Fat Tug IPA
Driftwood Brewery

Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA
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Style:
American IPA
Ranked #48
ABV:
7%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,050
Avg:
4.27 | pDev: 8.67%
Reviews:
179
Ratings:
704
From:
Driftwood Brewery
 
British Columbia, Canada
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  158
Gots
  203
SCORE
95
World-Class
Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA
Notes: 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: 179 | Ratings: 704
Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Swans Brewery taproom on Vancouver Island.
Pours clear golden with excellent clarity and a durable head.
The aroma is hippy and complex. The flavor is milder than the aroma suggests.
Near moderately strong flavor for style and moderate bitterness.

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Photo of arizcards
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed an imperial pint at Milestones on Victoria B.C.'s inner harbor for $5.50 CD on 5-23-19.

Beer was served golden with a nice white head that left rings in my pint.

Nose was of some citrus and tropical hops.

Taste was some grapefruit and papaya over a medium malt base. Finish was moderate pine; 4/10 on the bitterness scale.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and pretty refreshing.

Overall a decent beer that was fun to try.

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Photo of NordicIslander
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Fridge bound for 3 hours then poured into a tulip. Deep golden hue. Pleasing white, frothy 2 finger foam. Hoppy goodness abounds but no lingering aftertaste. Each mouthful finishes clean with no burn or shuddering because of bitterness. ZERO boozieness taste but a definite hop smash.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful crisp clear light amber the colour of apple juice. Fluffy white head with sticky lacing.

Nose has a lead in of sweet malts... can't quite nail it down. It's got elements of honey and caramel and berry juiciness. Blends in to the hop notes of floral and nectar and some earthy dankness into pine. There's something unique in there though that I can't quite nail down.

The sip brings more of the hop character forward with citrus and some earthy hop notes that aren't quite pine aren't quite grassy, maybe almost kind of floral in the delicate nature... and eventually ending up in pine and citrus. Nice dull bitter finish that lingers.

Super smoothe, this thing is disappearing from my glass more quickly than I intend. Very easy to drink, though the alcohol, while not exorbitant by any means, does start to creep in towards the bottom of the glass.

Another enjoyable Canadian brew from my recent trip north of the border.

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Photo of Beginner2
3.59/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap @ Tap & Barrel North Vancouver (a spectacular repurposing of building that served shipbuilders).
I know this is Driftwood's money-maker, but Fat Tug has a bit too much bite for me. (80 IBU is well above my threshold.)

My first from Driftwood, I went on their website and found it interesting how they grew from a micro-micro on Vancouver Island to being competitive on the mainland. Another beer story that is not done !

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Photo of Bear1964
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this fresh from the tap in the Breakwater Bar and Grill (cafe) in Victoria BC, it was refreshing after a long day on the cruise ship. A lot of people expect a super hop bomb with every IPA and miss the true beauty of the style, this one was refreshing and had the perfect hop bite. While lacking much of a head the flavor was solid and had a medium mouthfeel with slightly firm aftertaste which cleared before the next sip, a very easy drinking brew that would be good anytime. Overall I enjoyed this beer and only wish I could’ve had a few more!

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Photo of fsuturp
1.18/5  rDev -72.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I may have gotten an expired bottle. Not sure bc there was no date. This was undrinkable. Sorry. All I drink are ipa's. I know ipa! This was no ipa. Wish I could try a fresh one just to make sure. I had to pour this out.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

definitely one of the better hoppy beers i had in ontario last week, very west coast, which is a refreshing change of pace from the new school juice bomb wannabes and the overly english influenced examples of the style that seem far more common around the province. this is still pretty malty, with a light copper shine to it from the tap and plenty of body. its not sweet though, which is the key, and while there is of course a light crystal character to it, its simple and cleaned up well by the basically flavorless ale yeast. it would be bland or even dumbed down tasting to me if it werent for all these hops! huge aromatics of cut pine and tangerine rise up, something a little more tropical too, and a sweet oily freshness makes it sink in in the flavor, it comes early and stays late, and its backed up by fairly robust bitterness on the finish, still in nice balance, but this is more like a classic california ipa than anything else i found on my trip. drinkable for its strength and heft, felt kind of wintery to me, but its winter now, so that works. cool beer, maybe a little overrated as its not the most original thing out there, but its a darn fine beer. i wish i got my lips on more driftwood stuff while i was up there...

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Photo of Beerbuds
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Looks radiantly cloudy yellow.

Smell: Piney with citrus notes and sweet melons

Taste: Tastes of pine up front that mellows into a sweet citrus/grapefruit and melon backbone.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden color with white head. Aroma has some butter biscuits and resiny hops and some overripe tropical fruits. Taste follows with buttery notes but not in a bad way at all. Towards the finish it gets quite bitter with lingering grapefruit notes. Medium body and carbonation. Quite good overall, a more old school take on an IPA but I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.02/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Reviewed from (long-standing) notes. Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into an unmarked pint glass.

A: Very hazy orange-gold, with a low level of visible carbonation after the initial blush fades. Forms about a finger’s worth of white head with good retention.

S: Citrus rind, sticky pine, and biscuit malts with significant amount of caramel sweetness. Smells like a standard of a bygone era of IPAs.

T: The bitterest of grapefruit pith, and caramelized malts with accompanying big malty sweetness. Resinous bitterness as well. There’s a weird vegetal flavor – I think it's coming from the hops, but it's unwelcome here...almost plasticky. A significant bitterness in the hang, but not completely over the top, with some citrus pith flavors.

M: Average body for style. The alcohol presence is low. Low carbonation sensation.

O: I was surprised to see the ratings this beer has. Maybe there was something wrong with this bottle, but this isn't good. It's not quite a drain pour to me, but it's an "actively avoid" in the way of advice. First, there are many better IPAs and DIPAs available wherever you live. Secondly, the hop profile is completely boring – or at least old-school – but not really well done even with that as a standard. Plus the caramel malts are my least favorite IPA character. Lastly, the weird vegetal/plasticky flavor is off-putting. I'm still not sure where it's coming from, but it's not good. Anyway, drinkable at best...but not by much.

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Photo of Jtee
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a 650ml bottle served almost straight from the fridge at 10 degrees Celsius into a stemmed IPA glass. Best before date Dec.6.2017 which makes me think the bottle has been sitting at the LCBO shelves for a while. Out of the two dates I found this one was later in the year. Fingers crossed.

Look: The beer pours a slightly veiled amber with 6cm of moussy, rocky, tan head that settles into a craggy though solid cap within 5+ minutes. Good lacing with persistent retention. Great-looking beer.

Smell: Leaning towards mild intensity and sharp balance. Dominating hops with a faint, supportive pale malt. Pungent with resinous pine, citrusy grapefruit, and a faint, perfumy floral character. I really like it but I wish it hit me slightly harder. I'm also noticing a faint, fatty, cheesy off-note that makes me suspect a form of contamination. Since the bottle is only a few months away from expiry, who knows what the beer has gone through at this point.

Taste: Moderate strength and bitter. Very much in line with the aroma. Hop-forward with notes of resinous pine, citrusy grapefruit, and tropical fruit. The finish is of medium length and bitter with moderate intensity and a minute mineral character.

Feel: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Creamy and round with smooth alcohol warming that is light in character. The beer has quite a presence in the mouth.

Overall: A very good, clean American IPA with decent complexity and strong bitterness. Great value - try it if you're into the style. As I mentioned under the aroma, I suspect something is gone wrong with this sample. I'm looking forward to trying the beer fresh and possibly rating it even higher.

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Photo of Mysticmage
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A really nice surprise. Pours golden hay with decent head that lasted fairly well. Very good nose! Fruity florals and a solid presence. Tastes true IPA solid bitter and solid body. Heavy sedimentation so didnt pour all and would recommend a slow pour for those for whom sludge is a turn off. Does pour clear with slow, staggered pour into tulip glass. Sediment will be contained this way. well done B.C!

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Photo of eberesford
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650 ml bottle from Newfoundland Liquor Corporation: Pours a slightly misty straw yellow with a huge head that dissipates slowly leaving generous lacing. Aroma is intense grapefruit some pine notes malt sweetness almost indistinguishable at these hopping rates. In the flavour the hoppiness adds a slight grassiness. Citrus still dominant but the bitterness is pretty clean through the mouth and now some sweetness appears - mostly melon and honey. This is a beer for hopheads without doubt but that does not mean that it is uncomplicated. This beer is strong and hoppy but not overwhelming. I am a little surprised to see it called a Northwestern IPA because its malt profile and appearance seem to me to be closer to a New England IPA.

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Photo of MDrew
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a local IPA for me. It's an intense hop-heavy IPA with a bright nose and strong malt backbone. It's like eating a grapefruit dipped in caramel. I admire Driftwood for putting something so hoppy out there for those of us who really enjoy our hop flavour.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

5/19/17...pours cloudy bronze, with hefty white foam, about a 1/4 inch thick. Sharp pointed nose. Grassy and citrus. Loads of bitter hop, juicy, and they spill into a tight malt backbone. Buried toffee smooths it out. Solid.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a medium off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains grassy hops, citrus and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a strong burst of grassy hops bitterness. Then some mildly sweet flavors of caramel and citrus come in. The malt character is hearty and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean for the style.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, this is a solid IPA to drink for a while.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Cardero's in Vancouver, BC. Pours a slightly hazy amber with a nice off-white head. Initial impresson is malt sweetness with citrus and resinous hops underlying. Finish is a little sweet. Would be exceptional if the malt were dialed back a bit.

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Photo of ericbridenbaker
4.4/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden and clear (for an unfiltered) pour. Not much head or lacing compared to other IPAs. Nose is also subtle for the style but very balanced, and I'm seeing that as a good thing in this case. Taste above all is exceptional. If it was less sweet by 15-20%, this would be my dream IPA.

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Photo of EMV
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a Dogfish Head tulip - very cool iridescent blue artwork on the bottle

L: Cloudy medium to dark golden copper pour. Two fingers of foamy white head. Great lacing.

S: West coast hops... citrus and pine. Biscuits and grains.

T/F: Strong malt/grain backbone. Some sweetness with a nice grapefruit and citrus hop profile. Some notes of pine and cracked peppercorns. Complex and very flavorful. Medium in mouthfeel... a bit oily. Finish is clean and citrusy.

O: A rock solid Canadian West Coast IPA. Tastes great and would be more than at-home in California. Loved it, and I'd have this any time.

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Photo of Leif_Eriksson
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: sparkling honey juice
N: loads of pine sap
T: piney, citrus, balanced by an herbal maltiness that curbs the bitterness.

Solid. One of the better ipas in regular circulation in Canada.

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Photo of stotch
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

600ml bottle poured into a mini stein. Bottle reads best before June 17 2017. Enjoyed on February 14 2017. Haven't been able to find this fresh in Ontario for almost a year, the woman at the LCBO said it arrived in the store the day I bought it.

L: Pours a clear orange gold with a half-inch of head which dissipates quickly but still has decent retention and lacing throughout.

S: Grapefruit, tangerine, melon and lychee with sweet, bready malt and floral, dank hops. An amazing tropical aroma and exactly what I look for in American IPAs.

T: The sweet flavours come through but are quickly overtaken by a resinous hop bitterness in the finish. A perfect balance of sweet and bitter.

F: Medium body and medium to high carbonation. Could be more full-bodied, with all of these big flavours it comes across a bit watery but still solid.

O: One of the best American IPAs brewed in Canada I've ever had. The only others that come close for me are Great Lakes' Thrust and Lake Effect IPAs and Collective Arts Ransack the Universe. A must for American IPA fans visiting Canada!

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Photo of TerryW
3.64/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gotta say, I'm not quite understanding all the love fir this one. Its drinkable, but incredib!y sweet to the point if being syrupy. Just a bit too much of thalt for my liking.

Looks good. Moderate head settles to a film, lots of lace. Clear, rich golden colour. Juicy, fruity nose, a touch of soapiness. Hoppy pine, tea, orange. Interesting taste. But very sweet, redeems itself to some degree with some finishi g bitterness, but still sweet, sweet, sweet more than anything else.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into snifter; modest hazy golden Amber with nice carbonation and head. Lots of grapefruit and Hoppiness greet the nose. A piney, mild bitterness on the palate that quickly mellows with the fruits. Medium body that does not linger.

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Photo of beerloserLI
3.88/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A golden amber pour. Despite it's unfiltered claim the beer is borderline see though with a foamy white head. On the nose I get hops and sugars. Not terribly floral.
A big hoppy feel upfront, on the initial sip, with a rather winey flow, and a bitter hoppy finish. Good flavor tones of citrus, grapefruit, resin, and pine. A pretty distinct malt backbon,e despite it's hop forward claim, that seems to balance the hops out with sweetness. The mouth feel is fairly moderate.

Overall, a good solid drinker but just not a game changer for me.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 704 ratings