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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.

4,696 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,696
Reviews: 1,895
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 405
Gots: 1,023 | FT: 78
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: 4,696 | Reviews: 1,895 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of badboy7113
4/5  rDev -5.4%

badboy7113, Jan 21, 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 straightlambic
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

straightlambic, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of CorgiDad
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

CorgiDad, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of Luk13
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle thanks to TheJester. Beautiful black body with lasting mocha head. Aroma is standard IS; coffee and chocolate truffle. Flavor is more interesting. So rich. Heavy chocolate brownies with some grapes and almonds. Wow, this is intense. Somewhat boozy though. Creamy and syrupy palate. Its heavyness makes it less enjoyable. I prefer american stouts that are more balanced such as Yeti and Speedway. Still, one of the best intense and over-the-top IS.

Luk13, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of gopens44
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
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!

gopens44, Apr 01, 2011
Photo of jpd026
4.74/5  rDev +12.1%

jpd026, Oct 05, 2014
Photo of Thomas_Picton
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Thomas_Picton, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of JasonTaverner
4/5  rDev -5.4%

JasonTaverner, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of corysmith01
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

corysmith01, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of maDUECEgunner
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

maDUECEgunner, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of Murph
4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a midnight black with a decent brown head that leaves a great lace all the way down the glass. Smell is of dark chocolate, slightly bitter coffee, raisins, dark fruit and some light toffee as well. Sweet chocolatey goodness starts off this brew with some slight warming alcohol in the background. Raisins and some other sweet, dark fruits are then brought in with a slightly bitter coffee finish. Extremely creamy and smooth, this brew is amazingly drinkable for its 10% abv. The alcohol is barely perceived and then only in its warming effects. This is one great beer, not quite a Storm King, but damn close. I am going to have to get some of this to sip on this winter.
A big thanks to Deuce for the sample.

Murph, Jul 26, 2002
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours motor-oil black with ruby highlights, including the darkest, thickest meaty head I've seen. Looks like oatmeal floating on top, settles to a thin ring after a while. Aroma is dark malts, pungent but with a fruity, smokey element.

This is a story of two beers in the same glass: At first, the taste is dark burnt malts, almost charcoal, like the crust on a grilled chicken. Has a vinous element, like a merlot spilled into the batch. Very bitter, almost no sweetness, a little salty. Drinks hot with alcohol, like a barleywine.

But after being interrupted by a phone call and returning to the remainder of the glass, this beer awakens: Traces of coffee, raisins, licorice, baker's cocoa. Still with a prominent alcohol presence but silky smooth on the palate, heavy with no apparent carbonation.

Mouthfeel is thick like flannel, fuzzy and sticky. Initially, I was rather nonplussed by this one but the taste and my impressions and ratings improved greatly as the beer warmed. This is one where the rhetoric is true: you *must* let it warm up to just cool before drinking it. I'd like to try this one again after aging it a bit. Thanks to trbeer for sharing this one.

assurbanipaul, Feb 04, 2005
Photo of ej285701
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

ej285701, Nov 15, 2011
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 Satan70
4/5  rDev -5.4%

Satan70, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of SlightlyGrey
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

SlightlyGrey, Aug 29, 2013
Photo of Farnswurth
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%

Farnswurth, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of HookemHoos
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

HookemHoos, Oct 03, 2014
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 PhageLab
3.28/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A - Opaque brownish-black colour, almost no head at all, small ring of froth, some spotted lace.

S - Fresh raisins, sweet molasses.

T - Extremely rich, almost to the point of cloying. Rather boozy as well, 10.5% is quite obvious here. Some nice roasted flavors are present, but they are masked by the overbearing sweetness.

M - Full bodied, low carbonation, dry finish, about what I expected.

D - Nice characteristics, but far too sweet for my tongue. Not a bad brew, but not one I'd wish to revisit.

PhageLab, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of cvfish
4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured an oily black that let no light show, it produced a brown fluffy head that retained well and left a great lace around the side of glass

S - The aromas of this beer were burnt, charred malts, bitter chocolate and a good deal of booze

T - The beer starts with a great deal of burnt malts, has some chocolaty bitterness with coffee notes, and finishes with a good kick of booze at the end

M - This mouth was everything I expected from an Imperial Stout, smooth and creamy, thick body, and light carbonation

D - This was a good Imperial Stout, a little more booze on the taste than I like, except in the case of Bourbon Cask aged, of course

cvfish, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of DerekQXQX
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

DerekQXQX, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of BierReise
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Without question one of the finest stouts I've ever had the privelage to know. Outstanding aroma, sweet roasted malt with coffee overtones that remind me of Kahluha. Also reminds me of the very first Mackeson XXX I had some 10 years ago. Smooth full body and very drinkable. Seems to be at its best after sitting a little while and warms up. This is a Stout lovers wet dream!!

BierReise, Jun 18, 2003
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,696 ratings.