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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.

4,479 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,479
Reviews: 1,876
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 383
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: 4,479 | Reviews: 1,876 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of bowzer4birdie


4.23/5  rDev 0%

Had this on draft @ Local Option after I had a BORIS. Side-by-Side I favored the BORIS although I realize different styles at play here.

Dark fruity sweet smell with some bitter chocolate. Great head (dark brown) and thick lacing. Complex flavor with roasted malts / dark fruit and it seems that dark fruit influence lingers on the aftertaste for awhile which is a good thing. Nice change from some of the hoppier, heavier roasted brands like Plead the Fifth (which I enjoy as well).

06-14-2014 14:03:58 | More by bowzer4birdie
Photo of SkeeterBoganski


4.23/5  rDev 0%

Bottle to snifter.

A - thickfreakness dark; mocha head; significant lacing and retention; also, dark

S - roasted malt; a bit of dark coffee; some slight sweetness via bakers chocolate; just a touch of leather

T - dark chocolate; dark coffee; some espresso; malty; sweet and syrupy; roasted/smokey; a decent amount of hop presence; maybe burnt maple syrup

M - obviously this beer is pretty heavy; full-bodied, but smoothly carbonated; creamy; alcohol heat present but not overwhelmingly so; pretty smooth overall

O - a damn tasty stout that packs a pretty serious punch of heat and roasted malt, coffee flavor; it's drinkable but will sit you down in a hurry because of that 10.5; there are some bitter chocolate notes present but the balance is there for sure.

12-13-2012 01:45:55 | More by SkeeterBoganski
Photo of hopsolutely

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev 0%

Pours a silky, inky near-black with brown highlights at the edge of the glass. Impressive head off the pour dissipates quickly, leaving little lacing, but still a pleasure to behold. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy without being heavy or overly oily.

Fulsome aroma of roasted chocolate malts, oak tannins and smoked peaty whisky. These intertwine and transition directly into the flavour, which lingers for an impressive length of time. Multi-layered and complex, there's a lot going on in this taste portfolio - and I was oblivious to the almost over-the-top 10.5% ABV until the burn at the finish (and reading the label).

I'm no expert, but view this as a stunning example of this particular style.

07-20-2012 01:54:41 | More by hopsolutely
Photo of neckbracesub


4.23/5  rDev 0%

Only brewed in the fall & winter of each year, this is one of Bell’s Brewery’s most absolute potent stouts, and it has the flavor to back it up.

I had my first taste of Expedition last October and I have been in heavy search of it wherever I go since. Dark and complex, this is a near-perfect beer (aside from some of the bitter aftertaste) that will delight the senses.

Bell’s is one of the most diverse and consistent breweries in America, and this is one of their royalty.

03-09-2012 00:23:06 | More by neckbracesub
Photo of Kadonny


4.23/5  rDev 0%

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Bottle dating has this bottled in August of 2013 so it's fairly fresh.

A: A deep dark black color that allows no light to come through. A normal pour produces a 3 finger light brown and reddish head. Nice full glass lacing sticks.

S: Lots of stuff going on here. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, espresso, tobacco, tar and some dark fruits. Wow.

T: Follow the nose on this one. Loads of dark chocolate, coffee grinds, huge roasted flavors, some tobacco and slight dark fruit flavors. Not much sweetness on this one and then the finish turns into a bitterness bomb. Alcohol is tasted at the end but is very well mixed with the other flavors. The beer is a bit edgy when young, so be ready for it. This is a fantastic and complex beer.

M: Full, coating, prickly, bitter and alcoholic. Nice.

O: This is a top shelf stout that will stand up with the best of them. It's fantastic fresh but quite extreme when young. I also know it ages with the best of them so don't be afraid to stash a few of these away. I bought an entire case and will be enjoying them over the next 2 years.

Awesome beer, not for the faint of heart, but if you like extreme beers, this one is it.

11-12-2013 13:55:00 | More by Kadonny
Photo of BradtheGreat7


4.23/5  rDev 0%

Another review taken Winter 2012 though I've had this one many times before.

12 oz brown Bell's style bottle with simple yet very neat artwork. Not much to it, but this is a label that shows what Bell's is all about. One of my favorites from them. Poured into a Bell's pint glass.

A - black in color with dark brown edges. Very RIS like, duh! A dark tan head rests on top and is actually fairly nice In size. This stout pours and looks ridiculously thick and massive. It's an excellent take on the RIS style.

S - chocolate and dark chocolate malts with an abundance of roasted goodness. Black coffee bean creeps up but is fairly minimal to the malt character. Dark fruit and the slightest whiff of licorice were detected down deep. With some smoke in the back end of the nose.

T - bitter chocolate and dark ripe fruit make a real bittersweet start to the taste. Layers upon layers of dark chocolate and roasted malt swing massive right and left hooks into my palate only to take a short break with a small hint of coffee bean and smoke. A massive bittersweet finish.

M - big bodied and thick. We all love thick. It bombs the mouth with loads of stout goodness. This is a big stout. It drinks and tastes like a big stout. It's not something meant to down easily one after another. This as good as it gets in the world of overly huge imperial stouts. This will make a man of you.

O - when you pair Bell's Brewery and the RIS style you get Expedition Stout and boy am I glad those 2 hooked up. This is one of the best year in and year out imperial stouts you'll find. It's something I enjoy every winter and something I look forward to aging. Oh yea, I forgot about that.. Expedition Stout does well setting in a cool dark place for any period of time. But that's another review for another day. If you like big roasted bittersweet stouts get your hands on some Expedition. Highly under appreciated in today's craft beer scene. An all time favorite of mine.

10-18-2013 14:38:27 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of kaips1


4.23/5  rDev 0%

12oz bottle into a snifter glass

a- dark as night(gotta love it), small dark brown head that left quickly, small carbonation when swirled or moved,not a lot of lacing
s-smells like heaven
t-almost heaven,lots of coffee and chocolate
m- nice and viscous
overall its a winner, becoming one of my fav ris

03-17-2011 03:12:19 | More by kaips1
Photo of nUgZ

North Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with a minimal head and a little lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, and some smoke.

T: The taste is very much like the smell with the addition of some bitter hops. The alcohol is somewhat detectable.

M: Full bodied with ample carbonation. More carbonation than I like in a RIS.

O: Very enjoyable. I would like it more with a little less carbonation, but overall it's a very solid RIS.

01-18-2013 01:08:41 | More by nUgZ
Photo of flagmantho


4.24/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Packaged 10/2/12, so it has a little over 9 months under its belt at this time.

Appearance: entirely black body with two fingers of extremely rich and creamy tan foam. Wonderful.

Smell: richly malty with lots of roast in the works. Very good indeed, but it lacks the complexity often found in the style.

Taste: now that's more like it; we start off with a rich and bitter roasty character. Some dark fruit flavors are beginning to develop at 9 months: raisin and date especially. Some lighter fruity character from the alcohol is also present, which adds a nice depth. It finishes off with a mild bitterness and a little bit of vegetal hop flavor, but this doesn't detract too much. A nicely complex and very tasty RIS.

Mouthfeel: all the body in the world, this thing is like black oil. Not a huge level of carbonation, necessarily, but the massive body has a wonderful smoothness that I love.

Overall: this is a very delicious beer. Since this was my first Expedition, I couldn't wait to age it any longer; I just had to dive in. In future, if I can get my hot little hands on some more, I will age 2-3 years and see what happens.

07-13-2013 06:20:30 | More by flagmantho
Photo of Duane_Opfer


4.24/5  rDev +0.2%

12 oz bottled poured into a Spiegelau glass. Packaged on 8/22. Consumed on 10/24.

A - Brown approaching black with a cinnamon colored head. Less delicate pour yielded a 1 finger head which fades quickly. Carbonation appeared light. No lasting lacing.

S - Rather fragrant. Licorice, vanilla, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and alcohol notes. Somewhat boozy.

T - Licorice, vanilla, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, caramel and almond extract. Slight dark fruit, perhaps, raisin. ABV not completely hidden, but does not taste 10.5%.

M - Higher carbonation initially than comparable stouts and lighter bodied. Carbonation wears off somewhat quickl. Generally sticky in corners of mouth, like most stouts.

O - Good, but not great. Although a wide spectrum of flavors , flavors are less intense. Licorice was an interesting addition though. Mouthfeel compared less favorable... less creamy, lighter bodied than comparable stouts. Worth a try, but better options available.

10-25-2013 02:12:45 | More by Duane_Opfer
Photo of aaronplayford


4.24/5  rDev +0.2%

Purchased from bells as vintage 2007. The numbers match.

Pours mildly carbonated with a dark tan head.

Smells roasty and warm.

Tastes full, robust, roasty and still slightly bitter and warms after the swallow. Roast and slight bitterness lingered after.

Viscosity is thick but on par for its style.

Overall if you can age a beer 5-6 years and have it still taste this robust and roasty you've really got something. Wish I'd been aging this stuff since I knew what craft beer was.

02-13-2013 04:40:43 | More by aaronplayford
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

4.24/5  rDev +0.2%

A - Deep dark brown, nice half finger of dark chocolate head, head recedes after about 90 seconds and lacing is pretty non existent in my snifter/tulip hybrid.

S - Roasty nose, lots of bitter burnt malts, molasses, woody, smells very rich.

T - Oh man, super roasty and bitter. Coffee and anise, minimal dark fruit flavors, burnt sugar. Lesser rich chocolatey and burnt molasses type flavors. Finish is sweet and transitions into a roasty bitterness. Aftertaste is relatively bitter

M - Quite full bodied, incredibly smooth, no carbonation, a great warming brew.

O - Very robust, tasty, bitter, big stout. A really really fantastic tasting sipper

08-20-2013 02:51:52 | More by MacQ32
Photo of delaced21


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

03-05-2014 16:06:02 | More by delaced21
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

04-23-2014 08:28:39 | More by BubalooBrewMaster
Photo of Ben7773


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

02-09-2014 05:16:01 | More by Ben7773
Photo of VernonKell


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

11-07-2013 01:47:26 | More by VernonKell
Photo of henryclay_

South Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

05-10-2014 15:35:53 | More by henryclay_
Photo of Lgrec8

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

03-02-2014 18:24:38 | More by Lgrec8
Photo of MNMike


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

12-08-2013 05:51:08 | More by MNMike
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,479 ratings.