Expedition Stout
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Expedition StoutExpedition Stout
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #44
Ranked #823
4.29 | pDev: 10.02%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Expedition StoutExpedition Stout
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 2,237 | Ratings: 6,484 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SB2017
4.21/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Striking look, pouring inky and opaque with the darkest head I've ever seen. The smell is sort of bitter and sour. Solidly balanced, buttery rich beer. Incredibly satisfying feel. Devastatingly complex. So many layers to unpack with every taste.

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Photo of mikeg67
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours black with tall, long lasting, creamy, brown head and nice lacing. Aroma is of roasted malt, toast, dark fruit, chocolate and brown sugar. Body is full, creamy and smooth. Taste is of nutty, toasted malt, coffee, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit, spices and herbal hops. Finish is long and very bitter. Great brew.

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4.69/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sets the gold standard for Russian imperial stout. Rich huge flavors of dark roasted malts, dark fruits, dark coffee, dark chocolate. Very creamy and thick mouthfeel. Aroma matches the flavors. Big finish of bitterness from hops. I’m very impressed with the intensity of the flavors! Having no added flavors I haven’t had a better straight RIS. A++ bottled 18 days ago. I’m glad I got a 6 pack-5 will be cellared and enjoyed at various ages!

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Photo of detgfrsh
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle packaged 8/30/19. Pours black with a thin layer of brown head. Roasted malt and chocolate smell. Very smooth feel and medium body. Dark malt, dark chocolate, and some strong bitter hops. Absolutely delicious!

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Photo of jernjawn
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

pours dark dark brown with a small rich looking head which dissipates quickly to a ring around the glass
on the nose is chocolate and tobacco. strong hint of booze
taste dark chocolate bitter with flashes of sweet. some dark fruit. toasted malts, bordering on tasting burnt
heavy and super rich, quite dry.
This brew is packed with flavor

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Photo of Explorer_Bill
4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer will keep you busy. Multifaceted in aroma, taste and appearance. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle dated 9/18 enjoyed 12/13/19. L: I love the deep dark almost black color contrasting with the rosy brown head. Very nice lacing as well. S: The aroma is complex, in a good way. I first note a sweetness; almost molasses in quality. I picked up malty, toasty smells as well as espresso and dark chocolate. T: the front of my tongue picks up the sweetness mentioned in the smell, mid palate it’s bakers chocolate, maybe coffee as well and the bitterness of the hops comes shining through. F: This is a heavy, thick beer; very solid body. Maybe slightly heavier than I prefer but I respect it for what it is. O: This is a really special beer. I wouldn’t want to drink it frequently but it’s a great sipper, especially given the high ABV. I’m really glad I tried it and I will tuck the other 5 away in my cellar to age a bit more.

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Photo of Scottors
3.89/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

To each their own. Too bitter for me packaged 10/2018 drank 12/2019 so I don't know how long you would need to age it, to tame the bitterness. Still aside from that for me a pretty well made beer. Creamy like a chocolate shake

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Photo of Beerbubby
4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Marvelous imperial stout. No quirky extras... just hits the brew on the head. Beautiful mocha colored head and brown black body. Deep balanced flavor. Ages well? I'm sure I will never know.

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Photo of CharlesForbin
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Age: 1 yr. $80 a case in Pennsylvania. Beautiful appearance. Rich, thick head. Completely black in color. I don't think it was as bitter as some other reviewers have noted. 10% alcohol appears well masked. Best served not super cold as it builds in complexity with warmth. Can't wait to cellar this for a few years. Fantastic!

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Photo of eugene17pluto
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

has this clear sweetness coming from the malt and bitterness too, which I don't really like.

otherwise, it's a pretty decent beer.

it doesn't have the coffee, chocolate, and other flavors in Founders Breakfast or the complexity and deliciousness coming from a barrel aged stout

and the bitterness sort of reminds of Stone dark beers - which I'm not a fan of

So...if you like the bitterness of stone and don't really care about the complexity and other flavors from a Founders style, I think this beer is for you

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Photo of tradershmulie
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers. Truly delicious. Seems to be a perfect beer for this style.

Color is super black, smell is delicious, taste is silky smooth. High alcoholic content not a factor at all, it is there but does not feel it.

Everything you would want from a stout is here.

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Photo of Premo88
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into tight nonic
(10/31/2017 born-on date ... almost two years old from my "cellar" aka my fridge)

L: classic black-and-tan look with the beer being almost pitch black and the massive head of foam being a dark tan, almost brown; as it pours, it looks like motor oil coming out of the bottle, and the head percolates like a nitro beer; the sticking off the head of foam is modern-art quality; it's one of the the most amazing pours you'll ever see and the easiest 5 I've scored

S: chocolate, both lighter, sweeter milk and more bitter dark; a faint note of old burnt hops

T: bitter dark malt — it's bitter enough that the hops still could be nipping and biting, but it's also a burnt bitter; baker's chocolate, espresso, brown sugar, a hint of meaty/bold red wine that gets cut off by the dark-malt bitterness; occasionally the chocolate flavors get sweeter, moving from baker's to dark to a hint of milk chocolate

F: fat, thick, oily and well carbonated; at times you feel like you could eat it with knife and fork, but it's still beer and mostly water, and there is a nice break from the thickness from time to time and it almost feels a bit watery; a fun complexity and more often than not exactly what you expect from the style

O: even at two years old, it's still strong, dark and bitter; in fact, it's a bit too bitter to my tastes; it's tasty and enjoyable, but it could've aged another two years and still been fine, perhaps even losing some of the burnt bitterness and tasted more like roasted coffee and dark chocolate; if you like your Russian imperial stouts on the truly dark side, this one fits the bill

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Photo of npolachek
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Good beer. Even after aging a bit bitter for my liking but still solid. Tastes like chocolate and coffee. Drinkable - very solid and recommended. Definitely age it..

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Photo of 5toutman75
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Possibly my favorite non barrel aged imperial stout along with Darkness. I held a blind taste test with friends and this came in second to Darkness among the group vs 7-8 comparable stouts. I’ve had a 22 year old bottle of this tastes amazing before. This stout is legendary. I love the bitterness and complexity. I will always try to have some on hand.

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Photo of woodchipper
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle dated 8/19/18 to a diagonal cut tumbler.
Pours opaque brown/black with a one finger brown head.
Aroma is rich, reminds me of chocolate covered cherries with brandy inside.
This is a complex beer, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, cherries, brandy maybe a touch of smoke, I don't normally like sweet stouts, and this isn't sweet except maybe by my standards, but I like this a lot. The mouthfeel is full tongue coating, sticky. This viscosity and surface tension nicely but temporarily coats the glass with each sip.
A new beer for my stout list for sure.

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Photo of mkh012
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served around 50 degrees and sipped slowly. Pours near-black with a thin tan head. The nose is dark chocolate, roast, and pine with a savory edge and a faint metallic note. The taste is dark chocolate, coffee, and cherry with a light hit of booze and bitter pine on the finish. The mouthfeel is a nice medium+. Overall, a tasty stout with herbal bitterness.

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Photo of Shade1951
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely delicious!

Pours an oily black with a kind of ice cream soda tan head that dissipates in a couple minutes leaving tan lacing. Smell is dominated by malty chocolate, bit of dark fruit, bit of leather. Feel is creamy almost like ice cream.

Overall, it's very rich, almost dessert-like.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate dark tan colored head on this brew with and almost black beer. I get a sugar soda type smell from this one meh... flavor is a bit bitter with fleeting overripe fruits and maybe somewhat woody but pretty decent and hides the alcohol pretty well with a slight amount of heat felt. Thick brew here with more carbonation than you might expect. A bit different than other imperials I’ve had in a somewhat interesting way.

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Photo of JohnFred4
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Look: impossibly dark, can't see through it. dark tan head that dissipates, but clings to the side of the glass for dear life.

Smell: wood shavings, redwood. burnt sugar.

Taste: unsweetened cocoa powder. alcohol kick is definitely present. dry like a white wine; some sweetness comes on the end though. redwood. unsweetened figs. a bit bitter. doesn't take like it's been kept ina bourbon barrel, tastes like it's been kept in a vodka barrel

Feel: where it really excels. it's thick like a chocolate milkshake, and really coats the tongue

overall: i was a bit disappointed. i can't get over the bitterness and the un-smoothness of the alcohol. I like a dry, less sweet stout, but this one is a bit harsh.

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Photo of Izzo
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful. Nose of chocolate and mocha, vanilla. Delicious and sumptuous to drink (Carmel, mocha, dark chocolate, hazelnut). Between hot chocolate and espresso with heft. Full bodied. Winter beer for sure. I’m loving this and am going to buy more. Seek it out.

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Photo of Nass
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big dark chocolate, dates, raisins, roasted malts, some char, some coffee, slight licorice, the mouthfeel is medium to full. There is a bottled on date on the back. The 10.5% abv is well melded. If you're a stout lover then you might love this. Cheers! A-

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Photo of slipperybeans
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

No other beer has the balance of being a thick and hearty body, and just a bit of sweetness. The sweet flavor isn't forced, and it isn't too much. It is obviously naturally a residual essence from great ingredients and brewing - not like other beers that throw blobs of coffee, chocolate, or whatever, and rely upon them for the primary taste.
I should point out that this is not a beer for the meek. If you have ever had a bud, miller, coors, ... and thought "this is refreshing", this beer is too much for you to even watch someone pour from across the bar - and definitely too much flavor for you to handle.
I discovered the beer decades ago, and haven't found a better beer since.
#1 beer in the world.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2016 vintage - Pours black with a creamy brown foam head. Smells like licorice, big bold dark fruit, black grapes, dark berries, blueberry, black cherry, toasted graham cracker, dark chocolate, caramel swirl, a little smoky, hint of vanilla, touch of herbal hop notes and a lingering dark coffee roast. Tastes rich and savory with dense dark baker’s chocolate, dark coffee roast, smoky, dark caramel, dark molasses, slight vanilla, toasted graham cracker, dark fruit, black grapes, blueberry, dark berries, black cherry, licorice, with a big herbal earthy hit from the hops. Feels medium bodied, creamy with smooth moderate carbonation. Overall a really nice Russian imperial stout.

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Photo of Dr_Gonzo
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall clear pint glass. Jet black in appearance, half finger of light brown head, moderate retention and lacing.

Aroma consists mainly of dark chocolate and fudge. Notes of cream, leather, licorice, char, dark fruits, wood, and espresso. Very pleasant.

Roasted notes and coffee beans upfront. Notes again much like the aroma, in the order of leather, licorice, char, and wood, while the sweeter malts are least prominent. Hops dominate and provide a pleasant spiciness. Feels really smooth and balanced.

Excellent stout.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
4.07/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Quite possibly the best Bell's I've had to date...

I found this beer to be surprisingly special. I wasn't really expecting much but that's usually the time when the unexpected happens. The unexpected was simply what I got with this - from a beautifully dark beer with late forming, tan head (another unexpected surprise) to the roasted malt smell with chocolate notes - all of this was a very good first impression. Mouthfeel was a bit watery but still medium-bodied with a taste that matched. Yes sir, this is something unexpected, and good.

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Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 6484 ratings