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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
95
world-class

4,924 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,924
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: 4,924 | Reviews: 1,916 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of seaoflament
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have about 3 of these and all came from different people, so I don't know who exactly to thank, I guess all three.

This bottle has a number 7817 on the back label (bottled February 1, 2007).

Wow, pours incredibly dark with a huge amount of mocha colored foam that almost overflowed over my glass. The foam lasts, and lasts, and lasts.

Big roasted malt aroma complemented with cocoa, chocolate covered raisins & cherries, wet grains, and a faint fruity alcohol presence in the background. Some earthy hop notes also seem to be there along with some woodsy tones.

Tastes of bitter-sweet chocolate, roasted and chocolate malts, cocoa, some fruit and alcohol. My only complaint is that it tastes a little hot and the alcohol is too noticeable.

Mouthfeel is thick and well rounded. Dry and modest bitter finish.

I think I'll keep the other two beers for a few more months as I see this is a beer than will improve with age. Very tasty RIS, but I wasn't overly won.

***update 7/14***
Thanks to illinismitty over at RateBeer for this vintage bottle. Batch 6811 which the website says is from April 26, 2005.

A good "hiss" when I crack the cap. Pours dark and viscous, I didn't think I would get some head but about an inch of mocha colored foam covered the head of the beer. The head lasted for about a minute and reduced to a thin ring. 4

The aroma is a mixture of dark and milk chocolate, cherries, roasted malts, lots of molasses, maple syrup and various sweet, dark fruits. I'm still picking up more things; sugar covered raisins, plums, maybe just a hint of soy sauce (but very little), and salty meat. After a few moments I can pick up a bit of oxidation, like wet paper. After the beer settles the aroma is pretty tame and the dominant fragrance is a syrupy sweet one, not in a bad way. 4

Taste is pretty much in line with the aroma. First I get a bid dose of chocolate (dark, milk, syrup) and then I get the sweet, dark, fruits in the middle which is quickly overtaken by some roasted barley and finishes with some coffee and toast. Second sip revealed more sweetness in the form of molasses, maple syrup and brown sugar. A couple more sips later I pick up some cherries, grapes and apricot pit in the aftertaste. A little bit of anise flavor half-way through the beer. Near the last fourth of the beer I can taste some dry graham crackers, multi-grain bread, a bit of vanilla, and a touch of alcohol. 4.5

Mouthfeel is syrupy, thick, but the low lever of carbonation makes this one pretty drinkable...sticky lips after each sip. 4.5

Pretty tasty stuff, glad I traded for this one and will have to get more of this to age. 4.5

seaoflament, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of John_M
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Was very pleasantly surprised to see this on tap at Capone's the other night.

This has to be one of the oddest looking stouts I've ever seen. The beer looks more like a cup of dark hot chocoate then beer, with a hazy chocolate appearance, good lacing and decent head retention. On the nose one gets some more chocolate (quite a bit of it in fact), with a hint of vanilla, coffee and cherry. The flavors are replicated on the palate, especially in terms of the chocolate. However, there's also almost what I would call an underlying grittiness to this beer, which while fine for the most part, hurts the finish a bit I think. There is considerable bitterness in the finish, and at least for me, that coupled with the sweet chocolate and high abv. makes this a difficult beer to drink.

This is absolutely a solid beer, but is just not my cup of tea.

John_M, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of errantnight
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first Russian Imperial Stout to really blow me away... (not at the time of this review, but ever... I first experienced this beer over a year ago, and it's stuck with me... this bottle was picked up a couple months ago when I was in Iowa)

Pours like motor oil, with a gorgeous deep brown head. The lacing and head are definitely on the thin side, but it sticks around as well as any. It just looks fantastic.

The aroma and taste are definitely dominated more by raisins, prunes, and coffee. The chocolate/mocha notes are present but subdued, and particularly towards room temperature rich, french pressed coffee and a rich sweetness providing great balance. A dessert, for sure. Aroma could be more intense, but it hands in there nicely. A delightful sipper.

So rich and thick that it doesn't go down as nicely as Stone's, or Smutty's (two of my favorites), but I love this beer, and I pick up a few every time I'm in the midwest. Even at 12 oz I like this best as a beer to share at the end of an evening, best with a little bit of chocolate.

errantnight, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of WesWes
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that slowly fades to lacing. This is a thing of beauty. The aroma is great! It has a warm black, chocolate, and roasted malt scent. It's rich and creamy with a stiff non malted roasted barley aroma. The taste is great. It is rich with malt complexity. It starts out smooth and creamy with a chocolate malt taste. Then it quickly warms with a roasted malt feel and finishes with a bold black malt blast. This is a damn tastey beer. The mouthfeel is great. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is the perfect RIS. It's bold and challenging with loads of flavor and malt complexity. It's warm and inviting. A damn fine beer!!

WesWes, Sep 16, 2007
Photo of mnstorm99
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the first RIS I ever tasted. I have had this beer at room temp 70*, out of the fridge 40*, and 15 minutes out of the fridge 47*. I will highly recommending refridgerating it then let it rest in your glass a little while.
Great oily opaque black color with a nice tan head that hangs on for dear life, lacing never stops. Smell is awesome with a hint of sweet malty carmel, coffee and anise. taste is much like the aroma, maybe not quite as pronounced, but now you find the hops, hidden just below the malty flavors. in the mouth this beer feels like a smooth chewy stout like it should. Drinkability is a little lower only in regard to the fact that one of these is enough for me in a sitting, very sweet almost a dessert beer.

mnstorm99, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of bosco7
3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pitch black and sludgy as it pours from the unassuming 12 oz. bottle. A massive milky brown settles on top of the inky liquid. Very intimidating.

Liquorice, chocolate, coffee, cinnamon in the back, and a little

Starts sweet and boozy with lots of liquorice and dark chocolate flavors. Some harsh acrid flavors. Burnt toast and coffee.

Buttery mouthfeel. A combination of harsh flavors, big ABV, and sugary sweetness make this a challenge to put down.

bosco7, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of younger35
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade from tpd975. Have wanted to try this brew for quite some time and can’t wait to take a sip. Drank from my Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale pint glass.

Appearance- Pours the blackest of blacks. This is by far the murkiest, dirtiest, oiliest, grimiest beer I’ve ever seen and it’s beautiful. Thin dark brown head that slowly recedes leaving a soft cap and fluffy collar. Fantastic lacing is randomly left around the side of the glass.
Smell- Rich chocolate and sweet molasses seem to jump out of the glass into my nostrils. Dark ripe cherries and hints of citrus are surprisingly prevalent and stronger than any other IRS that I’ve smelled. Roasted coffee, caramel and toffee help bring all the scents together allowing some alcohol to show. Incredible!
Taste- Extremely in your face, brash flavors that scream at my taste buds. Starts with a roasted toffee sweetness that tickles the tongue and quickly gives way to dark roast coffee. Nice bitter fruity kick reminiscent of raspberries shocks the palate back to its senses. Finishes with a slight alcohol kick that leaves an espresso like aftertaste that doesn’t seem to ever leave. So amazingly good but honestly was somehow expecting more after the nose. Amazing how big everything is in this brew.
Mouthfeel- So thick and rich it seems to coat your entire mouth in an oily, viscous substance. Velvety smooth with tiny carbonation that fits perfectly.
Drinkability- This is definitely a beer that should be sipped and slowly enjoyed. It’s so complex and flavorful that I’m almost at a loss for words. Wish I had more access to beers from Bells but so far the two that I’ve had (Two Hearted) are tremendous. I enjoyed this beer thoroughly and can’t thank tpd975 enough. Terrific beer!

younger35, Sep 11, 2007
Photo of elricorico
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very deep brown, near black and opaque. Only a thin ring of tan head.

Smells of rich coffee and chocolate liquer. Very sweet and roasty impression.

Brown sugar sweetness throughout. Coffee rich through the front half and roasted bitterness in the finish. Well balanced. Alcohol warms but isn't overwhelming. Very nice.

Thick, almost syrupy, and carbonation just barely cuts through. Works well for the style.

This was very nice, one of my favorites of the style so far. Thanks orrshow for splitting the bottle.

elricorico, Sep 05, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3.28/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- About a 1/4-1/2" mocha head on a pitch black body. When pouring it looks like black ink.
S- Big roasted malts, maple syrup, toffee, black currants, hints of coffee, brownies, alcohol, and just a tiny hint of grass hops.
T- Alcohol, light syrup, brownies, burnt malts...lots of them, black currants, and a really dry medium bitterness on tongue. It is mostly made up of burnt malts and different roasted flavors. Alcohol comes in after tickling the tongue and warms up back of throat and makes it quite hot.
M- Really dry finish! Full body with low carbonation.
D- It is alright. I think it focuses to much on just the different burnt flavors for my liking. I can drink it but I doubt I will be searching for it again.

BlindPig, Sep 03, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A snifter glass served at Capone's during both Founders/Bell's nights.

A: The stout is pitch black, no other words adequately describe the dark depths of this stout. Unfortunately there was no head atop this black beauty, besmirching the nice appearance.

S: The nose is roasted malts, dark thick grains that have bready and vinous characteristics. Some sweeter grains punch up the strong burnt aromas.

T: The taste is right in line with the big aromas from the nose. There is a thick roasted burnt malt flavor, bitter and strong that remains throughout the drink. That burnt flavor is nicely matched up against a graham sweetness. The alcohol underlying this beer is huge, completely unable to hide itself even amongst the abundance of flavor here. The finish is burnt and bitter, leaving a long full taste in the mouth.

M: The stout is huge, easily overwhelming the tastebuds with dark roasted flavors and big alcohol. This is not a stout for the faint of heart.

D: A snifter is great, more than one and you'll be seein' double. This is a complex beer that is best enjoyed slowly with good company.

akorsak, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark opaque black color with some brown highlights when held to a light. Chocolate milk head that sticks and laces. Smells sweet, roasted coffee beans, chocolate, cocoa. Taste has a lot of delicious layers with everything the smell offers and more. Alcohol warms but is not present in the taste. Drinks like a dessert. A wonderful stout that is a must try for all stout lovers and beyond.

franksnbeans, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of Lnedrive14
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

"I don't know what's in em, I just know I can't stop smoking em!" That's about how I feel about this beer. Lots of flavors going on in there, but they all kind of blend together into one powerful, never dull alcoholic hodgepodge.

Pours jet black with the darkest brown head i have ever seen. the head lingered forever. smell is strong on espresso and dark chocolate, roasted malts. Alcohol presence is strong, but not offputting. taste lingers FOREVER! i could taste it on my lips for hours afterwards and i wasn't complaining!

mouthfeel was incredibly creamy. don't think drinkability was so high since it was kind of like a milkshake. like mitch hedberg said, it was like pancakes, amazing up front, but in the end you're fucking sick of them.

glad i bought 2.

Lnedrive14, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of Budlum
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout pours very thick, nearing a maple syrup texture. A tall, dense, deep brown head forms while pouring. The body of this stout is dense and about as black as it gets. Head retention is excellent. This is what premium stout look like.

A short burst of sharp, roasted barley flavors hit the nose before a sweet rush takes over. Smells of licorice, tobacco, brown sugar, prunes, nutmeg, hops and espresso appear in a complete display of power. Alcohol is notable on the nose but it provides just enough strength to tingle the nose without overpowering the senses. Excellent all around.

A sweet rush of chocolate, espresso and candied sugars lead the flavors of this beer with authority. A blend of dark fruits and faint spices are joined by a powerful, charred and roasted barley flavor backed by a strong hop presence. An alcohol presence is provided by a mild burn. The finish is long, epic actually. The strong hop flavors and charred barley mixed with pipe tobacco seem to hold forever. This is a top notch stout.

The mouthfeel is very luxurious and the body is quite thick. Mild carbonation is present but this beer is just a little too oily to be perfect. Overall, the mouthfeel is still supreme.

Drinkability is very good for a stout with this level of flavor. The strong flavors and long finish should make this a slow sipper but this beer just disappears from the glass. If you find this beer, buy a lot.

Budlum, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of xav33
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bells Expedition Stout
12 oz bottle
Moderate pour in a snifter
Batch 7251, packaged 02/06, ventured into 07/07

Poured black with a medium mostly lasting brown head with fair lacing.

Smelt of strong dark chocolate and mocha without even putting my nose up to it. Upon closer inspection,strong dark chocolate, dried plums, mocha, burnt grain, sherry.

Taste was upfront rich sweet dark chocolate, strong bitter burnt grain, moderate sherry and vinous bitterness, moderate fruity esters, like dried plums or figs, followed by a harsh bitter burnt grain and yeast, and sherry with moderate chocolate sweetness on a long lingering bitter burnt finish.

Palate was full bodied, creamy, silky and viscous, softly but slightly stinging carbonation, strongly astringent and moderately alcoholic.

Overall, a good strong Imperial stout. Not my favorite, but I will see how aging affects it. Lots of alcohol warmth and strong bitter flavors. Hell of a punch on the palate. Very good over all, although a bit over the top, still after one year.

xav33, Jul 28, 2007
Photo of mentor
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch #7817, purchased from The Beer Depot (Ann Arbor) and hand carried back to Colorado for my enjoyment. Pours a strong 2 finger dark dark brown head. Cascading carbonation in a pitch liquid. The head just hangs around. Beautiful. Smells sour chocolate milky. Sweet dark caramel scorch. Alcohol is prominent and clean. The alcohol and black patent mix well together.

Tastes wow. Complex grains and sweetness with an alcohol that just pierces through and tempers things. Amazing complexity and delicousness. Black patent sour with strong roast and a thick creamy malt sweetness. Roast is a drying factor, as is the clean alchol...but overall, the dessert-like malt sweet wins out. Molasses. Some rough grassy, which could be fusel alcohol, but I think is more likely from an old school hop like Bullion. The only improvement I'd like to see is a touch less overall sweetness to amke for a bit more prominence of the caramel sweet that is under all the dark grains.

Mouthfeel is super thick with modest carbonation. Carb sting blends into the black patent sour and alcohol sting/warmth. July 21st is a brutal hot summer night in Colorado, but I'm still loving this thick heavy stout. Drinkablity is stunning. Yeah, I'd take another.

I've had this beer several times before and always remember it as a really good beer. I always remember it standing up to up to big expectations. That's tough to do. This beer is about as good as it gets. I could see some reviewers hitting the sweet as too much, but I find the alcohol and hops are a counterpoint that makes this beer blanaced and complex. Phenomenal.

mentor, Jul 26, 2007
Photo of jaxon53
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aquired this brew from brandoman63, in the brews-n-tunes summer '07 tour. About a year and a half aged. Served at cellar temperature, in a snifter, from a twelve ounce bottle. Poured a serious inky jet black color, that no light could pass through. About a half inch of somewhat thin, dark brown head formed. Head quickly dispersed into a thin ring atop the beer. Left little lace behind. Strong chocolate, bitter coffee, some almost oaky notes, followed by a ton of alcohol. Also noted were caramel, toffee, and some nice roasted aromas. The smell was almost mouth watering. Tons of flavor. More strong coffee, dark chocolate, molasses, roasted malts. All of this finished with a hot alcohol burn in the back of the throat. The alcohol seems much more pronounced than I can remember. Very little carbonation was noticed. Mouthfeel was thick, full, syrupy and chewey. Awesome. Drinkability was great for such a high octane tasting brew. Pretty smooth and enjoyable.

jaxon53, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of marksto
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at the Indiana Microbrewers Festival. Bell's had this one opposite a keg of the bourbon barrel aged Double Cream/Expedition Stout. Perhaps it was because of that excellent beer that I thought this one wasn't as good as I'd hoped it would be..

Poured opaque with an off-white medium head with medium retention. Surprisingly light in the nose. Some coffee and roast with malt sweetness, but nose overall lighter than I thought it would be. Flavor exhibited a blend of roastiness, malt, with a hint of chocolate. Smooth, nice, but not as complex as many of the other R.I.S.'s that I've had before.

marksto, Jul 22, 2007
Photo of PEBKAC
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Served in small goblet that seems to immediately turn to stone after it reached the rim. I felt bad for the bartender, it was just his second day. Heck, I felt bad for myself. Having to go through that torture, I asked for a couple samples alongside, just to pass the time.

After watching the game for an inning & a half, I made the decision to ask for a knife & fork. That thing would of easily lasted till the weekend had I not intervened. :P

Ovaltine. It looks like Ovaltine. Rich, frothy, chocolate head that just wouldn't quit. The body wasn't black, but close.

Strong scents of burnt sugar, whole milk, rum cake, tapoica, & mesquite.

My God, this is Ovaltine! Just so insanely rich & frothy. Creaminess only found in the most fattening of milk shakes. I realize the misguided impressions of nitro, but still, what a joyous invention.

I don't particularly like coffee, so enjoying this beer is even more of a surprise. None of that stale, over-roasted crap(burnt), but genuinely fresh, intense, aromatic, & just plain tasty java. When added in to all this caramel & whole milk I taste, it's just beautiful. As a bonus, the dryness beats back the now subtle bitterness into a corner that's just barely within reach. Any alcohol that was overly obvious has also been beaten back. Oppression at its finest. :)

One is perfect for me, thank you. :)

PEBKAC, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to metallitone1 for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a complete opaque motor oil black with a huge three finger brown head that takes forever to die down to a generous lacing. Stickiness is truly amazing. Probably the best looking RIS I've seen to date. Smell is a sweet caramel malt mixed with a nice dark chocolate and molasses that tingles the nose as well. A bit of alcohol is also present in the smell. Taste has a lot of coffee and espresso to it, much more than the smell leads on, especially the aftertaste. Starts off with a sweet chocolate malt followed by a whole bunch of roasted nut mixed with brown sugar. Some alcohol on the tongue as well. Mouthfeel is full bodied and rich with very little, but just enough, carbonation. I could only have one in a sitting, but I will definitely be drinking this one in the future. Bell's has just about mastered the art of brewing Stouts (Cherry Stout being an exception), and this one doesn't disappoint.

BeerTruth, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of kenito799
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Brought back from the midwest.

Pours an opaque chocolate brown/black, hard pour raises a slowly forming, relentlessly growing chestnut brown head, which slowly recedes...beautiful lacing pattern from the start. One look and you know this is a serious beer.

Dark roasted aroma,chocolate, coffee, and interesing fresh vegetal notes, I guess it's hops. Good dark stout aromas.

This is one amazingly rich and complex brew. Roasted coffee and dark chocolate is the first impression, with some fruity (raspberries!) sweetness, and then spicy allspice-gingerbread underneath. Fantastically drinkable for such a big rich beer. The most impressive aspect for me is the long, evolving finish...a lasting bitterness from the dark roast...then floral grapefruity hoppy bitterness comes in...then your tongue continues to pulsate with flavor and bitterness for a full two minutes, the flavor keeps coming back in waves, perhaps because the rich creaminess of the brew has coated your palate and taken full command...really amazing.

A wonderful after dinner beer to savor and contemplate. This beer definitely passes the "I am so sad the glass is finished" test. The folks at Bell's have done it again...they continue to impress.

kenito799, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of TexIndy
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Re-review: original 7/10/07 review at bottom:
Brought back from Indy during Xmas. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Back label has bottling code that you can check on website. This one was bottle in late Sept. It was dark black in color even against a light. Slight carb in center with sliding, non-stick lacing. It had a small dark brown head that quickly evaporated into a very thin collar.

The aroma was coffee, dark fruit, roasted malt and still a big hint of the 10.5% ABV. Didn't really enjoy - too much dark fruit and alcohol for me. The taste followed the aroma. Too much dark fruit and alcohol and not enough coffee, roasted malt or chocolate that I find in the RIS that I really enjoy. Creamy texture but too bitter a finish and ABV too present.

Overall, this one misses the mark for me. Shame since I really love most other Bell's and most RIS. One and done (OK two and done since I did re-sample it).

***Original 7/10/07 review***
4.5 4.0 3.5 4.0 3.5
Got from my brother-in-law in Indy. Poured from a 12oz bottle with a bottling code on back label. It was a dark black color. It had about a finger of dark brown head that settled into a thin film. Slight lacing. The aroma was coffee, roasted malts and a big hint of the ABV. The taste was good but had a really bitter finish that kinda ruined it for me. It got better as it continued to warm but still too much. This is only the 2nd RIS I've had with Siberian Nights being the other. I loved the Siberian so not sure which is more representative of the style but hoping Siberian. I can see why this is highly regarded but it's just not for me. (3.5, RB, T, O)

TexIndy, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of Atron67
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pretty perfect appearance, heavy black color with a dark brown head, the foam poured over my glass, sadly making me loose some precious drops, because i poured it too heavily, the head lasted forever too and left really strong lacing
S- roasted chocolate and coffee scents predominate
T- very good, smooth dark roasted flavors, light alcohol finish, which is surprising for a 10.5 abv'er, some expresso flavors with the finish, leaves the mouth surpizingly smoothly
M- very fine carbonation/ maybe due to my excessive pour, however the heavy body and smoothness provide a great beer that was enjoyed whether or not it was slightly spoiled due to a bad pour
D- this is a highly drinkable beer that was extremely delicious, this was my only on hand so i'll be looking forward to getting more this winter

Atron67, Jul 08, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque darkness with a wispy head of those cherished tiny bubbles that lend themselves to a soft texture in the mouth. A bunch of lacing present.

The smell is amazing and complex. In fact it changes around the warmer it gets. At about 55deg it starts out with that sweet tootsie roll chocolate aroma that's kicked up by a touch of bourbon. The barrel-aged aroma tends to take over gradually as it warms up. It begins to smell like a Kahlua chocolate then it warms to a steady state choco-cherry-vanilla.

Full bodied, the mouth feel is a horse race. The mouth is being conditioned by the warmth from the alcohol while the smooth mocha flavor demands equal time. That complexity itself is 'MONEY' but it doesn't stop there.

The oak aged flavor of sweet chocolate, light coffee, cherries and vanilla are really pronounced. It finishes with another level of coffee and that java flavor tends to linger nicely.

Definitely one to be savored. The 10.50 % ABV is showcased. Highly recommended.

jjayjaye, Jul 02, 2007
Photo of tpd975
4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like the java stout I just reviewed this one comes to Florida from Indiana with love from my brother. God bless him.

A: The perfect pouring stout. Nice large 3 finger espresso colored head that settles down nicely to a small pillow atop the brew. There is also very nice lacing down the glass. This one could make People' Magazines 100 most beautiful list.

S: Lacking. There is not much really coming from the glass. I like big bold smells when it comes to beer and this one just don't have it. There is some sweetness that I can detect along with some char of the malt. I wanted nice strong tones of coffee and chocolate, none were found here.

T: The taste is good, but not great. The taste of charred malt is in there, which gives you a sense of coffee. The chocolate taste is of bitter chocolate. To be honest I expected more.

M: This one is thick like a milkshake. The coating is wonderful on your mouth. Had the taste been great this would have helped to put the beer over the top.

D: If this is your cup of tea you could drink several despite the ABV. It goes down rather smooth and hides the alcohol nicely.

Overall: I was expecting this to be Bell's best stout. Right before drinking this one I had a Java Stout which I like sooo much better. I have also had their Kalamazoo stout which I also prefer to this one. I realize those are lighter stouts with this being a RIS. Maybe I was expecting too much coming in to this one. I will revisit in a few days as I have a six pack of it. I will also put a few back to age. Time may be on its side.

I almost feel as though I am being too critical. Bell's is quite possibly my favorite brewer. I have to revisit this one. Will update after my second go around with this one.

tpd975, Jun 25, 2007
Photo of krkearney
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle; batch 7817. 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 excelent, but I recall finding previous batches more flavorful and more enjoyable.

krkearney, Jun 24, 2007
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 4,924 ratings.