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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

944 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 944
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 22
Gots: 32 | 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:
Beer added by: madtappers on 12-23-2008

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
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 944 | 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.

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.

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.

Photo of EternityofNight
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of kshankar
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
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

Photo of colts9016
3.94/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

Photo of raninator84
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of theboozecruise
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Photo of FreshHawk
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of Bogdawg
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of TippySelenoid
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of mjurney
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of YOOJ
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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 )

Photo of Chugmonkey
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of danielharper
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of Malt
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is more amber color than the Drop Top Widmer makes. Good lacing(drinking it in a pint glass right now). Minimal carbonation, very thin head and there is hardly any citrus taste to me and my brother(we are rating this as we speak).. My brother says( IT'LL GETCHA DRUNK)!!!! LOL... Anyways we like this better than the other Widmer product... I would definatly buy this one again!!!

Photo of kjritt
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from a bottle into a glass.

a. poured a short head with a bit of lacing. slightly murky red orange color. not as attractive as it tastes.

s. average at best. very little hop and the low ibus certainly supports that.

t. not as mild as many many other pale ales i have encountered, and much more character. exciting on the tongue and the back of the mouth. almost fizzy. a very strong pale ale.

m. carbonated and brisk. kind of dances around in the mouth. very exciting.

o. when i first discovered this several months ago, it immediately became my favorite pale ale. with flying dog and bass in the same conversation, it yet remains my favorite.

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.

Photo of Durge
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very surprised to find this on tap at the down and dirty (but always entertaining) Cousin Larry's cafe in Danbury, CT. This poured cold into a pint glass with a cloudy dark amber color and a goodly light tan head with good lacing. I got a decent grapefruit/lemon aroma with some bready malt. The flavor takes on a sharper but less flavorful bitterness. It warms up with more bready malt, oak and some salty grass with nice, tastefully refreshing carbonation. It is mid to light bodied, quite decent stuff and plenty drinkable. Generally a reasonable pale ale for sure, not the best, but better than most I would say.

Photo of EVaughan
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light amber to copper, 1/4" to 1/2" head, only slightly opaque, head dissipates quickly (bad pour?)

Aroma - pleasant citrus aroma

Taste - good malty taste, very subtle citrus and pine taste

Aftertaste - noticeable bitterness, some hoppy/citrus flavors. No astringency. Nice and smooth

Overall - mild bitterness for a pale ale. The malty taste nearly overrides the subtle citrus flavor. Very drinkable but not entirely memorable.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. served into a SA perfect pint glass.

A - Pours a chilled hazed amber with a uniform off white.

S - Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, soapy hops, soft cereal grain, strawberry. Biscuits really start coming out as it warms.

T - Soap and grapefruit hops with a sweet graham cracker malt center. The citrus zest is very clean and carries through to the finish. Some strawberry and spice notes linger.

M - Medium carbonation drops off and turns smooth and creamy, light bodied.

Love the grapefruit. Very clean citrus flavors. Nice graham cracker-like malt adds good balance. Light bodied and very session-able.

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 944 ratings.