1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

4,527 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 4,527
Reviews: 1,881
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 393
Gots: 970 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 4,527 | Reviews: 1,881 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mtrog313
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

mtrog313, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of beerhast
5/5  rDev +18.2%

beerhast, Aug 22, 2013
Photo of csmiley
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours black and opaque. I could only squeeze out a quarter inch of tan head that took a few seconds to appear and stuck around for a while. Sheets of lace spotted the glass.

S - Roasted notes and bittersweet chocolate are first apparent. They are quickly backed up by espresso and a sweet aroma that reminds me of maple syrup.

T - Bitter roasted flavors abound. Followed by chocoloate, coffee, cherries, and burnt caramel. All this is tied together with a warm alcohol flavor. Balance is very good considering all the strong flavors that are present.

M - Full bodied. Bitter. Carbonation is at a level that I like for this strong of a beer.

D - Drinkability is high. I would highly rocommend this beer to anyone looking for a big bold stout.

csmiley, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of hoplover82
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all... WOW!!! This beer is a thing of beauty indeed! This beer pours THICK AND BLACK with a solid, creamy, 1 1/2 finger espresso crema colored head that has excellent retention and lacing.
S-Right off the bat, chocolate notes along with toffee and warm alcohol fill the nose. After the beer warms a little and a swirl in the glass, sweet burnt caramel notes become quite pungent. Also, way in the back are licorice notes. The nose is quite comples indeed.
T-In the flavor, bittersweet chocolate is the main player here. The burnt caramel comes through as well. After searching for more complexity, I found there is a huge roastiness in the flavor of this beautiful stout. The warming alcohol also translates into the flavor.
M-Of course this beer has a huge, thick, creamy body. The finish is extremely long with bittersweet chocolate burnt caramel lingering on my palate.
O-Overall, I am very thrill to have tried this beer, happy I picked it up when I was in Ohio. I had a couple of beers from Bell's Brewing Company and I am thoroughly impressed with their brewing skills.

hoplover82, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of gr8zehaman
4/5  rDev -5.4%

gr8zehaman, Sep 30, 2013
Photo of freemanj
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

freemanj, Mar 01, 2014
Photo of nosavingsaccount
4/5  rDev -5.4%

nosavingsaccount, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of RyanGoodman
4/5  rDev -5.4%

RyanGoodman, Jan 14, 2012
Photo of Dcunicelli
3.75/5  rDev -11.3%

Dcunicelli, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of blitz134
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black body. A one finger dark chocolate head that reduced really quickly. Good looking brew.

Overall sweet aroma. Lots of sweet dark fruits including raisins and currants. Some light chocolate comes through as well. Flavor is loaded with dark toasted malts followed by a sweet caramel body. The alcohol presents an overall sweetness adding possibly a touch of vanilla. Alcohol isn't really overwhelming, definately blended with the flavor in a tasty fashion.

Mouthfeel is oily and creamy on the tongue. Coats well and lingers for quite a while. Dangerously drinkable. Probably one of the most drinkable brews I"ve had with this much alcohol.

Overall a nicely crafted brew. Definately a sipper.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for the opportunity...

blitz134, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of wmobley
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

wmobley, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of ACB
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%

ACB, Aug 23, 2013
Photo of bob727
5/5  rDev +18.2%

bob727, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Matthew607
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

Matthew607, Mar 08, 2014
Photo of Carl_R
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Carl_R, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of dspinler
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

dspinler, Apr 10, 2014
Photo of blakesell
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a pint before Dave Boston's tragedy of losing a whopping 4 gallons from an exploded bung on the cask.

A-poured thick as motor oil and frothy as all get out. A Coffee black/brown frothy head that lingered like an uninvited guest that just won't leave. It seemed like hours and was at least a full 20 min before the head died down sufficiently. The tension mounted as the head retained.

S-Slight rasin, plum, Chocolate, coffee, cream? must be lactose sugars

T-A little sweet, frothy from the force carbonation of the cask. Chocolate malt, Black Patent, non-malted barley, hints of smoke. finish thick and sweet but still black like my lungs back when I smoked clove cigarettes. Sticky on the lips like back when I smoked them as well. Alcohol creeps up and quick. I'm wondering if it's the same percentage it has always been, but 11.5 isn't shabby by a long shot. Oh, hoppiness comes out in the finish as well.

M-Thick like a mouthfull of blood after getting hit with a baseball bat. I'm a little morbid today, let's go closer to thick like eggnog, with almost as much creaminess. I'm glad I had water nearby as well to balance it out so I could drink it all and soak it in over the duration. Slight drying finish.

D-This is by far the best cask conditioned beer I have ever had. I could have drank this all night but only dealt with one due to the tasting after. I regret that I have but one palate to blow away for my community.

These are the stouts that myths are made of.

blakesell, Apr 21, 2007
Photo of bmoney
4.25/5  rDev +0.5%

bmoney, Oct 17, 2012
Photo of griffeyb
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%

griffeyb, Mar 31, 2013
Photo of JasonTaverner
4/5  rDev -5.4%

JasonTaverner, Jan 18, 2014
Photo of pentathlete
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to babydoc who sent me this as part of BIF18. What a variety of big brews in that box. Gotta love BAs.

12 oz bottle pours an oil slick black into the imperial. Hard pour produced a small quickly dissipating dark beige head. Smell is burnt coffee, caramel, and raisins. Taste is where the wheels leave the tracks a bit. Starts creamy with sweet molasses and then the mishmash of hops and cough cyrup kicks in. Finish is somewhat thin, bitter without either a bite or pleasant hoppiness. Mouth is coated in Vicks (the cough syrup, not Ron Mexico.) Unless this matches your palate, this beer is not highly drinkable. Maybe I'll get an opportunity to have one that has aged a bit more to see if the flavors blend and mellow a bit.

pentathlete, May 17, 2005
Photo of IPAFrankieH
4/5  rDev -5.4%

IPAFrankieH, Jul 10, 2012
Photo of theghost3
3.13/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an extreme dark brown, almost black. No head to speak of, just a light brown ring that disappears quickly. No lacing.

The smell is rather sweet from lots of chocolate along with some dark fruits (cherry, plums) & molasses. The taste is nothing like the smell--bitter citrus-like hop flavor with burnt coffee & some booziness. The lack of sweetness is a negative. Mouthfeel is kind of carbonated at first, but then ends up flat at the end; weird.

This should probably be aged to cut down on the bitter flavor. Not the most drinkable at this moment. An RIS should have some trace of sweetness. My concern is that if the carbonation goes away this quickly, it will be nonexistent with age.

theghost3, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of poppyjohn
4/5  rDev -5.4%

poppyjohn, Jan 21, 2012
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 4,527 ratings.