Drake's 1500 Pale Ale | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Drake's 1500 Pale AleDrake's 1500 Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
As we approached our 1500th batch in San Leandro, the brewers decided to attempt something different. They set out to make a pale ale with a clean, stripped down malt bill and plenty of late addition hops that would give the beer huge flavors and aromas of bright citrusy American hops without overwhelming the balance with bitterness. The resulting beer packed the aromatic and flavorful hop punch of a West Coast-style IPA at a very easy drinking 5.5% ABV. The brewer and the people loved it. Now 1500 is a Drake’s flagship beer.

Malt: American 2-Row Barley, Patagonia Crystal 35
Hops: Bittering – Warrior; Whirlpool – Simcoe, Cascade, & Amarillo
Dry-hop: Simcoe & Amarillo
Yeast: White Labs 001
Original Gravity: 12.2 degrees Plato
IBUs: 48

Added by oggg on 08-02-2005

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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 472
Photo of corby112
2.33/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden amber/orange color with a massive 3 finger bubbly frothy head and lots of visible carbonation bubbles rising to the top of the glass. The carbonation makes it look almost soda like. Frothy pillowy head has great retention with large chunks of soapy lacing coating the glass.

Sweet light crisp fruit aroma with hints of apple and pear. There is also an earthy pilsner malt presence that balances out the citrus hop notes. Slight hint of alcohol as well.

Very fizzy overcarbonated mouthfeel. Very earthy piney dry finish. None of the light fruit and citrus notes from the aroma are evident at all. Caramel malt backbone is minimal not providing enough of a balance to the aggressively hoopy bite. The mouthful and taste make it seem kind of oxidized but it's not quite that bad. I would like to try another bottle and revisit.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.77/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live. This is actually a 5.5%, dry-hopped beer of the same name. So I'm not sure if this is the right category.

A- Pours a thin white head. Little retention. Thick spotty lacing. Pale golden color with brilliant clarity.

S- Floral hoppiness is the key smell here. Blackberries, garden salad smells and pine, but mostly hop oil with a floral twinge.

T- Heavy hop oil and some soapiness. Grassy flavors are there as well. Very hop-forward with a light finish.

M- Lighter but heavy carbonation is nice.

O- Sub-par unless you are in a very hoppy mood for this dry-hopped rendition of Drake's 1500.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
2.79/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Enjoyed on 07.27.09 (my birthday!) at JJ Brewsky's in Camarillo, CA. On-tap delivered in a 14oz pint glass ($3 American pint night!).

A: Pours like a flat DIPA. I understand this is a Pale Ale late-hopped like a Double. medium-cloudy brown. Looks like a good carb profile.

S: Malty, hoppy, and sweet (like bubblegum).

T & M: Soft tasty hops, some caramel sweetness, but light thin body, with little alcohol taste. Sierra Nevada without any bite.

D: Finishes w/more hops than the body but fairly uneventful.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Disneyland thimble glass (own it!) in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. Label gives ABV as 5.5% and IBUs as 48. No best before date is displayed. Served refrigerator cold and not paired with food. Expectations are above average.

Pour wasn't vigorous. Side-poured at a 45 degree angle; I didn't anticipate undercarbonation.

A: Pours a two finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and average (~two minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-gold. Nothing stands out. It isn't particularly appealing, but I'd say it's generally so.

Sm: Sheer hops. That's it. A mild strength aroma. I can tell it's dry hopped.

T: Pleasantly hoppy, but built with an eye for balance. Enjoyable and pleasant, without too much bitterness. No alcohol comes through. Refreshing. Simple, but likable. Balanced pretty well and fairly well built.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours generally. A touch thick, but it's excusable. Not too sharp. Cream isn't present, which is appropriate given the style. A bit sharp.

Dr/Ov: Drinkable but a bit boring. I wouldn't call it bland, but it's certainly lackluster. I like it for what it is, but I'd only get it again if it were on-draught. It hides its ABV well, but the ABV is merely average. It's nothing special.


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Photo of d0ggnate
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Another draft offering while sampling beer at 21st Amendment.

A: Golden brew lively with bubbles. Thin white lasting head.
S: Pungent hops with hints of melon.
T: Smooth lemon/citrus tones.
M: Bitter spots and lingering taste.
D: A hoppy pale ale that I found enjoyable, but a bit out of character for its name. I actually did not know when I was drinking this that it was an Imperial Pale, so this makes more sense now.

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Photo of charlzm
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed February 13th, 2013 at The Fat Dog.

Beer is a medium burnished copper with a 2 finger, off-white creamy head.

Aroma of grassy, pine hops.

Fairly restrained caramel and toasty malt. Moderate bitterness seems strong in comparison to malt. Slight pine and citrus flavor on finish.

Mouth feel unremarkable, save for a little creaminess.

Overall, quite average.

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Photo of Hop_God
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Disappointed. Lacking in every aspect of a good pale ale

Golden to light orange

No nose to speak of. Subtle citrus

Pine to citrus. Lemon Lime

Med carbonation

Underwhelming. Slight bitter. Slight citrus. Not worth getting

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Photo of juhl31
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

-the color is really nice to me. cloudy and a bit of sedi. the head poured a crazy tall. like 75% of the beer started as head but it calmed down and looked nice

-smelled like some cleaning agent off the bat for me. then some malt. not much else

-tastes palesque, but takes a bit to get there. some hops, some malt

-does the imperial mean a ton of carb for this beer? drinks like a seltzer which i dont like

-it is okay, wouldnt go for another too quick

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Photo of illidurit
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass. Gold with a tangerine center and a dense khaki-colored head. Pine forward aroma with notes of sap atop a foundation of slightly stale pale malts. Light candied citrus hops in the flavor with a soapy finish. Substantial bitterness but overall lacking in hop flavor. Pale and crystal malts balance evenly with the hops. Dry with a medium-light body. Similar to SNPA but better executed.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.21/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12/08/08- Purchased at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker amber colored pour. Larger four fingered head with a nice creamy milkshake like froth. Leaves behind excellent small clumps and patches of lace.

Smell- Nose of light toasted malt combined with a nice lightly sugary citrus hop profile.

Taste- Hmmm, definite DIPA this is not. Maybe and english pale ale or a single hopped ipa. Super sharp and bitter extreme grapefruit pith hop flavor. Really doesn't taste like anything but bitterness. Seems like only one hop as well. Malt is hidden way in the back.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation is mid range to heavy and leaves a longgg lasting bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Drinkability- I'll pass on this one in the future. It started out promising, but not really miy kind of beer.

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Photo of EliottJW
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I don't know about this beer... I feel as though it peaks when it's poured and only tails off afterwards... to the point that I thought I might have gotten a bad bottle, but looking back on some other reviews, everything seems to be in line.

it pours nice enough, a deep, murky amber, almost approaching brownish. TONS of head that actually makes it tough to pour, but ends up retaining quite nicely once the beer is being consumed. soapy, spotty lacing rides down the sides of my glass as I take this one in.

smell is off a bit... fruity? hoppy?... almost tropical fruits come to the front. not a whole lot of malt character necessarily, just sweet.

this is a new taste for me. a blast of citrusy sugar on the tongue that actually turns a bit funky... almost sour, becomes pine almost exclusively after swallowing. I was surprised how long the pine lingers before giving way to a citrusy aftertaste maybe 2 minutes down the road.

all I can say about the mouth is that its WAY too over carbonated. it was clear this would be the case right from the pour, but wow... it's almost painful how carbonated this beer is.

I'm gonna call this one average as far as drinkability goes... I'm really not interested in another.

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Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mildly chill hazed amber colored ale with a voluminous tan colored head.

Sweet with a nutty and woody aroma. Biscuit malt and strongly herbal hop scent, this does have a strong candy quality to it.

The taste starts out sweet and herbal with a definite savory taste to it that isn't all that common in beer. Herbal and woody is how this beer is best described.

Mouthfeel is full.

OK I just don't like this one all that much. Not that it is bad or anything but the flavor combination just doesn't gel for me for some reason. To me it is just an herbal pale ale.

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Photo of Spikester
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours amber with a slight haze. About a half inch of white head. Few lacings.
Smell is outstanding floral hops, slight breadiness.
Taste is quite bitter with a touch of grapefruit rind. Malts are mostly absent.
Mouthfeel is thin with a bitter medium dry finish.
Overall not a great Pale Ale. Could pass as an O.K. IPA. Wanted to like this after having their IPA a week or so ago. I even checked the bottled on date (6/26/2013) thinking it might be a bit old. If you are looking for a lighter summer IPA give it a try.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle capped. Pours out a lovely copper to light brown color with a nice soft white head. Smell is a bit lacking relative to the draft version that I just had about 2 hours ago at their barrel house. I do get a minor trace of some hoppyness which I can't identify.

Flavor brings it back in to check with a firm bitterness. It does have some lower malt notes but I wish the hops shined a bit more. Bitterness is were it should be but the flavor and aroma is just plain lacking. I realize that it's hard to get the notes I'm looking for in a bottled beer.

Would I buy this beer again? In a second! It's a lovely example of what a brewery can put into a bottle. On draft, I personally would consider this a world place American Pale Ale.

Go buy this beer and enjoy the hell out of it.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Rock &Brews, El Segundo, poured into shaker. Appearance is clear golden-orange with a short white head that hangs around and leaves some rings of lace on the glass. Aroma is hop-forward showcasing the citrus rind, pine, and orange/grapefruit juice character of the Simcoe and Amarillo hops. Some crackery malt notes are there if you seek them out. Taste is medium bitterness that is contrasted by a dry malt taste. Not a lot of sweetness. Medium body, crisp, average carbonation, long bitter finish.

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Photo of Damian
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 12 fl. oz/355 ml bottle
Served in a pint glass

Thanks to Zorro for including this as an extra in our trade.

The beer poured a crystal clear, brassy amber color with a huge, frothy, bubbly, bright white head. A bit of yeast sneaked into the glass on the end of the pour, creating a touch of haze. Huge chunks of lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was hoppy yet somewhat restrained. Crisp, dry and powdery. Aspirin-like. Citrus notes came through strong. It was apparent that this was going to be a doozy of a hop bomb.

The taste was aggressively hoppy from start to finish. Biscuity malts appeared up front before the citrusy, resiny hops took over. Loads of grapefruit peel and orange zest were apparent. Some herbal hop notes came through as well. Ultra bitter on the finish with tons of dry, pithy hop oils, aspirin and grapefruit rind once again. Intriguing and intense yet, overall, a bit one dimensional.

The mouthfeel was lighter bodied with a lively (almost prickly), big bubbled carbonation.

Drinkability was hampered by the overwhelming bitterness and excessive carbonation. This definitely is not an "easy drinking" beer, as the label states.

Drake's #1500 Imperial Pale is one of the most aggressively hoppy and bitter beers I have sampled to date. Definitely a West Coast hop lover's wet dream, but not one for my palate.

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Photo of KMillard
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy with a thick head that remains, defined lacing. This is dry hopped with specific hops that come through strong for a pale ale, not too woodsy pine needle, but if that flavor is not to your liking then this beer will not be a favorite. Overall it easy drinking and delicious.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Pete's Brass Rail and Car Wash.

Appearance- amber color, thin head

Smell- bready malt, citrus hops

Taste- citrus hops

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- It was really good. I will be having this one again. Nicely Balanced

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Photo of farrago
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid two finger head of eggshell white foam, plenty of larger bubbles and not densely constructed thus retention is so-so, you can fairly broad sheets across the glass sides but lacks stickiness to form meaningful lacing. Cloudy rust orange colored liquid, dense looking, the bubbles are widely dispersed. Decent stiffness to the nose, cocoa powder, grains, grapefruit pith, light grassiness and arguably on the hoppy side for an APA (but this no real surprise), the apricot to nectarine fruit scents are muted, wet resiny presence in the nostrils. Full-bodied, sticky and piney with a good bit of earthy, metallic notes. Bigger citrus, orange, tangerine, lemon, grapefruit. Feels somewhat fizzy, carbonation too aggressive for moderate overall flavor intensity. The cocoa, powdered chocolate steady accompaniment. The nectarine, pineapple, apricot fruit weaves around aimlessly. Pretzel dough, salt, quinine, puckering finish. What is interesting is that with all of the above it actually coheres well and has slurpability. Given its heaviness the younger you consume it the more likely you will pound more and get fatigued less.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale golden orange. Nice white head. Chunky collar. Pretty clear.

Smell - Popcorn malt. Grassy and grapefruit hops.

Taste - A little resiny. Grainy malt. Cracker malt, a little bit of that popcorn flavor. Minimal bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light. Medium carbonation. Drinkable.

Overall - Drinkable and pretty flavorful. Nothing unique, though.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another new drakes ale for me to try. I actually started out my day with this one. Really wanted something not too heavy to get it going and this fit the bill quite well. Served cold and into a pint glass it was enjoyed on 11/01/2010.

The pour was a nice and light amber color with a smooth and even head of white lacing that reached a height of around two inches before settling back down and leaving a small head of lacing around the edges. Decent look for the style for sure.

Aroma was a little light and muddled if I am being honest. Small doses of piney hops coming through right away and followed closely by a light buttery malt profile that seems to start to bring some balance but becomes washed out half way through. Flavor is about the same as it really does not seem to have a firm direction in place and just has this light hop presence that is too balanced against the malt bill and cannot break out on its own. Odd. Nice feel and a fuller then I would have expected body seems to make it work, I was really just not feeling the flavor on this one.

Overall it was ok, but nothing to really right home about. Definitely a touch above average but that is about all I can say about it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pine and citrus zest hops with some slight malt aromas. Taste is the same with a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good pale ale that is easy to drink.

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Photo of tasteology408
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

PROBABLY the best beer in the 6 pack line up. Just the right amount of alcohol to make you keep wanting to drink them. If you buy Any of drakes 6 packs this is the one.

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Photo of Philousa
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours the classic pale/copper color of an American Pale. Great clarity with little head. Big hop aroma: piney, some citrus, not very floral. A bit aggressive, one might say. Especially for a Pale. Some biscuity malt lies behind the hops. Orange citrus flavor with wheat bread malt that doesn't last long before the piney hop bitterness takes over and lingers a good while. very balanced in viscosity but acidic in feel from the dry hopping, no doubt.

If I was to make an American Pale for a brewery, I'd make it solid and slightly different. Drakes made it boldly different, and I have to admit it payed off. While I wouldn't reach for this most nights, it's still a solid beer with a good kick. I commend Drake's for doing something drastic with a typically boring style, while not going too far off the deep end.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head which appears to have solid retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a medium amber which glows a yellow orange when held up to the light. A fair amount of lacing is being left behind.

Nose- Certainly smells like an IPA- very warm and inviting. All the usual suspects are there: pine, citrus (orange and lemon), resin, and hints of spice. The lemon notes last longer than any other scent.

Taste- This is reflective of the nose but is a little bit more subdued especially when it comes to the pine and resin. The citrus levels are about the same as they are on the nose but there is definitely more spice on the palate. Not the most exciting pale ale as it seems a little thin and watery. Some resin does linger on the finish. A good pale ale but not in the same league as a SNPA or a Red Chair. The aroma promises more than the flavor profile delivers though it is true to the style. Slight hints of grapefruit appear after some minutes.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with just a little carbonation. It could maybe use more.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing but a little boring at the same time. A little more expensive than my standard pale ales. Probably won't buy again.

Overall- Not a bad beer at all and faithful to the style. However, it simply does not stand out or impress in anyway (except for the aroma). Worth a shot though.

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Drake's 1500 Pale Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 472 ratings.
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