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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

936 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 936
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 22
Gots: 27 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Drifter Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 936 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of droomyster
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.

droomyster, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of BaronRogue
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.

BaronRogue, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of peck95
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.

peck95, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of Gyle41386
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.

Gyle41386, May 04, 2009
Photo of kshankar
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

kshankar, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of colts9016
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.

colts9016, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of codfeast
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.

codfeast, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of BuckeyeNation
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.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of FreshHawk
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.

FreshHawk, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
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!

MaltsOfGlory, May 05, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
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.

AlCaponeJunior, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
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.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of TippySelenoid
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.

TippySelenoid, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of mjurney
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.

mjurney, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of YOOJ
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am generally not a Widmer fan, but this brew is surprising. A moderate flavor with a matching 5.7% , but certainly enough character to be both interesting and highly sessionable.

A satisfying maltiness with a very interesting hop character coming through nicely as well. Piny with a little bit of grapefruit, Drifter has an excellent hop profile considering the abv, the brewery, and the price tag.

Honestly there is not much bad about this beer.

(This was a very fresh bottle, I plan on trying this beer again for a re-review )

YOOJ, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Chugmonkey
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light copper color with good off white head and some lacing.

Aroma is citrus/piney/soapy? Can't quite put my finger on the hop blend here? But after a few more swigs it starts to grow on me.

Nicely balanced, maybe a little more hoppy, which in my book is a perfect APA.

The hoppy taste is certainly unique and may not be everyones cup of tea, but it works for me.

It has a little odd soapy taste in the finish but not enough to turn me off. Overall a nice APA. I will try again for sure.

Chugmonkey, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head Off-centered Pint Glass. (best by Jan. 27th 09)

Pours a burnt copper hue with good clarity and a sizable tuft of off-white head. Good retention and excellent lacing...liking the looks of this one. The smell is even better. Dare I say it? Fuck yea'. This is the best-smelling American Pale Ale I've encountered. Pungent, skunky-green & citrus hops (Simcoe & Centennial?) burst forth from the pint, balanced perfectly by a juicy, sweet caramel malt presence and tropical fruits. Mouth-watering, to say the least.

On to the taste...unfortunately it's a slight letdown. The hops start off with a spicy-fresh burst of greenery, but the malts pursue with somewhat of an off-putting flavor of burnt caramel and nuts. A slightly sour finish lingers too long. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium (a bit thick for the style), but with a good carbonation level. I do like the bitterness on the beginning, but unfortunately this beer doesn't hold up in the long run. Still, it's a decent brew that deserves at least one try from the hop-lovers out there.

wagenvolks, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of danielharper
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Full disclosure: Bottle provided as a sample by a distributor.)

A: Pours deep orange-red with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Hazy, with some effervescence.

S: Smells sweet with apples and some vague citrus with a nice hoppiness underneath. Very fruity, very inviting.

T: Flavor is sweet, fruity, and quite yeasty, with a bit of a hop bite on the back-end.

M: Moderate thickness, heavy on the carbonation and moderate-to-heavy on the hops.

D: It's not an amazing, life-changing beer, but it's definitely worth a try if you like a good pale.

danielharper, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of generalnotsew
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: I must be going crazy tonight. All my styles seem mixed. The coloring is very dark amberish typical of an IPA. Head was gone pretty damn quick but I am not the biggest head fan.

S: Kind of subdued smells in the nose. A faint bit of hops with a stronger citrus presence. Kind of sweetish.

T: Sweet tangy citric hops upfront. Has more of an IPA taste than a pale ale. Has a nice little hop tingle. Quite honestly pretty damn good for a modest low value brewer.

M: Things are still going strong in this department. Nice oily mouthfeel and good carbonation.

D: This is a very easy drinking beer. Quite refreshing and not too heavy.

At $2 less per sixer than some of the bigger guys I would Widmer has a hit a home run with this. Sure it isn't the best in it's class but it is a damn fine beer especially for the price. Heck it is a fine beer even without the price.

generalnotsew, May 27, 2010
Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the only beer by Widmer that I really like... This to me is the perfect summer beer, so refreshing. It has a nice citrus, lychee fruit flavor that I really like. I just wish it had a little bit more hop bite to it.. not much though. When poured into a glass there isn't much head on it... all in all a good beer.

hoppyweasel311, May 25, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is almost copper in color with a couple fingers of slightly off-white head.

S: A really nice citrus aroma to the beer. Plenty of grapefruit and perhaps some tangerine. A light floral quality to the hops with just a hint of pine and a solid malt backbone.

T: The flavor is similarly impressive. Nice grapefruit bite to it along with some piney notes. A solid, but not overwhelming, bitterness. Some bread/malt flavor in the background.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: Really a fine pale ale, and one of the better offerings from Widmer.

womencantsail, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of sj660
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps the name "drifter" refers to being lost in the vast ocean of American Pale Ales. There are so many with so little variation: some malt and a lot of hops.

This one pours dark brown, with a good white foam and medium retention. Looks good.

The smell is a strong whiff of pine, grapefruit, and other citrus. The taste matches, with good bitterness, but also a smooth malt character that distinguishes this APA from its numerous brethren.

Medium body, medium carbonation, it coats the tongue well.

Overall, the smooth malt character of this APA makes it one you can drink a bit longer than others.

sj660, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of schoolboy
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at one of my favorite stores which sometimes has things older than they should (but I like the proprietor). So the slight skunky funky might be because it was too old.

But still, this is a slightlymaltier and yeastier than it should be, and less hoppy, but that makes it unique.

I need to try this again but I need to be sure that it is freshers.

schoolboy, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of stercomm
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Coppery orange in color, very slight tan head, slight lacing on the glass.

S - Getting some slight malty aweetness combined with a citrusy zest probably more orange, reminds me of the tea Constant Comment.

T - Very nicely balanced, getting the sweetnes from the malt and a very nice orange spiceiness that blends very well together.the finish is like some English Pale Ales, nice and dry leaving you wanting another sip.

M - Light bodied, medium to light carbonation.

D - This is a very refreshing beer, nothing is over the top, everything is balanced into a very enjoyable brew.

stercomm, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of theperfectGF
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first experience with beverages from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. Had a great grapefruit scent that carried through to the taste. Was crisp with good hop flavor. Nice amber coloring. Easy drinking and very enjoyable, could definitely have a few of these. Will be sure to look for it again.

theperfectGF, Mar 14, 2011
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 936 ratings.