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Drifter Pale Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

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Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale
BA SCORE
3.75/5
Very Good
966 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
Ranking:
#21,741
Reviews:
411
Ratings:
966
pDev:
13.33%
Bros Score:
3.95
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
43
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 966 |  Reviews: 411
Photo of kojevergas
2.53/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

33cl brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: One finger head of good cream, good thickness, and good retention. Textbook copper colour. Generally appealing.

Sm: Unwelcome bittering hops, light unexpected orange, barley, and cream. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Light caramel and very light orange ester first act, with a barley foundation, and a slight bittering hop climax. The aftertaste suffers under the burden of the badly chosen bittering hops, which feel obligatory to satisfy fans of the style. It's unnaturally built, yet manages to remain balanced. I don't fancy it.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but a touch too thick. The texture isn't tailored to the flavours by any stretch.

Dr: Easy drinking for one or two bottles, but beyond that it suffers from those damned bittering hops. It's overpriced - especially for the quality.

 936 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a rocky head that retains reasonably well and leaves some shards of lace

Smell: Bread and caramel malt undertones buttress the grapefruit pith, with the vinous impact of the Nelson Sauvin hops clearly discernable

Taste: Opens with a bread and caramel character that is quickly joined by the pithy and vinous hop flavors; after the swallow, the malt bill re-asserts itself, providing a balanced finish though there is some residual sweetness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice, middle-of-the-road APA that adds some interesting elements while not risking accessibility

 665 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
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 zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, copper color with a one-finger, tan head of bubbly foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled of grass, orange, floral notes and roasted malt.

T - It tasted of tons of citrusy hops, lots of orange. The was a touch of pine and a good roasted malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer with a dry finish.

D - This is a great tasting APA. Great citrus flavor from the hops.

 438 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev 0%

Photo of LXIXME
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored with perfect clarity. The small off-white head recedes pretty quickly.

Smell: Biscuity, nutty malts balanced by a solid hop profile of citrus and spruce.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tropical, grapefruity hops supported by a toasted malt backbone. Light in body with a slight alcohol presence. Wet, hoppy finish, only mildly bitter. Solid stuff.

 364 characters

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of mothman
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

Pours about a 2 finger, slightly tanned head, decent retention with great lacing. Color is an amber copper. Pretty decent appearance.

Smell is similar to an IPA. Heavy floral and citrus smells. Taste is some-what hopped up as well. Not as much as the aroma. The taste is more of the pale ale category. Honey and citrus zest.

Mouthfeel is somewhat bitter, but smooth. Goes down pretty easy, but leaves a sticky aftertaste. Low carbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this pale ale. It smelt a lot like an IPA which was pleasant. I could definitely have another.

 601 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.62/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 7/10/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, hops and fruity citrus.

T: The taste starts with a strong fruity citrus sweetness that remains dominant the whole time. There's a decent hops presence that comes in but the sweetness continues with a caramel flavor in the background. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is also sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, the sweetness kind of over-powers everything else in the beer, but overall it's a fairly good beer that is worth drinking for a while.

 882 characters

Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was a little aprehensive about buying this because I havent overly impressed with other Widmer products but this was pretty good I have to say.Poured into a standard pint a clear medium golden with a nice tight formed 1/2 finger white head that had good lasting power.Aromas of caramel/biscuit malt with a firm toastiness,a tinge of citric hop comes thru as well.Pretty balanced on the palate,a big sweetish caramel base with some dough up front that yields to a citrusy lightly piney finish.A real summer quaffing pale ale,it blow your mind but its pretty solid.

 565 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours copper colored with a light white head and some sticky lacing. The nose is surprisingly quite bright with some fairly heavy citrus notes and a bit of caramel. The taste is similar with some hoppy citrus flavors coming through as well as a bit of pine. Some caramel and bread in the background. Not much bitterness in the mouthfeel; the hops are definitely more there in the flavor and aroma departments. Drinks fairly well and while not nearly my favorite, it's something that more and more is becoming the best option at a lot of places.

 566 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of bright-white head. This retains with a foamy ½ finger, leaving back a good bit of spotty froth that dots the sides of the glass. The aroma is an even mix of grass and spice in the nose, with an underlying mix of fresh leafiness, sweet fruit, and toasted grains.

The taste has a bitter and leafy feeling citric bitterness to it that spreads out into the mouth. This is buffered by notes of softer fruit and some grains, which lend this a sweeter character. The hops give this the most push though, coming through the finish with a dry pithiness that lingers. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lively sharpness to the carbonation that dances around in the mouth. The feel smoothes out a bit as things lessen in the mouth, giving this an overall creamy crispness.

This was a decent APA from Widmer that drank very nicely for close to 6% ABV. I had no idea that they used Nelson Sauvin in this and I liked what it brought over; giving this a soft fruitiness that helped balanced the more aggressive aspects of those bittering hops. Nothing mind blowing here but this was crisp and flavorful enough to keep me happy.

 1,194 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Starts with a two-finger head, settles quickly, but leaves ample lace. The brew is solidly copper-amber in color and appears quite clear.

Strong pine aroma from the fresh hop. It's not harsh, but it has a distinct grapefruit element. I can't detect the malt base. It's very good, but unbalanced.

The flavor mirrors the aroma. Again, predominate hop covers up most of the malt. It leaves a long lasting aftertaste of citrusy bitterness. Relatively thin for the style. Certainly a pleasant, if hoppy, brew.

 506 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up as part of a mixed sixer, bottled 12/06/10.

Pours an effervescent amber/copper with a finger of cream colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Citrus hops, light breadyness, pineapple & lemon grass

T: Follows the nose, nice grapefruit snap, slight breadyness & some woody/herbal hops hiding in the background up front. Grapefruit, a touch of pineapple & grainy apricot as this warms. Finishes crisp with slight caramel sweetness & a kiss of grapefruit

MF: Light/medium bodied, lively but working for me carbonation level. Thins out a touch as this warms

Drinks very easy, wish I'd popped the top on this 3 or so weeks ago when I got this, although I may have found it too hoppy! Well done Widmer, will revisit this one again

 753 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark copper body with a thin, fine, white head.

Smell: Lightly grainy pale and caramel malt nose with a earthy, fruity, particularly citrusy hop scent.

Taste: Unassuming pale and caramel maltiness with a medium level of sweetness. Tiny tinge of grains. Earthy, citrusy hops imparting a taste of infused citrus peels, though the overall bitterness remains light. Drying finish with a mere hint of lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A decent, simple, but easily accessible American Pale Ale.

 567 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.04/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another from my score out of the cooler at the Knickerbocker Hotel in Altoona! I do not know whether to invoke Clint Eastwood in "High Plains Drifter" or BMCS (SW) Gerard Wargo, my first LCPO in the USN, who routinely used to tell me, "Son, you have a high drift factor." I will go with the latter as the label has a nautical theme and drift or drift factor applies to a ship at anchor. A high drift or drift factor is not good and usually results in weighing anchor, getting underway to shift position and then resetting the anchor. Wargo was definitely NOT paying me a compliment!

From the bottle: "Brewers of Quality Beers".

I got a finger of tawny head from my pour, but it quickly dissipated. Color was a deep copper with NE-quality clarity. Nose smelled minty with a caramel/biscuit undertone, much like a Girl Scout Thin Mint. Mouthfeel was medium and the mintiness of the hops was immediately discernible on the tongue. It again begs the question of where does an APA leave off and an AIPA begin. As a self-avowed hophead, I have no problem with this sort of thing, but it surely was hoppy. Finish allowed the caramel/biscuit malts to get a chance to balance things out and they did so, nicely. A pretty good beer.

 1,224 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

 1,814 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 05/14/11 notes. Thanks to my brother Tom for giving me this. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a clear reddish amber color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, bready malts, grains, fruity malts, and tropical fruits.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, light fruity malts, and bready malts. A little less fruit than the nose; a slight step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a little bland but easy to drink. A pretty average pale ale with some ncie fruit in the nose. Would give another shot.

 592 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
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

 411 characters

Photo of jgunther71
3/5  rDev -20%

Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.75 out of 5 with 966 ratings
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