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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

3,349 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,349
Reviews: 512
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 2,184
Gots: 841 | FT: 87
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: 3,349 | Reviews: 512 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of grub
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

sampled on tap at hopcat jan 22/2010 as part of their 2nd annual extreme beer fest. listed as Black Note, which i understand to be the new name for this BA blend.

pours inky black and nearly opaque, but holding it to the light you can see that it is crystal clear at its thinnest point. a thin ultra-fine dark brown head forms, dropping fairly fast and leaving a bunch of fine lace behind.

aroma is great. bourbon. light vanilla. anise. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. medium toast whole wheat bread and biscuit. dark fruit. hints of earth. nice depth.

taste is amazing. vanilla and bourbon. bit of butterscotch. caramel and toffee. dark and milk chocolate. bit of bittersweet chocolate too. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. touch of cracker. lightly warming alcohol. nice light fruity component that works great with the barrel and stouty character.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. silky smooth super fine medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is excellent. big and complex yet drinkable as hell. it doesn't seem near 11% and i think i could sip on this all night. great stuff!

Photo of jpd7374
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of nickd717
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hand bottle shared by largadeer - thanks a lot for sharing this rarity, Chris!

A - Pours pitch black with a small, frothy brown head.

S - Amazing aroma of bourbon, vanilla, coffee with cream, and rich chocolate. Some slight -bal notes. The smell of well-crafted beers of this type is seriously one of my favorite smells in the world.

T - Roast and creamy coffee, lots of vanilla and bourbon balanced by an awesome, thick, intense base stout with loads of chocolate, and hint of anise, and some date and raisin notes. Yes, it is awesome. This is definitely up near the top impy stouts I've ever had.

M - Incredibly creamy, smooth, and full palate with soft carbonation. Not really any astringency from the coffee, and not very boozy, especially after it warms up.

D - Pretty high for a bourbon -bal aged imperial stout. I know a lot of people can't stomach much of this type of beer, but I could get through a bomber by myself easily.

Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of StoutHunter
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of brez8791
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of mdillon86
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of jzeilinger
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich black in color with a toffee/molasses colored creamy head, thick and viscous looking.

S - Rich caramel cream, roasted toffee, dark chocolate malt, vanilla, bourbon, and some oak.

T - Rich and flavorful with vanilla, some traces of dark chocolate, oak, and bourbon. Ends with a sticky oak, vanilla, bourbon finish.

M - Luscious and rich velvety texture, thick, and slightly sticky on the lips.

O - An outstanding barrel aged stout.

Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of RedneckBeerz
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Adamostella
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of 22Blue
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 923/1081...don't know what that means. But I feel more special letting people know.

Dark black with no head and shiny flecks of garnet in the light. The nose presents a good presence from the oak and a slight touch of oxidation. The taste follows suit with the addition of a nice chocolaty malt base that screams stout.. but definitely not a Russian imperial with only a modestly thick mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is slightly bourbon boozy, but not enough to scream BBA. It's just weak-sauce in comparison to the other stouts I've had.

Photo of greenspointexas
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Howlader
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of seeswo
4.22/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a pour at the GTotMW 2011. Poured into the special taster glass. Very dark with a cocoa powder head. Looks great. The nose is big vanilla, bourbon and chocolate with some roasty goodness. Just a touch of oak as well. Dark chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and roast are the dominant flavors. Again, just a touch of oak. Very smooth, creamy and actually somewhat low-key in flavor. Good, creamy body with a low-medium carbonation is very nice for a BA Imperial Stout that is not overly sweet. This beer is more impressive in its balance, ease of drinking and mouthfeel than it is for its huge flavors or substantial complexities. Very enjoyable and glad I was able to give this a run. A buddy and I liked GL BA Blackout better, which were darn near side-by-side, but that isn't and indictment on the Black Note.

Photo of twenty5
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of MacQ32
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - near black color with a finger if dense, lasting, chocolate colored headm decent lacing too

S - boozy and vanilla, oaky and lots of chocolate too

T - similar to the aroma but more chocolate and vanilla than anyrhing else. Also a hint kf dark fruit on the backend.

M - ideal, mediumish bodied decent carbonation
Relatively drinkable

Photo of Brew33
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of nrbw23
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.

Photo of Zach136
4.06/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pitch black, little to no head. OK for ABV.

Aroma: Medium+ aroma of caramel, oak, bourbon, and chocolate notes with a background of light roast malt.

Flavor: Pretty apparent booze, more roast on the palate than the nose. Oak/bourbon are covered by other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, but perceived a bit drier from the booze.

Overall: Good, definitely not worth the hype and chasing down. Way too boozy for 11 and change ABV.

Photo of tclapper
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mikeincharleston
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Tucquan
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-09-08 in Columbia, PA

A - India ink black with a tan-brown short head with light lacing and lots of alcohol legs.

S - Bourbon, dark fruit, oak tannin, roasted malt. Very big aroma that's heavily on the bourbon side.

T - Bourbon, medium roasted malt, dark cherry, plum, prune, coconut and a touch of umami, and black licorice (not my favorite flavor). Fairly sweet but balanced with some astringent and hop bitterness. I definitely get the influence of the Expedition Stout. Alcohol is quite noticeable but generally blends in and supports the sweetness.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation.

O - Big, big flavors for sure. Didn't quite float my boat as some other Imperial Stouts. For example, I prefer Founders KBS over this for a bourbon-influenced brew. I had this a few hours after having it on-tap. The only difference is there was no head at all from the growler but there was a bit of head on-tap. It wasn't that much of a difference to take points off for the appearance since you don't expect much of a head at this high ABV level.

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,349 ratings.