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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.

4,896 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,896
Reviews: 1,915
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 416
Gots: 1,091 | FT: 75
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: 4,896 | Reviews: 1,915 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of snansel
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

snansel, Jan 25, 2014
Photo of mmmbeerNY
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

mmmbeerNY, Nov 07, 2014
Photo of Tyecko
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Tyecko, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of ackeeper
4.75/5  rDev +12%

ackeeper, May 22, 2013
Photo of nhindian
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Batch 9971, bottled on September 13, 2010.

A - Pours a viscous, black motor oil black that culminates in a visually impressive, 3-fingered, dark mocha head. Retention is fantastic, and if it weren't for how slowly this beer drinks, it would last for more than half of the life of the beer. Body is pitch black, with only the slightest bit of chocolate highlights appearing at the bottom of the snifter, where it's at its thinnest. Lots of beautiful lacing as it drinks.

S - The nose is very sweet, full of malts and chocolate goodness. Also some appearances of thick molasses, raisins, and licorice. Throughout the whole nose there is a lot of alcohol presence. Overall a thick and heavy smell that is a bit intimidating.

T - First impression and all I can think of is that this is thick, chewy, and comes with wave after wave of flavor. The malts have a sweet, burnt flavor that contributes a nice, robust coffee flavor. Next comes some bittersweet chocolate and the dark fruits. These fruits help give a nice sugar characteristics that complements the high alcohol heat that this beer currently exhibits. A nice touch of hops at the end to complement the alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is thick thick thick. And syrupy. Even after a few minutes between sips, all of the flavors still dance on the palate and there's a noticeable coating on the mouth. A long lasting bitterness in the finish resembling that of bittersweet baker's chocolate.

D - Drinkability is moderate. Even though this beer screams complexity, it's just a bit too much in terms of mouthfeel and alcohol. Being a little over 2 months old, it's still a bit hot for a RIS, so I can only assume the heat will dissipate after a few more months.

Overall, this beer seems like a more robust, thicker, more alcoholic version of Storm King, which lasts with me throughout the experience. I'm hoping some of the bitterness will round out more as it ages.

nhindian, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of shredder83
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

shredder83, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4/5  rDev -5.7%

jerefreakinmiah, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of qcghost
4/5  rDev -5.7%

qcghost, Sep 24, 2014
Photo of mweso2000
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with a tan head that quickly goes down. There is not much head to speak of. Aroma is malty with hints of chocolate, toffee and caramel. The alcohol slightly stings my nose. Paired with Thanksgiving dessert of apple pie and pumpkin pie. Tastes go well together. Slightly bitter with a taste of bittersweet dark chocolate. Coffee tones work into the mouth. I expected this to be a little tougher to drink with a 10% abv, but the alcohol is not overwhelming and drinks quite easily. Probably not a beer I would have more than two of though.

mweso2000, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of WolfsbaneBloom
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

WolfsbaneBloom, Jun 03, 2013
Photo of tlazaroff
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Midnight black and thick like motor oil with a head that looks like chocolate foam. Alcohol legs are shown on lacing, which seems to be little, but is expected to not be very good.

S: Roast and espresso are the main notes, with a tad of dark fruit coming through on the end.

T: Chocolate and espresso up front and it stays with you the role experience. Added in the mid palate is a small dose of dark cherry-like fruit and finishes boozy.

M: Cloyingly sticky sweet and low carbonation.. incredibly full bodied.

D: Sipper, for sure. You want to spend some time with this beer to fully enjoy it.

tlazaroff, Nov 19, 2011
Photo of jewellrunner
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

jewellrunner, May 01, 2014
Photo of IAmHollywood13
4/5  rDev -5.7%

IAmHollywood13, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of BEERschlitz
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

BEERschlitz, Oct 24, 2013
Photo of JamesMN
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque black with a thin dark brown head. Some lacing.

Aroma: Molasses, caramel, roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Not all that aromatic.

Taste: Starts with big roasted flavor and then gives a big blast of dark coffee and bitter chocolate. Don't taste the 10.5% ABV but leaves a nice warmth in the throat. A hint of earthy hop flavor that adds some bitterness. A bit of an unbalanced brew but I'm sure aging would remedy that (this is a relatively fresh bottle). Not getting much in terms of the usual dark fruits I expect from the style.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with average carbonation (almost too much). Pretty decent drinkability.

Final Thoughts: Definitely one to check out if you are a stout enthusiast. Would I drink it again? Maybe, a bit of a high price point.

JamesMN, Jan 07, 2013
Photo of blbarnett3
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

blbarnett3, Nov 10, 2014
Photo of Fish113d
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a bottle into a pint, this poured a very dark "black" color with some ruby tints when held into the light at the surface, but not much light got through the glass. No head at all on a rather gentle pour. Aromas are of some roasted malts with hints of chocolate and some earthy hops in there. Nicely balanced aromas and nothing stood out more than the other. Taking a sip, the roasted malts I tasted right away, but this soon gives way to coffee and chocolate flavors by the swallow w/ a nice sweet caramel finish; pretty darn complex. Little carbonation let the flavors burst onto my palete, and the smoothness was incredible! Overall, I would drink this all day if I could, or until I fell over in a drunken stooper! Great brew!

Fish113d, Feb 11, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence: Pours a midnight black with a dark, chocolaty head. Leaves decent lacing. A near-perfect looking stout.

Smell: Smells of roasted nuts and chocolate with a little bit of hops shining through. Stout heaven. The sniff of all sniffs.

Taste and Mouthfeel: This tastes like a steak!! Its a steak in a bottle! Fabulously complex and perfectly balanced. There's no alcohol there what-so-ever. A huge, grand tasting beer that has to be sipped to be understood. Rich, malty goodness with a great amount of hops finishing off this well-rounded beer. I can't say enough, the best tasting stout I've had to date. Feels nice and chewy in the mouth with a rich, creamy texture that just doesn't quit.

Drinkability and Overall: I didn't think my long-time favorite Storm King could be topped, but goddammit this did it. Bell's totally suprised me with this. If this were more readily available this might be one of the few beers I drink. This is my new desert island beer. As close to perfection in a stout as you can get. Unbelievable.

santoslhalper, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into SABL glass.

A. Pours a thick black that forms a 2 finger brown head. Very good retention. Thick lacing. Color is jet black.

S. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, alcohol. Smells like an Imperial Stout should. Nothing amazing about the smell, but good.

T. Big flavors of chocolate and coffee. Pretty sweet. Some alcohol but not overpowering.

M. Thick and full bodied. Very smooth. Low carbonation.

D. This a a big beer. Its a sipper for me. Not the very best Imperial Stout I have had, but very good. Well crafted and delicous.

siradmiralnelson, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of EuphonicHops
4/5  rDev -5.7%

EuphonicHops, Nov 13, 2014
Photo of Iparedman
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

Iparedman, Nov 06, 2014
Photo of oldedog
4.75/5  rDev +12%

oldedog, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of timoteo833
4.75/5  rDev +12%

timoteo833, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of Higravity
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Well I received 3 new bottles of this beer and after my last experience I am glad to have another try with this beauty. It is a dense black with a chocolate milk colored head that doesn't peter out for a while. Smell of roasted burnt malt, small hints of alcohol and hops. The taste is powerful dark roasted flavors slowly yeild to a bittering creamy swallow, alcohol is present but not overwhelming. I would have liked a little more hops to be present in here though. You could eat this beer with a spoon it has body for days and has a very creamy feel that coats your mouth. This is a great beer and well worth many more visits.

Higravity, May 09, 2005
Photo of IronTom
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

IronTom, Dec 31, 2013
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 4,896 ratings.