Saturday, December 21, 2013

Great Lakes Brewing Co. Blackout Stout

Back in 2003 something went wrong up in the Northeastern United States and all the electricity stopped working. Some guys fixed it after a while but it was still kinda creepy with all that darkness. Darkness can be creepy but darkness can also be very good. 

The Great Lakes Brewing Co. named this imperial stout after that infamous blackout in 2003. Now let us talk about it. 

The Great Lakes Brewing Co. is based in Cleveland, Ohio, across the Hope Memorial Bridge from downtown. I spent a beautiful early autumn afternoon in the pub downstairs watching the Indians whoop on the Twins. 

Ok, back to business. The imperial stout originated from recipes British brewers created for Russia's czars and czarinas before the Bolsheviks chopped all their heads off. So, now all of us get to enjoy 'em. A variety of malts and hops help contribute to this stout's flavor. Roasted barley and black malt help develop the stout's dark Pennzoil color at 50 IBUs. Northern brewer and Simcoe hops blend together to create a characteristically bold-hoppy flavor. 

I've only recently gotten into the stout game thanks to my good brother Adam Gregory. The extra hops and alcohol content of the blackout stout don't go down as smooth as the many Lancaster Milk Stouts we be sluggin' down on the regular but it still maintains a robust yet smooth flavor. A strong, coffee like aroma fills your mouth after every sip. Glorious. 

This beer recommends a 50 degree serving temperature, so be sure to have your meat thermometers ready. 

Where I start to get interested is the stout's 9% abv. Now, boy do those Russians love their booze! I reckon that's approximately the alcohol content of three Pennsylvania style lagers. Which you can pick up for like eleven dollars a case at your local Pennsylvania ugly beer distributor. 

Great Lakes packages these stouts in 4-packs rather than 6-packs, probably for your own safety. After four of these you'll be feeling crisp. After twelve of these you'll be pissing your pants and telling people your name is "Sally Draper". 

Merry Christmas

Drinkability: 7/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 6/10
Curb Appeal: 9/10

Overall: 7.25/10

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