1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

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

288 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 288
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.35
pDev: 8.05%
Wants: 125
Gots: 42 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 288 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Exeter
4/5  rDev -8%

Exeter, Sep 23, 2013
Photo of deNevers
4/5  rDev -8%

deNevers, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of arvsharma
4/5  rDev -8%

Fantastic IPA

arvsharma, Sep 03, 2014
Photo of nanobrew
4/5  rDev -8%

nanobrew, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of beertunes
4/5  rDev -8%

beertunes, May 20, 2013
Photo of sippysappyday
4/5  rDev -8%

sippysappyday, Sep 13, 2014
Photo of Oidmoe
4/5  rDev -8%

Oidmoe, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of KStark
4/5  rDev -8%

KStark, May 10, 2013
Photo of tom10101
4/5  rDev -8%

tom10101, Oct 03, 2013
Photo of JayAre46
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

JayAre46, May 12, 2011
Photo of StJamesGate
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

StJamesGate, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of Smurf2055
4.05/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Smurf2055, May 28, 2013
Photo of BarrytheBear
4.08/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

BarrytheBear, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of korguy123
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

korguy123, May 15, 2012
Photo of Jadjunk
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
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

Jadjunk, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

peensteen, Apr 24, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
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!

smakawhat, Oct 08, 2012
Photo of papat444
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

papat444, Oct 12, 2011
Photo of liamt07
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

liamt07, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of Florida9
4.13/5  rDev -5.1%
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.

Florida9, May 20, 2012
Photo of Intrinsic
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Intrinsic, Dec 26, 2011
Photo of Mficke
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%

Mficke, Aug 23, 2014
Photo of IllNate
4.16/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

IllNate, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a nice glowing orange with good carbonation, nice white cap and some good lacing

S: Melon and citrus dominate but it was oretty subtle overall

T: Starts out with a nice melon note blended and followed by some orange peel, light grapefruit on a caramel bread base. A good but subtle hop bite resides, especially mid body and finish. Booze is nicely displayed but balanced.

M: Medium bodied, balanced, tasty, well carbonated

O: Good to very good. A treat to drink.

barleywinefiend, Jun 01, 2012
Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
96 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.