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

Bell's Expedition StoutBell's Expedition Stout
BA SCORE
91.8%
Liked This Beer
4.26 w/ 6,192 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
Ranking:
#689
Reviews:
2,150
Ratings:
6,192
Liked:
5,683
Avg:
4.26/5
pDev:
10.33%
Alströms:
4.41
 
 
Wants:
555
Gots:
1,777
Trade:
128
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,192 |  Reviews: 2,150
Photo of Beerdudenumberone
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of BlissJunkie
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of SPRichard
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Timtac
3.93/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MaxPowers
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of meatyard
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of ackeeper
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into CBS snifter. Served at cellar temperature.

A) This is jet black and pours out like motor oil as expected. Nearly 2 fingers of milk chocolate head, with decent retention. This had good lacing and legs.

S) Dark malt + roast. This has some espresso bean, and a hint of dark fruit sweetness. There is a little booze, but at 10.5 % what do you expect.

T) Near the nose... Good amount of roast. A little dark chocolate, and dark fruit, mainly raisins. This definitely has some hops on the backend. Finishes up with roast, hops and alcohol warmth.

M) Close to full bodied... Hell, I'll just get off the fence and call it full bodied. The carbonation was light. This was very smooth and creamy from a feel standpoint, however, my score came down a notch due to an aftertaste that I found a bit to bitter and boozy.

O) This is a highly enjoyable sipper. I'm really interested to try this with some age on it. Definitely a RIS that is worth a try. Glad to recommend.

 991 characters

Photo of 31Sam13
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Silke_Neryn
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of oso
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of dtm426
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mwilbur
1.9/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Poured from bottle into pint glass.
A: Thick and black. Minimal dark tan head with no carbonation (a little odd since I just bought this bottle).
S: Roasted malts and chocolate. Can smell the high ABV...too prominent.
T: Completely unbalanced. Very weak malt can't offset the very high ABV. Roasted malt, chocolate...but not enough of it.
M: I hate to harp on it, but the high ABV distracts too much. Weak body and no taste to linger...just the alcohol.
D: Undrinkable...I hate to do this, but I'm not even going to finish this. I love high ABV beers, but they have to be balanced and have enough malt, flavors, etc. to hold up. This doesn't cut it. I see that others had difficulty with no carbonation. Either this is a major bottling problem or Bell's needs to rethink their approach here.
Definitely the worst russian imperial stout I've had in a long time...and I doubt this will age well as the bottle suggests.

7/26/10: Well, let's check on this one again...cellared for about 2 1/2 yrs. The appearance is actually nice. Thick black-brown with super dark brown head. Looks like you could chew on it (4). Dark chocolate, molasses, and piney hops. Decent (3.5). Dark chocolate syrup, blackstrap molasses, and piney hops. Follows aroma pretty much on cue (3.5). Thick, smooth, oily. Faint alcohol burn and hop bite. I like it (4). OK, so I was wrong. This one does age well, but starts off terrible. It ends up as an ok RIS, but you gotta be patient (3.5).

 1,461 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to c64person for sending me two of these, both bottled on "9/19/11." Thanks! I've never had this fresh (I really want to), but this apparently only gets better with time so I felt around now was a good time to crack one open. Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a teku glass.

Pours not totally opaque (black with brownish tones), yet in the glass, I can barely get any light to pass through this. Looks almost solid, like hardened chocolate syrup when left alone. The mocha colored head adds to the effect, with tons of lacing sticking around with each swirl in a shrapnel coated manner. I'm impressed that carbonation is this good this late in the game - it's very elegant yet powerful in presentation. Really delightful looking and fresh I'd only imagine it looks better.

Ahhh, yes, haven't had a imperial stout that smelled like this in a while - the last one being Marshal Zhukov - it's an effect that I'd like to call the "truffle" condition that the best of these imperial stouts hold. At first, there's a chocolate truffle roasted richness (think 85% cacao), with lingering notes of peanut brittle, cashews, as well as lightly burnt toffee, molasses, cinnamon, and coffee. Underneath, there's a plethora of dried dark fruit and herbal qualities that are often found in high quality aged tannic red wines - raisins, figs, prunes, and dark cherry pits. Bright mint, peppercorns, licorice, and light spicy notes from the alcohol finish it up. Everything is wonderfully balanced, and the alcohol is hidden gracefully. Quite extraordinarily opulent, bright stuff.

Wow! This is amazingly rich, yet unlike Zhukov, not nearly as mouth coating or hedonistic - this is far more approachable, with an easy drinking texture and loads of layers of flavors that open up over time. At first, the palate is coated with a dense, dark chocolate flavor, with a powdery, melting sensation akin to eating fudge, alongside toffee, caramel, and burnt brown sugar notes. Then, the fruit flavors explode, to which my friend and I agreed it tasted like a chocolate covered raisin filled with molasses, or a coffee chocolate covered raisin or fig of sorts. Finishes spicy, with light chili powder notes, some mint, light black licorice, kirsch, and light cocoa butter at the finish. The aftertaste is powerful - goes on for a while and rewards the senses with a rich chocolate chili flavored sensation alongside the fruit. This is surprisingly medium body given the style, and it's definitely less carbonated than one would expect, but it somehow works perfectly, driving up the drinkable qualities and yet simultaneously makes this a sipper due to its rich roasted qualities, rather than the sweet qualities that your everyday RIS provides. Creamy, rich, yet very approachable. World class stuff.

This is one of the greats, and with its tremendously high aging qualities, this is perhaps one of the most unique stouts brewed in the country that is available quite often. I'd love to get a case of this and age it, but location is seriously screwing me up here. Simply phenomenally complex and easy-drinking stuff. Rewards you in the long run and sticks it to the hyped beers as any old school craft recipe should. Highly recommended.

 3,222 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to metallitone1 for this brew.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a complete opaque motor oil black with a huge three finger brown head that takes forever to die down to a generous lacing. Stickiness is truly amazing. Probably the best looking RIS I've seen to date. Smell is a sweet caramel malt mixed with a nice dark chocolate and molasses that tingles the nose as well. A bit of alcohol is also present in the smell. Taste has a lot of coffee and espresso to it, much more than the smell leads on, especially the aftertaste. Starts off with a sweet chocolate malt followed by a whole bunch of roasted nut mixed with brown sugar. Some alcohol on the tongue as well. Mouthfeel is full bodied and rich with very little, but just enough, carbonation. I could only have one in a sitting, but I will definitely be drinking this one in the future. Bell's has just about mastered the art of brewing Stouts (Cherry Stout being an exception), and this one doesn't disappoint.

 988 characters

Photo of RMelyon
4/5  rDev -6.1%

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

A- Pours essentially black and thick. Small, chocolatey brown head that is gone quickly with good lacing.

S- Main scents are a sweet, black licorice type smell with dark roasts underneath. Maybe slight hints of anise. Definitely some dark chocolate notes.

T- Not as sweet as the smell, with very deep roasts. Almost has a burnt toast taste. Coffee and chocolate notes are present. Deep malt character.

M- Thick and creamy with little carbonation. Slight alcohol heat is present towards the end of the drink. Weight compliments flavor profile.

Overall, not a great, but a very good stout. Slightly deeper than most with burnt malts. A very solid brew.

 654 characters

Photo of cestlavie
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of Joecaddie
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of JRed
3.28/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black in body topped by coffee-with-milk head that stays. Mildy offensive aroma of bitter chocolate, earth and vegetation, booze, slight hazelnut. Tastes of cola, bitter dark chocolate, earth, a grapefruity hop presence, and booze with subtle cocoa nibs. Heavy in body with light carbonation. Offensive in almost all aspects.

 331 characters

Photo of alostplot
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kplooki
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of jvgoor3786
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing a three-month-old 2016 version. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 13 ounce tulip. I was able to get the whole beer in the tulip with the head. Pours deep black with about 1/2 inch dark brown head that dissipated quickly. There is a ton of cocoa on the nose and a very little bit of dark fruits. The taste is deep, burnt roasty malt flavor with deep chocolate flavor blending perfectly. There is also a slight hoppy bitterness and the dark fruit is lingering underneath. The mouthfeel is thick and silky smooth. Overall this beer is unreal, especially for how easy it is to get. I had a 2013 a week ago. The hoppy bitterness had faded and the score went up to a 4.75 for me.

 695 characters

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

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 91.8% out of 100 with 6,192 ratings
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