1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

3,012 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,012
Reviews: 495
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 2,070
Gots: 781 | FT: 74
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,012 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of robwestcott
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

robwestcott, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of smitty5245
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

smitty5245, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of MarcWP
4.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

2012 vintage poured into Firestone snifter.

Appearance is on par with other barrel aged stouts. Black, dark roasty almond colored tiny head. Leaves little lacing.

Aroma is fudge, vanilla, toasted coconut, fig jam, bourbon, spice cake, and creamed coffee. I've got to say the aroma on this one of the best I've come upon in a barrel aged stout! So balanced between everything, thinking the year in the cellar helped take the bourbon back a notch.

On the palate there is a huge surge of coffee and fudge with the dark fruit taking a back seat. Bourbon throughout with coconut, vanilla, faint oak, and Brandy beans. If I had to describe the flavor I would have to say its like a not so boozy BCBS and Parabola had a baby. It's somewhere in between that spectrum but on a scaled down level. Just smooth.

The mouthfeel is where this suffers a bit. Not bad but maybe just a bit thin, with aftertaste disappearing rather quickly. The flavor screams viscous but the body thins out a little soon failing to support the formers gung-ho approach.

Overall a truely worldclass barrel aged stout. Quite smooth, very flavorful, surprisingly easy drinking for 12% abv, and very balanced between flavor nuances. I think I enjoyed this a bit more than Parabola but a little less than regular BCBS.

MarcWP, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of jb3304
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

jb3304, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of auroracrisis
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

auroracrisis, Jan 15, 2014
Photo of Pwnzilla
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Pwnzilla, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of mattmarka1
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

mattmarka1, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of Cresant
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Cresant, Jan 12, 2014
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 threedaggers
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

threedaggers, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Jimmeekrek
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Jimmeekrek, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of J_Barrett
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

J_Barrett, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of HoistinBrews
5/5  rDev +9.6%

HoistinBrews, Jan 12, 2014
Photo of Norseman
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Norseman, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of DrewSimm
5/5  rDev +9.6%

DrewSimm, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of Eric15
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Eric15, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of fireman1013
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

fireman1013, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Ksims
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

Ksims, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of boxcar01
4/5  rDev -12.3%

boxcar01, Jan 10, 2014
Photo of Jonathan2291
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Jonathan2291, Jan 09, 2014
Photo of kermis
5/5  rDev +9.6%

kermis, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of AdamF625
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A- black and almost flat with a thin dark brown head that fades quick and leaves no lacing.
S- bourbon, chocolate, oak, plums
T- follows the nose my friends tons of cocoa and sweet bourbon, oak, some dark fruit, toasted marshmallow
M- thicker body with little carbonation. It is ridiculously smooth and easy to drink for a big beer. No burn to report from the high abv and barrel aging. This was bottled in February of 2012 so let's keep that in mind.
O- this beer really took to the barrel well and is graceful at almost two years old. Very smooth and flavorful.

AdamF625, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of Lurkerson
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Lurkerson, Jan 07, 2014
Photo of cwehr13
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

cwehr13, Jan 06, 2014
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,012 ratings.