Bottle Shop Series #2: Highball Drifter
Founders Brewing Company

Bottle Shop Series #2: Highball DrifterBottle Shop Series #2: Highball Drifter
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Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
American Strong Ale
Ranked #71
Ranked #6,562
4.1 | pDev: 7.56%
Friday at 01:00 AM
Mar 24, 2021
There’s a new sheriff in town – meet Highball Drifter, a barrel-aged sipper inspired by our favorite bourbon-based cocktails. The second entry in our Bottle Shop Series, Highball Drifter presents aromatics of caramel and vanilla, dried fruit and spice while hints of cherry and bitter orange peel whisk you away like a tumbling tumbleweed. Call us old-fashioned, but we think you’re going to love it.

IBUs: 25
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Rated: 4.34 by sisterofba from Maryland

Nov 06, 2023
Rated: 4.55 by Jacob313 from Michigan

Sep 10, 2023
Rated: 4.19 by oberon from North Carolina

Aug 20, 2023
Rated: 4.1 by sd123 from Georgia

Aug 12, 2023
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Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 7/7/21, had 9/1/21.

Pours a clear copper color, with a quarter inch foamy head and light foamy lacing. Aromas of caramel, orange peel, vanilla, light malt, light bourbon. Has a spicy aroma. Flavors of bourbon, vanilla, malt, orange peel, light cherry. Has a spicy flavor and a little herbal bitterness. Smooth, a very good light to medium body, well carbonated.

Does a very good job of being what it says. Everything shows well, except maybe the cherry. Don’t know the real cocktail, but this was certainty enjoyable.
May 22, 2023
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Reviewed by kitch from Hong Kong

4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
A 12 fl. oz. bottle, bottled on 6th July 2021, poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: A rusty orange brown colour with a thin half finger beige head that dissipated fairly quickly while leaving nice lacing.

Aroma: Cocktails, orange bitters, dried orange peel, caramel, vanilla, with light candied cherry notes.

Taste: Lightly sweet, malty, candied dried fruit, orange bitters, orange peel, citrus zesty, candied cherry, oak, with notes of bourbon and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: An enjoyable sipper that’s very cocktail like, as it’s name suggests; and also with an aroma that was really good.
Mar 02, 2023
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Reviewed by vette2006c5r from Minnesota

4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Highball Drifter pours dark amber with a long-lasting, smaller head. The aroma is sweet, boozy, orange liquor note. The flavor is filled with boozy orange notes, sharp cereal, hints of earth, and cherry. Good body and feel. Overall, a very, very nice and tasty cocktail beer.
Jan 28, 2023
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Reviewed by Beerbubby from Indiana

4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Brown with light white head that disappears immediately. Smells of alcohol and chocolate. Taste is also chocolate and nutty. Mouth feel is what you would expect. Not syrupy but heavy.
Dec 24, 2022
Rated: 4.49 by arzt from Germany

Dec 12, 2022
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Reviewed by Mitchster from Michigan

3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
11% ABV, 25 IBU's per the bottle. Bottled 7/7/21.

Pours out to a murky deep brown forming a nice off yellow head with good retention and lacing. Carbonation is a little mild, around 2 carbs or so. Aroma of raisins, dates, figs, prunes and caramel vanilla suggesting boozy sweetness.No off aromas/flaws. Mouthfeel is syrupy, chewy and dense bodied. Taste is of raisins, dates, prunes. It was a little difficult to pick out, but there is a very brief flash of mild orange going on here up front, but it is quickly overwhelmed by the dark fruits that follow up. More akin to a mixed fruit cocktail syrup. As it warms, the orange nose blooms, but wet newspaper creeps in and tends to be overwhelmed by the dark fruits as well. Bitterness is very mild, this is a sweet beer. I am an avid bourbon and bitters enthusiast and I do not pick up on any bourbon or bitters character at all. In the very late aftertaste, we're talking minutes, there is a bit of grainy cereal sweetness.

I tried a few dashes of angostura in it to see if it helped balanced the sweetness. It really brought out the orange notes but in a bad way. Have you ever smelled smashed fruit flys? That smell.

Well, an interesting experiment. Can't say I would recommend it or want to drink it again though.
Dec 09, 2022
Rated: 4.24 by nyrblue2 from New York

Dec 03, 2022
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Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This is a fun beer. Flavorful and boozy. Nice beer for after a hockey game.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Clear dark reddish mahogany color with excellent beige head and nice curtain lacing. It does smell and taste like the cocktail. Caramel, vanilla, cherries, and orange peel. Warming and comforting. Nice treat!
Nov 03, 2022
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Reviewed by VashonGuy from Washington

3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
I've got a bottle from 6/9/22, so not too old. Others have remarked that this may not age well.

Highball Drifter is really a remarkable approximation of an Old Fashioned. It's got a lot of orange character, some cherry, and just a bit of bourbon (not very much). It's fairly light in texture, much lighter than most high ABV barrel aged beers. It's sweet, but not cloying.

And it's more like a highball cocktail than a beer, frankly. It reminded me of whisky cocktails, not so much of beers.

I'm fine with that. I think this is an interesting concoction by Founders. I wouldn't make it my daily drink, but I'd be glad to have a few bottles in the house for a change of pace every now and then.
Oct 29, 2022
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Reviewed by EMV from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: Clear copper colored pour. 2 fingers of off-whtie head... leaves solid lacing.

S: Sweet and boozy. Strong cherry... lighter vanilla and orange peel.

T.F: Sweet and boozy, just like it smells. Bourbon and cherry. Vanilla and more booze. Orange peel comes in later with some spice and brown sugar. More cherry... warming. Smooth and medium bodied. Sticky on the tongue. Cherry vanilla finish.

O: An outstanding cocktail inspired brew. Great flavor mix and makes me want to try the actual cocktail.
Oct 27, 2022
Rated: 4.62 by JamieDuncan from Maryland

Oct 24, 2022
Rated: 4 by brittanylicious from Indiana

Oct 15, 2022
Rated: 4.08 by heysuz from Indiana

Oct 15, 2022
Rated: 4.48 by RalphStanley34 from French Polynesia

Oct 12, 2022
Bottle Shop Series #2: Highball Drifter from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 201 ratings