Great Lakes “Blackout Stout” Review (#023)

Blackout Stout
Great Lakes Brewing Company
Cleavland, OH

From The Brewery:

A Russian Imperial Stout with a hearty malt body and bold hop flavor.
ABV: 9.0%
IBU: 85

AVAILABILITY: 2010: February – March

TYPE/STYLE: Imperial Stout: Originated from recipes that British brewers tailored for the czars and czarinas of the Russian Imperial court.

FOOD COMPLEMENTS: Grilled red meats and chocolate desserts.

BRAND NAME: Named after the infamous “Blackout of 2003” that left the northeastern United States in complete darkness, but resulted in old-fashioned neighborhood porch parties and down-home fun.


Appearance: I poured out this black imperial stout into a Duvel snifter. This thick, opaque beer was dense and capped off on top by thick, creamy head, made up of super-fine carbonation.

Smell: Strong smells of dark roasted, whole bean coffee and a little cocoa. It is balanced by sweet roasted malts, and as it warms up, gives off esters and heat.

Taste: Drying roasted coffee and cocoa, with this sweetness of burnt sugar. The middle has a mild hoppiness, and a character similar to soy sauce, which I have noticed in similar, large dark beers. It warms up a bit releasing more flavors such as molasses and sugars, with some heat.

Mouthfeel: This is a lower-full bodied beer, that is drying and very well balanced. I would love to try a sweet stout version of this, whose inclusion of lactose would be interesting to taste.

Drinkability: Medium; this is very easy going down, especially the last third. This is a potent beer though, at 9% ABV it is a heavy beer that fills you up quick.

Notes: A fantastic beer. This is a brewery who continues to amaze me. I look forward to trying more of their lineup this year.


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