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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.

5,043 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 5,043
Reviews: 1,928
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 10.85%
Wants: 427
Gots: 1,143 | 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: 5,043 | Reviews: 1,928 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Opaque black. Small milk chocolate head. Laces moderately.

S- Coffee, chocolate, slight phenolic/alcoholic nature. Some oaky, nutty notes in there too. I'm getting a hint of sweetness too... can't really pick it out but maybe raisin? Pleasant.

T- This is a good stout. Wood, smoke, espresso. Slight bitterness from hops, a little alcohol bite. Aftertaste is great- dark and roasty.

M- Smooth, oily, creamy. Little or no carbonation. I like it for the style, but personally I would prefer a little more carbonation.

D- Tough ABV, but definitely a good sipper. Another good brew from Bells.

Photo of griffeyb
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of climax
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had it at the Flying saucer, early December. When the waitress brought the black beast down, and the head was incredible. The fluffiest pillow of dark tan would not sink until I started mucking it up. It notched with every sip, perfect start.

The aroma was as astringent and hoppy as it was sweet. Pure chocolate, coffee, and leafy hop flavors hit the nostrils relatively gently for the style.

Alcoholic phenols are definitely evident in the mouth especially as it warms. It's got commanding bitterness from extremely roasty burnt espresso flavors and intense hop additions. Fleeting dashes of sweet chocolate and caramel lighten things up briefly.

This is among the thickest, chewiest, densest body I have experienced. It's almost like melted marshmallows in the mouth. It finishes brutally dry which makes it easy to keep sipping, emphasis on sipping. Substitute it for a meal.

It's definitely kicks you in the taste buds fresh from the tap.
I would like to try one that has been aged for a while to see how it mellows out. That my make this one a little bit less hot to handle.

Photo of damienblack
3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At first appears lowly carbonated, minimal head that takes a minute to billow up just a bit, like one finger or less, thin and dissipate, doesn't leave much in the way of bubbles or lacing on the side. Smells like chalky cocoa powder, and a blast of yeast. Not a great start on the first 2 senses.

Impressions: Reminds me a lot of Yeti in that it's a hop forward Impy Stout. Also in that way, most of the flavor comes from the harsh roast malt. Not much impressions of coffee or chocolate flavors at all. Slightly grassy, very hoppy in finish. Almost lingers like an IPA on the palate. Not much depth of flavor for me, unfortunately. I can see where the bros comment on a lack of creaminess, this feels pretty flat and dead to me. Dead hops linger on the palate, there is no refreshment, no cleansing to it. This may be the least enjoyable Impy stout I've had thus far. While it's not terrible, there are many others I've enjoyed more.

Photo of sisuspeed
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled September 21st, 2009

Poured into a Cigar City snifter. Nice dark tan head on this one that fades to a thin film over a midnight black body.

The nose is filled with anise, coffee, chocolate and a bit of alcohol, though not too hot. The anise is the most dominant note, followed by roasty malts and dark chocolate. Quite sweet.

Thick, sweet, chocolate followed by some oak notes (more like lightly charred barrel), even though I'm pretty sure this beer never sees a barrel or oak chips. Anise notes are still present, but lighter than the nose. Sweet upfront, and then roasty, slightly charred, bitter dark malts on the finish. A decent RIS, but it seems a bit discombobulated at this age. I think I prefer it fresh compared to this roughly 1.5 year old bottle.

Mouthfeel is thick, slick and well carbonated for the style. Still has some heat at this age. The finish/aftertaste is just a bit too char-like for me, which knocks down the mouthfeel a notch.

Drinkability is above average. I'm enjoying the glass in front of me, but there are better RIS's out there. I would probably pick up a pack of Old Rasputin over this any day. However, I've heard from some people that this turns into a gem with some decent age on it, so I'll probably save my other 2009 bottle for another 3-5 years. Worth checking out, but I think Bell's can do better.

Photo of wellsnb
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of waltonc
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can't remember when the last time I had one of these was. It's been so long that I forgot what a mealstout this is.

A: Sludgy black body with dark tan head. Not a ton of bubbles upon pouring, but lacing sticks around. This doesn't lack for carbonation.

S: Coffee, dark roasted malt, and some dark fruit in here.

T: See above under smell. Hops are quite pronounced as well. Not sure the IBUs are on this, but I'm guessing fairly high. Some alcoholic heat. And that dark fruit twang. This reminds me of Surly Darkness, except not as cloyingly sweet.

M: Thick chocolate shake. Carbonation is medium.

D: Can't drink too much of this stuff, but it pairs very well with cold nights.

Photo of happygnome
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a jet black non transparent color with about a half inch of tan head that disappears quickly leaving a lot of sticky lacing around the edge of the glass and middle of the beer. The beer is too dark to see if there is any carbonation rising to the top

s: Rich sweet dark fruits, a hint of a fine whiskey, roasted chocolate. The nose is balanced slightly with a hint of hops

t: roasted coffee and chocolate flavors, alcohol is present in the taste. There is a little hop bitterness to balance. the booze is present in the taste but not as much as the 10+% would lead you to think

m: full bodied beer with little carbonation

overall, i am glad to have tried this

Photo of s1ckboy
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of IronTom
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a Stone IRS tulip/snifter.

A: Black as night, 2 fingers of dark khaki head with sticky lace.

S: Coffee beans, anise, and nuttiness.

T: Bitter dark fruits, coffee, strong cocoa, and licorice.

M: Thick and sticky. It makes it considerably less drinkable.

O: This has very boisterous flavors and is one of the only non-sweet Imperial Russian Stouts I've had.

Photo of Stoutfan23DJ
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of MCain04
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

4 month old bottle poured into a 13 oz snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black. Pours out a 1-2 finger dark tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted dark malts with some booze. This promises to be warming and filling.

Taste: Extremely roasty up front, with chocolate, a little bitter coffee. Pretty hoppy... not sure how I feel about the citrus, tart, acidic, sour notes. Pretty dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation. Smooth, full body. Decently chewy. Was honestly expecting it to be boozier, this one is pretty drinkable.

Overall: A decent stout. I have another one of these with a year on it, and will put down one of this year's for a little while to see how 1, 2, 3 yrs taste with this. For $3, this tastes pretty good. For the same price though, get a founders imperial stout, you'll be happier.

Photo of theboozecruise
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark like motor oil. Not much head but what little there was retained well.

S - chocolatey and rich. Caramel and toffee notes. Phenomenal.

T - rich as well and boozy. Caramel again, burnt chocolate notes and a little coffee bean bitterness at the end.

M - thick, creamy, boozy. Man, still really blown away.

D - the alcohol makes it tough to drink a lot but I'd still live another.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter.
thanks to abanton for the opportunity.

pours a deep chestnut / mahogany, sits a jet black tone... yields a 1/2" mocha head that lapses fairly quickly into a collar around the glass; some lacing evident.

nose offers a nice potpourri of a lot of the usual suspects: roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee, with secondary notes of vanilla and some dark fruit elements.

more of the same carry pull through in the flavor. lots of roastiness, chocolate and coffee with distinct cherry / fig notes, vanilla and a touch of molasses. some booze, notably in the finish. chewy, full bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation.

overall an excellent RIS, packed with flavor and very tasty.

Photo of StlHopHead77
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a sinister,opaque black with a 1/2 inch of lasting,mocha head that dwindled slowly leaving a nice film of lacing.

S-Rich,dark roast coffee,dark toast and bittersweet

T-Refined coffee,scalded milk,lightly charred malts
and creamy chocolate.

M-Creamy,full bodied and smooth.No hint of ABV at all.Really nicely done.

O-A readily available and high quality stout.

Photo of HopsMatt
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of shredder83
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of djgustafson
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of mmmbeerNY
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of khiasmus
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to kkipple for the half bottle.

A- Black as used oil, a finger of tan head that lasts as a single layer forever.

S- Rich molasses, toffee, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and a good hop balance.

T- Molasses again, tons of burnt grain and chocolate - the burnt grain lends a strong bitterness that lingers in the finish along with the sweet malt. Hop balance is there too, but there are more acrid, burnt notes than hoppy.

M- Chewy, silky, rich, heavy, medium-high carbonation, and a dry, almost puckering finish.

D- I'd have one once a week if I could.

Photo of cowboy83
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of BodiesLexus
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of CDCNAM
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 5,043 ratings.