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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

3,011 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,011
Reviews: 495
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 2,069
Gots: 781 | FT: 75
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: 3,011 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stevelikesbeer
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Stevelikesbeer, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of TheBrewo
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

We pop the top on a bottle of the 2012 stock (thanks Ashley P.!!), and pour into our oversized tasting snifters. It shows the deepest Tootsie pop brown, letting though a few faint rays of shimmering ruby when scrutinized intensely under direct light. The pour was delicate and produced only a few aggregates of chocolate mousse colored bubbles, but a rough swirl of the glass kicks up more of a crown. Spots of lacing are found peppered around the glass in rows. No haze or sediment is noted, and carbonation appears to be light. The aroma, right from the start, gives epic waves of buttery, warming bourbon smoothness, even when still cold at fridge temperatures. As it warms it really starts to bud, offering notes of densely roasted chocolate and brown malts, singed molasses crisp, sweet brown breadiness, rich milk chocolate creaminess, dried raisins and candied black cherries, plum juiciness, soy sauce saltiness, plastic and chemical phenols, powdered cocoa, charred oak, gentle charcoal, harsh fusel ethanol, and faint grassy hop bitterness. Our first impression is that this beer is absolutely fantastic, and lives up to the hype with everything you would hope for. As we sip, the taste begins with fusel boozy burn of bourbon and its accompanying soured oak, sweet and lactic creaminess, cloying cherry fruit juiciness, sweet chocolate, coffee, and general brown maltiness, dark plum flesh, burning stomach acid acidity, and crisply roasted espresso beans. The middle peaks with undeniable sweetness of white sugar, musk, tannic breakfast tea leafiness, slimy Muscat grape skins, cloying milk and dark chocolate syrups, ethanolic rumbles, and smoky X-mas ham. Following through the end is a blend of bitter char and light smoke, sweeter brushes of both melty nibs and powdered dark cocoa, fig, truffle and sesame oiliness, musky oakiness, gravel, heavy creamer, and a final heavy roast of the malts mixing with the fleetingly smooth sweetness of the bourbon. The aftertaste breathes of rich and dark chocolate cocoa, bittering leathers, plastic phenols, fuming smokiness, distant floral hops, black cherry and plum juiciness, burn of bourbon, cooked brown sugars, buttery pie crust, diacetyls and sweet banana esters, basement musk, and perfumed phenols. The body is medium to fully, but chewy, while carbonation is light to medium. Each sip gives excellent slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, with the lips left speckled with quickly drying residual sugars. The mouth is coated and left sapped with those same sugars. This remains for quite some time, eventually giving way to a surprisingly mild tannic pucker focused towards the far back of the palate. The abv is appropriately warming, and the beer sips wildly slowly, as you’re not quite sure if you’ll ever see her again, and want to savor every last minute you have left with her.

Overall, the most enjoyable aspect of this brew was its flavoring. The wood and the bourbon exemplified here are exceptional, and scary mellow with the additional two years they had on them. There are no real shockers with this beer. What we mean by that is you kind of get what you expect, without any major surprises or curveballs. We know it is becoming ridiculous with all of the things that are showing up labeled “barrel-aged” this, or “oak-aged” that, but this guy is one of the original heavy hitters, up there with the likes of Bourbon County. We try not to compare, but they have a good deal of parallels. The buttery diacetyls shine, and the bourbon remains sweet and rich throughout. What we get here, specifically, is the sweetness of chocolate from the base beer, but this also adds a needed bitterness on the tail end, keeping things balance the whole way through. This is the best beer we’ve had from Bell’s to date, as we’ve not yet been introduced to their barreling program, but we are ultimately happy and pleased with the final result. This beer deserves all the recognition it gets, so if you find some, cherish it, and be sure to share it with some close, like-minded friends who can really appreciate what they’re embarking on.

TheBrewo, May 31, 2014
Photo of shangwang
4.13/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Was very excited to come across Black Note at the Cambridge during Philly Beer Week; been on my most wanted list for a while.

Poured a deep walnut color with very little head and thin lacing made up of tiny bubbles. Very boozy nose, there was no hiding the bourbon. Also hints of cocoa and coffee in the nose. The taste came in two layers, first a mellow milk chocolate that then bloomed into a roasty acidic Irish coffee that left a nice burning sensation on the way down. The mouthful was thin and light on the tongue.

Overall, a very enjoyable experience that required ordering a second. Not quite up to the level of KBS or BCBCS in my opinion, but a great beer.

shangwang, May 31, 2014
Photo of zrbeer1579
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

zrbeer1579, May 31, 2014
Photo of campfirebrew
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

campfirebrew, May 31, 2014
Photo of Busker
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Busker, May 30, 2014
Photo of B-Nut-GoBlue
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

B-Nut-GoBlue, May 30, 2014
Photo of Scalzo
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Scalzo, May 30, 2014
Photo of Broom
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Broom, May 30, 2014
Photo of neckbracesub
3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

neckbracesub, May 29, 2014
Photo of chrisleetodd
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

chrisleetodd, May 29, 2014
Photo of NRo
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

NRo, May 29, 2014
Photo of Cfeezy
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Cfeezy, May 29, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

jaydoc, May 29, 2014
Photo of BeerZombies1
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

BeerZombies1, May 29, 2014
Photo of dorianmarley
4.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is a very rich, dark coffee black with nice lacing.

Nose is initially alcohol with sweet soy and burnt sugars and roasted chicory. Savory finish.

Taste is sweet and smooth malt and dark chocolate, with tart alcohol that fades into a pucker.

Mouthfeel is meaty, full, and smooth without much carbonation. Alcohol throughout.

Overall, it has lots of unique character, but the alcohol is a lot, which becomes distracting unless it is a dark, cold winter night.

dorianmarley, May 29, 2014
Photo of jdorlicz
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

jdorlicz, May 28, 2014
Photo of lillitnn92
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

lillitnn92, May 28, 2014
Photo of TechBrew
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

TechBrew, May 28, 2014
Photo of PostQ
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

PostQ, May 28, 2014
Photo of huntermop
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

huntermop, May 28, 2014
Photo of astronautjones
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

astronautjones, May 28, 2014
Photo of fleurdelou
5/5  rDev +9.6%

fleurdelou, May 27, 2014
Photo of mani
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

mani, May 27, 2014
Photo of MisterBisco
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

MisterBisco, May 27, 2014
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,011 ratings.