Black Note Stout | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Black Note StoutBlack Note Stout
BA SCORE
4.54/5
World-Class
4,675 Ratings
Black Note StoutBlack 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:
#65
Reviews:
744
Ratings:
4,675
pDev:
7.93%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2,709
Gots:
1,331
Trade:
140
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,675 |  Reviews: 744
Photo of Monkeypuker
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of fastenoughforphish
4.54/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Its dark, its slightly carbonated. Nice dark head. Pretty typical of the style.

Smell: Smells to me like chocolate and some whiskey. Very chocolately.

Taste: Boom! Huge sweet chocolate and lots of fruits. I get a lot of cherry here, but its got that dark fruity taste that Expedition has. Tons of sweet chocolate and a nice bitterness to finish. I love the interaction between the chocolate and fruit. The bourbon is not overwhelming, and it finished with just a bit of nuttiness. Love how this tastes. Hugely different than I remember from the 2012 batch.

Mouthfeel: It's light but creamy. I feel the carbonation is perfect. Not as thick as some which I enjoy.

Overall: What an awesome experience. I just loved the taste and that fruit chocolate nuttiness going on. Crafted perfectly.

 802 characters

Photo of Travis7009
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of BB1313
3.8/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 vintage. Batch # 12811. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours black with a little light getting through; small khaki head that fades leaves solid lacing and retention. The aromas are full of milk chocolate and bourbon. Smells pretty typical for the style. The flavors are good, but leave me wanting more. Lots of milk chocolate giving it a sweetness along with some dark chocolate giving it a bitterness. Lots of dark fruits in the mix. Maybe some black cherries and some raisins. Some vanilla. Black coffee is there. Some oak/wood notes. Slightly spicy. The bourbon is there and isn't overwhelming at all, but there's a very subtle warmth in the finish. The alcohol basically goes unnoticed, but there's hints of booze that pop up every once in awhile. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. I was expecting for it to have that thick motor oil/milkshake mouthfeel, but it's not quite on that level. It's still creamy and fluffy though. This is ultimately easy to drink, but makes a nice sipper.

This is a nice offering from Bell's. I missed the 2012 bottle by 5 minutes, so I made sure I snagged a bottle this year. It's very good stuff, but ultimately left me underwhelmed. I guess maybe my expectations were just too high considering Bell's is one of my favorite breweries and the hype that always surrounded this beer.

 1,344 characters

Photo of bigcountry81
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of fx20736
4.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought 2 bottles from Beers of the World on 5/3/14. Poured into a pint glass, served cool.

appearance: black with two finger khaki head. Nice lacing.

smell: bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, alcohol esthers.

taste: coffee, chocolate, bourbon, molasses, alcohol on the tail.

mouthfeel: creamy, slippery.

overall: This is a good, decent BA IS, about on par with Parabola.

 373 characters

Photo of devilfluff
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of johunnic
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of WTKeene
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of stdaniel
4.91/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle served at 45 degrees. Sipped slowly to allow the flavors to develop.

A: Pitch black with the slightest caramel colored head that quickly reduces to nothing.

S: Sweet bourbon, caramel, vanilla.

T: Very similar to the nose. Sweet bourbon and caramel dominate, vanilla in the background. Balanced enough for the unrefined palate such as mine to distinguish individual flavors.

M: Creamy. Not bite for a 11.5% stout.

O: Holy smokes, this has to be one of the best balanced BBA stouts I've tasted. The taste and aroma are harmonious. Luxurious mouthfeel. I've said balanced three times now and it is absolutely true.

 628 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.34/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

This one pours dark and opaque, as I would expect given how light-repelling Expedition was. Small, mocha-colored head that recedes quickly, with a little bit of lacing. Surprisingly, there's a good bit of visible carbonation.

Smells strongly of dark fruits, with some dark chocolate, and mild, smooth bourbon.

The taste is similar, and pretty great. This is one of the dark fruity-est stouts I've ever had, just a ton of sweet, but earthy fruit flavors- currants, raisins, cherries, plums, etc. Some bitter dark chocolate, and subtle bourbon that folds in nicely with the other flavors.

Creamy, smooth moutfeel, despite the appearance, there's not much carbonation noted on the palate. Unfortunately, the body seems a bit thin for a bourbon barrel aged imperial stout- maybe I'm spoiled by other one's I've tried, but the body just doesn't quite stack up. A disappointing tick against a pretty damn good beer.

This is one is definitely one of the best BA stouts, but it just misses the top tier due to the slightly thin body. If it was thicker and more viscous, it would be near perfect. The dark fruit flavor in this is just amazing.

 1,207 characters

Photo of 57md
4.71/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

In the past six months, I've had a great deal of success tracking down hard to find bourbon barrel stouts. Scoring a bottle of 2014 Black Note is the latest in my good run.

Pours a deep dark brown with ruby edges. The half finger of head dissipates quickly. The bourbon notes on the nose are soft and almost sweet. This offering has a hearty body that holds up well to the bourbon. Also, the bourbon flavor is just right - not too hot. The roast profile might be a bit muted, but that would be my only criticism of this gem.

 526 characters

Photo of amalburg
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Mc_breezy
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of tikk
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Moses_Malone
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of MikeT77
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Brdlist
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of robgage
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of dleiner
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of DIPAFAN
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mhind52
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Fitze
4.75/5  rDev +4.6%

Photo of Tex_hex
5/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Artmcd88
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%

Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.54 out of 5 with 4,675 ratings