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

Expedition StoutExpedition Stout
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Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #46
ABV:
10.5%
Score:
95
Ranked #882
Avg:
4.29 | pDev: 10.02%
Reviews:
2,257
Ratings:
6,543
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
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Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
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Gots
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SCORE
95
World-Class
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: 2,257 | Ratings: 6,543 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of blazerkor
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.

Today at 08:38 AM
Photo of ChristopherCurtis
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
Photo of Freonicus
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
Photo of Esteroboy
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
Photo of Manta200
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
Photo of IronLover
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
Photo of spfeifer22
spfeifer22

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
Photo of Pouringpro
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
Photo of EMV
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
Photo of twage04
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
Photo of ViggieMech
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
Photo of AccipiterofBeer
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
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SB2017 from Iowa

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.

Dec 31, 2019
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mikeg67 from New Jersey

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.

Dec 30, 2019
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TURQUOISEBARON from New York

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!

Dec 21, 2019
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detgfrsh from Texas

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!

Dec 19, 2019
Photo of jernjawn
jernjawn from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Update from original review in 2020. bumped the smell rating up because it smells delicious from very far away.
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. lots of heavily toasted malts
a quick bit of carbonation on the front end. heavy and super rich, quite dry.
This brew is packed with flavor
Set two aside for cellaring.

Dec 15, 2019
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Explorer_Bill from Kentucky

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.

Dec 13, 2019
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Scottors from Wisconsin

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

Dec 09, 2019
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Beerbubby from Indiana

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.

Nov 23, 2019
Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 6543 ratings