RATINGS: 163   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.43/5   IBU: 55   EST. CALORIES: 285   ABV: 9.5%
An American-Style Strong Brown Ale developed by eight Redhook brewers working in four teams of two to create one beer. The ale reflects a compilation of each team’s individual receipes that were then carefully blended into one distinct beer. 8-4-1 Expedition Ale offers complexy flavor notes, delivering malty sweetness, medium bitterness with hints of smoked flavors and oak chips balanced by the addition of honey, brown sugar and candi sugar.

Style: American - Style Imperial Brown Ale
ABV: 9.5%
Malts: Pale, Wheat, Munich, Caramel, Chocolate, and Smoked Malt
Hops: Alchemy, Cascade, Willamette, Crystal, and Sterling
Bitterness Units: 55 IBU
Original Gravity: 20
Brewed Since: October 2009
Shelf Life: 365 days

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philbertk (1873) - Seattle, Washington, USA - APR 16, 2010
UPDATED: JUL 31, 2010 3 oz. Taste @ Portland, Oregon Spring Beer & Wine Fest April 3rd, 2010. 9.5% ABV. 55 IBU’s. Clear bright rich amber color. Mild hop Belgian hint malt ester front. Sweet smooth rich cherry caramel body. Cloying sweet fruit malt mil hop spice rich smooth end. (4.25 ? 5.0) Red Hook Ale Brewery--8-4-1 Expedition--Oak Ale Brewed With Honey--Limited Release Spring--Brewmaster Greg Deah Signature--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 9.50% ABV. 55 IBU’s. (4.0 / 5.0) Brown Ale--Imperial. Tan dense lacy head that lasts. Clear bright dark ruby brown color. No sediment. Oak hint light cocoa floral hop front. Mild sweet dry brown sugar honey toasted smoke oak hint crisp light textured fruit cocoa hint body. Dry bitter hint hidden hop EtOH end. Sampled 7/31/2010. 2 @ $7.99 Each.

Juelze (1146) - Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA - APR 26, 2010
Pours a hazy rich rusty brown color with large, bubbly, off-white head. Aroma is of bright hops, caramel malt, light oak, vanilla and light smoke. Taste is light hops upfront, caramel, oak, light vanilla and light fruit and smoke. Bold and enjoyable this is definitely a welcomed treat from Redhook.

Butters (4059) - Richmond, Virginia, USA - MAY 28, 2010
On draft upstairs at the Thirsty Monk. One of the last ratings of the night. All I can make out from the notes is: awesome sweet malty profile, big, viscous, thick yum. Yep. That about sums it up!

poisoneddwarf (2599) - Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, USA - JUN 8, 2010
Bomber poured into Trappist glass. Aroma is brown sugar and cinnamon, but a little too faint. Pours a hazy reddish brown hue with a quick dissipating head and mediocre lace. Taste is malty sweet, but not overbearingly so, with just a touch of bitterness. Clove honey is apparent in the flavor. Alcoholic. Full-bodied, medium carbonation, oily. Interesting. Probably the best Redhook beer I’ve ever had.

GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - AUG 11, 2010
22oz bottle -

Aroma - this one has it all. Breakfast cereal, smoke, honey, brown sugar, butty and milk chocolatey. Crazy good aroma.

Appearance - clear dark amber body, 3" beige head, creamy with really beautiful lacing

Taste - raisins, toffee, kinda woody, caramel, a nice showing of chocolate with the alcohol burn kept well in check.

Palate - creamy smooth, supple with a slightly sticky mouthfeel

Overall - a very nice suprise from Redhook and a success with their Limited Release series. A nice beer to finish the evening off.

ChadPolenz (1844) - Lakeland, Florida, USA - AUG 11, 2010
I’ve been taking an expedition through the world of craft beer over the last two years and I’ve encountered many things, both good and bad. What I always enjoy is encountering a beer that radically departs from its style guidelines or a beer that proves an otherwise ho-hum style can surprise you. Redhook’s 8-4-1 Expedition Ale is a perfect example of this as it takes the otherwise pedestrian brown ale style and makes it incredibly robust and complex.


I split a 22oz bomber with a friend and poured my half into an English pint glass (nonic). This beer pours to a lovely color of pure mahogany, which is mostly hazy but free of sediment. It forms a thick, eggshell-colored head which leaves plenty of lacing on the glass and never fully dissipates.

The aroma is fairly mild. There’s a noticeable honey and malt scent with some dark fruit notes and just a touch of alcohol.


If you know me you know I’m a fan of brown ales. They tend to be sweet and mild which makes them easy to drink and very satisfying. I couldn’t help but wonder if an imperial brown ale would be a contradiction in terms. Thankfully, 8-4-1 Expedition Ale was anything but.

There’s so much going on with this beer it’s difficult to find a starting point to describe it. Much like the aroma, the palate is rife with dark fruit and a rich sweetness. While not quite as fruity as a barleywine, 8-4-1 does have some notes of cherry and plum up front, but they are quickly overshadowed by a rich sweetness on the back end. Caramel and honey combine to form an almost syrup-like texture, and the beer leaves a pleasant aftertaste of dark chocolate.

The bottle’s description claims the beer is brewed with cherry-wood smoked malts and brown sugar. While I wouldn’t say there’s an overtly smoky taste here, there is definitely a rich brown sugar flavor and perhaps a hint of smoke to the palette. As the beer warms, the sweet flavors become more prominent and surprisingly soft around the edges to make for a delectable palate found in traditional dessert beers.


As tasty as the palate is, it’s really no surprise 8-4-1 Expedition Ale is a sipping beer. The palette is strong and slightly peppery at first, especially when consumed cold. As it warms it seems to round out the edges - creating for a thick, soft, and sticky mouthfeel.

The brew weighs in at 9.5% ABV which probably has a lot to do with the intensity of the palate and the noticeable warmth on the throat during the swallow. As tasty as this beer is, it can really only be enjoyed by the sip, as bigger gulps only magnify the potency. I recommend splitting a bomber with a friend or a special companion as an alternative to dessert.


Redhook is a brewery that had never really impressed me until now. With 8-4-1 Expedition Ale, they’ve shown they can make big, complex beers that can compete with the bigwigs of the craft beer community (since Redhook is partially owned by Anheuser-Busch, they’re often scoffed at by beer geeks). However, this is a limited seasonal so it’s a bit pricier than the average Redhook beer, but the quality is worth it if you like beers of this type. I know I did.

NOTE: Watch the video version of this review at:

Reid (2587) - Salem, Oregon, USA - JAN 26, 2011
650ml bottle from a local Family convienience store just south of my apartment ,Liberty Rd, Salem. $7.49 I see that this bottle is at least a year old..seeing as the ’blurb" says the shelf life is 365 days i am not hopeful! here goes anway Colour? Slightly ruby red accented brown small tan head. Fine aroma here. caramel, toffee, light hint of chocolate( dark),hazelnuts and a touch of floral hop. very complex. Tste is like the above but having some really nice smooth dark heather honey tones, a slight woddsy smoke and the hops turn up at the end and curiously blend well with the honey. I like. Very good palate to the beer. Very surprised..this has held up well under the harsh lighting. A nice beer.

Panzuriel (2324) - Westerville, Ohio, USA - NOV 5, 2010
Beer pours a rich red brown with a thick head of tan fine bubbles. Nose is mild floral hops and maybe some caramel malt. A hint of alcohol sweetness is also evident. First sip is creamy and only slightly sweet malt. Dryer than anticipated. creamy body. Faint bitters on finish. nice warming kick from the alcohol.

dchmela (3078) - Orlando, Florida, USA - NOV 7, 2010
Dark brown brown pour with a thick off white head. Malty, toffee aroma with great earthy hops. Smooth malt, caramel, dusty earthy hops in the taste. Very clean finish with caramel hints.

Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - NOV 21, 2010
THOUGHTS: The beer had a lot of great components, I’m just not sure how well they all worked together. Hid the alcohol until the finish. It became less appealing as time went by. I would love to try the individual beers that mad up this beer, because there were hints at greatness, but they only poked through the muck. It was ever changing. It wound up being almost a Black IPA. TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a clear, dark red that looked orangey in the light and brown in the glass with beautiful carbonation and a large, foamy head that mostly diminished and left fair lacing. The aroma had light caramel; lighter roasted malt; heavy pine, citrus and orange hops; and brown sugar. The initial flavor was sweet, slightly acidic and slightly bitter; while the finish was heavily sweet and heavily bitter with a long duration. There was milk chocolate, pine hops, dark chocolate, spruce hops, roasted malt, orange, yeasty, caramel, dried apricot, citrus hops and resinous hops. Very nice balance. The medium to full body was a bit syrupy, but actually rather creamy with lightly fizzy and tingly carbonation and a metallic and moderately alcoholic finish.

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