Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,934 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
4.89/5 rDev +7.2%
Served on draft, post Bell's tap-takeover at Aubree's in Northville, MI.
Appearance- Oily and dark, viscous, but a shade lighter than other BA stouts. Dark, dark espresso brown. One finger of beige head yields to a foamy veil atop the brew. As you drink, it dissipates further into a halo around the glass, leaving lots of lacing on the glass.
Smell- Caramel-coffee-toffee-creme brûlée. Big complex nose with a hint of bourbon heat. Roasty, roasty malts creep in. This smells awesome. One of the best.
Taste- Big boozy hit. Surprisingly more red wine than bourbon here. Fruity booze yields to a smooth 80 proof bourbon finish. What follows is awesome. Roasty espresso, big caramelly dark chocolate notes- think a chocolate riesen candy. Big strong Madagascar vanilla, creme brûlée and a blunt, dry roasty malt finish. Amazing.
Mouthfeel- Oily, smooth, creamy. A mouth-coating tingly whiskey burn that you really don't want to go away. Akin to the style with just a bit more.
Overall. One of the best, hands down. Extremely grateful that I was able to stumble on this (surprisingly) left over from a tap-takeover. The description does it justice, but this beer is so much more. If you have a chance to try this, try it. It will not disappoint. I thought CBS was the bar for the style, but this changes things. A shred more accessible than others of its ilk, this brings more Michigan BA stout firepower to the table. Drink this. Period. Thanks a ton Bell's!
03-02-2013 19:14:54 | More by SaisonRichBiere
4.81/5 rDev +5.5%
Served at Aubree's Northville
As the glass arrived, it resembled a glass full of crude oil. Just looking at it I can tell it is syrupy and thick; the head is dark, reddish bruise-black. The head is a thin layer of microscopic bubbles that I can only imagine seeing in places like te La Brea Tar Pits.
Smells like vanilla-cinnamon-chocolate-coffee spiked with a sweet, wheated bourbon. There's a nice coffee aroma as well. It's big and sweet.
The flavor is a boozy bourbon bomb at first, followed with a balanced chicory and smoky sweetness. The vanilla notes come out shrouded in a caramelly, dark roast coffee finish. It finishes surprisingly dry for all that's going on here. This is a real treat for the tastebuds.
Mouthfeel is effortless for as boozy as this is; nice, oily, and smooth sipping.
Overall I am blown away by this. I've had CBS and KBS, and this tops out with both of them; however I like this better than KBS. This is a real treat to find on draft. Amazing beer.
03-02-2013 17:50:50 | More by Fanhitter
4.7/5 rDev +3.1%
A-dark brown black color with a smallish tan head and minimal lacing
S-chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, bourbon, oak
T-rich chocolate, coffee, raisins, figs, vanilla, oak, slight smokiness, all interwoven with delicious bourbon flavor
F-medium to full body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy mouthfeel
O-absolutely delicious, so well-balanced with a wide array of flavor and bourbon beautifully blended throughout, one of the best
03-02-2013 03:42:29 | More by MDDMD
4.85/5 rDev +6.4%
12oz format, dated 12/28/12, poured into a snifter.
Less than a finger of thick dark tan mocha head, pretty much disappears after just a few minutes, maybe not even that long, leaving a very thin ring around the glass. Very minimal lacing. Black coffee coloring, with small traces of red, very small traces.
Nose really opens up as this thing warms a bit. At first a little one dimensional, with a flat roasted character present up front. After the pour, bourbon, vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, some coffee and chocolate, and whole host of other aromas announce themselves, giving Black Note a super complex, yet balanced overall aroma. There are earth tones in there, as well. Even a bit of tobacco.
Taste is equally complex and balanced, but not quite as amazing. Everything in the nose combines to create a very enjoyable flavor profile, but nothing is too prominent. It's all very balanced. I do find myself looking for something extra, more robust. It's not too hot, either.
Feel's smooth and velvety up front with a chalky finish, if that is possible. Somewhat hoppy and bitter at the same time. Carbonation is definitely noticeable.
Overall, I do really enjoy Black Note. It's complexity and uniqueness lend it something other bba stouts do not have. It's definitely not as smooth as some others I've had , but it's amazing in its own right. Cheers.
03-01-2013 03:39:52 | More by rodlavers
4.76/5 rDev +4.4%
Been a while...lets make this a good one
Pours jet black with hardly any head.
Nose is the sweetest of Carmelly bourbon. Vanilla, oak, delicious.
Taste brings out dark fruits that weren't present in the nose but otherwise it's more of that very carmelly bourbon. Booze is well incorporated. Smoothest vanilla, some cola, hint of smoke.
Mouthfeel is extremely smooth, full bodied, light alcohol prick that doesn't detract from the taste.
Overall this beer is fantastically balanced for how big it is. Superb.
02-28-2013 04:36:51 | More by natemort13
4.29/5 rDev -5.9%
12 oz bottle courtesy of Brian. Thank you for the opportunity. Poured into my Darkness snifter.
Bottle dated 2/28/12, so this bottle is almost a year old. Happy birthday you little minx.
Looks like a stout.
Massive wave of dark fruits hit you on the pour, mainly in the form of prune and plum. Light char and ash mix with vanilla and rich fudge. Tannic laced alcohol heat as well. One the sweeter side, maybe this is the prominence of the aging on the double cream stout? Truth be told I cannot remember the last time I had an Expedition....this calls for future exploration.
Sweet dry fruit and chocolate cake batter. Again the Double Cream stout flexes its relative muscle. Alcohol is abundant but not overwhelming. Vanilla molested plums and raisin. Bourbon is well woven and not abrasively in your face. I would not deem this a bourbon bomb. More milk chocolate than dark with a light oak on the end that hints at the barrel aging as well.
Not overly thick and syrupy, more towards medium bodied if not veering towards lighter bodied. Rather airy and smooth while not weighing you down.
Overall, this is pretty solid. I like bourbon beers that show nuance and aren't all brawn and no brains. This fits that category well. However, I find Double Cream stout borderline cloying and its inclusion here does steer this beer into a fairly sweet realm. Love 12 oz barrel aged beers and am thankful to have the opportunity.
02-28-2013 02:14:08 | More by BarrytheBear
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,934 ratings.