Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,827 | Reviews: 490 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by fvernon:
4.1/5 rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Served on-tap at a recent Bell's event, unfortunately they had just run out of appropriate glassware and poured this lovely brew into a red wine glass at a colder temperature than I was expecting. Luckily my second glass came in a tall Bell's tulip.
Black Note is the color of dark chocolate with a head that looks like liquified wheat - a light brown that had broken down into a cling around the side of the glass and a few frog's eyes by the time I had walked back to my table. I had to sit a while (5 minutes or so) to let it warm, and then the scent really started to show: bourbon, malt, burnt sugar and toasted vanilla with a slight hint of fruit... is that apricot?
My sips started while it was still too cold... the burnt sugar was overwhelming at keg temps, but as it warmed up the bourbon and double cream stout notes moved forward. The double cream comes through much stronger than the expedition, but this is a unique offering apart from either - most notable is the slight bitterness, as if vanilla beans were roasted before being added for aging. The mouthfeel was lighter than I was expecting, but not any lighter than barrel-aging typically imparts. It leaves the beer drinkable in larger sips than I probably should have been taking, and the glass was gone before I knew it. Not quite in the same vein as a few other BA imperial stouts (KBS on tap is still the smoothest I've had the pleasure of drinking), but delicious nonetheless.
Most importantly, this was my first beer of the night (I wasn't about to let the Black Note run out while I drank something else), and something odd happened: after that, everything I drank (save the Oracle) had stout notes to it. A total palate take-over happened! If you're going to have the chance to try a Black Note, it gets better glass after glass... but everything else tastes like drinking through a BA Imperial Stout filter. be forewarned.
Serving type: on-tap
09-01-2011 11:56:09 | More by fvernon
More User Reviews:
4.39/5 rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Glugs out very dark and viscous with minimal carbonation and small brown head.
Smells like whiskey, chocolate, and vanilla. The aroma is strong but not overpowering. A very nice blend.
Tastes like it smells--it's clear that this is Bell's direct response to BCBS. Whiskey and stout barley start things off, moving into a bittersweet middle of vanilla and dark chocolate, finishing off with the pleasant burn of ethanol.
Tried this side-by-side against a regular bottle of 2013 BCBS, and Goose Island's brew was a narrow winner due its firmer body and more complex finish. The fact that Black Note gave it a run for its money is quite a compliment, though, and I look forward to sampling some more of these in the future.
Serving type: bottle
07-28-2014 15:42:52 | More by mynie
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
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,827 ratings.