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

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99
world-class
4,353 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:
4,353
Reviews:
682
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,724
Gots:
1,197
For Trade:
127
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,353 |  Reviews: 682
Photo of zestar
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/28/2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a small tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a spotty lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, toast, vanilla, toffee, bourbon, oak, clove, raisin, licorice, light coffee, cream, light char, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted malt and barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, vanilla, toast, toffee, bourbon, oak, clove, light coffee, cream, raisin, licorice, light char, and roasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, vanilla, toast, toffee, oak, bourbon, clove, light coffee, cream, raisin, licorice, light char, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt flavors with very balanced barrel complexity; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light carbonation and full bodied; with a very creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged imperial stout. All around fantastic complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt flavors with barrel character; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,443 characters

Photo of mothman
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this for my first beer at Stub and Herbs for Darkness Eve! I am very happy that I got to try it!

Pour was a 7 oz glass.

Color is a big oil black with tan head. No lace to to pour, but I am ok with that because there was more beer in the glass.

Aroma: Amazing. Bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, earthy hops. Also has some cream flavors and vanilla notes with oak. Very robust and smooth. Wow it is good and I am ready to dive in.

Taste: Bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak, earthy hops. Very rich, robust and all around amazing taste. The bourbon is very warming in a good way. You can definitely tell it is there, but it doesn't wreck the beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, rich. Full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends pretty clean with a malty bourbon flavored aftertaste.

Overall, I love this beer and want more of it. I really hope Bells does this again, because it has to be one of my favorite beers of the style. Simply amazing and very drinkable! Well done!

 982 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.71/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a few glasses on tap at the Stub and Herb's Fermented Eclipse event.

A: pours a smooth deep brown with the tiniest layer of a tan head.

S: very rich. Loads of bourbon and hints of oak atop some molasses, dark chocolate, vanilla, and roasted malt.

T: very similar to the nose with a nice, semi-sweet creaminess coming through; this is the first area where the Double Cream starts to make it's way in, rounding out what was already a very nice brew.

M: rich, creamy, and chewy without too much alcohol.

D: very, very nice. Fantastic brew all around and I am thrilled to have finally gotten a chance to try it.

 617 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of chinchill
4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at NOC.
Black with brown edges. The head is not durable but the ring is.
Very, very rich aroma and flavor. Mildly sweet with fairly well hidden ABV.
Barrel aging is obvious.Dark infused fruit.
Very smooth feel, with a good bit of warming.
Indescribably delicious.

 275 characters

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

I got one of the last few at Bestway and Iam thankful to Roger for it.Poured into a snifter jet black with a one inch deep beige head atop.Aromas of chocolate and roasted nuts mixed with alcohol dipped dark fruit,very rich and appetizing.Thick and chewey in the mouth,it coats the mouth and glides down easily.Wow the complexity on the palate is something to savor,dark roast and chocolate with some nuttiness and even some faint wood smoke,the alcohol is big but not over bearing lending some sweetness to go along with some deep raisin notes.You really gotta give it to guys or gals who can craft a beer like this,so rich and lush but with so much complexity,kick ass that's all I can say about it.

 700 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to both mcsecne (Reddit) and erric (Reddit) for bottles of this gem.

Light fizzy darker colored head, pitch black dark beer with nice long legs, decent thick head as I swirl.

Nose is awesome, tons of dark malts, chocolate galore, some rich thick expensive Belgian chocolate, bakers choc, a little dark even, velvety too. Little espresso and coffee with a bit of roasted malt but no burnt aromas, cocoa nibs. Then barrel, some vanilla with light toasted oak, decent bourbon, little alcohol tingle. Velvety and maybe even creamy oats.

Taste starts with malts again, dark malts with syrupy dark malts, lots if creamy velvety chocolate, cocoa nibs, bakers choc, etc. The malts have a light roast, little bitter tannin char but not really burnt. Cocoa leads to barrel, light vanilla and barrel, must a touch of bourbon. Light warning tingly booze. Light bitter hops but not much. Finish is long creamy chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, light bourbon barrel, little sticky sweet with a bit more booze, so much mouth layered thick chocolate.

Mouth is big bodied, thick and creamy lush velvety, decent carb, some warming booze but doesn't drink like an 11+% beer.

Overall very nice, great base stout with tons of chocolate, nice dark malts and decent barrel but if I could complain about anything maybe a bit more bourbon as I love bourbon.

 1,342 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the tap at EBF 09! I must have drunk 10 samples of this stuff during the two day event. Poured an opaque black while cascading into a fine frothy head; perfect! The aroma was incredible if you're a BB lover. Sweet vanilla, chocolate, oak, and of course, bourbon notes abound; could inhale this all night. The taste was superb; roasted chocolate malt, vanilla, and oak blend so well with the bourbon that it just melts in the mouth. Very smooth and creamy with a very slight hint of ABV; which is scary! One of the best well balanced BB stouts that I have tasted. Too bad this isn't bottled!!

 596 characters

Photo of Kegatron
4.72/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ The Great Taste of the Midwest (Madison, WI) on 8/14/10. Several samples served in a tasting mug.

Pours a dense black, with a rich topping of dark mocha colored head. This quickly fizzles out however, leaving a black and still surface staring back at me. The aroma is packed with chocolate fudge, creamy smelling sweetness, sticky molasses character, and a DEEP burnt roastiness to it in the back. The sweet tang this puts off in the nostrils is just fabulous.

The taste is bitter and blackened tasting at first with roast and coffee, being quickly followed by the luscious sweet tang of chocolate, vanilla, and sticky charred molasses, before diving into a heady roasted finish and lingering notes of green woody tannins. Just the right amount of charred bourbon flavor is present without any kind of excessive heat. The mouthfeel is full, thick, and chewy and is hiding it's ABV VERY well. Nuff said!

Badass in a glass sums this up perfectly and I was really glad to finally get to try this one again. An awesome BA blend here and it's definitely one of the best I've had from Bell's.

 1,101 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Rifugium
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

First (and only at the time of this review) keg to come to Philly!

Served in a snifter, dark brown to black, opaque, with a minimal tan head. Aroma was luscious with dark malts, licorice, vanilla and chocolate; some alcohol noticeable. Taste was rich with malts, dark chocolate, sweet sugars, bourbon-soaked wood; strong in flavor and booze; quite simply amazing all around. Nicely thick and creamy, full bodied. Highly drinkable, and among of the best stouts I've had.

 519 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Black color with tan head. Aroma has really nice fudge, caramel, bourbon and butterscotch. Taste follows with bourbon and caramel, roasted malt, more bitter on the finish, lingers on the aftertaste with smooth bourbon. Medium to full bodied, really smooth mouthfeel. Overall it's a classic imperial stout with really nice bourbon flavors that are integrated really well and create an excellent drinking experience.

 414 characters

Photo of billab914
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of smithj4
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.18/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Pours an inky, black body with a sustained, light sandy-beige head.

Smell: Char-hinting heavy roastiness with a crust of bitter dark chocolate, with lesser touches of dark fruit, vanilla-infused molasses, woodsiness and peppery alcohol.

Taste: Bulky roastiness, a bit ashen and chary and laden with booziness and soy. Rolls sweet to bitter (charred) with a salient, less-than-satisfying alcohol presence coupled with woody tannins. A bit of dark chocolate, licorice, gummy molasses and prune. The nose held a bit more promise, though the heavy char, soy and booze leave it lopsided and unbalanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Light carbonation.

Overall: Downright overhyped.

 691 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an oily/effervescent ebony with one finger of caramel colored head. Good lacing, slight better than average head retention, effervescent through out

S: Dark fruit, carob, caramel, vanilla. Bourbon picks up once warm

T: Vanilla, caramel, dark chocolate, raisin & a kiss of Bourbon up front. More vanilla, Bourbon notes, fig & raisin & carob as this warms, slight smokeyness too. Finishes with dark fruit, vanilla, Bourbon, & chocolate

MF: Chewy, warming, decent carbonation for the style

Despite the style & abv, this went down fast. Every bit as good as I hoped

 580 characters

Photo of atrocity
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,353 ratings.
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