kane (111) - USA - MAR 15, 2005
What is this dark abyss I have been consumed by. My word, I was just going over the top 50 thinking how many of them were Imp’s and how skewed it was and then I tried this monster. The darkest beer I have ever seen, opaque with a small brown head. Aroma is powerful, full of chocolate, grass, spring rain, fond, and alcohol. The taste is just as complex. A full mouthfeel, silky, oily, dry. Taste of dried grass, chocolate, coffee, bitterness. No flaws, a very well balanced beer. Luxurious in every sensation. buttrav (1) - USA - APR 15, 2005 does not count
I have been waiting for the perfect moment, but as Passover approaches, I could not wait any longer. I opened the Expedition Stout last night, and drank it slowly over the course of 2 hours, witnessing its texture, taste and aroma evolve and morph. By the end, some sediment had extricated itself from the frothy, malty stuff so that the grog had an ever-so-slight element of "graininess" which reunited me with the source of the beer itself, in fact the source of all beer. By 11:15 PM, my ebony companion nearly gone, but still clinging to life within the lower 1/4 inch of my glass, never more complex or generous than it was at that moment, I determined that one of the finest compliments one could give to such a wort would be not to drink the final swill just for the sake of finishing it, but rather to let it rest peacefully in its new home, as I drifted to sleep, knowing that by the time I awoke, it would have passed into the stage most like death for a beer--undrinkability. If only Terry Schiavo had been allowed to go with such dignity. Zeswaft (1773) - Seattle, Washington, USA - JUL 4, 2005
UPDATED: JAN 4, 2008 The holy grail. Best beer on earth. Dark black with brown head. Robust chocolate flavors and some hops get you on the aftertaste. Alcohol undetectable. Sweet and syrupy in texture. Kind of hard to drink but it tastes so good that you want more. (RERATE) What the hell, After 700+ this is still the best. Thus, I’m normalizing my ratings. Just totally rich and decadent. Not to mention it just wrecks you.
RERATE again, jan. 08, just had a bottle from 2003 and this is sooo much better than a fresh bottle. Real smooth and refined. jewedekind (450) - Middleton, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 20, 2005
OK..It was late in the Great Taste and Larry Bell brought out a Rehoboam of some aged Imperial Stout..it may have been Batch 3000, but I’m going to mark it down as an aged Expedition. Thin deep brown head, silky and greasy. Fully opaque. Aroma of the deepest regions of Hell with notes of brimstone and the end of the morning shift at Pete’s Coffee in Berkeley. Flavors of raisins, dates, mocha, and tiramisu. Finish is measured in furlongs. Sweetness steamrolled by alcohol and fresh tobacco. My first and only "5"! julrey (32) - Austin, Texas, USA - DEC 9, 2005
My scores are going to be largely out of line with everyone elses, but my only explanation for this is that the Expedition may be a hit-and-miss beer. This is my first time experiencing it so it’s possible I stumbled across one of their better batches aged for just long enough to blend the flavors perfectly. Anyway, disclaimer out of the way, here we go:
Pours pitch black with a gorgeous (almost edible) milk chocolate head, with dense packs of carb bubbles clinging seductively to the sides of the glass.
Smells of brown sugar, molasses, a touch of black licorice, and dark malt, all of which blends into a bouquet far more inviting and less intrusive than other beers of this abv magnitude.
Mouthfeel is thick and viscous, very milkshake like, leaving a sticky coating on the lips and tongue.
Cholocate and sugars predominant up front followed by dark roasted malt on finish. Superb flavoring - all other ingredients whiffed before drinking blend so well into the chocolate and malt as to be almost individually imperceptible. Alcohol is unbelievably well hidden, probably the best that I’ve ever seen for this strong of a brew.
Although the alcohol does eventually make its presence known, it’s more in the "gullet burn" than in the taste. You really have to be looking for it on the tongue to even realize it’s there. No perceptible way to improve this beer at all in my eyes, so perfect 5.0’s all around. I do believe this one has slipped into my top 5. I plan on having more very soon so we’ll see if the honeymoon period lasts.
BeerandBlues2 (13323) - Escondido, California, USA - JAN 14, 2006
12-oz. bottle, batch 6672. Pours opaque with a small foamy tan head, the thickness of the brew leaves a stain on the glassware. Fragrant dark chocolate, sweet, and molasses aroma, port, alcohol and raisins fill in nicely with notes of fruit hops and some light smokiness. Bitter and acidic, heavily, biting alcohol flavor that dries the palate, some alcohol burning and warming, with a velvety chocolate malt body and fruity hop, caramel smoky malt finish, port-like. Full bodied and dark brew, somewhat dry to start but a velvety mouthfeel overall; a desert or meal in itself. TheBeerLover (1027) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 24, 2006
Bell’s Expedition Stout pours to an ink black, dark as midnight, opaque, color, this beer is as black as shoe polish. The head is big, tan, thick, and creamy. The nose on this beer is stunning. TITANIC malt aromas and hop aromas flood the nose. Big roasty and chocolate malt aromas marry with aromas of black licorice, and peppery waves of alcoholic strength. If that is not enough there is HUGE hop aromas as well. Bell’s Expedition has two times the malt of their Kalamazoo Stout, but has a whopping five times the hops!! The hop aromatics in this beer, are so fresh, piney, and citric. It does battle with the malt for your nostrils attention. Now for the palate. AMAZING. Huge malt flavors of chocolate malt, roast, coffee, expresso, licorice, toffee, and vanilla coat the tongue. The body is as big as mother Russia. This is a rich, hefty, lush body, very viscous, like motor oil. The finish. As incredible as the start. Big chocolate malt, expresso, licorice, and roasted malt flavors lead into a big, long, dry, citric, hop bitter finish. At five times the hops, and Bell’s loves hops, this beer has to be 100 IBU’s. The finish is very warming as well. Bell’s Expedition clocks in at about 10-11% abv, this is some potent stuff.
Words can not do this beer justice. One has to experience a beer like this. I know it was worth a trip to Michigan for me. As stated, this is an amazing beer. It is rich and complex, with just layer, after layer of flavors. A beer as decadent as this should be sipped and savored. If you want to match this with food, only desert would do. This would go perfect with a big thick slice of death by chocolate cake, dark chocolates, and chocolate pudding.
sudsmeister (78) - Westminster, Colorado, USA - FEB 12, 2006
It is difficult to come up with anything but superlatives to describe this beer. It is the mother of all stouts. I want to find out which expedition they take this along on and sign up! Quixote18 (236) - Johnson City, Tennessee, USA - FEB 27, 2006
Holy Crap! My first 5.0, and that’s saying something because I’ve not been partial to monster brews in the past. I can say very little that hasn’t been already said about this one. I was amazed at how smooth this one was considering its abv. Normally much over 8% and I start to wrinkle my nose. This one was a complete beergasm. railcat1 (702) - Kissimmee, Florida, USA - MAR 13, 2006
UPDATED: JUN 5, 2006 good dark thick rich potent beer but done well.alcohol is present but also is easy to drink good after taste and well worth the price not sure what year it was but it did not matter