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RATINGS: 870   WEIGHTED AVG: 4.32/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
Black Note blends the complex aromatics of Expedition Stout with the velvety smooth texture of Double Cream Stout. The combination is aged in freshly retired oak bourbon barrels for months. The result is a malty harmony of dark chocolate, espresso and dried fruit notes, all buoyed by the warmth and fragrance of the bourbon barrel. Aimed squarely at the stout aficionados, Black Note makes a grand statement about the art of the dark.

MasterSki's rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
MasterSki (8) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAR 21, 2010
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? ;-)

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
thepatrickman (837) - Durham, New Hampshire, USA - SEP 22, 2016
2014 bottle, courtesy of bigda83 -- cheers, Darren! This is one big, complex, chewy BA stout. Even after a couple of years in the bottle, there was still a considerable amount of creamy body, and the flavor was a potent combination of roasted barley/chocolate and a lot of bourbon and oak from the barrel aging. This beats even the greats of BA stouts (KBS, BCBS). World class stuff.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
altonbrownd (5650) - Chevy Chase, Maryland, USA - SEP 14, 2016
Bottle (2014) at Hazel. Thanks Travlr for the tip! Dark black body with slight to no mocha head. Nose is plummy, dark fruits, caramel, toasty, roasty. Taste of bourbon, and lots of vanilla throughout. Really nice texture, very creamy with dark chocolate notes in the finish. Just very nice all around.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
tsd08460 (816) - Marshall, Virginia, USA - SEP 14, 2016
bottle from Crafted in Haymarket, VA Aroma: coffee,bourbon, chocolate, roasty Appearance: black with a brown head Taste: medium sweetness, medium bitterness, Palate: full body, creamy, soft carbonation, long finish, Excellent

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
jc1762 (792) - Washington DC, USA - SEP 6, 2016
Thanks Travlr for sharing the big tip! 2014 bottle poured into a snifter showing pitch black with no head but a light latte bubbly center. The nose shows sweet caramel with intense bourbon and vanilla notes. The palate is big but medium bodied and lightly carbonated. Intense flavors of vanilla and bourbon but very well balanced by clean roasted malts. Vanilla throughout and in the background provides a minty mouthfeel. Creamy vanilla bourbon finish with a light espresso and dark cacao bitterness. Strong alcoholic spiciness throughout.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Suttree (6075) - Knoxville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 1, 2016
Bottle at Suttreeís into an adorable mini snifter. Black (as you might expect), with a ring of foam. Lots of vanilla, oak, coffee and chocolate in the aroma. Very rich, viscous palate. Taste is a bit of pine, coffee with cream, charred oak, and of course dark chocolate. Yíknow, I rarely seek out barrel aged imperial stouts anymore, but when I have them I usually enjoy them - at least in small doses...

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
LRonCupboard (38) - ENGLAND - AUG 24, 2016
330 ml bottle. Looks mega viscous and pours pitch black with a creamy beige head. Aroma dominated by sweet bourbon with some chocolate, raisin, dark malts and vanilla. Not excessively boozy despite the bourbon. Velvety smooth, rich and very full bodied. Substantial sweetness, but pretty nicely balanced and bourbon is subtle ish on tasting. Some carbonation but defo soft. Crazily long finish with plenty of sweetness, very pleasant bitterness and lots and lots of bourbon. Can understand the hype, but I would probably take good ol expedition over this. Bit of a barrel bomb. As bottle goes on it turns into a bit of a bourbon fug. Bourbon BAged beers get inflated scores on ratebeer - donít drink the Kool-Aid. Good, not great

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
cogitus (7) - - AUG 21, 2016 does not count
Outstanding. Pours oily black, ring of brown lacing. aroma of cocoa, slight coffee, dried fruit, bourbon barrel. flavor is an extravagant meld of the same characteristic plus a touch of vanilla. Alcohol unmistakeable but not hot. Creamy/silky mouthfeel, long lingering aftertaste highlighting cocoa and bourbon. Outstanding.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
PMgep (248) - Lund, SWEDEN - JUL 29, 2016
Bottle. Dark colour, Chocolate and coffe in aroma, taste of the bourbon barrel and roasted chocolate

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
MrHangover (3950) - Den Haag, NETHERLANDS - JUL 4, 2016
Bottle, 2012 vintage. Pours a pitch black, thick black beer with a small, creamy tanned head on top. Aroma of massive bourbon, sweet molasses, sweet dripping caramel and woody notes. Really full fragrant and very nice. Flavor is intense, hints of red fruits, sweeter chocolate and overall quite sweet and strong. No boozy, alcoholic notes, all well balanced and sweet. Very easy to drink, yet a great sipper to enjoy over a longer period of time. Epci brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
PorterPounder (7330) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - MAY 22, 2016
Aroma is of bittersweet chocolate and rising bread. The pour is dark as a chalkboard with a generous mocha colored head. Flavor has elements of chocolate, cold coffee and chicory nuts, some kidís chocolate cereal and vitamins cloying near the end. The palate is a bit thin - expected a bit more creaminess. Strong finish, the hoppy bitterness mellows as it warms. Overall an excellent Imperial Stout - thanks to the Proof Bottle Club for sharing.

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