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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.

4,377 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,377
Reviews: 1,871
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 372
Gots: 935 | 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
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Ratings: 4,377 | Reviews: 1,871 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zdk9


4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours like motor oil into my glass. A shimmer of dark cocoa colored foam rests atop the black as night beer. Lacing is slight speckles, not too strong.

S- Bourbon smells are the first to hit my nose, perhaps reminiscent of sweet oak. Then some dark, going on blackened, roastiness, like freshly ground coffee.

T- Bourbon, mixes with sweet dark fruit- prunes and dates. After this blast comes an intense roastiness, mostly coffee, not too sweet or chocolaty. Powerful taste, as expected.

M- Thick as hell! Awsome. My only complaint is the alcohol is not amazingly hidden, but with a 10.5%, it's hard to complain too much about that.

D- Delicious, if the smell was stronger, and the taste just a tad more complex this would be a perfect 10 (or 5) in my book.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 05:31:15 | More by zdk9
Photo of letsgopens


4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had the pleasure of sampling this RIS on-tap at Bell's Brewery. It poured all black with a thick, creamy, tan head that leaves some nice wall of lace. Very formidable looking poured in to a tulip glass.

Amazing aroma; primarily heavily roasted malt and spent coffee grounds. Earthy and robust. Lots of bitter cocoa. Fills the nostrils. Exactly what I look for in a RIS.

Again the flavor is primarily of heavily roasted; dark malty goodness. Rich and decadent. Black coffee and bitter dark cocoa. Some toffee sweetness. Deep caramelization. A bit of milk chocolate comes through in the finish. As does a good amount of warmth. Some booze and dark fruit are there too. Earthy and complex with just a hint of smoke. All the fundamental characteristics that make this style great.

Thick and creamy on the palate with low carbonation and a somewhat syrupy texture. Again there is some nice warmth in the finish that rounds out this amazing beer. One of the best examples of a RIS I can think of. Such a great selection. If you ever have the opportunity to sample it on tap, take it.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2007 06:17:03 | More by letsgopens
Photo of nkeckhar

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

02-02-2013 01:35:48 | More by nkeckhar
Photo of beerhan


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle about 3 months old maybe? into a snifter. Nice half inch cocoa head with a jet black opaque body. Medium carbonation.

Smells very much like molasses, dark chocolate and a hint of caramel.

Taste is very much of molasses. Lots of toffee, some coffee and chocolate. Very roasty.

Mouthfeel is quite nice. Thick and chewy and very flavorful.

One of these is enough for me in a night. I have had several but the abv does show after the second one. It is hidden but you will feel it kind of quickly. I often forget how good this beer is. It only gets smoother with age. Fresh it is a bit hot but with some time on it, it will taste phenomenal. One of the best stouts out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 05:43:07 | More by beerhan
Photo of Screper


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

01-08-2014 15:20:52 | More by Screper
Photo of BBP

Ontario (Canada)

4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a little less dark than the average RIS with a very good creamy full head, which holds decently, and superb lacing.

S- A very all around aroma. Hints of bitterness from the hops as well as coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, and dark malts.

T- Everything you'd expect from an RIS. Begins with a semi-sweet chocolate taste and works it's way towards the roasted malt and hop bitterness quickly. After they play their parts the chocolate really comes into play. The aftertaste is loaded with it. It does a great job at bringing all of the flavors up to the front and making them big. There's a little bit of alcohol noticed in this one, but it's easy to look by with all of the other good flavor.

M- Very nice and full. Creamy feel and just a little dry and sticky in the finish. I've heard chewy being used for a mouthfeel description several times, and I think that this is the first one that is getting there.

D- Too drinkable. I only bought one of these which makes me a little sad, as I really have to drink this slower than I want to. It's good for very easy drinking without being watered down or having weak flavor. The 10.5% is there and easy to notice, but not overbearing and it didn't take away from the experience at all for me. I'll get a 6pk of this next time for sure rather than the single.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2010 00:01:39 | More by BBP
Photo of Franch

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-08-2013 22:50:09 | More by Franch
Photo of Cyclone8


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

03-16-2013 13:37:12 | More by Cyclone8
Photo of MsRif


4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I believe I have had this on-tap as well as bottled. Poured a dark brown, almost black color with a nice beige head. Beautiful looking brew. Lacing was pretty decent even though the head slowly dissipated. Aroma was that of chocolate, roasted malts and spices. Very rich. Taste was similar to the aroma...chocolate, a bit of coffee, roasted malts...the alcohol is hidden VERY well.

Very creamy, full-bodied brew that goes down smooth. Light carbonation. Dangerously drinkable...try to remember that this is a high octane beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 01:14:38 | More by MsRif
Photo of King_KongDCO93


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

12-19-2012 16:29:24 | More by King_KongDCO93
Photo of 21Maestro8


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

12-15-2013 04:07:06 | More by 21Maestro8
Photo of PhantomVodoo


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Minimal brown head that shortly became nothing more than a film sits atop an opaque black beer.
Aroma is mesmerizing. The best aroma on a stout I can remember. Chocolate covered fruit (strawberries come to mind) pretty much sums it up.

Taste is big and bold. Sweet chocolate covered fruit (melons come to mind) up front. This gives way to roasty bitterness, alcohol and hops. The two extremes balance this one out nicely between sweet and bitter.

Lots of body and some creaminess to the mouthfeel. Thick? I think your car could get 3000 miles out of this stuff if you used it in place of 10W-30.
Drinkability is the drawback of this one for me. I just don't find it real drinkable.
Overall, this is a big beer and one of the better imperial stouts out there, IMO.
Big thanks to Blatzman for providing me with the bottle and prompting me to give this beer another try! I simply wasn't ready for this beer when I had it a couple years ago.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2003 05:21:22 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of ubufan2112


4/5  rDev -5.4%

05-11-2014 13:13:53 | More by ubufan2112
Photo of jmalex


4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Part 2 of 2 of Bell's stout tasting session for me tonight. While the first was a sweet stout (Kalamazoo), this one is quite the change up. Either way though, tonight is a good beer night for me.

APPEARANCE: Pours a thick, chunky, motor oil black with a small but sturdy latte brown head. It falls to a hearty collar with a thin layer of bubbles.

SMELL: A fantastic balance of roasted malts, dark fruits, floral hops, and even a hint of winter spice. This is really, really nice. The various aromas work so well in balance with each other. The smells are strong and let you know you're about to drink one hell of a beer, but they don't overwhelm to the point of being offensive. Simply wonderful.

TASTE: Good lord, this one packs a punch. This beer comes out with fists a-flying, and the intensity of this is something to behold. It starts out with a full malt flavor (chocolate, roasty) and hits your taste buds with a hop bitterness to match. Flavors of sweet licorice and then coffee start to come on. The finish is bitter and roasted with strong indications of black malt and burnt coffee. Every imaginable RIS flavor can be found in this beer, and with great balance. Alcohol is detectable, but certainly not 11.5% worth.

MOUTHFEEL: This is the other striking thing about the initial taste. The thickness of this beer just assaults your mouth, forcing you to savor every last drop. Full-bodied would be a gross understatement. Now that's what I'm looking for in a RIS!

DRINKABILITY: Sadly, this beer is so hard hitting that it'll take some time to get through. And it's got to be one and done... at least for me. But that doesn't mean my one is a chore. Far from it. I will enjoy and savor this one for as long as I need to.

Bell's continues to impress. This is exactly what I think of when I want a heavy hitting Russian Imperial Stout. It simply has it all. It may suffer from being so hard hitting, but that just means I'm getting my money's worth. Thank you Bell's for giving us such a fantastic beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2007 05:01:02 | More by jmalex
Photo of CanisMajor


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

06-24-2013 15:21:51 | More by CanisMajor
Photo of JasonTaverner


4/5  rDev -5.4%

01-18-2014 01:27:07 | More by JasonTaverner
Photo of RichD

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

06-17-2014 23:20:06 | More by RichD
Photo of Romulux


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-12-2013 16:13:48 | More by Romulux
Photo of Another6Pack


5/5  rDev +18.2%

11-22-2011 01:41:39 | More by Another6Pack
Photo of suspect

New York

3.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel Tulip.

A: Thick black oil-like stout. Super aggressive pour led to a light espresso colored two finger head that sticks and then slowly dissipates.

S: Dark malty forward brew. Brings the abv in the nose along with some molasses a touch of smoke, licorice and star anise but only in the end and because I was looking deeper.

T: Pretty complex flavor full of toasted and roasted chocolate malts with a bit of burned cocoa and over brewed coffee. Somehow it all blends in nicely but the after taste certainly lingers for some time. It's excellent and powerful all at once.

M: A touch thin but still good given that this is an RIS.

O: A really good RIS. Not great, but good.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2013 01:51:30 | More by suspect
Photo of DMarlinJ


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-13-2013 00:21:25 | More by DMarlinJ
Photo of dedbeer


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

02-27-2014 22:47:07 | More by dedbeer
Photo of sweethome


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I've been drinking this for many years now. I've found the quality to be up and down the last few years. This years model:

Black, opaque as ever. So thick. Actually developed a head, which in some years it does not. Big bubbles in the head leave rocky, surface of the moon apperance.

Huge chocolate nose with some roast, and signature hops fighting through.

The thickest mouthfeel I've ever had - always has been and I still wait for the day something thicker comes along. The heft of this beer is amazing. Somewhat overwhelming, even after having it every winter it shocks me with it's depth.

Chocolate off the tip, but hops present right away too. Mid mouth it delivers a bit of a soy sauce flavor - something I noticed in the 2002 version. That really detracts. But hold on, this comes back for so much more. It fills out with lush chocolate and roast. How the hops fight through the huge amount of malt is beyond me. A liquid chocolate bar - decadent. Pour it over vanilla ice cream - it'll hold up.

Over the top and one of a kind.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2005 03:47:35 | More by sweethome
Photo of baggio


4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


A: Pitch black with a big, beige, head and lots of lacing.

S: Roasted malts, Chocolate, Cookies, Molasses.

T: Espresso, Chocolate, Roasted malts, Dark sugar.

M: Thick and very heavy. Massive chocolate/espresso up front and ends with a lingering bitterness.

I dig this. Not as complex as some other stouts but thick and kickass like a stout should be.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 22:10:44 | More by baggio
Photo of imfrommichigan


4/5  rDev -5.4%

03-27-2013 05:57:19 | More by imfrommichigan
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,377 ratings.