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Bell's Black Note Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout

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2,932 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 2,932
Reviews: 495
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 2,040
Gots: 755 | FT: 69
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: 2,932 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsilva


4/5  rDev -12.3%

04-25-2012 03:17:16 | More by jsilva
Photo of climbeer07


4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

04-24-2012 16:21:26 | More by climbeer07
Photo of nas5755


4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

04-23-2012 21:30:09 | More by nas5755
Photo of tclapper

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

04-23-2012 01:47:55 | More by tclapper
Photo of jsanford


4.08/5  rDev -10.5%

On-tap at Brewvival 2102

Poured an inky black with a dense mocha head. Luxurious aromas of cream, bourbon, malt, chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste is similar to the nose, lots of hot Bourbon, chocolate, molasses, raisin, and roasted malt. Definitely tasty, but no better then any of the other 78472397629289 Bourbon-barrel Stouts out in the world. Full-bodied, with a creamy mouthfeel and ample carbonation. Overall a great BA Stout, but the definition of "overhyped".

04-22-2012 17:22:38 | More by jsanford
Photo of BeRanger


4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

04-20-2012 19:04:02 | More by BeRanger
Photo of mgobrew10


5/5  rDev +9.6%

04-20-2012 16:18:22 | More by mgobrew10
Photo of TheMonk41


4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

04-20-2012 00:40:20 | More by TheMonk41
Photo of chinchillin85

2.95/5  rDev -35.3%

I had this on tap at the Bavarian Lodge. I was really excited to see what was in store for this beer.
A- It was a nice deep black typical of imperial stouts with crimson around the edge of the glass where the light was hitting it. I typically like my stouts a much deeper color though.

S- Sweet bourbon hits you right away. It smells really boozy. Then I get chocolate, roasted notes with some toffee.

T- At first it was too boozy. I let it warm up and It got better. It was smooth and a decent stout but nothing better than what is on the shelf

M- I would like a lot more thickness from this beer with a name like Black note

O- This is an overrated beer if I've ever seen one. Did not live up to the hype. KBS is 100 times better. I cannot stress enough that this beer is no better than another bourbon barrel aged stout on the shelf at your liquor store. I was really struggling to get any complexity's from it and there was no coffee flavor what so ever. Don't get me wrong this is a good beer but It's definitely is nothing special and I still can't believe what people will trade for this. Do yourself a favor and mix expedition and double cream yourself and add a little bourbon. You'll have the same thing.

04-19-2012 05:36:18 | More by chinchillin85
Photo of ChugginOil


4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Enjoyed at The Bavarian Lodge.

Pours a deep black color that shows no light. There is a thin layer of dark tan head. There is oily residue but no lace.

The nose is amazing. Toasted coconut, chocolate, molasses, light vanilla, and a touch of booze. Rich bourbon notes are married well together.

The flavors involve more toastes coconut, dry oak tannin, vanilla, light chocolate and molasses. The bourbon comes in again and smooths things out. Very tasty and actually quite similar to BCBS.

The mouthfeel is rich and creamy upfront and then transforms into a dry feel. Light carbonation.

Overall, Black Note is a great bourbon barrel stout that really doea live up to the outrageous hype. Great nose, awesome flavors, and velvet smooth. Great brew.

04-18-2012 21:24:15 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

04-18-2012 18:30:11 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of brystmar


4.15/5  rDev -9%

Thanks to shutyourface for sharing this one.

Dark brown/black, tan head, decent lace. Smell reminds me of Expedition Stout with bourbon character on top. Layers of roasted malts & coffee flow freely. Aroma is this beer's best quality.

Taste is about what I expected: a good imperial stout with mild bourbon flavors. Much more Expedition than Double Cream. I applaud their choice to not go overboard on the bourbon like so many brewers do today. Love that smooth & creamy body.

That said, Black Note is a perfect example of the BA hype machine getting out of control. Like most Bell's beers, Black Note is pretty good but not exceptional. It's a step up from Expedition Stout, yet it cannot touch the top-tier stouts like Hunahpu's and Black Tuesday.

04-16-2012 03:37:33 | More by brystmar
Photo of shufon

New York

3/5  rDev -34.2%

04-15-2012 19:59:35 | More by shufon
Photo of whartontallboy

New York

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

04-15-2012 04:50:43 | More by whartontallboy
Photo of Zaphog


4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

04-14-2012 03:11:31 | More by Zaphog
Photo of injuredreserve


4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

04-13-2012 02:23:06 | More by injuredreserve
Photo of mtrog313


5/5  rDev +9.6%

04-07-2012 17:50:26 | More by mtrog313
Photo of kif


4.58/5  rDev +0.4%

A - Pitch black, tar appearance. Light tan 1 finger head with nice lacing.

S - Very aromatic. Scents of chocolate, raisin, roasted malt, hints of plum.

T - Chocolate, some bitterness from the roasted malt. Hints of plum. Alcohol burn is prevalent. Oak flavoring comes in late.

M - Medium to thin. Way less thick than expected. Very carbonated from an imperial stout.

O - A very good beer. Some acidity, but overall very drinkable. If there was less alcohol burn, this might be my favorite imperial stout, but I think that is the flaw. A great effort, just needs a slight refining.

04-07-2012 04:04:03 | More by kif
Photo of adnielsen


4.93/5  rDev +8.1%

I had two snifters of this on tap at Bells back in November. It has a deep black appearance with a light brown head. The aroma was fantastic with smooth, sweet bourbon, toffee, dark chocolate, and oak. The flavor was even tastier and was quite smooth for the abv. Tons of caramel, dark chocolate, toffee, and vanilla to go along with the oaky, bourbon elements. I couldn't believe how smooth this was. Excellent.

04-06-2012 21:02:15 | More by adnielsen
Photo of stewart124


4.63/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured into a pint glass.

Deep brown to black with a tiny amount of dark tan head.

Nose has strong roasted malt aroma with espresso and chocolate present. Some dark candied fruits coming out as well.

Mostly roasted malt characters and more espresso with a nice dose of bourbon barrel. Firm bitterness with some of the alcohol detectable. Overall smooth and easy to drink. There is noticeable residual sweetness but nothing cloying. As this warms more fruit comes out and there is a chewiness that leans towards the double cream stout.

Rich, smooth, and generally a delicious Imperial Stout. I was very excited to get my hands on this and even more excited that it came in a pint glass. Sneaky alcohol percentage and another one of Bell's beers that is so drinkable.

04-05-2012 01:42:03 | More by stewart124
Photo of Doodler


4.38/5  rDev -3.9%

Bottle cracked open at Forgetfu's big stout tasting (thx greatly Bill). Poured a dark brown body with a thin cocoa head. Nose is roasted coffee and chocolate, with a oaky bourbon aroma. Taste is molasses sweet with some dark fruits, coffee, vanilla and bourbon. Decent body with light carbonation and a creamy rich mouthfeel on the finish. Very nice stuff from the folks at Bells.

04-04-2012 04:10:32 | More by Doodler
Photo of minterro


4.48/5  rDev -1.8%

On tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing, rating from notes

snifter= 7$

A&S: A wide range of smells: dark cherries, raisins, bourbon, roasty malts, burnt sugars, marshmallows tones. Kinda smells like a Old ale (lots of similarities to 4D). Medium tan ring of head, with whisks of head in the center. Spots of lacing like a fine wine. Very syrupy looking pitch black colored beer. Not much head probably due to the plus 10% ABV.

T&M: Many similarities to the scent. Differences include lots of bourbon midetaste to the back. Roasty with hints of dark chocolate upfront. Much smoother then their expedition stout, with even a bolder taste.

Overall: very good, no flaws. I wish I had a bottle to sit down and enjoy vs drinking at a bar. I had really high hopes for this beer and they were pretty much all met.

04-03-2012 21:04:30 | More by minterro
Photo of duels


5/5  rDev +9.6%

04-03-2012 18:44:56 | More by duels
Photo of mdvatab


4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

04-03-2012 10:41:17 | More by mdvatab
Photo of Shoo65


4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

04-02-2012 13:46:47 | More by Shoo65
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,932 ratings.