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

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Bell's Barrel Aged Expedition StoutBell's Barrel Aged Expedition Stout
270 Ratings
Bell's Barrel Aged Expedition StoutBell's Barrel Aged Expedition Stout

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by CRJMellor on 12-13-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 270 |  Reviews: 45
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More User Reviews:
Photo of Lazhal
4.41/5  rDev -1.6%
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.


 1,263 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A deep bow towards LambicPentameter for this 12 oz. bottle. Expy Stout was my wife’s gateway beer into the dark side…for years I heard “I don’t like dark beers”. One night in the middle of 2008 she gave in to my offer of an Expedition Stout & a few months later we were hunting Darkness on tap together. She won’t touch her previous favorite (“A Kolsch” she sniffs now).

The pour is eye-patch black with a ribald head that fades faster than a Twins starting pitcher. The nose isn’t overwhelming, but nice fudge, sweet malts, vanilla, touch of bourbon. Not objectionable. The beer, not the pitching. THAT was highly objectionable.

Expedition Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged is a barrel showcase. Massive bourbon presence along with a thick, coating mouthfeel puts me immediately in mind of a slightly smaller cousin to Bourbon County Stout (like free safety vs. linebacker). The base is there but muted: slight roast, malt sweetness, liquid fudge, great depth, but without the stone fruit that haunts some years (& which I’m not fond of), with just a shadow of hops. Vanilla follows, along with a finishing touch of spice, so I’m going to swear these were aged in rye whiskey barrels. A sipping beer. I need a fire.

Simply decadent. The barrel & the base work together like Buxton & Sano. If only they could pitch. A truly outstanding beer.

 1,366 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a brandy snifter with a large tan head. Black as night with just hints of red,showing through.
Aroma of bourbon mash on a highly potent backbone of chocolate, nuts and burnt toffee. Really quite amazing on how much the bourbon dominates a fairly aromatic beer anyway.
Flavor is an amazing mix of the peat and charcoal hit of the bourbon with the heavy malts and bitterings of the Expedition. For some reason the burnt characteristics of the regualr Expedition co-mingle so well with charcoally hints in the bourbon notes. Really compliment one another.
Mouthfeel is a highyl alcoholic punch of cocoa and charcoal with some resiny bitterness on the finish. Imagine regular Expedition with well blended addition of some peat and charcoal.
Drinkability was great, could not have just one. Poured too cold but after it warmed appropriately this was truly a world class beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

When the mother batch of Double Cream Stout doesn't turn out, the stout show must go on. The other half, the Expedition Stout is ready to play. Without the blend that would normally make up Black Note, the Russian imperial stout stands alone. A long slumber in bourbon barrels and straight to your tastebuds is a rare culinary treat that simply exudes decadence in a glass.

Onyx-black and with an ominous tar sheen, the beer whips together a short but sturdy lather to endure the session. Its powerful scent is of all things burnt. Roasted espresso bean, dark chocolate, walnut, grilled fruit and spicy whisky all align in the nose for a heavily decadent, dessert-like aroma. As its burnt sweetness slathers on the early palate, a mesmerizing taste of burnt marshmallow, black-strap molasses and the darkest coffee roast imaginable shows power and seduction immediately.

Lavishly malty on the middle palate, the bittersweet chocolates seep deep into the tastebuds along with walnut brownie mix, chocolate covered espresso bean, campfire and grilled dark fruit. Grape, berry, currant and cherry offer a mild vinous twang that extends effortlessly into the realm of oak-soaked char, vanilla, coconut and caramel. Spicy, roasty and rounded with bourbon ball candies give this seriously robust beer a power punch of flavor that's head and shoulders above the rest.

Full, lavish and viscous, the beer sticks to the mouth with a malty sweetness that's unwavering. Roast acidity, spicy whisky, hints of tartness and peppercorn keeps the complex flavor coming as the stout balances to near pin-point perfection. Its a rare taste that extends well into the next sip, rewarding the imbiber with continued culinary excellence with each and every grace of the lip.

 1,755 characters

Photo of M_chav
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Damn son, this is incredible. What I love most is the base stout is still perfectly represented.
L - dark and the blackest night, its beautiful
S - Roasted chocolate love? Pretty sure its love, dark chocolate
T - Dark fruited crunch bars, maybe some chocolate covered pretzel goodness, good nutty factor
F - thick raisins dark-viscous-oaky dessert cake, crazy nice
O - a beer I'm thankful to have come across, what a treat, everything I wanted it to be and more.

 463 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

i feel like the base expedition stout is an early cellar beer for a lot of budding beer geeks. its widely available, ages with the best of them, and fairly affordable. i think its been over hyped to some degree as a result, but i still adore it. this bourbon barrel aged edition is next level, but has surprisingly no hype at all. must be that its not packaged, but it absolutely should be. hear that bells?! do it up! its great beer, still huge and roasty with dark espresso and yeasty dryness, but the bourbon brings out the best of the malt, char and char, vanilla and honey, and a wooded smoothness thats just amazing in the already huge bodied luxurious brew. still more bitter than sweet, which i really admire in stout this big, its true to that. its also not overly flavored by the barrels, or changed too much, its more accentuating and highlighting various features, and it does so sequentially and beautifully. i think this should be packaged, straight up. these guys are big enough now to pull the resources together to make it happen, and i think a lot of us out here in beer geek land have been waiting patiently. i almost wish i never tried it, because now i want it more than ever. really top notch. hard to improve on a classic, but theyve come real close to doing that...

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Photo of JefferyLaGrow
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I love the regular expedition stout and I look forward to it's release every year. This version is just as good, pours with a similar viscosity, has the same dark cappuccino head, and very similar flavors. So naturally I think that it is a great beer... That being said, there is not very much barrel flavor to enhance it. You get some bourbon notes, and the usual chocolate roasty flavors that come with expedition, but not too much else. The nose is really nice, and you pick up all of the barrel aged aromas, just not too much on the palate. Overall, it is still a great beer...

 587 characters

Photo of DanGeo
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of tectactoe
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of t2grogan
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SkiBum22
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mmcurran
4.66/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of olradetbalder
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of boogerisu
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Zonian1
3.81/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chuckgietzen
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Futbolmanby
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of brother_rebus
4.39/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Huntzor
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of fthegiants
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.95/5  rDev -11.8%
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 beergorrilla
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of alphaacid9000
5/5  rDev +11.6%

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Bell's Barrel Aged Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.48 out of 5 with 270 ratings