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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class
419 Reviews
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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout StoutGreat Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout
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:
1,787
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,372
Gots:
350
For Trade:
35
User Reviews
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,787
Photo of tedpeer
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Josh for this trade in line at Darkness 2008.

bomber poured into a new belgium tulip.

A - Poured a black. Just a whispy tan head with ring around. Some lacing.

S - Very complex smell. Alcohol, coffee and dark chocolate.

T - Bourbon, coffee and sweet malt. Very minor bitter finish. Warmth from alcohol.

M - Medium mouthfeel, but it coats the mouth.

D - Yes. Easy drinking for the ABV.

 400 characters

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

ClockworkOrange hooked me up with one of these. thanks jason! unclejedi also "forced" me to drink some of this at darkness day, so thanks jim!

22oz bottle. sampled dec 14/08.

pours black and nearly opaque, only barely showing brown at the edge. a small dense brown head forms, quickly dropping to a ring around the glass and leaving spotty lace.

aroma is great. dark chocolate. coffee. earthy and woody. vanilla. anise. bit of bourbon. alcohol. big biscuit and bready malt. bit of cracker.

taste is great. wow, this is where the barrel really comes alive. bourbon. vanilla. earthy and woody. dark and bittersweet chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. bit of alcohol. big biscuit and bready malt again. medium-low bitterness level, more chocolaty than hoppy. bit of dark fruit too. caramel. bit of toffee.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. medium-low carbonation level. pretty smooth.

drinkability is good. balanced and nice. the barrel character is very nice, but i get the feeling this would be even better with some time in the cellar to let it really mellow and mesh together. looking forward to trying this again.

 1,120 characters

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

22 oz bomber, big thanks to ClockworkOrange for sending this up.

Pours a deep opaque black, some brown in the edges, thin light tan head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots, looks like a stout. Smell is crazy, very nutty, bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, some coffee roast, toffee, peanut brittle, nice barrel character, dark fruit, more bourbon, smells great. Taste is great as well, buttery oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and coffee, toffee, sweet brown sugar middle, a bit toasty with corn syrup and bourbon in the finish. Really nice flavour. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, alcohol is well hidden but some heat does come through in the finish. Really nice example of bourbon barrel aging RIS, very well done. Thanks Jason!

 792 characters

Photo of mentor
3.36/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Fresh 2008 Batch (well, 2 months old). Pours a finger of dark brown head over a pitch liquid. Smells coffee roasty, flat oak, tannic, mild vanilla, some chocolate. Smells very dry and dominated by oak.

Tastes wet to start with alcohol and cherry-like tang biting in a way that cooperates with the drying edgy bourbon oak. Baker's chocolate, fig newton, iron, and onion underneath the dominant alcohol and oak. Leaves the tongue dry and a lingering rough alochol bite with chocolate edge. Meraganue aftertaste. Alcohol curts the mouthfeel to thin, but some dextrine plays on the tongue when swirled. Moderate carbonation. Bourbon County Stout Light. Very similar barrel and alcohol profile, but not the malt sweet and thick mouthfeel found in one of my favorites. Needs *alot* of time in the cellar for this one to pull together.

 829 characters

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

Super jet onyx black with a teeny tiny head of espresso foam that dies qucikly. Aromas of big booze, bourbon, adn wood with some nutty chocolate and coffee undertones. Taset is full up hot bourbon as well as deeply roasted malts and imperial stout notes. Dark fruit also makes an entrance. Mouthfeel is thick but not cloying. Drinkability remains high especially for bourbon lovers such as I. Great!

 399 characters

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

Big thanks to Ben for hooking me up with a bottle.
Pours black with just a slight hint of head forming on the pour. Smell is strong bourbon, some dark chocolate.
Taste is more of the bourbon, but much more balanced than the last time I had tried this a couple years back. This version allows the underlying Blackout to stand up to the bourbon and still be seen. The barrel aging is complimentary and not dominant. Still pretty full on the mouth feel and not hot at all.
I would love to make it up to GLBC and experience this on draft.

 535 characters

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 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.

 538 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 imaguitargod
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah finally, the 2008 edition of the Barrel Aged Blackout Stout...so tasty. Head this on tap and poured into a 8 ounce whiskey glass. Very little head with no lacing. Beautifully black in it's color with blood red edges. First a huge whiskey/oak/alcohol taste hits your tongue then the roasted chocolate malts flood the palate. The aging really mellowed the beer but for the better. Wish I could drink this everyday....

Jonathan Passow

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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 phattysbox
4.64/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a trade with clockworkorange - thanks for the brew!!

Shared among friends and poured into DFH snifter glass. With an aggressive pour, this brew comes out jet black and viscous. Hardly any head, and what head there was dissapears into a thin ring of lace.

The smell was the best thing about this brew. Bourbon, vanilla and nice oak undertones, followed by a sweet malty base. The nose gets better as the brew warms but the alcohol does get noticably hotter. Initial taste is all vanilla! Sweet malts pervade from front to back with a clear bourbon undertow. Hop profile is minimal and could barely detect any. Mouthfeel is thick, creamy and velvety smooth.

For me drinkability was a bit down since I did not find the alcohol hidden to well. This is evident as the brew warms. Overall however, this brew is fantastic and is a great contender among barrel-aged RIMPs. Another BA that shared this with me suggested that this brew is far superior to the un-barreled version.

 977 characters

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

Served in a snifter. Dark almost black in color, rich tan head that lasted some time. Smelled very much of whiskey. Tasted like they had brewed the stout using whiskey instead of water which wasn't a bad thing... whiskey, stout (dark roasted barley) and a hint of coffee were the basic tastes. More coffee presence as the beer warmed. Isn't something you would have more than a glass of as it was 11% abv and to me was more of a dessert/after dinner type...

 457 characters

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.85/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

thanks to EGledhill for the chance to try this great beer!

a - pitch black with a khaki head that quickly settles to a nice ring around the edges.

S - slight oak, vanilla and abv warmth

T - creamy smooth dark malts, vanilla, chocolate and bourbon.

M - full bodied, nicely carbonated, creamy smooth, silky with a soft vanilla bourbon aftertaste.

D - silky smooth, incredibly approachable and balanced. Drinks so easily it's borderline dangerous.

wow, the regular stout is good and worth trying if you get a chance. This release, hands down excellent! I can't say enough my appreciation to EGledhill for sending me this gem!

 628 characters

Photo of UA8
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours jet black with a small yet dense tan head

S- The scents of wonderful smokey bourbon barrels abound. backing of roasted cocoa malts with a touch of coffee.

T- This is a huge beer. Starts with the Taste of bourbon and roasted malts, mid palate fills with warming alcohol and a touch of hops, the finish come nearly 30 seconds or more after the beverage has left the mouth in the form of wonderfully rich coffee tones. I must say I'm very impressed hat the finish comes as late and pronounced as it does.

M- Nice and full could be a bit thicker for my liking.

D- Well if your having one which is what I had I would say the drinkability is splendid since it leaves you with a wonderful buzz. however if you plan on operating a motor vehicle that is probably where you'll want to stop. It says 10%, it feels more like12%+ which a person at the brewery said was very possible. This is a fantastic stout any way you slice it and well worth the trip to the brewery to experience it.

 987 characters

Photo of jpiper
4.05/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at GL. I've been drinking this at the source about every other day since the release. I've never had a beer whose flavor was so dependent on what I had eaten immediately prior than this one. First day I was disappointed; second I was impressed; third day was also a let down, until I started in on the pretzels, then it was pretty good; fourth day was best of all. So I asked if they mixed the batches or went straight from barrel to keg. Evidently they mix them. So, I rate with an emphasis on the good days. This beer can be impressive. I imagine giving this one some time to mellow out can only help, but the barrel aging surely takes this a step or two about the regular Blackout. So creamy and delicious.

 716 characters

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

On tap at the brewpub during the mug club member release party.

A-Deep dark, almost black, brown with ruby highlights. Small tan head holds on and finally lets go to a rim of film along the edges. Spotty lace clings behind.

S-Present, but not overwhelming, bourbon notes with oak, vanilla, earth, tobacco and bitter chocolate swirling with roasty/toasty malt.

T-Mmmm, mmmm, mmm! A bif ole mouthful smooth, mellow oak aged bourbon. Vanilla and caramel malt sweetness are complimented by dry/bitter tones of chocolate, oak, espresso and tobacco. Alcohol heat certainly present but not offensive. All well supported by a healthy dose of roasted malt.

M-Medium-heavy body with a super smooth and luscious!

D-Big and robust...a brew with serious kahones! A beer that deserves more (shhh lets keep it to ourselves) hype. Who cares as long as I can get more in the future.

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

I had the good fortune of coming across this beer at the Great Lakes brewpub in Cleveland, OH. Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout is certainly not retired, unless the version I had was a further aged release of a previous year. I'd assume not, however, as it was listed at 10% ABV. Served in a snifter.

Pours a seal brown body with a decent head of light khaki foam that retreats to a ring of large bubbles. Not quite as dark as most in its category, as I could see through the brew halfway through the snifter. The aroma was heavy on the bourbon, with a backbone of dark, sweet chocolate. A solvent-like alcohol note lurked below the upper notes.

The flavor, as the 5.0 rating suggests, was exceptional. Rich, dark chocolate notes covered the palate with a background of earthy hops and vanilla undertones. Bourbon whiskey and oak are saved for the finale, as a spicy, wooden booziness rides out for an enjoyable finish. The body isn't overly thick or viscous, drinking more like a porter. It also wasn't as hot as the normal Blackout Stout, although I would love to see how this stuff tastes after a year or more in the cellar. Overall, a fantastic brew from the solid beer-makers from Ohio. The two glasses I had of this stuff went down dangerously easily, and I can only hope I cross paths with this beer again.

 1,309 characters

Photo of mbrasi
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been wanting to try this one for awhile and had it side by side with a regular blackout and let me say, this beer was meant for oak. Aroma was a dead giveaway which one was oak aged. The oak aged was a lot more subdued and "earthy" than the regular. Side by side the barrel aged doesn't look any lighter than the regular. The mouthfeel of the oak is creamier than the original. There is a definite texture difference, carbonation is weak in both brews but is practically non-existent in the oak aged. This gives the oak aged a softer feel in the mouth. Regular is much more strong in alcohol flavor. This is why this brew is made for oak. The oak aged is smooth with sweetness to match. Alcohol is in the background but never detracts from the flavor profile. (Major weakness of the reg. b/o) Hints of smoke, oak, coffee, and licorice. This is one of the better stouts out there. Better than DL IMO.

 899 characters

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

Traveled to Cleveland with my brother yesterday to pick up a few of these at the brewery and try it on tap. I've always liked regular blackout stout, and I just couldn't miss this.

Appearance: Deep, rich chocolate brown - practically black. Held a short, frothy deep tan head with light lacing throughout drinking. Reminds me of the foam at the top of hot chocolate.

Smell: The smell was amazing - exactly like bourbon, but better. Charred oak, sweet chocolate and cream - smelled unbelievably delicious.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Wow. Wow. Words can hardly describe. I will admit to exclaiming that I wanted to eat it after the first sip because the taste was so incredibly delicious. I tasted different dimensions with every sip - toasted coffee beans, dark creamy bitter chocolate, bourbon - big bourbon, creaminess and charred oak. The alcohol is strong, as in bourbon, and it has a wonderful warming effect - not sharp or stinging in any way. The mouth is very creamy with low carbonation, just enough to keep it from being flat.

Drinkability: It tastes so good, that I could drink a lot more than I should. We even went back to the brewpub later in the day to have another.

I know that a perfect rating should be really rare, but this beer definitely deserves it. I have never enjoyed a beer this much in my life. Great job, Great Lakes!

 1,341 characters

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well this will be my first review and I figured why not start with this yearly gem.

A - Served in a small snifter (8-10oz?) with a small tan head. Very dark almost mahogany.

S - Mmmm Bourbon. That was the first thing I smelled. Not much else, some roasted and dark chocolate hints in there. I just can't get enough of the bourbon smell!

T - Mmmmm more bourbon. Not overpowering but very tasty. Mostly tastes the same as it smells. The bourbon taste simmers down as it warms making finishing the glass easy (I sat with it for an hour, 15 minutes of that I debated whether to make love to it or drink it)

D - I could drink this all night. Well as long as I paced myself. This years batch is 10% ABV so it would be like babysitting it if I wanted to drink a lot of it.

Overall this is a great way to enjoy an already classic! I love the regular Blackout Stout. Then they throw it in some Bourbon Barrels? Absolutely genius! I definitely plan on making this a yearly ritual. Can't wait to get some more!

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.94/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage.

Pours a deep deathly black letting no light through when held to light. Head is short and short lived but nice for a Barrel aged stout that is three years old. Nose has a distinct mix of bourbon and chocolate that is wonderful. I could just sit and smell this beer all night. Sweet bourbon notes grace the tongue so smooth and consistant. Chocolaty and syrupy without being to heavy. Candied and oh so good flavor profile that just lasts and lasts. A bit of tingling bourbon on the back of the tongue. This brew has aged wonderfully. Mouthfeel is full of rich coco. Highly drinkable, as a matter of fact you dont want the glass to end.

 650 characters

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

Big thanks goes out to the kind BA who sent this one mu way. Another one I had been trying to track down for a while. Twenty Two ounce bottle was served in oversized wine glass at cellar temperature. Consumed on 08/11/2008.

A very dark and very big pour on this one. Poured jet black, with absolutely no light penetrating it whatsoever. Nice tan head about two inches in height came up over the top rather quickly and stayed for a good couple minutes, at which point it decided to settle down into a tin cover of about a half an inch in height that stayed with it until the very end. Lots of sticky side glass lacing on this one just helped to complete the package.

The aroma was very big, and to be honest, much sweeter then I thought it would be. Lots of chocolate notes here on the smell, roasted coffee, hints of bourbon and vanilla as well. Very nice and complex without being terribly overdone. The flavor was much more of the same. Started with a warm rush of bourbon and wood, with touches of vanilla thrown in as well. Rich with lots of lactose flavor and sweet milk chocolate. A smooth, creamy body, very nice carbonation on this one I have to admit. As it warms it starts to mellow a bit, some light alcohol notes in the back and more of a pungent vanilla taste. Woody, with lots of oak like hints mixed in, but again, primarily sweet and not too heavy on the bourbon. A very fine nightcap, I enjoyed this one over the course of several hours and it made a fine sipper next to the TV.

Overall I thought this was a great BA beer. Not the heavy, dripping with bourbon and whiskey tones that you tend to see sometimes, this was much more subdued, with gentle hints layered on top of an already good beer. I would love to get another one to see how this holds up.

 1,773 characters

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

Black, but brown at the edges with a very light tan head that retains well and leaves bits of lacing. Sweet smell like a coffee with creamer; oak, vanilla, and bourbon is also present. It immediately gives me sweet malt and vanilla flavors. It also has some creamy, lactose notes to it. Roastiness seems rather subdued in comparison to the regular Blackout Stout. Amazingly smooth going down; full bodied with light carbonation. Great beer, thanks go to kmweaver for the bottle!

 478 characters

Photo of Crosling
2.19/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Dark ruby brown color with a small, light tan head. Needs to be much darker. Timid nose, with only a light hint of the barrel element. Thin mouth feel, low complexity and fairly depthless character overall. Some hints of caramel and corn whiskey, but there is hardly much of a beer underneath. This is a rerate of the newer bottling, but its a lot like the first: bland, poorly concentrated, lacking texture and just dull overall.

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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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