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

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Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.40%

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
Reviews:
586
Ratings:
3,928
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.44%
 
 
Wants:
2,754
Gots:
1,016
For Trade:
91
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Reviews: 586 | Ratings: 3,928
Photo of BMMillsy
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Previously I tried this at Michigan Brewer's Guild and it came of strangely sour and off. Maybe from a bad keg? Got a bottle now. Pours pitch black with a very small brown head. Aroma is heavy vanilla, licorice, chocolate and bourbon. Smells very rich. Some up front bite with medium low carbonation. Flavor of licorice at first, finishing with overwhelming chocolate and then sweet vanilla really lingering. Thick and viscous, slightly acidic with some burning alcohol going on. Age would probably smooth it out but overall pretty awesome! Glad I got to re-rate this.

Another rerate here with a 2012 bottle poured on 3/22/14. Mostly similar but the booze tones down considerably now. Big anise flavors and lots of beautiful vanilla chocolate Good n Plenties. This is still awesome. The Expedition seems to shine through a bit with the age on this one. Very interesting.

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Photo of rodlavers
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz format, dated 12/28/12, poured into a snifter.

Less than a finger of thick dark tan mocha head, pretty much disappears after just a few minutes, maybe not even that long, leaving a very thin ring around the glass. Very minimal lacing. Black coffee coloring, with small traces of red, very small traces.

Nose really opens up as this thing warms a bit. At first a little one dimensional, with a flat roasted character present up front. After the pour, bourbon, vanilla, molasses, dark fruits, some coffee and chocolate, and whole host of other aromas announce themselves, giving Black Note a super complex, yet balanced overall aroma. There are earth tones in there, as well. Even a bit of tobacco.

Taste is equally complex and balanced, but not quite as amazing. Everything in the nose combines to create a very enjoyable flavor profile, but nothing is too prominent. It's all very balanced. I do find myself looking for something extra, more robust. It's not too hot, either.

Feel's smooth and velvety up front with a chalky finish, if that is possible. Somewhat hoppy and bitter at the same time. Carbonation is definitely noticeable.

Overall, I do really enjoy Black Note. It's complexity and uniqueness lend it something other bba stouts do not have. It's definitely not as smooth as some others I've had , but it's amazing in its own right. Cheers.

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Photo of LongBeachHopHead
4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a Growler traded for Pliny the Younger.

A: Dark, rich and very inviting. Not much head at all. Very viscous and chewy looking.

S: A barrage of bourbon, vanilla, roasted goodness. This beer smells amazing.

T: What a great brew. This beer has tons of bourbon notes, the vanilla is very strong and sweet. The only beer that I can say comes close to it, that I have tried, is Firestone 12. This pretty much blows it away though. I think it's the greatest tasting Bourbon Barrel aged beer I've ever had. For being a huge hophead, this might be my favorite beer ever. I am glad that Reed415 decided to trade with me; thank you!!! Clapping, hand shaking and jumping 8 feet off the ground go through my mind.

M: Mouthfeel is thick and covers the palate in all great ways. Velvety smooth and the alcohol (10%?) is apparent but helps to define the beer so it's not a bad thing. You almost don't want to swallow it for a few seconds because the taste and texture is so awesome.

D: I would love to drink this all the time but unfortunately this one is pretty rare. If it ever comes out in bottles, I'll buy/trade for tons of it if I can. I think the drinkability is a little low because of the richness of it. It took me a good two hours to finish a tulip of it.

We shared this at Beachwood BBQ and everyone seemed to have liked it. I even gave some to one of the line chefs and he loved it. In all, this is one of my favorite beers of all time. Thanks Bell's for brewing such a masterpiece and thank rallison for driving the Younger growler down from Santa Rosa and BrewbakerE and Merritt for filling it. It took a lot to get this.

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Photo of codysjb
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bells Black Note
Poured from a growler into my CCB sniffer.
A: Black as motor oil, low viscosity unlike BCBS. Very good lacing, small head when poured.
S: Chocolate, molasses and coffee notes with an overall bourbon smell.
T:Thick, lots of coffee up front that leaves a nice bourbon flavor on the end.
M: An overall bourbon flavor that coats the mouth.
O: An excellent beer. I think I prefer BCBS (especially when its been aged out a bit and its much easier to get than Bells BN), but pretty amazing.

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Photo of BIll_Currie
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

got this one online. it was expensive but didnt have much choice. I got this one with some founders CBS. i thought this one was better. well rounded and another outstanding beer from Bell's

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Photo of BierJager89
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy shit. Poured from a growler?! into a snifter in California?! From a complete stranger?! Thank you to every single person and thing and event that allowed black note to cross the threshold of my mouth. Especially the stranger at the bar and my friend with whom I tried this.

A: Solid black with a faint brown ring of head that is all but completely absent. Little carbonation as this was poured into a growler at the brewery and transported all the way to california before being poured into a snifter.

S: Old yeast and dark bittersweet chocolate, very reminiscent of Older Viscosity, as well as vanilla, roasted malt, oak and alcohol in the nose.

T: Anise, oak, vanilla, dark bittersweet chocolate, medium roast coffee, alcohol. Absolutely delicious. A near paragon of the bourbon barrel aged imperial stout style. Lacks the strong vanilla character I love about the style, as well as caramel and is a bit more faint in oak than I'd prefer.

M: Literally perfect for an imperial stout, to my taste. The fullest of silky, creamy smooth bodies coats the mouth.

O: Rich, hearty, delicious, and impossible to find. Just barely overrated (it isn't really a 100, but then again they inflate ratings on this website, which is unnecessary and stupid). Recommended? If you can find it. I feel my luck may have reached the apex of it's potential given that such an odd way of coming upon a taste of this beer was the result of layer upon layer of sheer happenstance. But enough about me. This beer is amazing.

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Photo of prtwin2a
4.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pitch black
S: Bourbon, dark chocolate, vanilla
T: Just a joy to experience! A lovely blend of bourbon and chocolate, a great brew!
M: Smooth as heck, not overwhelming with bourbon, just right blend!
D: Just phenomenal. Love this beer!

Overall: A (very close to an A+!)

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours beautiful pitch black letting no light through whatsoever. Head is just a sim of carmel brown fuzz that is barely there. Nose is of very good whiskey, carmel, toffee and a bit of vanilla. Kind of hard to fully enjoy from a 5-oz. pour sample glass, that is why I had two 5-oz. pours just to be sure. On first sip the whiskey is very up front but soft, well presented and very smooth just like your favorite bourbon whiskey. Layers of caramelized malt roll all over the tongue with such sweetness. Toffee mixes with a nice hop character on the backside that is a bit rustic and nicely drying. Finishes with a mouthfeel that is full, smooth yet very clean and enjoyable. This is my kind of stout, big, rich, with a nice whiskey profile.

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Photo of jegross2
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the infamous Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery Inc. Black Note Stout is a barrel aged blend of Bell's Expedition Stout and Double Cream Stout. A huge thank you to BeerAdvocate user FrankenBrew for tipping me off to this under-the-radar tapping.

Score: 97

Unknown vintage keg tap pour served in a 12+ oz pilsner glass and enjoyed on 01/25/12, courtesy of the Malt House in Madison -- one of the best bars in the Midwest.

Appearance: The lighting in the bar is not great, so bear with me. Body is a jet black color with thin caramel colored highlights at the absolute top of the glass. I arrived with a glass of this awaiting me (to ensure getting a pour), so I am unsure if it was served with any head (and if so, what the head looked like). A super thin tan ring of head coats the outside of the glass. No real lacing, but a slowly dripping, thick oily layer coats the side of the glass as you drink. 4.5/5

Smell: The aroma is incredibly complex. There is raisin/fig, other nondescript dark fruit and vanilla from my first pull. Then sticky brown sugar and molasses, followed by light amounts of licorice. Definitely getting notes of chocolate and caramel malt as well. At points, the beer smells like molasses-and-vanilla soaked raisins. The aroma is a perfect blend of stout and barrel aromas. 5/5

Taste: Equally as complexly flavored as the aroma, and incredibly balanced. First impression is an interesting blend of creamy (milk?) chocolate and vanilla. There is a slight roastiness in there, but it's very faint. The flavor of this brew falls somewhere between Kentucky Breakfast Stout and Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout. The midpalate is loaded with mellow, slightly sweet dark fruit, creamy malts, molasses/brown sugar and bourbon flavors without the alcohol bite. Light dark licorice flavors are in there somewhere towards the finish, but no licorice lingers in the finish at all. Absolutely no alcohol is detectable, save for a little warming effect as the beer warms, so I was a bit shocked to discover that this beer is 11.5% ABV. Finish lingers with an interesting mix of light chocolate, vanilla, molasses and dark fruit. Each sip leaves a seemingly different mix of those finishing flavors. Some pulls finish with more raisin-and-brown sugar like flavors, while others seem chocolatier, while others seem like a smooth vanilla-and-molasses mix. This is an absolutely astonishing medley of stout and barrel flavors. Everything you could want from either is present. This beer is dangerously drinkable. 4.75/5

Mouthfeel: Not overly heavy, but still thick and viscous. Medium bodied, minimal (if any) carbonation. Mouthfeel is creamy and sticky. Finish is decently (but not overly) sweet -- essentially raisin-and-vanilla like. 4.5/5

Overall: Hoo boy! This one absolutely lives up to the hype. I would have to have them side by side before I can say this definitively, but I think that I enjoyed this beer ever slightly more than Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I had the fortune of drinking five or six glasses of KBS on tap over the past few days, so the comparison is relatively fresh in my mind. Bell's Black Note Stout brings every flavor and aroma you could possibly want in either a stout or a barrel aged beer, and it blends them in an incredibly drinkable, palate-satisfying experience. A world class beer, no doubt. If only I had the time for another pint, I'd have knocked back several.

Recommendation: Seek this one out. Chicago will have a tapping of this sometime mid-February, so if you are the area, make room on your calendar.

Pairings: A medium-cooked New York Strip would go wonderfully with this beer.

Cost: $6 for a glass. I am not sure what a 750 ml bottle sells for, but I can assure you that $6 for a full pint of this brew is one of the best beer deals you will ever find in a bar.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bell's Brewery, Inc. - Bell's Black Note Stout, poured into a Craftgeer snifter.

Aged 1 year, from 12/12/2012

Look - Pours a medium viscosity jet black with no head to speak of (common for these aged stouts, not a big deal). Negligible lacing (the fact that there was some at all is amazing).

Smell - Rich chocolate, coffee, woody, nutty, fruity. Malty w/bourbon throughout. Not overly woody, just right, the fruit is slightly sweet.

Taste - Smooth fudge chocolate and coffee with dark fruits and a touch of bourbon at the end. Sweet vanilla in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Full-medium bodied with low-medium carbonation. Surprisingly not boozy (seriously). Sticky coating in the mouth.

Overall - This is super tasty, from reading other reviews it appears that this one definitely enhances with age, glad I got to try one that was aged one year. Cheers!

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this rarity at Stub and Herb for the Darkness Day Eve celebration. 7 oz pour for a very affordable price!

Pitch black with a small ring of molasses colored head. Doesn't leave a ton of lacing.

The nose is bourbon, wood, vanilla, coffee and chocolate. Really well made beer.

Taste is pretty much spot on the nose. Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, cream, coffee, chocolate, woody and earthy tones...just amazing. So smooth and easy going down but boy does it pack a punch of flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick and sticky, coating your mouth. Smooth and creamy, just awesome. Alcohol is completely hidden by the layers of flavor.

Drinkability is awesome. This 7 oz pour went way to fast, but by the time I realized it, the small keg was long gone. Very happy I got the chance to try this mammoth of a beer. This is excellent stuff.

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Photo of Shibbykaiyai
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor, MI for a special event.

My buddy dragged me to this event for the sole purpose of trying this beer. And I am happy that he did.

You can smell the bourbon in the pour and it has the some of the best characteristics of the two brews that were combined to make it. It is a great mixture of the Expedition and the Double Cream Stouts.

Although I am normally not a stout person, this is one the best brews I have had in a long time. I just wish it was more readily available.

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Photo of Fanhitter
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Served at Aubree's Northville

As the glass arrived, it resembled a glass full of crude oil. Just looking at it I can tell it is syrupy and thick; the head is dark, reddish bruise-black. The head is a thin layer of microscopic bubbles that I can only imagine seeing in places like te La Brea Tar Pits.

Smells like vanilla-cinnamon-chocolate-coffee spiked with a sweet, wheated bourbon. There's a nice coffee aroma as well. It's big and sweet.

The flavor is a boozy bourbon bomb at first, followed with a balanced chicory and smoky sweetness. The vanilla notes come out shrouded in a caramelly, dark roast coffee finish. It finishes surprisingly dry for all that's going on here. This is a real treat for the tastebuds.

Mouthfeel is effortless for as boozy as this is; nice, oily, and smooth sipping.

Overall I am blown away by this. I've had CBS and KBS, and this tops out with both of them; however I like this better than KBS. This is a real treat to find on draft. Amazing beer.

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Photo of rhinos00
4.82/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at South Park Tavern. Let my glass sit a while to get the beer to room temperature.

A- Dark brown, almost on the verge of being black. Very little to no head. There was an off-white, cream colored ring that left some lacing as the beer was consumed.

S- Huge notes of bourbon infiltrate the nose. Reminded me of Bourbon County Stout. In the background, there was faint hints of vanilla.

T- Wow, this was quite a pleasant surprise. After the strong aroma, I thought I was going to be dealing with a bourbon onslaught. However, the bourbon was well balanced in comparison to the other ingredients, allowing for a smoother, mellow taste. Rich notes of chocolate, vanilla, molasses and bourbon all mix together for a perfect combination.

M- This was my favorite part of the beer and what distinguished it from many similar bourbon barrel aged RIS I have had before. The double cream stout really comes into effect in this one. It had a creamy texture unparalleled to none. Quite a wonderful addition to a big, complex RIS.

D- The creamy texture and well-balanced bourbon flavors made this go down like water. I drank this until the keg went dry.

Overall, this is a fantastic blend, one that I will probably never get to try again. The creamy texture really put this beer over the top in my mind. If this beer ever crosses your path, try it. Don't hesitate.

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Photo of maxcoinage
4.81/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured bottled (bottle date 12/28/12) into a snifter with a nice tan colored 2 in head that settled rather quick, left some nice lacing, color is pitch black

aroma - bourbon, dark fruits, chocolate

taste - coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, bourbon/booze in the finish , but seemed a bit weaker than I was expecting

mouthfeel - thick and creamy, low to medium carb

overall - amazing! wish i would have been able to try it fresh but was only able to secure one bottle back in January. Had to wait for the right moment, and a promotion seemed to be it!

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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

2014 version poured into an Ikea snifter. The liquid is totally black, with some mahogany hues on the edges when you hold it up to light. The pour produces a nice dark brown, nearly purple cap that leaves some nice lace on the side.

Dark chocolate is the main aroma I get on the nose, followed by plums, bourbon, and vanilla. There are some nice spice flavors as well - maybe cinammon? Like a delicious, complex chocolate cake. There's a slight alcohol burn without being solvent. And it's decadent and desert-y without being cloying. Doesn't smell like much at first, but lots of smells come out as it warms to room temperature.

Flavor follows the nose, and lives up to it. On the palate, it's everything from the nose mixed together perfectly, and I feel like you get different flavor notes with every sip. Hazelnuts come out for me as it warms. The aftertaste is chocolate, plums, and raspberries, with an ever-so-slight bitterness that compliments it perfectly.

Body is the right amount of thickness without being syrupy. Unfortunately, I find it pretty over-carbonated. :( It's much better after I've let it sit for a while and let most of the bubbles run out. Before that, I feel like the carbonation impedes the flavor. Still, I guess it's better over- than under-carbonated, because at least this way I can wait and the problem fixes itself!

Overall, it gives BCBS a run for its money - it has a pretty similar flavor profile, and is much less sweet, which I think is an improvement over BCBS. Still, the over-carbonation is disappointing, but that's really the only flaw I can find in this beer, and, like I said, it's pretty much the best flaw you can have because it fixes itself. It's an incredible desert beer without being cloying, and the alcohol doesn't quite kill you. This is pretty much exactly what I want in a BBA Imperial Stout.

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Photo of brewtus
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle poured into tulip. Obviously 2012

A- pours black with a half finger dark tan head the quickly disappears
S-milky, bourbon is very prevalent, dark fruit, chocolate, some subtle cinnamon
T-woah, dark chocolate that makes way for oak and bourbony warmth. Some faint vanilla, slight coffee flavors, amazing silky smooth texture, no burn.
O- wow I'm glad I spent so long trying to track this down, this beer is complex, smooth, and delicious. The bourbon isn't overpowering but it is balanced perfectly with the smooth creaminess of stout mixture. If you had the opportunity to get some, buy as much as you can, it's worth the price tag for sure.

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Photo of grub
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

sampled on tap at hopcat jan 22/2010 as part of their 2nd annual extreme beer fest. listed as Black Note, which i understand to be the new name for this BA blend.

pours inky black and nearly opaque, but holding it to the light you can see that it is crystal clear at its thinnest point. a thin ultra-fine dark brown head forms, dropping fairly fast and leaving a bunch of fine lace behind.

aroma is great. bourbon. light vanilla. anise. dark and milk chocolate. coffee. medium toast whole wheat bread and biscuit. dark fruit. hints of earth. nice depth.

taste is amazing. vanilla and bourbon. bit of butterscotch. caramel and toffee. dark and milk chocolate. bit of bittersweet chocolate too. toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. touch of cracker. lightly warming alcohol. nice light fruity component that works great with the barrel and stouty character.

mouthfeel is great. nice big body. silky smooth super fine medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is excellent. big and complex yet drinkable as hell. it doesn't seem near 11% and i think i could sip on this all night. great stuff!

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Photo of DankB33R
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A. Motor oil black. Slight lacing around the edges of the snifter. Dark tan foam.

S. Dark fruit chocolate and bourbon.

T. Dark fruit, loads of chocolate, espresso like bitterness, and of course a bourbon and oak finish.

M. Very heavy on the palate. The cream ale stands in here lending a very creamy texture to this blended imperial stout.

O. This is an excellent blended imperial bourbon barrel stout. The chocolate malts and bourbon play together very well. All aspects of this stout are on point. Do yourself a favor and try this out.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Big thanks to Urbancaver for bringing this and giving me the chance to try this. Around a 4 oz. pour served slightly chilled into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Black to dark brown in color. A touch of a brown lacing.

Aroma: A whole lot of coconut upfront, with layers of chocolate, vanilla and bourbon. Really nicely balanced. Definitely one of the more coconut forward beers in the aroma I've ever had.

Taste: Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and bourbon all belnd nicely together. There is a lot of barrel character but it blends almost perfectly with the base beer and there is little to no heat. There is a touch of roasted coffee bean notes. Really balanced and tasty. Near perfect.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a nice creaminess throughout. Spot on for the style.

Overall, one of the better bourbon barrel beers I've ever had. There was almost no heat from this being that fresh, and the flavors are incredibly complex and balanced. It is drinking great right now so I'm not sure time would help this much.

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Photo of Steamhead
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at World Record Bell's Taps, Beer Sellar Indianapolis,IN, June 22, 2009
What a beauty! Shimmering black oil...a small dark brown film of carbonation composes the head. Zero lacing, just rich syrupy retention oozes down the sides of the glass. I have been eagerly anticipating this blend of two of my favorite beers and aged in my favorite barrels. It looks about as inviting as Emmanuella de Paula. The smell is a heaven of chocolate, coffee, caramel, bourbon and wood. These are the kind of beers I have in mind when I brew yet am clueless how to achieve this end result. Larry Bell's genius shines on. The weight is incredible. The barrels seemed to have mellowed the Expedition and concentrated the Double Cream. Roasted coffee bean, sweet bourbon, and one of the most incredible malt profiles I have ever tasted comes across on the palate and lingers a long, long time. Sure its big, but its sheer deliciousness positively effects its drinkability. Its defintely in the upper echelon of barrel-aged stouts. Of course if this was bottled, I would have a standing order for as much they could send. This kind of quality makes it awesome to be a craft beer lover in today's brewing renaissance. Just unbelievably smooth, perfectly integrated components that bring ridiculous pleasure to devotees of this style.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Black with a fluffy mocha colored head that leaves nice lacing.

S: Woody, slight chocolate little bourbon hiding as well.

T: Creamy roasted dark chocolate notes and some oakiness.

M: Thick and creamy Mmmm

D: would be so much higher if I hadn't blown the keg! What a great beer, my fiance even almost liked it!(She hasn't liked one yet). If this is pouring in your area go get some!

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Photo of nihiloexnihil
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle at 54 degrees poured into snifter.

A: Slick. Black. No head at all. Nothing, not even a rim around the edges. Holding it up to a light directly yields nothing. Not a single bubble rises in the glass. I guess since Mikkeller already has Black Hole they couldn't name it that, because light does not escape. Perfect.

S: Imagine someone taking a bar of Green's organic dark chocolate and punching you in the face with it. Sweet molasses, delicious white chocolate, vanilla, bourbon. Woodiness, oak. Something else I can't quite name. Perfect.

T: Bourbon immediately. Then it hits: creamy dark chocolate, vanilla, mellow rye whiskey notes. Alcohol burn, but the good kind. Not hot at all. And it lingers, and just hangs out in your mouth reminding you that it's almost impossible to get in Maryland, so I'd better make this bottle last. Perfect.

M: Creamy, more carbonated than expected given how black and imposing it is, but there's not as much thickness as some of the other world-class stouts I've had. Still, this is not a knock on it.

O: My favorite bourbon barrel-aged beer of all time is Bourbon County Coffee, followed by regular BCBS. Those are my standards. This matches, if not exceeds, both of them in all categories except mouthfeel. Make it a little thicker and more viscous, and it gets a perfect score from me. Until then, this is #3.

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Photo of craytonic
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Near perfect for the style.

Smell: Deliciousness? Bourbon, cream, molasses, brown sugar, dates, figs. Perfect integration of bourbon and cream, typically it doesn't work out.

Taste: Bourbon, cream, dark sweet chocolate, sweet molasses, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, figs and dates. A bit of a hot chocolate element, also marshmallows, almost like a smore. Wow this is good stuff.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly creamy, rich and smooth.

Drinkability: Best imperial stout I have ever tasted. This one lives up to the hype. Wish I had a barrel of this. This stuff kills bourbon-barrel and vanilla-bean dark lord. Only a few minor imperfections with the malt keep this from being fives across the board. If you see how I rate other beers of this style you will realize how good this one really is.

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Photo of Shinck14
4.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tasted alongside KBS and Bourbon County and this one is just a tad better than the other two in my opinion. Tastes like a batch of bourbon soaked brownie batter. Will for sure seek more of this out.

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Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.
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