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: 465
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 Highlander15401
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

2pppurchased in Kalamazoo, MI around early May 2003. Very little carbonation with lively nose of dark fruits, toffee. Good mouthfeel & light spice, licorice on the finish. Smooth & satisfying! (192 characters)

Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. Bottle. (2013 vintage) courtesy of northstar23 Thank You!

It's me again, drinking another beer that MD never sees. Unless you're In DC or around VA. Enough of the regional B.S., time for the brew. This brew pours fantastic I might say. Solid black body that lets no light shine through. On top is a Mocha colored head. World class example of an Imperial Stout, IMO.

The aroma should tell me what I am getting into. First whiff I pick up is roasted malts with hints of oxidation (for the better). Brings on a fruity/port aroma that sings to the nostrils. Leaves the backend with cocoa and coffee roast. No booze detected. Very nice!

Now it all depends on the flavor...so tongue what's this tastes like? Like the nose describes plus more richer! Nice fruity characteristics that has been rolled up in English toffee. The malts are roasted and semi-sweet with cocoa. The finish is sweet and dry with slight bitter detection on the sides of the palate. The aftertaste is the pure winner. It's like the sweet/toasted flavor that a great quality Whiskey would provide. The body is both medium built and very smooth. World Class!

Overall: This brew is Amazing. Nothing offensive about it. It comes in like a storm and leaves you satisfied. This perhaps is my favorite offering from Bell's to date. I say that because I've had a few, yet this one leaves me in awe. I'm not going to blab too much about this brew. I will give you this, this brew is Shroud Approved, aka Recommended! (1,486 characters)

Photo of blbarnett3
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Poured into an oversized tulip, extremely dark with a one-finger light brown head that subsided fairly quickly. The aroma was dark chocolate and dark fruit, along with herbal hops. The flavor is dark and faintly roasty, with chocolate hints and dark fruits, mainly dried cherry and plum, complemented by assertive herbal, almost medicinal hops. I can see how this would be viewed as a challenging stout, but being a fan of hoppy beer, this was close to just right as far as I was concerned. (490 characters)

Photo of ChazLow
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

When I first smelled this the immediate scent I got was Chocolate and a hint of oak. It is definitely a sipping beer but for a beer with a higher alcohol content it is very smooth and very easy to drink. As for the taste it is great. I got hints of chocolate and caramel along with some oak and even a little bourbon.
Great beer definitely worth buying and you will not regret it. (383 characters)

Photo of IKody
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Bottle 8-22-14 Consumed 11-3-14
Look- poured like used motor oil in color.
Agitate- Head has a mocha/caramel appearance.
Smell- Roasted malt with dark chocolate, followed up with a hint of alcohol.
Taste- Bitter on the front. Middle of the mouth you get a roasted coffee and malts taste that's real thick. Finish is dry and bitter. I never get that strong alcohol taste which tells me this beer hides it really well considering it's 10.5% by Vol.
Cheers (455 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/22/14
Consumed 11/2/14

Appearance- Pours pitch black, opaque. Almost no head present, slight razor thin. Agitated beer and out pops a beautiful mocha/cinnamon colored head. Frothy and thick, dissipates back down.
Smell- Big dark chocolate notes, roasted malts as well. Some nice sweeter caramel aromas come through, dark fruits as well w/ maybe a tinge of alcohol.
Taste- Bitter roasted/charred malt, accompanied by nice dark chocolate notes, lingering coffee. Nice craminess throughout, caramel, almost mocha type flavors, pick up some dark fruits as well.
Mouthfeel- Excellent thick/full mouthfeel. Super creamy and super silky. Feel really enhances and accentuates the wonderful flavors. Moderate amount of carbonation.
Overall- Wonderfully balanced flavors, intense bitterness is finely offset by creamy taste and feel. The aroma and mouthfeel are perfectly wrapped into the overall enjoyment of this beer. Everything great about this particular style of beer seems to be present and celebrated in this beer. (1,023 characters)

Photo of kidrogers
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Not usually a fan of imperials, the alcohol burn is never a friend of mine. But this one was different, it was more flavor than booze. One of the few rips that I would order while out! Loved it (198 characters)

Photo of Jeffwildcat
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up for $10 for a six. The date shows Aug 2013, which I just realized. Since the abv is over 10 it probably just got better. Creamy with hints of coffee and chocolate. Would have to put this in the same league as bcbs, but may have to do a side by side comparison. (279 characters)

Photo of delta490
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep inky black. Absolutely no light gets through this. The head is pretty thick, initially a deep brown settling into a thin light tan disc. Light soapy lacing. The aroma is pleasant, deep roasted malt tones and alcohol's sweet astringency. The taste has a pleasant rich maltiness and the alcohol from the aroma fades into the background. There's a just enough hops to balance the huge roasted malts. The body has a nice heft to it and a silky feel. There is a tingling left on the tongue from the big ABV. (515 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
4.77/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Highly recommended and is not as pricey per bottle as many other imperial stouts; excited to try this.

A - Deep dark black. It pours very thick with dark brown head and good lacing. Poured so thick cold that there wasn't any carbonation coming out of solution until I swirled the beer in the glass as I poured

S - First tones that I notice were the dark fruits and then plenty of roasted, chocolate, caramel, toffee, and sweet malts. No discernible hops but there is so much complexity that I just want to keep smelling it forever. Has some burnt chocolate cake that is awesome.

T - The first sip you are overwhelmed with the typical imperial stout flavors with roast, malt, caramel, cocoa, and there is a distinct fruit character in the middle of the taste. Not as much alcohol flavor as I had expected but with so much flavor and thickness I didn't even notice the burn. There is a strong roasted bitterness that helps balance the sweetness from the malt and raisins in the fore tongue.

M - HUGE mouth-feel with light carbonation. Very thick and heavy not allowing your mouth to escape the amazing envelopment of the Expedition. Though it is so thick it seems to go down very smooth and not be cloying or wrecking on the palate other than the coat of malty goodness.

Overall, this is a tremendous beer. So much flavor packed into every sip. This RIS is very tasty and though I've had some beers of this style that I liked more, it doesn't diminish the fact that this beer could contend with the best of them. I know that there are some people out there that would have a hard time dealing with the thickness of this stout and the punch but I love it. I strongly recommend this RIS especially since it is easier to get and cheaper than some other amazing Imperials out there. I still prefer Ten Fidy simply because of the even more rich and malty profile with slightly less of the dark fruits but since it's cheaper I might have to get this instead from now on.

Glass- Snifter (1,983 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: Barons Market in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $1.79
Purchased: Oct. 22, 2014
Consumed: Oct. 29, 2014
Misc.: Packaged on Aug. 22, 2014 with unlimited shelf life

Poured blackish, even dark purple, color with 1-to-2 fingers of frothy, khaki tan head. Went from a pour to calm and serene in about 12 seconds. Surprisingly very light spots of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Also below average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.88)

Smelled booziness up front, initially reminding me of a mudslide - vodka, coffee liquor and Irish cream liquor. Also the usual suspects - caramel, toffee, milk chocolate, roasty malts, nutty malts and cocoa powder. A tad like a chocolate milkshake, too. Not too bad on the nose. (Smell - 4.00)

Taste was about what I expected, albeit a bit rougher and earthier. Got boozy coffee liquor and Irish cream liquor up front. Also toffee, caramel, chocolate milk, bitter roasty malts, roasty nuts, earthy chocolate syrup and crayon. (Taste - 3.88)

Full body. Sticky-to-slick texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming finish. (Feel - 4.38)

A pretty good RIS. I’m usually a sucker for these types of beers, but I don’t think this was great. Just pretty good. (Overall - 3.88)

3.95 | 89 | B+ (1,292 characters)

Photo of johng
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Just had it for the first tap on tap, bought a growler in North Bellmore, L.I. Even better than the couple of times I drank it from bottles in Kentucky. Incredible mouthfeel. Totally smooth. Hints of chocolate, molasses and a slight taste of coffee. Beautiful jet black color with a great creamy head. A top-three stout for sure. Must get another growler soon. (367 characters)

Photo of pkalix
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

beautiful chocolate milk appearance and head..... love the roasted aroma: chocolate and barley! taste is thick and bitter, as I've heard from others. still very young, only two months away from bottling, lots of bitterness with the cocoa, chocolate and roastiness. thick coating of micro-bubbles down the side with each drink. nice coating on the tongue with a residual sweetness and bitterness. gave two away, got three more to let sit. i'm betting this will mellow nicely with some time. (489 characters)

Photo of Bockrules
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a used motor-oil black with a 1-finger, tan head. Head becomes a thin ring of bubbles about halfway down the glass and leaves behind moderate splotches of lacing.

S - Big nose here of dark run, dark fruit, and plenty of chocolate malt. A little bit spicy on the nose to boot.

T - Chocolate upfront. The body is a delicious blend of milk chocolate, plum and dark Sailor Jerry's rum. It is delicious. Spicy rum and hops as the beer passes over the back of the tongue. Finish of chasing a shot of Bacardi with a cadbury candy bar.

M - Full bodied and exceptionally creamy, this beer seems to expand to fill your entire mouth with chocolate-rum goodness.

One of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts with huge flavor and a perfect creamy mouthfeel. I definitely see myself picking this up again next time I'm in Ohio. (872 characters)

Photo of 312HopBomb
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

A: Pours a dark blackish chocolate capped by a dark mocha head that's small with fine lacing. Oily appearance.
S: Robulst aroma of roasted malts and barley with sweet chocolate, nutty and rich.
T: Rich dark chocolate, molasses and some toffee. Maybe a slight fig mixed in. Rich and robust, incredibly flavorful and fulfilling. One can hardly tell the 10.5% abv with all these rich flavors.
M: full, rich, velvety, slick, smooth. Moore drinkable than BCBS
O: Actually exceeds my expectations which were high. I have always wanted to try this but always passed it over. Wish I had tried it years ago. This is a top tier stout on it's own with no barrel aging....wow. Bell's knows stouts. (694 characters)

Photo of spacebear09
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Appearance- Deep blackish brown beer with a foamy tan head. Good head retention and lacing.

Smell- Chocolate, leather

Taste- Dark chocolate, dates, prunes, soy sauce, tobacco

Mouthfeel- Creamy, very thick

Overall- Good, but not one of my regular stout purchases. Quite expensive at $17 a sixer, but still cheaper than buying bombers. (337 characters)

Photo of Hesscabob
5/5  rDev +19.3%

Before I review this, I must disclose my favoritism towards this specific Stout over Bells "Preferred" Black Note Stout.

A - Dark as night, mocha, dark bown, head. Tight bubbly carbonation that sits on top without disapating too fast.
S - Like roasting marshmallows on a cold night which chocolate. A smore with booze involved.
M - Perfect. This is how a stout should feel... creamy, thick, coats the tongue/throat/ mind.
T - Way better than Black Note in that... this is perfection. No under/over doing the carbonation. Tastes like it smells.
O - If i go to the bottle store and dont see anything worth drinking or anything that can beat Expedition... I walk out with this, which is why I have many saved for verticals. (725 characters)

Photo of Dwkasper
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

A: Thick, black like used motor oil. Thick khaki head with fine lacing. Looks like a very inviting stout

S: very light caramel and coffee with a hint of oak

T: Rich but bitter coffee, chocolate, molasses

M: very nice stout. Thick and smooth with a little alcohol burn and bitter aftertaste but still pleasant

O: First stout of the fall for me and it's delicious. Very satisfying and enjoyable. The more I try of Bell's beers, the more I like the brewery (463 characters)

Photo of silverblaze540
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

A - Motor oil black and completely opaque with almost no head. What little head there is is tan in color.

S - Dark fruits. Prunes and cherries. Malty and sour.

T - Intensely complex taste. Strong fruity sweetness, malty, and a light bitter aftertaste.

M - Very thick and smooth. Strong burn from the alcohol.

O - Very strong flavors. Very sweet with not a lot of bitter. Almost a dessert by itself. Very interesting beer. (433 characters)

Photo of teromous
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From the label: "13415 PKGD 08/22/14 C" so it is just under two months old.

Appearance: Oily black with a thick creamy khaki head that fades leaving fine bubbled lacing on the glass.

Aroma: I pick up the scent of caramel and a hint of coffee. It is very light on the aroma.

Taste: It has a very very rich flavor consisting of coffee, oak, chocolate, molasses, and a hint of bourbon around the edge. The bottle doesn't say anything about bourbon barrels or anything but this is how it tastes. It is a very excellent tasting stout.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is superb. It is thick and smooth. It is a sipper, but it doesn't burn with the high alcohol content.

Overall: This is a very excellent RIS. It is thick, smooth, and full of flavor. Less than two months in the bottle and it has the quality of a well-aged imperial stout. I highly recommend trying this out and buying more than one. It is very easy to drink and is delicious. (934 characters)

Photo of corywalston
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%

A. Aggressive poor and a ballet of bubbles and a reverse waterfall of deliciousness. This must be what the universe look like being born. A sliver of black at the bottom of the glass that grows into existence out of the ether. Once the show is over there is 2 inches of brown head that retains its structure.
S. Sweet, liquorish, coffee, taffee, dark fermented figs.
T. Smokey, charcoal, liquorish, soy sauce, coca. After Taste is charcoal, figs, and slight onion but in a very good way.
M. Thick delicious creamy syrup. Hell yah
O. Very good, I would definitely recommend to Imperial stout lovers. This is almost as good as Great Devide's Yeti. I was told it gets better with age, so there will be a case in the basement next to the Yeti. (740 characters)

Photo of Nugganooch
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle dated 10/22/1012
Notes from 08/24/14 with my FW snifter glass

Big thanks @brooklynbrews for this long time want!

A: The pour is semi-thick and settles dark as coal-black in the glass with no light seeping through whatsoever. A thick and steady sponge of mocha tan foam comes to rest over top. Never fully subsides leaving some large globules of lace left clinging to the glass.

S: Smells intensely dark and roasty with black strap molasses up front. Has that light soy sauce likeness with charred sugars close behind. Deep roast grains evoke a chocolate espresso note and this is fairly rich. I get some some earthy hop presence and mild alcohol noted in the back. Really nice nose filled with dark roast and mild scent of wet tobacco coming through.

T: Very chocolaty with cocoa nib, more molasses, dark grains, and coffee extract. I get a deep roast malt char with a delicious marshmallow note and amazing balance of brown sugar sweetness. There is a bit of gritty loam like bitterness with some stale pine to this and it kind of drives more of a cocoa powder coarseness but it doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyment. Alcohol is nicely tamed and I would say this beer is hitting its stride at 2 years. A little light licorice noted in the finish. Delicious stuff here. Drinks so smooth for such a big brew.

M: Full bodied with a super smooth and creamy mouth feel. Turns a little choppy from a moderate amount of bitterness midway but finishes smoother with some light dryness. Nicely balanced with a sticky coat.

D: Drinking smooth and lush with such a rich and complex roast going on. I have never had this fresh but I can say that at two years this is drinking marvelously. A really well balanced drink considering the size of this bad boy. One should probably take their time with this but I struggled to do so.

Really special guy this brooklynbrews who cellared the bottle properly just for my enjoyment long before even ever making my acquaintance. (2,010 characters)

Photo of BradenMK
4.65/5  rDev +11%

Age. This. Beer. It's begging for it. Sometimes overly harsh with the hop profile when fresh, once this hits the two year mark (and literally, for years and years after), this beer is a magical creature complete with fairy wings and unicorn horns. Always a hop bomb, the roasted, chocolate notes just get deeper and more nuanced and more smooth with time. A superb stout that any fans of the style will already know is delicious. (429 characters)

Photo of beerdedking
4.65/5  rDev +11%

Bottled 9/25/13 poured obsidian into snifter with a thick cinnamon head. Just beautiful to behold.
Scents of raspberry truffle and plum brandy. The complexity has really come through after a year of sitting.
The dark fruits have melded perfectly to the dark chocolate and roasted barley. Still a touch of alcohol on the finish
which I prefer. A beer of this nature should have a bit of heat. What an experience. Just think, there are more
of these just sitting there at my bottle shop. Not for long.... (513 characters)

Photo of MonkeyBread
3.1/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Tastes like used motor oil. If I wanted something so acrid, bitter and viscous I'dattach a funnel to the gas tank on my car. Bell's seems to have no clue how to produce a decent stout. Pretty much their entire line is an undrinkable mess. How this gets nationally distributed is unreal. Take your average home brew and it would taste like the second coming of Christ compared to this undrinkable mess. (401 characters)

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