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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.

4,677 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,677
Reviews: 1,894
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 405
Gots: 1,019 | FT: 78
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: 4,677 | Reviews: 1,894 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjanega08
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A= pours a thick black with a light brown head that sticks nicely to the glass
S=malty plums, figs, carmel and some spicy hops
T= chocolaty and coffee, plums follow and a slight booze touch going down
M= sticky with average carbonation. Heavy feeling
D= average. Gets a little too sticky and boozy. As the beer warms the alcohol is more prevelant.

jjanega08, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of Reaper16
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

served on-tap (!) into a globe glass at Flying Saucer

Looked like an RIS, basically. Rich blackness with a creamy, tan/leather head. Lacing was superb all throughout the drink.

Lots of chocolate in the nose, with pleasant characteristics of nuts (almonds, maybe). Sweet, luxurious malt aromas provide an awful lot of enticement. I think, not quite dark fruits, but maybe berries of some kind? Either way, its intriguing.

This is a terrific tasting beer. Loads of creamy chocolate, roasted-to-burnt malts, a touch of hops somewhere in the middle, and a nutty, clean finish. The alcohol asserts itself, making this beer pretty hot and warming. This is like a delicious glass of chocolate milk, only with booze.

Expedition Stout is thick like a milkshake, but remains drinkable throughout. If you can handle the hot alcohol characteristics, you could be in danger put a few down too fast. Splendid.

I'm ecstatic that I had the chance to try Expedition Stout on-tap, though I can only wonder how an aged/cellared bottle might do to the alcohol taste. I suspect that this is too young to be at its optimum tasting age. Regardless, this was a decadent treat and an awesome stout that I would absolutely love to drink again.

Reaper16, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of SilentSabre
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I have wanted to try this for *ages*. With the temperature around 24F tonight, I figured this would be an ideal time to crack it open. Poured absolutely black as ink with a medium brown foamy head. I could just look at the behaviour of the liquid as it poured into my goblet and tell it was going to be thick as hell in the mouth. Perfect. This was a terrific looking stout; enough to justify me handing out a 5.0. Smell was full of burnt coffee notes with a healthy dose of chocolate and caramel, and toffee, as suspected. Good, for sure, but no higher than a 4.0. Taste let me down a bit. Sort of a, "...hm...that's it, eh?" The flavour profiles one would expect were all there, but I just felt this lacked the deep complexity I was anticipating, and honestly, it wasn't as sweet as the aroma alluded to. Also, I feel that there is no question that this is 10% abv+. The first breath you take after having swallowed has a bit of heat on it. Mouthfeel is right where I was hoping it would be. Thick, chewy, heavy as hell. Great. Drinkability on this one is average at best, I felt. I think this is another classic case of generating hype over a beer and just *knowing* that's it's gowing to be the greatest beer you've sampled in many years, and then the moment arrives, and all you've done is set yourself up for disappointment. A good stout, overall, though. Just not the "be-all end-all" I was thinking it would be. Oh well..
*Note* I don't know how to read their coding system, but my bottle had "8 3 1 1 " ink jetted on the back label.

SilentSabre, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of ibbjamin
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought a four pack of 12 oz bottles from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee, WI. I am reviewing on the last beer I tried of the pack. 8311 printed on back side of beer label. Poured into a snifter.

Pours very thick. Leaves a dark tan quarter inch head after an aggressive pour that dissipates rather quickly and leaves no retention. Mild lacing. Black in color.

Strong alcohol noted, even hints of bourbon. Sweet, roasted and toasted malts. A pretty heavy nose. More vanilla than chocolate, but both noted.

Taste is very malty; a sweet and nice roast. Alcohol again, giving this somewhat of a medicinal flavor.

Mouth is very thick and creamy. Full body. Light carbonation.

A definite sipper.

Not my favorite high ABV RIS.

ibbjamin, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of czfreeman
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First snow of 2008 in NY, time for some stout!
Bell's Expedition pours out a rich black espresso color. Very nice deep brown head, little bit of carbonation, leaving a slight ring of tan head around the rim of my glass. Looks very drinkable.
Smells of bitter espressos,overall Argmanac-soaked prune alcoholic bite,musty leather,tabacco, molasses raisins, port wine, figs, rum-spiked coffees with bitter chocolates. The nose is quite alcoholic,but offers a wide array of fruity spiciness that really is interesting.
Taste is very rendolent of the nose. Bitter espresso, followed by rummy roasted malty fullness. Coffee, peppery spices, cocoa, jammy fruits, tobacco. The thickness of the mouthfeel is pleasant, as the alcoholic finish cuts through the richness, leading to a nicely balanced RIS. I would like to cellar a bottle of this for a year or so, to smooth out all rough edges. Thank you to Duffman for this bonus gift!

czfreeman, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of birchstick
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours thick and black with no head whatsoever.

S - smells of sweet malt at first, with huge tones of roasted malts and some chocolate.

T - At first I was hit with a hint of vanilla and then tasted burnt malts, with a little bit of coffee grounds. This melted into some dark chocolate in the flavors. This is nicely balanced between the two. I also tasted an interesting sunflower seed flavor on the finish with a dash of hops. I like the taste so much because other RIS's tend to be overpowering, while this one is not too amped up on one particular flavor and is well balanced between the coffee and chocolate.

M - this is very sticky and leaves a cough-syrup-like coating in your mouth. It is also nice and full and goes down very smoothly.

D - if you like dark chocolates, this beer makes for the perfect liquid dessert. This also has a nice balance of roastiness to it as well. It has a decently high abv, which means you can't have more than a couple if you want to talk coherently. This is a great RIS and has become one of my favorites.

Cracked open a 1 year-old, bottled 9/16/08

A - poured very thick and oily without any head to speak of

S - milk chocolate dominates, with some licorice and a touch of toffee

T - very chocolately - from prior review I noted a lot of dark chocolates; they have sweetened and taste more like milk chocolate. There is a nice touch of roasted malt that lingers on the finish.

M - very full and smooth - there is hardly any carbonation

D - this isn't as hot and in-your-face as a fresh one. The flavors seemed to mellow out and blend together nicely. I'll see how it holds up for another year...

birchstick, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of waltonc
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't remember when the last time I had one of these was. It's been so long that I forgot what a mealstout this is.

A: Sludgy black body with dark tan head. Not a ton of bubbles upon pouring, but lacing sticks around. This doesn't lack for carbonation.

S: Coffee, dark roasted malt, and some dark fruit in here.

T: See above under smell. Hops are quite pronounced as well. Not sure the IBUs are on this, but I'm guessing fairly high. Some alcoholic heat. And that dark fruit twang. This reminds me of Surly Darkness, except not as cloyingly sweet.

M: Thick chocolate shake. Carbonation is medium.

D: Can't drink too much of this stuff, but it pairs very well with cold nights.

waltonc, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of phattysbox
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Got as an extra from a trade with csmiley. Thanks Chris!

12oz bottle poured into DFH snifter glass. Thick black and viscous. Looks like used motor oil, awesome! 1.5 inch head with an agressive pour that retreats rather quickly - not a problem though once you see and feel the body.

Smells of bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder. Heavily roasted malts and some vanilla. The nose is quite complex! Taste went a bit down, but not much. All the things in the nose are there - vanilla, bittersweet chocolate and a huge roasted malt bill. As a matter of fact almost too huge - quite burnt. Sorched barely provide an anstringent bitterness to the brew that would otherwise be perfect IMO. Fusel alcohols are quite noticable as well. Body is lucious and creamy.

Drinkability goes down because of this. Too bitter from the roasted grain and high alcohol makes it tough to finish, but still complex and very good none-the-less.

Seek out to try...

phattysbox, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of Philabeerphia
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this in the bottle once before and was dropped to the floor in orgasmic pangs. Figured I should give it another go, esp with the horrid weather outside. 12oz bottle. btw, one of the more basic labels I've picked up on in some time, and I like it. My eyes are drawn right to the strange diamond crest.

Pours thick true and syrupy. Two shades from black, this brown beast looks like the coffee in your office poured at 7pm. spills into the glass like motor oil, it seems to halt movement immediately. Densiness as Colbert might say. Only after the glass is full does a dark caramel head emerge. head is gorgeous...thick. too heavy to float away so instead it falls back into the glass. Eventually the surface is a reflective black mirror. Couldn't be better. I let the glass sit for 20min. This brew is warm now.

Smells like almonds, various nuts and some other nut varietals and also some roasted nuts. Huge whiff of maple syrup, coffee beans, brandy, cherries, hints of flowers, vanilla extract cookie dough & cough syrup. An unweildy feast.

The flavors are bursting in this beer as it slowly approaches room temp. Powerful stuff according to my tastebuds - It is almost too much. The alcohol is breathing heavy now below the sweetness. Cake batter. milk chocolate. dark chocolate. Grenadine. maple syrup. milk & honey. roasted almonds. espresso. but these metaphors don't do this beer total justice. It feels old - an ancient recipe (NOT rough though, velvety smooth to drink). You can build a story around it. Vikings ladled this on cold nights before they set sail. It was poured before pagan sacrifices, and found oozing yada yada yada. You get the drift. But maybe I'm getting a bit exuberant with this 10+% abv. Its got some downfalls. Its almost cloyingly sweet, and is a bit of a hot mess, but a hot mess in almost all the right ways. okay I'm going in circles.

MF. Syrup. Butter. Densiness.
I do love this beer, at least once a year.

Philabeerphia, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

When pouring the stout into an over sized wine glass, only a small head was formed, which has okay retention. When it was being poured, it looked like I was pouring motor oil. The nose on the beer is incredibly strong; it has hints of chocolate, roasty malts, and a pleasant sweetness. At 10.5% alcohol, it's impressive that the alcohol doesn't really come through in the nose; there is a slight hint, but it's not distracting at all. Sipping this beer at just above cellar temperature really accentuates the flavours. The beer has loads of roasted chocolaty flavours, with hints of alcohol. It's so balanced, that I could not quite sipping on the beer. Each sip contained something I had not previously tasted, but it must be mentioned that the beers complexity is perfect for the overal balance of the flavours. Some tasty hop flavours come through as well initially, while the bitterness comes from the roasted malts, the hop flavour is a nice addition. The mouthfeel is superb on the beer; it's exactly what I'd expect plus a little more. There is a light amount of carbonation and enormously thick mouthfeel. Solid. Drinkability on this beer is not easy to rate because the flavours are very tasty and I could drink many in a night, but I just won't see myself craving another one.

swizzlenuts, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of CoolJosh
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

As it touches the side of the glass, you can see how thick and syrupy this beer is, its very molasses-like. Pours a thin layer of khaki brown head. A shade away from pitch black, as a slight amount of light comes in around the edges.

My olfactory nerves pick up some great coffee roasts, my senses pointing me towards a huge malty backbone. Dark cherries and slight hints of caramel appear as well. Very balanced in this portion of the beer, only complaints lie with subtlety, but its well balanced, as hops can be picked up here as well.

Incredibly creamy with a great blend of oats. In the middle comes slight chocolates, a little bit of caramel, but great dark cherries stand out from the crowd. The beer ends with a great twist of fresh hops and tons of bitter coffee roasts. Its different from most RIS' but it's well and right.

All the bitterness creates a sort of tingling feeling on the tongue, and a dry after taste is left in the mouth upon swallow.

CoolJosh, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of nrbw23
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a dark brown or black color with a nice tan head. Head has good retention and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and alcohol.

T- Pretty rich overall, follows the nose really well.

M- Full body and low carbonation.

D- Very easy to drink and maybe a little dangerous.

nrbw23, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of schellsbeer
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A HUGE thank you to my friend Greggy for this beer in a traded 6 pack. I am a very big fan of Bells but never spent the money for a 6 pack of this on my own. This is the bottle that will or will not have me hooked. Here goes....

A - Being a lover dark black beers, this one started speaking to me the moment I opened it. It is all black. No light comes through. NONE. Small head that says goodnite after about 15 seconds. Other than that, looks perfect.

S - Big Bold smell that I notice with the glass sitting a few feet away. It is tempting me, calling to me. Woods, Nuts, Molasses, bitter chocolate, brown sugar, burnt caramel, malt....its all good. And now for the crutial taste...I have been waiting for a long time.

T - Here goes.. Yeah....Thick....Warm...Perfect!
Alcohol is present but in a good way. This thick brew coats the mouth and the throat all the way down. All of the Smells are present in the taste. This is one BOLD beer. The best RIS I have had to date. Period. One of if not the best stout I have ever had. It would at least be in my top five beers of all time.

M - Coats as it medicates all of your troubles away. Wonderful. It is like a great dream that you never want to end. The warming effect continues when the beer hits the stomach. Get a fork boys cause this one is in a food group all by itself.

D - Only problem is that it is high in alcohol but that is ok...Its a RIS. Excellent.

Bells, you continue to impresses. I can't wait to purchase another 6 and cellar this stuff. Excellent.

schellsbeer, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of rhinos00
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- A very nice dark brown. Fingers worth of tan, cocoa colored head formed and reduced to a ring as the beer was consumed.

S- Pleasant smell of chocolate, cocoa and alcohol. Straight forward and simple, but very well executed.

T- Follows the nose. Very surprised as to how the chocolate flavor was able to hold up. Mixed with cocoa and malts, this was definitely a tasty treat.

M- Thick and viscous. Had a smooth quality with little carbonation.

D- Highly drinkable. Barely even noticed the alcohol because it tasted so damn good.

Overall, this was a huge surprise. This is definitely my favorite RIS besides some of the big limited release beers. Bell's definitely brought their "A" game with this one.

rhinos00, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tbis beer is a looker. Getting to have it on tap was a huge bonus, mad props to the Trion for having the guts to tap this sucker. Jet black with a chocolate head . . . all the smells to go along with it. Just reeks darkness, chocolate, coffee, this is where wimpiness goes to die. You defintely know the +10 ABV is there when you taste it and that is really my only negative and a slight one at that. It'd be tough to have more then two of these in a sitting, but that could just be a reflection of the style.
A top notch stout, just not my favorite style.

SwiftyMcBeer, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of adamette
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Ballantine in Willoughby, Ohio a few hours ago. Poured into a 10 oz. chalice.

A Creamy, thick dark brown head, jet black body. Nice look and very much to style.

S Distant smell of dark chocolate and coffee. Great smell and very inviting. I am coming to realize that stouts are not really that "smelly," that their smells are subtle.

T Wow! Sweetness of chocolate malt and sweet coffee up front and then a great transition into a gentle bitterness (of hops, alcohol?). This happened on every single sip and it was great!

M Thick, syrupy chocolate coffee nectar. This is a full, sturdy beer. I did taste some carbonation but it was not obvious.

D Good for a stout. I really believe that drinkability is not something that a stout goes for anyway.

Notes: I am so glad to have had this on tap. If this keeps up I may have to change my favorite style to Stouts. I have had some great ones lately.

adamette, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of Soneast
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque black color. The brown colored head started at 1/2 inch after the initial pour and grew to about 2 inches after I set the glass down. The head stuck around forever, and turned to a 1/4 inch thick creamy layer that left all kinds of lace on the glass.

This has a very nice chocolaty malt aroma. Very much a milk chocolate smell on this with an earthy, almost smoky end.

A surprisingly complex and very rich chocolate/roasted malt flavor up front with a delectable earthy, bitter chocolate finish. A hint of sweet toffee throughout.

This is a full bodied brew and contrary to many reviewers my bottle actually had the perfect amount of carbonation. Not overly carbonated but far from flat, it felt perfect considering the richness of this beer. This is an excellent RIS, complex, and the alcohol is very well hidden. Too well almost. I decided to pick up a 6-pack of this today since it's 15 degrees outside and snowy...I couldn't have picked up a better compliment to the weather. I'm very happy with my purchase. I'm going to cellar 2 bottles and open them up at this time next year.

*EDIT 12/25/09*
Wow. Expedition stout with a year on it....ti's God-like. Like a thick chocolate malt milk shake. The flavors are some complex and the body on the beer improves ten-fold. It was good fresh...it's incredible aged, even only 1 year.

Soneast, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of DoctorDog
2.48/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A- Deep brown/black, opaque in appearance. Aggressive pour yields just barely 1/2 finger of brown head, which fades as quickly as it formed, leaving a thin ring and an oil slick looking surface. Milky chunks/streaks of yeasty sediment pooling at the bottom as I let it warm. Random globs of lacing.

S- The alcohol odor dominates the nose, and is making it difficult for me to adequately ascertain any other odors to any level of specificity or enjoyability.

T- Harsh alcohol bite greets my tongue from the first drop to hit my tongue. Some indiscernible burned tastes. The flavors just aren't blending satisfactorily at all here, and are being dominated by the booziness and astringency.

M- Creamy and oily, but no carbonation whatsoever. Somewhat off-putting.

D- Clearly nothing more than a very slow, somewhat labored "one glass slow-sipper" of a beer IMO.

Future outlook: I suppose I'll sock a few of these away in the basement, cross my fingers, and hope for a better day with this beer in the distant future.

DoctorDog, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of eagles22
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: pours silky black with a tan head that dimmishes quickly

Smell: is really nice ..smells of chocolate, smoked wood alittle..and also toffee

Taste: really no carbonation..but the taste is excellent..alcohol is well hidden for 10.5% ..i get alot of nice malty flavors and a nice bit at the end to finish the beer...very nice

Mouthfeel: i love it..very thick and smooth also goes down easy for a 10.5

Drinkability: is average nothin great very rich beer

but worth a try

eagles22, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/11/08. Bottle. Pours a dark black with the most beautiful dark brown/red head, as thick as a milkshake, man I can't wait to drink this! Aroma of chocolate, coffee, roast, sweet aroma (the aroma is probably the weakest component of the beer). Flavor of similar chocolate, coffee, roast, light alcohol, sweet sweet malt with a bitter hops finish. So rich, probably one of the richest beers I've ever had. The mouthfeel is just incredible. Although it is rich, it is fairly smooth and easy to drink. The best Imperial Stout that I've had to date--just super awesome and I'm so sad we don't get this in NY.
8/5/10/5/18 (4.6/5)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a velvety smooth appearance. It had a foamy, brown, long-lasting head that left behind rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of tons of chocolate, very sweet smelling with toffee notes. Also, some nice floral notes.

T - It tasted of dark chocolate, vanilla, molasses and some oaky notes. It had a sharp bitter kick from the hops.

M - It was smooth and creamy, possibly the smoothest RIS that I've ever had. It was medium to full-bodied.

D - This is a very good RIS. Potent and very well balanced.

zeff80, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of corby112
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On-tap at the South Philly Taproom.

Perfection! Dark black pour with a coffee colored head. Very full aroma with hints of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, caramel. This beer is so smooth that it become dangerous at 10.5 abv. The flavor is very complex with malty chocolate and coffee, dark berries, and many other things that are silly to even try to list. Simply amazing!

corby112, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of Monkeyknife
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a very deep red brown with two fingers of red-tinted brown head.

Aroma of sweet roasted malts, dark ripe fruit, coffee, dark chocolate, some earthiness, and some booze.

Taste was much like the aroma. Sweet roasted malts, dark chocolate, espresso, dark ripe fruits, vanilla, raisins, and of course, the alcohol. It's mighty hard to hide 10.5%. Very well-balanced.

Thick and bold, a warm tingle from the alcohol, and lightly carbonated.

The perfect beer for the first light snow of the year here in St. Louis. Drink it slow and enjoy. I need to buy one to age for a while. I think it would be worth the wait.

Monkeyknife, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of spointon
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a tulip pint glass.

A= This stout poured black as night with zero light penetration. With a very aggressive pour, the dark tan head rose a full 2" and took a long time to settle to a thin cap. Lots of sticky lace down my glass.

S= The aroma profile started from a base of sweet/syrupy dark malts, accompanied by bittersweet chocolate, licorice, treacle, and some earthy hops. Lots of alcohol present as well.

T= As in the smell, I found flavors of sweet dark maltiness and treacle as well as roasted grain, bitter dark chocolate, and mild black licorice. I was surprised that the hop notes were as strong as they were, bringing an earthy bitterness to the middle of each sip. The finish dried considerably and was alcohol filled. The aftertaste was long and pleasantly packed with sweet and roasty flavor.

MF= Heavy and full bodied with carbonation being on the lower side of medium. Slightly slick in the mouth yet very much a tongue coating beer.

D= While this is an outstanding RIS, it is not something I could have more than two of in a sitting due to the very strong flavors and heaviness. Still, I enjoyed this stout a lot and will definitely buy it again when I have the chance.

spointon, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of TLove
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A super-rich roasted toffee, anise, and dark chocolate tastes, this stout is exceptional in nearly every way. Pouring the beer, you can see the richness of the beer - it looks like motor oil at first and then the head slowly rises to the top. The smell is similar to other strong stouts, though the almost harsh consistency of the liquid bring out such smells far more prevalently than the others.

True to its Russian Imperial Stout roots, the high ABV (11%) is apparent in the taste, as are the abovementioned flavors of toffee, anise, and chocolate, which give the mouthfeel of a dark chocolate liquor. The drinkability, depending on your tolerance of high ABV, ultra-rich, virile liquids, varies between the difficult to swallow and the can't-wait-to-relax-with-and-enjoy-its-beautiful-balance.

This beer is phenomenal for the avid stout drinker, though not for the faint of heart.

TLove, Nov 30, 2008
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,677 ratings.