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 Cakanator
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

sample bottle. What a surprise after having the amber. This poured a much richer color with a thicker head. I suppose the 5.7% on the front might have something to do with a fuller bodied beer. Nice darker hue than the amber. Goes down smooth and has great balance between hop and malt. It's not the best thing I've ever had, but considering the previous beer I drank, this one is a solid, accessible beer.

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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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of olmatty
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Pours a low, off-white head with minimal lacing and moderate retention, beer is a deep brown/red copper.

Smell-Very citrusy hops, strong nose of tangerine.

Taste-Citrus hops come in early and dominate throughout without overwhelming. A delicious and unique hops painted over a middling backdrop of amber malts and not much changes along the way.


Mouthfeel- Moderate body and carbonation.

Drinkability-Smooth and flavorful, medium bodied. An excellent session if a touch high ABV for one.

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

APPEARANCE:
Pours a clear orange-amber color with a large off-white head that dissipates at an average rate. Moderate lacing.
AROMA:
Light to moderate aroma of tangerine and caramel
FLAVOR:
Tangerine sweetness and malt. Light pine/grapefruit hops finish.
MOUTHFEEL:
Light to medium body with a creamy / slightly syrupy texture. Soft fizzy carbonation.
DRINKABILITY:
A very easy drinking beer. Would be decent on a hot day. For me there is nothing special to it and the tangerine taste is a bit strange/fake tasting.
NOTES: BBCSD-0903-DanM

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.91/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to Gary for sharing.

The beer opens with a thin copper, medium amber, and golden look. Good head formation allows for fine retainage and lacing. Pretty fair for a Pale Ale, just looks a bit thin and over carbonated.

Aromas of hops leap right out with a largely citrus note and to a lesser extent, metalic notes. Pretty sharp to the nose, an odd sweaty, catty, urine-line note comes out but seems to disipate quickly. Soft maltiness blends with even softer grain aromas to provide a counter to the assertive and sharp hop scent.

Flavors of malt and grain rise first with a biscuity sweetness and moderate maltiness. Hop flavor seems a bit bitey and again metalic; but also has some fresh orange zest and grapefruit taste to go along with that same anoying metalic taste.

Body as expected is kinda light and allows for the grains to add nearly the bite as does the hops. More than just bitterness, the hops also give an undesirable astringency that I could do without.

Seems like a lot of negativity comming out of this review, but these ill attributes don't kill the beer. I think it's fine but suffers from some tomato-catty things in the initial aroma and poorly chosen hops.

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Photo of largadeer
3.63/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Tavern (The Essex Resort):

Comes off the tap a medium-amber color, looking much like an English ale/bitter. Very little head with no retention. White bubbles round the edge.

A hugely aromatic, but somewhat simple nose. Lots of citrus, grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry. Very similar aromas to a New Zealand Sauvignon blanc. It's medium- to light-bodied, and leaning on the crisp side from the hops, but there is a nice malt presence too. The flavors are dominated by the hop character, but the beer is not overly bitter. Lots and lots of grapefruit, with underpinnings of cereal and lightly toasted malt.

An interesting beer to be sure. Drinkability suffers a little because it's really focused on that grapefruit note and it builds up sip after sip, but was really surprised at how much I liked it.

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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.

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Photo of froghop
2.95/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

pours a clear pale amber-orange with a small white head that dissipates quickly, some lacing.

smell of some caramel, floral, and a touch of grapefruit.

taste is light, hops, malt in the back, some citrus, earthy, and a little pine in the back too, ends a little dry and a little bitter.

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Photo of soupermirl
3.55/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Good beer. Grapefruit flavored hops with a really sweet taste and almost sweet hops with a grapefruit aftertaste. But still sweet and hoppy. Odd. I like it. Crisp and clean. Nice. Mostly no head but a constant very little ringer left. Smells grapefruity sweet, again odd. Mouthfeel is good, full of flavors, hops, maybe different kinds of hops, not sure what. Very easy to drink, good beer...

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Photo of originalsin
2.98/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- The pour is a deep reddish amber. Not necessarily pale, per se. Not too much head to speak of, but I can live with that. Retention is ok, but there's little lacing.

S- Citrusy hops are almost overwhelming on the nose. Who can really argue with that? This beer smells like it has all kinds of potential, let's just leave it at that.

T- Right away there's a pretty distinct caramel and pale malt taste. It's really nothing spectacular, and almost somewhat of a turnoff but then the bitterness kicks in around the same time as a nice hopped aftertaste does. Again, though, it's really nothing special.

M- The mouthfeel is a bit light but at the same time I can't find anything wrong with it. It goes down real easy.

D- Honestly, it's a really drinkable beer- but it's just not good enough to be a so-called session beer. I could sit down and drink 5 of these no problem. But then i'd hate myself. Maybe i'm being unfair.

I might just have something against Widmer but this pale ale just doesn't do it for me. I got a case for 13 bucks, which was good...but i don't know if i'd even spend that much if i had a second chance.

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Photo of Brad007
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby red color with a one-finger head into my glass. Are you sure this is a pale ale?

Aroma is nice and hoppy in the nose with a nice whiff of biscuit malt as well. Hops are quite floral and present.

Taste is mildly hoppy with a bit of biscuit malt upfront. A bit of malt sweetness shows up as well that doesn't seem like it belongs here. A bit buttery.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering hops and malt and that light, buttery flavor. Otherwise, it goes down good.

Starts out on the right foot but there's just something that's not right about it. Otherwise, it's drinkable and at least they got the hops part right.

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

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: This almost looks like a red ale, rust colored red. Soapy head with heavy lacing and a ridiculous amount of carbonation. Quite nice looking.

S: Clean smelling with some citrus tones on the nose, quite strong and enjoyable.

T & M: I have yet to be impressed with any Widmer thus far in my beer journey but this beer is the exception. The citrus tones in the nose really come through with the taste as well. It almost has tropical notes which I can't say that I've encountered in an APA.

D: Quite drinkable, I can say that I really enjoyed this beer would definitely not mind having this again.

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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 joshuadlight
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty average APA, relatively new, I believe. Grassy citrus notes throughout, but without much of the bitterness that usually accompanies these aromas and flavors. Its drinkable enough, but isn't on the same playing field as SNPA or Dale's Pale Ale, in my opinion. Pick up a sixer and try it out, its a good session beer and you may love it. Or may be like me, and go right back to where you came from.

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Photo of morimech
3.83/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a large white head that had excellant retention. Nice lacing is left on the glass. Has a nice citrus hop aroma. A little biscuit malt sneaks past the hops. The flavor starts out very good. Nice bitter, citrus hop flavor. Hints of grapefruit and orange. The malt is not really detectable. Unfortunately things diminish quickly leaving a medicinal aftertaste. Bitterness is on the high side for an APA. Has a nice body and carbonation. A surprisingly good APA and sessionable.

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Photo of Buebie
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Because the Brrr was so absolutly delicious I saw this today and had to grab it.

Poured from a brown 12 oz non-twist off bottle. Went into a tulip forming a semi foamy cola like white 1'' head. Receeding to a nice colar of retention and a thin film of white. The color on this is a deep amber, transparent though, but still nice deep copper amber color.

The aroma is sweet and pine like with plenty of citrus hops, grapefruit, oranges and a little brown sugar, with a spicie hint of pepper.

The taste is almost as it smells, good malt backing of a semi-sweet nature. Plenty of crisp hop bitters and a nice crisp clean finsih. Hops dont linger in a bitter somtimes annoying obliterating fashion. This finish is smooth and clean with a touch of bitter linger, also some grains and malt.
Great summer beer, with a crispness from the carbonation. Mouthfeel is spot on for the style, it isnt intended to be creamy and thick.

I recommend this beer. I think it is a prime gateway beer for some people that are not ready for the torpedo or the furious.

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Photo of Genghis22
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottled: 2-10-09

A - Pours a nice golden caramel color. Slightly opaque, but not exactly "cloudy." Little white head formed at first, but did not last long.

S - Lots of ripe and sweet citrus. Lightly roasted malt with sweet grapefruit and tangerines.

T - Malts hit the taste buds first, with a nice dry hop finish. Not bitter or overly strong. This is a sessionable pale ale.

M - A medium bodied ale with moderate to low carbonation. This is a bit thin, but fits the style.

D - Great session beer! Not a life changing brew, but great for summer BBQs and late nights around the camp fire.

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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.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.42/5  rDev -36%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 04/03/2009 (Bottle dated Jan2109):

Pours a clear brownish red color body with a small off-white head, quickly diminishing. Aroma is dry grapefruit. Some bitterness too. But pretty weak overall. Somewhat watery dry taste. Some malty nuttiness. Some hoppy bitterness. Weak bland taste.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.29/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A) Golden amber with a thin halo that laces the glass impressively.

S) Wow. Loaded with grapefruit hops with a Hawaiian Punch element that is very appealing. There is a little sugary base there too that promises not to go all "bitter beer face" on you.This is an IPA smell on an APA.

T) Much more balanced than the nose would have you believe. The balance is toward the hop flavors, but only a mild bitter finish that still gives a sugary malt base that is somewhat cola like.

M) Light body, bubbly without going fizzy, oily finish.

D) Yum. Hope to see this on my local shelves, I plan to get more. This is my favorite Widmer Brothers beer to date.

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

This is a hopstrong brew. It's surprising that it's only 32 IBUs as another reviewer mentioned. Tons of grapefruit, a little pine, and a good healthy amount of bready malt. This is an excellent APA. Dark bronze amber. Nice head, spotty lacing. The drinkability is good, along with the mouthfeel. I was not expecting this level of goodness from this little gem.

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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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