Expedition Stout is a Russian Imperial Stout brewed by Bell’s Brewery, Inc. that wonderfully balances roast and sweet flavors with just the right feel and warmth.

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Expedition Stout is a Russian Imperial Stout that’s brewed by Bell’s Brewery, Inc., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the ale was served in a snifter from a 12 oz. bottle.

Packaging art for the Expedition Stout by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Packaging art for the Expedition Stout by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

What You Need to Know

The Expedition Stout is one of the first Russian Imperial Stouts to be produced in the U.S. and a bottle that had been aged sixteen years took home the Gold Medal at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. Must be pretty good. So how was it really? Let’s get to the review.

Appearance

The Expedition Stout pours an opaque black with no light showing through. It’s topped by nearly an inch-thick cap of frothy, pock-marked, mocha-colored foam that shows fair retention. A few droplets of residue and a thin ring rounds the glass.

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Aroma

The aroma is strong with a scent of sweet molasses and smoky char.

Flavor

The palate begins with a taste of coffee and browned bread. Finishes with a mild bite of floral hops and espresso and mixed with sweet notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits, and molasses. There’s even a savory and slightly salty flavor akin to a steak sauce that’s picked up on the swallow.

Label art for the Expedition Stout by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Label art for the Expedition Stout by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

Mouthfeel

Its feel is silky smooth with a body that’s nearly full and low carbonation. Finishes dryly with a mild warming sensation.

Overall

Its appearance could show better head retention but otherwise, the Expedition Stout excels in every other way. Its aroma is strong and enticing and its palate strikes a wonderful balance between the roast and sweet flavors. And its luscious feel perfectly supports that decadent palate. A lofty ABV is noticeable but not overpowering. Like most everything about this brew, it’s just right.

Recommended Pairings

Bell’s recommends the following food pairings with their Expedition Stout: cheeses of Blue d’Aubergne, d’Affinois, Stilton or Roquefort; mains of duck foie gras and smoked goose; sweets of dark chocolate truffles, pecan pie, raspberry tart, vanilla poached pears or chocolate raspberry mousse cake.

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