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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

127 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 127
Hads: 431
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 6.41%
Wants: 24
Gots: 75 | 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: 127 | Hads: 431
Photo of artoolemomo
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head which appears to have solid retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a medium amber which glows a yellow orange when held up to the light. A fair amount of lacing is being left behind.

Nose- Certainly smells like an IPA- very warm and inviting. All the usual suspects are there: pine, citrus (orange and lemon), resin, and hints of spice. The lemon notes last longer than any other scent.

Taste- This is reflective of the nose but is a little bit more subdued especially when it comes to the pine and resin. The citrus levels are about the same as they are on the nose but there is definitely more spice on the palate. Not the most exciting pale ale as it seems a little thin and watery. Some resin does linger on the finish. A good pale ale but not in the same league as a SNPA or a Red Chair. The aroma promises more than the flavor profile delivers though it is true to the style. Slight hints of grapefruit appear after some minutes.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with just a little carbonation. It could maybe use more.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing but a little boring at the same time. A little more expensive than my standard pale ales. Probably won't buy again.

Overall- Not a bad beer at all and faithful to the style. However, it simply does not stand out or impress in anyway (except for the aroma). Worth a shot though. (1,400 characters)

Photo of raynmoon
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 4/02/13

a: slightly hazy golden, orange color. It has a nice head, some lacing. Looks nice.

s: a nice dankiness, some resinous hop notes, and a very prominant malt backbone. Nothing outstanding, but different than the norm.

t: you get that charred malt character right away, characteristically found in Sculpin IPA, but then the bitterness and hops just don't quite show up. 48 ibus... should be more perhaps to balance the beer more.

overall, pretty good, worth drinking, not worth seeking out. Especially when Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Lagunitas New Dogtown are all over the place. (599 characters)

Photo of MacQ32
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an orange golden color, objects visible but a bit blurry through my Widmere Brothers Series 924 glass. Decent finger of near white head. Retention is so-so, a thin layer remains across the surface about 5 minutes late. Lacing is fantastic

S - Lots of sweet caramel malts, bitter with more passive citrusy aromas (grapefruit/lemongrass).

T - Pretty mild for sure. Very well balance between milder hoppy/citrus bitterness and sweet caramel malt backbone. Kind of simple and weaker than what I strive for but still very much enjoyably to drink - something I could really enjoying drinking 6+ of in a social setting. Aftertaste is pretty sweet from the malts.

M - A little too heavy to be called light bodied but pretty light. Incredibly crisp and easy to drink!

O - Nothing to write home about but this beer certainly deserves some respect. Nicely balanced (mild flavors) and very enjoyable to drink. (911 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 4/26/13

Cheers to magictacosinus for sending me a couple of these

Appearance: Lightly cloudy, dark golden color with some lighter gold and orange highlights - small, off-white head - fades to a small, wispy cap, leaves some streaks and spots of lacing

Smell: Lightly hoppy and juicy in a non-aggressive way - fleshy tangerine and some ruby red grapefruit - maybe some hints of lemon as well - some grassy and earthy notes, with a touch of pine - some pale, sweet-ish malts in the back

Taste: Hoppy and fruity - tangerine and grapefruit flesh, with a touch of pith, floral citrus - moderate level of bitterness - additional fruitiness, including some hints of lemon and perhaps some tropical notes - pine needles, earth, and some herbal/grassy notes - malts are very pale, and lightly sweet - crisp and refreshing

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium, nicely carbonated, nicely crisp, dry finish

Overall: A great example of a style that doesn't quite exist yet

This is too hoppy to fit into the APA category. But the malt profile doesn't quite fit into the IPA category. This is more along the lines of the newfangled "session IPA" category (e.g., Founders All Day IPA), or simply the "hoppy APA" category (e.g., FFF Zombie Dust). Regardless of what the hell it is, I really like it. It's absurdly easy to drink and very interesting. Win! (1,355 characters)

Photo of charlzm
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed February 13th, 2013 at The Fat Dog.

Beer is a medium burnished copper with a 2 finger, off-white creamy head.

Aroma of grassy, pine hops.

Fairly restrained caramel and toasty malt. Moderate bitterness seems strong in comparison to malt. Slight pine and citrus flavor on finish.

Mouth feel unremarkable, save for a little creaminess.

Overall, quite average. (370 characters)

Photo of MCain04
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Acquired as an extra in a trade with WestCoastBrew2, thanks bud. Poured into a 14 oz Hop Leap Tulip.

Appearance: Clear, orange/amber color. Pure white head, 2 fingers, creamy, great retention and lacing. Great looking beer.

Smell: Not a ton on the nose, smells of some clean lemon and pine, a bit of citrus fruit, but not a whole lot.

Taste: Clean, refreshing, and crisp. Not too hoppy, not too malty. A little bitter on the end. Very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, very clean and crisp but smooth as well, leaves the palate dry. Nice.

Overall: A great session beer, perfect for a 6-pack to watch a game and eat a bunch of greasy food. Not something I'd seek out for the taste alone, but the whole package is attractive. (744 characters)

Photo of Topher78
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (362 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a somewhat hazy, golden orange with a white, finger width head. Fair retention. Decent lacing with good stick.

Smell - Strong fruit on the nose - hits on citrus, stone fruit and some tropical notes. A hint of pine and peppery spice.

Taste - Starts with a sharp fruity bite, hitting on citrus and stone fruit. Underlying pine flavor. Mid-taste the malt flavors show up, though faintly, producing a subtle caramel and an earthy, almost nutty character. Finishes a touch spicy with a fair amount of orange pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Tingles the lips. Goes down nice and smooth.

Overall - Had this on tap early last week, and my bulletproof beer taste buds are telling me there's very little difference out of the bottle. Good, solid drinkable pale ale. Problem is, I could think of a good dozen or two pale ales I'd rather have. Personally, I think the malt backbone is just a tad too weak. (951 characters)

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.41/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle capped. Pours out a lovely copper to light brown color with a nice soft white head. Smell is a bit lacking relative to the draft version that I just had about 2 hours ago at their barrel house. I do get a minor trace of some hoppyness which I can't identify.

Flavor brings it back in to check with a firm bitterness. It does have some lower malt notes but I wish the hops shined a bit more. Bitterness is were it should be but the flavor and aroma is just plain lacking. I realize that it's hard to get the notes I'm looking for in a bottled beer.

Would I buy this beer again? In a second! It's a lovely example of what a brewery can put into a bottle. On draft, I personally would consider this a world place American Pale Ale.

Go buy this beer and enjoy the hell out of it. (799 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Color is a golden-tinged amber with a very good initial burst of carbonation. Lots of bubbles seem to rise to the top. The head doesn't seem ever fully recede, and for the most part a nice little foamy ring remains at the top, and with every sip tons of lacing stick to the walls of the glass in the process. This looks like every fresh batch of very hopped pales ales I've ever had, which may predict great things to come.

Oh yes, those advertised dry hops are fully kicking in already in the aroma. What's perplexing is despite the alcohol not being as strong here as it is in your average, well made IPA, it has a near *identical* aroma to such beers! There's very predominant citrus aromas, ranging more towards the orange peel and lime varieties. The hoppy, oily resin seems strong here, but there's nicely balanced toffee malts and slight yeastiness that make it pretty worthwhile.

Upon one sip - and then in the next 10 minutes, half of the glass downed - I declare this to be one of my new favorite locally made pale ales. This has the same consistency of many IPAs, but doesn't have as strong of an astringent aftertaste, nor an alcoholic feel that whacks the senses out of you. The malts and hops are seriously balanced here, but the addition of dry hops in a rather unorthodox manner make this a slightly different drinking experience indeed. The hop presence is very much alive here, and the syrupy, thick body of the beer makes it easy and soothing to drink.

Very excellent stuff in my opinion, and in some ways more enjoyable than their IPA, as I could have several of these in one setting due to the lower ABV. It's a nice little twist on the APA style, and could fool anyone into thinking that this was a proper IPA. I paired this with morbier cheese to much delight. I will definitely be buying more of these these in the future. (1,897 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprised I have never had this before though have seen it often.

Pours a clear apricot colored ale with a nice off-white head. Light lacing.

A combo of malt and citrus on each sniff. Pine, malt, orange peel, grass and more earthiness abound. Getting a lot of pineapple too. Not bad.

The taste was definitely different from the smell. A lot of hops and bitterness are evident. This brew is dry-hopped and it works well. Getting a bunch of orange peel here. Dry and quick finish. A pretty big taste for a Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated.

Overall I thought this was a nice session. The dry-hop is a nice addition and turns this to full bodied meal. Bordering on an IPA and the awards it has won in the past are evident that this is a nice beer. Worth checking out and very sessionable. (795 characters)

Photo of elNopalero
4.25/5  rDev +9%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of hopsolutely
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a strange curry house in San Francisco with 50 (mostly micro) taps and an Irish name... odd, but so glad I stopped! |Drake’s has surprising flavour for such a light ABV beer.

Pours a light golden amber colour with a moderate white head and impressive residual lacing. Impressive aroma of tropical fruits with hoppy citrus undertones. Well balanced flavour of caramelized malt sweetness and tropical fruit “c” hops – a very nice combination with an impressively lingering bitter finish.

Accidently stumbled onto this beer, but definitely one of the highlights of this past week’s beer vacation in CA. Hope to see again! (640 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for this one, Uncle Larry!

A clear golden and light copper with a pillowy, moderately-sized off-white head that leaves gorgeous lined lacing down the glass. Very pretty pale ale.

A hoppy pale ale to be sure, with big amounts of grapefruit flesh and zest leading hte way in the aroma, along with some pine, and caramel sweetness.

The malt character is bigger in the flavor than I would have guessed after only smelling this beer. Sweet caramel, moderate bitterness, grapefruit flesh and zest, and a clean, mild pine and grass character. Balanced and very drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Crisp, clean, refreshing.

A perfect pale ale to have after a long day. (708 characters)

Photo of tlazaroff
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wonderfully clear aroma on this one, caramel underneath a beautiful tropical bouquet of hoppy goodness. Very enticing and inviting.

Orange in color with a nice gradient to dark yellow. Clear as day and those little bubbles inside are soothing to the eye. The head is white, and sits as a thin layer on top of the beer, but laces nicely in rings as you sip it.

Bitterness right away, and it feels like more IBU than it says on the bottle. It has a sharp hop-bite, followed by a bit of carbonation-bite. Flavors are all hop-derived, and very little (if anything) from the malt. Carbonation, like I said is a bit on the sharp side. It's not fully carbonated, but it's sharp. Body is medium-light and easy drinking. Drake's 1500 is a solid Pale Ale, one I wish I could easily buy on the east coast. (796 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is much more malty than I would have expected from Drake's. There are definitely a lot of hop spice tones that seem to be restrained by the seemingly high amount of malt presence. Which seems an odd thing to say since the hop spice tones really kick in at some points and burn on my tongue. High carbonation bites on my tongue as well. Overall, this apa could use a bit more finesse, imo. There is no grace or power about it, in any direction. Nice to drink though. (470 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange, darker yellow, nice 1.25" head to it. Very grassy aroma, grass first, hops second, not massively hopped, but appropriately for a pale ale, certainly.

Taste, pretty light body, more of the earthy grassy hops. Malt body is light, not really getting caramel from this one, you get a little bit of sweetness from it, but nothing distracting or that does not belong.

Doesn't lean towards pine or citrus all that much, a very light grapefruit I guess if you made me choose. I appreciate this beer for its easy warm weather drinking appropriateness. $9 a 6 pack, a pretty legitimate beer to have, I just wish I knew how old this was, its so hard to definitively review a hoppy beer that you have no idea how old it is.

Overall though, still probably hoppier than most pale ales out there. Bottle date it, and I'd give it a 4 overall. (854 characters)

Photo of McStagger
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (987 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-07-14 in San Francisco, CA. Had this again on 2015-06-22 in Reno, NV from a 12 oz bottle. Still delicious.

A - Darkish golden-orange with a 1-finger head and decent lacing.

S - malt, citrus, light peach, hop floral. Very fruity.

T - mild roasted grain, orange flesh, herbal tea, very little dankness, pine, significant red grapefruit zest, hop oils. Finish is dry, citrus, herbal and plenty of lingering bitterness. Even with all these flavors; it's very balanced.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Prickly for a pale ale.

O - Enjoyable with its own unique flavor. Plenty of smell and taste. Hoppier than a SNPA. Not as aromatic as a Zombie Dust. I liked the second one even better than the first; a good sign. Worth seeking out. We need this in Pennsylvania. (800 characters)

Photo of goldendenizen
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: little lacing. Nice PA orange hue

S: strong hop goodness

T: very floral, piney dry hoppy bitterness. Full favor but not too hoppy or bitter.

M: usually good carbonation. This six pack tastes a bit flat. No born on date plus a bar code =unhappy beer drinker.

O: Very tasty Bay Area sessionable brew (support your local brewer). I will definitely purchase again! New to me but I hope to see more of their offerings at my local store. If you like hops with a very light malt offering, this should entertain your palate. (523 characters)

Photo of iammatt
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a fluffly two finger head that fades to a cap leaving behind tons of lace. Hops galore is what can easily describe the taste. Tons of orange, citrus, and some chronic in there, no grain to speak of. Citrus and Pine hit the pallate first followed by the wonderful pine and resinous flavors of the hops. A bit of crystal malt sweetness comes in at the end to help bring the beer together. This may as well be an IPA, which is where my one complaint comes. With the huge hop aroma and aftertaste I'd like a bit more malt to balance the beer out. All together a very good hop forward beer, may as well be an American IPA. (642 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who says that pale ales should be tame, balanced, and intended for simpler palates? Certainly not Drake's because theirs is bursting with hop character, surpressed malts, and highly citrusy for an effect that's more of a light IPA rather than the mundane pale ale.

Bright golden and with brilliant clarity, the beer releases a froathy white head that retains a creamy and lush head right down to the last sip. Leaving textured patterns of lace behind, the foam character of this beer is very impressive.

Very citrusy to the nose and hop-forward scents of grapefruit, orange zest, and soft pine seemingly dominate the aromas with the most supple caramel and bread notes that remind me of graham crackers.

The hoppy focus continues in taste with a clean and thin caramel malt flavor that evades the sweetness that's associated with the simple sugars. This dry malt flavor is ther perfect pillow for the spicy hop character of white grapefruit pulp, freshly mulled orange peel, and bitter pine resin particularly in finish. Although the dry malt character reveals a mild grassy or vegetal taste from hops, the citrusy focus is well celebrated.

Dryness continues in taste as the early carbonation evades the liquid quickly develops into a bone-dry finish of mild hop astringency, mild alcohol warmth, and resiny bite.

More of a pale ale, Drake's pale ale drinks much more like a 5.5% IPA with superb drinkability and cleanliness. (1,430 characters)

Photo of DM1293
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste - I get a piney hop kick up front. Its fairly crisp, finishes with a little bit of citrusy goodness. The bitterness is kind of annoying though, it lingers longer than I'd like it to and shows up in an oily fashion to begin with.

The beer overall is pretty solid, the smell and mouthfeel are pretty good, but for the taste, I have better ones in mind. Still, worth a try. (377 characters)

Photo of dbmernin83
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is what I've been craving for the last few days. A light hoppy, crisp flavorful brew. No malts in sight on this one. Citrusy hops on the nose and dominate the tongue. A touch lighter than some APAs, but not thin. This is not an APA, this is an IPA light. Diet IPA. All that great IPA flavor with a 1/3 less the alcohol. (324 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
2.77/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live. This is actually a 5.5%, dry-hopped beer of the same name. So I'm not sure if this is the right category.

A- Pours a thin white head. Little retention. Thick spotty lacing. Pale golden color with brilliant clarity.

S- Floral hoppiness is the key smell here. Blackberries, garden salad smells and pine, but mostly hop oil with a floral twinge.

T- Heavy hop oil and some soapiness. Grassy flavors are there as well. Very hop-forward with a light finish.

M- Lighter but heavy carbonation is nice.

O- Sub-par unless you are in a very hoppy mood for this dry-hopped rendition of Drake's 1500. (656 characters)

Drake's 1500 Pale Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.