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Bell's Expedition Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,183 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 5,183
Reviews: 1,954
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,227 | FT: 85
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-10-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,183 | Reviews: 1,954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SerieDNo3
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a silky jet black. A hard pour yielded less than one finger of dark tan head that quickly receded to a ring of tan foam on the edge of the glass. This is a very thick beer; light does not go through.

S: A lot of alcohol on the nose, with some roasty smells. But mostly alcohol.

T: Heavy espresso flavors accompanied by a surprisingly smooth alcohol burn that's pleasantly warming.

M: Chewy and thick. Looks like motor oil, and has a slightly lighter texture. Relatively low carbonation.

D: I can't say I could do more than one of these in a sitting, but it's pretty drinkable for a 10.5% RIS. It's a pretty smooth beer, but the alcohol and texture prevent drinking too much of it.

Photo of SmithwicksNut
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours thick with a brown head. A very dark Brown appearance, coffee dark.

S: Sweet chocolate with toasty malt aroma.

T: Same as Smell. Chocolate with toasted malts. In some aspects almost chocolate shake like.

M: Thick, very rich toasted malts sit on tongue alomost weighing it down.

O: A very big dark sweet ale almost milkshake like. I, personally, am not a fan of Imperial Stouts but I had to try this because I have heard so much about it. Its good.

Photo of drxandy
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz to standard pint, pours a jet black with a creamy brown that retains excellently eventually fading, looks awesome

smells of raisins, creaminess, chocolate, roastiness, mmm

taste is bitter roasty dark malt, creaminess, sweet hot alcohol, thick body, chocolate, raisins, plums, figs, hops play in the background, molasses, vanilla, coffee, wow

mouthfeel is thin from alcohol solventness but thick from everything else, roasty, bitter, enjoyable, mmm great flavors

Photo of biggmike
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown bordering on black color with tan head that lasted a while and left nice lacing. Aroma was of chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, and coffee. Flavor is very similar with a bit of alcohol present in the taste. Good mouthfeel. Overall a good beer that I think might benefit from some aging.

Photo of sprucetip
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had fun in my review session with mom a couple years ago, but deep into it we got to this beer, and I have to update the scoring. What I scored, largely based on mom not being into the intense roasty bitterness, though we'd been on a mostly impy stout/porter binge, just isn't fair to such an impressive ale.
The original is still below, and it may be good for a laugh, if I remember right.

pours thick black, creamy mocha head with good retention and thick lacing. Very attractive.

Smells pretty boozy, as this is a pretty fresh sample. But this succumbs to smoky, roasty, coffee and molasses influences.

Malty sweet, roasty flavor and bitterness, black licorice/molasses, and booze which is none too bashful. The roasty bitterness does linger, as I recall, and is a little bit harsh. But still, this is pretty smooth and complex while fresh, and bound to improve with age.

Well carbonated, a bit of a hot alcohol bite penetrates an otherwise velvety rich, full body. The bitter aftertaste is, as mentioned, a bit distracting. I should put some away and see what happens to it.

This is one aggressive, bold, and crass, but classy Imperial
Stout. It deserves to at least be compared to the elite the elite of the style, if it isn't one of them. I'm looking forward to see how it might smooth and mellow with some time.


First review, winter 2008 with Mom starts here;
bottle into snifters. Share with my mom. From notes.

Mom is an aspiring beer geek who has been drinking craft beers mainly over the last 15 years, after a lifetime of macro lagers. She mainly drinks whatever decent porter is on sale, but likes stouts, and when introduced to some Belgians recently, seems to like them as well. She's not a hophead and doesn't like bitterness generally. She doesn't experiment much when I'm not around, but she is open to it. When asked what she thinks about various ales, she often pulls common descriptors off the top of her head. I think she is a bit of a natural, and could make a great reviewer.

Dark black, moderate mocha head, some retention, thin spotty lacing. Mom wanted to give it a 5, but I decided on 4.5

Big molasses, sweet, malty, smoky, woody, has legs. Mom:"Chocolaty, woodsy. sorgham." "I do appreciate the smell. It smells good. I really like the smell."

Tastes of molasses, coffee, bitter, hint of sweetness, and sharp bitterness that lingers well past the finish (and past the next beer). Kind of harsh and way out of balance on the bitter side. Mom:"That's bad." "I would never order or drink another one of these." "Nasty."

Storng bitter tang from front to middle. Low carbonation. Feels thin despite its huge size. Sharp bitter finish and aftertaste. Mom:"I don't like it."

A sipper at best. I like sharp roasty stouts, but this is too much for me. The bitterness on the tongue lasted way past the next beer! Way out of balance on the roasty bitter side. I appreciate the boldness, but mom didn't. From memory, I thought I liked this one and will definitely have it again. Mom won't. Mom:"Not a drain pour, but I wouldn't get it again." "almost like syrup." Mom on aftertaste 30 minutes after it was gone and we were on another beer "like if I had a tablespoon of pure molasses. I can't get it out of my mouth."

Photo of BarkingLeopard
1.98/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Paid $2.49 for a 12oz bottle from Total Wine & More.

Got 1/8th inch of head that quickly dissipated. No lacing, and about as dark as you can get.

Smells DARK, as in dark coffee and chocolate, but not "dark" in the sense of good and rich. Smells slightly sweet...

Taste is very syrupy, dark, and sharp; very much not for me, one of the more disagreeable tasting beers I've had in a while. Similarly, this stuff is thicker than I was expecting (though it isn't too too thick). It really sticks to your tongue, and with its taste that's not a good thing at all in my book.

I have very low drinkability with this. It's very slightly warming as it goes down, and its taste is so sharp that it's definitely not something you'd want to drink one than one of... or in my case more than one sip of... I'm sure that this is good beer to some, but it was a struggle to make myself finish this beer; definitely not for me.

Photo of MmmIPA
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on tap before but never got a chance to review it.

Very black body with a stunning brown head.Spotty lacing on the glass.

Notes of chocolate and soy sauce? whats up with that.

Taste is Booooze and all booze,its very hot.Malty with some chocolate and nice hoppiness at the end of the sip.

Mouthful is good but the booze takes away from the score.I would love to age this.I need another bootle soon.

Good beer but its very hot at its freshness.Will buy sgain though.

Photo of jjanega08
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Photo of Reaper16
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of SilentSabre
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.43/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

Photo of czfreeman
4/5  rDev -5.7%
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!

Photo of birchstick
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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...

Photo of waltonc
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

Photo of phattysbox
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
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...

Photo of Philabeerphia
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

Photo of swizzlenuts
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of CoolJosh
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of schellsbeer
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of rhinos00
4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Photo of adamette
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Photo of Soneast
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

Photo of DoctorDog
2.48/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 5,183 ratings.