Expedition Ale - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Expedition AleExpedition Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

69 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 69
Hads: 88
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 7.27%
Wants: 14
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mark on 04-19-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 69 | Hads: 88
Photo of Furball
2.27/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I've had good luck with most of Drakes brews, but this one was not one of those.

The appearance is typical, a darker amber. It seems to have a tendency to pour with a really thick head that is neither sweet or flavorful in any manor. The clarity is minimal.

The smell has to be one of the most offensive elements of this beer, as it is sour and almost a mold-like, organic smell, but really not in a good way.

On first taste, this beer is bitter, sour, and just plain foul. I actually have a very hard time drinking this. I find it so sour that I really can't taste much else in the brew. As for the mouth feel, just imagine all the moisture being drawn out of your mouth. It's drying and thin.

It kind of bothers me to review this beer so poorly as I really like Drakes in general. We've had this on the keg several times and just finished one right now, and I can promise that I won't be getting this brew again. (929 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.15/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

White foam and a load of lacing on this mahogany amber brew. A damp basement smell mars the first sips. Acidity slides off into a hint of sourness. After the brief malty flirtation it leaves you with a dirty bitterness that goes on and on. Murky, sharp, a hint of burnt fat.

I just don't get this over-hopped big red style. Start with a wet cardboard malt base and dose it with too much earthy hops? I know they can make great beers like the Aroma Coma, so this flat, harsh taste is a surprise. In the 22 oz bomber. (516 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired from fartingdog courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark copper color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of caramelized malt and hops along with some spice & citrus in the background.

T: The taste is malty and smoky with a strong hops bitterness that prevails as the most dominant flavor. There are minor but complimentary flavors of caramel, nuts & citrus as well. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, it's a good beer and is one worth drinking for a while but to me it just seems kind of ordinary. Therefore, if it were available around here, it would probably be a beer that I would routinely pass on. (928 characters)

Photo of joepais
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass produced a finger worth of head that settled to a thick lace on top of a cloudy brown body

Aromas of sweet malts and spice with a light floral hop note at the end

Flavors of toasted malts with a strong bitter not all of it is from the hops

Good mouthfeel medium with enough carbonation to keep it crisp on the tongue

A good ale more of a hybrid than a true Amber but drinkable none the less (428 characters)

Photo of TheEremite
3.62/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Looked great. Dark brown with a tan head. It looked a bit like a porter, pretty dark for an amber or a red ale. Huge hop aroma. Smells like an IPA. Tastes of hop bitterness and malty crystal sweetness. Fairly pronounced chocolate notes. This beer is very full bodied for a red. In general I really like over hopped red ales, they're much more interesting than the usual malty, sweet and boring brewpub reds. I had low expectations for this beer and was pleasantly surprised. The first 1/4 of the glass was really nice, but the malt and hop bitterness began to build up and at some point it became a bit much. I like the idea of this beer, and I enjoyed drinking it, but it doesn't make for much of a session beer. (713 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received from largadeer. Thanks Chris. Into my Stone pint glass.

A: Deep amber with a little bit of sediment that i missed. Solid light brown head with great retention and excellent lacework

S: Lots of leafy hops up front but giving this a swirl reveals a good deal of citrus character. Mild caramel malt character in the back. Quite massive for an amber, acutally

T: Tons of bittering hops up front a lot of orange and citrus rind character. Mild caramel malt sweetness comes through before a completely bitter finish takes over.

M: Carbonation is ample but the bitterness is a bit overpowering IMHO

D: The bitterness is something that hurts the drinkability of the beer (689 characters)

Photo of mynie
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really magnificent dark red. Very dark, like grape juice, with translucence coming through only at the bottom of the glass.

Smells just a little bit of age, but a robust and tasty age. Light fruit, plenty of plums, and still enough hops to let me know that this was either an incredibly over hopped red or that it's not very old at all.

Taste like lightly aged malt and big west coast hops. Tastes like a well hopped red, pretty much. Malt and hops balance each other well, though not too many complexities come through.

Pretty good. (552 characters)

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.72/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 19 Nov 2007. bottle courtesy of my brother, thanks!

Extra large huge cascading foamy head. Cloudy dark oak color. Smells like vanilla, tea, caramel, slightly floral. Tastes of sweet candied almonds. Fair amount of semisweet chocolate. Becomes more bitter towards the finish. Texture is foamy and creamy.

A says reminiscent of a chocolate orange. (367 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours maple wood brown with ruby highlights and 1/4 inch of khaki colored head.

S-Piney sharp hop aromas, pale, grainy maltiness. An interesting sweet and sour fruit aroma. Strawberry?

T/M-Fairly dry. Mouth coatingly dry tannic hoppiness. Medium bodied, with a grainy, unobtrusive malt profile. This one's all about showcasing the hops. The finish is dry and bitter. It sticks in the back of the throat and lingers for a little while.

O-Solid. Definitely worth a try. (473 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle acquired in trade with jimbowood (thanks!).

Poured a deep and cloudy amber color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, oranges, and a little earthy. Tastes of caramel, citrus, and toffee. For an amber ale, I really liked this one.

Notes from 6/29/07 (284 characters)

Photo of ADZA
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red hue and i mean red with a creamy three finger head that stays and leaves clingy lacing everywhere,the smell is burnt toffee,caramel malts,treacle and also some underlying piney hops,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation and has tastes of marzipan,caramel treacle,redgum honey,piney bitter hops to keep that sweetness in check with the finish being dry and a touch bitter,overall its a nicely balanced Red Ale and id drink it again cheers. (471 characters)

Photo of hiku7
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is dominated by caramel malt, toastiness, and a very slight roastiness. Citrusy hops, with a clean yeast profile.

Pours opaque red to brown with a long lasting cream color head. Three fingers high. Great lacing.

Flavor is mostly caramel, but there is a phenolic smoky off flavor that detracts a bit. Earthy woody lasting hop bitterness speaks of California origins.

This is a full bodied, creamy and somewhat chewy brew.

I love imperial amber/red beers, and this one is borderline in that category, but this one didn't capture my attention. A little disappointed in the smoky phenolics coming through. Overall, still not a bad beer and right up my alley, so my scores are probably higher than others might give it. (724 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Jester King pint.

A- pours a light copper color with a 2 finger off-white head. Nice blotches of lacing cover the glass.

S- toasted amber malts, some rye, and some pine.

T- slight caramel flavor, toast, spice, citrus and some pine bitterness.

M- medium body and carbonation. Slight dryness lingers.

O- nice amber ale. Slightly dry and doesn't have a lot of citrus, but I like the rye spice in this beer. (442 characters)

Photo of sweetbrew82
3.81/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass/ no freshness date

P: Dark brown with amber edges and a tan head that looks beautiful! The thick and creamy foam is 2 fingers tall and gets quite rocky, forming huge dimples as it deflates. A thick coating of lace plasters the glass with each and every sip. Nice!

A: Roasty toasty malts, caramel, brown sugar, and some piney hops. Smells pretty good, but nothing that'll blow you away with power or complex

T: The malts are more toasty upfront with caramel and brown sugar making for a sweet start. Pine resin and grapefruit-flavored hops soon make their way to the forefront to counterbalance the sweetness with some much needed alpha-acidity. The caramel malts seem to turn a little more roasty on the back end as the hops deliver a spicy kick on the semi-dry finish.

M: Medium bodied with not much creaminess or silkiness to talk about. It is semi-sticky from the hops, but feels a little over-carbonated, and isn't as smooth as it could be.

Notes: This is a pretty well-balanced American Amber that features some good, solid flavors with a nice hoppy bite to it. A solid effort from a good brewery. Worth a shot (1,153 characters)

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper in color with thick, rocky head. Good retention and lots of lace. Smell is somewhat overwhelming of caramel, some hops, but mainly a sweet caramel malt. Taste is pretty much on par with the smell. A sweet, sweet caramel again. Strong malt presence, a bit of mellow hops but again that sweetness is dominant. Moderate carbonation but a somewhat thicker mouthfeel. This beer is a little sweet for my taste and is definitely a slow sipper. Not bad overall, however I have to say this seemed very similar to their IPA, just a little less hoppy. I'm curious to try other offerings from Drakes. (606 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rude red ale colour, bit of cloud with dense pillow of marshmallowy head. Beige colour, nice ribbon of lace left behind and good retention. Looks very good; not quite excellent.

Smells very tangy and hoppy. Lots of citric notes, but hints of acetyldehyde and perry as well. Maybe some green pepper and a big wallop of pineapple. In fact it's totally pineapple. Yeah, big, massive pineapple. Not sure I like beer smelling that much like pineapple, but hey, let's go with it.

Taste is not bad, but still very fruity on the back. Starts with decent caramel and toffee malt but gets very tangy and fruity with hop oils and some alpha acidic notes. Hint of more pineapple that gets almost puckering but it's sweet, bitter, sour and hoppy as a nice blend. Not bad, really, quite refreshing even though it doesn't quite hit the mark. I think there's a goodly amount of hop bitterness there so it's fairly clean and drinkable. Bit weird, though.

Foamy texture, quite full and well-weighted though. Yeah, not bad.

Not sure I genuinely love it, but there's a weird, very refreshing quality to it. I might not be proud of it, but I really could drink it most of the night. (1,173 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Look: Dark reddish/mahogany in color with 1 inch foamy tan head. Great head retention and probably the best lace I have seen in a beer.

Smell: Piney hops are the front runner and they are there in just the right amount. Slight bit of sweetness from the malt

Taste: Same as the smell the hops are right up front. On the backend you get just a hint of caramel and toffee

Mouthfeel: Medium body medium carbonation and a slightly dry finish

Overall: Great example of the style. Good flavor profile and drinkability. Good spring beer (532 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light brown/mahogany with a red edge to the pour, cream head. Aroma was nice, hoppy, strong malt aromas. Hops were orange and pine at the same time, didn't see that one coming.

Sturdy beer with a sturdy hop presence. Not too bitter. More pine and caramel. Stays away from sweetness, opts for body, relatively dry and smooth finish. Toffee.

This beer really bridges a gap in red and amber ales. Some of the higher rated ones are very hoppy and bitter without much substance in the body, this one is the best of both worlds kinda. (532 characters)

Photo of tobelerone
3.87/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear reddish amber, with a small, quickly falling head and minimal lacing. Powerful aroma of pineapple and sweet caramel malt follows through in the taste. Pineapple and pine needles, caramel and toffee, general sweet maltiness. Very fruity. Booze is pretty well hidden throughout. Medium bodied, a bit creamy, with medium to low carbonation, making for a smooth drink. Lingering aftertaste keeps the fruity sweetness and pineapple candy hanging around a while. Nice example of the style if not anything extraordinary. (519 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Better than average in every measurable aspect, superb for the style. Rich reddish tinge, with retained 3/8 inch white head. Mildly hoppy aroma. Above average mouthfeel. Well balanced hops and malt. Very good drinkability.
Bottle from Augustgarage. Thanks Brad! (261 characters)

Photo of Rzzzzz
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint glass. Pours a deep, dark amber with a creamy tan head that left some wonderful lacework down the glass. Aroma is mostly hops, with a bit of grain trying to fight its way through. Taste again is hops up front, with a sweet malt follow that's chased away by a bitter hops finish. Medium body, lively carbonation. Not your standard amber ale, and because of that lingering bitterness not something I'd probably want a lot of at once, but a nice beer nonetheless. (465 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint. 6.5% ABV, no date, "best kept cold and enjoyed with a rich head from a glass."

A - Gusher! Beer overboard! I quickly stopped the gushing but the pour resulted in over five fingers of dense tan head. Well, I followed the instructions on the bottle... Moderate retention and a plateau of foam with only small bits of lace residing over the hazy brown beer.

S - A striking balance of hops and toasted malts is abruptly noticeable with toasted caramel and amber backing up grassy, earthy notes. It's simple but well-done. Later on I pick up a hint of toffee shavings and solvent alcohol.

T - Lots of strong caramel and crystal with amber malts which come out big in the flavor with an alcohol suggestion but no real strength. The hops are very secondary adding only a little bit of earthiness.

M - Smooth and bold with a medium body and creamier finish with a moderate alcohol sensation.

D - Good but just above a run-of-the-mill amber, Drake's Expedition is a fair offering in the strangest-labeled bottle I've ever seen which is also the reason I picked it up off the shelf in Cali. (1,128 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep deep ruby red with a small white head and good lacing.

Smells heavily of toffee/caramel. Very sweet on the nose. A little bit of an earthy smell as well. Maybe a little pine. Allergies are acting up a bit today so my nose feels a bit off.

Sweet caramel malts smack the palate at first, but it rounds into a good piney bitterness that lingers on the tongue. I thought from the smell this may be too sweet, but even though the caramel is strong the hops do a good job balancing to prevent it from becoming cloying.

Medium-high mouthfeel. A bit sticky but the finish is still somewhat dry though with medium carbonation level.

Picked this one up on a whim while in SD and had never heard of Drake's before but love reds. Not the very best I've had, but a solid example of the style. (796 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/06/08- Purchased at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep amber colored pour. Huge head meaning 1/4 beer and the rest head all the way to the rim. Very large bubbles in the head. Leaves behind light patchwork and trails of lace.

Smell- Seems like much more deep dark malted notes than hops. Although, hops are present and bitter scented.

Taste- This is a very intense flavored beer and very well rounded. Extreme deep bitter hoppy taste (which I wouldn't have known from the scent). Also a very large deeply roasted deep chocolate dusted malted base.

Mouthfeel- Very long lasting bitter aftertaste with a nice malt flavor as well. Carbonation is about average.

Drinkability- Nothing wrong with this brew. Well balanced with large flavors. (833 characters)

Photo of Troyone
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a darkish amber color with a copper hue, biege head that sticks around, and some carb action.

Has a sweet caramel malt smell with lots of citrus hops.

Light/mod sweet/acidic, mod/heavy bitter, roasted, and almost burnt caramel malt taste with lots of grapefruit/orange hops flavor.

Medium bodied, slightly syrupy texture, soft almost flat carbonation, and a metallic/astringent finish.

Hopheads should enjoy this one, I'm not sure about the balance but plenty of hops for the some what smooth and rough grapefruit finish. (539 characters)

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Expedition Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 69 ratings.