1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,527 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,527
Reviews: 1,881
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 393
Gots: 970 | FT: 76
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,527 | Reviews: 1,881 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dleiner
4/5  rDev -5.4%

dleiner, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Hopmarc
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Hopmarc, Mar 06, 2013
Photo of Chuffbomb
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Chuffbomb, Jul 23, 2014
Photo of slowdaddy
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

slowdaddy, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of tviz33
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

tviz33, Mar 21, 2014
Photo of badbeer
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, almost black, pretty thick tan head leaving waves, yes waves of lacing on the glass. Chocolate aroma, only a faint coffee smell and a little bit of alcohol in the nose; a little more coffee roasted flavor and this would have had a five. Chocolate starts you off, leading you into a bit of coffee flavor mixed with some hopiness, then chocolate and coffee paired together with an alcohol warmth at the finish. A complete joyride the taste is. Thick, full bodied, little carbonation and seems to be perfect. Each drink is great and an all out experience of the senses, just a little short of perfect. With reviews varying in quality levels, I'm glad I picked up a good one. Scratch that, great one.

badbeer, May 03, 2006
Photo of cratez
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, purchased by my girlfriend at Beer World in Largo, FL. Right off the bat I realized this is one of the best beers I've ever tasted. Just a gorgeous brew. Ranked 11th on RateBeer's Top 50 in the US, and for good reason.

Pours an impenetrable black with a paper thin ring of tan/brown head. Dots of lacing all over the snifter. Smell and taste are oak, earth, strong nut and bread aromas, fruity, floral, and resinous hops, sweet figs and plums, roasted malt, thick caramel and taffy flavours, burnt toast, and a beautifully smoky aftertaste with warm, biting alcohol. Full-bodied mouthfeel mimics gooey chocolate syrup with a dry coffee finish and some warmth going down. Lingering chalkiness on the palate. Heaven in a bottle, the complexity defies description. Only Americans make beers like this. Very close to a perfect beer.

cratez, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of Sarlacc83
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle from Pawel. Batch 10105. Thanks!

A; Black and lightless as a brick. Very dark mocha head that settles in at about an inch. Looks like motor oil.

N: Roasted malt, green hops, dark chocolate, dark cherry, prune. Has a pronounced dark fruit sweetness, particularly that of raisins. Lots of raisins. Truly a smell of dried grapes.

T: Deep rushes of dark chocolate. Leather and bark. Cedar, tobacco, raisins. Smoke and roast. Hops lend an earthy backbone with some leafy hints. Coffee overtones. Superb, and reminiscent of HotD Adam of all things.

M: Thick, coating, yet somehow, supremely drinkable.

O: This is just sublime. Really wise to store it for the extended aging and very much worthy of the high score. Might be my favorite non-BA stout.

Sarlacc83, Mar 04, 2013
Photo of StubFaceJoe
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

StubFaceJoe, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of Thomas_Picton
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Thomas_Picton, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of heavenlyStash
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

heavenlyStash, Apr 02, 2013
Photo of dtomes
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

dtomes, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of beerphan
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
batch# 7740
packaged 12/19/2006 according to http://www.bellsbeer.com/

Pours black with a full 2inch dark tan head that calmly settles to a thick blanket, then a small film. Lacing is minimal.

Nose: Roasted chocolate malts, some mild dark fruit, a tad bit of sour apple, and some piney hops. Alcohol becomes present with some time.

Taste: Roasted dark malts gives chocolate, plum, and coffee. Finishes with a stiff drying bitterness that balances the complex roasted flavors well. Flavors seem a little more sharp, than the mellow balance i got from the tap this afternoon at Vintage Beer and Wine in Boardman, OH.

Mouth is thick and chewy.

An imperial stout that could be sipped delicately during long winter sessions. The 11.5% is well hidden and packs a wallop.

beerphan, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of ne0m00re
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10/13/10- Had a 12 oz bottle of this (Batch 9971).
A: Jet black with a nice caramel one-finger slow head that dies to a collar.
S: Caramel mocha, oatmeal barrel, whiskey alcohol.
T: Caramel, roast, chocolate, banana, raspberries, lingering burnt character.
M: Thicker, but nicely frothy.
D: Really good. I'd have a pint or two.

I'd recommend it.

ne0m00re, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of ILikeGoodCider
3.35/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on 02.07.2010. Batch number on bottle: 9384. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a 14 oz. pint glass.

A: Pours thick and black, viscous, remind me of motor oil. I was a little surprised at the head that developed on this, it just kept rising to almost two inches of light brown creamy foam. Lacing was down the glass.

S: Aromas were a bit complex with a mix of coffee, prunes, and a bit of brown sugar. There is also a faint bit of alcohol but no hops.

T&M: Heavy and full on the tongue, thick & chewy. Lots of coffee and thick sweet malts. It's hard to tell where the bittering is coming from - the bittering of the dark roast or something else. There are other flavorful hints in here too, like raisins, candy sugar, something like black licorice, and several layers of other malts. The carbonation is very fine and rather minimal, but it is there and seems to be well matched to the brew. The finish on this is long, as you might expect, with sweet malts that fade quickly to a long linger of bitter coffee tones.

D: Smooth and creamy texture is an interesting contrast to the aggressive coffee bittering, sort of a hard & soft complex. The ABV makes this a stiff drink, but it's enjoyable just the same.

I do love me a Bell's Stout...I've cellared three of these for sampling in the future.

ILikeGoodCider, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of pavpav12
4/5  rDev -5.4%

pavpav12, Dec 04, 2011
Photo of divineaudio
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. batch 9554 - bottled on jan 27 2010.

color is an opaque dark brown, like used motor oil. forms a thin cap worth of dark brown head that gives me almost no lacing.

smells strongly of raisin and molasses. a little roasted malt comes through as does a slightly medicinal alcohol presence. taste follows with big burnt malt character, tobacco espresso, a little vanilla and a noticeable alcohol presence. bitterness hangs on the back of the tongue for quite a while. flavor wise this is much darker and more bitter than many of other ris i have tried.

mouthfeel is on the heavier side with a pleasing co2 profile.

pretty drinkable for being so strong and rich, but i doubt anyone could have more than 2 of these in a sitting. not my favorite ris, but it fits the style and i would certainly buy it again.

divineaudio, May 12, 2010
Photo of Thickfreakness
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured into a Maudite Tulip glass... a thick brown three-finger head floats upon one of the darkest black beers I've ever seen. No light at all!!! Head lasts forever and leaves sticky tan goodness all over!

S- Dark Chocolate, black coffee, roasted nuts, sweet dried fruit, hints of smoke and charcol. Really heady... caramel sweetness.

T- Dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, raisins, roasted pecans... sweet and syrupy, but with a nice dry hop bite! WOW!!!

M- So thick!!! Just sticks to every part of your mouth! Like drinking a chocolate shake!

D- One and done on this fantastic brew! I could have one everyday, but then move on to something a bit less thick and hearty! It's a sipper for sure... I am in love!!!

Thickfreakness, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Darkness snifter.

Bottle Date: 9/13/2010

A- Dark motor oil color, nice lacing, ½ finger mocha head dissipates quickly, to a thin ring around the glass, slight carbonation
S- Dark fruits (plums, raisins, cherries) caramel, roasted malts, slight coffee in the background.
T- Sweet and bitter, warming, dark fruits, roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla, slight soy sauce but does not take away from the taste, roasted coffee notes as well.
M- Medium to big mouth feel, sticky, crisp, slight mouthfeel.
O- I’ve heard mixed reviews about this beer, so I was not sure what to expect coming into this. I would have to say that I really enjoyed this brew, very good stout, big warming beer, with complex flavors, really easy drinkability, the abv is well hidden, although the carbonation was not there it did not take away from the beer IMO.

Chriscrundwell12, Jun 28, 2011
Photo of suckaj
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

suckaj, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of badboy7113
4/5  rDev -5.4%

badboy7113, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of Boozecamel
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Boozecamel, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of jeffwright
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

jeffwright, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of bespin15
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

bespin15, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of chanokokoro
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

A: Dark tan two finger head, oily black beneath.

S: Smells of roasted malt, raisins, chocolate, and anise.

T: Slight chocolate roasted malt finishing in a pleasant burnt light caramel sweetness accented by the heat from the abundant alcohol.

M: Viscous and very creamy especially for an RIS. Appropriate level of carbonation.

O: A solid offering. I wish the flavors were just a bit more bold and robust.

chanokokoro, Feb 28, 2012
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,527 ratings.