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

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
6,177 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:
6,177
Reviews:
2,143
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
10.43%
 
 
Wants:
553
Gots:
1,780
For Trade:
129
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,177 |  Reviews: 2,143
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.63/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil with a very dark brown 1/2 inch head. Not much lace. Smells of rich dark malt, bitter dark chocolate, coffee with a touch of cream.

Tastess is rich and bitter dark malt. Bitter dark chocolate. Decadent roasted malt. Coffee. Bitter coffee finish. Big thick beer, bitter aftertaste that lingers long. This stuff is yummy. I love a good imperial stout and this one is a great one. Superb.

 409 characters

Photo of webmanspidey
4.24/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black with a thick molasses/syrup like pour. Very light carbonation. Sweet smells like maple syrup, brown sugar, dates, and oatmeal. Very sweet initial flavor, followed by a rush of burning alcohol, followed by a very bitter finish. Unfortunately the alcohol probably lasts the longest. Very thick and syrupy mouthfeel. Not an easy drinker in any terms.. a slow sipper.

 375 characters

Photo of jarrgal
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of Powderhornphil
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Stigs
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle - batch 9359, served in a DFH signature glass

A - pours a nice healthy inch of loose but bubbly dark khaki foam, already lacing like crazy the little amount it has fell. the beer is black as night, no light gets through here.

S - huge nose of roasted malt right off the bat, joined in by some very dark and over-ripened fruit, charred toast, hints of coffee, bakers chocolate, earthy hops, bourbon, and of course, booze.

T - sweet start, roasted malts and nuts, big alcohol kick livens things up, chocolate, coffee, minerals. finishes with more alcohol burn, burnt toast, healthy hop bite.

M - outstanding - insanely thick body, unbelievably creamy. carbonation is tight and lively, but not distracting...more of a vehicle to break up some monotony.

D - this was one of the first "big" RIS i can remember having, and loving it at the time. still holds its own against all the special one-off bourbon barreled whatevers. a damn fine RIS, easily attainable, and good for the price point. definitely need to stock up on these and see how it ages. Bell's impresses yet again.

 1,091 characters

Photo of silentjay
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of HappyHourHero
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark coco colored head fades slowly leaving a scattered coat of lace. Deep black colored beer, the kind that sucks all the light out of the room.
Raisins, brandy, a bit of spice (fig), and pretzels? Nice aroma.
Fairly thick body, smooth mouthfeel almost feels like microscopic carbonation.
Flavors of roasted malt, coco, red wine until a bitter bite, kind of coffee-ish, kicks in half way and holds solid throught the finish.
Let it warm up a little and the bitter finish fades and the subtle flavors come out.

 514 characters

Photo of bort11
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Mild tan head that recedes to a thin ring. Color is pure black, no light can penetrate the glass.
Smell is a roasted espresso. Very bold, I can smell it without putting my nose in the glass. Taste follows smell. Very bold espresso flavor. Mouthfeel is full bodied, with a little more carbonation than what I would expect.
Very good RIS, and I would love to have more

 417 characters

Photo of KeefD
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a huge, creamy chocolate milk colored head into my Darkness tulip, leaving behind some nice lacing. Aroma is boozy off the bat, lots of alcohol that isn't terribly well-hidden in the nose, plus some notes of coffee, chocolate and graham cracker goodness. Flavor smacks you hard with roasted coffee flavors, backed up by some bitter roasted malt chocolatiness, and some green hops in the background that are barely noticeable because they get smacked around by the roasted malt. Very nice flavor, not overly complex, but very tasty. Thick, chewy mouthfeel, creamy, very nice carbonation for the style. The booze is very noticeable on this one and will do well in the cellar. I drank two of these, laid the other four down. Great stuff, a real treat. Probably the second best RIS I've tasted next to the one this glass was meant for. YUM

 852 characters

Photo of Rborre321
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jvgoor3786
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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 zoso1967
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours super dark black. Completely opaque. Probably the darkest beer I have ever seen with a very dark tan head. Nice fluffy head with good retention. Aroma is roasty and rich with coffee, bitter chocolate, some raisin, toffee sweetness and a bit of alcohol. Taste is much sweeter than expected. This beer has a lot going on. While the coffee and roasted malt taste is there, they are not as prevalent as in the aroma. I would say the main flavors are bitter chocolate, malt sweetness and a smokiness that reminds me of burnt marshmallows. I also detect a sort of herbal and fruity taste. Quite alcoholic, I can taste it and feel the warmth. A full bodied beer that is silky smooth and chewy. Definitely one to savor.

 717 characters

Photo of Newport_beerguy
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of amishbooze
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of Benesi88
4.48/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of beeragent
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a thick motor oil black, forming a good 1 inch mocha head. Thick rings of lace stick to the glass and dont move.

S - The aroma is all roasted malts on this one. Maybe a hint of bitter cocoa, but mainly the roasted malts. No alcohol is present on the nose.

T - Thick and smooth roasted malts coat the palate. A light coffee cocoa flavor then dominates the finish, with a hint of raisins. Not as complex as other RIS's but still very tasty. The taste still coats the mouth long after the swallow. Again, the alcohol is very well hidden.

M - Heavy bodied with a smooth and thick mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

D - Great flavor in this beer. I think its the appearance and mouthfeel that really make this beer stand out from the rest. Good thick taste just like an RIS should be along with the heavy body. Thick rings of lace cling to the glass the entire time. Overall just a great looking and tasting RIS!!

 962 characters

Photo of jimmah120
4.06/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

12oz fresh bottle

Look is dark. Black with slight cola edges. Oats, coffee, Molasses, smoke round out the scent. Rich and full feeling, its chocolate and roast to the max here, with some dark fruit and English style hops in the background.

Tasty shii

 252 characters

Photo of Bustersuess
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of JeffSK
4.52/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BMoney575
4.72/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 12-11-06
Batch: 7251
Bottled: 2-25-06

Looked fantastic pouring out of the bottle, thick and pitch black, with a good amount of carbonation to create a one-inch head that went away decently quickly.

The smell hits you as soon as the cap comes off. Dark fruits, raisin, plum, are very apparent, a malty sweetness and a good amount of smokiness make it even better.

Taste is unbelievable. Same fruit flavor up front, with the sweet malt balanced by a perfect amount of hoppiness. The finish is smoky and stays around for awhile. No noticeable alcohol taste, which shows how very balanced this beer is.

The mouthfeel is great, thick and creamy.

Drinkability is very good, it would not be hard to finish two or three of these.

Overall my favorite example of an RIS, and maybe one of the best beers I've ever had.

 840 characters

Photo of neonbrown82
4.62/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is the second time I've had this brew. The first time was obviously a bad batch with a thick jism-like substance coating the bottom of the bottle, what I presumed was yeast and proteins.

The beer pours to a completely opaque black with a very thin chocolatey head. Tried hard to get more foam, but the high alcohol must have prevented it from getting to where I would have liked it to be. Pours very thick and viscous, almost as thick as I've seen.

The smell is good. Very sweet with molasses with some rich roasted barley and fruity esters. A little bit smokey. Quite complex and interesting, but still has that hint of anise and soy sauce that prevents me from giving it the extra .5%.

The taste is very similar. Very rich, flavorful and complex. I'm sorry I ever doubted you, Expedition Stout. If I were to pick out one prime example of Imperial Stout, I would be hard pressed to choose between Sam Smith's, Stone's, and this one.

The body is uber thick and chewey. Very nice. Not too bitter or sweet, doesn't dry out too bad in the finish. Good stuff. This sludge almost demands a knife and fork to drink it. As good as it is, it would be hard to drink much more than one in a night. I'm glad I decided to give it another chance and have 2 more in the cellar.

 1,280 characters

Photo of rrski198
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of nwhittin
4.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of HopsHopenstein
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%

Photo of SStein
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Bell's Expedition Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.22 out of 5 based on 6,177 ratings.
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