Sunday, January 13, 2013

Bell's Expedition Stout (2012)

From Bell's website:

"One of the earliest examples of the Russian Imperial Stout in the United States, Expedition Stout offers immensely complex flavors crafted specifically with vintage 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."

This is a fairly fresh bottle as it was bottled in mid October.  I haven't had this in a while and my palate has since changed so I definitely wanted to revisit this one and put my thoughts on paper this time around.  I'm hoping to get another 6 pack of it to throw in my cellar and see how it ages. But until then...

This beer poured black from bottle to glass with just a very, very slight red at the bottom and sides of the glass where the light hits it.  Other than that the beer looks the part of a Russian Imperial Stout.  A half finger head from the pour that didn't stay around long at all.  While there isn't much lacing to it, the beer itself really sticks to glass like syrup.  I didn't remember what this beer was like but I am excited to finally try it again!

First whiffs of this and I am majorly surprised so far!  I'm getting a little dark chocolate on the nose but the shining point in the aroma is caramel and coffee mixture.  It smells pretty darn incredible, in my opinion.  There is something else I am having trouble picking up on. Maybe some molasses or anise? Definitely a big sweetness I'm getting on it.  Not sure if the booze in the aroma is blocking some of the raisin and plum character that I am used to in these kinds of beers or maybe that is something that will show its face with a little bit of age.  Aside from that this beer smells incredible and I really like the big coffee and caramel nose.  I actually have no idea what this is going to taste like but I am excited.

Definitely get the coffee and the roast on the taste as well as some really nice dark chocolate mixed with some milk chocolate as well.  The caramel is there on the middle of the palate and provides a nice sweetness.  I really want to see how this beer ages because I think it is nicely balanced right now.  I would guess these flavors will meld together.  I love beers with a heavy roast in them and this is a fine example of that especially on the finish.  The roast lingers well through the finish and helps cut the sweetness.  I really enjoyed this beer but after the aroma I was expecting something a bit more.  Not disappointed but rather surprised.  

Heavy on the palate in both mouthfeel and flavor.  Flavor lingers and leaves you really thinking about what you are drinking.  A perfect beer to sip on on a cold day or night.   After having this I plan on getting more in the future and not just to age but also to drink fresh.  The alcohol, while apparent, wasn't overpowering but just another flavor.  I definitely recommend picking up a six pack of this and giving it a try!

Cheers ladies and gentlemen!

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