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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

936 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 936
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 22
Gots: 27 | 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: 936 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brdc
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another interesting find at WDW, poured into a pint glass.

Golden brew, thin white head with some retention.
Aroma, and the flavor follows suit, seems a nice combination of biscuity malts and grassy hops, although nothing special. Bitterness is minimal, but this was quite refreshing on an extremely hot day.

brdc, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark Golden colored ale. Good lacing, very dainty.

S- Hoppy in smell, very grapefruity in smell.

T- The taste is that of an IPA, only more on the malty side. Sort of a caramel taste.

M- Good mouthfeel to say the least.

D- Easy to drink, very tasty.

Wetpaperbag, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is pale bronze with an off-white head leaving scattered lace.

Smell is bread dough and limes.

Drifter has a huge citrus hop flavor, distinct and unique tropical notes that are nicely accentuated by the biscuit character of the malt. Not much bitterness, nor overly sweet, clean and quaffable.

Mouthfeel is lighter, leaning to dry.

Drinkability is pretty high if you like citrus hop flavor, a real nicely balanced, tasty Pale Ale from Widmer.

ccrida, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of beer348
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

my beer ratings are kind of dull. either i like the beer or i didn't . so i am still new to this and not that picky with the ratings. LIke here I gave all 4's becuase i liked it. I guess i could of varied it with a 4.5 here or there but oh well.. wow i keep needing to write more on these things jeez.. isn't it enough already ??

beer348, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of TheMadJack
2.55/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz Bottle into Pint glass. Beer is deep orange with some foam and a thin head. Decent lacing that fades to thin.

Aroma is similar to bourbon without the alcohol scent - an oaky base - on top of which are pine, raspberry, grapefruit and apple peel. So far so good.

First sip brings moderate hops, piny and slightly citrusy. Not a whole lot of depth here, the bittersweet bite fizzes out with the carbonation and leaves just a sensation of bitteness on the tongue. I had some brie on hand while drinking, and it didn't enhance the experience much beyond bringing out a cayenne pepper aroma. The grapefruit and oak flavors in the nose come out in the taste as the beer warms, and the beer gains some depth with caramel coming through.

Mouthfeel is thin and fizzy, and the carbonation fades fast. The beer is easily drinkable. Definitely a laid back brew that will go with just about anything. Unexceptional, though that can be a good thing if you're not looking to overwhelm your tastebuds.

TheMadJack, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of gatornation
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%
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

gatornation, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of seand
4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light orange-ish amber, with a small frothy white head. Just a bit on the surface sticks around, but enough to leave decent lacing.

S: Citrusy hops, with a slight malty sweetness.

T: Citrusy hops, hints of grapefruit. Also has a slightly sticky sweetness to it.

M: Medium to light bodied, medium amount of carbonation.

D: A nice session beer.

seand, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of ChopperSmith
4.22/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber with a thin white head.

Smell: Floral and pine hops are the main scent for this one.

Taste: I was pleasantly surprised at this one, much more flavorful and a nice floral and grapefruit hops flavor. Not a lot of malt here, but the hops are the star in this APA.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent flavorful American Pale Ale. Would definitely seek this out and drink it again.

ChopperSmith, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark cinnamon orange with a fine creamy tan cap that leave sheets of lace behind on the glass. The nose is fresh and hoppy with pineapple, toasted grain and plenty of caramel maltiness. Caramel slathered toast with a mild resinous hop bite that lingers into the finish. Medium bodied and mildly carbonated. This is far and away the best WBBC offering I've had. A pretty spot on PA and perfect session ale.

biggred1, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of msubulldog25
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, fished from a mixed 12-pack that's been in the office fridge for a few weeks. no markings on the bottle, though the box shows 'Packaged on Jun0409'.

Under the cap: A PROST: To Being Tall Enough for the Ride!

A: Hazed auburn/amber, a gentle swirl of fine silt, really no carbonation visible. Head is minimal, a squat ivory cream that's quickly reduced to a gauzy film and thin ring.

S: Nice aroma: sugared caramel sweetness, roasted nuts and a fairly strong dose of piney and lemony/citrus hops. Actually really nice; the more i sniff, the more wonderful it becomes.

T: Cakey sweetness with a rounding-out hop zest. Quite lemony, not sure what to make of it; an iced scone, maybe? Cereal grain holds a honey sweetness, hops pull their weight but seem subdued but for that tangy lemon zest.

M: Fairly bland feel, not sure whether this is 3 months in the bottle talking (not unreasonable), or just a boring mouthfeel. Going with the latter. Low carbonation, mild zest, sweetened finish.

D: Decent enough; when I first tried this back in late winter/early spring I was more impressed than I have been in subsequent tries. Not sure if the newness wore off, later batches were lacking or what exactly. All I know is it's easy enough to drink, but doesn't do much to set it apart from the pack.

msubulldog25, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

oriolesfan4, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of beachbum1975
2.98/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Per the label, bottled on 05-20-2009. Neat old school label. The label makes me wanna go to the Pacific Northwest and fish or something.

Poued into my tulip, a clear, medium brown with blonde highlights. Average tan head with average retention.

Smells like your average pale ale. Light to moderate pale malts with a light citrus tinge.

Slightly watery mouthfeel echoing the nose in flavor. Surprisingly low carbonation.

Average.

beachbum1975, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of thartman
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a 12oz bottle dark copper color, decent finger sized head with good retention. some sticky lacing left on the glass and lots of noticable carbonation. Smell of toasted malts, citrusy hops, and hay. Well balance taste of hops and malt, dry on the finish. Body on the light side, some lingering hops and malt on the finish. Slightly sweet. Nothing special, but overall a decent brew.

thartman, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of drtth
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear bright copper color with a slightly off-white ¼" head that recedes slowly but relatively soon to a ring around the glass with some foam in middle. By the end this is pretty much gone. Sipping initially leaves some nice sheets and speckles of lacing, but soon sipping yields only some speckles of lacing on the sides through most of the beer.

Smell: The aroma is clearly citrus hops with some piney character as well. This is backed up by a nice rich caramel malts component.

Taste: The nose pretty much predicts the flavor, with its caramel malt backbone and sweetness balancing the citrus hops. The flavors are quite crisp, clean, and well balanced as the malt backbone supports the hops and gives them a rich counterpoint without either malt or hops overpowering the other.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with good carbonation throughout most of the beer. The fairly long finish begins in the balance of the hops and malt stretching out to and ending that is dry and just bitter enough.

Drinkability: I'd say this is good solid APA. I'd be happy to have another and may if it is still on tap next time I'm here, but on the other hand there are some other APAs I'd prefer given my choice

drtth, Aug 15, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes a beer will surprise you...enter Drifter...r

Pours a VERY dark auburn, amber almost brown color. The head on this is quite thin and the carbonation levels look kinda low, however the color and clarity of this beer look really nice in the glass.

The aroma is ridiculous tropical fruit. It will be your first hint that this is not like all the other pale ales you could have chosen from the cooler. I'd say mango and papaya sum up those smells and I am not kidding at all. This beer has an aroma that beats out a ton of other pale ales. Definitely some hop bitterness coming out but those tropical fruit smells are unbelievable.

Taste is that of lots of tropical fruit, citrusy hops and definitely a nice balance of malt. Altogether its hard to beat a combination like this. Guava? Can I taste that, I think so. I am basically getting a lot of those expensive fruits squashed into my mouth with a dose of hopes just for the hell of it. The balance is great, wow, I love this stuff.

I have to be honest, this is definitely one of my favorite pale ales available right now. The flavors and drinkability (yeah that word sucks, I know) are incredible. Its a hot and humid summer day in New England and this is what I crave.

Cheers Widmer Brothers! Great job on this one!!!

indiapaleale, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of tblfan04
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours nice with a copper/brown appearance with a good summer cherry smell to it. with the first taste it has a good crisp almost fruity taste with a decent drinkabilty and I can taste a nice hint of the Hops which is always nice however not the best Pale Ale I have ever had maybe not even in my top 5 but a good pale ale none the less. I might buy it again if Sierra Nevada is not on the shelf

tblfan04, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of riversider76
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber golden brown I'm going to call it. Thin white head, with some retention and nice lacing. Aroma is of grassy piney hops with a hint of caramel. Body is light with just a hint of carbonation. Taste is light yet full flavored. Good mix of bready malts and grassy hops.Hints of grapefruit too. Very enjoyable.

riversider76, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pleasantly surprised to see this on tap at the Atlantic Beer Garden in the Seaport District. Served in a normal pint glass. No head whatsoever. Dark orange in color. Nice carbonation. Can definitely smell some hops. Pronounced hop flavor, but balanced nicely with a touch of malt. Not overly hoppy like an IPA, but I think a decent take at a pale ale. Not overly impressed with the mouthfeel, but I found myself ordering two at dinner. It was just good enough that I didn't mind another. Paired well with barfood apps and a burger.

morebeergood, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of beertunes
2.73/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clear, light brown color (not any of the shades of yellow or gold as expected for the style), with a clean, white head that had some retention and medium lacing.

The nose is greeted with a very sweet aroma containing no hop presence. The taste was very pleasant, not too sweet and had just a slight tinge of hop on the finish.

The body was good, full without being heavy, and well balanced. This is a very drinkable brew, having several of these easy, well balanced, very enjoyable brew would not be a problem. Overall this is a good beer that is in the wrong style category. The appearance, smell and taste would all rate higher if the brewers chose not to call this "brown" beer a PALE ale.

beertunes, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap in a plain pint glass at Boru's in Waterbury, Conn.

A: Poured a dark amber color with a slight head of tight white foam which reduced to a thin lace.

S: Smells a little sweet and spicy due to some oily hop resins. A light aroma, but more substantial that what I expected.

T: Taste is a little thick and sweet at the get-go, with roasted caramel malts and burning, unbalanced hop resins clogging the palate, but it smooths out a bit towards the finish as the sweeter malts thin out the slightly chemical hop flavor which dissipates.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied for an APA and not really the easiest to drink.

D: Perhaps something was afoul with the tap lines here, but this Drifter was one to let pass me by. Not bad to try, but I'd be hard pressed to session the motha. Not terrible, but buyer beware.

Gambrinus1184, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer of this at a Class Six in Fort Benning, GA.

12 oz. bottle poured into a pub glass.

Pours a clear, deep copper hue with a rather disappointingly thin, bubbly head of off-white foam that disappears quickly and leaves behind virtually nothing of itself on the walls of the glass.

I smell dry-hopping! Aroma is a full onslaught of American hop goodness, bright, floral and citrusy, with loads of grapefruit and orange. Quite delightful and very inviting.

Light-to-medium in body with a bit of a lively carbonation. Sadly, the flavors aren't quite as delightful as the aroma. Slight caramel sweetness shows itself up front, moving into a mildly bitter middle with rather one-dimensional herbal hop notes; develops into a slightly bittersweet, medium-dry finish with a bit of lingering caramel sweetness.

Quite drinkable, though not the most complex Pale Ale out there. Still, it is quite a cut above the mediocre-at-best "Hefeweizen" that is the brewery's flagship beer; this one should be bumped into that status, as the nose alone is enough to win out over the Hefeweizen any day.

superdedooperboy, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber/copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of strong hops and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front, slight sweet malt, slight grain, and some earthy malt. Overall, a light and refreshing pale ale with decent body, but very little complexity.

Tone, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

beerthulhu, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep bronze amber color with a thick fluffy white foam that leaves nice rings of lace.

S- Some light floral hop aromas and caramel malt.

T- Nice crisp hop bitterness initially with some light citrus and floral flavors. Some fairly noticeable sweet malt in the finish that balances nicely.

M- Medium body with ok carbonation.

D- Nothing spectacular but a nice easy flavor and feel.

projectflam86, Aug 06, 2009
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 936 ratings.