MasterSki (8) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 21, 2010 does not count
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Ninety-nine down, one to go (or at least until the top 100 changes again). Finally got to try this elusive brew at the Bellís 30 Taps World Record event at Beer Sellar in Indy. Had three 5oz tasters of this stuff.
N.B. This was listed as "BB Double Cream Stout", but Larry Bell assured everyone it was the blend and that the erroneous name was merely due to a label approval issue.
A - A half-finger of dark mocha foam with solid retention, and a little bit of lacing. Pitch black - there was no trace of color, even at the fringes. Itís about what I expect from a high gravity Imperial Stout.
S - Tons of bourbon and vanilla notes, a bit of roastiness - it wasnít the most complex nose. I even patiently waited for it to warm up, as it was served WAY too cold, but I didnít really get much more than the basics here.
T - The taste was superb, and was somewhat shocking after the lukewarm aroma. Tons of bourbon, vanilla, sweet malts, milk chocolate, a bit of dark fruit and barrel, and what I suspect is the beginnings of some lacto-sour barrel bacteria (which at this stage makes the brew more interesting and isnít really a negative). I love the way the Double Cream Stout portion offsets the roasty bitterness and acidity. As a result the aftertaste is surprisingly mild.
M - Mild carbonation, super smooth, lighter in body than I expected (more medium-to-full). Plenty of residual stickiness in this one, and shockingly a bit of heat (even after a couple years in the keg).
D - Super drinkable for what it was - the multiple tasters went down pretty easy. I think out of the ten tickets my wife and I got, we used at least half of them on this superb brew. The only problem is the ABV, and is that really that big of a problem? ;-)
pantanap (3323) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 3, 2010
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
sampled at FOBAB 2009 and listed as black note... pours a deep viscous black pour with a medium tan head. very enticing appearance... aroma of vanilla and bourbon that interplay with some woody notes... flavors were mostly sweet with emphasis on milk chocolate, vanilla, and bourbon. very smooth body that makes it extremely drinkable. booze is not easily detectable. pretty drinkable for what it is.
punkrkr27 (903) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - MAR 1, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sampled at the í10 MBGWF. Black oily pour with a small brown head. Mild and even oak and bourbon notes with some lactose sweetness and lots vanilla. Chocolaty dark fruit background. Very full and creamy body with soft carbonation. Very nicely balanced beer with out over the top barrel aging.
kiefdog (1826) - Tampa, Florida, USA - FEB 24, 2010
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Shared by a generous RB at tpd975ís throwdown in December, 2009. Pours a menacing dark cola brown to pitch black with little head head. Aroma is sweet and malty with notes of chocolate, bourbon, roast, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, hints of smoke. Flavor is also sweet and malty with notes of bourbon, vanilla, oak, smoke, chocolate, toffee, caramel, brown sugar and roasted sweet goodness. Medium to full body with a pleasing malty finish.
GodOfThunder (1241) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JAN 6, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: APR 7, 2012 RE-RATE 4/7/12: Draft at Redlight Redlight. Pours a dark black with a tan head. Aroma of dark roasts and bourbon. Flavor has a little coconut macaroon thing going on from the barrel aging. A very good beer, however I feel I over-rated it originally.
Thanks to JW77 for the hand-bottle. Poured flat, but still a surperb stout. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate and all kinds of other stout flavors are in abundance. Delicious even with lacking carbonation. This is an elite brew.
alexsdad06 (3799) - Ohio, USA - DEC 22, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Sample from a growler. Pours a very dark brown with a medium beige head. I should begin by saying that I am not a fan of Expedition which puts me in the minority group on this site. That being said, this blend utilizes the good in Expedition and blends perfectly with the pieces from the Double Cream that I think are missing from Expedition. The aroma is a wonderful blend of dark chocolate, espresso, bourbon notes, sweet cream, and nice roasted malts. The flavor is every bit as impressive: rich chocolate, vanilla, espresso notes, vanilla, bourbon infused wood, with a sweetness that is balanced by bitterness. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and just a touch thin to stack up to some of my favorite thick imperial stouts (a minor inconvenience). At 11%, this is scary drinkable and would be a problem if it were bottled. I am glad to have tasted this on a couple of occasions.
3Faveryrogue (181) - Aslip, Illinois, USA - DEC 21, 2009
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 19/20
Rating #145. Another one wayy overdue, that I could have got in sooner. Sketchy notes. On @ Stub & Herbs "Black Friday". The tap list was a dream. This topped it, by far. Had to pinch myself and ask, "Am I REALLY ordering this? At a bar?" [A] Smells of cream, bourbon, wood, vanilla, chocolate, roast malt. [A] Pitch black into a little plastic cup. Some dark brown head. [F] Big bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, malty sweetness. This is so damn tasty, you donít really want to reach the bottom of the glass. [P] Quite smooth and creamy for being viscous. Finishes sweet and spirity. 11% not an issue. You should know what youíre getting into. [O] Impressive. Really thankful to try this, and wish I wouldíve had tons more. I suggest letting it warm up, and savoring. One of the greatest barrel aged beers Iíve had. Missed FoBab this year. Hopefully Larry will keep some for the next session. Very complex, rich, lots of character. May or may not live up to the hype, by some. I definitely should have tried hand-bottling a serving, even if it didnít work. All the barrel and dark malt flavors come together perfectly, like the bases. Who wouldnít drink this regularly? Beer of the gods, and geeks.
milliken586 (6) - Cleveland, Ohio, USA - DEC 12, 2009 does not count
5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
The best bourbon barrel aged stout I have had. Excellent balance between bourbon and sweetness. Top five beer.
AdmiralDiaz (4) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 10, 2009 does not count
4.3 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
A: very dark body with a one-finger brown head with decent retention and minimal lacing.
S: Smells of strong bourbon alcohol and strong notes of chocolate and some vanilla. Very bold and very attractive, canít wait to try a sip.
T: Similar to the taste, Strong alcohol with a bourbon creaminess along with chocolate, dark berries, and roasted malts. Very good, but didnít knock my socks off like I had hoped.
Overall: Well carbonated and silky mouthfeel. The drinkibility is lower on this one though, Itís delicious and smell amazing but it would be hard to put down a couple pints of this. Great beer though, get it if you can, while you can.
HopHobo (12) - Lansing, Michigan, USA - NOV 19, 2009
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
I was very excited to have this on tap at Bellís All Stouts Day on 11/1/09 known as Black Note and weighs in at 11% ABV.
I had two 8 oz. pours of this delicous brew, but Iíll do my review off of my first pour which was into a small 8 oz. snifter.
Black Note pour a deep black with a thin tan head that dissipated quickly. Smells of bourban, wood, chocolate, vanilla and roasted malt dominate the nose. I will say that the nose definetly improves as the beer warms. It was actually a bit difficult to smell all the subtle details when the beer was cold, but as it warms the smell does really shine through. The taste is amazing, a great blend here to be sure as the sweet, sharp molasses charector of the Expo stout is balances perfectly by the creamy smooth mouthfeel of the double cream stout. Flavors up front are of chocolate, wood, vanilla and molasses with hints of lactose sweetness. The finish is dominated by a sweet chocolate, bourban flavor. The layors of this stout are quit impressive and for 11% this is sooo drinkable. On a cold winter day I could drink this all day with out one regret. I feel very fortunate to have been able to try this beer as I know supplies are running very low, but I have to say that this is one of the best blended, barrel aged stout combinations that I have ever had. I think to myself this is such a great idea by Larry and the guys at Bellís I wish they would do a second batch because this beer makes me happy to be alive...well worth the drive and the wait.