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

Expedition StoutExpedition Stout
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #48
Ranked #916
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: 2,268 | Ratings: 6,569 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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cjeep from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One seriously tasty brew. I haven’t tried it much due to the price point but I think that’s been my loss. Bottled 9/21 consumed 10/21. Great now but what might happen w time?
L: from the bottle. Classic stylish.
S: coffee chocolate. Toffee? Nice!
T: almost smoky. Bittersweet chocolate. Lots of bitterness. Powerful. I like it.
F: kind of forgot about it. Nice but after the taste who cares?
O: helluva offering. Worthy!

Oct 05, 2021
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DoctorZombies from Florida

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

Bottled 9/3/20. Poured at 57°. Ink black; one finger of dark tan mixed bubbles head quickly dissipates leaving a small filmy island and solid ring; spots of lace and thick legs on swirl. Nose is roast malt, chocolate and coffee. Roast bitterness, char and burnt brown sugar up front; bittersweet dark chocolate, chocolate brownie batter; raisins; roast coffee as beer warms; star anis and molasses on backend. Medium full body, moderate minus carbonation; some warmth from 11.5% abv; dryish finish. Overall, layers of flavors, however, at almost one year old the char/bitterness is still strong with a long bitter linger; a tasty RIS, yet more bitter roast than I want…it would be interesting to see how this beer tastes in a few years.

Aug 16, 2021
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black beauty with a nice tan head. Unusually complex flavor profile brings chocolate and dark fruit on parade for your palate. It is hearty, in your face, yet smooth and beautifully blended.

May 18, 2021
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vinicole from England

4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle conditioned. Cellared since 2015. Almost black with a dark tan, frothy head which recedes to a lasting thin layer.
Rich aroma of chocolate, coffee with dark rum and raisin fudge.
A bittersweet cacophany of flavours reflecting the bouquet. Charred bitter finish.
Full in body. Viscous. Soft carbonation.
Deserves the accolades.

May 01, 2021
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BergBeer from Hawaii

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass

Look: Opaque pitch black with a thick mocha head

Smell: Rich bittersweet coffee, hops, coffee,

Taste: Big bold bittersweet coffee up front that gets blasted away by bitter floral and pine hop that stick to the palate and slowly fades to notes of coffee and honey toast

Feel: Big and rich. Not cloying but still clings to the palate with bold bitterness. Medium alcohol. Good carbonation.

Overall: A Russian imperial stout that isn’t afraid to show off the hoppy side of the style. Solid.

Mar 06, 2021
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keith_katt from Kentucky

3.64/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours black. Like jet black. Brown head that is 1.5 fingers thick. Fades to long lasting lacing. The flavor is bold. Black licorice and bitter coffee. Mouth feel is thick. Everything about this is bold. Very bold. Too much for with a meal. Just about a meal by itself.

Jan 30, 2021
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BillAfromSoCal from California

4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

For a non-BA aged stout this one really rocks. True to its style in taste and smell. Dark as midnight. Pours with a nice dark tan head about 1.5 fingers thick that dissipates fairly quickly to leave a thin covering over the beer for the duration or time it takes to bottom the glass. a little lacing left behind. My smell/taste differentiation capabilities are not sufficient to discern individual components very defensibly, but there is a bit of bitter dark chocolate I pick up with an overall incredibly well balanced taste and mouthfeel that leaves me to conclude "I have no idea what contributes to this flavor but it sure is good". I need to get more of this and cellar it and ration it out until it is reissued next year.

Jan 17, 2021
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blazerkor from Nevada

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has a really strong coffee scent up front and then the malts start marching in.
It has a strong rich coffee taste that turns a little woody. Then it turns sweet with malt.

This shit is thick. It's mouthfeel is a mouthful.  It's smooth with not a lot of carbonation. It finishes with some bitterness and a little burn from the high alcohol content.

Overall this is a great imperial stout. It's strong and flavorful.  Overall I give it a 5.2 out of 6.

Jan 16, 2021
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ChristopherCurtis from New York

4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Ink black, two finguhs of tan head.
Smell: Espresso, tobacco, raisin, brownie batter.
Taste: Massive flavor. Melted dark chocolate, loads of singed brown sugar. Espresso, bittersweet dark fruits and a toasty finish.
Feel: Like God.
Overall: Consume me, o' vastness of what lies before me. May I be reborn in your own very image.

Dec 11, 2020
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Argail from Louisiana

4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

one of my most favorite beer, malt bitter chocolate larchy toast and heat room temp from glass 2020 bottle stashed two bottles for one year & two year to try.

Nov 07, 2020
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Freonicus from Tennessee

4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty nice example of a Russian Stout. Alcohol hidden extremely well. Hints of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, blah blah blah, you know what a stout tastes like. This is just one of the better examples. $13.50 at Total Wine, so not overpriced for an 11+. Try it, you'll like it. ✌

Nov 04, 2020
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Esteroboy from Indiana

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

A Russian Imperial Stout. It tastes dark, from Somewhere else. It's a wonderful counter to hopped-up IPAs. Malty and smooth and tasty. The ABV is sneaky. I really like this one. If you are thinking of trying dark, try this beer.

Oct 07, 2020
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Manta200 from Kentucky

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Jungle Jim's. They had several aged Bell's beers on sale. Bottle dated 11/05/15 (4-1/2 years old)
Pours pitch dark with a thin head that disappears almost immediately. Very nice, I enjoyed it.

Aug 01, 2020
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oily black in color with a viscous appearance. Poured with a short, dark beige foam with low retention. Rich, roasted malt aromas, dry dark chocolate, sweet dark malt, with notes of black coffee and dark fruit. Full bodied with a lush, rich feel and low carbonation. Dark roasted malt flavors up front with sweet dark grainy malt beneath. Medium light bitterness through the middle. Boozy bite transitions off the mellow bitterness followed sweet dark chocolate, dark fruit, roasted malts and mellow, tasty, lighty charred malts near the end. Finished dryly with tapering rich roasty malt flavors, dark fruit, and very light charred malt notes. Aromatic, rich, malty, mellow booziness, smooth....wow, this was fantastic.

Jun 16, 2020
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Whyteboar from Michigan

4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is for a bottle that was capped in November of 2015 and opened on May 1, 2020, so take that for reference.
Pulled the 12 oz bottle from my cellar where it was stored at 54 degrees and poured it into a snifter.
Aroma - I can smell this one! Mmmm, stout like malts and slight coffee nuance with what I can only describe as a hint of graham cracker, which seemed odd to me, but there you have it.
Appearance - If the color black had a temperature, this would be a warm black. Virtually no head, very light umber colored lacing. Very opaque.
Taste - Very good. Need to compare with 'fresh' for comparison, but this was outstanding. Roasted malts roll over your tongue and down your throat with the hops kicking in at the back of the palate for a slight edge. Warmth accompanies the entire process.
Overall - Excellent example of the genre. The malts carry the hops, not the other way around like I've tasted in some. Definitely a permanent occupant in the cellar.

May 04, 2020
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4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass from 12 oz bottle. Bottled 9/10/18 and enjoyed 5/2/20. Color is deep, dark, near black, 1/3 inch of foam, which quickly dissipated into a stubborn almond-colored ring, and a few islands. Smell of espresso, merlot and sweet fresh-baked bread. Tasted of coffee and vanilla, sweet. can taste the alcohol. Lightly carbonated and sharp in the mouth, a slight burn down the throat, a smooth and sugary finish.

May 04, 2020
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frbnsn from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I had this beer for the fist time during the 3rd stay home week in April. I recall the look, smell & taste, but don't remember much after that. Not sure if I was exhausted from day or the beer was that good. Either way, I am going to have to try it again.

Apr 27, 2020
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Ahypercube from California

4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of the 2015 vintage from the Argonaut in Denver. Never before have I aged a beer for more than two years, so this is a first experience for me. Thanks for cellaring this, guys. As the bottle description suggests, this brew was meant to be aged...

The pour reveals a dark brown espresso body with just enough mocha brown foam to leave a thin dotted line of lacing on the glass. Nice, but this isn't where it shines.

The aroma is sweeter than I remember this stout being fresh, molasses at the forefront with notes of roast coffee and dark chocolate close behind. Hints of coconut, vanilla, and dried bread crusts complement the syrupy molasses base, which fades into turbinado sugar and fresh tobacco for a very mellow finish.

Tastes very smooth compared to the fresh version. The roast bitterness has diminished into an ashy charcoal flavor. The molasses, on the other hand, only seems to have been strengthened with age, becoming the primary player in the game dark chocolate is still a competitor, as is (what I can only describe as) aged coffee, which holds just enough bitterness to balance the rather prominent coffee acidity, and the overall impression is a lightly carbonated Irish coffee with invisible cream that someone left out all day.

As ridiculous as that sounds, it's actually really smooth, with a creamy onset and a dry charcoal finish. The feel of this brew has definitely improved with age.

I can't say I'm blown away. It's still very much the same beer, and considering the lack of roast bitterness, I don't know if I could say I prefer it aged for five years. I would like to try a fresh one again before I make such an assessment. But it's still delicious after half a decade on the shelf, and I will probably pick up another one at $3 a bottle, just to do a side-by-side. Cheers!

Apr 18, 2020
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Pouringpro from Connecticut

4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Looking over my ageing stash during these times of distancing and there was no distancing from this beauty. The color was dazzling in the glass. The elements of the taste profile sharply defined and combining in moments. Bourbon barrel syrupy smoke and dry earth with cocoa and coffee hints that converge quickly with the malts and leave you stunned by the richness and balance. As a Stout drinker for 50 years or so, I rate this Brewer and his Brew as Galaxy on the Interplanetary Scale. Hopefully I have stashed another.

Mar 31, 2020
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harrypowers from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had a bottle dated 10/2018. Pours black with a small short lasting tan hear.

Smells of malt and coffee. Tastes of chocolate and the previous two. Has a bitter finish which diminishes after it has been in the glass a while. Less sweetness than other imperial stouts that I have tried. Hides its alcohol well.

Medium body and carbonation.

Enjoyable. Seeing the brewer's notes make me wish that I cellared it longer.

Mar 30, 2020
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EMV from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Black pour with 2 fingers of thick foamy tannish head. Great retention and lacing.

S: Roasted grains, burned sugars, light espresso, and dark cocoa. Checks all the boxes.

T.F: Sweet roasted sugars and burned malts to start. Dark chocolate, roast, baked raisins, and espresso. Medium bodied... sticky on the tongue. More roasted malts at the finish. Super mellow after 2 years in the cellar.

O: A very well executed Russian Imperial. Great flavor and drinkability. Now I gotta get ahold of the barrel-aged version as I'd imagine this does great in oak.

Mar 12, 2020
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twage04 from North Carolina

4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with normal carbonation. head fades pretty quickly, aroma is of roast, coffee, malt. Taste is much the same, but everything is very balanced. A nice bitterness but no flavor stands out too much.

Feb 23, 2020
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ViggieMech from Florida

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

Poured into a 16 oz. tumbler. Dark/Black/Oily! Awesome stout!
Look: Midnight Black
Smell: Espresso, molasses, roasted oats.
Taste: Bread pudding, strong coffee, smooth
Feel: Full bodied and satisfying
Overall: One of if not my most favorite Russian Imperial Stout! I'll be having this one again!

Feb 19, 2020
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AccipiterofBeer from New York

4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I was unable to find this for the longest of times.

L: 4.5 Opaque black with a dark tan head.
S: 3.5 Typical RIS. Molasses. licorice. Hops.
T: 4.5 Chocolatey. Roasted coffee. Bitter hops.
F: 4. Thick but silky. Good carbonation. A warmer for sure.
O: 4.25 Great Russian Imperial. Definitely would get some more.

Feb 09, 2020
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Radcpa from Washington

4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very dark appearance with slight tan head. Aroma is a very pleasant malt and raisin. Taste is also a pleasant malt and raisin. This is one of the best non-barrel aged beers I have had.

Jan 29, 2020
Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 6569 ratings