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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

2,798 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,798
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,011
Gots: 713 | FT: 68
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: 2,798 | Reviews: 488 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of IrishColonial
IrishColonial

Texas

4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at RFD. Thanks a bunch Josh!!

A: squid ink black with a beautiful ring of chocolate milk bubbles around the side. Not much lacing, typical of the style. Awesome. I want to drink the sh*t out of this.

S: Mmmm, delicious bourbon. Vanilla notes. Roasted chocolate malt. A bit of hot booziness. As it warms, the malt profile comes through a bit. But mostly bourbon.

T: The taste is surprisingly dry and hoppy. Dominated by bourbon flavors but fades quickly into a malty, mild coffee aftertaste. Dried fruit flavors overarch more than others of the style. A bit thin for my taste.

M: Thin for a bourbon barrel stout. Also creamy and more carbonated. Pleasant but different.

O: This is a delicious beer and one of the better ones I've had. I love the bourbon and hoppyness flavors and the creamy mouthfeel. Probably from the double cream stout. However, the taste and nose are a bit too bourbon (one-note) dominated. If I had a bottle (not likely) I would definitely age at least a year. Outstanding beer. But it's no BCBS.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2012 00:37:03 | More by IrishColonial
Photo of KevMo84
KevMo84

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

06-08-2014 08:14:04 | More by KevMo84
Photo of jheezee
jheezee

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

10-04-2012 15:21:06 | More by jheezee
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

3.5/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Growler supplied by eyebrews and generously shared at the Pliny the Younger release. Sampled from a tasting glass. From notes.

A: Pours motor oil black, opaque in the center but lightly translucent at the edges. I have no idea about the history of this growler, but it was taped well, opened with a hiss, and there were clearly bubbles (dark mocha) on the brew. Retention was short. Promising.

S: Pretty bourbon-forward. Dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses. Anise and some booze.

T: Bourbon and chocolate are pretty evident. Anise, vanilla, molasses. The finish was hot and slightly harsh. I kept expecting more from the flavor; I picked up a lot of the barrel character, but not much of the Expedition or Cream Stout.

M: Silky, rich. Hard to criticize Bell's beers on mouthfeel, most of the time, but their barrel aging here leaves a lot to be desired: the beer is fairly hot and tannic.

D: I liked the beer, but I'm not convinced this is one of the top examples of the barrel-aged imperial stout "style." It's above-average, but nothing to give up the cellar for.

Serving type: growler

02-21-2010 07:56:24 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of thewimperoo
thewimperoo

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

11-15-2011 18:42:53 | More by thewimperoo
Photo of jbaker67
jbaker67

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

03-03-2013 13:07:43 | More by jbaker67
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

4.53/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Back label says PKGD 03/12/14. Celebrating my 900th review with this miracle of a gift provided by mjshearer1.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a bubbly center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thin jagged ring behind.

S- Big rush of dark roasted malt with heavy notes of dark chocolate, bourbon and molasses. Also some caramel and vanilla undertones. Booze fume is there but works well with the rest of the aroma.

T- Initial dark chocolate comes across subtly and then the barrel creeps in and brings a bit more intensity as well as some vanilla sweetness. Wonderful black coffee aftertaste brings the profile around full circle. Additional notes of raisin and more molasses. So drinkable for the ABV and yet the flavors linger good and long so that they can be savored by only sipping sporadically. As it warms, it somehow becomes more sweet and even less boozy, however the dark roast becomes even more prevalent making it a bit more bitter.

M- Quite creamy and viscous plus there's some sticky residue in the afterfeel. Medium-low carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- A great BBA beer that's full-on with the bourbon presence but not so much that it becomes too hot or one-dimensional. Though I still think BCBS and KBS are both above it, this one is certainly a major contender and deserves to be appreciated for its own unique qualities.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2014 02:05:21 | More by Immortale25
Photo of thatoneguymike
thatoneguymike

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

07-20-2014 23:27:33 | More by thatoneguymike
Photo of smithj4
smithj4

New York

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-29-2013 21:50:25 | More by smithj4
Photo of JamLand
JamLand

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

04-09-2014 01:14:17 | More by JamLand
Photo of DonFrap
DonFrap

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-10-2013 22:25:40 | More by DonFrap
Photo of nrbw23
nrbw23

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a pitch black color with pretty much no head. Head consists of just a handful of bubbles and leaves no lacing.

S- I thought the aroma was the best part of this brew. Quite a bit of vanilla, very faint coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and some faint dark fruits.

T- Pretty solid brew for sure, but overall very sweet. The sweetness was almost over powering everything else in this brew. Follows the nose well with a ton of vanila. Bourbon is here but fairly light. A good amount of booze too.

M- Medium in body and a lot thinner than I expected. Carbonation was also pretty low.

O- A good beer that might be a victim of the hype train. Glad I got to try this one.

Serving type: on-tap

06-24-2012 19:16:03 | More by nrbw23
Photo of egrace84
egrace84

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

02-11-2013 03:49:00 | More by egrace84
Photo of Brew33
Brew33

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

09-29-2013 12:40:10 | More by Brew33
Photo of Falcone
Falcone

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-29-2013 20:51:56 | More by Falcone
Photo of Sparky44
Sparky44

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

03-23-2013 21:12:06 | More by Sparky44
Photo of Morey
Morey

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

01-31-2013 18:10:10 | More by Morey
Photo of 2dogbrew
2dogbrew

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

02-23-2013 01:32:29 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

01-13-2013 20:20:44 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of akang
akang

California

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-30-2013 02:27:28 | More by akang
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

4.41/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Black in the glass, one finger brown head that leaves some lacing behind.

S-Balanced bourbon, roasted malt, chocolate, coffee with faint vanilla.

T-Great balance, moderate bourbon, roasted malt, chocolate, slight coffee and slight bitterness.

M-Medium to heavy bodied, very creamy.

O-A great BA stout, however it isn't at the same level on BA Speedway, BCBS, Parabola or some of the Eclipse beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 17:30:44 | More by rlee1390
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Previously I tried this at Michigan Brewer's Guild and it came of strangely sour and off. Maybe from a bad keg? Got a bottle now. Pours pitch black with a very small brown head. Aroma is heavy vanilla, licorice, chocolate and bourbon. Smells very rich. Some up front bite with medium low carbonation. Flavor of licorice at first, finishing with overwhelming chocolate and then sweet vanilla really lingering. Thick and viscous, slightly acidic with some burning alcohol going on. Age would probably smooth it out but overall pretty awesome! Glad I got to re-rate this.

Another rerate here with a 2012 bottle poured on 3/22/14. Mostly similar but the booze tones down considerably now. Big anise flavors and lots of beautiful vanilla chocolate Good n Plenties. This is still awesome. The Expedition seems to shine through a bit with the age on this one. Very interesting.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 18:18:48 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of Zbeetleman
Zbeetleman

California

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

05-15-2013 06:21:47 | More by Zbeetleman
Photo of jrenihan
jrenihan

Ontario (Canada)

4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Dec 28, 2012.

Beer is jet black with a small tan head.

Nose is very good. A nice blend of bourbon scents (oak, vanilla, bourbon itself), dark fruits, and chocolate. The nose reveals a well blended barrel-aged stout, with the barrel being obvious but not overwhelming.

Taste lives up to the promise of the nose. There is nothing unexpected here: it has all the flavours one would expect from a bourbon-barrel aged stout. What makes it great is two things: (i) the base beer is of a very high quality; and (ii) the flavours are very well proportioned. Bourbon, oak, vanilla, dark fruits, chocolate and some roasted malt are all there, and all harmonious with one another.

Mouthfeel is also great. Full bodied, moderate to low carbonation level and very very smooth. Despite the high ABV, it drinks quite easily. Alcohol hear is there but surprisingly muted for what it is.

Overall, terrific. Absolutely a first rate BBA stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 20:57:20 | More by jrenihan
Photo of hilgart1
hilgart1

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%

03-24-2013 04:58:55 | More by hilgart1
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,798 ratings.