Drifter Pale Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

very good
965 Ratings
Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

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

Pale, Caramel 20L, Caravienne 20L, Caramel 80L, Carapils

Bittering: Alchemy
Aroma: Summit, Nelson Sauvin
Dry Hopped: Summit, Nelson Sauvin

Added by madtappers on 12-23-2008

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Ratings: 965 |  Reviews: 410
Photo of smcolw
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of brewerburgundy
2.8/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz pour into a pint glass at Drifters Grill and Marina, Lake Tulloch, CA.

Copper and fruit orange body with a nice sub-tan head.

Very orangey, more like orange juice or flavor than the orange and other citrus characteristics than I am accustomed to from any hop varieties. A turn towards familiar grapefruit seems to happen when the beer is warmer.

Again citrus, and mainly orange with a little pine. Overall weak without even a discernible malt backbone. This seems to be for the masses. I was interested in the use of Nelson Sauvon for aroma and dry hopping. This variety seems to have come across as orange.

The mouthfeel is solidly average.

I wouldn't want to drink much of this because I think it is inferior to other easily obtainable Pale Ales. That said, it does go down as easily.

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Photo of generalnotsew
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: I must be going crazy tonight. All my styles seem mixed. The coloring is very dark amberish typical of an IPA. Head was gone pretty damn quick but I am not the biggest head fan.

S: Kind of subdued smells in the nose. A faint bit of hops with a stronger citrus presence. Kind of sweetish.

T: Sweet tangy citric hops upfront. Has more of an IPA taste than a pale ale. Has a nice little hop tingle. Quite honestly pretty damn good for a modest low value brewer.

M: Things are still going strong in this department. Nice oily mouthfeel and good carbonation.

D: This is a very easy drinking beer. Quite refreshing and not too heavy.

At $2 less per sixer than some of the bigger guys I would Widmer has a hit a home run with this. Sure it isn't the best in it's class but it is a damn fine beer especially for the price. Heck it is a fine beer even without the price.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

L: This ale poured a nice copper tan color with perfect clarity. There was an ample two fingers of tan head which was rather short lived. There is some modest lacing in the glass.

S: Wonderful aroma of clover, honey, and malt with some dried hay as well.

T: Nice upfront flavor of sweet malt with some bitter hop bite to follow. After my palate cleared, I detected some grassy notes that seemed out of place and they detracted somewhat from the experience. All-in-all, not a bad tasting experience, and one of the better pale ales I've tasted.

M: Modestly rich for a pale ale with the appropriate amount of cling on the tongue.

D: A light and refreshing brew. Easily drinkable and one of its strongest attributes. Would gladly sip another.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of budgood1
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours out a slightly hazy amber colour with a thick frothy head which has staying power and leaves rich rings of lace. bright citric and pine hop aroma backe dup by some toasty caramel like maltiness. the flavour follows suit with some extremely balanced sweet toffee like maltiness and pithy citric hops. hints of pine and herbal notes appear too, and then provide a soft, easy bitterness on the back end. medium bodied, with an easy feeling mouthfeel...meaning that there isn't too much substance to it. that isn't bad because it's pretty drinkable for what it tries to be, an approachable, fairly tasty APA.

just ok. pretty average but certainly not bad. almost a lawn mower APA. one could pound these back pretty easily on a warm day.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into 20oz Guinness tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Pours amber in color with a small off-white head. Leaves some lacing.

Smell: Toasty smells, with floral hops.

Taste: Buttery and sweet throughout, with some herbal flavors in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body with balanced carbonation and a crisp, clean finish.

Drinkability: Overall, this is a decent beer. I'd have it again, but there are many better options before it.

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Photo of jadpsu
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at McCray's Tavern in Lawrenceville Ga.
To say the least, this was real different.
I have NEVER seen a beer that poured this cloudy. I kept waiting for everything to settle so that I would see something different than the almost milk shake look it had. It was peach in color and looked kind of like a melted creamsickle. It did pour a nice less than pure white head that had decent to good retention and some good side lacing.
Smell was kind of average, some citrus orange malts showed up along with and some faint hops.
It was creamy and the citrus could be picked up in the taste. Surprisingly with the citrus character there was no tartness. More sweet, not bitter or dry.

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Photo of brewdoc75
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint.

A: Orange-amber. Clear. Good 1/2 inch head initially, but dies fast. Lots of carbonation.

S: Nice maltiness at first. Some toasty aromas followed by a hint of caramel. The hops are there and provide some nice orange citrus aromas with a hint of lemon. Faint wine aromas.

T: Hops hit at first. Nice citrus flavors, predominantly orange and a touch of grapefruit. Maybe a hint of lemon. The malt is nice too, with a bit of caramel and a touch of toasty grains. Not hit you over the head hoppy, but very well balanced. Good flavor throughout. A little less exciting than others.

M: Light to medium bodied. FInishes on the drier end. A bit over carbonated.

D: A pretty solid APA. Nothing phenomenal, but definitely not a bad one. For the price, this is a good, easy drinking pale ale. I'll buy it again.

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Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Even allowing for the style, the hopping was sub-par and muted to the point that the malt competed for dominance in the flavor profile. Mild caramel malt with equally mild, slightly fruity hops. Finish was clean with slight astringency. While this would certainly make a more than acceptable lake or lawnmower beer, on the pale ale scale it ... well, .... pales.

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Photo of Briken
2.57/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drifter is a clear orange amber with a thick... froth is a good word considering it looks like a bad cappaccino. It has a fairly nice floral hop aroma. A good spicey hop taste is quickly muted by the malts. It's a slightly watery taste but it is smooth and fairly balanced. Easy drinking but almost too much.

This is definitely good for a summer night but the taste was a little too muted for me. I'll have to try it on tap sometime if I see it.

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Photo of selecter70
3.18/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I hadn't heard of this beer when I snuck out for a nice lunch at Lir with the missus (pretty decent food too). Every beer was fairly common/decent and I hadn't been aware of this Widmer offering before. The pint came thankfully not pre-chilled, a nice dark russet with thin lilght brown head and very little lace thereafter. The aroma was a fruity roasted malt with a hint of lemon. The flavor likewise was a fruitier Bass Ale, not much in the hops leaning towards a maltier ale. the carbonation seemed a bit low, and the mouthfeel was slick with a bit of a syrupy aftertaste. I'd try this again, maybe with a better pour, as it seems to have potential...

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.9/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice semi-transparent mahogany with a decent pale beige head. Aroma is strongly hoppy and almost evergreen. Flavor is hoppy, slightly spicy and slightly floral with a subtle undertone of sweet apple. Smooth, lively, fizzy texture leaves a fruity and hoppy finish.

 271 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.6/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Bright amber, with small white head.

S: Fairly hoppy, and sweet citrus in there.

T: Not overly hoppy. Has the grapefruit taste, and a little bitterness, but mainly sweet.

M: Quite crisp, and pretty light, too. Has some good carbonation though.

D: I've never been a big fan of this, it's decent, but won't drink it unless there are no other options. However, it's easy to put down and tastes pretty good, so if you like it, got for it.

 441 characters

Photo of RoyalT
3.13/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - This came out a nice shiny copper in color with a decent head that actually left a little lacing.

Smell - The classic PacNW hop profile is here albeit muted but the grain is a little cheap at the nose.

Taste - The hops don't carry over well into the taste losing their complexity and taking on a really one-dimensional citrus flavor. The grain unfortunately tastes like it smells. It's not bad but just not good. It's really not anything just kind of a mediocre effort at a grain backbone.

Mouthfeel - I enjoyed the sprightly carbonation of this ale but it was too thin and watery for the style.

Drinkability - This was OK to drink but it really lacked substance.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.2/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle smell nice and hoppy. Smells like tangy citrus, grapefruit on top of a nice malty base. Pours to a translucent pale golden brown with a nice head. Taste is also good and hoppy with a nice hop bite. The hop bite is more sweet that bitter, almost floral like a chardonnay wine, or dandelions, quite different. Mouthfeel is good and carbonated but not overly so. Over all a very good beer al the way around, excepting for the rare hopping, just not bitter enough for my tastes.

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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 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.

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

Bottled on 01/04/10

Drifter Pale Ale pours a nice coppery amber, very clear with an off white head that falls quickly leaving moderate amounts of oily lacing.

The aroma is fresh very aromatic citrus and floral hops.

The flavor profile is very hop forward, full of grapefruit, orange and lemon, a bit of fruit sourness, not overly bitter and backed by a nice bready malt back bone.

Mouthfeel is light to medium, smooth and nicely carbonated.

Drifter is a nice smooth drinking beer, it may not become an everyday beer for me, it's a bit on the citrusy side, but I'm glad I bought and my wife and I will have no trouble whatsoever polishing off the six pack. Recomended

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Photo of Minkybut
2.64/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a gas colored concoction with no head what so ever. The beer had a bit of a caramel smell. The beer was flat tasting and looking and I thought terrible. Then I discovered it was a year old by the brewed on date. I took the 6-pack back to Food Lion and got a refund. I am also sending Widmer Brothers Brewing a note explaining the ordeal.

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Photo of scottyshades
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours an opaque/slighty cloudy copper
color. The head is decent, retains ok

S: delicate hop aromas, floral notes. A light
toastyness, with come caramel malt, molasses, and apple?

T: really nicely balanced, hops are present (floral but not really bitter) and the bready malts balance perfectly. Caramel and
light fruit makes an appearance as well.

MF/D: spicy mouthfeel, prickly carbonation, medium/heavy in body for the style

nice surprise after their hefe

 463 characters

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

This is a good, yeasty, very drinkable, well-balanced and well-rounded American Pale Ale with hop and malt qualities both quite noticeable.

Amber, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a foamy ring and some frothy lace.

Aroma is mandarin orange, a little clearly noticeable but subdued grapefruit, bread, hints of pine resin, yeast, anise, and hay.

Taste is a lot of dough, a bit yeasty with light, juicy orange, yeast, hints of dried herbs and hay. It is very balanced in sweetness ans bitterness, hop and malt character, but not weak in any element. It is very drinkable and has a faint, subdued English quality to it.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a amber color into the glass. Half finger white head dies almost as soon as it appears. Some light streaking lacing on the dies of the glass.

S- This has some floral and light citrus hops in the aroma. The malts in this bring forth a light sweetness. Also there is some almost apple like qualities to this beer. Not what I was expecting.

T- Some light hops in the front of this (citrus kinda). The malts pretty much take up most of this beer with a bready overtone. A light bitterness in the back end of this...didn't seem to go together as well as I thought it could have.

M- Light medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was good for the style. Light hop flavor left on the palate to duke it out with bready malt. Aftertaste was very malt forward with a hint of bitterness. This beer didn't have either a crispness to it or a clean taste.

D- This was a alright pale. Nothing at all that I would really want to try again. It was good for one beer but left me hanging for something that has a little more flavor to it. I take that back...something with a little more balanced flavor to it.

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Photo of L337ish
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark apple juice color. Off-white that dissipates and surprisingly laces quite well.

S: Smells awesome. The citrus really comes through here and mixes perfectly with the malts.

T: Nothing to complain about here. The tangy, citrus note from the smell is definitely there with the caramel malts.

M: Citrus-y and kind of a medium body. Not as bitter as one would think given the hoppy-ness of the beer.

D: Very drinkable, but this is one of those brews I would rather just have one or two of to preserve it's appeal.

I like this beer a lot. If it's a hot day on the beach, or a barbecue, or whatever, this is an awesome beer to make your taste buds rejoice.

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Photo of jdc8d8
4.65/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

At Champps sports bar in Indianapolis on tap.

More of a red/amber color than I expected from a pale ale.

Tasted great, surprised me with the flavor in a good way.

Was easy to drink and was very smooth. Was through a 20 oz in literally minutes.

Ordered several and will be looking for six paks at my local Friar Tucks.

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