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

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2,099 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 2,099 | Ratings: 6,033
Photo of Guppy314
4.31/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle, pours an opaque black with a tan head. Aroma is of rich malt and heavy dank fruit. Taste is a wonderful array of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and perhaps molasses or caramel. I personally appreciate the creaminess of a Milk Stout or the smoothness of an Oatmeal Stout, but... This is clearly a world-class beer.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bell's Expedition Stout, 10.5% ABV, 78 IBU. Pours medium viscosity and black, with only a tiny head on a careful pour, so no lacing noted. Nose is coffee and roasted malt. Taste follows, with bitter close. Carbonation seemed higher than average, so an OK mouthfeel. Overall OKish, but pales in comparison to Ten Fidy.

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Photo of Masonz223
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Note: I've reviewed this beer before but I didn't like my review so I'm gonna write a new one. Also this was bottled 9/2/15 so just over a year old.

Look: Pitch black creamy brown head tons of glass lacing when you swirl the beer.

Smell: Right away I get dark fruits rasin and plum especially. Then you get some of that sweet milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Also the more I smell it I get charcoal and really big roasted malts. The beer smells great though.

Taste: right upfront you get that milk chocolate and big dark fruit notes rasin and plum middle of the mouth big roasted malts dark chocolate burnt wood charcoal in the finish you get a big hop biterness it's like chewing on pine needles. That biterness lingers in the aftertaste to.

Feel: full body it's verging on chewy but it's not quit there. Very smooth silk like on the tongue.

Overall: This is a super complex beer. Just a lot going on and it's amazing that it's not even barrel aged and it's this complex. The barrel aged version of this beer is pretty awesome though. But so is this. The huge hop presence makes this a beer you can age for years. I only see this beer getting better with time. But still now at just over a year old it's quit a treat.

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Photo of FortyouncestoFreedom
3.45/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I wanted to love it, I did not. Way too much of a licorice taste for me? Maybe? I dislike licorice so this was a huge disappointment as far as Bell's is concerned, for my tastes that is.

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Photo of beerbully
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into RR chalice

L-Jet black, 1/2 inch caramel colored head, not much retention, minimal lacing

S-Chocolate malts, roasty, anise, slight coffee, molasses, slight booziness, dark cherry

T-chocolate, licorice, oak, smoke, booze, vanilla, dark fruits (raisin, prune)

F-thick motor oil, creamy

O-rich, thick, creamy stout.....very good, worth another purchase

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

Pours really dark with a nice head with good lacing. Aroma of plumbs, raisins, roasted chocolate, roasted coffee. Taste follows the nose with hints of marshmallow,with a nice booze finish. Very strong stout. Look forward to more from bells.

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Photo of gatornation
4.34/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2015 Vintage on tap @ Blue Door Pours a thick dark brown with a tan head and whispy lacing. Smell is dark fruit wood chocolate and char smoke, Wow delicious it follows the nose but with exceptional tastes the chocolate, wood and char roasted malts are superb with an almost mocha creamy offset taste very rich. mouth feel is roasty and creamy. This is an exceptional stout and one to seek out.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Once again I am thankful that this is being distributed to SoCal presently, as this certainly wasn't always the case. Bottled on 9/2/2015 - poured from a 12oz bottle into a 10oz nonic. Served lightly chilled.

Brownish/bistre body - totally opaque with a fine layer of buff foam up top; sandy lacing, no legs, good retention.

Malty, vaguely boozy aromatics suffused with roast notes and hints of molasses.

The flavor profile is impressively complex with abundant layers of stewed fruit, charred/roasted/toasted grains, and heady esters. Bittersweet, earthy finish draws you back in for repeated cautious sips. Low bitterness and only vague hop flavors throughout.

Thick, full bodied, nearly oily mouth-feel but with sufficient carbonation and attenuation. Warming from the alcohol.

While not as unique or memorable as the top tier of RIS - this is a generous, classically crafted, flawlessly executed example of the style.

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

2015 bottle near cellar temp. Pours a thick chocolate brown with an espresso head. That is a rich aroma! Roasted malts and tons of chocolate, a bit of sweetness. Taste is mostly a mix of dark chocolate and dark fruit. Good balance of richness and bitterness. Char, caramel, coffee also present. A warm and bitter aftertaste. Nice and thick. A classic standout imperial stout.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 2015 keg, pours a deep black with tan head. Smell is rich dark fruits, cocoa and coffee. Taste is all that, immensely complex and delicious. Sweetness/bitterness balance is just right. Feel is medium-plus. Overall a wonderful RIS.

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Photo of braker649er
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beer bottled 11/05/15 and poured into a tulip 9/1/16.

L - dark beer and very tan head with smooth creamy look. Left lacing.
S - dark fruit and dark cocoa with suggestion of booze.
T - more dark fruit than I anticipated on the dark grain and cocoa of a stout. Boozy.
F - smooth with some booze kick
O - this is a Russian stout that shouldn't disappoint for any stout fan

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer brewed one year ago.
Great beer, delicate and balanced. No flavor goes against another, the roasted, fruity and chocolaty notes go perfectly well together. It's all about hazelnut, dark fruit, coffee and chocolate. I bet it'd be better with every single year of aging

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Photo of Cody1987
4.77/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer was an outstanding American Stout. I am well versed in Stouts. This is a great American representative in the Imperial Stout genre and one that will hold it's own. Will look forward to trying the barrel aged version of this beer. Many thanks to the fine craftsmanship of the people at Bell's!

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Photo of Gajo74
4.54/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mostly pitch black but with a hint of mahogany. Nice fingernail length mocha head, disapates to a creamy swirl. Ring like lace is slightly sticky.
Aroma not too overpowering; hints of roasted malt, dark fruit and dessert liquer.
The taste takes on many different variations of flavor. At first, roasted malt taste with an esspresso like, hoppy and raw cacao bitterness in the finish. The aftertaste lingers but pleasantly so. Dry enough to make you want more. As it warms, the dark fruit; prunes, raisins etc come out and it becomes sweet. The ever present alcohol also becomes bolder but not overpowering. Big body, viscuous, smooth and creamy. Robust yet easy to drink.
I thought this one was great! I have another one that I'm considering aging in order to compare the difference. Let's see if I have the discipline, because it is that delicious!
P.S. I was unable to age the other one as I was too tempted. I broke down after a week.

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Photo of pahldavis
4.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled on 11/06/15

Look: Black as night with a thick, dark carmel brown head
Smell: Shiitake mushroom, bitter chocolate, wood
Taste: Bitter chocolate, molasses, earth and dirt, fresh bay leaf, oregano, wild mushroom
Feel: cough syrup thick, little to no carbonation

Whats not to love or at very least appreciate about this beer. It's everything one wants in an Imperial Stout. The combination of roasty-toastiness with the earthiness reminds me of some Baltic Porters I've had. Overall, it's fantastic and one to sip. I'm in a good place.

 541 characters

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

Bottled 11/2015. This is an exceptional stout. Looks nearly pitch black with half a finger of brown foam. Smells like dark roster malts with some oak in there. Tastes like burnt caramel and chocolate. A tiny hint of sweet like marshmallows as the beer warms. Medium to heavy mouthfeel with low carbonation. If you told me this was barrel aged I would believe you, or at least oaked. But this is the non barrel-aged version. I can't even imagine what barrel aging would do to this. If you have an extra...

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Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best i have ever had. Easily ranks with KBS or Evil Twin L'B or Old Rasputin or any other of this style you can come up with. My motto! Find it, drink it!

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Photo of josanguapo
4.81/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Warching Silicon Valley 2x03-05. Great asphalt rafts to celebrate my 1000 different beers. Amazing aroma and great taste. Great example of the style. Take care of its ABV

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Photo of Flounder57
4.27/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter. Bottled 11/6/15

Appearance: A one finger mocha head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, molasses, char, smoke, toasted, milk chocolate, roasted, and nice warm alcohol.

Taste: Sweet milk chocolate, caramel, molasses, ashy, toasted, roasted, and warm boozy alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, medium to full bodied, nice warm alcohol, medium carbonation carbonation, a little chewy, and ashy bitterness.


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Photo of Uscjojo
4.85/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

UPDATE: 7/22/16 This beer has aged 10 months and tastes amazing. It has a sweet milk chocolate type sweetness and the bitter hops faded out to barely noticeable. I can only imagine what this will taste like when it is bourbon barrel aged. I adjusted my previous scores after trying it last night.... Just opened a bottle from 9-15.
The look is black and oily looking as I poured it.It had a small dark brown head.
The smell is roasted malts, chocolate and sweet cherries.
The taste is sweet up front from the dark fruits and a bitter malt finish with the alcohol clinging to your mouth.
The feel is nice and thick.
This Stout ages nicely. I have two more which I will let them cellar for at least a year from the date.
For a 10% Stout, this is tasting sweeter as I let it warm. I served it at 53 degrees.
I will definitely will buy another six pack.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.44/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a snifter. Packaged 02/02/15. I've had this once before, long ago (I think before I started rating beers), and it was too intense for me then (based on recollection). We'll see how I experience it now.

Pours black with almost no head, very little fine carbonation. Looks like an RIS. Smell is chocolate and roastiness, a hint of sour cherries. Something yeasty.

Taste is intense -- surprisingly fruity, though. Some nice bright cherry and plum notes, very nice. Huge roast bitter finish. Majorly sweet up front, majorly bitter as it finishes. Nice demonstration of extremes. Coffee, a little chocolate. This is an interesting and very enjoyable beer.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, mouth-coating, with just a bit of graininess. Superb beer.

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Photo of basaywhat
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle. It pours black with a dark brown head. It has aromas of chocolate, coffee, and cocoa. It has a rich, creamy texture with flavors of sweet chocolate, black coffee, and cocoa. Amazing!

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Photo of ByronDBeer
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: Pitch black, not much head
S: Not much smell, dark chocolate, nutty, and some coffee.
T: Initial sharp taste of wood/coffee. More coffee than chocolate. Vanilla. Quite burnt hence the sharpness. (Served too cold)
Temperature warmed up, sharpness less so, more just dark, bitter chocolate and some burnt coffee.
F: Dry to the finish

O: A bit too much of burnt coffee for me, and finish is dry.

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Photo of NoYouDidnt
3.71/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black, semi aggressive pour with just a film of a head. Smells of dark malt, chocolate, coffee, kind of vanilla. Taste is of milk chocolate up front, cherry/raspberry, dark chocolate in the middle. definitely some bitterness to it in the back end, hops balancing and coffee for that bitterness. Roasty blend. Very slick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, quality stout!

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Photo of Hallu
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a ballsy stout, like Port Brewing's Old Viscosity. It's not a sweet one, it's very much on the bitter chocolate, winey dark fruits, roastiness. It stays with you for a very long time. I would have wanted tobacco, or smokiness to really push the boundaries. As is, it's a bit too much on the dark fruits for me.

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Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.22 out of 5 based on 6,033 ratings.
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