Black Note Stout | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Black Note StoutBlack Note Stout
BA SCORE
4.54/5
World-Class
4,840 Ratings
Black Note StoutBlack Note Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

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.

Added by mcallister on 06-16-2007

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#103
Reviews:
794
Ratings:
4,840
pDev:
7.93%
 
 
Wants:
2,712
Gots:
1,357
Trade:
140
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,840 |  Reviews: 794
Photo of forum8417
4.3/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Joe_Palooka
3.93/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I have waited to rate until I drank about 18 of 2016 vintage and 18 of 2017 vintage.... It"s a good American Imperial Stout but I really don't think it is worth the hype and I am a Bells Brewery FANATIC! My main problem with the beer is the mouth feel. It does not compare with Bells Expedition Stout that is so thick and creamy. I was sooo expecting more! The flavor is great, the taste is okay but not overwhelming. I will always but this beer but I was a bit disappointed.

 476 characters

Photo of chillin
4.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Patches826
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bucrogers26th
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jimdavii
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of KMcGrath
4.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Vade281
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pavpav12
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JellybonesElmer
4.34/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jhavs
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2017 bottle poured into fluted snifter.

Pour is black with a thin and creamy fine bubbled head. The head settles fast into a few bubbles and a thin ring around the glass.

Aroma has a nice smooth mix of booze, earthy barrel and rich/sweet malts.

In the flavor I pick up some sweet chocolate, dark fruit, smoky molasses and a nice level of dark grainy malt. The bourbon boozey level is smooth and balanced. Just a touch of heat.

Just under moderate carbonation and a bit lighter body than I was expecting.

Overall a really well put together BA stout. Lots of layers in the flavor.

 587 characters

Photo of Justinbshelton
4.71/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Sprowt20
3.61/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Pours black with minimal head.
Smell: Rich, malty, boozy stout. The bourbon barrels come through strong.
Taste: Rich and creamy, with a heavy booze layer. Sweet.
Feel: Thick. Like a well made hot chocolate.
Overall: Really tasty and savory, but short of special.

 269 characters

Photo of illtexzona
4.15/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of idsville
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mothmanscott
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear midnight pitch black but appears garnet hued when light is shined into it. The pour produces barely a finger of frothy, short-lived, dark mocha head that recedes to a thin collar ring and only a hint of island cap leaving minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. Aroma is toasted/burnt malt, bourbon/oak-wood fronted backed by Hershey's chocolate syrup, dark fruits, toffee and some coffee. Taste is almost the inverse: Hershey's chocolate syrup, fig/prune and caramel/toffee/molasses notes lead with bourbon, oak-wood vanilla, dark chocolate and coffee hints in the latter half of the sip and finish producing a bourbon, cocoa, burnt & bitter aftertaste. Roasted/toasted and sweet malt notes, fruitiness and barrel aging make this very, very nice. Mouthfeel is heavy bodied with low carbonation, chewy, tongue coating creamy and silky smooth with a light prickle.

 877 characters

Photo of trevorpost
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of keithmurray
4.35/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 Vintage

Appearance - dark black body with nearly no head

Smell - chocolate, molasses, bourbon

Taste - chocolate, brownie, molasses, bourbon

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, chocolate and fudge upfront, barrel in the finish and more chocolate and fudge on the back end

Overall - nice barrel aged stout here, the chocolate and fudge flavors are really pronounced and the barrel has a nice presence as well. Recommended

Price Point - $5.99/12 oz single

 474 characters

Photo of couchsitta
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of lsthwy
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of joe1510
4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle
$5.99 single
Village Dell & Wine - Rice Lake, WI

Black Note manages to glug from the bottle. It literally made glugging sounds. It's as black as they come. So perfectly black that you see perfect reflections around the glass. The mocha head is amazingly creamy and dense and easy forming. A finger plus head comes easily with leaves behind puffy lace and drink lines with each sip. This is how big, bold, bad ass stouts ought to look.

The nose on this beer is up there in that elite category which is rarefied air. The barrel aging seems to be expertly accomplished. We have a big, fudgy, molten chocolate cake of a stout. This beer embraces the chocolate notes barley can produce while shying away from the char in other versions. A splash of cream and a solid nuttiness along with all that fudge make the base while the barrel adds amazing depth. They managed to pull the bourbon flavors of caramel, vanilla, and soft baking spice without pulling the heat. There's also that marshmallow character I get from only the most well handled barrel aged beers.

The flavor brings about the same complexities and depth as the nose. Giant fudge and rich dark chocolate characters get things moving before a soft touch of roast kicks in. Dark berries and a shot of coffee make themselves known before that roast and fudge lingers on the finish. This is without a mention of the barrel characteristics...caramel, toasted oak, vanilla, baking spices, marshmallow, and coconut all come from the barrel treatment.

Sometimes barrel aged beers can take a hit in the mouthfeel department, thinning out over time. This beer is not one of those. It's plush and velvety with an amazing airiness thanks to the soft, yet active carbonation. The barrel aging leaves behind some tannins that dry this beer out and wipe away any hint of residual sweetness. For the size and scope of this beer the drinkability is off the charts.

Black Note is obviously a classic at this point. It achieves with brewing prowess and cellarmanship what pastry stouts these days have to achieve with a list of absurd ingredients a mile long. This beer is jam packed with character but even handed and well rounded. The mouthfeel is near perfection. A masterpiece.

 2,237 characters

Photo of Phineasco
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours Pitch Black with a medium khaki head. It has medium low carbonation. The beer smells of baker’s chcolate, raisins, marshmallows, and bourbon barrel. It tastes of baker’s chocolate, raisins, subtle vanilla, marshmallows, and bourbon barrel. The feel is medium, and very smooth. A nice approachable barrel aged stout.

 334 characters

Photo of Reinmogard
4.68/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dirtyjerk
4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of berben30
4.39/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.54 out of 5 with 4,840 ratings