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

6,166 Ratings
Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,166 |  Reviews: 2,138
Photo of cproioi
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark dark black body, with a light brown sticky head that left nice lacing.

S: Smelled mainly of the deep roasted malts that gave off a strong coffee and chocolate aroma. It also carried along a strong alcohol aroma.

T: Very similar that the aroma that fit well with the rainy and dark day that Cincinnati was having on the day that I drank this beer. It was a lovely coffee and chocolate taste that just really hit the spot, not unlike a comfort food.

M: Very very thick. This beer coated your whole mouth when it entered. When it was in you mouth and after you swallowed it left a lovely warming sensation throughout the body that was lovely on the rainy day.

D: I found this beer highly drinkable. As soon as I finished one I had the want to open another right away. It was really a lovely beer.

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Photo of FLima
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch black not allowing any light to go through with a brown thin head.
Interesting aroma with notes of smoke, dark fruits and chocolate.
Bold fruity flavor with notes of Khalua liquor, dark fruits, resin, pine, dark chocolate brownies, light coffee, vanilla and charred wood. Dry aftertaste with strong roasted and smoky notes.
Full body with low carbonation. Alcohol of 10.5% abv is really not there.
Bold, malty and hoppy imperial Stout. A bit too sweet decreasing its potential drinkability.

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Photo of Zuidman
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dshansen1184
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zhanson88
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/28/12.

Appearance: Pours out pretty near pitch black and fairly viscous looking. About 1" of dark tan head forms, which has good retention and lacing. Good looking stout.

Smell: Bitter roasted malts and dark chocolate sweetness are the primary scents I get off of this beer. I might get a light hint of vanilla sweetness as well. Good; not overly complex, but good. A classic stout smell.

Taste: Roasted malts, sweet dark chocolate, hints of black licorice and vanilla. A bit more complex than the nose but about at the same overall quality.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Medium to full bodied with appropriate, low carbonation. Very good. Overall, a very solid stout. Nice flavors and good balance of bitter and sweet.

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Photo of goblue30
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of skrib09
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured out an oil black with a standard brown head. huge head formed. lots of carbination in this bottle.

smells roasted, burnt caramel, maybe a hint of sweetness.

taste is smooth yet roasted, charcoal yet caramel...

i get a nice smoothness that i enjoy once i past the head. the head is near rocky on my tongue but the liquid is great.

good drinkability here.

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Photo of BeerOps
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Augustiner719
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an ommegang flute.

Pours a jet black, extremely viscous color with a tiny, almost non existent deep mocha head. Pitch black and syrupy. Really nice dark chocolate, some roasted espresso and a tinge of vanilla on the nose. Really complex. I get some booze on the nose. The flavors are huge roasted malts, dark chocolate and a touch of espresso. Some shaved coconut also and a finish that lasts very long. Boozy dryness on the backend. The mouthfeel is near perfect. Viscous and thick but easy to swirl around the palate. There is a big rich brownie like mouthfeel and a great dry finish. Drinkability also is good, but too thick and rich for an every day drinker. It's a great stout and really worth looking for.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in a trade from Exiled.

2007 vintage. Pours pitch black with basically no head. What little head is present is is a brown color. Aroma is strong coffee with some roasted malt and dark fruit. the flavor is heavy on the roasted malt with some smokiness. Some dark fruit and bitter chocolate as well. There is also a slight soy sauce character to the beer. The alcohol has a nice alcohol warming affect. Very thick body and low carbonation. Slightly creamy mouthfeel. This one might have improved with more carbonation.

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Photo of 05Harley
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch # 9435 which was bottled on 11/11/09

Purchased through West Lakeview Liquors, Chicago

Price - $17.49/6-pack

Appearance: Pours pitch black like motor oil with a light brown creamy head. A decent amount of lacing stays behind just to remind you of where you began your experience.

Smell: A heavy blast of dark chocolate, holy sh_t! Need I say more, chocolate..

Taste: Big dark chocolate taste with some roastiness. A touch of molasses and coffee grounds.

Mouthfeel: Chewy with a heavy body and an oily feel. Alcohol warms things up in the middle which is not a surprise @ 10.5%. Not very smooth due to the heat. Could use a little more carbonation. Finishes bitter and dry.

Drinkability: This one's drinking damn good this time of year and with some age on it. Pretty good balance. Definitely worth putting some cellar time on it. It's just too hot for me when it's fresh.

**Update 12/15/11
I've been drinking some 08's right now and it's drinking like an A+ beer. The heat has settled down and it's just fantastic with a couple of years on it.

 1,059 characters

Photo of nuebs
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of thagr81us
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into an imperial pint. Poured pitch black with a minimal amount of tan head. Maintains excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, chocolate, alcohol, and molasses. The flavor ws of roasted malt, chocolate, oatmeal, and alcohol. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was a very nice brew. The alcohol on it was very warming to say the least. Had a nice flavor and aroma to it. However, the aroma was very weak to start out but upon warming it was dominated by alcohol. This brew is a must try for any stout or boozy beer lover out there for sure.

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Photo of 13tido
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of pBRale
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From tasting notes 10-11-11
Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black pour with a tall and creamy dark cocoa head that very slowly settles and has mild retention and thick lacing wherever the liquid touches.

Smell: Roasted malt, brown sugar, fresh stone ground bread, a caramelized sweetness, plenty of alcohol/booze, and a hint of caramelized banana and dark fruits.

Taste: Sweet up front, caramelized brown sugar. The rest of the flavors come late but in full force--roasted malt, burnt toast, and a burnt coffee aftertaste that lingers pleasantly.

Mouthfeel: Thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel, low carbonation, sweet start and a wet finish.

Overall: Hint of alcoholic burn but not much considering abv. All in all, a great stout that drinks well and is a memorable beer. Would love to get this with a bit of age on it and see how it mellows.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from tap into snifter at holy grale in Louisville. Look is with thick 3 finger tan brown head. Aroma is roasted malts and a bit of hoppy coffee
Taste is nice...bitter roasted coffee malts followed by a bit of sweetness. Its a bit over bitter but nice. Its a good brew especially for the price and availability.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Looks like a hefty stout. Pitch black in color with a nice bubbly head.

S - Smells of Alcohol, slight coffee and chocolate. Man it smells good.

T - Really? Wow the ABV burn is high on this one! Taste of slight chocolate with a mild bitterness of coffee maybe a slight dark fruit which is covered by the Alcohol.

M - Very heavy. A sipper for sure.

D - Well the price is similar to Founders which seems a bit smoother but I did like it as an imperial stout. Heavy but good beer.

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Photo of Zorro
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 Oz bottle sampled through the efforts of dirtylou and The No BS BIF.

Pours an opaque black colored beer that passes no light. A small but extremely dark brown head forms and then disappears. Not a bad stab at trying to create a beer with a black head.

Smell is Sharp sweet and very much like Kahlua. Strong coffee and chocolate aromas. Fruity and wine like scents are also in this one, mostly figs and dates with a slight amount of banana in the very fringe of it. Brown sugar and burnt sugar aromas and a little pineapple upside down cake.

Taste is thick and sharply bitter and charred in the first sip, long lasting charcoal flavor. A thick bitter beer that is very much a concentrated stout, almost like a beer mix that you just add carbonated water. After you get past the charred shock of the first taste there is a lot of chocolate flavor here and it is fairly sweet. There is some fruitiness here but it is pretty much hidden by the charred flavor.

Mouthfeel is syrup thick.

This is a beer a lot like Turkish coffee, it is OK in small amounts but you tire of it quickly. This would be a great beer for a 4 oz shot but a glassful gets tiring quickly. I have had better.

 1,193 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a viscous, opaque black with a long-lasting, creamy brown head. Chocolately, roasted aroma. Big chocolate and bitter coffee in the rich, burnt palate. Dark fruit and a fairly intense malt sweetness make their way through as well. Intense coffee and burnt grain in the robust finish.

I’ve heard good things about this one and I would say it lives up to the hype. It’s rich and complex with a nice balance between the rich malt sweetness and bitter, burnt flavors. Highly recommended.

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Photo of happygnome
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: pours a jet black non transparent color with about a half inch of tan head that disappears quickly leaving a lot of sticky lacing around the edge of the glass and middle of the beer. The beer is too dark to see if there is any carbonation rising to the top

s: Rich sweet dark fruits, a hint of a fine whiskey, roasted chocolate. The nose is balanced slightly with a hint of hops

t: roasted coffee and chocolate flavors, alcohol is present in the taste. There is a little hop bitterness to balance. the booze is present in the taste but not as much as the 10+% would lead you to think

m: full bodied beer with little carbonation

overall, i am glad to have tried this

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Photo of 30MinutesSouth
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a two finger tall dense and creamy mocha head that slowly reduces to a half finger thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, licorice, coffee, and some hops.

T: Strong flavors of roasted malts with bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and dark fruit sweetness. Fairly strong flavors of hops that impart a moderate amount of lingering bitterness. Light to moderate flavors of alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol heat in the finish.

O: I wish that the alcohol was a little more well hidden in this beer - there are some very nice aspects to this beer and it would likely mellow out a bit with age. Not the easiest beer to drink, definitely requires some slow sipping over quite a bit of time.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had it last night, it was pretty tasty. Batch 8729.

A: Dark dark dark, with about a half inch of very brown head that hung around for a few minutes before dissipating, leaving a ring of foam around the edges. Looks like some nice, low-level carbonation and pours pretty thick.

S: Maybe my nose was a little off, but not as much going on here as I remember. But what I do smell is dark toasty malts, hops, and alcohol.

T: Roasted malts, some chocolate and coffee-like notes, a little sweet. Pretty solid.

M: Creamy, low carbonation but lively.

D: I had to resist the urge to have another.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Expedition Stout on tap at ChurchKey in Washington, DC.

Appearance: Served in a small brandy snifter, comes with a toasty foamy head like a macchiato coffee in a piazza in Rome. Almost two fingers of head, brown and thick. Remarkable lacing.

Smell: Smells like men cologne, intense but dry. Also like a barn, pigs gamboling in their muddy, hay-covered pens. Horse poop, very earthy. A bit of bourbon-y booze at the end. Wet grass, rain.

Taste: Mud, coffee, roastiness. Some hard-to-pin flavors, uncommon for an Imperial stout. Sugar, chocolate shake, expensive chocolates. Espresso beans, smoke. A tad of vanilla. Good, but strange.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, full body, finishes dry and roasty and bitter. Smooth and creamy feel.

Drinkability: Pleasant to drink, alcohol is not too evident, although it creeps up on you sooner than later.

A nice, unique (for good and bad) Imperial Stout. Not my favorite, but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of dar482
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours in a thick oily black with a small mocha head.

The aroma has chocolate, roasted malt, a bit of spiciness, a dark fruit.

The flavor follows with a big chocolate flavor, roasty malt, and a bit of chocolate and a good amount of sweetness along with dark fruits. There's a good amount of alcohol with a decent mouthfeel, although it could be richer and creamier.

This beer was slightly disappointing, but still a very well made.

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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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