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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

2,796 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,796
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,012
Gots: 713 | FT: 68
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: 2,796 | Reviews: 488 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WorldWideStout
WorldWideStout

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this during D.C. Beer Week at The Big Hunt.

A: It's a bit dark in the room, but I can tell there's the typical pitch-black body. What's unusual is that a wisp of a head stays around for several minutes, even after I take a few sips.

S: Mostly bourbon. There is a little bit of roast and biscuit in there as well.

T: The taste opens up with some toffee from the malts, and then ripe dark fruits make an appearance. Towards the middle the bourbon comes out in full force. It's not the sweet bourbon I'm used to in BA stouts - it's more rough and young. The end of each sip and aftertaste is fairly unpleasant - harsh booziness.

M: Nice velvety mouthfeel with the appropriate small amount of carbonation.

O: I was not terribly impressed by this beer. The barrel notes are too prominent, and it's pretty boozy. I'd try it again if it had been aged for a year plus, but I didn't find the draught version worth all the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2012 03:49:55 | More by WorldWideStout
Photo of theminutemen
theminutemen

Missouri

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

08-13-2012 19:00:49 | More by theminutemen
Photo of sliverX
sliverX

S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

08-08-2012 16:34:16 | More by sliverX
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Derek, as always, for the bottle.

Black in color with a small tan head. Aroma is almost overpowering bourbon and vanilla. Rich chocolate and a bit of roasted malt. Simplicity at its finest. The flavor is similarly bold. A touch of alcohol, intense bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Tons of chocolate, some hints of coffee and roasted malt, and a bit of molasses. Excellent, decadent stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 16:21:34 | More by womencantsail
Photo of Devi0us
Devi0us

California

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

08-07-2012 05:25:55 | More by Devi0us
Photo of ThePorterSorter
ThePorterSorter

Missouri

4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 923/1081...don't know what that means. But I feel more special letting people know.

Dark black with no head and shiny flecks of garnet in the light. The nose presents a good presence from the oak and a slight touch of oxidation. The taste follows suit with the addition of a nice chocolaty malt base that screams stout.. but definitely not a Russian imperial with only a modestly thick mouthfeel. The mouthfeel is slightly bourbon boozy, but not enough to scream BBA. It's just weak-sauce in comparison to the other stouts I've had.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 02:24:43 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of TypsiYpsi
TypsiYpsi

Michigan

4/5  rDev -12.3%

08-03-2012 19:02:56 | More by TypsiYpsi
Photo of 3Hops
3Hops

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +9.6%

08-02-2012 19:18:23 | More by 3Hops
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft served in a snifter. The brew pours black in color with a rich mocha head. The cap fades pretty fast leaving spotty patches of lace sticking to the glass.

The smell is vibrant with bourbon and barrel aging characteristics that smell of coconut, vanilla and lots of neutral oak. Roasty grain is present smelling of coffee and chocolate. Some tangy booze rounds things up.

The taste is tangy with bourbon booze quality right out the gate that doesnt diminish during the experience. Bitter unsweetened cocoa lingers in the mouth coupled with coffee, raw oak, vanilla, and some hints of caramel sweetness as it warms up.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. It is quite a boozy sipper that is enjoyable. Fans of expedition stout will go crazy over this. Very well done and worth seeking out if it doesnt cost you a limb.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2012 18:23:07 | More by stakem
Photo of BobCobb
BobCobb

Illinois

4/5  rDev -12.3%

07-31-2012 03:12:19 | More by BobCobb
Photo of king75
king75

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-31-2012 01:30:22 | More by king75
Photo of Supergenious
Supergenious

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-29-2012 19:49:40 | More by Supergenious
Photo of thebigredone
thebigredone

Wisconsin

4.23/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, thanks Bells for bringing this to the Milwaukee Brewfest, what an awesome surprise. Definitely the best beer at the event.

Nose dominated by warm bourbon and chocolate notes.

Taste also begins with warm bourbon, followed by a smooth chocolate rosat, and finishes with more bourbon. Delicious, but I would have preferred the stout to have a slightly stronger presence, as I feel it was largely overshawdowed by the bourbon notes.

Mouthfeel was fairly creamy, but could have been more so.

Overall, an excellent offering from Bells. I would really be interested in trying a BA version of Expedition Stout and seeing if that might be preferable to the Expedition/Cream Stout blend.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2012 19:16:50 | More by thebigredone
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Previously I tried this at Michigan Brewer's Guild and it came of strangely sour and off. Maybe from a bad keg? Got a bottle now. Pours pitch black with a very small brown head. Aroma is heavy vanilla, licorice, chocolate and bourbon. Smells very rich. Some up front bite with medium low carbonation. Flavor of licorice at first, finishing with overwhelming chocolate and then sweet vanilla really lingering. Thick and viscous, slightly acidic with some burning alcohol going on. Age would probably smooth it out but overall pretty awesome! Glad I got to re-rate this.

Another rerate here with a 2012 bottle poured on 3/22/14. Mostly similar but the booze tones down considerably now. Big anise flavors and lots of beautiful vanilla chocolate Good n Plenties. This is still awesome. The Expedition seems to shine through a bit with the age on this one. Very interesting.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 18:18:48 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of metalgdog
metalgdog

New York

4/5  rDev -12.3%

07-29-2012 17:55:07 | More by metalgdog
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GRG1313

California

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-28-2012 07:38:20 | More by GRG1313
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Rich540

California

4/5  rDev -12.3%

07-28-2012 00:54:18 | More by Rich540
Photo of hopsolutely
hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow. An awful lot "going on" in this beer. On tap at Ashleys in Ann Arbor. Pours a beautiful dark mahogany with coffee coloured head and lacing. Stunning aroma of oak tannins with a strong roasted & caramelized malt background. Robust flavour that lingers for an impressive length of time. 11% ABV is almost completely hidden in the warm malt tones. Coffee, chocolate, licorice and lots & lots of oak. Even some rye or bourbon notes?

An excellent beer!

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2012 00:02:01 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden, Brass Rail and Shady McGrady's all in the same week. Also out of a growler at ffej of july...Yeah, this area does not suck.

A - Pours jet black with a nice one and a half finger tall mocha colored head leaving sticky streaks of lace down parts of the glass.

S - Smells of warm bourbon, milk chocolate, vanilla, dark roasted malt, brown sugar and quite a bit of lactic creaminess. Bourbon is strong initially but the other aroma's grow to help keep it in check.

T - Starts off with a big dose of warm bourbon, chocolate and some lactic creaminess from the double cream stout. Hints of vanilla, oak, brown sugar and rich coffee help to break things up and keep things interesting. Finish is pretty sweet with plenty of boozy bourbon and some dark roast, lingering on the palate long after consumption.

M - Big, full body with a TON of sweet flavors and moderate carbonation. Smooth, boozy feel throughout the glass.

O - I have missed out on trying this one a few times in the past so I was really looking forward to trying it when I saw that it went on-tap. Now that I have had it 4-5 times in the span of a week I can say that it definitely lives up to its billing. Awesome beer for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

07-27-2012 22:09:21 | More by orangesol
Photo of SiRCRX
SiRCRX

Michigan

5/5  rDev +9.6%

07-27-2012 14:13:54 | More by SiRCRX
Photo of Brian15
Brian15

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-26-2012 02:16:47 | More by Brian15
Photo of Viciousknishs
Viciousknishs

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

07-26-2012 01:02:51 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of MarkGleason
MarkGleason

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

07-25-2012 13:36:10 | More by MarkGleason
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

4/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by MrBubbler at woodshop. Thanks Adam glad I didn't give up the world for this

Look: Black in color with a small tan head and disappears quite quickly that leaves behind a couple dots of lace

Smell: Upfront is a touch of bourbon backed up by some roasted malts and chocolate and finishes with a nice kiss of vanilla and oak

Taste: The taste starts off a little differently from the nose with the roasted and chocolate notes upfront subtle but nice. Vanilla kicks in almost immediately after the chocolate fades and the beer finishes with the bourbon and oak I was looking for

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy and medium to full in body with low carbonation

Overall: I did enjoy this beer and would drink it if I lived closer to the source. Definitely worth trying but definitely not worth the lofty price tag. I really do hate limited releases and hype

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 00:31:03 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4/5  rDev -12.3%

07-24-2012 04:52:33 | More by drewone
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,796 ratings.