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

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Expedition StoutExpedition Stout
6,310 Ratings
Expedition StoutExpedition Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,310 |  Reviews: 2,178
Photo of MEW
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of kaimcm
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a pint glass. carried back from Ohio by my bud, cheers Croix!

A: black as tar with a really dark chocolate head. one of the darkest heads Ive seen in recent memory. nice light stick.

S: sweet and roasty malt, some vanilla and bourbon-esque notes. smells a tad stale. hints of cinammon and even cherries. booze.

T: huge creamy wave immediately followed by some roasted bitterness. a little chocolate is overtaken by lots of stale coffee which is then itself replaced by a grounds bitterness. toffee, some of that elusive aromatic cherry. a earthy woodyness persists on the finish which is mostly dry with just a touch of residual sweetness.

M: incredible. like a malted milkshake. big, thick, creamy, just awesome.

D: huge body, 11.5%, and not available in Mass! but all things considered this goes down pretty well on this painfully humid night. one a night for sure though, quite filling.

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Photo of SeaOfShells
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. into Duvel tulip

A: Pours jet black with about 2 fingers of dark brown head which quickly receded to a thin layer on top.

S: Deep dark chocolate, and even some sweet milk chocolate. Deeper down there was a good amount of coffee, and roasted malts. Alcohol is present in the nose.

T: Wow. This one is extremely hot. Very, very boozy. Dark chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts. Starts with a smoky roastiness up front, sweetness in the middle, and finishes hot with some espresso/dark chocolate bitterness.

M: Thick and creamy. Just the way an Imperial Stout should feel.

O: This was my very first Expedition Stout. It was a little too boozy for my taste, which is why I'm going to hold on to the other 5 I have for about a year or so. Other than that, it was well above average. I'm anxiously awaiting the next bottle.

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Photo of jmich24
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

8 months aged

A: One finger, very dark tan head. Color is basically black, traces of ruby. Sporadic sticky lacing, cap that never goes away completely.
S: Sweet and Strong! Dark and milk chocolate. Touch of vanilla and burnt malts. Overpowering booziness.
T: Very smooth!! Not what I had expected from the smell at all. Big roasted malts, lots of dark chocolate. Touch of booziness towards the end but not nearly as apparent as the nose. Amazing lingering bitterness to balance this puppy out.
M: Super big mouthfeel. Very chewy.
O: I would say I like this a lot at this age,but I admit it needs more time. Still a bit hot, cant wait to try again with one to two years on her.

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Photo of dleigh
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the roastier stouts I've had. Not a lot of the sweeter chocolate I get from, say, a FIS. Smells roasty with some dark fruit sweetness. Tastes a little fruity and sweet at first but then there's a big rush of bitter. Aftertaste of bitter black coffee. Packaged 10/3/2016. I've got another one in the cellar, so I'll see how it tastes with a year of age on it.

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Photo of soju6
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep brown color with a nice tan head and lots of lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, bit of chocolate sweetness, trace of vanilla and dark fruit. No hint of the alcohol.

T: Taste starts with bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. There is an earthy bitterness that lingers just a bit.

F: Full body, smooth and very well balanced. As it warms it seems to develop more character.

O: Excellent sipper. The perfect beer on a cold winter night.

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Photo of Bruiser81
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer just looks yummy on the pour. Very dark black, with no light getting through. A huge two finger head that is the darkest creamiest head I've seen yet. Excellent lacing
The aroma is nice, mostly dark usweetened chocolate,small amounts of coffee and tons of roasted malt.
The flavor is familiar in all the higher quality stouts. Same ones only in different amounts. This one seems to have a major roasted barley thing happening, not overpowering though. Small hints of carmel and coffee same as the smell. A slight kick of hops later towards the finish, just enough.
Very creamy full bodied beer
Probably wouldn't be able to drink more than two.
A delicious beer. I believe I need to thank pheloniousmonk for this trade that was done over a year ago. So this has to have some age on it. Thanks brother.

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Photo of Andrew041180
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of JordanHageman
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mattbk
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Jet black, deep tan, very creamy looking head.
S: Cocoa, caramel, some dark fruit, fig, pretty nice.
T: Some roasty and hop based bitterness, followed by sweet dark fruits, grape coming to mind. More subtle cocoa. Definite booziness in the back. This is a big beer in all ways, shapes and forms. Good beer, slightly rough though. Definitely a sipper.
M: Super full bodied, very creamy. Pretty awesome.
O: I have a lot of respect for this beer. It's sort of like a full bodied Rasputin, although this is far from my favorite style.

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Photo of EnemyWithin
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of 2011. Into Duvel glass.

Appearance: 4.5
Almost jet black opaque body, with an inch of creamy light brown head. Good lacing.

Aroma: 3.5
Strong notes of molasses and candy sugar. Notes of dark fruit and faint notes of milk chocolate and roasty espresso.

Taste: 4
Initially, semi-bitter dark chocolate/cocoa, dark fruits and coffee with notes of dark fruits. Slight warmth and presence of the alcohol. A moderate dry bitterness soon after that lingers through the whole taste. Finishes with amazing rich roasty flavour with a touch of sweetness, contrasting with a moderate amount of coffee and bitterness from the hops. The flavour changes quite a bit as it warms, improving significantly. As it approaches warmer temp, flavour soften and melt together with more mellowing out of the bitterness/sourness and bring forward more roasty cocoa flavors.

Mouthfeel: 4
Moderate thickness, a touch on the dry side because of the notable bitter presence. Mild to moderate carbonation.

Overall: 4.5
A nice beer with pleasant dark chocolate and roasty characteristics. Quite enjoyable, overall excellent stout. Good aging potential. Smooth mild presence of alcohol even though ABB 10.5%.
Recommend to try.

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Photo of Bierleichen
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mlockman
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I imagine this would be quite good with some age on it. I had only a sample on draft, and perhaps there was an issue with the line, but behind the malty taste was an almost medicinal flavor.

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Photo of Ralphs66
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of OldIronLungs
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to omgshesaboy for this one!

Split into two pint glasses - dark darkness and about a finger of off-white/tan head that settles to a film quickly.

Nose is predominately a sweet roast, burnt caramel with a touch of ground coffee, raisins and alcohol.

A sip has a great smooth viscosity - big roasty, caramel malts slowly shifts to a nice coffee and herbal hop bitterness and tang that sticks to the end. Low carbonation doesn't really offend me based on the great flavor profile.

This is just a very solid stout - it's got a great mouth feel but a bitter and tanginess that inhibits the drinkability - it works for the style. Much better than I remembered it.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I’m feelin’ buzzed and it’s all because... Yep! Raul got himself some Bell’s Expedition and he is ok with that.

Dark like the lump of coal I got in my stocking in the 4th grade (it was a bad year, my peeps) yet aromatic enough with bitter chocolate and coffee... Raul is like, “ok, let’s dig a bit deeper.”

So the Raul man digs, and he sips, and he’s like: yeah, it’s aite. But it ain’t no FIS. Flavor is there, but like my baby mama it’s also a bit ornery, hot, and insipid.

Throw Bells Expedition stout out of bed for eating crackers - no no no. But if I had my first choice in who I’d like to invite, FIS would get my vote instead.

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Photo of Etan
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Spiegelau tulip.

A: Pours a deep black with a decent milk-chocolate colored head. Head recedes quickly but not entirely.

S: Potent aroma of chocolaty alcohol. Overripe strawberries. Sharp fruit-like acidity mixed with roasty notes. Very sweet.

T: Incredibly smooth. Starts with an onset of bright milky chocolate. Fruity alcohol cuts through, eventually turning into bitter char, dark chocolate and burnt coffee. Alcohol is anything but hidden, but not unpleasantly so. Giant bitter roastiness in the finish, with some subtle notes of vanilla and raisins in the back.

M: Silky, creamy, nice and thick, with subtle carbonation.

O: A very smooth, sweet, and complex RIS. The roastiness in the finish was a bit extreme and wasn't exactly pleasant, but it didn't stop me from enjoying the beer.

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Photo of superdedooperboy
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a snifter glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours a deep, dark, inky black. Virtually opaque, but showing some faint deep brown highlights around the edges. A dark cocoa-tinged head rises to a finger in height before falling away slowly to a thick crown, leaving behind some thin traces of lace on the walls of the glass.

The nose shows a nice mix of plum, prune, fig, and sweet dark cherry, with notes of espresso and dark cocoa. As it warms, alcohol becomes rather prevalent, nearly overpowering everything else.

Smooth and rich in mouthfeel with a full body and mild carbonation. Lots of decadent dark chocolate shows up front, nice and velvety, with some espresso coming in next. Things move into a middle that combines dark roasted malt and coffee notes with a large hit of hop bitterness, all of which carries over into the finish, leaving a lingering dryness with a bit of bittersweet cocoa powder lingering on the back of the tongue. Alcohol becomes somewhat noticeable as the temperature rises, but is nowhere near so dominating as in the nose.

Drinkability here is hindered for some obvious reasons, mainly the powerful flavors and the high dosage of alcohol. This makes one heck of a warmer, though, and would make a perfect companion on a cold winter's expedition through the mountains or down the street to the nearest pub.

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Photo of wyllder
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off: thanks go out to deejaydan for the chance to sample this.

Pours an opaque chocolate-black with a small caramel colored head.

Nose is a mix of dark fruits, chocolate & sweetbread. Very nice.

Taste is bittersweet on the front of palate. Just a bit too salty for me. Hints of chocolate are here and make the finish nice.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability suffers from, IMO, a bit too much of a salty character.

Overall, a solid interpretation of the style by not quite up there with Stone & Siberian Night for me.


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Photo of Dithyramb
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just received via BIF 14. This is my second beer of the eight received. Mad props to Signor CRJMellor for his excellent trade opinions. Presentation was a bottle matching the photo. No freshness or bottling date was evident.

This is the deepest, darkest blackness that I’ve seen for some time. Appears to have an oily, thick goodness and it is completely opaque. Only loses points for the lack of carbonation. Initial pour was tepid, with no head. I held back, since my last few stouts were the “Love Stout,” with its heavy fizziness. Dumped the rest in, the forceful pour left a quarter inched, small bubbled, dark brown head that left quickly. No carbonation or lacing to speak of.

Slightly burnt caramel and roasted coffee aromas.
A very diverse mixture of flavors is available. There are some darker roasted malts, with both chocolate and espresso evident. Hops dance around on the finish.
ABV warmness creeps in after a nice creamy bodied beverage. Leaves your mouth warm, dry, and slightly acidic. Has the same slight flatness that I recently experienced with the Czar.

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Photo of NODAK
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aroma Has definite notes of molasses, alcohol, and raisins on it, but the dark fruits dominate, though.

Pours black as midnight with a negligible head to it. Basically a black, syrupy pour.

Mouthfeel is as thick as any I have ever had. Ridiculously viscous. Carbonation is pretty low. Body of the beer has a high degree of molasses like sweetness with a definite, strong dark fruit component to it and perhaps a hint of anise. Finishes with some booziness and some roasted malt with an espresso character showing up at the end and lingering a while. Hops do not exist as far as I can tell.

Very drinkable RIS here, even if it may not be my absolute favorite. I do like how this one is all malt, and they do a decent job of masking the alcohol considering the ABV.

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Photo of MCain04
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

4 month old bottle poured into a 13 oz snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown, almost black. Pours out a 1-2 finger dark tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Roasted dark malts with some booze. This promises to be warming and filling.

Taste: Extremely roasty up front, with chocolate, a little bitter coffee. Pretty hoppy... not sure how I feel about the citrus, tart, acidic, sour notes. Pretty dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation. Smooth, full body. Decently chewy. Was honestly expecting it to be boozier, this one is pretty drinkable.

Overall: A decent stout. I have another one of these with a year on it, and will put down one of this year's for a little while to see how 1, 2, 3 yrs taste with this. For $3, this tastes pretty good. For the same price though, get a founders imperial stout, you'll be happier.

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Photo of HipHopsHooray
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Fishwhisperer
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in October 2012.

A - Beautiful black, completely opaque with a small, tan head, which fades quickly but maintains mild lacing.

S - Dark fruit and malt and roast, with a strong booze note.

T - Bitterness is the spine, but it is paired with a sweet undercurrent, made up of raisin and plum, chocolate and malts. The addition of a strong liquor element makes this much like biting into a liquor-filled chocolate. But as the sweetness fades, the bitterness remains. It is not a hop bitterness, but more a roasted malt bitterness, of burnt toast and the charred edge of a beef roast.

M - This is complex. Very mild carbonation, but still some acidity. Some warmth from the alcohol, but surprisingly minimal, given the ABV. The beer coats, but not aggressively so.

O - I like certain aspects quite well. The beer holds its ABV well, and with 1-1/2 years, it is not a big, hot mess that it could have been. This is a sipper, and not on drinker. I like my stouts with strong coffee notes, and that is not the game here. Nevertheless, the balance achieved as this ages is a impressive. A second take, with 4 years, smooths the warmth further, but the basic dark fruit and strong bitterness remains consistent.

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Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 6,310 ratings