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Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

218 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 218
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 7.8%


Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American IPA |  7.00% ABV

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!

(Beer added by: ericj551 on 10-26-2010)
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Ratings: 218 | Reviews: 80 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.15/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Whip in Vancouver, BC.

Pours a bright, coppery orange colour, with a mild, but filmy head of off-white. Patchy, sudsy, crackly lace forms as the head subsides. Strong streaming carbonation races through the solid body. Looks nice.

Nose is pungent and sharp with under-ripe orange, laced with stewed fruits and butterscotch. Simcoe, my old friend? Slight mild piney greenness pokes its head in as well. It's OK, but it really pushed all my "Warning! Warning! Generic American IPA Alert!" buttons.

Flavour is similar. There's no intrinsic sweetness to the brew, but the hops lend a caramel stewed sweetness to the mix that cloys with the big direct bitterness. The light feel on the palate means that there's a really pronounced hop vector slicing bitterly across the tongue. Finish is bunched and compressed, but stretched longitudinally at the back of the palate, giving a broad residual alpha bitterness.

I was shocked when I saw how highly this beer is regarded on BA. This really felt like a pretty standard, if highly-hopped IPA, that didn't really think about the balance in its flavour profile. As far as I was concerned, this is really average stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 08:47:00 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of dcloeren
dcloeren

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber with JayAre46. Thanks son

A: poured a hazy burnt orange with a finger of eggshell white foamy head. The carbonation bubbles slowly make their way through the syrup to the top. Head slowly made it's way to a thin film and left some spider webs along the way

S: orange juice, caramel covered grapefruit, pineapple and floral hops dominate. Subtle malt and pine background

T: floral and pine off the bat complimented with orange peel and grapefruit. Not alot of malt to speak of... I wish the caramel scent would be more present on the palet

M: medium to light bodied, alot thinner than I was expecting... Prickly carbonation attacks my taste buds with every sip.

O: this was a good IPA but nothing special. The scent was alot more pleasant than the taste... I woulnt turn down another one of these.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2011 01:07:48 | More by dcloeren
Photo of harrymel
harrymel

Washington

3.73/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 01/04/12

A: pours an apricot honey ale with less than a single finger of soapy white head. This dissipates to a broken sheet of the same atop a near excellent clarity brew. Spotty lace.

S: sweet biscuit malts and bubble gum and citrus hops. Best nose I've had in BC so far.

T: nice bitter pinch with plenty of those bubble gum flavors and citric rinds. Just a hint of the malt comes thru this beast making it almost like a summer American ipa, but a blend of west coast and great lakes style hop scheduling.

M: really thin, moderate carb and dry finish. Would like a little more body.

O: probably the best ipa I've had from the few breweries I've sampled here in Victoria. They could probably sell this stateside without any trouble (on tap).

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 18:36:25 | More by harrymel
Photo of hoser
hoser

Alberta (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A low SRM and a nice spicy hop finish from Driftwood. One of BC's up and comers and I have been enjoying what they are doing so far. I never would have guessed 7% for the ABV it drinks a little lighter than that. Maybe having a DDC Chaman first wasn't the way to go in drinking beers tonight. I would have to try again to be fair to this brew. I like what this brewery is doing and hope some day we can by their products in Alberta. The hops slightly winning the battle with malt and that is not a bad thing.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 02:39:42 | More by hoser
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly cloudy grapefruit with hige white foamy head that leaves lots of spider web lacing down the glass. Wafts C-hop. Tangerine and orange citrus taste, very drinkable. Not astringent but a little numbing of the tongue. Carbonation is right there, this is a very fresh bottle. A little funky in the finish, but this makes it all the more interesting.650 ml, thanks Brian, and thanks Derek for the recommendation.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 03:08:01 | More by Sammy
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.88/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for sending this extra from one of my favorite locals in North America, Vancouver. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife while watching the end of The Truman Show, which happenend to be our first date. Well, second first date. Nevermind.

Pour is an unclear but not hazy orange with gentled carbonation. Nose is a fall cornucopia of fruits: honeydew, grapefruit, orange, pale malts. Going in the correct direction.

Fat Tug begs for a comment, so I'm not going to make one. Lovely hops on this babe, reaching out & giving the tongue a good shlap of bitterness, followed with fainter flavors of pine, citrus. The bitterness doing the tugging here. Nice pale malts, light sweetness. Drinkable. I could do this bomber.

Nice IPA that showcases bitterness, but without a whole lot of complexity. Luckily, that's my favorite part of an IPA. Very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2013 02:47:33 | More by maximum12
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.91/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit hops is quite powerful and enjoyable. Taste is also a great mix between some citrus hops with a good amount of grapefruit notes, medium bitterness and some light caramelized malt with a touch of residual sugar. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Very well brewed but I would preferred a bit less residual sugar with a dryer finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2013 18:51:25 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of NoHipTee
NoHipTee

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad beer at all. took a chance on this beer at my local beer vendor.

Appearance is a smooth brown/orange hue with a small foamy head.

Smell is a yummy hoppy sweetness that hints at what is to come.

The taste does not dissapoint. A complex hoppyness that is balance by the sweet undertones.

Mouthfeel is a little thin but very drinkable.

Would not hesitate to buy this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2012 17:11:41 | More by NoHipTee
Photo of mfaulk
mfaulk

California

3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served a bit too warm - which I'd guess brought forward the malt
sweetness.

Clear gold color. Good slightly off-white head; bubbles on the coarse side.

Smell: citrus, piney, and spicy.

Taste: Hop presence is distinctly spicy, maybe grapefruit rind, or grapefruit with orange rind. Feels a bit hot for 7%.

Mouth feel: initially a little thin, but then some creamy bubbles
form. Maybe too many bubbles? Swallow leaves a back-of-the-mouth oily film.

This strikes me as pretty drinkabie for 7%, 80 IBUs. A little one-dimensional, but over all I like what they've done with the spicy hops. Its biggest flaw is mouthfeel: too light and foamy ( this might be the result of the serving temperature, but if not it would still be great with a burger and fries).

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 01:14:57 | More by mfaulk
Photo of tbeckett
tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at a pub on Granville Street in Vancouver. From notes.

A - Poured copper with mild carbonation. Bright. One finger of fluffy white head with sticky thick lace all around and a film of retention.

S - Strong pine and hop resins. Proper American style IPA aroma.

T - Resinous hops, lot's of pine and citrus. Very light sweet malt up front.

M - Good tingly carbonation, medium body and an OK bitterness.

O/D - A solid IPA. Pretty tasty and very smooth. Good hop punch.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2012 19:02:04 | More by tbeckett
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for this bottle that he brought back from Vancouver for me. Best before date was smudged and difficult to read but appeared to be 10/19/12. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Translucent golden orange with one finger of foamy cream coloured head that reduced to a thin layer on the top of the ale. Some light lacing.

S - Huge fresh hop aroma up front with big grapefruit, pine and orange zest notes. A touch of malt sweetness attempts to provide some balance but this is definitely a hop-bomb.

T - A big bitterness up front full of grapefruit, pine and orange zest. A slight sweetness form the malts in the middle followed by a big, bitter hop finish.

M - Medium body, somewhat creamy. Some nice resinous hop oils. Light carbonation. A times it seemed a touch watery.

O - I was really looking forward to this one and, while it is an excellent IPA, it disappointed me a little bit. I was expecting to be wowed and I wasn't. That said, I would buy this again and would love to try this on tap.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 23:53:31 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of JayAre46
JayAre46

Texas

4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

shout out to rutager and thank you, 22 oz bomber split between myself and fellow BA and this review is coming from the notes...orange haze with golden shit coming through (i really wrote that wtf) i dunno. 2 fingers of off white head reduced to a layer tight bubbles. did not show great lacing

A - sweet fruits up front, touch of lemony aroma, more citrus and hints of pineapple in particular. Pale malt background very subtle which is submissive to the citrusy aromas.

T - The citrus is much less dominant that was present in the nose, getting a piney sap which is new, hints of orange peel dryness along with a sharp bitterness in the back, again the malts are there...barely... but push for a balance. no alcohol is present.

M - light to medium body moderate carbonation, slight prickly finish

O - this brew is solid and i would like to have it again, the orange peel dryness is a bit too dominant for me but that may vary from batch to batch. Nothing jumped out to me, i hate to say this because the beer is good, but this one may be just another face in the crowd.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2011 07:20:41 | More by JayAre46
Photo of souvenirs
souvenirs

British Columbia (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

(from notes this weekend)
650 ml bottle split with a friend.

A: clear gold/copper, two fingers of foamy head that dissipated fairly quickly, leaving lacing up the sides of the glass
S: citrus, especially grapefruit
T: grassy, citrus-y hops, grassy bitterness, pale malts, well balanced
F: smooth
O: I would definitely have this again.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 05:41:12 | More by souvenirs
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate

New York

4.04/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft at Malone's, Vancouver.

Soapy, sticky white froth that rings over an amber-blonde body.
Mandarin, flowers and hemp nectar on the nose - crazy fresh.
Fair whack of caramel, mango and shortbread with resin, ruby grapefruit and passionfruit hops.
Grapefruit zest finish and catty Simcoe linger.
Crisp, chewy, light leaning towards medium.

Good fruit, good caramel, real IBUs. A bit thin, though, and doesn't live up to the nose. Not a world beater, but a superior all-arounder.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2013 19:17:39 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of Smurf2055
Smurf2055

Washington

4.05/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Whole Foods.

Pours dark yellow to orange with a good 3 fingers of head.

Smells got grapefruit and citrus. Very well balanced.

Taste has a little pine with a lot of citrus.

Joel from wholefoods described this as "a stand in for Pliny" and I can see why. I would almost say it’s more drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2013 06:22:46 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Matt and shared with the father-in-law. Thanks for the chance buddy!

Pours a juicy orange with a nice puff of white that lasts throughout most of the glass. Moderate lacing adds to the appeal. An inviting looking beer.

Smells of tangerine and light wet pine. Touch of crackery malt hovers as well.

Big creamy mouthfeel, cracker and light biscuit malts provide the base for citrus rind and grassy light bitterness.

Overall, this is really enjoyable despite the fact that it's neither overly unique nor stands out in any way other than a really nice feel. Each sip begs another and the creamy light mouthfeel and mellow bitterness is appealing. Bitchin job you crazy Canucks.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2012 22:55:22 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange colour, nice fluffy white head, good lace on the glass. The nose on this is incredible, bursting with citrus, ornage, tangerine, notes of pine and a good malt back to this. Taste is mostly pine and not how the nose would lead you to believe, slight citrus, grapefruit, good hoppy bitterness, malt is there, good balance here. Medium weight, nice slick hop oil, carb a touch high, good overall feel. Good IPA overall, solid bitterness and quite enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 17:02:31 | More by peensteen
Photo of korguy123
korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First bottle reviewed from my CANBIF 2012 box courtesy of Rutager
Bottle into tulip, best by date smudged off completely.

A- Hazy orange pour with a 3 finger foamy off white head. Lacing is glued to the sides of the glass.

S- Massive amounts of citrus and tropical fruits. Grapefruit, mandarin, lime, mango, pineapple with a pine backing. Slightly sweet.

T- Bitter pine, pineapple, strawberry, mango and mandarin. All flavors not as bright as the nose leads on but still in your face. Sweet malt as well helps round things out.

M- Light to medium bodied, good carbonation, with a lingering bitter aftertaste.

O- Very good IPA it's been a long time since I got such tropical flavors in an IPA, something I thoroughly enjoy in my IPAs. Excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2012 20:59:10 | More by korguy123
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

"With an extreme power to tonnage ratio, this behemoth delivers a barge load of hops. This unassuming 22 ounce bottle packs 80 IBUs of unrelenting diesel power! Let this Fat Tug pull you in slow and low to Hoppy Nirvana..." Brewed in the style of an American IPA. This beer is one of Driftwood's mainstays.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a sudsy froth head of a golden cream tone over a mildly hazy amber body with moderate carbonation. Retention is above average, lacing is medium-dense and clingy. It's an unfiltered IPA, which leads to a slight uncommon haziness. 4

(Smell) Aromas of pine, citrus ream and tropical fruit over a light bready caramel and pale malt base. This isn't a striking or overly bright-smelling IPA but it does have an enjoyable hop aroma, modest in presentation, it stands at par with the malt profile. A mild peppery character is a curious addition, perhaps suggesting a hint of rye. Potency is medium. 4

(Taste) Up front, the malt bill is relatively clean and a touch viscous, with a lightly toasted barley malt, some biscuity malt, questionably rye, and most notably by the sweet, slick finish, a pinch of honey malt, or just honey. There's a good balance between the malt character and hop bitterness, although the hop flavors aren't very charismatic, there's a substantial bitterness to confirm this as a bold IPA. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick first, smooth second. Carbonation plays a mellow role in adding some air to the texture, but keeps very tame, more so compared to American IPAs. Balance is slightly bitter over sweet, although it remains close, with a fuller body than expected. Body is medium/high for an American IPA, medium+ overall. The beer finishes favorably bitter with a clean, very slick and resinous finish. 4.5

(Overall) Victoria's Driftwood Brewery crafts a thoroughly enjoyable American IPA, with a solid malt sweetness and a moderate hop flavor and bitterness to pair, it's a more heavy-drinking IPA than I'm used to, but a treat to savor nonetheless. When in Victoria, pick up a bottle of this! 4.25

Driftwood Brewery's
Fat Tug IPA
4.1/5.00

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 20:53:51 | More by Jadjunk
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sampled at Volo, poured into a flute glass.

Poured a golden yellow, filtered with a great fluffy and sticky offwhite head. Webbed lacing and solid retention. Nose is big on the citrus hops, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, with some understated pineiness in there as well. Sits atop a solid caramel malt base. Great nose. Taste is quite bitter initially, more pine and less citrus than the nose suggested. Really wasn't expecting this given the nose, but was pleasant otherwise. Prickly carbonation, and good drinkability. A nice IPA, wish I could've had a bigger sample of this.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2011 16:25:53 | More by liamt07
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a gift from my aunt that my brother brought back on a recent trip to their place in Surrey.

Poured from a 650ml. bottle, best before 02/23/12.

Appearance: A hazy light orange body with foam filling half the glass. Settles to about 2-3 fingers. Clings to the glass very well.

Smell: Lush fruit, slight pine, some bitterness, resiny, and mango.

Taste: Lots of mango here mixed with a bit of orange and low on pine. Has a bit of a sweet spot.

Mouthfeel: Hops are there, bitterness is felt (mostly in aftertaste) but the malt is strong as well.

Overall: An IPA that packs more flavor than bitterness but still very well done.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2011 11:03:47 | More by papat444
Photo of Florida9
Florida9

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mostly clear orange-amber in color. Forms a voluminous off-white head that slowly reduces to a thick quarter inch of foam. Lots of lacing.

S: What a wonderful aroma and quite unexpected. Full of tropical fruits, mango, grapefruit, pineapple and citrus. A slight bit of toasty malts, but this is really all about the hops.

T: Unfortunately, not quite as good at the aroma would suggest, but still quite nice: starts with a bit of toast then turns to a strong grapefruit character with notes of melon, mango, and citrus. Finishes with a bit of fusel spice - odd for a 7% beer, but it is what it is.

M: Medium bodied. Appropriate carbonation. Moderate bitterness.

O: I can say I really wasn't expecting much out of this beer, but I was pleasantly surprised. Great aroma with a nice, hop forward flavor profile, a moderate bitterness, and a great balance made for an enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 02:50:57 | More by Florida9
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very pale amber body, somewhat cloudy, but with nice orange hues, and beautiful rising carbonation. Head is three fingers deep and large with a big giant cap and off white in color. Speckled lacing peppers the glass all over.

Great dry pine hop nose on this. A real nice aromatic sense of citrus orange zest hints at the back. Spritzy. Faint sweet malts too. Fantastic bouquet.

Palate manages to take a back seat and let the smells do the talking. Soft palate with a somewhat juicy body. Hop angle seems dialed down a bit, but a good simple light toasty sugar malt brings up much of the flavor profile. A real nice soft body, airy in feel, with little carbonation. Hop angle seems subdued with a quick bitter, and a light aftertaste and prickly sensations.

Overall the nose brings the impression of greatness, but it becomes just a good solid IPA in it's own right. Tasty!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2012 20:53:16 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Intrinsic
Intrinsic

Germany

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fat Tug is a very nice looking beer. The head keeps growing and growing on top of a amber, creamy, swirling body and leaves beautiful lacing.

The smell betrays the piney hops the minute you open the bottle. This was obviously dry-hopped - to near perfection. The taste is insane. Very, very bitter. Mostly piney hops, but balanced quite nicely with malt. There's a strong citrus element to this as well. Lots of grapefruit in this one. And creamy! The finish is just a tad less than 'dry' despite all the hops. Overall, this is one hell of a beer. If I lived in BC I'd drink this all the time.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2011 03:55:11 | More by Intrinsic
Photo of IllNate
IllNate

British Columbia (Canada)

4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a very clear amber with mountains of off white head, excellent retention. Aroma is hoppy with citrus dominating (grapefruit, and some melon). Taste follows with great hop character, ranging from citrus to pine and earthy at times. Malty background is solid with some caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel is bitter, but extreemly well balanced, I say perfect. Overall a solid IPA, one of my favorite IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 02:43:07 | More by IllNate
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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.