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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.

4,389 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,389
Reviews: 1,871
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 373
Gots: 936 | FT: 76
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: 4,389 | Reviews: 1,871 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of poppyjohn


4/5  rDev -5.4%

01-21-2012 22:40:58 | More by poppyjohn
Photo of Matthew607


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

03-08-2014 04:31:46 | More by Matthew607
Photo of AKuehn47


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

07-31-2013 17:37:39 | More by AKuehn47
Photo of mythaeus


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

02-26-2014 15:53:21 | More by mythaeus
Photo of griffeyb


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

03-31-2013 16:31:27 | More by griffeyb
Photo of BeersAndBears


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

01-15-2013 01:48:12 | More by BeersAndBears
Photo of jburd19


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

10-30-2013 03:20:50 | More by jburd19
Photo of malty


4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7817: Fall 2007 - gave it a good year to age in the cellar.

Force poured - pitch black with a khaki head almost 3" high. Very dense & creamy head.

Chouffe coffee liqour-esqe scents; basically high-grade coffee spirits drenched in bitter dark chocolate, dark fruits; figs, black cherries, black strap molasses - all up in your nose!

Smooooth deep flavors of gourmet espresso, dark chocolate powder dissolved into thick cream with marshmallows and rum. Intoxicating flavors that scream (actually moan) rich and full-on deep dark and devilish flavors I already mentioned.

Mouthfeel is oily slick and quite velvety. Ultra full-bodied with fine carbonation at the perfect level. Long, full, lingering bold dark malty/liqouresque finish.

Drinkability is good. I don't know how well I'd be operating after a couple/few of these - but I'd give it the 'ole college try.

Overall an ale that I wasn't truly able to appreciate a couple years ago (this is my 2nd review). After sampling the bourbon barrel version at the Great Taste of the Midwest a couple years ago (poured by Larry Bell himself) and several stints with Kentucky Breakfast & original Breakfast Stout, I’ve been tempered and educated enough to truly appreciate the masterpiece this stout truly is. This RIS is utmost decadent and supremely balanced, and with just enough understated attitude (kinda like Billy Jack) to kick your ass if you mishandle it. I'm humbled to think I gave this a poor rating just over two years ago. This is one of the finest HUGE ales I've ever had the pleasure to drink. Hail to Bell's - the original Michigan micro!

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2007 02:19:10 | More by malty
Photo of Erdinger2003


3.95/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is very nice, the head is thick and doesn't dissapte very fast and has a good lacing that sticks. Black color is solid.

Smell has coffee, molasses, dark fruit tones and is full in body and flavor.

Taste has flavors of coffee, molasses, and slight flavors of dark fruit like prune.

Mouthfeel is very silky and smooth, very nice.

Drinkable for sure, I would buy this for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2006 04:54:38 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of ShadesOfGray


4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Ommegang tall snifter. Pours a dark, thick black with little initial head. As the pour taps off, the head grows big, light brown with great sticky frothy lacing.

Aroma is fairly light with lots of bitter notes. Roasted coffee...but a slight ash-tray smell...weird.

Very thick creamy taste. Pleasant flavor...bitter-sweet chocolates, dark roasted coffee. Great warming sensation down the throat. Wow, after smelling this beer, I espected a bad stout. Flavor is actually very good! Full body. Drinkability down due to thickness...but a must try!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 02:33:29 | More by ShadesOfGray
Photo of djgustafson

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

03-24-2014 02:16:29 | More by djgustafson


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6 1/2 years after I received 2 bottles from mlh1227 - I cracked the second one.

Holy hell...this is still delicious. Not as hot as it was..still complex and rich. Bell's - great job on this one. Feel confident about putting this one away for 5+ years, no deterioration at all.

2006 review:

12oz. bottle from mlh1227. What a guy!!

A - 1 1/2" deep chocolate milk colored head that sits on top of a beer so black that no light will ever pass through. The head is dense and retains for a while at 1/2" before falling to a cap. Full sheet of tan lace clings to the backside of the pint glass.

S - Rich, roasted malt. Coffee. A little boozy (rum) aroma. Mild sweetness. Clay, dirt. Feed store smell -- oats, grains.

T - WOW! Thick with roasted malt. Bitter dark chocolate. Bourbon like heat in the finish. Raisins and rum. Coffee....strong ass coffee!!! Delicious and complex.

M - Huge, thick mouthfeel. Slick. Smooth drinking Imperial Stout. Long, long, long finish.

D - Great drinkability for any beer, let alone a RIS with 11.5% abv! Huge beer! Excellent. Thank you mlh1227 for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 23:48:10 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of thecarster1


3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

a- bottle poured into a nonic pint, dark, thick pour, two fingers head fade to even layer of lacing.

s- lots to the nose, raisins hit first - liquored soaked, dark chocolate and black coffee, alcohol here.

t- lots of roast and flavor here, some liquor soaked raisins, a smoky flavor, dark burnt chocolate, dark black coffee, some alcohol turnes to more alcohol as it warms.

m- huge, thick and creamy.

d- this is a sipper for a nice cold night, it wasn't as wonderful as i was expecting but certainly drinkable, and I won't have any trouble drinking the remaining single i have on hand - might throw in in the cellar for a year or so.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2011 01:12:55 | More by thecarster1
Photo of dspinler


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

04-10-2014 03:22:19 | More by dspinler
Photo of Jd2391


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

04-18-2013 18:26:08 | More by Jd2391
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Knowing that I've got six more of these scheduled for delivery tomorrow (along with several other awesome MI brews, courtesy of BA hoppymeal), I decided to crack open this bottle I received in a trade from BA nflmvp last summer. Poured into a 17-ounce snifter, Expedition Stout is viscous and tar-black. The ghost of a coffee-colored foam cap appears for a brief moment, then is gone, leaving only a nascent tan ring around the glass. Deep chocolate aromas emerge at first sniff; then scents of dark Bing cherries soaked in anejo rum along with a slight coffee aroma as well as a heady cabernet character. The taste starts off with bitter Belgian chocolate bar flavors -- at least 75% cocoa -- and dark fruits (plums, cherries, blackberries) all drunkenly swimming in a bourbon bath. Then -- and this is my favorite part -- there is the most wonderful roasted coffee finish, thick and damn near burnt it's roasted so dark. Lovely vinous aftertaste. Appropriately heavy on the palate, but incredibly silky overall. Low carbonation, dryness from alcohol content, but the booze has melded nicely (I think this bottle may be a little over a year old). This is the first Russian Imperial Stout I've had in a few months, and I certainly feel welcomed back home. Bell's brewed the hell out of this one. Easily one of the finest representations of the style in the world. Exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2006 03:22:17 | More by orfeu
Photo of rwilde


4/5  rDev -5.4%

01-21-2012 23:56:31 | More by rwilde
Photo of Coldsnack


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

08-31-2013 01:47:17 | More by Coldsnack
Photo of Lurkerson


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

10-19-2013 03:38:43 | More by Lurkerson
Photo of Wayne17


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

06-28-2014 23:57:43 | More by Wayne17
Photo of bifrost17


4.14/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a Bells tulip (October 2012 vintage) 9 months old.

A: Couldn't ask for anything better. I wish I could post a picture in this review of how perfect it looks. Jet black, but not menacing...beautiful...? Awesome mocha colored 2 1/2 finger head with a vigorous pour into the tulip. Head subsides pretty quickly but leaves some awesome lacing behind.

S: So much going on in the nose. Booze, bitter espresso, roasted malts, chocolate, floral hops, and dark fruits are the prevailing scents that I pick up.

T: The taste is a little strange up front. Sourness initially, but after that it's damn near perfection. Dark chocolate notes on the middle of the tongue, and then the beer finishes with an intense espresso like bitterness from the blend of hops and roasted malts. Leaves a lingering flavor of dark chocolate and espresso in my mouth. Amazing.

M: Not too much to say about the mouthfeel, other than it's ideal. Smooth soft creamy silky goodness. Moderate (perfect) carbonation.

O: The first time I ever had this beer was a fresh bottle about 9 months ago. I enjoyed it, but thought it was a little bit of a mess, kind of all over the place, but now, after only 9 months of aging I see the potential that this beer possesses. When Bells states that this beer was designed with aging in mind they weren't kidding. I can only imagine this beer getting better and better with age. What a beautiful beer. I almost wish I lived somewhere in the Midwest so I could load up on this stuff when its in season, but at least my trading buddy in Chicago can send me it during the winter months. Anyways, final thoughts on Expedition...AGE THIS BEER! Can't wait to see what a few years does to this masterpiece.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 17:27:44 | More by bifrost17
Photo of ngandhi


4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5


Goes down exceptionally smooth for an 11.5% (11.5!) beer. I stress beer. Unlike some high abv Belgians that mimic wine or cider to compliment the fire, Expedition Stout brings a full-frontal exhibition of oily malts disrobing by the bedroom window and peeping-Tom hops hanging by the trellise.

Phenols come out on the tongue. Smoke finish. Warmth, not like alcohol, but as a mother's breast to her newborn child. Makes me long for autumn. And my mommy.

Absolutely intoxicating.

Relax, relax.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2003 23:53:18 | More by ngandhi
Photo of oakbluff

Manitoba (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I thought this beverage would be appropriate considering it is -35 degrees celsius out tonight.

Pours out like ten month old motor oil from my car. I had to run upstairs to get the knife and fork for this baby. Wow that is a thick stout. Hops are quite pronounced even though there is obviously an avalanche of malt here. Chocolate, plum, raisins, hops are main tastes. As thick as it is at the beginning, it actually finishes lightly and dry. carbonation is medium to low, but is at an appropriate level for this style.

A slow sipper for sure, but a perfect match for a soul sucking cold ass night. I'm looking forward to aging a couple of these to see how it/if it mellows out.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2007 03:56:19 | More by oakbluff
Photo of rousee


3.38/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours black molasses color with a head that is the color of chocolate brownies. I am immediately amazed and slightly worried by the smell--this thing is probably going to taste too boozy and vinous for me but maybe not...

Taste is of dark malts, caramel, licorice with some cherries and other fruits, nuts--almonds, raisins, etc. I can tell this will improve as it warms. It finishes fairly clean but does have a little bourbon-esque burn in the throat after. It is also a bit too flat in mouthfeel. I've had better imperial stouts. Maybe I need to try it again in January when the weather is much colder.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 21:27:48 | More by rousee
Photo of MSchae1017


4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a 22oz Terrapin Snifter from the 12oz bottle.

The beer pours the color of dark chocolate with a creamy tan head that holds a nice ring leaving lace down the side of the glass. The smell is full of roasted barley and chocolate. The taste displays the same flavors as the smell along with a good amount of hops. The mouthfeel is full bodied with some carbonation. It could be a bit smoother, but it is still good. Overall a great RIS, but I would prefer a more muted hop presence.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 23:06:20 | More by MSchae1017
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,389 ratings.