Saturday, April 16, 2016

Bell's Expedition Stout

Beer Name: Expedition Stout
Brewery: Bell's Brewery, Inc. (Comstock, MI)
ABV: 10.5%
How sold: 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles; on draft
Where bought: Belmont Station (Portland, OR)
Price: $3.63 for a 12 oz. single

Date Bottled: November 6, 2015
Date Purchased: February 22, 2016
Date Opened: March 13, 2016
When brewed? Seasonal beer. Available October to early March. Virtually unlimited shelf life; meant for vintage aging.

What's on the Bottle: "Here's a beer that thirsts for travel, holding up impressively under the rigors of any journey. At the same time, it's perfectly content to sit quietly in your cellar, aging and improving while you wait for the moment that seems perfectly appropriate for its consumption."

What's on the Website: "One of the earliest examples of the Russian Imperial Stout in the United States, Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with aging in mind, as its profile will continue to mature and develop over the years. A huge malt body is matched to a heady blend of chocolate, dark fruits, and other aromas. Intensely bitter in its early months, the flavors will slowly meld and grow in depth as the beer ages." Read more here!

Where distributed: As of February 2016, Bell's Brewery ships to 23 states and the District of Columbia. On the West Coast, it can only be found in Southern California and Arizona. Once in a blue moon, Bell's has shipped to Portland, Oregon (once for Craft Brewers Conference Week in April 2015 and one large shipment in February 2016). See if Bell's ships to your area!

Appearance (5%): Poured black into a pint glass. Just a bit of mocha/tan head. 4/5

Smell (25%): A combination of chocolate, coffee, caramel. Pleasing. 4/5

Taste (40%): Combination of chocolate and coffee mostly. Roasted, bitter, malty. Does pack its fair share of alcohol, but it has a bunch of flavor from start to finish. 4.25/5

Mouthfeel (10%): Full-bodied, with some carbonation. 4.25/5

Overall (20%): A great Russian Imperial Stout. Opened just over four months after bottling, it's still quite fresh when seeing that you can age this for a long time. My first thought was, if this had been more around 7-8% (with less of an alcoholic presence), we would probably have a huge winner on our hands. It makes me curious as to what aging will do for this beer from a flavor standpoint. 4/5

Final Weighted Rating: 4.125/5

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