Drake Tail India Pale Ale - AleWerks Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drake Tail India Pale AleDrake Tail India Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
83
good

100 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 100
Hads: 235
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 4
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Westsidethreat on 11-08-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 100 | Hads: 235
Photo of jtierney89
1.5/5  rDev -59%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Hazy orange glow with about a half finger of head that recedes quickly. Very oily hop nose, lots of floral and earthy notes, pungent and stings the nostrils.

A little too slick, a little too acidic with too much grapefruit and citrus, and a bit too floral. Malt is there enough to create body but not able to create any harmony with the hops. Reminds me of Weyerbachers Hops Infusion but without the in your face dryness of Hops infusion. Tries to be balanced and drinkable and a hop bomb at the same time but ends up confused on the tongue with an overly slick feeling in the mouth and a touch of alcohol heat. (612 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.01/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep copper color with a nice tan head. Aromas of fruitiness, and a very light bitter. As in the taste, it has the bitter, but a sweet fruitiness. A big body mouthfeel, and a bitter dry aftertaste. Not that great for an IPA, it is bitter, but the fruitiness throws me off. More of a sweet fruity ale, with a nice bitter taste, but the fruit covers the bitter taste as it warmed up. (389 characters)

Photo of PDXHops
2.02/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. There's a batch code box on the label that would seem to have something to do with freshness; nothing's actually in the box, though. Slightly hazy orange with an even coating of creamy lacing up top, scattered patches down below.

Smells plenty bready with a fairly mild citrus/pine/soapy hop combo mixed in. At times it tastes a bit like an ESB (nutty and leafy); at others, it tastes like a mess (astringent, lingering medicinal taste, boozy). Mainly the latter. Since this brewery only recently hit the local market, I have to assume this bottle was at least fairly fresh. Not a beer I'd recommend or revisit. (655 characters)

Photo of brentk56
2.45/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly cloudy amber color with a robust head (regretably, the best thing about the beer) that drops some nice lace around the pint

Smell: Liquid caramel with some piney bitter tones

Taste: Loads of caramel on the opening, almost wort-like as the piney bitter elements have a hard time peeking through; after the swallow, there is a touch more bitterness and it is obvious that the beer has been well hopped, but the underattenuation is a big problem

Mouthfeel: Thick like apricot nectar with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Wow, either this is a bad batch or there are some real problems with the brewing techniques (batch 084011, if anybody cares) (681 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Daps and handshakes to atsprings on the freebie.

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass produces a copper/amber body that's a little too dark per the style. The thin cap of creamy, custard foam is attractive, and a fervent carbonation level does its best to keep the retention going. I will commend Drake Tail for leaving behind some of the thickest, most impenetrable lacing I've seen in a while. The aroma is an interesting blend of resinous, tangerine hops with a touch of pine, balanced by sweet caramel malt and a hint of woodiness.

At this point, the beer went downhill for me. The flavor profile starts out with a little malty sweetness and mineral undertone, but one the whole it seems a bit empty and flat. Suddenly, a stampede of bitter, medicinal hops washes across the sides and back of the palate, effectively ruining any chance of this IPA achieving a decent balance. The lingering hoppiness is overtly bitter and fairly unpleasant. Usually, my tastebuds love a good, hoppy thrashing, but the hops have to be done right. In this case, they weren't. This wasn't an un-drinkable beer, as it certainly had a few merits, but I won't be looking to try it again any time soon. (1,179 characters)

Photo of Risser09
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a copper orange and yellow color with a slight haze. Bubbles slowly move to the surface of the beer. A 1" light yellow head builds and shows decent retention. A coat of lace sticks around.

Smell: Heavy caramel malt and some pellet hop aroma. Very sweet sugar is toffee-like and heavy.

Taste: An immediate combination of hops and caramel malts mixes on the tongue. Sweet toffee and nougat overlap a somewhat stale citrus hop flavor. A lingering bitterness of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, almost cloying, but offset by the hop bitterness. Pretty heavily bodied for an IPA. With a package of carbonation and some alcohol.

Drinkability: A decent brew that needs works. The hops don't taste fresh, and the beer needs to attenuate a little more to loosen the grip that sweetness has on it. Decent. (862 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with an almost four-finger thick, amber-hued, tan colored head that sits atop a brilliantly clear, reddish tinged, amber-copper colored beer. The aroma has a pronounced caramel character that is redolent of crystal malt; caramel, toasted bread, biscuit notes and a crusty bread character are all quite noticeable. There is some hop aromatics here as well, but not nearly as much as I would expect from a beer labeled IPA; herbal hop notes are noticeable with a touch of sweet citrus and perhaps a hint of pine.

Quite bitter tasting with a lasting, lingering bitterness. This bitterness helps to offset a thickish, chewy, caramel malt character & body that would otherwise dominate the beer. Instead the aggressive hop bitterness is the dominant note; it becomes astringent at times, especially in the finish. The bitterness is a bit too harsh for the rest of the beer, which is saying quite a bit considering that this has a cloying amount of crystal malt character too. As my palate gets used to the bitterness and crystal malt flavors I can taste a bit of hop fruit flavors that lean towards sweet citrus notes. This is not a bad tasting beer, it is just way out of balance. (1,185 characters)

Photo of timtim
3.06/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

the looks of this beer are definitely the high point. clear reddish amber with a huge, rocky, tan head that holds very well and leaves okay lace. it just goes downhill from here. caramel in the nose. very sweet smelling for the style actually. citrus and pine in the background. smells a bit like homebrew and plastic buckets. i hate to say it, and i thought it was just suggestive perception from another ba, but it's there for sure. very bitter taste with medicine and metal in the finish as well. not terrible, but not what i believe should be included in my fridge, and certainly not what i would use to convince anyone that craft beer is worthwhile. kind of sticky mouthfeel. left me feeling more thirsty. sorry guys... maybe you can revamp. (746 characters)

Photo of AlexFields
3.09/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Smells like oranges, pear, spice, nice citrusy IPA.

Taste is really disappointing, somewhat stale bready malt, faded hop bitterness, only hints of citrus...not very good.

Pretty good mouthfeel but it doesn't make up for the taste.

Disappointing, pretty mediocre IPA.

5.7/10 (277 characters)

Photo of rdub
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my new Williamsburg AleWerks pint. I tried most of their offerings during a recent visit and found a common thread with all of them. Could it be the water?

Medium ruddy brown color yielded a white one finger head and a bit of lacing down the glass. Fresh pine aroma with a bit of citrus and quite a malt backbone. I felt this was quite balanced. I tended to like this a little better cold than warm-ish. Perhaps with some tweaking this could go a bit higher. Good attempt from a newer brewery. (522 characters)

Photo of argock
3.1/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at 12th Street Taphouse in a 20oz clear pint glass.

A: Clear amber-red with thin cap of off-white head. Some lace streaks the glass.

S: Aroma is a bit slow to come, but it opens up some as it warms. Thick toffee and caramel are met with floral and pine hops.

T: Flavor is good, but overly sweet. If a beer can be overmalted, this is it, but maybe underhopped is a better call. The sweetness of the caramel and pale malts is not matched adequately by the hops flavors of light orange, floral, and pine character. In the end, it comes off as cloying and very bitter.

M: The mouthfeel is very viscous and nectarlike which only plays more into the cloying nature of this IPA. THe alcohol is also evident. Carbonation is not active enough -- almost none.

D: AleWerks could tweak this recipe with more hops, slightly more carbonation, and a little less body and a have a very nice DIPA (or barleywine for that matter). At this point though, this beer is tough to choke down because of its extreme sweetness, thick body, and harsh bitterness. (1,055 characters)

Photo of beer2day
3.11/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours much darker than expected with a thick head. Way more malt in the nose and in the mouthfeel than expected as well - almost smoky in both smell and taste. All of the beers I've had from the Aleworks appear to be beyond their prime. Don't know if that's bad luck on my part or theirs.

The hops here are good, but totally tempered by the excessive maltiness of this beer. (376 characters)

Photo of WoodBrew
3.15/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Drake Tail IPA from AleWerks was purchased from Vulcan Beverages in Birmingham. This beer was medium copper color with thin white head that appears to be lacing. The smell is subtle...not much going on...slight hints of malt and citrus. The taste is heavy with malt counterbalanced with hops...both in an attempt to mask the high ABV. The mouthfeel is downgraded due to the higher ABV....one would be plenty for me. (419 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
3.25/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep copper color with way too large a head that escaped the glass several times. Tan chunky head present.
Smell is lighty caramel with distinct hop notes also present.
Taste has the hops in the front, presenting with a strong citrusy bitterness that completely overwhelms and malt character.
Finishes with more dryness.
Not very balanced. Alcohol is well hidden. (372 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 1-26-10

A - Pours a hazy amber color with almost no foam whatsoever

S - sweet citrus and some caramel malt dominate the aroma

T - caramel malts up front with citrusy hops following through the rest of the taste. The hops have a stale taste to them, although not too bad

M - good carbonation, medium bodied, crisp feeling

D - not bad, could use some more work, the hops just have a pellet feel to them (436 characters)

Photo of CliffBrake
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Hazy orange with a small head that dissipates almost immediately.

A bit of orange rind on the nose - a little faint. Orange marmalade and sweet biscuit lead to herbal hops, finishing with an astringent, peppery bitterness.

Medium body. Mouthfeel is dominated by puckering bitterness. (286 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch Code: 10 23 10. I'll assume that's a date. There's a slightly soapy, possibly oxidized, grapefruit aroma. The flavor does much better, with biting grapefruit and a peppery rind finish. As it warms, I think I detect diacetyl, maybe that's what I was smelling. This beer actually got worse as it warmed - not a good sign. Still, I like the hop profile and IBU level they've got going here. (393 characters)

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz draft at Whole Foods.

Nice amber color, minimal head that clings to glass.

Not an over powering aroma, mix of sweet malt and hops.

Well balanced taste. Starts a little sweet, followed by medium hop flavor. 7.5% abv well hidden.

Light to medium body. Well carbonated

Overall a nice IPA. (296 characters)

Photo of tvv375ia
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-color is a burnt orange with about a 1 finger head that dissapated to a soap bubble like cap

S-first a burst of orange citrus followed by some pine and finally a little malt at the end

T-pine more in the taste than the smell and then some light malt

M-good carbonation a little bit on the thin watery side but not bad

O-not a terrible IPA but not really the best, but I wouldn't turn one down if offered (450 characters)

Photo of engagechad
3.39/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased as a single from Tom Leonards in Richmond, VA - DFH snifer.

Pours a nice amber honey color with good head and decent lacing.

Smells grassy and dirty, not in a great way.

Tastes bitter and funky. Hops are there for sure, not much on citrus or pine, just earth funk and some acid bitterness.

Feels nice and bitter on the back

Overall this is unfortunately the first beer from Williamsburg that i am not a fan of. (425 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a clearish amber body with a small, frothy, ivory-colored head.

Smell: Candyish caramel aroma with notes of citrusy orange peels, pine, and three cardboard boxes.

Taste: Sweetish caramel malts transitions into a sharp, fruity citrus hop juice taste that provides a medium bitterness and is, I dare say, a lil' citric. Hint of Moving Day. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: An A-OK IPA. (447 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.41/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from mdaschaf, thanks for the opportunity!
Pours a slightly hazy deep golden/copper color with a smallish off white head that quickly dissipates to spotty lace. Smells of caramel and toffee with a hint of sherry countered with earthy, herbal, and a hint of citrus hops. I get aged barleywine aromas from this one a bit. Taste is sweet and malty with enough earth and grapefruit to call this an IPA. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation and a sweet almost sticky mouthfeel. Seven and a half percent alcohol is well hidden. This is a nice flavorful beer. Its a bit sweet compared to most ipa's and a few more ounces of hops especially late in the boil would have been nice, but I could drink some of these. (743 characters)

Photo of regspeir
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a standard pint glass. Dark amber to bronze pour, smallish off-white head that moves to a coating. Lacing is present but spotty. There is citrus, caramel, pine, and malt in the nose Taste is citrus, floral, caramel, pine but a lot of caramel. This is mildly bitter in the finish. Medium to heavier body with decent carbonation. Decent IPA but heavy on the sweeter side (not a plus for me) and not much taste remains until the next sip. I would try this again but it is not on the top of my list. (507 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured dark golden to amber. Smell sweet malt and floral hops. Taste is more sweet malt and decent hop presence if the malt wasn't so sweet. Poorly attenuated for the style - could use either more hops or a more thorough fermentation. It was good though it became cloying towards the end with all the sweet malt going on. I don't think I could have more than one. (363 characters)

Photo of flyingpig
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml Bottle as a gift from Virginia:
Medium amber with a thin, half centimetre head that is frothy looking and holds well.

Sweet with some tropical fruit notes and caramel to begin with followed by some malts and a faint bitterness. There is some pine coming through as well as some light floral notes but the aroma is not the strongest.

Sweet malts and caramel as well as a lot of bitterness. There an almost perfume like taste that has some pine and tropical fruits in there too. A little bit of citrus gets through as well and yet more bitterness to round things off with.

Light-medium body with light-medium carbonation as well, a very bitter kick from the hops and some sweetness too.

Definitely a drinkable beer but if I'm honest it's not a classic IPA nor one I'd be likely to try again although I did enjoy it, I just felt that the bitterness was a little to much when coupled with sweet caramel. (909 characters)

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Drake Tail India Pale Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.