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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

3,273 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,273
Reviews: 507
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 2,149
Gots: 822 | FT: 80
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: 3,273 | Reviews: 507 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timc13
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

timc13, Feb 12, 2013
Photo of Holmes698
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Holmes698, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of jsurfs82
5/5  rDev +9.6%

jsurfs82, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of littlebeer
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

littlebeer, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of sdpaul
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

sdpaul, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of BierJager89
4.83/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy shit. Poured from a growler?! into a snifter in California?! From a complete stranger?! Thank you to every single person and thing and event that allowed black note to cross the threshold of my mouth. Especially the stranger at the bar and my friend with whom I tried this.

A: Solid black with a faint brown ring of head that is all but completely absent. Little carbonation as this was poured into a growler at the brewery and transported all the way to california before being poured into a snifter.

S: Old yeast and dark bittersweet chocolate, very reminiscent of Older Viscosity, as well as vanilla, roasted malt, oak and alcohol in the nose.

T: Anise, oak, vanilla, dark bittersweet chocolate, medium roast coffee, alcohol. Absolutely delicious. A near paragon of the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout style. Lacks the strong vanilla character I love about the style, as well as caramel and is a bit more faint in oak than I'd prefer.

M: Literally perfect for an imperial stout, to my taste. The fullest of silky, creamy smooth bodies coats the mouth.

O: Rich, hearty, delicious, and impossible to find. Just barely overrated (it isn't really a 100, but then again they inflate ratings on this website, which is unnecessary and stupid). Recommended? If you can find it. I feel my luck may have reached the apex of it's potential given that such an odd way of coming upon a taste of this beer was the result of layer upon layer of sheer happenstance. But enough about me. This beer is amazing.

BierJager89, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of AgentMunky
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a small snifter from a growler of unknown provenance. Thanks stranger at the bar.

A: Completely dark. No head. Some clinging lace.

S: Rich, deep, dark bourbon, flat malt and stale yeast. A little like an old ale. The barrel aging seems to have mellowed all aspects but heightened the sweetness. Slightly pungent alcohol.

T/M: Absolutely fucking luxurious. It envelops the mouth the way silk sheets might cradle an emperor. The Double Cream Stout sweetness shines and is accentuated by the bourbon barrels, but the darker, bitterer anise and dark chocolate and hints of creamy coffee from Expedition Stout are also noticeable. I don't even miss the carbonation because this beer is so full and sexy and caressing. The aftertaste is dry and more bitter than the rest of the beer.

O: This is truly magnificent and I cannot overstate how thrilled I am to finally try it. Definitely recommended. Best bourbon barrel aged beer I've had.

AgentMunky, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of vodkammunion90
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

vodkammunion90, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of egrace84
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

egrace84, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of beerandcycling88
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

beerandcycling88, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

CheapBeerBuzz, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of Soneast
4/5  rDev -12.3%

Soneast, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

WYVYRN527, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of jvillefan
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: jet black with a very minimal mocha colored head.

S: A mixture of bourbon with chocolate is dominate in the aroma of this beer. Roasted malt come through in the background of this beer.

T: A nicely blended well balanced mixture of roasted malts, chocolate, and bourbon. Very rich and intense flavors.

M: It is very think and heavy with the perfect amount of carbonation for this beer.

O: Amazing stout. Well worth trading for.

jvillefan, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.99/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured black , sordove sluggish with a moderate dirty cap which leaves some good bubbles and lacing.

S: Chocolate, light whiff of licorice, coffee and a light booze sting

T: Big coffee upfront with chocolate, black licorice and roasted notes. Light addiions of dark fruit in the background. I felt any barrel was really backseat on this bottle but then again I had been consuming bookoo stouts. But really, I perceived more velvety stout qualities than I did barrel so that was a hit for me.

M: Full bodied, low to medium carbonation, yet I felt it was a bit thin going down. Its not as full or thick as I expected from the pour

O: A good beer but I have been drink a lot of Kalamazoo lately and I actually enjoy it over this Imperial Stout. Odd huh?

barleywinefiend, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of DovaliHops
4.28/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into small Eclipse snifter glass. 2012. Pours a pitch black color with a tiny light brown/tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is sweet vanilla and bourbon up front. A little oak and cherry aroma with some bitter chocolate and dark fruits. Roasted espresso as well. More vanilla lingering in the nose with a bit of toffee. Taste immediately reminded me of a BA stout I've had on multiple occasions. The initial flavors remind me of some of the Eclipse variants, where the overall beer remind me of Parabola (somewhat). Bitter chocolate up front with some nice bourbon flavors (and burn). Sweet vanilla with some sherry and oak flavors. A hint of coconut with some boozy whiskey flavors. More chocolate and a bit of roasted espresso in the finish. Mouthfeel starts out very nice, but tends to be a bit thin in the finish. Drinkability is pretty high for such a high ABV BA imperial stout. Overall, this beer is a great one. I guess for how hard the 750ml bottles were to get, I expected a little more. I absolutely love Parabola and rated it very highly. Although the flavor of this beer remind of Parabola in a way, I feel it is not on the same level. Solid beer overall, and I am VERY glad I scored me a four-pack via trade.

DovaliHops, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of brstls4drmrs
4.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks MADpolo for this one. 12oz bottle.

A - pours a viscous black color with almost no head. The froth that does come is caramel in color and appears like a snowflake. Great lacing.

S - some booze with bourbon and a hint of licorice. Some nice malty aroma with hints of nut and chocolate (very small). Expressi in there too.

T - a malty bourbon delight with some nice caramel overtones going down. Very pleasing to the palate and dances around like silk.

M - very smooth and delightful with mild to medium carbonation.

O - an excellent stout. A must have.

brstls4drmrs, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of thegerm87
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

thegerm87, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of JNewbs
5/5  rDev +9.6%

JNewbs, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of LaChupacabra
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

LaChupacabra, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

nickfl, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of jimmy82063
4.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally received the elusive Black Note - Poured into a Bell's Snifter

A - Jet Black with a thin brownish head. Minimal lacing.

S - Outstanding - bourbon comes right through.

T - Bourbon of course, coffee, chocolate and some nice drak fruit. There is a real nice semi sweet chocolate finish at the end. A bit of the oak and burnt sugar are noted as well.

M) - This is so smooth and in regards to other style offerings this is where this stands out. Absolutely no harshness!

O) An outstanding beer, very easy to drink - this will cause a commotion if it ever hits the New York area.

jimmy82063, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of Zaximus
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Zaximus, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

IMSPEAKNOENGLISH, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of beerFool28607
5/5  rDev +9.6%

beerFool28607, Feb 09, 2013
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,273 ratings.