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

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Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout

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3,362 Ratings
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Ratings: 3,362
Reviews: 515
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 2,195
Gots: 848 | FT: 88
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: 3,362 | Reviews: 515 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tsauce2
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of CMUbrew
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: As you might expect with the style and the name, this beer is black as night. A tiny, dark head manages to appear for a few seconds before subsiding into a faint and incomplete ring around the glass.

S: Mellow bourbon, roasted malts, perhaps a hint of chocolate. Aroma really isn't that potent, but it is certainly appealing.

T: Just hit the bourbon barrel stout jackpot. Front end hits with a mellow, but firm, bourbon punch. The flavors radiate over the palate as I get whiskey, woody notes, and vanilla. The stout flavors come in on the finish with darkly roasted malts and hints at bitter chocolate.

M: Not as viscous as I would like, but not thin by any means. Soft and silky. Only slight alcohol warming. The ABV is well hidden.

O: Simply outstanding. This is certainly a top tier BBA stout. Hopefully we'll see this again from Bell's sooner rather than later.

Photo of Bryan
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of fdig23
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of EB1
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of TSpartan4
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of biegaman
4.43/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Trivia Question: What do you get when you blend Double Cream and Expedition Stout? Answer: A beer with a head that's darker than most brown ales. Bell's Black Note is black on black, that's for sure - it's darker than deep space. Almost amazingly, the foam never collapses.

Did I mention the blend is also aged for a few months in bourbon barrels? This fact isn't apparent at first but comes clear in due time. There develops so much vanilla flavour that it smells almost like cream soda (but has enough roasted malt to avoid seeming artificial or candy-like).

The taste resembles an iced coffee of sorts but also contains rich notes of fudge, vanilla, chocolate macaroons, treacle and a bit of fig too. It offers an unrivaled combination of sweet malt, bitter espresso and dried fruit qualities. The bourbon barrels work behind the scenes to add complexity but don't feature much in the spotlight.

The mouthfeel is super lush and surprisingly light; it's not often you find the phrase "goes down easy" used in reference to an 11% stout. But there is a good amount of brown sugar in the mouthfeel and a vein of red wine astringency that brightens this very dark beer.

Bell's Black Note is definitely a product of the black arts - it's wickedly good and somehow manages to balance delicacy and density. Unlike most bourbon barrel stouts, this one derives more from rich, chocolatey malts than it does barrel aging or bourbon. It's a big beer but not the kind to put hair on your chest; this is one to cuddle up to.

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4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

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4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

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4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,362 ratings.