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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
6,166 Ratings
Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout
BEER INFO

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

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-10-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
6,166
Reviews:
2,138
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
552
Gots:
1,776
For Trade:
129
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,166 |  Reviews: 2,138
Photo of ThreeBeersWalkedIn
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ski271
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a reddish tinge and a brown, small, creamy head that quickly diminished to a full, thick film. Lots of thick sticky lacing.

Smell: Large, fabulous aroma of chocolate, coffee, malts, molasses and light buttery herbs.

Taste: Big, thick malts, bitter coffee, cheery, and soy sauce (I know, it sounds odd and the last time I tasted soy sauce in a beer it was a homebrew gone wrong, but it’s good in this flavor). The finish is sweet and very long in duration.

Mouthfeel: Full body, thick chewy texture, no carbonation.

Drinkability: My was this wonderful. One sip took me back to a ski vacation up in Maine for some reason. I love the nostalgia a good aroma can spark. This was a fabulous meaty stout that I’ll definitely be having again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.37/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a jet black body with a full, frothy tan-colored head.

Smell: Aroma of black malts, roasted coffee, dark chocolate syrup, scorched almonds, molasses, and herbal, piney hops.

Taste: Black roasted malts with flavors of coffee and exceedingly dark chocolate. Some burnt almonds and fire-blackened marshmallows. The hops are bold in their bitterness, but not overbearing, and provide a taste of dried herbs and pine. Finishes with a lingering bitterness and acidic char taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Mild carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel. Warming from the first sip.

Drinkability: A very fine stout both fresh and cellared. To wit, I had an '02 this past weekend that had morphed into a slightly roasty chocolate liqueur.

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Photo of Lofreqwave
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mrosenfeld32
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RomanW70
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black with a thick tan head. Aroma of dark chocolate, roast, and caramel. Extremely smooth but complex at the same time. Initial taste of chocolate, caramel flows into a coffee bitterness with some warming alcohol at the finish. Very smooth to begin with, but becomes smoother with each taste. An excellent beer. I can't wait to taste this one aged.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thought I'd break this out for review #500. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Consistency while pouring goes from a thick stout consistency to motor oil to chocoloate pudding by the end of the bottle. Body is pitch black and very thick, topped by a huge, sturdy, creamy brown head that likely could support the weight of the bottle cap.
Huge aroma of roasted dark and chocolate malts is evident as soon as the cap is popped and just continues to build. A whiff or two of sweet molasses and funky, salty peat are mixed in with the malt.
Palate is huge - rich, roasted, chocolatey malt, with notes of molasses, chestnut, and maple. I think I noted some scotch whisky in there, too, but that may have just been the high alcohol level coming through. Beautifully creamy body is like a beer milkshake. The creaminess strangely subsides to become more like a dry stout right before the swallow, then reappears in the throat.
Contrary to what others have said, I think this is remarkably drinkable for how big a beer it is. Sure, I wouldn't want more than one bottle, but that's not the point. I savor every drop of the 12 oz bottle and end up very satisfied. An all-around amazing beer.

 1,197 characters

Photo of Reedbrew
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Fresh: good not excellent
Aged several months: improving-- very very good.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pitch black motor-oil when pouring, a mirror to any trace of light adventurous enough to try to get through. Superb chocolate brown 1-inch head, long-lasting and displaying awesome lacing, foamy, sticky like it came nitro-pushed. Very rich malt aroma, satisfyingly bittersweet with tons of molasses, dark belgian chocolate over home-made cookies, dark european bread, torrefied coffee with two creams. Subtle fruitiness (plums, blackberries), just as subtle complementing hops as I love them, piney and obvious hints of smoke. Very complex, but still not overly envelopping in the aroma department. In mouth though, this is a very intense experience, contemplative flavour development with the typical Bell’s milky aspect although there’s almost no sweetness here. Just great smoked chocolate. Multi-dimensional spicy hoppy aftertaste, piney, bitter and very long. Carbonation was much more generous than I was lead to believe from other reviews, it’s just perfect here and I think I’d have enjoyed it less or found it a bit less lively if it hadn’t been for a little tongue-cleaning carbonation to entertain such a thick body. Holy Crap, totally dominant monument that I never expected to enjoy all that much and I’ll admit liking some sweetness in my beers and not being a fan of hopfests. Once again, Raindog is the gentleman to be thanked and re-thanked.

 1,364 characters

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of Irish57
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of drunkenmess
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Warlordgrizzlywolf
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of mtstatebeer
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours a nice black color with a creamy brown head, good lacing. Aroma is mainly chocolate, a little coffee, and some spicy hop notes. Flavor is chocolate and ends somewhat bitter. Hides the alcohol and warms very, very well. Great beer!

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Photo of SethB2
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Beer pours heavy. Bell's Expedition is the very definition of the motor oil comparison. Pours black with a deep brown head and a very nice amount of lacing. Smells good as well. Roasted, nutty malts covering a slight alcohol smell. Taste is very good. Chocolaty malts and a sweet bite going down. Very nice. Mouthfeel is as chewy as they come, but also like silk. Drinkablility is only hampered by the high alcohol content.

Very nice beer.

 483 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(bottled in Aug 2014 - poured into a fat Chouffe tulip)

L: thick, black liquid with a reddish-brown, motor-oil outer edge... dark, chocolate-brown head to start... even explosion of lace on the top half of the glass - sinking down, the head recedes to just a thin collar, with no lace the bottom half of the glass

S: very dark, bitter chocolate... fresh celery/parsley... prune, vodka... mild, sweetened black coffee... maybe some piney hops poking through... odd, floral-medicinal phenolics that threaten to smear out any other fine aroma... somehow, a bit of toffee comes through as well... overall, a bit rough and solventy

T: sweetish, berry-like up front...really roasty and mild dark cocoa midway... cleansing wash of alcohol carrying it all out... somewhat wonderfully balanced, but intense... long-lingering roasty/hoppy bitterness in the aftertaste

F: nice silkiness... dry... med-full body... quiet and smooth as hell... fantastically cozy on the palate... not much to stop me from knocking this back in 1-3 sips

O: fairly well-balanced, fairly decadent, desserty... becomes boozy and 'fuel'-like later, but you'll be in too fine a mood at that point to throw up a fuss

 1,184 characters

Photo of josh32219
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of arkurzynski
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black and thick. Heavy pour results in no head at first, but then comes exploding out of solution in a deep orange yellow color. Aroma is toffee, caramel, molasses, vanilla, a hint of cinnamon, mild coffee. Flavor is very robust. A little sweeter than I expected. Well-rounded thick palate. Mild lacing. The real deal.

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Photo of RocketCityVol
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a snifter

Dated 8/28/12 so only a month and a half olf

A- Pours motor oil black with a one finger brown head, some alcohol legs and surprising head retention.

S- Roasted chocolate is the strongest smell in this beer. Smells well hoppend and quite bitter. A really smooth smelling beer.

T- Roasted malts up front, there is dark roasted notes that linger like char and some lighter notes that are reminiscent to caramel and toffee. The chocolate in this beer is quite prevalent and really rounds out the beer as a whole. It's a bitter stout but not as bitter as a Yeti or other hop forward stouts. There is a slight fruitiness from the hops but I think that will fade fast with age. A smooth and well rounded array of flavors.

M- This is obviously a big beer and it drinks like a big beer. Very syrupy and high in alcohol feel. It is however a smooth and well rounded Stout.

O- This is a fantastic stout, Its on par with Stone IRS and Old Rasputin. I cant wait to see how the rest of mine fare with a little bit of age.

 1,048 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired in a trade with BrewedAwakening.

Pours a pitch black color with a thick brown head into my glass. Very good presentation for the style. Can't possibly get darker.

Coffee, cocoa and cream make themselves known in the aroma. Very nice way to start things off.

Roasted coffee explodes on the tongue, leading to a good hint of chocolate and cream as well (the latter being limited).

Visceral and slick on the palate. Lingering cocoa and coffee. Impressive as is.

Amazing example of the style that is very drinkable at 10.5%. I have to admit that I had never heard of this until now. Regardless, I will most likely seek it out again.

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Photo of sacrelicio
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Legendary stout, my first taste of it. Beautiful appearance, total pitch midnight in a glass topped with creamy mocha head, rocky with lacing to boot. Smell is good, but doesn't leap out like expected. Still, nice sublime chocolate and coffee notes. Taste is intense. Very bitter, but rich with coffee, chocolate, wood, and spice. As it warms, green pepper and green olive notes reveal themselves. Mouthfeel is amazing, hefty yet with a lift that elevates this to the exceptional. Drinkable, not easygoing, but you would certainly like another.

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Photo of magic_swaggin
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of becktone
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Eye: Black in appearance, like used motor oil, HAHAHA (laugh of a madman) looks great! Head is light brown in color and very creamy. Reminds me of chocolate french silk pie, chocolate mousse, or Chocolate Redi-Whip. This looks truly amazing.

Nose: Nice aroma on this brew. Huge malt aroma. Lots of chocolate aroma, roasted/burnt malt aromas. Aroma could be a bit more potent all in all.

Tongue: Lots of great dark flavors here. Chocolate in the foreground with roasted/burnt malt flavors make up the primary profile of this brew. Alcohol is also detectable and warms the stomach. Hops are there in just enough of a presence to balance the brew. Hop flavor is also notable, not in the foreground but detectable nonetheless-floral.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Great feel in the mouth. Very full bodied and creamy, perfect pairing for dessert, or drink this as a dessert. Also as mentioned before warms a bit as it goes down. They don't get better than this, feels perfect in the mouth. This beer is one I could drink all night, it is that good. This is one brew I'll always come back to, and I'll also be sure to recommend it to those I know who are stout lovers.

 1,165 characters

Photo of alpinebryant
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally, a Bells beer I am really excited about after just the pour!

Poured a dark chocolate brown with a monstrous head, dark brown bubbles which hung out for a long time with long spiderlegs after settling.

Smell of dark roasty malt, with a lot of sweetness, raisins, rum, caramel

Taste hit it off the first sip. A deep dark sweet stout with great body, caramel, lots of chocolate, raisin, tons of plum flavor, and a finish that has that similar chalk/ dry finish - only in expedition stout, I dont mind it at all because of the lingering chocolate flavor. Some RIS have a finishing afterbite that tastes of charcoal, this one seems to be a lot lighter on that end. Nice body, not too thick, and in no ways near being watery.

Very drinkable, I wish I had the ability to get more of this in the New England area. a great RIS

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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.22 out of 5 based on 6,166 ratings.
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