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:
1,371
Gots:
348
For Trade:
35
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Reviews: 419 | Ratings: 1,792
Photo of NoLeafClover44
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter glass. 2013 edition courtesy of ZRT.

A - Pours pitch black, muddy, with one finger of quick-fizzling sorbet head. A halo remains for the duration and it shows great lacing.

S - Rich, dark chocolate and banana. Bourbon aging has added a lot to the nose. Boozey, but also sweet and complex.

T - Sweet on the tongue initially. Black jelly beans, chocolate syrup, banana, and dark fruits all contribute. Subtle bourbon and char on the finish. The barrel carries through the finish and lingers for a while afterwards. Wow, this stuff is delicious.

M - Thick enough, velvety smooth, and appropriate carbonation. Maybe a touch boozey, but I attribute this mostly to the bourbon, which is invited.

O - The ubarraled version is delicious, but the barrel aging has mellowed the somewhat bitter char and added in layers of sweet complexity. Bourbon is prominent, but not overpowering. I am glad I got a few of these, as I am interested to see how it ages.

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

Sent in trade from my oh so sweet bitch Egledhill. This one's to you princess! I'm not greedy enough to down this all by my lonesome so I shared in a multiple bottle tasting with Mauerhan, OlieIPA, and Aimstatus. Who all enjoyed it by the way.

Decent head after a big pour. Light tan and creamy. Pitch black fluid.

Really nice coffee scent. Big chocolate, espresso.

Huge flavor. I mean a whole damn mouthful. Bourbon. Stout. Chocolate. Coffee. Coffee. Bourbon. Very pronounced.

Super smooth. Little burn at the end, yet great.

Sure coulda drank the whole damn bottle instead of sharing! Didn't have quite the ABV kick I usually enjoy in a big beer.

Sending this to me was the coolest thing Eric has ever done in his entire life. Especially since everything else he's ever done has been pretty stupid.

Overall: really good

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.76/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown pour with a small khaki head.

Bourbon hits first on the nose mixing in with sweet roasted malt and milk chocolate.

Milk chocolate and roasted malt come forward the most in the flavor. Creamy, lightly carbed mouthfeel. Moderate bourbon kick and easy drinking. Slight oxidation note.

Highly drinkable BA Impy Stout but not incredibly complex in the flavor/aroma.

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Photo of Brez07
4.59/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle split into two wine glasses last night. 2010 vintage via normyk in the Black Booty Vol 4 BIF

A: Pours a light brown but sits in the glass dark as night. 1 finger tan head, no lacing

S: Booze soaked brownie with walnuts. Nice oak presence. Cocoa powder, vanilla, roast and some smokiness. One of those beers you could smell forever

T: Very rich chocolate flavor with subtle roasted malt. Has that initial bite similar to what you get from wine. Reminds me a little of rum balls. Oak and light vanilla cap this one off

M: Full bodied, very smooth and creamy. Light roasted malt aftertaste

D: I wasn't a big fan of the regular version but that was delicious. In some ways, this reminded me of Kate the Great - not quite as complex or easy drinking but the flavors are pretty spot on. Two thumbs way up

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Photo of genog
4.23/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Franksnbeans for sharing this one!

Pours a thick like motor oil black color with a light brown creamy head that sticks around to leave a fair amount of lacing on the top of my pint glass. Smell is like a cookie with milk chocolate and some dark coffee notes, as well as the roasted malt aroma. Taste is moderately sweet with a bittersweet finish. Medium mouthfeeling with a creamy dry texture, and soft carbonation allowing the bourbon notes to really kick in.

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Photo of readbaron
3.77/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out very dark with a bit of tan foam. Looks a little thinner and less viscous than I like my stouts.

Smells pretty good - lots of smoke and burnt notes, with a good deal of sweetness, malt and a nice splash of bourbon.

Taste is surprisingly boozy for the relatively low (9.5%) abv. Poured it out cold, and initially there was a ton of burnt and smokey character that mellowed out a bit as it warmed. Lots of bourbon notes and malty sweetness as well. This is my third time trying this one, and I've been underwhelmed each time.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin - but pleasantly carbonated.

Overall it's thinner with more burnt and smoke flavors than I like in my stouts, but still a decent barrel aged stout.

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Photo of fiver29
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. Easily one of the best beers I have tried. You can certainly tell this beer was aged in Jim Beam Barrels. Here in Cleveland they do a Jim Beam tasting along with beer tasting with this special release. Strong bourbon and toasted coffee aroma. Pours black with nice head retention. Bourbon flavors abound a light mouthfeel followed by dark chocolate/coffee like flavors. Beautiful long finish.

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Photo of ricke
3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown, quite pale for the style, with an off-white head.

The aroma is lightly roasted with notes of milk chocolate, bourbon, toasted almonds, ashes and salty licorice.

The flavor is quite sweet with delicate malty backbone of roasted coffee, caramel, fudge and chocolate. Bourbon, almonds, vanilla and some light smoky notes. The finish is lightly bitter with lingering notes of oak, bourbon and salty licorice. Medium body, smooth carbonation.

I had high expectations on this one, and unfortunately they weren't really met. A decent barrel aged imperial stout, no more.

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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 Mavajo
3.7/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a slightly watery looking black with a thin cream/eggshell head. Not really impressive. Nose is a bit on the faint side - a mild bourbon medley. Roasty dark chocolate on the palate with a bit of molasses, licorice and anise, and noticeable but not overpowering bourbon notes with mild caramel and vanilla. Medium mouthfeel with brisk carbonation.

A pretty balanced bourbon barrel stout. Personally, not a fan of the roastiness, but this is to be expected since I feel similarly about the regular Blackout Stout. Good beer, but not worth going to much trouble to seek out, in my opinion. Much better BA stouts out there, IMO.

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Photo of Realale
3.83/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Black. Very fine light brown head stays throughout the snifter, leaving some lacing.

Nose is a whiff of alcohol, followed by coffee, dark chocolate, caramel, and a touch of ash over rich, brown bready malt. The bourbon influence is thankfully pretty restrained, and well-integrated.

Medium full in the mouth. Really mouthfilling stuff. Malt, malt, malt. Chocolate, bready, and yeasty. Touch of bitterness to balance. Again, the bourbon influence is quite subdued - there's a touch more caramelly sweetness, and a hint of bourbon flavor. Well done, but I believe I prefer the regular version.

Mouthfeel is bit more highly carbonated than I'd prefer. It seems to work against the body of the beer rather than with it. Quite drinkable for what it is, but the snifter was more than enough for me. Kudos to Great Lakes for not going over-the-top with the wood or bourbon flavors.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
3.4/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pouring this to celebrate the end of my local blackout! Thank god that's over...
BA Blackout pours with a deep brown body, about cola colored. A modest tan head rises about only a half inch thick with moderate head retention. Nothing impressive about its appearance for an imperial stout.

However, in the aroma I find much to be impressed with! I smell raisins, dates, boozy alcohol, oak, leather, drunken cherries, chocolate, and soy sauce. Nothing really dominates here, but it's rather well-balanced. It's a rich aroma for sure, and it promises a complex palate.

Up front, this full bodied beer has a booziness on the roof of the mouth. The flavor is a mix of oak, whisky, fruitiness, cocoa, and finally, espresso on the finish. Carbonation is medium, with a mildly bitter hop finish. It's definitely on the lighter side of the spectrum for the style.

One could call this a "drinkable" Imperial Stout, because the abv, while high, is still under 10%. The body is not viscous, and the booziness is mostly contained. It's not the best example of a barrel-aged impy stout. It's not the worst either. It's somewhere in the middle.

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

Poured into a snifter, #7 from our outstanding stout tasting party.

A: Ports black with a rim of off-white head, mild lacing.

S: Chocolate, Vanilla, Roasted Malts, Bourbon, Dark Fruits. A wonderful mix.

T: All the flavors come through that were smelled - it seemed everything was complimentary. There isnt a harsh after-taste which is nice.

M: Medium body, lifght carbonation.

O: This is outstanding. I love how the flavors came through and everything melded together very well. It isn't a huge ABV but the alchol was masked very well. Great BA stout.

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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 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.

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Photo of glazeman
3.68/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split with airohead2001.

A: Black in color with barely any head and a tan crown of bubbles.

S: A little coffee on the nose, but to be honest, I hardly get anything but the tad bit of coffee and tad bit of malt.

T: Well, I'm sure glad the taste is more exciting than the look or smell. There's a nice amount of coffee and toasted malt, as well as some subtle bourbon finished off by a tad of dark chocolate. I wish the bourbon were slightly more prominent.

M: The viscosity here is pretty good, but a little low. The carbonation is also very low.

D: Well, this beer is by no means bad, but it's not all that exciting either. I would have this again, but probably won't seek it out.

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Photo of lurpy1
4.27/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 and 2010 vintages broken out at a tasting. What a treat!

First, the 2009 comes out. The older the better, right? Wrong. Sour. Unhappy faces about. Barrel-aged beer dumped into the bushes. Bushes now happy, bushes don't know the beer has gone over.

2010 next. Initially paranoia that this one is putrified too. No, we're OK.

Pours a deep, contemplative black, with no head whatsoever. The smell is molasses, vanilla, heavy bourbon. Delicious. But when it comes to taste, I do find the bourbon tramples on the base beer. And that's a shame, the base beer has an incredible sweet note that gets lost in the barrel aging. Make no mistake, I like this beer, maybe even enough to trade it for one of my kids, but I did like the base beer a bit more.

Mouthfeel is good and slick.

I liked it very much, but what it really did for me is remind me of how much I liked the un-barreled version.

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Photo of rodkin
4.02/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2012 bottling.

Pretty standard appearance. Black, kind of thick looking but honestly not as much as I would expect. Tiny little head that disappears almost completely, leaving minimal lacing around the side of the glass.

Smell is coffee, chocolate, some barrel, bit of heat, maybe a little vanilla. More of the slightly bitter burnt malt flavors than the sweet ones, though.

Taste confirms the smell. Burnt coffee grounds, dark chocolate, some bourbon, and just a little hint of vanilla sweetness. It's actually pretty nice, avoids a cloying sweetness. A little milk chocolate on the way down, especially as it warms. Maybe a tiny bit of dark fruit, too. It's not too hot, but it does have a kind of boozy flavor.

Mouthfeel is fine. Not too thick, but it works pretty well. Decent carb, decently creamy.

Overall, a pretty good BA stout. A bit too boozy for my taste, which hurts drinkability, but it's got some good flavors. I'd be curious to see what some age does to it. Didn't really blow me away, though... maybe I've just been having too many stouts recently.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jparkanzky for this bottle! 2012 release.

Pours black with a half inch head and tons of lacing. Almost over carbonated.

Smells like vanilla, bourbon, oak, and chocolate.

Taste opens with a sweet chocolate and caramel flavor which moves into a bit of roast, chocolate, caramel and vanilla flavors. Moves into a vanilla, chocolate, bourbon, and oak flavors on the finish. The bourbon barrel treatment really enhances the stout and I'm really enjoying it.

Mouthfeel is moderate, probably due to over carbonation.

Overall, this is a great stout...very underrated...glad I had 2, but I will be drinking the other soon.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
3.8/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

More of the notes from the Southsound gathering.

A Pours a dark brown with a tanish head.

S Some bourbon, dark chocolate, a bit of vanilla.

T Pretty much the same as the nose with bourbon, vanilla, dark chocolate and a bit of wood.

M Seemed a bit thin but alright I guess.

Overall an excellent stout just nothing mind blowing.

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Photo of output01x
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (Bottled In 2012) into a snifter glass.

A vigorous pour yields a 2 1/2-finger mocha colored head of dense, creamy bubbles. After a few minutes, the head slowly recedes to a thin, even dusting and thick foam ring. The body is as black as the label on the bottle with absolutely no traces of color or light. Great lacing clings to almost every area of available glass.

Dark gourmet chocolate, espresso, vanilla, oak, and bourbon. The nose is a great combination of these aromas with bourbon definitely being the dominant part.

Creamy milk chocolate, caramel, and plum start each sip. Upon swallowing, vanilla and dulce de leche come out but are quickly accompanied by a sweet bourbon flavor. As the bourbon flavor grows in intensity, a nice alcohol warmth takes hold in the back of the throat that persists between sips. A slight dry coffee aftertaste can also be noticed poking through the alcohol warmth as an aftertaste.

Full bodied with good carbonation, this beer is a creamy delight. The body is rather sticky and very coating but is not syrupy in the least. The carbonation never really presents itself as fizzy but can definitely be noticed in the creaminess of the mouthfeel. This is definitely one easy-drinking RIS.

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

Pours with decent head for a barrel-aged beer. Black is the color. Slight lacing. Aroma of coffee, bourbon, and vanilla.

Taste has plenty of chocolate-laced coffee. Anise combined with oak and leather. Oh yeah, there's bourbon and vanilla there too. Mouthfeel is quite full, the finish is lengthy. High drinkability for this beer.

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

Reviewing from notes taken at the Great Lakes BA Blackout release party this fall. Had it on tap for the second time and it was quite a treat. Traded away four of my six bottle allocations and looking to enjoy one myself here in the near future!

Appearance- Comes off the tap an opaque black with a minimal ring of tan head much in the league of many barrel-aged stouts that I've had. Spot on for the style.

Smell- Complex, tasty, and interesting. Lots of very well blended notes of bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, burnt coffee, sweet molasses, and brown sugar. The wood is very evident here but rounded out nicely through the roastiness and coffee accents that show through from the base stout.

Taste- Again, lots of bourbon, vanilla, and wood here. However, as will the nose, the roasted qualities of the original base stout blend nicely with the barrels (this year Buffalo Trace for the first time rather than Jim Beam) and show through. Some warming alcohol on the way down but not sharp by any means.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Mouthfeel is silky smooth and substantial, though oddly not as heavy as I was expecting. Drinkability is surprisingly good as I found that the roasted elements in the taste helped minimize some of the overwhelming sweetness I usual find in this style. Goes down quite easy.

Overall, one of the big boys. Try this if you can, it's very good and I'd say one of the best barrel-aged offerings out of the state of Ohio.

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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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