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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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

2,047 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,047
Hads: 5,795
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 17.81%
Wants: 506
Gots: 1,591 | FT: 126
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Expedition Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,047 | Hads: 5,795
Photo of tiger88
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to schmoterp

Pours midnight black into the glass with only the slightest of dark brown hints. The equally dark brown head lays down very quickly leaving patchy lace around the glass. It did not smell as strong as I was expecting but it was a pleasant, subtle chocolate and sweet alcohol aroma. The taste is great, bitter chocolate and sweet malt at the same time. A dull bitter aftertaste hangs out on the back of the tongue begging for another sip. Mouthfeel is full and bursting with flavor. I get coffee, chocolate, rye bread even. Anything dark I can think of is contained in this beer. I love it and can't wait to drink the other 4 I have.

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Photo of JWD
4.46/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained via trade

A- Death black with a dark tan head look very close to the Abyss,BCS, or DL, looks very thick during the pour

S- Sweet & some roasty, I tend to prefe rthe sweet side so i am very interested here, raisan and dark chocolate.

T- Very good to be expected, sweet up front with a very strong roasty dry almost bitter aftertaste. That aftertaste is the only thing that i don't completly love here.

M- I think only DL or BCS can top this VISCOUS!!! Coats you mouth.

D- Great, I just love thick and viscous stouts and this fits the bill perfectly.

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Photo of pheggeseth
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single 12oz bottle bought at The Blue Max in Burnsville, MN for $2.59

A: tremendous 3 finger head, great cascading effect, pours very thick

S: roasted malt, hops, hint of chocolate, alcohol

T: roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, possibly from the hops, warming alcohol

M: the thickest beer I've had yet, very oily, pretty strong carbonation, the bitterness is a little too much for my taste

D: again, the bitterness is a little much, but it is very smooth, quite the sipper, just one prompts an immediate contemplation of the meaning of life

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Photo of Jammies
3.86/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep brownish black with a thin layer of light brown foam that slowly recedes to the edges of the glass

S-light and slightly nutty. Nothing overpowering

T-very smooth with light coffee and nutty flavors

M-smooth and slightly malty as expected

O-great flavor and pleasantly smooth. one of the better stouts out there.

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Photo of BradenMK
4.65/5  rDev +10.5%

Age. This. Beer. It's begging for it. Sometimes overly harsh with the hop profile when fresh, once this hits the two year mark (and literally, for years and years after), this beer is a magical creature complete with fairy wings and unicorn horns. Always a hop bomb, the roasted, chocolate notes just get deeper and more nuanced and more smooth with time. A superb stout that any fans of the style will already know is delicious.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.94/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pitch black and thick like motor oil. Dark tan head that slowly lays down, leaving a beautiful sheet of lace. This stout smells amazing; dried fruits, vanilla, malts, but almost no sign of alcohol.

First drink is pure heaven, thick and smooth, creamy on the tongue. Chocolate and fruits, absolutely delicious flavor to go with the nose. This is probably the best stout I've had, and my only concern is how I'm going to get all these bottles back to Texas with me. I'll figure that out, and I can't wait to see what they do with some age.

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Photo of veggiemafia
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours blacker than black. You have to ask yourself how much more black it can be, and the answer is none, it can be none more black. Moderate dark tan head that dissolves pretty quickly to thin islands. But hey, with 11.5% I think that's kind of excusable.

Smell is big on baker's chocolate with a booziness reminiscent of Tia Maria coffee rum. Also, raisins/prunes/dark fruit make a huge appearance, as do some really earthy smelling hops.

The hops in this serve to rein it in and keep it from getting too sweet, but it REALLY pushes it for me in terms of being too sweet and fruity. That earthiness keeps it dry and pretty refreshing, but it's still really big on dark fruits and raisins and maybe like a tart blackberry jam thing. That distinct tart fruitines is something I've only experienced in this and Batch 7000, and Southern Tier Jah-Va.

Mouthfeel is viscous and thick, but still really creamy and velvety and luxurious.

Good drinkability for a stout of this size, because let's face it, this is a huge ass beer.

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Photo of ccg
4.06/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is one of the best-looking stouts I've seen in a while. Great lacing of dense little bubbles, and the head seems to stick around forever. The smell is super roasty. I can taste chocolate and coffee notes, but mostly it's roasty malt and some bitter hops. It's dense and chewy. A well-made stout.

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Photo of soulfly967
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nearly black with a thin brown head that quickly disappears into a thin ring of bubbles around the outside edge. The smell was of chocolate, fresh brewed coffee, and dark, nearly burnt, malt notes. The taste was very similar to the smell. Coffee was a dominant flavor to me, along with hints of chocolate and a touch of spice. The alcohol is very well hidden in this brew. The mouthfeel was thick and silky, with very little bitterness from the hops and alcohol. This was a very solid RIS. It was very drinkable and I will be looking to get some more of this one in the very near future! Yet another winner from Bells!

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Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.66/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Very deep red, looked black, great 3 finger head, with lacing throughout.

Smelled like alcohol and heavy sweet malt.

Lots of chocolate and malt right up front, ends to a smooth sweet alcohol.

Heavy, syrupy, but surprisingly smooth.

Could drink one or two.

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Photo of Jimbo87
4.1/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the darkest heads I've seen on a beer, it's a reddish coffee color, but of course pale compared to the completely opaque beer. When pooring it, I could see some reddish hues in the beer as it ran down the side of the glass.

Smell is chocolate, alcohol, grain. nice.

taste: chocolate, alcohol, spicy, roasted barley, and a taste I find in all russian imperial stouts that I can't identify. I don't know if it's a fruit taste or what. I like this taste more than the taste of Old Rasputin.

Mf: very unusual. Very low carbonation gives this a heavy, thick, oily feel.

D: I had to drink this pretty slowly, and I wouldn't want to drink any more, at least not until the next day. I liked this more than Old Rasputin. I feel like some people might dislike the low carbonation. But if you can buy just one bottle of this, try it.

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Photo of rawthar
4.57/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

One more from my Bell's Darkside case, about two months after purchase. This is my favorite of the bunch, time to rate it.

A- As dark as a black hole, no light that enters makes it through to the other side. A finger-and-a-half capaccino head, light and fluffy slowly dissipates, leaving some of the nicest lacing I've seen, and a nice thick filmy froth on top. Beautiful.

S- Hints of chocolate and dark roasted coffee mingle and swell like a double helix around a strong backbone of booze, and a buttery loaf of whole grain bread.

T- Boozy flavor hits like a wave against a cliff during a squall, followed promptly by the billowing smoke of a tribal bonfire carrying the essence of the roasting meat of a fresh hunt. Sweet notes of the darkest caramelized sugar rendered with dripping animal fat.

M- Oily alcohol floats on the brine like the rendered fat referenced above while the creamy carbonation bubbles from the darkest depths.

D- One is enough for even the fiercest of warriors after the most viscous of battles. Undoubtedly drank by Cimmerians during the spring raids into Pictland and Vaneheim.

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Photo of goethean
4.8/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was purchased at the brewery and aged 3-4 years before being consumed. It was poured into a Duvel tulip glass at about 50F on the night that Barack Obama won the Virginia primary.

Appearance is pitch effing black. Almost no visible carbonation. Aroma is of strong dark roasted, nearly burnt, malt.

assertive hoppiness, strong roastiness, strong malt backbone, and a beautiful sweetness spotlighted right in the middle of the palate. There is a slight lingering hops aftertaste.

Shockingly, there is amazing hops character considering the age of this beer. almost any other beer would have no hop character at this point. with this beer, it is right there, almost in your face. very well-balanced. This beer must be pretty much undrinkable when young.

One quasi-negative thing --- I don't detect the wine-like qualities which I normally associate with a fine, well-aged English barleywine or imperial stout. I might opt for a more English version next time. Or maybe I should have aged it a little longer! Oh well --- the six pack is now gone.

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Photo of johnnyirishman
3.52/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint glass.

Apperance- Thick Syrupy black opaque color, with a small head and no retention.

Smell- Slight hops and roasted malts.

Taste,Mouthfeel- Roasted malts and a bitter hop finish.

Drinkablility- A decent stout but not too enjoyable.

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Photo of DrDoitchbig
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This has to be one of the most viscous beers I've ever had the pleasure of consuming. It almost looked like jet black maple syrup coming out of the bottle. An aggressive pour yielded nothing but a chocolate brown cap that disappeared to reveal the black hole of a beer beneath.

Smell: Roasted malts, sweet chocolate and perhaps a bit of licorice.

Taste: Surprisingly sweet at the start, like a decadent chocolate liquor. Followed by a bitter backbone that balances that sweetness very nicely. The bitterness lingers for awhile after every sip.

Mouthfeel: Extremely full-bodied with low carbonation. It's so thick, almost like a heavy cream. Now I know what people are talking about when they describe a beer as chewy.

Drinkability: This stuff is incredibly rich and smooth. It's quite a treat. I could drink it all night. But with such a high abv that's probably not the best idea.

This has to be one of the best Imperial Stouts I've had yet. Granted I haven't delved too deep into the style, but this certainly inspires me to try more.

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Photo of chalsk
4.6/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black color with a caramel colored head. Has an aroma of toffee, caramel, and hints of dark fruit. Yeah, this is a good stout. You have the sweet hitting the front of the tongue, the bitters on the back with hints of smoke. You can also taste sweet caramel and some coffee/toffee flavor. Ultra complex, but everything is work so well. A rich beer. Love it.

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Photo of ABisonEgo
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

'12 bottled on 10/02

Appearance - Black with ruby red highlights along the edges. 1 and a half finger beige head with lacing along the edges

Aroma - coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits, a bit of hop character, though i cant really pinpoint the exact scent...maybe more of an earthiness

Taste - Very coffee and hop forward...almost astringent at first. Some dark fruit apparent towards the middle of the mouth, and bitterness on the finish. Almost a spicy, earthy finish...but very hoppy. While most imperial stouts rely on the hops for balance, this one is almost overtaken in the finish by the hops present.

Mouthfeel - Very creamy...which is pleasant. The beer finishes with a bitter tingle with a medium to full body. A little lighter than expected, but about ideal.

Overall - Great complexity on this one, however, Im a little turned off on how the hops overtake the beer. Its as if this one was meant to age, which there is nothing wrong with and it even says its worth aging on the bottle. If the hop character faded away a bit and the beer smoothed out, im sure this would be one amazing beer. Having said that, I guess its time to open my '09!!!

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Photo of Roxie_B
4.82/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Looks: Black, opaque, big fluffy mocha head made of tiny bubbles and legs. Surprisingly strong head retention.
Smell: Dark fruits, raisins, chocolate malts, mild coffee, alcohol when it warms up
Taste: Sweet chocolate malts, plums, anise, cherries.
Mouthfeel: Satiny smooth with a full body and a slight alcoholic burn.
Overall: One of the best stouts out there.

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Photo of mashedpotatoes
2.99/5  rDev -29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black, very thick and viscosey. Head is minimal. Smell is strong alcoholic, cough syrupy. Taste is bittersweet molasses. Aftertaste lingers a bit too long, especially with the excessive astringent taste this beer permits. The feel is round, sticky but invasive to the palate, I feel like it's setting up unwanted camp on my tastebuds. Drinkability is low, although the ABV is high the balance of off flavors and peculiar aftertaste leaves me longing for something different. Suggestion: Try all Bell's as a single first. I've found severe inconsistency in this brand.

This one was not bad but also not good.

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Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tbis beer is a looker. Getting to have it on tap was a huge bonus, mad props to the Trion for having the guts to tap this sucker. Jet black with a chocolate head . . . all the smells to go along with it. Just reeks darkness, chocolate, coffee, this is where wimpiness goes to die. You defintely know the +10 ABV is there when you taste it and that is really my only negative and a slight one at that. It'd be tough to have more then two of these in a sitting, but that could just be a reflection of the style.
A top notch stout, just not my favorite style.

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Photo of wd40
3.92/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pitch black pour with almost no head. The brew is obviously thick and viscous just from watching the pour. Small amount of very fine carbonation upon aggitation. Looks like a beer that has been left out for a while. The beer gives and aroma of vanilla extract, chocolate and coffee. Hints of fruit like raspberries in the background. I can tell even before sipping that the beer has a high alcohol content from the smell. The taste confirms the high alcohol content! But fortunately the raw alcohol taste is pretty well covered. The coffee flavor is very prominent in the flavor and tends to linger after the other flavors have past.

Mouthfeel is ok, but not rich or creamy or anything. Overall, a pretty decent beer that I'd have again, but not one of my favorite in this style.

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Photo of ajilllau
4.75/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great beer. Smells like chocolate and malt. Looks like dark motor oil. It is super creamy and smooth. Tastes like chocolate, coffee and oak. Bottle dated 10/23/14. I would definitely put this on tap at my bar. One of the best stouts I've had all year.

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Photo of twbrewer
4.28/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch # 8145 packaged Sept.14th 2007

A-Poured into a goblet at about 50 degrees.It pours BLACK with a dark brown 1/2" thick head that fades to a small laced layer.

S-Smells of bitter-dark chocolate,coffee and strong notes of molasses and raisins or plum.

T-At first a slight hint of hops then a smokey malt with a hint of caramel and a slight alcohol taste-then-the real thing,big dark chocolate/coffee taste with a smooth bittersweet finish.

M-Thick,chewy,oily residue coats entire mouth.Good carbonation.

D-This is a very smooth and relaxing beer.At 10.50% it makes a great sipping beer on a cold night.If you like big beers or RIS's you must try this one.

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Photo of macktbone
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

As part of a trade with Aforbes and hoped to be enjoyed with ThirdLap. I was told this would be one of my top stouts...not so much

This beer is jet black with a dark brown head that quickly dissappears in an alcoholic haze. It stains the glass an oily brown.

The smell is super soy with figs.

Taste & mouthfeel leave a lot to be desired

So little carbonation that it is hard to get down. Hold your breath prior to contact, the soy is overpowering. Bitter end with a sweet aftertaste that grows on you a little.

Extremely thin for a "good" stout. When I pour a beer and it glubs, I expect it to be thick, or at least feel thick on the toungue.

I was glad this was split two ways. I have had other boutbon type stouts but without the subtle compexities and joyous notes this maybe my first and last time "ringing the bell".

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Photo of jhawth
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a wili becher. Pours an impenetrable black with a light brown, two-finger head of fine bubbles.

Aroma: Sweet, creamy, roasty malts dominate. Coffee, some bitter dark chocolate, but mostly excellent roastiness.

Taste: Sweet, creamy. slightly chocolatey malt notes move into roasty astringency and slight booziness.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, slightly viscous, light carbonation.

Overall: Killer RIS. Absolutely delicious.

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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 2,047 ratings.