Drake's IPA - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's IPADrake's IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

208 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 208
Hads: 484
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 9.37%
Wants: 22
Gots: 43 | 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: 208 | Hads: 484
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish copper hue. Darker than I would have expected. Murky, appears unfiltered...I like that. Fairly large bubbles drift from the bottom of the glass, generally a sign that the pillowy head won't last. Head has dropped significantly but a semi tight ring of head is clinging to the side of the glass. Brussels lace is holding on, earns the beer an additional point.

Lots of hoppy nose on this beer. A blind tasting would be a no brainer with this one. More pine like than citrus (which is cool because it differs greatly from the Smuttynose in this area). And thats why we are doing this smile.gif

First impression after tasting is the actual abundant malty flavor. I find that most IPA's are unbalanced so I welcome some maltiness. But I also welcome hops which I am not finding. Bitterness yes, hops no. Bitterness is a bit too much towards the end with out the flavoring hops to back it up. Sweetness comes as it warms but its a little too late.

Not a silky beer, but a quality mouth feel is hard to come by. Not astringent by any means. Pretty standard in that department.

Overall I like this beer. Nice malty flavor, decent head. This beer lacked the WOW factor...a complexity which seperates it from the pack... which would have gotten it a higher rating. But over all I am pleased with this beer. This beer would probably open up much better on tap than in the bottle. (1,451 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow...this is dark for an IPA...dark orange...almost like an Irish Red.
Aroma is definately IPA hops....clean citrus and very heavy pine...very pleasant and fresh.
Taste is sweet malt followed immediately by citrus hops then the evergreen....surprisingly fresh.
Finishes dry and citrus in the mouth.
Mouthfeel is maybe a little thin for type, but not much...nice carbonation but the bitterness thins out the feel rather than coating your tongue with resin and oils.
All in all a remarkable IPA ....very distinctive for me due to the strong evergreen/pine aroma and taste. Refreshing.
Could probably session this but at 7% don't want to try that tonight. (659 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.55/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Single 12-oz. bottle purchased at Hollingshead Deli in Orange, CA. in early April 2006 for $1.49.

Pours a moderately deep amber-red, deeper than most IPAs. Looks pretty rich with a good sized off-white- yellowish tan head. Pretty, but too dark for an IPA. Means lots of dark malts, eh?

Aroma is a very nice floral, slightly oily hop profile. Heads up! Not much else here. Decent for an IPA.

Flavor- this is definetely a hoppy more bitter IPA, lots of floral and evergreen notes, and a nice malt undertow. I liek this, but am not wowed by it. I think it's a balance thing- this is trying to be more hoppy and loses balance in the process. It's a good beer, but I like lighter malts myself.

Rich mouthfeel- this one is at the bigger end of the IPA spectrum, near that DIPA realm. (789 characters)

Photo of SethB2
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a sweet looking bottle into a Boonville pint glass.

First impressions: Wow, this is a very dark IPA. The typical orangy IPA color is instead a redish-borwn. The head is small, but very appealing, leaving a perfect amount of lacing in the glass. Smell, well it smells like a citrisy IPA. Very good, but nothing that is too out of the ordinary. Taste is wonderful. First a wave of intense citris hops then a perfect amount of sweet malts to keep it in check. Absolutely wonderful. Mouthfeel is medium and smooth. Very well balanced. Drinkablility is very good too. .

Overall this is one of the better IPAs I have had to date. Easily ranks up with other standards, though less known. Here's hoping that Drakes is able to distribute a little more. The world deserves an IPA of this quality. (804 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 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 mattdavis452
3.78/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy, foggy, orange amber hues. From the bottle it pours a fairly fine head that doesn't lace, it coats.

S: More than just notes of hops in the smell, but nothing overpowering by any means.

T: Bitter, but surprisingly I remember Sierra Nevada Pale Ale to be more bitter than this. I have been growing accustomed to IPAs, and this one certainly makes it easier, especially in the taste department. However, I could not give it the most positive taste mark, since I think that the hops do dumb down the other flavors that may be hidden.

M: Not crisp. It's sort of a dull mouthfeel. It's like you can feel the head dulling the beer; it may be crisp were it not for the well-developed head.

D: Lower drinkability factor. I wouldn't consider IPAs to be session beers, and this is a case example of my theory on this matter. (834 characters)

Photo of xoqx
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is pretty dark for an IPA, with deep reddish amber hues and a one finger offwhite head whose lace seemed to slide and drop back into the pint. The smell was decidedly barleywine-ish with deep, sweet malty scents yet plenty of citric-hop smells. The taste was deeply malty sweet yet quickly balanced by the hop profile which really tasted like Amarillo to me – I’d love to know for sure. The mouthfeel was medium-bodied and rich. A drinkable IPA. (452 characters)

Photo of SteveO1231
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pres: Very elaborate, Came in a plastic covered 12 oz. Pictures of sailing ships and a "Gold Medal Winner" wraped around the bottle neck as if it had just won an Olympic event.

Pours a murky Orange/Rust color, faint ring of white foam floats on the endge og my glass. Generous carbonation.

Aroma: Big aroma of malts citrus fruit and hops, hits the nostrils more like a barley wine than an IPA.

Taste: Nice English malt flavor, sweet with hints of raisin, caramel and toffee, transitions nicely to a mild floral hoppiness and then quickley fades into a citrusy bitter finish that leaves a dry tang on the palate that makes me want another sip.

This one is very balanced and really delicious. Very nice brew

Cheers! (728 characters)

Photo of SwillinBrew
3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Hollingshead

A - a slight cloudy bronze apricot with a feinger of stucco white head. Let a nice lace.
S - Citrus rinds of orange and grapefruit with some floral hints.
T - A good dose of pine and citrus hit your palate and lead to a somewhat sweet bitterness. A little complex, very nicely done.

I prefer a bit more hop presence in my IPA's, but this one is good. Solid carbonation and good feel on the palate. (428 characters)

Photo of baiser
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On handpump at the Toronado in San Fran. Pours a deep copper, with a smallish creamy white head. Sweet, citrusy, piney, fruity hop nose. Lots of malt flavour, balanced by a bold hop bitterness. This was one smooth, full bodied IPA. It massaged the tastebuds on my tongue. Some tartness, and finishes dry. Wonderful IPA on cask. (327 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy orange-amber color and is topped by a frothy, tan colored head that has a bit of a creamy texture to it. The aroma is predominantly citrus (with notes of orange, tangerine and a bit of apricot), but there is a back drop of a subtle herbal pine note. The beer is initially a bit too cold and has a sharp bite in the finish. The beer is quite citrusy up front, a bit like candied orange peel, but not all that sweet. The malt here is of course secondary, but adds a sweetness that accentuates the citrusy hop notes. There is a nice piney, herbal note in the finish that helps to accentuate the sharp bitter bite. Quite a nice IPA, I could definitely drink a couple of these. (695 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've got a tough job. Property management in beverly hills has to be the easiest job ever. The scarey part is it pays well. Dont ya'll come running down here either ITS MINE ALL MINE..hahaaaa....Ok on to the beer. I'm currently sipping on drake's IPA that I picked up at the bevMo in west hollywood. Its a twelve ounce bottle with the Gold medal from the 2002 great american beer festival on the neck of the bottle. The appearance solid. Nice copper color, with a slightly cloudy look, nice head with creamy lacing, very inviting. The mouthfeel is so rich and creamy with nice fine carbonation. A big bold hoppy taste, yet enough malt to balance it a bit. Damn this beer is gooood. Maybe its because I'm drinking it at work that makes it so great...nah its damn good. time for another. Back to the grind. (804 characters)

Photo of misterscooter
3.71/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Also purchased in Lafayette, CA, although at Diablo Foods. I was looking for a good beer for Thanksgiving and found a couple of types from Drake's Brewing. I was tempted to go with a different ale but the IPA was a Gold Medal Winner at the Great American Beer Fest and that swayed me to go with there.

I'm not usually one to pick an IPA if other styles are available and I thought I had made a mistake after having my first one. The color is a good red/brown and there isn't too much of a head that stays around. The smell is pure IPA and then some. Very hoppy and spicy with some malt smells lingering in the background. That first taste hits you with the hops and a mellow aftertaste hangs around. This is a distinctive beer, even for an IPA. I'm glad I didn't give up after that first one because it is a good beer. There is a simple complexity to it and I can tell that it was hastily crafted. But one is all I can handle, mostly because it is an IPA, before I need a less sharp taste. (992 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 IceAce
3.52/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: An aggressive pour into a beer-clean pilsner garnered less than ½ finger of foam which didn't bother to stick around for more than 30 seconds. Body is hazy medium brown

Aroma: Pleasantly floral hoppy nose leaning toward the piney side of the hop scale

Taste: Decently hopped initial taste grabs the attention of the palate quickly. Sweet malt controls the midtaste before the hops lead the way into the finish. This Jeckyll / Hyde brew just can't seem to decide whether it's a bold Left Coast IPA...or a true to style Brit with an interesting malt makeup

Mouthfeel: No thinness noted as the mouthfeel is standard compared to other IPA's

Drinkability: A good IPA with no poor qualities. I wouldn't go in search of this beer, but I wouldn't turn one down either (785 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of an assortment of beers I grabbed up at a local Whole Foods Market in Pasadena. Came in a cellophaned 12oz bottle that was shrink-wrapped. Poured into an imperial pint glass.
Appearance was pretty impressive, with a dark amber color and a firm 1" tall off-white head that slowly faded, leaving some nice lace behind.
The smell had an earthy malt aroma, a light caramel note, a touch of woodiness, and a dominant aroma of citrusy, floral hops. The taste had a mild tea-like flavor and oakiness edging in on the caramel malt flavor. Also a light nutty taste mid-palate. The hops burst forth with a mainly citrus rind flavor with a touch of pine needle. The feel was light and a bit on the thin side.
Overall, I'd say Drake's IPA is a cross between an American IPA and the English version. Drake's has that woody, tannic bite that I've detected in nearly every English IPA I've tried. Not a bad brew, but I'm more fond of the bolder West Coast varieties. (960 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 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 drewbage
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from the oddest brown 12 oz bottles in a plastic clear wrapper with a load of printing. Drunk from my Imperial tulip pint.

Beer pours copper with a striking clarity for the apparent hop load in the brew. Low white head with fine bubbles sticking strong to the side of the glass.

Aroma is light fruits, fresh cut apples cut with a bright lemony and floral hop aroma.

Flavor starts with a fair malt structure with just enough sweetness to start backfilling for an immediately intense hop bite that plays with a spiced malt character. Rough orange citrus peel hop character takes over in the finsih accentuated by a drying mineral heavy in the sulfates that both boosts the final bitterness and lastly drops any moisture from the palate. It almost makes for a dry dusty final impression.

Well done IPA with a lot of strong characteristics. (859 characters)

Photo of mickeymac
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off, the bottle's a bit unusual. It's a plain brown bottle, and the label is printed on clear plastic, completely wrapping the bottle. The ship and old fashioned map on the label suggest an English IPA. It's a nice golden-orange with a healthy off-white head that leaves a bit of lace on the glass. The smell and taste are interesting but in the end just slightly disappointing. The hops seem to jump out of the glass at first but somehow seem to fade a bit. The same is true for the taste; the beer seems like a hop-lover's delight at first, but the hops seem less assertive after a few sips. It ends up coming off as a cross between a West Coast IPA and and English IPA. It's certainly worth a try. (706 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 aracauna
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber, a little on the brown side. The head is nicely formed and a bit soapy in appearance. The aroma is strongly hoppy. It smells a lot like Sweetwater IPA with it's balanced mixed of grapefruit and spruce. Similar in the flavor, although there is a caramel sweetness underneath the fresh hop flavors that paler Sweetwater IPA doesn't have. Excellent IPA. One of my favorites. (390 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear orange/amber with a spongy off white head. Left decent lacing. Nice, crisp fresh hop smell with citrus peel nuances. Sweet malt was also present.
Sweet malt and a big citrusy hop flavor. Finishes flowery and perfumey with a lingering bitterness.
Creamy full bodied mouthfeel with a touch of viscosity and good carbonation. Good drinkability. (358 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)

Drake's IPA from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.