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Drake's IPA - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's IPADrake's IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

446 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 446
Reviews: 204
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 23
Gots: 27 | 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:
"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 added by: drewbage on 06-09-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 446 | Reviews: 204 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Arbitrator
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chilled 12oz bottle into a glass.

A: Poured a coppery orange color with slight haziness and active carbonation when held to the light. Poured with a HUGE foam head that managed to overflow the bomber-sized glass I poured into. Head was long-lived, and remained in substantial form through the end of the drink, with intricate ivy lacing down the glass.

S: Grapefruit and floral hops in equal measure. Could not really detect a malt presence in the nose, but toward the end of the beer, I finally smelled caramel.

T: Hops, front and center, with the acidic grapefruit taste providing a nice taste to the bitter floral hop selection. Caramel malt provides balance against those, resulting in a lively taste.

M: Medium bodied, with medium to high carbonation. Still manages a dry finish, and the ABV is well masked. A good show.

D: I prefer a stronger grapefruit component to my beers, but this was a solid little IPA, and I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up or get it on tap if I saw it.

Photo of Yetiman420
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to drinking the last bottle of a six pack I picked up while in California about a year ago. If it's good enough for the long voyage to India, it's good enough for some time in my cellar.

Sam Adams ultimate glass. 2 finger head. Nice hazy copper color despite not all yeast being poured into the glass.

Strong citrus and floral hop aroma. Surprising given the amount of time passed since bottling.

Fruity flavor. Frothy and foamy lacing = attractive.

Consistently fruity. Very easy to drink and enjoy.

Photo of JBogan
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber-orange with a solid and creamy head which deposits a good amount of sticky lacing on the glass.

The aroma is pure IPA. Pine and citrus, mainly grapefruit is there for the nose to behold.

Taste and scent go hand in hand here. The only other thing which I picked up was a bit of caramel malts which balanced things out pretty well.

Mouthfeel was very good. Medium-thick, but it could have used a bit more carbonation tingle for my taste.. Still, nice and smooth in the mouth and going down the hatch.

This is a solid IPA, among the top tier. If you like IPA's then this is absolutely worth a try.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a rich amber body with a huge, frothy head that left rings of foam. Nice retention. Floral hops came to the nose, very inviting and not too strong. Very bitter with the taste of grapefruit present. Medium-bodied and very drinkable. This was a nice style. It reminded me of an English IPA, but had the feel of an West Coast IPA.

Photo of FrognutUnl
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to bring for tossing this in as an extra.

A - Hazy golde-amber in color, with a good inch of white head. Retention is fair for the style with some lacing left behind as it subsides

S - Grapefruit and caramel malt with notes of pine.

T - Very piney hop bite with plenty of malty goodness up front. The grapefruit kind of lingers around in the finish. Good hop bite with almost enough malt to balance it out.

M - Very creamy with low to medium carbonation. Medium in body.

D - I found this IPA to be no less drinkable than any other.

Overall this is a solid offering from Drake's and has me interested in some of their other offerings.

Photo of magictrokini
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A superb IPA. Pours a hazy orange with a decent off-white head. Aroma is hoppy, but with lots of malt and resin. The taste is outstanding. Perfectly balanced hop bitterness with the carmel malt, but a crisp finish. No stickiness at all. It was worth the wait.

Photo of hopdog
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle acquired in trade with DarkElf (thanks!).

Poured a dark and hazy orange-amber color with an averaged sized tan head. Aromas of oranges, pine, grapefruit and caramel. None of the aromas where overpowering and seemed to blend together very nicely. Tastes of caramel and citrus. Lightly bitter with a light to medium sweetness. Not over the top bitter. Lacing left on the glass. Alcohol content hidden. An IPA you could drink all night long.

Notes from 8/21/05

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours dark, murky, reddish-copper with a loose 1-finger head (initially). Head quickly dissipates to a paper-thin, off-white one. Some apparent carbonation and decent lacing.

Smell: Lots of molasses and oak, toasted bready malts, spices, dark fruits, alcohol, and very faint, grassy, hops. Smells extremely rich and full-bodied.

Taste: Ok, there's the hops. Lots of molasses still, with Belgian yeast/chunky malts, caramel and lots of grass/pine. A good amount of earthiness to this one. Overall, quite complex though alcohol tastes higher than it actually is. Dry, bitter, finish.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy and very rich, with medium carbonation and a dry finish. Stings at times. Seems to be just too much for an IPA.

Drinkability: Very thick and heavy - should be an I2PA. I tried drinking this during a short break in between class periods, and that was definitely a bad choice. This one is a sipper.

Photo of rkuhnel
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of bhensonb from Ratebeer. Great beer this one was. Poured a deep amber with a nice head with creamy tones in the bubbles and good lacing. Nose of citrus hops and some hard to identify spices (cinnamon?). Clear and rich mouthfeel. Flavor of caramel malts and and hops, with pine showing this time in addition to the citrus. Good long bitter finish. A good and well crafted IPA.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a foggy gold. Nose is an orange citrus earthy thing. Flavor is nice and earthy. Kind of a muddy thing. Pretty smooth, but very robust. Caramel is in there as well. Smooth liquid feel. Nice carbonation. I like this beer. A nice asy drinking IPA. This is what an IPA can be when it's not an outlandish American version.

Photo of OlieIPA
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Light copper color with good head at first; dissapates quickly thereafter. Lacing is extremely good on this beer...remains there for almost the whole consumption of the beer. Kind of funny, but if you stare long enough...it almost looks like jello. LOL.

S: Some hops...but mostly sweet malts. I'm very impressed by the smell...makes me want more.

T: A bit disappointed in the taste (especially when the smell was impressive)...bitter upfront...and bitter at the finish. Needs to tone down just a bit. Other then that, okay.

M: Medium-body with the same amount of carbonation.

D: Not very easy to drink for an IPA. It has a great smell, but too much bitterness.

Overall: I have a hard time deciding whether this beer is good or just average. I guess you'll have to decide.

Photo of Pehlman
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Nice light coloration. Slightly speckeled and lightly opaque. Decent head and nice lacing!

S: Almost get more malts than hops on this one. Definitely a bit of hops towards the back though.

T: More bitterness than the smell would lead one to believe. Very light but with a lingering bitterness. Reminds me of an orange that has sat out a little too long.

M: Carbonation is a bit sharp for me. Probably the least appealing factor.

D: I could have one once in a while but I wouldnt ask for one. Would be nice on a hot day. Not a good beer to finish off the night with.

Photo of scootny
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip tumbler. A cloudy dark brownish orange with a massive head. Meringue like, it towers above the glass and slowly fades into a light covering. Thick lacing adorns my glass all the way down. Gentle carbonation keeps the foam alive

Smell is a pine forest at first that gives way to a citrus garden. A good bit of sweetness that has a faint aroma of orange cough syrup. A healthy, bready, malt voice amongst the hop onslaught is heard and appreciated. It balances the cough syrup. Notes of caramel or toffee cut in and out.

Taste is a blast of hoppy bitterness. The pineyness upfront followed by citrus and orange syrup. Then a mellow malty bread develops. That leads to more bittering at the finish as crackers remain on the palate and the malt grows slowly,lingering. Somehow it all find a very nice balance.

Mouthfeel is medium and gentle. A light creaminess as well.

Drinkability is easy and inviting. Strong aspects all finding a unique balance. Should go great with spicy foods like Thai.

Thanks to WasTrinkenSie

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid IPA from an oft overlooked company producing some very nice beers. Pours an orange amber with quite a thick head to start, and some okay lacing. Smells a bit bready, and even a tad sweet, but there is a nice undercurrent of citrusy hops. The taste is really quite nice. Nice jolt of bitterness that is sustained throughout with grapefruit rind and pine notes. The pine becomes especially dominant on the finish. These flavors are married to a slightly sweet, pleasant breadiness at the start that lends some slight cherry fruit to the equation as well. By the finish, though, this has become a bracing hit of pine. Very nice. Mouthfeel is relatively thick for an IPA, especially many West Coast ones. This is certainly not a San Diego IPA as far as body goes, probably more akin to Lagunitas, with a bit more breadiness. Delicious, and quite obtainable in the Bay Area by the sixpack.

Photo of younger35
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this from brew as an extra in a recent trade with 0110x011. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale flute.

Appearance- Pours a fairly dark reddish orange with a huge three plus finger head that recedes very slowly. A nice cap and collar are left throughout the whole beer and leave loads of thick lacing.
Smell- Lots of raw piney hops in this one with a small bit of citrus in the background. Think Christmas tree, pineapple, lemon zest and some orange pith. A bit of malt adds traces of cotton candy sweetness that hides under all those hops. Also a sort of weird metallic tinge in the background.
Taste- Like the nose plenty of really earthy pine sap and even some strange bitter grassiness. Plenty of orange and grapefruit to top off the hops. Sweet bubblegum and a bit of caramel add more than enough balance to the hoppiness. Also that weird metallic tinge is in the taste. I'm assuming it's the water they use.
Mouthfeel- Fairly light with a decent creamy body and light very crisp carbonation with a bit of warming at the end.
Drinkability- This is a pretty darned tasty and very drinkable IPA. It's really balanced and got that nice citrus twang that I do enjoy. I was very surprised about this one and happily so. Big thanks again to Matt!!

Photo of Overlord
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not really my cup of tea, but I can appreciate what they were going for here.

Pours a murky, muted, hazy orange. Like no other IPA-esque beer I've ever seen. Thick white head that lasted a shockingly long time.

Smells earthy, piney, and ... a bit like listerine, IMHO. The taste is citrus and pine, but with none of the sweet grapefruit tropical notes that I like in IPAs. There is a bitter twang/astringency to it that I really don't particularly care for.

Mouthfeel is vicacious and lively.

Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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:


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.

Photo of MiScusi
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Pasadena, CA. Golden in color with a nice fluffy cap. The smell is really floral, perfumy. The taste starts out with some sweet citrus and develops into a bitter earthy and floral type of hoppiness. It really lingers on that back half of the sip and hits you pretty hard on the palate. When fresh this is a really good hoppy IPA. The body was pretty light too, and had a good dryness to it.

Photo of BrewerB
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Prominent floral and spicy hop aromas. Milder citrus notes in the background. Clean malt character.

Slightly hazy, darker gold color. Thin white head collapsed quickly. Would like to see more head retention.

Flavors are upfront hoppiness - floral and resiny. Bitterness lingers into the dry finish. Clean fermentation, well balanced. Malt character is clean and provides a balanced support for the hops.

Medium-light bodied, moderate-high carbonation. Smooth.

Overall this beer is well-balanced with spicy/floral hops and a clean malt backbone. Could put back 2 or 3 pints.

Photo of iconoklaztor
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade! What a great extra! Thanks Weibull!

Pours a nice golden color. The smell is nice too. Hops and booze make up this noise. I think the smell could be a little less on the boozy side and it would be great! The taste is hoppy and very welcoming. I'm not a hop head so it will never be as good as a stout to me however, this is a good beer I could see myself drinking again.

Overall, this is a good IPA and one I would visit again. Good work.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
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.

Photo of Floydster
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
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

Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into my Duvel tulip

A: Deep orange with a off-white head that recedes slowly leaving lace and a frothy ring. Appealing

S: Fruity hops with pine, pineapple and maybe apricots? There's a lovely caramel malt backbone to this. Not massively hoppy but great for the style

T: Nice biting bitterness up front followed by a mild pine flavor. There's a mild caramel sweetness to this with a mild peach and fig flavor but this one stays clean and dry. Good stuff.

M: Good carbonation, dry and bitter finish, this is a winner

D: This is one I'm glad i got to try. In fact, I'm glad I have another to drink!

Photo of ibbjamin
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Thanks to Bubba83 for the bottle.

Pours a hazy deep gold with 1 1/2 fingers of creamy off-white head. Retains down to about half that, leaving thick swathes of lace behind. The aroma is a lively mix of piney hops, spice, some pretty prominant citrus notes, and sweet malt.

The taste is similar to the aroma profile with the hop bitterness feeling subdued at first but then I realize that it's actually quite pronounced based on the bitterness in the finish. It just feels more subtle because of the excellent balance job from all the backing citrus and malt sweetness. The mouthfeel has a light medium feel that is immensely easy and creamy going down.

I enjoyed this. It had the feel of an English IPA but definitely posessed a little West Coast American pop to give it some personality. And don't even get me started on the drinkibility of this guy. I just wish that I had had another to follow up this bottle with.

Drake's IPA from Drake's Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.