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

Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,116 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4116
Reviews: 1856
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%


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: 4,116 | Reviews: 1,856 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours a dark, thick black with a cocoa colored layer of foam. Intensely roasty, and sharply so. Dry and bitter finish. There’s all sorts of dark roasty delicious things coming across in this brew—espresso and coffee and dark chocolate. Thick and lasting. I enjoyed taking this expedition, sip by sip.

Serving type: on-tap

12-29-2011 18:19:07 | More by elNopalero
Photo of minterro
minterro

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not much notes, drank at Crunchys

Very full bodied very sooth and velvety. Jet black colored beer not much head to it, just spots of lacing that fall quick.

Bready and smokey malts in the taste.

Nutty in the aftertaste, alcohol has a great presence.

Big time smokiness. Warming but not too hot at least it was well masked.

4, 4.5, 4, 4.5, 4.5

---

Bottle tasting 03/12/14

Bought on my trip to Michigan over winter break. Bottling date 07/26/13 so we are looking at about 7.5 months aging. Poured into a snifter.

A&S: initially the aroma is a strong charred smokiness and dark chocolate. The body looks on lighter side when poured. Very minimal latte colored head even when poured viciously. Black, but not pitch black colored beer.

T&M: Upfront I'm mostly getting chocolate. About midway through it starts getting smokey. Very smokey (almost ashtray like, a bit too much) in the finish. I getting a tad bit of nuttiness in the finish like a previously noted. Alcohol isn't hidden but not unpleasantly apparent. More warming than I expected at just above 10%. Body is medium, while carbonation is low.

Overall: Great brew. With my limited beer aging space, I don't think I will be aging this one again until I get some more space, but nevertheless a good beer to age for a bit. Surprisingly a kinda straight foreword brew. A little too smokey for me, but if you are into that taste this beer would be a good one to check out.

3.75, 4.25, 4, 4, 4.25

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2011 22:01:19 | More by minterro
Photo of quaybr
quaybr

Colorado

4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass. Had a huge mocha head that dissipated after several minutes of extreme patience! Color a dark brown, nearing black.

Smelled of roasted and chocolate malts, quiet bitter hops, and alcohol.

Taste is amazing. A ten degree warmup result in a completely different beer. So you should let that happen (50 degree range). Right after the pour, it tasted like a slightly roasted, hoppy, thick ale. As it warms up, however, the coffee and chocolate undertones get louder and louder in a wonderful way. So damn good.

Mouthfeel is thick and relatively smooth, not quite silky. Good level of carbonation.

Visiting Ohio for Christmas. I have spent that past few weeks hoping this beer would be accessible once I got back into the distribution area. Quarter Barrel in Oxford did me one better. This is a great beer. Well balanced and consistently delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2011 19:32:01 | More by quaybr
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

4.4/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 11/15/11
*From notes

-- Vintage 2010 --

A: Dark, brooding black. A generous pour yields a killer 2.25 finger cascading mocha head. The retention is top notch, as is the lacing which rims the glass.

S: Dried and candied dark fruits with just a touch of smoke.

T: Really a massive dose of char up front. Yeah, this is aging beautifully. Though it's rather roasty, there's still a solid hop kick on the mid, even after it's been in the cellar for a year. Black coffee runs from the mid to finish, and it lingers for some time.

M: Just over the top. It's silky, creamy and velvety. It feels like a penthouse suite in mouth.

O: Bell's Expedition Stout is easily one of my favorite non-BA RIS's. It's big, bold and brash, yet deceivingly elegant and easy to drink. This has aging potential unlike many others. Though a bit pricey, it's worth every cent you'll pay.

A hearty recommendation.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2011 00:46:07 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pint at Harrison's in Cary, NC on 12/13/11.

Black with decent lace until the head disappeared about 10% into the beer. Aroma is dark roast coffee, raisins, and a whiff of alcohol. Soft mouthfeel, possibly a bit too soft (on the flat side). Oily rich body. Flavor makes me think of rum-raisin ice cream with a fair amount of sweetness, dried fruit, and a noticeable alcohol presence. Finish has a healthy bitterness to it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2011 12:06:32 | More by LittleDon
Photo of blackcompg
blackcompg

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a 5oz glass as part of a 6 beer flight at Bell's Brewery...

Appearance - Poured a deep dark opaque brown/black color, thin brown head which left some nice lacing.

Smell - Molasses, dark fruits and dark chocolate, with faint vanilla and cream.

Taste - Starts semi-sweet coffee n cream with some carmel which quickly lends to burnt toffee, dark fruit peels and licorice, drying to a nice roasty finish. Alcohol is well hidden, and adds warmth between sips. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full mouthfeel, very substantial, heavy and mouthcoating, carb is somewhat low which gives a fuller mouthfeel but adds a nice crisp nuance to the drying finish.

Overall - Great depth and complexity here, wonderful balance, rich and silky smooth. Two thumbs way up, and a case in my trunk to bring home. Will age a least a 6xer of this.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2011 17:01:10 | More by blackcompg
Photo of climax
climax

Missouri

4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had it at the Flying saucer, early December. When the waitress brought the black beast down, and the head was incredible. The fluffiest pillow of dark tan would not sink until I started mucking it up. It notched with every sip, perfect start.

The aroma was as astringent and hoppy as it was sweet. Pure chocolate, coffee, and leafy hop flavors hit the nostrils relatively gently for the style.

Alcoholic phenols are definitely evident in the mouth especially as it warms. It's got commanding bitterness from extremely roasty burnt espresso flavors and intense hop additions. Fleeting dashes of sweet chocolate and caramel lighten things up briefly.

This is among the thickest, chewiest, densest body I have experienced. It's almost like melted marshmallows in the mouth. It finishes brutally dry which makes it easy to keep sipping, emphasis on sipping. Substitute it for a meal.

It's definitely kicks you in the taste buds fresh from the tap.
I would like to try one that has been aged for a while to see how it mellows out. That my make this one a little bit less hot to handle.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 17:16:47 | More by climax
Photo of tsauce2
tsauce2

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Tap pour in to Bells tulip glass

A: SRM is black/dark brown. Opaque. Head is deep tan, 1/2 in, dissipates to rim of glass. Medium carbonation. Heavy lacing.

S: Deep dark roasted malt and brewers licorice.

T: Follows smell. Deep roasted malts coat the palate, with brewers licorice noticeable but very well incorporated. Alcohol is noticable, but not overpowering. Aftertaste is deep roasted malt.

M: Full bodied. Heavy viscosity from heavy malt use and carbonation.

O: A classic RIS. Masterfully balanced; bold and complex yet very balanced. I do not like licorice, except for when Bells uses it in their beers.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2011 06:01:12 | More by tsauce2
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

32 oz. swing top growler.

Fabulous appearance. Deep, jet black with a thick, beige head that leaves a generous amount of lacing cascading down the sides of the snifter. Grandiose aroma of molasses, malt, charred roast, dark fruits. Dark fruits really emerge as the beer warms. Lots of charred, roasted malt as well. Full bodied, though not viscous or syrupy. A really solid beer, though there are several other imperial stouts I prefer to this.

Serving type: growler

11-12-2011 01:43:40 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Pintofbrown
Pintofbrown

Iowa

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- On-tap at the Sanctuary. The opaque dark brown body of the RIS family is here. There is at least two fingers of milk chocolate head. Yeah, it looks nice.

Smell- There is a really nice candied cherry and raisin sweetness on the nose. It also has that caramel malt hint that I'm sure will come off as "roasted" when I take a sip. This also brings to mind just general dark fruit sweetness. I'm not sure how the boozy aspect of this nose will come off in the drink, but it is appropriate for the style.

Taste- Great boozy bourbon Batman! Just a silly amount of booze in the drink, even more heat than Old Raspy. Thankfully it doesn't bury the molasses, cherry, raisin, and dark fruit that churns over the tongue. You have to wait until the finish, but boy, the roasted coffee comes on strong in the finish and lingers, along with the heat!

Mouth feel- This could be chewier, and I'm not sure I dig the carbonation or not. I mean, you could call it appropriate, and it certainly doesn't take away from the full body and pretty smooth finish. It's not as dry as such a boozy RIS usually is.

Overall- I dropped an F bomb in my notes to describe how much I thought of the "awesomeness" of this stout. So yeah, I guess I really liked it. Just age the crap out of this thing and I have no doubt it could rival the whales at the top of the RIS list. A must try stout, from a must have brewery.

Edit 11/25/2013: Had 2010 vintage bottle. Notes: Nose not nearly as boozy and dark fruits take center stage: fig, some black cherries, brown sugar as well. The palate has much more dark chocolate now that rides forever and ever, long after the swallow, still getting the fig and dark cherry flavors, only much stronger. Again, the booze has backed off considerably. Mouth feel is all liquid velvet, rich. Amazing with three years of age, and honestly, could be laid down for another three years. Wow. Score Edit: A-4.5 S-5 T-4.75 MF- 4.5 O-4.75

Serving type: on-tap

10-30-2011 17:16:06 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of mocktm
mocktm

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer #2 at World of Beer in Fort Myers, FL - 9/28/2011

Into a snifter, this appears thick and impenetrably black, used motor oil with a large cap of espresso colored head that quickly fades away with some light lacing.

Nose is dark roasted malts galore: dark chocolate, heavy coffee, and licorice with some earthiness in there as well. Abundance of sweetness with some underlying booze presence.

This is like drinking a spiked coffee chocolate milkshake, but I mean that in a good way. Malty and rich all the way with some woody/herbal undertones, this finishes with a mild alcohol burn in the back of the throat, evidence of its 10.5% ABV.

Monumentally thick and viscous, chewy and complex, this is a mother-load of a stout. Although most would consider this a sipper, its surprisingly smooth and slick, and thus quite easy to drink.

Some stouts get talked up a lot, and thus leave some others behind, but for my money, this is a phenomenal effin' beer that is as good, if not better than most of those aboard the hype train. Throw in that it's still available in six packs for a reasonable price, plus ages incredibly well - I just have to ask you, how can you go wrong?

Serving type: on-tap

09-30-2011 01:05:33 | More by mocktm
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've reviewed this before from the bottle, but I was interested to see how this beer was on cask. To be honest, I was a little dubious about a beer this big, and with these flavors being able to make the transition nicely, but I was certainly wrong- it was very good indeed. I had this at the Atlanta Cask Ale Festival, and we're not talking a skimpy pour, but a good 1/2 nonic at least. Poured black, and quite bubbly, with good carbonation and quite a decent head, even with no sparkler and gravity poured. Nice aromas of espresso and licorice. Oh my, this tastes good! Beautiful and well integrated notes of espresso, licorice, chocolate, and roasted grains with a firm creaminess underpinning these flavors. The cask lends this beer a wonderful silkiness that puts it over the top. Very nice indeed!

Serving type: cask

08-21-2011 03:31:41 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of Onenote81
Onenote81

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Was in GSO for an exam yesterday and decided to stop by the Old Town Draught House for a pint to celebrate. Lo and behold, they had this on tap! Um...yes, please.

I received a full-to-the-brim pint. Just a thin dark tan sheet of lace coated the top. After each sip, a gorgeous ring stuck to the glass edge. The nose was deep and dark. Lot's of roasted malts, ground coffee, chocolate, and wisps of booze.

The mouth was hefty, chewy and just downright splendid. Palate-coating all the way. I dig it. The roasted aspects of the nose carry over to the flavor big time. This beer tastes charred, toasted, burnt -- whatever adjective you want to use. To the point that the sweet chocolate balance and the booze quality is drowned out completely. I hear all the time that this beer is at its best after a few years in a dark cellar, and after this fresh version, I think 'they' might be on to something.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2011 18:00:47 | More by Onenote81
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really big black ale.

Great big stout, a little touch of brown-amber in the glass. Huge malt. Very strong, alcohol flavors, like a brandy. Spicy and full of the spectrum of roasted malt. Butterscotch and cocoa. Nice nose full of burnt cereal and chocolate. Long burning aftertaste with coffee flavors.

Had a glass at Barley's in Greenville, SC.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2011 04:45:55 | More by mactrail
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

3.2/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Black beer that browns on the edges with a couple fingers of mocha-colored head.

S - Sweet, and slightly hot, typical RIS with chocolate and coffee notes, bit of roasted malt, caramel, and molasses.

T - Sweet, molasses and chocolate are definitely there, and it drinks a little bit boozy as well. Some roast, but it is a bit heavy on the molasses and taste a little burnt as well. It's okay, but nothing special.

M - Slightly overcarbed, but full bodied.

O - It's not a bad beer, but I've had a lot better and wouldn't really seek this out.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2011 05:10:07 | More by AgentZero
Photo of vette2006c5r
vette2006c5r

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a dark black color, with a creamybrown head. The smell is very malty. The taste is massivly heavy, lots of choclate and coffeflavors, an intense malt flavor. The flavor is going to linger and the alchool blends nicley. Overall may very well be the best stout i ever had, fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2011 23:35:11 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of dciBA
dciBA

Maine

4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a non BA buddy for sending me a growler of this.

Pours jet black through and through. No light penetrates this brew anywhere, awesome. Some foamy brown head forms and lingers on the edge of the glass for a while. Quite a bit of soapy tan head.

Smell is wafting up out of my snifter. Feel like I can smell it from 3 feet away. My DFH snifter really seems to bring out aroma very well and this beer is no exception. Lots of chocolate, both milk and dark with some coffee roastiness underneath. This aroma is perfectly suited for my tastes, eerr nose.

Flavor is quite similar to aroma. The chocolate in the nose is toned down in the taste and really blends with the other flavors. The flavor isn't terribly complex, keeping the score down there, but this is a very enjoyable stout. The chocolate comes in initially, followed by the coffee, which has taken on more of a roasted barley flavor, then some bitter hops on the back of the tongue.

Mouthfeel is very thick and viscous. Tons of body and quite slick in the mouth without being overly sweet on the finish. Perfect mouthfeel for style. Flavor lingers forever on the palate making this a perfect sipping beer on a cold winter day. This brew is fairly warm as it goes down which is not surprising considering the 10.5% ABV. Drinkability is good for style, not great. Overall a very well done RIS. I'd rate it almost perfect if it wasn't for the lack of complexity in the flavor. Very glad I got a chance to try this one.

Serving type: growler

03-06-2011 20:40:19 | More by dciBA
Photo of ffejherb
ffejherb

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On nitro-tap at Al's of Hampden on 2/17/11.

A - Poured a slick, black and oily liquid with almost a finger of dense tan foam on top that receded to a patchy film byt deposited ornate doily-like lace all around the glass.

S - Wonderful melange of molasses, chocolate, coffee, licorice, earthy hops, leather and sweet tobacco. Aroma is deep and complex.

S - Initial taste is intensely bitter and complex with rich chocolate notes, a subtle coffee presence and hints of tobacco and leather. Herbal, earthy hop notes mingle with bittersweet molasses in the backend until the expedition concludes with a bold roasted malt character and assertive bitterness in the finish.

M - Luxurious mouthfeel with a silky, smooth yet chewy texture and moderate alcohol tang. Plenty of bitterness on the palate, although the nitro pour really softens it up magnificantly.

D - Some stouts just aren't as good on nitro... and this ain't one of 'em! One of my favorite RISs just got even better! Delicious!

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-23-2011 19:03:08 | More by ffejherb
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
DoubleSimcoe

New York

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Expedition Stout on tap at ChurchKey in Washington, DC.

Appearance: Served in a small brandy snifter, comes with a toasty foamy head like a macchiato coffee in a piazza in Rome. Almost two fingers of head, brown and thick. Remarkable lacing.

Smell: Smells like men cologne, intense but dry. Also like a barn, pigs gamboling in their muddy, hay-covered pens. Horse poop, very earthy. A bit of bourbon-y booze at the end. Wet grass, rain.

Taste: Mud, coffee, roastiness. Some hard-to-pin flavors, uncommon for an Imperial stout. Sugar, chocolate shake, expensive chocolates. Espresso beans, smoke. A tad of vanilla. Good, but strange.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, full body, finishes dry and roasty and bitter. Smooth and creamy feel.

Drinkability: Pleasant to drink, alcohol is not too evident, although it creeps up on you sooner than later.

A nice, unique (for good and bad) Imperial Stout. Not my favorite, but very good nonetheless.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2011 19:13:49 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a nonic pint.

A - Pours dark as can be with a thick, pillowy, one finger head, dissipating down to a thick film of head, leaving thick rings of lacing down the glass.

S - Rich, chocolatey, nose with a bit of lightly roasted dark malt. Chocolate is quite bitter but not to the point of being overpowering. A bit on the sweeter side compared to others in the style. More and more roast comes thru as it begins to warm.

T - Lots of dark, roasty, flavors in this one. Plenty of bitter chocolate up front giving way slowly to a mix of sweetness and rich roasty malt. Finish is very roasty that lingers long after consumption. Alcohol is ever present, unable to hide in the shadows for long, offering a warming sensation on finish. Not the best I have had but still very nice.

M - Heavy body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Fairly creamy feel with a very nice balance of flavors.

D - Fairly high. I really like this one a lot but it can become overpowering after the first glass. I could have one or two of these but that would be about all.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2011 21:50:53 | More by orangesol
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark brown, opaque with less than a finger of dark brown head which dissipates quickly.

S: Smells most clearly of chocolate initially, more coffee comes through as it warms.

T: Chocolate and coffee stand out in taste; both are balanced well. A bit of a caramel flavor, and easily noticeable bitterness from hops; pleasant bittersweet finish. Only complaint is that it may be a bit too sweet for my tastes.

M: Soft carbonation; thick, oily body.

D: Moderately drinkable; the sweetness begins to overwhelm me near the end of the glass. Though I enjoyed it, it was best early on and I don't think I would have a second immediately.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2010 02:55:52 | More by AwYeh
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Eulogy, Philly, PA

A: Dark brown and opaque, with a healthy head. Served in a tulip glass.

S: Roasty and chocolaty, some subtle spicy notes.

T: Smooth and chocolaty, some coffee, wonderful malts, moderate alcohol.

M: VERY smooth, creamy, thick body, minimal carbonation.

D: Highly drinkable, and good to the very last drop.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2010 18:41:49 | More by Rifugium
Photo of CBlack85
CBlack85

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Duckworths in Charlotte. Served in a small chalice

The beer pours black as midnight, with no highlights at all. There is about one and a half fingers worth of dense dark tan head that slowly recedes leaving behind spotty lacing.

The aroma is big and roasty with lots of chocolate and coffee, and to a lesser degree dark fruits and even a bit of citrusy hops. The alcohol is present in the nose, but not as much as you would think at 10.5% ABV.

The flavor is much bigger than the aroma would lead you to believe. Loaded with caramel and chocolate, and accented by roasty grains and coffee, this beer screams desert. The dark fruitiness is just barely noticable. The hops are noticable, but not enough to get in the way of the sweet, desert like qualities of the beer. Full bodied and creamy with a very restrained carbonation. Finishes sweet with just a slight alcohol burn. Remarkably drinkable for the style and ABV.

Just an amazing beer, I will definately be picking some up to cellar, I am interested to see how this beer tastes with a couple of years on it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 22:00:49 | More by CBlack85
Photo of hooliganlife
hooliganlife

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap @ itap soulard

poured into a snifter

pour was deep black chocolate with a deep cocoa colored head that filled the snifter. tons of lacing left behind, nice retention

lots of rich chocolate, dark fruit, light coffee, and a light roasted flavor.

lots of roasted coffee and malt with a very rich sweet chocolate flavor that held through out the middle. a nice mix of sweet dark fruit beneath the roasted flavor. a defining citrus hop flavor through out and in the finish. mostly grapefruit and orange.

a bit harsh but smooth also. carbonation had some bite. very little noticeable heat.

this was delicious. as far as fresh, its far better on tap. bottles need age, tap does not.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2010 01:55:57 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of Chaney
Chaney

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew was a tough one to review, because I consider it one of the "I just saw the light" beers that turned me onto craft beers years ago. I still remember where I was the first time I tried this brew.

I had this on tap (and on tap for the first time!) at the new Pizza Paradiso in Old Town Alexandria.

A: Poured the blackest black of any black you will ever see! The almost two finger head (yikes!) was roughly the same color as black coffee, with about a tablespoon of milk. I didn't have any night vision goggles handy, so I couldn't see if there were any bubbles lurking or not.

S: Bitter, dark chocolate, roasted (almost charred) barley, and a hint of licorice.

T: Did I mention bitter chocolate? Jeez, this was one bitter mutha! As a matter of fact, this brew needed more sweetness to help balance some of that "pure grain coffee ground" quality that I found a bit offensive. Still, the thick body on this sucker should be studied by every novice craft brewer on the planet.

M: Thick, but not syrupy. The lacing was fairly subdued, considering the brew's octane level. The carbonation was good here, and I didn't find the booze offensive in the slightest (although others on BA definetely have).

D: It really pains me to no end to state this, but I feel there are at least five other Imperial Stouts in the immediate area that blow this out of the water. Still, I totally respect this beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2010 03:50:45 | More by Chaney
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,116 ratings.