Drake Tail India Pale Ale | AleWerks Brewing Company

103 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Drake Tail India Pale AleDrake Tail India Pale Ale

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Westsidethreat on 11-08-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 260
Photo of beermanbrian
3.79/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice bronze color. Head is lacking and no lace. Smell is grassy with a little mustiness. Definitely more of an English ipa than an American version in my opinion. Very earthy rather than citric. Taste is bready up front with a fairly strong bitter finish. Bitterness sticks around giving a slight pucker at the end. Very dry finish. Again very different than an American ipa with no citrus notes. I can maybe pick up some pine. Overall above average but not great.

 464 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Stoney's into a shaker pint.

Gives a very foamy small white tight head with very tightly packed bubbles, very creamy looking. Pale amber with a slightly cloudy body though, that gives off some decent lacing while drinking.

First smell is a strong hop and a distinct sensation of bread crust ends. It feels strangely damp a little bit, but it's also got some good malt behind it.

First taste is really bitter of a dry and spicey hop, but then there's a good mix of malt that comes out giving that nice little bread chewyness. That crust smell keeps coming back in the taste as eating very dark brown bread crust. Almost like a burnt taste. Not too carbonated feels about medium bodied nothing unpleasant or jaring.

Overall this is a very different American IPA it feels like a big hop and malt blast. Some might find it I think a bit unbalanced, or perhaps unexpected but I actually really like it for it's unique taste and profile.

 952 characters

Photo of 7UCK
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- slightly cloudy orange in color with a two finger head

S- Citrus, piney, hoppy. Very nice and earthy smell

T- Strong citrus taste, hoppy and flural mouthful.

D- Would be great cold on a warm day. smooth and refreshing.

serving type as on tap in a sample glass

 266 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to breweryaprntc13 for giving me a bottle of this as a gift at Sexual Chocolate '11! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a three finger off-white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and bitter hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, citrus, and caramel hop. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good IPA. The flavor on this one was quite nice and had a decent aroma. With that said, this wasn't my favorite IPA I have ever had, but it wasn't bad either. The caramel hop was different giving kind of a sweet bitterness that I was not used to. I would suggest this to others to try.

 792 characters

Photo of boudreaux
3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusty pint glass. Batch Code: 111000

A: golden-orange, some sediment; a one-finger off-white head with great lacing

S: Hoppy and tart; singes the nose just a touch, kinda like a brisk winter wind; pine, lemon zest, and slight citrus notes; a hint of fresh cut grass, as well

T: Mirrors the aroma almost perfectly, which I appreciate very much (if only because of the lack of unwanted surprises); a hint of biscuity malt appears just underneath the hoppy flavors; slight grapefruit notes chime in just at the end of the taste

M: A bit too dry and tart for me; as it warms, the malt becomes a bit more present, lessening the tartness to a degree; light/medium body; wants to be refreshing, but struggles to maintain that aspect

D: Fairly drinkable, as are most IPA's IMHO; goes down easy, but let's you know it's got a decent ABV; still want to drink more though

AleWerks is gaining a bit of respect from me. They are a solid go-to for good, defined representations of the beer styles they brew.

 1,015 characters

Photo of goldbot
3.59/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber-copper, hazy with lots of floaties. Thin grayish-white head that sticks around pretty well. Strong citrus hop aroma, plenty of juicy orange, pineapple, mango. Some pine resin in there as well. Not much malt aroma. The hop flavor is a bit more muted but still some nice citrus notes and planty, floral notes. Some caramel-malty sweetness evens out the moderate bitterness but overall it is much more bitter than sweet. Aftertaste of bready malt. Medium body.

 469 characters

Photo of tempest
3.36/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch Code: 10 23 10. I'll assume that's a date. There's a slightly soapy, possibly oxidized, grapefruit aroma. The flavor does much better, with biting grapefruit and a peppery rind finish. As it warms, I think I detect diacetyl, maybe that's what I was smelling. This beer actually got worse as it warmed - not a good sign. Still, I like the hop profile and IBU level they've got going here.

 393 characters

Photo of MrOH
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep gold with a 1.5 finger off-white head, nice clarity, lace on the side at each sip

Aroma smacks of American hops: grapefruit and assorted other citrus, pine, and that "catty" earthy smell

The taste brings the smell minus the cat, plus a bit of native grape and some malty biscuit goodness, then finishes with a grapefruit pith edginess. It's all great, just a little disconjointed.

Creamy yet dry in the mouth, and goes down very smooth. Alcohol doesn't show itself until you realize how much you've had.

Not the greatest IPA out there, but my choice over the other readily available locals.

 605 characters

Photo of ebby82
4.35/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is fresh, straight from the brewery store. It pours a light copper, very clear and clean looking, into a pint glass. There is a minimal head, but very nice lace retention.

The aroma is mostly flowery hops. The taste is hoppy, but not overwhelming. It is more of a balanced effort, along the lines of a victory hop devil but with less malt. I really enjoy the flavor.

The mouthfeel is very crisp, clean, and refreshing. It's not a conspicuous example of an IPA, but it does its job and does it well. Extremely drinkable, and I think I'll try a growler of it the next time I'm at the brewery.

 602 characters

Photo of Mosstrooper
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Slightly hazy reddish-orange color with a small off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves at thick ring of lace.

Smell: Sweet fruity aroma, with citrusy hops (lemon, grapefruit), with some slight floral notes.

Taste: Begins sweet and buttery, finishing with a grapefruit flavor and some bitterness. There's also a note of passionfruit throughout the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with balanced carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: Definitel;y a good beer, though not the best in its style. I'd have this one again, but it is far from my first-choice IPA. Still worth trying.

 672 characters

Photo of afordney
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick off-white head left a good ring of lacing. reddish orange in color a tad bit cloudy

Nice hoppy sour aromas. grassy and earthy

A good shot of grassy flavors with slight bit of spice. hoppy bitterness hangs around

Strong hop bitterness, not to watery and excellent carbonation.

Easy going down, exactly what you would expect of an IPA.

 343 characters

Photo of regspeir
3.42/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a standard pint glass. Dark amber to bronze pour, smallish off-white head that moves to a coating. Lacing is present but spotty. There is citrus, caramel, pine, and malt in the nose Taste is citrus, floral, caramel, pine but a lot of caramel. This is mildly bitter in the finish. Medium to heavier body with decent carbonation. Decent IPA but heavy on the sweeter side (not a plus for me) and not much taste remains until the next sip. I would try this again but it is not on the top of my list.

 507 characters

Photo of Pinto21
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a hazy tan orange. 1.5 finger head. good lookin IPA
S: Sweet caramel malts with hoppy goodness of citrus malts
T: Follows the smell. Sweet up front with with very nice hop bitterness and taste to follow. Pretty well balanced IPA.
M,D: Very nice, about what it should be for a good IPA. Alcohol is not noticed and could drink a few bottles in a sitting.

 362 characters

Photo of breweryaprntc13
3.83/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: amber/ light copper color with a very thick ivory head which slowly settles to a one finger head leaving very strong lacing.

A: delicious aroma of primarily citrus hops but also floral with a slight grassy undertone. some malt is also present.

T: beings with smooth malt flavor that leads into a strong citrus hops taste with a bitter finish touching on floral hops.

M: Medium to high carbonation but thick and smooth mouthfeel.

D: A delicious but rather standard IPA. Does not seek to wow but is a great example of the IPA style. very drinkable.

 553 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.77/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone pint glass.

A Virginia brew in a Virgina glass drunk by a Virginian...from Illinois. Almost. *snaps fingers in mock frustration* So, yeah... An IPA that's viewed as a mostly clear amber color? You betcha. A nice bit o' white foamy head, plenty o' lacing? Double-check. Off to a good start, I'd say. (Just imagine if this thing were - I don't know - green...) A stab of hoppy citrus and light, sugar-free maple syrup plunge into the flesh and hairs of the 'strils. Locked in a Manichean struggle, the hops tend to win, though the 'rup keeps comin' back, occasionally supplanting its eternal foe. This war is fought by proxy in the tongue region, though it's much more asymmetrical there: The light citrus and biting bitterness from those lovely cones bombard the syrup-inspired wheats, though the latter remains engaged in a healthy guerilla insurgency. Still, nothing all that unexpected or exciting on this front. Just good old-fashioned IPA-ness. Sticking to tradition even further, the bubbles are plentiful but not overcrowded, and everything goes down smooth and easy, making for a refreshing guzzle. Take a hike down the Trail and ye shan't be all that disappointed (unless you expect a plethora of bears...which you shouldn't...death wish...).

 1,280 characters

Photo of BeerMark
3.65/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Found this at Fresh Market in Montgomery. Nice color on this one. Not a lot of head or lacing but some is present. Smells sweet with just a touch of citrus and a little lingering bitterness. Tastes good with a malt-citrus balance. Not fantastic, but I could knock back several of these. Beer seems to be a little thin. Alcohol is well hidden. Not bad.

 351 characters

Photo of bamadog
3.66/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked a bottle of this up at The Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, VA. Review is from notes taken on 2/24/2010 and poured from the bottle to a snifter (What can I say? It's the only glass I had available...)

Appearance: Pour is a pretty standard coppery orange color and starts with a one finger white head that fades pretty quickly to an uneven skim; body is pretty clear and shows moderate, but slow moving, carbonation; lacing is loose and spotty.

Smell: Fair citric (orange peel and grapefruit) hop presence; faint malty backing in the nose and there is also a slightly musty smell to it.

Taste: Flavors are there and what I would expect -- nice bitter and citric hop notes that match the smell; balanced by a syrupy sweet maltiness; the flavors seem a bit watered down at first, but I find the flavors linger nicely in the aftertaste, especially the bittering hops.

Mouthfeel: Body is a little thin, slick and watery overall; leaves a faint stick on the roof of the mouth -- essentially nothing to get excited about.

Drinkability: Solid enough, but I wish the musty scent wasn't in the nose and that the body was a little more solid; flavors are about spot on though.

 1,175 characters

Photo of mikereaser
3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 1-26-10

A - Pours a hazy amber color with almost no foam whatsoever

S - sweet citrus and some caramel malt dominate the aroma

T - caramel malts up front with citrusy hops following through the rest of the taste. The hops have a stale taste to them, although not too bad

M - good carbonation, medium bodied, crisp feeling

D - not bad, could use some more work, the hops just have a pellet feel to them

 436 characters

Photo of sholland119
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a hazy copper amber with a pool of off white head and a bit of lacing.

S-Lots of caramel malt presence. Toffee, caramel, not usually the aromas I associate with the style but I'll go with it. Light floral hops.

T-Like the nose, lots of caramelly notes, very rich and deep. Odd for the style but not unpleasant. Some floral hops in the finish.

M-Medium bodied and kind of hangs on the tongue due to the rich maltiness.

D-Yeah. not bad. I'd have another but it would not be my first choice.


 504 characters

Photo of Risser09
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - 2009

Appearance: Pours a copper orange and yellow color with a slight haze. Bubbles slowly move to the surface of the beer. A 1" light yellow head builds and shows decent retention. A coat of lace sticks around.

Smell: Heavy caramel malt and some pellet hop aroma. Very sweet sugar is toffee-like and heavy.

Taste: An immediate combination of hops and caramel malts mixes on the tongue. Sweet toffee and nougat overlap a somewhat stale citrus hop flavor. A lingering bitterness of citrus.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, almost cloying, but offset by the hop bitterness. Pretty heavily bodied for an IPA. With a package of carbonation and some alcohol.

Drinkability: A decent brew that needs works. The hops don't taste fresh, and the beer needs to attenuate a little more to loosen the grip that sweetness has on it. Decent.

 862 characters

Photo of argock
3.1/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at 12th Street Taphouse in a 20oz clear pint glass.

A: Clear amber-red with thin cap of off-white head. Some lace streaks the glass.

S: Aroma is a bit slow to come, but it opens up some as it warms. Thick toffee and caramel are met with floral and pine hops.

T: Flavor is good, but overly sweet. If a beer can be overmalted, this is it, but maybe underhopped is a better call. The sweetness of the caramel and pale malts is not matched adequately by the hops flavors of light orange, floral, and pine character. In the end, it comes off as cloying and very bitter.

M: The mouthfeel is very viscous and nectarlike which only plays more into the cloying nature of this IPA. THe alcohol is also evident. Carbonation is not active enough -- almost none.

D: AleWerks could tweak this recipe with more hops, slightly more carbonation, and a little less body and a have a very nice DIPA (or barleywine for that matter). At this point though, this beer is tough to choke down because of its extreme sweetness, thick body, and harsh bitterness.

 1,055 characters

Photo of Proteus93
3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a rather deep hue... bronzish with perhaps a little touch of chill haze. Head was about a half finger tall... rather short, but it's fairly rich and retains well.

S: An intriguing herbal and lemon zest aroma along with something that reminds me of apple pie or something... sweet apples. It's quite a pleasant scent, with a nice note of malts making it come across as a little more English like in some ways.

T + M + D: Quite a pungent hoppiness, with a sticky body - for comparisons sake, this kind of reminds me of the Sam Adams Longshot DIPA in flavour. It's on the big side for an IPA, but I'm not complaining! Quite a tasty brew, with that herbal and 'resinous' flavour of hops along with a bit of sweetness that I do NOT find in the Sam Adams. It does end up being quite chewy... in some ways, it's a bit of a beast to take down, but all in all, it's a fine beer. I'd gladly pick it up again, though maybe only on those days when I am after something bigger.

 977 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a orangish-gold body with two finger white head on top of a citric and soft hop smell (not like a Stone or something where a floral hop smell grabs you by the balls). A medium-bodied and smooth IPA that has subtle fruit and hop flavors for a tasty beer that is balanced well and has a slightly crisp backbite. Some caramel and other sweet malts tucked in there. A decent IPA to relax with.

 396 characters

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

apparently reformulated since our last encounter, I've been looking forward to giving this local IPA another shot

a: ale the color of prehistoric amber, a rich blend of copper and orange hues, topped with a light head that recedes to only a ring

s: pulpy tropical fruit hops with crisp grapefruit roll over a big and grainy caramel malt body, mango, passionfruit, sweet tree fruits, a nice malt-heavy IPA with the hop aroma to back it up

m: carbonation on the low side of medium, medium-full body

t: sweet caramel grains introduce a big tropical fruit hop presence that gradually turns towards the pine side as a formidable bitterness steps in to balance the full malts, lingering long into the finish

d: no problem, a very nice IPA

single from the brewery

 762 characters

Photo of Durge
4.12/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 12-ounce bottle into a pint glass at room temperature this brew shows a hazy carmel color with an out of control oatmeal colored head and layers of lacing. The aroma is a really nice sweet malt and herbal hops. Very thick smell with an edible quality that also notes thick brown bread and apple. The taste is a nice medium bodied tartness with some dry hops blended with caramel malt. Pretty chewy stuff for an IPA, almost a mild DIPA with some alcohol noted. Midland drinkable, definitely worth a try but just short of spectacular.

 548 characters

Drake Tail India Pale Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 260 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.