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

Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

2,267 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2267
Reviews: 443
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.13%


Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.80% 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: 2,267 | Reviews: 443 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with a quarter inch foamy brown head that dissipates into a ring around the rim.

Deep toasty, nutty notes are prominent early, with lots of chocolate and a not of booze, along with a hint of roast malt at the finish. Subtle dark fruit is present in the form of cherries and plums. Vanilla and oak surface late.

Flavor is sweet, chocolatey, and raisiny, with moderate roast character. Booze is evident in the finish, along with sweet cherries. Oak emerges as it warms.

Body is syrupy and velvety, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Less roast character than most, and leaning toward the sweet side. Cherry is fairly dominant near the finish. A little hot, but tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

02-14-2013 01:35:55 | More by barczar
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to both mcsecne (Reddit) and erric (Reddit) for bottles of this gem.

Light fizzy darker colored head, pitch black dark beer with nice long legs, decent thick head as I swirl.

Nose is awesome, tons of dark malts, chocolate galore, some rich thick expensive Belgian chocolate, bakers choc, a little dark even, velvety too. Little espresso and coffee with a bit of roasted malt but no burnt aromas, cocoa nibs. Then barrel, some vanilla with light toasted oak, decent bourbon, little alcohol tingle. Velvety and maybe even creamy oats.

Taste starts with malts again, dark malts with syrupy dark malts, lots if creamy velvety chocolate, cocoa nibs, bakers choc, etc. The malts have a light roast, little bitter tannin char but not really burnt. Cocoa leads to barrel, light vanilla and barrel, must a touch of bourbon. Light warning tingly booze. Light bitter hops but not much. Finish is long creamy chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, light bourbon barrel, little sticky sweet with a bit more booze, so much mouth layered thick chocolate.

Mouth is big bodied, thick and creamy lush velvety, decent carb, some warming booze but doesn't drink like an 11+% beer.

Overall very nice, great base stout with tons of chocolate, nice dark malts and decent barrel but if I could complain about anything maybe a bit more bourbon as I love bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 02:18:59 | More by jlindros
Photo of rudzud
rudzud

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle! Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a deep dark brown nearly oil with a good half finger mocha head that fades to leave light clouds and a puffy halo. Solid, solid appearance for the high ABV.

S - Aromas of a very well done but classic aroma. Good bourbon notes here but not overwhelmingly so, nice barrel and vanilla much fainter than I've grown accustomed to. Chocolate and sweeter malts with the alcohol noticeable but very downplayed for the ABV.

T - Taste is just delicious. Sweet malts, sweet bourbon and barrel notes. Chocolate and sort sweet, good quality bourbon. I appreciate that. Nice faint alcohol notes, very well planned out beer with everything working in harmony.

M - Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, chewy but not boozy.

O - Overall this was a very good bourbon aged stout. Very very nice, wish I had my own 6 pack to enjoy! Well done!

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2013 00:55:24 | More by rudzud
Photo of mjohnson17
mjohnson17

Illinois

4.94/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2012 12 oz bottle

A: Pours jet black, slight head that instantaneously dissipates. Some alcohol legs

S: Balances, a bit muted but well rounded charred oak, fig, roasted malt

T: roast, oak, charred wood, fig, a bit of chocolate and coffee. More of an earthy dry taste than a caramel/toffee sweetness that's sometimes seen in other BB stouts.

M: Very well balanced stout. Coats mouth nicely but not sticky. Full body.

Overall: Fantastic beer. One of the best stouts I've had, let alone bourbon barrel stout. This and BCBS are a near tie for perfection. I also really love the 12 oz format of the 2012 batch. If you have a chance to try this stout do not pass it up!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2013 20:01:50 | More by mjohnson17
Photo of BierJager89
BierJager89

California

4.83/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy shit. Poured from a growler?! into a snifter in California?! From a complete stranger?! Thank you to every single person and thing and event that allowed black note to cross the threshold of my mouth. Especially the stranger at the bar and my friend with whom I tried this.

A: Solid black with a faint brown ring of head that is all but completely absent. Little carbonation as this was poured into a growler at the brewery and transported all the way to california before being poured into a snifter.

S: Old yeast and dark bittersweet chocolate, very reminiscent of Older Viscosity, as well as vanilla, roasted malt, oak and alcohol in the nose.

T: Anise, oak, vanilla, dark bittersweet chocolate, medium roast coffee, alcohol. Absolutely delicious. A near paragon of the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout style. Lacks the strong vanilla character I love about the style, as well as caramel and is a bit more faint in oak than I'd prefer.

M: Literally perfect for an imperial stout, to my taste. The fullest of silky, creamy smooth bodies coats the mouth.

O: Rich, hearty, delicious, and impossible to find. Just barely overrated (it isn't really a 100, but then again they inflate ratings on this website, which is unnecessary and stupid). Recommended? If you can find it. I feel my luck may have reached the apex of it's potential given that such an odd way of coming upon a taste of this beer was the result of layer upon layer of sheer happenstance. But enough about me. This beer is amazing.

Serving type: growler

02-11-2013 07:49:33 | More by BierJager89
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a small snifter from a growler of unknown provenance. Thanks stranger at the bar.

A: Completely dark. No head. Some clinging lace.

S: Rich, deep, dark bourbon, flat malt and stale yeast. A little like an old ale. The barrel aging seems to have mellowed all aspects but heightened the sweetness. Slightly pungent alcohol.

T/M: Absolutely fucking luxurious. It envelops the mouth the way silk sheets might cradle an emperor. The Double Cream Stout sweetness shines and is accentuated by the bourbon barrels, but the darker, bitterer anise and dark chocolate and hints of creamy coffee from Expedition Stout are also noticeable. I don't even miss the carbonation because this beer is so full and sexy and caressing. The aftertaste is dry and more bitter than the rest of the beer.

O: This is truly magnificent and I cannot overstate how thrilled I am to finally try it. Definitely recommended. Best bourbon barrel aged beer I've had.

Serving type: growler

02-11-2013 05:02:41 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of jvillefan
jvillefan

California

4.61/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A: jet black with a very minimal mocha colored head.

S: A mixture of bourbon with chocolate is dominate in the aroma of this beer. Roasted malt come through in the background of this beer.

T: A nicely blended well balanced mixture of roasted malts, chocolate, and bourbon. Very rich and intense flavors.

M: It is very think and heavy with the perfect amount of carbonation for this beer.

O: Amazing stout. Well worth trading for.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 18:29:53 | More by jvillefan
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.99/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured black , sordove sluggish with a moderate dirty cap which leaves some good bubbles and lacing.

S: Chocolate, light whiff of licorice, coffee and a light booze sting

T: Big coffee upfront with chocolate, black licorice and roasted notes. Light addiions of dark fruit in the background. I felt any barrel was really backseat on this bottle but then again I had been consuming bookoo stouts. But really, I perceived more velvety stout qualities than I did barrel so that was a hit for me.

M: Full bodied, low to medium carbonation, yet I felt it was a bit thin going down. Its not as full or thick as I expected from the pour

O: A good beer but I have been drink a lot of Kalamazoo lately and I actually enjoy it over this Imperial Stout. Odd huh?

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 14:55:21 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of DovaliHops
DovaliHops

California

4.28/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into small Eclipse snifter glass. 2012. Pours a pitch black color with a tiny light brown/tan head that disappears quickly. Scent is sweet vanilla and bourbon up front. A little oak and cherry aroma with some bitter chocolate and dark fruits. Roasted espresso as well. More vanilla lingering in the nose with a bit of toffee. Taste immediately reminded me of a BA stout I've had on multiple occasions. The initial flavors remind me of some of the Eclipse variants, where the overall beer remind me of Parabola (somewhat). Bitter chocolate up front with some nice bourbon flavors (and burn). Sweet vanilla with some sherry and oak flavors. A hint of coconut with some boozy whiskey flavors. More chocolate and a bit of roasted espresso in the finish. Mouthfeel starts out very nice, but tends to be a bit thin in the finish. Drinkability is pretty high for such a high ABV BA imperial stout. Overall, this beer is a great one. I guess for how hard the 750ml bottles were to get, I expected a little more. I absolutely love Parabola and rated it very highly. Although the flavor of this beer remind of Parabola in a way, I feel it is not on the same level. Solid beer overall, and I am VERY glad I scored me a four-pack via trade.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 09:16:11 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of brstls4drmrs
brstls4drmrs

North Carolina

4.61/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks MADpolo for this one. 12oz bottle.

A - pours a viscous black color with almost no head. The froth that does come is caramel in color and appears like a snowflake. Great lacing.

S - some booze with bourbon and a hint of licorice. Some nice malty aroma with hints of nut and chocolate (very small). Expressi in there too.

T - a malty bourbon delight with some nice caramel overtones going down. Very pleasing to the palate and dances around like silk.

M - very smooth and delightful with mild to medium carbonation.

O - an excellent stout. A must have.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 05:18:05 | More by brstls4drmrs
Photo of jimmy82063
jimmy82063

Connecticut

4.51/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally received the elusive Black Note - Poured into a Bell's Snifter

A - Jet Black with a thin brownish head. Minimal lacing.

S - Outstanding - bourbon comes right through.

T - Bourbon of course, coffee, chocolate and some nice drak fruit. There is a real nice semi sweet chocolate finish at the end. A bit of the oak and burnt sugar are noted as well.

M) - This is so smooth and in regards to other style offerings this is where this stands out. Absolutely no harshness!

O) An outstanding beer, very easy to drink - this will cause a commotion if it ever hits the New York area.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 20:57:56 | More by jimmy82063
Photo of funkel81
funkel81

California

4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

well obviously, based on all the incredible reviews, this is a mighty fine beer. been wanting to give this a try for a while and after tasting, i am not disappointed or let down in any way.

poured out of a 12oz bottle, little to no head is present, but carbonation is perfectly fine (low) for the style. dark dark brown and pretty darn thick

smells of bourbon, chocolate and some roasted barley, and tastes just like it smells. smooth like butter on the mouth, alcohol is detectable but not more than expected. overall, a delicious beer that im happy to have more of

i'd place it slightly above bcbs and slightly below eclipse elijah craig 12yr

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 03:17:01 | More by funkel81
Photo of weonfire
weonfire

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

A - Obviously a jet black. only when held up does light bend around the glass showing a deep brown around the edges. tiny amount of mocha colored head collects around the rim of glass.

S - tremendos. Chocolate, carmel, vanilla and bourbon. Maybe brown sugar? Maybe molasses? Goodness i wish i could smell this all day.

T - So smooth. Straight velvet. Chocolate starts, bourbon follows, a touch of alcohol, just the smallest hint of smoke and very sweet as it goes down. blended so so well. 11.5ABVs? nowhere to be found. very well disguised.

M - Full, thick, velvet, high viscosity, wonderful.

O- BCBS or Black Note? I really can't decide. Tremendous beers. Tough to come across. Buy them when u have the chance.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 02:46:39 | More by weonfire
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter
2012 Vintage

A- As black as they come. A quarter finger of a khaki colored head. Impressive alcohol legs.

S- A roasted malt and a massive creamy caramel. A ton of bourbon and sour mash. A slight oak. Just soo smooth smelling I could smell this brew all day.

T- A slight sting of bitternes at first followed by a nice heap of roasted malt. The Bourbon takes over and dominates the palate. A big sour mash character. A slight alcohol feel and a charred oak flavor. There is a big caramel and underlying toffee note. Its rather well balanced and perfectly blended. This is a bourbon forward beer which is what I love.

M- Lots of alcohol feel. Drinkable and smooth. Thick and syrupy.

O- A fantastic Barrel aged stout, one of the best out there. I Barely got a hold of this beer. Hope the amp up the production of this brew. If I can get KBS and BCBS, I shouldn't have a problem getting a Bell's brew. Make more please Bells.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 01:44:51 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of SkeeterBoganski
SkeeterBoganski

Colorado

4.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had an awesome BA offer this up for a trade helper that the trade partner ultimately backed out of. Not the best way to 'earn' a bottle and offered to return it. Thanks MinorThreat for the generosity!

A - deep oil black with a nice mocha head that sits after an aggressive pour before shrinking; still present throughout consumption; outstanding lacing.

S - oak and bourbon! Some dried fig notes; molasses; chocolate, coffee, and malt.

T - bourbon and oak! Vanilla, chocolate, mocha, molasses, a touch of black licorice; the booze is there but the flavors are so tasty and balanced that its not over the top alcohol flavors at 11+%

M - the mouthfeel on black note is similar to BCBS, although far less syrupy; it's heavy but creamy; perfect carbonation; smooth; extremely clean finish; fantastic drinkability

O - this beer is the real deal; it's amazingly balanced; full of flavor; it's basically a more drinkable bourbon county without any cloying sweetness and a perfect abv; this will warm you up while leave you wanting more; extremely impressive beer from Bells!

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 23:10:10 | More by SkeeterBoganski
Photo of AmitC
AmitC

Indiana

4.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Joe.. who brought it for me from some store. Almost $7 for a single bottle. Dated : 12/28/2012. This better be good.

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a large snifter glass. About one finger thick dark tan almost shining brown colored head that settles slowly into a thin layer. Thick oily dark brown colored appearance while pouring. Darkest of black inside the glass. Truly is a black note. Calm inside the glass, heavy and viscous. Very good lacing on the sides with each sip.

Smell is fantastic. One of the best smelling Imperial Stout. A lot of chocolate and very apparent bourbon barrel aged notes. Some vanilla that is anticipated. No traces of alcohol. Extremely good burnt up malts and very slight amount of coffee. Too much bourbon heavy. Sweetness and maltiness is also present.

Taste is pretty much the reflection of the nose. Very smooth, lacking booze altogether. Typical Bourbon finish. Burnt up notes are low. Bourbon, wood, vanilla and chocolate in the flavor. Awesome taste overall. Low on the hops so bitterness is only mild. Dry and slightly burnt up finish.

Mouth feel is very much on the full and thick side. Drinks pretty easy, High on alcohol, but no real burning sensation or feel. No astringency of any kind. At 11.8% it drinks very smooth and won't let you feel anything. Provides good amount of warmth. Perfect for the snow season.

A lot of price for an excellent beer. Comes very near BCBS but does not quite deliver the extra value.

Style Rate: 4.5
Personal Rate: 4.5

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 19:21:37 | More by AmitC
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.56/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got one of the last few at Bestway and Iam thankful to Roger for it.Poured into a snifter jet black with a one inch deep beige head atop.Aromas of chocolate and roasted nuts mixed with alcohol dipped dark fruit,very rich and appetizing.Thick and chewey in the mouth,it coats the mouth and glides down easily.Wow the complexity on the palate is something to savor,dark roast and chocolate with some nuttiness and even some faint wood smoke,the alcohol is big but not over bearing lending some sweetness to go along with some deep raisin notes.You really gotta give it to guys or gals who can craft a beer like this,so rich and lush but with so much complexity,kick ass that's all I can say about it.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2013 01:27:04 | More by oberon
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally, a limited-release beer in a 12 oz bottle. Though the price-per-ounce is about the same, I don’t have to shell out a considerable chunk of my net worth just to try a specialty brew.

Brewed a little over a month before the date of this tasting (“PKGD 12/28/12).

A: Pours a slick dark brown, nearly black, with a surprisingly watery appearance. The only head to appear are some fizzy soda bubbles along the edge of the glass; slight wet lacing.

S: Sweet vanilla nougat and caramel candy tones with a flowing backdrop of woody bourbon. Overall, the aroma is malty as hell, but the booze and roast make the sugars manageable. Hints of hickory smoke, baking chocolate, and Irish cream play along the edges. Hints of slight oxidation appear in small, sparse doses, giving a cardboard scent.

T: A slow-building masterwork, this palate begins with a luscious wave of residual sugars: tastes of syrupy caramel and vanilla abound. As in the nose, it’s a candy sweetness. Soon after these sugars lay down as the body of the brew, tastes of cinnamon, anise, toasted coconut, and bitter chocolate shift the palate to a character of soft spice, a quick transition to the dark, roasty, finish. In a final burst of flavor, powerful tones of smoke, chili pepper, black coffee, and burnt toast overwhelm the sense and bring this beer to a staggeringly smoked end. Charred bourbon barrel tastes linger in a moderate aftertaste of oak, smoke, and astringent whiskey, along with a dried-out sugar flavor akin to cola.

M: Feels like it looks, actually – a little thinner than expected. With the hidden alcohol and all the residual sugars, it really drinks more like root beer at first. Light, foamy carbonation.

O: A good stout is never unwelcome in January, and this one hit the spot. If you like smoke and barrel, this is your beer – I really thought I’d be able to pick out the beers that go into this blend, but the whiskey pulls it together in one big, woody package. Nothing average here.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 01:06:00 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of chrisrrob
chrisrrob

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The thing that hit me about this beer was the aroma. As soon as I opened the bottle I got a very sweet smell: brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate. Pours motor oil black and a one finger head disappears rather quickly. The taste is a nice combination of sweet and bourbon, with a nice bourbon finish. I've had barrel aged stouts that are either too sweet or too bourbon tasting on the finish, but this one has a nice interplay of the two. The subtle various sweet flavors, coffee, and bourbon all work very nicely together. I feel fortunate to have picked up a 4-pack.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 21:24:25 | More by chrisrrob
Photo of MarcatGSB
MarcatGSB

Michigan

4.33/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Central Waters snifter.

A: Pours a deep black with no light getting through. Creamy tan cocoa colored head sits on the rim of the glass for almost the entire drinking process. Leaves some very impressive lacing around the edge of the glass. Rather small bubbles with some oddly configured shapes slowly working their way down to the liquid.

N: There is a surprising amount of hop on the nose, must be coming from the Expedition. The bourbon is really up front on the nose. Man, this is honestly the first time I've really sat down and dissected this beer. When the beer is at about 55 degrees, the complex layers of oak and creamy depth come forward. Dark fruits blend well with nice chocolate, vanilla, and touches of bitter molasses.

T: The taste is more of those dark fruit notes, a touch of bitter chocolate, and a bit of sherry/alcohol. The oak is very present, with some drying qualities, yet the creamy, light flavor balance that out nicely. It's almost juicy, kind of chocolate milk like.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, with proper carbonation. Bit on the low side, that allows the beautiful oak and bourbon to come through, and isn't too busy on the mouth.

D and O: This really is a nice barrel aged stout. I feel it lacks a bit of depth and complexity as some of the other World Class stouts, but it's close. A real treat.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 20:30:44 | More by MarcatGSB
Photo of crewfan16
crewfan16

Minnesota

4.31/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz 2012 bottle into a central waters snifter.

a- looks like a barrel aged stout should. pitch black with no light shining through. dark khaki foam rises and falls quickly leaving just a light tan ring around the outside of the glass.

s- bourbon notes are the first thing that hits me, but lots of chocolate, vanilla, oak, slight dark fruit. smells complex and delicous

t- obvious bourbon and barrel notes. lots of chocolate sweetness, but not cloyingly so. roasted malt and dark fruit similar to the nose. a bit of booze at the end, but not overly harsh. nice complex flavor profile

m- nice viscocity, but not overly thick like some of the other big barrel aged stouts. nice lingering flavors with just a bit of boozy tingle.

overall a very nice beer once again from bells. im not willing to put it above some of the other heavy hitters like bcbs, but it is well above average. im glad I have a couple to cellar for a year or two and see how this beer changes and mellows a bit.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 06:54:34 | More by crewfan16
Photo of bozodogbreath
bozodogbreath

Indiana

4.34/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 12/28/12 into a Bell's snifter.

A: A deep black stout with a mocha colored head that dissipates rather quickly. An impenetrable black to the edges of the glass.

S: Vanilla, bourbon/bourbon cask, dark dried fruits, a slight alcohol burn to the back of the nose.

T: Sweet, very sweet, maybe too sweet. Bourbon notes, vanilla, chocolate. The vanilla sweetness is out of balance with the bourbon notes, dried fruit and chocolate.

M: The mouthfeel is very nice. Soft and creamy, but leans towards the thinner side.

O: A very enjoyable BA imperial stout. Worthy of the pursuit.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 02:33:21 | More by bozodogbreath
Photo of ediaz
ediaz

Florida

4.73/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pitch black, light mocha ring with little lacing.

Bourbon, malt, dark chocolate, sweet vanilla

Very deep and well balanced. Sweet bourbon up front, fruity chocolate, vanilla and a nice toffee finish it up.

Very smooth, coats well, perfect light carb

Very very balanced, exceptional taste and feel.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 22:26:23 | More by ediaz
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

4.18/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a shiny black body with a very small chocolate-colored head.

S: Rich notes of milk chocolate, oak and bourbon, light cherry. Very chocolatey with a hint of fruit.

T: Taste comprises dry oak, bitter roasted grain, light raisins, dark chocolate, some tannic caramel, dark alcohol on the end.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Although the aroma and feel are quite nice, I wasn't as impressed by the taste as I could have been. I can think of a bunch of other stouts that have better barrel characters. Still a very good barrel-aged stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 03:20:20 | More by Etan
Photo of MusicaleMike
MusicaleMike

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thank you to monitorpop for this beer in our trade.

Poured this beer into a balloon glass at room temperature. With a very vigorous pour, I am able to coax two fingers worth of mocha colored head to rise from this black, abysmal beer. The head receded quickly to a tight creamy layer that doesn't appear to leave any lacing behind.

The aroma is more gentle than I expected. The bourbon is obvious and the first thing that I can smell. Deeper into the aroma, I can pick out more complex hints of dark chocolate, oak, anisette, molasses, brown sugar and bruised fruit (banana and peaches).

The taste is complex as all hell. The flavor profile is huge and goes through waves of changes after the first swallow. Up front, it is reminiscent of chocolate milk. The soft, almost creamy texture helps that initial impression. After that, a prominent booziness shines through and dominates the palette, especially in the exhale. It is toasty, oaky, and similar to chocolate covered raisins. The brash alcohol on the exhale brings no real heat, but lends a solvent flavor that creates the impression of whisky-soaked black cherries. I am glad there is no heat, because I am already not a fan of this booziness. The finish brings smokiness, bourbon, oak, vanilla, and roasted malts.

Viscous mouthfeel, creamy; not sticky, but smooth. I almost feel like this would pass as an Irish Dry Stout without the flavor component. Very solid example and just an incredible example of this style.

I found Black Note Stout to be a good beer. Not "World-Class" but most certainly worth purchase again. I bet that a few years on this beer might help it out a little bit. As another BA said on here already, this beer is an above average beer, but not worth emptying your cellar for. Pretty standard Bouron-Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout if you ask me. Tasty for sure, but is a bit middle of the road. I actually liked Victory Dark Intrigue more than this...

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2013 21:38:11 | More by MusicaleMike
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,267 ratings.