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

BA SCORE
99
world-class
4,312 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:
4,312
Reviews:
669
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,720
Gots:
1,196
For Trade:
127
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,312 |  Reviews: 669
Photo of OompaMentor
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mrtomatohead49
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.06/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a 2014 batch after a year or two of cellaring. Looked pitch black, moderately carb'd, good aroma of dark fruits and bourbon....but really fell flat for me. Lacked the intensity of barrel, roast, chocolate, hops that other top tier BA stouts offer. It felt pleasant but just a bit flabby, neither sweet and chocolatey nor intensely dark and licorice-y....it's as if someone had mixed a milk stout and an imperial Russian stout...which is I suppose indeed what they did here. A fine stout; but not one I'd go out of my way to try again.

 538 characters

Photo of bgold86
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a snifter glass, nose is of chocolate, coffee, sweet vanilla and dark fruits, good but not spectacular. Taste on the other hand is a different story, huge bourbon, huge chocolate, big dark dried fruits, just spectacular.

Falls short of a perfect 5/5 but well worth the price of admission.

 302 characters

Photo of curlybird
3.92/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of HeartofMiami
4.03/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Caseyk1088
4.96/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of RNbeerfan
4.69/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Hawkfish
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is every bit as good as they all say it is, one of the best beers ive had from bells, and one of the better bourbon barrel stouts going. this beer was ahead of its time, and its taken me far too long to track it down, but finally i have found it, and its worth the wait. a real gem, not quite black as the name suggests, more of a hersheys brown, with a short but sturdy and lasting tan head. heavy oak and char on the nose and taste, as much as there is whiskey and vanilla themselves, its woody and sweet, but intense in a different kind of way, somewhat more refined, and as much chocolate malt as there seems to be roasted barley on it, which i really dig, and i think is an underutilized element in these big barrel aged stouts. the flavor is like the nose, heavy wood and carbon, a lot of vanilla too, and just a bit of booze warmth. also some other middle flavors here, cocoa, raisin, even root beer, its quite evolved and interesting, and has a ginormous body, silky smooth though and slippery going down. this was head of its time, these are past en vogue to downright overdone these days, with the proliferation of barrel brokers and upstart egocentric breweries, these are everywhere, but its good to taste something this esteemed and appreciate again the fact that all barrel aged stouts are not created equal. this is better than most, and as elusive as its been for me, a much delighted in rarity. very high on this one right now...

 1,451 characters

Photo of KidSalami
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of C_Pel
4.41/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kyager2000
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DoctorEvil65
4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of rderedin
3/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of xt0n1cx
4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Farnswurth
4.47/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of McBraniel
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of kash2112
4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of tvghost
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

12 0z bottle poured into tulip glass.

A: Black body with no light escaping nice about inch head chocolate colored and soapy looking dies down quickly.

S: lots of bourbon and licorice. Anise, baker's chocolate, a little tobacco.

T: Nice soft flavors of bourbon, chocolate, roasted coffee, finishing with some licorice leather and tobacco.

M: nice creamy full body not as thin as some barrel aged beers.

O: this is an exceptionally well made beer. The flavors mesh and meld so well. No harsh alcohol taste and no heat. If you can find this do yourself a favor and buy it.

 575 characters

Photo of Junior
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of manfromanotherplace
4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- jet black and brimming with promise

S- all the usual culprits....oak, bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and booze

T-As with most top class bourbon stouts, taste follows the nose.exceptional blend of flavours.

F- thick, silky and smooth. Stunning mouthfeel that sums up this beer.

O- one of the best barrel aged stouts out there....if you can find it.

 352 characters

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,312 ratings.
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