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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 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 DoubleJ
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a pre-set mix pack from Cost Plus, on to the beer:

Very foamy at first pour, I had to chop off the head repededly to get all the beer in my pint glass. The beer's appearance is deep copper with a good sticky head. The aroma is a nosefull of hops and notes of caramel. Taste begins fruity befroe a kick of hops and tropical flavor knocks it down. Burnt sugar is tasted on the palate too. Very very tasty red ale and one worth looking for. Comparable to Bear Republic's Red Rocket Ale, although this is a little better balanced. (535 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 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 Viggo
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to fartingdog for sending this my way for BC2.

Pours a clear dark red/brown hints, coppery, thick off white head, eggshell almost, nice chunky lacing, good retention, looks great. Smell is sweet, rich toffee, fruits, citrus/floral, some grapefruit, neat grainy date aroma, smells very good. Taste is sweet and malty, lots of toffee, bread, grains, grapefruit, floral, chocolate roastiness in the finish, lots of bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Very nice, very drinkable, tons of flavour. I dig! Thanks Dave! (546 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 JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz Bottle / 6.8% ABV
Pours a hazy amber color with a thin layer of off-white creamy head.
Great dark malty aroma that's supplemented nicely by a kiss of citrusy grapefruit hops.
Some fruity notes of golden raisins liven up the malt base that has a pleasant graham cracker tone and some subtle spiced cinnimon stick.
Medium bodied, creamy carbonated mouthfeel. A chewy malt base of lightly spicy bread crusts, honey and a hint of raisin start out on the palate, but this fades refreshingly into a powerful high alpha hop dry finish. Not overly done, the hops are both powerful enough to satisfy a hop craving, but able to allow the malts to provide a fantasticly dark, somewhat toasty, rich base.
This is a great choice for the indecisive - it does everything well. (776 characters)

Photo of assurbanipaul
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy brown with a medium khaki head. Nose is fresh toasty malt and some earthy, vegetal hops.

Taste is rich toasty malt but with a bitter balance. The malt flavors are present but without the malt sweetness; the profile is dominated by a heavy hop flavor. After the initial bitter bite, more roast malt character comes forward further into the glass. Some light citrusy lemon elements along with hints of some dry black chocolate malt. Finish is bitterly malty and dry.

Mouthfeel is medium and clean, balanced enough to be easily drinkable. Overall impression is a little rough, like an award-winning homebrew, which is a refreshing quality to find in commercial products. Heavier on the malt than most American IPAs, I like this one. (748 characters)

Photo of merlin48
4.27/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A strange brew here but very enjoyable. 12 oz bottle pours a hazy copper body with a thick beige head that tops out at two centimeters. Excellent retention with moderate patch lacing.

Aroma is very interesting. Citrusy pink grapefruit is brash and assertive, but soon met with malty notes of toffee and burnt caramel. Hints of orange pulp and milk chocolate are very suggestive.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and the body is almost full from a malt base that is almost chewy.

Taste is somewhere between a good amber and an excellent IPA. Some notes of roasty chocolate blend well with the citrusy and rind hop bitterness. Finsishes with a grapefruit flourish accented by a kiss of chocolate maltiness.

A very interesting ale here. A deft combination of an American amber ale and an IPA, enlivened by some roasty dark malts. Very drinkable! Thanks to IntriqKen for the opportunity. (893 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle sealed with a very colorful and nicely decorated crown cap. Simple brown glass bottle is covered in one of those plastic shields where the see through parts lend the impression that the bottle has separate front, back and neck labels, when in fact it does not. My bottle looks just like the one pictured here on BA. Standard “Drake’s” 12oz design is differentiated only with the words “Expedition Ale” against a purple background. Described as “blends the dark roasted malts with the hops of an IPA” and listed at 6.5% Alc/Vol.

Appearance: Dark chestnut brown with a lightly hazed edge. Massive tanned head rises easily and settles to a consistent ½” thick head that remains start to finish. Average levels of carbonation but a decent look nonetheless.

Nose: Toffee coated hops with some malts. Feint currant aromas, fruity, dark and broody but it lacks any complexity, despite this it has an attractive enticing character.

Taste: Mmmm, this has a lovely hop-biting grab in the entrance. Malts soon support, toffee middle with a malt laden bitterness in the finish. Lingering tastes with some grapefruit and a hint of brown sugar to balance the sharpness. Interesting stuff I have to say.

Mouthfeel: Chewy feel, but with a well aerated body that lends a lightness to the texture. It has a bitterness that can grab and pull the body up a notch, as in fact do the brown sugars, toffee and dark malts.

Drinkability: I loved this dark malty IPA …..intriguing and very tasty, quaffable, though the strength and lingering bitterness has it dip a tad below a session brew, or at least it should if you want to get up for work the next day.

Overall: This is perhaps Drake’s most definitively unique brew, aside from some of their “specials” or one-off / annual brews. It seems to blend a malty Amber Ale with the better grapefruit dynamics of a good bitter IPA. Recommended. (1,927 characters)

Photo of Skidz
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out copper and sits crimson-brown in the glass with a large off-white head, fading to a good skim with lacings abound.

Smells rich and full of caramel tones paired with citrus and resiny hops. Grapefruit and pine stand with sugary, molten brown sugar.

Moderately bitter up front, gaining in intensity with piney sap flavors in every corner. Fairly well toasted malt flavors come through, beneath the load of citric hops. Hints of walnut buried deep beneath. Finishes with moderate-assertive hops bitterness, sticky and resiny.

Crisp and clean in the mouth with moderate carbonation and a medium body.

This is probably one of the most dynamic and interesting pairings of a Red Ale and an IPA that I've ever had. I'd proably say it shares more traits with some Double IPAs than it does with most IPAs (Think about the malt/hop profiles of Dreadnaught and then dumb it down a notch). All in all, the effort put into this makes for one delicious and hop quenching beer. (983 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This sh*^ is DARK..
Pours a really dark red amber with a single finger tan head that melts to nice heavy lacing.
Aroma is barely suseptible toasted malt.
Taste is initially sweet from the toasted malt then nice and hoppy....nice bitter rich American Red....very assertive.
Aftertaste of grapefruit citrus hops with a slight malt cloying.
Mouthfeel is thick with carbonation....sharp with hops...very satistying.
Pretty sessionable....drying which makes you want to take another drink, but still very quenching (515 characters)

Photo of stacey14
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer at The Bistro in Hayward the othe night and I was enthralled by it. It may have been the darkness of the room, or the reddish tint of the lights, but I couldn't really tell the color. The flavor was that of roasty malts and a nice hop flavor. I couldn't tell for the life of me what style it was, comparing it at best to a hoppy schwarzbier. It was interesting, to say the least, but definitely enjoyable. (421 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy, amber-tinged, tan colored head that has a bit of a creamy texture to it. The beer is quite dark, hints of ruby show through when held up to the light, but in general it is a deep concentrated amber color. The aroma of this beer is quite hoppy; it is dominated by notes of pine and herbs, perhaps a hint of citrus as well. There is quite a bit of malt in the aroma as well; sweet carmalized fruit notes are joined by a bit of toasted malt character.

The beer is lightly sweet up front, but quickly moves to a hoppy almost tart note that finishes quite dry in the end. Of course this beer is hop dominated throughout; a bit herbal, a bit raw, with definite notes of pine. While the hops dominate there is quite a bit of malt here as well; notes of raisins, caramel and toffee are evident. As the beer warms up fruity hop notes become much more evident; notes of lychee and grapefruit really help to balance the raw hop notes.

This is quite a nice beer, my biggest complaint is that this beer seems to disappear a bit faster than I would like. One last sip and its gone, quite tasty indeed. (1,114 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)

Photo of donnebaby
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown amber looks, with a thin, uneven haze film covering. Nose is weedy hops.

Fresh weedy IPA hop character but with a bit more body, making it resemble its amber looks. Light bitter burn in the mouth, with a smooth, grainy after, which fades to clean sweetness. Medium, sharp carbonation.

Great drinkability and balance, if nothing too exciting as far as taste goes. (379 characters)

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 rkhaze
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was explained on the bottle as blending deep roasted dark malts with the hops of an IPA. Well...let's see.
Pours a clear deep amber with reddish hues. Big creamy beige head that had good retention and lace. Great looking beer.
Big roasted malt aroma with plenty of caramel and fruit, backed by a clean, citrusy hop smell. Smelled like a dry hopped amber ale.
The flavor was nicely roasted malt, dark caramel sweetness and some fruit. Finished with a crisp and dry fresh hop bitterness. The hops lingered but left a biting hint of white pepper on the back of the tongue and throat.
Medium bodied with a full rich mouthfeel and good carbonation.
Great drinikability. First time I've seen this, but it won't be the last! (728 characters)

Photo of Mark
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one interesting beer. It's an amber ale with IPA overtones. It was a dark amber, head and lacing were very good. Nice malty aroma hid what was to come. taste was a full throttled hop attack that was very IPA like, yet tasted like a amber! I don't know if I'm explaining it well enough but this was a darn fine beer. I like this Brewery even though it's difficult to find their product. I will be looking for more of this. (430 characters)

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