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Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

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151 Reviews
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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:
151
Ratings:
563
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.2%
 
 
Wants:
155
Gots:
151
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 563
Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of liamt07
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Florida9
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Moose90
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a hazy medium to dark honey orange in color with moderate to heavy amounts of fine active carbonation and some moderate copper + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall foamy tan head that slowly reduces to a medium sized half finger thick cap towards the center of the glass surrounded by a thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of pine/resin/dank hops with moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit rind and herbal hops over the top of grainy malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of grainy + caramel malts with a moderate amount of brown sugar sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit, citrus/grapefruit rind, pine/resin/dank, and herbal hops which contribute a moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Chewy with a hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and I wonder how great this one would be really fresh... Really nice hop flavors and aromas with a nice combination of citrus and pine. Easy to drink with well hidden alcohol and a pretty decent balance of initial sweetness and lingering bitterness.

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Photo of LazyL
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of Bunman3
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

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Photo of HipCzech
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 650 mL bottle poured into a small tasting glass.

Appearance: Nearly clear deep gold yellow, with a frothy cap of off white head. A good foam cap lingers and leaves nice patches of fine lace.

Smell: Grapefruit juice and rind, pine combs, apricot, candied tropical fruit (mango, pineapple), savory herbs and slight dank. Underlying malt sweetness sneaks in occasionally.

Taste: More hop punch: tropical fruit and melon more to the forefront with grapefruit bitterness followed by dank pine in the close. Sweet cereal malt carries throughout to provide some balance. Finishes crisply bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, slightly oily feel and light to moderate carbonarion.

Overall: A solid New World IPA - very hop forward, but still balanced by both malt and complex fruit hop notes.

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Photo of TriggerFingers
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
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!

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Photo of jrenihan
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of JonCorbett
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 1,040 characters

Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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!

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Photo of staubot
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Full thick frothy head that laces and lasts the whole drink. Could smell the hops in this one from a foot away even through the thick head, get you excited to dig into it. Tastes balanced without overwhelming bitterness. Citrus, pine hops. Feels smooth with enough carbonation to know its there. Good presentation and overall does not let you down when you follow your nose.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
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 Mehinaman
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very good of not amazing Canadian IPA. I heard a lot about it and tried some on draft at the Irish Times pub. I thought it was very good, but I'm not sure I would have given it much thought if I had never read about it before. It's dank, but not extremely hoppy and is very easily drinkable. I will try it again before I head home.

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Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
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!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of avalon07
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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 CanadianBacon
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one gets an across the board 4.25, Usually I'm not the biggest fan of IPA's that are very piney, this had a good balance but both Pine and citrus flavors were big but it was very well refined!

Appearance - poured from a 650 ml bottle into a crystal snifter (parents glassware lol). This beer poured a clear golden color with a finger of head that lasted a little while. Carbonation looked pretty lively.

Aroma - The first aromas to hit my nose, were big citrus notes, I got grapefruit, orange, a little mango, then a strong pine after that followed by some light caramel malts.

Taste - the flavor profile followed suit all the same flavors and you get hit with a strong bitterness around the time the pine comes in which is then mellowed by the caramel.

Feel - This beer had a medium-full body which was nice, Most IPA's ive had tend to sit on the other side of the medium spectrum, It had a very creamy body also and was smooth on the finish.

Overall - This is a very well refined IPA and the flavors come togehter magically. This is something I've noticed of most BC beers I've tried I now just wish I cold get more of the,. Cheers!

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Photo of Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A challenger for the best Canadian IPA I had thus far. Nice head retention and creamier than any other IPA out there. The taste is wonderful. Think Sip of Sunshine, with the refreshing balance of grapefruit and mango (possibly). A winner!

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Photo of Hat_Fulla_Beer
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear honey amber with two fingers of sturdy off-white head that leaves brooding stormy sky lace as it slowly recedes.

Smells of citrus zest, mango, lemon rind, faint sweet malt and resiny hops.

Tastes of grapefruit flesh and orange rind, mixed tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, mild breakfast cereal malt and a constant roar of bitter piney hops.

Feels big and creamy. Medium-full bodied with creamy carbonation. Finishes dry.

Verdict: Vigorously recommended. An IPA that does not screw around.

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.26/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours into an imperial nonic a deep rich golden with a full one finger of billowing white head that settles very slowly into a frothy mass leaving two broken rings of lace behind.Bright grapefruit-like hops in the nose with lighter pine detected as well,I pick up faint nuttiness and more assertive biscuit malts as well.The melon and grapefruit flavors really stand out up front on the palate,quite sharp and dry,some malty graininess and that faint nuttiness is there as well.This is a damn well made IPA,even our neighbors to the north are making some killer IPA's out in the PNW,fantastic.

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
4.26 out of 5 based on 563 ratings.
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