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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.

4,475 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,475
Reviews: 1,876
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 383
Gots: 951 | FT: 77
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: 4,475 | Reviews: 1,876 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ultralarry2006


4.53/5  rDev +7.1%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Looking up the production code on Bell's website shows that it was bottled on 02/01/07. Leaves a one finger espresso-foam colored head that has good retention and leaves good lacing. Body is black. Excellent looking ale.

Smell - roasted malt, toffee, coffee, chocolate, and cherries. Mouthwatering.

Taste - same as the smell promises, all washed down with some medicinal alcohol. Very hearty and delicious.

Mouthfeel - full, chewy, and semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is very good. Only high abv holds down sessionability.

06-04-2007 13:18:55 | More by ultralarry2006
Photo of rpstevens

New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

08-08-2012 21:40:30 | More by rpstevens
Photo of HopBrain

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

07-13-2013 01:15:27 | More by HopBrain
Photo of sacrelicio


4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

Legendary stout, my first taste of it. Beautiful appearance, total pitch midnight in a glass topped with creamy mocha head, rocky with lacing to boot. Smell is good, but doesn't leap out like expected. Still, nice sublime chocolate and coffee notes. Taste is intense. Very bitter, but rich with coffee, chocolate, wood, and spice. As it warms, green pepper and green olive notes reveal themselves. Mouthfeel is amazing, hefty yet with a lift that elevates this to the exceptional. Drinkable, not easygoing, but you would certainly like another.

11-20-2007 05:17:52 | More by sacrelicio
Photo of jgasparine


3.9/5  rDev -7.8%

A- Poured into the glass with a substantial medium-brown foamy head, which left little traces of lacing, over a completely opaque jet-black body. The head is reasonably retained. No visible carbonation; although any carbonation present could be easily hidden by the opacity of the brew.

S- The aroma is comprised of stewed and roasted malts; very malt-forward... with a light & zesty hop aroma, reminiscent of citrus zest. No esters- simple and elegant.

T- An exceptionally bold flavor. The roasted malt peeks though- intensely roasty- and then the hops kick-in with a piney intense bitterness that lingers on the tongue substantially after each sip. There's also a little bit of booziness that hits you partway through as well. While it's bold and dynamic, it's almost overboard...

M- A full chewy body, with texture presumed to be from unattenuated sugar. Very soft carbonation and a moderate astringency. Just a touch of heat from the EtOH. Stellar mouthfeel.

D- Drinkability is hindered by the high alcohol content, and further inhibited by the over-the-top roasty and hop flavors. One 12oz. bottle is enough for me in one sitting...

08-07-2010 16:06:48 | More by jgasparine
Photo of aflies


4/5  rDev -5.4%

02-06-2013 03:42:40 | More by aflies
Photo of Jd2391


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

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


3.85/5  rDev -9%

12oz bottle poured into a goblet. Batch 8864, packaged on December 4, 2008.

A: Blacker than black with a smaller-than-expected head that quickly dissipates. Lots of lacing.

S: Alcohol, roastiness, a bit of chocolate, something between licorice and soy sauce.

T: Roasted malts with hints of licorice. As the beer warms up, chocolate notes start to show up. Finishes with huge hop bitterness. Pretty big alcohol burn.

M: Thick, almost viscous. The hops dry the mouth out in a hurry.

D: A solid sipping RIS.

03-20-2009 02:12:23 | More by BarrelO
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

Randomly decided to grab a bottle of Expedition Stout from the cellar...probably because I wanted to make brownies with it. Regardless, this bottle is from batch 8728 (Sept. 08) and has been poured into a snifter.

This beer is black. Like, Kueth Duany black. Or Charlie Murphy Darkness black...you get the point. So black, you think it could possibly be a really dark blue. About a finger of rich, chocolate mousse foam absolutely will not go away, and the walls of the glass are completely coated. Hard to imagine a better-looking stout.

Big, rich chocolate nose. Dark and milk chocolates, with plenty of roasted barley. It's got a great balance between bitter/sweet chocolate and bitter, smoky, coffee-like roast. I can't decide if I'm actually smelling licorice, or if I've just associated it with this beer via Kalamazoo Stout. The nose is big, it's robust, it's not really alcoholic at all (BIG bonus, can't wait to see what more time does)...It's definitely mellowed down and has become a bit sweeter, and more subtle/complex.

Bell's Expedition Stout is pretty much everything I want my imperial stouts to taste like. Big chocolate sweetness, balancing roast and bitter hops in the finish...just a HUGE flavor.

The only thing bigger than the flavor is the texture. This beer may have the absolute best texture of any beer I've had. Deliciously rich and very, very chewy. And, again, after a little over a year and a half, the alcohol isn't nearly at noticeable as, say, Stone IRS. Perfect carbonation. Never-ending finish. Unbeatable.

I thought Expedition Stout was actually pretty drinkable fresh. With 21 months on it, it's hard to keep it in the glass. Really, really tasty stuff. Can't wait to put some more years on my remaining bottles.

03-24-2009 05:34:07 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of maxcoinage


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

10-23-2013 11:54:13 | More by maxcoinage
Photo of gopens44


4.3/5  rDev +1.7%

OK, I have no idea how long this bottle had been at my house. It went from cellar to fridge about 2 months ago (planned on drinking it, but forgot to...) and I reckon I bought it 3 - 4 months ago. I even forgot to check the date. I'd assume this was a 2010 release though. Sorry for sketchy vintage notes!

A - Poured all sorts of black. I didn't see much head happening so I began pouring this with some vigor. Still didn't see much. I turned away for a moment while it was settling only to return to a dark brown head explosion flowing out of the snifter onto my counter top. So let's just say it eventually developed a monster foam head....

S - I let this warm up pretty well in order to get some decent aroma. What I found was a pretty run of the mill RIS signature, holding coffee and chocolate

T - This is where I was blown away. Deep, rich bitter chocolate flavor with coffee in there as well. Very well masked alcohol (couldn't detect any at all in the taste actually). I can compare the depth of flavor to the depth of color in barrel dyed leather. No matter how far you try and sift through this to find a point where the flavor drops off, it simply doesn't happen. At no point throughout this wonderful thing did it ever waiver from the richness that I initially tasted, and in fact, it just grew more tasty throughout.

M - Very viscous, almost chewy. Silky and creamy. There was certainly some alcohol warmth in the back of the throat as well. Full bodied with very little carbonation on the tongue. Mildly bitter aftertaste.

O - To say I was "wowed" by this is a gross understatement. I'm sad that I hadn't discovered this sooner, but now I know!

04-01-2011 12:25:19 | More by gopens44
Photo of Goldndomer


4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

02-09-2014 22:19:19 | More by Goldndomer
Photo of Chuffbomb


4/5  rDev -5.4%

07-23-2014 13:43:19 | More by Chuffbomb
Photo of slowdaddy


3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

08-10-2012 19:05:49 | More by slowdaddy
Photo of heerboth


3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

03-15-2014 04:17:59 | More by heerboth
Photo of Dolfan907


3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

02-07-2014 15:46:25 | More by Dolfan907
Photo of badbeer


4.8/5  rDev +13.5%

Very dark brown, almost black, pretty thick tan head leaving waves, yes waves of lacing on the glass. Chocolate aroma, only a faint coffee smell and a little bit of alcohol in the nose; a little more coffee roasted flavor and this would have had a five. Chocolate starts you off, leading you into a bit of coffee flavor mixed with some hopiness, then chocolate and coffee paired together with an alcohol warmth at the finish. A complete joyride the taste is. Thick, full bodied, little carbonation and seems to be perfect. Each drink is great and an all out experience of the senses, just a little short of perfect. With reviews varying in quality levels, I'm glad I picked up a good one. Scratch that, great one.

05-03-2006 06:31:52 | More by badbeer
Photo of cratez

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +8.3%

355ml bottle, purchased by my girlfriend at Beer World in Largo, FL. Right off the bat I realized this is one of the best beers I've ever tasted. Just a gorgeous brew. Ranked 11th on RateBeer's Top 50 in the US, and for good reason.

Pours an impenetrable black with a paper thin ring of tan/brown head. Dots of lacing all over the snifter. Smell and taste are oak, earth, strong nut and bread aromas, fruity, floral, and resinous hops, sweet figs and plums, roasted malt, thick caramel and taffy flavours, burnt toast, and a beautifully smoky aftertaste with warm, biting alcohol. Full-bodied mouthfeel mimics gooey chocolate syrup with a dry coffee finish and some warmth going down. Lingering chalkiness on the palate. Heaven in a bottle, the complexity defies description. Only Americans make beers like this. Very close to a perfect beer.

02-16-2010 07:31:15 | More by cratez
Photo of writerLJBerg


4.39/5  rDev +3.8%

2010 bottle from Pawel. Batch 10105. Thanks!

A; Black and lightless as a brick. Very dark mocha head that settles in at about an inch. Looks like motor oil.

N: Roasted malt, green hops, dark chocolate, dark cherry, prune. Has a pronounced dark fruit sweetness, particularly that of raisins. Lots of raisins. Truly a smell of dried grapes.

T: Deep rushes of dark chocolate. Leather and bark. Cedar, tobacco, raisins. Smoke and roast. Hops lend an earthy backbone with some leafy hints. Coffee overtones. Superb, and reminiscent of HotD Adam of all things.

M: Thick, coating, yet somehow, supremely drinkable.

O: This is just sublime. Really wise to store it for the extended aging and very much worthy of the high score. Might be my favorite non-BA stout.

03-04-2013 00:05:48 | More by writerLJBerg
Photo of StubFaceJoe


4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

11-21-2013 00:48:44 | More by StubFaceJoe
Photo of heavenlyStash


4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

04-02-2013 04:08:43 | More by heavenlyStash
Photo of dtomes

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

02-20-2014 16:29:11 | More by dtomes
Photo of beerphan


4.28/5  rDev +1.2%

12oz bottle
batch# 7740
packaged 12/19/2006 according to http://www.bellsbeer.com/

Pours black with a full 2inch dark tan head that calmly settles to a thick blanket, then a small film. Lacing is minimal.

Nose: Roasted chocolate malts, some mild dark fruit, a tad bit of sour apple, and some piney hops. Alcohol becomes present with some time.

Taste: Roasted dark malts gives chocolate, plum, and coffee. Finishes with a stiff drying bitterness that balances the complex roasted flavors well. Flavors seem a little more sharp, than the mellow balance i got from the tap this afternoon at Vintage Beer and Wine in Boardman, OH.

Mouth is thick and chewy.

An imperial stout that could be sipped delicately during long winter sessions. The 11.5% is well hidden and packs a wallop.

01-27-2007 19:59:17 | More by beerphan
Photo of ne0m00re


4.38/5  rDev +3.5%

10/13/10- Had a 12 oz bottle of this (Batch 9971).
A: Jet black with a nice caramel one-finger slow head that dies to a collar.
S: Caramel mocha, oatmeal barrel, whiskey alcohol.
T: Caramel, roast, chocolate, banana, raspberries, lingering burnt character.
M: Thicker, but nicely frothy.
D: Really good. I'd have a pint or two.

I'd recommend it.

11-08-2010 20:54:43 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of pavpav12


4/5  rDev -5.4%

12-04-2011 00:24:53 | More by pavpav12
Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
94 out of 100 based on 4,475 ratings.