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Bell's Expedition Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

5,364 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,364
Reviews: 1,995
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 448
Gots: 1,327 | FT: 99
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-10-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,364 | Reviews: 1,995
Photo of Skidz
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours out the darkest brown imaginable and appears silky smooth out of the bottle. Sits completely black, and totally opaque in the glass with thick brown head on top.

Smells sweet, with caramel, chocolate, roasted grains and a light hint of dark fruits.

Tastes of bitter-sweet chocolate, heavy on the roastedness, alcohol becomes present in the full bitter finish. Great taste all around the board.

This beer is as smooth and silky as I could ever imagine a beer to be. Big, thick body really compliments this. Great for social occasions and is best made a treat, not for a six pack night.

Photo of Dithyramb
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just received via BIF 14. This is my second beer of the eight received. Mad props to Signor CRJMellor for his excellent trade opinions. Presentation was a bottle matching the photo. No freshness or bottling date was evident.

This is the deepest, darkest blackness that I’ve seen for some time. Appears to have an oily, thick goodness and it is completely opaque. Only loses points for the lack of carbonation. Initial pour was tepid, with no head. I held back, since my last few stouts were the “Love Stout,” with its heavy fizziness. Dumped the rest in, the forceful pour left a quarter inched, small bubbled, dark brown head that left quickly. No carbonation or lacing to speak of.

Slightly burnt caramel and roasted coffee aromas.
A very diverse mixture of flavors is available. There are some darker roasted malts, with both chocolate and espresso evident. Hops dance around on the finish.
ABV warmness creeps in after a nice creamy bodied beverage. Leaves your mouth warm, dry, and slightly acidic. Has the same slight flatness that I recently experienced with the Czar.

Photo of atigerlife
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black. Small dark brown head that dissipates rather quickly.

Aroma of soy sauce, dark chocolate and burnt dark malts.

Taste of dark malts. Soy sauce. Stewed plum, dark chocolates. Lots of flavors all melded together. As it warms, more comes out....Smokey, hops, coffee.

Mouthfeel is heavy, lightly dry at end. Cleansing.

Overall, wow! Very impressive. Nice sipper. Extremely well made.

Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of seedyone
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

02/11/14 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. A fine, fine brew. First nostril full is of a mild coffee. On the tongue it has a very pleasant bitterness from coffee & a mild chocolate. Steady, steady stuff. Sessionable plus.

Photo of YalovaIA
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of kevindp9
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of NCSUdo
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, batch 8183

A: Pours a thick black under a small, brown head. You know you are getting a big beer here. Ok retention, no lace.

S: Get some chocolate, roasted malt and slight fruitiness on first sniff. A cream-like sweetness underneath, hints of alcohol.

T: Woah. Was not prepared for the intense flavor profile that first hit me. Vanilla and a sweet cream up front that just explodes into a chocolate and huge roasted bitterness on the back of the tongue that will not go away. Was not expecting this level of bitterness. Even some grassy hop hints and some dark fruits thrown in as well. There is a huge spicy hotness as well, but doesn't have the characteristics of alcohol.

M/D: Carbonation is high, too high, but does lend in small part a creamy texture. Body is extremely full, a little slick, sticks to the lips a little, no hints of the alcohol, nice. Drinkability is lowered due to 10.50% and just how aggresive this beer is. A sipper for sure. Can't wait to sample some of this batch a few years from now.

Photo of Fusebuddy
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of rojapa
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- On-tap at the Sanctuary. The opaque dark brown body of the RIS family is here. There is at least two fingers of milk chocolate head. Yeah, it looks nice.

Smell- There is a really nice candied cherry and raisin sweetness on the nose. It also has that caramel malt hint that I'm sure will come off as "roasted" when I take a sip. This also brings to mind just general dark fruit sweetness. I'm not sure how the boozy aspect of this nose will come off in the drink, but it is appropriate for the style.

Taste- Great boozy bourbon Batman! Just a silly amount of booze in the drink, even more heat than Old Raspy. Thankfully it doesn't bury the molasses, cherry, raisin, and dark fruit that churns over the tongue. You have to wait until the finish, but boy, the roasted coffee comes on strong in the finish and lingers, along with the heat!

Mouth feel- This could be chewier, and I'm not sure I dig the carbonation or not. I mean, you could call it appropriate, and it certainly doesn't take away from the full body and pretty smooth finish. It's not as dry as such a boozy RIS usually is.

Overall- I dropped an F bomb in my notes to describe how much I thought of the "awesomeness" of this stout. So yeah, I guess I really liked it. Just age the crap out of this thing and I have no doubt it could rival the whales at the top of the RIS list. A must try stout, from a must have brewery.

Edit 11/25/2013: Had 2010 vintage bottle. Notes: Nose not nearly as boozy and dark fruits take center stage: fig, some black cherries, brown sugar as well. The palate has much more dark chocolate now that rides forever and ever, long after the swallow, still getting the fig and dark cherry flavors, only much stronger. Again, the booze has backed off considerably. Mouth feel is all liquid velvet, rich. Amazing with three years of age, and honestly, could be laid down for another three years. Wow. Score Edit: A-4.5 S-5 T-4.75 MF- 4.5 O-4.75

Photo of ThePaleRider
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of Rothobinide
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of ski271
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a reddish tinge and a brown, small, creamy head that quickly diminished to a full, thick film. Lots of thick sticky lacing.

Smell: Large, fabulous aroma of chocolate, coffee, malts, molasses and light buttery herbs.

Taste: Big, thick malts, bitter coffee, cheery, and soy sauce (I know, it sounds odd and the last time I tasted soy sauce in a beer it was a homebrew gone wrong, but it’s good in this flavor). The finish is sweet and very long in duration.

Mouthfeel: Full body, thick chewy texture, no carbonation.

Drinkability: My was this wonderful. One sip took me back to a ski vacation up in Maine for some reason. I love the nostalgia a good aroma can spark. This was a fabulous meaty stout that I’ll definitely be having again.

Photo of epyon396
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of beermanbrian
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oil black in color with a a thin tan head that foams up to only 1/4 inch with a heavy pour. The head is the foamy fine bubbled consistancy and has a slightly reddish tint to it. Smell hits you with a huge wash of flavors. Dark fruits are the most prominant followed by coffee, chocolate and the other typical stout flavors. Also, as it warms you get a real wiff of the high ABV. The taste is just as enjoyable as the smell. I think beer might have the most prominant dark fruit flavors of any stout i've ever tasted. Finishes with some nice bitterness and some alchohol burn. Overall a wonderful beer. Hurt a little on drinkability due to the high ABV. I couldn't see having more than 2 in a night and really 1 is just about perfect.

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch #8311, 2/7/08. Poured vigorously into a Unibroue tulip to stimulate a light brown thick head atop a black body. Never had one fresh and probably never will after smelling this liquid gold. Aroma is of dark chocolate, toasted malts and the sweetness of a RIS with some age on it, and its bursting out of the glass. Beautiful smell, simply spectacular. Taste follows closely to the aroma and it should be noted how easy it is to drink this one is considering the ABV. Mouthfeel is extremely thick and almost seems chewy. Buy this one by the case and find a place to stick it for a few years. Drink from the old cases, keep buying new ones. Do it. Just do it.

Photo of BierJager89
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black as night with a brown head, pours viscous and inviting.

S: Chocolate and roasted malt, as well as a touch of anise in a somewhat weak nose (empty glass has huge roasted malt and chocolate notes).

T: Huge dark chocolate, coffee and roasted malt notes up front, maybe a touch of vanilla, and a slight taste of alcohol.

M: Full bodied and quite smooth.

O: A delicious imperial stout. I wish they distributed to CA. Enough said.

Photo of olafphysics
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of hellhammermario
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Beerandboards
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle, batch 9971, bottled September 13, 2010. So, clocking in at about 2.5 years old

A - pitch black, pour produces about 1.5 inches of toffee colored foam. Dissipates pretty quickly, leaves a fair amount of lacing on the sides.

S - wow. Molasses, vanilla, coffee, milk chocolate. One of the best smelling stouts I've had. Beats out a lot of the BA stouts. Killer.

T - doesn't let me down after the nose. Molasses again, big time. Vanilla. Milk chocolate. There is just the right amount of bitter chocolate at the end. TASTY.

M - creamy, thicker side of medium feel, lower carbonation. Really nice.

O - I have to say, I'm surprised at how good this is. I've never had it fresh, but I can't imagine that this hasn't gotten better with age. I've got another 2010 that I'll sit on for just a bit longer just to see what happens. Bells killed this one.

Photo of mmmbeerNY
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of seplo
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of griffeyb
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 5,364 ratings.