1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

929 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 929
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 22
Gots: 26 | 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:
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Drifter Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 929 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%

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.

08-07-2010 06:15:05 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

06-19-2009 00:02:12 | More by WesWes
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

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.

05-18-2011 00:50:57 | More by mdfb79
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%

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.

06-12-2010 00:48:25 | More by smcolw
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev 0%

08-23-2013 21:21:27 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.15/5  rDev +10.7%

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber, with a soft white head, solid lacing.

S: Pink grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, a nice pungent aroma.

T: Rather strong bittersweet malt note, lemon/orange zest, good balance of flavours.

M: Soft body, light carbonation, resiny.

D: A real nice surprise from Widmer, I think I like this one better than Sierra Nevada, well done, certainly worth a purchase at a $7.99 six-pack.

03-24-2009 17:22:24 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of MarkyMOD
MarkyMOD

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev 0%

04-05-2012 20:48:46 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of beernads
beernads

Florida

3/5  rDev -20%

02-07-2013 06:23:42 | More by beernads
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

2.53/5  rDev -32.5%

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.

08-20-2011 09:39:29 | More by kojevergas
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

08-30-2009 19:44:04 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of imperialking
imperialking

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

03-07-2012 02:16:37 | More by imperialking
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%

Another from my score out of the cooler at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Altoona! I do not know whether to invoke Clint Eastwood in "High Plains Drifter" or BMCS (SW) Gerard Wargo, my first LCPO in the USN, who routinely used to tell me, "Son, you have a high drift factor." I will go with the latter as the label has a nautical theme and drift or drift factor applies to a ship at anchor. A high drift or drift factor is not good and usually results in weighing anchor, getting underway to shift position and then resetting the anchor. Wargo was definitely NOT paying me a compliment!

From the bottle: "Brewers of Quality Beers".

I got a finger of tawny head from my pour, but it quickly dissipated. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled minty with a caramel/biscuit undertone, much like a Girl Scout Thin Mint. Mouthfeel was medium and the mintiness of the hops was immediately discernible on the tongue. It again begs the question of where does an APA leave off and an AIPA begin. As a self-avowed hophead, I have no problem with this sort of thing, but it surely was hoppy. Finish allowed the caramel/biscuit malts to get a chance to balance things out and they did so, nicely. A pretty good beer.

05-27-2013 22:39:23 | More by woodychandler
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev 0%

05-22-2013 15:38:36 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.23/5  rDev -13.9%

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.

10-15-2011 22:08:55 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.22/5  rDev +12.5%

Poured a deepish orange color with a small white head. Nose is on the mellow side of citrus notes. Taste is a little hop forward with some citrus and floral notes. Mouthfeel is nice, bubbly and pretty good. Nice ABV makes it a good session brew. Very drinkable indeed. Surpsise by Widmer.

06-11-2009 00:08:19 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%

12 ounce bottle with bottled on dating on the lower front label. (040609) Pours clear darker amber, fluffydarker tan head, that sticks around for ever, leaving more then respectable lace on the glass. The sniff reveals more then typical wiffs of citric hops. Nice, drinkable pale. Pineapple tinged hops, with hints of lime and mango with floral/fruity flourishes. Dry, yet still fruity finish. A pleasant suprise. Well worth a try.

05-23-2009 22:53:32 | More by Billolick
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

4.18/5  rDev +11.5%

Dark amber colored ale with a small tan colored head. This is a shade of amber I could call Bronze.

Smell is strongly of northwest style hops, very much a pine and grapefruit scent. Very strong hop resins, the malt is just a honeysuckle trace this is very much a hop beer.

The taste starts out neutral in sweetness and very hoppy, grapefruit in the first taste. Tropical fruit flavors and pine, just like the scent this is a hop beer. Little bit of lemon shows up after a while, wonder how many IBUs this is.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite a bit better than expected. Website says 32 IBUs seems stronger than that.

02-14-2009 03:20:19 | More by Zorro
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4/5  rDev +6.7%

So far, I haven't had a lot of fun with Widmer products. Here's hoping Drifter will change that. On to the beer:

A little hazy on the pour, the beer has a hazy, brownish-orange color to it with a froathy inch-thick head on top. Leaves a few rings of thin lacing. In the nose, it is grapefruit and diacetyl. Pretty monotone aroma, and not terribly intense either. (Correction, it gets more hoppy in intensity as it warms, +0.5 in aroma).

Actually, Drifter has a pretty good balance going for itself. It's not as hoppy tasting as it smells, but there's still enough to keep me happy. A good mix of flavors....it's like a fruit salad. Well, first it's the hops, then it's the fruity esters, burnt sugar, and a pinch of diacetyl (no buttery popcorn, more like butterscotch). Goes down really easy too.

Oh yum, that hits the spot. Now I wish I bought another one. My favorite Widmer product to date.

05-03-2009 06:05:20 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.73/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

02-22-2009 04:58:14 | More by mothman
Photo of ejimhof
ejimhof

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -20%

09-20-2013 00:05:04 | More by ejimhof
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev 0%

12-15-2013 17:51:30 | More by BillRoth
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.39/5  rDev -9.6%

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real wonderful booming four finger light tan head is made, with super even bubbles all around. The head settles with a frothy and big bubbled retention cap, with lots of clingy lace chunks. Body is a crystal clear textbook amber copper color, real nice, but not much noticeable carbonation. Real good looking.

Very light toasted malts, faint sense of caramel. Some soft hop sense but very muted with maybe a touch of spruce/pine and citrus.

Palate is a little uneventful. Very light bodied almost wet with an almost soda gaseous feel. Palate comes with a light Marzen like malt quality and hints of sticky toffee. Most of the taste though is in the finish but it's quite weak. Slight toasty grain a bit, on the finish also.

Overall not awful but not getting that excited about this one.

04-19-2013 22:28:57 | More by smakawhat
Photo of LXIXME
LXIXME

New Mexico

4/5  rDev +6.7%

02-16-2014 00:15:10 | More by LXIXME
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

A: Poured a coppery-sunset orange with a bright clarity and dirty white fizzy pancake head that quickly dissipated away. No visible lacing while a macro bubbly carbonation rapidly rose but quickly faded within the first minute of pour.

S: sweet sugary grapefruit and citrusy tangerines. The malting takes a back seat here while the hopping was sweet, wet with some lemony pine scents on the close.

T: The flavor started out thin, with a wet lemony/citrus hopping, almost juice like before moving on to slightly more drier bitterness of grapefruit peels. The malting was light and bready with hints of toasted sweetness. A light floral bitterness of lemons and a crisp munich malting adds some overall dryness to an otherwise wet and sweet start. Overall not bad, the flavor wont wow you, but the bitterness is enough for you to take note, with better then average results. A decent lingering lemon fade finishes things out. The hopping was wet and juicy, finishing slightly dry, but lacked a crispness in delivery.

M: light and slick with a good tingle of carbonation on the tip of the tongue. Not much else noting here, okay.

D: Decent drinkability with moderate enjoyment. Goes down fairly well enough, with an overall worthy recommendation.

08-06-2009 22:23:51 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +8%

Pours a pale amber with a quarter of an inch of soft, foamy, white head that has decent retention. The nose has a citrusy, piny, resiny aroma. The taste is light and mildly malty but heavily hopped; there are notes of citrus, primarily grapefruit, as well as some very faint bread notes. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, smooth, and perfectly carbonated.

This is a well hopped, balanced, sessionable, enjoyable beer. In the APA category in my opinion it is among the most refreshing and drinkable.

02-10-2012 00:32:06 | More by tdm168
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 929 ratings.