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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

2,725 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,725
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 1,999
Gots: 698 | FT: 65
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
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Ratings: 2,725 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
CommanderOfAwesome

California

4/5  rDev -12.1%

08-20-2013 18:13:08 | More by CommanderOfAwesome
Photo of MastaShonuf
MastaShonuf

California

4/5  rDev -12.1%

06-02-2014 00:05:50 | More by MastaShonuf
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JohnnyMc

Ohio

4/5  rDev -12.1%

07-10-2013 16:15:34 | More by JohnnyMc
Photo of Benjiehorn
Benjiehorn

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.1%

05-16-2013 14:35:28 | More by Benjiehorn
Photo of JVB
JVB

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.1%

04-30-2014 18:37:54 | More by JVB
Photo of wintbs379
wintbs379

Michigan

4/5  rDev -12.1%

06-18-2012 01:50:00 | More by wintbs379
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JohnSnowNW

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -12.1%

03-29-2014 18:14:49 | More by JohnSnowNW
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fhyden

Florida

4/5  rDev -12.1%

02-21-2013 21:40:42 | More by fhyden
Photo of Rupert50
Rupert50

Ohio

4/5  rDev -12.1%

11-11-2012 17:18:54 | More by Rupert50
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bleedsblu

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -12.1%

04-28-2014 16:56:38 | More by bleedsblu
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readbaron

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.1%

04-18-2013 19:08:59 | More by readbaron
Photo of dolfan54fl
dolfan54fl

Florida

4/5  rDev -12.1%

02-17-2012 15:50:54 | More by dolfan54fl
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sbricker

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.1%

11-14-2011 15:12:14 | More by sbricker
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THATGUY_BIGMIKE

Florida

4/5  rDev -12.1%

06-24-2013 18:42:58 | More by THATGUY_BIGMIKE
Photo of davewilson
davewilson

Michigan

4/5  rDev -12.1%

01-11-2012 19:24:50 | More by davewilson
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jjheinrichs

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -12.1%

01-09-2013 04:44:10 | More by jjheinrichs
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BobCobb

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.1%

07-31-2012 03:12:19 | More by BobCobb
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MEW

Colorado

4/5  rDev -12.1%

03-24-2013 00:51:53 | More by MEW
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.01/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Black in color. Forms a small mocha colored head that doesn't bother to stick around for long, receding fairly quickly to not even a hint of surface coating, leaving only a glossy, black liquid in the glass. Only a speck or two of lacing.

S: Aroma is sweet and boozy; a mix of chocolate, vanilla, molasses, fig, and a very slight mintyness.

T: Taste is sweet and chocolatey, with a bourbon kick. Actually this is the most chocolatey bourbon barrel aged stout I've ever come across. Flavor is sweet with notes of vanilla, raisin, plum, anise, and milk chocolate. A mix of alcohol and brown sugar sweetness on the finish

M: Very smooth, almost velvety, with a lower carbonation level. A bit boozy, but still a fairly mellow beer.

O: This beer reminded me of some sort of nouveau bourbon-infused chocolate dessert. Sweet and chocolatey with a pleasant bourbon quality to round it out. Would make a nice dessert, but its not exactly what I'm looking for in a beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2013 02:08:51 | More by Florida9
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
coreyfmcdonald

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Porter Beer Bar, re-reviewed from a 2012 12oz bottle

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of off white head. Retention is decent.

S: Strong bourbon upfront, I get dark chocolate, caramel, and licorice behind. Dark fruit in the background adds to the complexity. The aromas mix very well together.

T: Again, strong bourbon and caramel upfront, this time there is more coffee and roast to balance. I get a bit of lactose sweetness to give a bit more sweetness. I also get quite a bit of dark chocolate, intensifying as the beer warms. The beer always stays on the roasty/coffee side, but is very well balanced.

M: A bit on the thin side for the style with low carbonation. Definitely the worst part of this beer, but not terrible.

O: With a bit thicker mouthfeel, this would be significantly better. It still balances roast, bourbon, and chocolate extremely well, better than just about any other barrel aged stout that I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2012 00:34:08 | More by coreyfmcdonald
Photo of calcio360jrd
calcio360jrd

Florida

4.03/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the bell's takeover at bx beer depot in lake worth, florida.

Glad i got to bx early for this event and got a seat right up at the bar. 2 9oz pours of this barrel aged imperial stout.

Poured out the usual motor oil color of dark black with a fairly good amount of head on it. The smell was overwhelmingly of bourbon, i guess that is what you get when you age a beer for 18 months in the barrel! Taste was less bourbony than the smell, was very enjoyable drink. Mouthfeel was a little thin on this one, again because i hold every RIS up to the zhukov standard of thick and chewy!

Glad to experience this on draft, i would by no means pay what people are paying on ebay for a bottle of this, good buy not life changing

JasonD

Serving type: on-tap

02-17-2012 17:04:24 | More by calcio360jrd
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

A-Served a healthy 10 oz pour in a snifter. This baby is black as a black note with a tan film that stubbornly hangs on til the last drink.

S-Sweet and roasted malts are dominant, the bourbon is there too but subdued at first, becoming stronger as the beer warms.

T-The taste is definitely on the sweet side. The malts are chocolately with a medium amount of roasting. Bourbon character is there but not overpowering at all.

M-A bit oily but not nearly as much viscosity as say a GI BCS. Body is also on the light side for such a strong brew, the odd thing is you would expect the alcohol to come out stronger, but it is really well hidden...a definite plus for this version. Very light on carbonation.

D-Probably the highest for any 10%+ BB stout I've tasted.

O-Tastes like a BB stout, but shines in the drinkability. Lacks the complex flavors of some others but a solid beer. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

05-15-2012 02:57:21 | More by deebo
Photo of angrybabboon
angrybabboon

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Bilco for sharing this

Review from notes, 4/18/14

Appearance: Dark, deep brown - pours with a wispy, light brown head, leaves some nice spots of lacing

Smell: Huge chocolate and some nice bourbon - smells very, very rich - big chocolate malts, with burnt and roasty notes, and some some caramel - some dark fruits and a ton of bourbon - chewy caramel, chocolate cake - decadent to say the least

Taste: Even bigger than the aroma - big, chewy malts - sweet caramel, molasses, and dark, roasty malts - chocolate in all forms, with semisweet chocolate, dark chocolate, and some milk chocolate - lots and lots of bourbon, but this mostly works - woody with some booze, demands to be sipped

Mouthfeel: On the full side of medium, or the light side of full - adequate carbonation, smooth

Overall: More appealing than a brown note

This was a beast. It was bigger than I expected. At least an hour should be devoted to sampling this beer, even if you split the bottle. It a bit bourbon-heavy, but I would try this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2014 06:48:04 | More by angrybabboon
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, a limited-release beer in a 12 oz bottle. Though the price-per-ounce is about the same, I don’t have to shell out a considerable chunk of my net worth just to try a specialty brew.

Brewed a little over a month before the date of this tasting (“PKGD 12/28/12).

A: Pours a slick dark brown, nearly black, with a surprisingly watery appearance. The only head to appear are some fizzy soda bubbles along the edge of the glass; slight wet lacing.

S: Sweet vanilla nougat and caramel candy tones with a flowing backdrop of woody bourbon. Overall, the aroma is malty as hell, but the booze and roast make the sugars manageable. Hints of hickory smoke, baking chocolate, and Irish cream play along the edges. Hints of slight oxidation appear in small, sparse doses, giving a cardboard scent.

T: A slow-building masterwork, this palate begins with a luscious wave of residual sugars: tastes of syrupy caramel and vanilla abound. As in the nose, it’s a candy sweetness. Soon after these sugars lay down as the body of the brew, tastes of cinnamon, anise, toasted coconut, and bitter chocolate shift the palate to a character of soft spice, a quick transition to the dark, roasty, finish. In a final burst of flavor, powerful tones of smoke, chili pepper, black coffee, and burnt toast overwhelm the sense and bring this beer to a staggeringly smoked end. Charred bourbon barrel tastes linger in a moderate aftertaste of oak, smoke, and astringent whiskey, along with a dried-out sugar flavor akin to cola.

M: Feels like it looks, actually – a little thinner than expected. With the hidden alcohol and all the residual sugars, it really drinks more like root beer at first. Light, foamy carbonation.

O: A good stout is never unwelcome in January, and this one hit the spot. If you like smoke and barrel, this is your beer – I really thought I’d be able to pick out the beers that go into this blend, but the whiskey pulls it together in one big, woody package. Nothing average here.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 01:06:00 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of rodkin
rodkin

New York

4.05/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got a pour at the STLhops anniversary party.

Looks like a stout. Black, smallish head. Poured into a tasting glass so I couldn't get a great sense, but it's nothing special.

Smell is vanilla, coffee, bit of chocolate, some oak, roasty bitterness, some dark fruits. It's pretty good, but it's a bit muddled. Not a lot of balance.

Taste gets better as it warms. Vanilla, coffee, bourbon, oak, caramel. Really rich, very tasty.

Mouthfeel was too thin and flat. I don't want it to be hypercarbonated, but more than it has would be good. It's also too watery. I like my stouts to be thick and chewy, which this was not.

This is a solid stout. However, the mouthfeel was really lacking, and it was a bit unbalanced. A bit disappointing. I'd like to try it again sometime, maybe get a better experience.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 04:15:13 | More by rodkin
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,725 ratings.