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

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Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
6,252 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
Ranking:
#703
Reviews:
2,163
Ratings:
6,252
pDev:
10.33%
Bros Score:
4.41
 
 
Wants:
566
Gots:
1,796
Trade:
124
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,252 |  Reviews: 2,163
Photo of EHopkinsi
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass and consumed 19 November 2014.

Date stamp on label reads 135292 PKGD 10/23/14 C. So I'm guessing this stuff is just under a month old.

Look- Pours like a dirty oil spill. The two finger thick head is solid, and has the color of some overpriced candybar frappawhappachinomucca concoction at a coffee shop. Head slowly settles down to a 1/4" layer of creamy goodness that lasts the duration. Pretty good lacing.

Smell- Malt, chocolate, alcohol. The latter is pretty noticeable, maybe just a little too much so, but not bad. It's just letting you know it's a RIS.

Taste- Yum! Tasty, malty-chocolate notes; more than just a little coffee. That's on the front. It finishes with hops that, while they take back seat to the malt, they aren't exactly shy. At the beginning of the glass the alcohol floats in with, but over top of, the hops. Not excessive or huge, but still pretty dang big, too. By the middle of the glass its rambunctiousness has faded and it is more of a suggestion than a presence in the finish.

Feel- Interesting. A little thin for my preferences in a RIS. That said, it does have a creamy, sticky-lip inducing goodness to it, though. Can't ding it too much.

Overall- One really good stout! I wish the feel was thicker, but the other criticisms almost feel like nit-picking. Getcha some and enjoy it. I will definitely have it again.

Edit- After reading other reviews, I think "molasses" is a note I should add in. Being a noob I didn't know I knew it was there until reading other reviews.

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Photo of Hendrick24
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mj81
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bonercityUSA
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of mzingie
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle was packaged 6 and a half months before consumption, Average head for the style, dark as night and pours like motor oil. Smells of coffee chocolate and roasted malt. Tastes of chocolate, licorice strong bitterness (which I expect would mellow out very nicely as the beer ages longer), alcohol present but not overpowering the other flavors, extremely smooth outbreak, rolls down your throat. I will definitely go get another one of these to age longer.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10/13/10- Had a 12 oz bottle of this (Batch 9971).
A: Jet black with a nice caramel one-finger slow head that dies to a collar.
S: Caramel mocha, oatmeal barrel, whiskey alcohol.
T: Caramel, roast, chocolate, banana, raspberries, lingering burnt character.
M: Thicker, but nicely frothy.
D: Really good. I'd have a pint or two.

I'd recommend it.

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Photo of Chcshammonde
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BB1313
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. This is probably the best looking stout I've come across! Viscous black w/ big fluffy brown head and nice lacing. Lots of roasted chocolate, vanilla, not picking up any coffee. The taste is hardcore! Tastes very burnt and hot. Still tastes good, but the flavors need time to mellow. Pretty hoppy for a stout as well. Mouthfeel is very rich and creamy, thick and chewy; full-bodied. The drinkability is its' downfall. High abv, plus the chewiness and bold flavors make this a sipper for sure. Balance isn't Expedition's strong suit.

No doubt this is one of the better Imperial Stouts out there. I've always enjoyed it, it's a fun beer to drink.

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Photo of gshak
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this a number of times, but decided this time, to chime in and write a review. Poured from a year-old (Jan '12) bottle into a Meukow snifter at refrigerator temperature. I had the desire but not the discipline to let this one sit for long and warm up. Here we go:
A - With an aggressive pour, the liquid still went flat into the snifter, only for the bubbles to gradually rise up towards the end, generate a thin mocha-colored head, and fade back into a tiny, persistent, ring. Viscous, and pitch-black; upon swirling leaves noticeable signs of alcohol legs. The mocha-tint lets you know where the beer's been through in your glass. Impressive.
S - Chocolatey, very, very chocolatey with hints of molasses. Now, this may not be much to rate the stout on, but there is that almost zen-like statement from this stout (hyperbolic, I know) the subdued appearance, the subdued aromas that portend of awesome things to come.
T - Yes, yes, yes. A big hit of dark chocolate and sweet molasses coats the mouth. Transitions into a slightly vinous sensation on the palate most likely the alcohol. I want to keep this in my mouth for as along as I possibly can - ah, the sweet, sweet delight of sipping on this beauty. As it goes down, it dries the palate - possibly a combination of hops and alcohol coming into play. I never felt the alcohol at any time, and the hops are only there to balance out the sweetness of the beer. Even so...this is a malt-lover's dream!
M - Thick, viscous, silky, smooth....the ultimate sipper.

As far as non-barrel aged imperial stouts go, this is right up there with the big boys.

 1,610 characters

Photo of Gaisgeil
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ever wonder what motor oil tastes like? Me either, but that's what this looks like coming from the bottle. Incredibly thick and dark dark black in color with a dark brown head to compliment.

Nose is really expansive, chocolate, coffee, heaps of roast, molasses, grain, a bit of vanilla? The taste is very powerful, the roast flavors are really very prominent, with the coffee and molasses not far behind. The mouthfeel is so very thick and chewy that the taste lingers for quite a while, almost syrup like, I love it!

This is one heavy-duty no playing around sort of stout. It's definatly not for the meek.

 613 characters

Photo of wnh
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a thick, ruby-tinted black, opaque, with a dense and frothy medium tan head.

Aromas of earthy dark chocolate, smoke, and roasted grain leap from the glass. The smoke, which hints at peppery country ham, really sets this beer apart. Then comes a (dried) leafy hoppiness in the background to add further complexity. A strong base of sweet caramel ties everything together.

Loads of chocolate on the palate, with sweet and bitter notes pulsating back and forth. There's an unexpectedly strong resinous hop character underneath, providing contrast but contributing to the whole. Very smooth, especially for an imperial stout. This beer lacks any roasty bite found in many similar beers, and is really quite light on the roast on the whole.

Thick and rich and dense, but not unnecessarily chewy. Low level of carbonation, which works with this beer. Finishes bitter--a combination of hops and roast (about the only place the roast shows itself, really)--but fades as the beer lingers on the palate.

Fantastic.

 1,052 characters

Photo of Keananmichael5
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a really good beer and by far my favorite Bell's beer. Very creamy taste and feel with a very roasty and bold flavor. Great beer that I will have again soon

 164 characters

Photo of flexabull
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a deep black color with a decent sized brown head that quickly faded.

This smells a bit sweet, with some stewed fruit, dark chocolate, and a bit of alcohol.

Flavors are full and rich. There is a very malty coffee and chocolate backbone. It follows with some sweetness, and a touch of hoppy bitterness. The finish is crisp, and with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel is quite good, very full, and well rounded.

Drinkability is good. This has a bit of a boozy feel to it, but it's not overwhelming at all. It works well as an after dinner sipper, and the high scores it has received are well earned.

Thank you MuenchenerKindl for sending this beer out west.

 677 characters

Photo of asu4cjustice
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jmdrpi
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, batch 10105 from last winter.

appears black, with thin layer of khaki colored head. strong roasted aroma, with earthy hops in there. taste has the typical chocolate/coffee notes typical of the style, but also has fairly significant pronounced hop flavor. medium to thick body, medium carbonation. pretty smooth.

overall, a great RIS that is a good value compared to most of the limited release bombers from other breweries.

score is the fresh review

***1 year***
still has some earthy hop aromas. taste is dominated by coffeeish flavors, lingering roasty aftertaste. smoother carbonation than fresh

***2 year ***
hop aromas are very faded. flavors in taste are more blended. better tasting. silky smooth body. better than 1 year. flavors are more mellow, but blended together better.

 804 characters

Photo of shopk
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of khumbard
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2008.

Pours thick and dark. Small tan head that falls pretty quickly. Nose is full of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit, and a little coffee. Taste follows suit. Roasty and delicious. Finishes with a slight bitterness, similar to a really dark chocolate. Very good. Little to no alcohol noticeable. I love Expedition with over a year on it. Fresh is good, but a little too hot. Buy some, and put it down for a year and it will hold up against some of the more highly regarded big boy stouts.

 506 characters

Photo of Optifron
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours jet black with brown, thick, creamy head. Leaves moderate lacing.

Aroma: Chocolate, a touch of hops, smooth French roast coffee

Taste: Dark chocolate, but without the intense bitter. Smoother espresso beans. A nicely balanced sweetness, almost like a touch of lactose.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic. Was the first thing that really stood out when it hit my mouth. Incredibly smooth, creamy but not heavy

Overall: Really impressive. I like smoother stouts, and this really fits the bill. Impressively drinkable for 10.5%. Will definitely be picking up more of this.

 577 characters

Photo of BrewMaster
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from a 12 oz bottle with no freshness markings on it. It pours an impervious black and brown color with no true head on it, just a ring of bubbles around the top.

Smell: Toffee, coffee, soy sauce, uncooked semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Taste: Very rich and roasty from the start with notes of chocolate, roasty coffee, caramel, and burnt oak. The beginning is very sweet and it yields to a bit of hop bitterness towards the middle and the end. As the beer warms there is a sour sweetness that develops. An alcohol warmth sits in the mouth and warms the whole body.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth in the mouth. The bold flavors are delivered well with the smooth texture.

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Photo of hombrepalo
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of bahumutx
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Poured pitch black with a small brown head.

Smell: Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and a slight cherry.

Taste: Starts sweet and then moves to a roasted malt and coffee. There is also a hint of chocolate and a slight hint of hops. Sweet but not overpowering and the 11.5% ABV is hidden well.

Mouthfeel: Thick Mouthfeel with hardly any carbonation.

Drinkability: Due to the alcohol and richness of the beer I only could have 1 in a sitting.

A great example of the style. I will definitely be looking for this when the colder weather starts to come back.

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Photo of rundocrun
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - pours dark brown/black with a nonexistant head. This stuff is THICK it sticks to the side of the glass when you tilt it!

S - Figs, raisins, dark fruits, slight alcohol aroma.

T - Syrupy sweetness with figs and raisins up front. Heavy malts next. Bitterness hits the back of the palate toward the end. Definite booze detectable after the initial sweetness - not surprising since this stout sits at 10.5%

M - again, this stuff is definitely thick and syrupy, which is something you can expect from an imperial-style stout. Very light carbonation.

D - Being the lightweight that I am, one is definitely enough, but the overall character of this stout makes every sip a pleasure

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Photo of Elendinn
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a half-pint pilsner glass.  Thanks hellomisterp!

A - pitch black with a very miniscule amount of caramely, milk chocolate head. No lacing.

S - lots of dark chocolate up front, a bit of coffee, with some hoppy bitterness and bourbon in the backend.

T - chocolate, coffee, alcohol, bruleed sugar, spice, a bit of char-- finishes with a hoppy dryness and a lingering coffee flavor.

M - pretty carbonated, full-bodied, not syrupy -- not quite as smooth as I'd like.

D - a little too dry in the finish to be easily drinkable, but still very good. One bottle's plenty as the alcohol is rather noticeable. Pairs extremely well with pumpkin pie creme brulee. Could've used another year or two of age on it.

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Photo of gford217
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Sean227 and mymrnngjckt poured into a snifter.

A: Pours pitch black with ruby tints around the rim. Even with a vigorous pour, the head is fairly small and dissipates almost immediately leaving very little lacing.

S: The smell has a quick hint of dark chocolate and espresso up front before giving way to a massive roasted malt and molasses sweetness with a noticeable alcohol burn in the nostrils. Hops are barely noticeable as far as I can tell.

T: There really is a lot going on with the taste. The initial taste of chocolate and coffee gives way to the aforementioned sweet molasses malt flavor followed by dark fruits in the form of raisins and plums. The finish has a slight hop bitterness and a definite alochol burn.

M: Mouthfeel is extremely smooth and creamy with very little carbonation. Very thick and decadent.

D: Drinkability is OK for the style though I couldn't see myself drinking more than one in a sitting. This is a very good RIS but probably not in the top few I have tasted.

 1,020 characters

Photo of injectr
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 6,252 ratings
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