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Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

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95
world-class
132 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
132
Ratings:
489
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
15.38%
 
 
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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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!

Added by ericj551 on 10-26-2010

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Reviews: 132 | Ratings: 489
Photo of portwood
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell: orange peel, grapefruit, pine needle, slight musty/dank note. Taste: bittersweet, creamy mouth feel & carbonation. Finish: pine resin, caramel, fruity hop bitterness. (bottled 10/20/15)
Nicely balanced between bitter, sweet, resiny, juicy citrus flavors.

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Photo of farrago
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A standard pour action yields half a pint glass of foam, gigantic head, soufflé styled airiness, eggshell white hue, hilly surface, retention is excellent, once there’s any head space for lacing to appear it forms randomly spread out dots rather than streaks, like tiny clouds on a sun streaked day. Fully hazy liquid, opaque with an orange base that fades to yellow near the glass bottom or surface, close to no visible bubbles. The nose has a relaxed fullness to it, heavy on the malts with cocoa, milk balls, scone to breakfast danish flake breadiness, even the pine seems friendly, a little more tingle from the mixed white citrus, the fruit slightly reduced to an apricot or peach paste, sugary pineapple, the herbaceous element seems more clean than dank. Full-bodied, creamy and pushes out against either cheek, here the carbonation is a soft, steady pressure. Some molasses and caramel mixed in with the chocolate malt base, the breadiness a greater factor here. Develops more sour orange to tangerine than grapefruit citrus, the pine paired with greater earthiness. Again, though, the beer is clean and never approaches astringent dryness. Apricot, peach, cantaloupe, pear fruit of understated length. Deserves merit for drinkability as well as not showing off.

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Photo of HiWire
3.75/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy orange with 1 1/2 finger head, clear up after sitting. Great head retention. Smells earthy, tea leaf, minor sweetness. Tastes of tea leaf. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Finishes with a very small bitterness.

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Photo of Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A challenger for the best Canadian IPA I had thus far. Nice head retention and creamier than any other IPA out there. The taste is wonderful. Think Sip of Sunshine, with the refreshing balance of grapefruit and mango (possibly). A winner!

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Photo of SSS
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dank with a spicy note, almost like from a Belgium style wheat beer
S-Golden yellow, almost glowing, white head lingers for a little while, great lacing
M-Chewy character that is enjoyable, medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation that all work well
T-Sweet upfront with a resinous aftertaste that coats the mouth with a very pleasurable bitterness that stays with you for a while
O-This is a great beer. On the dank side of the spectrum, think Stone IPA. Excellent brew.

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Photo of staubot
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Full thick frothy head that laces and lasts the whole drink. Could smell the hops in this one from a foot away even through the thick head, get you excited to dig into it. Tastes balanced without overwhelming bitterness. Citrus, pine hops. Feels smooth with enough carbonation to know its there. Good presentation and overall does not let you down when you follow your nose.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy medium to dark honey orange in color with moderate to heavy amounts of fine active carbonation and some moderate copper + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a medium sized half finger thick cap towards the center of the glass surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pine/resin/dank hops with moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit rind and herbal hops over the top of grainy malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of grainy + caramel malts with a moderate amount of brown sugar sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit, citrus/grapefruit rind, pine/resin/dank, and herbal hops which contribute a moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Chewy with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and I wonder how great this one would be really fresh... Really nice hop flavors and aromas with a nice combination of citrus and pine. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol and a pretty decent balance of initial sweetness and lingering bitterness.

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Photo of D-HopSupreme
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy straw body with a pearly white head and lots of lacing. The scent brings up strong notes of passion fruit and melon along with citrus, and a bit of a pine character. The taste is immensely bitter with a citrus rind finish, with very little malt character. The feel is alright, with dominant bitterness and a fairly creamy body. Overall a lovely IPA, I'm quite happy by it. Very nice a clean, though slightly heavy.

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

This is pretty nice ipa. nothing amazing, but pretty good overall. Nice hop flavor with mild bittering hops. Decent aroma and pretty low malt. Overall would buy again

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Photo of akdo
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: The body is transparent and amber. There is a visible on-going and static carbonation. The beer produces a three-finger white head that is not just creamy, but also foamy on the top. As the beer is consumed, it leaves resilient traces of head that take ages to disappear.

Smell: The nose has notes of zests of citrus, mangos and a little bit of pine woods.

Taste: This IPA is well balanced. The malts have a taste of mango, peach and a little bit of honey. The finish tasted like smoked hops and there was a little bit of spice because of the subtle carbonation. The pine woods come in.

Feel: The beer is full-bodied. Despite its high volume alcohol, the warmth of the alcohol is barely felt on the taste buds as well as in the throat, which is unusual for an IPA. This is the most bitter Canadian IPA I have ever had. Although the beer is dry, it is not astringent and it barely dehydrate the mouth.

Overall: For a North American beer, this beer stood out because of its perfect head retention. Each flavour has the right amount of time to shine before making a transition to another flavour. I would recommend it.

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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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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 132 ratings.