Thursday, January 24, 2013

Great Lakes Brewing Company - Blackout Stout

On paper, Cleveland doesn't really seem like the kind of place I'd like to settle down. I'm a huge fan of sports and Cleveland is as close to hell as you can get as a fan of any sport. The Indians haven't been relevant in years. The Browns routinely have more fans in the stadium wearing paper bags over their heads than fans in the stadium who are not wearing paper bags over their heads. And LeBron James not only left the Cavs, but departed while basically giving Cleveland the finger on national TV. Oh, and then he won a title one year later. As my favorite sports author, Bill Simmons, loves to say - God hates Cleveland.

But hold on a second. What if Cleveland fans know something we don't? Sure, losing blows, but what if you had awesome beer to drown your sorrows in after a loss? What if you had easy access to a little brewery called Great Lakes Brewing Company and a little beer they make called Blackout Stout? Let's try this puppy and find out! A huge thanks goes out to my friend, Dan, for lugging this beer back from the East Coast. Thanks, Dan!

Blackout Stout pours a slightly thin-looking dark brown color with a thin tan head. The nose is a bit faint, but I got some notes of heavily roasted malt, a touch of smoke and some dark roasted coffee. I also picked out just a touch of blackberry, which added a really nice touch to all the dark, roasty aromas.

The taste opens big and aggressive, with tons of roasted malt assaulting your palate right off the bat. The roastiness fades quickly though, allowing sweeter notes of dark and milk chocolate to peek out. A hint of chocolate cake emerges on the finish but is beaten back by bitter notes of charred wood and oily hop resin.

I still don't know if I could handle all of the losing Cleveland has to offer, but having a brewery like this in the city has to count for something. Cleveland makes one badass Russian Imperial Stout, and that has to count as a win somewhere.  So here's to you, Clevelanders(?). At least there's pretty much no chance of your breweries moving to Miami.

Final Grade: A

Top 250 Beers Tasted: 111

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