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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

939 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 939
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: 939 | Reviews: 406 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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!

MaltsOfGlory, May 05, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

AlCaponeJunior, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of TippySelenoid
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

TippySelenoid, Oct 29, 2011
Photo of mjurney
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

mjurney, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of YOOJ
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 )

YOOJ, Jan 17, 2010
Photo of Chugmonkey
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.

Chugmonkey, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of wagenvolks
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a Dogfish Head Off-centered Pint Glass. (best by Jan. 27th 09)

Pours a burnt copper hue with good clarity and a sizable tuft of off-white head. Good retention and excellent lacing...liking the looks of this one. The smell is even better. Dare I say it? Fuck yea'. This is the best-smelling American Pale Ale I've encountered. Pungent, skunky-green & citrus hops (Simcoe & Centennial?) burst forth from the pint, balanced perfectly by a juicy, sweet caramel malt presence and tropical fruits. Mouth-watering, to say the least.

On to the taste...unfortunately it's a slight letdown. The hops start off with a spicy-fresh burst of greenery, but the malts pursue with somewhat of an off-putting flavor of burnt caramel and nuts. A slightly sour finish lingers too long. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium (a bit thick for the style), but with a good carbonation level. I do like the bitterness on the beginning, but unfortunately this beer doesn't hold up in the long run. Still, it's a decent brew that deserves at least one try from the hop-lovers out there.

wagenvolks, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of danielharper
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.

danielharper, Jan 26, 2010
Photo of generalnotsew
3.9/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: I must be going crazy tonight. All my styles seem mixed. The coloring is very dark amberish typical of an IPA. Head was gone pretty damn quick but I am not the biggest head fan.

S: Kind of subdued smells in the nose. A faint bit of hops with a stronger citrus presence. Kind of sweetish.

T: Sweet tangy citric hops upfront. Has more of an IPA taste than a pale ale. Has a nice little hop tingle. Quite honestly pretty damn good for a modest low value brewer.

M: Things are still going strong in this department. Nice oily mouthfeel and good carbonation.

D: This is a very easy drinking beer. Quite refreshing and not too heavy.

At $2 less per sixer than some of the bigger guys I would Widmer has a hit a home run with this. Sure it isn't the best in it's class but it is a damn fine beer especially for the price. Heck it is a fine beer even without the price.

generalnotsew, May 27, 2010
Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

hoppyweasel311, May 25, 2011
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.

womencantsail, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of sj660
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

sj660, Apr 02, 2011
Photo of schoolboy
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

schoolboy, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of stercomm
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

stercomm, Aug 27, 2011
Photo of theperfectGF
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

theperfectGF, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of Bitterbill
3.9/5  rDev +4%
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.

Bitterbill, Mar 16, 2009
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.

StaveHooks, Apr 27, 2012
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.

Cyberkedi, Apr 12, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a little dark for a pale, approaching brown territory. Lovely Amarillo hop aroma on these.

Taste, good hop crispness, it does degrade at times into a woody mouthfeel, haven't been able to tell whether due to age or not. A warm up for hopheads and fans of good warm weather beer. Seen the price vary wildly for this, but is a good deal @ $7 I would say for a 6 pack.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of Malt
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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!!!

Malt, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of bcm119
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper with a bubbly head that dissipates. Has a light, candied orange nose. Light, flowery orange flavors up front; slight sweetness from a light malt body balances a hint of minerals. Hops are mild but distinctive, bringing more orange and floral flavors than bitterness. Well integrated flavors and light carbonation make this a fast-drinking beer. Finish is quick and clean, with only a faint lingering flavor of soft leafy hops. A real summer afternoon beer, but not quite complex enough to inspire a long session. A good value at $5.99/sixer.

bcm119, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of champ103
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky reddish/brown color. A very small white cap forms and leaves light patchy lace.
S: Citrus and piney hops. Fruity aromas of orange and lemon peal. A malty sweetness balances out the nose. Very enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. At first a fruity and citrus hop bitterness. Sweet caramel malt for balance. A lingering hoppy bitterness in the finish.
M/D: A medium body, but thin and watery. Over carbonated for my tastes. Smooth and easy to drink. I quaffed a few of these at the bar.

Enjoyable and balanced is the name of the game. I would recommend this.

champ103, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of zeff80
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of grass, orange, floral notes and roasted malt.

T - It tasted of tons of citrusy hops, lots of orange. The was a touch of pine and a good roasted malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a great tasting APA. Great citrus flavor from the hops.

zeff80, May 17, 2010
Photo of Durge
3.88/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Durge, Jul 29, 2009
Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.