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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

4,921 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,921
Reviews: 1,916
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 419
Gots: 1,103 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,921 | Reviews: 1,916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Johnny58
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Johnny58, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of addiwilliams
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

addiwilliams, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of TheBrewo
3.99/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

We crack a bottle of their 2012 stock, pouring a brew of the deepest brown-ebony coloring. It puts up a two finger head of oily, golden brown colored bubbles, showing nice retention. Uniform spots of lacing adorn the glass, and a tight aggregate remains atop the liquid for most of the rest of the tasting. No haze is noted, but variably thick chunks of lacing are seen floating about. Carbonation appears to be surprisingly active, with the bubbles rising rather quickly in the syrupy muck of it all. The aroma is dark and brooding, with darkly roasted sweet grain of chocolate, brown, coffee, oat, and cereal varietals, with accompaniment from boozy warmth, buttered cornbread, soy sauce salts, cinnamon, Tootsie roll sugars, baby powder cleanliness, light plastics, vanilla extract, almond milk, and coconut flesh. Our first impression is that the flavoring is much fruitier than the nose would suggest, with nice sweetness to contrast against the hotness of the booze, and the bottomless of the grain. As we sip, the taste opens with syrupy brown sugars, clean powdered oat, fusel booziness, milk chocolates, raisin and fig sugars, plum flesh, warmed pear, chocolate malts, and what appears to be a plastic, soapy-like hop character. Moving to the peak is a mash of buttered pie crust, dark toffees, black pepper spiced booze, powdered cinnamon dryness, white sugar, vanilla extract, and an intensely calming smoothness of heavy creamer and lactics. The ending wash comes with stark booziness just as it hits, with a rumbled following of cocoa powder, burnt chocolate malts, raw barley and oat, chalk, biting yeast, coin, dark molasses, dark cherry tartness, roasted almond, bittered grainy roast, and soy sauce saltiness. The aftertaste breathes of burnt caramel, faint charred smokiness, black leathers, phenolic plastics, black pepper, fusel alcohol, powdery dryness, chalky graininess of oat and cereal, muddy earthiness, and further bittering dark cocoa nibs. The body is as full as can be, while carbonation is light to medium, but with distinct prickle to the center of the tongue. Each sip gives nice slurp and smack, with pleasant cream and froth. Finishing pop is excellent, with syrupy licks to the lips, and a boozy pucker to pull it down to the center of your palate. The mouth is initially oiled and slick, dripping into ethanolic coolness and mild, gritty astringency. The abv is appropriate, and the beer is a definite sipper.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was its nice look on the pour, and its rich flavoring. The latter explodes from that first sip, with surprising sweetness and fruitiness after that dry, heavy aroma. The flavors run deep, cutting grooves with raw cocoa, bittered roast, gritty grain, soft smokes, and intense booziness. These remain robust throughout, with little melding by the end of the tasting. Rather, they keep at odds with each other, acting to provoke the strength of the next through competition and contrast. That said, the final picture is cohesive enough to appreciate, and you are left kind of wondering what just had its way with you. Tasty, weighty stout, really left only to those who can handle a big Russian bad boy such as this.

TheBrewo, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of kodt
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

kodt, Aug 09, 2013
Photo of JamesZ
4.75/5  rDev +12%

JamesZ, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of dwoolley1
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

dwoolley1, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of Hoptoudrop
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Hoptoudrop, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of jacksonweite
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

jacksonweite, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of I_BYE_MI_BEER
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

I_BYE_MI_BEER, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of rgilbert
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

rgilbert, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of pfcorsar
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

pfcorsar, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of rturkaly
4/5  rDev -5.7%

rturkaly, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of Fargrow
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Fargrow, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of BrooBub
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

BrooBub, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of OhioBobcat
4.75/5  rDev +12%

OhioBobcat, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of Quafftastic
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Quafftastic, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of jfstilling
4/5  rDev -5.7%

jfstilling, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of Goobastic
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Goobastic, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of linnymtu
4/5  rDev -5.7%

linnymtu, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of rmcnealy
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/2/2012

Poured a non-translucent, dark brown that didn't appear to have much, if any sediment. The mocha tinted dirty ivory head faded quickly to leave a small but evident ring around the glass. It was a bit colder than ideal when initially poured so it's been sitting for a few. The first smells had a bit of aged funk but as it warms those scents have become less straightforward. Dark java roast, dark chocolate, sweet caramel, and slight funk can best describe the aromas. There is a slight bitterness and the 10.5% abv is masked pretty well. It is very thin and nowhere near the typical syrupyness you come to expect in higher ABV stouts. The tastes fade quickly and leave something to be desired. Overall it's not a bad stout. The consensus seems to be that Expedition stouts get better with time. Perhaps in another 9 months I'll give another go and update. Not my favorite Bell's brew or RIS, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Cheers!

rmcnealy, Aug 03, 2013
Photo of Beerdudenumberone
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Beerdudenumberone, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of stvanderwoude
4.75/5  rDev +12%

stvanderwoude, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of brandon911
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

brandon911, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of falloutsnow
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From: Hyvee, Council Bluffs, IA
Date: Bottled 2012-10-02
Glass: Standard US Pint glass

Bell's Expedition Stout is an excellent version of the style, filled with robust flavors of charred bread, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee. One I would definitely get again, though other strong stouts (Plead the 5th, Blackout Stout, Founders RIS) are more competitive in price and overall experience.

Pours a 1.5cm tall head of dark tan to light brown-colored foam, made up of small bubbles with a fairly dense appearance, with average retention time of one minute. The head fades to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass and a thin layer of wispy lace atop the body of the beer that remains for the duration of the drinking session. Lacing is modest, but present, smallish dots and blotches cling to scattered portions of the glass. Beer's body is dark brown to black, opaque, with light changing nothing. Carbonation is not visible in this beer's void of a body.

Aroma is good, but not as potent as I was expecting or desiring: it's almost subsumed by its own weight. Scents primarily of dark chocolate powder, burnt toast, minor roasted coffee beans, and ethanol.

Flavor of heavily burnt toast, charred sweetness as from a very dark chocolate bar, dark roast coffee beans, flourishes of alcohol-soaked vanilla, and ethanol itself. Front palate finds charred, chocolate-like bread with some residual sweetness, and dark roast coffee beans. Mid-palate of burnt toast with residual sweetness, very dark chocolate, dark roast coffee beans, vanilla, and spicy ethanol. Back of palate notes burnt toast with rich, heavy sweetness, dark chocolate and roast coffee beans, and ethanol. Aftertaste of spicy ethanol with charred toast and cacao nibs.

Beer is medium-heavy to heavy in body, carbonation of a medium-low intensity, yielding a minimally foamy, primarily chewy stout. Ethanol is definitely present, particularly in the nostrils and back of throat, though tingling can be felt on the palate, too. Closes semi-dry, with substantial stickiness clinging to the palate and lips after each sip.

falloutsnow, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Ultra-Plinian, Aug 01, 2013
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 4,921 ratings.