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Drake's IPA - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's IPADrake's IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

209 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 209
Hads: 489
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 22
Gots: 50 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drewbage on 06-09-2003

"Drake's flagship beer! A "West Coast" interpretation of an India Pale Ale. Copper-colored from additions of light Crystal malt, and body-building Caramalt, carry the malt weight of this hop bomb. The hoppy aromas of pine and grapefruit are delivered from the abundant Columbus and Cascade hops."
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 209 | Hads: 489
Photo of Screentalker
5/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm too jaded to offer an objective review of any one of Drake's beers. Growing up in San Leandro, Drake's was one of my first true loves. But their IPA has a fantastic bite, full flavor and non filling feel. Gimme more, any day of the week. (241 characters)

Photo of xmorgan
4.9/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Copper, Bitter, dry finish I love the grapefruit resin it leaves on may palate, making me aware of the top of my mouth.

This is a very decent smooth IPA, a little on the aggressive side, but still on this side of the fence in comparison to Stone IPA.

A. Coppy, nice lacing,

S: citrusy, but a get lactose as well, I tested severed times and got lactose as well. (I had no dairy today)

T: Smoth, citrusy bittners, finish is dry and leave ones upper jowls to dry in residual hemp oils.

M: Meadium to full body, Like a full body beer on a diet that is barely working, It could be larger here. (594 characters)

Photo of TheLiterati
4.62/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tried a six-pack of this on the recommendation of the “beer guy” at my local Whole Foods Market.

First time I think ever had a beer in a shrink-wrapped bottle, but I guess it’s a novel way to show off this IPA’s award winning status as the 2002 GABF Gold Medal Winner.

The aroma immediately assaulted my olfactory (in a good way) as I poured the ale into my glass. My senses went into overdrive as the big hoppy aroma escaped from the bottle, filling my trusty tulip with a rich copper liquid. This one has a bouquet big enough to make wine tasters jealous.

Nice, smooth mouthfeel accented by layers of earthy flavors. Closes with a lingering but clean finish that makes you want more. I concur that this is a unexpectedly pleasant mingling of English and West Coast styles, that’s good to the last hoppy drop. (825 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.56/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a local coffee house. It’s always nice to have options!

Pours an amber tan in color with tight foam. Citrus aroma, dominated by grapefruit with some floral notes and a bit of grapefruit zest. The flavor has a pleasing bitterness, warming almost, full of grapefruit notes, freshly squeezed grapefruit, and just a touch of piney dryness. Nice finish. Really terrific IPA in a sea of tasty IPAs. (407 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a clear but effervescent brownish-orange in color with a magnificent head. The foam was pitted with large air bubbles then finally settled into little pits on top of the liquid. The head is just gorgeous.

Smell - The sharp, resiny hops and stiff orange rind almost mask the soft ripe yeast but not quite. It is definitely a hop-forward nose though and you have to use quite a bit of imagination to think of this as an English IPA.

Taste - Amazingly the hops from the nose are just about as strong and powerful at the taste. The mixture of pine and grapefruit will overpower the novice drinker. The light yeasty malt base is actually quite sophisticated but is just barely hanging on here.

Mouthfeel - This medium-bodied EIPA has some bone-crushing bitterness and a nice, sprightly carbonation.

Drinkability - This is a powerhouse of a beer. It goes down especially well and qualifies as a hophead session ale. Just a tad more malt and a little bit more alcohol and this would be a classic DIPA. (1,019 characters)

Photo of Troyone
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have seen Drakes beers as guest beers at brewpubs around the Bay Area. Never tried it at a brewpub, why drink a guest beer when you can drink a house beer? Since the brewery now bottles their beer and sell it at B & M I had to buy a six pack and try it.
Pours an amber copper root beer color with an eighth inch head and lots of carbonation.
The smell is hoppy with an evidence pine and grapefruit aroma.
The malt taste has some sweetness of toasted caramel with a great slightly nutty licorice after taste that fades away to the pine, grapefruit, and lime hoppiness flavor.
The mouthfeel has a slightly syrupy feel with medium carbonation throughout.
The drinkability is great maybe I should drink the guest beers at brewpubs once in a while. (750 characters)

Photo of Schoonerorlater
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a- beautiful cooper red. BIG white foamy head. Plenty of lacing. You can spot that it's a classic interpretation of a West Coast IPA just from the way it looks alone.

s-piney and citrusy through and through, again the things we've come to expect from a WC IPA.

t-powerful yet balanced hop bomb! There's grapefruit, lemon, and pine in the front with a malt backbone on the back end. sensational.

m- fairly heavy and enjoyable. i wanted those flavors to stay on my palate for good!

o- a well crafted WC IPA. familiar yet not old hat. I mean this in the best possible way: when I tasted it, it felt like I've had it before. (Full disclosure- I am a huge wc hop head.) I look forward to my next Drake's! (706 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12/09/04- Purchased at Jackson's Wine and Spirits in Lafayette, CA

Presentation- 12 oz bottle poured into my Moylan's pint glass.
No freshness date to be found. Nice celophane time label on the bottle.

Appearance- Very nice golden pour with a inch plus head, and very nice lacing.

Smell- Lots of hops going on here. Grapefruit, pine and hops. Very nice scent.

Taste- Yummy beer in the mold of El Toro. Pretty damn hoppy with lots of citrus flavors. Pretty bitter also.

Mouthfeel- Nicely carbonated, felt a tad bit thick, alomost like a double IPA.

Drinkability- Excellent beer that I will seek out again in the future. (637 characters)

Photo of pjwilson
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance: forgot the p in ipa? folks we have ourselves an irish red here. nice head and it's got that hop haze look, always means alot hops coming. but not even light amber, it's dark red. badass lacing brings it up a notch.

smell: nice oily hops, but for me a break from the norm as well. more grapefruit than pine. despite the dark red color, no malts squek through.

taste: gold medal eh? wow, this is pretty $#@^!#% good! label recomends drinking this cold and thats what i'm doing. there is some real balance going on here. getting a huge grapefruit blast of hops up front, with an awsome irish red like malt character. the bitterness is very, very mellow, but it's not missed at all here. alcohol resonates in belly not in mouth, they made this one dangerous.

mouthfeel: just sort of made to glide down the throat, super light without being watery. god i hate when beers are cut with water, no worries here.

drinkablitly: too drinkable for 7 percent, just too damn drinkable. so easy to drink it's dumb. mabey because it's good cold?(haven't had a bottle warm yet)

this beer is like if you mixed bigfoot and an irish red. a break from the norm on ipa's and color be damned. (and yet another world class brewery from norcal to explore. sigh....) (1,257 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to fartingdog for this bottle in a trade. Plastic wrapper is a PIA. Classic West Coast hops within an English style IPA. Great hoppy nose. Amber color without a lot of head in the pour. Very bitter with a citrus flavor. I would drink this all the time if I could. (270 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Arrived with a finger's worth of thick, foamy, off-white head with excellent retention. Color was a medium amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a combination of pine and citrus, almost resinous. Mouthfeel was silky smooth with a very piney hops bite scrubbing away at my palate. Finish lingered with hops, but more citrusy than pine. This was a perfect example of why everyone should experience cask beer at least once. (422 characters)

Photo of Floydster
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle purchased as part of a six pack from Eddie's new store in El Segundo on the corner of Mariposa and Virginia for $9.69, poured into my Port Brewing pint glass

A-Amber color with an obvious orange look, small 1/2 inch soapy white head, stuck around for close to two minutes, some retention, nice lacing at first

S-Piney hoppiness, floral accents, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, bread, sweet malt, grassy accents, and herbal notes

T-My dad kept going on and on about this beer's flavor so it was time I saw it was all about for myslef, starts off with a hoppy flavor that is a nice mix between citrus notes and pines, sweet bready malt in the middle that was pretty chewy for an IPA, finish was dry with more hops, only change over time was the citrus coming out more and the brew becoming slightly sweeter, lots of grapefruit and lemon, kept a nice crisp taste even when it warmed, although it does taste better cold, great balance and very enjoyable

M-Dry, chewy, and crisp mouthfeel, medium body, lots of carbonation, taste lingered for a few minutes after each sip, a little citrusy towards the end as it got sweeter too

D-Could drink three or four of these no problem, probably even a six pack, would make a nice session beer even though it is seven percent, alcohol is hidden, nice smoothness, light on the stomach

This one definitely deserved its gold medal and I usually do not agree with many of these awards, probably the best IPA I have tasted from NorCal with the exception of the Pliny twins, this gave some India pale ales from my neck of the woods a good run for their money, will probably be drinking a fair amount of this in the summer, not to mention it is available a whole half block from my parent's house, recommended (1,756 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bomber,

A: Pours amber with a medium white head, good head retention and lace.

S: Grapefruit, cantaloupe melon, assorted citrus, good nose.

T: Some straight malt flavour, but gets hoppy fast. Grapefruit, lemons, pine, easy going hop flavour, but it can beat you up if you're not careful. The hop character is robust and powerful but super easy drinking, the best of both worlds.

M: Medium-bodied, crisp and refreshing with a long hoppy aftertaste which is always nice.

O: An easily available IPA which happens to be really good and doesn't get enough respect. I don't know why it's been such a long time since I've had this. One of the steals in CA IPA price-wise. (676 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my good friends that works at the local BevMo recommended me this beer and I was not dissapointed. The beer poured a dark copper color and had one of the most stickey heads I've ever seen. The smell was quite hoppy with a hint of oak in there as well. The taste was unexpected but good. The beer had a big dose of hops for sure, but not of the typical West Coast variety. This one leaned more towards a slightly hopped up version of a English IPA. The hops mixed in very nicely and smelt very ripe, but the beer was not overy dry like many West Coast IPA's. This one is a welcome change for IPA fans. (607 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour gives a nice, somewhat fluffy khaki-colored head with good retention. The beer is a lighter brown with some golden hues.

smell: Very nice. Fresh, leafy green hops bring a great spicy balance to the otherwise earthy, malty aroma. Caramel and toasted malts give a moderate sweetness. Intriguing notes of candied fruits and dark sugars are found. Is that boozy wood in the background? Probably not, but the nose it pretty complex for the style.

mouthfeel: The carbonation and body are both around medium.

taste: Nice malt flavors, varied from caramel to lightly toasted with earthy and sweet fruit tones. Well hopped for an English IPA, too...plenty of leafy English-type hop flavors with a big level of drying bitterness in the finish.

drinkability: I could see a few of these going down quite well.

Received a single 12 oz. via trade with TheKegergator. Had a close call with this one, as it had leaked a bit during transit...probably routed through the Arctic Midwest. I cracked it open immediately, and thankfully, it was just fine. (1,069 characters)

Photo of MonkeymooTJ
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:

Penny copper all the way through. Thick, three finger head with great retention. Ample bubbles rise from the bottom

Smell:

Citrusy grapefruit hops tingle the nostrils as do a slight caramel malt scent, but to a much lesser extent

Taste:

A plentiful dose of grapefruit bitterness is noticed immediately defining the dominating character of this brew. Almost no sweetness is noticeable.

Mouthfeel:

Gives a light and crisp (almost dry) feeling to the palate. A lower than moderate carbonation level. Pleasant grapefruit aftertaste lingers

Overall:

Very enjoyable. Drakes is definitely a hop-centric IPA which fits my tastes incredibly well. Lack of carbonation does slightly detract from the experience but overall its a very well built IPA (758 characters)

Photo of stephendr
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle- color of dark amber , with a decent off white head - nose of piney , citrus hopps , resin , tar , coco , and dirty – taste of roasted malts , hopps , resin , vanilla , and pine– body is creamy , and smooth – aftertaste of chewy bitter , grapefruit , malts , and mint (284 characters)

Photo of stodbrew
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep copper/orange color. Nice fluffy head that stayed through most of the glass. Very appealing visually.

Huge hop aroma. Very piny, citrusy, and a hint of juniper in the nose.

Flavor is hoppy with american hops, cascade and centennial, maybe? Nicely balanced with a good malt backbone. Very pleasant lingering bitterness on the finish. (352 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's a 4.25 on appearance and smell. Pours a 1 3/4 finger head with a nice cloudy orange color. The retention really sticks to the glass well.

Smell is of citrusy hops with floral notes. A little bit of toasted malts lie below and a slight perfumy aroma tantalizes the nostrils.

Incredibly well balanced with an assertive hoppiness. Nice caramel malts with a nice undertone of toasted malts balanced with some nice cascades and centennial hops that are assertive but not overly overpowering for the style.

Moderately crisp mouthfeel that feels full on the palate.

Very nicely done ipa. I could easily have several of these and stil want more. (647 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic pint, Drake's IPA is a dull, burnt orange with an off-white head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is pretty heavy on the west coast hops, piny and floral, and some sweet and spicy hops. Pretty robust for an English IPA, but I like that about it!

Taste is also lots of spicy hop flavor with some tropical fruit notes, mostly strawberry, with a pretty firm bitterness on the finish. Nice and rich, malty backbone gives it a nice gingerbread note.

Mouthfeel is oily and a bit chewy, medium bodied.

Drinkability is high, Drake's does a great job of delivering big hop flavor while maintaining an overall smoothness. I've yet to have a Drake's ale that hasn't really impressed me. (718 characters)

Photo of beltranzandar
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - nice amber color, a little darker than most IPA's. It didn't come out particularly frothy as it said on the label. It could have used a little more carbonation. As I'm looking at it now, its looking mighty fine.
S - smells real nice, that typical western ipa smell with the pine and citrus melting together and teasing senses, telling me that the hops are coming and they're gonna be a wonderingful, miraculous, and divine treat.
T - as the beer enters my mouth there is little taste. As the taste finally engulfs my brain, the bitterness kicks in. This isn't the most bitter of beers but it sure does taste deeelish
M - nice light beer, could use some more carbonation but its fine.

overall - great little beer at 7% (728 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02/29/2012:

This beer has changed a lot over the years, and for the better. Peach and citrus aromatics and flavors with a little sugar cookie sweetness, and a clean, mildly bitter finish. This is excellent, one of my go-to local beers.

Original review, 07-15-08:

4.0/5

Appearance: Amber in color with a slight haze. The half-inch head retains well, leaving a bit of lace as it falls.

Smell: Sharp resiny hops with a caramel backbone. Alcohol is faintly noticeable as well.

Taste & mouthfeel: Toasted malt, pine and candied grapefruit. A hint of caramel appears mid-sip, which is quickly washed away by an aggressive bitterness. This isn't quite as dry as I'd like, and there's a touch of alcohol in the finish, but it's otherwise a good brew.

Notes: Good, not quite great; nonetheless, I find myself revisiting it on occasion. (833 characters)

Photo of ibbjamin
4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $8.99 for a 6 pack from BevMo in Willow Glen, CA Poured into a pint glass. The bottle packaging is kind of cheesy with a plastic coating and seemingly over-the-top design. Indicates this is a gold medal winner of 2002 The Great American Beer Festival numerous times. But, you know what they say, don't judge a book by its cover.

Wish I hadn't poured this so aggressively as the huge frothy white head was overfilling the pint glass. Distinguished amber color with good carbonation. Head lasts quite a while. Some lacing.

Smells nice and hoppy. Some pine, less citrus than a normal IPA. Nice earthy tones. I'm liking this so far and my mouth is still dry.

Tastes more malty than your normal IPA, but very well balanced. Hints of caramel. Not a heavy lingering aftertaste. No taste of alcohol.

Lighter bodied, somewhat of a watery finish.

Super tasty beer that is smooth and easy to drink. I'll be buying this one again for sure. They really need to work on their packaging, though. Much more impressed with this IPA in comparison to their Imperial Stout which I thought was rather average. (1,098 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a most pleasant surprise. Pours a dark orange amber with a nice off white/light tan head.

Nose is a pleasant mildly assertive cooked pineapple/oranges and pleasant fruit tones. A very nice bourbon nose after it's in the glass a short while.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with nice carbonation and a clean crisp character. Nice acid and is very inviting; you want to keep drinking it. Body, flavors, mouthfeel,...everything...are very well integrated and super well balanced.

Flavors are rich, bold, creamy and layered. Front of fruity stonefruit malt that closely follows the nose that goes to a short mid palate and quickly to a nice long grapefruit skin hop finish.

This is extremely drinkable and attractive. Perhaps more of a double IPA in mouthfeel, character and flavors, however, really a nice drink. (834 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing unto the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory."

--Sir Francis Drake

Glowing pumpkin orange with polished brass highlights. The three finger crown of orange tinted ivory tells me that quality beer awaits. The foam is thick and rich and is a fabulous lace maker to boot. A good start.

For what is supposed to be an English IPA, the nose sure does have a lot of West Coast hopitude. Not so much in quantity, although it's fine in that regard, but in quality. Sweet orange and white grapefruit suggest that one or more of the C-hops are present. Most likely Cascade.

To my way of thinking, it's difficult to brew an English IPA using American hops. This beer is a perfect example. There's really nothing English about it at all. Although it isn't one of the more aggressive versions, it's still pretty hoppy. And that, as we all know, is the key to a good IPA.

The amount of pale malt (in terms of flavor, sweetness and mouthfeel) is pretty close to ideal. The malt sugars take some of the rough edges off the alpha acids, while not quite completely civilizing them. White grapefruit is now in the lead, with bitter orange close behind. Hmmm... maybe Centennial as well.

I can usually tell that the mouthfeel will be good after seeing and hearing the beer splash into the glass. Such was the case here. This one has a wonderful silky smoothness and a perfect amount of soft carbonation. Well done.

Drake's IPA is good. Really good. It seems as if every craft beer that comes down the pike claims to have won a gold medal at some competition or other (going back decades in some cases), but this gold medal winner well and truly earned it. If you love hops, drink Drake's IPA fresh. It's a tongue-pleasing treat. (1,802 characters)

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Drake's IPA from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.