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

BA SCORE
99
world-class
4,340 Ratings
THE BROS
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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:
4,340
Reviews:
678
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,724
Gots:
1,198
For Trade:
126
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,340 |  Reviews: 678
Photo of tcblack4d
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 Dope
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12/29/12 batch.

A: Pours pitch black with a good sized and dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly with nary a trace of lacing. Decent retention, however.

S: Huge bourbon notes. Almost pure bourbon with the sweet, sweet caramel and some toasted coconut. No real sign of the stout, it's buried under the mountain of bourbon I think. Maybe a little chalky chocolate. Great bourbon aroma regardless.

T: Well, strong bourbon again up front but not overpowering at least. Loaded with sweet caramel. Ultra sweet caramel. Wonderful toasted coconut again. Roasted malt kicks in, wow is this nice. I love both of the base beers and this is just fantastic. Super smooth and creamy with loads of chocolate to boot. Tastes like a caramel chocolate cream milkshake. Bourbon stands alone in the lingering aftertaste with hints of sweet caramel and toffee and coconut. Not drying at all like a lot of barrel treatments.

M: Heavy but not too thick. Slick and ultra smooth. Creamy.

O: Whoa, glad I got my hands on this one. Masterful blend and barrel aging. The smooth creaminess really makes this one stand out. No harsh flavors, no excessive booziness. Strong flavors, yes. Great complexity, yes. Awesome barrel treatment, yes. Perfect blend, yes. Great beer, Bell's, my hat is off to you.

 1,283 characters

Photo of socon67
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of MMAJYK
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of virinow
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.
Bottle No: 455/1534

Pours a pitch black darkness that is quite thick. There is a nice quarter inch thick head that is light tan colored and is pretty dense. A nice swirl rises a head up to about half and inch and with some dense small bubbles.

Aroma is delicious! Starts off with fudgey chocolate notes. Delicious chocolate cake sweetness and richness. There is some nice bourbon sweetness that follows the chocolate notes and the bourbon is slightly balanced by some nice roast. There are some dark fruit notes present mixed in with some dark chocolate bitterness that shows itself on the back end.

Flavor starts off following the aroma. Starts off with nice fudgey and milk cocoa sweetness. Then there is a nice mix of bourbon with the coca notes. The Bourbon notes add some slight heat and some nice vanilla and almost cinnamon spice notes. There is a nice dark fruit notes with some raisins and prunes notes mixed in with the sweetness of chocolate. These notes are however not too strong and are very well balanced by the roast notes and the cocoa. All the flavors in this brew are very well crafted and represented. Yummy cocoa notes blended with bourbon notes that bring some vanilla and some nice dark fruit notes. All these notes are also very well balanced. Nothing overpowers the other notes and they all play well together. The body is nice and creamy and velvety smooth.

Overall I'm glad I got to try this brew. It is quite delicious with great fudge notes and some slight roast. Then there are some definite bourbon notes that are present and give the brew some nice body and good dimensions but that don't overwhelm. Bravo Bell's.

 1,699 characters

Photo of sfr26
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of bird22
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4.87/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle, much thanks to JerryM1984!

Appearance: Dark opaque with a small tan head that quickly recedes to the perimeter. Lots of little bubbles, nice.

Smell: Rich chocolate, vanilla, coconut, dark fruit, Bourbon. Amazing.

Taste: Wow, just wow. First, I get intense fudge brownie like chocolate richness with some coconut and Bourbon in the background. Afterwards in the middle of the drink, the Bourbon asserts itself more and overpowers the chocolate. In the end, the chocolate pops out again as the Bourbon subsides and leads into a smooth, balanced ending of chocolate and Bourbon. There's a background element of vanilla/coconut present throughout the whole drink.

I honestly can't find anything wrong with this; the booze is just hidden so well.

Mouthfeel: Velvety and silky smooth; just about perfect. Not as viscous as BCBS, yet definitely fuller in body than say KBS.

Overall: I don't know if I like this as much as BCBS, but it's damn close! There's just not much to dislike in this beer, even if you try to find things; this beer blew me away. Can't wait til' Bell's distro hits NY!

 1,103 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of montrealbcr89
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of AnotherImperial
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of spicelab
4.17/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle with big thanks to MrKennedy.

Decent hiss on opening. Dark chocolate brown, not your typical RIS motor oil look look, with a modest dark tan head that falls relatively quickly to a collar.

Undoubtedly a rich vein of bourbon running through notes of liquorice bullets, choc-caramel slice, soy sauce, used coffee grounds and molten plastic. Predominantly dry, big and deceptively complex.

A tad sweeter, with impressively rich caramel fudge and butterscotch giving way to coconut, vanilla and the woodier aspects of the barrel.

Light bodied for 11.8%, in no small part due to above average carbonation for the style. Makes it easier to drink, but reduces the oomph.

Worthy BA RIS no doubt, but not quite in the top echelon for me. Lacking a little in presence and intensity.

 789 characters

Photo of JoninVT
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of TheGoof
3/5  rDev -33.3%

Photo of gtank
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of kevrice88
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Dreizhen
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of DaveHack
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of sarge27
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of Sparty55
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of RichardMNixon
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of jarrgal
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of thaghost
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,340 ratings.
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