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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

2,799 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,799
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 4.56
pDev: 8.33%
Wants: 2,010
Gots: 713 | FT: 68
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: 2,799 | Reviews: 488 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tsauce2
tsauce2

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -23.2%

10-05-2013 01:20:37 | More by tsauce2
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

3.58/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 07:56:43 | More by pixieskid
Photo of Ryan011235
Ryan011235

Ohio

3.6/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2012 23:43:17 | More by Ryan011235
Photo of WorldWideStout
WorldWideStout

Maryland

3.6/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this during D.C. Beer Week at The Big Hunt.

A: It's a bit dark in the room, but I can tell there's the typical pitch-black body. What's unusual is that a wisp of a head stays around for several minutes, even after I take a few sips.

S: Mostly bourbon. There is a little bit of roast and biscuit in there as well.

T: The taste opens up with some toffee from the malts, and then ripe dark fruits make an appearance. Towards the middle the bourbon comes out in full force. It's not the sweet bourbon I'm used to in BA stouts - it's more rough and young. The end of each sip and aftertaste is fairly unpleasant - harsh booziness.

M: Nice velvety mouthfeel with the appropriate small amount of carbonation.

O: I was not terribly impressed by this beer. The barrel notes are too prominent, and it's pretty boozy. I'd try it again if it had been aged for a year plus, but I didn't find the draught version worth all the hype.

Serving type: on-tap

08-14-2012 03:49:55 | More by WorldWideStout
Photo of nrs207
nrs207

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Let's be real, this beer is all hype. It's not really that good. It has a hint of bourbon barrel, some decent roasty notes, but every time I have it, I expect it to be pretty good. It never lives up to any of the other beers I've had that night. BCBS is in another league, and even just an above average beer like KBS kills this. If you've gotten this far, here is my full review.

A - Fairly dark, not the darkest stout out there. Decent appearance overall.

S - Pretty dry, doesn't smell very sweet. Has a hint of bourbon barrel there. Some chocolate notes.

T - Fairly dry in the taste as well. Doesn't have a lot of bourbon. It tastes like an OK roasty stout got thrown in a bourbon barrel for about 2 weeks. I'm not sure what Bell's is doing, but they're doing it wrong. It's truly not that good. There are an incredible amount of bourbon barrel stouts I'd seek out over this.

M - It's fairly smooth, but nothing too incredible. The best quality of this beer is that it's not very boozy. It's a bit thin for the ABV, but at least the booze is well hidden.

O - This beer is not worth seeking out. If it was on the shelf at $3 a bottle, I probably wouldn't buy it. That is NOT good for a bourbon barrel stout, let alone a very good one. I actually would for trade value I guess, but definitely not to drink. Skip this one unless you just want to tick it. It's like Hopslam, just a tick. Nothing special. It's outdated, and many many other breweries have caught up and surpassed Bell's. The only beer I consider worthwhile from them is Two Hearted. For the price, it's the only beer they make that's worth buying imo.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 23:37:46 | More by nrs207
Photo of virinow
virinow

New York

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

06-18-2013 00:53:14 | More by virinow
Photo of obiwan_k3n00bi
obiwan_k3n00bi

California

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

10-27-2013 23:00:17 | More by obiwan_k3n00bi
Photo of twowheelssoar
twowheelssoar

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

06-12-2014 16:38:14 | More by twowheelssoar
Photo of tabascosigned
tabascosigned

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

06-15-2014 20:28:57 | More by tabascosigned
Photo of Devi0us
Devi0us

California

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

08-07-2012 05:25:55 | More by Devi0us
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to stfun37 for this one.

Black in the glass with a tiny dark brown head that rapidly recedes to a ring.

The aroma is woody and earthy, with a backbone of bittersweet chocolate. Boozy bourbon is present but more subtle than I was expecting, and sweetness is very reserved. Expedition's unmistakable burnt licorice/molasses character shines through with surprising strength here.

The taste is impressively complex; licorice up front, burnt whole grain bread, bakers chocolate, tobacco, vanilla and light earthiness. Medium-bodied without much sweetness. Hot bourbon flavors come through more in the finish, along with woody tannins, strong burnt bitterness and lingering espresso.

This was a pretty interesting beer. The Double Cream Stout and -bal aging have helped tame Expedition's harshness, but not as much as I would have liked. Still enjoyable, but not as remarkable as I was expecting.

Serving type: growler

10-14-2009 19:14:32 | More by largadeer
Photo of rfraga77
rfraga77

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

01-12-2013 23:41:00 | More by rfraga77
Photo of AlienSwineFlu
AlienSwineFlu

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

04-02-2014 16:11:54 | More by AlienSwineFlu
Photo of HardyA
HardyA

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

05-13-2014 00:57:41 | More by HardyA
Photo of ms333
ms333

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

03-03-2014 01:20:21 | More by ms333
Photo of DaveJanssen
DaveJanssen

Germany

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

10-13-2013 15:46:44 | More by DaveJanssen
Photo of Steve212
Steve212

New York

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

12-02-2013 15:13:21 | More by Steve212
Photo of Punqbert
Punqbert

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

04-17-2013 01:07:55 | More by Punqbert
Photo of beercanman
beercanman

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

04-02-2013 08:21:35 | More by beercanman
Photo of Flabbyjandro
Flabbyjandro

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

08-11-2013 01:35:52 | More by Flabbyjandro
Photo of Robyn
Robyn

South Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

04-09-2013 03:48:34 | More by Robyn
Photo of 2dogbrew
2dogbrew

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

02-23-2013 01:32:29 | More by 2dogbrew
Photo of MarkIntihar
MarkIntihar

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

06-01-2012 12:52:00 | More by MarkIntihar
Photo of thewimperoo
thewimperoo

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

11-15-2011 18:42:53 | More by thewimperoo
Photo of dvsbizzyb
dvsbizzyb

California

3.75/5  rDev -17.8%

09-11-2013 04:38:39 | More by dvsbizzyb
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,799 ratings.