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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

432 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 432
Reviews: 202
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 10.57%
Wants: 24
Gots: 24 | 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: 432 | Reviews: 202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of younger35
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
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!!

younger35, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of Overlord
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
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.

Overlord, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of largadeer
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

largadeer, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

MiScusi, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of BrewerB
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

BrewerB, Jul 06, 2008
Photo of iconoklaztor
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

iconoklaztor, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

jasonjlewis, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of Floydster
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
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

Floydster, May 29, 2008
Photo of DefenCorps
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
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!

DefenCorps, May 28, 2008
Photo of ibbjamin
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

ibbjamin, May 14, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Kegatron, May 02, 2008
Photo of Zorro
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Mildly chill hazed deeply orange colored beer nearing brown in color. Small light tan colored head.

Smell is sweet malty and herbal. Toffee candy and slightly buttery and a little woody scent. Slightly spicy with a little clove and cinnamon scent.

The taste starts out a little sweet and buttery with a toffee candy taste and a woody finish. Buttery and woody the bitterness builds as you drink it. The faster you drink it the more bitter it gets but if you sip it is a sweet beer.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Not a bad beer but not one of the most drinkable of its' type. One of these is enough the problem is it gets a bit astringent after a while.

Zorro, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark orange color. Very clear with some white foam that laces the glass nicely. Decent retention.

Aroma is 90% hops. Mostly american (citrus/pine) but there is some softer more mellow english hops present. Not sure that this qualifies the beer for Enlglish IPA status. Lots of malt in the background.

Taste is incredibly hoppy and malty. There must be a lot of crystal malts in here as there is so much residual sweetness. Brand new this beer is very well balanced, but I'm not sure that this beer will age very well. Not too much bitterness either. Maybe the relatively low bitterness and the heavy malt flavor are what makes this an english IPA?

Body is real heavy and carbonation is ample. Very drinkable and not that high in abv.

t0rin0, Apr 11, 2008
Photo of number1bum
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from mymrnngjkt. Thanks Kevin.

Pours an orange amber color, pretty good clarity and a bit more than a finger of light cream head. Head retention is quite good and leaves a ton of stick.

Smells of citrus and pine hops and a good dose of caramel malt. Hmmm...this baby is smelling like an American IPA.

Taste says American IPA, too, as it's big on citrus and piney hops with ample bitterness. Really solid caramel malt backbone gives great balance. Slight buttery/toffee flavor, too, as well as some toasted malt. Great balance here and lots of hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, pretty slick on the palate.

This is a pretty darn good IPA. Seems a lot more American IPA than English to me, but whatever. Definitely recommended.

number1bum, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of Maudite
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a damn fine beer. Especially to drink while shopping for homebrew supplies at Oakbarrel Winecraft in Berkeley, CA.

A- Beautiful golden orange; the color of a southwest sunset. A nice head, despite being in a plastic punch cup. Didn't last for too long, though a small halo stayed with me to the last. White, minimal lacing.

S- Right off the bat I got grapefruit. A small amount of pine, maybe a bit sappy/woodsy, lent from the hops. Smelled rather dense, like fresh cut timber, or an old growth forest, with definite citrus notes, to boot. Nothing beyond the wonderfully balanced hops.

T- Grapefruit, bitter citrus peel, a slight oakishness. Deliciously bitter on the tongue, wonderful hop-bite. Pale and crisp, small, small amount of burnt caramel, honey, very buried.

M- Tart, astringent, biting, tight. Really got in there and washed my mouth clean like a dry gin.

D- Maybe not a session beer, but then again, maybe? Very well balanced, very clean and refreshing; great body on this gal.

Maudite, Mar 06, 2008
Photo of joepais
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured cloudy copper white head light lacing

Citrus, piney, hops aromas come from the glass

Tastes of sweet malts then a citrus hop flavor kicks in

Medium mouthfeel with an oily finish

An interesting IPA more of an American than English because of the robust hops

joepais, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The full savoury hop leaf in abundance,above average mouthfeel. What this means is piney, resiny, a tad astringent. Grapefruit from the West Coast hops. A very good English style IPA. Orange colouring and good hop aroma to boot. Thanks to Captain Couger.
4.5 years later I had this on tap and it hit the spot with very good hoppiness, drinkability, upraded rating.

Sammy, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of Viggo
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

About time I got around to drinking this one! Courtesy of fartingdog from BC2! Shared with grub.

Pours a hazed orange, thick off white head forms, settles down to a decent ring, nice lacing. Smell is intense, floral, very tropical, lots of grapefruit and pineapple, caramel, oranges, bread, pretty solid malt base, nice hops, very balanced. Taste is sweet, grains and caramel, grapefruit, oranges, pineapple, toast, flora, spicy bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, bit of warmth, very smooth and highly drinkable. Next time I need to try this fresh! Still excellent even past its prime. Thanks Dave!

Viggo, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of MisterClean
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz from Total Wine

A - Smooth copper color, white head, with light lacing.

S - Pineapple, nectarine, citrus, and coconut?? Yeah, coconut.

T - Pineapple, coconut, citrus, with earthy notes.

M - Slightly bitter from earthiness, but the tropicality is outstanding.

D - The tropical flavors from this IPA are outstanding, but the earthiness prevents this beer from taking it to the next level. Would be much, much better with some infused oxygen. Straight out of the tap.

MisterClean, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of ojclark
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Toronado, 1/3/08. Very fruity aroma with lots of malt (mainly toasty) character and some caramelly, butterscotch notes. Good clarity. Very nice off-white head with great retention. Nice flavors of toasty malt with a mellow hoppiness and bitterness. Slight caramel favor. Some fruitiness and citrus/pine hop notes in finish. Yeastiness apparent in background. Medium-full body with moderately low carbonation and a smooth lingering bitterness in the finish. This was a vey good cask beer.

ojclark, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a treat of a brew. Poured from 12 oz. bottle, first offering I've tasted from Drake's. Pours a slightly cloudy orange with 1 finger head, good retention and lacing. Smell is of sweet caramel, hops, and citrus, a real disntinct IPA smell since it wasnt dominated by the hops. Taste is great. One of the more balance IPA's I've tasted and if anything, a little more on the sweet side. Strong citric tastes (grapefruit, pineapple?), a sweet malt presence and a nice touch of hops of course. Medium mouthfeel leaves a slightly oily slick. This is a well crafted beer. Perhaps a little heavy on the malt side considering the style but overall one of the best IPA's I've tasted yet.

bunnyhustle, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to fartingdog for the chance to try this intruiging beer! Styled as "Brewed with extra hops and malt in the English tradition, but with West Coast style" according to the bottle. I found this to be a quite pleasant mild APA or an oddly citric IPA. I paired this up with a spicey mexican dish and was quite happy. If you like hops this is worth a try. If you're a style maven than this will not feel right. I say go with what works.

barleywinebrewer, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of grub
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Viggo shared this one. thanks eric!

12oz bottle. sampled jan 19/08.

pours deep reddish copper colour with a small dense off-white head. the head drops slowly and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. bit of alcohol. orange and tangerine. bit of grapefruit. big biscuit and bready malt. bit of caramel sweetness.

taste is good. grapefruit. medium bitterness level. nice light orange and tangerine sweetness. bread and biscuit malt. bit of alcohol. hint of pine. light caramel.

mouthfeel is good. medium very smooth well integrated carbonation. medium body.

drinkability is good. well balanced. the nice citrus sweetness helps carry things and make it interesting.

grub, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of Murchmac
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is always on hand pump at the toronado, and that's usually how I drink it. I decided to buy a bottle to switch it up.

This beer carbonated and cold is also excellent. It looks like liquid grapefruit, smells like floral citrus fruit, and tastes like some sort of orangrapefruit. Goes down easy.

If you get a chance to have it on hand pump, do it, if you can buy it in a bottle, that's not bad either.

Murchmac, Jan 13, 2008
Drake's IPA from Drake's Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 432 ratings.