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
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 405 | Hads: 955
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
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. (457 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: amber and clear with a single finger head nd lots of lace

S: light on the aroma, mostly pine an grapefruit, some malt

T: spicy hops with pine, grapefruit and ginger notes. Not too bitter. Hops are a little lighter than I was hoping for

M: moderate to high carbonation , medium body

Overall: an average pale ale without many memorable aspects to it. Very refreshing for a pale ale (386 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are pleasant light aromas of passionfruit in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell but is a bit stronger with subtle flavors of passionfruit and pale malts along with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very drinkable pale ale that has interesting aromas and flavors imparted by the Nelson Sauvin hops. There is a good balance between the malt and hops because you can taste the hop flavors but these aren’t accompanied by a strong bitterness like an IPA. (850 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours copper colored with a light white head and some sticky lacing. The nose is surprisingly quite bright with some fairly heavy citrus notes and a bit of caramel. The taste is similar with some hoppy citrus flavors coming through as well as a bit of pine. Some caramel and bread in the background. Not much bitterness in the mouthfeel; the hops are definitely more there in the flavor and aroma departments. Drinks fairly well and while not nearly my favorite, it's something that more and more is becoming the best option at a lot of places. (566 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a rocky head that retains reasonably well and leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Bread and caramel malt undertones buttress the grapefruit pith, with the vinous impact of the Nelson Sauvin hops clearly discernable

Taste: Opens with a bread and caramel character that is quickly joined by the pithy and vinous hop flavors; after the swallow, the malt bill re-asserts itself, providing a balanced finish though there is some residual sweetness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice, middle-of-the-road APA that adds some interesting elements while not risking accessibility (665 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 Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light golden color ale with a small foamy head with good retention and not much lacing. Aroma of light citrus hops with nice mango ester. Taste is a nice mix between some citrusy hops with nice mango notes and a light caramel backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation. Very well done with nice mango ester and well balanced sweetness. (363 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored with perfect clarity. The small off-white head recedes pretty quickly.

Smell: Biscuity, nutty malts balanced by a solid hop profile of citrus and spruce.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tropical, grapefruity hops supported by a toasted malt backbone. Light in body with a slight alcohol presence. Wet, hoppy finish, only mildly bitter. Solid stuff. (364 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
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. (1,814 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy medium orange-amber colour, with one finger of sudsy light beige head, which leaves some sparse specks of lace around the glass as it quickly abates. It smells of tropical fruits - grapefruit, pineapple, and kiwi, and bready malt. The taste is sweet caramel/toffee malt, some orange and pineapple fruitiness held over from the aroma, and herbal, floral hops. The carbonation is below average, the body medium weight, smooth, a bit gritty, but mostly creamy. It finishes off-dry, the sweet bready grain getting a run for its money from the herbal, earthy hops.

I like very much the exotic fruitiness, but the hops don't quite keep up in the end. I could see the herbal sweetness becoming tiring after a few rounds. (737 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tons of yard work all week leads me to this one! served cold and into a pint glass

Poured a cloudy amber with no real head and no significant lacing. Smell was very grainy, almost like cereal. Grassy and earthy tomes as well. Taste followed suit nicely. Hoppy but not citrusy, more of a grainy, grassy type of taste. Very mellow and different. Nice carbonation and easy drinkability make this another good brew (411 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of grass, orange, floral notes and roasted malt.

T - It tasted of tons of citrusy hops, lots of orange. The was a touch of pine and a good roasted malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a great tasting APA. Great citrus flavor from the hops. (438 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was a little aprehensive about buying this because I havent overly impressed with other Widmer products but this was pretty good I have to say.Poured into a standard pint a clear medium golden with a nice tight formed 1/2 finger white head that had good lasting power.Aromas of caramel/biscuit malt with a firm toastiness,a tinge of citric hop comes thru as well.Pretty balanced on the palate,a big sweetish caramel base with some dough up front that yields to a citrusy lightly piney finish.A real summer quaffing pale ale,it blow your mind but its pretty solid. (565 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
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. (578 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark copper body with a thin, fine, white head.

Smell: Lightly grainy pale and caramel malt nose with a earthy, fruity, particularly citrusy hop scent.

Taste: Unassuming pale and caramel maltiness with a medium level of sweetness. Tiny tinge of grains. Earthy, citrusy hops imparting a taste of infused citrus peels, though the overall bitterness remains light. Drying finish with a mere hint of lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, simple, but easily accessible American Pale Ale. (567 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 7/10/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, hops and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong fruity citrus sweetness that remains dominant the whole time. There's a decent hops presence that comes in but the sweetness continues with a caramel flavor in the background. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is also sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, the sweetness kind of over-powers everything else in the beer, but overall it's a fairly good beer that is worth drinking for a while. (882 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of bright-white head. This retains with a foamy ½ finger, leaving back a good bit of spotty froth that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is an even mix of grass and spice in the nose, with an underlying mix of fresh leafiness, sweet fruit, and toasted grains.

The taste has a bitter and leafy feeling citric bitterness to it that spreads out into the mouth. This is buffered by notes of softer fruit and some grains, which lend this a sweeter character. The hops give this the most push though, coming through the finish with a dry pithiness that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lively sharpness to the carbonation that dances around in the mouth. The feel smoothes out a bit as things lessen in the mouth, giving this an overall creamy crispness.

This was a decent APA from Widmer that drank very nicely for close to 6% ABV. I had no idea that they used Nelson Sauvin in this and I liked what it brought over; giving this a soft fruitiness that helped balanced the more aggressive aspects of those bittering hops. Nothing mind blowing here but this was crisp and flavorful enough to keep me happy. (1,194 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wasn't really wowed by Widmer's Drop Top Amber, plus I'm aware this is a craft brewery bought out by the big guns so I was weary of this one. To my surprise, this was a pretty good pale ale. Pours a copper sort of color with not much to it, very little lacing. You can actually detect some hops in the aroma.. good start. Nice mouthfeel and a nice medium body to this one. Some light hop bitterness and definitely some citrus notes in there. Nice smooth and easily drinkable beer. I've had better pale ale's but I've had a lot more sub-par ones compared to this. (562 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as part of a mixed sixer, bottled 12/06/10.

Pours an effervescent amber/copper with a finger of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Citrus hops, light breadyness, pineapple & lemon grass

T: Follows the nose, nice grapefruit snap, slight breadyness & some woody/herbal hops hiding in the background up front. Grapefruit, a touch of pineapple & grainy apricot as this warms. Finishes crisp with slight caramel sweetness & a kiss of grapefruit

MF: Light/medium bodied, lively but working for me carbonation level. Thins out a touch as this warms

Drinks very easy, wish I'd popped the top on this 3 or so weeks ago when I got this, although I may have found it too hoppy! Well done Widmer, will revisit this one again (753 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: One finger head of good cream, good thickness, and good retention. Textbook copper colour. Generally appealing.

Sm: Unwelcome bittering hops, light unexpected orange, barley, and cream. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Light caramel and very light orange ester first act, with a barley foundation, and a slight bittering hop climax. The aftertaste suffers under the burden of the badly chosen bittering hops, which feel obligatory to satisfy fans of the style. It's unnaturally built, yet manages to remain balanced. I don't fancy it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch too thick. The texture isn't tailored to the flavours by any stretch.

Dr: Easy drinking for one or two bottles, but beyond that it suffers from those damned bittering hops. It's overpriced - especially for the quality. (936 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starts with a two-finger head, settles quickly, but leaves ample lace. The brew is solidly copper-amber in color and appears quite clear.

Strong pine aroma from the fresh hop. It's not harsh, but it has a distinct grapefruit element. I can't detect the malt base. It's very good, but unbalanced.

The flavor mirrors the aroma. Again, predominate hop covers up most of the malt. It leaves a long lasting aftertaste of citrusy bitterness. Relatively thin for the style. Certainly a pleasant, if hoppy, brew. (506 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Widmer The Drifter Pale Ale, 22 oz. bomber.

Clear and coppery colored, snowy white head, nice lace leaving.

Aroma: floral/herbal hop nose, slightly soapy, too...

Taste: soft, pleasant, delicate malts, ...very mild, did i say soft? yeah...delicate? should I go to the thesaurus?
Also, ho-hum. I said, "mild".right?

I can't find a lot to say about this pale ale, it's drinkable, passable, tastes...well, boring. If they were shooting for innocuous, that's what they got. There's no spark, no hoppy kick, no forward flavor at all.

Pretty blah. Can't recommend much at all. It passes the lips credulously enough. More than that? Not. (635 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (592 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt scent that boasts of pale, Carapils, and bisquit malts along with a piney hop aroma. The taste is decent. It has a very malty flavor that really focuses on the bisquit malts. It's smooth with a mild hop finish. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinker. It's nice to see a different take on the APA. (508 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours about a 2 finger, slightly tanned head, decent retention with great lacing. Color is an amber copper. Pretty decent appearance.

Smell is similar to an IPA. Heavy floral and citrus smells. Taste is some-what hopped up as well. Not as much as the aroma. The taste is more of the pale ale category. Honey and citrus zest.

Mouthfeel is somewhat bitter, but smooth. Goes down pretty easy, but leaves a sticky aftertaste. Low carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this pale ale. It smelt a lot like an IPA which was pleasant. I could definitely have another. (601 characters)

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