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Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
139 Reviews
THE BROS
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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Driftwood Brewery
British Columbia, Canada | website

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:
139
Ratings:
516
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
15.65%
 
 
Wants:
155
Gots:
137
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 139 | Ratings: 516
Photo of TriggerFingers
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

 616 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 918 characters

Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
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 -1.4%
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 Mehinaman
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 331 characters

Photo of stakem
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

 1,849 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
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 -0.9%
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.

 205 characters

Photo of CanadianBacon
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

 1,146 characters

Photo of Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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 -0.5%
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 -0.5%
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.

 594 characters

Photo of Eric_Standard
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gold with a bit of haze and a fluffy white head.
Smells of hops and summer fruit.
More hops and fruit, flavour-wise. Tastes of grapefruit, apple, assorted citrus notes, slightly malty sweetish front, lingering hoppy bitterness - very good.
Heavy-bodied for an IPA, but very drinkable and quenching.
Quite pleasant.

 315 characters

Photo of ritzkiss
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best before: 01/04/12 - surprise by my lovely wife from her recent trip to Victoria.

Pours a cloudy, orange - almost Nestea like in the way it fades at the bottom of the glass. Thin head, not much there but manages to throw some patches of lacing.

Nose is sweet and tropical, hints of citrus rind and pine. West-coast influenced all the way, aromatic but not perhaps as involved and complex as some exemplars.

Wonderful mix of tropical hops and bittering pine and grapefruit rind in the flavor, leaning to pine. Still a nice caramel sweet backdrop with hints of papaya and pineapple, malt is not too heavy though - lets the hops shine as the star, resiny and full of hop-burp goodness. Just a hint of alcohol in there as well, pretty smooth body, light carbonation. Great IPA, would by my go to I think - along with Red Racer. Canadian standout.

 848 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The colour is incredible - similar to the yellow orange of wet cedar wood. Poured with 3 fingers of head which quickly dissipated leaving a thin lawyer at the surface. Low carbonation.

S: Bold pine wood resin & grapefruit rind, you can tell the Humulus Lupulus is a member of the Cannabaceae family, there's a subtle hint of cannabis scent.

T: Starts out with a sweet caramel/malts and quickly followed by citrus rind, pine saps and a mild soapy taste. Aftertaste of hoppy bitters lingers and lingers, sticking like chewing on grapefruit rind.

M: Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

O: Bold IPA in both flavour and smell. Excellent IPA and delicious with a spicy meal.

 679 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to egrace84 for sharing this beer! Thanks elliot!

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from notes taken on 7/22/12.

Appearance: golden yellow bodied beer with 2 fingers of white head.

Smell: Pine, grapefruits, and other general citrusy notes.

Taste: Pine and grapefruit start things off. mild to moderate bitterness. Grassy and floral notes in the middle of the beer. Mellow pine needle notes finish this beer off.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. appropriate for the style.

Overall: This is a really awesome brew! Its a really solid hoppy beer! This is my ssecond driftwood beer and they make some delicious beer!

 651 characters

Photo of McBastard
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 650 ml bomber into a nonic pint glass.

Pours a beautiful dark honey color, with a nice creamy head that leaves lacing down the glass. Smells predominantly of citrus and resin. The flavors are grapefruit and pine, with a underlying floral sweetness. Has a dry, bitter finish, a with lightly malty, boozy aftertaste. Rather light bodied, with medium carbonation. Altogether, one of BC's most complex, hoptastic IPAs. A great offering from a very promising little brewery. I wish the folks at Driftwood would hit us with a dark IPA already...

 554 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cracked open a bottle on 5.10.12.
Best by 10.25.12 printed on the label.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy medium orange with a smaller yellowish-light tan head. Good retention and some spots of lacing left on the glass.

S - Stonge pine up front, followed by lemons and oranges.

T - Strong pine and lemon citrus.

D - Good carbonation and a solid body.

O - Pine and hoppy, More citrus came out as it warmed, and that was a good thing.

 433 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - clean clear copper, full head dissipated to a half finger leaving all kinds of lacing
S - nice perfume and orange citrus, with grainy and light peppery notes
T - earthy, spicy, and grapefruit hops build in the front, soft grainy malt backup, with a touch of the perfumy hoppiness that was big on the nose, a very tasty hop bomb
M - medium to light body, smooth start with an expected bitterness
O - as a hop head this delivers exactly what I expect, loads of hops in a variety of flavour notes, and a near pour-down-your-gullet drinkability, BIG UPS!!!

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Photo of mattsander
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

 182 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650 ml bomber served at cellar temperature into a pint glass. No freshness indicated and purchased from the LCBO for $6 CDN.

Appearance - pours a clear light golden color with some orange highlights.plenty of effervescent carbonation. A beautiful finger and a half of rocky white head with impeccable retention. Coalesces into a finger of froth. Awesome spidery lacing too. A great looking IPA.

Smell - hops and citrus, with lots of tropical notes and a slight bitter smelling dankness lingering in behind. Quite weedy, but works here.

Taste - big tropical flavours, some grapefruit up from and a wonderful blend of pineapple. Maybe a hint on cantaloupe and honeydew melon too. Again there's a slight wee direness to the background that is pleasant. Top notch.

Mouthfeel - smooth with a good and fairly substantial body, lots of carbonation and more dry on the finish than you might expect.

Overall - absolute top notch IPA, definitely worth picking up a bunch while it's in stock. Given Fat Tug's great reputation, I had very high expectations and this completely lived up to them. It also probably supplanted Red Racer as my favourite BC IPA, that I've had the pleasure to enjoy.

 1,186 characters

Photo of polloenfuego
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a slightly hazy amber/gold with a finger and a half of head. The nose is hops dominant and there are some malts and fruitiness to the nose as well. Taste is where this one really caught me off guard. This was really a surprise, grapefruit, passionfruit, a slight bittersweet citrus and a hops explosion that is not overpowering. This beer went down smooth and easy for a beer that is so "big" and I could see myself drinking too much of this if I had regular access.

 475 characters

Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bone white head on a clear golden yellow body. Sticky ass lackg.

Fresh grapefruit. Very light on the nose, in a good way...whatever that means.

Bright citrus, think lemons and oranges. Above average bitterness.

High carbonation works well. Medium mouthfeel.

Well made beer. I think if the bitterness was toned down a bit I would like it more but the way it is sets it apart. All hail Fat Tug! Thanks egrace84.

 413 characters

Photo of Rukeli76
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

650ml bomber with new (to me) artwork. It just arrived at the LCBO this weekend, so I'm guessing it's still pretty fresh given how far it's travelled.

Hazy copper pale ale colour. Half-inch of foamy, persistent head. Nice lacing.

There's the expected grapefruit and pine, plus some gentler floral and fruity aromas. It's very west coast, but not in that aggressively dank "let's rip a couple bong hits" way some of these IPAs can be.

The fruitiness of (I'm guessing) Centennial hops is certainly the dominant note here. The aromatic hops are balanced by some bitterness and just the right amount of malt sweetness.

Creamy and effervescent.

This is a classic west-coast IPA. I doubt the floral and fruity hop aromas would hold up very well as this beer gets older, so I'd advise drinking it fresh to get the full experience.

 829 characters

Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.
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