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

BA SCORE
99
world-class
4,364 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:
4,364
Reviews:
683
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,719
Gots:
1,195
For Trade:
126
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,364 |  Reviews: 683
Photo of bpfrush
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of 2beerdogs
4.02/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bobv
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of atone315
4.5/5  rDev 0%

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

Photo of MattyG85
4.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at The Blue Door Pub in St. Paul, MN. Served in a 10 oz. goblet glass.

Appearance: Color is a oily jet black. Moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of deep tan creamy head that recedes to a very thin layer. Decent amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Big scent of bourbon whiskey up front with good hints of vanilla, wood, and oak. Sweet dark malts with big hints of dark chocolate, coffee, dark toasted bread, molasses, burnt caramel, toffee, and biscuit. A fair amount of syrup and burnt sugars. Subtle hints of dark raisin, plum, fig, and cherry. A light hint of smoke and earthy hops. The bourbon and sweet chocolate stand out the most. A big and rich aroma.

Taste: Just as big and complex as the aroma leads. Nicely dark, sweet, and boozy. Big taste of bourbon whiskey up front with good notes of vanilla, oak chips, and the whiskey barrel. A little bit of smoke. Big dark roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate, bitter coffee, toasted bread and biscuit, sweet molasses and syrup, burnt caramel, and toffee. Undertones of dark fruits including dark cherry, plum, and raisin. Subtle earthy hops in the background. The bourbon and dark chocolate elements really stand out. Rich and very good taste.

Mouthfeel: A fairly heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Thick, creamy, and fairly slick and syrupy. Some alcohol heat is present but its not overly hot.

Overall: A really great barrel aged imperial stout. The bourbon flavor is big and great and the dark chocolate and molasses sweetness is very good.

 1,553 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: black as night with a nice 1 finger mocha head

smell: vanilla, chocolate, bourbon barrel, roasted malts,

taste: bitter chocolate, roasted malts, hints of vanilla,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, full body,

overall: an outstanding stout. glad I was at the right place and time to give this bad boy a try.

Cheers,
The CPJ

 355 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.5/5  rDev 0%

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

Shared bottle: nice bourbon-tinged chocolate where barrel shows in a thinner feel late taste. Well balanced and a must revisit for full review.

144 characters

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

Photo of dirtylou
4.35/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on-tap, Maduro-Madison

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a (short pour) bells pint glass, dark ebony body, creamy chocolatey head

smell: creamy chocolate waves, bourbon, vanilla, nice and roasty

taste: I think I've had this blend in years past, possibly before the black note name was branded. This one lasted until about 4pm on the eve of the GTOTM '11. A lot of the edge of expedition is cut by the double cream and barrel, which I think is a good think. Smooth and creamy, bourbon and vanilla more subtle than others, molasess, oak, dark chocolate, espresso.

mouthfeel: smooth, rich and creamy

taste: very good - tick it off the list

 646 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.18/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10 ox tap pour into a snifter at Burnhearts in Bay View last night. Thanks BJ and Paul for the event and swag and to D-Train for driving!

A - The constant flow from the tap as people lined the bar at least two deep produced a plethora of pitch black snifters on the bar-top, each one crowned delicately by loose dark brown foam.

S - Heavily roasted, plenty of coffee made its way out of this beer with cocoa and chocolate accents. Mellow oak and bourbon follow up.

T - Burnt toast and charred oak paired with the beer's already strong cocoa and coffee proved to be pretty taxing to drink. Chocolate and warm bourbon heat followed nicely.

M - Voluptuous and rich, the balance of this beer is well done. Plenty of hops aid the roasted bitterness while the thinning alcohol warmth finishes out.

O - While Black Note is certainly a great brew, it's also an example of what hype and "rarity" can elevate a beer to. Don't expect anything life changing from this one; it's another heavy stout but, thankfully, balance sets it apart from some other overly-alcohol-rich stouts.

 1,073 characters

Photo of 2dogbrew
3.75/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Daniellobo
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%

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

Photo of KarlHungus
4.75/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Photo of xnicknj
4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

on tap at devils den during the bells darkest day event

Pours an inky, viscous blackness with a crop of browned head. Fades out with little retention or lacing on the glass.

Sweet and robust in the nose with dark chocolate and roasted caramel malts. Chocolate cake with vanilla, oak, and warm bourbon. Boozy and sweet but balanced.

A wave of dark malts crash upon the tongue with chocolate and toffee notes. Coffee tones with sweet vanilla bean and oaky smoothness. Creamy and soft with a burly malt backbone and a dash of anise, tempered by the boozy warmth, which is incredibly smooth. Bourbon soaked chocolate cake on the back end, with some lingering warmth.

Fuller body, nice carbonation, creamy, smooth and ultra soft on the tongue. Drinks like an absolute dream - excellent balance and I can distinctly taste both of the base beers int he profile, along with the barrel character. THIS is what I want from a barrel aged stout. Thank you Bells.

 957 characters

Photo of mig100
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -7.8%

Poured from a 12oz botle, 2014 vintage. Thanks to Tricerahops (i think).

Pours a black body with a very thin head. Not as boozy as expected but bourbon is strong in the flavor. Nuances of coffee and chocolate are present but this would probably open up in a few years. I will say it was very smooth and alcohol was very well hidden.

 333 characters

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

Photo of cpetrone84
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark coffee brown with tight dark tan head. Nose has some subtle roasted malt, notes of coffee, vanilla cream, chocolate cake. There is a mild sweet bourbon note. It tastes well balanced, faint touch of sweetness with rich chocolate cake and vanilla notes. The coffee is lighter, Light note of sweet bourbon that picks up as it warns, more present than the nose but still subtle. Soft creamy feel, full bodied but not heavy with good carb and extremely drinkable.

 471 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.76/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

wow. very smooth; very mellow. 2012, February, almost three years old and drunk on the anniversary of my dad's passing. cheers! nothing to compare it to, never had one before, but very, very nice. thanks to Dan for the brew! this bottle says 11.8%. lots of tempered bourbon aroma and flavor, dark fruit, fig, chocolate, caramel, tobacco..... but no egg as someone mentioned (?)....

 381 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.5/5  rDev 0%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,364 ratings.
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