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Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
134 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
134
Ratings:
497
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
15.42%
 
 
Wants:
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Gots:
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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: 134 | Ratings: 497
Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
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 LiquidAmber
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of TDotScott
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
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 1stOffender
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favourite BC beer of all time. It was the first real IPA I ever had and nothing can prepare a person for what that introduction is like. The intensity and balance of the citrusy, hoppy grapefruit and melon was like meeting a beautiful woman...you'll never forget that first time. In fact, it was Fat Tug that led me down the road of loving craft beer and the desire to try everything else in a brown bottle with the hopes to re-live that experience over again. Thank you Driftwood and thank you Billy Miner Pub. I love you both...

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Photo of portwood
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
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 LampertLand
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Driftwood Brewery 'Fat Tug IPA' @ 7.0% , served from a growler purchased for $12 , and had on tap or can be found in 650 ml bottle's for about $6

A-pour is a light gold from the growler to a clear amber in the glass with a big frothey off-white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-citrus with a hint of pine , fresh

T-crisp & clean , big malt base , citrus with more pine coming thru in the taste

MF-ok/good carbonation , good full body

Ov-great beer , world class IPA , plus it's local , gotta love the Canadian side of the PNW

prost LampertLand

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Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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

The much anticipated IPA from Driftwood...

A: Clear gold with a white head, great retention and lacing.

S: Huge, perfumy aroma. Plenty of tangerine and grapefruit rind, floral, pine and a little cattiness.

T: Pine, grapefruit rind, nectarine, tangerine, assertive bitterness, candied pineapple, sponge toffee, mild alcohol, great stuff!

M: Moderate body is smooth, with a modest carbonation and a light hop acidity.

D: If you're a hop head and think 7% isn't sessionable, THINK AGAIN!

This is right up there with Red Racer... a hop lovers dream. I'm not sure if there's quite as much finishing (aroma) hops, but there's plenty of flavour and a bit more bitterness.

An all-around great brew!

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Photo of smekermann
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at a BCLS earlier this wonderful evening. Unfortunately, Driftwood doesn't yet date their bottles, so I have no idea how fresh this is. Given that this IPA is somewhat hop-heavy, that is somewhat important and should probably be rectified sooner rather than later.

I'm fairly familiar with this beer. Actually, I guess I should rephrase that: I thought I was familiar with this beer. It had a nice hop profile and proved to be really easy drinking for being 7% ABV, although as time went on, I found it to be somewhat bottom-heavy. The initial mouthfeel was great, but the aftertaste was a bit too bitter and not as crisp as some of the IPAs I'd had from the golden land of Californy. In the interim, I even took a trip down to San Francisco in January and overloaded on some pretty amazing IPAs and DIPAs. I came back to BC thinking that BC IPAs would never compare to the stuff I'd had down there. For the most part, I was right. Central City IPA was a bit too malty and I had to double check the can to make sure I didn't pick up the ESB on accident, the hop profile being less impressive than I had remembered; Switchback IPA was better, with a nice hop profile, citrusy and piny and crisp, although it had a very familiar beta acid bitterness on the end of the aftertaste.

And then I finally found a bottle of Fat Tug IPA. I approached it with apprehension. Before my trip to CA, I viewed it as a great IPA -- one of the best brewed in BC, alongside Hop Therapy (different classes, obviously). I didn't want to ruin that impression. As it turns out, my fears were completely misplaced, because this is an even better beer than I remembered it to be. I'm not sure if it was just because I had a really fresh bottle (and with BCLS, it's really hard to tell, not to mention they don't refrigerate their beers) or they tweaked the recipe or what, but it surprised the hell out of me.

The appearance is a somewhat hazy golden amber with a pretty great off-white head and lacing on the glass. The initial smell is a gorgeous citrusy hop smell, with some bready malts way at the back. The taste is really crisp citrus hops. As you allow the taste to permeate, you begin to notice a fairly solid malt backing that adds a great balance to the beer (something that I'd never really noticed before). The aftertaste was surprisingly light and fairly crisp. Like I said, this was pretty astounding to me as I remember the aftertaste being a lot heavier and way more bitter but, again, I'm not sure if it's just due to the fact that I had a really fresh bottle or if Driftwood tweaked their recipe any. Driftwood plz add bottling dates to your IPAs ok thanks :(

Overall, I'm really glad I revisited this beer. It used to be really good for BC IPAs, now I can say with certainty that it's better than most of the IPAs I've had in the Pacific Northwest and maybe only a notch or so below the best (single) IPAs found in Southern California. This seems like a somewhat back-handed compliment but it really isn't. Trust me.

Edit: as of March 2013, Driftwood has started printing bottling dates on the cap of their beers. Truly the Best Brewery.

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

650ml bottle poured into tulip april16 2011

A clear orange copper with decent carbonation feeding a solid two fingers of off white that retains quite well and leaves lots of scattered lace

S citric hops are very apparent, pineapple, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime and the list goes on in terms of tropical fruit. There's also a little spring forest both pine and just a little spruce, zero booze and just enough malty toffee to keep the hops from having complete control

T thankfully it mimics the smell quite well but with more citric rind opposed to the fruity flesh, pretty solid IPA going on here and I'm proud of the fact this is from my preferred side of the border because it could hold its own against anything from state side

M medium bodied and has a nice bitter bite without stripping the enamel off my teeth, flavors linger and the carbonation's just right

O zero flaws and close to perfection in many areas, I could drink myself stupid with this beer without thinking twice if I only had the chance here in Alberta

this really is a kick ass IPA from "our" West Coast, an IPA and 1/2 perhaps and oh so worth seeking out. An entire bomber went down in no time flat and if I had regular access to this I'd be drinking it daily. If your an agent reading this DO WHAT EVER YOU CAN TO GET THIS BEER/BREWERY IN YOUR ALBERTA PORTFOLIO, if your just a geek off the street drink this every time you get the chance. Did I mention chickenm is the man for getting this bad boy into my filthy hands?

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Photo of SebD
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: It has a nice hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves great lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, grapefruit and pineapple (very tropical), piney resins and sweet caramelly malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some nice citrus and grapefruit notes, some pineapple, a nice resiny pine bitterness, some breadiness and sweet caramelly malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Jfriz25
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Slightly murky yellow with hints of orange. Nice white head that leaves great lacing.

Smell- Sweet malt, pine, and a little booze. It's always a good sign when the smell wafts out of the bottle as soon as you open it.

Taste- If I had a complaint it would be that it is a touch one note, mostly pine. It is impressively crisp and dry with zero booze despite being 7%

Mouthfeel- This might be the highlight of the beer. I love a nice crisp clean IPA and this certainly fits the bill. It is heavy enough to be satisfying but light enough where it isn't coating your mouth.

Overall- Really glad I got to try this one; it definetly should be in the conversation of best IPA. It reminded me most of older Pliny where the tropical fruit is gone and the pine starts coming through.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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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Photo of biegaman
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fat Tug IPA is a clear, copper wire coloured ale with the complexion of ghee (clarified butter). Such a tone, though clean, turns transparency into mere translucency; it's like looking through a block of ice. Its head is built like a wrestler - stout and thick - and piledrives foam onto the glass.

The nose boasts papaya and mango in both their fresh, vividly citric as well as candied, dried states. There's also an accompanying cast of grapefruit, melon, lime, lychee and even a spritz of guava. It is a market of exotic, tropical fruits with an overlay of dank, grassy herbals.

The flavour is so full of pine needles, lawn clippings and orange wedges that all the honey and eggbread flavour from the malts goes largely unnoticed. Even as far as sweetness goes, the candied citrus and guava notes are right on par with any notions of caramel or toffee.

For the craft beer lover, hops reach the brain's pleasure zones via the same neurological circuitry as salt, sugar, or fat - it's an innate craving that provides an immediate hit. And like the latter, sometimes you just can't get enough. Fat Tug IPA certainly hits that 'bliss point'.

It was some time before Canadian brewers offered the same kind of juicy, citric IPAs that made their American counterparts famous - those days are over. Between Driftwood's Fat Tug and Central City's Red Racer, I don't think one even has to leave the province of British Columbia!

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" creamy white and soapy head over cloudy amber liquid.

S: Citrus and pine hops and the smell of malt. Very refreshing and clean smelling.

T: Front loaded with pine and bitter hops, and backloaded with a malty and nutty aftertaste.

M: Medium thickness, and medium carbonation.

O: Refreshing IPA,with piney and purfumey hops. Not a session beer.

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Photo of 6pkhbt
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of RStansel
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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 souvenirs
4.45/5  rDev +4%
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 +4%
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 doughanson78
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Tilly
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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 andrenaline
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of byronic
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
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 +2.8%
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 Eamonn-Cummings3
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
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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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.