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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.

5,368 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,368
Reviews: 1,996
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.61%
Wants: 447
Gots: 1,330 | FT: 99
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: 5,368 | Reviews: 1,996
Photo of Redglimmer
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of LCB_Hostage
3/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Came across this on the beer menu at a restaurant last night and was excited to give it a try. Bell's distribution around us is spotty at best, but I did see a couple Six-packs of this in a bottle shop recently and almost picked one up. The $20 price tag was a bit high for the moment, though so I held off. Now very glad that I did.

Served on tap into a tulip

A: Deep, dark black. Little to no head by the time it arrived at the table. No lacing to speak of.

S: Less than I would have expected. Alcohol was very present as was roasted grains and some sweet fruit. A bit of chocolate lingered, too.

T: Again, not quite what I was anticipating. Almost cloyingly sweet and relatively smooth upfront with some alcohol warming on the way down, but not that much given the 10%+ ABV. I guess I'd say this was very well balanced, because no individual flavor stood out (unless you consider sugary sweetness a flavor). It did leave a trace of rather unpleasant bitterness on the back of the tongue -- not in a hoppy way, but more in a "something burnt" way.

M: The only word I could think of as I was drinking this was "oily." I expected a syrupy character from a RIS, but this just coated everything and wouldn't come off.

O: I guess I'm just not in Bell's target audience. This is the second highly acclaimed Bell's beer (the other being 2-hearted) that seem seriously over-hyped to me. This wasn't a bad beer by any circumstances, but neither was it something that lived up to its reputation or pricetag. I know that "balance" is supposed to be a sign of superior brewing skill, but to me, if NOTHING stands out about a beer, it's balanced to the point of being boring. And I would have to say that for me, Expedition Stout was an $8 glass of Meh. Oh well, different brews for different crews.

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of joepais
3/5  rDev -29.2%
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

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

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3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of quasimoto
3/5  rDev -29.2%
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.

Photo of GinsuDave
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of mrjmann
3/5  rDev -29.2%

Photo of jeonseh
3.01/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

From this years batch of Expedition and poured into my brandy snifter

A - Deep and dark black with a reflective sheen to it. There are no traces of carbonation or anything moving within this brew. On top sits about 1/2 a thumb of a creamy, lighty carbonated head that seems to be composed of a bunch of little bubbles settling on top of one another.

S - smells like a mixture of things that seem to come at me at different times. At first impression, I thought it smelled mostly like chocolate malt and then after awhile, there also were hints of cherry coming up through the nose. Additionally, there seemed to be a bit of a deep, dark coffee roastiness as well. Nose is actually a bit muted on this one as the scent is there but just barely and not really overpowering at all.

T - initially, have to say this was a lot sweeter than I expected. The beer seems to come in and swirl caramel and toffee flavors in over your mouth as it reminded me a lot of sucking on a caramel. There is also a slight hoppiness that is mixed in and also a bit of a tartness that seems to go alongside the cherry flavors a bit and comes in between the sweeter flavors that come first and the darker roastier flavors. After these fade away, the impression is the taste of bitter coffee coming in as well that appears to counteract the sweeter flavors and prepares you for the warming alcohol feeling that this beer leaves you with. After drinking more and more of this, it seems that some of the sweeter flavors have faded and instead there seems to be an earthy, raw hops flavor that has come to dominate the beer and in away is a bit overpowering and unbalanced as it is the only real flavor tasted and destroys some of the sweeter notes that initally went so well with this brew. Moreover the longer I drink it and the warmer it gets, the more out of balance this beer seems to be as the greener, earthy hops seem to really dominate this brew and be the only thing I can taste.

MF - has a decent body which comes right in the middle of being too thick and thin but instead is just right. Also has a decent amount of carbonation for an RIS and this carbonation really seems to pop out when you first sip this beer as it was one of the first things I noticed. It seems to be what ushers in the sweeter caramel flavors that come to the tongue. There is also a slight tingly and bitter feeling left in the mouth after drinking this one that makes me have a desire to munch on something while drinking it.

D - overall a decent stout but just think that the raw hoppiness of it makes it a bit too out of balance to really appreciate its finer points. After awhile it seems to be all you can taste. have to say this is also a nice beer to drink on a cold winter's night for the simple fact that the alcohol in it really does warm up your whole body and yet it does not stand out in the flavor such that this beer is undrinkable or overly boozy. Would like to try one after it has aged some to see if the raw hoppiness fades away some and makes this even creamier and smoother.

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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 5,368 ratings.