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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.

5,041 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,041
Reviews: 1,928
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 426
Gots: 1,141 | FT: 77
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: 5,041 | Reviews: 1,928 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fmccormi
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a Cigar City snifter; bottling date printed in black ink along with batch information near the bottom of the back label (“11503 PKGD 10/22/12 A”), indicating a packaging date of October 22, 2012. So, currently about six and a half weeks old.

Appearance (4.0): Well, dark. Very dark. With a one-finger head of extraordinarily fine-grained foam that’s almost milk chocolate-hued, this beer has a black body that turns a deep brown at the edges when held to the light. Decent retention and lacing: while relatively sparse, the lacing is evenly distributed and sticks around pretty well, which is good for a malt-forward beer of this size. Sure looks like an imperial stout to me.

Smell (4.0): There’s some nice molasses with a bit of anise underneath, layered over a nice, not overly acrid roasted malt character—just a nicely balanced dark, roasted malt / sweet, dark, rich, unrefined sugar blend. Dark fruits (raisins, prunes) and caramelized sugar, with some rich fruitcake. Also, there are some floral, citrusy hops in the background, which somehow do not clash with the roasted malt body. Lovely smelling beer.

Taste (4.5): Very solid, rich, malty body: some of that sturdy-but-not-syrupy-sweet molasses sweetness blends into some rich grain character (more of that fruitcake action), which gives way to an almost shockingly smooth roast. French roast coffee, rich and very dark chocolate, caramelized sugar and toffee, and almost none of the acrid bitterness you might expect. There’s some floral hop character in here, too, though it’s easy to miss—kind of flashes across the palate early on and then surfaces again, subtly, as a grassy-floral bitterness in the finish. And somehow, despite being an RIS weighing in at 10.5% ABV, there’s very little alcohol heat. It’s there, sure, but it’s built into the body well and just adds another layer, if you ask me. And that is especially remarkable, considering that this is less than two months old.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Fantastic feel. Rich and thick, viscous but smooth (not syrupy), with a rich, evenly-distributed carbonation that coats the entire mouth and foams nicely on the way down. Voluminous, sleek, soft. Just greatness here.

Overall (4.0): Damn. This is an incredibly solid brew. It’s not a mind-blowing Russian Imperial Stout, I suppose, but kind of like Two Hearted it does everything it’s supposed to do and it does it all extremely well. It manages to be SO SMOOTH while pulling off so much flavor, body, and density. And it’s pretty damn fresh, too. What a great brew.

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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Photo of bdn72
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of jucifer1818
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A:deep, deep, deep black. I can see my refection in this beer is so perfectly dark and black, and it looks amazingly inviting.
light head, tho I cant complain for a beer this strong (which usual has low head retention)

smell: smells beautiful of chocolate...like chocolaty, light toffee, light fudge malt goodness
its beautiful

Taste: very forward with the hops, starting strong for a bit before being overtaken by the malt. Smoked malt, very dark caramel, black patent, roasted barley, and dark chocolate malt are all present with a slight hint of coffee malt as well)
no taste of the 10.5% ABV
aftertaste is of freshly grounded coffee and dark bakers chocolate

mouth-feel: slick, grainy, malty, and slight syrupness, yet still easy to drink

overall: its a fine example of a heavenly stout that goes as black and flavorful as possible.. Could had been a bit lighter on the hops to allow the malt to shine even more, but that's just my own prefrances, this brew balances both aspects of brewing flavors, and finds a beautiful balance for a beer of this heavy level of hoppyness and matlyness

A well earned 5/5

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4.75/5  rDev +12%

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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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4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of thecheapies
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Expedition Stout. Battle of the Vintages. 2011 vs. 2012.


Pours a soft black with a half-inch of mocha head. Not much of the foam wants to stick to the glass. Very gluggy out of the bottle, like spent oil. 4.0

Smells like bitter mocha, unsweetened chocolate, giant roast, pine hops, earthy aromas, espresso, and dried red raspberry. Punchy nose with an enormous malt bill. You don't need to point your nose too close to get that delectable stout essence. 4.5

Heavily-charred with dusty mocha powder, burnt notes, alcohol, blackberry, caramelized sugars, pine from the hops, licorice root, and hefty bitterness. Just a beast of a stout, flavors fitting for the coldest and darkest nights. The booze makes it near-spicy deep into the finish with hot breaths from the strength making your mid-section warm and wooly. Quite yummy fresh. I'm excited for the year-old. 4.0

Full body with some gumminess and smacking-lip stick. Big and warm without being hot and undesirable. Carbonation is a staunch-medium. 4.5

Overall - 4.0


Poured a less uniform black with some browning hue taper along the edges as the liquid filled the glass. Head formed at a similar height as the fresh vintage, but looked a half-shade darker brown. Leaves the glass almost entirely clean, but a firm ring remains. 4.0

Syrupy chocolate nose punctuates a melty-rich malt nose. Sweet coffee-and-cream notes swell in and out around the fudgy dark chocolate and booze. Peatier and sweeter dark malts offer more raisin and prune and dark caramel. Truly, Expedition Stout has decomposed beautifully. 4.5

Chocolate-y and syrupy with milk caramel and loud fermentables. The roast is much softer and the beer is sweeter and less bitter. Less coffee, more decadent. Dark and milk chocolate, CowTails caramel creme, roasted grain, raisin, alcohol, fruit rot, soft pungent cheese, rotted berries, torched sugar, and light minty pine. 4.0

Thick body with a medium-to-light carbonation and warmly-reminding strength. Smooth and coercing. 4.0

Overall - 4.0

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3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

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4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 5,041 ratings.