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

919 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 919
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 21
Gots: 22 | 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)
View: Beers (79) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Drifter Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 919 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Offa
Offa

California

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a good, yeasty, very drinkable, well-balanced and well-rounded American Pale Ale with hop and malt qualities both quite noticeable.

Amber, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and some frothy lace.

Aroma is mandarin orange, a little clearly noticeable but subdued grapefruit, bread, hints of pine resin, yeast, anise, and hay.

Taste is a lot of dough, a bit yeasty with light, juicy orange, yeast, hints of dried herbs and hay. It is very balanced in sweetness ans bitterness, hop and malt character, but not weak in any element. It is very drinkable and has a faint, subdued English quality to it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2010 05:33:22 | More by Offa
Photo of alleykatking
alleykatking

Indiana

3/5  rDev -20%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 04:30:07 | More by alleykatking
Photo of L337ish
L337ish

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark apple juice color. Off-white that dissipates and surprisingly laces quite well.

S: Smells awesome. The citrus really comes through here and mixes perfectly with the malts.

T: Nothing to complain about here. The tangy, citrus note from the smell is definitely there with the caramel malts.

M: Citrus-y and kind of a medium body. Not as bitter as one would think given the hoppy-ness of the beer.

D: Very drinkable, but this is one of those brews I would rather just have one or two of to preserve it's appeal.

I like this beer a lot. If it's a hot day on the beach, or a barbecue, or whatever, this is an awesome beer to make your taste buds rejoice.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2010 20:50:14 | More by L337ish
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 bmwats
bmwats

Louisiana

4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark amber color. Very slight, bubbly, white head. The little bit of carbonation migrates to the rim of the glass. Slight smattering of streaky lacing remains.

S: Tangy malty nose. Really floral, lemon citrus. Sunflower I think.

T: Really robust and flavorful. Again, tangy malty goodness. Very hoppy, but not really all that bitter... kinda' strange in that regard. Just a hint of sweetness.

M: Light, but full. Has kind of of syrupy feel to it. Floral notes fill the nose and coat the palette. A bit of steely, biting finish that lingers throughout.

D: Good beer to sip, kinda' hard to drink fast.

Great atmosphere. Appearance is maybe a bit above average, nothing to write home about. Nose is great though. Full and floral, but not overly sweet. Flavor is full, robust, and has really strong outstanding components; but nothing overwhelms anything else making for great balance. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 02:53:38 | More by bmwats
Photo of danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Full disclosure: Bottle provided as a sample by a distributor.)

A: Pours deep orange-red with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Hazy, with some effervescence.

S: Smells sweet with apples and some vague citrus with a nice hoppiness underneath. Very fruity, very inviting.

T: Flavor is sweet, fruity, and quite yeasty, with a bit of a hop bite on the back-end.

M: Moderate thickness, heavy on the carbonation and moderate-to-heavy on the hops.

D: It's not an amazing, life-changing beer, but it's definitely worth a try if you like a good pale.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 01:30:23 | More by danielharper
Photo of BDJake
BDJake

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a somewhat hazy copper brown with minimal head and retention

S- some earthy, floral hops, mild grapefruit notes, and a little malty

T- slight bitterness up front, a little citric and some bready undertones

M- didn't do it much justice, medium in body with low carbonation and a lingering bready aftertaste

D- decent enough, but it'll likely fall into the every-now-and-then status I've seen from Widmer thus far. a good sessionable brew, nothing more, but then again, it doesn't need to be

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 09:39:41 | More by BDJake
Photo of Chugmonkey
Chugmonkey

Wisconsin

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light copper color with good off white head and some lacing.

Aroma is citrus/piney/soapy? Can't quite put my finger on the hop blend here? But after a few more swigs it starts to grow on me.

Nicely balanced, maybe a little more hoppy, which in my book is a perfect APA.

The hoppy taste is certainly unique and may not be everyones cup of tea, but it works for me.

It has a little odd soapy taste in the finish but not enough to turn me off. Overall a nice APA. I will try again for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 15:58:00 | More by Chugmonkey
Photo of YOOJ
YOOJ

Louisiana

3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am generally not a Widmer fan, but this brew is surprising. A moderate flavor with a matching 5.7% , but certainly enough character to be both interesting and highly sessionable.

A satisfying maltiness with a very interesting hop character coming through nicely as well. Piny with a little bit of grapefruit, Drifter has an excellent hop profile considering the abv, the brewery, and the price tag.

Honestly there is not much bad about this beer.

(This was a very fresh bottle, I plan on trying this beer again for a re-review )

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 09:32:54 | More by YOOJ
Photo of FallinDeck
FallinDeck

California

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Small fluffy head witch didn't last long. Has a nice amber color. Not much of an aroma coming off the beer. Has a nice citrus flavor with a very light hops taste (almost none). The mouth feel leaves something to be desired though. It was very light in body, and has an almost slimy feel going down. As far as a Pale Ale I see this beer a very week one. It does have a good citrus taste working for it and I little tingle for after, but oddly no real after taste.
Pro: I see this as a good weekday beer that you can chug away at, with not a bad flavor.
Con: Has a great lack of full body.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 14:56:03 | More by FallinDeck
Photo of bum732
bum732

Lesotho

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear copper orange, decent head with great lacing. Smells of mild citrus hops, grapefruit and orange mostly some bready malt, an almost wine like aroma, pinot grigio to be exact. Tastes of semi-sweet bready malt with a nice crisp fruity hoppy backbone. Nice crisp mouthfeel.

A really nice beer, has an almost wine like character to it, probably due to the Nelson Sauvin hops. Bitterness is pretty low but the hop taste comes through nicely. A solid APA. A solid beer, reminds me a lot of SNPA, very similar flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 02:54:23 | More by bum732
Photo of Kitt
Kitt

Delaware

3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2009 02:18:37 | More by Kitt
Photo of velosuds
velosuds

Oregon

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Bottled on Sep 16 09. From a six pack purchased for $5.99.

A-Pours an amber-orange with a one and a quarter finger, off-white head with average retention and nice, even lacing.

S-Very fragrant, citrusy hops and caramel malt.

T-A full flavored light ale. Nice blend of bitterness and tropical fruit notes with a balanced malt presence.

M-Very smooth. Good carbonation.

D-This is very drinkable and is frequently on sale for $1.00 a 12 oz. bottle which makes it a very good value.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2009 03:58:54 | More by velosuds
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 15:39:56 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of vdread
vdread

Texas

3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drifter Pale Ale
bottle to glass

ok, so this review is based on a tasting recommendation by my lady, who is not a beer drinker by any stretch of the imagination. the date on the bottle was two months past, but i don't know if it was the brewed date or the drink by date?

it is a light amber color and frothy on top, smelling of bitter citrus hops. the grapefruit sticks out the most, and comes with an intense hop bitterness that seems out of balance with the rest of the flavors. the malt is soft and stays behind the abrasive hop astringency. grapefruit, orange, caramel malt, and oily hoppiness really stick out.

mouthfeel is slick, nothing offensive about the mouthfeel. easily sippable.

+ grapefruity, hoppy pale ale

+ a solid pale ale, in some ways similar to a SNPA

- the hop bitterness doesn't blend well with the overall taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2009 15:09:34 | More by vdread
Photo of GPHarris
GPHarris

Alabama

3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter. the head was off-white and left a thin ring that was gone halfway through. the body was an orange-amber color.
s - orange peel.
t - overwhelmingly citrus.
m - bubbly and thin.
d - decent offering but not a great APA.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2009 22:21:39 | More by GPHarris
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Orange amber color has a slight chill haze. Cream colored head is quite rocky and has decent retention. Leaves nice spots of lace.

S: Grapefruit, plus a bit of lemon citrus with a touch of caramel.

T: Malt has mild toasted quality with a hint of caramel sweetness. Hops dominate the flavor, with grapefruit and lemon. The bitterness level; however, is moderate. Finishes relatively dry with a lingering bitterness.

M: Medium light body is sticky and oily. Carbonation level is a bit high.

D: Drifter makes for a nice session brew. It's pretty mellow overall, and not too terribly complex. But it does its job in a very workman like manner. It's not a beer I'd seek out, but I wouldn't ever turn it down.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2009 19:39:32 | More by Rayek
Photo of Trappissed
Trappissed

California

4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A pretty unique APA. Taste is very light and unassuming. Faint, but pleasant citrus and light maltiness. A bit of a metallic taste that I get in some APAs. Its almost like I'm not drinking beer, but its still somehow good. This beer goes down like a hooker on death row after she found out that she was pardoned and can start being a hooker again.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 23:24:50 | More by Trappissed
Photo of rhollman
rhollman

Nebraska

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber

Smell - Spicy and fruity

Taste - Starts hoppy, middle and finish is citrusy

Mouth Feel - Slick and wet

Drinkability - Not overly crisp and no bitter bite but a lingering flavor. So, nothing stellar and nothing bad - Enjoyable!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 00:39:14 | More by rhollman
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 BrewIndy
BrewIndy

Indiana

4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: good color but no head or lacing. Nice bet color though.

S: strong hop and malt smells. Very good.

T: strong with the hops up front with some nice Carmel malts coming out. Pretty tasty.

M: About what you'd expect. More fizzy than smooth.

D: this will be my beer for the weekend at bw3's

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2009 19:30:44 | More by BrewIndy
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
MrHungryMonkey

Texas

3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose is very American citric (grapefruit) and floral and mildly fruity (esters). Smells good.

Pours clear copper, moderated creamy head. Looks good.

Lots of clean hop flavor - following nose - and clean maltiness. Very mild bitterness. Soft pungent notions. Finishes clean. Tastes pretty good. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

Decent pale ale, nothing spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 23:39:21 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date on front label. Purchased as part of variety 24-pack from Sam's Club (Charlottesville, VA) for $23.72.

A: Honey-gold with 1-2 finger rocky off-white head with good retention but minimal lace.

S: Delicious spicy orange hoppiness is matched with solid pale and light caramel malt backing.

T: This brew's flavor is substantial with exceptional pale and caramel malt sweetness coupled with a unique orange dominated and spicy, herbal hops component that rounds out this very nice beer.

M: The maltload must be more subtantive that the taste belies as the body is medium-plus with low carbonation.

D: A really good APA with solid malt backbone and a unique hop profile which provides big flavor. This would be an exceptional session brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 04:14:59 | More by argock
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was a little disappointed when my wife brought this home to surpise me with. I definitely appreciate the effort, but I never really rated Widmer. However, I think I may have been mistaken as I like the the cut of this one's jib thusfar.

Not much for head, but a tawny brown color with orange tint and a solid cream colored cap alongside a very pleasant grapefruit/ pine melange in the nose. A promising start.

Very solid start with a hoppy but mellow pine and citrus tongue and crisp texture that unfortunately gives way in the finish to a bit of a malty muddle. The texture likewise starts crisp but doesn't finish as strong. Still, the overall product is decent if not spectacular. i wouldn't turn this down if offered.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2009 04:03:41 | More by daliandragon
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a hazy rusty orange body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a cap. Some spotty lacing on the glass.

Subdued aroma has toasted caramel, pine, and grapefruit notes.

Light medium body is crisply carbonated.

Taste is well balanced. Toasted biscuity caramel malt is edged nicely with bitter hop notes of citrusy grapefruit and a hint of pine. Nothing really stands out but it all integrates well.

Pleasantly drinkable and spot on for style.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2009 12:17:00 | More by merlin48
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 919 ratings.