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Drake's 1500 Pale Ale - Drake's Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Drake's 1500 Pale AleDrake's 1500 Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

129 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 129
Hads: 434
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 21.65%
Wants: 25
Gots: 80 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: oggg on 08-02-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 129 | Hads: 434
Photo of ccrida
4.84/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic pint, Drakes 1500 Pale Ale is a dull, brassy orange with an off-white head that leaves pretty heavy lace.

Smell is a big blast of grapefruit hops, spicy and resinous, some sweeter caramel malt. Love it, this is my kind of pale ale!

Taste is great, they are spot on with the IIPA hop flavor, really strong, but not overwhelming bitterness. Nice malty backbone makes up for the lack of heft normally found in hop bombs like this. Reminds me of Celebration but with way more hops, awesome.

Mouthfeel is oily and a bit chewy, medium bodied.

Drinkability is exceptional, wow. I love the huge hop flavor yet overall smoothness and light enough to really session. Super impressed with this beer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.8/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Had a small sample of this from fellow BA Swillinbrews glass at Hollingshead Delicatessen earlier today, holy moly, it was so damned good I instantly decided to Blag* a whole Growler of the stuff whilst I enjoyed the Russian River Temptation and Supplication that was also on draft.

Described on the Tap Handle simply as “1500 Pale Ale”, it was explained to me that this meant that it was the 1500th Batch at Drake’s and that it was a special brew ‘based’ on the standard Pale Ale produced for the occasion. Though I am not sure where the BA prefix of “Imperial” comes from, strength is supposed to be between 5.5% – 6.5% allegedly.

Appearance: Only an hour after being poured into the Growler it’s back out and into a 24 ounce straight sided Pint Glass and I have to state that it looks fucking good. This has what I would call a perfect light brown coppery “Yorkshire Bitter” body. Has a racing lively carbonation on the swirl. The head forms large then drops to a low key but dense ½” off-white colored cap that retains a stabilized appearance throughout. A thoroughly solid presentation for a Session Pale Ale.

Nose: Hmmmm, smells like an IPA. Yet upon careful consideration of the nose, at least once you get past the spicy hops, it reveals a decent biscuit malt which does actually balance the hop laden aromas. Juicy feel to the aromas.

Taste: Luscious juicy hops, biscuit malts, toasted Muffins and a light grain feel soaked in dark fruits and caramel toasties. The hops really play a huge part here, some would surely say that this is an IPA but I say neigh, neigh, neigh….this is a hoppy Pale Ale, a different breed by far. The solid malt base, biscuit hue and toasted bread soaks up some of the hops and thereby represents all that is good about hoppy West Coast Pale Ales. The hops….mmm…..they are fresh, juicy and piney too. Oh my this is so good.

Mouthfeel: An Amazonian Goddess….Big, Bold and Beautiful. Lots of juicy hops and supporting malts. Yet throughout this hops and malts battle, it retains a low ABV and maintains a superb balance that maybe the hops edge, well at least towards the end of the drink anyways.

Drinkability: OK, I filled a whole (Alpine) Growler for much less than the price of filling my Cars Gas Tank…..and I never even moved from my Apartment whilst drinking this. The Beer Mileage on this one is terrible……if you get some of this you won’t move either until you’ve polished off a few off them believe me. I don’t know what the strength is, but I do know that this is one high quality Pale Ale that has some serious IPA aspirations, it borders between the two, but the solid biscuit malt retains an English Pale Ale, whilst the Columbus and Ahtanum hops continue to tease throughout. Ladies and Gentlemen the Drake’s 1500 Pale Ale has left the Growler…..

Overall: Well bless my little Yorkshire cotton socks, I am seriously impressed by this one!!! Not only does it look great, it has more than a decent enough nose for the style, a lovely hoppy West Coast trait in the flavor profile and a seriously dangerous Drinkability. As we say in Yorkshire, “bye eck lad, tha’s a reet gud Ale”. All factored together, this is, from the tap at least, a **DO NOT MISS BEER**.

If the Meatloaf Album ‘Bat Out of Hell’ was a beer, this would be it, over the top in parts, soft yetb hard classical rock meets a massive operatic infusion in its breadth and reach…..whether you like it or not, it works, and it works well.

Did I really give a Drake's beer a 4.75?? Guess so...Paradise by the Desk Board Light…..well deserved too.

I’m heading back to Hollingshead tomorrow for another Growler of this beauty!!!

*BLAG, Brit informal. Noun. 1. Late 19C - To steal, (originally a band robbery) 2. 1940s - To deceive, to hoax, 3. 1960’s (our favourite) To persuade, especially as in “Blag in/into,” to talk one's way into a party, concert. Blagger. Verb 1. A smooth talker, a persuasive person.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ Hollingshead. This is a pale ale late hopped like an Imperial IPA. Uses Columbus and Ahtanum hops (never heard of this hop before)

Poured a coppery Ice-T color with a tan head that lasted. The aroma was slight malt but all about hops and pine, then a bit more hops. The up front hop taste hit my mouth but with a balance i should say. It was punchy citrus and pine on a good malt backbone. Hoppy for sure, then more pure hops to follow. I am very impressed with this one and will get a growler of it.

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Photo of nelson4
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured bright and golden epitomizing the style. The head was white and dense. So far so good.

Smell - Excellent. The dry hopping comes through magnificently. The pine and grapefruit reminds me of a nice Pliny. Nothing could be better about this smell and if they made an air freshener with this I would buy cases of it. There are few smells that instantly make me smile. This is one of them.

Taste- The taste is built around the hops. No noticeable maltiness, but some residual sweetness. Bitterness a little high for this style, but it is very close. Amazingly the aroma and hops don't overpower, but I cannot put my finger on why.

Mouthfeel - Smooth with just a little stickiness at the end. The aroma reminded me of Pliny but the taste and mouthfeel are more typical of the pale ale style. I would like just a tidbit more body.

Overall - This is a about as good as a pale ale gets. The dry hopping really does it for me. The best way to describe this is a Pliny light. I would not hesitate to buy this again or recommend it to a friend.

Edit: I am not sure if this Dry Hopped version is the norm or just a special release.

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Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful light amber bronze that pours beautifully clear.

S: Dry hopped for sure with killer gorgeous aroma of floral, bread and caramel.

T: Wow one of the better smoothed out well balanced pale ales that has ever touched my lips. Light crisp caramel flavs with a mellow herbal/floral hops at the forefront and a doughy bread finish.

M: Medium bodied lightly carbonated body with a slightly dry finish

O: I have found myself a brilliantly crafted pale ale outside of Sierra and Stone. Thank you Drakes

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Photo of PerHops
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice golden orange color. Pretty clear, head dissipates quickly

S- Citrus, pine, a little pepper

T- Nice citrus, a little spice and a dry bitter finish. Very hoppy for a pale ale. Drinks like an IPA. Awesome.

M- I've found this to be inconsistent with this beer.

O- Great session beer. One of my regulars.

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Photo of rayjay
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Marin Breast Fest.

Light, pale, white toast malt body and biting grapefruit hops. A great sipping IPA. Bitter, tart, crispy, lip-smacking, exponentially refreshing. Perfect 5 for drinkability on this hot sunny day.

Why is this beer in the Double IPA category???? The brewery calls it a pale ale, but to me it's clearly an IPA.

Drake's beers always have a certain character that I love, but can't put my fingers on; a musty, earthy something (it's great). They make awesome one-off beers like this and the Whombock IPA.

Great job on this one, don't miss out. One of the most refreshing, hoppy-as-hell beers out there. Cheers.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber gold with a huge head that lasts, leaving mounds of cappuccino foam and lacing on the glass.

Aromas of wet hay malt, brown sugar, and piney hops.

Sweet malts transition into an intense bitter piney hoppy taste.

Body is medium weight, and the refined carbonation produces a very creamy mouthfeel.

This is a very drinkable Imperial style American Pale Ale. With a 5.2% ABV, this beer is more about the malt and hops and is very sessionable for those who like hops.

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Photo of Rastabama
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The aroma is strong bright american hops, a hint of grassiness. The flavor and taste experience are more balanced than the aroma suggests, excellent medium-low mouthfeel, excellent hop flavors but not as aggressive as I would assume from the hoppy smell, very subtle malt bill but not shallow or one-dimensional, neutral yeast and clean fermentation. Excellent, one of my new favorite APAs, go get yourself some 1500!

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Photo of bcm119
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Not a DIPA; seems like a regular english/american hybrid IPA.

Smooth, balanced IPA with great biscuit malt profile along with leafy, tea-like hops. Plenty of drying bitterness from early hopping and a nice bright earthy/leafy dry hop flavor. A touch of mid-palate cookie sweetness dries right up for a clean finish. Lots of subtle finesse in this beer. It makes many over-hyped double IPA's seem clumsy. Another great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of hooliganlife
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to beachrez !!!

this pours a slightly murky dull orange with hints of brown. very light creamy head but retained rather well leaving light lacing.

they were not kidding on the dry hopping. huge citrus and sweetness. lots of tangerine, pineapple, and orange. light floral character.

wow.. again.. this is amazing. lots of bitterness kicks in from the beginning. light white grapefruit combined with a nice pine flavor. the grapefruit really comes through at the end. malt backbone is solid, flavorful, but lets the hops run this.

very full body with moderate carbonation. a slight dryness.

as soon as i smelled this, i knew it was going to be good stuff and it was. perfect flavors and a lower ABV = good drinking. i would love more of these. cali once again, does no wrong.

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Photo of pennywhistle
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Foggy dark yellow/amber, big fluffy head that lingers for awhile. Smells strongly of hops, bitter, refreshing. The hops are obvious when first sipped, but they mellow out nicely leaving behind a sweet maltiness that is very pleasant. Slightly citrusy. Very drinkable - low enough ABV that you could have a couple of them, and the hops are calm enough that it won't kill the palate. A very delicious pale ale - and I usually dislike this style. This is a good beer for people who avoid bitter/hoppy beers. Perfect for BBQs and sunny afternoons.

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Photo of Topher78
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into my glass and golden colored brew that poured with about a fingers worth of an off-white head that left very nice lacing. The aroma was of citrus, pine and hints of grass. The taste centered more around the citrus but lacked the big bitterness of an IPA. Drakes 1500 APA had a very light bodied mouth feel and finished with some malt sweetness.

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Photo of ILessThan3Brett
4.39/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Young bottle poured into tulip. Light straw color. Moderate head dissipates immediately to heavy lacing. Heavy floral nose.

Best and most unique Drake's beer I've had by a fair margin. Fairly light, with high drinkability. Fairly coarse, abundant carbonation, which I don't usually like, though I think it actually works reasonably well in this beer. This beer's defining characteristic is that it has as much or more of the flowery bouquet of a good, floral IPA or DIPA, but little to none of the hop bitterness. Bottle text suggests that floral/pine/citrus notes are produced by blending in an unusually large amount of Simcoe and Amarillo hops just after fermentation is finished.

This beer is all about hop and ester aromaticity and it's not about too much else, but then again, I don't think it's trying to be. I doubt it's trying for complexity and balance; it's really just a highly drinkable vehicle for flowery esters. And that can make for a pretty good beer.

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Photo of HipHop5
4.37/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1 finger head that retain modestly. some lacing but nothing crazy.
Typical PA light golden color with great hops citrus nose.
Strong bite right up front. Quite enjoyable after taste on the back of the tongue. IBU don't hide a bit on this great PA. The malt caramely light to medium body help balance the hop bite that linger quite some times. The carbonation is pretty high but fine witch makes it pleasant and easy to drink.

I hope I can find more since it much harder to get some Moon
Man fro New Galarus in WI (witch is even better in this style of
dry hoped PA)

Enjoy, as this is an amazing brew.

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Photo of oggg
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at O'Briens

Golden orange brew with soft white head. Moderate floral aroma with lots of grapefruit when swirled. On the tongue there is a solid hop bite giving way to huge juicy mouthwatering grapefruit rind. Grainy malt is present but not overdone. Full to medium body. Alcohol subtle.

Overall: Huge and juicy hop flavor, actually not that bitter.
retaste 9/19/05
Tons of grapefruit, that is the main selling point. This time I felt that the initial hop bite was a bit harsh, so I'm going to bring down the taste rating to a 4.5

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Photo of mxchap
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Deep gold to amber with orange hues. Nice foamy white head that lasts and leaves some gnarly lacing behind. [5]

Smell: Grapefruit, pine, and oranges. Definitely hop-dominated [4]

Taste: Strong, cohesive blend of citrus and pine (orange and grapefruit predominant). A pleasant bready sweetness lingers in the background. Some stronger roast bread flavors (biscuit and toast) are woven between the hop bitterness and the sweet malt. [4.5]

Feel: Somewhat creamy, but there is acidity and bitterness/resin present. Finishes dry, however with a lingering bitterness [3.5]

Overall: A wonderful pale ale. It feels a bit too "heavy" and resinous to drink a lot of it, but definitely has great presentation and flavor. [4.5]

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Photo of MiScusi
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Father's Office in Los Angeles.

A- Golden in color with a thick foamy white head.

S- sharp fruity hops, like fruit loops, very aromatic for a pale ale.

T- Citrusy, lots of hops, noticeably balanced like a pale ale with the base malt and a bit of crystal. Still the hops come through very nice and there is a good bitterness to this. No real astringency.

M- Just a bit on the heavier side of light. Has some body to it and isn't watery, but isn't thick or syrupy either.

D- Pretty good. As much as the flavor is good in and of itself I didn't want to drink this beer all night.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bbothen for the bottle.

Pours clear golden orange with a helluva lot of foamy white head.

Scent of piny/earthy malts, some sweet citrus, and lots of hops. I really like the scent of this one, it may not be very traditional, but it is excellent.

Taste is of very bitter hops with an almost stinging sweetness. Earthy malts smooth this one out as the flavor starts to develop along with a hint of citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and light, but with some bite.

Drinks very easy, an awesome session beer.

Drinks like an PA, but smells and tastes like an Imperial IPA. I wish I could get this all the time.

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Photo of McStagger
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a decently murky burnt red/orange. Two fingers white head. Rapidly dissipating. Moderate lacing. Look to be little yeasties floating in solution.

S: Right off the bat, you can tell this isn't the ordinary citrus driven West Coast APA. Tropical and stone fruit dominates the nose. Peach, apricot, mango. Floral essence in there as well, along with a bit of caramel sweetness from the malt. Expressive.

T: Many of the similar fruit flavors in effect. Stone fruit and tropical galore. Some citrus, but not nearly the amount I find in almost any other California APA or IPA. Strong, bracing...almost astringent like bitterness come across the palate. Without the insane malt bill of many IPA's, this brew's modest 48 IBU's comes across as being much more bitter.

M: Medium bodied, with good effervescence. Finishes crisp and oh so bitter.

O: An intricate, powerfully flavored session brew. Drinkable and damn bitter without dealing with 7%+ ABV's. The best APA I've had yet.

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Photo of mac31
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

On tap

A pale ale for hop heads. Truly West Coast. Tropical-pineapple, some citrus, slight floral. Woody, earthy, grassy and lots of pine. Soft danky bitterness makes this brew very drinkable. Dry pale malts, cracker like. Light bodied. Refreshing. Hops are on full display here. I love dry hopped ales. A great pale ale, IMO. Get it on tap if you can. I imagine some of the hop freshness and nuances are lost sitting in the bottle.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on tap and found it fresh and refreshing, crisp and crackling.

It pours a clear golden yellow with light foam. It has a great aroma of floral orange and a light pine hint. The flavor all but screams fresh citrus, with an orange-tangerine note dominating, and the body has a pleasing weight and finish to it. Satisfies the hop itch and seems ‘light’ enough to enjoy a few at the bar.

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Photo of vacax
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Factory in Long Beach. Pours orange gold in color with nice retention and lacing, highly bubbly. Aroma of extreme flora, geraniums, pine, and mango. Tastes of a possible excess in flowery flavors, like munching on flower petals nearly, spicy amounts of hops to a near warming level. The most sheer amount of hops thrown into a pale ale I have come across. Medium bodied with plenty of bubbles to make the hops pop on the palate. Tasty beer, though by the time half of my pint was gone I was beginning to wonder if this was hops overkill for a sessionable pale. Tasty stuff though.

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought another keg from Drake's and I AM IMPRESSED. 1500 definately lives up to the pale ale name. Golden with a hint of copper. The real beauty is in the lacing. Lots of it! Bouquets of flowers and a background of citrus. Tastes much like it smells with a bready malt and a slight bitterness at the end. Mouthfeel is thin which I appreciate with this style and drinkability is very high.

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Photo of BetterWatching
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- Out of a 16oz. bottle into a Bruery Tulip. Pours a golden orange with a head that quickly dissipates.

S- Pine and hint of citrus. I've had this beer fresh on tap and remember much more citrus. Perhaps this bottle is a little old.

T- Starts bitter and ends bitter like a good IPA. Reminds me of Stone IPA actually, how is this a pale?

M- Nothing overly notable. Perfect feel for an everyday beer.

O- I love this beer and it's my go-to everyday beer at the moment. It is hoppy and smooth.

On a side note- if the overwhelming characteristic of a beer is tons of hops, isn't it an IPA. I know there is a slight difference in the malt bill but in all reality this beer is one of my favorite IPA's.

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Drake's 1500 Pale Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.