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Drifter Pale Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

very good
406 Reviews
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Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

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

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

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

Added by madtappers on 12-23-2008

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Reviews: 406 | Ratings: 959
Photo of Andrew644
3.06/5  rDev -19%
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.

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Photo of Kitt
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

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Photo of tjsmith910
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
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

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Photo of RyanTeeter
3.11/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of SSSBR1509
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
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

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Photo of zeledonia
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
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.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
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.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of selecter70
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
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...

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Photo of jadpsu
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at McCray's Tavern in Lawrenceville Ga.
To say the least, this was real different.
I have NEVER seen a beer that poured this cloudy. I kept waiting for everything to settle so that I would see something different than the almost milk shake look it had. It was peach in color and looked kind of like a melted creamsickle. It did pour a nice less than pure white head that had decent to good retention and some good side lacing.
Smell was kind of average, some citrus orange malts showed up along with and some faint hops.
It was creamy and the citrus could be picked up in the taste. Surprisingly with the citrus character there was no tartness. More sweet, not bitter or dry.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle smell nice and hoppy. Smells like tangy citrus, grapefruit on top of a nice malty base. Pours to a translucent pale golden brown with a nice head. Taste is also good and hoppy with a nice hop bite. The hop bite is more sweet that bitter, almost floral like a chardonnay wine, or dandelions, quite different. Mouthfeel is good and carbonated but not overly so. Over all a very good beer al the way around, excepting for the rare hopping, just not bitter enough for my tastes.

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Photo of kwjd
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at some dive bar in Vancouver, Washington. This was only craft on tap that I hadn't had, so figured I should try it out. This poured an amber-orange colour with thin white head, not too much lacing. Smells very mildly of hops, with some bread and caramel malt. Flavour is a bit bland for a pale ale, but there is nothing off about this. Medium-bodied carbonation. I could see drinking this if it was cheap, but I wouldn't seek this out again.

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Photo of PerzentRizen
3.24/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted pint glass at a local seafood restaurant this beer wasn't half bad. It was between this and Bud Light and I think I picked the right one. The head was decent (around 1 inch) and overall the beer was a deep reddish brown.

The nose was rather bland - no hops at all are present in the aroma. There is the smell of malt and metal. I thought for sure this was AB - and ended up being right but I honestly had no idea when I bought the two of them tonight.

The taste was surprisingly refreshing. The first thing you notice is the malt and the length of the flavor. There is minimal hops - basically this is more in line with an English Pale Ale but who really cares - it's not bad beer at all.

The mouthfeel is light and a bit thin for my taste in pale ales - I think it was a touch overcarbonated, but that could be the bartender's fault. He really didn't seem to know much about beer.

The drinkability is decent. I did end up having 2 decently sized pints (16 oz) and had no problem finishing them both. Overall I'd say this beer was a decent surprise at a location I figured I would have to order wine in order to be happy.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.25/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Pours a brassy orange-amber colour, with a fine, but filmy head of off-white, that sits rather limply and stagnant on the top of the glass. Lacing is excellent, however, leaving leopard-spotted patches down the glass. Overall, it looks a bit flat, but not too bad.

Nose is lightly tropical and fruity, like processed breakfast juice. Mostly orange sweetness, with a touch of something else, perhaps some apricot, a little pineapple and banana. It's a little bit flat and a little pedestrian, and I certainly hoped for more from the NS hops. Oh well.

Taste is also very flat, in fact probably worse than on the nose. Here, there's nothing to back it up either: minimal body, and minimal structure to the hop character, leaving that flat tropical character to coast across the palate rather listlessly. There's little else to provide balance, complexity or even a foil to it genericness.

Quite disappointed in this. Of course, the extra Nelson Sauvin addition raised my hopes, but there wasn't a lot to it. Drinkable in its way, but drinkable in the generic way that most beer is.

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Photo of gatornation
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a medium to light amber /orange color with a thin head and little lacing.. smell is pine and grass and grapefruit wth some sweet malts all on the slight side taste is fainter then the smell im not wowed with this pale ale from the color to the pour and taste its on the light side the hop profile is light... there are so many ipas and pale ales out there that this one just gets lost for me on the flavor and drinkability..its just a bit above average

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Photo of kaseydad
3.27/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Sweet! I getta review after the lil white mouse. I like. Pint glass pour and I am met with a copper/amber colored ale with a beige foamy head. Slight lacing. The aroma has a nice pineapple and grapefruit combo. The grapefruit really starts shining through as it warms. The taste has a mouthfeel of hops and a very light grapefruit aftertaste. Malt backbone is definitely there. Dry and spicy finish. The mouthfeel is very watery which is disappointing....but a lot of carbonation going on too. Overall I was expecting more from this brew and it didn't live up to my high hopes. A nice Pale Ale for those wanting to get into the style though. Just not my cup o' tea.

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Photo of bboelens
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the pour house, poured into a pint glass.

A-Dark clouded amber, with a medium white head, that left a small amount of lacing.

S-The nose was rather weak for an APA, malts and caramel are the predominate smell with hop and slight citrus bringing up the rear

T-Essentially the same as the nose with a bit more hop bite to it than expected from such a weak nose, but nothing spectacular, the citrus is identified as orange with perhaps a bit of grapefruit. And there's a certain faint yeast taste to the finish.

M-Smooth and well carbonated

D-Overall a very drinkable beer. Not exactly the best example of an APA but still a good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 05/14/11 notes. Thanks to my brother Tom for giving me this. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a clear reddish amber color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, bready malts, grains, fruity malts, and tropical fruits.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, light fruity malts, and bready malts. A little less fruit than the nose; a slight step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a little bland but easy to drink. A pretty average pale ale with some ncie fruit in the nose. Would give another shot.

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Photo of ExtraStout
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of chickenflea
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle. Clear amber color. Light airy head. Marked citrus aroma with some floral notes. Light body. Medium sweetness up front. Some tanic notes. A dry slightly astringent finish. Interesting but the metallic side notes take too much away from this beer. Needs a food pairing to complement the finish, but I see that as a negative.

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Photo of harrymel
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 17MAY12

Amber with an etched white surface and excellent clarity. No lace. Smells herbal with a slight resin character and a bit of canned spinach alongside the crystal malt which is sweet but not overplayed. Slightly bitter with a good moderated malt through the center and a fine overall pale character. Nice and limited body with slightly low carb and an off dry finish. Nice beer.

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Photo of Genghis22
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled: 2-10-09

A - Pours a nice golden caramel color. Slightly opaque, but not exactly "cloudy." Little white head formed at first, but did not last long.

S - Lots of ripe and sweet citrus. Lightly roasted malt with sweet grapefruit and tangerines.

T - Malts hit the taste buds first, with a nice dry hop finish. Not bitter or overly strong. This is a sessionable pale ale.

M - A medium bodied ale with moderate to low carbonation. This is a bit thin, but fits the style.

D - Great session beer! Not a life changing brew, but great for summer BBQs and late nights around the camp fire.

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Photo of gkunkle
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a transparent copper color with very little head, I tried to pour aggressively, but couldn't get much more than a quarter inch that quickly dissipated. I can smell some fruit as well as a little malt. The taste was where this one fell short for me. Its a little stronger on the malt side, and I am getting a fruity taste I don't like. (I usually enjoy a little fruityness in the background of a beer, but this was odd) The aftertaste wasn't very pleasing either. Mouthfeel was fine, just how a pale ale should be. Meduim/light body with medium carbonation. Overall, I love Widmer, but there are other Pale Ales that I have access to that I enjoy more, this one was only average to me.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 20oz Guinness tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours amber in color with a small off-white head. Leaves some lacing.

Smell: Toasty smells, with floral hops.

Taste: Buttery and sweet throughout, with some herbal flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body with balanced carbonation and a crisp, clean finish.

Drinkability: Overall, this is a decent beer. I'd have it again, but there are many better options before it.

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Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.