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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

2,735 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,735
Reviews: 487
rAvg: 4.55
pDev: 8.35%
Wants: 1,998
Gots: 700 | FT: 67
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: 2,735 | Reviews: 487 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk

Virginia

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2012 19:42:30 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of GrindFatherBob
GrindFatherBob

New York

5/5  rDev +9.9%

02-19-2013 09:49:43 | More by GrindFatherBob
Photo of bashiba
bashiba

Iowa

4/5  rDev -12.1%

11-22-2011 16:23:59 | More by bashiba
Photo of CrellMoset
CrellMoset

Virginia

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Expedition/Double Cream Stout Blend, 10% abv, on tap at Capital Ale House, downtown location, Richmond, VA, on January 26th, 2009 at Black Moonday.

Appearance: Arrives a thick-looking bastard of a brew in a 10 oz. cervoise, a practically black, oily body though with flourishes of ... something ... around the edges, not quite garnet, but not quite brown either. The head is relatively fast-fading head, though at 10% abv and barrel aged, what do you expect? A faint sprawl of sheen and thin tan foam of lace is all that's left after it's gone. To be honest, there's not much going on here, but I've learned that brews that don't always look great don't look great for a reason.

Aroma: Maple syrup absolutely dominates, backed up by a strong, heavily oaky bourbon note, spicy with a slight prickle. It's very, very sweet smelling, heavily roasted, with lots of notes approaching pure caramel and/or toffee.

Taste: The melding of notes here lends an overwhelming butterscotch-esque note here, sweet and buttery, though not cloying or "bad" by any stretch of the imagination. Just had to get that out of the way, as it's the dominant tasting note here. The rest - a faintly chocolate-like spike, a spicy, estery, woody bourbon lick, fainter hints of char and vanilla, stronger overtones of maple syrup and caramel - all surge and bubble underneath this layer in a wonderful orgy of flavors. This is one big, bold-tasting brew.

Mouthfeel: Thick but big bubbled, that sort of "frozen in time" feel, crisp but sticky. Bubbles are big, but it's oh-so-foamy and creamy given the thickness and how well it holds together.

Drinkability: Well there 'ya have it. Very, very glad I got the chance to try this one. It's a huge, flavorful, over the top brew - and what do you expect from a melding and barrel aging of two of Bell's other biggest, over the top brews? - that manages to hit most of the right notes. The sweetness may not be to some's liking, the high abv% to others, but it did wonders for me - I'd be glad to have it again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2009 22:42:26 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of Stinger80OH
Stinger80OH

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

10-25-2013 21:19:48 | More by Stinger80OH
Photo of jampics2
jampics2

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

01-09-2013 00:32:36 | More by jampics2
Photo of Kopfschuss
Kopfschuss

Oregon

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

01-28-2014 23:24:07 | More by Kopfschuss
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek

New York

4.34/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

This one pours dark and opaque, as I would expect given how light-repelling Expedition was. Small, mocha-colored head that recedes quickly, with a little bit of lacing. Surprisingly, there's a good bit of visible carbonation.

Smells strongly of dark fruits, with some dark chocolate, and mild, smooth bourbon.

The taste is similar, and pretty great. This is one of the dark fruity-est stouts I've ever had, just a ton of sweet, but earthy fruit flavors- currants, raisins, cherries, plums, etc. Some bitter dark chocolate, and subtle bourbon that folds in nicely with the other flavors.

Creamy, smooth moutfeel, despite the appearance, there's not much carbonation noted on the palate. Unfortunately, the body seems a bit thin for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout- maybe I'm spoiled by other one's I've tried, but the body just doesn't quite stack up. A disappointing tick against a pretty damn good beer.

This is one is definitely one of the best BA stouts, but it just misses the top tier due to the slightly thin body. If it was thicker and more viscous, it would be near perfect. The dark fruit flavor in this is just amazing.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2014 20:03:30 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of akang
akang

California

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

07-30-2013 02:27:28 | More by akang
Photo of hollywood_15063
hollywood_15063

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

01-29-2014 21:22:33 | More by hollywood_15063
Photo of SadMachine
SadMachine

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

'12 vintage

A- Pours black as night with a finger of tan head that recedes to a collar. Very little lacing, but it does leave nice alcohol legs when swirled.

S- The aroma explodes with bourbon, dark fruits, and oak. Sweet figs, dates, raisins, and prunes. Vanilla, grains, perhaps some sweet chocolate, and definitely a good bit of booze round out the nose.

T- This beer is both bold and subtle at the same time. Focused, yet complex. There's a lot of bourbon, and that makes it mellow, smooth, and boozy. Then there's plenty of the fig/date/raisin flavor. This is all complimented and rounded out with touches of vanilla, vinous flavor, oak, and a surprising bit of dry roastiness in the finish. Quite complex and delicious.

M- The mouthfeel is moderately thick, and very smooth/creamy thanks to the barrel. Lightly carbonated, and a good bit of warming booze.

O- This is a very nice representation of the BBA stout style, and I look forward to trying my other bottle with more age on it.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2013 05:08:33 | More by SadMachine
Photo of sholland119
sholland119

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one at City Tap House, 6/7/10.

A-Pours deep black, a bit oily with a very dark mocha head and some pretty good lacing.

S-Outstanding. Caramel, rich dark chocolate, a nice whiff of bourbony vanilla.

T-Warm, rich and sweet from the start. A bourbon sweet note to begin, along with some alcohol warmth, then milk chocolate and sweet cream kick in before a warming finish.

M-A bit heavy in body but a joy to drink.

D-Delicious, though one at a sitting is certainly plenty.

HV

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2010 14:17:56 | More by sholland119
Photo of smithj4
smithj4

New York

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

05-29-2013 21:50:25 | More by smithj4
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at city tap house. 31 bells beers, looks like I've got my work cut out for me. Got one with my main squeeze katie.

A- blackalicous and capped with a finger of coffee and cream colored head. Coats the glass beautifully. Legs for days, this dames got steams.

S- tons of milk chocolate, caoco powder, and sweet cream. Roasty and toasty with some oak and bourbon.

T- oh boy! Opens up with all the rich veinous qualities with port wine, dark chocolate and over ripe black berries. Wood and bourbon with some vanilla and black strap molasses. Plums, dates, raisins all the dark fruits. I keep coming back around and finding new levels of complexity.

M- thick and chewy with some slick and stick. Perfect carb, just enough to lift it all up but not too much that it doesn't stay on the palate for the right amount of time. Bliss.

D- well for a brew of this stature and abv this is as drinkable as it gets. I love it in so many ways.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2010 02:29:57 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Adamostella
Adamostella

Washington

5/5  rDev +9.9%

04-16-2013 03:43:18 | More by Adamostella
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Liam.

Deep brown nearly jet black, ring of tan head, little to no lace really. Smell is bourbon forward, lots of coconut and vanilla, well roasted, chocolate with liquorice and coffee as well as a bit of a fruity hint in there as well. Taste has quite a bit of chocolate, coffee and oak, coconut, vanilla witha bit of a light lingering sweetness, bourbon in the finish. Medium-full body, lightly carbonated and bit oily with a creamy mouthcoating as well. Just awesome stuff, an awesome beer consumed on a night filled with awesome beers, would love the opertunity to revisit this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 00:24:10 | More by peensteen
Photo of MinorThreat
MinorThreat

Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

12-08-2012 01:21:55 | More by MinorThreat
Photo of lupercmda
lupercmda

North Carolina

4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

05-09-2014 04:15:44 | More by lupercmda
Photo of whatname
whatname

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -12.1%

04-19-2014 06:54:57 | More by whatname
Photo of zonker17
zonker17

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

01-26-2013 09:14:48 | More by zonker17
Photo of atone315
atone315

Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

02-12-2013 15:54:48 | More by atone315
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

4.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/12/14; consumed on 5/15/14, making this one just 2 months old. . . .

A: Poured from the bottle into a Piraat tulip/snifter-type glass. Body is inky jet black with only a hint of head on top - which then disappears immediately anyway, leaving behind absolutely no lace.

S: Bourbon, molasses & vanilla. Quite pleasant nose.

T: Pretty much follows the nose, with bourbon dominating, some molasses and a lot of vanilla. As it warms I note some dark fruits (black cherries come to mind) and even licorice on the aftertaste. High-ABV (11.4%) is noted more as warmth on the belly than as heat on the palate - a neat trick for a beer of this strength and considering the bourbon. Also as it warms up I'm getting more general roastiness cutting through the bourbon. Oh and the ABV is definitely working its wonders, buzz-wise.

M: Full-bodied, heft-wise, and fairly slick in feel, though as it warms up the carbonation seems to activate itself and cut through that slick feel. . . .

O: Real nice. I'd love to do a blind tasting with this, Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Founders KBS. This one is heavier on the vanilla/molasses side of things, while others have more roasty malt to balance the bourbon.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2014 01:49:57 | More by Kendo
Photo of macrosmatic
macrosmatic

Florida

4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a CCB pint glass.

A: Pours a very dark brown, basically opaque. A half-finger medium brown head forms, and there is no visible carbonation.

S: Chocolate, bourbon, vanilla (from the oak?), leather & tobacco. Overall impression is that of moderate sweetness.

T: Follows the nose exactly. Maybe more pronounced cacao and coffee mixed with the chocolate, vanilla, oak and bourbon. Hang is sweet, with lingering bourbon and oak.

M: Thick body, almost chewy, sticky. Moderate alcohol for style, low carbonation sensation. Silky smooth mouthfeel. I would give it a 6 here if I could.

O: Awesome. This lives up to every bit of its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 20:54:39 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of vonnegut21
vonnegut21

New York

4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

03-18-2014 01:05:19 | More by vonnegut21
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -6.6%

03-25-2013 02:00:50 | More by SpdKilz
Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 2,735 ratings.