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

6,176 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,176 |  Reviews: 2,143
Photo of Latarnik
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Detlef90
4.82/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Probably the best easily accessible Russian Imperial available in a 6 pack format. Actually.. I would say it is in the top three Russian Imperials, period (my other two are Darkness and Stone). While this beer is good fresh, even with only a few months age it gets better and then with a couple of years of age it becomes legendary. Buy this beer. Have one fresh and then sit on the rest.

 388 characters

Photo of jmh21
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Biggiekrock627
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of TerryMills
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black , 2 fingers chocolate head.,

Smell is of dark roasted malts, hint of milk chocolate , Carmel.

Taste is chocolate , coffee,roasted malts, just a hint of some dark fruit like raisins or plums.

Feel is very thick but not too oily.

Overall a good choice and not too bad on the price.

 299 characters

Photo of ryanwbrodie
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 vintage into a snifter. Strong dark chocolate on the nose, very smooth with little burn. Has aged quite nicely in 2.5 years, looking forward to re-visiting next year.

 171 characters

Photo of backpackbeer
4.95/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a goblet. Not sure of the bottling date.

L: Midnight black with little to no head.

S: Molasses, tart cherry, prunes and light smokiness.

T: Quite a lot happening with notes of molasses, cognac, bitter chocolate, coffee and some raisin. The flavors come together really well.

F: Smooth and complex with lots of coffee and roasted malt flavors. Mouthfeel is thick and warming but not heavy.

Wow, what an imperial stout. This has been in my fridge for at least 6 months and was completely worth the wait. I highly recommend seeking a few of these out!

 586 characters

Photo of bob_d_j
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.57/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Spiegelau glass. Bottled on October 3rd 2016.

L: Opaque black with a finger width brown head with excellent retention.

S: Dark Chocolate, Coffee, Wood Smoke, Alcohol, Prunes, Sherry and Raisins. Wonderfully complex on the nose.

T: Dark roasted coffee beans, smooooooth dark chocolate, sherry, touch of the wood smoke, prunes make an appearance. Wow this is so complex and smooth for a Russian Imperial Stout.

F: Full body, good carbonation bite, super smooth.

 503 characters

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

Photo of Moheban
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Roast, boozy, goodness here. Tons of coffee and chocolate in the nose. The taste is thick, malty, and slightly sweet. Chocolate, coffee, and bourbon booze dominate. This is an exceptional stout.

 194 characters

Photo of MrDis
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of CNoj012
4.26/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 9/14/15, consumed 1/29/17

This beer pours a completely opaque jet black color with a thick, late forming, 3 finger rusty mocha head. Retention is phenomenal and there are rings and spotted lacing left all over the glass.

Smell is bitter chocolate, sweet dark fruit, caramel and vanilla.

Taste is the same with a fairly sweet aftertaste. Definitely not cloying. There is also a touch of booze on the finish.

Feel is medium bodied and fairly smooth, but not velvety. Carbonation is a bit high which takes away from the smoothness.

Overall a great stout. This is my first encounter with this beer so I will have to try one fresh to compare.

 650 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.73/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Been wanting to knock this off my bucket list for quite some time now. This one more than delivered.

Bottled in October. A very complex stout full of Chocolate, dark fruits, dark cherry, some vanilla, and a vinous character presents it self as it warms. Roastiness & notes resembling coffee are on the lighter side. Not too bitter, not too soft. Silky actually, and it tastes so damn good, I realized that I needed to pace myself. I was near finished with this 10.5% 12oz bottle in 15 -20 minutes or so.

This beer at a few months from bottling already has all the characteristics I look for in the more common West Coast Imperial Stouts I have easy access to after they've aged 2+ years. THIS was very impressive to me.

While not quite a perfect example of the style for me, it sure was as close as it gets.

 813 characters

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

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


Pours thick and black like oil with virtually no head besides a faint chocolate collar

Smells of alcohol, bakers chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, hint of vanilla

Taste is amazing! Dark bitter chocolate, dark fruits, roasted malts, coffee,alcohol

Overall it was a fantastic beer! Aging really brought out the complexity!

 336 characters

Photo of Chackman151
4.56/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of andpit
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Drank out of a Tulip. Pours pitch black with a finger of dark brown head. Aroma is very hop forward along with some roasted malts and hint of dark cherry. Taste follows the nose. Roast qualities are far more pronounced along with a strong hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium plus, a little thinner than I'd expect from 10.5%. I can see why people say this beer needs to be cellared. The hops really dominate, suppressing many of the roasted coffee and chocolate notes that this beer could offer. Time to sit and mellow should allow the hops to take a back seat and the roast to shine. 90.25 points.

 601 characters

Photo of cbenson
4.51/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Look: Oil slick black with a quarter inch thick volcanic ash colored head. Short retention on the head. Has the look and viscosity of motor oil. Awesome!
Smell: The usual stout culprits with caramel, dark-chocolate, and espresso. A bit more nutty and oaky than typical stouts. It reminds me of Ben and Jerry's salted butter pecan ice-cream. This might be a remnant of the licorice from the Kalamazoo Stout.
Taste: It begins a little sour with a sweet and salty finish like a mixture of soy sauce, bourbon, hot chocolate, and raspberry soda. The malt character is moderately starchy. The aftertaste is not as dry as I would have hoped for a high ABV beer but it has a salty and sweet finish that is fantastic.
Mouthfeel: The initial taste is rich and noticeably carbonated while the body is only slightly thicker than a porter. The finish leaves a long moistness in the front of the mouth with a more dry texture in the back. Similar to a root-beer float.
Overall: This beer makes keeps me guessing with every successive sip, which means it is either really good, really bad, or really weird. I think it lands somewhere between weird and good.

 1,146 characters

Photo of Zaktcc
4.88/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottled 11/6/2015
A - Pours a pitch black color with a 3 finger, coffee colored head. Phenomenal head retention and lacing. Full embodiment of a stout.

S - The most overwhelming aroma that hits right off the bat is chocolate and sweet malts. Dark sugar and molasses are notable as well. An amazing and incredibly sweet scented beer.

T - Although not as present in the aromas, the bitterness of the dark fruits comes out in the flavors. Chocolate, malts and sugar are present as well with a sweet, mild chocolate aftertaste. Fairly bitter but very pleasant and will definitely improve with age.

M - Full bodied beer, well carbonated (especially given the age) and smooth. Creamy texture with an ever so slight booziness to it. Very enjoyable.

O - The stout brother of the Hopslam ale. As an avid stout lover, this brew definitely ranks amongst the best I've ever had. The aroma and aesthics are as near perfect as you can wish for. The flavors are robust and delicious and I am excited to see how they shape themselves with age. Very drinkable and enjoyable and simply one of the best stouts you'll ever find.

 1,112 characters

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

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.22 out of 5 based on 6,176 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston 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.