35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve
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Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Russian Imperial Stout
4.46 | pDev: 5.38%
Sep 26, 2023
Jun 14, 2020
Expedition Stout is the longest brewed Imperial Stout in the US. First brewed in 1989 to be robust enough to hold up to time and travel, we couldn't think of a better beer to honor for our 35th Anniversary. We've brewed a special, stronger version for your cellar, your travels, or those special occasions of your own.
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Photo of TreyIsWilson
Reviewed by TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A - Pours pitch black with a thin tan head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is black licorice, molasses, dark chocolate and roasted malts.

T - The taste is dark chocolate, black coffee, molasses, black licorice, dark roasted malts and charred oak.

M - Full body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a slick drying finish.

O - Really nice RIS. Extremely drinkable for being 11.5% abv.
Sep 26, 2023
Rated: 4 by PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

Sep 06, 2023
Photo of Whyteboar
Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Larry had the labels printed with “Shelf Life- Unlimited” so I’m 3 years into testing that.
Poured deep dark brown and looked black in the glass, the head, or what tried to be a head, was brown and barely covered the top for a hot second. Ah well, it’s 3 years old.
The aroma is lost on my Covid damaged nose.
The taste features roasted malts with just a little bit of char, some cocoa and coffee and a little leather. Considerably smoother than the regular Expedition Stout but much of the flavor overlaps.
The feel is almost thick and chewy, a little more carbonation would have helped a little, but it was still very quaffable.
OA, darn good stout, and this is 3 years in. I’ll be trying it again next year. And maybe the year after that.
Sep 01, 2023
Rated: 4.48 by crobinso from Colorado

Jul 16, 2023
Photo of Ozzylizard
Reviewed by Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve from Bell’s Brewery. 12 oz bottle. Stored at 34 degrees at home. Received from @Whyteboar in NBW BIF #16. Reviewed 18/12/22. Note that I use DD/MM/YY protocol.
Bottle marked on back label “Shelf Life – Unlimited” also “PKG 09/03/2020". Served at 55.7 degrees in a hand washed and dried Jester King snifter. The final temperature was 60.8 degrees.
Appearance – 3.25.
First pour – Brown (SRM 20), nearly opaque.
Body - Ruby Brown (SRM 24), opaque. Under direct light, same. When rear lite, opaque but some light penetrates the edges – ruby.
Head – Tiny (Maximum 0.3 cm, aggressive center pour), tan, high density, quickly fizzing away to a 0.15 cm crown with a thin, partial cap.
Lacing – None.
Aroma – 4.5 – Chocolate and roasted malt are the dominant aromas, no hops, no yeast.
Flavor – 4.5 – Flavor follows the nose – delicious roasted malt, slightly bitter, chocolate, no hops, no yeast. No ethanol 11.5 % ABV as marked on label) aroma or taste. Slight gastric warming occurs. No dimethylsulfide or diacetyl.
Palate – 4.5 – Medium, creamy, soft but lively carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4.25 Looks like most other RIS, maybe a shade or two darker. Nose and flavor are mirror-images, subdued, and reinforcing. Overall, an excellent RIS, despite the notable absence of coffee, char, or bourbon.
Dec 18, 2022
Rated: 4.15 by BMBCLT from South Carolina

Oct 06, 2022
Rated: 5 by gkrishnan704 from Connecticut

Oct 01, 2022
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
Deep, dark body, brown yet appears black in the glass; thin, lasting light brown head. Wonderful aroma full of cocoa, milk chocolate, and moderately roasted malt grains; leather. Fantastic flavor; richly sweet cocoa; slight hint of coffee; cinnamon; a touch of bourbon. Heavy body; smooth; viscous; slick residual sugar feel; alcohol warmth; sticky.

It was my good fortune to get this beer in an unexpected gift box. What a treat this has been! The beer's appeal just kept growing from a very nice appearance through to a near perfect mouthfeel. In between, the smell and taste are exquisite. Rich and alluring all around, this beer has aged well over the past two years. A fantastic beer.

Pouring temperature: 47 °F; canning info: PKG 09/03/2020
Sep 04, 2022
Rated: 4.35 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Aug 20, 2022
Photo of Resistance88
Reviewed by Resistance88 from California

5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Just close your eyes and imagine a perfect stout
This is that.
Nose : Cocoa, Dark Malts, Vanilla , Tobacco , Coffee, Sweet Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Confectioners Sugar
Taste : same as nose( signs of a great stout) except a heavier malt taste and BALL DROPPING COCOA AND DARK MALTS . LEATHER? What? Hello Pulp Fiction basement scene. Bakers Belgian Chocolate and Confectioners Sugar. Ohwee, this shits amazing. Fresh sip of espresso and a bite of devils food cake .
No need to say more.
Mouthfeel is perfect.
Overall 5/5
I can't wait to open the pack that's arriving soon with another
May 29, 2022
Rated: 4.42 by jak from North Carolina

May 22, 2022
Rated: 4.48 by Bunuelian from Minnesota

Feb 18, 2022
Photo of elNopalero
Reviewed by elNopalero from California

4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Who needs to seek out beer when there’s something like this available? The standard Expedition is fantastic, and this only builds upon that foundation. Pours thick, black, and with minimal foam. The barrel notes are present immediately, with this pronounced black licorice note. Viscous, it lingers on the palate, with a sharp hop bite that tapers into something smooth and sweet. I loved every sip.
Feb 09, 2022
Photo of SpeedwayJim
Reviewed by SpeedwayJim from New York

4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Thanks to Ben for this one.

12oz. bottle into a Founders snifter.

Pours dark, viscous, with a .5 finger mocha colored head with good retention. Spotty lace and oily legs. Nose is dark chocolate, roasted malt, liquorice, and cocoa powder. Nice roast and aromatic. Great sense of the style. Beer opens chocolate, roasted malt, liquorice and logan. More roast in the middle with bits of cocoa powder, and baker's chocolate. Fudge and semi-sweet chocolate towards the end. Body is full with low carbonation. Chewy on the palate and rich going down. Messy, lingering finish.

Expo..... but better. Really good throwback to a classic representation of the style.
Feb 06, 2022
Photo of BubbleBobble
Reviewed by BubbleBobble from New York

4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
Pours nearly jet black from the bottle, brief ring of tan head and very little lacing. Nose is malted milk balls, tobacco, Australian black licorice, bourbon and wood, dark chocolate, vanilla. Taste has big notes of roast, charred wood, molasses, some soy, salty licorice, bourbon. Mouthfeel is super smooth and chewy with a very refined carbonation. Overall, a fantastic sipper.
Jan 30, 2022
Rated: 4.88 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON)

Jan 25, 2022
Rated: 4.2 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Jan 09, 2022
Photo of dcotom
Reviewed by dcotom from Iowa

4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a vintage Nescafe globe coffee mug, because why not? It's sort of snifter-ish. :) Nearly opaque blackish-brown in color, with an aggressive pour yielding less than a finger of tan head that settled to a thin ring within a few seconds. Bourbon forward, with some nice char and notes of molasses up front. Lots of alcohol heat. Full bodied as expected. Some sweetness, although not overpowering. Char and bitterness come through on the finish. This can hold its own with any RIS out there. Well done!
Dec 27, 2021
Photo of JohnFred4
Reviewed by JohnFred4 from New York

4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I'm tasting this next to the Bell's "Black is Beautiful" BA Oatmeal Stout

Look: Much darker than Black is Beautiful, with a much more persistent head.

Smell: a little sharper than the BA Black is Bautiful. Chocolate and wine. Very fruity.

Taste: Again, wine/chocolate dipped cherries. A little bitter.

Feel: The Black is Beautiful, being an oatmeal stout, has a fluffier mouthfeel. Like the smell, this one is a bit sharper feel,

Overall: I actually don't love the base Expedition, there's just something to sharp/tart/bitter/harsh about it. I usually don't love Oatmeal stouts, but I prefer the Black is Beautiful, although maybe that's just the barrel aging.
Dec 11, 2021
Photo of snaotheus
Reviewed by snaotheus from Washington

4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
12oz bottle served in a Georgetown taster. Received from @WunderLlama in NBS BIF #14 shenanigans. Packaged 09/03/2020. When I removed the electrical tape (or whatever it was) wrapped around the cap, there was immediate hissing, so there was some slight compromise of the seal.

Pours black, dark brown around the rim, with a small ring of head. Smell is lots of chocolate, a little dark-roasted coffee, a pretty strong amount of anise, some vanilla maybe. Maybe slight soy sauce / umami sense.

Taste is more in the dark roasted coffee direction with a little bit of very dark chocolate. Anise is there. Umami/soy sauce comes across very briefly. Roasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, satisfying. Overall, very nice beer.
Nov 28, 2021
35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 195 ratings