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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

2,049 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,049
Hads: 5,806
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.81%
Wants: 506
Gots: 1,598 | FT: 126
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Expedition Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,049 | Hads: 5,806
Photo of Siggy125
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Received as an extra in a recent trade. I had not had one of these in 2-3 years. Poured 12 oz bottle into Perennial tulip.

A- Very dark brown to black in color, straight from the crankcase of a high mileage vehicle. Tan head which broke up after a couple of mins in the glass. Great lacing.

S- Bitter chocolate, burnt black coffee, faint sweetness but the bitterness dominates.

T- much like it smells, scorched chocolate, bitter roasted flavors, light toffee sweetness and maybe a little roasted nuttiness. Big time bitterness, perhaps the hop profile shining thru. The 10.5 abv not boozy at all but very warming.

M- Medium viscosity, not too heavy but not thin at all. Great mouthfeel.

Overall- A very great year round stout that serves well when you're not feeling like indulging in a barrel aged stout. Bummer not available everywhere. A definite man's stout, I'll be looking
for more to enjoy around the firepit.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a snifter glass at fridge temps. 09/2014 bottle date

Appearance: black, pours like motor oil, rich brown head that rode the glass

Nose: dark chocolate, coffee, toffee, sweetness

Taste: rich and smooth, semi-sweet chocolate, slight coffee taste, thick and coating mouth feel, bitter and lingering finish, slight alcohol warming in my chest, chewy in every sense of the word

This is wonderful and easily one of the best imperial stouts I've tried. It checked all of the boxes. Good on Bell's to market this in a six pack form to give consumers good value for money.

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Photo of BobJude
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2014 Vintage into a snifter.
A - Pours inky black with a 1/2 inch of head which disipates slowly.
S - Hints of dark chocolate, molasses, roasted grain and coffee. Just awesome!
T - Oh, so good! Coffee, molasses, licorice, chocolate. Quite a bit of piney hop flavor. So much going on here, almost overwhelming, but exactly what I was expecting.
M - completely coats your mouth and tongue. A little bit of alcohol burn on the back end, nice and warming.
O - a great example of an Imperial / double stout. One of my favorites along with Ten-Fidy.

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Photo of ILMbrew
4/5  rDev -5%

2913 vintage. Ton of dark fruit coming through in both the nose and taste. Very mellow with little-to-no booziness. Rich and thick without much sweetness.

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Photo of Ohiovania
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

1 yr old bottle. surprising how much hops are still on it. I don't enjoy it much on the nose but it melds fantastically well with the taste. I'm not one for hopped RIS but this one seems to never disappoint. Mouth feel is probably the best part about this beer.

This one has slid off my always buy list in recent years but only because I enjoy Founders IS and Dark Horse Pt5 more.

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Photo of MrIncognito
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

2008 vintage. I wish I had other vintages to compare it to. Well-rounded stout with chocolate and coffee flavors. Prevalent alcohol adds nice spice without becoming too hot.

I could see this being a whole different beast without age on it.

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Photo of deford
4/5  rDev -5%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated 8/12/14 into a Saints & Sinners Snifter.

A- Pitch freaking black! Half inch orange head that disappears pretty quickly.

S- A musty, syrupy coffee...maybe a hint of orange...no heat.

T- A bit different. Burnt espresso and prunes? Hard to tell, there's a lot going on here...nicely done too. The alcohol is hidden completely.

M- Really nice a bubbly when you give it a swirl...otherwise pretty standard for the style...almost flat.

O- A quality stout worth giving a go...

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.24/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours an almost black with a very attractive 1 inch head of rootbeer foam that lasts for minutes before breaking. Excellent lacing. The smell is roasts, a bit of leather, vanilla and some caramel. The taste is very much roast up front, with some vanilla coming in and a touch of leather present as well. There is a sweetness up front followed by a bitter from the roast and the hops, though they are not a large part of the taste profile. The feel is full and a bit creamy with a moderate amount of carbonation. All in all a hell of a beer. One of my annual go to beers. There are always a few sitting in the cellar, and I hope there is always room for more.

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Photo of orangemoustache
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Thick and black, like the bottom poor from a french press. A firm foamy khaki cap sits atop for a couple moments before slowly dissipating to a paper thin cover that remains for the duration. The nose is sweet and brings soft notes of caramel and toffee and sweet dark fruits. WOW, this is a delicious RIS! Dark chocolate, heavy roasted malts and sweet dark sugars. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable on the tongue . The mouth-feel is luxurious. Oily, thick and creamy! Slightly dry on the finish. I could drink three in a row or sip on one for a couple hours. This one is amazing and I'm already looking forward to another!

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Photo of keithmurray
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%

2012 Vintage - bottled on 10/22/2012

Appearance - Dark Brown/mahogany body with tan head

Smell - Dark chocolate, Roasted Malts, molasses, black licorice

Taste - molasses, chocolate fudge, roasted malts, dark chocolate, black licorice

Mouthfeel - Full, viscous, syrupy mouthfeel, medium carbonation, sweetness upfront, roasty feel in the back end.

Overall - Very good RIS. recommended

Price Point - $3.25/12 oz single

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Photo of Brackh
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

Pours black as night with a nice awesome head that goes quickly. Smell is very subtle. Taste punches you in the mouth. Delicious and smooth. Thick, thick, thick. Bitter but not too much. Malt and chocolate. Seriously this beer is awesome. I am drinking from a growler. I have a few bottles in the cellar from last year and this year. I can't wait to see what a few years does to this beer.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass and consumed 19 November 2014.

Date stamp on label reads 135292 PKGD 10/23/14 C. So I'm guessing this stuff is just under a month old.

Look- Pours like a dirty oil spill. The two finger thick head is solid, and has the color of some overpriced candybar frappawhappachinomucca concoction at a coffee shop. Head slowly settles down to a 1/4" layer of creamy goodness that lasts the duration. Pretty good lacing.

Smell- Malt, chocolate, alcohol. The latter is pretty noticeable, maybe just a little too much so, but not bad. It's just letting you know it's a RIS.

Taste- Yum! Tasty, malty-chocolate notes; more than just a little coffee. That's on the front. It finishes with hops that, while they take back seat to the malt, they aren't exactly shy. At the beginning of the glass the alcohol floats in with, but over top of, the hops. Not excessive or huge, but still pretty dang big, too. By the middle of the glass its rambunctiousness has faded and it is more of a suggestion than a presence in the finish.

Feel- Interesting. A little thin for my preferences in a RIS. That said, it does have a creamy, sticky-lip inducing goodness to it, though. Can't ding it too much.

Overall- One really good stout! I wish the feel was thicker, but the other criticisms almost feel like nit-picking. Getcha some and enjoy it. I will definitely have it again.

Edit- After reading other reviews, I think "molasses" is a note I should add in. Being a noob I didn't know I knew it was there until reading other reviews.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.17/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at room temperature.

A: Pours almost exactly like Old Engine Oil, a thick, viscous black. Almost no head formed with my pour, with what did appear a deep tan. It quickly receded to a ring and patchy cap. No light gets through this beer. None. Not a speck of it, anywhere, along any edge.

S: The smell is roasted chocolate malt, with notes that remind me of a bourbon barrel, oak and booze. There's definitely some dark fruits playing around in the background as well, like midgits running along the hills the FSM made with His Noodly Appendages.

T: A rush of darkly-roasted, burnt-black bitter chocolate malt opens the taste,which quickly transforms into a swirl of flavors. Seared molasses, espresso, cherries, prunes, and figs all dance about the mouth, atop a stage of dark earth bitterness with some pine needles mixed in. There's some alcohol burn involved as well, particularly on the back and finish.

M: Oily, thick, chewy, and sticky, this is what a good RIS should drink like.

O: This is a darned good RIS. Being a malthead, I'd have loved to see a little less showcasing of the earthy-pine hop flavors, which are noticeable and sort of horn in on the malt profile. This beer also did not hide its ABV at all to me, though the bottle was only three months old - perhaps the burn fades with more age.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
4.41/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I tried this a year ago and was thought it was excellent, but in trying it again this year, I find that I must improve my original rating. I don't know why but I find the aroma much more appealing. Burnt sugar and molasses dominate the smell. The taste follows with roasted malts adding perfect overtones. The color is a deep brown bordering on black with a head the color of cafe au lair. The feel is moderately full bodied. It could be a little bit more viscous for my taste. Overall, this is a world class RIS.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.25/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: motor oil-black ale underneath a tower of mocha head that left some vague lace behind

S: bittersweet chocolate and espresso with vanilla and molasses weaving throughout

T: deep roasted dark malts conjure impressions of sweet espresso and molasses, suffused with melted bittersweet chocolate and vanilla extract; decadent and rich-tasting

M: dense and smooth, tingle of heat, modest carbonation on the feel, touch of sticky sweetness on the close

O: a superior stout, Russian Imperial-style - something you must try when you get a chance.

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Photo of ttroha
4.25/5  rDev +1%

Bottle from Maltitude. Pours black with a brown head. Aroma of chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruit. Taste of chocolate, vanilla and molasses, along with chocolate and coffee. Excellent imperial

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Photo of Catracho5
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

12 ounce bottle poured into a Belgian style tulip glass

Appearance: Pitch black with a nice tan head that dissipates fairly quick. Lots of tiny bubbles in the head. Nice lacing, looks great, sloshes around in the glass.

Aroma: Very nice aroma, big chocolate licorice roasted malts on the nose, I am not getting any alcohol.

Taste: Taste is just like the aroma, big chocolate roast malts, some bitterness in the middle, not getting a big alcohol presence, really smooth for a such a big ABV beer.

Mouthfeel: Viscous, very thick, lots of carbonation, tiny bubbles, great mouthfeel.

Overall: This is an excellent imperial stout, from the imperial stouts I have had, I would judge that this is one of the smoothest. The beer's flavors blend really well, nice thickness, high drinkability, just outstanding, glad to have this in CA. This is a must try.

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Photo of Kendo
4.58/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bottle (package date: 8/22/14; consumed on 11/13/14 - as we get the first modest snow flurries of the year, leading me to think "Stout season!") into a Speiglelau tulip. It's thick on the pour, and black in the glass with a half-finger brown head on top. Very nice collar of lace on top, with slow-fading legs of lace after each sip refracting the light like the prism on Dark Side of the Moon.

S: Big stout nose. Dark fruits, molasses, chocolate and roasty malt.

T: Big stout flavors too. Chocolate-covered raisins, molasses, black cherry, roasted malt, charcoal and smoke all play nicely together, with a bit of cocoa powder and piney hops at the finish. Booze makes its presence known at the end of the sip, though after a few sips I've gotten used to it and barely notice anything more than the warming in the belly. And the buzz on the brain.

M: Thick in heft, modest carbonation at best leaves it slightly syrupy - but that's fine with me for a big stout like this.

O: Awesome stuff. I will likely drink this sipper far too fast.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.63/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/22/14

Pours pitch black with dark tan head that dissipates quickly but maintains a thin ring around the glass.

Nose is chocolate, coffee bean, and toffee. Some charted wood and a touch of licorice.

Taste is full flavor of rich dark chocolate and mild coffee. Very roasty and rich. Awesome! Charred wood notes come thru and are prominent and some bitterness rounds out this big stout. Almost no booziness detected but just a slight burn hits nicely.

full body and silky smooth. This is what a stout should be. Low to medium carbonation. The mouthfeel fits the taste profile well. long finish and flavors hang around a while.

This is definitely the best stout and best bells brew I've ever had. full of flavor and perfect texture. Bonus for being available in 6pk format. Perfect stout while watching the first snowfall of the year tonight.

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Photo of Highlander15401
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%

2pppurchased in Kalamazoo, MI around early May 2003. Very little carbonation with lively nose of dark fruits, toffee. Good mouthfeel & light spice, licorice on the finish. Smooth & satisfying!

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Photo of Shroud0fdoom
4.37/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. Bottle. (2013 vintage) courtesy of northstar23 Thank You!

It's me again, drinking another beer that MD never sees. Unless you're In DC or around VA. Enough of the regional B.S., time for the brew. This brew pours fantastic I might say. Solid black body that lets no light shine through. On top is a Mocha colored head. World class example of an Imperial Stout, IMO.

The aroma should tell me what I am getting into. First whiff I pick up is roasted malts with hints of oxidation (for the better). Brings on a fruity/port aroma that sings to the nostrils. Leaves the backend with cocoa and coffee roast. No booze detected. Very nice!

Now it all depends on the flavor...so tongue what's this tastes like? Like the nose describes plus more richer! Nice fruity characteristics that has been rolled up in English toffee. The malts are roasted and semi-sweet with cocoa. The finish is sweet and dry with slight bitter detection on the sides of the palate. The aftertaste is the pure winner. It's like the sweet/toasted flavor that a great quality Whiskey would provide. The body is both medium built and very smooth. World Class!

Overall: This brew is Amazing. Nothing offensive about it. It comes in like a storm and leaves you satisfied. This perhaps is my favorite offering from Bell's to date. I say that because I've had a few, yet this one leaves me in awe. I'm not going to blab too much about this brew. I will give you this, this brew is Shroud Approved, aka Recommended!

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Photo of blbarnett3
4.25/5  rDev +1%

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.

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Photo of ChazLow
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

When I first smelled this the immediate scent I got was Chocolate and a hint of oak. It is definitely a sipping beer but for a beer with a higher alcohol content it is very smooth and very easy to drink. As for the taste it is great. I got hints of chocolate and caramel along with some oak and even a little bourbon.
Great beer definitely worth buying and you will not regret it.

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Photo of IKody
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%

Bottle 8-22-14 Consumed 11-3-14
Look- poured like used motor oil in color.
Agitate- Head has a mocha/caramel appearance.
Smell- Roasted malt with dark chocolate, followed up with a hint of alcohol.
Taste- Bitter on the front. Middle of the mouth you get a roasted coffee and malts taste that's real thick. Finish is dry and bitter. I never get that strong alcohol taste which tells me this beer hides it really well considering it's 10.5% by Vol.
Cheers

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 8/22/14
Consumed 11/2/14

Appearance- Pours pitch black, opaque. Almost no head present, slight razor thin. Agitated beer and out pops a beautiful mocha/cinnamon colored head. Frothy and thick, dissipates back down.
Smell- Big dark chocolate notes, roasted malts as well. Some nice sweeter caramel aromas come through, dark fruits as well w/ maybe a tinge of alcohol.
Taste- Bitter roasted/charred malt, accompanied by nice dark chocolate notes, lingering coffee. Nice craminess throughout, caramel, almost mocha type flavors, pick up some dark fruits as well.
Mouthfeel- Excellent thick/full mouthfeel. Super creamy and super silky. Feel really enhances and accentuates the wonderful flavors. Moderate amount of carbonation.
Overall- Wonderfully balanced flavors, intense bitterness is finely offset by creamy taste and feel. The aroma and mouthfeel are perfectly wrapped into the overall enjoyment of this beer. Everything great about this particular style of beer seems to be present and celebrated in this beer.

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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 2,049 ratings.