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

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Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

543 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 543
Hads: 3,643
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 2.45%
Wants: 2,512
Gots: 924 | FT: 79
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:
Beer added by: mcallister on 06-16-2007

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 543 | Hads: 3,643
Photo of ehammond1
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Growler

Acquired via trade
Thanks, Shilt!

Black throughout and thick in body. A very small hint of a head consisting of very smell dark brown bubbles. Very little visible carbonation, but still a menacingly appropriate, beautiful, thick barrel-aged stout. It just looks right.

The aroma is incredible. Big, layered notes of chocolate abound, along with rich, expressive, espresso and subdued bourbon. There's a hint of an alcohol kick but it's tame considering this beer's ABV. There's some mellowed bourbon notes as well, but the chocolate and coffee are quite dominant.

The flavor is boldly expressive; it's an incredible combination of chocolates, espresso, cream, vanilla, and integrated bourbon. The alcohol is present but not distracting. Remarkably drinkable.

Full in body. Creamy. Decadent. Rich.

I had 2 10 oz. pours and was regretting not drinking more. But, hey, sharing is caring. Amazing stuff, and very generous of Shilt to get it out my way. Thanks, again! (977 characters)

Photo of tempest
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a large snifter at Republic in Seven Corners. Overall, a delicious stout and well worth the $8, but I though the character was relatively dull for everything that's been put into it. The bourbon barrel character is smooth, and pleasant with oaky vanilla, but it sits in the background behind even smoother cocoa malts. It's almost like it's too balanced, with few flavors really standing out. I'll admit though, I'm being hard on this very tasty beer. I just don't think it drinks up to its potential. (505 characters)

Photo of Weli
3.98/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the Republic West Bank MSP

A-Pitch black beer with thin tan head, just enough to lace the rim leaving the center of the pint obsidian black

S-Can definitely tell the bourbon from a mile away. Oak, velvet, dark cocoa, vanilla and bourbon with an estery British stout character

T-Kinda overpowering, Very sweet malt character, balanced by dark chocolate, espresso with body from the oak tannins and bourbon. Underlain by vanilla notes.

M-Thick and cloying

O-I much prefer the expedition stout to black note even though black note contains some expedition stout. This beer is excellent, but even 8oz is a bit much at one sitting really belongs in a snifter glass served as an appertif or with a dessert course. It is very sweet while at the same time assertively bitter. A very complex beer, I nonetheless might skip the oak barrels or age longer as the flavors as presented are somewhat discordant. (911 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tumbler at Firkin.

Review #2800! Solidarity rolls on for me with a beer I've been looking forward to for a long time. This stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a finger of dark brown foam. The nose comprises bourbon, toasted wood, caramel, and roasted malts. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a touch of dark chocolate syrup. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a lightly chewy feel. Overall, a damn tasty stout. To me, the barrel is a bit overpowering compared to everything else, but it somehow doesn't go too far in this way. Good times, indeed. (611 characters)

Photo of hooliganlife
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

@stlhops 5th anniversary PaRtY

poured dark thick black, little dark cocoa head. very viscous looking.

some chocolate, light vanilla, and light roasted malt. the BA was there but lighter than i was expecting.

similar to nose, a bit like a BA expedition or expedition blended with double cream, but all 3? i guess... i thought this was tame, it was good but lacked a deep complexity. the BA was soft and subtle. the chocolate and coffee were faint. did not really pick up any oak.

thick, creamy, and chewy. great mouthfeel. no heat at all.

it was good but not worth the effort to seek out. (594 characters)

Photo of rodkin
4.02/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Got a pour at the STLhops anniversary party.

Looks like a stout. Black, smallish head. Poured into a tasting glass so I couldn't get a great sense, but it's nothing special.

Smell is vanilla, coffee, bit of chocolate, some oak, roasty bitterness, some dark fruits. It's pretty good, but it's a bit muddled. Not a lot of balance.

Taste gets better as it warms. Vanilla, coffee, bourbon, oak, caramel. Really rich, very tasty.

Mouthfeel was too thin and flat. I don't want it to be hypercarbonated, but more than it has would be good. It's also too watery. I like my stouts to be thick and chewy, which this was not.

This is a solid stout. However, the mouthfeel was really lacking, and it was a bit unbalanced. A bit disappointing. I'd like to try it again sometime, maybe get a better experience. (801 characters)

Photo of pixieskid
3.6/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Fux for sharing this bottle last night. Has been on my list of rare Imp. Stouts for some time, glad to cross it off. Unfortunately, I didn't have the same experience...

Pours an almost black color with a thin white head, dissipating quite quickly.

Nose; bourbon, oak, charcoal, and some dark fruits.

Taste; bourbon upfront with a touch of bakers chocolate, I too got peanut butter, finishing with a ton of burnt malt and a slight salinity (reminiscent of soy sauce but not like 09' Abyss).

Mouthfeel; oily and surprisingly thin. This can happen with barrel treatments (i.e. Boris vs. BA Boris is the best example off the top of my head) but I think it comes from the Double Cream Stout aspect of the beer as well.

Overall; I wasn't a fan but I will admit, I have been a bit under the weather lately so I know my palate isn't quite up to par...

Retried a bottle of 2013 and can say that the initial review was so low because of the fact that the beer was oxidized. This recent bottle was much better but still not very impressive. The thin body and overly boozy aspect from the barrel aging didnt do much for me. Decent example of the style but over rated and no better than any other barrel aged imperial stout out there. (1,241 characters)

Photo of Fux
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle (234/1081). Batch #10136
A: Pitch black with a thin mocha head that leaves some lacings.
S: Smell is mainly of heavy dark chocolate with dried fruits (currants, figs) and some dark fruits. Some roasted aromas (almonds, espresso). Vanilla comes after.Some nuts also (cashew nuts, peanut butter). The presence of alcohol is noticeable butnot overpowering (notes of sherry). Deep but not aggressive. Elegant.
T: The taste mainly follows the nose with a lot of dark chocolate and roasted malts (coffee flavors). Some vanilla. Warming alcohol but without booziness. The aftertaste is on sweet chocolate and bitter chocolate.
M: Medium to high body. Almost flat. Quite velvety. It could be thicker and a bit smoother. A bit sticky on the length, but very drinkable.
O: A great, elegant imperial stout, with an excellent nose, flavorful and deep, still sober on the palate. (882 characters)

Photo of Luk13
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from tom10101 obtained via sarro, thanks to the both of you. Thick black brown pour with no head. Very intense and complex aroma: molasses, lots of bourbon, charred wood adds some smokiness (nice twist!), some caramel and ripe fruits (plums, figs). Awesome. Taste is very rich, lots of roasted malts, bourbon, vanilla and chocolate. Flavors are enhanced by the sublime creamy mouthfeel and low carbonation. Intense and refined. Side-by-side with BA speedway with BA speedway being a close winner. Although I prefered Black Note's palate and aroma, BA speedway's flavors were out of this world. (600 characters)

Photo of cfrances33
4.73/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe, served in a snifter.

Pour: Pitch black, with a half finger of deep khaki head. Nice legs, and this beer is a little more splashy than the pitch black body would tell you.

Smell: Really nice vanilla bourbon, with a distinct roastiness, and creamy milk chocolate. A touch of dark fruits.

Taste: Wow. Bourbon vanilla bomb up front. Nice sweet milk chocolate creaminess, which mixes with roasted malts. Creamy vanilla bourbon finishes.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, and just a touch of bourbon heat. Really nice carbonation, which play well with the creamy flavors.

Overall: Awesome beer, definitely looking forward to having this again. (667 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.99/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Porter Beer Bar, re-reviewed from a 2012 12oz bottle

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of off white head. Retention is decent.

S: Strong bourbon upfront, I get dark chocolate, caramel, and licorice behind. Dark fruit in the background adds to the complexity. The aromas mix very well together.

T: Again, strong bourbon and caramel upfront, this time there is more coffee and roast to balance. I get a bit of lactose sweetness to give a bit more sweetness. I also get quite a bit of dark chocolate, intensifying as the beer warms. The beer always stays on the roasty/coffee side, but is very well balanced.

M: A bit on the thin side for the style with low carbonation. Definitely the worst part of this beer, but not terrible.

O: With a bit thicker mouthfeel, this would be significantly better. It still balances roast, bourbon, and chocolate extremely well, better than just about any other barrel aged stout that I've had. (943 characters)

Photo of Samichlaus82
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours oily pitch black with a small dark mocha head that slowly dissipates without leaving much trace on the glass. Smell is slightly sweet and malty with roasted malts, quality dark chocolate, dark bread, burnt caramel, charred wood, black pepper, bourbon, coconut, vanilla fudge, asphalt, toffee and hints of sweet liquorice. Taste is sweet and malty with roasted malts, roasted coconut, quality dark chocolate, sweetened dark roast coffee, vanilla fudge, charred wood, lactose, bourbon, toffee, nutella and hints of alcohol. Mouthfeel is soft, creamy, smooth, balanced, silky and full bodied. Finish is slightly sweet and bitter with roasted malts, quality dark chocolate, dark roast coffee, vanilla fudge, roasted coconuts, charred wood and bourbon. Great balance and smooth silky mouthfeel adds up to a great experience. (825 characters)

Photo of s1ckboy
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle. About 8 months of age since release.

A - Black body, 1-2 fingers of tan head.

S - Oak, bourbon, dark fruit.

T - Tons of dark fruits, dried plums, dates, fig?, bourbon, oak, bit of chocolate, touch of sweetness.

M - Medium carbonation, very smooth.

Awesome stout, glad to have been able to try it. (314 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Review from 10-22-12 updated with bottle enjoyed on 11-08-13. Bottle number 129/1534. Batch #11620.

A - Poured dark black; medium thickness on the pour. A thin layer of espresso coloured head formed and quickly disappeared.

S - Huge whiskey and oak aromas up front. The barrel characteristics dominate the nose with some sweet chocolate fudge in the background.

T - Bourbon, some vanilla and toasted oak up front. Although the barrel is dominant, the base beer comes through more than nose indicated. Chocolate fudge, bitter roast, molasses and light espresso flavours integrate nicely with the barrel flavours.

M - Full body. Thick and somewhat viscous. Light carbonation. (678 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.61/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Matt the Miller's Grandview on 6/12/12

Nearly black with dark mahogany brown around the edges. No head, save for a thin ring.

The aroma has a lot of the stout - roasted and burnt sugars, molasses, prune, bitter chocolate and some coffee undertones. Creamy vanilla, some oak and hints of soft bourbon. The flavor has more bourbon and more heat. Some burnt sweetness, much similar to the nose. Pretty heavy blend between burnt roast and sugar and prune sweetness. Oak char on the finish. Full, slick body with sugary lingerings. Moderate, appropriate carbonation. Finishes clean for a barreled thing.

Overall, this is good but I would much rather drink Expedition or Double Cream Stout or bourbon. (708 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yes, this is that good. I sampled this stout at the Valpo Brewfest on 09/29/2012. Poured into my pint glass, the stout was a chocolatey black color with only the slightest hint of a head. The initial aroma was nicely boozy, making it apparent that the stout slept several months in bourbon barrels. The malt in the aroma was present, but was overwhelmed not the bourbon. The initial taste was a sour chocolate with vanilla note and bitter coffee. The booziness lays a pleasingly warm backbone amid the chaos of chocolate, vanilla and coffee notes. The mouthfeel is not quite motor oil, but it is fairly close. Thankfully, the taste lingered several minutes. The aftertaste left a warming sensation that was sticky enough to linger in the back of the throat for several minutes. As far as barrel aged stouts go, this is near the top of the list. (844 characters)

Photo of mgp2675
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mscarpen for this growler, great trader, can't say enough about him. Drank this side to side with the base beers that make up Black Note: Expedition Stout and Special Double Cream Stout.

A- Black as night. Not much of a head on it, fades away pretty quickly.

S- When I took the cap off the growler I smelled it just for the heck of it and even the cap smelled like straight vanilla. No surprise the aroma had lots of vanilla in it, with the bourbon characteristic that's so typical of a good BA stout. Has a hint of oatmeal in the aroma as well.

T- Great bourbon presence, the bourbon and vanilla stand out as the two main flavors. It's a little sweet but not overpowering at all...just right. It has a little bit of a bitter dark chocolate taste to it, and definitely some coffee and burnt notes in the aftertaste. Bell's says you should pick up some dark fruits in here but I'm not getting any. It has a little bit of that lactic taste to it from the cream stout base but not a lot. That adds to it nicely. The alcohol is extremely well hidden. This might be the most vanilla I've ever had in a beer.

M- Creamy, like I said it gets some of that lactic taste/feel from the cream stout. It's nice and think, low carbonation.

O- When Black Note bottles came out earlier this year I swore I wouldn't give my cellar away for it cause some of the reviews I was reading weren't too great. Maybe this beer is a lot different on tap or maybe I just disagree with those reviews but this is a very good BA stout. It's got that chewy feel to it that I always look for, very smooth, good flavors from the barrel aging, balanced, and gets better as it warms up. There's nothing distinct about this that blows me away but it's really good, and definitely worth a try if this is your thing. (1,791 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured jet black with a nice one and a half finger tall mocha-colored head leaving sticky streaks of lace that lasted throughout. Aromas of warm bourbon, milk chocolate, vanilla, dark roasted malt, brown sugar and quite a bit of lactic creaminess. The flavor starts off with a big dose of warm bourbon, chocolate and some lactic creaminess from the double cream stout. Hints of vanilla, oak, brown sugar and rich coffee help to break things up and keep things interesting. Big and full smooth mouthfeel with a ton of sweet flavors and moderation carbonation throughout. The finish was quite sweet with plenty of boozy bourbon and some dark roast, lingering on the palate long after consumption. I look forward to cracking open my Black Note bomber that I acquired early in 2012! (788 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
4.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Bryant-Lake Bowl for their stout bout. I came to the event mostly to try this beer, and I wasn't disappointed. Enjoyed 12 September 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours straight-up black. Brought with a thin layer of medium-brown head, but I saw the server pour some more off. Decent lacing.

Smell is rich dark chocolate, surrounded by the loveliest bourbon-y aromas I've encountered in a beer. All sorts of rich dark malt aromas, but they're all tied together in a way that makes it hard to tease out characteristics.

Taste is, well... it's one of those indescribably good beers that is just beautiful and right. The rest of my description is a mostly-futile attempt to explain that beauty. Like a dark malt wash, with a little bit of bourbon. It has a core flavor that holds together so well, it's hard for me to say exactly what it is. No little bits sticking out to grab onto, just this big glom of deliciousness. The bourbon barrel comes through, but is so nicely balanced and integrated - mostly the rich grainy flavors of the bourbon that really shine through. This adds tons of flavor, but without the burn that accompanies so many barrel-aged beers. Moderately hoppy, but the hops don't come through that much because there are so many other flavors they have to contend with. Stunningly good.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy with that smooth, full oat fluffiness. Medium-low carbonation, as it should be.

One of the best, if not the best, barrel-aged stouts I've ever had, and among the top beers I've had. In the vein of Bourbon County - a big, robust, flavorful stout with fantastic integration of the barrel flavor - but better. IMO, it blows some other highly-rated stouts (Parabola, Abyss) out of the water. I will be seeking this out again. Definitely worth the effort. I could drink this all day. (1,821 characters)

Photo of JackieTH
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On draft at the 2012 Autumn Brew Review, from notes. We missed this at the 2011 ABR, so would not be foiled again.

2 ounce pour was oily black in appearance with a thin skein of mocha brown head. Smell was distinctly bourbon..vanilla, oak, subtle cherry, along with dark chocolate and subtle anise, toffee, dark fruit. Smells rich and delicious.

Taste follows the nose. Bourbon barrel, vanilla, figs, dark and sweet chocolates, coffee, dark fruits, blackstrap molasses, toffee. Booze. Bitter coffee, dark chocolate and hopping keeps some semblance of order in all the richness. Mildly warming. It's very, very good. Heavy creamy body as expected. Overall..The bourbon elements in Black Note aren't as over the top as other bourbon whiskey imperial stouts, it frames the dark chocolates and allows all the other flavor elements to really shine. Impressive. (859 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.89/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at The Blue Door Pub in St. Paul, MN. Served in a 10 oz. goblet glass.

Appearance: Color is a oily jet black. Moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of deep tan creamy head that recedes to a very thin layer. Decent amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Big scent of bourbon whiskey up front with good hints of vanilla, wood, and oak. Sweet dark malts with big hints of dark chocolate, coffee, dark toasted bread, molasses, burnt caramel, toffee, and biscuit. A fair amount of syrup and burnt sugars. Subtle hints of dark raisin, plum, fig, and cherry. A light hint of smoke and earthy hops. The bourbon and sweet chocolate stand out the most. A big and rich aroma.

Taste: Just as big and complex as the aroma leads. Nicely dark, sweet, and boozy. Big taste of bourbon whiskey up front with good notes of vanilla, oak chips, and the whiskey barrel. A little bit of smoke. Big dark roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate, bitter coffee, toasted bread and biscuit, sweet molasses and syrup, burnt caramel, and toffee. Undertones of dark fruits including dark cherry, plum, and raisin. Subtle earthy hops in the background. The bourbon and dark chocolate elements really stand out. Rich and very good taste.

Mouthfeel: A fairly heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Thick, creamy, and fairly slick and syrupy. Some alcohol heat is present but its not overly hot.

Overall: A really great barrel aged imperial stout. The bourbon flavor is big and great and the dark chocolate and molasses sweetness is very good. (1,553 characters)

Photo of smokeypeat
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Once again the power of the central PA/SEPA beer market comes through and I finally get to try Black Note.

Pours a jet black into the goblet with a light coffee tan head that quickly disappeared leaving just the slightest head. Some alcohol legs on the glass.

The smell on this one is up there. Rich vanilla bourbon with some great hints of toasted coconut. Fainter hints of toffee and light tobacco.

Taste is as good as I hoped for. The base beer here really holds up well to the bourbon treatment. Plenty of roasted coffee notes, bakers dark chocolate, and a dash of anise. The bourbon adds a great interplay of vanilla, caramel, toffee, and woody oak. No one aspect of the beer dominates but there is a great mixture of a lot of my favorite flavors.

Mouthfeel on this beer really worked for me. I don't know if it's because it was on tap or not, but I found the carbonation level to be perfect. The beer was extremely creamy and really easy to drink, and the alcohol was perfectly masked.

All in all, Black Note lived up to the hype for me. I was fortunate to get a whole growler, and frankly it seems like an embarrassment of riches. Everyone who got a pour of this agreed that it was top notch. I would definitely go out of my way to get this beer again. (1,265 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.17/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-09-08 in Columbia, PA

A - India ink black with a tan-brown short head with light lacing and lots of alcohol legs.

S - Bourbon, dark fruit, oak tannin, roasted malt. Very big aroma that's heavily on the bourbon side.

T - Bourbon, medium roasted malt, dark cherry, plum, prune, coconut and a touch of umami, and black licorice (not my favorite flavor). Fairly sweet but balanced with some astringent and hop bitterness. I definitely get the influence of the Expedition Stout. Alcohol is quite noticeable but generally blends in and supports the sweetness.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation.

O - Big, big flavors for sure. Didn't quite float my boat as some other Imperial Stouts. For example, I prefer Founders KBS over this for a bourbon-influenced brew. I had this a few hours after having it on-tap. The only difference is there was no head at all from the growler but there was a bit of head on-tap. It wasn't that much of a difference to take points off for the appearance since you don't expect much of a head at this high ABV level. (1,071 characters)

Photo of tarheels86
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Churchkey. Pours ink with a medium tan head leaving webby reddish lace. Nose is rich buttery bourbon with tropical notes like dried pineapple and dried papaya. Toasted coconut. Let it decant to cinnamon ganache and very subtle meat/umami character. Soft booziness, coffee liquor. So many rich subtleties makes this an incredible experience. Taste is similar to normal and Rare Bourbon County Stout. Super creamy, rich coconut oil mouthfeel. Feels less sharply bitter than normal Expy. Softer and easier to love than normal Expy. Superlative soft mouthfeel. Nice bitterness comes through to cut initial sweetness. Great mouthfeel- mild heat reminds of soft bourbon aging but softness is unreal. Roasty bitterness and coffee character hints that this is not BCS but something else. Very beautiful. Complexities are easier to fall in love with than normal Expedition which can be too aggressive and powerful at times. Had this on tap now four separate times- always delicious and silky. Not sure what's up with that bottle picture, since that is not what the bottled version of this beer looks like. 12/6/2011 9/4/9/5/18=4.5 (1,128 characters)

Photo of josephwa
4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - thin line of head, mostly opaque, very dark brown, good lacing.
S - caramel, molasses, bourbon, chocolate. Alluring indeed!
T - well balance bourbon flavor-the aging was perfect on this beer, molasses, chocolate. Really well done in the bottle. Even better than tap in my opinion.
M - perfect carbonation, perfect body - slightly lighter body for an imperial stout.
O - overall I've found this to be a notch above the draft version, so polished and well done. So glad these are released in 12 oz bottles for distribution. (528 characters)

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 543 ratings.