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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
95
world-class

4,909 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,909
Reviews: 1,915
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 418
Gots: 1,098 | 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: 4,909 | Reviews: 1,915 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of faucd531
1/5  rDev -76.4%

faucd531, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of Brodywm
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Brodywm, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of joaquinirvin21
1/5  rDev -76.4%

joaquinirvin21, Oct 23, 2014
Photo of Sponybrian
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Sponybrian, Aug 24, 2012
Photo of ab39z
1/5  rDev -76.4%

ab39z, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Pinknuggets
1.35/5  rDev -68.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Bottle to hfs sniffer

A: very dark basically black small thin mocha head that dispates quickly and stays in a thin ring

S: reaks of alcohol and rotting fruit like some sort of fig extremely off putting one of the worst smells for a beer I've seen

T: follows the nose with a weird taste that is really off putting could not finish

M:thin not smooth can't really stand to drink it

O:this is officially the worst is I have ever tasted total drain pour couldn't even get half way through I'm real disappointed I had bigger expectations from what is heard from bells

Pinknuggets, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of Andyrectenwald
1.36/5  rDev -67.9%

Andyrectenwald, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of Nikkibrews13
1.83/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

A: Bell's stout pours a deep black/ brown with a roasty brown head that leaves minimal lacing

S: The aroma gives off lots of sweet scents. licorice is present, as well as the alcohol.

T: This stout has roasted qualities that are quickly overcome by a acidic bitter flavor... and not a good one either. it honestly leaves a bad taste in my mouth... literally.

M: Thin coating mouthfeel.

D: Terrible. I think im gonna put this one to rest.

Overall i think that the apperance and aroma over the expedition was very misleading when the flavor comes into play. I dont know if this bottle was old but its no bueno in my book... thus far.

Nikkibrews13, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of mwilbur
1.88/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into pint glass.
A: Thick and black. Minimal dark tan head with no carbonation (a little odd since I just bought this bottle).
S: Roasted malts and chocolate. Can smell the high ABV...too prominent.
T: Completely unbalanced. Very weak malt can't offset the very high ABV. Roasted malt, chocolate...but not enough of it.
M: I hate to harp on it, but the high ABV distracts too much. Weak body and no taste to linger...just the alcohol.
D: Undrinkable...I hate to do this, but I'm not even going to finish this. I love high ABV beers, but they have to be balanced and have enough malt, flavors, etc. to hold up. This doesn't cut it. I see that others had difficulty with no carbonation. Either this is a major bottling problem or Bell's needs to rethink their approach here.
Definitely the worst russian imperial stout I've had in a long time...and I doubt this will age well as the bottle suggests.

7/26/10: Well, let's check on this one again...cellared for about 2 1/2 yrs. The appearance is actually nice. Thick black-brown with super dark brown head. Looks like you could chew on it (4). Dark chocolate, molasses, and piney hops. Decent (3.5). Dark chocolate syrup, blackstrap molasses, and piney hops. Follows aroma pretty much on cue (3.5). Thick, smooth, oily. Faint alcohol burn and hop bite. I like it (4). OK, so I was wrong. This one does age well, but starts off terrible. It ends up as an ok RIS, but you gotta be patient (3.5).

mwilbur, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of semihobo
1.88/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A 12 oz of Batch 8728, bottled just over 2 months ago so pretty fresh. Incidentally, while looking up the age of this batch, I found out that a bottle is a neat 400 calories... fun to know :)

Pours with a thin dark brown head, darker than such standby terms as "mocha." The head simmers down pretty fast but that little bit that remains hangs in tenaciously. Go ahead and backlight this with your cellphone -- a searchlight wouldn't go through this baby. Back in black.

Smells like tar and liquor distilled from some dark homemade molasses. Also smells of mint, drywall mud, and funk. And regular mud, not just drywall compound but swampy mud. And chicory, although I'm not getting much coffee. And nutmeg. And vanilla. The first ominous notes of Pink Floyd's "Time" just came on, foreshadowing a scary taste...

Exceedingly sharp. Pungent, bitter, veering toward evil. Very plant like bitterness, like eating bark or some root and being told by nature, "people are not supposed to eat this, fool." Slightly sour on the finish, the bitterness and sour blend to create a smoked coffee grounds-like taste. Mix in rum and asphalt. Some alcohol warming, but it's pretty well masked by the 500 pound gorilla flavor. Becomes more chocolatey as it warms. I grasp the complexity, and I am trying to stay positive within the style.

Mouthfeel is thick, it's tough to not gulp as mouthfuls are overwhelming. Finish is, sadly, sickening -- definitely making a face. Severely undercarbonated. The mouthfeel is the worst part of this beer and detracts from all other aspects.

It was some serious work to get through 12 oz of Expedition Stout. Definitely do not want another, thanks. Highly disappointing. I kept trying to like it, but I don't... to each their own. Tried to finish it as a matter of principle -- however, when it came time to choose between booting in the sink from the taste or pouring it out, the last few sips ran down the drain.

:(

semihobo, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of BarkingLeopard
1.98/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Paid $2.49 for a 12oz bottle from Total Wine & More.

Got 1/8th inch of head that quickly dissipated. No lacing, and about as dark as you can get.

Smells DARK, as in dark coffee and chocolate, but not "dark" in the sense of good and rich. Smells slightly sweet...

Taste is very syrupy, dark, and sharp; very much not for me, one of the more disagreeable tasting beers I've had in a while. Similarly, this stuff is thicker than I was expecting (though it isn't too too thick). It really sticks to your tongue, and with its taste that's not a good thing at all in my book.

I have very low drinkability with this. It's very slightly warming as it goes down, and its taste is so sharp that it's definitely not something you'd want to drink one than one of... or in my case more than one sip of... I'm sure that this is good beer to some, but it was a struggle to make myself finish this beer; definitely not for me.

BarkingLeopard, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of bboelens
1.98/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A-Black motor oil in viscosity, an aggressive pour yielded no head at all, and the beer left no lacing.

S-Ok we're getting back on track, roasted malt and coffee are the main presence, a hint of chocolate and alcohol in the background.

T-Woof! This beer is thick and has waaaay too much going on in it, it's an explosion of flavors and not in the good way, yes there's some malt and coffee and a heavy alcohol taste but i can't even explain what the rest is, licorice and a clusterf**k of other things that just didn't come together for me.

M-Thick, no carbonation, medicinal

D-I almost broke my no drain pouring rule with this beer. I wonder if I got a bad bottle or if my taste buds just weren't made for this beer. This is a fresh bottle and a bought another one to age, after reading about it's impressive aging abilities, so I'll give it another chance.

bboelens, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of YumYumGumGum
2/5  rDev -52.8%

YumYumGumGum, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of J2t645
2/5  rDev -52.8%

J2t645, Feb 16, 2014
Photo of aint_it_strange
2/5  rDev -52.8%

aint_it_strange, May 08, 2012
Photo of HOMEPL8
2/5  rDev -52.8%

HOMEPL8, Feb 10, 2012
Photo of mwar
2/5  rDev -52.8%

mwar, Jun 12, 2013
Photo of cannunzi
2/5  rDev -52.8%

cannunzi, May 29, 2013
Photo of GoldenVIKE
2.03/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Opened a bottle that was only about a month or two old and was stored in the refrigerator for about 2 days prior to opening.

A-nice frothy pour. Very good head if you pour it hard, with a nice, cascading look. Head is milk chocolate color with a copper hue. The head quickly dissipates into a ring and leaves a very sticky lace.

S-subtle chocolate and perhaps some roasted or burnt coffee. not a strong or very complex smell.

T-awful compared to what i was expecting. very roasty, smoky tastes of burnt coffee, burnt toast, and an bad alcohol bite that leaves a mosquito-spray aftertaste. maybe some bitter chocolate in there but that'd be generous.

M-i'm not sure what the BA review was all about saying that this isn't carbonated at all. the carbonation is fine, if underwhelming. it's hard to focus on the mouthfeel when the taste is so bad.

O-i've heard this ages well. it can't get any worse than this for me. i love stouts and this is one of the least enjoyable i've had. i'll probably give it one more try just because other people give it good reviews, and it's possible that i just had a bad bottle.

GoldenVIKE, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of TechMyst
2.08/5  rDev -50.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

CONTAINER VOLUME: 355ml
CONTAINER TYPE: bottle (Conditioned)
FRESH: 6672 (must be mislabled: their site has this as being an Amber Ale made 11/04. the date is probably right though) Anyway it’s almost 2 yrs old and this is ok for cellaring, but being on the top shelf exposed to fluorescent light every day might have had an impact
PURCHASED @: Binny’s
COST: $2.69/12oz bottle
HEAD: None...at first, then it rose slightly and then diminshed; red in color; a few huge soapy iridescent bubles among the smaller ones
LACE: spare
COLOR:
REFLECTED- black
TRANSMITTED- Blood Red
AROMA: faint medicine; average hop
MOUTHFEEL: full
PALATE: sticky, flat conditioning
TASTE: cherry flavored cough syrup; cloying, sweet acidic cherry flavor; astringent average lasting aftertaste

COMMENTS: I was really looking forward to this, but it was nothing like I expected. I had a flashback to Vick’s 44-D cough syrup. Could this Imperial Stout with ABV of 11.5% become lightstruck? this made my cheekbone muscles cramp up. Kalamazoo by this brewer is the best stout I’ve ever enjoyed. This is a big beer though, it’s like climbing a wall. To me the Hop and Cherry flavors didn’t mix. My throat and torso burned for hours after consuming this. Did I drink it too cold? did I get too much sediment? Is this diactyl flavor from being light struck? or do I just not like the hop/fruit balance?(I’ve stated before that I really do not care much for fruit beers...)
CONDITIONS:
MOWING/WORKING ON CAR- If I owned an Astin Martin(but then I wouldn’t be washing my own car or mowing my own lawn then now would I)
WITH FRIENDS- if they are buying
SIPPING- if I had a fresh one; or one that was cellared correctly (sipping is the only way to get this one down)
GET MY BUZZ ON- if fresh

TechMyst, Sep 23, 2006
Photo of Jdecarol
2.15/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This bottle was fresh on the shelves at the total wine in Boca Raton but it is absolutely flat. I got the slightly bubble on pouring but that was it. The consistency is that of Hershey Chocolate and no matter how much I chill this drink it still feels like it is room tempreture.

I like the sherry flavor though, but I can't pick up any other flavors behind it and its almost on the verge of being nasty sweet and thick.

I wanted to age the 2nd bottle but I'm just going to chug it seeing as I have a bad batch on hand.

Jdecarol, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of gonzo46and2
2.2/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a very dark black as to be expected. Very dark head formed.

Smell wasn't all that bad. Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Licorice, Spice, etc.

Taste was a stinging burnt grain with heavy alchohol fumes. Not pleasant.

Carbonation was too low.

Just not a very good RIS in my opinion. I wonder if I got a bad bottle. I will try this stout again. Just not any time soon.

gonzo46and2, Feb 11, 2009
Photo of glowsun
2.25/5  rDev -46.9%

glowsun, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of BogleHill
2.28/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottled dated 10-2009. Pours out jet black like used motor oil. Sweet roasty and malty aroma with a presence of alcohol. Good tan head and carbonation. Very heavy mouthfeel. Quite roasty, almost smoky. The sweetness overpowers this one for me though, perhaps the alcohol too. This seems like a well made brew, but sadly, I found myself unable to finish it. Imperials are just not my thing-that I am sure of. -But I am up for trying anything, once. My thanks to awesome trader Birchstick for giving me the opportunity to try this highly rated stout.

BogleHill, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of FleeVT
2.3/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. brown bottle with no dates into a snifter.

A: This pours an extremely thick black brew with almost no carbonation. I thought it might be flat until I checked some other reviews. Got a brief thin dark tan head by snifting.

S: Espresso, alcohol, and sweetness in the form of molasses. Slight hop bitterness on the nose as well.

T/M: Thick and again, no carbonation. There is a bite in this that comes from the alcohol and something else. Extremely astringent. Extremely hard on the palate, not balanced and not a good complexity. Lots of smokiness and burnt coffee beans.

D: No thank you. Not your typical from Bell's. Avoid

FleeVT, May 08, 2008
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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 4,909 ratings.