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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

914 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 914
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 21
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
availability: year-round
bitterness: 32 IBU
alcohol by volume: 5.7%
original gravity: 14.0° PLATO

malts:
Pale, Caramel 20L, Caravienne 20L, Caramel 80L, Carapils

hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin

(Beer added by: madtappers on 12-23-2008)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 914 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bookseeb
Bookseeb

Washington

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a darker orange amber with a thin but steady head and fair lace. Smell of lightly sweet malt and floral citric hops. Taste has a good balance of the sweet malt and floral citric hops with a note of grapefruit and pine that finishes clean. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. What I would consider a hearty pale ale that goes down nicely.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 23:18:33 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of djbreezy
djbreezy

Washington

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - not much of a head, pours copper

smell - citrus and hops on the nose

taste - subtle flavor of hops, malt, citrus, lingers in the mouth a bit

mouthfeel - light, soft, some carbonation

drinkability - smooth, decent flavor, easy to drink

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2010 03:07:39 | More by djbreezy
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2010 12:55:25 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of EternityofNight
EternityofNight

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fizzy beer like this could easily disappoint, but on the contrary, it is a clear winner, with a lively carbonation complementing its lovely fruity aroma and balanced flavor. This is a happy and good natured beer that will offend few and delight many!

PS, at $7.49 for a 6 pack it is also cheap.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 01:09:15 | More by EternityofNight
Photo of biggred1
biggred1

Indiana

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark cinnamon orange with a fine creamy tan cap that leave sheets of lace behind on the glass. The nose is fresh and hoppy with pineapple, toasted grain and plenty of caramel maltiness. Caramel slathered toast with a mild resinous hop bite that lingers into the finish. Medium bodied and mildly carbonated. This is far and away the best WBBC offering I've had. A pretty spot on PA and perfect session ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2009 23:22:33 | More by biggred1
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange color with a nice fluffy white head.

Aromas are of hard candies, pretty floral, and of sweet citrus fruit.

Taste is clean and crisp. Some malty tea, light sweetness, caramel, and light bread dough. Finish has an earthy floral hop note.

Mouthfeel is not bad, a bit thin though.

Drinkability is good. This is an easy drinking and fairly tasty Pale Ale. Seems to be kind of British in taste with hoppy American aromas. I like this one. Nice offering Widmer.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 04:04:19 | More by flexabull
Photo of DNICE555
DNICE555

Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trivia Night at the B

A - Dark copper, thin white head.

S - Earthy, fruity, citrusy hops.

T - Same as it smells. Bitterness really makes a nice appearance. This is a lot better than I thought it was be.

M - Light body, medium carbonation. Very well balanced.

D - A Very nice pale ale. Not my favorite but very nicely crafted.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2010 18:58:43 | More by DNICE555
Photo of raninator84
raninator84

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap @ Cork & Vine in Dayton Ohio. Drifter is a surprisingly solid pale ale, solid but not amazing. Pours almost amber and darker hue than most PA's I've drank. Smells of hop infused with a bit of a caramel and bitters but the smell is weak. Tastes like a traditional pale ale. Hops aren't overpowering and malt character although not perfectly balanced is present. Overall a solid Pale Ale Session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

07-28-2009 02:58:16 | More by raninator84
Photo of birdypowder
birdypowder

Oregon

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good example of the APA style with all the right qualities in the right amounts. Well done.

Appearance: Brilliant clear copper in color, capped by a fat finger of off-white foam. Looks the part of an APA. Lacing makes a noble effort.

Smell: Very clean, allowing the fruity/citrusy hops to emerge. Caramel breaks through later.

Taste: Balanced, clean, sweetness not over the top, slight grainy astringency at the end, a bit of a dry finish for style. Medium light to medium bodied.

Overall: Highly drinkable, well made, classic example of style, enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2011 23:02:50 | More by birdypowder
Photo of GMB
GMB

Japan

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" pours a clear tawny body that, when held up to the ceiling light, admits rays of light reds, oranges, yellows. A sturdy pour produces a head with some stamina.

The nose is strong and focused. Grapefruit and hoppy floral aromas dominate.

The first sip is excellent. The hops-derived flavor is clean, and the malt provides just enough sweetness. Notes of caramel and butterscotch complement the main hop-derived flavors of grapefruit and chrysanthemum. Subsequent sips begin to seem a bit watery. This brew would be helped by a bit more malt.

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" manages to be both hop-forward and drinkable. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by offering clean, focused hop tastes and aromas with a light malty backbone. The latter lets it down a bit, otherwise this beer would have earned a solid 4.0.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 18:40:40 | More by GMB
Photo of theboozecruise
theboozecruise

Louisiana

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Front Porch Pub in Houston - served in a shaker pint.

This is the best looking pint of the night... a clear deep reddish color with a pretty impressive head. Not bad at all.

The aroma was a good combo of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts. The blend I look for in a good APA was there, and definitely want to give it a taste.

The flavor is more of the hoppy fruit flavors than the malt, but the malt still comes through as well. The sweeter flavors are there when you swish the beer around in your mouth and the beer rolls over the tip of the tongue. On the swallow, the hops come through even moreso.

A good beer, best one of the night, and one I went back for seconds of.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 16:22:49 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of droomyster
droomyster

Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good pale ale. Pours a copper colored body with an off-white head with good retention. Aromas are a bit atypical from what I'd expect from an APA, but I like them: I get a lot of pineapple and grapefruit notes from the hops with caramel maltiness playing a less pronounced role. These flavors define its taste as well, but the caramel malts are more prominent, making for a well-balanced beer. Well done, Widmer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2011 07:04:02 | More by droomyster
Photo of BaronRogue
BaronRogue

California

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part 2 of my variety pack reviews... bottled on 12/14/10

A dark copper, almost brown color with a decent head and good lacing. Completely see-through.

The smell is unique and really, really good. If you like citrus-y hop smells, you'll be in heaven.

Taste fits the smell very well, the caramel mixes with the hops so well, it's a really complete and original beer.

Mouthfeel is great, slight bitterness gives it a fuller feel.

Could drink this every day and be happy with it... although it really doesnt go well with food, in my opinion. Gonna keep this as a session beer. When i drank it with food it tasted like alcohol and rot.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 04:11:43 | More by BaronRogue
Photo of peck95
peck95

Washington

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

the appearance is a nice copper color with very little head and a minimal amount of lacing.

has very powerful citrus hop aroma (could be dry hopped with citra hop i didn't check). the aroma does fad rather quickly though.

a nice citrusy hop flavor and a little bit of grass. The malt flavor is ok could be a little bit bigger.

a little bit watery, also has a bit of an odd bite on the end that isn't from the hops

a good pale ale would recommend and buy again. Probably one of the best beer ive had from widmer.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 03:09:24 | More by peck95
Photo of Gyle41386
Gyle41386

South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled 4/1/09) into a pint glass.

Pours an amber orange color. Relatively small white head. Spotty lacing.

Hoppy aroma. I'm getting mostly pine, but can detect some citrus, as well. Lemon, pineapple, grapefruit. There's also a sweetness to the nose, and I can't decide if that's coming from the malt base or not.

Yeah, the sweetness seems to be from the malt. There's a decent malt taste up front, then a floral hoppy bitterness takes over. This is much more balanced than the aroma makes it appear.

Body is on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation level is appropriate. Pretty smooth drinker. Dry finish. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2009 04:18:59 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of kshankar
kshankar

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear well carbonated brown/amber. Lacing is okay, head is minimal, not much retention..leaves barely anything on top

Aroma: Sweet and fruity, hops (citrus)

Taste: Malts come in well and finish off with a citrus hop finish. Somewhat sweet in the middle as well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated well, has a somewhat creamy finish to it. Goes down well

Drinkability: Taste is good, mouthfeel good. Easy to drink a few. Recommended

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 03:10:22 | More by kshankar
Photo of colts9016
colts9016

Idaho

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A medium amber color with copper hues. There was a quarter inch ivory head that is foamy. There is some effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is clear and slightly hazy.

Nose: A very nice maltiness with floral with citrus. There is a hint of sweetness and pine on the tail end of the beer.

Taste: A very good malt with floral citrus and a hint of pine. There is a little harsh bitterness in the beer. There is light biscuit, grass, and some sweetness.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated and slightly dry. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is bitter and a tad dry. I was rather surprised by this beer, this is a descent APA. It is a little harsh around the edges, but overall I enjoyed it.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 05:02:00 | More by colts9016
Photo of codfeast
codfeast

California

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle to pint.

A: Dark copper color, 1/4" off white head, sticky lacing.

S: Heavy on the hops, pine and citrus(lemon)

T: starts off with malt, and quickly hops kicks in leaving a nice pine sap taste.

M: almost heavy, medium carbination, bitter finish.

O: A good west coast Pale Ale, in the SNPA, Drake's and Red Chair tradition. Not the most balanced beer. On sale every couple of months around here, and I'm always good for six.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 03:14:40 | More by codfeast
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rusty pumpkin with gem-like clarity, even after all 12 ounces were squeezed into the glass on a single smooth pour. The tight-bubbled crown of golden beige foam looks pretty damn good and is sticky enough to coat the glass with scattered sheets of lace that resemble spray-on snow.

The aroma is softly caramel malty and has an intriguing hoppiness. Summit adds an earthy citrusiness and Nelson Sauvin adds... something else. NS is a New Zealand variety of hop that is supposed to smell and taste like Sauvignon blanc grapes and gooseberries. Even though I can't identify either of those, the nose is APA enjoyable.

Drifter is a rock-solid American pale ale. There's just enough that's different about it that it's interesting as well, which never hurts. Drinking it at approximately four months of age makes me wish that I had cracked the crown closer to one month (assuming it was in my possession then). A sharper hop bite would make it even tastier.

The malt is a near equal mixture of pale and caramel (plus CaraVienne and Carapils), with very little of the toasted-earthy-nutty flavors that malts like Munich or Vienna tend to add. Summit may not be my favorite American hop, but it's citrusy enough to be in the second tier. Regarding the white grapiness... it's hard to say for sure. Balanced and drinkable? Yes and yes.

Due to a slight shortage of heftiness and a tendency to wander away on the back end, the mouthfeel falls a little short. Not seriously so, but a 'good' score can't be awarded in good conscience. A few more bubbles might have helped.

Widmer Drifter is good beer that is probably even better beer immediately after bottling. Of course that's true of pretty much all APAs. This is one of WBBC's better efforts and is an easy recommendation to anyone who enjoy a well-crafted pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 12:33:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of FreshHawk
FreshHawk

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear, radiant pumpkin color with a slightly smaller than average, foamy, bubbly, white head. Decent retention leaving only a thin ring of lace.

S - Sweet orange and grapefruit citrus hops and caramel malt is strongest. Some tea like hops as well. Pretty hoppy aroma for a pale ale, but smells like it will be more sweet than bitter.

T - Follows the nose. Plenty of sweet orange and grapefruit (some tropical fruit as well). This mixes with a pretty strong showing of caramel malt. Some tea like hops and some light biscuit/bready malt in the background. The hops don't provide much bitterness though.

M - Lighter body with average carbonation. A little thin, but really pretty much a typical body for a pale ale.

D - Pretty easy to drink pale ale. Nothing overly special, but I enjoyed drinking it, and wouldn't turn down another one.

Notes: A good level of hops, but not really bitter, much more sweet. Orange, grapefruit, and some tropical fruit along with caramel provide most of the flavor. I enjoyed it, but I don't know if I would search it out.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2010 06:52:05 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
MaltsOfGlory

Oregon

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head, it’s very see through though. The body is amber in color and it has lots of carbonation. It looks like a pale ale, but not quite as thick as I would like, it looks decent though. The smell is nice and hoppy with a little malt sweetness. It doesn’t smell like a weak pale ale at all, it smells legit. Yeah, nice hoppy flavor on the taste. Not too overwhelming, but good and hoppy with a nice malt balance on it. This beer is very drinkable, not too watery though. The mouthfeel could be a little bigger, but it’s not too bad. There really isn’t anything wrong with this beer at all. Overall a good pale ale!

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 10:35:01 | More by MaltsOfGlory
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
AlCaponeJunior

Texas

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well this one is a keeper to be sure. It lacked a little on appearance but otherwise was a big hit for me.

Coppery colored with a slight haze, nice lacing and half finger head, even with somewhat rough pour into a laser etched beer glass.

A wonderful smelling brew, fruity and hoppy with smooth caramel malt background.

It's got a great flavor, bold fruits, mandarin oranges, plentiful hops, floral and herbal flavors, an overall terrific tasting beer.

Body is medium and slightly slick, decent carbonation, very nice aftertaste.

Drinks great in every way. Definitely looking to buy this one on a regular basis. A fine tasting beer that I definitely recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 15:21:12 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a 1 inch tan head that settles to an oily film on the top of the beer. Foamy thin rings of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grapefruit and citrus zest hops and some malt notes. Taste is of grapefruit, citrus zest, with a sweet malt finish. Very mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. A lower level of carbonation with a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good, easy drinking APA from Widmer.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 02:43:52 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of TippySelenoid
TippySelenoid

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

It's coppery and pretty clear with a white head that quickly turns into lace. Leaves a decent lace on the glass.

It smell citrusy and piney.

It tastes very citrusy with some pine notes. It's got a bright flavor. Some malty sweetness but this beer is dominated by citrus hops.

It's medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer for its price. I was leery of it because it's attached to Widmer. But this may be one of the best affordable beers I've had. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2011 16:51:51 | More by TippySelenoid
Photo of mjurney
mjurney

Texas

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Deep amber color, hazy. Few little bubbles. Small head.

Aroma:
Piney and citrus hops. Sweet malts. Very crisp smelling.

Taste:
Balance from hops and malts. Hop character is a little more milder than most American Pale Ale I had, I’m getting piney and citrus, maybe a little grassy. Nice malt background, sweet, bready, caramel-toffee, just a touch of butter (almost English like malts). There some fruitness from the yeast. Body is dry, a little crisp. Carbonation is mild.

Finish:
Sweet and dry finish. A little crisp. Dry aftertaste.

Overall:
It’s pretty good for American Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 18:20:47 | More by mjurney
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 914 ratings.