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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.

4,462 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,462
Reviews: 1,875
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 381
Gots: 949 | FT: 77
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)
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Ratings: 4,462 | Reviews: 1,875 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Batch #9971

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a Playboy pint glass.

The color is a dark black with a thin brownish head ans some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is raisin with a bit of a rum flavored nose. Some boozy flavor is slipping out in the aroma and gives off a bit of a dry fruit flavor.

The taste is a bit rum raisin, is warm with a heavy alcohol flavor and taste slightly like a bananas foster. Some caramel flavor mixed with a toffee like crunchy flavor.

The feel of this beer is big, with a high ABV giving this beer a punch that was unexpected, this beer has you on the ropes. A really fascinating stout.

12-01-2010 09:33:46 | More by Duhast500
Photo of Jules11788


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A: Thin film head, very light lacing; super black color that lets no light through at all

S: Sweet malts, chocolate, musky wood, vanilla beans, a touch of bourbon

T: Starts with some raisins and figs up front, transitions into a sweet smoky woodiness that finishes slightly bitter; finishes with flavors of dark fruits and bitter malts that linger.

M: Medium body, light carbonation, barely any booze

O: This was a great Imperial Stout, one that I would probably get again

11-19-2011 20:14:08 | More by Jules11788
Photo of

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

12oz. bottle

Opaque black, with a modest brown head. Towards the finish, edges appeared to be a clear, dark mahogany color.

Aroma was molasses, dark fruits (raisins & figs), and chocolate.

Taste was mainly sweet, and followed aroma. Chocolate, dark fruits. After a bit, coffee and roast came into play, more at the finish. A bit of bitterness at the end, not much, though. Alcohol was present and strong enough to be noticed. Finally, at about room temperature, a soy sauce like flavor came into play.

A very thick body, chewy and viscous. My idea of a stout. Creamy, based on (my guess) very well integrated carbonation. Smooth and dry. Alcohol warming in play at first sip.

Wow, thickest beer I've ever had, I believe. A sipper for sure, and what a way to spend a winter evening.

03-05-2007 15:02:12 | More by
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance: Nice jet black murky color with a deep brown head.
Smell: You can really sense the depth and richness in the spicy aroma. Very much reminds me of bread with a very aged fruitiness.
Taste: Great blend of dark malt and a slight hoppy spiciness afterward. The malt almost leaves you with a chocolatey bread aftertaste that sticks on your tongue for a long time.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: Just enough carbonation to smooth out the heavy oily texture of this masterpiece. Great stout. Its presence really stays with you and gives you a warm feeling.

02-18-2010 00:16:47 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of MikieV


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours very dark, almost black with a thick, rolling rich rust colored head. Thick rust colored lacing stuck to the glass as I drank.

First, I have to admit, this was my first ever Imperial Stout.
I was in love from the first sip!

This is a bold, robust beer. It has very intense flavors. Dark bitter chocolate, booze, roasted malts all come through. Some slight fruitiness as well. A fairly thick beer, leaving some solids in the bottom of the glass. Very smooth mouth feel despite it's thickness.

At 10.5%, one of these is just right for me!

05-02-2011 02:50:19 | More by MikieV
Photo of BretSikkink


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Dark and viscous pour that leaves about a millimeter of tight brown foam. Little retention, it falls to a thin ring quickly, but the lace on the glass is extensive.

Dark boost fruits on the nose, with a jolt of coffee and chocolate roasted notes. Rummy. Lots of character and power but a little hot.

Flavor follows suit. Molasses and chocolate and coffee grounds. The dark fruit component is very strong. Thick mouthfeel, quite viscous and slick. A little hard on the drinkability but a full bodied and fruity stout.

02-28-2011 03:59:54 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of afausser


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A: A vigorous pour into a 12 oz snifter results in a thin half finger of burgundy-singed dark tan head. The retention on it is not very good, though to be fair, it is fairly high in ABV so I'm not sure I should have expected too much more. Leaves an uneven ring of bubbles around the top of the glass and little wisps of foam on the top of the brew. The color itself is an opaque dark cherry that lets little to no light in, with tiny, slow moving carbonation bubbles. As you drink, a fine sheet of tiny bubbles of lacing glitter down the edge of the glass and leave a few patchy areas behind.

S: Smells wonderful from the moment you crack the bottle--I can't wait to see how it warms. Heavy milky caramel, vanilla, and slight toffee, as well as rum soaked fruits--raisins, prunes, apricots, and sweet cherries. Also quite a bit of licorice, particularly when agitated, as well as a hint of sweet apple pie as it warms.

T: Quite earthy and smoky, particularly in the aftertaste. Roasted malts and very dry burnt toast. The fruit and candy flavors in the nose definitely take a back seat here, at least while it's still relatively cold. Does get a bit sweeter as it warms--almost syrupy in the flavor, and then evens out and is nicely balanced. The rum soaked fruits also come out quite a bit when warmed. Lesson learned, let it warm--it's almost a totally different beer.

M: Very dry, and the fine carbonation doesn't do this one any favors. Feels like I just ate something on fire--very smoky in addition to how dry my mouth feels after just a couple sips--oh, and it's foamy, too. It's not especially hot, particularly for the style and ABV, yet the aftertaste is almost overwhelming. Does get far better as it warms, but I'm not really impressed with this mouthfeel/style combination.

D: Does go down rather smooth and creamy with little heat for the ABV, but the mouthfeel is pretty frustrating until it warms significantly and the carbonation nearly dies down completely. A great beer overall, but drinkable? One to let warm and sip.

01-28-2010 14:47:38 | More by afausser
Photo of LordAdmNelson


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A- Opaque black. Small milk chocolate head. Laces moderately.

S- Coffee, chocolate, slight phenolic/alcoholic nature. Some oaky, nutty notes in there too. I'm getting a hint of sweetness too... can't really pick it out but maybe raisin? Pleasant.

T- This is a good stout. Wood, smoke, espresso. Slight bitterness from hops, a little alcohol bite. Aftertaste is great- dark and roasty.

M- Smooth, oily, creamy. Little or no carbonation. I like it for the style, but personally I would prefer a little more carbonation.

D- Tough ABV, but definitely a good sipper. Another good brew from Bells.

05-08-2009 02:40:06 | More by LordAdmNelson
Photo of armock

New York

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A - Poured a black color with a brown head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt with chocolate scents and a hint of alcohol

T - Follows the nose with roasted malt with chocolate and some alcohol in the finish

M - This beer has a full body with lighter carbonation to it

O - this is a very enjoyable beer it taste great making it way to easy to drink this one is worth seeking out to try sometime

05-05-2011 01:13:17 | More by armock
Photo of xnicknj


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

12oz bottle poured into snifter

Pours a deep black color with a thick crop of browned head. Soft filmy retention with clouds, plenty of spotty lacing on the glass.

Strong scents of caramel, bittersweet dark chocolate, roasted malt, raisin and candied fruit, alcohol warmth.

Plenty of richness in the profile with dark chocolate and stiff breaded malts. Roasted dark flavor with rich sweetness. Raisins, cherries, and burnt brown sugar all swirl together. Finishes with alcohol heat and silky smooth chocolate body.

Full body, lighter carbonation, velvet smoothness and easy on the tongue. Drinks really nice, great feel, solid profile, and something I want again.

05-14-2011 03:32:44 | More by xnicknj
Photo of blakesell


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Got a pint before Dave Boston's tragedy of losing a whopping 4 gallons from an exploded bung on the cask.

A-poured thick as motor oil and frothy as all get out. A Coffee black/brown frothy head that lingered like an uninvited guest that just won't leave. It seemed like hours and was at least a full 20 min before the head died down sufficiently. The tension mounted as the head retained.

S-Slight rasin, plum, Chocolate, coffee, cream? must be lactose sugars

T-A little sweet, frothy from the force carbonation of the cask. Chocolate malt, Black Patent, non-malted barley, hints of smoke. finish thick and sweet but still black like my lungs back when I smoked clove cigarettes. Sticky on the lips like back when I smoked them as well. Alcohol creeps up and quick. I'm wondering if it's the same percentage it has always been, but 11.5 isn't shabby by a long shot. Oh, hoppiness comes out in the finish as well.

M-Thick like a mouthfull of blood after getting hit with a baseball bat. I'm a little morbid today, let's go closer to thick like eggnog, with almost as much creaminess. I'm glad I had water nearby as well to balance it out so I could drink it all and soak it in over the duration. Slight drying finish.

D-This is by far the best cask conditioned beer I have ever had. I could have drank this all night but only dealt with one due to the tasting after. I regret that I have but one palate to blow away for my community.

These are the stouts that myths are made of.

04-21-2007 04:58:29 | More by blakesell
Photo of gmfessen


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured into a pint glass, beer is so dark, light cannot penetrate it. There is almost no head and the beer is very heavy. The smell is wonderful, of intense/complex chocolate malts with hints of caramel. The taste is just as complex, with an alcohol bite at the end, but not too bad considering the 11.5%. Almost no hop taste is apparent, covered completely by the roasted chocolate malt taste. The mouthfeel is dense and smooth, a very thick beer with little carbonation. This beer would be best served as a nightcap, served in a snifter - to be smelled, enjoyed and sipped, not drank in mass quantity.

09-02-2006 05:13:56 | More by gmfessen
Photo of ryantho00


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

This pours into the darkest of night black and leaves a nice 1.5finger foam that is reminicent of an iced mocha coffe drink.

I get deep coffee and cherry whifts from this one, with a bourben-like undertone followed by some chocolate. Very nice indeed.

This beer is fantastic. I get a full chocolate, oatmeal, coffee, caramel, cherry, spice, taste from this great beer. Very full mouthfeel that gives way to a nice smooth swallow, followed by a dark cherry/hop/mocha aftertaste that leaves you wanting more.

This is a great RIS that can creep up on you quickly as it's quite enjoyable to drink all night long.

Great job Bell's, Cheers!!

05-22-2011 21:38:23 | More by ryantho00
Photo of joe1510


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

12oz Bottle
$15.00 6-Pack
Bell's General Store

Packaged 10/25/07

This is a fresh bottle consumed on 11/23/07. Expedition Stout pours midnight black and actually swallows up the light present. A one finger faded brown head grew on the pour and fell rather quickly to a thin skim coat leaving somespotted lacing on it's way down. An expected expierence with the high abv.

The aroma starts off with some deeply and freshly roasted barley. This roastiness is consistent throught the aroma and everything else is just a compliment. Deeply roasted coffee beans, a quick flash of dark fruit, quick lactic quality on the second half, and a flash of spicy alcohol and mild hops on the backend.

Flavor goes hand in hand with the aroma. There's deep roasted qualities from both coffee and malts. Lactic, still green from the freshness, a touch of dak fruit, and a nice alcohol spiciness on the swallow. It's actually nice to get an alcohol kick from an RIS since most don't let the alcohol add the complexity needed.

Body is heavy but leaning more toward the medium side of the spectrum than the hugely creamy side. Alcohol fumes exhale through the nose. Spiciness warms my cheeks. There's more of a hop presence than tasted or smelled and it leaves the tongue somewhat beat up.

This, especially in it's raw young age, is a sipper without a doubt. I could easily drink a couple in a night but that's about all.

Another great beer from Bell's. Their stouts are above verage to outstanding. This is one that leans toward outstanding. I reviewed this one while it was very fresh. Up next will be an ged example and this beer ages with the best of them.

11-24-2007 05:40:30 | More by joe1510
Photo of Dubbercody


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Batch 7205

Thick and dark and viscous in that freaking awesome imperial way. Good warming, a bit of a ABV burn that I would foresee mellowing out with a bit more age on it. I would love to try a few year old bottle of this.

I have to say I love this style of beer, gotta enjoy it when you can, cause I won't be cold forever...damn global warming.

02-13-2007 04:48:03 | More by Dubbercody
Photo of Chriscrundwell12


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Darkness snifter.

Bottle Date: 9/13/2010

A- Dark motor oil color, nice lacing, ½ finger mocha head dissipates quickly, to a thin ring around the glass, slight carbonation
S- Dark fruits (plums, raisins, cherries) caramel, roasted malts, slight coffee in the background.
T- Sweet and bitter, warming, dark fruits, roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla, slight soy sauce but does not take away from the taste, roasted coffee notes as well.
M- Medium to big mouth feel, sticky, crisp, slight mouthfeel.
O- I’ve heard mixed reviews about this beer, so I was not sure what to expect coming into this. I would have to say that I really enjoyed this brew, very good stout, big warming beer, with complex flavors, really easy drinkability, the abv is well hidden, although the carbonation was not there it did not take away from the beer IMO.

06-28-2011 06:28:43 | More by Chriscrundwell12
Photo of wheelinshirt


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Another bottle on my journey to start liking, loving, or at least appreciating stouts. 12 oz poured into a wide-bowled tulip for swirling. jet black used up motor oil color, thick milkchocolate head that sticks around for a little bit and ends up as a thick, creamy collar and random little islands of bubbles. Looks very good.

Smell is textbook stout, the key here is that everything is balanced and under control. Roasted coffee, lots of chocolate, warming booze. Very good.

Taste is very similar, thick and creamy mouthfeel, too. A damn fine stout. Drinkability is where this one falters a bit, that might be a bit of personal bias against these dark beers, but i can't take that high-alcohol, bitter roasted malt in too high of quantities.

12-09-2007 22:30:56 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of Bmoyer0301


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

**2006 Vintage**


Upon pulling off the cap there was just a ever so faint hiss coming from the aged bottle. Poured into my DFH snifter glass, comes out very thick and syrupy like old used motor oil. Very spotty thin tan head that was paper thin at best. No real carbonation bubbles going on here. As I give my glass a swirl the viscosity is very thick and creeps slowly down the walls of my glass.


Like opening a jar of molasses and maple syrup. There are loads of licorice, chocolate, slight ash, jagermeister, with absolutely no hop presence. In the back end I am pulling out black cherries, brownie mix, and some heat alcohol.


Huge robust flavors, dark smoky chocolate, charred meat, raisins and burnt caramel. As I let my glass warm up a little bit more and more espresso flavors are coming out with faint earthy hops that have faded greatly. Very thick on the mouthfeel, mouse, creamy and very thick and long lasting finish that coasts your throat like cough syrup.

01-08-2011 16:38:59 | More by Bmoyer0301
Photo of Nutleybeer

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Pours thick, almost syrupy-like to the edge of the glass. It leaves a mild head somewhat coppery in color. This stout is dark like night, like a bottle of espresso.

The smell has a mild roastiness and hints of licorice.

First taste is nice, smooth but strong. The spiciness remains present. It almost creates a tingle on the tip of my tongue. Not your typical stout, there is more present here. A thick, rich flavor.

It is heavy and as noted above, rich. Full of underlying flavors. Mild coffee perhaps, with a bit of roasted essence.

A really good representation of a stout. Bought a single bottle at Capone's in Norritown. No place else in the NJ/Eastern PA area have I ever seen this available.

03-01-2009 20:42:38 | More by Nutleybeer
Photo of pheggeseth


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

Single 12oz bottle bought at The Blue Max in Burnsville, MN for $2.59

A: tremendous 3 finger head, great cascading effect, pours very thick

S: roasted malt, hops, hint of chocolate, alcohol

T: roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, possibly from the hops, warming alcohol

M: the thickest beer I've had yet, very oily, pretty strong carbonation, the bitterness is a little too much for my taste

D: again, the bitterness is a little much, but it is very smooth, quite the sipper, just one prompts an immediate contemplation of the meaning of life

12-03-2007 02:49:18 | More by pheggeseth
Photo of chiefkellen


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

-12oz bottle served in 22oz snifter
-02/23/2010 At home, relaxed

Aroma: Alcohol present with some deep caramel tones. Agitation revealed a depth of dark fruits, namely prunes, with a hint of licorice. Hops are present in the nose, but not overpowering.

Appearance: Very dark, almost black with a dark reddish/brown hue about the sides of the glass at beer's surface.

Taste: Burnt malt noted upfront with some dark fruit and caramel sweetness. Lingering bitterness from the hops caresses the palate as roasted malt sticks to the lips and back of tongue. Some coffee notes present as well as alcohol.

Palate: Full body with mild carbonation. Beer coats the mouth with flavor ending in satisfaction on back of the tongue.

Overall: Extremely enjoyable imperial stout from Bell's with great malt complexity with strong roasted notes. The hop aroma and bitterness is nice. Alcohol is present, but should mellow with age.

02-27-2010 15:21:56 | More by chiefkellen
Photo of BeerForMuscle

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

A - Almost black pour with a chunky, bubbly, sticky brown head that hangs around.

S - Chocolate covered raisins, dried dark fruit sugars i.e. figs, currants, dates. Once again, a pretty solid raisinette aroma. Some sweet alcohol floating.

T - Very dark, very roasty with a nice touch of hops to balance. A nice amount of dark fruit sweetness and chocolate. Smooth warming alcohol provide a nice facet.

M - Silky smooth creamy mouth. Spiced, warming alcohol finish. Dry and sweet aftermath.

O - A nice imperial stout. The dark fruits gave this one a different twist and was well combined in the flavor profile. Smooth and soft with each sip and finish. Had this paired with black forrest cake at a Bells beer dinner.

05-04-2011 04:33:01 | More by BeerForMuscle
Photo of CHADMC3


4.22/5  rDev -0.2%

The opaque black body lies beneath the mocha colored head that is dense and creamy and while there is not a ton of it, it hangs on for quite a bit before dissolving yet leaving hints of its existence throughout the beer.

Robust roasted coffee malt aroma floats from the glass. There are only hints of sweet milk chocolate and perhaps a touch of vanilla.

The flavor is amazing with slightly charred roasted malt, coffee, touches of anise, and underlying milk chocolate sweetness.

The mouthfeel offers a thick, robust body with generous carbonation and a palate coating finish that leaves the flavors kicking around for a while.

One of my favorite RIS’s for sure. This beer has so much to offer and while it is intended to be a sipper, it leaves you seeking more.

10-15-2011 22:23:47 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of joemcgrath27

Alberta (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev 0%

big assed props to my bizzle in crizzle andrenaline for including this in our lastest trade
A - tar black with a thumb of dark brown head after, dissipated slowly and retained at a good level given the ABV
S - sweet milky chocolate and dark roasty aromas, leafy hops are strong enough to come through with some light musty aromas
T - silky milk chocolate and cold pressed espresso, bitter roastiness and leafy hops, light earthiness with a pleasant ABV kick on the finish
M - thick chewey feel, quickly moves to a tingly warm ABV heat that thins the feel out through the finish, but leaves the mouth coated
O - this is such a tasty mix of big malts, chocolate, coffee, and hops compliments that i could drink this on the reg, too bad for me that Bells is not available in my area code

03-11-2012 06:59:12 | More by joemcgrath27
Photo of HattedClassic


4.23/5  rDev 0%

The beer pours very little head but still leaves a nice brown ring around the inside of the glass. Despite the lack of head, the beer still leaves some nice lacing. The beer is less of a pitch black and more of a very dark brown similar to dark chocolate. Unlike other Russian Imperial Stouts, the beer appears to have smooth surface. The beer has a strong sweet dark chocolate smell but with bitter undertones such as cocoa and the occasional hint of smoke. Additionally, the smell has hints of booziness with slight fruity hints. The smell is not very strong but is certainly complex. Unlike the smell, the taste is extremely strong and complex. The strongest flavors appear to be roasted malts and cocoa but become subtly overwhelmed by a dark chocolate taste at the end. The beer also has a slight boozy and vanilla taste as well that complements the other notes. The mouthfeel is very smooth and rich. Even though the beer is full-bodied, the beer is not heavy. Rather, the feel is more present that you know its there but not so much that it overwhelms. Overall, an excellent beer despite its price range and worth getting and aging.

12-10-2013 03:33:07 | More by HattedClassic
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,462 ratings.