Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Bell's Black Note

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by foobula, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    I absolutely fell in love with 2011 Bell's Black Note. The 2012, on the other hand, I found to be a bit lacking. I just spotted this keg label on twitter:
    [​IMG]

    Now, I recall a poster last year (pre-new forums) saying that both components of Black Note were aged in bourbon barrels before being blended, based on a conversation with someone important (maybe Larry Bell.) This label seems to indicate that the 50% Double Cream Stout is not aged in bourbon barrels. So is this something that changed between 2011 and 2012?
     
  2. ABisonEgo

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Posts:
    255
    Likes Received:
    115
    Location:
    Illinois
    I think I read that just a little differently. Its saying that it is a 50% mix of both, but they are both aged in barrels. Almost along the lines of saying something like: Bramble and Cherry Rye are both great beers. Its implicated that they are both Rye barrel aged beers in a round about sense. I think maybe the punctuation throws it off a little. Like, if it said, "50% Special Double Cream Stout/50% Expedition Stout, Aged in Bourbon Barrels", it would have made more sense.
     
  3. papaholmz

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Posts:
    263
    Likes Received:
    239
    Location:
    South Carolina
    2012 Black Note out of the bottle was good but not great, out of the tap it was absolutely amazing!
     
  4. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    Right, and I want to believe the choice of punctuation, plus the placement of the "carriage-return" is intentional. Bell's wants to make it clear that 50% of Black Note is not BBA.
     
  5. SpunkyHopslammer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Posts:
    327
    Likes Received:
    225
    Location:
    Illinois
    I had my first Blacknote this year and thought it was great. Not ever having KBS though I can't compare the 2. I did like it a lot better than BCBS.
     
  6. Holsie

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Posts:
    59
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I'm hitting the trade forum for some BN. My one and done this year was not enough. Cheers!
     
  7. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    Out of curiosity I grabbed a 2012 Black Note bomber (750) and took a photo of the "literature", which makes it clear that the combination of stouts is barrel-aged. However the literature is not year-dated, which doesn't settle for me whether the 2012 might have changed. My taste buds seem to think so.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. dpjosuns

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Posts:
    292
    Likes Received:
    153
    Location:
    Illinois
    Pretty dang sure they're blended then added to a barrel. I've been on the production tour a couple times, and I took a photo the last time I was there over Christmas.

    Tried to upload it, but it keeps coming in sideways. Ticks me off.
     
  9. Mothergoose03

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Posts:
    6,033
    Likes Received:
    4,692
    Location:
    Michigan
    I don't think you are in agreement with ABisonEgo with your text explanation, even though you said "Right." I think ABisonEgo is saying the two beers are blended, and then placed in the bourbon barrel. That's what the graphics of the bottle hanger read (to me) that foobula shows in his photo.
     
  10. IamMe90

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Posts:
    261
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Uhm, yeah... he gets that. He was disagreeing with him. Lol.......
     
  11. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    I was just saying "right" that the keg label should be phrased differently if Black Note is 100% BBA.
     
  12. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    Post the sideways photo please, my neck works just fine. :D
     
  13. Mothergoose03

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Posts:
    6,033
    Likes Received:
    4,692
    Location:
    Michigan
    Wow! Now I can disagree with you. :D

    The bottom line is that the beer is 100% aged in bourbon barrels, regardless of how it is said in these posts or where the commas are placed on the label.
     
  14. Mothergoose03

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Posts:
    6,033
    Likes Received:
    4,692
    Location:
    Michigan
    Okay, now I got ya'. :)
     
  15. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    That sounds great, but can you provide a reference?
     
  16. Mothergoose03

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Posts:
    6,033
    Likes Received:
    4,692
    Location:
    Michigan
    That's my interpretation of the statement in the bottle hanger in your photo.
     
  17. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    Fair enough. I still find it strange that the hanger seems to dispute the keg label. I don't know why I liked the 2011 so much more -- it seemed to have a lot more bourbon and a certain smokiness that differentiated it from BCBS for me. But if it's still the same aging process, I'll just chalk it up to a changing palate.
     
  18. kzoobrew

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Posts:
    2,791
    Likes Received:
    7,342
    Location:
    Michigan
    Why speculate when you can go to the source?
    http://bellsbeer.com/brands/#Specialty-3
     
    stevegoz, KWMiles, Nectar and 10 others like this.
  19. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thickfreakness likes this.
  20. kzoobrew

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Posts:
    2,791
    Likes Received:
    7,342
    Location:
    Michigan
    Definitely is speculation. If it wasn't speculation you wouldn't need to ask a question or use words like "seems".

    It is 100% barrel aged. Question now answered.
     
    KWMiles, adamdd, Nectar and 2 others like this.
  21. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    I guess one man's "speculation" is another man's "seeking confirmation".
     
    Thickfreakness likes this.
  22. HeadyTheElder

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Posts:
    506
    Likes Received:
    276
    Location:
    Louisiana
    When is this beer released and how hard is it to obtain?
     
  23. mjshearer1

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Posts:
    1,035
    Likes Received:
    2,688
    Location:
    Michigan
    It was released in January this year, not sure if this is consistent from years past though. You being in Louisiana, I can't imagine it'll be very easy for you to find. You might have better luck on the trading forums.
     
  24. Buff0910

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2013
    Posts:
    389
    Likes Received:
    1,583
    Location:
    Alabama
    Tasted 100% BA to me on tap this year. It seems you may be over analyzing this just a bit. I am more than happy to trade you for that bottle and come back with feedback on it later!
     
  25. ShanePB

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Posts:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    3,337
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I still need to try this beer. Damn you lucky BA's!
     
  26. BREWSnTATTOOS

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2012
    Posts:
    73
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Florida
    I got a case if you are looking to taste it BM me and we will work out some thing.;)
     
  27. aasher

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Posts:
    3,863
    Likes Received:
    14,898
    Location:
    Indiana
    It should also be noted that this has only hit distribution once. Indiana got very little, less than fifty cases, and it was one case per account.
     
  28. 1up

    1up

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Posts:
    584
    Likes Received:
    395
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Yeah it also claims that it's sold in 750 ml bottles which isn't true this year either. So maybe your source isn't right either? I'm thinking foobula's source may be more correct since it's newer.

    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.
    Alcohol by Volume: 11.5%
    Original Gravity: 1.112
    Shelf Life: Unlimited
    Dates Available: Limited
    Available Packages: Draft, Limited 750 ML bottles
     
  29. broodog

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Posts:
    286
    Likes Received:
    926
    Location:
    Illinois
    Pull out those middle school english class textbooks. It's time for a lesson in sentence structure. <groans>

    There is no period after Double Cream Stout. There is a comma. This means the object of the sentence (Bourbon Barrels), applies to both subjects (Special Double Cream Stout and Bell's Expedition Stout).
     
  30. 1up

    1up

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Posts:
    584
    Likes Received:
    395
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    You are correct, but you are also assuming Bell's marketing team knows their grammar.
     
  31. Steimie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Posts:
    1,597
    Likes Received:
    4,127
    Location:
    Michigan
    Check out the big brain on Broodog!
     
  32. Steimie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Posts:
    1,597
    Likes Received:
    4,127
    Location:
    Michigan
    Huh? Does that mean it is safe for me to assume that brewers may write one thing on the label but mean another? That means my FBS might say it has chocolate, but in fact could have rabbit turds.
     
    1up likes this.
  33. foobula

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Posts:
    668
    Likes Received:
    328
    Location:
    Illinois
    Actually it was sold in 750ml bottles, and also in 12 oz. bottles, which that page doesn't list. You are correct that the page hasn't been updated in over a year.

    HOWEVER since the card with the bottle says it's 100% barrel-aged, I believe it. I'll admit to posting what I thought was a clear indication that it was only 50% barrel-aged this year, which it is no longer clear given the evidence to the contrary. Seems likely it is just a poorly-designed label.
    This doesn't look like a sentence, rather a list. To me the comma separates two distinct items in the list, no period needed. It would be like saying "Here's what I'm wearing: blue jeans, and a red shirt with white stripes." The comma is added separation that the two descriptions are distinct, and the phrase "with white stripes" doesn't apply to both items. If I were writing the label, I'd have put "50% Special Double Cream Stout & 50% Expedition Stout, Aged in Bourbon Barrels" that way it's made clear that the phrase "aged in bourbon barrels" applies to both nouns.
     
    Mothergoose03 and JxExM like this.
  34. Stevedore

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Posts:
    2,976
    Likes Received:
    7,389
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Please don't ruin FBS for me :(
     
  35. 1up

    1up

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Posts:
    584
    Likes Received:
    395
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    Don't worry, they use the finest quality turds available in good ol US of A.
     
  36. Stevedore

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Posts:
    2,976
    Likes Received:
    7,389
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    True as long as its not Peruvian rabbit turd. Gotta keep it in-house.
     
  37. IAmJacksHopTongue

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Posts:
    108
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    Michigan
    This doesn't absolutely settle the question, but Bell's Facebook page has a March post "Just another day at the office ... Filling Black Note barrels" along with pics of the process.
    This suggests to me that the whole mix (cream and expedition) all goes into barrels, at least for the upcoming version.
     
  38. adamant1912

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Posts:
    209
    Likes Received:
    120
    Location:
    Michigan
    This guy beat me to it. Ditto what he said.
     
  39. OneBeertoRTA

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Posts:
    2,029
    Likes Received:
    3,470
    Location:
    California
    I've only had the 12 oz bottles this year but it was top notch, best in class, tits, the bees knees, good shit, 1994 Jenna Jameson etc...
     
    TdLJg and beerborn like this.
  40. SammyJaxxxx

    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Posts:
    7,318
    Likes Received:
    39,276
    Location:
    New Jersey
    jplopez21 and BrettHead like this.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe