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:
546
Gots:
1,779
For Trade:
132
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,163 |  Reviews: 2,137
Photo of vandemonian
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My bottle of Bell's Expedition Stout was still pretty fresh, so there was still some hops fighting through the roasty malt. The taste is like toasty malt with a hint of charcoal.

A: Black colour and an impressive 4 mm brown head that fades to good lacing in a couple of minutes. 4

S: It smells of roasty malt with some hops trying to fight their way through too. 4

T: It's roasty and malty up front with some hoppiness fighting through too. The aftertaste is a mixture of charcoal, chocolate and caramel. 4

M: Thick and foamy. 4.5

O: Nice and roasty. 4.

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Photo of dohedan
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Fluke828
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a cervoise-style glass
Batch # 9971
Bell's Batch Finder reveals this was bottled in September 2010.
Got this in a trade with tjohn2401 from his cellar to mine. Put in fridge last night.

A-> Poured cold and had to be aggressive to get barely a 3/4-finger head of mocha colored foam. Receeds rather quickly but leafves some nice lacing. Dark as night in color.

S-> Smells of coffee immediately and also get a bit of alcohol in the nose. Some burnt toffee, very dark chocolate, also getting quite a bit of smoke in the nose in the early going.

T-> Get hit with a big dose of bitterness up front initially, get some faint molasses (become more apparent once this brew warmed) Really getting a lot of bitter chocolate and coffee here. Got a healthy touch of alcohol at first, particularly when this beer was cold, but as it warmed it seemed to mellow out and get real smooth.

M-> Big, dare I say full bodied? Carbonation is present but probably lessened a bit after 6 months in the bottle but the bitterness hasn't lost a step at all and really gives the illusion that there is more carbonation than there likley actually is. Somewhat creamy as this warms up too.

O-> Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. Really curious what a year or more would do for this big delcious brew. Would also love to try with some coffee heath ice cream or something along those lines. Would seek this out again for sure.

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Photo of jfunkk79
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on my most recent visit home to Ohio. Pours a deep black with fine bubbles that retreat, no lacing.
Aroma of chocolate, slightly boozy sweet, not necessarily in a bad way.

Nice creamy mouthfeel, malty sweetness and a nice hop tart in the back of the mouth. Bit of a heavy finish but I'm not minding too much. This would probably age well. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Pours an oily, black ebony with a two fingered tanned head that retains real well.

S - Smells of Cocoa, roasted malt and dark fruits.

T - Chocolate hits up front, followed by some nice roasted malt and burnt caramel flavours. The finish is warm with alcohol.

M - Full body and low carbonation

O - Very impressed with this stout and would have another.

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Photo of rodkin
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2011.

Pours dark, dark black, about 1/2 finger tan head. It's small, but certainly more carb than the "totally flat" comments would have me believe.

Smell is pretty bitter. Lots of roasty malts. Coffee and dark chocolate are prominent, with a bit of vanilla and chocolate sweetness, maybe just the slightest hint of hops.

Taste is similar to the smell. Big coffee and chocolate, fairly complex. Not as sweet and rich as a lot of stouts, but I like it. Some dark fruit, maybe? It's good.

Mouthfeel is ok. Low on carbonation, medium thickness.

Overall a fine stout. Really tasty and complex, and quite drinkable despite being among the more bitter stouts I've had.

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Photo of adam42381
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Cigar City snifter. Bottled on September 13, 2010 per batch number 9971 printed on label.

Appearance: Pours a thick motor oil black with a 1/2 finger mocha brown head which dissipates quickly.

Smell: Chocolate, molasses, alcohol and a hops.

Taste: Molasses and dark chocolate up front followed by roasted malt and coffee in the middle before ending with a burst of bitter hops at the finish. The alcohol is obviously there, but it never overpowers the flavor. Aftertaste is a mix of burnt toast and hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and with a decent amount of carbonation. This is a thick beer that still goes down smoothly.

Drinkability: High drinkability. This isn't a beer to be rushed by any means. Drink it slowly and savor the flavors because you're probably going to be done after one.

Overall: Very good beer overall. One of the better Russian Imperial Stouts that is widely available. Another fine offering from Bell's.

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

Poured into pint glass.
Agressive pour brought out a foamy head that dropped to a halo on the cap. Onyx black in color.
Smells of burnt toast, roasted malts, maybe some dark fruits, and alcohol.
Tastes imediately sweet with a hot finish, mildly peppery. Leaves a minerally bitter aftertaste. Aromatics faintly present.
Coats the mouth and thankfully not overly carbonated so it lingers for ponderance. Unfortunately, the aromatics are so faint, it doesn't leave much to ponder.
I enjoy most beers, present one included, I am happy with the purchase, I just wish they would have focused more on developing the aromatics than the alcohol content.

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

A great stout! Nice bouquet of cocoa and coffee. Thick, creamy and silky texture. Taste is sweet on the front with a slight bitterness on the finish to balance it out. Flavors of cocoa and coffee. This is so smooth it hides the 10.5% abv very well. I found other Imperial Stouts like Old Rasputin and Narwhal to be very harsh. I kind of expected the same from Expedition, but didn't find any harshness at all. It is so smooth and such a high quality beer, very impressive! This is a great go-to, non barrel aged, Imperial Stout.

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

Murky and dark brown. Minimal head from a conservative pour. Fears of overflow quelled. Small bubbles carbonate. Chocolate coloured ring is substituted for head. Smells of chocolate syrup and coffee, licorice and some fruitiness, and slight alcoholic impressions. The flavours are mostly a bitter chocolate and coffee bean experience. The body is creamy and smooth. This is at least a 9 on Bob's smoothness scale. The drinkability is good in terms of the style. Too much stout can cause pain and chocolate brown dookie.

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Photo of davey101
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

09/19/2011 vintage. 12 oz bottle into a DFH signature glass. Reviewed on 08-27-2012. Thanks a ton apocolypsezombie!

A - Pitch black body with a two finger high mocha head. Super sticky lacing and retention. 4.0/5

S - Charred malts, milk chocolate, and some faint ripe dark fruit notes. Somewhat simple. 3.5/5

T - Very roasty with some sweeter notes of chocolate and coffee. Aftertaste is a tad bitter with a warming alcohol presence. Again, rather simple. 3.5/5

M - Pretty amazing mouth feel. Super thick and silky with decent carbonation. Sticky and coating which really works with the basic flavor profile. 4.5/5

O - A very standard but delicious RIS. The flavor and nose are somewhat boring for the style but the mouth feel is one of the best I've had. Excellent beer. 4.0/5

Batch 9512 - December 18, 2009. 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Reviewed on 10-05-2012. Thanks to Rempo for this killer extra.

A - Same as the 2011

S - Seems a bit less roasty than the fresher bottle. Ripe dark fruits, chocolate, espresso beans, light smoke and a touch of booze. Excellent aroma. 4.5/5

T - Dark fruits and milk chocolate. Some coffee and hop bitterness. Really rich and smooth. 4.0/5

M - Again, just excellent. Super thick and coating as all hell. 4.5/5

O - Age did some pretty amazing things to this beer. Much more layered and well rounded. Super solid RIS. 4.0/5

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Photo of Commandophile
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cyroeser
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Really dark with one of the darkest heads I've ever seen on a beer...it was almost brown. However, it's one of the thinnest heads I've seen on a stout and the retention is not all that great.

The smell took me aback as it smelled like a Belgian triple at first more than a stout, but the usual cast of characters are hiding in the back. Super malty with raisins in the forefront with coffee bitterness and chocolate behind and a touch of bourbon...okay more than a touch...a bit more.

It tastes more like a stout than a Belgian double though and that makes me smile. The coffee comes to the front and a chalky chocolate follows it, adding to a standard RIP mouthfeel. The alcohol does make an appearance in the finish supplying bourbon-like notes. The raisins detected in the nose are gone. Very yummy!

If you're used to drinking RIPs, you'll love this example once you start to drink it. There's nothing special to make it stand out, but it is a solid effort

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

As i hold this up to the light, I still can't see through it. There is settlement on the bottom of the glass. Beautiful!!!

This is one super rich malty beverage. It's taste is of malt and malt, with some malt. There is just a hint of burbon-like alcohol, and a twinge of hops.

The mouthfeel is pure creme. Wonderful!

The finish is slightly rough, as the alcohol bashes on the back of the tongue. It lingers a bit too.

The first few I had of these were a bit... um... too thick. Too much. Over time I've learned to appreciate this wonderful richness in a glass. Recommended if you are looking for a super thick over the top RIS.

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

Pours black with a thick, light brown head that leaves excellent lacing. It has a licorice aroma kind of like the “Good & Plenty” candies I remember as a kid. It is also roasty, chocolatey, and has a bit of an alcoholic smell. The flavor has alcohol throughout. It starts out roasty, and finishes dry, and bitter. It has a burnt roast malt bitterness in the finish. It is a full-bodied beer, with a big alcoholic warmth. A tasty brew; a good beer for warming you up on a cold winter’s day.

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

Bottle dated 8/22/13.

Appearance: Pours jet black, as expected with a small khaki head that collars quickly.

Smell: Cocoa, graham cracker, roasted malt, dark fruit and some booze heat. Kind of reminds me of Marshal Zhukov's aroma, in that the aroma is nice, but not overwhelming.

Taste: Begins with rich dark chocolate paired with an element of soft cocoa. Middle of the mouth is hop bitterness with nice roast. Finishes pretty bitter with detectable but not by any means overwhelming heat.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, velvety, silky. Very full feel, though not in the realm of Hunahpu viscosity.

Overall: I can see the influence this has on Black Note and am glad I finally got to try it. Can definitely see this getting amazing with age as the bitterness subsides, but it's still not bad at all in its current state.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one on a trip to Kalamazoo...

A: Super dark with slight ruby highlights. 1/2 inch mocha colored head that fades at a decent pace. Good.

S: Earthy dark fruit upfront blended with hints of booziness. Chocolate bitterness in the middle with grapefruit and pumpkin blended into the backend.

T: Earthy grapefruit boozy hop upfront with malty sugars in the middle and hints of grapefruit and dark fruit on the backend.

M: good balance of carbonation with a very nice smoothness. Very good.

D: Goes down a easy after you get past the bitter hops. Good.

All in all, this is a decent brew to try at least once if you likes stouts and IPA's.

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

Bottle from October.

Pours out viscous and black from the bottle and looks lovely in a glass. Pitch black with a mocha head.

Lots of roasty goodness in the smell. Dark chocolate, dark fruit, and some alcohol.

It tastes fairly bitter like a Yeti. Rounds out with some sweetness. Big roast character, dark chocolate, and dark fruit.

Smooth and full chewy mouthfeel.

A great stout. I feel like an aged bottle would be heavenly.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours out As black as most typical stouts do. The head is brown and pretty thick looking. The smell of the beer has some licorice and lots of roasted malts and a few light aromas of dark fruit. The taste of the beer is deeply roasted, with some burnt flavors in there. Light herbal notes and some dark chocolate in the mix. The mouthfeel is on the thicker side which is pretty nice. Overall I think it's a good brew it's not great but it's worth trying.

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

Expedition

Pours solid black, allowing zero light through. An inch of orange tinted head sits with surprisingly good retention, leaving thick lace as it decends.

The nose is heated. A boozy scent encompasses scents of chocolate, dark fruits and toffee .

The taste is quite beastly as the nose suggests. A roasted wave of cocoa, dark fruits,, and some citrus fruit hoppiness. Nice combo but again, heavy on the booze scent.

The mouthfeel is very thick and heavy allowing the flavors to stick across my palate ten fold.

Overall, I can understand why this is such a high ranked "cellerable" brew because of the complexity and boozy presence but at the same time, its damn good fresh.

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Photo of matt23j
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

a. this beer had little to no head, although the bottle was about 9 months old. also this is black!

s. pick up a perfect roasted malt smell with slight chocolate note.

t. great big roasted malt followed by little chocolate and leaves you with bitter coffee.

o. good beer wish it was cheaper, way to easy to drink and no alcohol burn.

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Photo of Upgrayedd
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

I don't have the batch number in front of me, but this one was bottled only a month or so ago. Since I recently polished off a two year old bottle, I thought I should get another sixer to cellar. This bottle was so new, I expected to get a huge raw hop bitterness level and it did not disappoint. Even though it smells wonderful and has an awesome mouthfeel, it is not exactly drinkable quite yet. After a year or so of aging, I expect the IBU's to calm down and the complexity of the malt to develop. I'll update my review then...

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Photo of hardy008
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark black color with which lets no light pass through. Has a large brown head with good retention. Smells of chocolate, molasses, raisins, and coffee. The taste mirrors the aroma nicely. Has a nice mixture of sweetness and coffee bitterness. Full bodied, creamy, and properly carbonated. Bell's does a nice job of disguising the 10.5% abv. Highly recommended.

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