Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

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105 Reviews
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Reviews: 105
Hads: 391
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 15.62%
Wants: 148
Gots: 92 | 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!
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Reviews: 105 | Hads: 391
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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Photo of RStansel
4.46/5  rDev +4%
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 Crazycanuck17
5/5  rDev +16.6%
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 Bunman3
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Definitely worth the wait. I believe I may have tried this beer several years ago while staying on Saltspring Island, but I can't be absolutely certain... Either way, the complexity of the hops in this brew is truly impressive. What I love is the dry, hoppy, "don't fuck with me, malt" finish. Fat Tug makes no concessions as it happily chugs along.

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Photo of Tilly
4.42/5  rDev +3%
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 biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. Always a treat to see a white whale emerge on the barren prairies.

This beer pours a hazy, pale golden amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, and mostly just bubbly off-white head, which leaves a stellar array of spindly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds off.

It smells of dank, piney forest floor hop bitters, plain grainy pale malt, mixed and muddled citrus rind, a mild flinty stoniness, some ethereal light orchard fruitiness, and a touch of estery alcohol. The taste is more gritty, grainy pale malt, a suggestion of biscuity caramel, peppy pine resin and citrus pith (white grapefruit and underripe navel orange, for the trainspotters), that same flinty essence carrying on from the nose, and a respectful cold steely alcohol, er, warming.

The bubbles are quite innocuous in their quotidian and frothy meanderings, the body a solid enough middleweight, and replete with a hollow-seeming smoothness. It finishes on a strong drying trend, the fruity and bitter green hop essences justifying their purported skin in the game.

Well, the long-term hype machine is justified, it would seem - this is a stand-up, big-boy hoppy IPA, the malt paid only contractual lip service (wait, whut?). Yeah, good 'n hoppy, in a rather complex manner, so much so, that Imma gonna have to procure at least a few more, um, 'test samples' for the coming backyard patio season.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 ML bottle
Served in a tulip glass

It is amber in color with a slight haze. It is topped with three inches of dirty white head the leaves some decent lacing.

I get some citrus with pine being more prominent then the Midwest IPA's that I am used to. The caramel malt is surprisingly apparent.

The malt is not apparent in the taste. This is an aggressively hopped beer. I tasted some citrus at the beginning, but the pine takes over more with each drink leaving a lingering resiny finish.

Medium mouthfeel

I enjoyed this beer so much while on vacation last September that I had to trade for it. Thanks Rutager!

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Photo of hotmailmsn
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7% ABV, 80+ ibu

O - my fav IPA so far. balance as the sweetness, maltyness, not to mention the bitterness which i enjoy the most!! Everybody has to try it once!! and you will not regret it.

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Photo of nmann08
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a bottle, unfortunately, wasn't super fresh. The beer pours a translucent gold color with a big fluffy off-white head.

The nose is still extremely pronounced, big citrus, grapefruit, a bit of pine and resin, and also just a bit of cardboard and sawdust must. The flavor is similar, great citrus notes, tropical fruit, resin, but a bit tanic.

Overall, I need to get my hands on a fresh bottle of this.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy yellow body with a thin white cap. Aromas of citrus, hops, melon. Tropical notes, hop forward. This isn’t a fresh bottle, but still holds up well. I’d love to try an uber fresh bottle. Very tasty.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beer is quite old, but still tasty even when the hops are mostly gone which is always the sign of a great beer. Can't do a real rating, just have this posted so I can seek it out.

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Photo of ziggig
4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
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 itchybumkin
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

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 MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Mason jar at Cask Days.

A - White foam settles to a persistent cap, leaving behind specks of lace. Transparent golden body.

S - Pine and grapefruit hops, with a touch of tropical fruit and a lightly browned sugar malt backdrop.

T - Hops dominate the flavor profile, with pine and grapefruit being the stars of the show again. Malt is a bit more neutral here, with a surprisingly aggressive bitterness rearing its head. The 80+ IBUs listed seems about right.

M - Medium body, with a soft, pleasant texture, low carbonation, and a dry finish. Some lingering hop oils on the palate.

D - A good IPA in the Sculpin vein. I'd buy this if it were available locally, as I think it's stronger than any of the Ontario year-rounds. Still, I think Castor Yakima was the superior beer.

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Photo of Kenmac19
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

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 Bugs318
4/5  rDev -6.8%

A: clear light amber to copper colour, with a fair creamy white head comprised of thick bubbles.
S: Not as aromatic as expected. Mild after another IPA, but some citrus rind, hints of pine wood and some pineapple.
T: Not much malt, as it offers just the slightest trace before piney, resinous dryness, with just a trace of rind and papaya. Fairly bold and lengthy linger.
M: A touch oily, with some creaminess and moderate carbonation.
O: A bold west coast IPA, could use more citrus for me personally, but pretty fine example puff the style.

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Photo of Ericbeech_87
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
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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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 105 ratings.