Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

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: 161 | Ratings: 599
Photo of ericbridenbaker
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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 -1.6%
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 -4.5%
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 +10.4%
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 -14.4%
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 -8.7%
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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Photo of PicoPapa
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with a Best Before Date of Apr 18, 2017. Pours a clear orange gold with 2 inches of frothy white head. Tons of lacing. Aromas of grapefruit, melon, orange and toasted bread. The taste is lots of melon and sticky resin. Toasted malts with notes of grapefruit and orange zest towards the end with a piney, resinous finish. Pretty balanced but with a bitter grapefruit bite. Body is a bit light with an oily mouthfeel. Easy drinker. Overall, solid IPA I'd buy again.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber. Hazy medium gold pour. Thin white head fades to a ring spotty lace.Toasted bread aroma. Taste starts with sweet bread but balanced nicely by piney resiny hop bitterness. Semi soft slick feel, finishes dry. Good stuff.

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Photo of kitch
3.46/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

At first glance, there was no bottled on date, and I bought it anyway. Only after I got home and poured it out could I finally see this faint dating on the neck of the bottle in the light and I was kind of disappointed. To have a bottling date is great, but it should also be clearly shown… not hidden away only to be seen at certain angles.

A 650ml bottle with a bottled on date of 12th April 2016, poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Appearance: It poured a slightly hazy golden orange colour with a big three finger off white head that had good retention and left lots of sticky lacing.

Aroma: Strong orange, orange juice and orange zest aromas, tropical mango and passionfruit notes here and there along with pine and light caramel.

Taste: Lightly bitter citrus grapefruit, orange and orange zest. Sweet caramel malts, lightly biscuity, pine resin with a touch of pineapple.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall: This IPA was pretty good with nice bitterness, albeit also a little on the sweet side for me with the caramel, biscuit and pineapple.

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Photo of bilbobrewer
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours a perfectly clear golden straw...a bit surprisingly. being unfiltered.
Moderate foamy head that lasts a while. Decent glass lacing.
Cirtusy nose.

Hop forward on the tongue, not very complex, a pleasant oiliness in the backwash. No lingering astringency, a little resiny aftertaste. Clean, relatively dry finish.

A visit to the website reveals: 7% abv, 80 ibu, and Citra and Amarillo in the mix....right in my wheelhouse.

A satisfying brew that's far too easy to drink. A very good example of the PNW American IPA style. and one of very few decent Canadian IPAs I have found. For those in the BC market, I would state Fat Tug is (objectively and hands-down) a MUCH better beer than Steamworks Flagship IPA...which I only mention because the latter was --- somehow, incredibly --- just voted Best BC Craft Beer (!??). Though a bit pricier per volume basis, a bomber of Fat Tug offers better value, IMO.

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Photo of tlema1
3.57/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

L: deep yellow color, with a lacing head
S: earthy hops and pine
T: a nice mix of citrus, pine and earthy hops
F: tons of mouthfeel
O: well balanced and very enjoyable

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap into a shaker pint.

Appearance is golden-amber, with not much head, but lots of lacing. The aroma was completely missing to start, but picked up as the beer warmed.

The taste is a nice balance of citrus, a little pine, and a hefty bitter finish. It's quite tasty.

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Photo of JonCorbett
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: A wistful haze of gold and amber hues, good two finger head largely foamy and full of all sizes of bubbles. As it dissipates it leaves behind a generous amount of clinging lace and rocky surface formations.

Aromatics: Plenty of bright citrus (grapefruit, lime), tropical notes (mango, passionfruit), and resinous pine, some milder underlying tones of biscuit and caramel malts.

Taste: Fair bit of grain in amongst the IPA hoppy goodness.

Feel: A light crisp but buttery texture in this middleweight. Finishes fairly strong but clean with a bit of Simcoe hop earthy linger and a very warming tingle at the back of the throat.

Overall: A superb 7% IPA with the right (complex) blend of flavour (aroma+taste) and a delightful mouthfeel. Well worth its place in the Canada top 100.

Pairing : This is an IPA worthy of a fine cut of beef - either BBQ Prime Rib or just a good ol charred up tender and juicy rib eye. Throw a potato salad on the side with some fresh corn on the cob and you have your self a stupendous match up.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Copper gold and soft hued with a light haze. Topped with 4 fingers of sea foamy, yellow kissed, white head. Amazingly layered lacing.

Smells of pine, peaches, pineapple, and pencil shavings, sweet and dank all at once.

Hits of peaches, a solid sweetness, pine and pineapple, hawaiian punch, solid hops, and pencil shavings too, on the finish. A good but not overly strong bitterness. Orange and orange candy all in there.

Medium, fairly syrupy body, with a fairly low carbonation.

Excellent brew. No wonder its so highly rated and sought after! Yesterday I finally found it in Kitchener. Drinking it tonight in Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham, Quebec, near Wakefield. Here in a cottage, by a lake. Getting ready to tear it up tomorrow (this morning) at La Peche! Drank Sept 25th, 2016.

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Photo of Sillysudssipper
2.94/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into glass.

Very minimal head.

Had a really hard time finding the nose. Really weird because the expectation was there, but my buddy couldn't get it either. Tiny whiff of tropical fruit, but, boy, the inhale was hard! Maybe it was just the day.

Hops leave long bitter aftertaste that lasted for at least 30 secs. Grapefruit. Overripe field cucumber peel. Malts are subdue and showcase the hops.

Fast and strong bubbles in the mouth.

Great taste and balance. Disappointed about the nose. Very cool label.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - golden color with a good hire head and sticky lacing
Smell - citrus pineapple and mango
Taste - just like the smell but slightly bitter
Feel - medium light body and carbonation
Overall - pretty yummy

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Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a gold / amber color and a cloudy texture. There was a half inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A very nice aroma of hops, pine, citrus, and some malt.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of citrus (grapefruit, orange), some tropical fruit (mango, in particular), light malt notes, a big shot of hops (not too much, though), pine, and a tinge of grassiness. A well rounded, focused, hop-centric flavor. Not overly fruity, and not too hoppy. A solid flavor.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

O: There's not much new you can do with an IPA, but Fat Tug operates very well within the style's parameters. Well made and exceptionally drinkable.

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Photo of spoony
3.84/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap into a nonic glass. Reviewed from notes dated July 25, 2016.

A-The beer arrives with a short white head. Retention is pretty good and the foam leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The beer is a light-golden color with just a hint of haze and some carbonation to be seen.

S-The aroma is snappy and hop-forward like you would expect from something that bills itself as a NW IPA. The flavors lean towards earthy and citrusy (like orange zest and grapefruit) instead of juicy or tropical. Malts are not completely overwhelmed and there is a good biscuit and bread aroma.

T-The taste, like the smell, is zesty and sharp versus outright bitter. I taste pine, some grapefruit, orange zest. It is a bit vague, but that is probably my palate letting me down, not the beer. Pale biscuit-y malts are mild, but not completely missing.

M-The beer has a great feel with a medium heft and a semi-crisp carbonation. It drinks mostly clean, but leaves a little bit of hop residue on my palate.

O-This is a solid IPA that I would probably drink regularly if I lived in the area. The flavors are above-average, not earth shattering, but I did really enjoy the mouthfeel.

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Photo of CHickman
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours cloudy orange color with a 1 finger foamy off white head that was full of tiny bubbles and dissipated slowly, leaving good spotty lacing and foamy rings as it went down.

The nose is full of citrus, with grapefruit, clementine, orange peel, guava and other tropical fruits, followed by light piney hops, candied sugar, graham cracker, fruity candy like gummy bears and some earthy notes. Enough malt and biscuit additions to make it balanced and complex, the aroma releases lemon zest and more fruit notes later on.

The taste is similar to the nose with potent citrus up front including grapefruit, orange peel, clementine, guava, tropical fruits, light piney hops, buttery biscuit, graham cracker, fruity candy like gummy bears, earthy notes and spices such as pepper and coriander. Flavor is a lot maltier and almost cloyingly sweet with wet cardboard and booze soaked grains adding enough sweetness to keep the bitterness mid-level.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with a medium to lightly chewy body that finishes on the dry side with a lot of malty sweetness mixed with the always present citrus flavors. Tasty enough to hide the 7% ABV and go down easy, this to me was more English IPA than American IPA. Above average IPA that I'd certainly have again.

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Photo of twizzard
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my favorite shaker pint glass. The nose was more malty than hop forward. Nice head with terrific lacing. I read this was a PNW style IPA but I found it a bit more piney than I like.

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Photo of Damian
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Drank on tap at Alibi Room, Vancouver, British Columbia
Served in a pint glass

Gorgeous appearance. The crystal clear, golden-amber body was topped by a tight, frothy, bright white, finger-tall crown. Outstanding lacing. Thick rings coated the glass from top to bottom and lasted until the liquid was finished.

The aroma was terrific. Super hoppy and fruity. Peach and apricot came through big time right off the bat. Good dose of mango as well. Bit of citrus. Orange zest was noticeable. As the beer warmed, the citrus notes took over.

Citrus came through even stronger in the flavor. Loads of juicy orange and orange peel. Some peach and mango notes as well. Grapefruit appeared on the back end and carried into the finish. Slightly bitter, rind-like notes were detectible. Hint of pine too.

Outstanding mouthfeel. The liquid was medium bodied for the style and contained a fine, frothy effervesce that tuned silky smooth on the palate. Plush and pillowy soft.

Driftwood Brewing's Fat Tug IPA is a beer I had on my radar while traveling to Vancouver, and it most certainly lived up to its reputation. This is a fantastically well done hop bomb that combines some of the best elements from both East and West Coast US breweries.

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Photo of biker30x
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear golden from a bomber into a pint glass. While the color read "thin", the first sip revealed a lush mouthfeel with excellent balance and just the right amount of carbonation. The nose was slightly piny (but nobody should go by my sesnse of smell) and the flavor was initially spicy pine and flavorful hops (without being overwhelmingly hopped) with a deep malty backbone and a hoppy finish that lingered. This is a beer for cool nights and spicy food.

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Photo of GodOfBeer
4.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Excellent Pacific IPA, hands down one of the best I've had. Lots of fruity notes, grapefruite, mango. Perfect amount of hops and bitterness with an excellent malt balance. Highly recommended and one of Canada's best IPA's.

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Photo of mattsander
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is well made, well packaged, ships quickly and sells well. It always seems to be fresh, even a province away. Huge tropical and stone fruit vibe, juicy, consistently great.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
4.25 out of 5 based on 599 ratings.
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