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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.

4,555 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,555
Reviews: 1,884
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 397
Gots: 978 | FT: 75
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: 4,555 | Reviews: 1,884 | Display Reviews Only:
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4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

griffeyb, Mar 31, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

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4/5  rDev -5.4%

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4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

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4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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4/5  rDev -5.4%

mcc1654, Mar 29, 2013
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3/5  rDev -29.1%

plato, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of LCB_Hostage
2.99/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Came across this on the beer menu at a restaurant last night and was excited to give it a try. Bell's distribution around us is spotty at best, but I did see a couple Six-packs of this in a bottle shop recently and almost picked one up. The $20 price tag was a bit high for the moment, though so I held off. Now very glad that I did.

Served on tap into a tulip

A: Deep, dark black. Little to no head by the time it arrived at the table. No lacing to speak of.

S: Less than I would have expected. Alcohol was very present as was roasted grains and some sweet fruit. A bit of chocolate lingered, too.

T: Again, not quite what I was anticipating. Almost cloyingly sweet and relatively smooth upfront with some alcohol warming on the way down, but not that much given the 10%+ ABV. I guess I'd say this was very well balanced, because no individual flavor stood out (unless you consider sugary sweetness a flavor). It did leave a trace of rather unpleasant bitterness on the back of the tongue -- not in a hoppy way, but more in a "something burnt" way.

M: The only word I could think of as I was drinking this was "oily." I expected a syrupy character from a RIS, but this just coated everything and wouldn't come off.

O: I guess I'm just not in Bell's target audience. This is the second highly acclaimed Bell's beer (the other being 2-hearted) that seem seriously over-hyped to me. This wasn't a bad beer by any circumstances, but neither was it something that lived up to its reputation or pricetag. I know that "balance" is supposed to be a sign of superior brewing skill, but to me, if NOTHING stands out about a beer, it's balanced to the point of being boring. And I would have to say that for me, Expedition Stout was an $8 glass of Meh. Oh well, different brews for different crews.

LCB_Hostage, Mar 28, 2013
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4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Shagator, Mar 28, 2013
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4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

solargoat, Mar 28, 2013
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4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

ridgeline23, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of Maxwell
4.19/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours dark and sludgy, like motor oil. A head forms of dark tan, almost chocolate brown, tiny bubbles that are very closely knit together and fade away quick, as might be expected at 10.5% alcohol. The beer’s lacing is nearly nonexistent due to the alcohol, but does live a few thin spots and some slight legs from the alcohol. The beer’s body is too dark to properly gauge. On the nose, this beer is thick with raisiny and plum malts, almost quad-like in intensity. Beneath the raisin sits a healthy cocoa smell that plays beside roasted coffee malts and thick creamy dark chocolate. The smell is boozy sweet, and stings the nostrils just enough to let us know there is thick sweet alcohol in this. On the tongue, the beer tastes thickly of bitter coffee roast with a light sweetness at the back of the tongue. The beer’s flavors begin with chewy thick almost raisiny sweet malts that move swiftly into chocolate and then into thick roasted smoky malts that bring lovely RIS flavors. The sweet malts briefly touch on a cloying level of sweetness, but are swiftly washed away by the bitter roast of the malts. The finish is fat with roasted coffee malts, char, and a slight sweet touch of raisin and dark fruit. The aftertaste is burnt char and light chocolate flavors. The alcohol of this beer, while briefly present with the cloying sweetness, is actually nicely hidden, and helps to mellow the bitter roast of the malts. In the mouth, the beer feels thick and chewy in body. The carbonation is light and nearly nonexistent on the tongue, leaving a thick creamy, velvet feel on the tongue. The mouth is left charred dry with saliva on the sides of the tongue from the light but not noticeable acidity. Overall, this is a lovely RIS. Great big flavors that are not overdoing it, and certainly seem ready to mellow into beautiful things with age. The raisiny sweetness is a little off putting at first, but works beautifully to prepare the tongue for the bitter roast of the middle and finish of the flavor. I’m excited to have tried this beer, and excited to see what it does with age. According to Bell’s this is one of the earliest examples of an American RIS, and I believe they did it beautifully. Try this beer for sure, and age it too, my bottle was a little less more than half a year old.

Maxwell, Mar 27, 2013
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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,555 ratings.