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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 Gushue3
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to DoctorB2B for hookin me up

A- very dark black and sits completely black in my glass. Nice brown mocha head that has smaller retention with smaller lacing.

S- dark fruits, malt, alcohol, and some smoke. Really nice amd complex scents.

T- sweet alcohol heat and dark fruits dominate with a generous ammount of smoke. Same as the nose.

M- silky smooth with medium carbonation

O- very nice stout with complex scents and flavors

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.16/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2007 Version

Poured from a 12oz bottle, Pitch Black with ¼ inch dark tan/light brown head. Smell of carmel/toffee malts, coffee with hops in the background. Totally black with no light able to show thru. Heavy, heavy lacing. Strong coffee taste of espresso along with a lot of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy.

Not my favorite of this style. The hop bitterness does not balance well with the rich malts and coffee. It's a clash, like an unhappy marriage. Why can't they get along? This beer is also not as complex as others in this style.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours a deep, dark, inky black. Virtually opaque, but showing some faint deep brown highlights around the edges. A dark cocoa-tinged head rises to a finger in height before falling away slowly to a thick crown, leaving behind some thin traces of lace on the walls of the glass.

The nose shows a nice mix of plum, prune, fig, and sweet dark cherry, with notes of espresso and dark cocoa. As it warms, alcohol becomes rather prevalent, nearly overpowering everything else.

Smooth and rich in mouthfeel with a full body and mild carbonation. Lots of decadent dark chocolate shows up front, nice and velvety, with some espresso coming in next. Things move into a middle that combines dark roasted malt and coffee notes with a large hit of hop bitterness, all of which carries over into the finish, leaving a lingering dryness with a bit of bittersweet cocoa powder lingering on the back of the tongue. Alcohol becomes somewhat noticeable as the temperature rises, but is nowhere near so dominating as in the nose.

Drinkability here is hindered for some obvious reasons, mainly the powerful flavors and the high dosage of alcohol. This makes one heck of a warmer, though, and would make a perfect companion on a cold winter's expedition through the mountains or down the street to the nearest pub.

Photo of WakeandBake
4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ultra black color pour with a thin tan head that falls to a thin rim and hangs out till the end.Aroma of coffee,chocolate,caramel,dark roasted malt and some anise just to name a few that I could pick out.Flavor is DARK roast coffee,chocolate,some dark fruit like rasins and plums,and bitter hops. Very thick ,full body you can chew this stuff. A thing of beauty !

Photo of Punisher
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of ToddBeans
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Khazadum
4.24/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The last of my blind beer series. Thank you so much Prufrock... you've been the best! This was the icing on the cake. Twelve ounce bottle poured into a brandy snifter for immediate enjoyment.

What a fighter! I poured 3/4 of it into the glass like I normally do and NO carbonation appeared. Literally it was a placid lake of ebony swirling about in its vesicle. I had to swirl the contents of the bottle and viciously splash it down into the center to create a chaos of head. Unfortunately the color of raw, fresh clay bubbles disappeared to a speckle of itself ( is it raw umber? Is that the color I've heard before? ).

The carbonation is non-existent, but that is not to say there isn't a skin of promise. . There are no bubbles to be found. The liquid itself is black like many I've had this week. I may sound like a broken record but it is motor oil again. It is darkness.. midnight in the cornfields with storm clouds blocking out anything that could even be remotely mistaken as illumination.

Sweet momma. Oh my goodness with whip cream on top. Do I dare say I detect the overwhelming deliciousness that is bourbon? I can't help myself but keep taking deep breaths over and over again. There also is the faintness of raisins and bitter chocolate ( of course, that means a dark chocolate ;) ).

Layered gently behind all of these scrumptious aromas is the tell tale signs of alcohol. This medicinal spear is wrapped with comforting flavors. I always think of ethanol as an awful smell... something to be abhorred and hidden deep within the dank confines of your brew. It is this beer that helps me realize once again how it can be properly used.

Flavor Profile
I hope I do it honor with my description. The very moments it hits my taste buds I find myself remarkable confused. It is quickly salty while being sweet at the same time. I find myself thinking of childhood candies and random Chinese restaurants performing the same feats. It is by all means welcome from me. That sugary nature reminds me deeply of bourbon barrel aged beers to a T. It is almost like a freshly barrel aged ( <12 month aging ) bourbon stout. The strong sweetness hides many flavors that further sipping slowly unravel.

There is a smokiness that hits milliseconds after the sweetness arrives but lingers momentarily. It can't hold its composition into the finish and finds itself dwindling away as the coolness dissipates from the tip of my tongue. That same smokiness is playing buddy system with the alcohol trident. I can feel it limping along causing pin pricks of recognition as it too flutters away into my gullet.

All of this was beheld upon quick cursory sips and dissection. If I take things further, swish it around my mouth and allow it to linger and roam as it pleases I am slapped with milk chocolate. It isn't just bitter chocolate, but creamy and smooth melted Hershey's. Whats that you say? You want the bitterness that is possible with some chocolate? Look no further! The finish of this beer screams prickly dark chocolate tree( I wish such a thing existed...). I rub the roof of my mouth with my tongue and lap up any residual flavors I can find. Shockingly, it is a raisin, chocolate amalgam of yum. Tasty!

I had to steal this last bit... my tasting partner has put it perfectly. This beer is the trail mix of beers. Salty, sweet, nutty, and above all unique.

Oral Sensations
This creamy beer harbors absolutely little in the world of carbonation. However, it reminds me of chocolate milk shakes without the thickness. It has that smooth nature with big flavors constantly erupting. It never had any lacing to really speak of and this still shocks me. It lingers long after on all my oral surfaces to an extreme point. This beer is the thickest of the six beers to date, and yet I still consider it liquid feathers. I find myself desiring some carbonation here, but that is the only fault I can find.

I'm steaming... the alcohol in this beverage is a skyscraper compared to yesterdays. I got a quarter of the way through it, and my extremities were feeling a bit damp with sweat. I truly enjoy a monster of a beer like the next person, but I'm beginning to think that this may be a problem. Great flavors, amazing body, and top notch nose are only as good as long as they all last.

As soon as that carbonation is mostly gone, all three of these aspects begin to falter and fall down upon one another. Thank goodness I had only a quarter of the beer left ( too much time writing, not enough drinking! ), but I noticed that the alcohol becomes the dominant player above anything else in both flavor and nose. There needs to be more carbonation in this beverage to prolong its life. If I had just gulped down the last bit I would have been more impressed than I am right now. Don't get me wrong, still impressed, but the amazement is beginning to dwindle.

I would drink this beer again in a heartbeat ( and only one for an evening ).

Photo of DantheMan75
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of loren01
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a syrupy dark black color. Not really much head at all. No lacing down the glass.
S: Smells sweet, good roasted malty scent also smell slightly of coffee
T: Tastes very sweet up front, good hop bitterness toward the end. Also slight smokey, coffee flavor
M: Heavy bodied, thick and syrupy, goes down smooth though
D: Awesome beer, I wish I had more of this one. Would taste very good on a cold winter day, very warming beer.

Photo of jman005
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of WuBByG999
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of PhineasGage
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of beeragent
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a thick motor oil black, forming a good 1 inch mocha head. Thick rings of lace stick to the glass and dont move.

S - The aroma is all roasted malts on this one. Maybe a hint of bitter cocoa, but mainly the roasted malts. No alcohol is present on the nose.

T - Thick and smooth roasted malts coat the palate. A light coffee cocoa flavor then dominates the finish, with a hint of raisins. Not as complex as other RIS's but still very tasty. The taste still coats the mouth long after the swallow. Again, the alcohol is very well hidden.

M - Heavy bodied with a smooth and thick mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

D - Great flavor in this beer. I think its the appearance and mouthfeel that really make this beer stand out from the rest. Good thick taste just like an RIS should be along with the heavy body. Thick rings of lace cling to the glass the entire time. Overall just a great looking and tasting RIS!!

Photo of LittleDon
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Photo of GregSVT
3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a snifter...extra from a recent trade. Thanks Edgar!

A: Pours pitch black like motor oil with a big dark brown head that fades relatively quickly and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is very different from most RIS I've smelled. I can't quite place the aroma but it's very good. After some warming I can smell loads of sweet malt.

T: The taste is very unique as well. A sharp hop bite that is quickly overwhelmed by dark fruits, licorice, slight roasted malt, very sweet malts, and a boozy alcohol flavor. The alcohol isn't that bad and doesn't really detract from the enjoyment but the large amount of sweetness does.

M: Relatively thick and creamy. Good carbonation and slick.

D: Pretty good and unique from most other RIS I've tasted over the past year or 2. I'd buy a 4pack if it was available in my area. The sweetness and ABV would make it tough to drink more than one though.

Worth a try if you can get some and you like malt bombs.

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of brentblack1
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Davit
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of EnthusedAboutBeer
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of superdoopersauce
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Travisnin
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of jpd026
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of RayUF07
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

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