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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

2,726 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,726
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 1,999
Gots: 699 | 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: 2,726 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BigBlueShep
BigBlueShep

California

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-20-2014 22:16:56 | More by BigBlueShep
Photo of Millax25
Millax25

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-20-2014 19:31:52 | More by Millax25
Photo of dhartogs
dhartogs

Virginia

5/5  rDev +9.9%

05-20-2014 18:47:45 | More by dhartogs
Photo of Dawgboned37
Dawgboned37

Missouri

4.99/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was amazing! I didn't think they could significantly improve the Expedition stout, but somehow they found a way. Picked up a 2012 bottle in trade and poured into a tulip glass. One finger of caramel-colored head and a very dark body. Bourbon scent was quite mild and did not overtake the initial flavors of dark chocolate, roasted malt, and dried fruit. The creamy texture pushed this one over the edge for me. Flavors continued to develop as the beer warmed.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2014 18:21:43 | More by Dawgboned37
Photo of blue-dream
blue-dream

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-20-2014 10:48:37 | More by blue-dream
Photo of blabaer
blabaer

California

4/5  rDev -12.1%

05-20-2014 04:22:43 | More by blabaer
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've always loved Expedition stout and since I've heard they did a barrel aged version I couldn't get away from wanting this beer. It's been a long journey and thanks to a local Pittsburgh distributor I finally came into contact with this one.

Pours a pitch black hue with creamy tan head floating above the head, let me tell you about this BA version of Expedition fine lacing left evenly around the chalice.

Aromatics dark malts charred oak, with vanilla and whiskey rich character...also has a toasted marshmallow note with booze that is much needed for a dark imperial stout called Black Note. The finish is full of caramelized dark sugars and it so nice and full of nearly burnt malts. Smells so good, it's amazing what a whiskey barrel can do to a stout, I'm glad New Holland tried to put whiskey into some stout barrels to see if the inverse were true. Each time I take a sniff I get hints of umami from soy sauce tainted meat and spicy notes of ginger impregnated in a marinade of chicken breast.

Flavor has milky creamy dark chocolate notes, flowing with heat of bourbon barrel aging effects, charred oak, and rich vanilla booze infused stout character. Dark fruit with plums and over ripened fruits that are soaked in alcohol infusing through the palate with each sip. In the backend I definitely get that meaty soy sauce, umami character that I've come to know and love salty/sweet and a bit of braised beef or grilled tuna approaches the palate. I believe either of these would be great pairings amongst this beverage.

Mouthfeel full bodied creamy texture seduces your palate, even slow bubbling carbonation what a great experience that is too be had by all lovers of great barrel aged stouts. Salty sweet combination reigns supreme on the palate and leaves me wanting more and more.

Overall, one of the best barrel aged creations I've ever had...light years ahead of the complexity of KBS and Arcadia Shipwrecked BBA beers. I will hold onto the rest of the six pack I have left.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2014 03:35:20 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of MasterfulIdiot
MasterfulIdiot

Georgia

4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 version poured into an Ikea snifter. The liquid is totally black, with some mahogany hues on the edges when you hold it up to light. The pour produces a nice dark brown, nearly purple cap that leaves some nice lace on the side.

Dark chocolate is the main aroma I get on the nose, followed by plums, bourbon, and vanilla. There are some nice spice flavors as well - maybe cinammon? Like a delicious, complex chocolate cake. There's a slight alcohol burn without being solvent. And it's decadent and desert-y without being cloying. Doesn't smell like much at first, but lots of smells come out as it warms to room temperature.

Flavor follows the nose, and lives up to it. On the palate, it's everything from the nose mixed together perfectly, and I feel like you get different flavor notes with every sip. Hazelnuts come out for me as it warms. The aftertaste is chocolate, plums, and raspberries, with an ever-so-slight bitterness that compliments it perfectly.

Body is the right amount of thickness without being syrupy. Unfortunately, I find it pretty over-carbonated. :( It's much better after I've let it sit for a while and let most of the bubbles run out. Before that, I feel like the carbonation impedes the flavor. Still, I guess it's better over- than under-carbonated, because at least this way I can wait and the problem fixes itself!

Overall, it gives BCBS a run for its money - it has a pretty similar flavor profile, and is much less sweet, which I think is an improvement over BCBS. Still, the over-carbonation is disappointing, but that's really the only flaw I can find in this beer, and, like I said, it's pretty much the best flaw you can have because it fixes itself. It's an incredible desert beer without being cloying, and the alcohol doesn't quite kill you. This is pretty much exactly what I want in a BBA Imperial Stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2014 03:26:27 | More by MasterfulIdiot
Photo of Zimm
Zimm

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-20-2014 02:14:43 | More by Zimm
Photo of woooobeer
woooobeer

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-19-2014 21:28:29 | More by woooobeer
Photo of clay_i
clay_i

Georgia

5/5  rDev +9.9%

05-19-2014 19:09:27 | More by clay_i
Photo of Headyman
Headyman

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -12.1%

05-19-2014 18:54:15 | More by Headyman
Photo of PappyVans
PappyVans

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-19-2014 15:52:43 | More by PappyVans
Photo of mklisz
mklisz

New Hampshire

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-19-2014 12:40:35 | More by mklisz
Photo of yoitsarch
yoitsarch

California

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-19-2014 04:00:11 | More by yoitsarch
Photo of Nefarious
Nefarious

California

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-19-2014 00:33:09 | More by Nefarious
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

4.71/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Bells chalice. Unfortunately the store label covered some of the dating but it looks like 3-12-14. Deep, dark, black body with a very small dark tan head. The head dissipates almost immediately, as expected for the high abv.

One of the better aromas I've had from a stout. Strong vanilla, caramel with light notes of roasted malt and bourbon. Light licorice note as it warms.

Delicious! The bourbon is much more noticeable in the brew than other barrel aged beers I've had, and that's good! Plenty of the aforementioned vanilla, caramel, and roasted malt with light added notes of molasses and a citric finish - light orange peel.

The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than expected but it does not detract from the overall experience. If I could get a few bottles of this and try it as often as I've had KBS and BCBS, it might be a tough fight to pick a winner.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2014 00:11:12 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of rodemey2
rodemey2

New York

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-18-2014 23:59:58 | More by rodemey2
Photo of rjp217
rjp217

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +9.9%

05-18-2014 23:49:48 | More by rjp217
Photo of mgr78704
mgr78704

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-18-2014 21:18:18 | More by mgr78704
Photo of tsgooch79
tsgooch79

Kentucky

5/5  rDev +9.9%

05-18-2014 20:59:49 | More by tsgooch79
Photo of bens0n
bens0n

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

05-18-2014 18:43:50 | More by bens0n
Photo of muskiesman
muskiesman

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-18-2014 04:01:55 | More by muskiesman
Photo of Fusebuddy
Fusebuddy

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-18-2014 02:59:56 | More by Fusebuddy
Photo of Wsherry1
Wsherry1

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-18-2014 01:44:15 | More by Wsherry1
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,726 ratings.