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

405 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 405
Hads: 955
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 7.92%
Wants: 23
Gots: 36 | 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 (76) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 405 | Hads: 955
Photo of Bighuge
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tarnished copper body. Thin beige head. Spotty lace. Very pleasant aroma of vibrant aromatic hops and carmelized malts. As with the nose, there's a nice balance on the palate between hops and malt. Bright citric hop notes meld with caramel malts to create an agreeable flavor. Medium to medium-full body. Moderately carbonated. (327 characters)

Photo of supercolter
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Actually quite a pleasant surprise. I will not lie, I wasn't expecting too much. Appearance is nice copper color, looks somewhat light and refreshing. Smell and taste have very nice hop characteristics. Deep and grapefruity with enough malt to balance it out. Mouthfeel is a bit thin but acceptable. Drinkability is very good. (326 characters)

Photo of Briarscratch
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish amber with a thin off white head that fizzed away fairly quickly. It is leaving a bit a lacing halfway down the glass.

This beer smells delicious with a hoppy, sort of citrus aroma like a hint of grapefruit along with a malty sweetness.

Tastes very refreshing with an immediate hop fruitiness that stands out the entire time. Something about this beer other than the color is different than most pale ales. The taste is very mild and only lingers on the tongue for a few seconds. Slightly bitter.

Very thin and easy to swallow. Decent bit of carbonation.

The drinkability is awesome. I finished this beer before I could even finish typing this review and this is the last one of the six pack. (I didn't drink them all today). (747 characters)

Photo of albern
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a pleasant surprise, and one of the more estery hop filled APAs that I've tried. The beer pours a nice slightly orangey amber color with a slightly foamy off white head. The retention doesn't last and there is just a touch of lacing. The nose is awesome for an APA. It has very nice piney hop notes, as well as some nice grapefruit and floral bittering hop as well.

The taste is quite good. The hop is very juicy and estery. The beer itself is a tad bit thin, doesn't have lots of bready backbone or a substantial creamy base. What you do get is a very nice, slightly thin, malty beer with some very nice hop notes throughout. It is a tad drying in the finish, and there is some leafy bite in the finish as well, but this beer is quite good, refreshing, enjoyable, with a mouthfeel that is a bit citrusy and an aftertaste that is very mild. Worth seeking out. L'Chaim. (878 characters)

Photo of Kromes
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with thick off-white head. Good lacing down glass. Smells like sweet grapefruit hops. Smells great, but kind of one dimensional. A nice blend of citrus, fruity grapefruit hops and toasted malt. Mouthfeel is a little thick and full for a pale ale but good. Great drinkability, could drink these all day. (322 characters)

Photo of Gosox8787
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a bar in my hometown. Hadn't heard of this before so I didn't know what to expect, but given the selection at this bar, I was not optimstic.

Beer was served in a 20 oz. glass. The beer was amber with reddish tones and had a small beige head with little retention. The aroma was fruity, particularly citrus and grapefruit. There was a slightly noticable caramel undertone. The taste was citrusy. The grapefruit notes didn't appear to be from the hops though, as the beer was not at all bitter or piney. Some caramel undertone. The taste was nice, but felt somewhat artificial. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a nice bit of carbonation. Drinkability was high due to average ABV and light flavor.

Overall, a decent beer with some nice light fruit flavor, however I would not consider this a Pale Ale. A decent, sessionable beer though. (848 characters)

Photo of ancientelixir
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With a pint glass it came up with one finger of head that faded fairly quickly. Smells of malt and fruitiness, peaches and apricot, with a slight hop. Clean mouthfeel with good caronation, smooth and drinkable. Tastes like a good pale ale with a decent malt/hop balance. The one thing I did appreciate about this beer was a unique citrusy, peach/apricot flavor that I enjoyed. I will probably buy this again. (408 characters)

Photo of michaelgrant1983
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Awsome amounts of citrus smell on the brew, makes you think you're going to get a real hoppy brew. Good deep amber color with a head on the beer that disapears quickly. The taste is amazing. Good hops, with a great balance. I can't say enough of how good this beer is. I'm very impressed with Widmer Brothers brewing for coming out with this one. (346 characters)

Photo of yemenmocha
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark amber with white head that doesn't last long. Nose has a nice citrusy element, particularly grapefruit, and some candied aromas. Palate is on the dry, hoppy side with a small backbone of malt to balance out. Not a bad offering from one of the BMC affiliates. (269 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle with bottled on dating on the lower front label. (040609) Pours clear darker amber, fluffydarker tan head, that sticks around for ever, leaving more then respectable lace on the glass. The sniff reveals more then typical wiffs of citric hops. Nice, drinkable pale. Pineapple tinged hops, with hints of lime and mango with floral/fruity flourishes. Dry, yet still fruity finish. A pleasant suprise. Well worth a try. (431 characters)

Photo of hoplover82
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear deep amber-tinted golden color with a creamy medium off white head that has pretty good retention and leaves very good lacing all the way down the glass.

S-Right away I get very citrusy lemon and orange hops, and maybe a sweet hint of grapefruit. Very very nice. No real malt aroma. Which is fine with me.

T-The flavor of the Summit hops are sooo nice. It's like ... lemon juicy hops and a little sweet pale malts and slightly bitter. The bitterness is there but it's so clean and soft. It's nice.

M-Has a solid medium body with a sweet malt backbone that coats the mouth very well. Well balanced beer indeed. But the hops shine in this offering from Widmer. My favorite thus far. Their two new ones are soooo good. They are really stepping up their game. I'm excited to see what they will offer in the future.

D-This I could session all night long. Very drinkable. Please go out and get a sixer of this bad boy. You wont be dissapionted. (962 characters)

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.24/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted pint glass at a local seafood restaurant this beer wasn't half bad. It was between this and Bud Light and I think I picked the right one. The head was decent (around 1 inch) and overall the beer was a deep reddish brown.

The nose was rather bland - no hops at all are present in the aroma. There is the smell of malt and metal. I thought for sure this was AB - and ended up being right but I honestly had no idea when I bought the two of them tonight.

The taste was surprisingly refreshing. The first thing you notice is the malt and the length of the flavor. There is minimal hops - basically this is more in line with an English Pale Ale but who really cares - it's not bad beer at all.

The mouthfeel is light and a bit thin for my taste in pale ales - I think it was a touch overcarbonated, but that could be the bartender's fault. He really didn't seem to know much about beer.

The drinkability is decent. I did end up having 2 decently sized pints (16 oz) and had no problem finishing them both. Overall I'd say this beer was a decent surprise at a location I figured I would have to order wine in order to be happy. (1,147 characters)

Photo of MisterClean
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the west coast beer festival

A - Poured copper with a 2 fingered off-whte head. Dissipated moderately and left no lacing.

S/T - Honey, grass, and light citrus.

M - Full-bodied and hop dominated.

D - Good, but couldn't taste much in the form of malts in this pale ale. (281 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber red. Thin head with faint retention. Decent lacing.

The nose has a lot going on. Pine, citrus. but mainly a floral aroma.

Hits very bright and citrusy. Grapefruit and pineapple are present. Full bodied for the style. Very full finish with nice, nice bitters.

A keeper. (291 characters)

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained at the local Hannaford, bottled on 4-10-2009. Pours a crystal-clear dark amber body with a very short-lived quarter inch of off-white head. Smells very citrussy and pithy, grapefruit and lemon come to mind. Lemon hits the palat first, with a fair bit of grapefruit and hints of pith in tow. A reasonable amount of caramel malt helps to balance the hops, with hints of breadiness too. Smooth light to medium body with moderate to low carbonation. Very very drinkable, even for the style. Simple and balanced, some may well view this as a bit pedestrian. But nonetheless it's a solid APA and much better than I expected. (639 characters)

Photo of Cakanator
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

sample bottle. What a surprise after having the amber. This poured a much richer color with a thicker head. I suppose the 5.7% on the front might have something to do with a fuller bodied beer. Nice darker hue than the amber. Goes down smooth and has great balance between hop and malt. It's not the best thing I've ever had, but considering the previous beer I drank, this one is a solid, accessible beer. (406 characters)

Photo of Gyle41386
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled 4/1/09) into a pint glass.

Pours an amber orange color. Relatively small white head. Spotty lacing.

Hoppy aroma. I'm getting mostly pine, but can detect some citrus, as well. Lemon, pineapple, grapefruit. There's also a sweetness to the nose, and I can't decide if that's coming from the malt base or not.

Yeah, the sweetness seems to be from the malt. There's a decent malt taste up front, then a floral hoppy bitterness takes over. This is much more balanced than the aroma makes it appear.

Body is on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation level is appropriate. Pretty smooth drinker. Dry finish. Not bad. (649 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark copper body with a thin, fine, white head.

Smell: Lightly grainy pale and caramel malt nose with a earthy, fruity, particularly citrusy hop scent.

Taste: Unassuming pale and caramel maltiness with a medium level of sweetness. Tiny tinge of grains. Earthy, citrusy hops imparting a taste of infused citrus peels, though the overall bitterness remains light. Drying finish with a mere hint of lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, simple, but easily accessible American Pale Ale. (567 characters)

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

So far, I haven't had a lot of fun with Widmer products. Here's hoping Drifter will change that. On to the beer:

A little hazy on the pour, the beer has a hazy, brownish-orange color to it with a froathy inch-thick head on top. Leaves a few rings of thin lacing. In the nose, it is grapefruit and diacetyl. Pretty monotone aroma, and not terribly intense either. (Correction, it gets more hoppy in intensity as it warms, +0.5 in aroma).

Actually, Drifter has a pretty good balance going for itself. It's not as hoppy tasting as it smells, but there's still enough to keep me happy. A good mix of flavors....it's like a fruit salad. Well, first it's the hops, then it's the fruity esters, burnt sugar, and a pinch of diacetyl (no buttery popcorn, more like butterscotch). Goes down really easy too.

Oh yum, that hits the spot. Now I wish I bought another one. My favorite Widmer product to date. (898 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear, copper/amber color. Poured a coaarse 2 finger tan head with fair retention. Sticky lacing through the first half of the glass.

S: Big floral and citrus hops up fronta. A little sweet bready malt comes through.

T: Sweet caramel and pale malts. Resiny hops is the middle. Sharply bitter finish to balance.

M: Light side of medium body. Nicely balanced carbonation. Bitter finish lingers.

D: Very drinkable. The floral hops and sharp bitter provide nice contrast. Malts givie it some character. (506 characters)

Photo of olmatty
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Pours a low, off-white head with minimal lacing and moderate retention, beer is a deep brown/red copper.

Smell-Very citrusy hops, strong nose of tangerine.

Taste-Citrus hops come in early and dominate throughout without overwhelming. A delicious and unique hops painted over a middling backdrop of amber malts and not much changes along the way.


Mouthfeel- Moderate body and carbonation.

Drinkability-Smooth and flavorful, medium bodied. An excellent session if a touch high ABV for one. (508 characters)

Photo of seanbhudson
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE:
Pours a clear orange-amber color with a large off-white head that dissipates at an average rate. Moderate lacing.
AROMA:
Light to moderate aroma of tangerine and caramel
FLAVOR:
Tangerine sweetness and malt. Light pine/grapefruit hops finish.
MOUTHFEEL:
Light to medium body with a creamy / slightly syrupy texture. Soft fizzy carbonation.
DRINKABILITY:
A very easy drinking beer. Would be decent on a hot day. For me there is nothing special to it and the tangerine taste is a bit strange/fake tasting.
NOTES: BBCSD-0903-DanM (543 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
2.91/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Gary for sharing.

The beer opens with a thin copper, medium amber, and golden look. Good head formation allows for fine retainage and lacing. Pretty fair for a Pale Ale, just looks a bit thin and over carbonated.

Aromas of hops leap right out with a largely citrus note and to a lesser extent, metalic notes. Pretty sharp to the nose, an odd sweaty, catty, urine-line note comes out but seems to disipate quickly. Soft maltiness blends with even softer grain aromas to provide a counter to the assertive and sharp hop scent.

Flavors of malt and grain rise first with a biscuity sweetness and moderate maltiness. Hop flavor seems a bit bitey and again metalic; but also has some fresh orange zest and grapefruit taste to go along with that same anoying metalic taste.

Body as expected is kinda light and allows for the grains to add nearly the bite as does the hops. More than just bitterness, the hops also give an undesirable astringency that I could do without.

Seems like a lot of negativity comming out of this review, but these ill attributes don't kill the beer. I think it's fine but suffers from some tomato-catty things in the initial aroma and poorly chosen hops. (1,188 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored with perfect clarity. The small off-white head recedes pretty quickly.

Smell: Biscuity, nutty malts balanced by a solid hop profile of citrus and spruce.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tropical, grapefruity hops supported by a toasted malt backbone. Light in body with a slight alcohol presence. Wet, hoppy finish, only mildly bitter. Solid stuff. (364 characters)

Photo of SFLpunk
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Tavern (The Essex Resort):

Comes off the tap a medium-amber color, looking much like an English ale/bitter. Very little head with no retention. White bubbles round the edge.

A hugely aromatic, but somewhat simple nose. Lots of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry. Very similar aromas to a New Zealand Sauvignon blanc. It's medium- to light-bodied, and leaning on the crisp side from the hops, but there is a nice malt presence too. The flavors are dominated by the hop character, but the beer is not overly bitter. Lots and lots of grapefruit, with underpinnings of cereal and lightly toasted malt.

An interesting beer to be sure. Drinkability suffers a little because it's really focused on that grapefruit note and it builds up sip after sip, but was really surprised at how much I liked it. (812 characters)

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 405 ratings.