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

BA SCORE
99
world-class
4,365 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:
4,365
Reviews:
683
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,718
Gots:
1,195
For Trade:
126
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,365 |  Reviews: 683
Photo of jophish17
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.31/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage.

13 characters

Photo of Nunya
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of tom10101
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Jeffo
4.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle so generously provided by hotpipes29. Thanks for going the extra mile on this one. Much appreciated.

From a 75cl bottle into a snifter
Batch 10,136
Bottle 618 of 1081
Blend of Expedition Stout and Double Cream Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a one finger, medium looking, light mocha colored head with decent retention. Head fades to a good wisp and sticks to the sides of the glass. Jet black body with lower levels of carbonation. Looks pretty solid. A swirly wisp and ring remain the whole way and leave dots of lacing down the glass. Good looking beer.

SMELL: Some roasted malts and dark chocolate under a very nice bourbon barrel. Oak, milk chocolate and a touch of sweet cream. Not overly bold, but the base beer of roasted chocolatey goodness meshes really well with the bourbon barrel notes. Well done.

TASTE: Bourbon barrel and caramel malts up front with some roasted notes and dark chocolate in there as well. Lots of barrel on the swallow, with bourbon, oak, vanilla and caramel sweetness. Big, bold and lingering aftertaste is full of barrel flavors, dark chocolate and roasted malt notes as well. Big barrel presence, but plenty of stout still plays and important roll. A very impressive barrel-heavy beer that still shows a solid base beer underneath it all. Excellent stuff.

PALATE: Medium body with slightly lower levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes somwehat sticky on the palate. Solid feel here.

OVERALL: This was a good beer for sure. In all honesty, I'm not the hugest Bell's fan, especially after being underwhelmed with Hopslam and Expedition, but this one really pushed all the right buttons. With a thick, dark pour, and bold, balanced aromas and flavors, this one really impressed. An excellend BA imperial stout that I would love to have again at some point. Cheers for the beer hotpipes! We really enjoyed this one.

 1,940 characters

Photo of Hootie159
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of suckaj
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Domvan
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of DrMindbender
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of birchstick
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Shared by some super generous St Louisians

A - pours brownish black with a small head on it

S - sweet chocolate, caramel, bourbon. As it warmed, the bourbon started to explode.

T - Starts off with dry chocolate notes that move to an eruption of cocoa. The cocoa fades to a nice bourbon flavor. Dark fruit and some bitter dark chocolates make appearance to round out this beer. I would describe this as really chocolaty with some bourbon

M - a little thin and watery

D - really nice beer here, minus the body. The blend brings together two great beers and the bourbon adds an even greater layer of complexity. Worth the ammo? Probably not, but a great experience nonetheless.

 679 characters

Photo of Casey3236
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of cp45
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ConradKenney
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AMCimpi
4.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Reagan1984
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Satchboogie
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of prototypic
4.4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrived with a two and a half finger, creamy tan head. It's a very dark brown color, nearly black. No light creeping through. Retention and lacing were excellent.

Smell: Very complex. Bourbon aroma is readily apparent and blends extremely well with roasted and chocolate malts. Dark fruit and cherry are present in addition to a light coffee flavor. Excellent smelling beer.

Taste: Just as complex and fascinating. Roasted and chocolate malts are sweet and smooth. The creamy, lactose element of this beer really contributes to its smooth nature. Bourbon flavor is excellent and really elevates this beer to another level. Hints of dark fruit, cherry, and even vanilla add depth and complexity. Alcohol is slighty noticeable, but hardly offensive.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's thick and certainly a sipping beer. One to savor. Carbonation is excellent. ABV is ostensibly high, but it's sooo smooth and drinkable. It's anyone's best guess as to how strong it really is. Drinkability is obviously limited somewhat, but not much. This truly is a special beer. I can only hope I encounter it again someday.

 1,117 characters

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

750ml bottle (#290/1081) poured into a medium-sized Duvel tulip. Gigantic thanks to Chris for tracking down and sharing this scarce gem.

A: Completely opaque black body with a solid, creamy cap of brown head. Good retention, delicate lace. A swirl reignites the head and coats the glass with some reddish legs. Lovely.

S: Pure, straightforward bourbon-barrel goodness. Vanilla, coffee, bourbon, chocolate, licorice, and some faint dark fruits. Hugely complex, with a nice balance of sweetness and booziness. Terrific.

T: Sweet and bourbon-soaked at first, with vanilla, coconut, coffee, molasses, and spicy alcohol. Delicious.

M: Rich, creamy, full-bodied. Perhaps a bit more carbonation than necessary for the style, but luxurious all the same.

O: What a beer. It was amazingly close to breaking through to perfect scores in every single category, and was a sheer pleasure to savor. If I were to offer a complaint, it would be that it wasn't particularly distinctive - it just tasted like I expect a really, really great BBA stout to taste (much like Czar Jack, although with a bit more intensity that that incredibly smooth beer). It was worth the hype, and I just hope that Bell's makes more of it after they expand. I'd love to have it again.

Cheers!

 1,260 characters

Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of JamesStreet
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of CHickman
4.91/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

PKG 11/03/2016: Pours pitch black color with a foamy 1 finger brown head that faded slowly, leaving great spotty lacing.

Smells perfect for a bourbon barrel aged stout. The bourbon and oaky notes lead the charge, followed by molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, syrup, burnt coffee, hot fudge, dark fruit and then more chocolate with a hint of piney hops which makes for an extremely complex and wonderful nose.

Wow, it tastes just like it smells but with booze and heat from the high ABV, however it does not negatively impact the flavor. Even more chocolate and coffee come through with espresso, chocolate syrup, smoked malt, charred wood and brown sugar adding dynamics before some earthy and woody barrel notes kick in. It's hot in a good way with the rich malt, bourbon and barrel notes making for a delicious combination. World class indeed.

 862 characters

Photo of Can_has_beer
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,365 ratings.
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