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.

5,073 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,073
Reviews: 1,934
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 426
Gots: 1,171 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 5,073 | Reviews: 1,934 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jiggahertz
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 12oz bottle poured into a snifter after having this for ~8 months in the cellar. Deep dark chocolate brown with a sudsy dark cappucino single finger head. Lacing is faint.

S: Roasted malts, chocolate and coffee have a nice fragrance.

T: Really a lot going on here. Alcohol up front and everything else that was present in the nose. Quite a bite of chocolate, hops are almost non-existent. Finish is dry and long, slightly on the bitter side.

M: Finish stays around for quite a while, almost too long, really coats the mouth.

D: Was impressed by the complexities in the taste, the finish was slightly less than desirable, but one of the top stouts on my list.

Photo of OnThenIn
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: The beer is jet black and was poured with a half finger of a dark tan head. This is even darker than the Bell's special double cream stout, which I had during a side-by-side (mixing them, made a glorious concoction that was better than the it's parts, with about a 50-50 mix).

Smell: Huge caramel and sweet nose. There is a roasted malt note and a hint of chocolate. This beer had a tiny bit of chalkyness in the nose. I was expecting a bit of coffee, but it seemed to either meld extremely well to the point of not being noticeable, or was rather covered up by the sweet malt smell.

Taste: There is a lot of sweetness, which did battle and won with a decently strong alcohol presence that did happily did not seem offensive. The roasted barley kicked in right after, which lead to a nice added depth. There is definitely a bit of molasses and caramel present as well. The finish is sweet, and this beer seemed immensely more complex and sweeter than bell's milk stout (Bell's Special Double Cream Stout).

Mouthfeel: This is a full bodied beer that is very rich and still has a nice bit of carbonation. This is a sipper through and through, but so enjoyable you won't be able to help yourself.

Drinkabiltity: Due to the rich mouthfeel and high abv, this beer is a sipper, but man is it a good one. I really enjoyed this beer and if you can pick up a single, I would not hesitate to buy it, but the 6 pack price is a bit much for a beer which is somewhat difficult to finish due to its size.

Photo of Dotcubed
3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A headless wonder. I've been fond of this beer for years but seem to have no review on BA for it.

A year old bottle from a six-pack that I've had in my closet since early this year(Jan Feb?) or maybe the end of last year.

Pours with out a head. There's a trace of foam but really what I'd expect from an older bottle. Paper thin lace.

Dark color, what a true stout looks like. Some slight sediment in the bottle.

Faint aromas. Molasses. Ru balls.

Medium-heavy body. Roasted flavors. Dark chocolate dryness.

Some fizz, carbon flavor.
Might let the other 5 sit a year. Not sure if I want another six pack just yet.

Photo of wardough
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well done, Mr. Larry Bell

Poured a jet black into a snifter. Almost zero head, but a crema lies on top with a trace of light lacing. Smells pretty sweet-raisins, malty goodness, prunes. Taste is by far the best part of this stout-starts of sweet, followed by some bitterness from chocolate that start pushing out the sweet. I like the balance of this. Mouthfeel is pretty good, smooth and velvety on the tongue. I could drink this all night long.

Photo of feelmefoam
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one in my fridge for a couple weeks, decided I'd save him for my 50th review on the site. Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a Stone Pint glass.

This bad boy pours a deep, tar-black color that has no real highlights to it, just simply black. Although you can tell it's thick on the pour, it still threw up about a finger of chocolate colored foam that provides some really sticky lacing as the beer mellows.

The nose isn't extremely aromatic, but you can still pick out some of the chief ingredients, namely chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and some roasted malts.

When the Expedition first hits your tongue, the thickness of the beer has an interesting way of moving the flavors around in your mouth. First, the dark malts and coffee flavors do battle, followed closely by a bittersweet chocolate flavor that is quickly outdone by a mellow fruitiness. An earthy hop tone finishes everything up, with the alcohol providing warmth throughout the whole taste experience. Pretty interesting. Delicious, but I'd also be intrigued to find how well it ages.

The mouthfeel is very thick and syrupy, but not in a way that is detrimental to the beer. Rather, it has a certain creamy aspect to it that helps it move smoothly around your mouth. The alcohol and slight amount of carbonation provide a constant tingle and warmth on the tongue.

My first RIS, this is an interesting experience. I really love the bold medley of flavors going on in the beer, and despite its big flavor, ABV and mouthfeel, I find it surprisingly drinkable. I'll probably purchase another one and lock it away for a year or two to see how it changes.

Photo of smm
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my new Darkness snifter (looks even better with beer in it!). Batch #8729, packaged last September.

A- Dark brown/ Black. Pours out like chocolate syrup.

S- Sweet like molasses, with touches of alcohol.

T- Initial reaction is quite pleasant. Definitely hitting the hops up front, lays in with the sweetness of brown sugar and the roastness of coffee beans, without the coffee flavor. Nice aftertaste, lingering bitterness.

M- Real smooth and thick, low carbonation that only really hits in the back of your throat.

D- Super drinkable in my opinion, I could down a few of these in a row no problem. Not too sweet for a high ABV beer.

Overall I quite enjoyed this brew. It held up fabulously over the year and is a great deal for an RIS at $15 a sixer. I would love to snag one of these a bit later in the year when the cold comes in and the snow sets, a real winter warmer.

Photo of Lolli1315
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- A dark opaque black with a brown head. Head is generally small and the lacing could use a little work. Still looks pretty nice though.

S- Strong smell of alcohol comes through at first, followed by roasted malts and almost a burnt smell. Roasted coffee is specific and works well with the roasted malts. Faint hints of chocolate also are apparent as well.

T- This is one of the strongest tasting stouts that I have tasted, if not the strongest tasting stout. Alcohol is very prevalent in the taste (about as much as it was during the smell) and creates an interesting taste. The roasted malts are strong, almost overwhelming. At the end of the taste, there is a large bitter chocolate after taste. Interesting stout, but I think some things need toned down a little bit.

M- Chewy mouthfeel, nice and thick. The most concerning aspect here is the lack of carbonation.

D- The strong tastes in this beer would leave me with the wanting to have another stout rather than grabbing another one of these. No problem finishing this though.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
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 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.

Photo of DrDoitchbig
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of mbudner
4.58/5  rDev +8%
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.

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of trbergman
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of IDS
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of UA8
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
2.53/5  rDev -40.3%
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.

Photo of spartanfan
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
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

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Photo of droomyster
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of Bung
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of andrewm190
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Photo of BlackBearForge
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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!

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 5,073 ratings.