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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.

4,921 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,921
Reviews: 1,916
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 419
Gots: 1,103 | 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
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Ratings: 4,921 | Reviews: 1,916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MSchae1017
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a 22oz Terrapin Snifter from the 12oz bottle.

The beer pours the color of dark chocolate with a creamy tan head that holds a nice ring leaving lace down the side of the glass. The smell is full of roasted barley and chocolate. The taste displays the same flavors as the smell along with a good amount of hops. The mouthfeel is full bodied with some carbonation. It could be a bit smoother, but it is still good. Overall a great RIS, but I would prefer a more muted hop presence.

MSchae1017, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of kzoobrew
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle batch 8183 bottled October 07.

Pours like used motor oil. This stuff is thick and black. Very little head, cap may be a better term. A small mocha colored cap vanishes quickly.

Smell, like the rest of this brew, is big. Big roasted malt, coffee and molasses. Faint chocolate aroma sneaks through but it overwhelmed by the stronger scents.

The is a sweetness to this brew, blends well with the roasted malt. A slightly burnt coffee and dark chocolate taste tie in very well.

Mouthfeel is big but exceptionally smooth for the abv. Heavy slightly oily finish. Almost creamy.

Beers this big are not something to sit down with a sixer of. But for what it is, I can drink the hell out of it.

Growing up in Kalamazoo, Bell's has always been a favorite of mine. Expedition has always been slightly feared, too big, too much like motor oil. It is a big beer which does require a more experienced palate. First time I have had this brew in years, absolutely fantastic.

kzoobrew, Jun 21, 2008
Photo of turbine2475
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Joe1510 for the chance to try this beer:

A - Pours an opaque jet black with a large fluffy mocha head that disipated slowly into a spotty lace.

S - Heavy roasted grainsn mocha, coffee, touches of chocolate, mild hop and alcohol in the nose. Very Nice.

T - Touches of grain, hops, and alcohol. Some darker fruits and burnt coffee as it warms. Not as impressive as the nose.

M - Chewy and creamy with a low carbonation and a sour alcohol burn.

D - Not bad, had some great aspects, but did not live up to the hype. Had some leaking from the bottle cap so I don't know if I had a good bottle. Would try again, but will probably not work too hard to acquire one.

turbine2475, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of H473CR4F7
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very Good Imperial Stout!
Deep dark blackness, similar to my heart, but way more giving.
@ the pour, gains a thin layer of beige head.
the aroma of coffee beans, chocolate, and molasses intrigue my sinuses.
Def. has a silky smooth texture, pretty thick...however not as hellish as Ten Fidy. (kind of reminds me of Smuttynose Imp.St.)
The taste is lovely, sweet coffee, chocolate, w/ a slight alcohol taste at the end, but for a 10.5 ABV this beer def. hides it well...I've had way worse!
I'm a big fan of dark stouts, So I believe I could drink this in one session, however I could see after a couple hours at an all night rager it may get sickening.
Being from New England, I never really had the oppurtunity to try any craft brews from the Bell's Brewery.
I'm going to take full advantage while i'm in Florida to endulge myself!
Def. deserves an A.


H473CR4F7, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of demitriustown
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So lets get this baby started. I pop open the bottle, and the cap strikes the counter with a wonderful ting. Thick, way past 3,000 miles, motor oil black pour with a small brown head that disipates quickly. I can smell the thick malt aroma from across the room. Molasses, a floral hop texture, and a rich chocolate scent rounds out the aroma. The taste warms through and through with a thick malt note, big in your face hops, fresh Columbian coffee undertones, molasses, and slightly tasting of caramel. Palate is bitter and stinging from the big alcohol content. Only problem with this on is the overdone alcohol burn at the end. Excellent Imperial Stout. Buy, trade, but try not to steal to get this brew.

demitriustown, Jun 19, 2008
Photo of doubleipa
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown head that fully diminishes. Color is black. Aroma - big strong coffee, dark chocolate and roasted/toasted. A hint of smoke, as well. This is one of the fullest bodied beers I've ever had. Really outstanding - got better an it warned to room temperature.

doubleipa, Jun 17, 2008
Photo of tdrshayden
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black with a creamy tan head.
Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla and molasses.
Flavor was same as aroma but with some licorice, rich and creamy texture with very little carbonation. Alcohol was pretty evident so drinkability was not so easy.

tdrshayden, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12-ounce bottle poured into a pint glass yields a coal-oil-black body with a monstrous chocolate ice cream float head featuring defiant retention. I wind up taking sips of the espresso-swirled foam to keep from getting it on my nose trying to get to the liquid. Chunky brown lacing decorates the glass.

The creamy foam alone teases the nose and the palate. Rich dark malty molasses and deep chocolatey mocha with charcoal and strong black coffee lead the way... but the drink is thick, heavy, and syrupy; under carbonated, oily, and darkly mocha sweet. Molasses flavor and viscosity with chocolate and coffee, and sticky icky.

Oily, chewy. Full-bodied and decadent. A guilty pleasure like silky dark mocha ice cream... perhaps edible--but not all that drinkable. Second half of the drink was more of a snack than a drink, but a tasty snack, for sure.

*Note* It is imperative to serve this brew at cellar temperature, else it is a flat, sticky mess not worth drinking. A three letter-grade difference. No joke. Be warned!

cvstrickland, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of Tbn2
2.58/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to pint glass

A-Mineshaft black. Thick brown/dark tan head forms and laces all the way down.

S-Interesting. Alcohol hits you for sure. Toasted caramels, coffee, and a few other things I can't detect. A little confusing to be honest.

T/M-A little disappointing....There is a lot going on here, but I feel like everything is fighting to be number one. Alcohol warms and a roasted caramel taste is there. Really is just like the smell, lots of flavors fighting to be number one. I do like the body of this beer. It weighs heavily on my tongue and I feel like the carbonation is right on.

Overall this beer isn't bad. I had hoped for more, it surely came up short, but it's not that bad. I read the Bros reviews and I am surprised they rated it so low, but that is the beauty of this site.

As I finished this off, I had to come back and change my rating. I am now tasting what the Bros tasted. Most beers get a little better as you drink them down and this one didn't. The alcohol became too overpowering and the oxidation the Bros talked about really started to show up. I can't say I would recommend this one.

Drink em' if ya got em'...

Tbn2, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of johnnyirishman
3.5/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint glass.

Apperance- Thick Syrupy black opaque color, with a small head and no retention.

Smell- Slight hops and roasted malts.

Taste,Mouthfeel- Roasted malts and a bitter hop finish.

Drinkablility- A decent stout but not too enjoyable.

johnnyirishman, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
2.65/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Dark brown/black, opaque. Very slight brown head that does not have much rentention and does not leave much lacing.

Smells sweet and malty with chocolate and caramel, also boozy.

Sweet and boozy up front, which gives way to a rich chocolate flavor. Some more sweet malts after that are paired with dark fruit undertones. Hints of roasted malt linger around the edges. Finishes with a little hop bitterness, and a huge, biting alcohol flavor.

A nice creamy mouthfeel. Might do better with a little more carbonation.

I understand why people like Expedition Sout. It is big, flavorful and bold. I think, however, that all of those words are nice ways to call this beer a "boozy mess"

Hojaminbag, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of gabemasiulis
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
A) Dark black coffee look, very opaque, with a medium brown head, peaking and good retention with a little lacing.
S) Heavy caramel smell, with dark almost unsweetend chocolate, and maybe a touch of coffee. Some underlying hops are present in the nose.
T) Starts high and lilting with an acidic bite, quickly settling into thick caramel maltiness, darck chocolate, a very toasted feel is present. Definitely some alcohol present in the taste.
M) Very thick heavy wet and lingering, kind of an oily feel, but still quite nice. It does not do a very good job of leaving the palate clean, but that is not the intention of this beer, it sticks with you, to enjoy it for some time.
D) A good sipper, but one is definitely enough.

gabemasiulis, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of DrDogbeer
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a sam perfect pint. Pours pitch black with a creamy tan head. Smells of alcohol then mellowed with chocolate and some coffee. Flavor is full!! Tons of chocolate, toffee and alcohol. Very nice creamy, slick mouthfeel- perfect for an ris. Definitely a sipping beer- this one packs a punch. Very complex, I get many different flavors and aromas working perfectly together. Right up there with some of my faves for this style.

DrDogbeer, May 28, 2008
Photo of everetends
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Redwood21 for this bottle. Poured into a pint tumbler.

A: Damn near perfect. Black and opaque. Poured a think, and oil like consistency. Had a head that I didn't think would form and left some nice sticky lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, deeply roasted malts, coffee and a touch of licorice.

T: The chocolate really shines here. Coffee bitterness and malts are also present. Has a heavy alcohol taste on the back end, a bit metallic also (even after it warmed).

M: Low carbonation, thick and chewy. Alcohol heat on the back of the throat and in the tummy. Dry finish.

D: This is an RIS that lets you know the alcohol is there. Not bad, but definitely a sipper and really no need to hit more than one. Very nice brew.

everetends, May 27, 2008
Photo of hopflop
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a black like used motor oil. with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

The smell is not impressive mostly coffee with roasted malts with dried fruit and alcohol

The mouth full is creamy and rich. with a huge coffee presences and malts with a hint of chocolate and alcohol at the end

This is a very hefty big stout with a big ABV 10.5%. the drink ability is good, but can't have more then two in one sitting. Would definitely recommend trying.

hopflop, May 26, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va Beach.

A- Pours a thick viscous midnight black motor oil color. A light tan head come sand goes right after the last drop hits the top of the beer.

S- roasted caramel malt. a lil bit of oak wood as well. a burnt chocolate coffee hint as well.

T- a burnt toasted coffee flavor. The burnt flavor is more pronounced than the coffee itself. Burnt wood as well. Update: After 2/3 of the way through the carbonation of the beer is gassy. I constantly have to stop to let one out. Not appealing to m so i drop this rating.

M- thick and full of dark burnt flavor. Coats the mouth and hangs around. Very thick. Creamy and viscous.

D- this is a beer that is very good to drink but you cant put too many of these down. I struggles with it at first but it did get easier. If you dont like burnt caramel or roasted coffee this isnt a beer for you. This beer is very had for meto put down...too much burnt coffee caramel flavor. IT reminds me of eating the coffee out of the filter.

Dodo2step, May 25, 2008
Photo of bbothen
2.42/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2007 vintage.

A - Deep dark black with a pretty chocolate brown frothy head. Nice looking sticky lace on glass.

S - Sour milk. Chocolate. Smells like a chocolate milkshake that was left out for several days. Then had port poured into it.

T - Soured chocolate milk. Burnt coffee. Warming alcohol presence.

M - Thick & chewy.

D - I barely got through one bottle.

I finished the bottle and will be looking to trade my others.

This has all the exact opposite flavors of what my brain tells me is tasty. Hey, looks like lots of people like it. I sure didn't.

bbothen, May 24, 2008
Photo of tedpeer
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce pour into a pint glass.

A - dark brown/black. Very small head that disappeared quickly, what there was was tan, very minor lacing.

S - Dark Chocolate

T - chocolate, alcohol bite, slightly bitter finish

M - minor carbonation, thick & chewy

D - it's a sipper
Reason for update:

Did a blind tasting of 7 RISs.

Night Tripper, Czar, and Stone RIS tied for First. Siberian Night and Old Rasputin tied for 4th, and Ten FIDY and Expedition tied for 6th. Based on these results I've changed my numbers.

tedpeer, May 24, 2008
Photo of Yesac
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearacen - A deep sexy dark brown/ oil black pour with a small brownish head.

Smell - Coffee beans and chocolate, sour milk.. I love the smell of this stout!

Taste: Matches the smell very nicely chocolate is the dominate taste. A nice bitterness sticks to the palate, the alchohol taste comes and goes quickly enough to announce the 10.50 ABV.

Drinkability - Not the best, finishes dry, malty and dark roasted. A very heavy stout.

Yesac, May 22, 2008
Photo of Tolann
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Like thick oil. Completely opaque. Barely a head that faded quickly to none. Foamy is kinda brownish. Nice looking

S - Sweet Syrup. Chocolate and gooey caramel. Something maybe like licorice. Some sweet espresso.

T - Bigger chocolate taste. Some alcohol taste as well, which isn't so surprising. Some bitterness right before the swallow. Something clean and bright about the overall taste.

M - Smooth, with a sharp alcohol bite, but still really nice given the style. Medium mouthfeel, but I kinda wished it was a little thicker.

D - Hard to see myself drinking this all night. This tastes like a nail in the coffin, go to sleep. Still a very good beer even if its on the higher side.

Tolann, May 12, 2008
Photo of ckeegan04
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - The blackish motor oil pour. Thick dark brown head with excellent retention and lacing.

S - Rich dark chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Dark fruits and roasted grain as well.

T - Powerful chocolate malt flavor with a nice hop/alcohol undertone. Dark fruits, specifically fig and raising come to mind.

M/D - Very thick, creamy, and smooth. A very sippable RIS. Excellent beer.

ckeegan04, May 10, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a goblet. Motor oil color with tan head that disappeared quickly. Bitter malty chocolate smell, very rich. Very complex taste. Some cherry hidden in chocolate, bitter, coffee. Very viscous, thick mouthfeel that you can chew. A beer for the very discerning.

aubuc1, May 10, 2008
Photo of FleeVT
2.3/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz. brown bottle with no dates into a snifter.

A: This pours an extremely thick black brew with almost no carbonation. I thought it might be flat until I checked some other reviews. Got a brief thin dark tan head by snifting.

S: Espresso, alcohol, and sweetness in the form of molasses. Slight hop bitterness on the nose as well.

T/M: Thick and again, no carbonation. There is a bite in this that comes from the alcohol and something else. Extremely astringent. Extremely hard on the palate, not balanced and not a good complexity. Lots of smokiness and burnt coffee beans.

D: No thank you. Not your typical from Bell's. Avoid

FleeVT, May 08, 2008
Photo of megapyro6
3.65/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Strong initial hop aroma that fades quickly after pour into glass. Pours somewhat like motor oil with a moderate medium brown head. Head seems pretty strong and resistant to go away. Eventually subsides and leaves some decent lacing. Coffee and malt aromas most noticeable with slight hints of sweetness from fruit, raisins, and hops. Rather strong taste with thick mouthfeel. Strong sweetness to the taste. Not as drinkable as some other imperial stouts I've had, but still tasty.

megapyro6, May 07, 2008
Photo of jayrod20
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured pitch black, with a one finger creamy brown head that lasts forever. Complex aroma; coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, plum, and hops. Big malt flavor, complimented with coffee, smoke, hops, and some dried fruit. Full bodied. The beer is excellent, but I recall finding previous batches more flavorful and more enjoyable.

jayrod20, May 06, 2008
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 4,921 ratings.