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

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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
Reviews:
668
Ratings:
4,292
Avg:
4.5
pDev:
8.22%
 
 
Wants:
2,723
Gots:
1,190
For Trade:
128
User Reviews
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Reviews: 668 | Ratings: 4,292
Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On Tap at the City Tap House for their 31 flavors of Bell's event for Philly Beer Week, I love this city!

Black note came to me looking black like night with a bubbly thin layered dark tan milkshake head. Some rough patches of lace on the way down, nice considering the barrel aging.

Smells is of dark bakers chocolate, dark fruit, plums, and some vinious qualities in the back. Sweet roasty notes, cream for your coffee with some coffee as well. The bourbon, while not overly huge is a welcomed guest.

Black Note tastes like you think it will, delish. Dark chocolate, semi bitterseet, cocco powder, A light splash of roasted coffee beans, lucious sweet malt roasty malt. A dark fruit component from the expo, a vanilla creamy vibe from the DCB. Some mollasses along with the sweet vanilla are welcome. A nice amount of bourbon from a great barrel that's not all that boozy.

I gotta say, this is the smoothest BA beer that I've had for a while. Smooth, creamy, easy, a steady slope. While the alcohol seeps in a bit, this is not hot in any way. The way this went down after 20 minutes in the glass brings tears to my eyes.

It's big beer, but i found myself taking bigger gulps than usual for a stout. Much smoother as time passes and temps rise, easy drinking, just be careful, it will get ya. Another treat during beer week. I knew this beer would be a winner ever since I heard about it.

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Photo of biegaman
4.42/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Trivia Question: What do you get when you blend Double Cream and Expedition Stout? Answer: A beer with a head that's darker than most brown ales. Bell's Black Note is black on black, that's for sure - it's darker than deep space. Almost amazingly, the foam never collapses.

Did I mention the blend is also aged for a few months in bourbon barrels? This fact isn't apparent at first but comes clear in due time. There develops so much vanilla flavour that it smells almost like cream soda (but has enough roasted malt to avoid seeming artificial or candy-like).

The taste resembles an iced coffee of sorts but also contains rich notes of fudge, vanilla, chocolate macaroons, treacle and a bit of fig too. It offers an unrivaled combination of sweet malt, bitter espresso and dried fruit qualities. The bourbon barrels work behind the scenes to add complexity but don't feature much in the spotlight.

The mouthfeel is super lush and surprisingly light; it's not often you find the phrase "goes down easy" used in reference to an 11% stout. But there is a good amount of brown sugar in the mouthfeel and a vein of red wine astringency that brightens this very dark beer.

Bell's Black Note is definitely a product of the black arts - it's wickedly good and somehow manages to balance delicacy and density. Unlike most bourbon barrel stouts, this one derives more from rich, chocolatey malts than it does barrel aging or bourbon. It's a big beer but not the kind to put hair on your chest; this is one to cuddle up to.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Received a few 2012 12'oz bottles in a recent trade with krl2112.... Big thanks Kurt!!

Poured into my HotD goblet... short lasting dark brown head with a thick glass coating black brew...no real lacing.. retention is pretty sad.

Huge bourbon and dark fruits... cherries and raisins... vanilla and fudgy coffee spiked brownies... very rich... a bit hot, still little cold and the EtOH is warm.

Great mix of bourbon, molasses, tons of bittersweet chocolate... some cold brewed coffee for good measure.. again the alcohol is pretty hot... lingering bourbon/vanilla and brownie sundae on the finish... just lingers forever.. pretty damn well done. Happy that this one isn't overly sweet and an insulin shot isn't needed like BT.

Light carbonation with a silky thick mouthfeel.

Wish I had more of these. I opened up a 2011 750 last weekend and it was heads and shoulders better... but I just think this brew needs time to meld.

4/4.25/4.25/4.5/4.25

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Photo of John_M
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Al's of Hampden.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with excellent head retention and considerable creamy, sticky lacing all around. The nose is terrific in this beer, as I pick up dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, considerable bourbon and even some apple brandy. This really smells great... yet as good as it smells, damn if it doesn't taste even better. The flavor profile largely replicates the nose, but there's a nice dash of hoppy bitterness in the finish that really helps to buoy and counter the moderate sweetness in this beer. For such a big beer, it's really well balanced, and is just so easy to drink. Also, despite the high alcohol, there's not a hint of heat from alcohol in the finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a long, chocolate, coffee and vanilla finish. This is just a delicious beer. Really impressed by how well the brewer managed to keep everything in just the right preportion in this excellent beer.

Clearly among the barrel aged RIS elite. Very, very well done.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.26/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 bottle poured a motor oil/cola black body with similar viscosity and left minimal tan head. Aroma is heavy on the chocolate but also has striking scents of black cherries, figs, toffee, possible raisins, lactic/vanilla sweetness and has small notes of wood and booze. Unique beer as it is so thick and malty, bread notes even, but passes over tongue watery/slick smooth. This slickness contains chocolate notes (chocolate being the dominant taste profile), wood, lactic/vanilla sweetness, I guess in a way I'm saying beer has a chocolate milk vibe at times, with black cherry, raisins/figs, possible plum (runs the dark fruit gamut) tastes in the background. Wonderfully balanced beer and probably too sweet for some but one that I recommend to any beer drinker (not just stout drinkers).

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Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very smooth, light BA stout. Drink it fresh so that the non BA cream stout portion can really smooth everything out. Easy to enjoy solo in one sitting.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.23/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured between 2 Jack's Abby snifters, 2012 Vintage.

It poured dark brown with a wisp of an off white head that receded almost instantly. Smelled of whiskey/booze, hints of dark chocolate, dark fruits like raisin or prune, roasted malts in the background. Taste was interesting. A big punch of whiskey up front, then mellowed out into dark chocolate, and a bit of tang from the dark fruits. It's wonderful on the tongue. Finishes dry with a nice warming sensation. Makes you want to keep sipping this. I thought this tasted very similar to Blackout or BA Siberian. It's on the thinner side for a stout.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Shared by largadeer on 11/06/2009 and poured into a snifter. Thanks Chris! The beer is black with a wispy light brown head. Retention is decent and lacing is scattered.

The nose is of dark chocolate, vanilla, and prominent molasses. The chocolate has a fudge-like quality and licorice presence is strong. Booze and anise are evident. Nice rich nose.

The flavor is licorice, molasses, fudge, and dark chocolate. As the beer warms, the licorice becomes increasingly powerful. The finish is alcoholic and somewhat harsh. Molasses and licorice eventually overwhelm the other flavors. The beer is full bodied with a thick and slightly syrupy mouthfeel. I enjoyed the nose, but the taste had too much licorice and molasses for me. I was enamored for the first couple ounces, but I quickly became disenchanted

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Photo of rudzud
4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Big thanks to JLindros for sharing this bottle! Poured into a Kate the Great tulip.

A - Poured a deep dark brown nearly oil with a good half finger mocha head that fades to leave light clouds and a puffy halo. Solid, solid appearance for the high ABV.

S - Aromas of a very well done but classic aroma. Good bourbon notes here but not overwhelmingly so, nice barrel and vanilla much fainter than I've grown accustomed to. Chocolate and sweeter malts with the alcohol noticeable but very downplayed for the ABV.

T - Taste is just delicious. Sweet malts, sweet bourbon and barrel notes. Chocolate and sort sweet, good quality bourbon. I appreciate that. Nice faint alcohol notes, very well planned out beer with everything working in harmony.

M - Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, chewy but not boozy.

O - Overall this was a very good bourbon aged stout. Very very nice, wish I had my own 6 pack to enjoy! Well done!

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Rich black in color with a toffee/molasses colored creamy head, thick and viscous looking.

S - Rich caramel cream, roasted toffee, dark chocolate malt, vanilla, bourbon, and some oak.

T - Rich and flavorful with vanilla, some traces of dark chocolate, oak, and bourbon. Ends with a sticky oak, vanilla, bourbon finish.

M - Luscious and rich velvety texture, thick, and slightly sticky on the lips.

O - An outstanding barrel aged stout.

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Photo of weeare138
4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to egajdzis for this...
Appears a near black with dark brown edges. The small tan cap fades into a little film and mild collar. Spotty streaks of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of butter cream, lactose, bourbon, oak, vanilla, caramel, cocoa, dark chocolate...pretty intense, complex, and enticing.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a "smores" like taste (I see egajdzis took author rights for my original thoughts), along with creamy caramel standing out.
Mouthfeel is sweet up front, smooth, full of bourbon and cocoa. Delicious stuff. This is what I had hoped KBS was going to be.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tap pour at the Great Taste of the Midwest 2010. Been looking forward to trying this one for some time!

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color with a decent brown head that stuck around for awhile. Bits of lacing here and there too.

(S)- A rich chocolate and licorice aroma with bits of molasses and raisin. A good roasted profile behind that with light hints at a bread component.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. The chocolate in the smell combined with the licorice creates a light bitter yet sweet profile at the same time. Some molasses. The chocolate flavor is great in the background. Dynamic.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Thick, but also smooth which is great for the style. A good feel and profile with a light warmth going down.

(D)- A fascinating beer that they need to bottle and sell in the future; they would make a killing off of it! One of bells best and most unique. One of the highlights of the event.
**Update. Having had this quite a few times now on tap, I feel that this just gets better and better on my list of the better stouts out there in the market today. Because of this, I definitely think this deserves a bump up from my initial review in the overall rating (from an initial 4.5 overall rating).**

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Photo of corby112
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a half finger beige head that quickly settles into thin, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing and legs coat the glass.

Incredibly inviting nose with sweet and spicy bourbon barrel notes excellently integrated into the elements of the base beer.  Spicy whiskey/bourbon with toasted oak and vanilla.  Toasted coconut and vanilla notes really stand out along with the dry, earthy  oak presence.  Underneath, there's some luscious chocolate, licorice, vinous fruit, oatmeal and toast.  Smells amazing!!!

Viscous and full bodied with a strong bourbon presence that is perfectly integrated into the flavors of the base beer.  Some dry toasted oak and spicy bourbon along with smooth vanilla bean and roasted coconut.  Again, the toasted coconut flavor is realy prominent and the vanilla rounds out the hot booze.  Great bourbon flavor.  Underneath, there is a nice combination of sweet and roasted malt notes with hints of dark chocolate, burnt sugar, toast, oatmeal and coffee bean coutered by licorice and vinous fruits.  Slightly dry in the finish with a good amount of boozy heat and warmth in the chest.  Abv not masked very well but the base beer flavors aren't obliterated and it's still somewhat easy to drink.  Very nice.  

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Photo of JohnParadee
4.71/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! Really enjoyed this stout. Poured from bottle into chilled pint glass. Deep, dark, black color. Virtually zero head, but nice beige/tan collar. Zillions of tiny bubbles coat the edges, but lacing is minimal and not at all sticky. Nose was subtle, but sexy -- bourbon, coffee, dark chocolate, and vanilla hints compete with one another. The palate is where this stout really displays it's showcase qualities -- bourbon and chocolate dominate. Reminds me of a less syrupy sweet version of BCBS and/or a less boozy version of Parabola. Roasted coffee and vanilla make appearances as well. Great finish and mouthfeel. If you don't love this stout, then you obviously have your head up your coo-loo.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From tap to snifter on 1/10/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to the folks at RFD for hookin' me up with this epic want --

A: Black. Or damn close to it. Really, this is one dark glass of beer. Minimal head, with a faint, creamy collar.

S: Heavy whipping cream, aged wood, toasty brown sugar and luscious bourbon overwhelm my nostrils.

T: One of the things I love so very much about craft beer is the journey, where the brew leads your palate. Bell's Black Note, my friends, is this kind of beer. It begins rather mellow, it doesn't push the limits and extremes that others in the BA RIS world do. Rather, it's a delicate balancing act of whipping cream, rich chocolate, crushed vanilla bean, toasted tannin and incredibly smooth bourbon. There's also a pretty sizeable hop kick on the mid to finish.

M: Not overly viscous. It's quite mild and medium bodied, allowing the beer to almost flow through, without getting caught in the density of many in-style.

O: Bell's Black Note has easily been one of my top wants for years, and to have the opportunity to have a giant snifter of it at my leisure with good friends was an absolute pleasure. This really did remind me of a Charlie Parker number, as all you gotta do it sit back and let the master do their thing.

We did this side-by-side with BCBS '11, which in my opinion did this beer a disservice. A brew as special as this shouldn't be compared to what I feel is the best in class. Rather, it should stand on it's own. So yeah, BCBS may have packed the oomph that Black Note didn't, but on it's own, this delicate little number really is something special.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.97/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: Poured black , sordove sluggish with a moderate dirty cap which leaves some good bubbles and lacing.

S: Chocolate, light whiff of licorice, coffee and a light booze sting

T: Big coffee upfront with chocolate, black licorice and roasted notes. Light addiions of dark fruit in the background. I felt any barrel was really backseat on this bottle but then again I had been consuming bookoo stouts. But really, I perceived more velvety stout qualities than I did barrel so that was a hit for me.

M: Full bodied, low to medium carbonation, yet I felt it was a bit thin going down. Its not as full or thick as I expected from the pour

O: A good beer but I have been drink a lot of Kalamazoo lately and I actually enjoy it over this Imperial Stout. Odd huh?

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.08/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Now for something completely the hallmark of style. A big roasty stout put into bourbon barrels. This was one of the early ones, but it still keeps on rockin' in the free world.

Pours black. Shocking. Creamy 1/2" tan head. Aroma of roast and bourbon. This is going exactly as one would expect.

Taste, chocolate and bourbon, decent amount of alcohol heat in the mouth feel. Not as highly hopped as some beers in this style, helps contribute to the smoothness, that and an appropriately lower carbonation aspect. A little bit of dark fruit bitterness to it. Good format and price structure helps get that overall bump. Viscous, is there molassess going on here? Some burnt caramel feels to it.

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Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +11.1%

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl. This is a big bourbon barrel aged stout that smells and tastes like a bourbon barrel.
It pours black as night with a dark tan creamy cap that rapidly dissipates. The beer has legs and lace.Tthe beer hits the palate with all the major flavor groups - big alcohol, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, sherry, caramel and the flavors delightfully linger long.
Big and chewy, the beer is a delight.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/28/12 on bottle
A- This beer pours an inky black thick body with a deep tan head that covers ½ of the glass before fading to a thick ring.

S- The aroma during the pour is a rich black malt with full barrel oak aroma and some buttery graham cracker malt and molasses make up the finish.

T- The full roasted barley flavor is rich but mellow with a big leathery oak flavor to follow and a blend of paper straws and deep chocolate nougat finishing with a sherry hint. The chocolate malt lingers after each sip. There is also a chalky quality in the finish which is pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture and a nice alcohol warmth but very little carbonation in the mouthfeel.

O- This is a nice full flavored stout with big barrel character and it stayed very mellow in the malt bitterness and had some nice chocolate malt flavors which I thought started to get covered by the big oak character.

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Photo of kscaldef
4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Goose Island BCS tasting on 6/16/2012, thrown in for variety.

A: Very dark, with a dark brown head which recedes quickly.

S: Bourbon, molasses, chocolate, toasted nuts.

T: Caramel, honey, bourbon. Nice biscuit malt body.

M: Well carbonated, slightly oily, good long linger. Mouth coating, but fairly clean. Slight wood on the finish.

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Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Al's. Luckily this one lasted until I got back from vacation.

A: The stout is dark, a black combination of two already black beers. A crème colored head, pulling some of the darkness of the ale into its whiteness, is ample is size, coating the sides of the glass.

S: The nose is bourbon, tempered by the cream and imperial stout aromas. Coffee and roasted malts, chocolatey, have a sweetness that goes nicely with the vanilla from the barrel. Sweetness, not sugary, is the mark of the stout - rich and warming.

T: Sweet bourbon leads off, the vanilla and coconut pairing with wooden thickness. The wood sets up the stout flavors that follow. The Expedition adds coffee and burnt bread flavors - filling on their own. Lactic sweetness, thank you Double Cream, fills a void, softening up the Expedition's full-on assault. The bourbon remains throughout each sip, mingling with the stout. It returns for a heavy, boozy swansong at the finish, a strong dose of flavor that isn't too strong. The Expedition and bourbon go very nicely together.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth and full, delicious without too much booziness. One glass, allowed to warm, did the trick for me. A heck of a find for Al's and I'm glad that I snagged some - a delicious stout.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 20/10/14, big thanks alfie for the bottle

A sits black in the glass with a deep cola edge, two fingers of mocha foam sits around for a couple sips before falling leaving just a couple dots of lace

S chocolate syrup, vanilla, bourbon, charred wood, some booze, sweetened coffee, chocolate covered raisins, prune, and a hint of smoke

T much more charred bourbon barrel in the mouth, darker coffee and a little licorice, a pumped up boozier version of the nose and it works well for me

M leaning towards full but thinner then expected, bubbles fluff it up a bit and a fair amount of heat on the way down, lots of roast lingering long and strong

O well rounded and very tasty if you don't mind intense boozy barrel, need to mellow out a bit but drinking well fresh

This needs some cellar time for sure, I could see this already great beer getting much better down the road, pretty stoked I have two more bottles Cheers alfie!!!

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

2012 vintage 12oz bottle dated 12/28/2012, poured into a Bell's snifter today and quaffed 4/13/2013. This review is also based on the four times I've had this now- twice on tap, and twice in the bottle. This is the first time I've had a chance to sit down, relax and write a review. And I am thoroughly enjoying this just like all the other times.

Aroma: Smells delicious, like a dessert port. Decadent chocolate accompanied by vanilla, bourbon and oak. And it actually smells thick and creamy, like how I would imagine liquid Ritter Sport (German) chocolate would smell like. I mean, I've had my share of BA beers including the recent vintage of KBS and last year's BCBS and this definitely has them beat in the nose.

Colour: Pours like a thick, viscous motor oil. Jet black body, illuminates with just a tiny hint of dark, dark cola brown at the surface. Not a ton of head, it pours with a brief, less than 1 cm dark brown head that is ephemeral. It leaves no traces, not even a collar. You get spots of lacing here and there but for the most part it's this viscous liquid dark chocolate. Nice.

Flavour: Very, very complex and I really love this beer. Up front, and especially early on while it's still at cellar temperature, there is quite a bit of straight up bourbon, vanilla and oak wood. This quickly gives way to this pure chocolate sweetness, with a bit of molasses and fire-roasted marshmallows, just like the ones you make s'mores with. As the temperature warms up, I start to get a little bit of dark fruits- figs in particular, which actually reminded me of Expedition Stout the first time I had this beer before knowing what the components were. The finish is smooth and creamy, a little bit of espresso and cream like a cappuccino- but I want to say something more like macchiato- less cream, more bitter espresso yet smooth. This beer drinks like a dessert drink and there's nothing like this beer that I've had the privilege to drink. Even as it gets close to room temperature, the heat is pretty indistinct and covered up by all the complex flavours and smells of this beer. tl;dr- this is an incredibly complex beer that somehow melds all the flavours together well while hiding its 11.5% ABV very well.

Mouthfeel: Initially, I would have guessed they had to have some contribution from Double Cream Stout, because the mouthfeel reminds me a lot of that particular Bell's offering. It's a very thick bodied, very smooth and creamy beer that is actually well carbonated based on how my tongue perceives the beer. It fizzes quickly as I swish it around, coating my palate in a thick and viscous chocolatey heaven. The aftertaste is sweet, bitter and creamy all at once- like if I made a macchiato and put a block of dark Belgian chocolate in it. Simply sublime.

Overall: I've just been so impressed with this beer. It's one for the ages. I say the same for BCBS, but in the realm of subjective preferences, I'm going to take Black Note over BCBS if I were ever offered the choice (which is probably going to be very rare). It's exceptionally smooth, creamy sweet and such a decadent pleasure to quaff. The heat, even when it gets close to room temperature, is relatively minimal. It's truly a joy to drink and I treasure each opportunity I have to be able to drink this beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Back label says PKGD 03/12/14. Celebrating my 900th review with this miracle of a gift provided by mjshearer1.

A- Pours a fully opaque black color with a 1/2 inch light brown head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a bubbly center patch of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thin jagged ring behind.

S- Big rush of dark roasted malt with heavy notes of dark chocolate, bourbon and molasses. Also some caramel and vanilla undertones. Booze fume is there but works well with the rest of the aroma.

T- Initial dark chocolate comes across subtly and then the barrel creeps in and brings a bit more intensity as well as some vanilla sweetness. Wonderful black coffee aftertaste brings the profile around full circle. Additional notes of raisin and more molasses. So drinkable for the ABV and yet the flavors linger good and long so that they can be savored by only sipping sporadically. As it warms, it somehow becomes more sweet and even less boozy, however the dark roast becomes even more prevalent making it a bit more bitter.

M- Quite creamy and viscous plus there's some sticky residue in the afterfeel. Medium-low carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- A great BBA beer that's full-on with the bourbon presence but not so much that it becomes too hot or one-dimensional. Though I still think BCBS and KBS are both above it, this one is certainly a major contender and deserves to be appreciated for its own unique qualities.

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

Pours black like oil with plenty of nice rich khaki colored head. Lots of bourbon on the nose, some oak, cocoa, espresso, a hint of dark fruit on the back end; follows onto the palate. Finishes with roasted malt chocolate, and bourbon. Great imperial stout.

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Bell's Black Note Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.5 out of 5 based on 4,292 ratings.
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