Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,738 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by zeledonia:
4.8/5 rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
On-tap at Bryant-Lake Bowl for their stout bout. I came to the event mostly to try this beer, and I wasn't disappointed. Enjoyed 12 September 2012, reviewed from notes.
Pours straight-up black. Brought with a thin layer of medium-brown head, but I saw the server pour some more off. Decent lacing.
Smell is rich dark chocolate, surrounded by the loveliest bourbon-y aromas I've encountered in a beer. All sorts of rich dark malt aromas, but they're all tied together in a way that makes it hard to tease out characteristics.
Taste is, well... it's one of those indescribably good beers that is just beautiful and right. The rest of my description is a mostly-futile attempt to explain that beauty. Like a dark malt wash, with a little bit of bourbon. It has a core flavor that holds together so well, it's hard for me to say exactly what it is. No little bits sticking out to grab onto, just this big glom of deliciousness. The bourbon barrel comes through, but is so nicely balanced and integrated - mostly the rich grainy flavors of the bourbon that really shine through. This adds tons of flavor, but without the burn that accompanies so many barrel-aged beers. Moderately hoppy, but the hops don't come through that much because there are so many other flavors they have to contend with. Stunningly good.
Mouthfeel is thick and heavy with that smooth, full oat fluffiness. Medium-low carbonation, as it should be.
One of the best, if not the best, barrel-aged stouts I've ever had, and among the top beers I've had. In the vein of Bourbon County - a big, robust, flavorful stout with fantastic integration of the barrel flavor - but better. IMO, it blows some other highly-rated stouts (Parabola, Abyss) out of the water. I will be seeking this out again. Definitely worth the effort. I could drink this all day.
Serving type: on-tap
09-18-2012 18:11:31 | More by zeledonia
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Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,738 ratings.