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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,363 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,363
Reviews: 1,995
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 447
Gots: 1,327 | FT: 99
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: 5,363 | Reviews: 1,995
Photo of Winter
2.87/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presumably from the 2002 bottling as none of this six pack's residents are sporting any neck labels. Pours a thick viscous black with absolutely no head what-so-ever, even after an attempted hard pour. Aroma consists of alcohol, expresso and chocolate. Some sweetness also detected. Full-bodied and coating mouthfeel. The taste is vinous and alcoholic. Grainy and chocolate flavors emerge toward the back. Finishes dry with a roasted malt and ghost-like tabacco flavors.

Defintely a sipping beer and very hard to finish. I did not want another one, and quite frankly, how many of these could one desire, especially with the carbonation issues? My impression, at least from this batch, is that this beer is highly overrated. I'm not completely turned off, but I'll wait for the new bottles. The Bell's retailer should have these pulled off the shelf and supply a more fresher, properly brewed and bottled product.

Photo of Hop_God
2.88/5  rDev -32.1%

Photo of ThirdLap
2.89/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this through a great trade with aforbes10. Thanks Andrew!

Split this one with BA member 'macktbone' in two standard pint glasses. The minimal amount of dark brown head dissipates quickly, leaving only thirty-weight motor oil. Swirling the glass coats it with a translucent brown coating that is slow to disappear.

Lots of soy on the nose, with molasses, dark roasted malt, along with some sweet alcoholic beverage that I can't put my finger on. Some have said sherry, but I'm not sure that's it.

As promised, I'll be honest about what left my lips upon taking my first taste of this beer. I think the exact words were something along the lines of "holy shit".

It's not bad, just not well-balanced. I get way too much soy here. Very tangy and astringent with lots of burnt flavors... I get some coffee and caramel. The alcohol is very in-your-face.

Mouthfeel is much how it looks to be, thick and viscous. This beer really coats the mouth. Carbonation is minimal, and I really think a bit more would perk this beer up a bit.

Getting through my half was a bit of a challenge. I will probably return to it someday, hopefully on tap. Right now it just reminds me a bit too much of a SA Triple Bock. Hopefully the HopSlam arriving tomorrow will provide a better example of what Bell's is capable of.

[EDIT: I'm really thinking my bottle had gone bad. I will seek out and re-review this beer as soon as I can.]

Photo of Wolfpack2005
2.9/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle to DFH snifter

A-Pours slightly heavy leaving a dark tan 1 finger head that fades quickly, Pitch black in color.

S-Picking up a little bits of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Also a slight alcohol smell as well. Nothing very strong.

T-Strong burnt malt taste up front with a slight taste of old coffee. After the harsh taste fades i'm left with a strong alcohol taste that lingers for a while and is not masked at all.

M-The only redeeming quality of this beer is the smooth mouthfeel and relatively low carbonation, which I like for this style.

O-Very disappointed in this brew coming from such a solid brewery With the high praise it gets I was expecting a lot more. Seems very unbalanced and lacks any sort of complexity. Not a good example of the style. I'll lay one down to see if time helps the flavors blend, but otherwise will probably not buy this one again.

Photo of kjyost
2.9/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 9512

Poured quite oddly, with a moderate pour no head was appearing,so poured aggressively and after the pour the head built up nicely leaving a mocha head of a finger atop an inky opaque body. Moderate lacing. The aromas coming off were initially very strongly of molasses with a slight coffee undertone, evolving to a more balanced nose of molasses and malt.

Burns lightly of alcohol on the palate. Feels too cold initially,so I need to let it warm up. A strong bitterness that is upfront and lingers. Molasses, with maybe a bit of roasted malt underneath. As the drink built a cloying sweetness that seemed wrong for this beer built and built until it became difficult to drink and the bitterness lingers too strongly.

Prickly in the mouth and covers it initially but doesn't feel like its there after save the bitterness stuck on your tongue.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
2.93/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Taken from notes taken on 3.31.11
Bottle code 9971 bottled on 9.13.10

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a motor oil black with red edges. A small, slight brown head forms.

S - Scents of coffee, nuts and bourbon are present.

T - Chocolate, and a bad bitter coffee.

D - No carbonation, almost flat.

O - I think this was an oxidized bottle, not good.

Photo of CaptFrothy
2.94/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

9/26/11 date on the bottle, so this is better than 2 years old, cellared.

Looks the park, dark and menacing with not much beyond a thin white ring of head.

Smells decent, but I can smell the alcohol, that's not a good thing for me.

Taste is burnt coffee, bitter chocolatey with some alchohol on the back end.

Overall, I'm disappinted, this has been conditioning in the basement for over 2 years, mouthfeel has no silk at all, somewhat prickly, the bitter chocolate/coffee taste with alcohol isn't working - ten tidy, old raspution lost abbey serpent stout, BCBS all vastly superior tasting imho.

Photo of LukeGude
2.96/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Inky and black with minimal head. Boozy smell. I normally love a good stout but the alcohol overpowers on this one.

Photo of merman69
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured very dark, with a nice thick brown head that stuck around for a while. Smelled great, with a nice roasted aroma. Notes of coffee and chocolate. However, was dissapointed once I took a sip.... it is SICKLY sweet! I almost couldn't drink it. The flavor was good, what I would expect from a nice dark stout like this, but the sweetness was too much and by far overpowered the experience. So sweet that I didn't even realize it was a 10% ABV selection until after I had a few sips.

I've heard good things from their other stout, but I don't think I'll be having this one again.

Photo of Stoneman78
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Received in trade from MuenchenerKindl

Appearance is clear brown-to-black hue, huge thick brown head of creamy condensed foam dissipates to a moderate thickness, moderate lacing on the glass

Smell is toasted malts and alcohol mostly, tones of bitter chocolate and coffee, some toffee and earthy green tones

Taste is bizarre, so much so that I wonder if this may be a bad batch, mostly burnt bitter coffee malts and a strange load of dark fruits and grassy earthy hops, some sour buttermilk sensation creeps through, the finish is bitterly acidic with slight alcohol warming

Mouthfeel is medium-to-full bodied, creamy smooth texture borders on watery, low carbonation

Drinkability is poor, i have heard a lot of good things about this beer and would love to give it another shot, perhaps on draft, just in case this was a bad bottle. if this taste is indeed representative, there is just too much sourness and bitter burnt malts to warrant a return visit

Photo of bwd110
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into Stone RIS Tulip.

A: Traditional motor oil black, very viscous looking. Really cool dark brown head, darker than most. This goes away quickly leaving a very thin sheet of lace.

S: Alcohol fumes abound. This one could do better with a toned down abv. If the nose is a clear indicator, this is gonna be one raw IRS, and probably not one of my favorites.

Also getting dark chocolate and espresso notes, and a sharp molasses sweetness underneath the alcohol phenols - sort of unpleasant.

T: Boozy. The alcohol hits hard and fast, with an almost bourbon twang to it. Black licorice and anise dominate any coffee or chocolate notes. I think I need to cellar my remaining stash to smooth this one out around the edges.

M: Thick and chewy. Fairly creamy and would be quite smooth without the alcohol burn on the way down. Overall, very good fit for the style.

D: Slow sipper, need to move on after one.

Overall, this is a decent IRS, but does not live up to the hype. I'd easily place Stone's RIS and Old Rasputin above this one. Heck, give me a Kalamazoo or Double Cream/Expedition Blend over this one. Too rough around the edges for my tastes/abv needs to be better masked, a boozy mess IMHO.

Photo of mashedpotatoes
2.99/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black, very thick and viscosey. Head is minimal. Smell is strong alcoholic, cough syrupy. Taste is bittersweet molasses. Aftertaste lingers a bit too long, especially with the excessive astringent taste this beer permits. The feel is round, sticky but invasive to the palate, I feel like it's setting up unwanted camp on my tastebuds. Drinkability is low, although the ABV is high the balance of off flavors and peculiar aftertaste leaves me longing for something different. Suggestion: Try all Bell's as a single first. I've found severe inconsistency in this brand.

This one was not bad but also not good.

Photo of whitekiboko
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of mtparty37
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of fiedler84
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of Bieniek30
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of timjim1327
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of Beestin
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of user785335
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of hopsandstouts
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of JohneHoodlum
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of ZPB
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of marcb105
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of Geekly
3/5  rDev -29.2%

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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 5,363 ratings.