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

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BA SCORE
4.35/5
Outstanding
1,820 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#365
Reviews:
423
Ratings:
1,820
pDev:
8.74%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1,361
Gots:
339
Trade:
32
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,820 |  Reviews: 423
Photo of Kmlund
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of KVNBGRY
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of MattXT
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of siege06nd
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 1,539 characters

Photo of Moses_Malone
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of durlta
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

 1,282 characters

Photo of baybum
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Florida9
3.9/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 788 characters

Photo of Damian74
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Hopstout
4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chrismattlin
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5  rDev 0%
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.

 413 characters

Photo of ystazi
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jakea
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Brew33
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of BB1313
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage. I've had this in the past. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours jet black, mocha head which fades and not overwhelming lacing or retention. Smells like a chocolate chip cookie. Lots of dark chocolate, vanilla, expresso, bourbon, oak/wood. Wow, this is alot boozier than I recall from the past. I always got very subtle bourbon notes, but it's very noticeable in this vintage. Dark chocolate dominates the flavors along with more oak and bourbon. Bittersweet. Mouthfeel is nice and on the lighter side; not heavy and well carbonated. Although the alcohol is noticeable and it finishes hot, it's very tasty and enjoyable. This makes a great sipper.

Great stout which will benefit from time. 2012 vintage is boozier than previous vintages I've had. Age this one!

 778 characters

Photo of ffejherb
4/5  rDev -8%
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!

 711 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage. Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a Darkness snifter.

A: Standard pour yields a frothy 1.5 finger frappachino colored head with big bubbles at the top and moderate retention. Beer is a comparatively thin, opaque black. Lacing is stringy with some spottiness and moderate stick.

S: Nose is very subtle for a -bal aged beer. Muted chocolate, cocoa powder, and roasted malt. Next to no booziness or heat. Slight touch of brownie and molasses.

T: Opens sweet milk chocolate, molasses, honey, and a slight bourbon heat. Brown sugar, fudge brownie, sweet liquorice, prunes, raisins, and coca-cola towards the middle. A tickle of bourbon at the end followed by a brown sugar and honey finish and a sweet, chocolate aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with low carbonation. Filmy and oily in the mouth but not really heavy or sticky. Goes down super smooth with very little heat considering the abv. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that lingers.

D: One of the easiest drinking -bal aged imperial stouts that I've come across, this is a completely different animal compared to the regular blackout stout which I wasn't a huge fan of. Not fantastically complex but it has all the sweet, roasty, bourbony character that I need. Well worth searching out and I can't wait to see how this one develops.

 1,306 characters

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.97/5  rDev +14.3%
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.

 1,336 characters

Photo of Kramerbarthomer
4.64/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tbone1384
4.51/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ncaudle
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of tylerstravis
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Great stout, but honestly, not good enough to truly play with the big boys.

75 characters

Great Lakes Barrel-Aged Blackout Stout from Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.35 out of 5 with 1,820 ratings
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