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

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

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BA SCORE
100
world-class

3,342 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,342
Reviews: 511
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 2,181
Gots: 842 | 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: 3,342 | Reviews: 511 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bostonryan
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of WeisGuy
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of JohnnieNepal
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jsprain1
4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A- Black, with a one and a half finger cocoa head. Fell down a little quicker than I would like, but boy that is a nice color.
S- Licorice, coffee, chocolate, burned toast.
T- Heavy on roasted character but there is a bit of rounding hops to it. More licorice, coffee, chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. Really in your face with delicious flavors. Long finish to it.
M- Full bodied. Low carbonation. Silky.
O- Loved this one. It is not a regular drink, but definitely worth tracking down.

Photo of campfirebrew
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of waddellc2
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.44/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
Bottle No: 455/1534

Pours a pitch black darkness that is quite thick. There is a nice quarter inch thick head that is light tan colored and is pretty dense. A nice swirl rises a head up to about half and inch and with some dense small bubbles.

Aroma is delicious! Starts off with fudgey chocolate notes. Delicious chocolate cake sweetness and richness. There is some nice bourbon sweetness that follows the chocolate notes and the bourbon is slightly balanced by some nice roast. There are some dark fruit notes present mixed in with some dark chocolate bitterness that shows itself on the back end.

Flavor starts off following the aroma. Starts off with nice fudgey and milk cocoa sweetness. Then there is a nice mix of bourbon with the coca notes. The Bourbon notes add some slight heat and some nice vanilla and almost cinnamon spice notes. There is a nice dark fruit notes with some raisins and prunes notes mixed in with the sweetness of chocolate. These notes are however not too strong and are very well balanced by the roast notes and the cocoa. All the flavors in this brew are very well crafted and represented. Yummy cocoa notes blended with bourbon notes that bring some vanilla and some nice dark fruit notes. All these notes are also very well balanced. Nothing overpowers the other notes and they all play well together. The body is nice and creamy and velvety smooth.

Overall I'm glad I got to try this brew. It is quite delicious with great fudge notes and some slight roast. Then there are some definite bourbon notes that are present and give the brew some nice body and good dimensions but that don't overwhelm. Bravo Bell's.

Photo of KYGunner
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black and beautiful, there was a layer of brown froth at the top. Very thick in appearance and feel it was viscous and smooth on the tongue.

All the vanilla and coconut one can handle, the scent was as smooth as the feel. Very elegant in the nose, the scent is creamy and pronounced.

The taste is as smooth and creamy as the nose would intimate. Barrel oakey flavor mixed with strong vanilla tones, there's a coconut flavor near the end. Slight hints of chocolate/caramel brownie finish it off. As good as any taste I've had in a stout.

Overall I find this the closest to BCBS, which ranks as tops with me!

Photo of ystazi
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of jaasen64
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle from the 2012 batch poured into HF stemmed glass and shared three ways. Consumed on 4/19 during our mini stout tasting, reviewed from notes.

A- Pours a very dark brown that appears an opaque jet black in the glass. A very thin mocha head appears that has decent retention but recedes to a flat top.

S- Dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, fairly sweet but nicely balanced and fairly aromatic.

T- Dark chocolate mixed with sweet bourbon balanced with a nice creamy vanilla presence and light oak. Finishes with light bitter chocolate balanced with more vanilla and a light clean booze (especially when considering the 11.5%). Nice balance between all the flavors, a little bit on the sweet side but not overly sweet.

M- Very smooth, nice carbonation, very easy drinking, decent body- not too thick but not overly light like some people complain about, overall an incredible feel for a 11.5% beer.

O- This was a fantastic barrel-aged stout which was actually one of our favorites of the night, which was impressive considering we paired it with the likes of Nooner, Marshall Zhukov, Hopped Up Johnnie, CBS, and KBS. Easily one of the better barrel-aged beers I've had and I hope Bell's continues to increase production of it as I would love to try it again.

Photo of JimmyFlatRock
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of t2grogan
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of alleykatking
4.68/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes I took at All Stout's Day.

A- Poured a nice oily black color. Small 1/2 finger mocha/tan colored head. Little lacing on the sides of the glass that just slid back down into the beer. Makes my mouth drool!

S- Like some others said it was muted when first served to me. I let it warm up a little while I sipping on the Oatmeal Stout and then came back to it. Wonderful roasted malts right in the forefront of this beer which I was a little afraid might be pushed back with other aromas. There were some oak and vanilla notes that came and went along with a light bourbon presence. Some chocolate came through a little more than the others mentioned. The alcohol was there but nothing overpowering. It almost smelled just like a Dark Lord dare I say.

T- Good big roasted flavor right off the bat mixes well with a light bourbon and oak middle. There was a light vanilla flavor that I picked up more and more once I drank it. The middle and the end of this beer was a little more creamy and chocolate notes ran freely. The alcohol was there but it was not messing with the overall flavors in the beer. Big tastes in this beer.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. I personally thought the carbonation was a little bit weak on this and could have used a little more. The beer needed a little help rushing across the palate but made its way in a roasted bourbony sweetness fashion. Nice clean afterflavors that enhance the entire drinking of this beer.

D- This beer is very drinkable even with the higher ABV. I couldn't get enough of it when I was at Bell's. I am glad I got to try this and it really was worth the hype that it had.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.6/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Matt the Miller's Grandview on 6/12/12

Nearly black with dark mahogany brown around the edges. No head, save for a thin ring.

The aroma has a lot of the stout - roasted and burnt sugars, molasses, prune, bitter chocolate and some coffee undertones. Creamy vanilla, some oak and hints of soft bourbon. The flavor has more bourbon and more heat. Some burnt sweetness, much similar to the nose. Pretty heavy blend between burnt roast and sugar and prune sweetness. Oak char on the finish. Full, slick body with sugary lingerings. Moderate, appropriate carbonation. Finishes clean for a barreled thing.

Overall, this is good but I would much rather drink Expedition or Double Cream Stout or bourbon.

Photo of Danny1217
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of randylangford
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of thebigredone
4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, thanks Bells for bringing this to the Milwaukee Brewfest, what an awesome surprise. Definitely the best beer at the event.

Nose dominated by warm bourbon and chocolate notes.

Taste also begins with warm bourbon, followed by a smooth chocolate rosat, and finishes with more bourbon. Delicious, but I would have preferred the stout to have a slightly stronger presence, as I feel it was largely overshawdowed by the bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel was fairly creamy, but could have been more so.

Overall, an excellent offering from Bells. I would really be interested in trying a BA version of Expedition Stout and seeing if that might be preferable to the Expedition/Cream Stout blend.

Photo of mpalestino
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of PA-Michigander
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,342 ratings.