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 tourdot
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of TheInfamousElGuapo
3.25/5  rDev -23%

Photo of Dank26
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours pitch black with two fingers of the thickest tan head I've ever seen.

S: Roasted malts are most prominent in the aroma, but I get a nice amount of dark fruits just behind them - lots of prunes and raisins. I also get a good amount of malted milk balls and a bit of milk chocolate.

T: Roasted malts pair with a balanced milk and dark chocolate as well as some caramel sweetness. Everything is so well balanced together - the bitterness from the roasted malts and dark chocolate pair very well with the caramel and milk chocolate sweetness. Dark fruits add some complexity in the background.

M: Medium to thick body with very creamy carbonation.

O: So complex, so well balanced. This is a great Russian Imperial Stout. I get all the flavors I want melded together into one of the best stouts I've ever had.

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Photo of dorkinajeep
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of musicsherlock
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of ortie
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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5/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of spacemonkeysoda
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of andrewjraab
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - BLACK velvet, and syrupy. This is dark as night and has a nice brown head that quickly settles but maintains a small ring throughout.

S - Coffee, caramel, vanilla. Deep multi-faceted smells with this brew. Highly complex and the more it warms the smell even changes a bit. Some faint toasted malts.

T - Again highly complex and robust. This is a heavy beer that is definitely a sipper. This is like setting out on a journey to eat a slice of bacon, but ending up having a whole pig end up on your lap. Semi sweet chocolate notes, caramel, finishes extremely dry and bitter. Something a little off with the finish and has a weird yeast flavor that is just a little off balance.

O - This is solid, but not as much as it was hyped. I'd love to try to cellar one and try it in a few years. This is most definitely worth a try.

Re-Review with just over 14 months of age on it: 3/1/14

A - Still dark as night with the mocha head.

S - Pulling the same smells previously described. The only difference is that more of a deep fruity smell is coming forward.

T - This is more drinkable with a year of age - smooth as hell. Robust flavors remain and I'm not detecting anything off with the finish. Balances really nice.

O - I'm glad I set aside a sixes to age - I think this may be one that only gets better. I'll keep setting aside a few of these each year to sit on.

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Photo of DukeX13
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

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4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

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4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +12.6%

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4/5  rDev -5.2%

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4/5  rDev -5.2%

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5/5  rDev +18.5%

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3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

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4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of kojevergas
3.1/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It's my birthday! Best before date 10/02/17. 10.50% ABV confirmed. 355ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Blegium goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are through the roof given this beer's reputation. Acquired for $7.99 at a local beer store.

Served straight from the refrigerator but allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

As I poured, I noticed it wasn't generating a head, so I really amped up the vigor.

A: Pours a quarter finger beautiful rich tan colour head of decent cream, good thickness, and awful retention - which is fairly excusable given the ABV, but I've seen other beers handle more than this without issue. Colour is a solid black. Not quite jet black, but dark as hell. Nontransparent and opaque, as it should be. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Coffee, chocolate, dark malts, cream, chocolate malt, caramel, roast, a bit of alcohol, and even a hint of toffee. Well balanced but not clearly focused. I'm getting excited for it. A mild strength aroma. Doesn't beat you over the head like many beers in the style.

T: Coffee, roast, intriguing chocolate, espresso, background floral hops, cacao, malty sweetness, hints of smoke, caramel, raisin, and a bit of dark fruit (maybe plum). Malty sweetness increases as it warms. No note seems particularly dominant, which is actually sort of a problem here. Without focus, it becomes messier. That's not to say it's imbalanced; the balance is only slightly off in that the flavours are too sweet. I imagine this would fade with time. I get molasses and licorice when I look for them. The flavour doesn't blow me away like I expected. It's actually somewhat disappointing. I don't get any yeast, but a bit of alcohol on the finish. There's a medicinal chocolate-covered raspberry note buried in the finish as well. It's certainly got body. I get more and more licorice as it warms. I despise licorice. Also, more raisin comes through along with the dark fruit - the best aspect of this beer. It's like the bastard child of a quad and an imperial stout, but far less enjoyable than that sounds.

The booze really warms the stomach - a bit too much.

Mf: Far too sticky for the style. Also chewy like licorice. Too smooth and wet. Outright wrong for the style; it should be coarse, dry and creamy. I'm unimpressed. This needs some work. It does have *some* dryness from the roast, but nowhere near enough. Undercarbonated.

Dr: Drinkable for the high ABV, but underwhelming within the style. I like the experimentation, but there are far better imperial stouts at this price point. I honestly wouldn't get this again unless it was aged or on draught. They need to tone down the sweetness and fix the mouthfeel. It does hide its ABV well in the taste, but not so much in terms of heat. I look forward to trying more Bell's, but this was a huge disappointment.

C+

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