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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

2,830 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,830
Reviews: 491
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,007
Gots: 720 | 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: 2,830 | Reviews: 491 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage. Batch # 12811. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with a little light getting through; small khaki head that fades leaves solid lacing and retention. The aromas are full of milk chocolate and bourbon. Smells pretty typical for the style. The flavors are good, but leave me wanting more. Lots of milk chocolate giving it a sweetness along with some dark chocolate giving it a bitterness. Lots of dark fruits in the mix. Maybe some black cherries and some raisins. Some vanilla. Black coffee is there. Some oak/wood notes. Slightly spicy. The bourbon is there and isn't overwhelming at all, but there's a very subtle warmth in the finish. The alcohol basically goes unnoticed, but there's hints of booze that pop up every once in awhile. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. I was expecting for it to have that thick motor oil/milkshake mouthfeel, but it's not quite on that level. It's still creamy and fluffy though. This is ultimately easy to drink, but makes a nice sipper.

This is a nice offering from Bell's. I missed the 2012 bottle by 5 minutes, so I made sure I snagged a bottle this year. It's very good stuff, but ultimately left me underwhelmed. I guess maybe my expectations were just too high considering Bell's is one of my favorite breweries and the hype that always surrounded this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2014 18:04:49 | More by BB1313
Photo of bigcountry81
bigcountry81

Florida

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-04-2014 17:16:06 | More by bigcountry81
Photo of fx20736
fx20736

New York

4.29/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought 2 bottles from Beers of the World on 5/3/14. Poured into a pint glass, served cool.

appearance: black with two finger khaki head. Nice lacing.

smell: bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, alcohol esthers.

taste: coffee, chocolate, bourbon, molasses, alcohol on the tail.

mouthfeel: creamy, slippery.

overall: This is a good, decent BA IS, about on par with Parabola.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2014 17:15:54 | More by fx20736
Photo of devilfluff
devilfluff

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

05-04-2014 14:39:52 | More by devilfluff
Photo of johunnic
johunnic

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

05-04-2014 14:14:13 | More by johunnic
Photo of WTKeene
WTKeene

Texas

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-04-2014 02:19:41 | More by WTKeene
Photo of stdaniel
stdaniel

North Carolina

4.91/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle served at 45 degrees. Sipped slowly to allow the flavors to develop.

A: Pitch black with the slightest caramel colored head that quickly reduces to nothing.

S: Sweet bourbon, caramel, vanilla.

T: Very similar to the nose. Sweet bourbon and caramel dominate, vanilla in the background. Balanced enough for the unrefined palate such as mine to distinguish individual flavors.

M: Creamy. Not bite for a 11.5% stout.

O: Holy smokes, this has to be one of the best balanced BBA stouts I've tasted. The taste and aroma are harmonious. Luxurious mouthfeel. I've said balanced three times now and it is absolutely true.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2014 23:49:10 | More by stdaniel
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.34/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

This one pours dark and opaque, as I would expect given how light-repelling Expedition was. Small, mocha-colored head that recedes quickly, with a little bit of lacing. Surprisingly, there's a good bit of visible carbonation.

Smells strongly of dark fruits, with some dark chocolate, and mild, smooth bourbon.

The taste is similar, and pretty great. This is one of the dark fruity-est stouts I've ever had, just a ton of sweet, but earthy fruit flavors- currants, raisins, cherries, plums, etc. Some bitter dark chocolate, and subtle bourbon that folds in nicely with the other flavors.

Creamy, smooth moutfeel, despite the appearance, there's not much carbonation noted on the palate. Unfortunately, the body seems a bit thin for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout- maybe I'm spoiled by other one's I've tried, but the body just doesn't quite stack up. A disappointing tick against a pretty damn good beer.

This is one is definitely one of the best BA stouts, but it just misses the top tier due to the slightly thin body. If it was thicker and more viscous, it would be near perfect. The dark fruit flavor in this is just amazing.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2014 20:03:30 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of 57md
57md

Pennsylvania

4.69/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In the past six months, I've had a great deal of success tracking down hard to find bourbon barrel stouts. Scoring a bottle of 2014 Black Note is the latest in my good run.

Pours a deep dark brown with ruby edges. The half finger of head dissipates quickly. The bourbon notes on the nose are soft and almost sweet. This offering has a hearty body that holds up well to the bourbon. Also, the bourbon flavor is just right - not too hot. The roast profile might be a bit muted, but that would be my only criticism of this gem.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2014 19:07:19 | More by 57md
Photo of amalburg
amalburg

Michigan

5/5  rDev +9.6%

05-03-2014 17:05:28 | More by amalburg
Photo of Mc_breezy
Mc_breezy

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

05-03-2014 12:09:08 | More by Mc_breezy
Photo of tikk
tikk

New York

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-03-2014 02:20:05 | More by tikk
Photo of Moses_Malone
Moses_Malone

District of Columbia

5/5  rDev +9.6%

05-03-2014 02:19:20 | More by Moses_Malone
Photo of MikeT77
MikeT77

New York

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

05-02-2014 22:04:59 | More by MikeT77
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Brdlist

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

05-02-2014 21:00:18 | More by Brdlist
Photo of robgage
robgage

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +9.6%

05-02-2014 20:14:30 | More by robgage
Photo of dleiner
dleiner

New York

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

05-02-2014 19:24:55 | More by dleiner
Photo of DIPAFAN
DIPAFAN

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

05-02-2014 19:22:48 | More by DIPAFAN
Photo of mhind52
mhind52

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-02-2014 15:36:19 | More by mhind52
Photo of Fitze
Fitze

South Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

05-02-2014 14:01:23 | More by Fitze
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Tex_hex

Illinois

5/5  rDev +9.6%

05-02-2014 11:51:45 | More by Tex_hex
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Artmcd88

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-02-2014 11:49:43 | More by Artmcd88
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djhowell

Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

05-02-2014 04:28:39 | More by djhowell
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kayakandbeer

Florida

4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

05-02-2014 02:57:50 | More by kayakandbeer
Photo of laxer8811
laxer8811

New York

4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

05-02-2014 02:05:38 | More by laxer8811
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,830 ratings.