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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout
6,252 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: 6,252 |  Reviews: 2,163
Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Bum4ever
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle received in a BIF from Crow121 dated 9/2/15

L: Dark black and thick with a small amount of tan head that stayed awhile
S: coffee and chocolate up front followed by dark cherry and maybe something sweet.
T: slightly bitter coffee followed by dark chocolate. Finishes easy with some dark fruit flavors and a slight hint of vanilla.
F: full-bodied and super smooth stout here. Will have to try a fresh one to see if it's always this smooth.
O: this aged version is really good and super easy to drink at 10.5%. We'll definitely seek this out again.

 556 characters

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

Photo of ScaryEd
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 18 months out.

Pours a pitch black motor oil color with a finger of dark caramel head. The head settles into a thin collar, leaving some random splotches of lace as it goes.

The aroma brings tons of coffee, char, and vanilla cream up front. Then comes a wave of dark chocolate and roasted nuts. The back end is slightly boozy, with plenty of fruity notes and just a whisper of hops. Nice complexity here.

The taste is all coffee up front, with huge waves of dark chocolate not far behind. The middle brings notes of vanilla and black cherries, as well as some fig and raisins. Finishes charred and slightly leathery. Big and bold flavors here.

The feel is full-bodied with slightly higher carbonation for the style. Thick, chewy, and creamy as all hell. Has some slight alcohol warmth, as to be expected.

Overall, this is one beast of a stout. It's bold and complex, with tons of flavors and aromas to keep your face in the glass. It's a bit higher in carbonation than I would like, but otherwise this is a world class brew. Well done.

 1,077 characters

Photo of gruves33
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BenBreeg
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ajm5108
3.89/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Colors are as expected, head is a frothy cream that is pretty persistent. As a fresh beer there is a lot of hop presence but that obviously smooths out over time. Aroma still vestiges even on a nearly three year old bottle, but there is also robust milk chocolate, slightly curdled cream (but in a good way!) and dark malt. Tons of bitter chocolate & smokey coffee dark malt on the tongue, along with vanilla creme and almond. Still some hop flavor floating around but adds a nice bitter kick and doesn't clash. Super silky mouthfeel. Sounds cliched for this beer given its reputation but definitely does better with a couple of years on it, which is pretty impressive for shelf stout.

 686 characters

Photo of Andy_Luft
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of GarbageMan10
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a snifter this beer was the color of a black hole. There was minimal to no head.
Chocolate aroma, some booze, some dark fruit. Very nice.
Taste only improved on the aroma. Dark chocolate, yet with some sweetness. Cherry, maybe some raisin A definite char to the taste.
Wonderful beer!

 299 characters

Photo of Matt141
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smcel371
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chitownfanatic21
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DudMan
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Oakley
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Expedition Stout has a thin, tan head, a very dark brown appearance, and minimal lacing. Aroma is strong and full- very dark brown bread crust, some alcohol, some chocolate powder, and cream. Taste is of those elements, with acrid bitterness from the char, with black cherry. Mouthfeel is full-on heavy & silky, and Expedition Stout finishes medium wet/dry and bold.

 371 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.86/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 9/8/16. Guinness pint glass. Can't believe I have never reviewed this.

A: pours a completely opaque black with two fingers thick, frothy tan head. A little carbonation sticks to the sides of the glass.

S: fruity and hoppy right off the bat. Where some RIS's are malt and roast forward, I get a heavy dose of hops, followed by a dark, roasty, and flinty malt backbone. That head retains a one-finger cap seemingly forever. Nice lacing.

T: arrival is, not surprisingly, sweet. Complex blend of dark fruits, hops, and a good bit of alcohol. This is pretty much how I remember it. There is tremendous complexity here; layers of roast, fruity esters, and hops; but something is off-putting in the alcoholic finish. Bell's signature house yeast maybe isn't so hot (or is too hot?) at this ABV.

M: thick, chewy, low carbonation, slick.

O: for what is probably my favorite brewery, and one of my favorite styles, this beer has always been a miss for me. I think it is one that really needs to be aged. The really high and noticeable alcohol detracts from the experience for me. It is beautiful to behold and smell, and fine in texture, but something in the taste is just not my cup of beer.

 1,199 characters

Photo of Pro_Magnon
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DutchcdnTEXAN
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of soundaurora
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.87/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Two bottles bought at El Cervecero, Spain. One to have now and another to have in one/two years.

Poured to snifter.

A: The body is pitch black. The head, being very minimal and only existing in the sides of the glass, is browny to caramel-y. No carbonation is visible.
S: The aroma has a big blueberry profile, mixed together with coffee, roasted malts, a too prominent profile of alcohol and I guess lactose. With the exception of the alcohol that is very noticeable, this aroma is great.
T: The taste is incredible, as it has a fantastic and very intense aroma of coffee, a slight one of toffee and dark berries. This is my kind of beer.
M: The body is high. Carbonation is a bit higher than perfection, which should be a little less. Alcohol almost goes unnoticed.
O: This is MY kind of Russian Imperial Stouts. Please world, make more of this.

 849 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours near black with a solid head that leaves lots of sticky lace all over. Nose is rich malt, espresso, port, and molasses. Taste is also very rich, with lots of chocolate fudge...very creamy and thick...and dried fruits with a barleywine-like sweetness. Damn that is a good beer. I wish other breweries would get their base beer to this level before they started worrying about BA programs. This is goooood.

 415 characters

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

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 6,252 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.