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

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Black Note StoutBlack Note Stout
4,839 Ratings
Black Note StoutBlack Note Stout

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

Style: American 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,839 |  Reviews: 794
Photo of mntlover
4.26/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No wonder I couldn't find this one, one beer store had more then a case left guess they had been hording it lucky for me it should be fine aged some.

Pours a oil black even held to the sunlight its black nothing getting through this dark ass brew. nice fluffy two finger dark tan head from an aggressive pour falls slow to a cap and laces pretty good for a big brew.

Aroma is light bourbon notes on creamy sweet chocolate lactose like base. Dark fruit notes, coffee and vanilla underneath the big roasted malt sweetness.

Taste is like the nose rich malted chocolate notes, good sweetness nice and smooth body. Bourbon, dark fruit, vanilla and coffee all mingled through out. smooth and easy drinking for a big beer. Some alcohol notes in the finish that adds warming and a little kick that blends well and goes well with the brew.

Mouthfeel is nice and smooth due to mellow carbonation which I enjoy. But seems a little light for such a big beer even if it is smooth.

Overall a nice big stout that is enjoyable and hard to knock even if I am not as impressed as some I would be willing to have it again.

 1,109 characters

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

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

2017 bottle. In honour of Christopher.
Thanks Brian for sending it along!

Thick black body with soft dark brown head.

Everything you want it to be. Dark espresso and fudge and just a thick deliciousness. Some oak and sweet caramel from the barrel but it's not overly boozy. Dangerous to drink easy to go down.
This is a fantastic BA Stout that is deserving of the accolades thrown its way.

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Photo of Celtics76
4.25/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FFFjunkie
4.58/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is near jet black and poured with 1.5 fingers of spongy khaki colored head.

Aroma is bitter dark chocolate, dark stone fruit, dark coffee, vanilla and bourbon obviously.

Taste follows nose. Very nice combo of dark chocolate, stone fruits and coffee. Bourbon is smooth and well integrated.

Feel is oily , moderately thick and smooth.

Overall a fantastic barrel aged stout that hits all the right dark characteristics. Thank you @blackop555 for the opportunity!

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Photo of Burt
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MrDarcy
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jrc1093
4.27/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 10/5/17

Pours a deep black, showing no light, and topped with a finger of soft, semi-thick sand-colored foam; decent head retention with fades to a thick extended ring around the liquid’s edge and leaves some thick walls of lacing as well.

Aromas of deep vanilla, cherries, charred oak, creamy milk chocolate, and light hints of bourbon to add a nuanced harshness to an overall soft bouquet.

Taste of charred oak mingles nicely with sweeter tones of milk chocolate, which fade quickly to a much darker, lush Swiss variety; hints of tobacco and vanilla round out a profile which balances the earthy and sweet characteristics of the barrel nicely.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth with a near perfect body, which the carbonation accompanies effortlessly; creamy but lighter and not overbearing in the slightest; mild stickiness through the finish; just incredibly smooth and adding an good element of drinkability to a BA stout.

Very flavorful and with a striking aroma, it’s tough to find a weak spot with this one. The mouthfeel is unique, as it thins out but somehow maintains its weight on the palate and carries the flavor profile with relative ease. An easy-drinking BA stout if there was one, and with an almost ‘classic’ level of simplicity and nuance.

 1,275 characters

Photo of ntanner83
4.8/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

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

03/2013 - 2010 vintage - Amazing bready, raisin, and bourbon nose; nice roastiness, mixed with dark chocolate, some plum, tobacco on the palate; thick mouthfeel that impresses me!

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Photo of ichorNet
4.55/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All of the darker beers from Bell's have been amazing to me so far (as someone who's pretty much totally new to their offerings since they just started distributing to New England recently), and I'm assuming this is no different! I guess this is something like a combination of Expedition (which I haven't had, though I've had Kalamazoo Stout, their regular strength stout, and love it) and Double Cream (which is superb) aged in bourbon barrels. I bought this pre-aged bottle that already has about a year on it (10/5/17) from a local store recently. Pumped!

Pours a deep, dark and immensely oppressive color topped with a small, sly head of light mocha foam. Small pours into my fluted glass re-rouse the head to about a finger, which settles down to a quarter-finger after several minutes. The surface, however, remains mostly crowded by suds... really stately looking beer.

The nose has the wonderful combination of vanillin, tannin and dark fruit gained from extended bourbon barrel aging, combined with the irresistibly dense and chocolate-y elements of Bell's malt wizardry. This is like a liquid chocolate bar with dried dark fruit pieces throughout... just decadent smelling, for sure! No trace of the 11.2% ABV in this one either, somehow. Just decadent!

The flavor profile is truly great, with roasty notes, creamy vanilla, plum, prune and some light tannic bourbon-y heat threaded throughout to give you the true BBA stout experience. I thought from the nose that this would be a bit less hot than other similarly-weighty barrel-aged stouts, but the flavor profile just dominates my palate, summarily defeating that notion. The woody tannins really do come out the more this warms, however, making it one of the most intensely flavored BBA imperial stouts I've had lately. I'm sure the year of shelf aging on this is doing some work at keeping it level-headed, of course, but it's still nice and toasty.

The feel is silky-smooth and very detailed. With an adequately-moderated carbonation and heavy-leaning body, Black Note impresses on more levels than just its intense flavors. This drinks the way a truly seasoned beer veteran would like their strong stout to taste... it's complex and dense with perfect balance. One of the best, of course!

 2,260 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.49/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

great looking stout. flavors are of deep oaky charred barrel notes, toffee, molasses, caramel, robust bourbon flavor, but not exceedingly boozy. pretty solid mouthfeel.

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

Photo of shelby415
4.5/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of bmf5581
4.28/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of greene94
5/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of NotAlcoholicJustAHobby
4.36/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/05/2017

L- The beer pours black (duh) with a half centimeter mocha head of fine bubbles. The head recedes to a thin ring leaving no lacing behind.
S-The nose is bourbon forward, demonstrating that oaky vanilla characteristic. Behind the bourbon is a dark chocolate which seems almost sweet due to the bourbon.
T-On the palate the sweetness of the nose is far better balanced. Up front you get roasty coffee like presence. Thankfully I don't get any of that charred flavor I get with some stouts. Bourbon rises in the middle sweetening the bitter coffee presence and lingering into the finish. A chocolate aftertaste is left on the tongue after the bourbon subsides.
F-Mouthfeel overall is medium. It's smooth, but could be a little thicker. Carbonation is light.
O- An excellent bourbon barrel aged stout, that may not quite live up to all the hype. It's good don't get med wrong. I'm not sure it's good enough at the price point it commands.

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Photo of Sauced4life
4.59/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brureview
4.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque chocolate color in a Stone RIS glass with a 2F head.

Chocolate aroma, not pronounced.

Very complex taste: milk chocolate which deepens with warming.

Very enjoyable beer,

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.85/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle. Recently hit MA over the past month or so. I have wanted to try this forever. Surprisingly this beer was bottled about a year ago. Aroma and flavor are oxidized. Oak character is very mild. Oxidized fruits chocolate and some coffee. Overall this was disappointing. Won't be slapping a $20 down on the counter for this 4 pack again.

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Photo of jheimbigner
4.41/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sd123
4.27/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of JuanFushashi
4.27/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mikeluzzjr
4.34/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.54 out of 5 with 4,839 ratings