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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

946 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 946
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.64%
Wants: 22
Gots: 32 | 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

Pale, Caramel 20L, Caravienne 20L, Caramel 80L, Carapils

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
View: Beers (72) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 946 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of daliandragon
3.57/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice copper amber with an off-white head and some decent lace.

Some toasted malt scents, some citric hops, and a little caramel sweetness.

Toasted malt combined with some fruity qualities, some citric hops, light hint of caramel all finishing with a biscuity element. Wow! Where'd this come from! Flavors are well balanced. Only drawback is that it seems just a tad weak (meaning, the flavor intensity is just on the cusp of perfect, but not quite there -- but not really watered down either).

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Terrific beer! Very easy drinking. No tough overly candied or bitter aftertaste. Smooth, pleasant, and drinkable. Needs a bit more intensity to be great, but pretty close. Loved it.

Photo of thespaceman
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Smokin' With Chris in Southington

Poured into a Drifter pint glass:

Pours a beautiful, deep copper in color. Lots of head on this bad boy, with very soapy, sticky lacing on the glass. Smell is of really light fruit aromas, not your big IPA or APA malt forward aromas and hoppy overtones, but a very subtle showing of some passionfruit. Taste is on point, I get almost a peach-like tinge that overtakes the palate, followed by a decent amount of some citrus from the hops. Malt backbone is light enough to let the hops dance around on the tongue. Great mouthfeel on this, a bit slick and wet, yet holds up on the tongue smoothly with decent carbonation and bitterness. Overall, a valiant effort from the Widmer Brothers and one of the better APA's out there. Even my girlfriend wanted more Drfiter. Recommended!

Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: hazy golden orange with a one-finger white head.

Smell: hops abond; mostly floral with a little spice and citrus. There is also a hint of the sweet malt underneath.

Taste: sweet and citrusy. Malt is quite well balanced with the hops, which again are floral and spicy in character. I quite like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-thin body with a little less carbonation than I would prefer.

Drinkability: this is a pretty solid beer and I wouldn't mind having another one after this.

Photo of badmoonrison
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good pale ale. The "bite" is grapefruity but not too harsh like some. I bought it as part of a sampler pack at my local Hy-Vee liquor store... purely on a whim. Probably mellow enough to enjoy at dinner, yet quite drinkable if you're trying to get a little tipsy.

Photo of Seanibus
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

For a Pale Ale, it's not all that pale, but it is quite tasty.

Pours a surprisingly reddish amber with a thin but satisfying head that drops a little too fast, but does leave good lacing. The aroma is pleasantly hoppy - strong with grapefruity hops. The flavor is even more grapefruity, with a sweet, almost candy-like finish. Bitterness is muted both on the tongue and on the finish, though there is a little citrus-like bitterness, like the oil on an orange rind. The mouthfeel is insubstantial, which is the one clear flaw in what is otherwise quite good.

Photo of rolf17
5/5  rDev +33.7%
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!

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint. Bottled on 062009. No other info.

A - Crystal clear with low bubble action after a rough pour. The color is a beautiful orange-amber but the overall appearance is tarnished by a weak off-white head that settles to just a tad more than a ring and only leaves a little wave of lacing on the glass.

S - The aroma of a freshly cut grapefruit squirts out with a touch of orange citrus. Light pine notes around the edges. No hint of malt as the grapefruity hops overflow!

T - The unbalanced yet delicious smelling aroma takes a bit of a different turn in the flavor. The powerful grapefruit aroma mellows out a bit as the malts are brought forward; a good balance of pale and maybe just a pinch of caramel? The pine and orange citrus are still both evident.

M - Initially smooth, it turns crisp and dry as the citric hops and fair carbonation balance out this medium-bodied beer.

D - Not too shabby at all. It's an easy drinker with a nice aroma and a good, subtle flavor that balances well. A six pack of this wouldn't last long around me especially if I wanted to session a few brewskis.

Also, the label is very cool. The selling point of this beer to me when I first saw it. Very well designed.

Photo of Spineypanda
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is definitely a notable pale ale!

It has a pleasant hoppiness that is just enough, followed by a hint of sweetness.

My first experience with the Widmer Bros. seemed less than enjoyable, but they have obviously redeemed themselves and are making higher quality beers!

Photo of brdc
3.57/5  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.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of ccrida
4/5  rDev +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.

Photo of beer348
4/5  rDev +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 ??

Photo of TheMadJack
2.62/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

Photo of gatornation
3.27/5  rDev -12.6%
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

Photo of seand
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of ChopperSmith
4.19/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.72/5  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.

Photo of beachbum1975
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
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.


Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of thartman
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
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.

Photo of drtth
3.97/5  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

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 946 ratings.