Expedition Stout - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Expedition Stout - Bourbon Barrel-AgedExpedition Stout - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BA SCORE
4.49/5
Outstanding
392 Ratings
Expedition Stout - Bourbon Barrel-AgedExpedition Stout - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CRJMellor on 12-13-2004

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#196
Reviews:
68
Ratings:
392
pDev:
6.46%
 
 
Wants:
144
Gots:
91
Trade:
23
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 392 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of kreg02
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of chippo33
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of BrookW
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PprBurke
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Bammer21
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pagriley
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Fireman_RK
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of eawolff99
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of micada
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 vintage score. Very limited supply in western NY reportedly, as in like 6 cases...no love! Poured cellar temp assertively to a tulip glass. One finger dark brown head over a super dark body. Head burns down fast to a laser fine ring, with lots of legs when tipped. Nose is fudge, molasses, some oak barrel. First sips are heavy bourbon, some heat from the alcohol, followed by a wee bit of dark molasses and lots of barrel. Very crisp mouthfeel up front, but lingers with a nice sweet malty backend. Much different than the base Expedition IMO. It has a little burn, but in line with the bourbon character. Well-balanced with the bourbon always forward. Jealous that folks in Michigan can evidently buy a case at a time, while we have to suffer a 2 bottle limit. I’ve been back a few times to get some cellaring bottles. Surely time will make it even better. It’s a very easy drinker, pleasantly more bourbon than coffee or chocolate as many other super stouts favor. Bells, show us the bottles!

 1,004 characters

Photo of ovaltine
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Jet black pour that shuts out the night, the dark tan head is so dense, it looks like a nitro. The first thing apparent on the nose is the barrel - it is big and it is boozy and it is bourbon. But there’s also char and dark chocolate and, dare I say, stone fruit?

The taste confirms - stone fruit, which tames the barrel a bit, and spruces up the char and dark chocolate quite nicely, and lends balance to the mouthfeel, which is creamy and just the slightest bit spritzy at the same time.

I’m glad I have a couple of bottles of this to age, because I think it will do so exceptionally well. As it is, this is world-class, IMHO.

 637 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About as nice a looking head as possible, thick light brown foam that pulls back fairly quickly, leaving a nice, sticky lacing. Smell is quite complex, as chocolate, molasses, vanilla and anise play equal role. Taste is similar but more pronounced as dark chocolate, vanilla and molasses coat the mouth with a little bourbon poking in on exit. Feels pretty thick, and leaves behind the taste of having just done a shot of a lighter, blended whiskey.

 452 characters

Photo of cozmo
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of CanConPhilly
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - mocha lacing atop a pitch black body.

S - chocolate, vanilla, barrel, caramel, brown sugar.

T - fudgy chocolate with vanilla bean shaved on top. Wood, molasses, caramel. Low bitterness. Low sweetness. Low booziness.

F - medium-full body with minimal carb.

O - shockingly drinkable for almost 13% abv.

 308 characters

Photo of brittanylicious
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sordyl
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of jera1350
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of clay23
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of AdmiralOzone
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark near black brown with a thin mahogany cap that dissipates quickly leaving nice legs on the glass. Aroma is rich chocolate and bourbon. Flavor follows the nose, vanilla and oak join in. Feel is silky smooth and creamy. Overall a tremendous beer. Well done Bell's.

 280 characters

Photo of SierraNevallagash
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12oz bottle - dated 10/16/18 - poured into a snifter after sitting in the snow a bit too long.

Pours the utmost deepest shade of dark brown, just shy of being pitch black. Pours headless, and then suddenly, like an apparition, half a finger of mocha head forms over the top, lasting for less than a minute before disappearing into the shadowy depths again, leaving little behind, but a frothy tan collar, and a swirly film.

Nose - Dear god. I have died and gone to heaven. I mean holy barrel-aged jesus. Where do I even begin? Hot cocoa mix powder. Bourbon. Vanilla. Caramel. All wrapped up and in your face. It's truly remarkable. Cake batter, chocolate frosting, whiskey and cream. Ancient oak, magical bourbon barrels, priceless leather. Milk chocolate covered cherries, figs, pralines, under-baked brownies. 50 year old bourbon. I can't stop smelling it. I've never given any category of anything a 5, because I've been saving that bar. This is it. The nose on this is the 5 I've been waiting for.

Palate: I need to lower my expectations after that nose, so I'm not disappointed. Okay. Here we go...
Oh my god. It's the nose personified. Need I repeat myself? Hot cocoa mix powder, fudge, bourbon, vanilla, oak, milk chocolate, chocolate covered espresso beans, fudge, fresh leather, brown sugar, Irish cream, a hint of maple, a hint of molasses, a kiss of boozy bourbon, the faintest wisp of smoky char in the finish, and truly, a touch of magic. Divine. Fairly sweet up front and through the middle, but never cloying, and then concluded nicely with the ever-so-slightly charred oak semi-dryness. Flavors dancing and transforming from start to finish, and continue to transform well after. Beautiful.

Mouthful is full, rich, slightly sticky, ever-so-sliiigghhttlllly thick and viscous (imagine a thin viscosity), bold, heavy, yet still beautifully liquid. Lovingly coats the palate in a sweet, delicious, bourbon-infused film, and then as-slow-as-glaciers, manifests into a rich, drier charred chocolate oak spirit, that stays and haunts you in such a beautiful manner. One need only take another sip to see the sweet, vibrant life from within reappear before your very palate. A fine, but very discernable carbonation is present, to remind you that this is still a being of the beer realm.

Overall: Man, I was so hesitant to grab this, at nearly $9 for a 12oz bottle. One of the only beers I can think of that's worth every penny of a huge asking price. This isn't just a beer. This is an experience. One to savor for as long as possible. This is a freshly bottled batch. I can't imagine what some age would do to this. It's incredible as is - dare I say...perfect? This is one of the extremely rare few beers that has truly blown my mind. Tree House Julius was one. Allagash Belfius was one. This...this is a work of art. Magnificence. Liquid divinity. World-class? Now that's an understatement.

 2,911 characters

Photo of heysuz
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DaveCash
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Donco
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ElGallo
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rudzud
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4 pack of these at Julio's (they only received six 4 packs). Never thought I'd see these in MA! 2018 vintage

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice dark black hue with a half finger dark mocha head that fades to leave thin wisps and a creamy halo. Decent legs.

S - Aromas of bourbon juice, little bit of fudge, under baked chocolate brownies, warm bourbon barrels, just flashes of warm alcohol, little vanilla, some dark chocolate. Quite rich.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, enormous bourbon notes, slightly sweet, little bit of vanilla. Nice rich bakers chocolate and brownies. Straight up chocolate bourbon juice, great barrel and a little bit of char. Reminds me of the Devils Cut that JLindros reclaimed from his barrel.

M - Mouthfeel is almost silky smooth, light carbonation, really next to no alcohol on this. It could be slightly heavier, however, then it might not be as dangerously drinkable.

O - Overall the bourbon here really cranked up an already really good RIS. The bourbon is pretty much front and center when it is fresh and it's just absurdly drinkable for the ABV. It does sneak up though, as to be expected, but man oh man is it an enjoyable pour.

Serving Type: Bottle

 1,211 characters

Photo of Johng19751
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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Expedition Stout - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.49 out of 5 with 392 ratings