1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

4,399 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,399
Reviews: 1,872
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 374
Gots: 940 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,399 | Reviews: 1,872 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of radioscooter
radioscooter

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -29.1%

11-17-2011 05:02:49 | More by radioscooter
Photo of joepais
joepais

Maine

3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for this one too

Bottle poured into a sniffer produced fingers worth of coco colored head that turned quickly to a skin coat of lace .it sat on top of a jet black body

Aromas of vinous fruit, fist time I really can say that but pretty mild aromas after that some toasted malts

Flavors here roasted malts and chocolate some raisins with a heavy bitter finish

Thick and creamy finishes with oily coating on the tongue

I don't know I think I had this bottle to early will have to revisit this one was bottled Nov 07 I've being drinking a lot of stouts lately and this is not one of the tops but not on the bottom either

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 21:20:24 | More by joepais
Photo of Combo
Combo

Michigan

3/5  rDev -29.1%

06-26-2013 15:15:42 | More by Combo
Photo of GoldenChild
GoldenChild

Michigan

3/5  rDev -29.1%

11-16-2011 17:27:45 | More by GoldenChild
Photo of ChrisKayler
ChrisKayler

Virginia

3/5  rDev -29.1%

01-13-2013 21:13:23 | More by ChrisKayler
Photo of tzolandz
tzolandz

Virginia

3/5  rDev -29.1%

01-10-2013 13:57:11 | More by tzolandz
Photo of MIchael_D_Larkin
MIchael_D_Larkin

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -29.1%

07-26-2014 16:16:50 | More by MIchael_D_Larkin
Photo of kevinthedriven
kevinthedriven

Illinois

3/5  rDev -29.1%

03-26-2013 03:22:03 | More by kevinthedriven
Photo of bcostner1
bcostner1

Tennessee

3/5  rDev -29.1%

03-25-2013 23:29:08 | More by bcostner1
Photo of hikeeba
hikeeba

Rhode Island

3/5  rDev -29.1%

02-02-2014 00:00:45 | More by hikeeba
Photo of ChocolateJesus
ChocolateJesus

Indiana

3/5  rDev -29.1%

02-19-2012 17:24:33 | More by ChocolateJesus
Photo of deapokid
deapokid

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -29.1%

11-25-2011 14:57:06 | More by deapokid
Photo of quasimoto
quasimoto

Ohio

3/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I lucked out, this one isnt oxidized, unlike the the Brothers had.

A - Dark opaque black and way syrupy. there is barely any head. But what there is it is dark tan. Not the greatest thing I'd like to see, but who cares.

S - Dark malts. Chocolate, some molasses, some smoke. It's pretty good but not really strong.

T - Threre is some gummy paper and some alcohol. These are encompassed by the afforementioned flavors of chocolate, coffee, molasses, and I guess there is cardboard in there. The after taste reminds me of cigarette butts.

M - Thick, and chewy. there is no carbination to speak of and there is some bitterness at the end.

D - It is a little heavy , not a session beer. If it wasnt for the aftertaste of the cigarettes it would be ok.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2006 01:34:29 | More by quasimoto
Photo of GinsuDave
GinsuDave

Michigan

3/5  rDev -29.1%

05-15-2013 02:13:03 | More by GinsuDave
Photo of mrjmann
mrjmann

Indiana

3/5  rDev -29.1%

03-12-2014 03:26:20 | More by mrjmann
Photo of nmyers
nmyers

Michigan

3.03/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured black with a very thin dark brown head on it with little retention and it looked really thick. It seemed to ooze out of the tap. The smell was good molasses, raisins and dates very sweet smelling. The smell was much better than the taste, it was slightly sweet in the beginning and finished very bitter. There was not much alcohol flavor for being 10.5%. It also had very little carbonation. Over it was ok because I am a fan of stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2008 19:20:12 | More by nmyers
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Black in color, viscous and oily. An inch of dark brown head rises and falls over the course of a few minutes.

Smell - Sweet and roasty with a hint of alcohol. Molasses and dark chocolate are very pronounced, with undertones of licorice and vanilla.

Taste - Bold and bitter. Moderate sweetness; flavors of molasses and dark chocolate are met with an almost burnt bitterness. The finish is long and coating, leaving a bittersweet aftertaste. Well crafted, but too intense, acrid and sweet. If that's your thing, you'll probably love this.

Mouthfeel - Incredibly rich and creamy; easily one of the most full-bodied brews I've had. Medium to low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2008 22:56:32 | More by largadeer
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a stygian black - no light could escape the gravitational pull of this beer black-hole. A tannish head quickly fizzed about, and then departed, thereafter the beer seemed quite lightly carbonated. Aroma was sweet and creamy, boasting of highly roasted malts. Dark roasted malt flavors packed the liquid, like strong brewed coffee, without the coffee flavor. Mouthfeel was rather disconcertingly thin, which seemed out of place against the onslaught of roasted malt. Hops in the finish vied with a rather harsh alcohol flavor for control of the finishing note, with the alcohol winning out after a hard-fought battle. Overall, the flavor profile seemed out of whack for the style - a great deal of effort had gone into crafting the beer, but the final product is one which failed to win me over.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2003 07:30:32 | More by Brent
Photo of tgbljb
tgbljb

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a very deep broen color witn minute tannish coating.
Smell is very significant for alcohol, with some bittersweet chcolate in the background.
Taste is too sweet and syrupy. The alcohol is definitely present, with an almost syrupy sweetness. There are some hops present but they are too astringent.
Left a not pleasant taste in the mouth.
Just drinkable at best. Not worth the money.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 00:42:20 | More by tgbljb
Photo of GJ40
GJ40

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle in a pint glass.

A - A deep, dark black beer with no light able to fight through it. A thick, creamy tan head.

S - Strong roasted aroma with chocolate and coffee notes.

T - Sweet, malty and syrupy. This one really caught me by surprise. I guess I've been focusing on hops and IPAs too much these days. I just couldn't enjoy this but I attribute that more to the style than the beer.

M - Very thick and chewy. A bit like cough syrup. Good moderate carbonation with lots of tiny bubbles.

D - I found this way too rich and malty to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 10:22:22 | More by GJ40
Photo of walkinginplace
walkinginplace

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.75

Being a fan of Bell's Brewery and having read all the hype on Beer Advocate for Bell's Expedition Stout I expected to really enjoy this one but I can't say that I did.

A: Thick and as dark as I have seen, strong head, seriously pitch black though

S: Strong coffee and dark chocolate smell, pretty much what you would expect

T: Syrupy would be the first word I would use. This tasted very thick like chocolate syrup (more so than I would have liked or expected). Heavy dark chocolate taste but not as heavy on the coffee taste as one might think. Not terrible but definitely not as good as I had expected.

F: Creamy and syrupy would sum this up nicely. Thick to say the least.

Overall: Not a fan. Taste was OK and the smell was excellent but the mouthfeel is simply too thick to enjoy much. My least favorite Bell's brew thus far.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2013 20:52:39 | More by walkinginplace
Photo of DuqTroops
DuqTroops

Texas

3.05/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance - very very dark in color with a tannish head atop the body.

Smell - lots of great aromas from this. chocolate / coffee

Taste - overwhelming taste of alcohol. too much for this lightweight. the smell is a lot better than the taste.

Mouthfeel - too much alcohol in the taste and could not handle this.

Drinkability - i couldn't handle one beer, let alone two.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2006 19:18:03 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

3.08/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours black, hard pour gave it a nice 2 inch head. Smells of malt and alcohol. This seems like it's going to be hot. And it is. Tastes of a bit of malt, but it is an alcohol bomb. I want more depth! Very creamy mouthfeel, but the insane amount of alcohol on the tongue diminishes how creamy it really is. Overall....eh. Average at best.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2011 17:11:40 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of dstc
dstc

Florida

3.08/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark like a stout with a brown head. Not much head though, a little flat. Does leave thin lace behind. Strong roasted malt smell and a bit metallically. Nice strong flavor with bitter aftertaste. Good, but nothing special. Somewhat thick, low carbonation mouthfeel. Average stout. I was dying to try this after seeing some reviews and had a friend bring me a six pack from Michigan since I couldn't find it here in Florida. Was also excited when I poured the first glass (I love seeing a brown head, not white, on a stout) but was disappointed in the taste. Again, it's not bad, just average.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2007 17:54:56 | More by dstc
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.08/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It's my birthday! Best before date 10/02/17. 10.50% ABV confirmed. 355ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Blegium goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof given this beer's reputation. Acquired for $7.99 at a local beer store.

Served straight from the refrigerator but allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

As I poured, I noticed it wasn't generating a head, so I really amped up the vigor.

A: Pours a quarter finger beautiful rich tan colour head of decent cream, good thickness, and awful retention - which is fairly excusable given the ABV, but I've seen other beers handle more than this without issue. Colour is a solid black. Not quite jet black, but dark as hell. Nontransparent and opaque, as it should be. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Coffee, chocolate, dark malts, cream, chocolate malt, caramel, roast, a bit of alcohol, and even a hint of toffee. Well balanced but not clearly focused. I'm getting excited for it. A mild strength aroma. Doesn't beat you over the head like many beers in the style.

T: Coffee, roast, intriguing chocolate, espresso, background floral hops, cacao, malty sweetness, hints of smoke, caramel, raisin, and a bit of dark fruit (maybe plum). Malty sweetness increases as it warms. No note seems particularly dominant, which is actually sort of a problem here. Without focus, it becomes messier. That's not to say it's imbalanced; the balance is only slightly off in that the flavours are too sweet. I imagine this would fade with time. I get molasses and licorice when I look for them. The flavour doesn't blow me away like I expected. It's actually somewhat disappointing. I don't get any yeast, but a bit of alcohol on the finish. There's a medicinal chocolate-covered raspberry note buried in the finish as well. It's certainly got body. I get more and more licorice as it warms. I despise licorice. Also, more raisin comes through along with the dark fruit - the best aspect of this beer. It's like the bastard child of a quad and an imperial stout, but far less enjoyable than that sounds.

The booze really warms the stomach - a bit too much.

Mf: Far too sticky for the style. Also chewy like licorice. Too smooth and wet. Outright wrong for the style; it should be coarse, dry and creamy. I'm unimpressed. This needs some work. It does have *some* dryness from the roast, but nowhere near enough. Undercarbonated.

Dr: Drinkable for the high ABV, but underwhelming within the style. I like the experimentation, but there are far better imperial stouts at this price point. I honestly wouldn't get this again unless it was aged or on draught. They need to tone down the sweetness and fix the mouthfeel. It does hide its ABV well in the taste, but not so much in terms of heat. I look forward to trying more Bell's, but this was a huge disappointment.

C+

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 02:28:15 | More by kojevergas
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,399 ratings.