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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.

5,043 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,043
Reviews: 1,928
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 427
Gots: 1,143 | 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: 5,043 | Reviews: 1,928 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gopens44
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, I have no idea how long this bottle had been at my house. It went from cellar to fridge about 2 months ago (planned on drinking it, but forgot to...) and I reckon I bought it 3 - 4 months ago. I even forgot to check the date. I'd assume this was a 2010 release though. Sorry for sketchy vintage notes!

A - Poured all sorts of black. I didn't see much head happening so I began pouring this with some vigor. Still didn't see much. I turned away for a moment while it was settling only to return to a dark brown head explosion flowing out of the snifter onto my counter top. So let's just say it eventually developed a monster foam head....

S - I let this warm up pretty well in order to get some decent aroma. What I found was a pretty run of the mill RIS signature, holding coffee and chocolate

T - This is where I was blown away. Deep, rich bitter chocolate flavor with coffee in there as well. Very well masked alcohol (couldn't detect any at all in the taste actually). I can compare the depth of flavor to the depth of color in barrel dyed leather. No matter how far you try and sift through this to find a point where the flavor drops off, it simply doesn't happen. At no point throughout this wonderful thing did it ever waiver from the richness that I initially tasted, and in fact, it just grew more tasty throughout.

M - Very viscous, almost chewy. Silky and creamy. There was certainly some alcohol warmth in the back of the throat as well. Full bodied with very little carbonation on the tongue. Mildly bitter aftertaste.

O - To say I was "wowed" by this is a gross understatement. I'm sad that I hadn't discovered this sooner, but now I know!

Photo of Pellinore1
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of paresis
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of beachbum1975
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

So here I am, ready to engage in my latest expedition - what's more fitting then an Expedition Stout! I had my 3rd child yesterday (10/9/08) and I can't stop reviewing beer because of a new baby! ;) After sneaking in a beer from the newest batch, I'm sitting in the recovery room of the hospital typing up this review...

Today I bought a six-pack of the uber-fresh 2008 edition - Batch # 8728.

A: A dead ringer for its' style, this one pours like black, thick motor oil into my fine Styrofoam cup (Sorry, no fancy beer glasses at the hospital). A large, creamy, dark mocha head sits during the entire session- amazing... Lacing runs all the way up the walls.

S: I whiffed a big pounding of freshly roasted coffee trailed by some heavily roasted malts and floral hops.

T/M: WOW! This one is thick, complex and full flavored. My mouth exploded with a wave of dry and complex flavors each sip. Starts with a bitter smashing of thick, oily heavily roasted malts, black expresso shots, molasses and booze. The middleis chocked with more dry flavors including oats and burnt brown sugar. Finishes with a cherry like flavor and unsweetened dark chocolate. Very bitter overall, possibly due to the hops being blended in there so quietly. Age will certainly do this beer well, as it seemed very sharp and bitey at times - but great today, nonetheless.

This is a serious beer. I'd give it a 9.5 out of 10 on the imaginary flavor scale.

This one's for you, Zachary!

Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour into a brandy snifter.
Black. Leaves a small layer of brown foam that dissipates quickly. Just lays there inviting expectation of things to come.
The lack of carbonation doesn't bother me a bit. Smooth, alcoholic, molasis, chocolate. Sweet on the back side. A sipper.
Nice mouthfeel. The perfect way to relax when quality trumps quantity.

Photo of Greggy
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a large fluffy dark tan head with great lacing. The head has excellent retention. The body is pitch-black. Lacing is pretty large on this brew.

S- Deep dark roasted chocolate, anise, dark fruits, raisin, plum, deep caramel and toffee.

T- Starts out with a nice large balanced roasted chocoalte and dark fruits with loads of caramel, while transitioning into a drier finish with loads of extra dry bakers chocolate and hints of coffee.

M- Low carbonation, velvety smooth.

D- I was a bit anxious about having this young as I thought it would be too boozy, however, I found this to be very smooth. I look forward to seeing how these age.. if I can keep from drinking them all!

Photo of Punisher
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of JandJMD
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Abbbp
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Franziskaner
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darker than night with a wisp of quickly dissipating dark brown foam. The nose is an obscene amount of dark malt along with some roasted barley. The mouth is thick and sticky. The front of the palate is heavy with dark malt and roasted barley. The back of the palate is plums and fig mixed with dark malt.

Photo of Devi0us
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of mverity
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of bluesplit63
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of HookemHoos
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of kegger22
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark brown with a tiny head that dissipated to the barest of collars. The aroma was chocolate, coffee and alcohol. The taste was a blend of bitter and sweet. Bitter chocolate, bitter coffee and I believe the alcohol added some harshness. Sweet from the malt. The feel was thick, viscous, heavy with light carbonation. Drinkability was average due to a high ABV and the robust flavors.

I originally sampled Expedition Stout 3 months ago and found it so strongly flavored, I could barely drink it. I decided not to review at that time, to give my palate, and the beer, a chance to mature. I am sure the beer hasn't changed that much in 3 month, but my tastes have, and I'm glad I waited. While still very strong, I can now appreciate the complexities. I bought a sixer and have four left, they are still in the cellar for at least a year. We'll see how Expedition ages.

BTW, I'm thinking my first impression of Expe Stout would have been around 2.2 to 2.5, and now is a 4.05.

Photo of KFrank729
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of Crimsontider22
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours essentially black and thick. Small, chocolatey brown head that is gone quickly with good lacing.

S- Main scents are a sweet, black licorice type smell with dark roasts underneath. Maybe slight hints of anise. Definitely some dark chocolate notes.

T- Not as sweet as the smell, with very deep roasts. Almost has a burnt toast taste. Coffee and chocolate notes are present. Deep malt character.

M- Thick and creamy with little carbonation. Slight alcohol heat is present towards the end of the drink. Weight compliments flavor profile.

Overall, not a great, but a very good stout. Slightly deeper than most with burnt malts. A very solid brew.

Photo of Morakaton
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jpro
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (12-27-12) poured into a tulip glass...

A: Pours super viscous; black; mocha, one-finger head; no head retention; no lace; looks like a big, powerful, imperial stout.

S: Thick layers of malt aroma; dark chocolate; rich caramel; fudge; coffee.

T: Sweet malt / molasses; roasty charred malt; a hodgepodge of chocolate; coffee; finishes with a touch of smoke; hop bitterness is impressive.

M: Full bodied; low-moderate carbonation; sticky on the palate and sweet; creamy and viscous.

O: Wow. One of the best Russian imperial stouts around! Have a couple more that I'll let age for awhile.

*from notes 11.05.13

Photo of sonofliberty2
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of elec
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of alexsergio
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 5,043 ratings.