Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bell's Brewery, Inc. - Bell's Expedition Stout

I've been fortunate enough to try a few beers from Bell's in the past few months. While in Cincinnati, I got to try their Consecrator Dopplebock and their Two Hearted IPA and I was able to obtain three more of their beers (Hopslam, Special Double Cream Stout and Expedition Stout) in a trade. I ended up with two bottles of 2008 Expedition Stout and finally decided to give one a try a few nights ago.

According to the website for Bell's, Expedition Stout is a beer that is best with some age under it, as they describe it as being "intensely bitter" if it's had while fresh. The guy I got the bottles of Expedition Stout from said that the 2008 version was perfect right now. Let's see if he was right.

Expedition Stout pours an insanely black color out of the bottle with the consistency of motor oil. Just the way I like it. The head was short lasting, but a beautiful dark chestnut color. Once the head was gone, all that was left was a thick black liquid in my glass. I got pretty big notes of caramelized pears right away with a big, roasted malt character along with some coffee and dark chocolate. As I let the beer warm (which I highly recommend doing if you're able to acquire it), I started to pick up some hints of smoke and even a bit of leather.

Any intense bitterness this beer may have had when it was brewed is long gone now and my first sip picked up a huge malt sweetness along with big notes of chocolate cake, molasses, cocoa powder and a bit of raisin. The bitterness comes in a bit at the finish with some espresso and dark coffee grounds. I can tell that this beer has mellowed a lot since it was brewed and it's nearly perfect right now. The mouthfeel is huge, thick and a bit syrupy and chewy as a tootsie roll. I loved every sip of this beer and I have got to get some more. How this beer is not in the Top 100 is beyond me.

Final Grade: A

Top 100 Beers Tasted: 23

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