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Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

107 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 397
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 15.35%
Wants: 150
Gots: 97 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

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!
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 107 | Hads: 397
Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked open a bottle on 5.10.12.
Best by 10.25.12 printed on the label.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy medium orange with a smaller yellowish-light tan head. Good retention and some spots of lacing left on the glass.

S - Stonge pine up front, followed by lemons and oranges.

T - Strong pine and lemon citrus.

D - Good carbonation and a solid body.

O - Pine and hoppy, More citrus came out as it warmed, and that was a good thing.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - clean clear copper, full head dissipated to a half finger leaving all kinds of lacing
S - nice perfume and orange citrus, with grainy and light peppery notes
T - earthy, spicy, and grapefruit hops build in the front, soft grainy malt backup, with a touch of the perfumy hoppiness that was big on the nose, a very tasty hop bomb
M - medium to light body, smooth start with an expected bitterness
O - as a hop head this delivers exactly what I expect, loads of hops in a variety of flavour notes, and a near pour-down-your-gullet drinkability, BIG UPS!!!

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
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 Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bone white head on a clear golden yellow body. Sticky ass lackg.

Fresh grapefruit. Very light on the nose, in a good way...whatever that means.

Bright citrus, think lemons and oranges. Above average bitterness.

High carbonation works well. Medium mouthfeel.

Well made beer. I think if the bitterness was toned down a bit I would like it more but the way it is sets it apart. All hail Fat Tug! Thanks egrace84.

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Photo of PacificNorthWester
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
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 Docer
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.0)

- Perfect IPA color, slightly cloudy new shiny copper penny color. Thick fingers of white frothy head slowly settle to a spotty thin blanket of froth, and sticky thick lace all about the glass. Super good looking IPA.

Smell: (4.0)

- Nice fruity hops hit the nose. Little light spice, but more citrus, melon as stated, and a fantastic bready malt without an overbearing sweetness. Nice grassy hop presence as well.

Taste: (4.5)

- Oh yes. Lightly sweet, bready biscuit-like malt with a light caramel background. Light honey. The hops are glorious. Nice bitter pine and grass up front, and a fruity zesty finish. This puppy is hoppy, yet very balanced at the same time. I love the bitter zing punch to the tongue. This beer is damn good.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)

- Solid medium bodied brew with a mouth watering bitterness. It's balance, and lack of super sweetness make this beer unbelievably easy to drink. Perfect IPA carbonation, and a chewy feel.. just what an IPA should be like.

Overall: (4.5)

- Very impressed with this beer. It's about time I had some more Canadian goodies. Folks near this brewery are blessed people. I highly recommend this beer, and hope to perhaps see it on draft around town soon. High marks.

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Photo of Ericbeech_87
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My girlfriend bought me this beer. I'm a big fan of IPA's and she had no idea. The planets aligned and she bought me a beer without knowing.

Appearance - Poured to fairly fine bubble head finish. The head tended to linger nicely for a long time. Drank in a snifter for the first time and I am sold on how great the experience was. Colour was a nice slightly hazy dark golden/orange.

Aroma - Intensely citrusy with big notes of grapefruit. An excellent piney smell revealed probably the best pine smell I've had in a beer.

Taste - Very hoppy with medium body. The maltiness needed to be discovered under those 80 IBU's of hops, but it's there. The carbonation was moderate during the mouthfeel but certainly contributed to the beautiful head. The hops are certainly the showcase for this beer from Driftwood. A nice dry finish with hop bitterness throughout.

Overall - An excellent IPA with brilliant citrusy notes and gorgeous appearance.

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Photo of ericj551
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I grabbed this at the local liquor store, only to realize it was just bottled today! You can't get much fresher than that, perfect for an IPA.

The beer pours an ever so slightly hazy yellowy copper with a nice foamy head that lingers. The aroma is like sticking your nose into a handful of fresh hop cones, resiny pine, citrus, pungent grassiness and bitter earthiness all meld together, with a nice background of malty sweetness. The freshness really shows, it smells like it finished dry hopping today!

Bitterness punches strongly upfront with plenty of citrus and piney hop flavor. More earthy, and harsh grassiness in the flavor. The finish is bitter and almost pungently sour. The malt is there, but it is well hidden, it only pops up here and there.

I look forward to seeing the beer on draft around Victoria, it is the most brutal IPA I've had from the Island.

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Photo of Jeffo
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Another awesome bottle from Rutager in a recent trade. Thanks for the stellar box man. Much appreciated!

From a bomber into a snifter
Best by 13 December 2012
IBU: 80

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, thicker looking, fluffy white head with great retention. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and coats the top of the glass. Light burnt orange in color, perfectly clear with no carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains until the close and leaves some decent lacing down the glass. Looks great.

SMELL: Big nose full of pale malts, honeydew melon, pineapple, mango and tangerine aromas. Lots of tropical fruits and plenty forthcoming. Great stuff.

TASTE: Follows the nose nicely. Pale malts, caramel, and lots of tropical fruits up front. Pineapple, orange and tangering through the middle, then a good dose of piney, bitter hops at the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste of bitter piney and floral hops, sweet melon and pineapple as balance. Lots of bitter hops linger on the palate. Very flavorful for sure, but just need a slightly fuller body for top marks.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes dry. Could be slightly creamier and fuller, but nothing wrong here.

OVERALL: This was excellent and definitely lived up to expectations. Great nose and amazing flavors, though the average palate sold it short somewhat. With a creamier and fuller body, the flavors would come out a little more and you'd have a world class experience on your hands. As it is now, it's simply an amazing beer that I would love to drink in mass quantities every summer. These guys know how to brew hoppy beers. Thanks again Rutager. Top class stuff!

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Photo of sasky7777
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A great IPA. The aroma is filled with complex citrus notes with a bit of pine and graininess. It is quite refreshing, and the alcohol at 7% was not noticeable and it had a dry finish. The malts are in the background, and it is a hop heads beer that should be tried.

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Photo of Jaxxon61
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In the immortal words of the late Randy Macho Man Savage...Oh, yeah! We have a local contender to the current heavyweight champion -- Red Racer IPA. Looks and smells like a full-bodied Northwest IPA should...in short, it's a hop bomb, but with a bit more piney presence than the aforementioned Red Racer. It's also a touch sweeter, but not in a cloying way. A delicious sessionabe IPA that cleverly hides its punchy 7% ABV. Alas, it's not easily found throughout the Lower Mainland. Too bad. Driftwood, despite being relative newbies to the BC craft beer scene, continue to brew superior and creative offerings. Kudos!

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Photo of DaveBar
4.36/5  rDev +1.4%
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!


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Photo of chickenm
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a huge lasting fluffy white head. Aroma is pleasant but somewhat subdued with malt and citrus hops. Taste is hoppy but balanced with pine, bready malt, and citrus. The body is a bit light but this has a really nice smooth mouthfeel. The carbonation is almost perfect. Another great beer from Driftwood!

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Photo of michaeledoan
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a beautiful coppery orange from bottle to oversized wineglass. An inch and a half off white head which disappeared in about a minute 30. Unfiltered? Foggy appearance.

Detected scents of apricots and sweet fruits. Obvious floral bouquet of hop aromas. Very pleasing.

Tasted very nice. A definite bitterness at the back of the tongue with light pine. Just right. Again, apricot and this beer really reminded me of DFH Aprihop. Malty and sweet at the tip of the tongue. Well balanced.

Balanced again with a medium body. Very comfortable.

A very well finished beer. More hops than malt, but balanced by the sweet fruit/apricot jam flavours that they were able to produce. All around enjoyable and highly recommended.

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Photo of superspak
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating but this should be pretty fresh. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a nice 3 finger dense off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big pineapple, mango, lemon zest, orange rind, herbal, floral, pine, grass, and earthy spiciness. Excellent aromas with great balance and hop complexity. Taste of big grapefruit, orange rind, pineapple, herbal, floral, pine, and earthy spiciness. Good amount of floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pineapple, herbal, pine, floral, and earthy spiciness on the finish for a good bit. Great balance and complexity of hop flavors; with a nice bitterness/sweetness balance as well. No cloying flavors on the finish at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic IPA! Excellent hop complexity and balance; very smooth and crisp to drink. Extremely enjoyable.

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Photo of leaddog
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle; bottled on June 28, 2013

Appearance- Pours a light copper with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell- Caramalts, citrusy hops, pine resin, grapefruit, and tropical fruits.

Taste- Citrusy hops followed by caramalts and tropical fruits. Has a pleasant bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall- An excellent American IPA by Driftwood. This is amongst the top of the IPA's I have sampled from BC. Great to have sampled this fairly fresh. Worth a try if you stumble across it.

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Photo of byronic
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
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 BDTyre
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yum! A little bit more tame than Sartori, but a very powerful and hoppy IPA. Orangery-copper with a white head that is very chunky and clingy. Rich, hoppy smell. There is an initial hoppy blast followed up a sweet, bready malt. Citrusy, grassy fruit flavours. Malts are not dominant at all.

Good carbonation, very nice beer even in a 7% bomber.

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Photo of Tilly
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My brother brought me back 6 different IPA bombers from BC! This is one of THE better. (They were all pretty damn good. Ontario brewers could take a page out of these books!!!)

Golden blonde hazy pour with a thick foamy head with a strong retention. Aromas of hops, floral and citrus. Tastes not much different. Hops, lemon citrus and pine. Mouth feel is velvet, very unusual for an IPA. Nice back of the tongue bitterness.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh from a recent Kelowna trade, though nearing its Best Before Date.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden copper orange colour, solid two fingers of head with solid retention and some fine spotty lacing.

S - Scent is sweet, yet bold, loads of citrus, caramel, lemon grass, cedar, pineapple and a hint of soap.

T - Even with the age, this thing is loaded with hop flavours. The citrus notes dominate, some candied ginger, pineapple, earthy cedar and pine. A lip smacking bitterness lingers, though is nicely balanced with a bready caramel on the finish. It's hard to imagine that the flavours might improve had I gotten this bottle sooner because its absolutely fantastic.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and fairly dry on the finish.

O - There's a reason this is top rated. Driftwood never ceases to amaze me with the quality of their brews and this is no exception. If I had access, I would be buying this stuff (along with several of their other offerings) by the case.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice medium golden color with awesome clarity. One finger white head with great retention and lacing.

S: Piney hops with a touch of earthiness. Some caramel malts coming through. Lighter overall aroma.

T: Sweet caramel upfront. Piney hop flavor with touches of earthiness and some floral flavors. Bitterness is medium. Caramel comes back in the finish. Easily a 5 if bitterness was up.

M: Medium light body. Medium carbonation. Oily and slick. Dry finish. Awesome IPA mouthfeel.

O: A great IPA. Bitterness could be higher. Definitely try it if you have a chance.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

(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.

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Photo of draheim
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (best before 8/27/2012) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy golden orange w/ a rich thick frothy white head. Light passes through this beer in the strangest way, looks like a cats eye gemstone. Big chunks of sticky lace cling to the glass. A beautiful beer.

Aroma is tropical piney citrusy hops. Tangerines and pineapple too. To me, this beer smells exactly like Pliny the Elder - I'd have to do a side-by-side to detect any differences. In fact, aside from the slight haze (Pliny is usually very clear), this beer looks a lot like Pliny, complete w/ a head more reminiscent of a Belgian tripel. So far I'm very impressed.

Taste is just what I expected from the aroma. Pale dry biscuity malt, tropical citrusy hops that bring lots of orange and grapefruit, and a slight honey sweetness too. Finish is sharp, bitter and clean. A nice hint of booze too.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, a little oily.

Overall this is undeniably a great IPA - right up there w/ Pliny, Duet, Pure Hoppiness... impressive. The only downside here is the $10 price tag.

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Photo of RStansel
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the best Canadian IPA I've tasted, with a flavour profile reminiscent of Pliny. Honeydew, passion fruit, pine and caramel; thick, layered, intense, but extraordinarily balanced. Well done, Driftwood.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber purchased from Central City liquor store. Let's see how it compares to the coveted Red Racer IPA...

Appearance: Slightly orange. Poured smoothly to nice creamy head. Dissipates over time.

Smell: Pungent hoppy aroma. Not so much grapefruity like other IPA's. Green, piney hops with some biscuity notes.

Taste: Wow this is hoppy! Lots of grassy, piney hoppiness. Very indicative of a well balanced west coast IPA. Reminds me of Phillips Hop Circle and LaConner IPA.

Mouthfeel: Fat Tug definitely is a showcase for the IBU. All 80 (according to the bottle) come through strongly and boldly. Carbonation is spot on. Slight malty sweetness contrasts beautifully with the bitterness.

Drinkability: If this were available in 6-packs, it'd be dangerous stuff. The alc/vol is high yet subtle in the taste. And the bitterness keeps it interesting.

Overall: Another GREAT beer from Driftwood and yet another sign of the amazing BC craft beer scene. Tons of hops, and different enough from Red Racer to make it stand out on it's own as one of the great West Coast IPA's.

PS. Apologies to Driftwood for the constant comparison to Central City(however it's inevitable these days with Red Racer's reputation). Driftwood is truly an innovator and leader in the BC craft beer movement. This, along with their Sartori, definitely solidifies them as one of BC's best brewers.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.