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: 3,645
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 6.46%
Wants: 2,513
Gots: 926 | 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: 3,645
Photo of fastenoughforphish
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Its dark, its slightly carbonated. Nice dark head. Pretty typical of the style.

Smell: Smells to me like chocolate and some whiskey. Very chocolately.

Taste: Boom! Huge sweet chocolate and lots of fruits. I get a lot of cherry here, but its got that dark fruity taste that Expedition has. Tons of sweet chocolate and a nice bitterness to finish. I love the interaction between the chocolate and fruit. The bourbon is not overwhelming, and it finished with just a bit of nuttiness. Love how this tastes. Hugely different than I remember from the 2012 batch.

Mouthfeel: It's light but creamy. I feel the carbonation is perfect. Not as thick as some which I enjoy.

Overall: What an awesome experience. I just loved the taste and that fruit chocolate nuttiness going on. Crafted perfectly. (802 characters)

Photo of d5001986
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A: Pitch black with a minimal amount of tan head that dissipates quickly. No lacing, doesn't seem to 'stick' to the glass like most do to some extent.

S: Slight booze and roasted malt are most up front. Then chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and coconut.

T: Even better than it smells. Roasted malt, chocolate, molasses, vanilla, pepper, and best of all, a nice mellow bourbon that's not so in your face like many other examples. I swear I also pick up just a trace of cherry in there. Very nice!

M: Not as viscous as some, med-heavy body. Creamy and silky smooth, also slick and oily. Carbonation is very low, but not quite flat.

O: Way more drinkable than it should be. A beautifully crafted stout with tons of complex flavor that meets the hype. So glad I picked up 1/2 a case! (812 characters)

Photo of broodog
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Black Note Stout Batch 11620 (I think, A little hard to read) Bottled 12/28/12 - Into a Bell's Tulip

Appearance - Pours jet black - 1 finger tan head which dissipates rather quickly into a ring. Lacing is nice

Smell- Bourbon, Coffee, roasted malt

Taste - Wow - In a class by itself. A rush of flavor. Bourbon followed by coffee, followed by roasted malt , molasses. Blend together perfectly. Alcohol is there, but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel - Not as thick as some other BB stouts at this ABV. Feels great going down.

Overall - A wonderful experience. If you can get your hands on a few, try one now. Save a few for aging. (633 characters)

Photo of Urbancaver
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you thank you to my special friend for this one...

Pours a pitch black wih some nice white head. Looks pretty. Well carbonated. Smells rich and chocolatey. Buttery bourbon and a nice roastiness. The aroma is top notch. Tastes Roasty. Lots of expo not so much double special cream. The taste is a bit bitter from the roast. Good solid mouthfeel. Well carbonated. Overall solid but a bit to roug around the edges. (418 characters)

Photo of sleuthdog
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This bottle thanks to genuinedisciple
12 oz bottle poured into Kuhnhenn tulip
Bottled on 12/28/12

Pour: Jet black with a very minimal tan head that dissipated almost instantly. Looks like your run of the mill big bourbon stout. No lacing but alcohol legs are visible.

Smell: Bourbon, char, oak, vanilla, some chocolate and coffee. Some dark fruits but its all about the bourbon with this one.

Taste: This is a big sweet, huge bourbon forward beer. There is oak and barrel notes throughout the entire taste profile. Vanilla and roast and I'm getting an earthy type character. Chocolate and faint coffee noted as well.

Mouthfeel: On the heavy side of medium and not like the other big bourbon aged stouts I have had being a bit thinner. It does coat the palate with it's sweet bourbon goodness and is creamy and silky.

Overall: A very good beer and of obvious high quality. Is it the best BA stout I have had, no but a damn fine beer. Not a beer to empty your cellar over or jump through hoops to get but if it is within reach, don't hesitate to grab it. (1,060 characters)

Photo of jeonseh
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has this on tap at Tribes Alehouse.

A - Poured into a snifter, its a very, dark black beer that allows no light to get through. It has a small coffee colored head that stays strong along the edges

S - Notes of coffee, vanilla, dark chocolate, caramel malt and bourbon barrel spicyness. You definitely get the creamy sweetness of the double cream stout with the darker expedition favors. As I let it sit and warm up, the nose become much stronger and sweeter as the vanilla becomes more prominent

T - Initially, sweet vanilla, mocha chocolate, caramel and the heavier coffee favors come through. You definitely get the barrel aged spiciness in this one. One of the nice things about the barrel aged aspects of this is its blended in perfectly with the beer to add new levels of flavor. The spice from the bourbon really lingers on the tongue. As it warms up, the vanilla and sweetness really opens up.

MF - Velvety smooth allowing it to coat the tongue and mouth beautifully. This is where adding the double cream stout really stands out as that and the aging seem to have taken off some of Expedition's rougher edges. After the beer goes down, it leaves a nice tingle on the tongue to go with the bourbon flavors. This is the part of the beer that is just amazing.

O - A wonderful, well balanced beer by Bell's. It shows how well barrel aging can add to a beer's flavor without overpowering it. Definitely worth having and a great beer overall (1,455 characters)

Photo of Bung
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Flying Saucer Charlotte NC. Thought I would have to get lucky on a trip home to Michigan to try this one.
Maybe Charlotte beer week actually has its usefulness??

Deep black, thin layer of darker tan head. Sticks to the glass just a bit.

Aroma, Well blended roast, chocolates, vanilla, peat, anise, coffee.

Taste, even better. Roast malt and anise blend seamlessly into oaky vanilla, caramel, milk chocolate, cocoa.

Slick full body, warming in the throat. Coats well with a near creamy carbonation. If this us anything like Expedition in bottle, it probably needs some time. On draft it is world class right now.
Had Double Cream at my wedding for a reason, this big barrel aged expedition blend ups the game 5 fold.
The list of beers I HAVE to try is getting nice and short. Not worth the effort to try most of them and I'm tired of the game. (853 characters)

Photo of dboon
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Beer Bistro. Joan Jett black pour with a mocha head. Wow, all kinds of bourbon in the nose. Creamy and smooth with lots of mellow bourbon, deep roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla, and oak notes. I’ve been chasing this stout for a long time and was not disappointed. Thanks to Dan and Tom for meeting up with me. It’s nice to get to experience these beers with local members of the beer community. (413 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A smallish, dark tan head is in a big ass hurry to get moving off this pitch black brew.

Smells quite rich and desert-like with prominent notes of milk chocolate, chocolate cake, black licorice and black cherries.

Taste starts with deep, sweet and bitter chocolate notes followed by a touch of vinegar, an uncertain candy sweetness, obvious oak, subtle earthy hops and medicinal cherries.

A warming alcohol cuts through a heavy, slightly syrupy body.

An ambitious and exceptionally flavorful beer that could've ran wild but keeps it all in check. (557 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
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! (921 characters)

Photo of AJacob81
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Promoted as a sideshow to the Hopslam firkin tapping at Hackney's, this of course was the first keg to blow. Glad I got some.

A - Pitch black, with a tightly packed cappuccino-colored head of about a finger that was retained surprisingly well, albeit without any significant lacing.

S - The bourbon asserts itself up front, but there are strong supporting RIS notes of roast, dark fruit, some chocolate and coffee. The bouquet opens up nicely as the beer warms, drawing you back pleasantly for each sip.

T - The nose is inverted, with the flavors of Expedition Stout hitting first, followed up nicely by the warming charred oak and booze of the bourbon barrel. Perfectly balanced, with a hint of sweetness in the finish that enhances rather than distracts.

M - Exquisitely smooth and velvety, the brilliant addition of Double Cream Stout shines through here. Soft and creamy, yet medium to full in body, this stout isn't as viscuous and chewy as some of its peers, but it sits on the palate wonderfully.

This is a beast of a bourbon barrel stout. Its various elements are in awesome harmony, and while it won't kick you in the face the way some of its ilk will (not that there's anything wrong with that), it makes a delightful late-winter companion, even in a ridiculously crowded bar. (1,291 characters)

Photo of aaronplayford
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this from the brewery store yesterday; a little exited.

A- pours a deep black with no instant carbonation. Carbonation rises slowly and forms a ring for the duration.

S- smells like sweet fig. Next a touch of bourbon barrel. Ends with a faint smell of graham cracker and possibly licorice. Smells divine.

T- my favorite part. Very well balance between roast/bourbon/ And sweetness. Pleasantly smooth bourbon that rises to the nose aft swallowing. Not much heat at all.
There is a lingering licorice/fig flavor that pleasant.

M-a little sticky, but less than I would have expected. Perfect amount of carbonation. Washes over the tongue with a slight amount of carbonation but doesn't detract from the rich flavor of the beer.

O-dark and Bourbony. Smooth and pleasant to drink. No one flavor is overwhelming. Never pass this beer up. (843 characters)

Photo of roger617
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 bottle poured into snifter on 11/30/12.

A: Very dark in color, pours with just a thin layer of tan head that reduces very quickly and leaves no lacing. Appears to be very thick, yes without coating the inside of the glass they way comparables do with swirled.
S: Surprisingly sweet aroma, followed by roast, bourbon, chocolate.
T: All the flavors going on combine so well into a balanced blend of goodness. Lots of chocolate and bourbon up front, with lingering coffee, roast, sweetness.
M: Very coating on the tongue, rich and smooth. Carbed well, and very drinkable for a beer at 11.8%.
O: This is an incredible beer. A little thinner than comparables, but the aroma and flavors are all certainly there as expected. I was able to purchase 1 at a release event on Black Friday 2013, and yes, drank it the next day. I'm not sure this one would benefit much by aging, it's already pretty dang smooth at 11 months from bottling. I'd love to get some more in the future! (973 characters)

Photo of FUwolfpacker
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really happy that I was able to grab this one at a local store. Got 2 of the last 5. Bottled 12/28/12.

Poured from the bottle into a Westbrook tulip.

A: Pours black as oil and just as thick. Very thin tan head. Mild lacing.

S: Mostly vanilla and oak at the start. Maybe a little roastiness. Some mild coconut.

T: As you would expect, the vanilla, oaky, bourbon booziness is the first thing you taste. While it is prevalent, it isn't overwhelming like many of the bourbon barrel imperial stouts I've had. A nice sweetness but not cloying. Some mild warming in the chest but no burn. It's faint but there is some mild chocolate, roasted coffee, coconut, and dark fruit (raisins?) as the bourbon notes fade away. They become a little more prevalent as the beer warms. Roasted flavor and maybe some mild oak flavors stick around for a little while.

M: Very smooth, silky, creamy. Carbonation is mild but it is there.

O: This is a truly great bourbon barrel aged imperial stout. The bourbon character is there, but is not overwhelming. This makes it a pretty drinkable despite the 11.5% ABV. Definitely the best BBA stout I've had to this point. Worth making the effort to get if you haven't had it. (1,200 characters)

Photo of jtingue
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 12/28/12. Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance. Pitch black. Pours with a finger of hazelnut colored head. This dissipates quickly, but there is a nice ring around the top of the glass.

Smell. That now familiar bourbon aged smell permeates the nostrils: buttery, sweet and vanilla. An underlying layer is implies creamy milk chocolate. There is something about bourbon aging that give the smell a certain softness, a softness that expedition already has in its chocolate notes.

Taste. Starts out with a strong punch of bittersweet chocolate. Some vanilla tinged oaky sweetness permeates the whole experience. It occasionally becomes dominant, being manifested as a toffee like flavor. Other times it fades into the background, allowing the chocolate notes of the stouts to dominate.

Mouthfeel. Excellent creamy body is broken up just enough by tight carbonation.

I just had to review this one after having the first few sips. A very refined bourbon barrel aged beer. It gets to the level of KBS as far as balance goes, something that BCBS doesn't do for me. (1,079 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the trade Jim!!!

A: Black body with very little head

S: wow. Huge vanilla, bourbon, oak, dark fruits, some hops, coffee, chocolate,
5 stars here.

T: ok so not as good as it smells - still great. more bourbon notes over vanilla and oak than in the nose. alcohol heat is definitely there. I pick up brown sugar, caramel, coffee, chocolate, but not much dark fruit as in the nose.

M: It's syrupy alright but it's not the thickest stout I had or anything like that. as mentioned alcohol heat is there (dry).

O: Another excellent BA stout. Nothing crazy or anything but great BA stout. I love the fact that it comes in 12oz bottle now. (648 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

4A: Completely dark. No head. Some clinging lace.

4.25S: 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.

4.5T/5M: 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.

5O: 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.

EDIT 16 Jan 2015: Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a St Bernadus goblet. 2012 vintage. Bottle 28 Dec 2012.

4A: As above.

4.5S: Smells slightly sharper, but also richer. Dark malts, only a hint of old ale yeast.

4.75T/4.75M: Oh gods. As above, but sharper and more carbonated around the edges. Still velvety.

5O: Still incredible. (1,294 characters)

Photo of andrewjraab
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black with khaki head that leaves nice lace after each drink. A window shade of film falls off the glass after each drink.

S - Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, roasted coffee beans, wood, bourbon, cherries, dates.

T - Layers and layers of flavors - chocolate, vanilla, coffee, fruity, booze, oak, warming alcohol. Velvety mouth feel, rich and creamy, each drink coats and warms on the way down.

O - This is an amazing brew where the actual brew meet and exceeds the hype and expectations. I was able to secure one of these with the limited release and DAMN I want to get my hands on a few more. Truly a world class beer. (630 characters)

Photo of AmitC
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
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 (1,520 characters)

Photo of CManuel
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated 12-28-12. Poured into a snifter.

Awesome smell. Heavy on the bourbon, but also a lot of chocolate and vanilla present. One of the best smelling beers I've sampled.

Pours a very thick black with no head at all. Dark as night, very pretty.

Lot of stuff going on with the taste. Bourbon is very present, followed by a bit of vanilla, chocolate, and charred wood. Hides the 11+% well. Very thick bodied and smooth, awesome mouthfeel.

Overall, I love this beer. A little heavier on the bourbon than I would like, but I can still see why this is such a world class stout. (584 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (1,342 characters)

Photo of zachary80
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz poured into a glove, 11.8% abv. Bottled 12/29/12 batch 11620. Served at 55* and allowed to warm.

Hard pour gives only the slightest head which immediately fades into a tiny ring of white bubbles. A little bit of action from the nucleation point in the middle of the glass, but otherwise its pretty much still and black. Very dark brown while pouring but opaque in the glass. Minimal lacing.

Aroma is sweet, bourbon, vanilla. Very appealing, but fewer layers than expected.

That same aroma follows through but with a lot more complexity from the roastiness of the stout. Still favoring the sweeter elements up from, the finish has a long bitterness from the roast and a little alcohol. Cacao/dark chocolate, light oak. The sweetness ends up being balanced by the alcohol/roast, but this is still on the sweeter side.

Warming from the first sip, the alcohol lends more of a pleasant presence than harshness. Low carbonation level, but not flat, appropriate for the style but maybe could be just a tad higher. Carbonation level seems more appropriate around room temperature, where it's slightly increased.

Overall Black Note is an excellent beer that is smooth and complex. Others may have more barrel character or be more extreme, but this is a great stout. (1,267 characters)

Photo of jzeilinger
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich black in color with a toffee/molasses colored creamy head, thick and viscous looking.

S - Rich caramel cream, roasted toffee, dark chocolate malt, vanilla, bourbon, and some oak.

T - Rich and flavorful with vanilla, some traces of dark chocolate, oak, and bourbon. Ends with a sticky oak, vanilla, bourbon finish.

M - Luscious and rich velvety texture, thick, and slightly sticky on the lips.

O - An outstanding barrel aged stout. (444 characters)

Photo of shivtim
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a friend. 2012 vintage aged in his beer cellar in Michigan for one year.

Nearly opaque black/brown, with brown tinged edges when held up to light. Slight lacy brown head.
Nose is bourbon-soaked raisins. Chocolate. Slight anise. Fantastic.
Taste is deep malt, bourbon, some sweetness.

Excellent stout. (318 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a half finger beige head that quickly settles into thin, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing and legs coat the glass.

Incredibly inviting nose with sweet and spicy bourbon barrel notes excellently integrated into the elements of the base beer.  Spicy whiskey/bourbon with toasted oak and vanilla.  Toasted coconut and vanilla notes really stand out along with the dry, earthy  oak presence.  Underneath, there's some luscious chocolate, licorice, vinous fruit, oatmeal and toast.  Smells amazing!!!

Viscous and full bodied with a strong bourbon presence that is perfectly integrated into the flavors of the base beer.  Some dry toasted oak and spicy bourbon along with smooth vanilla bean and roasted coconut.  Again, the toasted coconut flavor is realy prominent and the vanilla rounds out the hot booze.  Great bourbon flavor.  Underneath, there is a nice combination of sweet and roasted malt notes with hints of dark chocolate, burnt sugar, toast, oatmeal and coffee bean coutered by licorice and vinous fruits.  Slightly dry in the finish with a good amount of boozy heat and warmth in the chest.  Abv not masked very well but the base beer flavors aren't obliterated and it's still somewhat easy to drink.  Very nice.   (1,281 characters)

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