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

35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Style:
Stout - Russian Imperial
ABV:
11.5%
Score:
98
Avg:
4.46 | pDev: 5.16%
Ratings:
185
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Today at 02:32 AM
Added:
Jun 14, 2020
Wants:
  10
Gots:
  11
SCORE
98
World-Class
35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve
Notes: 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.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by IKR:
Photo of IKR
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by IKR from California

Appearance: Very dark brown bordering on black with a generous-sized foamy dark beige head that slowly faded. A very good looking Imperial Stout.

Smell: Moderate roasted malts, coffee and some mild brown sugar notes.

Taste: The taste profile features chocolate notes, prominent coffee and roasted malt notes, and moderate toffee notes. The finish is fairly dry transitioning from the sweeter chocolate/toffee notes to the roast malt notes and coffee notes present at the end. Some bittering hop notes also make their way known in the taste profile.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied with a fairly generous level of carbonation. The beer has a good mouthfeel.

Overall: A good non bal-aged stout. The flavor profile is that of a prototypical stout with a the roasted malts featuring strongly in the flavor profile.

Dec 30, 2020
More User Ratings:
 
4.42 by jak from North Carolina on Today at 02:32 AM
 
4.48 by Bunuelian from Minnesota on Feb 18, 2022
Photo of elNopalero
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by elNopalero from California

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
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by SpeedwayJim from New York

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
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by BubbleBobble from New York

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
 
4.88 by Coronaeus from Canada (ON) on Jan 25, 2022
 
4.2 by Gemini6 from Michigan on Jan 09, 2022
Photo of dcotom
4.78/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by dcotom from Iowa

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
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by JohnFred4 from New York

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
4.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
by snaotheus from Washington

2021-11-27
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
 
4.5 by -Andrew- from Michigan on Nov 09, 2021
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by 4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

12oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

packaged on date of 09/03/2020.

served fridge temperature.

Appearance: menacing dark black bodied stout. hard pour yields only a small dark brown cap. Seems to be thick viscosity the way it pours.

Smell: malty sweetness and smooth roasty malts!

Taste: Starts off with milk chocolate and caramel sweetness; this is the most caramel I have taste in a non-barrel aged stout. Moderately roasted malts; getting fresh roasted coffee notes. Tobacco, leather, brown sugar, and light smoke and leather. In the Finish, caramel and chocolate sweetness and lightly roasted coffee with lingering mild bitterness. All the flavors are very well balanced. Lots of depth, complexity, and richness to this Russian Imperial Stout. Its hard not to drink this stout quickly because it is so darn tasty!

Mouthfeel: Just about as close to a full bodied stout as you will get. Carbonation level is low yet adequate. The texture of this brew is dense, silky, and creamy. This is really really smooth stout. Not boozy at all. Very warming stout with each sip though.

Overall: This is one old school Russian Imperial Stout! No frills. Just a mighty fine stout brewed by people who know how to brew a proper Russian Imperial Stout. I have always been a fan of Expedition stout, but usually have enjoy it cellared for a long time to temper the massively roasted profile of the malts and enjoy the batches that have a lot of residual sweetness that emerges over time. This bottle is 1 year, two months, and 4 days old; its easily the smoothest Expedition stout that I have ever tasted at such a young age not the less for the stout. I am willing to bet it was this way fresh too. High praise to Bells for making such a flawless Russian Imperial Stout. Probably one of two stouts that is the smoothest non-barrel aged RIS that I have ever drank. The only other RIS that shares this title is Kelsen Vinatta. This is a very memorable beer just as Kelsen Vinatta is. I took a sip of this Bells stout and Immediately thought of Kelsen Vinatta.

Nov 07, 2021
Photo of mschrei
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by mschrei from Illinois

Thirteen months old when reviewed. Creamy, healthy, dark tan lacing that persists after a foamy pour, standard stout darkness. Smell is dark roasted malt and coffee with a hint of sweet molasses and chocolate. Taste is mildly bitter dark roasted malt, with notes of coffee and chocolate. Medium to big bodied, boozy, mouth watering. Pretty tasty.

Oct 30, 2021
 
5 by 1971bernat from Virginia on Oct 18, 2021
 
4.75 by Lukass from Ohio on Sep 05, 2021
 
3.67 by BarrelAgedG from California on Aug 15, 2021
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.41/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by feloniousmonk from Minnesota

I couldn’t be sure what set the 35th anniversary Expedition Stout apart from the regular, besides 1% extra ABV, so I am m drinking them together to find out. Let’s go...

Strictly Stygian coloration, no light escapes, with a brief brown head.

In the nose: deep, roasted, charcoal, some cocoa, a hint of espresso....Dark and resonant.Dark fruits, espresso, ash.

In the mouth: Rich. Thick. Damn thick. Chewing on bark thick. Chocolate. Coffee. Bitter. Sweet. Chewy. A decadent treat. Many layers. Multi faceted. Absolutely wonderful. Flips all the switches. Raisins cavort with cocoa. Sweetness, deliciousness, and they didn’t need to drop off any cookies or marshmallows.

Now, it’s time to try the normal version and find any differences. Mmm. So nice. Dark malts. Delicious. Chocolate. Leather. Caramel. Toffee. Chewy. Some pepper. A touch of anise. Slightly sweet. Not so hoppy. Well balanced.

I’m coming up with zilch on the difference meter. Maybe 35 is a little thicker? A touched richer? A smidgeon? Nothing significant. They’re both amazing, and, now, due to this experiment, we know ...that I am twice as drunk. Thanks, @nd god night.

Jul 04, 2021
 
4.28 by Scottsbeer from Florida on Jun 27, 2021
Photo of Chuckdiesel24
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Smoother and more complexity than the regular Expedition (I had it side by side with the same release year); more caramel with still some of that classic roasty-ness. I don't know if you could convince me that this beer didn't spend time in the barrel.

May 30, 2021
 
4.63 by admonster00 from Illinois on May 22, 2021
Photo of stortore
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by stortore from Illinois

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 9/3/20, had 12/17/20.

Pours dark brown, opaque, with a half inch foamy head and light foamy lacing. Aromas of roasted malt, chocolate, raisins, molasses, light coffee and plums, a little brown sugar, light earthy hops, smoke as it warms. The flavor is pretty much the same- roasted malt, chocolate, raisins, herbal and earthy hops, some coffee, light plums, a little brown sugar. There’s a decent amount of hop bitterness on the finish. Smooth, creamy, an excellent full body, well carbonated.

As robust a beer as I’ve had in a long time. With the vibrant aromas and flavors, this is noticeably a step up from the regular version- which, of course, is no slouch. Wonderfully done.

May 20, 2021
Photo of tradershmulie
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by tradershmulie from Connecticut

Outstanding. First class and absolutely perfect.

May 12, 2021
Photo of bobv
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by bobv from Vermont

12 oz. bottle.
11.5% abv.
PKG 09/03/20.

Moderate pour yields a one inch medium to dark tan head over a black body with sticky lacing. Beautiful! Nose of dark roasted malt, chocolate malt, caramel, dark fruit, and maybe a bit of nougat. Taste of chocolate, caramel, chocolate covered roasted cherries (yeah, I said that), and roasted malted milk and slight bitter chocolate near the finish. Near velvet feel and overall, a very nice way to start my weekend!
Cheers to those stalwarts of Comstock, Michigan for this gem!!

Apr 19, 2021
 
4.5 by Mickt465 from New Hampshire on Apr 12, 2021
Photo of beerdedking
4.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
by beerdedking from Pennsylvania

Complexity wafts from this beer, everything you'd detect in a RIS of this ilk is right there to be had by your olfactory nerves. Flavors are complex and rich with strong appearances by black licorice, dark fruits, cocoa and dark chocolate, breakfast blend coffee, and light roasty notes in the background. Simply, this is what a big RIS should be. Imagine a steroidal Expedition, and you have this. Lovely

Mar 27, 2021
Photo of IPAs_for_days_13
4.69/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

Pours black as night in color with a nice espresso colored head with good retention. Smells rich of chocolate, coffee beans, roasted malts, boozy, lots of nice dark fruit flavors as well. Taste very much follows the nose. Roasted malts are all there as well as the sweet chocolate, the bitter coffee flavor makes the beer very balanced so it isn't too sweet. Full-bodied, low carbonation, soft, smooth, warming. A beer worthy of celebration.

Mar 27, 2021
Photo of Sandis
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Sandis from Minnesota

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Medium tan head. The beer itself is quite black. This is very creamy and chocolatey. Very enjoyable.

Mar 15, 2021
 
4.75 by Metalgod666 from Michigan on Mar 11, 2021
Photo of firesidewithphil
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by firesidewithphil from Illinois

Expedition Stout is one of my favorite annual releases. It is just solid and so comforting in the winter season. I was too excited to find the 35th Anniversary release this past year. It has a more defined malty sweetness while holding on to the robust roast. I am going to age my 2nd bottle.

IG: @firesidewithphil

Mar 06, 2021
 
4.43 by buzzy from Pennsylvania on Feb 28, 2021
Photo of sulldaddy
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
by sulldaddy from Connecticut

Sampling a 12 oz bottle poured at cellar temperature into my snifter. Beer is courtesy of a trade with @whyteboar, thank you !
The beer pours a dark black coffee color with about .5 cm of tan densely packed head foaming up. This foam fades to a sturdy edge layer and some wispy islands on the surface of the beer. SOme of these islands are spinning in the center of the glass.
The aroma on this beer is rich and malt driven. I get a good bit of roasted malts and some light charred wood notes. There is a bit of dark chocolate mixed in and hints of toffee. No hop character on the nose and not boozy either.
The first sip reveals an medium body with fine tingly carbonation. Texture is smooth and silky, the beer drinks very easy for 11.5% ABV, but could be a little thicker for the style in my opinion.
The flavor is similar to what the nose advertises with lots of roasted malt and some dark chocolate notes. I get a little toffee and some molassess on the finish, but a lingering roasted malt bitterness is what lingers after each swallow. Not boozy anywhere I can detect, and overall an enjoyable beer. Worth trying if you like roast forward imperial stouts.

Feb 21, 2021
 
4.34 by GeorgeAKeim from Oregon on Feb 17, 2021
 
4.42 by TheEpeeist from Pennsylvania on Feb 13, 2021
Photo of ryan1788a5
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pitch black pour, two fingers of brown head. Good retention, though it settles to a thin cap after some time. Collar of lacing.

S: Fudge sauce, mocha, espresso, head up blanket of roast, vanilla extract, hints of sweet black raspberries, plum skins, and Concord grape.

T: Follows the nose. Sweet fudge sauce on the attack, and a nice mocha impression. This is soon overtaken by a wave of bitter espresso and tons of roast. Very charred and woody. Burnt salted caramel. Fleeting vanilla extract buried in the roast. Woody and piney hops. Alcohol is apparent in the warmth, though it is not hot in the least. Mildly peppery. Very subtle undertones of blackberry and plum skins. Dry bakers chocolate and woody roast on a long finish.

M: Full bodied and thick, though it doesn’t feel too weighty. Lovely velvety and creamy texture. Plenty of gently scrubbing carbonation. Feels very airy and decadent, like a fine chocolate. Warming alcohol.

O: It’s been a while since I’ve had the OG Expedition Stout, but from what I remember of it, this is pretty similar. As advertised, it’s pretty much just a slightly larger version of it, but also better in every way. It’s extremely well put together and very drinkable, even despite its added beef. Sort of a “no-frills” type of brew, but it’s executed to such perfection that it is a delight to drink. It commands instant-classic status, and really hit the spot on a snowed-in evening.

Feb 10, 2021
Photo of Captain69
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by Captain69 from Illinois

I have not had this beer in years - I noticed the lable said 35 anniversary my rating from 1996 was only a 3 - this beer was great from the pour nice dark brown nice head and smell - great from the first sip. malty - great malt taste all thru the drink I am going to put some of these away for next year

Feb 03, 2021
Photo of arizcards
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5
by arizcards from North Carolina

Picked up a four-pack from the Craft Beer Hop Stop cooler 11-7-20 for $14.99. Packaged on 9-3-20; bottle #1 consumed 1-24-21.

Beer poured black as night with a nice tan head with the original pour.

Nose is nice, roasted malts and chocolate forward.

Taste is very good, a huge heavy roasted malt base elicits a chocolate forward impression and dark fruits on the back of the pallet. Finishes well balanced with no hint of over sweetness.

Mouthfeel is perfect, full bodied and extremely smooth which leads to total satisfaction in the finish.

Overall an excellent beer, definitely world class and probably the best non barrel aged brew i have had!

Jan 24, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by REVZEB from Illinois

Midnight black appearance with brown collar and surface islands. Huge smoky, roasted malty, and leather nose with char, tobacco, dried date, toasted caramel, bittersweet dark chocolate, molasses, and slight booze. Taste is the quintessential rugged RIS up front with huge smoked, roasted, earthy and toasted flavors from the nose, but the backend softens ever so slightly to let in the caramel, chocolate, black strap molasses, licorice, and booze as another wave of complexity, with a finishing pine hope kiss to round out. Feel is rugged, smoky, roasted, burly and earthy but has a great malt backbone, though not as viscous as the original expedition stout. A lesson in bitter, wonderfully made

Jan 22, 2021
Photo of Sparty1224
4.85/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
by Sparty1224 from Michigan

Serving: 12 oz. bottle poured into a Founder's Backwoods Bastard snifter. Bottled on 9/3/20, making this about 4.5 months old. Of note, done side-by-side with 2020 Expedition.

A: Pours a pretty slick black, a little thin. Good lacing, almost looks BA, though it's not.

S: Very complex aroma. Cacao, vanilla, cinnamon, anise, definitely some hop character. A little more hoppy than regular Expedition, but more complex overall. More rich.

T: Wow, very nice. Extremely complex. Rich chocolate, bitterness, cinnamon. Slight figs, dark fruits. Some vanilla. Just a malt bomb, really.

M: Pretty slick and chewy. Higher ABV hidden pretty well. Does have a slightly bitter finish, but not as noticeable as in regular Expedition.

O: This might sound cliche, but this really is Expedition on steroids. What seemed like a hoppier, more complex version on the nose, gives way to a huge, malty, rich, chocolatey flavor and thick mouthfeel. Very reminiscent of some of my favorite Imperial Stouts: Founder's Imperial Stout and Kuhnhenn's American Imperial Stout. This one has what those do, that thick mouthfeel and rich, velvety flavor, minimizing the hops and bitterness. I'm admittedly not a fan of regular Expedition in general, but this is a much superior, deluxe version that really improves on it in every way. Very pleased and surprised with this.

Recommendation: If you even remotely enjoy Expedition, this is a must-try.

Jan 22, 2021
 
4.25 by a77cj7 from South Dakota on Jan 21, 2021
35th Anniversary Expedition Stout Reserve from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 185 ratings