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Drake's IPA - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's IPADrake's IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

211 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 211
Hads: 494
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 15.56%
Wants: 23
Gots: 52 | 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: 211 | Hads: 494
Photo of DUBinMIA
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

orange almost brown huge very clear with thick foamy head about 3 in with very good retention and lots of lace

smell is of hops... floral and pine notes the citrus hops come out towards the end.

lots of hop flavor.... bitter pine with some sap like taste. pretty good. little malt flavor towards the end to finish smoother that the start but the bite of hops lingers.

medium body with low carbonation

overall a good IPA that if you get the chance you def. want to try!!! Thanks to John for the nice extra!!!!

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Photo of roodie
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: pours a beautiful orangish brown with 2 fingers of off white head. Nice retention with beautiful lacing

S: nice piney floral character. Hints of mango and citrus.

T: Follows the nose. Begins with pleasant malty flavor but piney floral mango flavor dominates. Perfect amount of bitterness

M: bitterness lingers on the tongue.

O: a great representation of the style. Perfect aroma and flavor

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Photo of hiku7
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy caramel to gold color with a tall tan head. Smell is floral and citrus. Taste is sweet caramel malt followed by a sharp piney and citrus back of the throat hop bite.

Mouthfeel is moderate to slightly oily with a crisp finish. Somewhat low to moderate carbonation.

Simple and solid IPA.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

San Leandro, California: never been there. Hell, I’ve never even been 100 miles from there. But, thanks to dmsohyea, I have a bottle of this Cali local. I’ve never heard of it, but that doesn’t mean I’m at all biased as to how I think it will taste. I have no preconceived notions about this one, except that my latest trading partner deemed it good enough to send to me. This is totally objective rating, which, as some would argue, is the fairest way to review. Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to getting to know Drake’s IPA.

A: I love the color of the body: reddish-orange that shines brilliantly, even with a bit of haziness. The head is a wonderful off-white, erupting from the bottle aggressively as I pour. The foamy three-fingers dissipate quite fast, leaving the tiniest afterthoughts of clean lacing. The bubbles that dance up from the bottom are few and far-between, but they are there, nonetheless. A nice, fresh looking pale ale.

S: I haven’t smelt hops this crisp and clean since I last had a FFF Pride & Joy. These are intensely piney, with a great earthy undertone. A sweet, herbal touch hits at the back, coupled stylishly with roasted barley. An agreeable IPA nose through and through – no surprises here.

T: Breadiest IPA I’ve ever had. Wow. The yeast is so substantial on the front end that it makes you wonder how the nose never signaled it. It’s not syrupy or extra-sweet, but it is heavy. That’s not to say that I think it’s bad; it’s just different. The thick yeasts don’t make me cringe, but they don’t blow me away, either. Soon, though, the hops alleviate some of the pressure, lifting the palate with a short blast of light, piney bitters. Smoked caramel malts make a short, but not negligible appearance. Thus, the whole thing ends up with a slightly dry, hoppy aftertaste.

M: This is where I have some trouble. It’s too watery! If you’re going to make the palate that thick on an IPA, you can’t give it a thin mouthfeel. The lack of carbonation doesn't help, either. To me, it ends up giving the whole brew a diluted ambiance; it’s almost as if I’m drinking a Drake’s Light. Where can I pick up this beer’s big brother?

O: This is certainly a different breed of IPA. The thick, bread-heavy palate is a nice departure from the traditional hopped-up and syrupy-sweet nature of the ever-popular IPA, but the thinness of the body turned me off big time. This is something that I wouldn’t try again, even if I were in San Leandro. It was a good drink, but, with so many great beers out there, not worth a second attempt for me.

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Photo of codfeast
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle to pint.

A: Deep gold (just like the bottle says) thick, fluffy 1" head.

S: lemon, pinesol, sweet cream.

T: A little citrus then hops all the way thru the finish, not picking up any malt at all.

M: Medium carbination, oily finish.

O: It's a good IPA, not really balanced but no hops overkill.

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first encountered this beer in Los Angeles a decade ago and remembered it fondly after I moved to the East Coast. Now I am back West and I see my memory was accurate - this is a very good West Coast style IPA - though perhaps my tastes have become a little more refined since then, since this seems to be a bit over the top now to my palate.

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a rich white head that falls to sticky lacing. The aroma is big and hoppy, strongly citrusy with grapefruit and lemon and a piney resin in the background. The flavor is so huge and creamy that it is like a big mouthful of super hoppy ice-cream, with enormous grapefruity hops trailing off to that piney/citrusy bitterness. The mouthfeel is creamy and thick.

This is a lovely beer for hopheads, but not a beer to be approached casually.

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Photo of MonkeymooTJ
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


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


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


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


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


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

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper with two finger head.

The smell was sweet of citrus and slight piney hops.

The taste was pretty on par with the smell but with a little more citrus; grapefruit, orange, and a little lemon zest. A little malt on the back but not much and some caramel popping its head in as well.

A pretty standard west coast IPA. Being in San Diego I probably would choose something else instead though.

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Photo of Lunch
2.74/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Drake's flagship beer!" - now that's damned embarrassing.

Poured from a bottle into a Stone IPA fluted-goblet (doesn't that sound nice?) Looks like and IPA as it is golden amber in color with 2 fingers of an off white head. Looks well carbonated.

Smells vaguely of hops but this is a malty one. Some citrus, what I smell here my friends is one malty son-of-a-bitch. Not sure how fresh this is but the generous trader who included this along with Drake's Hopocolypse as extras (which was tasty as fuck), seemed fresh so I'll assume that this bottle was as well.

Tastes a little citrusy with lots of bitterness, but the malt dominates again.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and this is easy to drink, but I will no longer subject my liver to any more of these.

Thanks again for the trade and for including this as an extra!

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +14%
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.

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Photo of benclimbs
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very solid IPA - bought at new star ell in SF.

pours golden off-opaque with a nice head that dissipates over time and a good amount of lacing throughout thte glass when shaken about

smell is very typical of a w.coast ipa - grapefruit, citrus and a hint of pine with an off sweet malt character...reminds me of stone or racer a lot in the nose

taste is nice, a good balance, a little sweet, a little fruity, a little citric and a bit warm just at the end finishing off-dry...a very nice example.

overall this is a great beer, and a very good west coast ipa - nicely done drake's

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Photo of tewaris
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with no date, received as an extra from beerific, poured into a Surly pint glass. Thanks man!

Slightly hazy, honey amber hued with a depth to its appearance; the head on this ale was par excellence. Creamy, light tan colored finger thick foam stood atop this rather dark IPA for the longest time, and laced the pint real good.

The kind of aroma I would expect from a more balanced style, with generous dosage of caramelizing sugars and light fruitiness, and very faint hops. Not bad but not good for an IPA.

I might be splitting hair here, but the more I drink it, the more I think that this is a stronger APA or a milder American Strong Ale. Of course the beer is named IPA, but it doesn't exactly deliver what it promises on the label. But I like it, a lot. A solid backbone, and present malt flavor well overshadowed by the intense hoppiness -- as if the zest from citrus rind was dumped in this beer in massive amounts; and then it finishes long, bitter and dry with a light kiss of caramel. Warmth brings out the subtleties and I swear I can taste pineapples now!

Smooth drinking in spite of the strong bitterness with the right touch of bubbly crispness and, did I already mention, good body? Reminds me of Arrogant Bastard for some reason. Overall, very good, if not exactly an American IPA.

Scores: Appearance 5/5; Aroma 2.5/5; Taste 4.5/5; Mouthfeel 5/5; Overall 4/5

PS: I don't believe that it's only 65 IBUs.

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Photo of olmatty
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a clean orange amber with a one finger head

Smell-Mild citrus hop and a bit of toasted biscuit

Taste-A light candy sweetness of toasted malts balanced with with citrus on the front end. relatively dry ending and a lingering moderate hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel-Moderately think bodied with middling carbonation

Overall-Quite drinkable. Surprisingly smooth for a 7% IPA. Nothing harsh, but also nothing unique or exciting. Solid and sessionable.

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Photo of daveytheformer
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce poured into a nonic pint.

Pours golden amber with a thin foamy head that remains throughout.

Smells sweet and fruity like citrus. The hops are flowery and very present on the nose.

Tastes like pine and grapefuit citrus. Nice spicy bitter finish that doesn't overpower the overall flavor. Some sweet malt in there as well

Mouthfeel is medium and is nicely carbonated.

Overall a really good beer that I could drink a few of in a night for sure.

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Photo of FosterJM
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

335th review on BA
bottle to pint
12 oz bottle

App- This pours a medium orange/amber with a one finger head. Each sip leaves a nice trail mark of lacing.

Smell- Very aromatic beer. Nice single IPA with first scents of big bitterness and a fruity sweetness tinge. Not too much but pretty balanced. Second scents come in with a forest like fresh rain pine.

Taste- Huge bitter bite to it with a resiny taste. This was a bit more malty than I thought as well. Bigger drinking as well. Some sweetness kicks in with a tangerine acidity.

Mouth- It's on the border of being light bodied but almost a small medium. A crisp medium carbonation level with a spicy note and as mentioned before a tad aciditic.

Drink- It's a bit maltier and spicier than I normally like. It was pretty good just towards the english style while trying to be a good rep of the west coast.

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Photo of beagle75
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft pour into a shaker pint at Beachwood BBQ.

A: Clear, light amber color with one finger of fine white foam head. Moderate lacing remains on the glass.

S: Caramel and dark citrus fruit, with a hard mineral edge.

T: Begins off-dry, with dominant piney hop aromatics back-lit by crystal malt and moderate acidity. Bitterness surges into the middle, displaying the quality of grapefruit peel and significant astringency. Flavors dry out somewhat by the finish, where moderate bitterness persists with a quality that reminds of mildly-spiced chiles. A faint whiff of alcohol is occasionally detected toward the finish as well.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly resinous on the palate, with low carbonation.

D: This beer has been re-cast as an American IPA (formerly listed as an English-style IPA) and the shift is entirely appropriate. In typical Drake's fashion, it is a fairly restrained attempt at a West-Coast IPA that misses the mark on account of astringency issues. Its nod to hop and malt balance results in an amber appearance and sensory qualities comparable to Ballast Point's Big Eye IPA. It is possible to understand why an old bottle with a faded hop presence would come across as a more malt-forward and traditional representative of the style.

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Photo of LazyL
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm sitting in the Library Ale House in Santa Monica and I asked the server for a very nose forward IPA. May I introduce you to Drakes? A perfect bright flourescent orange, exactly what I want to see in an IPA with a white creamy head. The nose excells and may have been a 5 for me. Tangerine, mild pine and very fresh. The nose is invigorating and begs you to taste. Sweet malty and citrus up front balanced by a nice bitterness. Medium carbonation and a dryness that bites at my tongue a bit. I would say that this is quite a nice ale and worth trying should you have the opportunity or two.

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Photo of veinless
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful golden orange with some slightly off-white foamy head on top that has a cake-like appearance. Retains decently, and leaves spotty lace.

Aroma is of grapefruit, mango and pineapple. Orange is the strongest, and really reminds me of fresh mandarins (which I happen to have in the fridge). Caramel and sticky fruit sweetness take a backseat, but themselves heard. Smells intoxicating and delicious.

Tastes great, as pine gets thrown into the mix in a big way and adds a lot to the beer. First tastes are of tropical fruit and pine; once the pine fades a bit the fruit remains, and complements the caramel malt pretty well. Lots of orange and grapefruit citrus come to play and leave a nice tangy taste in the mouth. Finish is piny and dry, although it does leave a bit of sweet malt in its wake. Bitterness comes out the most in the aftertaste as well, something I personally find nice, but others may not.

Mouthfeel is solid, as the beer is very full bodied, sticky at times, and never lacking weight. Can even get a crisp sort of creamy (the kind of creamy which is refreshing) which is nice. Drinkability is hindered a bit by the strong aftertastes, but I personally find this beer to be quite easy to drink. The abv of 7% is nothing crazy, so a couple of these would go down no problem for most. This is an IPA done right, and I can see myself picking up a sixer of this in the future.

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Photo of LBBeer
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a-straw-copper color and great lacing

s-big green hoppy nose, very fresh

t-bitter, bitter, bitter just how I like it!

m-starts out thick on the pallette, but finishes a bit thin

d-pretty heavy, buy smooth enough to have 2 (or 3)

Another great offering from one of my favorite west coast brewers,

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Photo of nataku00
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap poured into a nonic pint class. Bright clear orange with a finger of off white foamy head leaving some light lacing as it dissipates. Lots of active carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is piney, hints of grapefruit bitterness. Fairly night aroma, despite some swirling of the glass.

Taste follows the nose, fresh pine needles and grapefruit bitterness hits your tongue and takes over. Light biscuit malts are there trying to play second fiddle to the pine as it finishes dry and long, lingering on the tongue with a slight floral note.

Light bodied and very carbonated, refreshing and easy to drink IPA. Decent option in case some of the other locals we have access to aren't available, but I wouldn't choose it over Racer 5 or Lagunitas's IPA.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a slightly hazed rose-amber coloring with a thin film of small bubbled head. The beer has rounded hop aromas, with a hint of some fresh/dry hops and citrus. Sharp hop bitterness on front tongue, as well as down the middle of the tongue as you swallow. Decent and strong malt backbone to help balance the hops, and some citrus characteristics that keep everything light. Good amount of carbonation to help with the balance, also. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, and the aftertaste is sweet and hoppy. Very pleasant beer. The finish lingers in mouth for a bit, with a hoppy/sweet malt blend that beckons for another sip. Lighter than I normally like my IPAs, but that makes it all that much easier to drink.

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Photo of ratedz
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received as an extra from MrTopher. Thanks Chris!

Pours a hazy amber color with a fourth of an inch of off-white head. The head retention is pretty impressive.

This is one good smelling IPA! Full of grapefruit and piney hops. A sweet caramel malt backbone balances it out nicely.

From the nose, I thought this was going to be much hoppier than it turned out to be. The sweet malts actually overpower the hops slightly. It is a fairly good tasting beer, but the sweetness level was a little unexpected.

Medium body and moderate carbonation, about what I'd expect from an IPA. It is smooth and drinkable, but a little sweeter that I typically like my IPAs.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy amber-almost orange color with a medium white head that disappears fast. Scent is very citrus hoppy with very sweet candy aromas. I also pick up subtle piney notes with a bit of melon. Taste is sweet, but not as sweet as the aroma would imply. Great hop flavors with citrus and fresh melon (honeydew, cantaloup). I also get a nice maltiness with caramel and light buttery notes. Very tasty IPA. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with a crisp, bitter bite at the end. Not too crisp though, as it is a bit on the syrupy side for a regular IPA. Drinkability is high.

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Photo of kwjd
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright orange colour with huge white head and lots of lacing down the glass. Nice head retention. Smells of pine and citrus hops, but not a hop bomb. Not a ton of caramel malt backbone either, so it comes across as a bit weak overall. Still a pleasant IPA that I'm glad I tried.

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Photo of climax
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one started off wonderfully. The bright citrus aromas hit the nose right when the cap was popped (to be emphasized in a second). The beer poured a luminous natural orange with a nice hoppy haze. The head was tall and lumpy, retention and lace abound.

The prominent citrus aroma was accented by earthy pine. The malt backbone was no wallflower here. Dark roasted chocolate and graham cracker added another dimension, amping up the often too typical excursively caramel nose.

For those who frown upon malt balance in an IPA, have no fear... the taste is a hop circus with malt playing usher. Very resinous pine makes it's presence known from start through the long bitter finish. Citrus in the form of tropical fruit and grapefruit towards the end keep things juicy.

The body was nice and thick, very viscous and sticky. Nice to have an IPA with this much mouth presence to change things up a bit. You may not be able to drink it down as fast and proceed to another.... but with a 7% ABV, go ahead and savor it. Great beer.

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Drake's IPA from Drake's Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.