Bell's Black Note Stout | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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99
world-class
4,355 Ratings
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Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.80%

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
Ratings:
4,355
Reviews:
682
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,721
Gots:
1,196
For Trade:
126
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,355 |  Reviews: 682
Photo of rjp217
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Zekenyce
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JNForsyth
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Jwale73
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jdiddy for sharing this; it's been a long-time want of mine. 750ml bottle served in a snifter. Batch 10136, bottle 1022 of 1081. Pours one shade shy of black with a frothy, tan-colored head that dissipates into a dollop of foam in the center and a thin, bubbly band around the shoulders. Nose expresses chocolate malt, a hint of bourbon, vanilla and a trace of booziness. Taste consistent with nose - a superb balance of flavors. The only other quality I pick up that varies from the nose is a slight buttery character. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a pleasant, even carbonation. Just a little more body would really make the mouthfeel for me. Overall, a really exceptional and easy drinking stout. Not something I would recommend for extended cellaring by any means, but a really top notch beer nonetheless.

 820 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes taken on a growler pour. Opened with a pop and plenty of carbonation in the beer, pressure-filled.

A- Poured from the growler into an 8oz snifter. Small mocha tan head forms but quickly dissipates falling to almost nothing and lace is out of the question.

S- A balance is found immediately between then bourbon and stout. Rich as it gets with high quality Bourbon aromas, deep chocolatey fudge and strong oak barrel. Feels as if there is some age but not in a negative way.

T- Reminds me of Damon in a way but maybe a bit less pronounced in the stout category, just really smoothed out. Bourbon whiskey, vanilla, dark roast coffee, fudge, caramel and deep roast grains.

MF- Lower end carbonation and pretty heated from the almost 12% alcohol. Thick oily body with a somewhat creamy feel.

In the same realm as Damon goes for Bourbon stouts but a bit more of the whiskey shows and more alcohol heat noticed, still super balanced and smooth. Big oak and chocolate fudge comes to mind.

 1,006 characters

Photo of thinwhiteduke
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of maximum12
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely thrilled to have a 10 oz. pour of this beast during Darkness Eve & never got around to getting my brief notes into the com-pooter.

Black. Dead, no bubbles, ready-to-be-cremated black. Smell is heavy, sweet malts with a whuppin' stick of bourbon. Boozy & rich as all get-out.

AEDCB is one to hunt down, because it's a brew at the top of its game. Usually I'm not as wild about the bourbon-screaming beers (ala BCS) but for some reason it just works here. Perhaps it's my love for the Expy Stout, & the rock-solid base brews it's founded on, but the vanilla & oak that rocket out of the dead pool of black give me pause, then make me happy. Good brownie batter would describe the taste & consistency to some extent, along with a blast of alcohol that doesn't seem out of place. Malts are in there I'm sure. Tastes a lot more like Expy, I don't sense anything Creamed about this, not even in the mouthfeel, perhaps it was overwhelmed by everything else going on.

Excellent beer. I don't know how Stubs landed this one, but if it ever happens again, I'll be there. And if I hadn't needed to get up for Darkness Day, I'd have had multiples. Bell's knows how to do big right!

 1,185 characters

Photo of egrace84
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of BDeibs
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of crobinso
3.93/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Gotti311
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of barnzy78
4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, batch 12811, packaged on 03/12/14, 11.3% ABV
L - thick, black colored ale topped with a tall, creamy, tan head that holds incredible retention and leaves chunky lacing
S - a waft of bourbon and roasted barley fills the room. Closer inspection reveals more booze, dark chocolate, fruit, cream, vanilla
T - wow. This is awesome. Roasted barley, dark chocolate, boozy bourbon, dark fruit - faint blackberry, blueberry, plum; oak, vanilla, cream
F - full bodied, sweet and sticky, super creamy, heavily boozy but that was expected
O - just phenomenal. Outstanding complexity and balance of flavor. Glad I have one more bottle to save for another day. So glad I finally found this beer!

 697 characters

Photo of n2185
4.36/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours black with a finger of dark tan head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: roasted malts with dark chocolate and coffee up front followed by smooth vanilla, toffee, oak, and bourbon.

T: roasted malts with creamy dark chocolate and coffee. Oak, toffee, and bourbon bring up a roasted and sweet finish with a light alcohol burn.

M: thick body with medium carbonation, this beer is a little more carbonated than most examples of the style.

O: a delicious and wonderful smelling beer. I wish it had a bit creamier body, but that's about the worst I can say about it.

 584 characters

Photo of Dactrius
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of markgugs
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have been fortunate enough to have had this beer on several occasions. I know I have reviews and notes somewhere and I know I gave this beer a 5. but that was back then...and now this beer has become much more readily available and I have been able to sample it multiple times (including tonight)...and as much as I love it it is no 5. so time to review it instead of waiting for tomorrow or whenever I will upload my notes.

the beer pours a sludgey jet black with a thin creamy off tan head. night nice barrel aged shine. smell is black roasted malt and bourbon. good wood presence and good balance. taste is silky and smooth. the heat is on for this one as the ABV is very noticeable. goes down easy and is definitely one of the better barrel aged stouts. just a bit more in your face then some of the others. I have always found this one to be the strongest feeling. definitely worth checking out and lives up to the hype but it is no 5.

 943 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle split three ways with Greg and Jake at SB on 6.6.12. Bottle numbered 1038 of 1081. Code 10136.

A - Pours a dark brown, not as dark as many stouts, with a few dark tan bubbles that cling to the edge.

S - Pretty boozy and woody up front, then some sweetness and subtle smoke.

T - Very similar to the nose. Booze, roasty wood.

D - Sweet all-around. Lower carbonation and a medium to heavy body.

O - A fantastic beer. I was glad to share this with some good BAs. Booze and barrell aged goodness.

 505 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of aaronyoung01
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bung
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
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 rspauldi
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ovaltine
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of jrallen34
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Draft... Great looking beer, dark black body, thick dark tan head, about two fingers, nice retention great lace... The nose is fairly subtle and balanced, and you can tell they didn’t release this until it was ready, light and very smooth bourbon, brownies, bitter chocolate, light roast... The taste is really smooth as well, but the finish is a bit alcoholic and astringent, the flavor is a touch light, I wish there was a bit sweeter... A really good beer that lives up to the hype

 486 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,355 ratings.
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