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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.

3,264 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 3,264
Reviews: 506
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.55%
Wants: 2,150
Gots: 819 | 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: 3,264 | Reviews: 506 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spkissane
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

spkissane, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of drpimento
4.98/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bam-BAM! Heavy hitter!! Served at a good temperature with a large, thick, fine, creamy, tan head and lots of lace. Aroma is mostly cocoa, dark ripe fruit, old leather, coffee, a little of the classic stout roast, malt. Color is an opaque black brown. Flavor is a curious blend of expansive and yet slightly conservative - similar to nose, excellent balance between bitter, sweet, and tang, the bourbon is there, not overdone. Body is perfect, ditto for carbonation. Finish is like flavor, yet the whiskey lingers a bit longer. Very easy drinking with only a hint of the alcohol at the end. Fabulous!

drpimento, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of lithy
4.2/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black, but little carbonation or lasting head. The aroma is quite a lot of roast, some woody bourbon, a surprising lack of vanilla, chocolate. Taste is more roasty, some chocolate, wood, light vanilla. Overall, very good, but kind of a one and done beer, and not nearly as good as Expedition in my opinion.

lithy, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of pmoore311
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

pmoore311, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of dtx00
5/5  rDev +9.6%

dtx00, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of mgbickel
5/5  rDev +9.6%

mgbickel, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of london1o1
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

london1o1, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of jsilva
4/5  rDev -12.3%

jsilva, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of climbeer07
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

climbeer07, Apr 24, 2012
Photo of nas5755
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

nas5755, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of tclapper
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

tclapper, Apr 23, 2012
Photo of jsanford
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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".

jsanford, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of BeRanger
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

BeRanger, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of mgobrew10
5/5  rDev +9.6%

mgobrew10, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of TheMonk41
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

TheMonk41, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of chinchillin85
2.95/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 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.

chinchillin85, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of ChugginOil
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

ChugginOil, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of WeisGuy
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

WeisGuy, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of brystmar
4.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

brystmar, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of shufon
3/5  rDev -34.2%

shufon, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of whartontallboy
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

whartontallboy, Apr 15, 2012
Photo of Zaphog
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Zaphog, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of injuredreserve
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

injuredreserve, Apr 13, 2012
Photo of mtrog313
5/5  rDev +9.6%

mtrog313, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of kif
4.58/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

kif, Apr 07, 2012
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,264 ratings.