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

BA SCORE
99
world-class
4,318 Ratings
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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:
4,318
Reviews:
671
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,723
Gots:
1,197
For Trade:
127
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,318 |  Reviews: 671
Photo of LAp
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a deep brown/black with just the faintest hint of red. As the pour starts, no head began to emerge, so I poured more aggressively. Despite best efforts, this beer yields only the faintest meniscus of mocha head which recedes with almost no lacing. The nose is dominated by vanilla and bourbon on top of the typical stout nose profile. The palate, when first poured, is primarily dark chocolate, marshmallow, vanilla, and bourbon (the bourbon note though, significantly, is not a saccharine one, but a reserved whisky taste that accents, rather than dominates, the palate). As the beer warms, the creamy vanilla and marshmallow come more to the fore, and the bourbon notes open up into deep overtones of cherry and oak. The mouthfeel is thick, but not syrupy (a huge achievement). This is an elegant, and simple BB stout. Rather than seeking nuance through a wealth of adjuncts, this beer takes simple concept, the unmodified bourbon barrel stout, and executes it masterfully. Though I have a personal taste for the more experimental BB stouts of Deschutes and others, I have a tremendous respect for what Bell's has done with this outstanding brew.

 1,204 characters

Photo of ElizKarr
4.34/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ClePaul
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Ish1
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Wasted_Youth
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Billy_Bars
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jpb123
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Lucoli
3.94/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of eifster82
4.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of muskiesbadgersnbeer
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sparty1224
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's CBS snifter. Bottled on 7/1/16, making this almost 5.5 months old at this point.

A: Pours a nearly pitch black color with just a hint of caramel-mocha head on the rim. Tons of alcohol legs up the glass, very oily.

S: Tons of vanilla, marshmallow, caramel, and cocoa up front. Soft notes of bourbon and oak come through right at the end. Not a huge barrel presence, but it's there.

T: More oak and bourbon up front in the taste. Huge vanilla, marshmallow, caramel, and fig in the finish. Even picking up a small dash of hops from the usually quite aggressive Expedition Stout in the finish as well.

M: A bit thinner than previous editions, but still medium mouthfeel overall.

O: I've had several vintages of this beer in the past (both fresh and aged), but never had the chance to review it fresh until now. This one has always been my favorite BA Imperial Stout in Michigan, ahead of KBS and BB Plead, mostly because it's the most drinkable to me. I really love that marshmallow/vanilla vibe from the Double Cream Stout, and it almost puts this on the spectrum of a VBDL. It doesn't pack quite the punch as I remember, the barrel might not be as big, and the mouthfeel a touch thinner, but this beer still kills it whenever it decides to show it's face.

Recommendation: You haven't had one of the best beers from Michigan until you've had this one.

 1,402 characters

Photo of BEER88
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of joshdaut
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MJSFS
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Rammed96
4.77/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Buck89
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage poured into a snifter. A jet black pour out of the bottle, producing a modest tan head that retreated fairly quickly. A soft bourbon presence on the nose, along with caramel, coffee, cherries, and chocolate. I tasted the caramel first and it quickly gave way to all of the above notes. Rich chocolate but not too heavy. The bourbon was a bit hot and this should evolve nicely with a bit of age.

 407 characters

Photo of pezhead_79
4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, saying this is great would not be news. Just a very smooth BA stout that makes me wish I had more every time. A perfect balance of taste and aroma.

 153 characters

Photo of cuvtcuv
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of JamesStreet
4.39/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GuyFawkes
4.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 3/12/14; drank 11/14/14 @ the Yarchives.

Black/brown/purple hue.

A rough pour yields a dark tan head; decent lace.

Marshmallow, dark cherry & mocha nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Dark cherry, marshmallow & vanilla flavors; this boozy beast has been tamed & is damn tasty.

 288 characters

Photo of Truck67
4.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of steve032
4.36/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of relynnjr
4.99/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of streeter
5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,318 ratings.
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