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

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Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout
BA SCORE
4.54/5
World-Class
4,448 Ratings
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): 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:
#67
Reviews:
698
Ratings:
4,448
pDev:
7.93%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2,710
Gots:
1,234
Trade:
130
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,448 |  Reviews: 698
Photo of skaboom420
4.46/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of st9647v3
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Jeffo
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
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 Tucquan
4.17/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-09-08 in Columbia, PA

A - India ink black with a tan-brown short head with light lacing and lots of alcohol legs.

S - Bourbon, dark fruit, oak tannin, roasted malt. Very big aroma that's heavily on the bourbon side.

T - Bourbon, medium roasted malt, dark cherry, plum, prune, coconut and a touch of umami, and black licorice (not my favorite flavor). Fairly sweet but balanced with some astringent and hop bitterness. I definitely get the influence of the Expedition Stout. Alcohol is quite noticeable but generally blends in and supports the sweetness.

M - Medium-heavy body and light carbonation.

O - Big, big flavors for sure. Didn't quite float my boat as some other Imperial Stouts. For example, I prefer Founders KBS over this for a bourbon-influenced brew. I had this a few hours after having it on-tap. The only difference is there was no head at all from the growler but there was a bit of head on-tap. It wasn't that much of a difference to take points off for the appearance since you don't expect much of a head at this high ABV level.

 1,071 characters

Photo of gford217
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of ArkyVaughan
4.31/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage.

13 characters

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

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

Photo of Hootie159
4.53/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of socon67
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of DrMindbender
4/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of illidurit
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Blue Palms during RBSG 2012. Pours pitch black with a coffee-colored head. Boozy coffee and vanilla in the aroma, malty with some acidity. Gorgeous flavor, heaps of cream, sugar and vanilla complementing roasty coffee notes and a deep warm chocolatiness. Bourbon is smooth and melds well without much heat.

 316 characters

Photo of jophish17
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Mantooth
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of CHickman
4.91/5  rDev +8.1%
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 tom10101
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

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

Photo of macrosmatic
4.64/5  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.

 691 characters

Photo of suckaj
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Domvan
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of birchstick
4.17/5  rDev -8.1%
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 VABA
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of prototypic
4.4/5  rDev -3.1%
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 kell50
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.54 out of 5 with 4,448 ratings
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