Bell’s Black Note combines three of the greatest things on the face of the earth; (1) Bell’s Special Double Cream Stout, (2) Bell’s Expedition Stout & (3) bourbon barrels.
Expedition is, hands down, one my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts — especially after some time in the cellar. And the Special Double Cream Stout is a great go-to beer in the winter months. Bell’s Black Note is a magical blend of the two, and is then aged in bourbon barrels.
I had this beer on tap at Sheffield’s in Chicago. And was very fortunate that there was any leftover from the Craft Brewers Conference a few weeks prior.
Black Note arrived, black as night, with a tiny bit of khaki tan head.
An uncomfortably long sniff (for those around me) uncovered an intoxicating nose of bourbon, vanilla, coconut & sun tan lotion. Apparently the look on my face said it all, “this is the most excited I have ever seen you look about a beer,” my fiance said from across the table.
The taste was an overwhelmingly smooth mix of bourbon, chocolate, oak, and vanilla.
I nursed this beer. Oh boy, did I nurse it.
As the beer warmed the vanilla and chocolate flavors became more pronounced. A bit of coffee even joined the party too.
There was nothing clunky about this beer. It wasn’t too hot or boozy. No flavor dominated more than another. This was simply a spectacular beer.