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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,341 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,341
Reviews: 1,868
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 367
Gots: 933 | FT: 76
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: 4,341 | Reviews: 1,868 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired a three year vertical ('07-'09) of Expedition Stout in a trade with nflmvp. Steve, I love you. Decided to share the vertical with my fellow BAs at the Central Coast BA Gathering at the Pour House in Paso Robles, CA this past weekend. Following review written from notes.

Sampled only a couple ounces of each beer. Poured into an 8oz. Rémy Martin snifter each time.

Appearance: Totally opaque and thick as hell! No noticeable carbonation in any of the samples, and not much head to speak of either: a small brown cap that disappeared quickly each time. Light, spotty lacing.

Smell: Molasses, loads of roasted malt, and espresso greet the nostrils first. Hints of barbecue and flowery hops jump in and out of the picture. Alcohol is also apparent, but not dissatisfying. This was the one characteristic of the beer that really changed over the years, becoming duller and more alcoholic with time (or at least that's what my drunken notes read).

Taste: Big molasses, charred oak, and solid hop bitterness. Very roasty and bold. Not harsh for a Russian Imperial Stout, but certainly assertive.

Mouthfeel: Quite possibly the thickest beer I've had (right up there with Bourbon County Stout). The lack of carbonation makes this beer even more dense, and at times I was reminded of yogurt... yes, RIS yogurt. Super creamy and slightly warm. I want to give this a 5.0, however I believe that some extra carbonation would make it even better.

Drinkability: This was sooo damn thick, but in small portions it worked out fantastically. I doubt I could have drank this whole vertical on my own, let alone more than one bottle, but I'm still gonna give drinkability a high score since my only complaints are based on assumptions.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2009 04:52:06 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Viscous, oily black--nice. Thin, muddy brown head that I had to force on there. Disappeared instantly...no lace, no retention, nada. My beer boner just died.

Aroma is hickory, chocolate, and espresso accentuated by a mild alcoholic kiss. Deep and provocative.

Sweet tips the scales vs. roast malt on this stout. Chicory, baker's chocolate bitter with dark fruit and espresso. Deadly alcoholic, you'll feel it before tasting it. Big, full mouthfeel.

Good, but I expect more from Bells.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 22:12:33 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of DrDoitchbig
DrDoitchbig

Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This has to be one of the most viscous beers I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. It almost looked like jet black maple syrup coming out of the bottle. An aggressive pour yielded nothing but a chocolate brown cap that disappeared to reveal the black hole of a beer beneath.

Smell: Roasted malts, sweet chocolate and perhaps a bit of licorice.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet at the start, like a decadent chocolate liquor. Followed by a bitter backbone that balances that sweetness very nicely. The bitterness lingers for awhile after every sip.

Mouthfeel: Extremely full-bodied with low carbonation. It's so thick, almost like a heavy cream. Now I know what people are talking about when they describe a beer as chewy.

Drinkability: This stuff is incredibly rich and smooth. It's quite a treat. I could drink it all night. But with such a high abv that's probably not the best idea.

This has to be one of the best Imperial Stouts I've had yet. Granted I haven't delved too deep into the style, but this certainly inspires me to try more.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2009 07:20:44 | More by DrDoitchbig
Photo of mbudner
mbudner

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Batch 8944 (1/29/09)

A- Pours a deep black with a beautiful 2-finger, medium-brown head. Great lacing as it dissipates, lots of depth and fluff to the coating on the glass. Looks nice and viscous as it pours and as I swirl it.

S- Sweet molasses, dark fruits like figs, sweet chocolate. Slight booziness comes through in the nose. Caramelized sugar. Mild salty, soy-sauce like flavors, which seem to be appearing a little early, but inviting.

T- Very much mirrors the smell. Chocolate sweetness with a little soy-sauciness. Slightly more roasty than I expected from the aroma. A little bit of booze. This reminds me A LOT of the Dark Lord '08 I sampled back in May 2009 (less chewy.) The finish is kind of disappointing, but thats my only complaint and its not bad in the scheme of things. The bitterness from the roasted malts become in more prevalent as I move through this one. As it warms, I get more tobacco and leathery smokiness. Really complex.

M- Great creamy, coating mouthfeel. Slightly more carbonated on the tongue than some of the bigger stouts, but not overly-carbonated in general.

D- Overall, this was a great stout. I had tried it years ago before having some of the hyped greats and I would say that the aroma and taste of this were remarkably similar to the '08 vintage of DL. It was noticeably thinner, however, and slightly more carbonated. The finish in the taste was also a little more plain that I had hoped for. A really remarkable brew that doesn't get enough credit, most likely because of the fact that it is not rare.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 02:45:34 | More by mbudner
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

200th review!

This was bottled in Sept 08 and consumed Nov 09. Saved it a year, as I heard it improves the beer tremendously.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Pitch motor oil black with chocolate covered head that leaves some very spotty lacing behind.

Smell: Huge roasted aroma of burnt molasses, semi-sweet chocolate, licorice root, dark fruit and noticeable alcohol.

Taste: The roasted malt taste also drifts toward burnt molasses, with some notes of sweet chocolate, anise and coffee. Ends somewhat bitter and with an alcohol kick. Even after aging a year, still seems a trifle raw.

Feel: Very thick and chewy. Low carbonation, quite smooth and extremely warming.

Drinkability: Overall, a luxurious (if somewhat raw) late evening sipper. While not my favorite RIS, it is still quite delectable.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 13:25:20 | More by bsp77
Photo of Mistofminn
Mistofminn

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on tap (most recently at Stub and Herb Darkness Day Eve, I think I had 08) but for some reason I've never had a bottle of this! Thats all about to change.

Picked up a sixer, extremely fresh (cases at the store had 10/29/09 on the side, literally 2 weeks ago) so this is as fresh as it gets. I've heard Expedition is a stellar in the cellar, so lets see how it is fresh!

Poured into a Darkness tulip, how fitting, as this is about as dark as it gets. Deep deep brown, nearly black-hole black, with a very creamy two finger smooth brown sugar colored head. Head has good retention, but nothing spectacular, and leaves tons of lacing. Great looking beer.

The nose is very strong on sweet and toasted malts, chocolate, molasses and raisins. Pretty complex and pleasing smell. Light warming alcohol in the finish.

The taste is sweet and toasted malts, bitter chocolate, raisins and lightly toasted coffee beans, molasses and more dark fruits. Very complex. A nice earthyness in the finish, with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Come to think of it, this is pretty bitter, but you wouldn't get a clue from the nose, which is very sweet smelling. Alcohol comes out in the finish.

Mouthfeel is rich and thick, with a high carbonation that gives a sharp bite when swallowing. Drinkability is pretty good.

Overall, a solid Imperial Stout. I know that this beer is highly regarded on the "other" beer rating web site (pretty sure it's Top 10 in the world) but I think this site has the rating closer to it's actual rating. It's a great RIS, don't get me wrong, just not spectacular. The 08 I had was actually a lot better than this, so I'll see how these do in a year or two or three, and get back to you.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 06:01:24 | More by Mistofminn
Photo of trbergman
trbergman

Illinois

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

12oz bottle (Batch 9359) poured into a tulip.

A - Black, opaque beer with two fingers of dense brown head. The head fades over the course of five minutes or so, but leaves behind intricate patterns of lace.

S - Very malt-driven nose, with roast barley, sweet chocolate, dulce de leche, molasses, anise, raisin, and plum; some faint coffee in the background. Earthy, fruity hop aromas are just noticeable.

T - Plenty of maltiness on the palate as well, though there's also a rather high level of hop bitterness complementing a roasted char character. Sweetness of chocolate, caramel, and vanilla provides balance. Molasses and espresso flavors come out as the beer warms, along with a note of sherry. The finish is long and balanced.

M - Rich, full-bodied, and viscous. Very nice.

D - A complex sipper, Expedition was a pleasure from start to finish. This is one that I'll be sure to keep around in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 05:33:33 | More by trbergman
Photo of IDS
IDS

Oregon

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Expedition was a beer that I would have fairly regularly and enjoy before really getting into craft beer and one that I have not been able to try in the last three years due to my move out West. Since my palate has changed since then, I decided to fork out the money and have some Expedition shipped out.

I got my bottles yesterday and immediately cracked one open. The FexEx shipping on a crisp fall day provided the beer with a perfect temperature in which to enjoy. Poured into a pint glass, Expedition looked just how I remembered, black, with a quickly dissipating caramel colored head.

The taste was fantastic. Big malt taste and what reminds me of baker's chocolate hit me the most. The syrupy texture and low carbonation of this beer, in my opinion, lends itself to the taste as opposed to hampering it. When I got to the bottom of the glass I found myself full and delighted.

While I do not believe this to be the most accurate representation of an RIS, I do believe it to be one of the most creative ones. I am glad I have 5 more waiting for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 15:36:07 | More by IDS
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a small snifter. This bottle has to be at least two years old right now, I could not hold out anymore. I found this to be to sweet fresh.

Bell's Expedition is a dark pitch black oily looking beer. It looks mean and tough coming out of the bottle with a gooey togetherness. Thick with staining power, don't spill this. A gorgeous dark mocha colored head rose up about an inch or more with a thickness and milkshake look on top, creamy, lasting. Coats of dirty lace on the way down.

Expe has mellowed nice in just two years time. The nose discovered Chocolate cake with enough roasted malt scent to stop a horse. Caramel and slight toffee With the roast comes some smoke and molasses. Really not getting any coffee from this, perhaps that's the 1st thing to go with time, the hops are next with minimal screen time. Just a hint of dark fruit with some figs among others. This smells great.

Big amounts of roasted malt on the palate with some smoke and sweetness. The chocolate is huge and rich, bittersweet. There is some coffee espresso with some warming. Taste with figs and molasses and just a bit of wood. Some alcohol in the back but hidden over two years. In the after, I get some soy sauce which is more noticeable cold. When fresh, this was a bit to sweet and off putting, that's not the case now, great integration.

A big bold thick feel on this one, somewhat robust, creamy and large. The feel is almost bordering on syrupy, but it goes down like a charm, what's going on here? Just a bit of alcohol after all is said and done and a touch of heat, not hot at all. Hidden very well but not 100%. The hops are not completely faded as there is some bitter sense hanging around. Sweet but subdued.

Drinkability takes a slight hit due to a high ABV, but I wont dock points for that, this is a Russian after all. Whatever I did not like about this when young (alot) is completely opposite now. I would not do more than one of these a night though and won't drink it in a bottle younger than two years. You need to take your time with this to see what it holds.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 05:27:09 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of UA8
UA8

Washington

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a thick and syrupy black. A moderately aggressive pour yields a dark and dense brown head that has some solid staying power.

S- Dark chocolate, burnt and heavily roasted malts, a touch of char and sweetness, also a hint of cocoa.

T- Leads with syrupy dark fruits, coffee, and dark chocolate. Midpalate has a touch of candied citrus on it and the beer finishes with caramel sweetness and piny bitterness.

M- This beer brings meaning to having a syrupy texture. It is viscous and rich. Carbonation is a bit high but the beer is young and in addition it spins out fairly easily.

D- The flavors are bit high on the high notes and ever so slightly disjointed but not to a fault. Man I can't even imagine how good this beer would be with a years plus age on it. I'm a huge fan.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 18:31:29 | More by UA8
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

2.53/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

A: Pours a vigorous 1 finger chocolate, medium fine head with moderate retention. Brew is opaque black with thin webby lacing that doesn't cling.

S: The color green and unripened come to mind throughout the nose. Also chocolate, hops, mellow coffee, and nutty caramel. Very grassy and too unripened.

T: Very grassy and green again throughout. Like unripened coffee beans. Also chocolate, bitter coffee, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, unripened green figs, pine, and hoppy in the finish with a punch of alcohol. Not what I expect from a RIS. Not malty and why do I taste unripened green anything?!?

M: Medium to full bodied, oily, finishes a bit dry but its clean. Rather carbonated and that really prevents the flavors from melding here. Coffee beans linger a bit in the finish.

D: Not the best interpretation of the RIS style. Its not malty enough and the carbonation in the mouth takes away from the whole picture that the different flavors try to paint. It also makes this brew less robust. Heard a lot of hype, but this one isn't for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 04:23:38 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of spartanfan
spartanfan

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

batch 9359 packaged 9/17/09

A: Pours an opaque black with a tight dark brown head which leaves much lacing on the walls of the glass as it fades to a thin layer.

S: Smells of rich roasted malts and coffee

T: Tastes slightly smoky off the bat. Lots of flavors going on here; chocolate, coffee, caramel. Also, piney hops are detectable in the swallow and leave a bitter aftertaste.

M: This might be the creamiest beer I have tasted yet, it almost feels as though I'm drinking cool whip. Leaves a sticky sweet coating in my mouth after each swallow. There is a slight warming character from the alcohol.

D: While I'm really digging this beer, it's just a little to thick and heavy for me to drink more than one in a sitting. It's definitely a sipper

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 22:45:24 | More by spartanfan
Photo of KickbacksSteve
KickbacksSteve

Florida

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

Batch #8311, 2/7/08. Poured vigorously into a Unibroue tulip to stimulate a light brown thick head atop a black body. Never had one fresh and probably never will after smelling this liquid gold. Aroma is of dark chocolate, toasted malts and the sweetness of a RIS with some age on it, and its bursting out of the glass. Beautiful smell, simply spectacular. Taste follows closely to the aroma and it should be noted how easy it is to drink this one is considering the ABV. Mouthfeel is extremely thick and almost seems chewy. Buy this one by the case and find a place to stick it for a few years. Drink from the old cases, keep buying new ones. Do it. Just do it.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2009 08:01:15 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of droomyster
droomyster

Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an inky black with a rich, frumpy brown head. Smells are remarkably toasty (rather than roasty) with a dark chocolate aroma as well. The taste, on the other hand, is very roasty indeed. Big flavors of dark and burnt chocolate, with some sweet phenolic action going on. My favorite Bell's beer. Very good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2009 19:03:33 | More by droomyster
Photo of Bung
Bung

Michigan

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

Flying Saucer Charlotte. All black pour with 1 finger brown head. More booze and bourbon in the aroma than I ever remember this having. Heavy roast, molasses as well. This is BIG this year, either that or it's just so long since I've had it on draft. Full body, thick oily mouthfeel. I could swear this was barrel aged. A large amount of oaky toffee accents the heavy roast malts chocolates and espresso. Mild hops in the bite at the finish. Not nearly as much dark fruits as I've noticed in the past and much more of this barrel like qualities. Excellent, big sipper.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2009 17:17:12 | More by Bung
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled tan head. Smoky coffee-ish aroma has a hint of unsweetened chocolate. Flavor is smoky and surprisingly bitter, and has an undertone of chocolate and a hint of molasses. Texture is very smooth and tingly, and leaves a rather bitter aftertaste, not hoppy bitter but a tad unpleasing. Nevertheless, this is overall a darned good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-18-2009 15:10:00 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of andrewm190
andrewm190

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer came highly recommended by a knowledgeable friend; he did not lead me astray. This is a great beer. It pours a thick and aromatic head, dark in color, as is the liquid itself. Impenetrable by light. Very deep, rich chocolaty taste that lingers. Minor detraction is that it is a bit heavy on the alchohol, but then, it is a Russian Imperial Stout, and that comes with the territory. Highly recommend the beer, another winner from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 01:16:20 | More by andrewm190
Photo of BlackBearForge
BlackBearForge

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Per the Bell's Brewery website this bottle, batch 8864, was packaged on December 4, 2008.

This stout pours a deep opaque Stygian black, like used motor oil or a moonless night in the countryside, without a hint of any light coming through when held up to a lamp. The foamy frothy head is a deep chocolate milkshake brown, lingering a while and then leaving a thick curtain of mocha lacing in it's wake as it subsides.

The aroma is of dark sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts along with an earthy grassy hop note and also just a hint of alcohol.

Wow, the flavor profile on this beer is intense. This stout slowly floods your mouth with the deep bittersweet chocolate heralded by the aroma. Chocolate on chocolate and roasted grains, topped by sweet chocolate and finishing with bitter chocolate and an alochol warmth which takes it's place. There's bitter espresso and chocolate candy bars, Hershies Kisses and caramel coffee and deep dark mysterious fruit. The alcohol warms, barely noted as a taste but as an integral intensifier of the waves of flavour inherent in this beer.

Mouthfeel is heavy, full bodied, thick and chewy but velvety smooth and creamy too. A little chalky, it's a lot like drinking a big alcoholic chocolate milkshake made with coffee.

Wow, I think I may have discovered my new favorite RIS! This is a great beer for savoring. Each sip provides a massive flood of sensory input, very nice and very warming on this first cool day and night we've had here in North Florida this year. I'm drinking this with nearly a year of aging on it, I can only imagine it with another year or so. Simply amazing!

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 01:00:17 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of apbarwood
apbarwood

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm drinking this one hot off the presses, just a couple weeks after it arrived on the shelves. It looks black, or at the very least a dark brown-black. Not much head to speak of and just the faintest amount of caramel-colored lace. The aroma isn't exactly weak but it's not strong. I'm definitely picking up some roasted malt and a bit of dark fruit, maybe raisins. There's also a bit of alcohol in the bouquet that carries over in the flavor and while it's not really unpleasant, it doesn't seem to add anything. I hope and assume that will mellow with age. The flavor leads with some bittersweet chocolate and a trace of a sweeter caramel. It's followed quickly and overpowered by a strong, bitter, roasted malt and coffee flavor. The raisin-ish dark fruit flavor is still around and comes through a bit more as the beer warms up and seems more noticeable on the finish. There's definitely a nice complexity to this beer that seems to attach itself to every part of my palate and it has nice mouth-coating and warming qualities. When fresh, it definitely seems to show it's youth and is quite aggressive and biting but I can definitely see this beers potential to age nicely. I'd let this one sit for six months or so at least to let it mellow out a bit and allow some of it's more subtle qualities to step forward.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 01:31:58 | More by apbarwood
Photo of punkrkr27
punkrkr27

Michigan

4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick brown black that looks like used motor oil with a small brown head. Aroma is loaded with roasted hops, malts, coffee beans and molasses. Flavor is much the same with almost a cognac like note. Lots of coffee flavor on the finish with a notable alcohol burn. Nice medium full body.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 18:48:32 | More by punkrkr27
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a very dark brown with a tiny head that dissipated to the barest of collars. The aroma was chocolate, coffee and alcohol. The taste was a blend of bitter and sweet. Bitter chocolate, bitter coffee and I believe the alcohol added some harshness. Sweet from the malt. The feel was thick, viscous, heavy with light carbonation. Drinkability was average due to a high ABV and the robust flavors.

I originally sampled Expedition Stout 3 months ago and found it so strongly flavored, I could barely drink it. I decided not to review at that time, to give my palate, and the beer, a chance to mature. I am sure the beer hasn't changed that much in 3 month, but my tastes have, and I'm glad I waited. While still very strong, I can now appreciate the complexities. I bought a sixer and have four left, they are still in the cellar for at least a year. We'll see how Expedition ages.

BTW, I'm thinking my first impression of Expe Stout would have been around 2.2 to 2.5, and now is a 4.05.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2009 04:53:47 | More by kegger22
Photo of theghost3
theghost3

Louisiana

3.13/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an extreme dark brown, almost black. No head to speak of, just a light brown ring that disappears quickly. No lacing.

The smell is rather sweet from lots of chocolate along with some dark fruits (cherry, plums) & molasses. The taste is nothing like the smell--bitter citrus-like hop flavor with burnt coffee & some booziness. The lack of sweetness is a negative. Mouthfeel is kind of carbonated at first, but then ends up flat at the end; weird.

This should probably be aged to cut down on the bitter flavor. Not the most drinkable at this moment. An RIS should have some trace of sweetness. My concern is that if the carbonation goes away this quickly, it will be nonexistent with age.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2009 03:34:37 | More by theghost3
Photo of BigAl723
BigAl723

Michigan

4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased from the local market, single bottle. Poured into my Founders KBS snifter.

A: Dark as night. Zero and I mean zero light comes through. Pretty simply put, its real dark. Almost no head.

S: Very dark fruits, bread, earth, molasses, all of the above. Real floral stout. Slightly hoppy but not too much. Malts with real heavy character at the nose.

T: Well first off, I drank five Sam Adams' Octoberfests before drinking this so it should be a "treat." Dark bitter chocolate, coffee, toffee, sweet malts, hops, wow! One of the most complex stouts I've ever had in my life. Blows my mind every time I drink one. It's so dark, so evil, so hoppy, so bitter. I love it!

M: Real heavy! This baby leaves a coating in my mouth. Heavy mouthfeel with real nice carbonation. Very pleasant.

D: Not real drinkable but this isn't the kind of beer you sit back and drink a six pack of. If you're just drinking one 12oz bottle or maybe two, you're money. It's pretty drinkable for how heavy and complex it is.

Overall, like I mentioned earlier, one of the best stouts I've had for how bitter, heavy, and complex it is. The 11% can take a toll though. Be warned, it's a beast!

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 20:13:27 | More by BigAl723
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

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

12oz bottle. I really wasn't terribly impressed with Bells's other stouts, but this is pretty damn good stuff. I'm going to skip the beer color and go right to the head because that's really all that sets stout apart; I mean, you know it's black, right? has a good sized brown head off the bat, but settle into a solid ring of tan foam in a couple minutes. Big, vinous, chocolate, port-like aroma, with cherry and other fruity accents. Like a delectable black forest cake in a glass really. The flavor is the same rich dark chocolate with fruity, port-like complexity. You can tell that there are plenty of hops to balance the malt, but they don't really protrude at all. There is a light alcoholic bite in the finish that reminds you how strong this is and dries enough sugar off on your tongue to invite the next sip. Thick, mouth-coating body. Definitely the most balanced imperial stout that I have had to date. Amazing beer actually

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2009 23:38:25 | More by bulletrain76
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JohnQVegas

Tennessee

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into red wine glass. Thanks again to Jeff (mnjeff) for the sample!

Pours impenetrable black, with almost no visible carbonation, just a thin soapy head.

Nose is roasty, with a big, hoppy acidity on top of everything. Lots of citrus, chocolate, coffee... really, really hoppy for an RIS.

Taste is excellent. Starts off with a big dose of bright, hoppy citrus acidity, bit of pine, borne on the back of a huge, chocolatey malt body with nice coffee bite. Significant resiny hop bitterness lingers on the palate, more of that big, bright citrusy acidity, this time with a stout, roasty counterpart. Reminiscent of Night Stalker, Smutty IS - well done. I can see why this is such a huge favorite to age.

Mouthfeel is great - so smooth and creamy, a light undercurrent of carbonation that lets the acidity from the hops do a lot of the work. Massive body is bigger than full.

Drinkability is mainly hurt by just how massively hoppy this beer is. Big, big bitterness works against that aspect. Still, a tasty treat.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2009 21:30:45 | More by JohnQVegas
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,341 ratings.