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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: 1,328 | 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
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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an extremely black beer with only some lighter brown tints when held up to light. The light doesn't come through, but the faint brown only shows then. The head is gorgeous, a mocha colored pillow of bubbles. Retains very well and leaves an attractive film of lace.

The smell isn't as aggressive as I'd like, but it's all malt. No evidence of hops, just malt. A bit of chocolate and smoke.

This bottle has only beer around for five months, so the flavors haven't yet melded together. It's abundantly malty, with a nice kick of alcohol from mid-sip throughout the finish. I've got a four pack and I'm having two tonight, so I expect when I have the next two bottles this score will go up. Currently, there's little complexity as it goes simply from malty to boozy.

Smooth is the word of the day. It's exceptionally smooth and creamy. An initial blast of sweetness precedes the heat from the alcohol, as well as the bitterness from the alcohol and the chocolate. The finish is both warm and dry, and lingering. Full bodied creaminess. It's so soft for such a strong beer.

While a bit bitter and relatively high in ABV, it's quite easy to drink. As it warms more and more sweetness comes out, making it even more drinkable. I've never seen this in town before so I'm really excited to know I can age a couple more bottles for the future.

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4/5  rDev -5.7%

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4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - One of the darkest pours I've seen. Nice dark brown head, about 2 inches worth, and lingers nicely.

S - More complex smelling than a lot of the Russian / Imperial stouts. Alcohol, raisin, caramel, toffee, and vanilla notes.

T - Sweet vanilla, bitterness, toffee, bourbon, and slight malty flavor.

O - It's big, complex, and full of new and interesting flavors with each gulp. I can't wait to see how this beer changes with age. I'll be sure to cellar a few for later. It's not an every day beer, but I would certainly get this one again. Great for cold winter nights. Prost!

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I seriously have to upgrade my previous 3.75 rating from last summer. Perhaps that bottle at the Come Back In (Madison) last June was oxidized and old. Even more likely, I simply drank it too cold (and without a glass). Whatever the case, the specimen I'm now this moment holding in my hand is fabulous.

A fairly aggressive pour into a tulip glass gives a small head, w/ almost no lacing (a sign of high abv, with slippery solvent alcohol refracting on the glass). The aroma is still remarkably weak (though subtly rich with a quiet majesty--just too quiet). I get in the nose a woody alcohol, plus uncooked pasta. And a bit of leather (but in a good way; I don't know how that's possible, as I detest leather in beer).

But the flavor in the mouth, wow, that's a different story. Incredibly complex. The flavors oscillate between a balance of bitter and sweet: burnt coffee and milk chocolate, black licorice and caramel, honey-baked ham and oatmeal-raisin. Wait, that last pair are both sweet. Plus an alcohol heat and an odd salt that helps cut the sweet.

A fullish-bodied, slick-viscous texture like warm maple syrup. Yet that creaminess is leavened by a mild to moderate carbonation, even as the pour in this tulip glass has risen to room temperature.

Update: several hours later, I'm getting the aroma, now, from the mouth of the empty bottle. Orange peel, black pepper, black cherry juice, unripe tomato, and dopplebock malt.
Update
On tap at Fischman Liquors

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