Fat Tug IPA - Driftwood Brewery

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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

99 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 99
Hads: 371
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 7.41%
Wants: 144
Gots: 84 | 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: 99 | Hads: 371
Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bone white head on a clear golden yellow body. Sticky ass lackg.

Fresh grapefruit. Very light on the nose, in a good way...whatever that means.

Bright citrus, think lemons and oranges. Above average bitterness.

High carbonation works well. Medium mouthfeel.

Well made beer. I think if the bitterness was toned down a bit I would like it more but the way it is sets it apart. All hail Fat Tug! Thanks egrace84. (413 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 ritzkiss
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before: 01/04/12 - surprise by my lovely wife from her recent trip to Victoria.

Pours a cloudy, orange - almost Nestea like in the way it fades at the bottom of the glass. Thin head, not much there but manages to throw some patches of lacing.

Nose is sweet and tropical, hints of citrus rind and pine. West-coast influenced all the way, aromatic but not perhaps as involved and complex as some exemplars.

Wonderful mix of tropical hops and bittering pine and grapefruit rind in the flavor, leaning to pine. Still a nice caramel sweet backdrop with hints of papaya and pineapple, malt is not too heavy though - lets the hops shine as the star, resiny and full of hop-burp goodness. Just a hint of alcohol in there as well, pretty smooth body, light carbonation. Great IPA, would by my go to I think - along with Red Racer. Canadian standout. (848 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 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for sharing this beer! Thanks elliot!

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 7/22/12.

Appearance: golden yellow bodied beer with 2 fingers of white head.

Smell: Pine, grapefruits, and other general citrusy notes.

Taste: Pine and grapefruit start things off. mild to moderate bitterness. Grassy and floral notes in the middle of the beer. Mellow pine needle notes finish this beer off.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. appropriate for the style.

Overall: This is a really awesome brew! Its a really solid hoppy beer! This is my ssecond driftwood beer and they make some delicious beer! (651 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 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 buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
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! (616 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -1.9%
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. (205 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber into a pint glass, thanks to psiweaver for the opportunity to try this generous extra via a recent trade. No freshness dating to be found and it appears to be filtered/no sediment in the bottle.

This brew appears a clear color of copper with a creamy topping of 2 fingers worth of rich yellowish stained head. There is a light amount of haze keeping this brew from being perfectly clear and bubbles rise to the surface in support of the head. As the cap slowly fades, it produces patches and spots of lacework all over the glass.

The aroma of this brew is bright citrus hop notes that come across with a touch of pine and resinous rindy characteristics. There is a mild catty scent that dare i say suggests a touch of stinky cheese in there as well. A touch of grassiness lingers throughout which adds some nice depth. Overall quite enjoyable. As it warms, it picks up some toasted caramel malt scents that provide a light sweetness to this brew's scent.

The taste of this brew is bitter with a rindy touch that immediately draws thoughts of alcohol grapefruit juice upon my first sip. It lingers with a resinous cling inside the mouth that turns a bit catty mixed with grassy notes but maintains a bitter fruity flavor consistently. There is a very mild sweetness to this brew that is a cross between rindy fruits like grapefruit and a sweetness somewhat like a toasted type of caramel malt. This brew finishes crisp and refreshing which is interesting for something in the 7% range.

There is a solid warming factor from the alcohol's inclusion, that 7% abv is felt through and through without any suppression. However, the alcohol is well integrated and enjoyable with the flavors that exist. It is medium bodied and modestly carbonated. Overall well balanced and enjoyable, I would certainly drink this again if given the opportunity. (1,849 characters)

Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

another bottle that Viggo brought over. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled jan 9/2011.

pours nearly clear deep gold with a big dense cream coloured head. the head drops slowly and leaves plenty of lace as it falls.

aroma is great. resiny pine. grapefruit and orange. bit of tangerine. honey and caramel. bit of toffee. white bread and cracker. bit of biscuit. hint of alcohol. lightly spicy.

taste is good. just over medium bitterness level. resiny pine and grapefruit. orange. bit of tangerine. slightly powdery. light alcohol. white bread and cracker. bit of biscuit. spicy and slightly earthy hop character too, a neat blend of english and american traits.

mouthfeel is good. just over medium body, but with a nice dry finish. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. nice balance. good hop depth. a tasty ipa! (826 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled November 26, 2013.

Beer is clear amber, with a small off-white head. Head fades fairly quickly, leaves a bit of lace,

Nose is very juicy and hoppy. Orange is very strong, with some grapefruit. Quite a citrus scent. Also a tropical component. Some caramel malt is there, providing some balance.

Taste is similar to the nose. A good mix of citrus and tropical fruit flavours, with a tilt towards the tropical this time. Grapefruit, papaya, mango, orange. Moderately bitter. A fairly robust malt component for the style, a nice caramel base, providing a notable sweet balance. Very good.

Medium bodied, strongly carbonated. Oily and a bit chewy. Good, but the carbonation could be turned down a bit.

Overall, very good. Not quite as explosively good as I had hoped for, but very enjoyable and something that I could imagine drinking a lot of- it goes down very easily. More malt than expected, but I like it. (918 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 MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -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. (778 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
4.19/5  rDev -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. (349 characters)

Photo of LazyL
4.17/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing special about the colour, a very pale orange, but nice off white head that stook around for a while.
The nose has honey and grapefruit notes, subtle pine, orange maybe vanilla.
The taste is great. The label says shwack o' hops, and they are right, but at 80 IBU's they arent over the top. Creamy, well balanced, bitterness is pleasing and not overpowering.
This is a good beer. Red Racer might have just gotten a little more competition.
Driftwood is definately becoming a player. Recomended next time your craving a little hop. (537 characters)

Photo of Moose90
4.16/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
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! (926 characters)

Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (636 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (585 characters)

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 biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (1,397 characters)

Photo of IllNate
4.14/5  rDev -4.2%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.13/5  rDev -4.4%
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. (476 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)

Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
95 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.