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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.

4,674 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,674
Reviews: 1,894
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 404
Gots: 1,019 | FT: 78
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: 4,674 | Reviews: 1,894 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beerhast
5/5  rDev +18.2%

beerhast, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of rspauldi
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

rspauldi, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Boozecamel
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Boozecamel, Jan 22, 2014
Photo of shredder83
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

shredder83, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of hansgruber
3.98/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 8944 consumed tonight

Thick black pour yields a nice dark tan head. Nice surface foam with a foamy collar. Nice lacing and plenty of tight bubbles rising from the sides with each sip. 

Malty roasty chocolaty yeasty nose. No alcohol detected.

Bitter roasty taste with some chocolate and coffee notes in there too. Virtually no sweetness but I sensed a bit of a molasses flavor deep in there. Very roasty.

Nice thick mouthfeel. Good sipper stout for sure. Nice to have in 12oz form as opposed to a bomber so it's doable if you're alone. 
Solid imperial stout.

hansgruber, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of heysuz
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

heysuz, Feb 12, 2012
Photo of Chaz
4.8/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in a logoed Bell's tulip. Looks black as pitch! Head is dark tan / mahoganny, about half a finger with very good duration and excellent lacing, and served in this glassware it looks better than ever! Nose is everything I've come to expect in this brew, a near perfect blend of espresso, roasted and dark malts, and yeast. I let the glass warm a bit out of custom, but on first sip it is tangy, bittersweet, and roasty all at once. The lingering bitterness and roasted malt / espresso notes really stick in yer craw. Rather full mouthfeel and rather complex, with broad strokes of green apple, licorice, and molasses. Boozy? Yes and no: there's no arguing with 11.5%, but it's so well hidden here that it would be somewhat easy to drink this all night, and more than one of these in a sitting can be downright dangerous! As it warms the notes of bitter chocolate and light, dusty cocoa emerge and begin a nuanced and masterful interplay with the bigger, broader flavors mentioned above. Hop use is just about perfect: this isn't a style or a rendition that will suit everyone, but Bell's have thankfully resisted the 'bigger is better' approach to bittering hops that resulted in the Imperial IPA style. Carbonation is great here, and apart from one rather infamous batch has always been so. Full-bodied but not heavy, and warming rather than hot. Well balanced but not-quite sessionable . . . this is the epitome of a sipping beer.

Chaz, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of BrewMaster
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness markings on it. It pours an impervious black and brown color with no true head on it, just a ring of bubbles around the top.

Smell: Toffee, coffee, soy sauce, uncooked semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Taste: Very rich and roasty from the start with notes of chocolate, roasty coffee, caramel, and burnt oak. The beginning is very sweet and it yields to a bit of hop bitterness towards the middle and the end. As the beer warms there is a sour sweetness that develops. An alcohol warmth sits in the mouth and warms the whole body.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth in the mouth. The bold flavors are delivered well with the smooth texture.

BrewMaster, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of Screper
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Screper, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a becker glass. I do not think I have ever seen a beer look so sexy on its way out of the bottle. The color is a completely opaque black; no light passed through when I held it to my lamp. Three fingers of a thick, chocolate-tan head developed and dissipated slowly to leave trails along the glass, a spotted lacing, and a ring around the edge.

Smell: My first whiff was a mélange of roasted coffee, chocolate, and caramel; dark fruit (mostly plum, cherry, and raisins); molasses; black licorice; and brown sugar. Tinged with a spiced rum-like edge and slight hint of Belgian yeast (really?), the general aroma reminds me of dubbel.

Taste: The mouthfeel is incredibly thick and creamy, which perfectly exemplifies the flavor experience that follows. Though subtle, the complexity is there: roasted coffee, chocolate, and a little caramel; brown sugar; molasses; the dark fruit plum, cherry, and raisin from the smell; and the spiced rum-like tingle of alcohol. Though it sounds crazy, I seriously think I taste a little bready, Belgian yeast. The roasted coffee leaves a nice, bitter aftertaste, which sometimes pushed my bitterness threshold as the pint warmed.

TheQuietMan22, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this paired with FFF Dark Lord in a tasting with Crosling. (PROPS TO CROSLING!!!!) Talk about sensory overload!

Vigorous pour into a tulip glass produces a black opaque body under a decent light brown reverse-cascading head.

Smell of dark chocolate covered raisins, prunes, malty malt on malted malt.

Taste of intense sweet malt, chocolate malt, raisins, figs, charred apples(?), espresso, rye bread and pepper. Ridiculously intense.

Mouthfeel is thick and rich, like a melted chocolate malt. It's round, dense, full, smooth and chewy, with a gluteny, bread-like quality.

Very drinkable for 11.5%. Wowow. Dangerous.

Overall, this is the most incredible beer for the money I've ever had: at $2.33 for a 12-ounce bottle (= 19.43 cents per ounce), it is nearly as good as Dark Lord, which is $15 for 22 ounces (=68.2 cents per ounce).
So . . . for those 364 days a year when you can't lay your hands on a Dark Lord, this is a great and very affordable next best.

ColoradoBobs, Apr 04, 2006
Photo of Brewski
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Brewski, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of JandJMD
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

JandJMD, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of timoteo833
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

timoteo833, Oct 11, 2014
Photo of DantheMan75
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

DantheMan75, Oct 15, 2013
Photo of Tyecko
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Tyecko, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of burnstar
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black and thick out of the bottler. Huge persistant dark tan head clings to the glass as it slowly recedes. Coffee and chocolate roasted malt aroma dominates the nose along with some excellent fruit notes. Powerful espresso and chocolate roasted malt flavor hits first. The finish is powerful alcohol followed quickly by hoppy bitterness. There is a lingering roasted malt aftertaste and bitterness with notes of fruit. Mouthfeel is heavy. Not extremely drinkable but very good stuff. Definitely could pick up a six pack of this in the winter.

burnstar, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of rhinos00
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.

A- A very nice dark brown. Fingers worth of tan, cocoa colored head formed and reduced to a ring as the beer was consumed.

S- Pleasant smell of chocolate, cocoa and alcohol. Straight forward and simple, but very well executed.

T- Follows the nose. Very surprised as to how the chocolate flavor was able to hold up. Mixed with cocoa and malts, this was definitely a tasty treat.

M- Thick and viscous. Had a smooth quality with little carbonation.

D- Highly drinkable. Barely even noticed the alcohol because it tasted so damn good.

Overall, this was a huge surprise. This is definitely my favorite RIS besides some of the big limited release beers. Bell's definitely brought their "A" game with this one.

rhinos00, Dec 08, 2008
Photo of Anthony1
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a pitch black with a thick tan head that slowly fades into a small oily, tan film and thick tan collar. Lots of spotty lacing and webs left around the glass. Smell is of intense roasty nuts, chocolate cake, caramel, molasses, espresso, along with minty and piney hops. Taste is of rich, chocolate cake, laden with rum drenched espresso beans. Lots of hops in here.
Mouthfeel is thick,smooth, velvetty, richly of chocolate, bitter cocoa, a potent punch of hops and mild, mild carbonation that makes this almost like syrup. ABV is present and I'm still on the fence with this

Anthony1, Dec 05, 2009
Photo of danielharper
4.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Black. Really black. No, even blacker than that. No light gets through even when held up to a light bulb. The only thing knocking this down is the very minimal head -- it leaves no appreciable head in this snifter, although I believe in a pint glass it's a bit more aggressive.

Smell: Sweet bitter chocolate malts, a slight astringency from the alcohol, the barest hints of raisin and other tarty sweet dark fruits. Very slight notes of grapes. Incredibly complex, very invigorating.

Taste: Highly alcoholic, strongly malty, very dry in the aftertaste. Thick with grains and barley in the middle, Strong notes of coffee and chocolate, of course, but with a sort of dry roastiness underneath that's less expected.

Mouthfeel: Thick, coats the tongue amazingly. Very low carbonation, pretty much nonexistent, beer goes down smooth as anything you can imagine at this alcohol level.

Drinkability: One of the best beers I've ever tasted. Amazingly drinkable, worth every penny. Having just moved to Kalamazoo, I'm going to be drinking a <i>lot</i> of this over the next few years....

danielharper, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of rwilde
4/5  rDev -5.4%

rwilde, Jan 21, 2012
Photo of MichiganderHB
4/5  rDev -5.4%

MichiganderHB, Jan 26, 2014
Photo of Dolfan907
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Dolfan907, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of MickeyHops
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%

MickeyHops, Monday at 04:27 AM
Photo of Davit
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Davit, Sep 06, 2014
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,674 ratings.