Expedition Stout | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Expedition StoutExpedition Stout
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
6,302 Ratings
Expedition StoutExpedition Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
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
Ranking:
#732
Reviews:
2,177
Ratings:
6,302
pDev:
10.33%
Bros Score:
4.41
 
 
Wants:
569
Gots:
1,820
Trade:
125
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,302 |  Reviews: 2,177
Photo of Quafftastic
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of TheCrowsEye
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cavedave
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jager68 for this thick wonderful beer. Consumed 7/31/10

Pours an opaque black topped by a brownish beige one finger head that slowly relaxes to a nice topper. Lots of resin and lace on the glass.

Smell is not that strong for a big beer, full of a variety of sweet maltiness, roasted, caramel, molasses, chocolate, rounded off by hints of tart yeast and a slight bitter edge.

Taste is like the nose, not super complex, but the flavors are extremely clean and bright. Alcohol is there but just a background warmth to it. The chocolate isn't as bitter as in some stouts, and the roasted notes aren't over the top char. The bitter in the finish is just right to balance the sweet.

Very thick, very viscous, perhaps a bit too much carb., and perhaps a finish needing a bit more more complexity. Very silky.

Due to the silky nature, and simple deliciousness this baby goes down very easily.

Impression: One of a crop of truly exceptional American RIS that I hope to try again.

 986 characters

Photo of BlissJunkie
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of GuitarIPA
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a thick brown, foamy head. Smells and tastes include smoke, booze, roasted malts, molasses, raisins or prunes. Thick body, with sharp, boozy bite to finish. Great flavor, but slightly astringent on the nose

 223 characters

Photo of Gaddabble
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MaxPowers
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into CBS snifter. Served at cellar temperature.

A) This is jet black and pours out like motor oil as expected. Nearly 2 fingers of milk chocolate head, with decent retention. This had good lacing and legs.

S) Dark malt + roast. This has some espresso bean, and a hint of dark fruit sweetness. There is a little booze, but at 10.5 % what do you expect.

T) Near the nose... Good amount of roast. A little dark chocolate, and dark fruit, mainly raisins. This definitely has some hops on the backend. Finishes up with roast, hops and alcohol warmth.

M) Close to full bodied... Hell, I'll just get off the fence and call it full bodied. The carbonation was light. This was very smooth and creamy from a feel standpoint, however, my score came down a notch due to an aftertaste that I found a bit to bitter and boozy.

O) This is a highly enjoyable sipper. I'm really interested to try this with some age on it. Definitely a RIS that is worth a try. Glad to recommend.

 991 characters

Photo of 31Sam13
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of oso
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Stevem68
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a motor oil black color. Has a slightly boozy aroma with moths of chocolate. Flavor is smooth, a little oaky and there is a presence of chocolate and malts. Overall a very solid stout. This could be drank any day of the week.

 231 characters

Photo of birdsellam
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to c64person for sending me two of these, both bottled on "9/19/11." Thanks! I've never had this fresh (I really want to), but this apparently only gets better with time so I felt around now was a good time to crack one open. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a teku glass.

Pours not totally opaque (black with brownish tones), yet in the glass, I can barely get any light to pass through this. Looks almost solid, like hardened chocolate syrup when left alone. The mocha colored head adds to the effect, with tons of lacing sticking around with each swirl in a shrapnel coated manner. I'm impressed that carbonation is this good this late in the game - it's very elegant yet powerful in presentation. Really delightful looking and fresh I'd only imagine it looks better.

Ahhh, yes, haven't had a imperial stout that smelled like this in a while - the last one being Marshal Zhukov - it's an effect that I'd like to call the "truffle" condition that the best of these imperial stouts hold. At first, there's a chocolate truffle roasted richness (think 85% cacao), with lingering notes of peanut brittle, cashews, as well as lightly burnt toffee, molasses, cinnamon, and coffee. Underneath, there's a plethora of dried dark fruit and herbal qualities that are often found in high quality aged tannic red wines - raisins, figs, prunes, and dark cherry pits. Bright mint, peppercorns, licorice, and light spicy notes from the alcohol finish it up. Everything is wonderfully balanced, and the alcohol is hidden gracefully. Quite extraordinarily opulent, bright stuff.

Wow! This is amazingly rich, yet unlike Zhukov, not nearly as mouth coating or hedonistic - this is far more approachable, with an easy drinking texture and loads of layers of flavors that open up over time. At first, the palate is coated with a dense, dark chocolate flavor, with a powdery, melting sensation akin to eating fudge, alongside toffee, caramel, and burnt brown sugar notes. Then, the fruit flavors explode, to which my friend and I agreed it tasted like a chocolate covered raisin filled with molasses, or a coffee chocolate covered raisin or fig of sorts. Finishes spicy, with light chili powder notes, some mint, light black licorice, kirsch, and light cocoa butter at the finish. The aftertaste is powerful - goes on for a while and rewards the senses with a rich chocolate chili flavored sensation alongside the fruit. This is surprisingly medium body given the style, and it's definitely less carbonated than one would expect, but it somehow works perfectly, driving up the drinkable qualities and yet simultaneously makes this a sipper due to its rich roasted qualities, rather than the sweet qualities that your everyday RIS provides. Creamy, rich, yet very approachable. World class stuff.

This is one of the greats, and with its tremendously high aging qualities, this is perhaps one of the most unique stouts brewed in the country that is available quite often. I'd love to get a case of this and age it, but location is seriously screwing me up here. Simply phenomenally complex and easy-drinking stuff. Rewards you in the long run and sticks it to the hyped beers as any old school craft recipe should. Highly recommended.

 3,222 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
4.26/5  rDev 0%
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 -6.1%

Photo of boilermakerbrew
4/5  rDev -6.1%
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 +17.4%

Photo of Joecaddie
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of npendres
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of carolinabeerguy
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

 979 characters

Photo of alostplot
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kplooki
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of wafers
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 6,302 ratings