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

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

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5,198 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 5,198
Reviews: 1,958
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 437
Gots: 1,229 | FT: 84
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: 5,198 | Reviews: 1,958 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AmitC
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dates 10/22/2012.

A heavy Russian Imperial from Bell's. Had heard good praises on BA.

Pours very thick dark brown. Dark black inside the glass. Head is overwhelming about three fingers thick. Tan shining brown colored. Excellent lacing. Very sticky. Head persists really well. Low to moderate bubbles. Opaque.

Aroma: Hops enter first. Some burnt up roasted malts and alcohol. A very upfront hoppy smell that thins out slowly with time. Overall a comparatively mild smell.

Taste: Front is hop forward, slightly bitter. Some mild chocolate, caramel and malts. Alcohol is felt really well. Punching. Bitter dry finish.

Mouth feel: Full bodied yet feels good smooth may be due to excessive alcohol. Astringency is huge, mostly due to hops, burnt up malts and alcohol. I like that this brew puts hops and alcohol right upfront, unabashedly. Thickness is huge. Low to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Very exciting offering from Bell's. Better than there Kalamazoo and Cream Stouts. Solid stout. A slow drinking beer as is expected. This one is a palate wrecking brew. Will do some serious damage for a stout.

Style Rate: 4.5
Personal Rate: 4.5

Photo of hctap00
3.96/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle packaged on 10/22/12, so this one is fresh. Ignored recommendations to cellar it for a while.

Nice appearance. Black with some dark brown transparency at the edge. Reddish tan head reduces to a lacing that sits on top of the beer, not just around the edge.

Aroma was fairly one dimensional, though it did evolve as it warmed. Initially, I got almost exclusively booze. Maybe some chocolate. Later, the same "dark fruit" smell that I get from Narhwal, only stronger. I think it may be fig. I wish I could place it. Not much complexity.

Again, a bit one dimensional, but still enjoyable. A boozy start, followed by some dark chocolate sweetness, a solid malt backbone that is not very roasty, and finishes with the same fig-like flavor I get in the aroma. Fairly pronounced cherry toward the end, mixed with the booze. Tastes like what I imagine the Jim Beam Red Stag to taste like, but in a good way. Warming alcohol very noticeable.

No complaints with the mouthfeel. Can still feel it in a good way.

This beer had its moments. I would try it again, but definitely want to cellar it.

Photo of benjaminahudson
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of erikl48
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of alex021224
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of tree777
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of PHKrames
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Optifron
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours jet black with brown, thick, creamy head. Leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate, a touch of hops, smooth French roast coffee

Taste: Dark chocolate, but without the intense bitter. Smoother espresso beans. A nicely balanced sweetness, almost like a touch of lactose.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic. Was the first thing that really stood out when it hit my mouth. Incredibly smooth, creamy but not heavy

Overall: Really impressive. I like smoother stouts, and this really fits the bill. Impressively drinkable for 10.5%. Will definitely be picking up more of this.

Photo of Nerlman
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Wolfpack2005
2.9/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle to DFH snifter

A-Pours slightly heavy leaving a dark tan 1 finger head that fades quickly, Pitch black in color.

S-Picking up a little bits of roasted malts and dark chocolate. Also a slight alcohol smell as well. Nothing very strong.

T-Strong burnt malt taste up front with a slight taste of old coffee. After the harsh taste fades i'm left with a strong alcohol taste that lingers for a while and is not masked at all.

M-The only redeeming quality of this beer is the smooth mouthfeel and relatively low carbonation, which I like for this style.

O-Very disappointed in this brew coming from such a solid brewery With the high praise it gets I was expecting a lot more. Seems very unbalanced and lacks any sort of complexity. Not a good example of the style. I'll lay one down to see if time helps the flavors blend, but otherwise will probably not buy this one again.

Photo of dbfp210
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of 2dogbrew
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Neorebel
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, oil hue, nearly black into my glass, with an off-white frothy head covering the top. It remains there clinging to the side and holding steady at about 1/2 inch. This beer's appearance is on point - exactly what I am looking for, it's as if this is just a very large espresso I have here. The aroma is nothing short of an absolute delight! A complex array of flavors enters my nose, such as raisin, purple grapes, cream, molasses, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and a slight woody, earthiness. After a healthy gulp I am pleasantly surprised to find that the aroma was not all hype in the slightest. I initially get some fruit flavors, again the grapes, dark fruit, and also a hint of cranberry, and noticeable hops of the "grapefruit" variety. Those first aspects are then overtaken by bitter chocolate, a splash of coffee, and a more musty, yet sharp "barrel" finish. The alcohol content is not as striking as you would imagine, although the warming sensation eventually does come when you sit for a second. For the mouthfeel, of course it's relatively heavy, but it's not as velvety and full coating as I would like. Overall though its quite delicious and worth picking up because of the more prevalent fruit and hop flavors within this excellent stout. I do wonder what aging this a few years would do to it as well...

Photo of Kerrie
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of pearljam118
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter.

A - thickfreakness dark; mocha head; significant lacing and retention; also, dark

S - roasted malt; a bit of dark coffee; some slight sweetness via bakers chocolate; just a touch of leather

T - dark chocolate; dark coffee; some espresso; malty; sweet and syrupy; roasted/smokey; a decent amount of hop presence; maybe burnt maple syrup

M - obviously this beer is pretty heavy; full-bodied, but smoothly carbonated; creamy; alcohol heat present but not overwhelmingly so; pretty smooth overall

O - a damn tasty stout that packs a pretty serious punch of heat and roasted malt, coffee flavor; it's drinkable but will sit you down in a hurry because of that 10.5; there are some bitter chocolate notes present but the balance is there for sure.

Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of baybum
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Satan70
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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

12oz bottle I've been sitting on for some time. Bottled 11/01/11.

A - Pitch black with a nice dark mocha head. Big legs, minimal lacing.

S - Sweet and roasted malts with some awesome milk chocolate notes. Slight bit of smoke. Smells fantastic.

T - Very roasted malts up front with dark chocolate and smokey notes in the finish. Hops are still hanging around, and pleasantly cut through the sweet malts used.

M - Coats pretty nicely. Carbonation is still pretty up there, but works. Leaves a nice smoky chocolate flavor in the mouth.

O - Fantastic. If this was a limited release 22oz every year, people would go nuts over it. Good on Bell's for doing this in sixxers. Fantastic beer. I got this as an extra in a trade, but it will be the main-piece in a future trade. Fits somewhere between Rasputin and Founders Imperial Stout flavor-wise.

Photo of hilgart1
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger high dark tan head that has excellent retention properties and hardly died down and left lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along wit some hints of licorice.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, although the licorice becomes more prominent as the beer warms up and lingers through the finish. A light to moderate of bitterness is present.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonated. All of the roasted malts make the finish feel dry.
O: This beer is quite drinkable considering the strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste (provided you can get past the roastiness).

Photo of BrownNut
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Oct 2, 2012 batch, drunk Dec 10, 2012. Bottle to tulip. Served cool.

A - 3.75 - Black. Rusty tan head that dissipates quickly. Want more.

S - 3.5 - The smell is fairly faint. What's there smells delicious, but it's just distant. Gentle chocolate malt, gentle hint of leather. There's a facet that reminds me a little of certain pumpkin ales, surprisingly. Almost some fruit, almost some liquor.

T - 3.75 - Strong burnt char note right out of the gate. Fairly bitter for that reason. Hint of chocolate in the background. It's hard to imagine any kind of delicate fruit taste surviving in this harsh environment but I swear I get a little something - not sure what kind. Pretty hot booze in the throat. I like that but many might see it as too much. Everybody says to cellar this one anyway so that should take care of that. It gets easier drinking farther down in the glass, but still has a fairly bitter char thing going on, more than I think is reasonable. It's over the top with burnt taste while young like this. Looking forward to trying it this time next year and the next.

M - 4.5 - Heavy bodied, viscous, approaching pudding feel. Ends kind of powdery inside the slippery.

O - 3.75

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 5,198 ratings.