Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

128 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 128
Hads: 432
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 11.83%
Wants: 25
Gots: 79 | FT: 2
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 128 | Hads: 432
Photo of Murrhey
2.77/5  rDev -28.8%
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)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pine and citrus zest hops with some slight malt aromas. Taste is the same with a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good pale ale that is easy to drink. (457 characters)

Photo of PatrickSwayze
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
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 (509 characters)

Photo of tony223366
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice caramel color, nothing too amazing though. Actually the clarity isn't great, it's pretty cloudy which is something you don't want in a pale. It makes up a little ground with the fluffy white head that's pretty attractive. It would have gotten a below average score if it had any worse of a head!

S: Damn this smells good! They weren't joking about the aroma hops. Huge floral aroma's pound the nostrils first. That turns into more of a citrus that's followed by a caramel malt and some pine.

T: The taste definitely holds up nicely. First up is that citrus coming into the forefront. Then some nice caramel malts followed by a nice breadiness (or biscuity if you will). Finish is lightly bitter, just about appropriate for a pale, maybe a touch more.

M: This is the only place that the beer falls a little flat. It feels thin and that it needs a little more carbonation.

O: A tasty beer from Drake's. I would gladly drink this anytime. I'm hoping to get some on tap sometime. Nothing too amazing but really solid. (1,027 characters)

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass. Color was caramel amber. Tons of head, maybe because of a bad pour, but at least four fingers. Plenty of thick cloudy lacing. Lots of think cloudy film on the sides.

Nice smell, really what a pale ale should smell like. Light caramel notes.

Somewhat close to the taste, but still some differences. More of a dark fruit taste than the smell. Surprisingly slightly bitter late with a butter finish.

Light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth, watery finish.

This beer had its moments, but it could have been much better. The buttery taste just hit a nerve. (619 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Disneyland thimble glass (own it!) in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. Label gives ABV as 5.5% and IBUs as 48. No best before date is displayed. Served refrigerator cold and not paired with food. Expectations are above average.

Pour wasn't vigorous. Side-poured at a 45 degree angle; I didn't anticipate undercarbonation.

A: Pours a two finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and average (~two minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-gold. Nothing stands out. It isn't particularly appealing, but I'd say it's generally so.

Sm: Sheer hops. That's it. A mild strength aroma. I can tell it's dry hopped.

T: Pleasantly hoppy, but built with an eye for balance. Enjoyable and pleasant, without too much bitterness. No alcohol comes through. Refreshing. Simple, but likable. Balanced pretty well and fairly well built.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours generally. A touch thick, but it's excusable. Not too sharp. Cream isn't present, which is appropriate given the style. A bit sharp.

Dr/Ov: Drinkable but a bit boring. I wouldn't call it bland, but it's certainly lackluster. I like it for what it is, but I'd only get it again if it were on-draught. It hides its ABV well, but the ABV is merely average. It's nothing special.

(1,361 characters)

Photo of Philousa
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours the classic pale/copper color of an American Pale. Great clarity with little head. Big hop aroma: piney, some citrus, not very floral. A bit aggressive, one might say. Especially for a Pale. Some biscuity malt lies behind the hops. Orange citrus flavor with wheat bread malt that doesn't last long before the piney hop bitterness takes over and lingers a good while. very balanced in viscosity but acidic in feel from the dry hopping, no doubt.

If I was to make an American Pale for a brewery, I'd make it solid and slightly different. Drakes made it boldly different, and I have to admit it payed off. While I wouldn't reach for this most nights, it's still a solid beer with a good kick. I commend Drake's for doing something drastic with a typically boring style, while not going too far off the deep end. (815 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a sixer.

Pale copper hue with two fingers of suds on top. Clear, but doesn't look filtered to death.

Smells pretty nice, quite hoppy for the relatively low ABV. Floral, citrusy (oranges), a bit botanical even, with a modest biscuit malt backbone. Not massively dry hopped like, say, Hoppy Birthday or Zombie Dust, but significantly more bright and aromatic than the average APA.

Palate is pretty punchy and flavorful, very citrusy (again, orange comes to mind) and quite bitter - this has some big IBUs for a pale, but it isn't abrasive or imbalanced. The body is light, bordering on thin, and malt is almost negligible; strangely it seems to come through more in the aroma. The finish, as previously mentioned, is pretty sticky and lingering. Very satisfying stuff, a top notch west coast pale ale. (814 characters)

Photo of kiya
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Vault One Sixty Four in San Mateo...

Pours a medium-light brown color with an intense head that sits through the entire pint.
The nose is of freshly cut grass, water crackers, and a great hop finish.

Taste is great on this one, starting with grassy front moving onto a slightly bitter middle then a strong hop finish. The hop depth on this is pretty amazing, it develops well on the tongue and even lends to a beer that's very drinkable despite it's intense bitterness for such a "mainstream" brew. As it warms up i sense crisp apples and burnt caramel poking through the hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is spot on, making this an easy to drink hoppy beer for when you're feeling like an IPA but want it to pair better with lighter foods. Overall quite impressive, definitely would buy this in larger quantities. (819 characters)

Photo of CliffBrake
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jules11788 for the extra!

Hazy orange with a light head leaving modest lacing.

Inviting, malty nose with biscuit and toast and a bit of citrusy hops. However the hops really open up with the taste. Herbal notes dominate, with plenty of citrus (orange and lemon).

Good lingering bitterness, medium mouthfeel. A nice pale ale with plenty to recommend it in both the hops and malt departments. (403 characters)

Photo of nelson4
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
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. (1,145 characters)

Photo of AwYeh
2.72/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Cloudy orange-amber color with a thin coating of off-white head. Dissipates rapidly but does leave decent lacing.

S: Strong citrus and pine hops here, with orange sticking out in particular. There's a sticky sweet aroma that probably is coming from the combination of hops and malts. Light musty scent present too.

T: Weedy, piny hops really dominate the flavor here; a "sticky" flavor starts things off before a bitter wash really clears everything else out. Not a particularly bad taste, but it's rather one dimensional and not something I would look for.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate dose of carbonation lending some texture.

O: There is a very strong flavor here but that's not enough to carry the beer; I'll give it another chance in the future but this particular glass wasn't outstanding. (806 characters)

Photo of nickhiller
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: clear amber with a thin head and a dash of lace.

S: fresh hops, I'm going to guess Cascade maybe (?), a little butter.

T: freshly cut gras and horse sweat, sweet dry finish with a little bit of smoke maybe.

M: medium to low body, pleasant carbonation.

O: perfectly good pale ale, not my favorite style these days, but I appreciate the craft/quality of this. (364 characters)

Photo of litheum94
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 10/2/11.

This beer has serious head; it fills the entire glass with an airy, orange tinged foam. Slowly collapses in on itself, but it takes a while. It took me a good 15 minutes to be able to pour the whole bottle. Body is very a murky amber color. Spider web lacing left on the glass.

Strong aromas of pine cone and pitch. Bright citrus tones. Cracker malts.

Dry and crackery at first, with some lemon peel zest. Some fruit sweetness leads into a dose of bitterness, piney and full of resin flavors. Bitterness lingers on the tongue.

This pale ale has some serious bitterness, and it's highly sessionable. Another great beer from Drake's. (654 characters)

Photo of colforbin73
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

drake's is one of my GOTO local breweries, along with Lagunitas and Russian River. they put out very high quality beers and have been coming out with fantastic limited offerings, such as AROMA COMA and HOPACALYPSE.

1500 pours a luscious amber with a huge white head of froth that sticks moderately to the glass as you drink it down.

this beer is dry hopped and it pays off in the aroma -- good and hoppy fresh, with a note of the biscuity malt that forms the taste base of this brew.

this is a highly quaffable, sessionable beer -- and to be honest, it is not as good as their amazing ALPHA SESSION brew, which comes in with an ABV under 5% but a powerful display of hop flavor. nonetheless, 1500 is a top shelf american pale ale with a very dry clean finish, biscuity malt base, not too sweet, and a generous hop flavor and aroma.

excellent beer! (854 characters)

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright oranges and luscious ruby reds. Light beige head with weak retention. It glows somewhat.

Smell: Veggie. Pine. Lemon. Grapefruit. Honey and Vanilla. The flavors are light but there are a lot of them. The malts are bready and biscuity caramel malts.

Taste: Close to the smell. Slightly bitter but not overpowering. The hops are stronger than the malts. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Thin. Well balanced nice and cleansing.

Overall: This is a great low abv daytime pale ale. It's crisp with a quick bite, characteristic but not overpowering. A solid APA. (571 characters)

Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy amber orange, with one finger of head.

S-Citrus and grapefruit

T-Rather citrusy, solid bitterness, great balance.

M-Light, smooth with some carbonation.

O-The best APA I've had to date. Not overly powerful with the flavor but the balance is near perfect. (267 characters)

Photo of avaldivia
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear hazy golden copper color. Very nice head with great retention and lacing.

S: Very piny and citrusy. I get some apricot, peach, and mango notes.

T: Nice flavor. Hop is prominent. A bit more floral than I was expecting, but very nice. Nice sweetness on the end.

M: Crisp, medium bodied. Good carbonation.

O: Excellent Pale Ale. I have felt for a while that Drakes Brewing doesn't get enough attention around the Bay Area. I hope that will start to change. They have a solid line up and this is a prime example. (566 characters)

Photo of TheGordianKnot
2.16/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

No bottle dating, poured into globe tulip...

A- Another orange looking beer tonight. Finger head that dies quickly.

S- Very soapy. Earthy and floral hops very minimal, with a sweet bready malt casting shadow over the hop profile. Not the best first impression; maybe this is a bit past freshness?

T/M- Watery. Not very bitter, but the hops there are earthy. Not much flavor here, all around lackluster. I don't think this is incredibly outdated, its just too light in character. Light, thin body... Too thin.

O- Honestly, having this shortly after my first experience with Daisy Cutter made me appreciate DC so much more and made this beer unappealing. I don't think this is a horrible beer, I just think it appeals to the masses more than other craft pale ales do. Wasn't my cup of tea, but could understand someone getting enjoyment from this. (850 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy, golden-amber color with a bunch of little floaties in it. Large white head that hangs around for quite some time. Scent is VERY citrusy and hoppy. Lovely floral, pine, and citrus hop notes make this brew smell more like an IPA than a pale ale. Tastes more like an IPA too! There are some intense bitter hop flavors in this beer. A very complex blend of citrus (lemon and grapefruit) with piney bitterness, and some subtle flower and perfume notes. Finishes very bitter on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with somewhat of a crisp finish. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is one of my favorite pale ales out there. It's just like drinking a very low ABV IPA! (702 characters)

Photo of BetterWatching
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of gregshead
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 5/17/11. Reviewed from notes:

A: Pours with very little head. Clear light golden color

S: Lots of pine hops on the nose. Smells like a lightened IPA

T: Lots of astringency from beginning to aftertaste. Pine all the way through. Like bread malt back it up. Is this a pale ale of an IPA?

M: Carb a little low. Very light feel

O: A super hoppy place ale. I love it. Might be a a little more hoppy than a traditional APA but it is definitely enjoyable to my taste buds. (481 characters)

Photo of PerHops
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
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. (312 characters)

Photo of codfeast
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint.

A: Tan, copper nice creamy head, sticky lacing.

S: Lemon, mango, pine, and flowers.

T: Tastes of flowers, citrus then some sweet malt and a slightly bitter finish.

M: Med. carbination, with an oily finish.

O: A real good beer. Finish is suprisingly not very bitter, given the DIPA smell. Taste is nicely balanced, right up there with Red Chair for top west coast APA's (389 characters)

Photo of ILessThan3Brett
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
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. (971 characters)

Drake's 1500 Pale Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 128 ratings.