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 zkoehn
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Speedogomer
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Mateo2699
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage, 10-23-14. Pour is a very dark brown hue, not inky but dark enough. Mocha colored head, lasts a while. Aroma of leather upfront, pipe tabacco, licorice, char. A little hazelnut. Subtle chocolate taste and roasty malts upfront. The rich leather and licorice in the back end. A slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is soft, creamy, and low carb. Glad to try a 3 year aged expidition stout. Always heard how well this ages, which could've contributed to the lack of sweetness. Very good.

 494 characters

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bum4ever
4.32/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle received in a BIF from Crow121 dated 9/2/15

L: Dark black and thick with a small amount of tan head that stayed awhile
S: coffee and chocolate up front followed by dark cherry and maybe something sweet.
T: slightly bitter coffee followed by dark chocolate. Finishes easy with some dark fruit flavors and a slight hint of vanilla.
F: full-bodied and super smooth stout here. Will have to try a fresh one to see if it's always this smooth.
O: this aged version is really good and super easy to drink at 10.5%. We'll definitely seek this out again.

 556 characters

Photo of Dankacheese
4.47/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ScaryEd
4.59/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 18 months out.

Pours a pitch black motor oil color with a finger of dark caramel head. The head settles into a thin collar, leaving some random splotches of lace as it goes.

The aroma brings tons of coffee, char, and vanilla cream up front. Then comes a wave of dark chocolate and roasted nuts. The back end is slightly boozy, with plenty of fruity notes and just a whisper of hops. Nice complexity here.

The taste is all coffee up front, with huge waves of dark chocolate not far behind. The middle brings notes of vanilla and black cherries, as well as some fig and raisins. Finishes charred and slightly leathery. Big and bold flavors here.

The feel is full-bodied with slightly higher carbonation for the style. Thick, chewy, and creamy as all hell. Has some slight alcohol warmth, as to be expected.

Overall, this is one beast of a stout. It's bold and complex, with tons of flavors and aromas to keep your face in the glass. It's a bit higher in carbonation than I would like, but otherwise this is a world class brew. Well done.

 1,077 characters

Photo of gruves33
4.19/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BenBreeg
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ajm5108
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Colors are as expected, head is a frothy cream that is pretty persistent. As a fresh beer there is a lot of hop presence but that obviously smooths out over time. Aroma still vestiges even on a nearly three year old bottle, but there is also robust milk chocolate, slightly curdled cream (but in a good way!) and dark malt. Tons of bitter chocolate & smokey coffee dark malt on the tongue, along with vanilla creme and almond. Still some hop flavor floating around but adds a nice bitter kick and doesn't clash. Super silky mouthfeel. Sounds cliched for this beer given its reputation but definitely does better with a couple of years on it, which is pretty impressive for shelf stout.

 686 characters

Photo of Andy_Luft
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IndySuds
4.46/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GarbageMan10
3.85/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter this beer was the color of a black hole. There was minimal to no head.
Chocolate aroma, some booze, some dark fruit. Very nice.
Taste only improved on the aroma. Dark chocolate, yet with some sweetness. Cherry, maybe some raisin A definite char to the taste.
Wonderful beer!

 299 characters

Photo of Matt141
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smcel371
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chitownfanatic21
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DudMan
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Oakley
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.64/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expedition Stout has a thin, tan head, a very dark brown appearance, and minimal lacing. Aroma is strong and full- very dark brown bread crust, some alcohol, some chocolate powder, and cream. Taste is of those elements, with acrid bitterness from the char, with black cherry. Mouthfeel is full-on heavy & silky, and Expedition Stout finishes medium wet/dry and bold.

 371 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.86/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 9/8/16. Guinness pint glass. Can't believe I have never reviewed this.

A: pours a completely opaque black with two fingers thick, frothy tan head. A little carbonation sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: fruity and hoppy right off the bat. Where some RIS's are malt and roast forward, I get a heavy dose of hops, followed by a dark, roasty, and flinty malt backbone. That head retains a one-finger cap seemingly forever. Nice lacing.

T: arrival is, not surprisingly, sweet. Complex blend of dark fruits, hops, and a good bit of alcohol. This is pretty much how I remember it. There is tremendous complexity here; layers of roast, fruity esters, and hops; but something is off-putting in the alcoholic finish. Bell's signature house yeast maybe isn't so hot (or is too hot?) at this ABV.

M: thick, chewy, low carbonation, slick.

O: for what is probably my favorite brewery, and one of my favorite styles, this beer has always been a miss for me. I think it is one that really needs to be aged. The really high and noticeable alcohol detracts from the experience for me. It is beautiful to behold and smell, and fine in texture, but something in the taste is just not my cup of beer.

 1,199 characters

Photo of Pro_Magnon
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DutchcdnTEXAN
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.22 out of 5 based on 6,166 ratings.
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