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

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Black Note StoutBlack Note Stout
4,783 Ratings
Black Note StoutBlack Note Stout

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

Style: American Double / 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,783 |  Reviews: 773
Photo of DiggerDahl
4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of VikingDAB
4.77/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Photo of Zythophile
4.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle Date: 10/5/17
Palate Contaminants: other beer

The color is that super-dark brown that lets no light through. Fine head shows up quickly and goes away quickly. No lacing.

The main scent is black licorice, and lots of it. There's also some figs and a little molasses. Lactic, and it's coffee creamer, which isn't something I can say I've encountered in any other brew. Good Intensity. Even some honey as it warms.

Main tastes are smoke and an anise that's somewhere between that black licorice and a lighter version. That smoke is tied to coffee and 90%+ chocolate, but that connection just might be somewhere in my brain after the fact. Figs are there, but dialed back. Fair to say that prunes are in there, too. Coffee bitterness, but the bitterness and smoke are disconnected, if you follow. This might go really nicely with smoked meat; heavy flavor, and it could stand shoulder to shoulder.

Fine, well-integrated carbonation. Aftertaste is figs and anise. Bitter, but not to its detriment. Good, heavy weight.

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

Bottled 10.5.17, poured 8.4.18

Dark brown / black liquid, solid two finger frothy brown foam cap, settles to a solid pencil thin layer, some lacings

Aroma is licorice, bourbon, dark chocolate

Taste is roast malts, bourbon, dark chocolate

Low sudsing, smooth, dark chelate lingers on the tongue , alcohol is well hidden for an 11.2%abv stout

Good stout

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4.37/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had to pour this into a frosty glass as it’s so freakin humid out back .
Dark black with very little head on an average pour .
Smell is not bourbon poweredand actually reminds me a lot of one of my favorites Ten Fidy .
First sip out this frosty glass was delicious .
Nice rich flavors that coat the tongue .
Overall an excellent addition to my stout lineup every year .
$6.99 a single vs $20.99 a 4 pack kind of a no brainer

Highly recommend !!!


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Photo of NJBarstool
4.82/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I wasn't going to fall for the hype of this thing. But there ain't a damn thing wrong with it. It pours black with coppery tan head that fades fast. The aroma is very complex. I'm getting chocolate with almonds, raisins, oak, vanilla, whiskey, but it comes together like one sensible fragrance. The taste of this 2017 vintage is so smooth and easily drinkable for being over 11 percent it's crazy. Usually stouts that get this big get super sweet. Not this one. Its really refined. Bells is setting the bar for this style. Go get one

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.82/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

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

Photo of MacMalt
4.56/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017 vintage; bottled on 10/5/2017. Poured from bottle into tulip glass. It pours almost ink black with over a half finger of long-lasting, creamy, khaki-colored head and substantial creamy lacing. It's a classic stout pour. There's subdued bourbon on the nose, along with bakers chocolate, burnt coffee, caramel, char, and nuts. Its taste features roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, burnt coffee grounds, brown bread, earthy, smoky char, light caramel, and subdued bourbon. As the glass warms, there are also dark fruit notes. The feel is thick and creamy with moderate carbonation, and a strong 11.2% ABV that is evident from the first sip. It's quite boozy. Overall, this Stout deserves its World Class rating. It is beautiful in the glass, delicious in its flavors, and super pleasant in feel to drink. It's a tour de force!

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Photo of SawDog505
4.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured slightly chilled into a 16 Flying Goose Snulip, bottled 10/05/17. Pours a viscous black with a finger plus light brown head that leaves some thin waves of lace behind, sip after glorious sip.4.75

Smell is dark chocolate, strong dry coffee, oaked vanilla, and a little char from the barrells, maybe a little bourbon. 4.75

Taste follows very roasty coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, some alcohol from the bourbon, and just a little hint Smokey char. 4.75

Mouthfeel is big, the perfect amount of carbonation for the style, slightly creamy, a touch dry, and a sipper that drinks way to easy at 11.2%. 5

Overall I went in with really high expectations and it absolutely delivered and I got the 4 pack for $20.99 sadly that feels like a steal these days. 4.75

 763 characters

Photo of beerbully
4.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L-Black........1 inch mocha head that settles to a cap after a minute.........moderate lacing and retention

S-in no order.........Caramel, coffee, chocolate, coconut, wood, smoke, roast, nuts, vanilla, bourbon, molasses, brown sugar

T-similar to the nose........roasted malts,dark chocolate, molasses, oak, slight booze but not as pronounce as other similar beers, coffee..takes you on a journey of sweet to savory......enjoy the balance of this brew...has a warm roastiness bite in the finish

M-Creamy but not as full bodied as some other beers of this style...........perfectly carbonated.......booze is not overpowering

O-Smooth, Balanced, complex, enjoyable.......happy to try it and would buy it again....

 714 characters

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

Photo of Khaack
4.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of smb71481
4.24/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kdivers
3.88/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.79/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ink black pour with two fingers of dark tan bubbles and long retention; no clarity under cap; heavy ring with swirling islands of fizz post cap; moderately heavy lace; thin legs. Coco nibs and Espresso nose; no detectable hop aromas. Taste follows nose with bittersweet dark chocolate up front; more roasted coffee bean notes as liquid continues to warm; flavors of toasted brown bread in the background; no char or smoke; no alcohol. Medium plus feel; smooth and silky tongue coating; no astringency; moderate minus carbonation with dry finish. Overall a pleasure to drink; not boozy; well balanced between roast bitterness and semi sweet chocolate.

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Photo of robotic_being
4.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of Rjbrew
4.43/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of dcc449
3.65/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of woemad
4.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle received in a box from Gopens44 (I think). I've been sitting on it a while now, so that may be incorrect. Bottled on October 5, 2017, per the stamp on the rear label.

Poured into a semi-tulip glass from Selkirk Abbey, this was a quite viscous looking pour. Pretty much the color of a moonless night, even when held up to light, this had an inch or so of dark tan foam perched on top. Decent lace.

Whoa! Big nose to this. Chocolate, coffee, brown sugar, dark fruits, vanilla, whiskey, tobacco-it's all here, and blended very well.

Whoa, again! The sweet and savory aspects of a bba imperial stout collide at the moment it hits the tastebuds. All the elements noted above are present. This is ridiculously well balanced. Although there's a lot of booze here, and it's not hugely old in the grand scheme of things, the resulting alcohol "heat" is extremely low in the mix, only emerging as a quietly warning boozy warmth way in the background after it warms up for a bit and about halfway through the glass.

Coating, velvety rich mouthfeel.

A decadent drinking experience. Probably should have saved this for after dinner. Oh, well, it's delicious whenever. Thank you so much for this, Greg!

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Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.54 out of 5 with 4,783 ratings