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Drifter Pale Ale - Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

901 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 901
Reviews: 406
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%


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)
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Ratings: 901 | Reviews: 406 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mweinrich
mweinrich

South Carolina

3.71/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Has a really nice aftertaste, and "after-fragrance", but not all jasmine-tea flowery (the way regular Bud is). Doesn't have much head, but I don't suppose it's meant to--and I HATE excessive, "show-off-y" head anyway! Wouldn't hurt if the hops were slightly more bitter, but I don't mean that as a criticism; the ale's compatible with its own type.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 17:15:54 | More by mweinrich
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another from my score out of the cooler at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Altoona! I do not know whether to invoke Clint Eastwood in "High Plains Drifter" or BMCS (SW) Gerard Wargo, my first LCPO in the USN, who routinely used to tell me, "Son, you have a high drift factor." I will go with the latter as the label has a nautical theme and drift or drift factor applies to a ship at anchor. A high drift or drift factor is not good and usually results in weighing anchor, getting underway to shift position and then resetting the anchor. Wargo was definitely NOT paying me a compliment!

From the bottle: "Brewers of Quality Beers".

I got a finger of tawny head from my pour, but it quickly dissipated. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled minty with a caramel/biscuit undertone, much like a Girl Scout Thin Mint. Mouthfeel was medium and the mintiness of the hops was immediately discernible on the tongue. It again begs the question of where does an APA leave off and an AIPA begin. As a self-avowed hophead, I have no problem with this sort of thing, but it surely was hoppy. Finish allowed the caramel/biscuit malts to get a chance to balance things out and they did so, nicely. A pretty good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 22:39:23 | More by woodychandler
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

3.39/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real wonderful booming four finger light tan head is made, with super even bubbles all around. The head settles with a frothy and big bubbled retention cap, with lots of clingy lace chunks. Body is a crystal clear textbook amber copper color, real nice, but not much noticeable carbonation. Real good looking.

Very light toasted malts, faint sense of caramel. Some soft hop sense but very muted with maybe a touch of spruce/pine and citrus.

Palate is a little uneventful. Very light bodied almost wet with an almost soda gaseous feel. Palate comes with a light Marzen like malt quality and hints of sticky toffee. Most of the taste though is in the finish but it's quite weak. Slight toasty grain a bit, on the finish also.

Overall not awful but not getting that excited about this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2013 22:28:57 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Frankinstiener
Frankinstiener

Illinois

5/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has been one of my favorite beers for the past 4 years. Since it is going away I decieded to write down some notes while I still have a relatively fresh one in front of me.

This pale ale is not pale in any way. Closer to a light copper in color. Perfectly see through with a little bit of white foam on top. Occasionally I get a few small floaties (perhaps hop particles) but none in this glass.

The smell isn't overwhelming but is really enjoyable. You get both biscuity malt and citrus zest in the same whiff.

The taste is glorious as usual. This is not a hopped up pale ale that borderlines an IPA. It is well balanced, but the hops do slightly shine through. This pale ale definitely has a distinct taste. You get some tangerine flavor that eventually is balanced out by caramel malts. It finishes a bit drier than you would expect. When people say they taste onions I can kind of understand where they are coming from, but only after specifically looking for it. This is not a distraction for me, I think the taste of this beer is perfect. It doesn't leave me wanting anything else. There is a reason why I have purchased so many cases of this over the years

Overall this beer is very drinkable but yet distinct. I’m not the greatest at putting words to flavors so I will just say that I wouldn't change this beer in any way. For years it has been my favorite pale ale. It is also very affordable at $6.99 per six pack and $26 dollars after my case discount. I have always thought its the best beer for the money. RIP Drfter…. You’re a legend as far as I’m concerned.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 01:52:03 | More by Frankinstiener
Photo of SSSBR1509
SSSBR1509

Florida

3.14/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Apperance - coper like color not hazy at all with a white foamy head
Nose- biscuity on the front and a slight caramel like sweetness almost a apricot or dark fruit note slight pine hop presents and a little grapefruit
Mouthfeel-medium bodied with nice carbonation
Taste- pretty much like the nose but not as muted pretty much a basic pale ale. very nice drink ability
Overall- nice sipping beer wouldn't seek it out but i would drink if offered

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 23:39:21 | More by SSSBR1509
Photo of RyanTeeter
RyanTeeter

New York

3.11/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: A vibrant ruby red, transparent color. A nice head however its retention was not long.

s: An easy apricot hop aroma. Nice to the nose, not very potent but strong enough to really make drinking it more enjoyable.

t: Smooth intake. Heavy flavor however does not smack you in the mouth. I am getting fruitiness (apricot, plum) along with the hop undertone. There is enough hop, however to linger on the back of my tongue.

m: Light, quick lasting. Water complexity.

o: I enjoyed drinking this however it does not stand out from the crowd. I would certainly have it again sometime should it show its face.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2013 03:04:48 | More by RyanTeeter
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium red coppery amber. Thin white head dissipates slowly to a film with light lacing. Aroma of grassy, slightly piney hops and biscuit malt. Flavor follows, biscuit malt and light grassy hops. Light bodied with decent carbonation. A good sturdy pale ale that looks a bit more like an amber, but the flavor is on style for a pale.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2013 01:48:48 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a snifter

A: Opaque amber with a tan half finger head that leaves fast. Light lacing.

S: Light piney hops, grapefruit.

T: Tangy, citrus. Very light hop finish. Smooth. Sessionable,.

M: Medium, good carbonation.

O: This is one I'd drink again. Light and crisp. Not over-hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 17:17:04 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of bondjedi
bondjedi

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drank it straight from the bottle, actually drank three, one right after the other while watching football. BAP BAP BAP! Pleasantly surprised - Oregawn brew is usually too hoppy and the various brewers down there are in an arms race to outhop their competitors.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 18:11:31 | More by bondjedi
Photo of TheMarkE
TheMarkE

California

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

Fairly mild mannered, with a bit of malt and handful of hops. Smooth, well balanced, and drinkable. Widmer makes solid brews.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2013 00:13:05 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No time for a full review, so some quick notes should suffice.

Lightly hopped, light body, rich amber color. Smell is very pleasant; light grassy hops, with sweet honey-like malt. The crisp full malt taste compliments the earthy hops well. Maybe it's just my taste, but this could pass for an amber.

Superbly drinkable, without sacrificing taste. Excellent beer that I wouldn't mind having again.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2012 08:06:49 | More by jimmah120
Photo of Ethanol4one
Ethanol4one

New York

4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent balance of hops with rich, if slightly muted and slightly over attenuated malty flavors. I like this beer.

The head looks bottle aged, with those awesome micro bubbles you'll find on Guinness or in a bottle aged Belgian ale that uses Champaign yeast to top it off. I just got served a second, which looked flat, and within 30 second, it's got a head like a Guinness (but tasting nothing like it).

It's deceptive, almost like a big, thin, rice brewed commercial lager but with twice the flavor and punch, or kick in the chops, however you like to think of ABV. Not very hoppy on the nose either, so you still may think you're going to get a basic lager flavor until the malt meets hops toward the back of the mouth.

Compares well to Sam Adams and blows away Shock Top sitting next to it on tap, like a vainglorious David Lee Roth posing next to, say, The Killers. Drifter's Tap handle is pretty cool too, like a clean, cartoonishly retro life saver resting on deck, there for you, in case you need it.

It's all over Florida, so it's there for you if you're lurking around the sunny-rainy "Sunshine" state. Unlike Florida, this beer always appears to deliver.

Serving type: on-tap

12-11-2012 20:12:13 | More by Ethanol4one
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons

New Hampshire

4.13/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 1548-NH-JUN1912. Sampled on December 9, 2012.

The color of the pour is medium to rusty-amber with a slight haze and no head to speak of.

There are plenty of sensations on the nose including sweet malts, floral hops, and dark fruit.

The body is about medium and creamy.

The taste is something I can remember with a sweet malt flavor up front and quickly followed by dark fruit like pomegranate then a medium floral hop bitterness to tie it all together at the end. Likable through and through.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 22:27:04 | More by puboflyons
Photo of mckenziac
mckenziac


3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass. Taken from a Widmer Bros. variety pack.

Appearance: Pours a dull, amber color. Has a large, foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves some decent lacing.

Smell: Smells strongly of piney and spicy hops.

Taste: Strong hop bitterness up front. Finishes earthy and piney with a bit of caramel maltiness.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the light-bodied side for a pale ale.

Overall: A fairly by-the-numbers APA, but a decent beer nonetheless. Nothing I'd go out of my way for, but nothing I'd turn my nose up at either.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2012 03:13:35 | More by mckenziac
Photo of Azntaiji
Azntaiji

Washington

3.33/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought in a six pack, 12 oz bottle. Poured into oversized wine glass.

Pours a beautiful amber with a huge head.

Smells decent and sweet, although nothing that stands out among similar pale ales.

Tasted okay, again nothing astounding. Just tastes like a low IBU pale ale. Very crisp, and very drinkable for a pale ale.

Overall not a beer that stands out among the rest, but a good session ale. I probably won't buy it again though.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 03:32:41 | More by Azntaiji
Photo of NoCurse2012
NoCurse2012

South Carolina

4.46/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the "go to" beer of choice. In my opinion, it is the best $7 six pack in the grocery store. Widmer does a great job of producing a high quality beer at an average Joe price. This is the working man's craft beer. Great amber color with just enough bite to remind you that it is a high quality beer, without the sticker shock.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 20:32:26 | More by NoCurse2012
Photo of CHickman
CHickman

New York

3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer review from 10/27/12: pours cloudy copper amber color with a big foamy 2 finger off white head that faded very slowly, leaving very good spotty lacing and a layer on top.

Smells of sweet malt, grains, herbs, tea leaf, caramel, light citrus hops, orange peel and wet wheat bread; overall malty and sweet smelling with light hoppy and herbal notes.

Tastes like it smells, with sweet malt, grains, herbs, tea leaf, caramel, citrus hops, orange peel, floral hops, biscuit and wet wheat bread; overall malty and sweet with enough hop balance to make it flow down like water. No real fruity sweetness, but still pretty good.

Mouthfeel is light and on the thin side, with average carbonation and a medium body that is pretty well balanced.

Overall a good pale ale that was above average with it leaning towards the malty side versus a hoppy pale ale. Easy drinking with just enough hops to let it flow like a good pale ale should.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 03:30:39 | More by CHickman
Photo of IronLover
IronLover

Pennsylvania

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

Deep copper orange in color with good clarity. Poured with a short off-white foam that reduced to a wispy cap that left a ladder of sticky lacings down the glass. Sweet caramel and ripe orange aromas with resinous pine beneath. Buttery smooth feel with slighty subdued carbonation. Sweet caramel and fruity flavors out of the gate that quickly transition to a resinous pine hoppiness to the end. Finishes crisp and dry.

Serving type: on-tap

11-03-2012 04:14:30 | More by IronLover
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Widmer Brothers Drifter Pale Ale is a very clear, sparkling, amber ale with a soft, thin, off white head that leaves nice lacing. It has a fresh hop aroma, like pine trees, sweet caramel and a light toastiness. It's pretty light bodied and very smooth with a clean, dry finish. It has a lightly bitter, grassy, floral flavor. It tastes very tea like; very herbal. It's very refreshing. It's clean, but not weak. It's very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2012 17:28:41 | More by yesyouam
Photo of GMB
GMB

Japan

3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" pours a clear tawny body that, when held up to the ceiling light, admits rays of light reds, oranges, yellows. A sturdy pour produces a head with some stamina.

The nose is strong and focused. Grapefruit and hoppy floral aromas dominate.

The first sip is excellent. The hops-derived flavor is clean, and the malt provides just enough sweetness. Notes of caramel and butterscotch complement the main hop-derived flavors of grapefruit and chrysanthemum. Subsequent sips begin to seem a bit watery. This brew would be helped by a bit more malt.

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" manages to be both hop-forward and drinkable. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by offering clean, focused hop tastes and aromas with a light malty backbone. The latter lets it down a bit, otherwise this beer would have earned a solid 4.0.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 18:40:40 | More by GMB
Photo of B-Rad
B-Rad


2.45/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I'm not a fan of this ale. I kept getting this tasted of body odor while drinking it. It looked nice in the glass- a pretty amber color with carbon bubbles rising. Interestingly it didn't smell of body odor; it has a sweet hoppy aroma. The mouthfeel was kind of thin. I just cannot get over the body odor flavor to it. I poured it into a glass to let it breathe thinking that the BO like flavor was from bottle skunk but the flavor didn't change much. I would not recommed this ale to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2012 20:55:18 | More by B-Rad
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Bottled on July 31, 2012.

Hearty copper body. Clear and clean. Finger of moderately thick, light beige head. Not much lacing. Toasted, almost nutty, malt aromas mix with fruit, pine, and citrus zest. A little resin around the edges too.

Toasted grains lead off, quickly followed by piny, resinous hop bitterness. Biscuit and light fruit malt fill in. Resin and citrus hop bitterness into the dryer finish. Lingering caramel, orange citrus and leafy hops. Moderate body with a smooth feel. Decent pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 21:47:40 | More by alexgash
Photo of pkalix
pkalix

California

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

pours with a small head which lingers with a quarter inch head throughout. orange-molasses color and clear.
smell is pine-y, some grapefruit.
taste is about the same. definitely leaning toward the hop side. widmer is such an 'available' brand here but i dont see what everyone else sees in the brand. it's decent, though....
mouthfeel= eh, decent, carbonation is medium.
overall, a decent brew. more hoppy than i prefer, but i can see its finer points. still trying to get into the hoppier brews and understand them. guess i'm just a 'traditionalist' (?) and subscribe to the maltier recipes i became accustomed to when i though germany was the world of beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 03:06:48 | More by pkalix
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is slightly hazy amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense beige head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are pleasant light aromas of passionfruit in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell but is a bit stronger with subtle flavors of passionfruit and pale malts along with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very drinkable pale ale that has interesting aromas and flavors imparted by the Nelson Sauvin hops. There is a good balance between the malt and hops because you can taste the hop flavors but these aren’t accompanied by a strong bitterness like an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2012 01:04:40 | More by metter98
Photo of purplesugar
purplesugar


3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ya know, if this beer had blew me away, I would do the whole ASTMO thing and spend more time on it. But, it WAS a pleasant surprise. I love their spiced ipa, and was skeptical to try this PA (cause I often stick to IPA's), but it was good. Citrus-y.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 05:42:28 | More by purplesugar
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Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 901 ratings.