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

Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout
BA SCORE
98.4%
Liked This Beer
4.55 w/ 4,381 ratings
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
Ranking:
#60
Reviews:
684
Ratings:
4,381
Liked:
4,309
Avg:
4.55/5
pDev:
7.91%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
2,714
Gots:
1,192
Trade:
125
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,381 |  Reviews: 684
Photo of Raime
4.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Taken me over five years to finally get ahold of this one. Been on my wants since the very beginning. Short and sweet review as usual of me these days.

Pours ultra black with a small khaki head. No lacing on a finished glass.

Smells chocolate, almost like cocoa powder with a touch of brown sugar and an ever present oak barrel esque ness from the mash.

Taste virtually follows the nose with the sweetness and booze amped up.

Exceptionally smooth on the swallow though the body itself is a touch lackluster by comparison to the rest of the beer

Overall I'm glad I finally got to try it out after all these years. I feel that it is a great stout but nothing earth shattering.

 680 characters

Photo of ChittyChambers
4.59/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of petewheeler
4.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jmg480
4.29/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beagleyx2
4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of T_Hass
4.65/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of chrismattlin
4.62/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Jmalo
4.63/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of surfcaster
4.88/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to MB for a 4 pack gift. Wow. A rarity in NC

Pitch black pour with a 1/4 inch frothy brown head

Nose is light on bourbon--not all overpowering

Taste is just amazing--well integrated, smooth--chocolate/brown sugar/vanilla/expresso--all works so well together.

My absolute favorite of the style

 306 characters

Photo of JBreits83
4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of EEscobar
4.4/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ZEB89
4.23/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ClavisAurea
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2016 vintage reviewed fresh in a snifter

Appearance: super dark brown with a small khaki head

Nose: vanilla, oaky, bourbon, toasted coconut, roasty malts, toasted marshmallows, barrel char

Taste: follows the nose very well. The body is medium high to heavy, fairly sweet but nothing too crazy, amazingly balanced.

This beer is completely worth the hype and will age well.

 375 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.57/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 vintage
12oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- pours a viscous jet black color with a small creamy khaki colored head that eventually reduces to a ring around the glass

S- opens with fresh espresso and dark chocolate followed by dry fig and black molasses. The barrel aroma is alive and well, giving off notes of caramel/toffee, wet oak & vanilla whipping cream. More dark fruit emerges near the close, currant, dark cherry, and compliments a bold bourbon aroma on the finish

T- Plenty of dark chocolate, fresh espresso and charred malt up front, followed by sweet vanilla cream, molasses and burnt brown sugar. Dark fruit notes of fig, raisin and black cherry emerge, followed by the barrel notes kicking in; wet oak, vanilla, caramel and spicy bourbon. The finish is almost port-like, with more bourbon & char lingering

M- medium heavy body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel than continues into a slightly warming, creamy finish

O- everything you look for in a straight up, bourbon barrel aged stout. Just enough barrel elements, and the blend of the two Bell's stout seems to work better than each on their own

 1,151 characters

Photo of rkf1976
4.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of CHickman
4.91/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

PKG 11/03/2016: Pours pitch black color with a foamy 1 finger brown head that faded slowly, leaving great spotty lacing.

Smells perfect for a bourbon barrel aged stout. The bourbon and oaky notes lead the charge, followed by molasses, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, syrup, burnt coffee, hot fudge, dark fruit and then more chocolate with a hint of piney hops which makes for an extremely complex and wonderful nose.

Wow, it tastes just like it smells but with booze and heat from the high ABV, however it does not negatively impact the flavor. Even more chocolate and coffee come through with espresso, chocolate syrup, smoked malt, charred wood and brown sugar adding dynamics before some earthy and woody barrel notes kick in. It's hot in a good way with the rich malt, bourbon and barrel notes making for a delicious combination. World class indeed.

 862 characters

Photo of Blackop555
4.81/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 batch 2

Pours black with a thin tan head that fades fast.

Smells of chocolate vanilla and coffee and bourbon

Tastes of bourbon and molasses at first. Fading quickly to vanilla and roasted flavor. Slight alcohol flavor to it but well hidden. Creamy smooth body with lower end of carbonation but adds to the velvety feel. Flavors change throughout as it warms. Definitely will drink more

 395 characters

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

Photo of von_kaiser
4.58/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

finally.....insanely dark, rich & viscous pour. rich bourbon scent and taste w/ a subtle chocolate flavor. extreme full bodied feel, chewy.....all comes together nicely as it approaches room temperature. will most certainly revisit regularly.

 245 characters

Photo of GreatStoutman
4.82/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Loads of flavor here, including solid barrel presence without overwhelming or coming on too boozy. Maybe a touch thin, but that's very nit-picky, and the variety of dark fruits and roast/smoke/chocolaty flavors more than compensate. This is a wonderful stout

 258 characters

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

Photo of RAFH
4.54/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally had my first Bell's Black Note Stout on Christmas Eve of 2016. This beer is everything the hype had advertised. The beer is easily one of my top ten beers of all time. Got the 12 ounce bottle as part of a four pack for $24.

 234 characters

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

Photo of Hulliday
4.81/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of CraigP83
4.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Black, little to no head. Smell is chocolate, whiskey. Touch of black licorice flavor, Absolutely tons of chocolate, dark baking cocoa. Good BA stout but not the greatest

 170 characters

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 98.4% out of 100 with 4,381 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.