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Bell's Expedition Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,337 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,337
Reviews: 1,868
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 367
Gots: 930 | FT: 76
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with vintage aging in mind, as its profile will continue to mature and develop over the years. A huge malt body is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas. Intensely bitter in its early months, the flavors will slowly meld and grow in depth as the beer ages.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,337 | Reviews: 1,868 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by sprucetip:
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had fun in my review session with mom a couple years ago, but deep into it we got to this beer, and I have to update the scoring. What I scored, largely based on mom not being into the intense roasty bitterness, though we'd been on a mostly impy stout/porter binge, just isn't fair to such an impressive ale.
The original is still below, and it may be good for a laugh, if I remember right.

pours thick black, creamy mocha head with good retention and thick lacing. Very attractive.

Smells pretty boozy, as this is a pretty fresh sample. But this succumbs to smoky, roasty, coffee and molasses influences.

Malty sweet, roasty flavor and bitterness, black licorice/molasses, and booze which is none too bashful. The roasty bitterness does linger, as I recall, and is a little bit harsh. But still, this is pretty smooth and complex while fresh, and bound to improve with age.

Well carbonated, a bit of a hot alcohol bite penetrates an otherwise velvety rich, full body. The bitter aftertaste is, as mentioned, a bit distracting. I should put some away and see what happens to it.

This is one aggressive, bold, and crass, but classy Imperial
Stout. It deserves to at least be compared to the elite the elite of the style, if it isn't one of them. I'm looking forward to see how it might smooth and mellow with some time.

***

First review, winter 2008 with Mom starts here;
bottle into snifters. Share with my mom. From notes.

Mom is an aspiring beer geek who has been drinking craft beers mainly over the last 15 years, after a lifetime of macro lagers. She mainly drinks whatever decent porter is on sale, but likes stouts, and when introduced to some Belgians recently, seems to like them as well. She's not a hophead and doesn't like bitterness generally. She doesn't experiment much when I'm not around, but she is open to it. When asked what she thinks about various ales, she often pulls common descriptors off the top of her head. I think she is a bit of a natural, and could make a great reviewer.

Dark black, moderate mocha head, some retention, thin spotty lacing. Mom wanted to give it a 5, but I decided on 4.5

Big molasses, sweet, malty, smoky, woody, has legs. Mom:"Chocolaty, woodsy. sorgham." "I do appreciate the smell. It smells good. I really like the smell."

Tastes of molasses, coffee, bitter, hint of sweetness, and sharp bitterness that lingers well past the finish (and past the next beer). Kind of harsh and way out of balance on the bitter side. Mom:"That's bad." "I would never order or drink another one of these." "Nasty."

Storng bitter tang from front to middle. Low carbonation. Feels thin despite its huge size. Sharp bitter finish and aftertaste. Mom:"I don't like it."

A sipper at best. I like sharp roasty stouts, but this is too much for me. The bitterness on the tongue lasted way past the next beer! Way out of balance on the roasty bitter side. I appreciate the boldness, but mom didn't. From memory, I thought I liked this one and will definitely have it again. Mom won't. Mom:"Not a drain pour, but I wouldn't get it again." "almost like syrup." Mom on aftertaste 30 minutes after it was gone and we were on another beer "like if I had a tablespoon of pure molasses. I can't get it out of my mouth."

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2008 05:40:47 | More by sprucetip
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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,337 ratings.