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

405 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 405
Hads: 955
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 23
Gots: 36 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 405 | Hads: 955
Photo of highTempo
2.69/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (798 characters)

Photo of beertunes
2.7/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clear, light brown color (not any of the shades of yellow or gold as expected for the style), with a clean, white head that had some retention and medium lacing.

The nose is greeted with a very sweet aroma containing no hop presence. The taste was very pleasant, not too sweet and had just a slight tinge of hop on the finish.

The body was good, full without being heavy, and well balanced. This is a very drinkable brew, having several of these easy, well balanced, very enjoyable brew would not be a problem. Overall this is a good beer that is in the wrong style category. The appearance, smell and taste would all rate higher if the brewers chose not to call this "brown" beer a PALE ale. (734 characters)

Photo of Willibomb
2.71/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It's a little weak looking for a pale ale, it did not have the great copper hue that I look for, and it did not have the dried malt smell interlaced with the hop aroma.

The head was decent, but then again, a pale ale normally can froth up quite a bit, and it tends to release a great deal of aroma, which I did not see.

The taste was pretty lame, it was weakly hopped, and it tasted like a dry-hopped domestic, which might have a style someday, but currently, it is just a miss at a pale ale.

At 5.7% it is not bad to drink, but the taste is a show stopper (559 characters)

Photo of hustlesworth
2.72/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- clear copper colored with golden highlights. Oddly tan head is thin and unimpressive. Not much lace to speak of.

S- decent grapefruit and orange herbal spicy hops with some berry and toasted malt aromas.

T- a little toasty, a bit of wet dog, mild hop flavor and bitterness. Tastes diluted. Burnt grapefruit and grains in the finish.

MF- low end carbonation, dry rubbery feel, lighter than medium body.

D- finding a positive point, it's easily drinkable and refreshing due to the lack of flavor. the remainder of this bottle will go into a foil packet to keep a brisket moist while I reheat it. (604 characters)

Photo of brewerburgundy
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz pour into a pint glass at Drifters Grill and Marina, Lake Tulloch, CA.

Copper and fruit orange body with a nice sub-tan head.

Very orangey, more like orange juice or flavor than the orange and other citrus characteristics than I am accustomed to from any hop varieties. A turn towards familiar grapefruit seems to happen when the beer is warmer.

Again citrus, and mainly orange with a little pine. Overall weak without even a discernible malt backbone. This seems to be for the masses. I was interested in the use of Nelson Sauvon for aroma and dry hopping. This variety seems to have come across as orange.

The mouthfeel is solidly average.

I wouldn't want to drink much of this because I think it is inferior to other easily obtainable Pale Ales. That said, it does go down as easily. (800 characters)

Photo of welldigger888
2.89/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass, clear orange copper color.Nice white head that receded quickly with minor lacing down glass.
Fruit is what I pick up first, light toasty quality with minor biscuity nutty aromas.Little grapefruity hop aromas for me.
Bready toasty flavors with minumal hop goodness.
This beer seems to have a nice mouth feel for me. the carbonation is spot on.
If I could get over the fruit on the nose this would be sessionable. (449 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
2.9/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A-dark amber, impressive cream colored head

S-creamy citrusy hops. medium strength. smells quite pleasant!

T-well first of all i must say there's a unique bitterness throughout the entire experience. its not a completely welcomed bitterness. it hits with a quick shot of citrus. it hardly lasts long enough to get a hold on the taste. the hoppiness is minimal. it then goes in to a tangy creaminess that's very undesirable. the after-taste is of barley...this is probably the best aspect to the taste. I guess you could say its a complex beer...it just doesn't have a good complexity.

M-medium to heavy carbonation with a watery finish

D-it goes down easily due to the lightness but the tastes just are not something you want a lot of. (739 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
2.91/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Gary for sharing.

The beer opens with a thin copper, medium amber, and golden look. Good head formation allows for fine retainage and lacing. Pretty fair for a Pale Ale, just looks a bit thin and over carbonated.

Aromas of hops leap right out with a largely citrus note and to a lesser extent, metalic notes. Pretty sharp to the nose, an odd sweaty, catty, urine-line note comes out but seems to disipate quickly. Soft maltiness blends with even softer grain aromas to provide a counter to the assertive and sharp hop scent.

Flavors of malt and grain rise first with a biscuity sweetness and moderate maltiness. Hop flavor seems a bit bitey and again metalic; but also has some fresh orange zest and grapefruit taste to go along with that same anoying metalic taste.

Body as expected is kinda light and allows for the grains to add nearly the bite as does the hops. More than just bitterness, the hops also give an undesirable astringency that I could do without.

Seems like a lot of negativity comming out of this review, but these ill attributes don't kill the beer. I think it's fine but suffers from some tomato-catty things in the initial aroma and poorly chosen hops. (1,188 characters)

Photo of froghop
2.95/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a clear pale amber-orange with a small white head that dissipates quickly, some lacing.

smell of some caramel, floral, and a touch of grapefruit.

taste is light, hops, malt in the back, some citrus, earthy, and a little pine in the back too, ends a little dry and a little bitter. (288 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Per the label, bottled on 05-20-2009. Neat old school label. The label makes me wanna go to the Pacific Northwest and fish or something.

Poued into my tulip, a clear, medium brown with blonde highlights. Average tan head with average retention.

Smells like your average pale ale. Light to moderate pale malts with a light citrus tinge.

Slightly watery mouthfeel echoing the nose in flavor. Surprisingly low carbonation.

Average. (449 characters)

Photo of originalsin
2.98/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- The pour is a deep reddish amber. Not necessarily pale, per se. Not too much head to speak of, but I can live with that. Retention is ok, but there's little lacing.

S- Citrusy hops are almost overwhelming on the nose. Who can really argue with that? This beer smells like it has all kinds of potential, let's just leave it at that.

T- Right away there's a pretty distinct caramel and pale malt taste. It's really nothing spectacular, and almost somewhat of a turnoff but then the bitterness kicks in around the same time as a nice hopped aftertaste does. Again, though, it's really nothing special.

M- The mouthfeel is a bit light but at the same time I can't find anything wrong with it. It goes down real easy.

D- Honestly, it's a really drinkable beer- but it's just not good enough to be a so-called session beer. I could sit down and drink 5 of these no problem. But then i'd hate myself. Maybe i'm being unfair.

I might just have something against Widmer but this pale ale just doesn't do it for me. I got a case for 13 bucks, which was good...but i don't know if i'd even spend that much if i had a second chance. (1,130 characters)

Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Even allowing for the style, the hopping was sub-par and muted to the point that the malt competed for dominance in the flavor profile. Mild caramel malt with equally mild, slightly fruity hops. Finish was clean with slight astringency. While this would certainly make a more than acceptable lake or lawnmower beer, on the pale ale scale it ... well, .... pales. (362 characters)

Photo of thecarster1
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a- one finger of head fades quick to a spotty layer of lace, orange amber coloring.

s- all malt here, some sweetness, maybe a touch of vanilla and a hint of hops.

t- malt heavy pale ale, some slight citric hops kick in on the back end.

m- medium body.

d- this is an average pale ale, nothing sticks out as being really great, i wouldn't seek this one out. (359 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Pours clear and copper colored, thin cap of foam. A hoppy pale ale aroma, a little citrus and maybe cat pee (just a little), some caramel malts beneath. Malty tasting, sweet and grainy, with some bread and grapefruit in equal measure, but not too much of either. Middle of the road flavors, not objectionable at all but not memorable either. Light bodied, fairly easy to quaff but nothing really stood out for me. (426 characters)

Photo of alleykatking
3.02/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a amber color into the glass. Half finger white head dies almost as soon as it appears. Some light streaking lacing on the dies of the glass.

S- This has some floral and light citrus hops in the aroma. The malts in this bring forth a light sweetness. Also there is some almost apple like qualities to this beer. Not what I was expecting.

T- Some light hops in the front of this (citrus kinda). The malts pretty much take up most of this beer with a bready overtone. A light bitterness in the back end of this...didn't seem to go together as well as I thought it could have.

M- Light medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Light hop flavor left on the palate to duke it out with bready malt. Aftertaste was very malt forward with a hint of bitterness. This beer didn't have either a crispness to it or a clean taste.

D- This was a alright pale. Nothing at all that I would really want to try again. It was good for one beer but left me hanging for something that has a little more flavor to it. I take that back...something with a little more balanced flavor to it. (1,119 characters)

Photo of Andrew644
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- light amber in color with a very light tan head that lingers and leaves lacing on the glass.

S- very little malt smell with most of the aroma being from the hops which give off a nice fruity/floral aroma.

T- almost no malt flavor with a woody/fruity hop flavor. It doesn't seemed to be balanced quite as well as it could be.

M- mostly ok but could use a little more carbonation.

D- nothing to run out to buy but if someone handed me one I would drink it. (462 characters)

Photo of Kitt
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep rich orange-red. Head very weak with lacing same; however, thin head persists remarkably long for initial volume.

Aroma un-remarkable; average; straw with a citrus background and a hint of malt. Taste about the same but with an added prominent hop influence. Although apparently an APA I place it on the opposite side of IPA. Hops too weak for a true APA. Carbonation is off-center, a bit too forward for my taste.

Mouthfeel good, smooth, but rather weak in viscosity. Drinkability - refreshing.

This beer falls somewhere just on the weak side of IPA. The hops are prominent and somewhat bitter but don't linger long leaving the ambient citrus background wanting. A refreshing beer suitable for a mid-week lunch break. (735 characters)

Photo of tjsmith910
3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Weird enjoyment to this beer well after the fact though. After I was done with this beer and ready for another beer of similar type, My mind and taste buds were saying go ahead, grab another Drifter. I was not real impressed with this beer at first, but it grew on me.

A - Nice color and beautiful look in a pint glass.

S - I have no sence of smell so I always rate as 3.0 average

T - Nothing special, A bit thick and just the right amount of Bitter and Caramel

M - flows nicely and pure feeling for the after (514 characters)

Photo of RyanTeeter
3.11/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: A vibrant ruby red, transparent color. A nice head however its retention was not long.

s: An easy apricot hop aroma. Nice to the nose, not very potent but strong enough to really make drinking it more enjoyable.

t: Smooth intake. Heavy flavor however does not smack you in the mouth. I am getting fruitiness (apricot, plum) along with the hop undertone. There is enough hop, however to linger on the back of my tongue.

m: Light, quick lasting. Water complexity.

o: I enjoyed drinking this however it does not stand out from the crowd. I would certainly have it again sometime should it show its face. (607 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 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. (680 characters)

Photo of SSSBR1509
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apperance - coper like color not hazy at all with a white foamy head
Nose- biscuity on the front and a slight caramel like sweetness almost a apricot or dark fruit note slight pine hop presents and a little grapefruit
Mouthfeel-medium bodied with nice carbonation
Taste- pretty much like the nose but not as muted pretty much a basic pale ale. very nice drink ability
Overall- nice sipping beer wouldn't seek it out but i would drink if offered (446 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.13/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear coppery amber with a one-finger cream-colored head. Head retention is so-so, lacing is medium.

Smell has a bit of caramel malt, some grassy hops. They claim it's heavy on the citrus, but I get almost none. Basically a balance of caramel malts and grassy hops, both weaker than I would like.

Taste starts out with a light does of sweet caramel malts before some hop bitterness comes on that carries through most of the taste. I find it to be weak, not super flavorful in any way. Having a hard time finding positive or negative things to say about it.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, slightly sticky, with tingly carbonation.

This beer is pretty blah. Not much malt flavor, not much hops other than bitterness that's also blah. Don't have a whole lot more to say about it. (785 characters)

Photo of EgadBananas
3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap 2 Miller's Alehouse-Destin, FL.

Poured nice near clear sunny color with a finger of off-white head.

The aroma was faint with some earthy hop tones and a crisp malt profile.

I'm not sure the temperature was right for this...it was cold. Felt colder than the ice water I was drinking. Bit of maltiness, with a crisp earthy hop profile, though again, like with the aroma, it was mild.

Light to upper light in body

It was decent. I will definitely still grab some bottles if I ever find some. (504 characters)

Photo of rtratzlaff
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a body of an amber ale rather than a pale ale with an off white creamy head. Aromas are sweet caramel maltiness with a background of hops that come off as slightly citrus.
The flavor is a good mix of bittersweet with some grape fruit characteristics, but there's some lingering harshness to the hops that isn't pleasant. Nothing crazy going on here. It could be much better, I would rather have Sierra Nevada, but this is much different with a much different malt bill. Plenty of flavor going on here, but it seems a bit of a mess. (542 characters)

Photo of selecter70
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hadn't heard of this beer when I snuck out for a nice lunch at Lir with the missus (pretty decent food too). Every beer was fairly common/decent and I hadn't been aware of this Widmer offering before. The pint came thankfully not pre-chilled, a nice dark russet with thin lilght brown head and very little lace thereafter. The aroma was a fruity roasted malt with a hint of lemon. The flavor likewise was a fruitier Bass Ale, not much in the hops leaning towards a maltier ale. the carbonation seemed a bit low, and the mouthfeel was slick with a bit of a syrupy aftertaste. I'd try this again, maybe with a better pour, as it seems to have potential... (655 characters)

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 405 ratings.