Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,730 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
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
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
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
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,730 ratings.