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Expedition Ale - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Expedition AleExpedition Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

87 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 87
Reviews: 69
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 16
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mark on 04-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 87 | Reviews: 69 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of assurbanipaul


4.33/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

12-20-2006 21:48:00 | More by assurbanipaul
Photo of merlin48


4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

11-18-2006 01:21:54 | More by merlin48
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4/5  rDev +1%

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.

09-27-2006 06:48:24 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Skidz


4.4/5  rDev +11.1%

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.

07-11-2006 01:56:15 | More by Skidz
Photo of IntriqKen


4.38/5  rDev +10.6%

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

04-22-2006 22:08:09 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of stacey14


4/5  rDev +1%

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.

04-11-2006 00:00:28 | More by stacey14
Photo of Gueuzedude


4/5  rDev +1%

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.

02-26-2006 03:18:41 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of Troyone


3.85/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

09-26-2005 01:44:57 | More by Troyone
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

04-26-2005 22:03:27 | More by donnebaby
Photo of Furball


2.28/5  rDev -42.4%

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.

11-18-2004 01:44:57 | More by Furball
Photo of rkhaze


4.22/5  rDev +6.6%

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!

06-13-2004 00:20:57 | More by rkhaze
Photo of Mark


4.33/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

04-19-2003 22:08:16 | More by Mark
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Expedition Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.