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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

4,461 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,461
Reviews: 1,875
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 381
Gots: 949 | 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: 4,461 | Reviews: 1,875 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of faucd531
faucd531

Louisiana

1/5  rDev -76.4%

02-09-2012 19:36:18 | More by faucd531
Photo of Sponybrian
Sponybrian


1/5  rDev -76.4%

08-24-2012 20:39:33 | More by Sponybrian
Photo of ab39z
ab39z

North Carolina

1/5  rDev -76.4%

01-21-2013 02:44:48 | More by ab39z
Photo of Pinknuggets
Pinknuggets

Massachusetts

1.35/5  rDev -68.1%

Bottle to hfs sniffer

A: very dark basically black small thin mocha head that dispates quickly and stays in a thin ring

S: reaks of alcohol and rotting fruit like some sort of fig extremely off putting one of the worst smells for a beer I've seen

T: follows the nose with a weird taste that is really off putting could not finish

M:thin not smooth can't really stand to drink it

O:this is officially the worst is I have ever tasted total drain pour couldn't even get half way through I'm real disappointed I had bigger expectations from what is heard from bells

11-20-2012 02:18:09 | More by Pinknuggets
Photo of Nikkibrews13
Nikkibrews13

Nevada

1.83/5  rDev -56.7%

A: Bell's stout pours a deep black/ brown with a roasty brown head that leaves minimal lacing

S: The aroma gives off lots of sweet scents. licorice is present, as well as the alcohol.

T: This stout has roasted qualities that are quickly overcome by a acidic bitter flavor... and not a good one either. it honestly leaves a bad taste in my mouth... literally.

M: Thin coating mouthfeel.

D: Terrible. I think im gonna put this one to rest.

Overall i think that the apperance and aroma over the expedition was very misleading when the flavor comes into play. I dont know if this bottle was old but its no bueno in my book... thus far.

03-09-2011 02:42:57 | More by Nikkibrews13
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

1.88/5  rDev -55.6%

Poured from bottle into pint glass.
A: Thick and black. Minimal dark tan head with no carbonation (a little odd since I just bought this bottle).
S: Roasted malts and chocolate. Can smell the high ABV...too prominent.
T: Completely unbalanced. Very weak malt can't offset the very high ABV. Roasted malt, chocolate...but not enough of it.
M: I hate to harp on it, but the high ABV distracts too much. Weak body and no taste to linger...just the alcohol.
D: Undrinkable...I hate to do this, but I'm not even going to finish this. I love high ABV beers, but they have to be balanced and have enough malt, flavors, etc. to hold up. This doesn't cut it. I see that others had difficulty with no carbonation. Either this is a major bottling problem or Bell's needs to rethink their approach here.
Definitely the worst russian imperial stout I've had in a long time...and I doubt this will age well as the bottle suggests.

7/26/10: Well, let's check on this one again...cellared for about 2 1/2 yrs. The appearance is actually nice. Thick black-brown with super dark brown head. Looks like you could chew on it (4). Dark chocolate, molasses, and piney hops. Decent (3.5). Dark chocolate syrup, blackstrap molasses, and piney hops. Follows aroma pretty much on cue (3.5). Thick, smooth, oily. Faint alcohol burn and hop bite. I like it (4). OK, so I was wrong. This one does age well, but starts off terrible. It ends up as an ok RIS, but you gotta be patient (3.5).

02-19-2008 20:22:42 | More by mwilbur
Photo of semihobo
semihobo

Michigan

1.88/5  rDev -55.6%

A 12 oz of Batch 8728, bottled just over 2 months ago so pretty fresh. Incidentally, while looking up the age of this batch, I found out that a bottle is a neat 400 calories... fun to know :)

Pours with a thin dark brown head, darker than such standby terms as "mocha." The head simmers down pretty fast but that little bit that remains hangs in tenaciously. Go ahead and backlight this with your cellphone -- a searchlight wouldn't go through this baby. Back in black.

Smells like tar and liquor distilled from some dark homemade molasses. Also smells of mint, drywall mud, and funk. And regular mud, not just drywall compound but swampy mud. And chicory, although I'm not getting much coffee. And nutmeg. And vanilla. The first ominous notes of Pink Floyd's "Time" just came on, foreshadowing a scary taste...

Exceedingly sharp. Pungent, bitter, veering toward evil. Very plant like bitterness, like eating bark or some root and being told by nature, "people are not supposed to eat this, fool." Slightly sour on the finish, the bitterness and sour blend to create a smoked coffee grounds-like taste. Mix in rum and asphalt. Some alcohol warming, but it's pretty well masked by the 500 pound gorilla flavor. Becomes more chocolatey as it warms. I grasp the complexity, and I am trying to stay positive within the style.

Mouthfeel is thick, it's tough to not gulp as mouthfuls are overwhelming. Finish is, sadly, sickening -- definitely making a face. Severely undercarbonated. The mouthfeel is the worst part of this beer and detracts from all other aspects.

It was some serious work to get through 12 oz of Expedition Stout. Definitely do not want another, thanks. Highly disappointing. I kept trying to like it, but I don't... to each their own. Tried to finish it as a matter of principle -- however, when it came time to choose between booting in the sink from the taste or pouring it out, the last few sips ran down the drain.

:(

11-11-2008 04:52:25 | More by semihobo
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BarkingLeopard

Virginia

1.98/5  rDev -53.2%

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.

12-29-2008 01:02:40 | More by BarkingLeopard
Photo of bboelens
bboelens

Florida

1.98/5  rDev -53.2%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A-Black motor oil in viscosity, an aggressive pour yielded no head at all, and the beer left no lacing.

S-Ok we're getting back on track, roasted malt and coffee are the main presence, a hint of chocolate and alcohol in the background.

T-Woof! This beer is thick and has waaaay too much going on in it, it's an explosion of flavors and not in the good way, yes there's some malt and coffee and a heavy alcohol taste but i can't even explain what the rest is, licorice and a clusterf**k of other things that just didn't come together for me.

M-Thick, no carbonation, medicinal

D-I almost broke my no drain pouring rule with this beer. I wonder if I got a bad bottle or if my taste buds just weren't made for this beer. This is a fresh bottle and a bought another one to age, after reading about it's impressive aging abilities, so I'll give it another chance.

02-09-2011 15:51:11 | More by bboelens
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YumYumGumGum

Virginia

2/5  rDev -52.7%

11-21-2012 12:47:32 | More by YumYumGumGum
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J2t645

Michigan

2/5  rDev -52.7%

02-16-2014 19:37:58 | More by J2t645
Photo of aint_it_strange
aint_it_strange

Illinois

2/5  rDev -52.7%

05-07-2012 23:34:08 | More by aint_it_strange
Photo of HOMEPL8
HOMEPL8

Virginia

2/5  rDev -52.7%

02-10-2012 20:07:25 | More by HOMEPL8
Photo of mwar
mwar

Kentucky

2/5  rDev -52.7%

06-12-2013 21:12:59 | More by mwar
Photo of cannunzi
cannunzi

Florida

2/5  rDev -52.7%

05-29-2013 19:28:42 | More by cannunzi
Photo of GoldenVIKE
GoldenVIKE

Illinois

2.03/5  rDev -52%

Opened a bottle that was only about a month or two old and was stored in the refrigerator for about 2 days prior to opening.

A-nice frothy pour. Very good head if you pour it hard, with a nice, cascading look. Head is milk chocolate color with a copper hue. The head quickly dissipates into a ring and leaves a very sticky lace.

S-subtle chocolate and perhaps some roasted or burnt coffee. not a strong or very complex smell.

T-awful compared to what i was expecting. very roasty, smoky tastes of burnt coffee, burnt toast, and an bad alcohol bite that leaves a mosquito-spray aftertaste. maybe some bitter chocolate in there but that'd be generous.

M-i'm not sure what the BA review was all about saying that this isn't carbonated at all. the carbonation is fine, if underwhelming. it's hard to focus on the mouthfeel when the taste is so bad.

O-i've heard this ages well. it can't get any worse than this for me. i love stouts and this is one of the least enjoyable i've had. i'll probably give it one more try just because other people give it good reviews, and it's possible that i just had a bad bottle.

06-05-2011 03:00:30 | More by GoldenVIKE
Photo of TechMyst
TechMyst

Illinois

2.08/5  rDev -50.8%

CONTAINER VOLUME: 355ml
CONTAINER TYPE: bottle (Conditioned)
FRESH: 6672 (must be mislabled: their site has this as being an Amber Ale made 11/04. the date is probably right though) Anyway it’s almost 2 yrs old and this is ok for cellaring, but being on the top shelf exposed to fluorescent light every day might have had an impact
PURCHASED @: Binny’s
COST: $2.69/12oz bottle
HEAD: None...at first, then it rose slightly and then diminshed; red in color; a few huge soapy iridescent bubles among the smaller ones
LACE: spare
COLOR:
REFLECTED- black
TRANSMITTED- Blood Red
AROMA: faint medicine; average hop
MOUTHFEEL: full
PALATE: sticky, flat conditioning
TASTE: cherry flavored cough syrup; cloying, sweet acidic cherry flavor; astringent average lasting aftertaste

COMMENTS: I was really looking forward to this, but it was nothing like I expected. I had a flashback to Vick’s 44-D cough syrup. Could this Imperial Stout with ABV of 11.5% become lightstruck? this made my cheekbone muscles cramp up. Kalamazoo by this brewer is the best stout I’ve ever enjoyed. This is a big beer though, it’s like climbing a wall. To me the Hop and Cherry flavors didn’t mix. My throat and torso burned for hours after consuming this. Did I drink it too cold? did I get too much sediment? Is this diactyl flavor from being light struck? or do I just not like the hop/fruit balance?(I’ve stated before that I really do not care much for fruit beers...)
CONDITIONS:
MOWING/WORKING ON CAR- If I owned an Astin Martin(but then I wouldn’t be washing my own car or mowing my own lawn then now would I)
WITH FRIENDS- if they are buying
SIPPING- if I had a fresh one; or one that was cellared correctly (sipping is the only way to get this one down)
GET MY BUZZ ON- if fresh

09-23-2006 06:27:55 | More by TechMyst
Photo of Jdecarol
Jdecarol

Florida

2.15/5  rDev -49.2%

This bottle was fresh on the shelves at the total wine in Boca Raton but it is absolutely flat. I got the slightly bubble on pouring but that was it. The consistency is that of Hershey Chocolate and no matter how much I chill this drink it still feels like it is room tempreture.

I like the sherry flavor though, but I can't pick up any other flavors behind it and its almost on the verge of being nasty sweet and thick.

I wanted to age the 2nd bottle but I'm just going to chug it seeing as I have a bad batch on hand.

07-22-2008 00:03:48 | More by Jdecarol
Photo of gonzo46and2
gonzo46and2

Florida

2.2/5  rDev -48%

Pours a very dark black as to be expected. Very dark head formed.

Smell wasn't all that bad. Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Licorice, Spice, etc.

Taste was a stinging burnt grain with heavy alchohol fumes. Not pleasant.

Carbonation was too low.

Just not a very good RIS in my opinion. I wonder if I got a bad bottle. I will try this stout again. Just not any time soon.

02-11-2009 03:02:18 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of glowsun
glowsun

Illinois

2.25/5  rDev -46.8%

11-17-2012 04:16:34 | More by glowsun
Photo of BogleHill
BogleHill

Massachusetts

2.28/5  rDev -46.1%

Bottled dated 10-2009. Pours out jet black like used motor oil. Sweet roasty and malty aroma with a presence of alcohol. Good tan head and carbonation. Very heavy mouthfeel. Quite roasty, almost smoky. The sweetness overpowers this one for me though, perhaps the alcohol too. This seems like a well made brew, but sadly, I found myself unable to finish it. Imperials are just not my thing-that I am sure of. -But I am up for trying anything, once. My thanks to awesome trader Birchstick for giving me the opportunity to try this highly rated stout.

09-11-2010 13:48:44 | More by BogleHill
Photo of FleeVT
FleeVT

Florida

2.3/5  rDev -45.6%

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

05-08-2008 01:41:33 | More by FleeVT
Photo of nickg902
nickg902

Pennsylvania

2.35/5  rDev -44.4%

This beer really disappointed me. It poured pitch black and thick, looks like motor oil, very little mocha colored head. Aroma is overpowering with alcohol...extremely distracting. Possibly a little chocolate comes through but all I can smell is that alcohol. Taste is of carmel, burnt chocolate and coffee, but again, the alcohol taste is hugely overpowering. Mouthfeel is creamy and a little oily and the drinkability is definitely low. Don't get fooled by the high rating, this is hardly in the top 20 stouts in my book, unless you happen to like the taste of alcohol overpowering everything. Unfinishable, never will buy again.

05-23-2006 02:07:38 | More by nickg902
Photo of timtheenchanta
timtheenchanta

South Carolina

2.38/5  rDev -43.7%

Good look. Completely pitch black with thin dark tan head. Slight retention with some thin lacing down the glass.

Sweet malt tries to squeeze through the alcohol but is unsuccessful. When I noticed this beer was 11.5, I was taken back but it really ruins the nose of this beer.

The taste is a tad bit maltier but once again completely spoiled by the alcohol. There are some dark fruits (raisins, plums) trying to poke through following and it finishes with a black coffee taste which is very dry after swallowing .

This brew is very thick. Bulky chewy feel.

Glad I could try this one but I'm not going to try it again without at least 18 months on it.

Many thanks go to CRJMellor for a chance to try this well regarded beer.

05-22-2006 02:31:58 | More by timtheenchanta
Photo of Scooter77
Scooter77

Ohio

2.38/5  rDev -43.7%

The first thing that came to my mind when I poured this one was…STP motor oil. Pours a thick, deep black color with no head what-so-ever and virtually no carbonation. Aromas of coffee, chocolate and molasses emerge from the glass. The initial taste seems to complement the aromas, but with a strong taste of alcohol that was extremely overpowering, almost medicinal. Maybe my taste buds haven’t progressed enough for this one. I just couldn’t see myself drinking this on a regular basis. By having such high ratings, I guess I just expected more out of this one.

03-18-2003 05:01:16 | More by Scooter77
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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,461 ratings.