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Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

Not Rated.
Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

103 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 103
Hads: 384
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 7.41%
Wants: 142
Gots: 88 | 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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 103 | Hads: 384
Photo of Florida9
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (889 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev 0%
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. (433 characters)

Photo of korguy123
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
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. (754 characters)

Photo of TriggerFingers
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a bona fide IPA junkie....

this one is eerily similar to Great Divide's Titan IPA that I had while at the GD Brewery in Denver 2 days prior (although I think the Titan is a tad better). Fat Tug is a little more "tinny tasting"--which could be the tap to bottle discrepancy?

had this one out of a chilled bomber in the hotel room in Vancouver, BC....

Very nice IPA....

good? yep

great? perhaps

epic? sadly, no

but, if you want a good example of what an IPA should be, you would be hard pressed to do better than the Fat Tug if you are up in B.C. ....its legitimate, that is for sure!

B+/A- all day long! (616 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
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. (698 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (1,015 characters)

Photo of draheim
4.45/5  rDev +3%
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. (1,057 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
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. (1,244 characters)

Photo of NoHipTee
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (390 characters)

Photo of sukwonee
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two 22oz bottles purchased for around $10 (very expensive!!) at a local Whole Foods. There is no best before date or bottled date, but I know this is fresh because I go to this particular Whole Foods about 2-3 times a week (and I picked this up as soon as I saw it on the shelf).

As far as I know, Metro Seattle is the only place in the US that gets beers from Driftwood - so I feel very lucky (this, one along with two others - Singularity & Old Cellar Dweller, is amazing!)

A: It looks good. Nice lacing. One finger head. Burnt orange color.

S: Grapefruit, Pine, Peach, Floral, Orange? maybe

T: Starts with hop bitterness and then followed by sweetness, then finishes with lingering bitterness. Grapefruit, Pine, a bit of peach. Even 2-3 minutes after my last sip, I can taste this beer in my mouth. Well balanced too I would add.

M: Low carbonation (smooth), Medium-to-full body.

O: I really liked this beer. I enjoyed this better than the Red Racer IPA (Which is another great IPA from Canada). Seek this one out! Driftwood is becoming one of my fav breweries with its offerings! (1,091 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
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!!! (556 characters)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The colour is incredible - similar to the yellow orange of wet cedar wood. Poured with 3 fingers of head which quickly dissipated leaving a thin lawyer at the surface. Low carbonation.

S: Bold pine wood resin & grapefruit rind, you can tell the Humulus Lupulus is a member of the Cannabaceae family, there's a subtle hint of cannabis scent.

T: Starts out with a sweet caramel/malts and quickly followed by citrus rind, pine saps and a mild soapy taste. Aftertaste of hoppy bitters lingers and lingers, sticking like chewing on grapefruit rind.

M: Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

O: Bold IPA in both flavour and smell. Excellent IPA and delicious with a spicy meal. (679 characters)

Photo of CliffBrake
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Coreylag for the chance to try this one. Cheers!

Bright orange with a long lasting billowy head that leaves gobs of sticky lacing.

Light citrus and caramel aroma. Although the nose is a little understated, there is plenty of flavor to make up for it. Mango and spicy hops, bordering on ginger, with a piney finish. Bright varied hop flavors on a firm dry malt base.

Medium body with good carbonation and a light peppery finish. Overall, a great IPA that is easy to drink and has plenty of hoppy layers to keep the interest high. (543 characters)

Photo of andrenaline
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (969 characters)

Photo of 6pkhbt
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer and among the best IPAs I've ever had. A fine evolution as well as, to my taste, it was nowhere near this good when it first came out. Nice clean sweet malt character without the overuse of darker coloured malts. Beautiful citrus hopping with some pungent higher alpha content. Slight protien and yeast haze that roughs up and dulls the hop clarity somewhat however.

A beautiful beer when fresh and that is the key. I've had huge variability with the bottled version from fresh and delicious to oxidized and returned. I personally can't abide oxidized character in hoppy beers so I watch the date code carefully now which unfortunately here is a best before type instead of a production date type. The latter is much more informative, but I should be thankful I have one at all. (807 characters)

Photo of loren01
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Picked this up at NW liquid gold. Pours a nice clear orange color with frothy white head great lacing down the glass
S: Wow...this smells really good. Very citrusy, also some pineapple scent in there.
T: Tons of pine and citrusy flavors, just a bit of sweet malt up front but dominated by a bit hop bite
M: Medium bodied beer. Oily mouthfeel
O: This is one of the best IPA's i have had in a long time. Great stuff. (417 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, consumed during the super bowl

GO GIANTS

from notes

appearance: served in my delirium chalice, glowing orange-amber body, frothy beige lace

smell: fresh citrus zest, some of that lovely NW pine, tangerine, honey, black peppered cracker

taste: bright fresh flavors - citrus zest, ruby red grapefruit, spruce and pine, pepper, crackery malts, the perfect touch of sweetness and alcohol. The hops are clean and fresh - another fantastic IPA from north of the border

mouthfeel: fresh and vibrant

overall: great stuff (532 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
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. (474 characters)

Photo of djbreezy
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - brilliant transparent orange, graceful white head, strong retention, beautiful sticky lacing

smell - citrus and grapefruit hop notes, tropical

taste - a burst of tropical hops with pineapple and dominant grapefruit flavors, hop forward with some mild malt body, orange peel on the finish

mouthfeel - medium body, slick, bubbly carbonation, slightly dry finish

overall - flavorful hops that provide a nice grapefruit/orange flavor balance, west coast style ipa, highly enjoyable, unbelievable flavor for a single ipa (532 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.54/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven imperial pint glass. Pours a medium orange amber with a one finger fine off-white head with good retention and nice lacing. Whooee, a delicious aroma of herbal hops, pineapple and light fruit wafted from the glass as I poured this ale, one of the more complex aromatic IPAs I've run into. The flavor does not disappoint from the tempting pour. Caramel malt, intense piney and herbal hops tapering into a citrusy malt and hop finish leaving pleasant hop aftertaste. Medium bodied with a hint of creaminess. Very nicely done and could give many imperial IPAs a run for their money. Good job. I've really enjoyed everything from this brewery. (665 characters)

Photo of doughanson78
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
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. (608 characters)

Photo of McBastard
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650 ml bomber into a nonic pint glass.

Pours a beautiful dark honey color, with a nice creamy head that leaves lacing down the glass. Smells predominantly of citrus and resin. The flavors are grapefruit and pine, with a underlying floral sweetness. Has a dry, bitter finish, a with lightly malty, boozy aftertaste. Rather light bodied, with medium carbonation. Altogether, one of BC's most complex, hoptastic IPAs. A great offering from a very promising little brewery. I wish the folks at Driftwood would hit us with a dark IPA already... (554 characters)

Photo of Intrinsic
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
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. (594 characters)

Photo of timtwoface
4.94/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely love this beer. Of all the IPAs out there (not the doubles), this is my current favourite, and has been for a while. It's extremely hoppy at 80 IBUs, but very easy to drink and goes great with any hearty meal - or it goes great with eating nothing at all. It really packs a nice sufficient punch by the end but you can't help but go back for more. This might very well be my favourite beer from any BC brewery at this moment; I'm blessed that I can find this in liquor stores and on tap in the area, even if you have to pay a bit of a premium at $6.50 per 650mL for it.

At a penny a millilitre, it's worth it, 100%. Do yourself a favour and check it out. (668 characters)

Photo of beerSexualizer
4.95/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love the s*** out of the beer. I first had it about a year ago but it is unavailable here in Toronto so I stocked up on my last trip to BC. Driftwood is one of the best breweries in Canada because the beers are true to their styles and consistent.

So, this beer is a textbook IPA. The colour is a fine hazy apricot with white head.

The complex smells are rad: citrus, resin, peaches, subtle ammonia.

It tastes of grapefruit, tangerine, with a lingering herbaceous and dominant bittering. The flavour arrives in waves first with a grapefruit, citrus flood surge followed by a light refreshing ebb and finally you get the tsunami of bitter. F**k yeah!

The mouth feel is pleasingly dry based on a 7% abv (which is well hidden otherwise) and generous hopping.

Now as far as presentation goes they do a great job. They have unique graphic design and plastic easy to peal labels the likes of which I haven't seen before. The bottles are exclusively in the 650ml format and away you f**king go.

When its done you will think to yourself "Man, I could really treat myself to a nice Fat Tug right now"

Drink this well balanced IPA work of art with spicy curry and enjoy your burps. Thank me later. (1,199 characters)

Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.