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

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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,979 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,979
Hads: 5,500
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 466
Gots: 1,424 | FT: 113
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,979 | Hads: 5,500
Photo of Roxie_B
4.82/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Looks: Black, opaque, big fluffy mocha head made of tiny bubbles and legs. Surprisingly strong head retention.
Smell: Dark fruits, raisins, chocolate malts, mild coffee, alcohol when it warms up
Taste: Sweet chocolate malts, plums, anise, cherries.
Mouthfeel: Satiny smooth with a full body and a slight alcoholic burn.
Overall: One of the best stouts out there. (365 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Champagne's for $16.00 for a 6pk. Served at a mighty low 6deg C in a tulip.

A- Opens well and pours a tiny brown head that lasts. Super dark almost black color.

S- Lots of coffee, chocolate and nuts. Super hot

T- Not very hot at all. Not what it smells like. Lots of chocolate. Touch of coffee. Good overall bend. Nice balance

M- A touch chalky but other than that pretty

O- Excellent beer. Glad there 6 in the pack.

Food Pairing

This excellent beer went well with..... Roasted pork loin encrusted in cracked pepper corns!

Enjoy (550 characters)

Photo of Gasc0igne
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 21st August 2014. Consumed @ 4 months old.

A: Cola pour, black with strong red hue at edges, medium size tanned head, short retention, nice alcohol legs, minimal lacing

S: quite dark fruit heavy, good roasted malt and no coffee, good dark chocolate throughout, licorice and alcohol finish, alcohol is actually quite pleasant though it is very noticeable, fairly subdued aroma

T: quite bitter but not overly as I was expecting, very heavy roasted malt and a beef jerky smoked salty funkiness, meaty, a decent espresso on the back end along with a milk chocolate/molasses thing, maybe some cherry...maybe

M: on the lighter side of full, a tad chewy thanks to medium carbonation, there is some dryness to the finish, some stickiness and no alcohol burn

O: glad to try this young to compare with my older bottle. A good ris and will certainly improve with age. (875 characters)

Photo of spacecake9
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On the advice of BA I grabbed a 6-pack of Expedition Stout. I'd hesitated in the past as my experience with Bells has been hit or miss.
This beer pours black with very little head. Aroma is chocolate maybe, molasses maybe.
Taste is a solid Imperial Stout, kind of pure in a way as there is not a strong chocolate or coffee tone to it.
I enjoyed my first bottle. Great beer. Now I'm going to put the rest of the bottles in my cellar and drink one a year. (456 characters)

Photo of bman13
4.84/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very good beer. Picked this one up by mistake, but man am I happy that I screwed up! It's a huge big ol plus to me that this is in 6 packs and not dumb 4 packs. There's very little beer now with this high of an ABV and of this quality that are sold that way, but on to the beer;

Just excellent is all I can say at the least. Smells and tastes of deep dark chocolate with a little molasses possibly, can't really tell but whatever is in there, is good. Slight hoppy bitterness on the finish. And has a very thick syrupy appearance with a thick sticky brown head. Just amazing (575 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeBeers
4.64/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Tried a 5 year bottle while at dark lord day this past spring and never had a chance to score it. The difference the 5 years had on this beer is astonishing. The flavors all melt together and you are left with a mellowed out version that is much more forward with chocolate notes. If you pick up a 6 pack I highly recommend drinking one initial bottle and then pull one bottle per year for the next 5 years so you can experience the transformation. (451 characters)

Photo of tedvr
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours very dark with a small, creamy head. Faint fruit smells, fruit cake like. Nice dark taste, coffee and chocolate background. Overall a great stout! (155 characters)

Photo of richj1970
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter. Bottled dated 10/23/2014.

A: Pours motor oil black with dense one finger tan head. Nice lasting retention settling to a thin ring around the edge and leaving plenty of sticky lacing.

S: Roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate bars, and molasses.

T: Very rich coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate, and a hint of dark fruits.

M: Thick and creamy. Finish is fairly bitter.

O: Excellent stout. Lots of big bold flavors and aromas. Very nice sipper on a cold winter night. (524 characters)

Photo of Sandalwood
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%

Pours a very dark brown to black color with a small light brownish head. There is a little bit of lacing. The odor is creamy vanilla, chocolate, dried fruits, raisin, coffee, and caramel. The taste is very rich, velvety, cocoa, bitter chocolate, vanilla, chalky, bitter throughout, this beer is only four months old. (319 characters)

Photo of Siggy125
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Received as an extra in a recent trade. I had not had one of these in 2-3 years. Poured 12 oz bottle into Perennial tulip.

A- Very dark brown to black in color, straight from the crankcase of a high mileage vehicle. Tan head which broke up after a couple of mins in the glass. Great lacing.

S- Bitter chocolate, burnt black coffee, faint sweetness but the bitterness dominates.

T- much like it smells, scorched chocolate, bitter roasted flavors, light toffee sweetness and maybe a little roasted nuttiness. Big time bitterness, perhaps the hop profile shining thru. The 10.5 abv not boozy at all but very warming.

M- Medium viscosity, not too heavy but not thin at all. Great mouthfeel.

Overall- A very great year round stout that serves well when you're not feeling like indulging in a barrel aged stout. Bummer not available everywhere. A definite man's stout, I'll be looking
for more to enjoy around the firepit. (925 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a snifter glass at fridge temps. 09/2014 bottle date

Appearance: black, pours like motor oil, rich brown head that rode the glass

Nose: dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, sweetness

Taste: rich and smooth, semi-sweet chocolate, slight coffee taste, thick and coating mouth feel, bitter and lingering finish, slight alcohol warming in my chest, chewy in every sense of the word

This is wonderful and easily one of the best imperial stouts I've tried. It checked all of the boxes. Good on Bell's to market this in a six pack form to give consumers good value for money. (595 characters)

Photo of BobJude
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage into a snifter.
A - Pours inky black with a 1/2 inch of head which disipates slowly.
S - Hints of dark chocolate, molasses, roasted grain and coffee. Just awesome!
T - Oh, so good! Coffee, molasses, licorice, chocolate. Quite a bit of piney hop flavor. So much going on here, almost overwhelming, but exactly what I was expecting.
M - completely coats your mouth and tongue. A little bit of alcohol burn on the back end, nice and warming.
O - a great example of an Imperial / double stout. One of my favorites along with Ten-Fidy. (552 characters)

Photo of ILMbrew
4/5  rDev -4.5%

2913 vintage. Ton of dark fruit coming through in both the nose and taste. Very mellow with little-to-no booziness. Rich and thick without much sweetness. (154 characters)

Photo of MrIncognito
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

2008 vintage. I wish I had other vintages to compare it to. Well-rounded stout with chocolate and coffee flavors. Prevalent alcohol adds nice spice without becoming too hot.

I could see this being a whole different beast without age on it. (243 characters)

Photo of deford
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated 8/12/14 into a Saints & Sinners Snifter.

A- Pitch freaking black! Half inch orange head that disappears pretty quickly.

S- A musty, syrupy coffee...maybe a hint of orange...no heat.

T- A bit different. Burnt espresso and prunes? Hard to tell, there's a lot going on here...nicely done too. The alcohol is hidden completely.

M- Really nice a bubbly when you give it a swirl...otherwise pretty standard for the style...almost flat.

O- A quality stout worth giving a go... (508 characters)

Photo of orangemoustache
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Thick and black, like the bottom poor from a french press. A firm foamy khaki cap sits atop for a couple moments before slowly dissipating to a paper thin cover that remains for the duration. The nose is sweet and brings soft notes of caramel and toffee and sweet dark fruits. WOW, this is a delicious RIS! Dark chocolate, heavy roasted malts and sweet dark sugars. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable on the tongue . The mouth-feel is luxurious. Oily, thick and creamy! Slightly dry on the finish. I could drink three in a row or sip on one for a couple hours. This one is amazing and I'm already looking forward to another! (624 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%

2012 Vintage - bottled on 10/22/2012

Appearance - Dark Brown/mahogany body with tan head

Smell - Dark chocolate, Roasted Malts, molasses, black licorice

Taste - molasses, chocolate fudge, roasted malts, dark chocolate, black licorice

Mouthfeel - Full, viscous, syrupy mouthfeel, medium carbonation, sweetness upfront, roasty feel in the back end.

Overall - Very good RIS. recommended

Price Point - $3.25/12 oz single (423 characters)

Photo of Brackh
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

Pours black as night with a nice awesome head that goes quickly. Smell is very subtle. Taste punches you in the mouth. Delicious and smooth. Thick, thick, thick. Bitter but not too much. Malt and chocolate. Seriously this beer is awesome. I am drinking from a growler. I have a few bottles in the cellar from last year and this year. I can't wait to see what a few years does to this beer. (389 characters)

Photo of EHopkinsi
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass and consumed 19 November 2014.

Date stamp on label reads 135292 PKGD 10/23/14 C. So I'm guessing this stuff is just under a month old.

Look- Pours like a dirty oil spill. The two finger thick head is solid, and has the color of some overpriced candybar frappawhappachinomucca concoction at a coffee shop. Head slowly settles down to a 1/4" layer of creamy goodness that lasts the duration. Pretty good lacing.

Smell- Malt, chocolate, alcohol. The latter is pretty noticeable, maybe just a little too much so, but not bad. It's just letting you know it's a RIS.

Taste- Yum! Tasty, malty-chocolate notes; more than just a little coffee. That's on the front. It finishes with hops that, while they take back seat to the malt, they aren't exactly shy. At the beginning of the glass the alcohol floats in with, but over top of, the hops. Not excessive or huge, but still pretty dang big, too. By the middle of the glass its rambunctiousness has faded and it is more of a suggestion than a presence in the finish.

Feel- Interesting. A little thin for my preferences in a RIS. That said, it does have a creamy, sticky-lip inducing goodness to it, though. Can't ding it too much.

Overall- One really good stout! I wish the feel was thicker, but the other criticisms almost feel like nit-picking. Getcha some and enjoy it. I will definitely have it again.

Edit- After reading other reviews, I think "molasses" is a note I should add in. Being a noob I didn't know I knew it was there until reading other reviews. (1,560 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A: Pours almost exactly like Old Engine Oil, a thick, viscous black. Almost no head formed with my pour, with what did appear a deep tan. It quickly receded to a ring and patchy cap. No light gets through this beer. None. Not a speck of it, anywhere, along any edge.

S: The smell is roasted chocolate malt, with notes that remind me of a bourbon barrel, oak and booze. There's definitely some dark fruits playing around in the background as well, like midgits running along the hills the FSM made with His Noodly Appendages.

T: A rush of darkly-roasted, burnt-black bitter chocolate malt opens the taste,which quickly transforms into a swirl of flavors. Seared molasses, espresso, cherries, prunes, and figs all dance about the mouth, atop a stage of dark earth bitterness with some pine needles mixed in. There's some alcohol burn involved as well, particularly on the back and finish.

M: Oily, thick, chewy, and sticky, this is what a good RIS should drink like.

O: This is a darned good RIS. Being a malthead, I'd have loved to see a little less showcasing of the earthy-pine hop flavors, which are noticeable and sort of horn in on the malt profile. This beer also did not hide its ABV at all to me, though the bottle was only three months old - perhaps the burn fades with more age. (1,349 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: motor oil-black ale underneath a tower of mocha head that left some vague lace behind

S: bittersweet chocolate and espresso with vanilla and molasses weaving throughout

T: deep roasted dark malts conjure impressions of sweet espresso and molasses, suffused with melted bittersweet chocolate and vanilla extract; decadent and rich-tasting

M: dense and smooth, tingle of heat, modest carbonation on the feel, touch of sticky sweetness on the close

O: a superior stout, Russian Imperial-style - something you must try when you get a chance. (544 characters)

Photo of ttroha
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Bottle from Maltitude. Pours black with a brown head. Aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruit. Taste of chocolate, vanilla and molasses, along with chocolate and coffee. Excellent imperial (197 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

12 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip glass

Appearance: Pitch black with a nice tan head that dissipates fairly quick. Lots of tiny bubbles in the head. Nice lacing, looks great, sloshes around in the glass.

Aroma: Very nice aroma, big chocolate licorice roasted malts on the nose, I am not getting any alcohol.

Taste: Taste is just like the aroma, big chocolate roast malts, some bitterness in the middle, not getting a big alcohol presence, really smooth for a such a big ABV beer.

Mouthfeel: Viscous, very thick, lots of carbonation, tiny bubbles, great mouthfeel.

Overall: This is an excellent imperial stout, from the imperial stouts I have had, I would judge that this is one of the smoothest. The beer's flavors blend really well, nice thickness, high drinkability, just outstanding, glad to have this in CA. This is a must try. (854 characters)

Photo of Kendo
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bottle (package date: 8/22/14; consumed on 11/13/14 - as we get the first modest snow flurries of the year, leading me to think "Stout season!") into a Speiglelau tulip. It's thick on the pour, and black in the glass with a half-finger brown head on top. Very nice collar of lace on top, with slow-fading legs of lace after each sip refracting the light like the prism on Dark Side of the Moon.

S: Big stout nose. Dark fruits, molasses, chocolate and roasty malt.

T: Big stout flavors too. Chocolate-covered raisins, molasses, black cherry, roasted malt, charcoal and smoke all play nicely together, with a bit of cocoa powder and piney hops at the finish. Booze makes its presence known at the end of the sip, though after a few sips I've gotten used to it and barely notice anything more than the warming in the belly. And the buzz on the brain.

M: Thick in heft, modest carbonation at best leaves it slightly syrupy - but that's fine with me for a big stout like this.

O: Awesome stuff. I will likely drink this sipper far too fast. (1,064 characters)

Photo of hopflyer
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/22/14

Pours pitch black with dark tan head that dissipates quickly but maintains a thin ring around the glass.

Nose is chocolate, coffee bean, and toffee. Some charted wood and a touch of licorice.

Taste is full flavor of rich dark chocolate and mild coffee. Very roasty and rich. Awesome! Charred wood notes come thru and are prominent and some bitterness rounds out this big stout. Almost no booziness detected but just a slight burn hits nicely.

full body and silky smooth. This is what a stout should be. Low to medium carbonation. The mouthfeel fits the taste profile well. long finish and flavors hang around a while.

This is definitely the best stout and best bells brew I've ever had. full of flavor and perfect texture. Bonus for being available in 6pk format. Perfect stout while watching the first snowfall of the year tonight. (866 characters)

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
93 out of 100 based on 1,979 ratings.