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Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

122 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 122
Hads: 450
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 154
Gots: 111 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ericj551 on 10-26-2010

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!
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Reviews: 122 | Hads: 450
Photo of CanadianBacon
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one gets an across the board 4.25, Usually I'm not the biggest fan of IPA's that are very piney, this had a good balance but both Pine and citrus flavors were big but it was very well refined!

Appearance - poured from a 650 ml bottle into a crystal snifter (parents glassware lol). This beer poured a clear golden color with a finger of head that lasted a little while. Carbonation looked pretty lively.

Aroma - The first aromas to hit my nose, were big citrus notes, I got grapefruit, orange, a little mango, then a strong pine after that followed by some light caramel malts.

Taste - the flavor profile followed suit all the same flavors and you get hit with a strong bitterness around the time the pine comes in which is then mellowed by the caramel.

Feel - This beer had a medium-full body which was nice, Most IPA's ive had tend to sit on the other side of the medium spectrum, It had a very creamy body also and was smooth on the finish.

Overall - This is a very well refined IPA and the flavors come togehter magically. This is something I've noticed of most BC beers I've tried I now just wish I cold get more of the,. Cheers!

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Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a tall two finger head that is very light tan in tone. Body is a golden Amber hue. Nose is nicely malty but definitely brings the the hops all over the place to balance. Overall it smells great. With first sip I am amazed at how well the malts bring the hops to your tongue. So much balance and drink ability yet an awesome hoppy brew.

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear honey amber with two fingers of sturdy off-white head that leaves brooding stormy sky lace as it slowly recedes.

Smells of citrus zest, mango, lemon rind, faint sweet malt and resiny hops.

Tastes of grapefruit flesh and orange rind, mixed tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, mild breakfast cereal malt and a constant roar of bitter piney hops.

Feels big and creamy. Medium-full bodied with creamy carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. An IPA that does not screw around.

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Photo of Rukeli76
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bomber with new (to me) artwork. It just arrived at the LCBO this weekend, so I'm guessing it's still pretty fresh given how far it's travelled.

Hazy copper pale ale colour. Half-inch of foamy, persistent head. Nice lacing.

There's the expected grapefruit and pine, plus some gentler floral and fruity aromas. It's very west coast, but not in that aggressively dank "let's rip a couple bong hits" way some of these IPAs can be.

The fruitiness of (I'm guessing) Centennial hops is certainly the dominant note here. The aromatic hops are balanced by some bitterness and just the right amount of malt sweetness.

Creamy and effervescent.

This is a classic west-coast IPA. I doubt the floral and fruity hop aromas would hold up very well as this beer gets older, so I'd advise drinking it fresh to get the full experience.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

The color is a burnt Amber gold. With a thin full head.

Lots of rich sweet orange blossom honey in the aroma. Extremely floral.

Very earthy bitterness on the taste. Slight pine with an intense bitter flavor.

Very excellent beer.

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Photo of kevinlater
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
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 oberon
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours into an imperial nonic a deep rich golden with a full one finger of billowing white head that settles very slowly into a frothy mass leaving two broken rings of lace behind.Bright grapefruit-like hops in the nose with lighter pine detected as well,I pick up faint nuttiness and more assertive biscuit malts as well.The melon and grapefruit flavors really stand out up front on the palate,quite sharp and dry,some malty graininess and that faint nuttiness is there as well.This is a damn well made IPA,even our neighbors to the north are making some killer IPA's out in the PNW,fantastic.

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Photo of TDotScott
4.54/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a wine glass. No freshness date visible.

L- A shade darker than gold, with medium-low haze. A huge, bone white, moussy head sticks around a good while. Good lacing.

S- C hops. Citrus, tangerine, resin. Some pine. Strong aromas, and nothing from the malt.

T- some malt sweetness teams up with those tangerine flavors on the front. Next comes classic C hop tastes of pith and pine. After this, a lingering and somewhat harsh, resinous bitterness lasts and lasts.

F- spritzy. Really spritzy. Too carbonated for style, but once it de-gasses, the dry finish is great.

O- maybe not the best Canadian IPA, but solid all the same.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bomber served at cellar temperature into a pint glass. No freshness indicated and purchased from the LCBO for $6 CDN.

Appearance - pours a clear light golden color with some orange highlights.plenty of effervescent carbonation. A beautiful finger and a half of rocky white head with impeccable retention. Coalesces into a finger of froth. Awesome spidery lacing too. A great looking IPA.

Smell - hops and citrus, with lots of tropical notes and a slight bitter smelling dankness lingering in behind. Quite weedy, but works here.

Taste - big tropical flavours, some grapefruit up from and a wonderful blend of pineapple. Maybe a hint on cantaloupe and honeydew melon too. Again there's a slight wee direness to the background that is pleasant. Top notch.

Mouthfeel - smooth with a good and fairly substantial body, lots of carbonation and more dry on the finish than you might expect.

Overall - absolute top notch IPA, definitely worth picking up a bunch while it's in stock. Given Fat Tug's great reputation, I had very high expectations and this completely lived up to them. It also probably supplanted Red Racer as my favourite BC IPA, that I've had the pleasure to enjoy.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.58/5  rDev +6.8%
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 Alieniloquium
3.84/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle. Clear golden body. Smells of grapefruit and resiny pine. Smells sweet, too. Tastes of pine. Sweet caramel malt and some toasty malt. Strong bitter finish. Medium to medium heavy. Too sweet for me to really love it.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.72/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful IPA. One of the better heads I've seen on an IPA in a long time. Deep, golden orange body with an amazing bone-white head that pours 3 fingers high with fantastic retention and lace.

S - Cilantro, wet leaves, black pepper, and a touch of rosemary. Light bready malt.

T - Boiled cilantro, bitter greens, touch honey, and melon rinds.

M - Medium body with relatively low carbonation.

O - An old-school, alpha-oil hop forward IPA on the green / vegetative side of the style.

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Photo of cfalls
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - nice thick head with good retention, somewhat hazy, color a bit dark for an IPA

S - malt, floral, somewhat lacking

T - mostly malt and bittering hops, hints of citrus/pine/pear, dusty finish

F - heavy for an IPA, creamy

O - not my style, but not sure how old the bottle was -- there was some settled yeast

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Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber bottle, I couldnt find any freshness dating

Pours near clear, medium almond amber, long lasting off white cap, leaves oodles of sheeting, all the way to the top of the glass..

Hop forward nose with tropical fruits

Boldly hopped IPA with tropical fruits, melon, pineapple....softly spiced and quite tasty

well worth a try

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Photo of HipCzech
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 650 mL bottle poured into a small tasting glass.

Appearance: Nearly clear deep gold yellow, with a frothy cap of off white head. A good foam cap lingers and leaves nice patches of fine lace.

Smell: Grapefruit juice and rind, pine combs, apricot, candied tropical fruit (mango, pineapple), savory herbs and slight dank. Underlying malt sweetness sneaks in occasionally.

Taste: More hop punch: tropical fruit and melon more to the forefront with grapefruit bitterness followed by dank pine in the close. Sweet cereal malt carries throughout to provide some balance. Finishes crisply bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly oily feel and light to moderate carbonarion.

Overall: A solid New World IPA - very hop forward, but still balanced by both malt and complex fruit hop notes.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got on trade! Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head with an aggressive pour. Head stays for over 5mins before film out. Medium gold colour and filtered clear

S- Good hops. Pretty light though

T- WOW this one has a lot of hops. Wet hopped galore. Has that "C" hop presence that I really enjoy. Not too bitter at all. Has a malt base that does not overpower. Not sweet at all which is nice. Looks like these lower alcohol percentage brews have a lot less sugar than a heavy APA. There is a blend of hops that just works together with nothing sticking out or unbalanced.

M- Tart and dry. Nice

O- Very good brew. Overall it's a refreshing brew that is rather complex. Good to see Canadian IPA's are starting to come up now compared to the US. Now we just need to get reasonable distribution to all provinces.

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went very well with........ Roasted chicken wings. Small wings, wash, dip in melted margarine then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place on the top rack and broil on high for 10-15mins depending on wing size. When the cheese crisps the wings are done!

Enjoy

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Photo of headlessparrot
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours from the 650mL bottle a slightly hazy orange-ish, almost faintly coppery gold, topped by three solid fingers of rocky foam that has surprising staying power, and which leaves a ton of lacing on the glass. A fair amount of visible carbonation.

Smell is inviting: a lot of citrus, a lot of grapefruit, some slightly piney resin, cereal, a touch of biscuity malt. Taste is initially surprisingly soft and inviting before a mouth-puckering blast of bitterness near the finish. More pine in the taste than the smell, but still lots of citrus. A bit of crackery base malt. Slight bile. Faintly oily texture, but light-moderate carbonation and light-moderate body. I'd never guess this is 7% ABV.

For a mouth-murderingly hoppy beer, it's surprisingly light and drinkable in the end. Now, I'm the sort of black sheep who would argue that their New Growth Pale Ale is actually the superior beer because it's interested in being more than just a vessel for hops, but I think you have to take seriously the argument that this is the best IPA currently being produced in Canada.

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Photo of Eric_Standard
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gold with a bit of haze and a fluffy white head.
Smells of hops and summer fruit.
More hops and fruit, flavour-wise. Tastes of grapefruit, apple, assorted citrus notes, slightly malty sweetish front, lingering hoppy bitterness - very good.
Heavy-bodied for an IPA, but very drinkable and quenching.
Quite pleasant.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very good of not amazing Canadian IPA. I heard a lot about it and tried some on draft at the Irish Times pub. I thought it was very good, but I'm not sure I would have given it much thought if I had never read about it before. It's dank, but not extremely hoppy and is very easily drinkable. I will try it again before I head home.

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Photo of byronic
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to @Corson for hooking me up with this bottle

Pours a nice hazy gold with white fluffy head. Nose is crisp and hoppy but balanced nicely with malts and fruits. A really nice blend of citrus fruit and hops. Very smooth and thirst quenching. A beer that lives up to it's reputation and exceeded my expectation. Would love to have it again.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a slightly hazy amber/gold with a finger and a half of head. The nose is hops dominant and there are some malts and fruitiness to the nose as well. Taste is where this one really caught me off guard. This was really a surprise, grapefruit, passionfruit, a slight bittersweet citrus and a hops explosion that is not overpowering. This beer went down smooth and easy for a beer that is so "big" and I could see myself drinking too much of this if I had regular access.

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Photo of PacificNorthWester
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very surprised by this one: pours a satisfying light color. The nose is very hoppy. Through the hoppy bitterness there are enjoyable fruit essences imbued in this brew with grapefruit's presence the predominant one. For a heavier beer this was oddly thirst quenching and crisp. Would buy again when in the mood for a bomber of IPA.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange really bright. Over carbonated and maintained a couple millimeters of consistent white foam. Fresh green grass and thick waxy ivy. Floral rose finish. Sharp strong fresh hop bitterness in a floral wet and not dry way. Great ipa.

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Photo of JeffBlue
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(draft, Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar, Vancouver B.C. 7/5/15) Mellow dank, not overly hoppy for 80ibus, pretty solid ipa. Would be interested in seeing if the character holds up in the bottle.

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Photo of Moose90
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from 22oz bottle

A — Pours a clear amber color, there is a copper and almost reddish hue to it. There is a nice and puffy off-white colored head on top of it, leaves behind nice lacing.

S — Smells nicely hoppy and bright, lots of citrus fruits here, grapefruit, lemon, little bit of mango. Lots of a sweet malt foundation as well.

T — Tastes much like the nose, lots of grapefruit and lemon, little balancing undertone of malt.

M — Medium bodied, long lasting finish.

O — Good overall, not sure it's one of the best, but it is certainly a solid IPA.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.