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 JonCorbett
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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 -0.9%
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 -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.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
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 -0.5%
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 -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 CHickman
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
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 -7.7%
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 Damian
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
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 +3.5%
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 +9.1%
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 +1.4%
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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Photo of randylangford
4.08/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This reminds me a lot of the Pacific Northwest IPAs that I've had. It has a great gold color with a nice fluffy head. This is malty with a tonne of hops blended into a great hop profile.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.62/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure gold with a gigantic rocky head. Scads of lace drape the glass on the way down. The aroma is orange, white grapefruit and passionfruit with a bit of caramel malt. Huge lemon and orange hop flavors explode in the first sip. Passionfruit, lychee, berries and other hops flavors make for a wall of hoppiness. A solid biscuit, caramel malt ballast keeps the hop onslaught in check. The mouthfeel is quite full bodied with creamy carbonation. Herbaceous hoppy bitterness in the long finish.

This is a fantastic west coast IPA. Super hoppy with tons of complexity and great balance. A treat. Seek this one out.

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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 portwood
4.52/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smell: orange peel, grapefruit, pine needle, slight musty/dank note. Taste: bittersweet, creamy mouth feel & carbonation. Finish: pine resin, caramel, fruity hop bitterness. (bottled 10/20/15)
Nicely balanced between bitter, sweet, resiny, juicy citrus flavors.

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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.

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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 Cramshawbar
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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 SSS
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Dank with a spicy note, almost like from a Belgium style wheat beer
S-Golden yellow, almost glowing, white head lingers for a little while, great lacing
M-Chewy character that is enjoyable, medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation that all work well
T-Sweet upfront with a resinous aftertaste that coats the mouth with a very pleasurable bitterness that stays with you for a while
O-This is a great beer. On the dank side of the spectrum, think Stone IPA. Excellent brew.

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Photo of staubot
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
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 dbrauneis
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
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 D-HopSupreme
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy straw body with a pearly white head and lots of lacing. The scent brings up strong notes of passion fruit and melon along with citrus, and a bit of a pine character. The taste is immensely bitter with a citrus rind finish, with very little malt character. The feel is alright, with dominant bitterness and a fairly creamy body. Overall a lovely IPA, I'm quite happy by it. Very nice a clean, though slightly heavy.

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Photo of Tommo
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is pretty nice ipa. nothing amazing, but pretty good overall. Nice hop flavor with mild bittering hops. Decent aroma and pretty low malt. Overall would buy again

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Photo of akdo
4.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: The body is transparent and amber. There is a visible on-going and static carbonation. The beer produces a three-finger white head that is not just creamy, but also foamy on the top. As the beer is consumed, it leaves resilient traces of head that take ages to disappear.

Smell: The nose has notes of zests of citrus, mangos and a little bit of pine woods.

Taste: This IPA is well balanced. The malts have a taste of mango, peach and a little bit of honey. The finish tasted like smoked hops and there was a little bit of spice because of the subtle carbonation. The pine woods come in.

Feel: The beer is full-bodied. Despite its high volume alcohol, the warmth of the alcohol is barely felt on the taste buds as well as in the throat, which is unusual for an IPA. This is the most bitter Canadian IPA I have ever had. Although the beer is dry, it is not astringent and it barely dehydrate the mouth.

Overall: For a North American beer, this beer stood out because of its perfect head retention. Each flavour has the right amount of time to shine before making a transition to another flavour. I would recommend it.

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