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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.

4,523 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,523
Reviews: 1,880
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 389
Gots: 967 | 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: 4,523 | Reviews: 1,880 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of burnstar
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black and thick out of the bottler. Huge persistant dark tan head clings to the glass as it slowly recedes. Coffee and chocolate roasted malt aroma dominates the nose along with some excellent fruit notes. Powerful espresso and chocolate roasted malt flavor hits first. The finish is powerful alcohol followed quickly by hoppy bitterness. There is a lingering roasted malt aftertaste and bitterness with notes of fruit. Mouthfeel is heavy. Not extremely drinkable but very good stuff. Definitely could pick up a six pack of this in the winter.

burnstar, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of harrylee773
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

harrylee773, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of malcontent
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The black body that doesn't allow an iota of light in is mounted by an unmovable flinger of khaki-colored head. Simply beautiful.

Layers of aromas stack up as following; chocolate, leather, smoke, cinnamon, and butter. Dark fruit surfaces upon further inspection. Nice.

Roasted malt jumps out right away accompanied by a bittersweet chocolate that never relents. Much less dark fruit here instead hints of juniper and earth are the supporting flavors. A strong coffee taste finishes as part of a dual bitterness along with a shocking (and welcome) hop kick. Falls a bit short of greatness due to the aforementioned hop character; the aggressive nature makes me think they went with Chinook or Challenger or another freakish varietal.

Creamy and rich without ever feeling sticky or oily. Carbonation is certainly there preventing the listlessness the style sometimes suffers from.

It's obviously a dastardly strong beer but the alcohol is scarcely detectable. I have had a few substandard bottles of this in years past. However, it appears as though Bells' has worked out the kinks with Expedition and they now have a beverage firing on all cylinders.

Thanks to kryptic for the trade.

malcontent, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of thekanna
3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pitch dark with a very thin head and a somewhat oily texture.

S: Roasted coffee beans, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla extract, complementing a dark roasted malt character.

T: Strong roasted malts, coffee and chocolate. The roasted flavor really shines through, although it is lacking a (somewhat expected) smokiness. Faint sweetness counters a bitter note at the end.

M: Big and smooth; heavy as anything.

D: Nice to sip, but it's so heavy that I found myself taking a long time to finish the bottle.

thekanna, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A half finger charcoal mocha head diminished and retreated revealing a tar black, oily brew with minor ribbon lace. The beer is perfectly opaque - a deep dark black hole to look at. Heady smell of burnt toast and dark chocolate, coffee beans, tree bark, smoke, very complex.

Make no mistake, this is a huge RIS and very strong and assertive. Black licorice dominates, charcoal, flashes of sour that initially made me pucker - must be the hop presence. Overpoweringly rich, boozy, like a high ABV barley wine made with anise. Very creamy in the mouth, dense, heavy with hops, dark toasted malt, burnt and smokey. This beer literally blew me away, savoured and sipped, it took on subtler aspects with air and warming but demanded respect. It took me a long time to finish it. Next time I find a bottle of this, it will stay considerably longer in my cellar.

ThatWineGuy, Jan 03, 2010
Photo of YalovaIA
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

YalovaIA, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of KFrank729
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

KFrank729, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of tmm313
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%

When I first bought this two years ago, I read how bitter it was when new, so I aged it for a couple of years. Its a pretty complex stout with big coffee, dark chocolate, some licorice, and caramelized brown sugar. But yes, it is still pretty bitter. The finish reminded me of a bitter hop bomb lightly subdued with dry dark chocolate and light pine mixed in. Overall, it was nice. Super viscous, sweet, bitter, balanced, and not much burn.

tmm313, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of NickyDee21
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

NickyDee21, Dec 08, 2012
Photo of saintwarrick
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black coffee, fairly dense body with a thin but prominent brown head that quickly disappears. Aroma is sweet and a bit chocolatey, but roasted coffee and dark rum stand out with a bit of dark chocolate cake mixed in. An oil thick brew, very chewy and a sipper; lots of dark bitter cocoa with black unsweetened coffee in the taste. Definitely more bittersweet than most of my usual RIP's, a bittersweet collaboration by the dark malts and the hops than just a usual hoppy bitterness.

Wow, a very dark and complex brew. A good beer for a colder month in lieu of a big winter dinner. Great stuff.

saintwarrick, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of FullObs
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

FullObs, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of marshmeli
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

marshmeli, Apr 01, 2013
Photo of marcobrau
4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled February 7, 2008.

Pours pitch black with light carbonation. What foam there is settles quickly and after while this looks like espresso in my snifter. Intense aroma of cocoa and burnt grains. Taste is aggressive; dark molasses mixes with bitter hops and cocoa. Gets a touch before an intensely bitter finish. Feels thick. Awesome stuff. this world needs more Imperial Stouts and fewer Imperial IPAs. That said, this needs needs to sit for at LEAST a year. Don't attempt to drink this stuff fresh, it'll scar your tastebuds.

marcobrau, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.95/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle served lightly chilled in a Trois Pistoles goblet.

Appearance: Inky black with no highlights whatsoever. Wow, über-dark. Topped with a fantabulously gorgeous and healthy mahogany brown head. It eventually settles down to a film and a ring, but only after a good long while. Extraordinary lacing, just plain extraordinary.

Smell: Dark roasted coffee, high quality cocoa, light prunes, mild smoke, and slight biscuit aromas. Damn, that's dark and complex. I spent a good few minutes just sniffing this incredible elixir of the gods.

Taste: Intense and bittersweet coffee flavor with hints of smoke. Notes of prunes and raisins. Aftertastes of pepper and piney hops that last forever. Just friggin' incredible.

Mouthfeel: Thick, robust body. I've often pondered comparing the body of a beer to a woman's body, but have quavered for consideration of those possessing homozygous sex chromomes. Now, I shall throw caution to the wind and just say it: if this beer were a woman, she'd have the body of a 50's starlet like Jane Mansfield of Marilyn Monroe. Va-va-voom!

Drinkability: Well, I sadly only have one bottle, and this is it. *sniff* >.< *weep* I love this. Trades will be made, oh, yess.. yes they will. Worthy of it's placement in the top 50. Curse you Bell's for making such tasty stouts of all stripes!!!

Mad crazy props to feloniousmonk for making this possible. My second child shall be named after you, even if it's a girl.

ManekiNeko, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of azorie
4/5  rDev -5.4%

azorie, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of djgustafson
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

djgustafson, Mar 24, 2014
Photo of Skye1024
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Skye1024, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of heysuz
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

heysuz, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of metalgdog
5/5  rDev +18.2%

metalgdog, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of mhenson42
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

mhenson42, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of Nordbier
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Nordbier, Mar 09, 2014
Photo of ackeeper
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

ackeeper, May 22, 2013
Photo of csiewert
4/5  rDev -5.4%

csiewert, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of atoulouk
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

atoulouk, Nov 26, 2012
Photo of Atlas1
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a generic pint glass. This beer is deep pitch black. I hold it up to the light and nothing gets through. A seriously dark stout. Very nice. Pours a fat, heavy two-finger head which is a burnt orange color. It is thick and sticky, and cakes along the side of the glass as the beer recedes, leaving a very nice lace. It's strange, but I just don't get much out of the aroma here. I would have expected more, but the aroma is thin, with some slight coffee notes and hints of hoppiness. But otherwise, there's just not much in the way of aroma here. However, what it lacks in smell is made up for in flavor. This beer is delicious. Creamy, dark chocolate sweetnees mixed with a bitter coffee taste. It is nutty as well. Finishes with a noticeable amount of heat; you can really taste the alcohol in the aftertaste. Still, it's not a huge distraction, but it's just too hard to hide all of that 11.5% ABV. A wonderful winter brew, this stout will definitely keep you warm on a cold February night.

Atlas1, Feb 03, 2007
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,523 ratings.