Last month I wrote a testimonial - er - review of Great Lakes Brewery's renowned Blackout Stout. The great Cleveland brewery informs that this beer is normally available for a few months, beginning in January. Lush, my local wine store informs that it has been delayed this year for undisclosed reasons. Ross Perot would surely attribute it to NAFTA and that giant sucking sound. That aside, I was fortunately able to get my hands on some 2007 Blackout through Lush. I was nervous because these bottles stated that their contents were "best before 8/2/07". How would this affect this most delicious brew (when fresh)?
As Tim Meadows stated to Dewey Cox in Walk Hard, it "only makes it better." The normal, rich roasted malt elements had progressed to a deeper charcoal flavor. There was a stern nuttiness, perhaps chestnut around the edges of the palate. These flavors combined for a strong, elongated finish, leaving the taster bewitched but greatly anticipating the next sip, and ruing the last. The concerns regarding freshness were clearly misguided. That this stout is a 9% concoction permits its aging for extended periods, making this a serious beer, of vintage capability.
Notably, Lush informs that Great Lakes is scrapping the "best before" dating on its future Blackout bottlings, and going with vintage dating. Thus, the capability for vertical tasting with this beer is no longer an implication, but a true formality.
RATING: * * * * 1/2 Stars. This is a complete beer that will entice even non-stout drinkers (weirdos), and is priced far below many of its rivals in the same class.