slinkymello (137) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - OCT 17, 2002
4.5 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
I am biased towards imperial stouts... the only beer I have rated a 5 is the dogfish head world wide imperial... I have no idea why really, but dammit, I just do. I am partial towards Bells also... but enough. Not bad at all... nuttier than the other ones I have tried, it has the molasses, roasty aroma and flavor... and damn, coffee overload... malty as hell and yet, retains some nice hoppiness. Dry finish that rocks and stays with you for a while... not as flavorful as the dogfish head, a bit better than the old rasputin... but still a great imperial stout.
mjmurphy2 (85) - Madison, Wisconsin, USA - OCT 11, 2002
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
I have to say that I was really looking forward to trying this beer. Maybe I got my hopes up, because I couldnít help but feel a little let down. Smelled great. It wasnít nearly as thick as I hoped it would be and the flavors, while rich and chocolately and spicy, were submerged in a strong alcohol tang. I was hoping for the perfect stout. This wasnít it. But it was pretty close.
NDmullet (208) - South Bend, Indiana, USA - OCT 8, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
So I completely inverted the bottle, and I got just a pinch of head to rise up, but thirty seconds later thereís just a rim of foam left. Zero carbonation. Luscious malt aroma: bittersweet bakerís chocolate, molasses, caramelized sugar, slight vinous notes. This is very sweet, but not over-the-top sweet. Reminds me a little of brownie batter. Delicate hop levels counteract the malt fairly well, and add a touch of astringency. Silky texture, and still it coats the mouth like cough syrup. Not quite perfect, maybe a hair off balance, and yet a stellar brew. Man, these imperials are fun, arenít they?
JohnC (3000) - Mission Viejo, California, USA - OCT 4, 2002
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
thick, rich, chocolatey, nice malt aroma. Has hints of soy sauce & malt. A big beer, w/ the alcohol well hidden. The malt & hops are well balanced
CaptainCougar (7093) - Columbia, Maryland, USA - SEP 25, 2002
4.7 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: APR 1, 2008 Batch #8295 sampled on 4/1/08: Typical appearance. Aroma seems a little drier and toastier than I remember, but still has very nice dark fruity complexity and roasty malts. Body is thick and full as always and has good dark caramel and chocolate sweetness before a more bittersweet, roasty warming finish. This may be one of the freshest Expeditions Iíve tried, but itís still great and should age well.
Batch #6672 sampled on 8/24/07: Same viscous oily opaque appearance as always with a thinner, wispy-lacing light brown head. Aroma of sweet oatmeal and dark caramel with some plums and mild smoke. Body starts very dense, but with a nice, not cloying sweet maltiness and good dark chocolate notes throughout. Complex dark fruits and plenty of malt hide the alcohol very well and make this incredibly drinkable. An amazingly affordable, available, and enjoyable imperial stout!
2002 batch sampled on 4/4/06: Pours very dark and viscous with a nice, large, dark tan head. Aroma of sweet dark fruits, toasted caramel malts, and lots of dark chocolate. Body is still very full and has plenty of carbonation, but seems to have dried out some, leaving more of a lingering roasted, almost smoky finish. Very enjoyable as always.
2004 batch sampled on 10/11/05: Just a dense, sweet viscous well of dark fruit, brown sugar, mild soy and malty complexity. This is just simply a great imperial stout.
2003 sampled on 1/23/04: Pours the same rich oily black I remember. Very nice complex fruity and sugar cookie aroma. Body is full of molasses and thick sweet caramel malt. Very nice hop balance is also present. The roasted malts donít show up until late in the finish, but they linger quite long. This is an excellent imperial stout. This gets the same rating as the 2002 version.
2002 sampled on 9/25/02: Black, covered with a smooth tan head. Lots of soy and floral hop aroma. Very syrupy, but elegant and smooth at the same time. Hops taste very fresh and the body is full of surprises; chocolate, soy sauce, and molasses. The best thing I have tried from Bells thus far. If I were going on some sort of expedition, I would not leave home without a six-pack.
muzzlehatch (4425) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - SEP 24, 2002
4.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
UPDATED: DEC 5, 2005 Sept 2002: The pour is no less perfect than Guinness, so I know Iím in for something special. One of the darkest, creamiest heads Iíve ever seen: chocolate mousse. Strong nose of roasted grains, chocolate and wine. Flavor is bitter chocolate, scotch, and butter (yes, butter); velvety smooth on the tongue, with perhaps just a tiny bit too much alcohol presence, nonetheless a great great Imperial and deserving of its high praise hereabouts. 8/5/9/5/19 4.6
December 2005: 2x12 oz bottles (2001)shared with MartinT, tiggmtl, Rastacouere, beerbuzzmontreal and Yowie. Little fizz or head, but some thick lace to go with the motor-oil thick body...dark, heavy espresso-plummy-bitter chocolaty nose...massive coffee bitterness mixes phenomenally with the luscious milk chocolate sweetness, and all the wonder of dark dried fruits (dates, prunes, raisins) are evident...just gorgeous full slightly oily and portlike mouthfeel. Same rating.
December 2005: 2x12 oz bottles (Apr 2005 bottling) shared with the same group above. The fresher bottle is much smokier and rougher in the nose, the flavors donít gel as well on the tongue, and the mouthfeel is a bit gritty. This would get roughly a 4.2, as it is still full of flavor and complex; but I definitely prefer a couple of years on it.
mwsf (360) - San Francisco, California, USA - SEP 24, 2002
4.9 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 20/20
Aged two years: This is just about as close to perfection as it gets. Thick and black like used motor oil. No head and none is needed. Roasted, bready aroma. Wonderfully blended flavors of bread, plums, coffee, chocolate. Almost no alcohol aroma or flavor, although this is definitely present when this beer is young. Thick and creamy mouthfeel. Iíve gotta start aging more of this stuff. Phenomenal!
jcalbi (378) - New Jersey, USA - SEP 15, 2002
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Very thick pour. Super dark body with an impressively thick, brown head. Aromas of bread, dried fruit along with a slight vinegary twang. Hops tug at the sides of the tongue. Very prominent notes of espresso, dark chocolate, raisins and nuts. Make no mistake, this is a big beer!
morebier4me (140) - New York, USA - SEP 14, 2002
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
boomhaur99 (3) - USA - SEP 11, 2002 does not count
1.9 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 5/20
i paid 13 dollars for a 6-pack of this beer, and i was very excited to taste it. when i finally did, i was very dissapointed. this stuff was like rubbing alchol. i love a good stout, but this was far from good. im going to use the last 3 bottle to strip the wallpaper in my bathroom.