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:
40
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 965 |  Reviews: 410
Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Tone
3.62/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber/copper color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Decent retention and slight lacing. Smells of strong hops and slight sweet malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of hops up front, slight sweet malt, slight grain, and some earthy malt. Overall, a light and refreshing pale ale with decent body, but very little complexity.

 425 characters

Photo of sendbeer
1.75/5  rDev -53.7%

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium red coppery amber. Thin white head dissipates slowly to a film with light lacing. Aroma of grassy, slightly piney hops and biscuit malt. Flavor follows, biscuit malt and light grassy hops. Light bodied with decent carbonation. A good sturdy pale ale that looks a bit more like an amber, but the flavor is on style for a pale.

 384 characters

Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a solid malt scent that boasts of pale, Carapils, and bisquit malts along with a piney hop aroma. The taste is decent. It has a very malty flavor that really focuses on the bisquit malts. It's smooth with a mild hop finish. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinker. It's nice to see a different take on the APA.

 508 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So far, I haven't had a lot of fun with Widmer products. Here's hoping Drifter will change that. On to the beer:

A little hazy on the pour, the beer has a hazy, brownish-orange color to it with a froathy inch-thick head on top. Leaves a few rings of thin lacing. In the nose, it is grapefruit and diacetyl. Pretty monotone aroma, and not terribly intense either. (Correction, it gets more hoppy in intensity as it warms, +0.5 in aroma).

Actually, Drifter has a pretty good balance going for itself. It's not as hoppy tasting as it smells, but there's still enough to keep me happy. A good mix of flavors....it's like a fruit salad. Well, first it's the hops, then it's the fruity esters, burnt sugar, and a pinch of diacetyl (no buttery popcorn, more like butterscotch). Goes down really easy too.

Oh yum, that hits the spot. Now I wish I bought another one. My favorite Widmer product to date.

 898 characters

Photo of Whiskeydeez
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of Nichols33
5/5  rDev +32.3%

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: hazy golden orange with a one-finger white head.

Smell: hops abond; mostly floral with a little spice and citrus. There is also a hint of the sweet malt underneath.

Taste: sweet and citrusy. Malt is quite well balanced with the hops, which again are floral and spicy in character. I quite like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-thin body with a little less carbonation than I would prefer.

Drinkability: this is a pretty solid beer and I wouldn't mind having another one after this.

 531 characters

Photo of redfox405
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of puboflyons
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle marked 1548-NH-JUN1912. Sampled on December 9, 2012.

The color of the pour is medium to rusty-amber with a slight haze and no head to speak of.

There are plenty of sensations on the nose including sweet malts, floral hops, and dark fruit.

The body is about medium and creamy.

The taste is something I can remember with a sweet malt flavor up front and quickly followed by dark fruit like pomegranate then a medium floral hop bitterness to tie it all together at the end. Likable through and through.

 531 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz picked up today at the Coop... poured into my Chimay goblet...

3/4" head with nice lace and a firm cap atop a clear orange amber brew....

The nose is resounding citric... tangerine even..

Flavor is the same... zesty orange.. some doughy maltiness adds a little bit of sweetness.. with a light smack of caramel.. really balanced yet you still know this is a fresh PNW pale ale... medium body with a lively carbonation... even the burps taste like tangerine juice essence..

This is actually pretty damn good pale ale... I could see drinking this one for a while in the long run, and it makes me wish I would have picked up a 6'er today to have a fridge beer...

 670 characters

Photo of Eziel
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of NickThePyro
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of Zorro
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber colored ale with a small tan colored head. This is a shade of amber I could call Bronze.

Smell is strongly of northwest style hops, very much a pine and grapefruit scent. Very strong hop resins, the malt is just a honeysuckle trace this is very much a hop beer.

The taste starts out neutral in sweetness and very hoppy, grapefruit in the first taste. Tropical fruit flavors and pine, just like the scent this is a hop beer. Little bit of lemon shows up after a while, wonder how many IBUs this is.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite a bit better than expected. Website says 32 IBUs seems stronger than that.

 612 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber, with a soft white head, solid lacing.

S: Pink grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, a nice pungent aroma.

T: Rather strong bittersweet malt note, lemon/orange zest, good balance of flavours.

M: Soft body, light carbonation, resiny.

D: A real nice surprise from Widmer, I think I like this one better than Sierra Nevada, well done, certainly worth a purchase at a $7.99 six-pack.

 413 characters

Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

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

12oz bottle - from Total wine summerlin las vegas NV for 1.99$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a large size frothy off white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grapefruit

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the taste is made up of caramel and malts mixed with hops. It also has a bit of a sugary apricot flavour with a hint of pineapple and some grapefruit. It ends with a caramel/malty aftertaste with a some bittersweet notes.

Overall - A nice well balanced very drinkable pale ale. The flavours are fairly subdued, but they are good. I wouldn't pick this one up again, but I wouldn't turn it away if offered. There are just too many better beers out there.

 828 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought as part of a mixed 6 pack.

This pours from the 12oz bottle(bottled or best by Jan 2109?) a bright clear copper colour with a 1 finger head of foam.

The smell is very hoppy....floral and citrus notes abound. I smell a very faint sweetness here but that was a tough chore to pull it out. I don't think the nose will be the best feature of this brew.

The taste has the hops up front though not as assertive as in the smell. A plus, I think for an APA. Much better presence of malt as well. Good sweet caramel tones with light bread and a touch of earth. Caramel is starting to grow the more I sip. Good. Much closer to being balanced.

Close to medium bodied with a lighter than I expected amount of carbonation, it finishes just slightly bitter. Decent head retention and with some spotted lacing.

Drinkability? On par for the style me thinks. It surely goes down easily enough and is tasty enough. Widmer did a good job with this one.

 944 characters

Photo of Haybeerman
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear, copper/amber color. Poured a coaarse 2 finger tan head with fair retention. Sticky lacing through the first half of the glass.

S: Big floral and citrus hops up fronta. A little sweet bready malt comes through.

T: Sweet caramel and pale malts. Resiny hops is the middle. Sharply bitter finish to balance.

M: Light side of medium body. Nicely balanced carbonation. Bitter finish lingers.

D: Very drinkable. The floral hops and sharp bitter provide nice contrast. Malts givie it some character.

 506 characters

Photo of DucksFan16
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- Pours a nice clear copper color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is sweet malt and caramel with some floral hops. 

T- The taste has a good malty backbone with hints of caramel and a touch of citric hops in the finish.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Not a bad Pale Ale, but pretty mediocre compared to some of the other top beers in this category.

 411 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a coppery-sunset orange with a bright clarity and dirty white fizzy pancake head that quickly dissipated away. No visible lacing while a macro bubbly carbonation rapidly rose but quickly faded within the first minute of pour.

S: sweet sugary grapefruit and citrusy tangerines. The malting takes a back seat here while the hopping was sweet, wet with some lemony pine scents on the close.

T: The flavor started out thin, with a wet lemony/citrus hopping, almost juice like before moving on to slightly more drier bitterness of grapefruit peels. The malting was light and bready with hints of toasted sweetness. A light floral bitterness of lemons and a crisp munich malting adds some overall dryness to an otherwise wet and sweet start. Overall not bad, the flavor wont wow you, but the bitterness is enough for you to take note, with better then average results. A decent lingering lemon fade finishes things out. The hopping was wet and juicy, finishing slightly dry, but lacked a crispness in delivery.

M: light and slick with a good tingle of carbonation on the tip of the tongue. Not much else noting here, okay.

D: Decent drinkability with moderate enjoyment. Goes down fairly well enough, with an overall worthy recommendation.

 1,250 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More