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

BA SCORE
87
very good
474 Ratings
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Drake's 1500 Pale AleDrake's 1500 Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
474
Reviews:
136
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
11.31%
 
 
Wants:
28
Gots:
100
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 474 |  Reviews: 136
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Guest tap at Magnolia. Yellow colour, lots of lace lines. Good c-hop flavour and aromas.Big IBU, later discovered to be SImcoe and Amarillo concentrated Very smooth drinkability, above-average mouthfeel.Great example for the style.Love to get this again.

 254 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

 457 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Library Alehouse, Santa Monica, CA

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the citrusy hops are a little subdued. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This APA is quite flavorful and nice and easy to drink.

 624 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who says that pale ales should be tame, balanced, and intended for simpler palates? Certainly not Drake's because theirs is bursting with hop character, surpressed malts, and highly citrusy for an effect that's more of a light IPA rather than the mundane pale ale.

Bright golden and with brilliant clarity, the beer releases a froathy white head that retains a creamy and lush head right down to the last sip. Leaving textured patterns of lace behind, the foam character of this beer is very impressive.

Very citrusy to the nose and hop-forward scents of grapefruit, orange zest, and soft pine seemingly dominate the aromas with the most supple caramel and bread notes that remind me of graham crackers.

The hoppy focus continues in taste with a clean and thin caramel malt flavor that evades the sweetness that's associated with the simple sugars. This dry malt flavor is ther perfect pillow for the spicy hop character of white grapefruit pulp, freshly mulled orange peel, and bitter pine resin particularly in finish. Although the dry malt character reveals a mild grassy or vegetal taste from hops, the citrusy focus is well celebrated.

Dryness continues in taste as the early carbonation evades the liquid quickly develops into a bone-dry finish of mild hop astringency, mild alcohol warmth, and resiny bite.

More of a pale ale, Drake's pale ale drinks much more like a 5.5% IPA with superb drinkability and cleanliness.

 1,430 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

C

 1,361 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color; the frothy head holds its position and adds a nice swath of lace

Smell: Grapefruity pith with a lemony edge and a pale biscuit malt character underneath

Taste: The biscuity malt introduction is quickly subsumed by a load of grapefruit pith and an almost floral lemony character; after the swallow, the sweetness of the malt provides a subtle balance and lingers in the finish along with the pith flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: More of an IPA than their IPA, this beer packs a wallop of flavor into a low abv level; very nice

 607 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a sixer.

Pale copper hue with two fingers of suds on top. Clear, but doesn't look filtered to death.

Smells pretty nice, quite hoppy for the relatively low ABV. Floral, citrusy (oranges), a bit botanical even, with a modest biscuit malt backbone. Not massively dry hopped like, say, Hoppy Birthday or Zombie Dust, but significantly more bright and aromatic than the average APA.

Palate is pretty punchy and flavorful, very citrusy (again, orange comes to mind) and quite bitter - this has some big IBUs for a pale, but it isn't abrasive or imbalanced. The body is light, bordering on thin, and malt is almost negligible; strangely it seems to come through more in the aroma. The finish, as previously mentioned, is pretty sticky and lingering. Very satisfying stuff, a top notch west coast pale ale.

 814 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of LXIXME
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Boone757
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hops are up front. Slow bitterness takes over the tongue and it does seem more and more bitter as you sip. Anybody know what kind of hops these are? Thin but decent hint of malt. Label claims 5.2% abv.

I find it pleasant and quite drinkable. Citrus flavors, tart, and aromatic. Not excessively hopped but definitely one for the pale ale drinker. On the cloudy side with lots of yeast in the bottom of the bottle.

 414 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sun-splashed Sunkist orange with a generous amount of vigorous carbonation. The result is a large cap of less-than-sticky foam the color of old newspaper. The head is persistent, however, and the glass ends up with a few blips of sudsy lace.

The nose is pure West Coast APA/IPA. Plenty of juicy grapefruit makes guessing the hop bill a no-brainer. Centennial (and maybe one of the other C-hops) is almost certainly in use. The only thing that's Imperial about this 5.2% ale is that it supposedly contains an IIPA's amount of hops. We'll see about that.

1500 Pale Ale just might contain an IPA's amount of hops. Given the APA-like ABV, does that make it an Imperial pale ale? Quite possibly. Enough with the style discussion, just know that this brew is a very well-hopped, pale-malted ale that is damn tasty if you happen to be a quart low on lupulins.

Other than a slight nod toward toasted bread, the barley side of things is all crackery malt. There aren't enough malt sugars for it to be biscuity. Pure essence of white grapefruit is aided by a bit of lemoniness. Each mouthful is brought to a close with a bitter-tart, dry, crisp finish. Simple beer. Drinkable beer. Good beer.

Forget how the head looks (which isn't bad, after all), because there's a boatload of crusty lace on the glass in the end. The mouthfeel isn't as buzzy as first feared. In terms of heft, it's right on the money for the style... as long as we forget all that 'Imperial' nonsense.

1500 Pale Ale was so named because it was Drake's Brewing's 1500th batch since opening their doors in 1989. That isn't much beer over that much time, but then everything these guys brew is good to outstanding. Quality over quantity is the very definition of craft beer. Bottom line: this one doesn't disappoint... especially if you're a hophead.

 1,813 characters

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

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.

 1,198 characters

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Drake's 1500 Pale Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 474 ratings.
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