Drifter Pale Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

BA SCORE
85
very good
965 Ratings
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States
widmer.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by madtappers on 12-23-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
965
Reviews:
410
Avg:
3.78
pDev:
13.23%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
41
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 965 |  Reviews: 410
Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clean pine-amber color, with a modest head. Slight but attractive lace.

Aroma is pleasantly pine, with some orange tones.

Easy-drinking hops presence, but very well-balanced with the malts. Flavor reveals more pine and orange/citrus character.

Fine and likeable, this is a superb session-worthy pale ale.

 313 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light golden color ale with a small foamy head with good retention and not much lacing. Aroma of light citrus hops with nice mango ester. Taste is a nice mix between some citrusy hops with nice mango notes and a light caramel backbone. Body is about average with good carbonation. Very well done with nice mango ester and well balanced sweetness.

 363 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

tons of yard work all week leads me to this one! served cold and into a pint glass

Poured a cloudy amber with no real head and no significant lacing. Smell was very grainy, almost like cereal. Grassy and earthy tomes as well. Taste followed suit nicely. Hoppy but not citrusy, more of a grainy, grassy type of taste. Very mellow and different. Nice carbonation and easy drinkability make this another good brew

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Photo of drtth
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a clear bright copper color with a slightly off-white ¼" head that recedes slowly but relatively soon to a ring around the glass with some foam in middle. By the end this is pretty much gone. Sipping initially leaves some nice sheets and speckles of lacing, but soon sipping yields only some speckles of lacing on the sides through most of the beer.

Smell: The aroma is clearly citrus hops with some piney character as well. This is backed up by a nice rich caramel malts component.

Taste: The nose pretty much predicts the flavor, with its caramel malt backbone and sweetness balancing the citrus hops. The flavors are quite crisp, clean, and well balanced as the malt backbone supports the hops and gives them a rich counterpoint without either malt or hops overpowering the other.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with good carbonation throughout most of the beer. The fairly long finish begins in the balance of the hops and malt stretching out to and ending that is dry and just bitter enough.

Drinkability: I'd say this is good solid APA. I'd be happy to have another and may if it is still on tap next time I'm here, but on the other hand there are some other APAs I'd prefer given my choice

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Photo of PDXHops
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in a shaker pint.

Body is a clear, very light amber. A quick 2 fingers of off-white head that quickly reduces to a thick, creamy skim that sticks around til the end. Decent lacing.

Nice citrusy and fruity hop nose, with a just-right sweet malt and toasted bread accompaniment. Quite tasty. Juicy orange and pineapple hops (in moderation) with a touch of grapefruit. Perfectly balanced by some honey, caramel, bread and nuttiness.

Moderate body and carbonation. Feels pretty smooth. There's some bitterness that attempts to linger, but it's chopped off by some nice toasted breadiness.

Drinkability is off the charts. Great balanced pale ale, and sure to be a summertime staple for me. This beer makes me want to buy a kegerator!

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Photo of BaronRogue
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part 2 of my variety pack reviews... bottled on 12/14/10

A dark copper, almost brown color with a decent head and good lacing. Completely see-through.

The smell is unique and really, really good. If you like citrus-y hop smells, you'll be in heaven.

Taste fits the smell very well, the caramel mixes with the hops so well, it's a really complete and original beer.

Mouthfeel is great, slight bitterness gives it a fuller feel.

Could drink this every day and be happy with it... although it really doesnt go well with food, in my opinion. Gonna keep this as a session beer. When i drank it with food it tasted like alcohol and rot.

 636 characters

Photo of krausenman
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Drifter Pale Ale pours a copper color and shows some white lacing around the glass as the foam cap subsides.

S-Initailly, the aroma was tropical-like fruits, such as mango or passion fruit, with some pine tree and floral aroma but as the beer warmed the tropical scent changed more to a citrusy orange and grapefruit aroma. While it wasn't intense it was persistant enough that it continued the whole time it took me to drink the beer.

T-You can taste some caramel/malty sweetness at first that is backed by the hop bitterness. The hopping could be higher to balance the caramel/malty sweetness but the beer doesn't suffer without it. The bitterness is clean and and finishes after you swallow the beer not leaving an astringent taste in the mouth. The one odd note I tasted was a subtle "chalky" taste. While it didn't detract from the quality of the beer I was suprised by it not being filtered out.

M-The beer is carbonated to a medium level and has a light to light-medium mouthfeel.

O-Drifter Pale Ale is overall a drinkable pale ale with an impressive aroma. The lighter body and carbonation makes one able to have more than one pint in a session. The beer could handle more hop bittering to secure it's place being called an "American Pale Ale" but with this being said it was definately enjoyable.

 1,312 characters

Photo of Dubbercody
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really tasty beer. Nicely hoppy for an APA...has a moderately astringent quality that wipes off your tongue leaving you wanting another drink. Brings a citrus vibe in both the smell and the flavor. This beer can double as both a cold day and a hot day quencher, I think the balance and dance between the hops and malt help make this dualistic appreciation possible.

Probably my new favorite Widmer in a bottle. Thanks Widmer.

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Photo of Jinholic
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Dark burnt orange body had a full finger of cream colored head but it died out fast(seems to be the trend with this brewery).

Smell - Rich pine with citrus hops maybe a touch of lemon.

Taste - Rich sweetness up front very malting, hops are almost nonexistent here. Bready and fruity notes in the malt and yeast with maybe some caramel notes that give it its sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, crisp with a medium body. Has a dryness on the finish and even with the heat out today I'm loving this.

Overall - Awesome APA reminds me of Dale's with the heavy focus on the malts. That said go grab one and see for yourself.

 631 characters

Photo of Bookseeb
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a darker orange amber with a thin but steady head and fair lace. Smell of lightly sweet malt and floral citric hops. Taste has a good balance of the sweet malt and floral citric hops with a note of grapefruit and pine that finishes clean. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. What I would consider a hearty pale ale that goes down nicely.

 358 characters

Photo of djbreezy
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - not much of a head, pours copper

smell - citrus and hops on the nose

taste - subtle flavor of hops, malt, citrus, lingers in the mouth a bit

mouthfeel - light, soft, some carbonation

drinkability - smooth, decent flavor, easy to drink

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Photo of peck95
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

the appearance is a nice copper color with very little head and a minimal amount of lacing.

has very powerful citrus hop aroma (could be dry hopped with citra hop i didn't check). the aroma does fad rather quickly though.

a nice citrusy hop flavor and a little bit of grass. The malt flavor is ok could be a little bit bigger.

a little bit watery, also has a bit of an odd bite on the end that isn't from the hops

a good pale ale would recommend and buy again. Probably one of the best beer ive had from widmer.

 516 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume III, Issue II:

Dark copper color with a perfect clarity. The head retention is solid, with a lacing that holds its own. The blood-orange and evergreen hop aroma is very inviting, especially when hints of caramel and toasted malt reach their height. Super smooth, with a slick medium body. Oh yeah, it's on. The malt and hops are battling it out. Each time one throws a layer of flavor on top, the next one rises to do the same. Big hop flavor of fresh wild herbs, sweet citric and tropical fruit. Malt drops a thick layer of caramel, then more of a toasted grain and then a dry breadiness. Long-lingering finish of hops and malt (more hops though).

Good call on making this one a year-round beer from the get-go--a lovely beer to be had. Looks like Widmer was trying to raise their own bar and accomplished that task.

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Photo of biggred1
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark cinnamon orange with a fine creamy tan cap that leave sheets of lace behind on the glass. The nose is fresh and hoppy with pineapple, toasted grain and plenty of caramel maltiness. Caramel slathered toast with a mild resinous hop bite that lingers into the finish. Medium bodied and mildly carbonated. This is far and away the best WBBC offering I've had. A pretty spot on PA and perfect session ale.

 405 characters

Photo of DNICE555
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Trivia Night at the B

A - Dark copper, thin white head.

S - Earthy, fruity, citrusy hops.

T - Same as it smells. Bitterness really makes a nice appearance. This is a lot better than I thought it was be.

M - Light body, medium carbonation. Very well balanced.

D - A Very nice pale ale. Not my favorite but very nicely crafted.

 334 characters

Photo of ThePeskyDingo
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass. yielded nearly no head, but it was a pretty gentle pour. Copper in color.

Smells kind of orangey, with hints of hops.

Tastes smooth, a tad orangey, malty.

Mouthfeel is smooth, light carbonation, medium bodied.

Goes down pretty well, easy to drink overall.

 286 characters

Photo of birdypowder
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good example of the APA style with all the right qualities in the right amounts. Well done.

Appearance: Brilliant clear copper in color, capped by a fat finger of off-white foam. Looks the part of an APA. Lacing makes a noble effort.

Smell: Very clean, allowing the fruity/citrusy hops to emerge. Caramel breaks through later.

Taste: Balanced, clean, sweetness not over the top, slight grainy astringency at the end, a bit of a dry finish for style. Medium light to medium bodied.

Overall: Highly drinkable, well made, classic example of style, enjoyable.

 563 characters

Photo of GMB
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" pours a clear tawny body that, when held up to the ceiling light, admits rays of light reds, oranges, yellows. A sturdy pour produces a head with some stamina.

The nose is strong and focused. Grapefruit and hoppy floral aromas dominate.

The first sip is excellent. The hops-derived flavor is clean, and the malt provides just enough sweetness. Notes of caramel and butterscotch complement the main hop-derived flavors of grapefruit and chrysanthemum. Subsequent sips begin to seem a bit watery. This brew would be helped by a bit more malt.

Widmer's "The Original Drifter Pale Ale" manages to be both hop-forward and drinkable. One of the ways it accomplishes this is by offering clean, focused hop tastes and aromas with a light malty backbone. The latter lets it down a bit, otherwise this beer would have earned a solid 4.0.

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Photo of droomyster
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good pale ale. Pours a copper colored body with an off-white head with good retention. Aromas are a bit atypical from what I'd expect from an APA, but I like them: I get a lot of pineapple and grapefruit notes from the hops with caramel maltiness playing a less pronounced role. These flavors define its taste as well, but the caramel malts are more prominent, making for a well-balanced beer. Well done, Widmer.

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Photo of codfeast
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle to pint.

A: Dark copper color, 1/4" off white head, sticky lacing.

S: Heavy on the hops, pine and citrus(lemon)

T: starts off with malt, and quickly hops kicks in leaving a nice pine sap taste.

M: almost heavy, medium carbination, bitter finish.

O: A good west coast Pale Ale, in the SNPA, Drake's and Red Chair tradition. Not the most balanced beer. On sale every couple of months around here, and I'm always good for six.

 435 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rusty pumpkin with gem-like clarity, even after all 12 ounces were squeezed into the glass on a single smooth pour. The tight-bubbled crown of golden beige foam looks pretty damn good and is sticky enough to coat the glass with scattered sheets of lace that resemble spray-on snow.

The aroma is softly caramel malty and has an intriguing hoppiness. Summit adds an earthy citrusiness and Nelson Sauvin adds... something else. NS is a New Zealand variety of hop that is supposed to smell and taste like Sauvignon blanc grapes and gooseberries. Even though I can't identify either of those, the nose is APA enjoyable.

Drifter is a rock-solid American pale ale. There's just enough that's different about it that it's interesting as well, which never hurts. Drinking it at approximately four months of age makes me wish that I had cracked the crown closer to one month (assuming it was in my possession then). A sharper hop bite would make it even tastier.

The malt is a near equal mixture of pale and caramel (plus CaraVienne and Carapils), with very little of the toasted-earthy-nutty flavors that malts like Munich or Vienna tend to add. Summit may not be my favorite American hop, but it's citrusy enough to be in the second tier. Regarding the white grapiness... it's hard to say for sure. Balanced and drinkable? Yes and yes.

Due to a slight shortage of heftiness and a tendency to wander away on the back end, the mouthfeel falls a little short. Not seriously so, but a 'good' score can't be awarded in good conscience. A few more bubbles might have helped.

Widmer Drifter is good beer that is probably even better beer immediately after bottling. Of course that's true of pretty much all APAs. This is one of WBBC's better efforts and is an easy recommendation to anyone who enjoy a well-crafted pale ale.

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Photo of EternityofNight
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A fizzy beer like this could easily disappoint, but on the contrary, it is a clear winner, with a lively carbonation complementing its lovely fruity aroma and balanced flavor. This is a happy and good natured beer that will offend few and delight many!

PS, at $7.49 for a 6 pack it is also cheap.

 297 characters

Photo of Gyle41386
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
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 kshankar
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is a clear well carbonated brown/amber. Lacing is okay, head is minimal, not much retention..leaves barely anything on top

Aroma: Sweet and fruity, hops (citrus)

Taste: Malts come in well and finish off with a citrus hop finish. Somewhat sweet in the middle as well.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated well, has a somewhat creamy finish to it. Goes down well

Drinkability: Taste is good, mouthfeel good. Easy to drink a few. Recommended

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Photo of colts9016
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at 37 degrees.

Appearance: A medium amber color with copper hues. There was a quarter inch ivory head that is foamy. There is some effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is clear and slightly hazy.

Nose: A very nice maltiness with floral with citrus. There is a hint of sweetness and pine on the tail end of the beer.

Taste: A very good malt with floral citrus and a hint of pine. There is a little harsh bitterness in the beer. There is light biscuit, grass, and some sweetness.

Overall: The mouth feel is carbonated and slightly dry. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is bitter and a tad dry. I was rather surprised by this beer, this is a descent APA. It is a little harsh around the edges, but overall I enjoyed it.

 775 characters

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 965 ratings.
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