Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

BA SCORE
94
outstanding
161 Reviews
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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada
driftwoodbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
161
Ratings:
599
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
8.24%
 
 
Wants:
156
Gots:
161
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 599
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 lacqueredmouse
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
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 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 JeffBlue
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
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 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 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 harrymel
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
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 -12.5%
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 -11.8%
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 -11.8%
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 -11.3%
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 -9.9%
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 -9.6%
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 -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.

 1,162 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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 -9.4%
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 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 farrago
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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 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 NoHipTee
3.92/5  rDev -7.8%
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 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 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 Phyl21ca
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
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 -7.1%
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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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
4.25 out of 5 based on 599 ratings.
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