1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

3,024 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 3,024
Reviews: 495
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.11%
Wants: 2,074
Gots: 780 | FT: 74
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,024 | Reviews: 495 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ohiobeer29
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

ohiobeer29, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of MCain04
4.21/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Here we go, 12 oz bottle split with BostonRyan. poured into 10 oz snifter from the most recent vintage.

A: dark black, tan head. dissipates into a rim around the perimeter.

S: Bourbon heavy. some nice chocolate and vanilla notes are present with roasty malty, but bourbon dominates.

T: thankfully much less bourbon heavy taste. it had the girth and complexity of expedition with a smooth mellow creamy sweet note from the double cream. they complement each other beautifully. chocolate, vanilla, oak, and toffee flavors. the finish had a lot of Bourbon heat though. only drawbacks are the bourbon heavy finish and a little too sweet.

M: Perfection. thick and creamy and full with a nice feel throughout.

O: A real treat. Not heads and shoulders above the other BBA stouts but comes in close to the top. might not be worth all the hype and might be too bourbon heavy but still enjoyed thoroughly.

Re-reviewing this after opening a 2014, comparing side by side with 2012.

Definitely still a bourbon-heavy nose is in the fresh version, while 15 months in the cellar calmed that down in the aged version. 2014 is boozy with a lot of barrel characteristics. 2012 is boozy as well but better integrated barrel character. 2014 is prickly, and thin while 2012 is smooth but still a little thin. Overall I'm not sure I agree with my high marks on this fresh, but the aged version is drinking nicely right now. Regardless, I think there is way too much hype surrounding this. There are equal BBA stouts without the craze and price that are attached to Black Note.

MCain04, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of facesnorth
4/5  rDev -12.3%

facesnorth, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of n8opot8o
5/5  rDev +9.6%

n8opot8o, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of did3376
4.49/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/12/14 Poured into stout glass.

A:Thick and black. About a finger of dense, tan head that fades over a few minutes. This stuff is dark, held light behind glass and could not see it.

S:Slight bourbon, roasty, raisins and chocolate.

T:Hints of bourbon quickly followed by slight coffee, then dark chocolate. Chocolate flavor seems to linger. Some alcohol is noticeable in the nose, but not overly strong. Roasted caramel and hints of black cherry noticed as well.

M:Smooth, medium consistency. Slight feel of carbonation dancing on my tongue. Slightly astringent.

O:Very good. Well balanced. Slightly bitter aftertaste. I believe some aging would improve this beer nicely. Definitely improves as it comes up to room temperature. Bottle was taken from basement which was probably around 45-50 degrees.

did3376, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of DrewskiWhit
4.33/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A standard BAIS. Tons of legs. Nice lacing

S very nice. Lots of vanilla sweetness, dark fruit and some booze. Reminiscent of parabola

T follows the nose. Some bitter smokiness on the end. Lots of vanilla. The booze is well hidden but a slight burn is present on the back

M good feel. Silky smooth. Not too thick very moderate carb

O a good beer no doubt but this just isn't blowing me away. This has a nice dark fruit component but I think I prefer the coffee stouts. I think I'm to the point where just throwing a stout in a bb doesn't equate to a 5.0

DrewskiWhit, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of trevor_s
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

trevor_s, Apr 13, 2014
Photo of MallyOMight
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

MallyOMight, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of tclipse
5/5  rDev +9.6%

tclipse, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of carmike813
5/5  rDev +9.6%

carmike813, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of markasparov
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

markasparov, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of Bartos
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Bartos, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of jw1978
4/5  rDev -12.3%

jw1978, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of dejones
5/5  rDev +9.6%

dejones, Apr 12, 2014
Photo of allenson21
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%

allenson21, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of ncelauro
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

ncelauro, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of Davepoolesque
4.25/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured between 2 Jack's Abby snifters, 2012 Vintage.

It poured dark brown with a wisp of an off white head that receded almost instantly. Smelled of whiskey/booze, hints of dark chocolate, dark fruits like raisin or prune, roasted malts in the background. Taste was interesting. A big punch of whiskey up front, then mellowed out into dark chocolate, and a bit of tang from the dark fruits. It's wonderful on the tongue. Finishes dry with a nice warming sensation. Makes you want to keep sipping this. I thought this tasted very similar to Blackout or BA Siberian. It's on the thinner side for a stout.

Davepoolesque, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of jcugafsu
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

jcugafsu, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of lonestarstate97
5/5  rDev +9.6%

lonestarstate97, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Kurmaraja, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of mportnoy
5/5  rDev +9.6%

mportnoy, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of markgugs
4.75/5  rDev +4.2%

markgugs, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Tlab3
5/5  rDev +9.6%

Tlab3, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of Bilco
4.5/5  rDev -1.3%

Bilco, Apr 09, 2014
Photo of leftstagebrew
5/5  rDev +9.6%

leftstagebrew, Apr 09, 2014
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 3,024 ratings.