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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

944 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 944
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
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

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

hops:
Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
View: Beers (75) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 944 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice one finger head, it’s very see through though. The body is amber in color and it has lots of carbonation. It looks like a pale ale, but not quite as thick as I would like, it looks decent though. The smell is nice and hoppy with a little malt sweetness. It doesn’t smell like a weak pale ale at all, it smells legit. Yeah, nice hoppy flavor on the taste. Not too overwhelming, but good and hoppy with a nice malt balance on it. This beer is very drinkable, not too watery though. The mouthfeel could be a little bigger, but it’s not too bad. There really isn’t anything wrong with this beer at all. Overall a good pale ale!

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well this one is a keeper to be sure. It lacked a little on appearance but otherwise was a big hit for me.

Coppery colored with a slight haze, nice lacing and half finger head, even with somewhat rough pour into a laser etched beer glass.

A wonderful smelling brew, fruity and hoppy with smooth caramel malt background.

It's got a great flavor, bold fruits, mandarin oranges, plentiful hops, floral and herbal flavors, an overall terrific tasting beer.

Body is medium and slightly slick, decent carbonation, very nice aftertaste.

Drinks great in every way. Definitely looking to buy this one on a regular basis. A fine tasting beer that I definitely recommend.

Photo of Bogdawg
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of TippySelenoid
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

It's coppery and pretty clear with a white head that quickly turns into lace. Leaves a decent lace on the glass.

It smell citrusy and piney.

It tastes very citrusy with some pine notes. It's got a bright flavor. Some malty sweetness but this beer is dominated by citrus hops.

It's medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall this is a great beer for its price. I was leery of it because it's attached to Widmer. But this may be one of the best affordable beers I've had. Very nice.

Photo of mjurney
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Deep amber color, hazy. Few little bubbles. Small head.

Aroma:
Piney and citrus hops. Sweet malts. Very crisp smelling.

Taste:
Balance from hops and malts. Hop character is a little more milder than most American Pale Ale I had, I’m getting piney and citrus, maybe a little grassy. Nice malt background, sweet, bready, caramel-toffee, just a touch of butter (almost English like malts). There some fruitness from the yeast. Body is dry, a little crisp. Carbonation is mild.

Finish:
Sweet and dry finish. A little crisp. Dry aftertaste.

Overall:
It’s pretty good for American Pale Ale.

Photo of YOOJ
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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 )

Photo of Chugmonkey
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of danielharper
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Photo of Malt
3.91/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is more amber color than the Drop Top Widmer makes. Good lacing(drinking it in a pint glass right now). Minimal carbonation, very thin head and there is hardly any citrus taste to me and my brother(we are rating this as we speak).. My brother says( IT'LL GETCHA DRUNK)!!!! LOL... Anyways we like this better than the other Widmer product... I would definatly buy this one again!!!

Photo of kjritt
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

served from a bottle into a glass.

a. poured a short head with a bit of lacing. slightly murky red orange color. not as attractive as it tastes.

s. average at best. very little hop and the low ibus certainly supports that.

t. not as mild as many many other pale ales i have encountered, and much more character. exciting on the tongue and the back of the mouth. almost fizzy. a very strong pale ale.

m. carbonated and brisk. kind of dances around in the mouth. very exciting.

o. when i first discovered this several months ago, it immediately became my favorite pale ale. with flying dog and bass in the same conversation, it yet remains my favorite.

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of Durge
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very surprised to find this on tap at the down and dirty (but always entertaining) Cousin Larry's cafe in Danbury, CT. This poured cold into a pint glass with a cloudy dark amber color and a goodly light tan head with good lacing. I got a decent grapefruit/lemon aroma with some bready malt. The flavor takes on a sharper but less flavorful bitterness. It warms up with more bready malt, oak and some salty grass with nice, tastefully refreshing carbonation. It is mid to light bodied, quite decent stuff and plenty drinkable. Generally a reasonable pale ale for sure, not the best, but better than most I would say.

Photo of EVaughan
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - light amber to copper, 1/4" to 1/2" head, only slightly opaque, head dissipates quickly (bad pour?)

Aroma - pleasant citrus aroma

Taste - good malty taste, very subtle citrus and pine taste

Aftertaste - noticeable bitterness, some hoppy/citrus flavors. No astringency. Nice and smooth

Overall - mild bitterness for a pale ale. The malty taste nearly overrides the subtle citrus flavor. Very drinkable but not entirely memorable.

Photo of StaveHooks
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. served into a SA perfect pint glass.

A - Pours a chilled hazed amber with a uniform off white.

S - Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, soapy hops, soft cereal grain, strawberry. Biscuits really start coming out as it warms.

T - Soap and grapefruit hops with a sweet graham cracker malt center. The citrus zest is very clean and carries through to the finish. Some strawberry and spice notes linger.

M - Medium carbonation drops off and turns smooth and creamy, light bodied.

Love the grapefruit. Very clean citrus flavors. Nice graham cracker-like malt adds good balance. Light bodied and very session-able.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice semi-transparent mahogany with a decent pale beige head. Aroma is strongly hoppy and almost evergreen. Flavor is hoppy, slightly spicy and slightly floral with a subtle undertone of sweet apple. Smooth, lively, fizzy texture leaves a fruity and hoppy finish.

Photo of superdedooperboy
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the only beer by Widmer that I really like... This to me is the perfect summer beer, so refreshing. It has a nice citrus, lychee fruit flavor that I really like. I just wish it had a little bit more hop bite to it.. not much though. When poured into a glass there isn't much head on it... all in all a good beer.

Photo of jonbad19
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pleasantly surprised to find this kind of output from widmer. I poured it from the bottle into my chalice. The head didn't stick around for that long, the beer had a nice clear, slightly ruby hue. The smells were the highlight of the beer for me, without looking i would guess it was some combo of west coast hops. Very nice. The taste was nice because the hops came through initially but it was a surprisingly balanced pale. The nose prepared me for a near ipa style, but it was nice to have the balance between the hops and the malt. The mouthfeel definitely fit the style, and i felt like i could definitly drink a few more of these upon finishing. Spot on widmer...spot on.

Photo of theperfectGF
3.89/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was my first experience with beverages from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company. Had a great grapefruit scent that carried through to the taste. Was crisp with good hop flavor. Nice amber coloring. Easy drinking and very enjoyable, could definitely have a few of these. Will be sure to look for it again.

Photo of sj660
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perhaps the name "drifter" refers to being lost in the vast ocean of American Pale Ales. There are so many with so little variation: some malt and a lot of hops.

This one pours dark brown, with a good white foam and medium retention. Looks good.

The smell is a strong whiff of pine, grapefruit, and other citrus. The taste matches, with good bitterness, but also a smooth malt character that distinguishes this APA from its numerous brethren.

Medium body, medium carbonation, it coats the tongue well.

Overall, the smooth malt character of this APA makes it one you can drink a bit longer than others.

Photo of schoolboy
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at one of my favorite stores which sometimes has things older than they should (but I like the proprietor). So the slight skunky funky might be because it was too old.

But still, this is a slightlymaltier and yeastier than it should be, and less hoppy, but that makes it unique.

I need to try this again but I need to be sure that it is freshers.

Photo of stercomm
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Coppery orange in color, very slight tan head, slight lacing on the glass.

S - Getting some slight malty aweetness combined with a citrusy zest probably more orange, reminds me of the tea Constant Comment.

T - Very nicely balanced, getting the sweetnes from the malt and a very nice orange spiceiness that blends very well together.the finish is like some English Pale Ales, nice and dry leaving you wanting another sip.

M - Light bodied, medium to light carbonation.

D - This is a very refreshing beer, nothing is over the top, everything is balanced into a very enjoyable brew.

Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought as part of a mixed 6 pack.

This pours from the 12oz bottle(bottled or best by Jan 2109?) a bright clear copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is very hoppy....floral and citrus notes abound. I smell a very faint sweetness here but that was a tough chore to pull it out. I don't think the nose will be the best feature of this brew.

The taste has the hops up front though not as assertive as in the smell. A plus, I think for an APA. Much better presence of malt as well. Good sweet caramel tones with light bread and a touch of earth. Caramel is starting to grow the more I sip. Good. Much closer to being balanced.

Close to medium bodied with a lighter than I expected amount of carbonation, it finishes just slightly bitter. Decent head retention and with some spotted lacing.

Drinkability? On par for the style me thinks. It surely goes down easily enough and is tasty enough. Widmer did a good job with this one.

Photo of ABOWMan
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

L: This ale poured a nice copper tan color with perfect clarity. There was an ample two fingers of tan head which was rather short lived. There is some modest lacing in the glass.

S: Wonderful aroma of clover, honey, and malt with some dried hay as well.

T: Nice upfront flavor of sweet malt with some bitter hop bite to follow. After my palate cleared, I detected some grassy notes that seemed out of place and they detracted somewhat from the experience. All-in-all, not a bad tasting experience, and one of the better pale ales I've tasted.

M: Modestly rich for a pale ale with the appropriate amount of cling on the tongue.

D: A light and refreshing brew. Easily drinkable and one of its strongest attributes. Would gladly sip another.

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 944 ratings.