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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
6,183 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:
6,183
Reviews:
2,146
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
555
Gots:
1,780
For Trade:
128
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,183 |  Reviews: 2,146
Photo of BeerTruth
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to metallitone1 for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a complete opaque motor oil black with a huge three finger brown head that takes forever to die down to a generous lacing. Stickiness is truly amazing. Probably the best looking RIS I've seen to date. Smell is a sweet caramel malt mixed with a nice dark chocolate and molasses that tingles the nose as well. A bit of alcohol is also present in the smell. Taste has a lot of coffee and espresso to it, much more than the smell leads on, especially the aftertaste. Starts off with a sweet chocolate malt followed by a whole bunch of roasted nut mixed with brown sugar. Some alcohol on the tongue as well. Mouthfeel is full bodied and rich with very little, but just enough, carbonation. I could only have one in a sitting, but I will definitely be drinking this one in the future. Bell's has just about mastered the art of brewing Stouts (Cherry Stout being an exception), and this one doesn't disappoint.

 988 characters

Photo of RMelyon
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Timtac
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

A- Pours essentially black and thick. Small, chocolatey brown head that is gone quickly with good lacing.

S- Main scents are a sweet, black licorice type smell with dark roasts underneath. Maybe slight hints of anise. Definitely some dark chocolate notes.

T- Not as sweet as the smell, with very deep roasts. Almost has a burnt toast taste. Coffee and chocolate notes are present. Deep malt character.

M- Thick and creamy with little carbonation. Slight alcohol heat is present towards the end of the drink. Weight compliments flavor profile.

Overall, not a great, but a very good stout. Slightly deeper than most with burnt malts. A very solid brew.

 654 characters

Photo of cestlavie
5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Joecaddie
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Beerdudenumberone
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of JeffSK
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of nwhittin
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of alostplot
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of kplooki
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of JRed
3.28/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black in body topped by coffee-with-milk head that stays. Mildy offensive aroma of bitter chocolate, earth and vegetation, booze, slight hazelnut. Tastes of cola, bitter dark chocolate, earth, a grapefruity hop presence, and booze with subtle cocoa nibs. Heavy in body with light carbonation. Offensive in almost all aspects.

 331 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired a three year vertical ('07-'09) of Expedition Stout in a trade with nflmvp. Steve, I love you. Decided to share the vertical with my fellow BAs at the Central Coast BA Gathering at the Pour House in Paso Robles, CA this past weekend. Following review written from notes.

Sampled only a couple ounces of each beer. Poured into an 8oz. Rémy Martin snifter each time.

Appearance: Totally opaque and thick as hell! No noticeable carbonation in any of the samples, and not much head to speak of either: a small brown cap that disappeared quickly each time. Light, spotty lacing.

Smell: Molasses, loads of roasted malt, and espresso greet the nostrils first. Hints of barbecue and flowery hops jump in and out of the picture. Alcohol is also apparent, but not dissatisfying. This was the one characteristic of the beer that really changed over the years, becoming duller and more alcoholic with time (or at least that's what my drunken notes read).

Taste: Big molasses, charred oak, and solid hop bitterness. Very roasty and bold. Not harsh for a Russian Imperial Stout, but certainly assertive.

Mouthfeel: Quite possibly the thickest beer I've had (right up there with Bourbon County Stout). The lack of carbonation makes this beer even more dense, and at times I was reminded of yogurt... yes, RIS yogurt. Super creamy and slightly warm. I want to give this a 5.0, however I believe that some extra carbonation would make it even better.

Drinkability: This was sooo damn thick, but in small portions it worked out fantastically. I doubt I could have drank this whole vertical on my own, let alone more than one bottle, but I'm still gonna give drinkability a high score since my only complaints are based on assumptions.

 1,732 characters

Photo of Bandi
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of MattGrimley
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of KG710
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of aforbes10
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like one heavy son of a bitch beer. Looks like black syrup. builds a small fleeting head and the beer literally clings to the pint glass. What's the smell resemble? hmmmm. prunes, lots of fresh melted chocolate. something mildly unsettling in the odor too some weird sourness. Taste is chocolately and bitter with a roasted malt finish. bitterness subsides after a couple of swigs. hoppy flavor should decrease with age. Thick and syrupy to drink. alcohol hits the tongue right away. perfect for the style. belly warming and heavy. i'd have another, but the big chunks at the bottom just didn't do it for me and kept me from wanting another. ill cellar some and see what happens with time.

 695 characters

Photo of redleg411
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of harryhops
3.64/5  rDev -13.7%

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

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

Photo of mwilbur
1.9/5  rDev -55%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into pint glass.
A: Thick and black. Minimal dark tan head with no carbonation (a little odd since I just bought this bottle).
S: Roasted malts and chocolate. Can smell the high ABV...too prominent.
T: Completely unbalanced. Very weak malt can't offset the very high ABV. Roasted malt, chocolate...but not enough of it.
M: I hate to harp on it, but the high ABV distracts too much. Weak body and no taste to linger...just the alcohol.
D: Undrinkable...I hate to do this, but I'm not even going to finish this. I love high ABV beers, but they have to be balanced and have enough malt, flavors, etc. to hold up. This doesn't cut it. I see that others had difficulty with no carbonation. Either this is a major bottling problem or Bell's needs to rethink their approach here.
Definitely the worst russian imperial stout I've had in a long time...and I doubt this will age well as the bottle suggests.

7/26/10: Well, let's check on this one again...cellared for about 2 1/2 yrs. The appearance is actually nice. Thick black-brown with super dark brown head. Looks like you could chew on it (4). Dark chocolate, molasses, and piney hops. Decent (3.5). Dark chocolate syrup, blackstrap molasses, and piney hops. Follows aroma pretty much on cue (3.5). Thick, smooth, oily. Faint alcohol burn and hop bite. I like it (4). OK, so I was wrong. This one does age well, but starts off terrible. It ends up as an ok RIS, but you gotta be patient (3.5).

 1,461 characters

Photo of BeastLU
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of jvgoor3786
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a three-month-old 2016 version. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 13 ounce tulip. I was able to get the whole beer in the tulip with the head. Pours deep black with about 1/2 inch dark brown head that dissipated quickly. There is a ton of cocoa on the nose and a very little bit of dark fruits. The taste is deep, burnt roasty malt flavor with deep chocolate flavor blending perfectly. There is also a slight hoppy bitterness and the dark fruit is lingering underneath. The mouthfeel is thick and silky smooth. Overall this beer is unreal, especially for how easy it is to get. I had a 2013 a week ago. The hoppy bitterness had faded and the score went up to a 4.75 for me.

 695 characters

Photo of thoglund
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.22 out of 5 based on 6,183 ratings.
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