Bell's Black Note

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

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  1. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 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:

    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

    ABisonEgo Initiate (0) Jan 31, 2012 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

    papaholmz Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    2012 Black Note out of the bottle was good but not great, out of the tap it was absolutely amazing!
  4. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 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

    SpunkyHopslammer Initiate (62) Jan 18, 2011 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

    Holsie Initiate (0) Jun 27, 2012 South Carolina

    I'm hitting the trade forum for some BN. My one and done this year was not enough. Cheers!
  7. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 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.
  8. dpjosuns

    dpjosuns Initiate (0) Dec 8, 2009 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

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,034) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    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

    IamMe90 Initiate (0) Sep 4, 2012 Wisconsin

    Uhm, yeah... he gets that. He was disagreeing with him. Lol.......
  11. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    I was just saying "right" that the keg label should be phrased differently if Black Note is 100% BBA.
  12. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    Post the sideways photo please, my neck works just fine. :grinning:
  13. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,034) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Wow! Now I can disagree with you. :grinning:

    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

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,034) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    Okay, now I got ya'. :slight_smile:
  15. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    That sounds great, but can you provide a reference?
  16. Mothergoose03

    Mothergoose03 Poo-Bah (2,034) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Supporter Subscriber

    That's my interpretation of the statement in the bottle hanger in your photo.
  17. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 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

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    Why speculate when you can go to the source?
    stevegoz, KWMiles, Nectar and 10 others like this.
  19. foobula

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    Thickfreakness likes this.
  20. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Meyvn (1,167) May 8, 2006 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

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 Illinois

    I guess one man's "speculation" is another man's "seeking confirmation".
    Thickfreakness likes this.
  22. HeadyTheElder

    HeadyTheElder Disciple (389) Nov 3, 2012 Louisiana
    Beer Trader

    When is this beer released and how hard is it to obtain?
  23. mjshearer1

    mjshearer1 Aspirant (213) Dec 16, 2011 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    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

    Buff0910 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2013 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

    ShanePB Poo-Bah (1,658) Sep 6, 2010 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I still need to try this beer. Damn you lucky BA's!

    BREWSnTATTOOS Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2012 Florida

    I got a case if you are looking to taste it BM me and we will work out some thing.:wink:
  27. aasher

    aasher Poo-Bah (2,572) Jan 27, 2010 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    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 Disciple (361) Mar 5, 2013 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

    broodog Aspirant (222) Jul 18, 2009 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 Disciple (361) Mar 5, 2013 District of Columbia

    You are correct, but you are also assuming Bell's marketing team knows their grammar.
  31. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 Michigan

    Check out the big brain on Broodog!
  32. Steimie

    Steimie Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 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

    foobula Initiate (0) Dec 14, 2009 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

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (3,832) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Please don't ruin FBS for me :slight_frown:
  35. 1up

    1up Disciple (361) Mar 5, 2013 District of Columbia

    Don't worry, they use the finest quality turds available in good ol US of A.
  36. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (3,832) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    True as long as its not Peruvian rabbit turd. Gotta keep it in-house.
  37. IAmJacksHopTongue

    IAmJacksHopTongue Initiate (192) Jan 19, 2013 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    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

    adamant1912 Disciple (371) Jan 10, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    This guy beat me to it. Ditto what he said.
  39. OneBeertoRTA

    OneBeertoRTA Devotee (490) Jan 2, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    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

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (1,807) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    jplopez21 and BrettHead like this.
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