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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout
6,279 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,279 |  Reviews: 2,169
Photo of SkeeterBoganski
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter.

A - thickfreakness dark; mocha head; significant lacing and retention; also, dark

S - roasted malt; a bit of dark coffee; some slight sweetness via bakers chocolate; just a touch of leather

T - dark chocolate; dark coffee; some espresso; malty; sweet and syrupy; roasted/smokey; a decent amount of hop presence; maybe burnt maple syrup

M - obviously this beer is pretty heavy; full-bodied, but smoothly carbonated; creamy; alcohol heat present but not overwhelmingly so; pretty smooth overall

O - a damn tasty stout that packs a pretty serious punch of heat and roasted malt, coffee flavor; it's drinkable but will sit you down in a hurry because of that 10.5; there are some bitter chocolate notes present but the balance is there for sure.

 765 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of baybum
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Satan70
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of DevilsCups
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle I've been sitting on for some time. Bottled 11/01/11.

A - Pitch black with a nice dark mocha head. Big legs, minimal lacing.

S - Sweet and roasted malts with some awesome milk chocolate notes. Slight bit of smoke. Smells fantastic.

T - Very roasted malts up front with dark chocolate and smokey notes in the finish. Hops are still hanging around, and pleasantly cut through the sweet malts used.

M - Coats pretty nicely. Carbonation is still pretty up there, but works. Leaves a nice smoky chocolate flavor in the mouth.

O - Fantastic. If this was a limited release 22oz every year, people would go nuts over it. Good on Bell's for doing this in sixxers. Fantastic beer. I got this as an extra in a trade, but it will be the main-piece in a future trade. Fits somewhere between Rasputin and Founders Imperial Stout flavor-wise.

 849 characters

Photo of hilgart1
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of metter98
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a finger high dark tan head that has excellent retention properties and hardly died down and left lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of roasted malts in the nose along wit some hints of licorice.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, although the licorice becomes more prominent as the beer warms up and lingers through the finish. A light to moderate of bitterness is present.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonated. All of the roasted malts make the finish feel dry.
O: This beer is quite drinkable considering the strength because the alcohol is well hidden from the taste (provided you can get past the roastiness).

 767 characters

Photo of BrownNut
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Oct 2, 2012 batch, drunk Dec 10, 2012. Bottle to tulip. Served cool.

A - 3.75 - Black. Rusty tan head that dissipates quickly. Want more.

S - 3.5 - The smell is fairly faint. What's there smells delicious, but it's just distant. Gentle chocolate malt, gentle hint of leather. There's a facet that reminds me a little of certain pumpkin ales, surprisingly. Almost some fruit, almost some liquor.

T - 3.75 - Strong burnt char note right out of the gate. Fairly bitter for that reason. Hint of chocolate in the background. It's hard to imagine any kind of delicate fruit taste surviving in this harsh environment but I swear I get a little something - not sure what kind. Pretty hot booze in the throat. I like that but many might see it as too much. Everybody says to cellar this one anyway so that should take care of that. It gets easier drinking farther down in the glass, but still has a fairly bitter char thing going on, more than I think is reasonable. It's over the top with burnt taste while young like this. Looking forward to trying it this time next year and the next.

M - 4.5 - Heavy bodied, viscous, approaching pudding feel. Ends kind of powdery inside the slippery.

O - 3.75

 1,193 characters

Photo of whendeathsleeps
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours thick motor oil black, tan two finger head, decent retention, nice lacing.

S- Dark roasted malt, anise, bakers chocolate, woody.

T- Dark chocolate, espresso, boozy, some dark fruits, a little bitterness from the hops to balance things out, let this one warm, it shines then.

M- Like you would expect from the pour, full bodied, thick, silky smooth, a little alcohol warming.

O- A good, not great RIS, the mouthfeel is excellent, I much prefer Ten Fidy to this, but I would go back to this for sure.

 512 characters

Photo of ouits
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of Slikpitt
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of ucsbmullet
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of StoutIrish
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of NickyDee21
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of cosmonick
3.25/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of fmccormi
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a Cigar City snifter; bottling date printed in black ink along with batch information near the bottom of the back label (“11503 PKGD 10/22/12 A”), indicating a packaging date of October 22, 2012. So, currently about six and a half weeks old.

Appearance (4.0): Well, dark. Very dark. With a one-finger head of extraordinarily fine-grained foam that’s almost milk chocolate-hued, this beer has a black body that turns a deep brown at the edges when held to the light. Decent retention and lacing: while relatively sparse, the lacing is evenly distributed and sticks around pretty well, which is good for a malt-forward beer of this size. Sure looks like an imperial stout to me.

Smell (4.0): There’s some nice molasses with a bit of anise underneath, layered over a nice, not overly acrid roasted malt character—just a nicely balanced dark, roasted malt / sweet, dark, rich, unrefined sugar blend. Dark fruits (raisins, prunes) and caramelized sugar, with some rich fruitcake. Also, there are some floral, citrusy hops in the background, which somehow do not clash with the roasted malt body. Lovely smelling beer.

Taste (4.5): Very solid, rich, malty body: some of that sturdy-but-not-syrupy-sweet molasses sweetness blends into some rich grain character (more of that fruitcake action), which gives way to an almost shockingly smooth roast. French roast coffee, rich and very dark chocolate, caramelized sugar and toffee, and almost none of the acrid bitterness you might expect. There’s some floral hop character in here, too, though it’s easy to miss—kind of flashes across the palate early on and then surfaces again, subtly, as a grassy-floral bitterness in the finish. And somehow, despite being an RIS weighing in at 10.5% ABV, there’s very little alcohol heat. It’s there, sure, but it’s built into the body well and just adds another layer, if you ask me. And that is especially remarkable, considering that this is less than two months old.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Fantastic feel. Rich and thick, viscous but smooth (not syrupy), with a rich, evenly-distributed carbonation that coats the entire mouth and foams nicely on the way down. Voluminous, sleek, soft. Just greatness here.

Overall (4.0): Damn. This is an incredibly solid brew. It’s not a mind-blowing Russian Imperial Stout, I suppose, but kind of like Two Hearted it does everything it’s supposed to do and it does it all extremely well. It manages to be SO SMOOTH while pulling off so much flavor, body, and density. And it’s pretty damn fresh, too. What a great brew.

 2,614 characters

Photo of jplopez21
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of krl2112
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of draimegould
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Boilerfood
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of beerFool28607
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JeffTheJuice
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of EigenBeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of JimmyFlatRock
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 6,279 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.