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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: 147 | Ratings: 554
Photo of Sillysudssipper
2.94/5  rDev -31.1%
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.

 527 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at The Whip in Vancouver, BC.

Pours a bright, coppery orange colour, with a mild, but filmy head of off-white. Patchy, sudsy, crackly lace forms as the head subsides. Strong streaming carbonation races through the solid body. Looks nice.

Nose is pungent and sharp with under-ripe orange, laced with stewed fruits and butterscotch. Simcoe, my old friend? Slight mild piney greenness pokes its head in as well. It's OK, but it really pushed all my "Warning! Warning! Generic American IPA Alert!" buttons.

Flavour is similar. There's no intrinsic sweetness to the brew, but the hops lend a caramel stewed sweetness to the mix that cloys with the big direct bitterness. The light feel on the palate means that there's a really pronounced hop vector slicing bitterly across the tongue. Finish is bunched and compressed, but stretched longitudinally at the back of the palate, giving a broad residual alpha bitterness.

I was shocked when I saw how highly this beer is regarded on BA. This really felt like a pretty standard, if highly-hopped IPA, that didn't really think about the balance in its flavour profile. As far as I was concerned, this is really average stuff.

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Photo of JeffBlue
3.5/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(draft, Rogue Kitchen and Wetbar, Vancouver B.C. 7/5/15) Mellow dank, not overly hoppy for 80ibus, pretty solid ipa. Would be interested in seeing if the character holds up in the bottle.

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Photo of harrymel
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by: 01/04/12

A: pours an apricot honey ale with less than a single finger of soapy white head. This dissipates to a broken sheet of the same atop a near excellent clarity brew. Spotty lace.

S: sweet biscuit malts and bubble gum and citrus hops. Best nose I've had in BC so far.

T: nice bitter pinch with plenty of those bubble gum flavors and citric rinds. Just a hint of the malt comes thru this beast making it almost like a summer American ipa, but a blend of west coast and great lakes style hop scheduling.

M: really thin, moderate carb and dry finish. Would like a little more body.

O: probably the best ipa I've had from the few breweries I've sampled here in Victoria. They could probably sell this stateside without any trouble (on tap).

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Photo of vfgccp
3.72/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful IPA. One of the better heads I've seen on an IPA in a long time. Deep, golden orange body with an amazing bone-white head that pours 3 fingers high with fantastic retention and lace.

S - Cilantro, wet leaves, black pepper, and a touch of rosemary. Light bready malt.

T - Boiled cilantro, bitter greens, touch honey, and melon rinds.

M - Medium body with relatively low carbonation.

O - An old-school, alpha-oil hop forward IPA on the green / vegetative side of the style.

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Photo of dcloeren
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber with JayAre46. Thanks son

A: poured a hazy burnt orange with a finger of eggshell white foamy head. The carbonation bubbles slowly make their way through the syrup to the top. Head slowly made it's way to a thin film and left some spider webs along the way

S: orange juice, caramel covered grapefruit, pineapple and floral hops dominate. Subtle malt and pine background

T: floral and pine off the bat complimented with orange peel and grapefruit. Not alot of malt to speak of... I wish the caramel scent would be more present on the palet

M: medium to light bodied, alot thinner than I was expecting... Prickly carbonation attacks my taste buds with every sip.

O: this was a good IPA but nothing special. The scent was alot more pleasant than the taste... I woulnt turn down another one of these.

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Photo of HiWire
3.75/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy orange with 1 1/2 finger head, clear up after sitting. Great head retention. Smells earthy, tea leaf, minor sweetness. Tastes of tea leaf. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Finishes with a very small bitterness.

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Photo of FrankBrewbody
3.77/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: golden/borderline amber colour. Aroma: citrus and caramel bread like notes. Flavour: sweet in the front with biscuit notes. Very malt forward for my personal preference but solid notes of citrus. Mouthfeel: flighty creamy with a drying finish

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Photo of hoser
3.83/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A low SRM and a nice spicy hop finish from Driftwood. One of BC's up and comers and I have been enjoying what they are doing so far. I never would have guessed 7% for the ABV it drinks a little lighter than that. Maybe having a DDC Chaman first wasn't the way to go in drinking beers tonight. I would have to try again to be fair to this brew. I like what this brewery is doing and hope some day we can by their products in Alberta. The hops slightly winning the battle with malt and that is not a bad thing.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.84/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle. Clear golden body. Smells of grapefruit and resiny pine. Smells sweet, too. Tastes of pine. Sweet caramel malt and some toasty malt. Strong bitter finish. Medium to medium heavy. Too sweet for me to really love it.

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Photo of spoony
3.84/5  rDev -10.1%
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 Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly cloudy grapefruit with hige white foamy head that leaves lots of spider web lacing down the glass. Wafts C-hop. Tangerine and orange citrus taste, very drinkable. Not astringent but a little numbing of the tongue. Carbonation is right there, this is a very fresh bottle. A little funky in the finish, but this makes it all the more interesting.650 ml, thanks Brian, and thanks Derek for the recommendation.

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Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Rutager for sending this extra from one of my favorite locals in North America, Vancouver. 22 oz. bottle split with my wife while watching the end of The Truman Show, which happenend to be our first date. Well, second first date. Nevermind.

Pour is an unclear but not hazy orange with gentled carbonation. Nose is a fall cornucopia of fruits: honeydew, grapefruit, orange, pale malts. Going in the correct direction.

Fat Tug begs for a comment, so I'm not going to make one. Lovely hops on this babe, reaching out & giving the tongue a good shlap of bitterness, followed with fainter flavors of pine, citrus. The bitterness doing the tugging here. Nice pale malts, light sweetness. Drinkable. I could do this bomber.

Nice IPA that showcases bitterness, but without a whole lot of complexity. Luckily, that's my favorite part of an IPA. Very good beer.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beer is quite old, but still tasty even when the hops are mostly gone which is always the sign of a great beer. Can't do a real rating, just have this posted so I can seek it out.

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Photo of farrago
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A standard pour action yields half a pint glass of foam, gigantic head, soufflé styled airiness, eggshell white hue, hilly surface, retention is excellent, once there’s any head space for lacing to appear it forms randomly spread out dots rather than streaks, like tiny clouds on a sun streaked day. Fully hazy liquid, opaque with an orange base that fades to yellow near the glass bottom or surface, close to no visible bubbles. The nose has a relaxed fullness to it, heavy on the malts with cocoa, milk balls, scone to breakfast danish flake breadiness, even the pine seems friendly, a little more tingle from the mixed white citrus, the fruit slightly reduced to an apricot or peach paste, sugary pineapple, the herbaceous element seems more clean than dank. Full-bodied, creamy and pushes out against either cheek, here the carbonation is a soft, steady pressure. Some molasses and caramel mixed in with the chocolate malt base, the breadiness a greater factor here. Develops more sour orange to tangerine than grapefruit citrus, the pine paired with greater earthiness. Again, though, the beer is clean and never approaches astringent dryness. Apricot, peach, cantaloupe, pear fruit of understated length. Deserves merit for drinkability as well as not showing off.

 1,273 characters

Photo of NoHipTee
3.92/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

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Photo of twizzard
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
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 Phyl21ca
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep amber color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit hops is quite powerful and enjoyable. Taste is also a great mix between some citrus hops with a good amount of grapefruit notes, medium bitterness and some light caramelized malt with a touch of residual sugar. Body is about average for style with good carbonation. Very well brewed but I would preferred a bit less residual sugar with a dryer finish.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

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Photo of mfaulk
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served a bit too warm - which I'd guess brought forward the malt

Clear gold color. Good slightly off-white head; bubbles on the coarse side.

Smell: citrus, piney, and spicy.

Taste: Hop presence is distinctly spicy, maybe grapefruit rind, or grapefruit with orange rind. Feels a bit hot for 7%.

Mouth feel: initially a little thin, but then some creamy bubbles
form. Maybe too many bubbles? Swallow leaves a back-of-the-mouth oily film.

This strikes me as pretty drinkabie for 7%, 80 IBUs. A little one-dimensional, but over all I like what they've done with the spicy hops. Its biggest flaw is mouthfeel: too light and foamy ( this might be the result of the serving temperature, but if not it would still be great with a burger and fries).

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Photo of Bugs318
4/5  rDev -6.3%

A: clear light amber to copper colour, with a fair creamy white head comprised of thick bubbles.
S: Not as aromatic as expected. Mild after another IPA, but some citrus rind, hints of pine wood and some pineapple.
T: Not much malt, as it offers just the slightest trace before piney, resinous dryness, with just a trace of rind and papaya. Fairly bold and lengthy linger.
M: A touch oily, with some creaminess and moderate carbonation.
O: A bold west coast IPA, could use more citrus for me personally, but pretty fine example puff the style.

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

22 oz poured into a 16oz nonic pint. Just moved up to Victoria and seeing that this was the top beer of the Great Canadian Beer festival and it is brewed in Victoria, i figured I had to give it a try. Best by February 12th 2012.

Ar: Resin, hop bitterness, grapefruit citrus, mild floral hop, very hoppy and citrus oriented

Ap: Medium off white head, good retention, good lace, very mild haze light copper

T: Strong citrus hops, hop resin, piney, grapefruit, tropical fruit, alcohol hints toward the end, clean pleasant malt base, estery, mango, strong nectarine, excellent fruityness, nice bitterness and resin in the finish, long after the sip is over the hop resin still lingers pleasantly, dry

M: Medium body, resinous, pleasant bitterness, medium carbonation, long finish

O: This is definitely toward the west coast aggressively hopped drier IPA, which i am very happy about. Clean, crisp, solid hop presence and good lingering finish. A very well done IPA.

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Photo of cfalls
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - nice thick head with good retention, somewhat hazy, color a bit dark for an IPA

S - malt, floral, somewhat lacking

T - mostly malt and bittering hops, hints of citrus/pine/pear, dusty finish

F - heavy for an IPA, creamy

O - not my style, but not sure how old the bottle was -- there was some settled yeast

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Photo of nmann08
4.03/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a bottle, unfortunately, wasn't super fresh. The beer pours a translucent gold color with a big fluffy off-white head.

The nose is still extremely pronounced, big citrus, grapefruit, a bit of pine and resin, and also just a bit of cardboard and sawdust must. The flavor is similar, great citrus notes, tropical fruit, resin, but a bit tanic.

Overall, I need to get my hands on a fresh bottle of this.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
4.27 out of 5 based on 554 ratings.
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