Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
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Ratings: 929 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Groomsy:
3.38/5 rDev -9.9%
12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass, I picked this up as a mix-six pack several weeks ago. Bottling date of 01/11/11. Wish I had caught this when it was a little fresher, but hey, it is what it is.
Appearance: Very nice body: Amber/caramel color with hints of honey and copper, topped by a tight one-half finger head of off-white foam, eventually fading to a nearly complete cap of lace and bubbles, leaving some rings of lacing down the glass. Ample carbonation rises to the top of the glass. Nice looking APA, a bit darker than expected in color.
Smell: A little tame compared to other APA style beers I've had, but there's something different about this brew which makes it stand out. Aside from the usual citrus and pine characteristics in the aroma, there's a noticeable, earthy tone of caramel/biscuit (bread) malts to offset some of the sharpness from the hops. This causes the beer to walk a fine line between pale ale and amber ale in the smell, which carries over into the taste. The only detractor here is a slightly medicinal/metallic note in the nose, which probably has to do with the fact that the beer is three months old.
Taste: Starts with a pleasant fusion of herbal, floral, and pine characteristics from the hops which is washed away with citric flavors of lemon and grapefuit. The finish is where the malts come through with a pleasing and slightly warming bread flavor. An ever-so-slight medicinal/aspirin edge lingers in the finish. Very balanced and drinkable, even for the fairly assertive hop flavors going on.
Mouthfeel: This is where the beer falls flat. For such flavor and balance I expected more heft, but the body of this is actually fairly thin and clean - almost too clean. There are virtually no flavors lingering into the finish, and the crisp, snappy carbonation leaves no trace of the flavors behind.
Overall: I would call this a drinkable, mostly enjoyable APA. It's not bad, just standard. A mild but pleasing APA, it straddles into amber ale territory as it warms because of the lack of hop forwardness. Ho-hum.
04-15-2011 03:55:48 | More by Groomsy
More User Reviews:
3.78/5 rDev +0.8%
I was a little aprehensive about buying this because I havent overly impressed with other Widmer products but this was pretty good I have to say.Poured into a standard pint a clear medium golden with a nice tight formed 1/2 finger white head that had good lasting power.Aromas of caramel/biscuit malt with a firm toastiness,a tinge of citric hop comes thru as well.Pretty balanced on the palate,a big sweetish caramel base with some dough up front that yields to a citrusy lightly piney finish.A real summer quaffing pale ale,it blow your mind but its pretty solid.
06-29-2009 22:49:37 | More by oberon
3.1/5 rDev -17.3%
Appearance - This came out a nice shiny copper in color with a decent head that actually left a little lacing.
Smell - The classic PacNW hop profile is here albeit muted but the grain is a little cheap at the nose.
Taste - The hops don't carry over well into the taste losing their complexity and taking on a really one-dimensional citrus flavor. The grain unfortunately tastes like it smells. It's not bad but just not good. It's really not anything just kind of a mediocre effort at a grain backbone.
Mouthfeel - I enjoyed the sprightly carbonation of this ale but it was too thin and watery for the style.
Drinkability - This was OK to drink but it really lacked substance.
04-08-2010 01:18:39 | More by RoyalT
3.28/5 rDev -12.5%
Thin white head but with good retention and lots of big, popping bubbles, not much lacing. Red copper color just deep enough to hold your gaze and get past transparency, nice fade to burnt orange hues along the rims. Admirable mix of pink and white grapefruit in the nose, floral with chamomile tea notes, spoonful of pine sap, no herbaceous nor ultra-sweet elements, stays within itself and on message, you could sniff it for some time. Medium-bodied, however, most of it is palate pressure and a sense of marching forward rather than flavor. The grapefruit and tangerine citrus starts things off well, after that there's momentary pine, green hay, wet stone aspects. But after that it's evanescence leads to homogeneity. Credibly, the carbonation ratchets it down to fit the body profile. It's drinkable enough for a bottle or two before your mind starts to wander. If the palate could match the nose, that would be something.
09-11-2010 00:57:16 | More by ExtraStout
3.95/5 rDev +5.3%
From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume III, Issue II:
Dark copper color with a perfect clarity. The head retention is solid, with a lacing that holds its own. The blood-orange and evergreen hop aroma is very inviting, especially when hints of caramel and toasted malt reach their height. Super smooth, with a slick medium body. Oh yeah, it's on. The malt and hops are battling it out. Each time one throws a layer of flavor on top, the next one rises to do the same. Big hop flavor of fresh wild herbs, sweet citric and tropical fruit. Malt drops a thick layer of caramel, then more of a toasted grain and then a dry breadiness. Long-lingering finish of hops and malt (more hops though).
Good call on making this one a year-round beer from the get-go--a lovely beer to be had. Looks like Widmer was trying to raise their own bar and accomplished that task.
09-10-2010 12:55:25 | More by BeerAdvocate
3.83/5 rDev +2.1%
Bottle pours a hazy rusty orange body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a cap. Some spotty lacing on the glass.
Subdued aroma has toasted caramel, pine, and grapefruit notes.
Light medium body is crisply carbonated.
Taste is well balanced. Toasted biscuity caramel malt is edged nicely with bitter hop notes of citrusy grapefruit and a hint of pine. Nothing really stands out but it all integrates well.
Pleasantly drinkable and spot on for style.
10-10-2009 12:17:00 | More by merlin48
4.1/5 rDev +9.3%
12 ounce bottle with bottled on dating on the lower front label. (040609) Pours clear darker amber, fluffydarker tan head, that sticks around for ever, leaving more then respectable lace on the glass. The sniff reveals more then typical wiffs of citric hops. Nice, drinkable pale. Pineapple tinged hops, with hints of lime and mango with floral/fruity flourishes. Dry, yet still fruity finish. A pleasant suprise. Well worth a try.
05-23-2009 22:53:32 | More by Billolick
2.7/5 rDev -28%
Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.
A - Low carbonation. Has a good medium color for a pale ale - maybe a touch darker orange/brown than average. 1.5 finger head with a gentle pour.
S - The smell has a bit of skunk to it - definitely an odd bitter hop character. There's a little citrus in there but the unpleasant hop is overwhelming it.
T - Starts of nicely with some malty flavor upfront. This dissolves into a 'skunky' hop that matches the aroma.
M - Not a lot of carbonation. It's a smooth, decent, drinkable feel.
Widmer beers vary a good deal in my opinion and this is my least favorite of all of their offerings that I've tried. I'm not sure why it's so popular. If they'd completely change up the hop it might be a nice beer but the hop if pretty forward and pretty off-putting.
08-31-2011 18:58:19 | More by highTempo
3.98/5 rDev +6.1%
Balanced and sessionable pale ales seem to be in short supply lately, or else I'm just not finding them. This one seems to fit the bill.
Pours a crystal clear apricot color with streams of fine bubbles rising up to a sizzly head that fades out quickly.
Aroma of bright tangerine citrus, some ripe pear and honey, some floral notes.
Flavor fairly matches the nose, non-assertive citrus and floral hops, low bitterness, bready malt with light brown sugar mixed in, some toffee and honey, hops remain upfront, finishes with a flourish of doughey malt and tingle, buttered corn lingers.
Very tasty without trying too hard, well-balanced, great poolside beer.
07-04-2009 16:43:13 | More by far333
3.88/5 rDev +3.5%
Pours a little dark for a pale, approaching brown territory. Lovely Amarillo hop aroma on these.
Taste, good hop crispness, it does degrade at times into a woody mouthfeel, haven't been able to tell whether due to age or not. A warm up for hopheads and fans of good warm weather beer. Seen the price vary wildly for this, but is a good deal @ $7 I would say for a 6 pack.
08-04-2010 21:41:03 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.58/5 rDev -4.5%
Poured into pint glass golden amber with a nice one finger white head. Very good lacing all the way down the glass. Smell is a nice light floral hops scent. Very faint for a apa. The taste is a light hop bite with a malted balance. Flavor isn't too strong, but it's not missing either.
Overall, this is a very good average APA that I think the average non-BA beer drinker will like alot. I would have no problem ordering this at a bar if offered.
03-25-2009 23:07:20 | More by whoneeds8
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 929 ratings.