Expedition Ale | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Expedition AleExpedition Ale
Very Good
90 Ratings
Expedition AleExpedition Ale

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mark on 04-19-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 90 |  Reviews: 70
Reviews by assurbanipaul:
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber with an off-white head. Aroma is a lot like an IPA, lots of hop and pine, but mixed in with some roasted malts. Taste is heavily malted to counter the hops. Nice toffee and caramel finish. Really big taste considering this is just an amber. Just another great Drakes beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.87/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
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

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Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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!

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Photo of augustgarage
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a fresh 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Dark chestnut body with coral highlights and a massive upthrust of tea rose colored merengue. Heavy sticky lacing, superior retention.

Floral and sweet (malty/fruity) aroma with citrus-laden hops and estery alcohol.

Caramel, cola, sassafras, oats, and deep toast on the palate. An almost-savory tartness comes and goes with hints of rye. Finishes rather dry and moderately bitter with a hefty dose of earthy/herbal C-hops.

Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel - soft and pillowy with good carbonation.

Diverges from style guidelines a tad, but not for the worse. Reminds me of a NW style Double-IPA in many ways and while good alone, it would be even better paired with broiled salmon.

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Photo of Troyone
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, a finger and 1/2 of head poured into my Ommegang wine glass. Nose of tea, hops, and a heavy beef bouillion scent. Lingering mild bitter finish, gamey. Medium Dry, medium/heavy body. A bit of soy sauce on the palate. Not disappointing at all. This is actually my first Drake's brew, and it's time I extended them a welcome hand.

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Photo of Rzzzzz
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a deep garnet red amber. Fine off-white to light tan head with nice lacing. Looks good. Full aroma of herbal hops and toasty malt. Flavor follows with a somewhat complex hop flavor balanced with toasty and a touch of caramel malt. Finishes semi-dry with a strong grapefruit and slight pine hop bitterness. Very tasty, just what I like to see in a hoppy red ale. Very nicely made.

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Turbid brownish-amber (I accidentally poured the sediment in, not realizing it was bottle conditioned). A one-finger off-white head forms from a gentle pour, but doesn't retain very well.

Smell: Aggressive piney hops with an undertone of toffee and toast.

Taste & mouthfeel: Chocolate, toast and toffee flavors to begin with, followed by a blast of resiny hop bitterness and a hint of coffee. Very dry and bitter in the finish. Calling this an amber isn't quite accurate, it's more like a dark IPA. Notes of chocolate and roasted malt set it apart, but the dryness and hop smack are signature West Coast IPA.

Notes: An interesting brew that doesn't quite fit into any particular style. I'll definitely revisit this next year.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark red with a hint of brown-and is unfiltered with a off white head. Pine resin hop aroma is significant. Taste is malty sweet with a slight burnt malt character. Mouthfeel is smooth and drinkability is high-this beer is one that I think is one of Drakes best beers-fantastic.

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Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
3.86/5  rDev -2%
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

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Photo of Zorro
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear brown colored beer with a small tan colored head. This is only red colored when held up to a bright light.

Smell is sweet and malty with a strong brown sugar aroma. Lots of toasted bread aroma and a hint of spice. Little bit of tea, wood, and caramel candy scent.

Taste starts out sweet and malty with a bitter aftertaste. Fairly sweet and malty and woody this is a lot like a mild Barley Wine. Not a lot of extra layers here just a strong beer. Taste wise this is close to a brown ale.

Mouthfeel is Good.

Drinkability is OK. Quite strongly flavored, don't think I would like more than 3 of them.

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Photo of colforbin73
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured out of a 22oz into a stemmed goblet. 7% ABV on the label.

IT'S BACK! in way better packaging, like all their brews... someone update that pic!

pours a dark ruby red -- you can't see though it -- foams up nicely and leaves a decent sticky lace on the glass.

smell is malty and sweet - not very much hops, but good and deep, resinous aroma. the taste is excellent and rich -- raisins and bitter dried fruit give way to a slick roasty sweet malt base -- the hops provide solid bitterness.... but they are the accent to the malty profile -- not the show.

the mouthfeel is absolutely delicious -- very silky smooth and fresh.

i'll be buying this again.... a very worthy brew!

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Photo of DijonKetchup
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12 oz pilsner glass. Had this bottle in my fridge for about 2 months because I found the first bottle I had to be a bit green. On to the beer...

Fantastic color, nice head build and retention, very sticky. Smells a tad sweet, nice general hop profile, perfect caramel notes. Taste is really nice, a bit slick (if you like that, which I do) combined with the caramel malt and back of the throat hop, a super-solid brew. This has aged perfectly in the last few months, a really great, reounded out beer.

If you are looking for a nice, higher ABV red ale, this one comes highly recommended.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
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.

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Photo of rbrefbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of DaveHS
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

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Expedition Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 90 ratings