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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

3,271 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,271
Reviews: 506
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 2,149
Gots: 820 | FT: 80
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: 3,271 | Reviews: 506 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

orbitalr0x, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

HaveUSeenMyCellar, Jan 05, 2014
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.

alleykatking, Nov 03, 2009
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.

Ryan011235, Oct 11, 2012
Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

bobv, May 23, 2013
Photo of Lehighace06
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Lehighace06, Nov 18, 2014
Photo of MikeCactusGordon
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

MikeCactusGordon, Oct 19, 2013
Photo of CraigTravor
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

CraigTravor, May 15, 2014
Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Mantooth, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of JimmyFlatRock
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

JimmyFlatRock, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of campfirebrew
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

campfirebrew, May 31, 2014
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!

KYGunner, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of waddellc2
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

waddellc2, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of ystazi
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

ystazi, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of anteater
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle.

A: Black and deep, practically no head whatsoever

S: Strong! You can smell this one from far away. Roasty malt, espresso, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla

T: More of the nose. Rich espresso, bourbon, roasty malt, chocolate and vanilla from the oak. Bitterness is present but in the background. Lots of flavor, very well balanced

M: Pretty thick, very smooth

O: One of the better barrel aged stouts I've had. Better than KBS, not as good as BCBS.

anteater, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

JeffTheJuice, Apr 29, 2014
Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 561/1081. Thanks to JAXSON for this one. 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Pours pitch black. 1 finger dark mocha head that dissipates quickly. Spotty lace. Amazingly thick legs. Solid.

Nose is vanilla, lactose, chocolate, fudge, and a boozy tickle. Real sweet but nice complexity. Aromatic too.

Opens sweet soy sauce, chocolate, fudge, and cocoa powder. Some roasted malt, molasses in the middle. Sweet brown sugar and caramel. More molasses at the end. Booziness throughout sweetens the brew but doesn't overpower or cover the complexity. Amazing. Sweet, syrupy aftertaste.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and goes down with some heat. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. Really good.

There are a lot of barrel-aged stouts with a lot of hype behind them. Some are good, some not so much. Black Note definitely deserves the praise it gets. A nicely complex brew with just the right amount of barrel presence and a great mouthfeel to tie it all together. Can't wait to get my hands on more!

SpeedwayJim, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of Danny1217
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Danny1217, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of jaymo18
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

jaymo18, Feb 17, 2014
Photo of AleWatcher
3.25/5  rDev -28.7%

AleWatcher, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of CaptDavyJones
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

CaptDavyJones, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of doremite
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

doremite, Nov 18, 2013
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.

papat444, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of josephwa
4.54/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - thin line of head, mostly opaque, very dark brown, good lacing.
S - caramel, molasses, bourbon, chocolate. Alluring indeed!
T - well balance bourbon flavor-the aging was perfect on this beer, molasses, chocolate. Really well done in the bottle. Even better than tap in my opinion.
M - perfect carbonation, perfect body - slightly lighter body for an imperial stout.
O - overall I've found this to be a notch above the draft version, so polished and well done. So glad these are released in 12 oz bottles for distribution.

josephwa, Aug 28, 2012
Photo of jplopez21
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

jplopez21, Jan 19, 2013
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,271 ratings.