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

Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,114 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4114
Reviews: 1856
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%


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)
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Ratings: 4,114 | Reviews: 1,856 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bonhoeffer
Bonhoeffer

Alabama

4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers i've ever had. All that's good about the style, with boat loads of chocolate character. The smell was unbelievable. Just had to sit and take it in for a while.

Flavor was intense and fantastic. Complex. Perfectly balanced. Thick. Just enough sweetness. Just enough hops. I don't even know where it all comes from. As a homebrewer i can't imagine how i'd even begin to try to create something like this.

Lost just a touch on drinkability because it's so overwhelming. But in a good way.

Must have more.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2006 19:16:59 | More by Bonhoeffer
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like one heavy son of a bitch beer. Looks like black syrup. builds a small fleeting head and the beer literally clings to the pint glass. What's the smell resemble? hmmmm. prunes, lots of fresh melted chocolate. something mildly unsettling in the odor too some weird sourness. Taste is chocolately and bitter with a roasted malt finish. bitterness subsides after a couple of swigs. hoppy flavor should decrease with age. Thick and syrupy to drink. alcohol hits the tongue right away. perfect for the style. belly warming and heavy. i'd have another, but the big chunks at the bottom just didn't do it for me and kept me from wanting another. ill cellar some and see what happens with time.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2006 13:36:42 | More by aforbes10
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a mysterious midnight black that looks like a void in space itself. The head was a dark copper and tan that started quite small, but then fell to a thin ring, leaving no head what so ever.

Smells of syrupy chocolate and an awesome, dare I say wholesome, roasted barley. There are also swirling bits of dark fruits and a subtle nip of fruity hops. This one just makes me feel good smelling it. Five stars! …er, points.

Tastes exceptionally sweet, but the sweetness is clearly natural and wholesome. This emanates from the smooth dry roasted barley that isn’t too charred (espresso), nor underdone (barley wine), but just right. Bell’s hit that right on the nose. There’s also some port like qualities with some cherries and a definite brandy, presumably where the alcohol is hiding out of sight.

The mouth feel is thick as hell and sticky with a light easy going carbonation that only adds to the over all thickness.

I really like the quality of this beer and the perfect roast of the malt, but the sweetness, although right on, is a little distracting.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2006 17:32:00 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of artusory
artusory

Maryland

5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours motor oil black with small, tan head. Aroma is roasted and burnt malts, coffee and sweet chocolates. Flavor is enormous. Chocolate, coffee, citrus hops and burnt molases. Very bitter. Very dry. Flavor opens up and mellows as it warms. Coats the mouth for a finish that lasts for weeks. Texture is very smooth and creamy.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2006 19:24:53 | More by artusory
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This 1 year+ old bottle pours viscously pitch black with incredibly thick, syruppy legs and a small, but tight dark brown head comprised of tiny bubbles. Head has some stick and leaves crusty lace streamers on my goblet.

Aroma is massive and powerful, reaching me from afar with it's song of huge malt complexity, bittersweet chocolate, sweetened espresso, charred and roasted malt, ripe plum, raisins, berries, and vanilla oak. One of those beers you could just smell forever.

Flavor explodes on my palate with tons of malt goodness, thick and viscous. Bittersweet Belgian chocolate, freshly ground Colombian coffee beans, toasted black bread drizzled with molasses, sweet dark fruit, prunes, raisins, melted brown sugar and more. There are hints of charred wood smoke and a perfect hop finish that is green and piney. As it warms, some sweetness emerges, but not cloying or obtrusive. Very complex and delicious, not a trace of the 11.5 % abv. A true masterpiece in the world of beer.

Body is just huge, with a very creamy, smooth mouthfeel and a texture like liquified silk. Feels glorious on my palate, so creamy and rich. One bottle is not enough, I NEED more! Probably the best Imperial Stout I've ever had, magnificent.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2006 14:40:52 | More by AlexJ
Photo of danielocean03
danielocean03

Indiana

4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased single 12oz bottle, Batch 6672, from Crown Liquors in Fishers, IN. Poured a thick, deep murky black, reminiscent of used motor oil, absolutely opaque, can see no light through my pint glass even at the edges, black as night. Very thin dark tan head gave way to a tan hued light sticky lacing. Smells primarily of dark chocolate/espresso and a warm sweetness from the alcohol. Taste is rich and complex, characterized mostly of chocolatly malts, coffee, undertones of roasted grain and alcohol, starts sweetly and then finishes off with a slightly bitter bite from the coffee/hop profiles. Hard to believe this brew is packing 11.5% abv somewhere, covers up nicely. Mouthfeel is light carbonation, smooth and creamy, thicker bodied. Drinkability suffers only on the strength of this exceptionally smooth stout. Hats off to another fine product by Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2006 22:56:21 | More by danielocean03
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BigDaddyWil

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.
No batch date on bottle.
Purchased a single at Cloverleaf for $2.70.

Slick, dark black, oily liquid pours from the bottle. A minimal tan colored head forms and then quickly disappears. No lacing, low carbonation, but an oily coating clings to my glass. Lots of dark fruit smells, raisins and prunes. Hints of burnt coffee and chocolate and roasted malts. Taste mimics the smell, but heavy on the burnt coffee and chocolate then fades with some hop bitterness. Slight alcohol burn in the belly. Lots of aftertaste. Creamy, smooth, medium bodied feel. Hard to drink more than one, especially with an abv of 11.5%. If your a fan of Russian Imperial Stouts its a must try. I have one in the cellar to try at a later date.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2006 02:25:28 | More by BigDaddyWil
Photo of zjungleist
zjungleist

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #6811. Pours pretty much pitch black with a small tan head. I can tell just by looking how thick this stuff is. Actually, at first, there was no head, and slowly one bubbled up from the inky depths. The smell is great, with boatloads of bakers chocolate and a nice sharp, green hop smell. The taste is not perfect though, it was really really sweet. It started with pretty much perfect hops, and then immediately became very sweet. I would say the sweetness overpowered what would be the peak flavors, but then mellowed with some great chocolate and cream flavors and a lingering coffee aftertaste. But seriously, this stuff is sweet. Maybe with a little bit of age that would mellow. I'll probably cellar the bulk of what I have. I wish there were dates instead of batch numbers, but I'll wing it. The mouthfeel was pretty thick, and though there was a bit of carbonation that could be summonsed with a good swirl, it was a bit off balance in the respect. So.. flavor and mouthfeel are both a bit off balance, yet it was quite enjoyable and complex.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2006 05:14:44 | More by zjungleist
Photo of unclederby
unclederby

Oregon

4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 6811

So i'm gonna go ahead and say it now, this is absolutely one of the best beers i've ever tasted.

The pour was an opaque pitch black topped by a smallish mocha-colred head which dissapated quickly. Impossible by sight to guess if there is any carbonation activity.

Smell is sweet, dominated by smoke and chocolate, wheat toast and with the faintest hint of hops.

And the taste! Rich with flavours of milk chocolate, roasted malts, hazelnuts, coffee and the slightest hint of hop bitterness on the finish. How the hell did i get all of this? I would never know this is 11.5 ABV.

What superb flavors!

I'm drinking too fast...

Mouthfeel to me is perfect for a double stout, thick and chewy, smooth and creamy... just a bit slick and oily. Who needs carbonation?

Drinkability? Give me another... but just one more. Not because it's harsh on the palate but just the opposite; it's delicious and very rich and quite filling.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2006 03:02:17 | More by unclederby
Photo of RedHaze
RedHaze

Nebraska

4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For some reason there's no batch #, but I know it was bottled in 2004.

Pours absulutely pitch black with a very thin dark brown head, that quickly fades to a very thin ring that leaves only bits of lacing.

Smell; at first there was a little bit of a soy sauce aroma going on, but that disappeared after I let it sit for a few minutes. I smell dark roasted choclate malts, slight coffee presence and some anise.

Taste; wow, those roasted choclate malts really hit right up front, with a little bit of the cooffee blanded in. There's a slight bitterness for the hops, but those are somewhat subdued due to some age. I get a little bit of a vinous and molasses flavors as this warms, with a little bit of an alcohol bite. Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, but smooth for the the style. I don't think I would be able to drink more than one of these in a night without drooling all over myself..

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2006 02:04:49 | More by RedHaze
Photo of ghostwalker
ghostwalker

Massachusetts

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle serving.

Body is black hole, bottom of a well, midnight in a coal mine black. One finger of dark brown head. Beautiful!

Nose is rich and boozy.

Flavor is deep, dark, roasted malt. Dark fruits are present, prunes, plums, currants. Not much coffee or chocolate. More of a extra roasted, almost burned maltiness. Piney hops also are present in strength. Overall, this kind of reminds me of Great Divide's Yeti. Boozy, I can taste the alcohol, and there is a definite warming effect.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy and oily. You really know you are drinking an RIS with this bad boy. Top marks!

Drinkability is OK. It's really good, but also really strong and intense. One will do me for now.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2006 00:28:51 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of bruachan
bruachan

District of Columbia

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i didn't know motor oil was so delicious. huge mouthfeel that contains toffee and chocolate, velvety all the while. bitterness stems an otherwise very sweet finish. and there's a cola character there at the end too, along with a very slight aged flavor. esters are not pronounced, but detectable

bitter chocolate and licorice aroma. i might be getting a touch of hop

compared to the speedway stout i tried last night this is fairly tame, but balance can be a virtue amongst the imperials as well

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 05:04:02 | More by bruachan
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce brown bottle - no dates, batch # only.

Pitch black. Thin brown coloured head. Thin, tiny patches of lace.

Nose is full of dates, chocolate, coffee, currants, & a wee bit of alcohol.

Nice. Well balanced blend of sweet malt, coffee & chocolate. Dark fruit flavours move in & out freely. Agressive hopping - grapefruit & pine. Off dry finish. Smooth, full bodied. Gentle carbonation. Well put together.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2006 02:45:32 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of kohoutek
kohoutek

Michigan

4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dark as the darkest night with a nice brown head. The foam quickly dissipates into an oil drop experiment of xylem cells and migrating plasmodium.

The beer smells of dark fruits, plums, slivovicz, cherry pits and currants. A good swirling reveals smoky roasts with layers of complexity, herbal hops, fruity acidity and chocolatey/espresso warmth. This beer is heavily ester laden. These aromas are beautifully integrated into this complex, rich beer.

The flavors are winey/vinous and maltiliciously acidic, all wrapped in a roasty, fruity, chocolately/caramel blanket.

The mouthfeel is rich, medium-thick. It is enhanced by the lively acidity, hop bitterness and low carbonation.

I have enjoyed up to four expeditions in a row (lots of time in between) and they are very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 20:27:53 | More by kohoutek
Photo of ToggleEyes
ToggleEyes

Michigan

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured out thick and black and settled with a tiny head that disappeared fast. The color is quite black, but around the top it looks like the brown is sepparating from the black. The smell is intoxicationg with coffee, dark chocolate, mollases, malt, small bits of alcohol, toffee and raisin maybe? There is a lot going on with this one if you take the time to really "waft it in". The taste is awsome. Creamy and smooth, sweet and not overly bitter. This is great in a stout this way you can bare to let it sit in your mouth for a while and find all the flavors. Has a great aftertaste that has some burn and punch to it. I think I have found my measuring stick when it comes to Imperial Stouts.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2006 06:07:15 | More by ToggleEyes
Photo of jaluria
jaluria

Connecticut

4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So dark in color it's difficult to identify anything else within this beer. A slight head with a mocha-color that stays around for awhile. I could smell nuts, chocolate, coffee beans, and roasted sugar; somewhat expected for this style, but still appealing. The taste was just incredible with a richness in flavor and texture that makes it one of the best RIS around. Smooth and creamy from the first sip to the last drop. The sweetness is never so dominant it takes away from the beer or blows out your taste buds. The drinkability is excellent in terms of whether or not I would want another pint, but the double digit ABV prevents me from having more than 1 of these beers.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2006 16:50:50 | More by jaluria
Photo of hero27
hero27

Minnesota

4.88/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep rich chocolate color with an extremely creamy head. Aroma is rich chocolate, molasses, coffee, dark fruits, etc. Tastes are incredible and mirror the smells, but with an added complexity of burnt malts and a brutally bitter character as well. Amazing..this exceeded the hype for me, and then some. The mouthfeel is endlessly smooth & creamy.. The alcohol shows itself perfectly, and compliments the other flavors exceptionally well.
Mindblowing drinkability for a nearly 12% alcohol beer. Definitely one of the best stouts I've ever had..nearly flawless.

A top-notch offering from Bell's. Thanks to Px2GrafX for letting my try this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 01:24:48 | More by hero27
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, batch # 6672.
Wow... Opaque black with a brown head. A slightly oxidized smell is mildly sweet with chocolate and plums, prunes. Medium heavy body with a oily mouthfeel. Rich taste of dark chocolate truffles, expresso, and plums with a slight hint of alcohol. A cloying finish has that expresso taste to it.
One of the best stouts brewed these days. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2005 10:30:07 | More by beerceller99
Photo of ncbrewerbun
ncbrewerbun

North Carolina

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

From a brown 12 oz. bottle.

This is approaching extreme beer status. The appearance is black -- an opaque black, jet black with a thin tan head.

Complex aroma -- the malt, yes...dark fruits, molasses, chocolate. An all around imperial aroma.

A big hit of malt, but balanced. The alcohol is subdued. And one thing that set this apart from some of the other stouts we were tasting as the same time was this beer's relative smoothness. It is not harsh and overly bitter.

Chewy. You know you are drinking a big beer.

You have to appreciate this beer like you would a work of art. It's complex, flavorful and an enjoyable experience! Happy Holidays. Have another!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 23:17:58 | More by ncbrewerbun
Photo of SupaCelt
SupaCelt

Michigan

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

Murky and dark brown. Minimal head from a conservative pour. Fears of overflow quelled. Small bubbles carbonate. Chocolate coloured ring is substituted for head. Smells of chocolate syrup and coffee, licorice and some fruitiness, and slight alcoholic impressions. The flavours are mostly a bitter chocolate and coffee bean experience. The body is creamy and smooth. This is at least a 9 on Bob's smoothness scale. The drinkability is good in terms of the style. Too much stout can cause pain and chocolate brown dookie.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2005 23:35:07 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of TheBlackMallard
TheBlackMallard

Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an oily black. The tan head grew out of nowhere and quickly disappeared. Smells of sugar, coffee, dates. Tastes of sweet roasted mocha coffee. The aftertaste starts bitter and quickly gives way to sweetness. Thick creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth, but I think one is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2005 06:02:04 | More by TheBlackMallard
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer poured almost straight black. The head was a very nice creamy coffee color. The only problem the head was dead on arrival. The beer has a dotting pattern of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Sweet carmelly fruity chocolatey coffee assault my nose. Rum soaked raisons make up the fruity smell.

Taste: The beer comes on with a spicy peppery sweetness. Then waves of chocolate and coffee do there thing.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with almost no carbonation. I think carbonation would have helped the flavors explode from the glass.

Drinkability: This beer would have been far more drinkable with a little more carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 00:38:02 | More by nlmartin
Photo of Shultzerdugen
Shultzerdugen

Missouri

4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. brown bottle.

Pours inky black/brown capped by a large tan head with dark brown threads though it. As the beer went down in the glass it left small globules of chunky goodness.

Aroma is dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, vanilla, and a hint of raisins.

The body is full to the extreme, but still creamy from carbonation and the ample head. Roasted malts come right out front, followed by a juicy center, finished with coffee and dark chocolate notes carried through from the nose and a molasses sweetness . Alcohol is superbly hidden.

I savored a six pack I bought in March for nine months, and the beer seemed to hold its character brilliantly. So damned good.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2005 00:02:59 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of budsboy
budsboy

Ohio

4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick, opaque onyx black. Cascading head grows slowly to a two-finger thick layer of rocky, poofy tan foam.

Smell is deep and rich -- coffee, chocolate, raisen, roasted bread, oak and alcohol.

Taste is every bit as good as the smell. Tart, almost sour plum quickly changes to a deep and rich dark chocolate, then burnt espresso and a grainy bread. Finish is thick black coffee bitterness that sticks around. Fantastic.

Smooth and silky. Full bodied. Chewy. This is a meal. You know you've got something special when this hits the tongue.

Exceptional brew. Bigger than many Russian imperial stouts. If anything, this feels more like an American double stout to me, mostly because of its size and fullness. The last two Bell's I've had are the 7000 and this. I'm convinced ... nobody does big stouts better than Bell's. Good, good, good.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 01:30:26 | More by budsboy
Photo of phishgator
phishgator

Florida

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2002
This pours into and Imperial pint glass with large clunks and chugs. A thick brownish black (liquid?) with a decent head for such a big brew. Thought the head does receed in just a short time. The aroma is of perfection for an Imp. Stout, roasted coffee and dark bitter choclate. The taste is every bit the same as the aroma but with a bit of heat from the alcohol! There is also a strong bitter presence. The mouthfeel is thick and coating, as it should be. The drinkability is out of this world. I always want more after I finish the first one; although I'm not too sure that I should have another?!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 02:23:30 | More by phishgator
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,114 ratings.