1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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.

3,119 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,119
Reviews: 498
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,104
Gots: 787 | 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: 3,119 | Reviews: 498 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JALIEN
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

JALIEN, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of RyanBeer13
5/5  rDev +9.6%

RyanBeer13, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Christov
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Christov, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of SteelersX
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

SteelersX, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of jplopez21
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

jplopez21, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of swimfire
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

swimfire, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of broodog
4.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Black Note Stout Batch 11620 (I think, A little hard to read) Bottled 12/28/12 - Into a Bell's Tulip

Appearance - Pours jet black - 1 finger tan head which dissipates rather quickly into a ring. Lacing is nice

Smell- Bourbon, Coffee, roasted malt

Taste - Wow - In a class by itself. A rush of flavor. Bourbon followed by coffee, followed by roasted malt , molasses. Blend together perfectly. Alcohol is there, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Not as thick as some other BB stouts at this ABV. Feels great going down.

Overall - A wonderful experience. If you can get your hands on a few, try one now. Save a few for aging.

broodog, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Mai
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Mai, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of Steimie
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Steimie, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of 33nickadams
4.66/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Completely black, opaque, and beige head sticks to the sides of the snifter. First smell I get is of dark dried fruits, which I find interesting since it's bourbon barrel aged. Of course you get the bourbon on the nose, but also you can smell sweetness. Alcohol is also evident in the nose. Tastes of coffee, dark dried fruits, chocolate, bourbon, vanilla, oakiness. Very well balanced and smooth. Not harsh at all, especially for being 11.5%. Nice aftertaste of vanilla that lingers in the mouth. Mouthfeel is full-bodied, velvety smooth and lightly carbonated. A world class beer from a world class brewery. I'm not sure that this could improve any more than it already is. Unless its better with age. I think I may keep some around for that.

33nickadams, Jan 19, 2013
Photo of jmich24
5/5  rDev +9.6%

jmich24, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of briiguy
5/5  rDev +9.6%

briiguy, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of Agold
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Agold, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

yourefragile, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of Durb777
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Durb777, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of TCJosh
5/5  rDev +9.6%

TCJosh, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.48/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Birch.

A - Classic imperial stout look, great lacing, nice brown head, pitch black.

S - Very appealing smell, smoke, charcoal, bitter chocolate.

T - Bitter taste, smokey, pretty complex. Very substantial in abv taste. Very delicious.

M - Fairly creamy and full bodied.

O - Although it may not be one of the best beers around right now, it still earns its reputation as a superb quality beer. Have I had better lately? Maybe. But this is still excellent.

Oh, bullchips. This is awesome.

Beer-A-Lot, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of arniepnminne
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

arniepnminne, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of rolandboy
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

rolandboy, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of LambicKing
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

LambicKing, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of Hanzo
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

Hanzo, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of Gfunk720
3.85/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rogee for this bottle. 12oz 2012 bottle out of my Hill Farmstead Glass.

A- Pitch black in color, pours with a nice tannish mocha head that retreats to a light ring around the glass. Some light lacing, but more of an oily sheen on the inside of the glass.

S- Smells wonderful. A nice combination of roasted malt and some smokey barrel character. Some hints of bourbon, but it is very subdued. Notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and some creamy character.

T- To be honest, it is hard to believe that Expedition stout is the base for this beer, as it has no where near the malt presence. The initial flavor is fizzy, roasted malt and booziness. I get a little chocolate, but the barrel is a little overwhelming. The bourbon does add some vanilla flavor, these may need some time to mellow.

M- A bit fizzy, and a little light bodied. Just feels slightly watery, and doesn't have a whole lot of depth.

O- I wanted to try one of these fresh, and have to say I was slightly let down. Expedition stout is one of my all time favorite stouts, as it is just so full bodied and creamy. I feel like the barrel aging of this beer made it slightly less viscous, and at this point isn't drinking too great. The barrel is really just coming through as heat and overwhelming booziness. I definitely need to sit on a few of these for a while, and see how they develop.

Gfunk720, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of JasonFromLA
4/5  rDev -12.3%

JasonFromLA, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of Michigan
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Michigan, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of jbuddle
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

jbuddle, Jan 16, 2013
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,119 ratings.