Drifter Pale Ale | Widmer Brothers Brewing Company

Drifter Pale AleDrifter Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.75 w/ 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 bmwats
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint.

A: Dark amber color. Very slight, bubbly, white head. The little bit of carbonation migrates to the rim of the glass. Slight smattering of streaky lacing remains.

S: Tangy malty nose. Really floral, lemon citrus. Sunflower I think.

T: Really robust and flavorful. Again, tangy malty goodness. Very hoppy, but not really all that bitter... kinda' strange in that regard. Just a hint of sweetness.

M: Light, but full. Has kind of of syrupy feel to it. Floral notes fill the nose and coat the palette. A bit of steely, biting finish that lingers throughout.

D: Good beer to sip, kinda' hard to drink fast.

Great atmosphere. Appearance is maybe a bit above average, nothing to write home about. Nose is great though. Full and floral, but not overly sweet. Flavor is full, robust, and has really strong outstanding components; but nothing overwhelms anything else making for great balance. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of danielharper
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Full disclosure: Bottle provided as a sample by a distributor.)

A: Pours deep orange-red with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Hazy, with some effervescence.

S: Smells sweet with apples and some vague citrus with a nice hoppiness underneath. Very fruity, very inviting.

T: Flavor is sweet, fruity, and quite yeasty, with a bit of a hop bite on the back-end.

M: Moderate thickness, heavy on the carbonation and moderate-to-heavy on the hops.

D: It's not an amazing, life-changing beer, but it's definitely worth a try if you like a good pale.

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Photo of BDJake
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a somewhat hazy copper brown with minimal head and retention

S- some earthy, floral hops, mild grapefruit notes, and a little malty

T- slight bitterness up front, a little citric and some bready undertones

M- didn't do it much justice, medium in body with low carbonation and a lingering bready aftertaste

D- decent enough, but it'll likely fall into the every-now-and-then status I've seen from Widmer thus far. a good sessionable brew, nothing more, but then again, it doesn't need to be

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Photo of Chugmonkey
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light copper color with good off white head and some lacing.

Aroma is citrus/piney/soapy? Can't quite put my finger on the hop blend here? But after a few more swigs it starts to grow on me.

Nicely balanced, maybe a little more hoppy, which in my book is a perfect APA.

The hoppy taste is certainly unique and may not be everyones cup of tea, but it works for me.

It has a little odd soapy taste in the finish but not enough to turn me off. Overall a nice APA. I will try again for sure.

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Photo of YOOJ
3.92/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am generally not a Widmer fan, but this brew is surprising. A moderate flavor with a matching 5.7% , but certainly enough character to be both interesting and highly sessionable.

A satisfying maltiness with a very interesting hop character coming through nicely as well. Piny with a little bit of grapefruit, Drifter has an excellent hop profile considering the abv, the brewery, and the price tag.

Honestly there is not much bad about this beer.

(This was a very fresh bottle, I plan on trying this beer again for a re-review )

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Photo of FallinDeck
3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Small fluffy head witch didn't last long. Has a nice amber color. Not much of an aroma coming off the beer. Has a nice citrus flavor with a very light hops taste (almost none). The mouth feel leaves something to be desired though. It was very light in body, and has an almost slimy feel going down. As far as a Pale Ale I see this beer a very week one. It does have a good citrus taste working for it and I little tingle for after, but oddly no real after taste.
Pro: I see this as a good weekday beer that you can chug away at, with not a bad flavor.
Con: Has a great lack of full body.

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Photo of bum732
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear copper orange, decent head with great lacing. Smells of mild citrus hops, grapefruit and orange mostly some bready malt, an almost wine like aroma, pinot grigio to be exact. Tastes of semi-sweet bready malt with a nice crisp fruity hoppy backbone. Nice crisp mouthfeel.

A really nice beer, has an almost wine like character to it, probably due to the Nelson Sauvin hops. Bitterness is pretty low but the hop taste comes through nicely. A solid APA. A solid beer, reminds me a lot of SNPA, very similar flavors.

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Photo of Kitt
3.08/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep rich orange-red. Head very weak with lacing same; however, thin head persists remarkably long for initial volume.

Aroma un-remarkable; average; straw with a citrus background and a hint of malt. Taste about the same but with an added prominent hop influence. Although apparently an APA I place it on the opposite side of IPA. Hops too weak for a true APA. Carbonation is off-center, a bit too forward for my taste.

Mouthfeel good, smooth, but rather weak in viscosity. Drinkability - refreshing.

This beer falls somewhere just on the weak side of IPA. The hops are prominent and somewhat bitter but don't linger long leaving the ambient citrus background wanting. A refreshing beer suitable for a mid-week lunch break.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a clear pint glass. Bottled on Sep 16 09. From a six pack purchased for $5.99.

A-Pours an amber-orange with a one and a quarter finger, off-white head with average retention and nice, even lacing.

S-Very fragrant, citrusy hops and caramel malt.

T-A full flavored light ale. Nice blend of bitterness and tropical fruit notes with a balanced malt presence.

M-Very smooth. Good carbonation.

D-This is very drinkable and is frequently on sale for $1.00 a 12 oz. bottle which makes it a very good value.

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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.

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Photo of vdread
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drifter Pale Ale
bottle to glass

ok, so this review is based on a tasting recommendation by my lady, who is not a beer drinker by any stretch of the imagination. the date on the bottle was two months past, but i don't know if it was the brewed date or the drink by date?

it is a light amber color and frothy on top, smelling of bitter citrus hops. the grapefruit sticks out the most, and comes with an intense hop bitterness that seems out of balance with the rest of the flavors. the malt is soft and stays behind the abrasive hop astringency. grapefruit, orange, caramel malt, and oily hoppiness really stick out.

mouthfeel is slick, nothing offensive about the mouthfeel. easily sippable.

+ grapefruity, hoppy pale ale

+ a solid pale ale, in some ways similar to a SNPA

- the hop bitterness doesn't blend well with the overall taste.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.43/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - poured a one finger thick off-white head into a snifter. the head was off-white and left a thin ring that was gone halfway through. the body was an orange-amber color.
s - orange peel.
t - overwhelmingly citrus.
m - bubbly and thin.
d - decent offering but not a great APA.

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

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Orange amber color has a slight chill haze. Cream colored head is quite rocky and has decent retention. Leaves nice spots of lace.

S: Grapefruit, plus a bit of lemon citrus with a touch of caramel.

T: Malt has mild toasted quality with a hint of caramel sweetness. Hops dominate the flavor, with grapefruit and lemon. The bitterness level; however, is moderate. Finishes relatively dry with a lingering bitterness.

M: Medium light body is sticky and oily. Carbonation level is a bit high.

D: Drifter makes for a nice session brew. It's pretty mellow overall, and not too terribly complex. But it does its job in a very workman like manner. It's not a beer I'd seek out, but I wouldn't ever turn it down.

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Photo of Trappissed
4.16/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A pretty unique APA. Taste is very light and unassuming. Faint, but pleasant citrus and light maltiness. A bit of a metallic taste that I get in some APAs. Its almost like I'm not drinking beer, but its still somehow good. This beer goes down like a hooker on death row after she found out that she was pardoned and can start being a hooker again.

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Photo of rhollman
3.65/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber

Smell - Spicy and fruity

Taste - Starts hoppy, middle and finish is citrusy

Mouth Feel - Slick and wet

Drinkability - Not overly crisp and no bitter bite but a lingering flavor. So, nothing stellar and nothing bad - Enjoyable!

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Photo of mempath
4.61/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

following my tasting of the Dundee IPA...

beautiful orangey pale ale...little lacing...little head.

my oh my, nice oily citrusy nose on this. amazing and sweet-bitter promise!

very strange in a good way....the thin-ness of this keeps the oiliness at bay (that is hinted at in the nose), but it's still got some interesting complexity and unique. it's no Smuttynose, but rather similar.

in a sense, this is an intensely hoppy pale (not a IPA?) that is everything except bitter. weird, but i'd sit down with these for an evening.

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Photo of BrewIndy
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: good color but no head or lacing. Nice bet color though.

S: strong hop and malt smells. Very good.

T: strong with the hops up front with some nice Carmel malts coming out. Pretty tasty.

M: About what you'd expect. More fizzy than smooth.

D: this will be my beer for the weekend at bw3's

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose is very American citric (grapefruit) and floral and mildly fruity (esters). Smells good.

Pours clear copper, moderated creamy head. Looks good.

Lots of clean hop flavor - following nose - and clean maltiness. Very mild bitterness. Soft pungent notions. Finishes clean. Tastes pretty good. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

Decent pale ale, nothing spectacular.

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Photo of argock
4.24/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date on front label. Purchased as part of variety 24-pack from Sam's Club (Charlottesville, VA) for $23.72.

A: Honey-gold with 1-2 finger rocky off-white head with good retention but minimal lace.

S: Delicious spicy orange hoppiness is matched with solid pale and light caramel malt backing.

T: This brew's flavor is substantial with exceptional pale and caramel malt sweetness coupled with a unique orange dominated and spicy, herbal hops component that rounds out this very nice beer.

M: The maltload must be more subtantive that the taste belies as the body is medium-plus with low carbonation.

D: A really good APA with solid malt backbone and a unique hop profile which provides big flavor. This would be an exceptional session brew.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.57/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was a little disappointed when my wife brought this home to surpise me with. I definitely appreciate the effort, but I never really rated Widmer. However, I think I may have been mistaken as I like the the cut of this one's jib thusfar.

Not much for head, but a tawny brown color with orange tint and a solid cream colored cap alongside a very pleasant grapefruit/ pine melange in the nose. A promising start.

Very solid start with a hoppy but mellow pine and citrus tongue and crisp texture that unfortunately gives way in the finish to a bit of a malty muddle. The texture likewise starts crisp but doesn't finish as strong. Still, the overall product is decent if not spectacular. i wouldn't turn this down if offered.

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Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle pours a hazy rusty orange body with a small beige head that quickly falls to a cap. Some spotty lacing on the glass.

Subdued aroma has toasted caramel, pine, and grapefruit notes.

Light medium body is crisply carbonated.

Taste is well balanced. Toasted biscuity caramel malt is edged nicely with bitter hop notes of citrusy grapefruit and a hint of pine. Nothing really stands out but it all integrates well.

Pleasantly drinkable and spot on for style.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice copper amber with an off-white head and some decent lace.

Some toasted malt scents, some citric hops, and a little caramel sweetness.

Toasted malt combined with some fruity qualities, some citric hops, light hint of caramel all finishing with a biscuity element. Wow! Where'd this come from! Flavors are well balanced. Only drawback is that it seems just a tad weak (meaning, the flavor intensity is just on the cusp of perfect, but not quite there -- but not really watered down either).

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Terrific beer! Very easy drinking. No tough overly candied or bitter aftertaste. Smooth, pleasant, and drinkable. Needs a bit more intensity to be great, but pretty close. Loved it.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.07/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Smokin' With Chris in Southington

Poured into a Drifter pint glass:

Pours a beautiful, deep copper in color. Lots of head on this bad boy, with very soapy, sticky lacing on the glass. Smell is of really light fruit aromas, not your big IPA or APA malt forward aromas and hoppy overtones, but a very subtle showing of some passionfruit. Taste is on point, I get almost a peach-like tinge that overtakes the palate, followed by a decent amount of some citrus from the hops. Malt backbone is light enough to let the hops dance around on the tongue. Great mouthfeel on this, a bit slick and wet, yet holds up on the tongue smoothly with decent carbonation and bitterness. Overall, a valiant effort from the Widmer Brothers and one of the better APA's out there. Even my girlfriend wanted more Drfiter. Recommended!

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Photo of flagmantho
3.77/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of badmoonrison
4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good pale ale. The "bite" is grapefruity but not too harsh like some. I bought it as part of a sampler pack at my local Hy-Vee liquor store... purely on a whim. Probably mellow enough to enjoy at dinner, yet quite drinkable if you're trying to get a little tipsy.

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Drifter Pale Ale from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company
Beer rating: 62.6% out of 100 with 965 ratings
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