Expedition Stout

Russian Imperial Stout Bell’s Brewery, Inc.


Expedition Stout, a Russian Imperial Stout by Bell’s Brewery, Inc.

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


The 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.


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


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.


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


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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About the Russian Imperial Stout

The Russian Imperial Stout style is inspired by the brewers of the 19th century who crafted this King of Stout to impress the Russian Czar. The stout is strong in alcohol with a hefty malt backbone that exhibits a lot of character. The malt is roasted and even burnt with chocolate. Palate sometimes suggests dark fruit. Its hop bitterness can vary widely from none to balanced and even highly aggressive. Its feel is often dry with low to moderate carbonation.