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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
85
very good

900 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 900
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%


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: 900 | Reviews: 406 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Ethanol4one
Ethanol4one

New York

4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent balance of hops with rich, if slightly muted and slightly over attenuated malty flavors. I like this beer.

The head looks bottle aged, with those awesome micro bubbles you'll find on Guinness or in a bottle aged Belgian ale that uses Champaign yeast to top it off. I just got served a second, which looked flat, and within 30 second, it's got a head like a Guinness (but tasting nothing like it).

It's deceptive, almost like a big, thin, rice brewed commercial lager but with twice the flavor and punch, or kick in the chops, however you like to think of ABV. Not very hoppy on the nose either, so you still may think you're going to get a basic lager flavor until the malt meets hops toward the back of the mouth.

Compares well to Sam Adams and blows away Shock Top sitting next to it on tap, like a vainglorious David Lee Roth posing next to, say, The Killers. Drifter's Tap handle is pretty cool too, like a clean, cartoonishly retro life saver resting on deck, there for you, in case you need it.

It's all over Florida, so it's there for you if you're lurking around the sunny-rainy "Sunshine" state. Unlike Florida, this beer always appears to deliver.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2012 20:12:13 | More by Ethanol4one
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz picked up today at the Coop... poured into my Chimay goblet...

3/4" head with nice lace and a firm cap atop a clear orange amber brew....

The nose is resounding citric... tangerine even..

Flavor is the same... zesty orange.. some doughy maltiness adds a little bit of sweetness.. with a light smack of caramel.. really balanced yet you still know this is a fresh PNW pale ale... medium body with a lively carbonation... even the burps taste like tangerine juice essence..

This is actually pretty damn good pale ale... I could see drinking this one for a while in the long run, and it makes me wish I would have picked up a 6'er today to have a fridge beer...

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 05:13:19 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of michaelgrant1983
michaelgrant1983

Rhode Island

4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awsome amounts of citrus smell on the brew, makes you think you're going to get a real hoppy brew. Good deep amber color with a head on the beer that disapears quickly. The taste is amazing. Good hops, with a great balance. I can't say enough of how good this beer is. I'm very impressed with Widmer Brothers brewing for coming out with this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 20:48:39 | More by michaelgrant1983
Photo of leokbelo
leokbelo

Florida

4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this one while on vacation at Florida's west coast (was able to bring some back home!).
Pours a lively copper, with a nice inch head, that dissipates into a niche half inch lacing. Right away you get a lot of hops on the nose, its bouquet is quite something. Piney and citrusy, made me think of Passion Fruit. Sweet and malty on the tongue, with a very moderate hop bitterness. Again, Passion Fruit!
Extremely drinkable.
This is one great American Pale Ale! Funny thing was that at first, before tasting it, it makes you think of an IPA, right away. So much hops on the nose, but very moderate on the tongue.
Excellent beer, one that I have never seen around the Miami area, so I'll be sad if I can't find it around here...
HIGHLY recommended!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 02:58:45 | More by leokbelo
Photo of Hoopster4hire
Hoopster4hire

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured out of a bottle into a pint glass

Burnt orange/dark gold appearance with minimal lacing

Strong aroma of pine, grapefruit and hawaiian sweet bread

EXCEPTIONAL! Nice blend of hops, citrus and malt intertwined into a highly drinkable beer. Hop flavor is present, but notoverpowering. Citrus and fruit flavor is what shines here. Pineapple, papaya, guava and grapefruit at the forefront. Just enough malt to balance everything out

Great carbonation that lead to a crazily drinkable beer.

Not your typical pale ale but a great change of pace or fun and sunshine beer

Highly recommend

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 04:26:36 | More by Hoopster4hire
Photo of beernut0875
beernut0875

Texas

4.55/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper carmel color with nice head retention and carbonation.

Smell: nice malty nose with the hops coming through, lots of citrus

Taste: WOW, this is very different; these hops give a lot of grapefruit notes, with other rich fruits following through. Not much in the way of bitter aftertaste, very smooth and inviting.

Mouthfeel: Decent amount of carbonation for a PA. Silky-smooth easy to drink

Overall: This beer has a flavor of no other pale ale, It is very approachable and has great flavor, making me yearn for another.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2009 13:51:36 | More by beernut0875
Photo of madtappers
madtappers

Washington

4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had chance to sample this beer before it's release.

It is suppose to be the W'07, but I would say the have kicked the summit hops a bit.

Beer has a very notable citrusy hop aroma and flavor with a malty sweetness to balance the hops. There is an aroma of tangerine, mandarin and grapefruit to this beer.

Not your average pale but rather a twist on the same old pales that are on the market today!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2008 02:02:04 | More by madtappers
Photo of mempath
mempath

Pennsylvania

4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

following my tasting of the Dundee IPA...

beautiful orangey pale ale...little lacing...little head.

my oh my, nice oily citrusy nose on this. amazing and sweet-bitter promise!

very strange in a good way....the thin-ness of this keeps the oiliness at bay (that is hinted at in the nose), but it's still got some interesting complexity and unique. it's no Smuttynose, but rather similar.

in a sense, this is an intensely hoppy pale (not a IPA?) that is everything except bitter. weird, but i'd sit down with these for an evening.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2009 23:16:32 | More by mempath
Photo of TheKingofWichita
TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First of all, I want to get this out of the way. I am not really a hop head and tend not to like beer on the high end of the bitterness spectrum. I know this style is usually bitter (for me) and I tend not to love pale ales in general. But this beer was fantastic!
Poured into a Widmer Brothers pint glass at a local bar not known for their craft beer selection.
Pours a dark amber color with a thick luxurious off white yellowish head and mountains of lacing left on the glass after each and every sip. When held to the light it shone ruby hues on the table at the bar. Smells of pineapple, grapefruit, other citrus peel/zest, hop aroma, and a faint sweetness. Tastes of subtle bitterness from the hops, strong grapefruit notes throughout, with a well blended balance of malts to round out the flavors. I also noticed pineapple and pine and a little grass in there. A very dry finish with biscuit notes dominated the ending of the brew. Mouthfeel was medium and somewhat creamy with a mild carbonation that gave the beer good life. Drinkability is very high. I really enjoyed the beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2010 14:29:00 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of ZAP
ZAP

Minnesota

4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-Deep bronze color...very nice look.

A-Top notch...one of the best aroma's for a pale ale I have smelled. Juicy citrus...oranges, tangerines, sweetened grapefruiit, pinneaples and more...Better than Itasca Pale Ale from Rock Bottom which to me was always the standard.

T-Bright citrus jumps out at you....same fruits...great hop burps...I love the use of hops in this beer. Just a hint of caramel malt backing evident...it lays down a nice firm but not big backbone for this.

M-Medium bodied at best...not a big beer but not watery at all.

D-This is an awesome pale ale...maybe the best I have had.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2009 03:41:52 | More by ZAP
Photo of ronniebruner
ronniebruner

Arizona

4.63/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Widmer has done it again! This is by far the best IPA I have tried in a while. Upon first pour I noticed it smelled sweeter than average IPA. It poured a nice golden color, has minimal foam and carbonation. It has a sweeter taste and great aroma. This is a superb beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 02:39:26 | More by ronniebruner
Photo of jdc8d8
jdc8d8

Missouri

4.7/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At Champps sports bar in Indianapolis on tap.

More of a red/amber color than I expected from a pale ale.

Tasted great, surprised me with the flavor in a good way.

Was easy to drink and was very smooth. Was through a 20 oz in literally minutes.

Ordered several and will be looking for six paks at my local Friar Tucks.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2010 00:13:21 | More by jdc8d8
Photo of syrupjoe
syrupjoe

Minnesota

4.75/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass.

Pours a medium-light amber color with a slight amount of haze, one finger creamy off-white head.

Nose gives off juicy mango and pineapple hop notes with slight grassiness and sweet but light honey malt presence.

Taste is also very tropical with a slight grassy/dank bite. Present but not too sweet malt backbone that perfectly balances the hops.

Moderate carbonation with a nice crisp finish. Overall an incredibly fresh, well-balanced, and interesting beer. This one went down fast! Will definitely drink again, and will likely become a fridge staple.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 00:26:14 | More by syrupjoe
Photo of geomedic
geomedic

Texas

4.93/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Draft in a chilled "pounder" pint glass.

A: Clear amber. Poured with a half-inch head that dissipates quickly but leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Sharp odor of piney, flowery hops. Very fresh. Sweet, malty undertones... way-undertones.

T: Primary flavor is fresh, piney hops, very floral. Sweet maltiness nicely counterpoints this flavor without diminishing it. This beer is for hops lovers. The local availability of fresh hops would account for the very bright floral character of this beer.

M: Light mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D: As a hoppy pale ale lover (note beer-style bias disclaimer) I consider this a session beer. Those that do not share a similar taste for lots-o-hops may strongly disagree. I would expect this beer to compliment many foods with shellfish topping my list.

O: Excellent Pale Ale. The fresh, bright quality of the predominant hops flavor makes me envision the Widmer brothers harvesting the Oregon Cascade hops right outside the brewhouse.

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2009 02:53:51 | More by geomedic
Photo of rolf17
rolf17

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At 12 bucks for 12 u cant go wrong here. An awesome IPA,
I drink these between the more spendy beers in my cellar (victory storm king, bells expedition stout, founders breakfast stout...). Widmers Bros (aka Brewmasters Bros : ) have created a niche - bringing an excellent beer to the masses while keeping cost down. Bravo!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 00:42:25 | More by rolf17
Photo of Frankinstiener
Frankinstiener

Illinois

5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has been one of my favorite beers for the past 4 years. Since it is going away I decieded to write down some notes while I still have a relatively fresh one in front of me.

This pale ale is not pale in any way. Closer to a light copper in color. Perfectly see through with a little bit of white foam on top. Occasionally I get a few small floaties (perhaps hop particles) but none in this glass.

The smell isn't overwhelming but is really enjoyable. You get both biscuity malt and citrus zest in the same whiff.

The taste is glorious as usual. This is not a hopped up pale ale that borderlines an IPA. It is well balanced, but the hops do slightly shine through. This pale ale definitely has a distinct taste. You get some tangerine flavor that eventually is balanced out by caramel malts. It finishes a bit drier than you would expect. When people say they taste onions I can kind of understand where they are coming from, but only after specifically looking for it. This is not a distraction for me, I think the taste of this beer is perfect. It doesn't leave me wanting anything else. There is a reason why I have purchased so many cases of this over the years

Overall this beer is very drinkable but yet distinct. I’m not the greatest at putting words to flavors so I will just say that I wouldn't change this beer in any way. For years it has been my favorite pale ale. It is also very affordable at $6.99 per six pack and $26 dollars after my case discount. I have always thought its the best beer for the money. RIP Drfter…. You’re a legend as far as I’m concerned.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 01:52:03 | More by Frankinstiener
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 900 ratings.