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

Bell's Black Note StoutBell's Black Note Stout
BA SCORE
4.55/5
4,396 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:
#61
Reviews:
687
Ratings:
4,396
pDev:
7.91%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
2,714
Gots:
1,194
Trade:
126
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,396 |  Reviews: 687
Photo of jeff1973
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of scottfrie
4.52/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Lost Abbey stemmed glass. Thanks a TON for sending me this bottle Jay. You’re the man!

A: Pours pitch black with a minimal head. Not getting much lace but that’s expected.
S: I get huge notes of vanilla with undertones of bourbon, caramel and deep chocolate. There are some spicy notes as well.
T: Phenomenally smooth notes of chocolate fudge, sweet bourbon, caramel, hints of barrel spice and smoke. The finish is super smooth and bourbony and so very mellow.
M: Ultra smooth and creamy beer. The booze is well hidden and the body is thick and chewy. This feels awesome.
O: One of the better stouts I’ve ever had. I could drink a whole bottle of this myself. Thank you so much Jay!

 710 characters

Photo of hollywood_15063
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of xnicknj
4.79/5  rDev +5.3%
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 deonreds
5/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -8.8%

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 -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of cpetrone84
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%
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 warnerry
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Dope
4.72/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

12/29/12 batch.

A: Pours pitch black with a good sized and dense medium brown head. Head fades slowly with nary a trace of lacing. Decent retention, however.

S: Huge bourbon notes. Almost pure bourbon with the sweet, sweet caramel and some toasted coconut. No real sign of the stout, it's buried under the mountain of bourbon I think. Maybe a little chalky chocolate. Great bourbon aroma regardless.

T: Well, strong bourbon again up front but not overpowering at least. Loaded with sweet caramel. Ultra sweet caramel. Wonderful toasted coconut again. Roasted malt kicks in, wow is this nice. I love both of the base beers and this is just fantastic. Super smooth and creamy with loads of chocolate to boot. Tastes like a caramel chocolate cream milkshake. Bourbon stands alone in the lingering aftertaste with hints of sweet caramel and toffee and coconut. Not drying at all like a lot of barrel treatments.

M: Heavy but not too thick. Slick and ultra smooth. Creamy.

O: Whoa, glad I got my hands on this one. Masterful blend and barrel aging. The smooth creaminess really makes this one stand out. No harsh flavors, no excessive booziness. Strong flavors, yes. Great complexity, yes. Awesome barrel treatment, yes. Perfect blend, yes. Great beer, Bell's, my hat is off to you.

 1,283 characters

Photo of Zuidman
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Durge
4.39/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Yet another goodie at Stub & Herb's in Minneapolis, MN . This shows a solid black brown color with a modest tan head and decent lacing. The aroma says cabernet and sour coffee with a hint of licorice. Awesome and fairly intense. The flavor is an incredible medley of coffee cherry chocolate with wonderful root hints that suggest Vicks Formula 44. There is an herbal hop bite here that blends with the medicinal qualities. This is full bodied and sliky feeling with some resinous qualities perhaps. Minute but very tangy carbonation. Not highly drinkable at all, just too intense but very tasty. There's raisin and juniper and the blend is superb. And I thought the Expedition alone would be unbeatable...Wow!

 709 characters

Photo of bsuedekum
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Well blended BB stout. Just not enough bold flavor for me top-rated higher.

75 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.66/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Mmm... Bell's Black Note. Half Expedition Stout, half Special Double Cream Stout - two beers that I love - aged for months in old bourbon barrels. How can you go wrong, right? This is one of those beers that often gets compared to KBS and BCBS, so needless to say - I'm very excited to try it. The pour is pitch black as it tumbles out like old motor oil that should've been changed months ago. The half-inch tan cap lasts for longer than expected and leaves behind some wet lacing. Very nice looking beer.

The aroma follows suit for this style of beer very closely. In other words, it's pretty fantastic. The bourbon barrel notes are the first thing to jump out - smooth bourbon, wet oak, vanilla. Very powerful without being brash. Lots of rich chocolates up front, too. Milky sweet and savory. Nice, sweet molasses underbody with plenty of roasted malt and coffee in the tail end. The aroma has a perfectly inviting warmth to it. It doesn't change much as the beer warms up, it just gets stronger. I'm okay with that.

I certainly don't think I would have been able to pick out Expedition or DC Stout had I not been told, but after taking a few sips, I certainly can believe it. The mouth feel is fantastic. Silky, smooth, chewy, robust, thick - just so pleasing to let this one sit and swish around your palate for a bit. Huge robustness right out of the gate with a solid bourbon character that lasts from start to finish. It has one of the richest, creamiest, and most full-bodied inductions of chocolate that I've ever tasted. Sweet, delicate cocoa with a faint wisp of bitterness. Milky, creamy, and elegant.

The barrel flavors are definitely pronounced and become even more heady twenty minutes in. Heavy oak and vanilla, still with the solid meshing of warm bourbon. Some lightly burnt coffee beans make their way in and out, but must really be searched for. The roast from the malt injects a little more bitterness that plays well with the sweetness of the beer and the warmth of the booze. A nearly perfect trifecta of balance is happening on my palate. The finish shows some super-dark, bourbon-soaked and lightly sugar coated fruits; dates and figs being the best descriptions. That's what reminds me the most of Expedition. The finish has lots of dark chocolate, roasty malt, and oak-soaked bourbon with a fading vanilla note. Incredibly complex and super enjoyable.

Incredible beer. I love both of the base beers, so mixing them together and aging them in bourbon barrels is most-likely going to be a success, and it definitely was. Very drinkable for being nearly 12% ABV, but it's still better to enjoy this one over the course of an hour. Insanely complex and insanely delicious - get some!

 2,713 characters

Photo of stortore
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

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

Photo of Lukass
4.8/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of MDDMD
4.7/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A-dark brown black color with a smallish tan head and minimal lacing

S-chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, bourbon, oak

T-rich chocolate, coffee, raisins, figs, vanilla, oak, slight smokiness, all interwoven with delicious bourbon flavor

F-medium to full body with light to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy mouthfeel

O-absolutely delicious, so well-balanced with a wide array of flavor and bourbon beautifully blended throughout, one of the best

 451 characters

Photo of hilgart1
5/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of khargro2
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

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

Photo of KevinGordon
4.75/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of williamjbauer
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of CTJman
4.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.55 out of 5 with 4,396 ratings
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