Bell's Barrel Aged Expedition Stout | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
12 Reviews
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Bell's Barrel Aged Expedition StoutBell's Barrel Aged Expedition Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by JasonR1975 on 07-27-2014

BEER STATS
Reviews:
12
Ratings:
105
Avg:
4.42
pDev:
6.56%
 
 
Wants:
63
Gots:
31
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
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Reviews: 12 | Ratings: 105
Photo of SerialTicker
4.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From One-Eyed Betty's BBA Expo event dealie that they had... $6 for a 5.5oz pour never seemed like such a steal until I had this beer.

Usually when I hype a beer up, I'm let down, or I get just what I expected. With this, I just about had my mind blown -- one of the best beers I've had, without a doubt. You'd think, "Alright. Just another BBA'd imperial stout. I've had a ton of these. How different could it be?"

I wondered the same thing... but this. I don't know. Maybe it's the type of barrels they aged this in, or the wetness of them, or God knows what. Perfectly roasty, chocolatey, bourbony, and smokey, with accents of vanilla and tobacco. If that's not enough, the feel on this is insane. Some beers claim to drink fudge-like, but this one nearly does. I've never had such a viscous stout before, and it works perfectly... because you damn well better believe I want those flavors on my tongue for as long as possible.

Drink this now, now, NOW if you have any bottles. I had it on-tap, but I figure the experience is similar from a bottle... there's just really no reason to let this beer "mellow out" or "cool down" or any of that shit. Open this beer and enjoy it for what it is, a work of zymurgy magic.

 1,221 characters

Photo of Gambyt20
4.94/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow this is serious. nose it a prelude to the amazing roasty, vanilla, thick, bourbon smooth deliciousness to follow on the taste. Struggling whether this or BCBS is better, but just simply outstanding BA stout.

 211 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rich deep dark chocolate color. Has a mellow charred aroma with a little bit of booze. Flavor is delicious, smooth and mellow booze with deep roasted malts. Has a smooth rich body and overall very delicious.

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Photo of jp32
4.68/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours pitch black with a nice tan colored head on top that sticks around for a while. The aroma is super malty, somewhat sweet, with some mild roast notes, lots of booze in the nose, leather, prunes, vanilla, dark chocolate.

The flavor is tremendously big and complex. Roasted dark malts, dark chocolate, vanilla, oak barrel, bourbon, dark stone fruits, caramel, black licorice, molasses, more booze, a little coffee. The flavor is BIG and INTENSE, even for a stout. And it's hot, I'm loving it!

This may have the biggest, fullest, heaviest mouthfeel of any beer I've had. Big, chewy, dense mouthfeel. A hint of something chalky in some sips. I've always been a fan of how full-bodied the regular Expedition Stout is, and it was nice to see their barrel aged version hasn't missed a beat in that department.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: pitch black with a finger of dark brown head
S: sweet molasses and chocolate. Not overwhelming barrel though.
T: oh yeah, very good. Big sweetness, milk chocolate, oak, and whiskey, slightly hot.
F: smooth and creamy. Easy to drink, just not top notch thickness.
O: very good, so glad I got to try it.

 305 characters

Photo of Jaycase
4.35/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 05/04/16
a: black as night. less than one finger dark khaki head which quickly recedes away. Looks like a glass of regular expo.
s: It's got the characteristic expo aroma - roasty malts predominate with notes of dark chocolate. Enveloped with oaky, vanilla bourbon.
t: Barrel flavors (vanilla & oak) dominate here. Roasted malts have a strong presence as well. Small notes of chocolate in the background.
f: low-medium carbonation. creamy. medium body.
o: Huge fan of Expo so quite fortunate to be able to try the BA version. It's quite boozy at this point which is not unexpected. The base beer presence is definitely there but a bit overshadowed at this time by the barrel but this is fine to me as I'm drinking a BA beer and enjoyed it very much. Looking forward to revisiting the next bottle in several months' time to see how it changes.

 866 characters

Photo of barczar
4.32/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Lots of caramel and vanilla in aroma, with hints of roast.

Flavor is fairly boozy, though there's a roast, oak finish that dries it out. Vanilla from bourbon adds a marshmallow character. Could use some time to meld and allow the dark fruit to come forth.

 257 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle. Black with a nice khaki head. Smells of whiskey and strong roasted malt. Some molasses, but not too sugary smelling. Tastes of licorice, molasses, heavy oak. Bourbon is kind of a burner in the back end. The bourbon is a little rough, but it's nice. Heavy and definitely a sipper. Happy to have an imperial stout that isn't stupid sugary.

 360 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.99/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, dated 05.04.16, stamped 13.0% ABV, poured into a Bell's tulip glass.

The beer pours an extremely deep, jet black color, a touch of cola brown hues when struck by the light with a tight khaki head, nearly a finger high that has low retention but does yield some soapy lace. The aroma is huge, intense chocolate, bittersweet with strong oak, light bourbon, a touch of stone fruits, some vanilla and strong malted barley. The chocolate character on the nose is great, the alcohol presence starts to creep out as it warms, but this is more oaky, and tame and it opens up some nice complex aromas that make it one of the better smelling barrel aged stouts I've encountered in a while. The flavors are pretty harsh, really big barrel character right off the bat, chewy oak, light toffee forward bourbon, bittersweet chocolate, roasted barley, a touch of coffee flavor, vanilla, stone fruits, caramel and alcohol round out a pretty complex beer, but as it warms, the alcohol gets very sharp and this beer gets a bit more roasty and oaky at the same time, which is an odd flavor combination, and leaves a very earthy flavor on my tongue that lingers almost indefinitely. The mouthfeel is very nice, thick and chewy, mildly prickly carbonation props this beer up but it coats the mouth so well, very sticky with a finish that is very warm and almost dry.

Verdict: A nice barrel aged stout from Bell's. I can easily say that I prefer the base beer, it's a bit more complex and nuanced, the barrel treatment here kind of flattens this beer and it's so barrel forward that it becomes a bit too harsh. That being said, the huge chocolate aroma on this beer is so inviting and enjoyable that it really makes up for that big barrel flavor.

 1,740 characters

Photo of lupercmda
4.67/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours thick black with a nice tan head. Nice rich dark roasted malt smell with awesome bourbon smell. Tastes exactly like it smells. Nice back end bourbon finish. I wish I had more of this.

 189 characters

Photo of mdfb79
4.33/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown with one inch of dark tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Tons of bourbon, oak, chocolate, roasted malts, alcohol, burnt malts, dark chocolate, and cream. Thick full body and low carbonation. Hot.

Overal really good but hot; if you like that you'll love it.

 289 characters

Photo of Lazhal
4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Really glad to have gotten some of this, so I figured I'd give a review a fair shot.

This beer is one of those barrel aged beers that doesn't try to do too much. It's barrel + stout and nothing else and it does an excellent job at it.

Bottled ten days ago and its a bit hoppier than I like my stouts, but nothing like the hoppiness of Yeti beers/variants. The barrel character really smooths out the taste. Closest cousin might be Dark Horse Barrel Aged Plead, but Plead is a tad sweeter, at least that's what my palette tells me today. It also could just be the bitterness masking it.

Mouth feel is great, not too thin or thick. Nose is fine. Wouldn't call it anything special. The best thing that I've done with this beer is let it warm. My first drink was at 50, and that was way too cold. Definitely needs to sit at room temp for a while.

If you are a big fan of the non adjunct/flavored format (I hesitate to say basic, because of the connotation) of big BA stouts, then this is a must try. However, if you prefer the cinnamon + bacon + coconut + coffee + vanilla + cat piss or one of the thousand other ridiculous things they put in beer these days, you may find yourself a bit underwhelmed considering what this beer is trading for.

Cheers!

 1,263 characters

Bell's Barrel Aged Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.42 out of 5 based on 105 ratings.
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