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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

4,389 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,389
Reviews: 1,871
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 373
Gots: 936 | 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: 4,389 | Reviews: 1,871 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

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

12 oz. bottle, batch # 6672.
Wow... Opaque black with a brown head. A slightly oxidized smell is mildly sweet with chocolate and plums, prunes. Medium heavy body with a oily mouthfeel. Rich taste of dark chocolate truffles, expresso, and plums with a slight hint of alcohol. A cloying finish has that expresso taste to it.
One of the best stouts brewed these days. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2005 10:30:07 | More by beerceller99
Photo of ncbrewerbun
ncbrewerbun

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From a brown 12 oz. bottle.

This is approaching extreme beer status. The appearance is black -- an opaque black, jet black with a thin tan head.

Complex aroma -- the malt, yes...dark fruits, molasses, chocolate. An all around imperial aroma.

A big hit of malt, but balanced. The alcohol is subdued. And one thing that set this apart from some of the other stouts we were tasting as the same time was this beer's relative smoothness. It is not harsh and overly bitter.

Chewy. You know you are drinking a big beer.

You have to appreciate this beer like you would a work of art. It's complex, flavorful and an enjoyable experience! Happy Holidays. Have another!

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2005 23:17:58 | More by ncbrewerbun
Photo of SupaCelt
SupaCelt

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Murky and dark brown. Minimal head from a conservative pour. Fears of overflow quelled. Small bubbles carbonate. Chocolate coloured ring is substituted for head. Smells of chocolate syrup and coffee, licorice and some fruitiness, and slight alcoholic impressions. The flavours are mostly a bitter chocolate and coffee bean experience. The body is creamy and smooth. This is at least a 9 on Bob's smoothness scale. The drinkability is good in terms of the style. Too much stout can cause pain and chocolate brown dookie.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2005 23:35:07 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of TheBlackMallard
TheBlackMallard

Minnesota

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured an oily black. The tan head grew out of nowhere and quickly disappeared. Smells of sugar, coffee, dates. Tastes of sweet roasted mocha coffee. The aftertaste starts bitter and quickly gives way to sweetness. Thick creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth, but I think one is enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2005 06:02:04 | More by TheBlackMallard
Photo of nlmartin
nlmartin

Ohio

3.73/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer poured almost straight black. The head was a very nice creamy coffee color. The only problem the head was dead on arrival. The beer has a dotting pattern of lacing down the glass.

Smell: Sweet carmelly fruity chocolatey coffee assault my nose. Rum soaked raisons make up the fruity smell.

Taste: The beer comes on with a spicy peppery sweetness. Then waves of chocolate and coffee do there thing.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with almost no carbonation. I think carbonation would have helped the flavors explode from the glass.

Drinkability: This beer would have been far more drinkable with a little more carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2005 00:38:02 | More by nlmartin
Photo of Shultzerdugen
Shultzerdugen

Missouri

4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz. brown bottle.

Pours inky black/brown capped by a large tan head with dark brown threads though it. As the beer went down in the glass it left small globules of chunky goodness.

Aroma is dark chocolate, espresso, molasses, vanilla, and a hint of raisins.

The body is full to the extreme, but still creamy from carbonation and the ample head. Roasted malts come right out front, followed by a juicy center, finished with coffee and dark chocolate notes carried through from the nose and a molasses sweetness . Alcohol is superbly hidden.

I savored a six pack I bought in March for nine months, and the beer seemed to hold its character brilliantly. So damned good.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2005 00:02:59 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of budsboy
budsboy

Ohio

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

Pours thick, opaque onyx black. Cascading head grows slowly to a two-finger thick layer of rocky, poofy tan foam.

Smell is deep and rich -- coffee, chocolate, raisen, roasted bread, oak and alcohol.

Taste is every bit as good as the smell. Tart, almost sour plum quickly changes to a deep and rich dark chocolate, then burnt espresso and a grainy bread. Finish is thick black coffee bitterness that sticks around. Fantastic.

Smooth and silky. Full bodied. Chewy. This is a meal. You know you've got something special when this hits the tongue.

Exceptional brew. Bigger than many Russian imperial stouts. If anything, this feels more like an American double stout to me, mostly because of its size and fullness. The last two Bell's I've had are the 7000 and this. I'm convinced ... nobody does big stouts better than Bell's. Good, good, good.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2005 01:30:26 | More by budsboy
Photo of phishgator
phishgator

Florida

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2002
This pours into and Imperial pint glass with large clunks and chugs. A thick brownish black (liquid?) with a decent head for such a big brew. Thought the head does receed in just a short time. The aroma is of perfection for an Imp. Stout, roasted coffee and dark bitter choclate. The taste is every bit the same as the aroma but with a bit of heat from the alcohol! There is also a strong bitter presence. The mouthfeel is thick and coating, as it should be. The drinkability is out of this world. I always want more after I finish the first one; although I'm not too sure that I should have another?!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 02:23:30 | More by phishgator
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I am completely fascinated with the beer. Thank you so much to CRJMellor for this bottle.

Poured an incredibly deep brown in color. Slight head that was slightly tinted brown. Not much lace, but what the lace that was tere was in the form of a spotty and stringy hybrid. Nose was a very, very dark chocolate and almost as if I stuck my head into a fireplace where the flu was a bit dirty.

Wow! What can I say about the flavor. Knocked me over and left me sippign this beer as if it were the nectar of life. It was full of coffee. but not a dark or even mild roast. It was more of a flavored coffee. Little bits of mocha and hazelnut coffee. Not so much as choclate as flavored coffee. Mouthfeel is full bodied and rich. Very smotth drinking--even for such a high ABV. So tough to put the glass down.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2005 03:03:43 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of HopHeadKen
HopHeadKen

Iowa

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

I have been drinking Expedition for over a year. It is time to tell others how nice this beer is ! (BTW- Stouts are my favorite, Imperial, Double, Oatmeal, etc)

Pours deep mahogony black with rich garnet highlights at the edge, develops a creamy tan head, fine bubbles that takes several minutes to fade to an edge ring.

Smell is big toasty caramel malt over a hop backbone with a faint smell of alcohol.

Taste is rich, chocolate, coffee, toasted grains and caramel, followed by a well balanced big hop bitterness and then a slpash of alcohol.

Full rich mouthfeel that finished with a subtle alcohol bite (I find this a good characteristic), viscous and substantial.

Drinkable - Imperial Stouts are an acquired taste. This is a very fine example of one. I drink about 1 per month.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 12:38:08 | More by HopHeadKen
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black body. A one finger dark chocolate head that reduced really quickly. Good looking brew.

Overall sweet aroma. Lots of sweet dark fruits including raisins and currants. Some light chocolate comes through as well. Flavor is loaded with dark toasted malts followed by a sweet caramel body. The alcohol presents an overall sweetness adding possibly a touch of vanilla. Alcohol isn't really overwhelming, definately blended with the flavor in a tasty fashion.

Mouthfeel is oily and creamy on the tongue. Coats well and lingers for quite a while. Dangerously drinkable. Probably one of the most drinkable brews I"ve had with this much alcohol.

Overall a nicely crafted brew. Definately a sipper.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for the opportunity...

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 04:10:41 | More by blitz134
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a motor oil black color. The head is brown with a with crown. The aroma is of chocolate, cream, crackers, butter, with Bell's house aroma peaking slightly though. The taste is chocolate, and club crackers, with some really nice bitterness in the finish. The bitterness slowly fades during the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is perfect for an imperial stout; full bodied with just enough carbonation to make things interesting. Overall, this is the best impy I have had to date.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2005 01:22:04 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of connecticutpoet
connecticutpoet

Connecticut

4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer poured into my chalice a clear, almost opaque brown-black with a thin layer of head that disappeared immediately.

The aroma was stangely faint... slightly sweet, some alcohol, no roasted character at all. And I served it at a little above cellar temperature.

This did NOT carry through to the flavor. It was not sweet at all... I got MASSIVE roasted barley, which faded to a coffee aftertaste. DAMN this was powerful. But 11.5%? Where? Sure as hell didn't taste like it. Very deceptive.

Mouthfeel was wonderful... thick, chewy, and it coated the tongue.

Drinkability... very good, but the flavor was so strong and powerful that I couldn't give it a perfect rating. I could only have one of these and I would have my fill. I would gladly go back to it, however.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2005 03:41:40 | More by connecticutpoet
Photo of Frozensoul327
Frozensoul327

Michigan

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Yes. This is a good beer. Solid, heavy, thick, powerful. Quite possibly the ultimate winter brew. Poured out to a pitch black color with a motor oil level of thickness. Very high viscosity. Lower carbonation, but a nice dense brown head arose from the beer totaling about 3/4 of an inch, and remained consistant. Aromas of chocolatey malts, roasted coffee, earth and soft wood notes. Very appealing. Taste was direct and filling. Flavors of dark turkish coffee, cocoa, heavily roasted malts, dark chocolate and burnt molassas. Amazing, and worthy of the exceptional designation. Mouthfeel was thick and chewy, while still having a smooth and creamy element to it. Very hearty. A good level of drinkability, this brew's 11.5% ABV is hardly detectable, which could mean trouble for those with a six pack on hand and a low level of moderation ability. An amazing brew, and worth the price. The best Russian Imperial Stout I have ever had. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2005 03:55:44 | More by Frozensoul327
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

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

7/27/06 update: Re-reviewed for the context of Imperial/Russion Stout Session...9th in line for myself, expatsteve, DaPeculierDane, and Golden2wenty1. Overall analysis remains similar. My notes revealed a 4.5, 4.5, 4, 4, 3.5 scoring.


12oz single, from the cellar fridge, batch 6672, 04 edition

appearance: black as night, a foamy deep brown head begins to form, but is a bit smaller than usual, some minimal ruby tinting...pours like motor oil, as has often been said

smell: big and bold, very deep roast, dark bittersweet chocolate, raisin, black coffee, some hints of underlying hops

taste: This is a big stout. Very rich with quite evident alcohol. The flavors are so dark and rich...the dark chocolate flavors are dominant, very sweet, dark caramel, toasted malts, espresso

mouthfeel: creamy and rich, bittersweet

drinkability: tasty but a beast, more than 1 is tough

I heart you expedition

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 02:34:30 | More by dirtylou
Photo of rousee
rousee

Massachusetts

3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black molasses color with a head that is the color of chocolate brownies. I am immediately amazed and slightly worried by the smell--this thing is probably going to taste too boozy and vinous for me but maybe not...

Taste is of dark malts, caramel, licorice with some cherries and other fruits, nuts--almonds, raisins, etc. I can tell this will improve as it warms. It finishes fairly clean but does have a little bourbon-esque burn in the throat after. It is also a bit too flat in mouthfeel. I've had better imperial stouts. Maybe I need to try it again in January when the weather is much colder.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 21:27:48 | More by rousee
Photo of maggotbrain
maggotbrain

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer is deep black with a moderate brown head. The head has receded to a brown, bubbly film on the top of the beer. There seems to be little to no lacing on the glass as the beer is consumed.

Sticking my nose into the glass, I detect a bit of chocolate and a lot of alcohol.

The beer tastes pretty good: coffee, a hint of chocolate, and a malty sweetness. It also has quite a bit of alcoholic spiciness, which doesn't bother me since when I'm not drinking beer, I enjoy Scotch neat. I could see the alcoholic nature of this beer being off putting to many people, though.

The mouthfeel is good--low carbonation and a nice, thick body.

The drinkability of this beer pretty good for an imperial stout, though the high abv would make me hesitate before opening another one of these bad boys.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2005 02:06:04 | More by maggotbrain
Photo of ski271
ski271

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a reddish tinge and a brown, small, creamy head that quickly diminished to a full, thick film. Lots of thick sticky lacing.

Smell: Large, fabulous aroma of chocolate, coffee, malts, molasses and light buttery herbs.

Taste: Big, thick malts, bitter coffee, cheery, and soy sauce (I know, it sounds odd and the last time I tasted soy sauce in a beer it was a homebrew gone wrong, but it’s good in this flavor). The finish is sweet and very long in duration.

Mouthfeel: Full body, thick chewy texture, no carbonation.

Drinkability: My was this wonderful. One sip took me back to a ski vacation up in Maine for some reason. I love the nostalgia a good aroma can spark. This was a fabulous meaty stout that I’ll definitely be having again.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2005 21:19:56 | More by ski271
Photo of UncleFlip
UncleFlip

Alabama

4.9/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice looking in the glass, though rather short head. What head there is, tends to be sort of a dark coofee-with-cream colour, and is gone in modest stretch. Holdng this one up to the light, I'm seeing nothing. VERY dark...OK, wait...there's a little ruby fringe...Nothing like a really black beer. :)

It smells like the first beer I ever made....very heavy and thick dark molasses aroma, with a hoppy nose under. There's even a *slight* hint of cedar in there.. It's very nice.

Wow....sweet and smoky all at the same time. Nice pungency on this. There's definitely a boatload of roasted malt there...and the alcohol is not overly apparent, but is there, particulary on the end and the aftertaste. There's a great chocolatey quality right in the middle. The hops are there, but aren't overbearing or distracting.

This one isn't too thick or 'gritty' as sme stouts have been. It's definitley 40-weight, but is very smooth. You don't feel you need a hammer and chisel to serve this one.

Yowsa. Shake your groove thing. Get down, and then get back up again. This one could be my standard session stout, if i could get it around here. VERY drinkable, and could keep me happy all night long. Pardon the crudeness, but keep me in a supply of this, and I'm your bitch.

Be well
-UF

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2005 04:35:34 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of waldowin
waldowin

Washington

4.72/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this beer in a trade that resulted in a *lot* of wonderful already-cellared beers, and I suspect this one was cellared for a while as well, as the carbonation was almost non-existant, and the hops had faded back to a nice compliment to the main tastes.

Appearance - If I saw the oil in my car this color, I'd assume the car was toast. In a beer though, it's glorious. It's a rare treat to see such a dark beer, especially one so viscous. The beer in the glass literally folded around the beer pouring from the bottle. Almost no head, just a thin layer of very dark brown foam that subsided to a ring quickly, but then stuck around forever. Inky black. No light gets through, not even at the edges. This brew sucks ambient light in, darkening a room as soon as the cap is popped. With a better head, this would be the ideal appearance. I suspect this has been aged however, hindering that, so I'm only knocking off a half.

Smell - Thick, thick smell, if that makes any sense. Very faint. Biscuits, cherries and coffee.

When cold, it's an extremely smooth, slightly sweet syrup that rolls along the tongue. Chewy, smooth, and with a nice tingle of carbonation at the end. Like a black coffee with a maraschino cherry bobbing in it. Delicious. It's hard to wait for this to warm up.

Now that it's warm, a strong dough-like flavor is coming through, with some cinnamon and brown sugar. Amazingly thick and big in feel and flavor. Almost too much for my tastebuds to take, with all this biscuit, cherry, raisin, cinnamon and coffee goodness. Definitely heartburn material.

This is probably on of the best examples of a RIS I've had to date. If only we had stouts like this in my state, I'd never have to trade to find them. A huge thanks goes out to beerhandy for figuring this to be a good brew for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2005 06:26:03 | More by waldowin
Photo of sopor
sopor

Oregon

3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Like old used motor oil. I would not be in the least bit surprised if you were actually able to use this as lubricant for an internal combustion motor. Of course I'm not testing this on my VW. Beautifully cascading head cascade FOREVER! Finally settles to three fingers of barely moving thick creamy brown foam. It looks like it will aslt forever, to the point of needing scooped off so I can drink this already! (not likely) Oh well, this will give the brew time to warm I guess, as I'm sure it needs to be warmer than my fridge! You could give the earth a solar eclips if you could put this beer inbetween you and the sun.

Ok I'm back, I let the head die a while while I took care of other business. 8" away from this beast I can smell toasty biscuity malt. As I get closer the toasty quickly changes to extremely dark roasted bitter malt.

Now take this taste rating with a grain of salt, as I'm not a huge stout fan, I'm just starting to like them. Well this beast is the extreme stout and should probably have not been one of my first stout experiments since gaining a taste for them. This thing is way bitter with dark roasted malt. Did they intentionally burn the malt? Quickly coffee bitterness steps in to stomp on my tastebuds to make room for the extremely sweet syrupy malt. Next up is the resinous, oily, sappy hops. Not like it needs to be more bitter. Bitter malt and slightly hoppy aftertaste.

It feels like motor oil in the mouth to, maybe 5W-20 as it's not as thick as 10W-30 (yes I do know what 10W-30 feels like in my mouth. Don't ask.)

Respectable, but way too big for me. Not drinkable in the least bit for me. I'll try thi again in a year. We'll see what I think then!

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2005 17:25:07 | More by sopor
Photo of numenor1
numenor1

North Carolina

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

Absolute pitch black with a very thin dark brown head that disappears almost completely. Smells of reduced dark berries and coffee. Starts out very thick and sweet across the palate, then fades into amazing dark fruity cherry roastiness mingled with hefty hop bitterness, some yeasty spicyness and caramel shows up, and then disappears into a long roasty finish burnt coffee becoming and hops becoming prominent. Incredibly full in the mouth and without a shred of obtrusive alcohol, this is beautiful. Though I'd prefer it to be a little less sweet. Tremendous nonetheless.

Huge thanks to deejaydan for this.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2005 00:34:48 | More by numenor1
Photo of Px2GrafX
Px2GrafX

Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a simple cream colored label with blue borders. the bell's logo heads the top of the label. below the logo is an illustration of a styalized map symbol. on the back of the bottle is bell's interpretation of their ris.

appearance: pours a jet black with a very dark brown 1 inch head into a snifter glass. nice rolling head to start that quickly dropped to a thin patchy cap after a couple of minutes. excellent lacing down the glass.

smell: rediculously strong sweet chocolate aroma. there is also molasses, currants, espresso and plums. one of the most aromatic brews i've ever experienced.

taste: chocolate mocha espresso. burnt mollasses and dark fruit. plums, prunes, raisins and currants. extremely flavorful malts. very dessert-like and warming, right down to the ever-so light hop bitter finish. aftertaste is bitter-sweet dark chocolate and burnt malts.

mouthfeel: so thick, creamy and chewey. heavy body. beautifully smooth. i love it. carbonation is a tad light. only thing keeping it from getting a 5.

drinkability: man, the drinkability is good considering. 11% abv, and super thick. but the flavors and aromas tempt you during every pause between sips. very intoxicating, however.

overall: the best beer i've had to date. near perfect on almost every cylinder. i love north coast's old rasputin, and stone's ris, but this beer has just a couple more qualities that i enjoy. i can't imagine this getting much better, but i'm laying down a couple just to see. highly recommended. i have received this from patyoda and skyhand, so a huge thanks goes out to both.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2005 05:15:12 | More by Px2GrafX
Photo of BlastTyrant
BlastTyrant

New York

4.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dead black with a one finger brown head. Aroma is sweet, with coffee, molasses, and brown sugar, along with alcohol notes. Flavor starts sweet with vanilla and coffee, which quickly gives over to a grassy, hoppy finish. For an 11%+ ABV brew, I think the alcohol is well masked - it's detectable, but not overly so. Hardly any carbonation in the body - smooth, slippery mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2005 03:58:23 | More by BlastTyrant
Photo of Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

Ohio

2.88/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

My wife said “motor oil” as I poured a bottle into our newest pilsner. Her father, an avowed Busch Light drinker, calls all the craft beers we drink “motor oil.” At last, though, the name is accurate.

It’s dark. REAL dark. A searchlight wouldn’t cut through it. The text printed on the back of the pilsner is completely illegible.

The smell is mostly coffee, layered with alcohol. I don’t detect much chocolate from the odor, or it’s overcome by the alcohol smell.

My wife tried a sip after saying she wouldn’t like it. She did like it, it turned out, but she added that she couldn’t drink much more. She also said it needed to warm up.

It’s a RIS so it’s a big beer and goes down very warm. I’m guessing it’s last year’s stock since we bought a single bottle just last week. Virtually no head save a few stings of bubbles clinging to the glass. Bitter, coffee tasting with touches of raisin and very light hints of chocolate. Unlike some other Russian Stouts I’ve had, the prevailing taste seems to be the alcohol itself. It tends to crowd out the other tastes, leaving the usual complexities of a stout left to muddle around with one another until none of them come to the fore.

They were speaking of this beer in hushed tones at the Dayton Alefest last week but I wonder if that’s for the $14.99 sticker shock than the actual taste. It’s not bad at all. But for Bell’s and for fifteen bucks I expected better.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2005 01:30:14 | More by Oktoberfest
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,389 ratings.