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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,200 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,200
Reviews: 1,958
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 437
Gots: 1,230 | FT: 85
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-10-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,200 | Reviews: 1,958 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rizalini
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recieved this bottle in a trade from StlThrash, and shared with Nikkibrews13! Thanks for the brew!

A - Pours jet black with a nice 1 finger brown foamy head. Slight lacing, not too much tho.

S - Nice roasty, almost nutty aroma. Slightly boozy.

T - Dark and milk chocolate, roasty malts, with hints of hazelnut.

M - Medium-heavy mouthfeel, with great carbonation.

D - Very good drinkability, too bad Bell's dosen't distrubute to Las Vegas...

Photo of chickenflea
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Coffee, soy sauce, prune aroma. Black color with dark, one-finger head that dissipated quickly. Sweet and heavy but dark chocolate finishing notes keep the sweetness at bay. Thick and chewy on the palate. Good carbonation keeps the beer alive in your mouth despite its heaviness. Long finish. A very big beer.

Photo of DGryger
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black. Opaque black. Seriously, I poured this into a pint glass, held it up to the light and there was not light transmittance through the body. Very impressive. Poured with about a 0.75” viscous coffee/caramel colored head. Would have liked to see more lacing and retention.

Heavy scent of raisins and dried fruits with a malty cocoa scent. Smells sweet.

Bittersweet chocolate and toffee with dried fruit hints, mostly raisin with a little bit of prune. No hop taste detected, but plenty of malt at first but a bit of hoppy bitterness become noticeable as the beer warms.. The perceived imbalance is acceptable because at least malts won’t destroy your tongue. Although as the beer warms the alcohol starts to overpower the other tastes.

Thick and syrupy with a very suitable amount of carbonation. This is a very creamy brew. I wouldn’t consider this a very dry beer, and that is refreshing. Alcohol warming in the finish at first and moves forward with increasing temperature.

For the style I would consider it very drinkable given its sweet smoothness and overall tastiness. However halfway through a bottle the alcohol will start to catch up with you. A little too much alcohol in the beer and I think I could only drink one of these at a time. This is a great beer for a nightcap thought.

Photo of bevdaddy
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to a TK Tulip from batch 9512. picked up on a recent trip to Philly.

A - Pours out nice and black. In contrast to other reviews, I got a good almost two finger head on this beer which was a nice brown cocoa color.

S - Big whiff of roasted malts. Im getting equal parts chocolate and coffee. there may be a bit of caramel in there too. and i'm also getting some alcohol.

T - the first thing that comes to mind is the balance. all the bigger flavors (coffee, chocolate, some sweetness, roasted malt in general) are all even. nothing stands out too much. and i mean that in a good way. not detecting the hops until i concentrate - so a bit less than other reviews. definite "hotness" present but in a comforting way (less alcohol than i expected after smelling it).

M - medium to low carbonation. but not an issue. feels full and creamy - i really like the mouthfeel on this beer for this style.

D - i like the beer alot, but don't see myself having more than one. for the 10.5 ABV, they did a great job on smoothness, but it is a very rich beer.

Photo of midaszero
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8728

A - Opaque black with small dark coffee head

S - Smells of raw coffee and chocolate

T - Rich and excellent mix of coffee and chocolate but with a little bit of alcohol burn

M - Medium body with light medium carbonation that is a little tingly

D - Excellent cold weather beer. Could do really well with some age on it and does a pretty good job of hiding the high ABV

Photo of pburland23
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage, Batch #9512 cellared for the last twelve months. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Pours a deep, dark nearly opaque black with a surprising amount of tan head (about 3/4 of a finger). When I drank a bottle last year, there was no head at all.

Smell is a little too prickly sweet for me... raisin, sweet maltiness, a touch of caramel.

Taste is great. Rich, smooth, toasty maltiness, a hint of sweetness balanced out by a little bitterness and a touch of dark coffee. Well rounded and very complex.

Mouthfeel is thick and very chewy. It's a big, bold beer and a great after dinner sipper. One of the best RIS I have encountered.

Photo of ncstateplaya
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, simply black, used motor oil black with a caramel colored head forming around the edges leaving a subtle lace on the snifter. Tiny "korbelesque" bubbles breaking the surface. Did I mention that this beer is black?

Smell: Roasted malts, toffee, and hints of smokey dark chocolate.

Taste: Chocolate and toffee, warming sensation on an empty stomach and a detectable bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Viscous, chewy comes to mind with a velvety finish. Leaves a slight tingle on your tongue from the carbonation.

Drinkability: Expedition is definitely for the cold weather. Not a drink to get sloppy beer, although at over 10% it wouldn't take all that many. I enjoyed it pre-dinner with soon to be family. This is a beer I would love to imitate in a homebrew.

Photo of aubuc1
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a goblet. Motor oil color with tan head that disappeared quickly. Bitter malty chocolate smell, very rich. Very complex taste. Some cherry hidden in chocolate, bitter, coffee. Very viscous, thick mouthfeel that you can chew. A beer for the very discerning.

Photo of waltersrj
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage into a Bruery Snifter.

Pour: Dark black, jet black really with a bubbles around the edge of the glass tan/espresso colored head.

Nose: Dark, charred malts, dark chocolate, vanilla, alcohol, slight hops, and sweet burnt sugars.

Taste: Dark roasted chocolate malt, dark chocolate, slight vanilla, and slight hops start this off with sweet molasses in the middle, and burnt malt and alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Moderate to high viscosity here, very thick and chewy. Great for the style.

Overall: A really solid non -bals version of an imperial stout. I really enjoy the contrast between sweet sugars and charred malt. Really great brew.

Photo of schoolboy
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great big stout. It does not hit you when you open it or smell it, but the taste and especially the aftertaste are really where they should be.

It is a typically nearly opaque almost black color with a little head and beautiful lace. The aroma is subtle and roasty. The taste is a bitter hops blast of a stout. The sweetness is balanced by the bitterness. This I consider correct for the style.

The aftertaste is a wonderfully mouth full of bitter. It's the best part. I don't think I ever had this before and I don't know what I was waiting for!

Photo of tony223366
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to jzmaxson27 for trading me a bunch of great beers!

A: Gorgeous dark brown with absolutely no light penetration. Huge, thick light brown head with nice lacing. This is an incredibly inviting beer. Love the way it looks.

S: Roasted malts and tons of chocolate. Almost a syrupy, boozy aroma too. Some dark fruits are kicking around there too.

T: Huge flavors here. Tons of roastiness and velvety chocolate. It has quite the bitter finish too which I love. There's definitely a big malt presence here too. It's really rich, almost a little too rich.

M: Love the mouthfeel. Huge body and really, really thick.

O: Really tasty but definitely a sipper. I think I really needed something a little more easy drinking at the moment, but hopefully it didn't taint my review. Really intense beer. I highly enjoyed it.

Photo of jhammerly
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this in the summer of 2005. It was too much for me during the warmer months at the time. Thanks to BA, I learned a bit about being able to let beers sit for awhile. Otherwise this beer might not have been truly appreciated.

This pours like motor oil with a nice tan head about an inch or so thick. The head disappeared within minutes, leaving a thin ring around the glass that left some lacing with each sip. Burnt, roasted, and alcohol aromas hit the nose equally. Espresso-like flavor balanced with a touch of alcohol that warms the soul on a chilly evening. Despite the strength of this stout, it handles very smoothly. Excellent.

Photo of IDS
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Expedition was a beer that I would have fairly regularly and enjoy before really getting into craft beer and one that I have not been able to try in the last three years due to my move out West. Since my palate has changed since then, I decided to fork out the money and have some Expedition shipped out.

I got my bottles yesterday and immediately cracked one open. The FexEx shipping on a crisp fall day provided the beer with a perfect temperature in which to enjoy. Poured into a pint glass, Expedition looked just how I remembered, black, with a quickly dissipating caramel colored head.

The taste was fantastic. Big malt taste and what reminds me of baker's chocolate hit me the most. The syrupy texture and low carbonation of this beer, in my opinion, lends itself to the taste as opposed to hampering it. When I got to the bottom of the glass I found myself full and delighted.

While I do not believe this to be the most accurate representation of an RIS, I do believe it to be one of the most creative ones. I am glad I have 5 more waiting for me.

Photo of westweasel
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams tasting glass. The aroma contains raisins, dates, dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee.

The appearance is very dark brown/black and opaque, with a thin tan head. The taste is raisins, chocolate, figs, a little coffee, and notable carbonic bite that accentuates the bitterness in the finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly full-bodied. The drinkability is high for a Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of doubleshovels
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great pour. Its well oiled and lacy head sticks to the glass and stays there. Great depth and reflective blackness in the colour with only a hint of maghony around the bottom rim, while under the "beer review" halogen light.

For such a strong and bold appearance, this RIS has more then a hint of fruit and flowers in its bouquet. I never would have guessed, but I like it there.

Real clean on the mouthfeel and drinkability. Its alcohol is not hiden,but at the same time it lets all the flavors through, even if its one by one. Dark-n-sour fruit, molasses, dark chocolate, aged tobacco, and licorice.

Photo of ckeegan04
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The blackish motor oil pour. Thick dark brown head with excellent retention and lacing.

S - Rich dark chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Dark fruits and roasted grain as well.

T - Powerful chocolate malt flavor with a nice hop/alcohol undertone. Dark fruits, specifically fig and raising come to mind.

M/D - Very thick, creamy, and smooth. A very sippable RIS. Excellent beer.

Photo of Starchild
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured the beer into my Rapscallion and got a huge fluffy head that took some time to settle...just like HOTD Adam. Wow. Mostly malt in the nose with some hints of alcohol, cocoa, and prunes. After my first taste, all I can think is chewy. The weight of this beer makes me feel like I'm drinking brownie mix. As the beer warms alcohol makes its apearance, along with figs, burnt malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and piney hops. As the beer warms it goes from being sweet to sour and then maybe even to malty (feels like a jam band song). Anyway, quite an interesting RIS and well worth the price.

Gripe: Not knowing the age of this beer blows.

Photo of heathlayson
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of bwyker
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a massively chunky pitch black, with a mud tinted light head speckled with red bubbles. Foam settles immediately to a ring of dirty lacing and pockets of bubbles in the center of the glass. Huge punches of chocolatey roasted malts and alcohol. Taste, well I took a bite and chewed on it…like an alcohol soaked piece of dark chocolate cake with molasses icing. It feels like it was brewed with roofing tar. Immensely chunky mouthfeel. Drinkabilty was not so high, as the alcohol is a bit too noticeable. However, a great after-dinner treat.

Photo of Dave1999
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours pure black with a small tan head which lasts a little while.

The smell is sweet roasted malts, chocolate and coffee. It's a bit on the subtle side but nice none the less. Although as it warms up you get a definite whiff of alcohol.

The taste is milk chocolate up front and dark fruits with a bitter coffee taste at the end. The bitterness is quite harsh at the start but mellows as the beer warms up.

The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with low carbonation.

This is very tasty beer the mouthfeel is great and the chocolate taste is great, there's just a little too much bitterness. Although as the beer warms it tastes better and the bitterness dies down. You can't taste 10.5% abv at all.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32 oz. swing top growler.

Fabulous appearance. Deep, jet black with a thick, beige head that leaves a generous amount of lacing cascading down the sides of the snifter. Grandiose aroma of molasses, malt, charred roast, dark fruits. Dark fruits really emerge as the beer warms. Lots of charred, roasted malt as well. Full bodied, though not viscous or syrupy. A really solid beer, though there are several other imperial stouts I prefer to this.

Photo of rapidsequence
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 bottle, from a six pack.

Appearance: Blackity black with a thick light brown head. As I drink it it leaves nice lacing, and when you swirl it, it leaves legs like wine.

Smell: Roasty and bittersweet chocolate. Something smokey in there too. As it warms it becomes less chocolatey and more smokey/roasty.

Taste: Really delicious. Nice and chocolatey, lots of roastiness. Surprisingly, its a little better on the cool side. It starts out almost like a milkshake, but it becomes a little bitter, smoky and more bitter. It IS delicious, but normally, I find that I like a stout more as it warms from fridge temp.

Mouthfeel: Thick, creamy, very nice. Retains some carbonation, which is nice.

Drinkability: Love this stuff. Glad I have 6 of them.

Photo of robbrandes
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 12oz bottle, nice extra from Josh - thanks mang! poured into tulip.

pours an oily near-black. thin, brown head, recedes to a whisper of foam. nose - burnt toffee, warm alcohol. taste - big, full flavor, bitter front end, some coffee notes, nutty/cocoa middle, dry finish.

excellent mouthfeel, great sipper as it warms.

very nice stout, love to try it again.

Photo of baggio
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A: Pitch black with a big, beige, head and lots of lacing.

S: Roasted malts, Chocolate, Cookies, Molasses.

T: Espresso, Chocolate, Roasted malts, Dark sugar.

M: Thick and very heavy. Massive chocolate/espresso up front and ends with a lingering bitterness.

I dig this. Not as complex as some other stouts but thick and kickass like a stout should be.

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle batch 8729 9/17/08 so this one has a little age on it lets see what happened....slightly chilled into my brooklyn tulip

a-thick,black, and chewey looking....small khaki head with very nice lacing....

s-boozy and smells like maple syrup to an extent, roasty not as much coffee as i remember from previous rounds with this brew

t-maple sweetness up front, some alcohol but not as much as i would expect judging from the nose and the caramel and toffee in the end

m-thick and oily coats the mouth very well..little if any carbonation but im not complaining..

d-suffers a bit from the abv but i could have a couple in a sitting

overall one of the best ris out there why is this not in the top 100??? oh well i digress

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 5,200 ratings.