Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,799 | Reviews: 488 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tectactoe:
4.68/5 rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Mmm... Bell's Black Note. Half Expedition Stout, half Special Double Cream Stout - two beers that I love - aged for months in old bourbon barrels. How can you go wrong, right? This is one of those beers that often gets compared to KBS and BCBS, so needless to say - I'm very excited to try it. The pour is pitch black as it tumbles out like old motor oil that should've been changed months ago. The half-inch tan cap lasts for longer than expected and leaves behind some wet lacing. Very nice looking beer.
The aroma follows suit for this style of beer very closely. In other words, it's pretty fantastic. The bourbon barrel notes are the first thing to jump out - smooth bourbon, wet oak, vanilla. Very powerful without being brash. Lots of rich chocolates up front, too. Milky sweet and savory. Nice, sweet molasses underbody with plenty of roasted malt and coffee in the tail end. The aroma has a perfectly inviting warmth to it. It doesn't change much as the beer warms up, it just gets stronger. I'm okay with that.
I certainly don't think I would have been able to pick out Expedition or DC Stout had I not been told, but after taking a few sips, I certainly can believe it. The mouth feel is fantastic. Silky, smooth, chewy, robust, thick - just so pleasing to let this one sit and swish around your palate for a bit. Huge robustness right out of the gate with a solid bourbon character that lasts from start to finish. It has one of the richest, creamiest, and most full-bodied inductions of chocolate that I've ever tasted. Sweet, delicate cocoa with a faint wisp of bitterness. Milky, creamy, and elegant.
The barrel flavors are definitely pronounced and become even more heady twenty minutes in. Heavy oak and vanilla, still with the solid meshing of warm bourbon. Some lightly burnt coffee beans make their way in and out, but must really be searched for. The roast from the malt injects a little more bitterness that plays well with the sweetness of the beer and the warmth of the booze. A nearly perfect trifecta of balance is happening on my palate. The finish shows some super-dark, bourbon-soaked and lightly sugar coated fruits; dates and figs being the best descriptions. That's what reminds me the most of Expedition. The finish has lots of dark chocolate, roasty malt, and oak-soaked bourbon with a fading vanilla note. Incredibly complex and super enjoyable.
Incredible beer. I love both of the base beers, so mixing them together and aging them in bourbon barrels is most-likely going to be a success, and it definitely was. Very drinkable for being nearly 12% ABV, but it's still better to enjoy this one over the course of an hour. Insanely complex and insanely delicious - get some!
Serving type: bottle
04-13-2013 18:48:16 | More by tectactoe
More User Reviews:
4.23/5 rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,799 ratings.