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Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
134 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
134
Ratings:
497
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
15.42%
 
 
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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fat Tug is a northwest style India Pale Ale that is characterized by an intense hop profile of grapefruit & melon and restrained malt notes. At 7 % alc/vol and 80+ IBUs this beer delivers layers of aroma and flavor that is sure to satisfy anyone with a thirst for all things hoppy!

Added by ericj551 on 10-26-2010

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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 497
Photo of Crazycanuck17
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is hands down the best IPA I've had in Canada. Recently available in Alberta and it's flying off the shelves. It's a well rounded IPA with just the right amount of hops to it.

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Photo of Thunderpants
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow what a beer! The best IPA I have ever had, and to this day I still haven't found one that compares. Amazing intense hoppy profile with hints of fruity flavours and a touch of malt.

If you like hoppy, then this beer is for you, but be careful at 7% alcohol this beer will get you going in a hurry. I only recommend 2 per sitting then try something else.

Currently my favorite beer!

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Photo of hotmailmsn
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7% ABV, 80+ ibu
A - hazy golden orange, with good amount of white head.
S - biscuit malty, citrus, grapefruit, floral, grassy dry hopped, peppery spice, honey sweet, melon, lychee.
T - welly carbonated. sweetness came first, lingering. cracker, biscuit, bready, cereal flavor. bitterness is all the way thru. long lasting...
O - my fav IPA so far. balance as the sweetness, maltiness, not to mention the bitterness which i enjoy the most!! it has all the things u want from an west coast IPA, plus a very unique malt characteristics!! Everybody has to try it once!! most importantly, it's all year round, u can enjoy it anytime, unlike the other hyped IPA, and you will not regret it.

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Photo of WalterWalter
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I finally tried one of these today, and it is definitely my favourite IPA of all those I can remember by name, and equal to an excellent one I remember having at an American micro-brew pub (in Long Beach; Rock Bottom brewery perhaps). By far better than the IPAs from other local micro breweries which I have always found underwhelming - one is too malty, the other not carbonated enough for my liking.

The taste is very strong hops, with an amazing bitterness, and a delicious citrus-cannabis-bergamot aftertaste. No heavy malty flavours or anything to distract from this delicious hoppiness, and the hops taste fresh and, despite being very powerful, delicate. Nice carbonation; not too strong but not weak and syrupy either.

Three thumbs up.

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Photo of beerSexualizer
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love the s*** out of the beer. I first had it about a year ago but it is unavailable here in Toronto so I stocked up on my last trip to BC. Driftwood is one of the best breweries in Canada because the beers are true to their styles and consistent.

So, this beer is a textbook IPA. The colour is a fine hazy apricot with white head.

The complex smells are rad: citrus, resin, peaches, subtle ammonia.

It tastes of grapefruit, tangerine, with a lingering herbaceous and dominant bittering. The flavour arrives in waves first with a grapefruit, citrus flood surge followed by a light refreshing ebb and finally you get the tsunami of bitter. F**k yeah!

The mouth feel is pleasingly dry based on a 7% abv (which is well hidden otherwise) and generous hopping.

Now as far as presentation goes they do a great job. They have unique graphic design and plastic easy to peal labels the likes of which I haven't seen before. The bottles are exclusively in the 650ml format and away you f**king go.

When its done you will think to yourself "Man, I could really treat myself to a nice Fat Tug right now"

Drink this well balanced IPA work of art with spicy curry and enjoy your burps. Thank me later.

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Photo of timtwoface
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. Of all the IPAs out there (not the doubles), this is my current favourite, and has been for a while. It's extremely hoppy at 80 IBUs, but very easy to drink and goes great with any hearty meal - or it goes great with eating nothing at all. It really packs a nice sufficient punch by the end but you can't help but go back for more. This might very well be my favourite beer from any BC brewery at this moment; I'm blessed that I can find this in liquor stores and on tap in the area, even if you have to pay a bit of a premium at $6.50 per 650mL for it.

At a penny a millilitre, it's worth it, 100%. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

650ml bottle, bottled on oct 27 2015, into an everyday cylindrical glass. consumed jan 17 2016

a: nice hazy orange-golden colour with white head

s: really pungent tangerine, grapefruit aromas with backing bready, crackery malt. mango flesh , lychee, and a piney, floral marijuana dankness on the back-end. a real hop bomb

t: quite citrus-juicy. vibrant ripe grapefruit, ripe tangerine, succulent mango flesh, and lychee all the way with ample bread flavour. herbal, floral, piney, resinous, dank hop characteristics towards the end with lingering citrus fruitiness, a kind of cantaloupe flavour, and more mango

m: medium feel with moderate carbonation, a resinous stickiness to it, and a medium to medium-plus bitterness on the finish

o: hands down canada's best IPA. the hops held up pretty well after two and a half months. an extremely delicious, fruity, balanced, and impressive beer

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Photo of ziggig
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Strong hoppyness explosion after second taste. Strong pine and grapefruitness. Nice sipping before an epic meal. This is by far my best beer and top notch so far. Love to find this one at a local pub to enjoy with friends. Great conversation piece. Will have this again for sure. Thank you.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Step up to the top of the IPA class in BC . An IPA that delivers all the hoppy goodness that we expect but with a complex piny , grapefruity finish that is backed up with tons of malt. I found it very balanced but not shy on the hops. Central City , Phillips and Tree are all available in Government stores in 6 packs making them more accessible and easier to consume but this may be my favourite BC IPA

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Photo of Rutager
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First BA review :-)

Bomber bought from Brewery Creek. Recomended by the lovely, friendly girl behind the counter after asking about the sold out Deschutes Hop Trip which I intended to buy more of.

Appearance: After a somewhat (anxious?) agressive pour, light orange with beautiful off-white, two finger head which dissipates after a couple minutes. Nice lacing.

Smell: Piney, grapes and lemon.

Taste: Hoppy indeed!! Pine-tree sap, crisp underipe grapefruit. Slight caramel and lemon.

Mouthfeel. Oily bitterness that last just long enough. Medium carbonation. Alchohol present but very well hidden

Drinkability: Went through this too fast and wished I had another!! Looks like this will be added to the regular rotation for at least the next while.

Overall: First Driftwood product for me and not a moment too soon. Will be keeping my eye out for this bad boy of a hop fix. Looking forward to trying more from these guys!!

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Photo of jwchestnut
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my all-time favorites from my one time home - a month old bottle brought by a generous friend from Vancouver. Beautiful amber orange color. Lovely white head with tight bubbles that fades into a ring around the top. Nose is full of citrus fruit, a little pineapple and mango, lots of pine needles and a sweet biscuity malt. The taste follows the nose but heavier on the pine flavors and a little grassy maybe - very well balanced with no flavors dominating the palate and a gentle bitterness at the sides of the mouth. Smooth mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Again, so thankful to have this one brought as a gift - very smooth, drinkable and one of my all time favorites. Highly recommended.

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Photo of itchybumkin
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Extremely hoppy but lent a solid malt base with excellent aroma, head and strengh. Very bitter but bitterness well-balanced with strength and well-fruited notes. Smooth yet bitter aftertaste. Pours with good head which settles quickly. Hints of banana in aroma which softens on the second or third sip, tawny, somewhat opaque colour and very satisfying.

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Photo of Kenmac19
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Pours a beautiful amber with a thick creamy straw colured head that clings to the glass. After the bold scent of pine hits your nose you will notice aromas of grapefruit, pineapple and mangos. First taste is bold and full of oily pine and tropical fruits quickly follow. A subtle toffee malt flavour comes through on the swallow. A wonderfully bready aftertaste that brings back fond memories of my grandmother's homemade german sourdough bread served fresh from the oven. I there is such a thing as "Comfort Beer", this is it. I would put this up against any other DIPA from around the world. As close to a perfectly balanced beer as I've ever tasted.

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Photo of Beervana
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing this beer within a week of bottling.

Pours a glowing coppery-orange colour with frothy off-white head. Nose is a wonderful mix of fruity and piney, some grapefruit, orange, a touch of sweet pineapple. Taste is west coast through and through; very bitter, a good hit of pine resin, mainly bitter grapefruit though, almost rind-like. Mouthfeel is slightly on the heavier side and a bit sticky, the bitterness definitely hangs in the mouth, carbonation is perfect.

Overall, one of my all time favourite IPA's. When you take into account the availability, price, and ease of finding this beer fresh, it's probably the best we have to offer in BC, maybe even in Canada. Cheers to Driftwood for being so far ahead of the curve with this one!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

many a thanks goes out to DaftCaskBC for a taste of some canadian pride!

a - opened the bottle and filled my capt lawrence taster tulip. beer poured a soft transparent yellow orange with classic white frothy head. great lively carbonation could be seen racing to the surface. my mouth is now watering.

s - my oh my...THAT'S what you look for in an ipa smell. rich THICK lush hops. citric blast. grapefruit. excellentness.

t - bitter blast at first...assaulting. i was expecting more citrus like the nose suggested. it's all there, but the bittery blast dominates everything. once my palette got used to the bitterness, the classic ipa flavors in the nose really came out. great hop presence...great sweetness. this is one for the hopheads and the hopheads in training.

m - full bodied. sticky.

o - overall, this is an exceptional ipa. this can hang with all the big boys and put em to shame. i am shocked that i haven't heard about this one before. why are people not shouting from the rooftops about this beer?

m -

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Photo of SSS
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dank with a spicy note, almost like from a Belgium style wheat beer
S-Golden yellow, almost glowing, white head lingers for a little while, great lacing
M-Chewy character that is enjoyable, medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation that all work well
T-Sweet upfront with a resinous aftertaste that coats the mouth with a very pleasurable bitterness that stays with you for a while
O-This is a great beer. On the dank side of the spectrum, think Stone IPA. Excellent brew.

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Photo of akdo
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: The body is transparent and amber. There is a visible on-going and static carbonation. The beer produces a three-finger white head that is not just creamy, but also foamy on the top. As the beer is consumed, it leaves resilient traces of head that take ages to disappear.

Smell: The nose has notes of zests of citrus, mangos and a little bit of pine woods.

Taste: This IPA is well balanced. The malts have a taste of mango, peach and a little bit of honey. The finish tasted like smoked hops and there was a little bit of spice because of the subtle carbonation. The pine woods come in.

Feel: The beer is full-bodied. Despite its high volume alcohol, the warmth of the alcohol is barely felt on the taste buds as well as in the throat, which is unusual for an IPA. This is the most bitter Canadian IPA I have ever had. Although the beer is dry, it is not astringent and it barely dehydrate the mouth.

Overall: For a North American beer, this beer stood out because of its perfect head retention. Each flavour has the right amount of time to shine before making a transition to another flavour. I would recommend it.

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Photo of djbreezy
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - brilliant transparent orange, graceful white head, strong retention, beautiful sticky lacing

smell - citrus and grapefruit hop notes, tropical

taste - a burst of tropical hops with pineapple and dominant grapefruit flavors, hop forward with some mild malt body, orange peel on the finish

mouthfeel - medium body, slick, bubbly carbonation, slightly dry finish

overall - flavorful hops that provide a nice grapefruit/orange flavor balance, west coast style ipa, highly enjoyable, unbelievable flavor for a single ipa

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another new one for the day, this was the big DIPA we were missing yesterday afternoon so we needed to find one to make a grand appearance and here we had it. Served cold and split into two pint glasses, this was consumed on 04/24/2011.

What a nice pour that came out of this one. A lighter than I would have expected amber color, was almost a golden pale with loads of carbonation and a huge billowing white head that sat on top with a large amount of foam that stuck to the sides and dripped down the glass.

A huge aroma then came wafting through the air. Lots of orange rind, grapefruit, and hints of lemon that layer on top of a light grain and bready base that offers a nice touch of balance but without distracting from the real gem here that was the since hop. Very light for as strong as it was, I really did not expect that at all. It was almost trying to deceive you with its full strength as the light hops and lingering dryness in the flavor left you thirsting for more, but at over 10% you were quickly reminded of its real strength.

Overall a very solid DIPA. It comes with a long line of simcoe forward big ipas that have come before it but this one really works. Besides you have to love the Canadian aspect to it, overall a hit and a nice way to roll into the mid afternoon.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure gold with a gigantic rocky head. Scads of lace drape the glass on the way down. The aroma is orange, white grapefruit and passionfruit with a bit of caramel malt. Huge lemon and orange hop flavors explode in the first sip. Passionfruit, lychee, berries and other hops flavors make for a wall of hoppiness. A solid biscuit, caramel malt ballast keeps the hop onslaught in check. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with creamy carbonation. Herbaceous hoppy bitterness in the long finish.

This is a fantastic west coast IPA. Super hoppy with tons of complexity and great balance. A treat. Seek this one out.

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Photo of drpimento
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, excellent beer! Poured at a good temperature with a decent sized, foamy, cream-colored head that settled after a bit and some lace. Color is a clear amber with lots of tiny bubble trails. Aroma is hop, malt, caramel, wet grain. Flavor's where this really shines: similar to nose, but so much richer with just enough sweet to perfectly match the already balanced bitter and carbonic tang, plus pine resin, a little grapefruit, toast, toffee, wheat. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, of average length, and super drinkable. Wish I had loads more and that we could get it here in La Crosse, Wis.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

650 mL bomber served slightly chilled. I had heard that the LCBO was bringing this in, but did not expect it to be stocked locally. What a nice surprise!

Pours a translucent golden-amber hue, complete with a pillowy, sparkling white-coloured head about two fingers high. Good retention; it seeps away steadily over the next 5-10 minutes, depositing a gorgeous curtain of scattered lace, and eventually receding to a half-cm of dense, creamy foam. Citrusy orangepeel and grapefruit come through on the nose, as do pronounced pine needle and resin notes. I'm also getting a few hints of peach, lychee and honeydew melon, with a touch of caramel.

Oh man, it's been a while since I've had the chance to experience a brand new top shelf IPA. The hops are supported by a respectable shelf of biscuity malts and caramelized sugar sweetness, but this one focuses mostly on the resiny, piney hop flavours. Subtle flavours of apricot, canteloupe and passion fruit are easily lost amidst the resin - and they don't fare any better once you hit the citrus-forward back end, which is dominated by pithy grapefruit and a combination of grassy, floral, herbal bitterness at the finish. Bitter, resiny aftertaste that persists well after each sip. Full-medium body, with delicate carbonation levels and an exceedingly smooth, soft, borderline creamy feel on the palate. No sign of the alcohol really, so it drinks like a dream; this is exactly what I am looking for in this style.

Final Grade: 4.58, a superlative A+. Fat Tug is one seriously good IPA, though I'd venture to guess this bottle is at least a month or two past its true prime. Ah well; such are the follies of transcontinental shipping, not to mention government liquor monopolies. This beer doesn't really do anything particularly unique that I have not seen before - but I cannot deny that it's a truly solid West Coast IPA. Really glad to finally cross this long-time want off my list... and given the reasonable price I'll probably pick up a few more bombers (to tide me over until the next GLB IPA comes out).

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Photo of sukwonee
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two 22oz bottles purchased for around $10 (very expensive!!) at a local Whole Foods. There is no best before date or bottled date, but I know this is fresh because I go to this particular Whole Foods about 2-3 times a week (and I picked this up as soon as I saw it on the shelf).

As far as I know, Metro Seattle is the only place in the US that gets beers from Driftwood - so I feel very lucky (this, one along with two others - Singularity & Old Cellar Dweller, is amazing!)

A: It looks good. Nice lacing. One finger head. Burnt orange color.

S: Grapefruit, Pine, Peach, Floral, Orange? maybe

T: Starts with hop bitterness and then followed by sweetness, then finishes with lingering bitterness. Grapefruit, Pine, a bit of peach. Even 2-3 minutes after my last sip, I can taste this beer in my mouth. Well balanced too I would add.

M: Low carbonation (smooth), Medium-to-full body.

O: I really liked this beer. I enjoyed this better than the Red Racer IPA (Which is another great IPA from Canada). Seek this one out! Driftwood is becoming one of my fav breweries with its offerings!

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Photo of loren01
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Picked this up at NW liquid gold. Pours a nice clear orange color with frothy white head great lacing down the glass
S: Wow...this smells really good. Very citrusy, also some pineapple scent in there.
T: Tons of pine and citrusy flavors, just a bit of sweet malt up front but dominated by a bit hop bite
M: Medium bodied beer. Oily mouthfeel
O: This is one of the best IPA's i have had in a long time. Great stuff.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have reviewed this previously on tap from the Alibi Room in Vancouver. I got hold of an incredibly fresh bottle all the way out in Fernie, BC while I was up from Montana. I must say, this beer's delicate hop character translates incredibly well into bottled form. The hop profile is very untraditional, the citrus is there, but it plays second hand to the more forward melon and mango characters. Usually I can tell what hops went into a beer, this one I am absolutely stumped. For me, it checks almost everything on the list, I have not complaints. It is a one of a kind IPA, and it is the work of brewers that clearly know what they are doing. I hope to see more brewers coming up with unique IPAs like this one.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.