1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,459 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,459
Reviews: 529
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,334
Gots: 889 | FT: 84
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:
Beer added by: mcallister on 06-16-2007

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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,459 | Reviews: 529 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zbeetleman
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of GABrew
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of sholland119
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one at City Tap House, 6/7/10.

A-Pours deep black, a bit oily with a very dark mocha head and some pretty good lacing.

S-Outstanding. Caramel, rich dark chocolate, a nice whiff of bourbony vanilla.

T-Warm, rich and sweet from the start. A bourbon sweet note to begin, along with some alcohol warmth, then milk chocolate and sweet cream kick in before a warming finish.

M-A bit heavy in body but a joy to drink.

D-Delicious, though one at a sitting is certainly plenty.

HV

Photo of kristougher
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of Kendo
4.59/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/12/14; consumed on 5/15/14, making this one just 2 months old. . . .

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is inky jet black with only a hint of head on top - which then disappears immediately anyway, leaving behind absolutely no lace.

S: Bourbon, molasses & vanilla. Quite pleasant nose.

T: Pretty much follows the nose, with bourbon dominating, some molasses and a lot of vanilla. As it warms I note some dark fruits (black cherries come to mind) and even licorice on the aftertaste. High-ABV (11.4%) is noted more as warmth on the belly than as heat on the palate - a neat trick for a beer of this strength and considering the bourbon. Also as it warms up I'm getting more general roastiness cutting through the bourbon. Oh and the ABV is definitely working its wonders, buzz-wise.

M: Full-bodied, heft-wise, and fairly slick in feel, though as it warms up the carbonation seems to activate itself and cut through that slick feel. . . .

O: Real nice. I'd love to do a blind tasting with this, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Founders KBS. This one is heavier on the vanilla/molasses side of things, while others have more roasty malt to balance the bourbon.

Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of bostonryan
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Danny1217
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Jayli
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to a pint glass

A: This beer pours an opaque black with a 1/4 inch of medium brown head. Head recedes almost immediately. No lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is woody oak, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts and light chocolate notes.

T: Taste starts with roasted malts and licorice, dark fruits. Oak and bourbon come through.... lots of bourbon, but not overpowering with a slight vanilla character. The bourbon flavoring is blended nicely. Nice deep bitter chocolate towards the finish. Aftertaste has lingering coffee notes to it.

M: Medium to fuller body, moderate carbonation, smooth, silky body.

O: Goes down easily, very tasty, not too filling, well hidden kick, great representation of style. I have looked forward to this brew for quite some time and did not disappoint.

Photo of DaveHack
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of schnarr84
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of jschott75
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bierguy5
4.67/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at South Park Tavern. Pouts a nearly jet black color. No highlights to be found. A thin tan collar.

Nose full of bourbon, oak, chocolate, caramel, and some dark fruit. A whiff of vanilla in there two. What a complex, and inviting nose!

Lots of wood up front. Fades into a creamy chocolate with a hint of dark fruit. Some bourbon comes out, and a hint of coffee. A bit of vanilla finishes things off.

Full body. Very creamy, with lower carbonation. Lots of lingering warmth from the alcohol. A very complex, fantastic beer.

Photo of khargro2
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of n2185
4.36/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours black with a finger of dark tan head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: roasted malts with dark chocolate and coffee up front followed by smooth vanilla, toffee, oak, and bourbon.

T: roasted malts with creamy dark chocolate and coffee. Oak, toffee, and bourbon bring up a roasted and sweet finish with a light alcohol burn.

M: thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is a little more carbonated than most examples of the style.

O: a delicious and wonderful smelling beer. I wish it had a bit creamier body, but that's about the worst I can say about it.

Photo of Kerrie
4.4/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GrindFatherBob
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of charlzm
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed on March 11th, 2013 at 50 degrees F in my trusty Triple Petrus snifter. Thanks to Vurt for the bottle.

Beer pours a very dark brown: one shade lighter than black. Super-deep maroon highlights. A smallish light brown head forms and is gone almost instantly, leaving behind only a tiny crown that encircles the brew and leaves minimal trace behind. A gentle swirl reveals that this beer has some legs.

Aroma - bourbon is the primary component, but it's a modulated component, leaving room for some plum and chocolate notes.

Flavor is a bit salty and soy-sauce-like. Smooth bitter chocolate, some fleeting and creamy lactic notes, dates/plums and a wood mingle with leather and a touch of tobacco. Bourbon is mostly absent from the palate. Not especially boozy, all the flavors mingle and merge with none being especially dominant.

Mouthfeel is thick and slick with a little alcohol heat. Warming after a few sips. A little more carbonation would have been amazing...

Certainly the best use I have ever encountered for Expedition Stout, a beer I don't enjoy on its own. Goose Island's Bourbon County Stout is still the standard for this style as far as I'm concerned, but this is a fine, fine effort. Everyone, keep trying to top BCS!

Photo of Kopfschuss
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of david131
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of WeisGuy
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -9%

Poured from a 12oz botle, 2014 vintage. Thanks to Tricerahops (i think).

Pours a black body with a very thin head. Not as boozy as expected but bourbon is strong in the flavor. Nuances of coffee and chocolate are present but this would probably open up in a few years. I will say it was very smooth and alcohol was very well hidden.

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,459 ratings.