Surprisingly not much chocolate or coffee notes which normally are flooding these kind of beers. Reminds me of Four Roses Eclipse in the way that the bourbon is well-integrated with the base beer rather than it being the sole focus.

T - As in the nose, the barrel just adds so much to the normal Blackout Stout without completely overshadowing it. Bourbon is noticeable and readily apparent, but it is complemented by a lot of the vanilla and fresh oak from the barrel, and the chocolate that was absent from the nose makes its way into the taste side-by-side with the vanilla and lingers far into the finish. At first the alcohol is a bit too hot, but as the beer warms up the rest of the beer helps compensate.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with low carbonation. Incredibly smooth and creamy, with a finish full of bourbon, chocolate, and alcohol. Leaves a thin coating on the palate.

D - Drinkability is high. While at first the alcohol is certainly present, it cools off and melds perfectly with the rest of the beer. I sipped this over the course of an hour and a half and was happy the entire time.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from Prototypic, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a very dark brown with only the faintest of ruby highlights when held to light. Smallish mocha head dissipates quickly. Smells of Vanilla, oak, bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts. Taste is bourbon, followed by roast and chocolate, then some alcohol, faint dark dried fruits, leaving a lingering bitter roast and bourbon on the tongue. Yum! Body is medium, mouthfeel is oily/creamy, carbonation is low but appropriate. Great smelling and tasting brew. The only thing I would change is maybe a bit of a thicker body.

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Photo of keller2343
4.52/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Batch on release date 1/17/12

A - pours a weak tan head which dissipates quickly. Appearance is opaque dark brown.
S - Strong Bourbon Flavors, hints chocolate
T - Overwhelming bourbon, which I appreciate. Getting some chocolate and hints of coffee.
M - A little lighter than I expect from an RIS.
D - Loved it, excited to see how some aging smooths out the bourbon flavor.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,792 ratings.
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