1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,812 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,812
Reviews: 489
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,006
Gots: 717 | FT: 68
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
One of the most sought-after stouts in Bell's history, Black Note Stout blends the complex aromatics of Expedition Stout with the velvety smooth texture of Double Cream Stout and ages the combination in freshly retired oak bourbon barrels for months. The resulting harmony of flavors captures the finest features of all three components: malty notes of dark chocolate, espresso & dried fruits, all buoyed by the warmth and fragrance of the bourbon barrel. Aimed squarely at the stout and bourbon aficionados, Black Note makes a grand statement about the art of the dark.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 06-16-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,812 | Reviews: 489 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MaxSpang:
Photo of MaxSpang
MaxSpang

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Chappy's in Dayton, Ohio.

APPEARANCE

Well, what do you expect? It's black as night, and sat under a mocha-colored head that dissipated quickly. There was no lacing, but the beer had some pretty apparent alcohol legs. There wasn't any light coming through on this one. With a name like Black Note, would you expect anything else?

SMELL

This is heavy on the bourbon in the nose, which brings notes of vanilla and toasted coconut. There is a lot of nice complexity that ranges from sweet to slightly boozy. A hefty amount of chocolate and licorice comes through, and brings a bit of coffee and roasted malt with it. This is the type of beer that you get full from by just smelling - there is a LOT going on!

TASTE

First off, this beer is remarkably smooth. The bourbon is not as strong as it was on the nose, but it is definitely present. With the bourbon, notes of vanilla, licorice, and toasted coconut come out. Surprisingly, the alcohol is very well hidden. The beer starts off milky sweet, with smooth caramel and toffee characteristics, then finishes with a nice hoppy bitterness. The bourbon lasts a long time after the swallow, making this beer have an absolutely amazing after taste.

MOUTHFEEL

This beer drinks like a pillow - it's smooth! It has a velvet-creamy mouthfeel, sort of like melted chocolate. There isn't much carbonation, which adds to the creaminess. The beer has a nice big body which makes it a sipper. The intense aftertaste lingers for an extremely long time.

OVERALL

This beer is incredible. It can hang with the big boy bourbon barrel aged brews and hold its ground. It's a special beer that demands a special occasion, but the taste is so good that you'll find an excuse to drink it! I wouldn't say that this is the barrel-aged stout to end all barrel-aged stouts, but it is absolutely incredible and worth seeking out.

Cheers.

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2012 17:11:17 | More by MaxSpang
More User Reviews:
Photo of weezarc
weezarc

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-28-2014 02:53:01 | More by weezarc
Photo of deakin
deakin

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-28-2014 00:35:53 | More by deakin
Photo of KRG
KRG

Florida

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-27-2014 22:29:19 | More by KRG
Photo of dailyminefield
dailyminefield

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-27-2014 20:49:30 | More by dailyminefield
Photo of Getalegup
Getalegup

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-27-2014 03:57:34 | More by Getalegup
Photo of Cpastor1119
Cpastor1119


4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-27-2014 03:40:00 | More by Cpastor1119
Photo of dseanv
dseanv

Texas

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-27-2014 03:06:46 | More by dseanv
Photo of Domvan
Domvan

Texas

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-27-2014 02:42:03 | More by Domvan
Photo of larryarms847
larryarms847

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a crude oil like pitch black with a wonderfully light brown head that just looks like I could lay on it is so thick and fluffy.

Aromas of sweet chocolate, tart and bright coffee/espresso, raisins/plums/dark fruits, and bourbon envelops the overall package.

Take the chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, bourbon, perfectly balanced them, and what you have is Black Note Stout.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, perfect for how I like my stouts!

This is a truly remarkable BBA imperial stout, really. Bell's nailed it on the head with this one and I'll be on the hunt for it again this next release season.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2014 02:20:03 | More by larryarms847
Photo of captainbearcat
captainbearcat

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.3%

07-26-2014 20:08:29 | More by captainbearcat
Photo of sunofneurot
sunofneurot

New York

4/5  rDev -12.3%

07-26-2014 04:12:56 | More by sunofneurot
Photo of AndyEdgar
AndyEdgar

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-25-2014 23:47:26 | More by AndyEdgar
Photo of Austin_M
Austin_M

Texas

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-25-2014 21:12:49 | More by Austin_M
Photo of Tyecko
Tyecko

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-25-2014 15:42:55 | More by Tyecko
Photo of griffey123
griffey123

Connecticut

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-24-2014 03:03:21 | More by griffey123
Photo of l0rddavis
l0rddavis

Florida

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-23-2014 22:10:09 | More by l0rddavis
Photo of EmptyPockets
EmptyPockets

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-23-2014 16:08:25 | More by EmptyPockets
Photo of sordyl
sordyl

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-23-2014 15:59:12 | More by sordyl
Photo of raleigh_blue
raleigh_blue

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-23-2014 14:38:42 | More by raleigh_blue
Photo of Mazzino
Mazzino


4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-22-2014 23:57:07 | More by Mazzino
Photo of Evarigan
Evarigan

New York

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-22-2014 18:58:50 | More by Evarigan
Photo of Aero
Aero

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-22-2014 16:17:07 | More by Aero
Photo of stephenjmoore
stephenjmoore

Maryland

4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 Vintage

A- Pours a very dark brown, settles into the glass with a near-black body and frothy, mocha-colored head. Some carbonation bubbles coast up the side of the glass and meet the head.

S- Roasted malts, barrel character including oak, bourbon, burnt sugar, toasted coconut, hint of cocoa.

T- Pretty similar to the nose, roasty malts and bourbon characteristics. More coconut, caramel and vanilla than I would have expected. Some lactose qualities with oak and booze coming through as well.

M- Full bodied, but a bit thinner than I would have expected. Carbonation is medium with a coating, sweet and boozy aftertaste.

O- I had high hopes for this one, but was somewhat disappointed. A very good beer, but not in the same class as BCBS, Parabola and others. The flavors do not some together quite as well as others and the flavor/aroma is somewhat less than I expected. Hoping the one I have cellared will turn out better.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2014 01:57:45 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of WillYellott
WillYellott

New York

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-22-2014 01:14:20 | More by WillYellott
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,812 ratings.