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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

3,136 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,136
Reviews: 499
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,110
Gots: 792 | FT: 75
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: 3,136 | Reviews: 499 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mcrago
5/5  rDev +9.6%

mcrago, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of JonNunes
3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

JonNunes, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of PaulMc
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

PaulMc, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of juliusseizure
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

juliusseizure, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.05/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, a limited-release beer in a 12 oz bottle. Though the price-per-ounce is about the same, I don’t have to shell out a considerable chunk of my net worth just to try a specialty brew.

Brewed a little over a month before the date of this tasting (“PKGD 12/28/12).

A: Pours a slick dark brown, nearly black, with a surprisingly watery appearance. The only head to appear are some fizzy soda bubbles along the edge of the glass; slight wet lacing.

S: Sweet vanilla nougat and caramel candy tones with a flowing backdrop of woody bourbon. Overall, the aroma is malty as hell, but the booze and roast make the sugars manageable. Hints of hickory smoke, baking chocolate, and Irish cream play along the edges. Hints of slight oxidation appear in small, sparse doses, giving a cardboard scent.

T: A slow-building masterwork, this palate begins with a luscious wave of residual sugars: tastes of syrupy caramel and vanilla abound. As in the nose, it’s a candy sweetness. Soon after these sugars lay down as the body of the brew, tastes of cinnamon, anise, toasted coconut, and bitter chocolate shift the palate to a character of soft spice, a quick transition to the dark, roasty, finish. In a final burst of flavor, powerful tones of smoke, chili pepper, black coffee, and burnt toast overwhelm the sense and bring this beer to a staggeringly smoked end. Charred bourbon barrel tastes linger in a moderate aftertaste of oak, smoke, and astringent whiskey, along with a dried-out sugar flavor akin to cola.

M: Feels like it looks, actually – a little thinner than expected. With the hidden alcohol and all the residual sugars, it really drinks more like root beer at first. Light, foamy carbonation.

O: A good stout is never unwelcome in January, and this one hit the spot. If you like smoke and barrel, this is your beer – I really thought I’d be able to pick out the beers that go into this blend, but the whiskey pulls it together in one big, woody package. Nothing average here.

BarryMFBurton, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Zach136, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of Keith_R
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Keith_R, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of EdelweissDad
5/5  rDev +9.6%

EdelweissDad, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of chrisrrob
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The thing that hit me about this beer was the aroma. As soon as I opened the bottle I got a very sweet smell: brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate. Pours motor oil black and a one finger head disappears rather quickly. The taste is a nice combination of sweet and bourbon, with a nice bourbon finish. I've had barrel aged stouts that are either too sweet or too bourbon tasting on the finish, but this one has a nice interplay of the two. The subtle various sweet flavors, coffee, and bourbon all work very nicely together. I feel fortunate to have picked up a 4-pack.

chrisrrob, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of MarcatGSB
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Central Waters snifter.

A: Pours a deep black with no light getting through. Creamy tan cocoa colored head sits on the rim of the glass for almost the entire drinking process. Leaves some very impressive lacing around the edge of the glass. Rather small bubbles with some oddly configured shapes slowly working their way down to the liquid.

N: There is a surprising amount of hop on the nose, must be coming from the Expedition. The bourbon is really up front on the nose. Man, this is honestly the first time I've really sat down and dissected this beer. When the beer is at about 55 degrees, the complex layers of oak and creamy depth come forward. Dark fruits blend well with nice chocolate, vanilla, and touches of bitter molasses.

T: The taste is more of those dark fruit notes, a touch of bitter chocolate, and a bit of sherry/alcohol. The oak is very present, with some drying qualities, yet the creamy, light flavor balance that out nicely. It's almost juicy, kind of chocolate milk like.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, with proper carbonation. Bit on the low side, that allows the beautiful oak and bourbon to come through, and isn't too busy on the mouth.

D and O: This really is a nice barrel aged stout. I feel it lacks a bit of depth and complexity as some of the other World Class stouts, but it's close. A real treat.

MarcatGSB, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of alex021224
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

alex021224, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of Hugonaut13
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Hugonaut13, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of crewfan16
4.31/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz 2012 bottle into a central waters snifter.

a- looks like a barrel aged stout should. pitch black with no light shining through. dark khaki foam rises and falls quickly leaving just a light tan ring around the outside of the glass.

s- bourbon notes are the first thing that hits me, but lots of chocolate, vanilla, oak, slight dark fruit. smells complex and delicous

t- obvious bourbon and barrel notes. lots of chocolate sweetness, but not cloyingly so. roasted malt and dark fruit similar to the nose. a bit of booze at the end, but not overly harsh. nice complex flavor profile

m- nice viscocity, but not overly thick like some of the other big barrel aged stouts. nice lingering flavors with just a bit of boozy tingle.

overall a very nice beer once again from bells. im not willing to put it above some of the other heavy hitters like bcbs, but it is well above average. im glad I have a couple to cellar for a year or two and see how this beer changes and mellows a bit.

crewfan16, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of bozodogbreath
4.34/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 12/28/12 into a Bell's snifter.

A: A deep black stout with a mocha colored head that dissipates rather quickly. An impenetrable black to the edges of the glass.

S: Vanilla, bourbon/bourbon cask, dark dried fruits, a slight alcohol burn to the back of the nose.

T: Sweet, very sweet, maybe too sweet. Bourbon notes, vanilla, chocolate. The vanilla sweetness is out of balance with the bourbon notes, dried fruit and chocolate.

M: The mouthfeel is very nice. Soft and creamy, but leans towards the thinner side.

O: A very enjoyable BA imperial stout. Worthy of the pursuit.

bozodogbreath, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of dctriman
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

dctriman, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of Efay
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Efay, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of Akcellar8
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Akcellar8, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of ystazi
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

ystazi, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of CityofBals
3/5  rDev -34.2%

CityofBals, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of Morey
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Morey, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of HarriAle
5/5  rDev +9.6%

HarriAle, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of DCgolfpro
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

DCgolfpro, Jan 31, 2013
Photo of Kuba
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Kuba, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of WhiteJordan
5/5  rDev +9.6%

WhiteJordan, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of MSandahl23
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

MSandahl23, Jan 30, 2013
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,136 ratings.