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Drake Tail India Pale Ale - AleWerks Brewing Company

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

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100 Reviews
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Reviews: 100
Hads: 239
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 17.76%
Wants: 3
Gots: 36 | 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: 239
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)

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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.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone pint glass.

A Virginia brew in a Virgina glass drunk by a Virginian...from Illinois. Almost. *snaps fingers in mock frustration* So, yeah... An IPA that's viewed as a mostly clear amber color? You betcha. A nice bit o' white foamy head, plenty o' lacing? Double-check. Off to a good start, I'd say. (Just imagine if this thing were - I don't know - green...) A stab of hoppy citrus and light, sugar-free maple syrup plunge into the flesh and hairs of the 'strils. Locked in a Manichean struggle, the hops tend to win, though the 'rup keeps comin' back, occasionally supplanting its eternal foe. This war is fought by proxy in the tongue region, though it's much more asymmetrical there: The light citrus and biting bitterness from those lovely cones bombard the syrup-inspired wheats, though the latter remains engaged in a healthy guerilla insurgency. Still, nothing all that unexpected or exciting on this front. Just good old-fashioned IPA-ness. Sticking to tradition even further, the bubbles are plentiful but not overcrowded, and everything goes down smooth and easy, making for a refreshing guzzle. Take a hike down the Trail and ye shan't be all that disappointed (unless you expect a plethora of bears...which you shouldn't...death wish...).

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The malt base on this beer is thicker than I was anticipating it'd be. Keeps things earthy overall. Hop spiced tone is mildly there, as an accent. Overall this stays very earthy though. Feel is prett good. The malt bill is pretty high and the hops aren't as prevalent on the beer as I'd like, but it's still pretty nice. I think this would be very good on cask.

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Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours murky dirty copper brownish with a thin off-white head that lasts and leaves sticky lacing. Head retention and plenty of lacing make up for rather lackluster/dull color (to a point).

The smell is caramel with some piney resin and some citrus.

The taste is of caramel sweetness (slightly burnt as it progresses) that turns to a bitterish resiny/citric finish. Slight touch of alcohol comes through late, though well-hidden/integrated for the abv (which is not listed on bottle, and was slightly surprised to see here at 7.50).

Creamy, medium body - slightly oily.

A sweeter IPA - Hops present more in flavor than in bitterness (though there is some in the finish). Very smooth. Drinks well despite not being anything "great" or particularly unique. Usually, I don't prefer the caramel to stand out quite so much in my Am. IPA's, but this has a nice, smooth drinkability to it (despite abv). Despite just a touch of burnt caramel, it's good for a sweeter (though with some balance) IPA.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass. Beer is amber, clear, big off white head, some lacing, decent retention, some carbonation.

Aroma is piny and sweet with a maltiness to it, interesting.

Beer is pushing it on the single IPA front, dry finish, sweet malty backbone, interesting presentation but overall a weak beer, uninteresting, more sweet than hoppy. Decent I guess but not a repeat at all.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazy medium copper-ish amber in color with moderate amounts of fine visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass with some faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall creamy foamy dark beige head that very slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glas. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts with pine and citrus/orange rind hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of sweet caramel malts. That is followed by slightly stronger flavors of citrus/orange rind and pine hops which imparts a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy but slightly sticky in the finish.

O: Interesting combination of hops aromas/flavors over the top of the sweet caramel malts - though the hops win out. Good but not great. Easy enough to drink with well hidden ABV.

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Photo of Gavage
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: slightly cloudy orange in color with a two finger head. Some spotty lacing developed.

Smell: caramel, citrus, and some soft pine are easily detectable.

Taste: overall this is a mellower IPA as caramel is balanced with some softer citrus tones and mild bitterness. A bit of pine lingers in the background.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp throughout. Aftertaste is short-lived.

Drinkability: decent but the mellower IPA version grows a bit boring after a while.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Stoney's into a shaker pint.

Gives a very foamy small white tight head with very tightly packed bubbles, very creamy looking. Pale amber with a slightly cloudy body though, that gives off some decent lacing while drinking.

First smell is a strong hop and a distinct sensation of bread crust ends. It feels strangely damp a little bit, but it's also got some good malt behind it.

First taste is really bitter of a dry and spicey hop, but then there's a good mix of malt that comes out giving that nice little bread chewyness. That crust smell keeps coming back in the taste as eating very dark brown bread crust. Almost like a burnt taste. Not too carbonated feels about medium bodied nothing unpleasant or jaring.

Overall this is a very different American IPA it feels like a big hop and malt blast. Some might find it I think a bit unbalanced, or perhaps unexpected but I actually really like it for it's unique taste and profile.

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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.

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Photo of Billolick
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, no freshness info to be had.

Pours near clear, with a slight yeast haze, lighter honey amber, light tan head, minor in nature and leaving some fine spots and tongues of lacing.

Soft herbal hoppy nose.

Pretty well hopped IPA. Hop character is again on the herbal/earthy side. Malt under coating is adequate to nearly balance things out. 7.5% is well hidden and does not get in the way of the enjoyment.

Workable IPA in a just slightly better then middle of the road sort of way.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with guinnessfan.

A: The IPA is surprisingly dark, darker brown even than the amber bottle it came in. The head was ginormous as well, requiring three separate pours to fill my glass. Each time, a voluminous head erumpted and overflowed. The head quickly receded but the size left nice lacing in the glass.

S: The nose is very grainy, caramel and toffee aroma predominantly. Some spicy citrus hops come through that ESB-like body.

T: A hop presence comes out of the body that was nowhere to be found in the nose. It is a strong citrus flavor, full of pineapple and apricot along with some piney resiny thickness. The hops sit atop, and completely dominate a nut brown, toffee malt body. An interesting combination of big hops and toffee sweetness.

M: This is an amped up ESB, IMHO. The hops are quite lively, making a sip a real event.

D: The malts are a little too strong and filling to really hunker down and get into this. Despite that, one glass is a treat.

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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.

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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.


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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A different aroma than I expected: Hops, pine, some malt, but little citrus.

T: Tasted pretty much like it smelled. A good amount of hops, with a pine element, malt, and an earthy, grainy quality. Almost no trace of citrus, which is odd for the style. Still, a solid flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This beer does deviate from the typical American IPA style a bit, but it's still an easy to drink, likable beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a orangish-gold body with two finger white head on top of a citric and soft hop smell (not like a Stone or something where a floral hop smell grabs you by the balls). A medium-bodied and smooth IPA that has subtle fruit and hop flavors for a tasty beer that is balanced well and has a slightly crisp backbite. Some caramel and other sweet malts tucked in there. A decent IPA to relax with.

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Photo of Durge
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12-ounce bottle into a pint glass at room temperature this brew shows a hazy carmel color with an out of control oatmeal colored head and layers of lacing. The aroma is a really nice sweet malt and herbal hops. Very thick smell with an edible quality that also notes thick brown bread and apple. The taste is a nice medium bodied tartness with some dry hops blended with caramel malt. Pretty chewy stuff for an IPA, almost a mild DIPA with some alcohol noted. Midland drinkable, definitely worth a try but just short of spectacular.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to breweryaprntc13 for giving me a bottle of this as a gift at Sexual Chocolate '11! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a three finger off-white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and bitter hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and caramel hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good IPA. The flavor on this one was quite nice and had a decent aroma. With that said, this wasn't my favorite IPA I have ever had, but it wasn't bad either. The caramel hop was different giving kind of a sweet bitterness that I was not used to. I would suggest this to others to try.

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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.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick bubbly ring around the edge of the glass and a sheer half sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves scattered lines on the glass.

S- Very musty and earthy hops, my guess is Simcoe. The best word to use for the bouquet is "rustic."

T- The rustic nature continues in the flavor with an assertive bitterness containing more of the earth notes plus some toasty malt to complement. Drinkable without too much alcohol flavor and just a slight bit of metallic taste.

M- Pretty standard hop bite with a moderate dryness. Medium carbonation and a fullish body.

O- A nicely done IPA that's well-hopped both in flavor and aroma. And, oh wow, I didn't even suspect for a second that it was as high in alcohol as it is. Way to go Alewerks. My first by them and it certainly won't be my last.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce glass into a cervoise glass.

A: The beer pours clear and with little head until I swirl around the last third of the bottle and pour the unfiltered yeast into the glass. Two fingers of head take up residence, showing little inclination to leave. The beer transforms from a clear amber to a murky yellow-brown full of noticeable chunks of yeast. Head excepted, it's not very pretty.

S: Pine resin, presumably from NW hops.

T: I still think this beer is incredibly tasty. The hop profile is the most interesting. Some noticeable classics (e.g., Cascade) but others elude me. Primarily earthy/spicy with a hefty dose of floral bitterness and a resiny aftertaste. A sweet fruitiness enters for a little while on the maintaste, offering a balanced, pleasant IPA.

M: Substantial and exactly what I wanted in my IPA. Lightly carbonated and...thick. Yum!

O: I prefer it on tap, but the bottled version is good..more subdued, but also more complex. The hops come out a lot more. I really like most everything AleWerks has done, and the Drake Tail is no exception. Recommended. Will seek out to have again.

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Photo of Suds
3.6/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle obtained from the brewery, this beer pours a golden copper color. The head is bright-white, although a little small in size. Decent lace. The smell is remarkable...a clean, crisp, woody, piney hop aroma. It's like freshly broken pine-needles from the woods. Nice. The beer taste is mostly dry, with a touch of malt flavor in the background. It's just this side of astringency, but is still drinkable. The body seems a little thin, considering the aroma and the abv. This is a very clean, very agreeable beer. It's best characteristic is its aroma, but I did enjoy it.

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Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

apparently reformulated since our last encounter, I've been looking forward to giving this local IPA another shot

a: ale the color of prehistoric amber, a rich blend of copper and orange hues, topped with a light head that recedes to only a ring

s: pulpy tropical fruit hops with crisp grapefruit roll over a big and grainy caramel malt body, mango, passionfruit, sweet tree fruits, a nice malt-heavy IPA with the hop aroma to back it up

m: carbonation on the low side of medium, medium-full body

t: sweet caramel grains introduce a big tropical fruit hop presence that gradually turns towards the pine side as a formidable bitterness steps in to balance the full malts, lingering long into the finish

d: no problem, a very nice IPA

single from the brewery

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