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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
6,163 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:
6,163
Reviews:
2,137
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
547
Gots:
1,778
For Trade:
131
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,163 |  Reviews: 2,137
Photo of Dominic_Decoco
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Evango
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of BuckettOfBeer
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of champ103
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours an opaque, viscous, ink black. A small tan head of less then a finger forms, but sticks around as a cap. Not much lace.
S: The aroma is of roasted malt. Milk chocolate and some liquorish. Smoke, dry wood/oak aromas as well. A huge nose.
T: Roasted malt and chocolate again. The malt seems sticky and chewy. Sweet toffee and some liquorish. A little one dimensional, but good.
M/D: A full and thick body that is low on the carbonation. Creamy and velvety smooth. This is a good beer to sip on, but one is more than enough for a night.

This is a good RIS. One of the thickest I can remember trying. Something I would recommend for the stout lover.

 655 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Ngntjp
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of cherche
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

l: midnight brown with a huge mocha head - very good retention
s: heavy on the tobacco and tar
t: tobacco and tar, some chocolate
m: full bodied
o: very good imperial stout

 172 characters

Photo of PG2G
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of rickcrip76
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ended a night out with this at Brickstore Pub in Decatur, GA. Ordered the 2009 vintage.

A - on target with my expectations: jet black, viscous, and a finger of brown head

S - all the usual suspects of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. What really caught me off guard upon sniffing this beer was the very distinct and prominent presence of spearmint; not the usual odor I come across.

T - Follows the nose, roasty, chocolate, burnt coffee bitterness on the back end... the spearmint did not carry over too much in the taste. A big bold beer. I thought the ABV was hidden well.

M - Thick, rich, and full bodied. Carbonation was present but not overly so.

O - Great beer. I was surprised that when I read other reviews there was no other mention of the mint in the nose. I don't know if it was a product of the cellaring process or if my nose and palate are that bad.... but it was there. I would drink it again, but I don't think I'd have more than one at any given time - it was a good beer to close out an evening.

 1,035 characters

Photo of JakeBarnett
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of John_Beeryman
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Philvillani
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of LoganMc
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of tpd975
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like the java stout I just reviewed this one comes to Florida from Indiana with love from my brother. God bless him.

A: The perfect pouring stout. Nice large 3 finger espresso colored head that settles down nicely to a small pillow atop the brew. There is also very nice lacing down the glass. This one could make People' Magazines 100 most beautiful list.

S: Lacking. There is not much really coming from the glass. I like big bold smells when it comes to beer and this one just don't have it. There is some sweetness that I can detect along with some char of the malt. I wanted nice strong tones of coffee and chocolate, none were found here.

T: The taste is good, but not great. The taste of charred malt is in there, which gives you a sense of coffee. The chocolate taste is of bitter chocolate. To be honest I expected more.

M: This one is thick like a milkshake. The coating is wonderful on your mouth. Had the taste been great this would have helped to put the beer over the top.

D: If this is your cup of tea you could drink several despite the ABV. It goes down rather smooth and hides the alcohol nicely.

Overall: I was expecting this to be Bell's best stout. Right before drinking this one I had a Java Stout which I like sooo much better. I have also had their Kalamazoo stout which I also prefer to this one. I realize those are lighter stouts with this being a RIS. Maybe I was expecting too much coming in to this one. I will revisit in a few days as I have a six pack of it. I will also put a few back to age. Time may be on its side.

I almost feel as though I am being too critical. Bell's is quite possibly my favorite brewer. I have to revisit this one. Will update after my second go around with this one.

 1,747 characters

Photo of Gatordaddy
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Jordanpaterson08
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of brewdoc75
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is actually my first Imperial Stout. I've always been a bit scared of these because a lot of them that I see have been aged in bourbon barrells and such. I hate bourbon. After reading this site, I decided that this would be a reasonable choice.

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Jet black w/ a dark toffee colored head.

Smell: Not a whole lot of aroma. Smells of burnt grains, a hint of chocolate, and a little bit of alcohol.

Taste: Nice strong bite initially. Pleasant roasted coffee flavors mixed in with toffee and caramel flavors. A little sweet. Finishes w/ a nice bitterness. One of the best things about this beer is that I don't really taste the ABV that is listed. I barely taste the ABV at all.

Mouthfeel: Very heavy, rich mouthfeel. Despite this, it is quite smooth and relaxing. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: I was quite afraid of Imperial Stouts before trying this beer. I had always thought it would taste more like bourbon than beer. This beer is not like that at all. It is similar to a nice dry stout, but there is much more complexity there. It is almost too easy to drink with an ABV like this. I think this has opened me up to the world of Imperial Stouts.

 1,203 characters

Photo of Tracker83
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BelgianBeerMe
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of lpothier
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of rudylaw
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being a Chicagoan, I've really missed this beer. On a recent trip to Kenosha, I picked up two sixers at $12/ea and immediately rushed back to have one. It's as good as I remember. Since this beer has been reviewed a million times, I'll keep it brief.

It pours oil black into my glass with a brown head that dissipates almost immediately.

It has a very chocolately/coffee-like aroma to it and is very pleasant to the senses. It made me want to find an afghan or a quilt, I was so comfortable.

It's a very thick, chewy concoction... which is right up my alley when looking for a stout. The experience did not wane as I made my way through the glass. It coated my mouth and throat in a way sore throat medicines only dream of! I enjoyed it until the last drop.

Overall, it's a great stout. Not as good as DarkLord, Darkness or perhaps even Storm King, but it should be mentioned in the same breath. Can't wait to finish off the other 11!

 939 characters

Photo of beertooth
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from batch 7205 poured into a snifter. Thanks to Aaron for this three year old bottle.

Slick black liguid with a thin collar of chocolate milk colored bubbles.

The nose is full of chocolate, raisins, dates, burnt sugar, roasted malt, booze, tobacco, some coffee.

The first sip gives me tons of roasted malts, raisins, chocolate, some maple, some vanilla. There are some slight bitter hoppy notes in the tail end and a tiny bit of soy, but it works well. It's extremely rich and filling with no harsh booziness although it is quite warming.

Mouthfeel is big and slick with moderate carbonation.

Up until now I've only had fresh Expedition because I hadn't the will power to age any longer than half a year. This is almost sublime with 3 years on it and I wish I had more. Thanks again to acme to tossing me this great aged bottle.

 846 characters

Photo of dbossman
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Thick and black with a dark brown, bubbly head that has good retention; it has a similar appearance to a dark-chocolate mousse.

S: Coffee, chocolate and dark roasted malts hit you up front; rich with a subtle alcohol burning through the malty goodness; slightly sweet brown sugar/ caramel at the back of the aromas

T: Dark chocolate and coffee bitterness up front; delicious roasted malt presence; alcohol is prevalent making this a sipper; a nice brown sugary sweetness balances out the bitterness

F: Thick with a slightly syrupy viscosity; good even mouth coat eventually--after the beer slowly works its way around

D: Great beer that is wonderful to sip on for any occasion; however, the strength of the roasted malts and the alcohol presence makes this a tad bit difficult to handle for too long. Great beer--just approach slowly and with caution

 857 characters

Photo of BeerEngineer89
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pitch black. Rough pour yielded nearly no head unfortunately

S- Strong smell. Tons of chocolate and some roasted smell with something that is similar to a whiskey. Not amazing but intriguing.

T- Very similar to the smell. Intriguing yet not anything I would want in an air freshener.

M-Very full and not too wet. Swishing around gives the consistency of a milkshake. Delicious.

D-For 10.5% I could drink this all night.

O- I would definitely buy this again. Not an exception life experience, but i could see this being on tap at my home bar.

 550 characters

Photo of BierFan
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tumbler glass. The bottle was labeled batch 8728.

Appearance: Expedition Stout has a black body with a head the color of chocolate milk.

Smell: Lots of roasted coffee and alcohol aroma.

Taste: Little bit of an alcohol burn. Bitter dark chocolate and roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel: No carbonation kinda hurts the mouthfeel. Also was kinda thin.

Drinkability: Surprisingly good drinkability even with the stronger presence of alcohol.

 470 characters

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.22 out of 5 based on 6,163 ratings.
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