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

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BA SCORE
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420 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
420
Ratings:
1,795
Avg:
4.33
pDev:
8.78%
 
 
Wants:
1,370
Gots:
345
For Trade:
36
User Reviews
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Reviews: 420 | Ratings: 1,795
Photo of KYGunner
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The flavors are thick and creamy with huge chocolate, coconut, light vanilla, toffee, some butterscotch and fudge. Though the feel is a touch thin it still gives up a creaminess.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4.21/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks for the hookup John!

Appearance: midnight black, mildly viscus, meager near finger brown head, fast dissipation.

Aroma: toasty oak, chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, woodsy char, subtle coffee, light fusel notes, toffee.

Taste: milk chocolate, fainter coffee, slight booze, roasted wood, vanilla, nouget, bourbon-y caramel.

***Great balance, not too daunting, but the 12oz is perfect. The barrel takes away from the great coffee notes in the regular version, but I'd call it a fair trade off. Good drinkability, and a BA stout that can stand up with the best. $7 is a great value for this stout.

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Photo of tpd975
4.67/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge Thanks to BeerTruth for the share! You Rock Adam!

A: Pours a nice flat black hue with tones of amber showing through. The head was nice solid and creamy. Retention was only ok with light lace noted.

S: Huge aroma from this one. Tons of rich chocolate, gooey toffee, macroons, and all the goodness that comes from barrel ageing.

T: Rather oaky, but not overthetop. Rich Belgian chocolate, coconut, with hits of vanilla. The roast was wonderful and the beer soo complex with numerous layers.

M: Full in body, thick enough to cling to the mouth and throat providing lasting enjoyment.

D: Very, glad I shared it, but is one I could have sipped on for an hour.

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

12oz bottle with 2012 stamped on the side of the label.

Pours pitch black in color. The smallest amount of light penetrates near the top of the beer showing some dark brown hues. The head itself is light brown in color and stood almost two fingers tall initially. It has since reduced to a thin layer with some nice lacing on the glass.

Nice nose consisting of chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, and a touch of wood.

Taste: A good amount of bourbon up front followed by the classic smooth chocolate taste of the original Blackout Stout. Suggestions of vanilla and oak near the middle. Very little hops in this IS which is always a good thing when it comes to barrel aged beers. I find that a strong hop presence and a strong barrel presence sometimes clash. A touch of sweetness and alcohol heat in the finish.

Medium bodied (which would normally be a bit thin for the style) but the base beer has a creamy mouthfeel which is also present in the BA version. Carbonation is on the low side.

A super enjoyable BA IS without a doubt.

Morey's Bottom Line: Well, I drove 2hrs to get this, and then waited in line for about and hour and a half. In short, it was worth it. I really like this beer a whole lot, and you can bet I'll be at the release next year.

*This beer pairs extremely well with chocolate. Try it, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Florida9
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black, but with just a little bit of light shining through on the side. Forms a thin, light tannish head on the pour. No lacing.

S: Obvious aroma of bourbon and vanilla followed by the sweet smell of dark malt.

T: Okay, there is now no mistaking the barrel-aging on this one. Taste is virtually all bourbon, vanilla, oak, and alcohol, with dark malts, molasses, and brown sugar playing a supporting role. Quite full flavored.

M: On the lighter side of heavy with appropriate carbonation.

D: Too brash and in-your-face on the barrel aging for my tastes. Maybe this beer will improve with age, maybe the bourbon qualities will tone down and reveal a more subdued and complex beer. I don't know, but in it's current state, it was just too much for me to consider overly enjoyable.

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

I got 2 bottles of this beer, one from drgonzo3705 and another from Auslander. Thanks Paul and Thanks Chris!

22oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - black with a small cocoa colored head that thinned to a ring.

S - the aroma of sweet bourbon fills my nostrils.

T - bourbon flavor is blended well with rich, roasted malt and chocolate flavors.

F - full bodied with a silky smooth feel.

D - very good all around.

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

Poured via 22oz. bomber into goblet on 12/19/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured an opaque, deep black body with slim tan head that receded into patchy film and left decent lacing around the glass.

S - Subtle nose for a barrel-aged stout with hints of bourbon, chocolate malt, licorice and a bit of alcohol.

T - Initial flavor is a mixture of bourbon, chocolate, mild coffee and woody notes with a definite oak presence. The bourbon rose to the forefront as the liquid approached room temperature.

M - Smooth and creamy texture with soft carbonation and a bit of heat from the alcohol presence.

D - The bourbon character is fairly subtle here, making this one go down quite easily. Good stuff!

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Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap (10 oz) at the Blue Tusk in Syracuse. Poured almost pitch black color with crimson red hues along the sides. Thin tan colored head that dissipated fairly quickly. Tiny stream of bubbles surface around the edges consistently.
Aroma is nothing short of spectacular. Bourbon cask aroma, with lots of vanilla, oak and hints of caramel, some coffee and milk chocolate. It is very aromatic, yet it is not very overwhelming.
Taste akin to the aroma is high on bourbon, with a nice taste of vanilla/sweetness taking over the bourbon, which finally gives way to smooth yet bitter chocolate and coffee notes with just a hint of bitterness in the finish. Surprisingly clean finish. Full-bodied and silky smooth on the palate.
This has to be hands-down one of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts I have had so far, period. Nothing short of spectacular.
The levels of balance achieved in the aging process is just fantastic, and no words can express it more than actually getting a taste of it. I was told by the Great Lakes employees that they only make 800 bottles a year which are sold only at the brewery. It's a shame it is not sold elsewhere. If you enjoy the regular Black Out Stout; which is also very good, then you will absolutely, positively enjoy this one.
Definitely worth a try and comes highly, highly recommended.

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

Beer sent via the Simply Beer BIF from Mike (mcallister), thanks guy!

Oh man, label says bottle number 412 of 900, bottled in 2006.n This is one of those beers you hate to open, but then you realize - what the fork, let's rip into it.

Daaammn, this is bourbon with a stout backbone. Pure black, no head - the 9% dominates the pour and subdues all head. Beer just doesn't get any better than this.

Cherry boubon mash, guessing Jim Beam (one of my favorites). This thing takes your breath away, in a most enjoyable way. Luvly beer to start (hopefully) spring in 2008.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.15/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a deep black with minimal head.

S: Nice barrel character, toasted malt, chocolate, Hints of vanilla and caramel. An excellent tasting beer.

T: Vanilla, caramel, bourbon and baker's chocolate. Mild roasted malt and slight hop bitterness. Very mild flavor profile for a barrel aged beer.

M: Mild carbonation, and a bit thin honestly. I'd like a little more body in my barrel aged stout.

O: A pretty nice barrel aged stout. Definitely worth seeking out, but not up there with the elite BA stouts out there.

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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 Sabtos
3.04/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Black with a minimal tan head dying to a thin ring.

Lots of woody, dry oak on the nose, almost a smoked applewood, like bacon, with soy sauce, and roasted almond.

Very heavily roasted, tangy malt flavor, with roasted almond, soy sauce, and a smoked hammy-ness.

Thin, fizzy and a little hot.

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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 siege06nd
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a CBS snifter...

A: True to its namesake, this one is pitch black. A thin ring of cream colored head forms a neck around the top of the beer. Very thin, spotty lacing.

S: MMmmm, excellent. Lots of baking chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. Fairly good wood presence as well, lending a slight earthiness to the nose on this one. Quite a bit of coconut and some faint traces of ripe fruit. This bouquet is top notch.

T: Chocolate, dark fruit, vanilla, caramel, and bourbon. The barrel is quite apparent on this and the bourbon is bold only a few months after release. Age should be interesting for this brew. Really nice profile, though, with plenty of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and caramel with a healthy dose of bourbon. Maybe one of the most "bourbon-ey" barrel aged stouts I have had, though in this case it is a decided benefit rather than being overwhelmingly brash. There's a simplicity yet a quality here that I just don't feel is found in other BA stouts out there.

M: Hints of thinness linger throughout this beer. The base beer isn't quite complex enough, and the overall experience hits the right notes, but doesn't present much in the way of surprises or depth. That being said, it is still good.

O: At first glance, I think this beer drinks a little thin. But as I enjoy and consider it more, I realize that it's not thin, just focused. This is chocolatey, vanilla-infused, coconut-laden, and filled with nice bourbon notes. A simpler BA stout, no doubt, but top-notch all the same. Very much enjoy this one.

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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 msubulldog25
4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another from a stack of found notes ~ this one dated Nov 7, 2010.

22 oz. bottle, sent late in 2009 by one of two fine BAs (trep or pecorasc?), poured to a large snifter. '2516 Series', labeled 9.0% ABV; undated, but about 1 year old at consumption time.

A: Dark, but not 'black'; glugs from the bottle with a slight transparency/thinness. A fractional head, maybe a centimeter or so of bone/eggshell cream ebbs to a swirling film. Some fleeting bubbles rise and lace webbing sticks like snowflakes.

S: Love the scent! strong (but not overpowering) bourbon woodiness and spiced grain with warm vanilla, all engulfing fudgy chocolate. Rich and just sweet enough, excellent roast/liquor blend.

T: Sweetly spiced oak, slightly resinous. Wave upon wave of dusty baker's chocolate and cookie dough. Darkroast roast covers some earthy fruit, some sweetly over-ripened berries, maybe? But the baseline here is chocolate, lots of it. Flavors seem mellow but deep, a nice tweaking of the delicious 'regular' Blackout Stout.

D: May have thinned some in its year of cellaring, which means the end result is a little thinner feeling, but soothing and velvety all the same. Maybe a little more carbonated 'oomph' was expected, but it's still a pleasingly warm medium-bodied mouth-coater.

M: Heat is diminished, drinkability flourishes. An easy sipper, surprisingly gentle on the palate. I'd be interested to compare year-aged versus fresh, but that's for another day. Well done, GLBC.

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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 homebrew311
4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to TMoney2591 for sharing this at a recent tasting.

A: pours dark brown, some light passes through, thin head, some lacing

S: nose features a considerable amount of oak up front. The bourbon character is there and features notes of vanilla and molasses. Chocolate and raisins come through towards the finish.

T: oak and bourbon up front, lots of vanilla and chocolate. It seems as if the barrel aging has really transformed this beer- having difficult tasting the base beer. Finish is dry. This has awesome balance for a barrel aged stout...the bourbon is in now way overpowering.

MF: a little thinner than expected, or I should say thinner than I remember the regular Blackout Stout being. Carbonation is mellow.

D: This has exceptional drinkability for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. Lots of flavor, ABV goes undetected. Great brew!

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Photo of ehammond1
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, brew3crew!

Black throughout with a very small dark brown head. Not quite as thick and viscous as some beers within the style, though this is still quite thick. Leaves irregular, dotted lines of stick down the glass. Very pretty and appropriate for the style.

The aroma is rich and decadent with lots and lots of chocolate. There's only a faint trace of bourbon barrel in the aroma, but it's not really missed. The aroma is complete, rich, and decadent as is. Mild roast, slight coffee, and just a hint of alcohol heat. Complete.

The flavor is simply astounding. This is like liquid chocolate brownies. When I think of FTowne's wife's chocolate brownies, this is what I think of. Layers upon layers of rich, bitter, sweet, earthy chocolate. Still, the barrel character is minimal, but it's not missed.

Medium to full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Slightly creamy.

If I was given this blind, I may not even acknowledge the barrel. That being said, this is a chocolate lover's dream and I can't wait for my next sip...this beer is fantastic.

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Photo of koopa
4.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle received in a trade from a nice BA thanks!

Appearance: Very dark brown / borderline black body with a nice dark brown crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: A good amount of bourbon and sweet oak over some roast malt.

Taste: Sweet oak dominates, followed by roast malt, mild chocolate notes and some bourbon...the exact opposite of the nose!

Mouthfeel: Disappointing until it warms ups. Then you get a body that is on the fuller side of medium with good carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good considering the strength.

I didn't like it as much as I was hoping to but its a solid brew.

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

22 0z. Bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Opaque black in color. A thin but tight tan head pours one finger thick and settles into a micro bubble ring around the edges of the glass. Thin sticky lacing.

S: Roasted coffee bean. Dark chocolate. Dark fruit. Vanilla. Charred wood. Bourbon.

T: Tastes of dark roasted coffee and rich dark chocolate dominate the front end of this brew. A soft hop bite tickles the tongue and is followed by balancing caramel malts. Sweet dark fruits are taken over by a hint of vanilla and raw earth. Flavors of charred oak and a warm bourbon finish.

M: Silky smooth and full bodied. Minimal carbonation. Warming and dry.

D: A richly complex elixir. The multitude of flavors are well balanced and the higher alcohol content is well hidden. Aging did a ton for this brew. Recommended.

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Photo of harrymel
4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2013

I'm a huge fan of Blackout and I am happy to have this one in my hands. It's been a want of mine for quite some time that a gracious local BA put into my hands.

It's black as it's namesake and has a central pillow and flanking ring of mocha foam. Smells of graham, oak, toasted malts, residually melted sugars, a hint of craft caramel, some vanilla, alcohol and raw oats. Flavor follows suit: malts, oak, vanilla, oak, leathery, a bit of fig, a solid molasses undertone (nothing too overpowering, just a complement), and some nougat. Nearly full bodied with slightly hi carb and a semi dry finish. This a really tasty beer. I'm glad to have had it, and I would drink it again for certain.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: black as night with a 1/4 inch tan head and ok retention some film on the top with some spotty dots of lace

Smell: right away the bourbon greets you and that is then followed up by some chocolate fudge some slight coffee notes and finishes with a nice vanilla sweetness

Taste: much the same as the nose but it follows a slightly different pattern. Upfront is the chocolate brownie and roasted coffee flavors. That is followed up by some oak and vanilla and then the beer finishes with a splash of bourbon. Fantastic

Mouthfeel. Thick body and mild carbonation

Overall. This is an exceptional BA stout one of my favorite fresh. Highly recommended

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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 GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into three snifters. Thanks to pops and HeatherAnn for the assist! Extra special thanks to brokenleadedcask for this from our latest trade!

2009 Vintage

A: Pours black with a slight cola-brown tint at the edges. A thin, brown-bread colored head fans out on top and soon disappears before leaving a creamy collar clinging to the glass.

S: Bourbon and vanilla-y oak at the onset that in no way overpower the complexities of the nose. Dark chocolate, carmelized dark fruit, fudge, heavily roasted malt, and espresso.

T: Exactly as above. The bourbon is so well integrated into this. Heather picked up some notes of black licorice/anise as it warmed up. Alcohol flavor is non-existant.

M: Stick to your ribs without being syrup-y. Just the right amount of bourbon heat keeps things from becoming too slick or too sweet.

O: A fantastic barrel aged beer. Also loved the relatively low (for the style) abv.

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Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
4.33 out of 5 based on 1,795 ratings.
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