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Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding
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:
564
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
16.2%
 
 
Wants:
155
Gots:
151
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 564
Photo of PacificNorthWester
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very surprised by this one: pours a satisfying light color. The nose is very hoppy. Through the hoppy bitterness there are enjoyable fruit essences imbued in this brew with grapefruit's presence the predominant one. For a heavier beer this was oddly thirst quenching and crisp. Would buy again when in the mood for a bomber of IPA.

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Photo of constantine_272
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange really bright. Over carbonated and maintained a couple millimeters of consistent white foam. Fresh green grass and thick waxy ivy. Floral rose finish. Sharp strong fresh hop bitterness in a floral wet and not dry way. Great ipa.

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Photo of JeffBlue
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%
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 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 RStansel
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the best Canadian IPA I've tasted, with a flavour profile reminiscent of Pliny. Honeydew, passion fruit, pine and caramel; thick, layered, intense, but extraordinarily balanced. Well done, Driftwood.

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Photo of Crazycanuck17
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is hands down the best IPA I've had in Canada. Recently available in Alberta and it's flying off the shelves. It's a well rounded IPA with just the right amount of hops to it.

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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 Tilly
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My brother brought me back 6 different IPA bombers from BC! This is one of THE better. (They were all pretty damn good. Ontario brewers could take a page out of these books!!!)

Golden blonde hazy pour with a thick foamy head with a strong retention. Aromas of hops, floral and citrus. Tastes not much different. Hops, lemon citrus and pine. Mouth feel is velvet, very unusual for an IPA. Nice back of the tongue bitterness.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

650ml bottle. Always a treat to see a white whale emerge on the barren prairies.

This beer pours a hazy, pale golden amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, and mostly just bubbly off-white head, which leaves a stellar array of spindly webbed lace around the glass as it slowly bleeds off.

It smells of dank, piney forest floor hop bitters, plain grainy pale malt, mixed and muddled citrus rind, a mild flinty stoniness, some ethereal light orchard fruitiness, and a touch of estery alcohol. The taste is more gritty, grainy pale malt, a suggestion of biscuity caramel, peppy pine resin and citrus pith (white grapefruit and underripe navel orange, for the trainspotters), that same flinty essence carrying on from the nose, and a respectful cold steely alcohol, er, warming.

The bubbles are quite innocuous in their quotidian and frothy meanderings, the body a solid enough middleweight, and replete with a hollow-seeming smoothness. It finishes on a strong drying trend, the fruity and bitter green hop essences justifying their purported skin in the game.

Well, the long-term hype machine is justified, it would seem - this is a stand-up, big-boy hoppy IPA, the malt paid only contractual lip service (wait, whut?). Yeah, good 'n hoppy, in a rather complex manner, so much so, that Imma gonna have to procure at least a few more, um, 'test samples' for the coming backyard patio season.

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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 hotmailmsn
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

7% ABV, 80+ ibu
A - hazy golden orange, with good amount of white head.
S - biscuit malty, citrus, grapefruit, floral, grassy dry hopped, peppery spice, honey sweet, melon, lychee.
T - welly carbonated. sweetness came first, lingering. cracker, biscuit, bready, cereal flavor. bitterness is all the way thru. long lasting...
O - my fav IPA so far. balance as the sweetness, maltiness, not to mention the bitterness which i enjoy the most!! it has all the things u want from an west coast IPA, plus a very unique malt characteristics!! Everybody has to try it once!! most importantly, it's all year round, u can enjoy it anytime, unlike the other hyped IPA, and you will not regret it.

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Photo of nmann08
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
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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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 Dreadnaught33
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
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 ziggig
4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Strong hoppyness explosion after second taste. Strong pine and grapefruitness. Nice sipping before an epic meal. This is by far my best beer and top notch so far. Love to find this one at a local pub to enjoy with friends. Great conversation piece. Will have this again for sure. Thank you.

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Photo of itchybumkin
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Extremely hoppy but lent a solid malt base with excellent aroma, head and strengh. Very bitter but bitterness well-balanced with strength and well-fruited notes. Smooth yet bitter aftertaste. Pours with good head which settles quickly. Hints of banana in aroma which softens on the second or third sip, tawny, somewhat opaque colour and very satisfying.

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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 Kenmac19
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Pours a beautiful amber with a thick creamy straw colured head that clings to the glass. After the bold scent of pine hits your nose you will notice aromas of grapefruit, pineapple and mangos. First taste is bold and full of oily pine and tropical fruits quickly follow. A subtle toffee malt flavour comes through on the swallow. A wonderfully bready aftertaste that brings back fond memories of my grandmother's homemade german sourdough bread served fresh from the oven. I there is such a thing as "Comfort Beer", this is it. I would put this up against any other DIPA from around the world. As close to a perfectly balanced beer as I've ever tasted.

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Photo of Bugs318
4/5  rDev -6.1%

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 Ericbeech_87
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My girlfriend bought me this beer. I'm a big fan of IPA's and she had no idea. The planets aligned and she bought me a beer without knowing.

Appearance - Poured to fairly fine bubble head finish. The head tended to linger nicely for a long time. Drank in a snifter for the first time and I am sold on how great the experience was. Colour was a nice slightly hazy dark golden/orange.

Aroma - Intensely citrusy with big notes of grapefruit. An excellent piney smell revealed probably the best pine smell I've had in a beer.

Taste - Very hoppy with medium body. The maltiness needed to be discovered under those 80 IBU's of hops, but it's there. The carbonation was moderate during the mouthfeel but certainly contributed to the beautiful head. The hops are certainly the showcase for this beer from Driftwood. A nice dry finish with hop bitterness throughout.

Overall - An excellent IPA with brilliant citrusy notes and gorgeous appearance.

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Photo of Beervana
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Reviewing this beer within a week of bottling.

Pours a glowing coppery-orange colour with frothy off-white head. Nose is a wonderful mix of fruity and piney, some grapefruit, orange, a touch of sweet pineapple. Taste is west coast through and through; very bitter, a good hit of pine resin, mainly bitter grapefruit though, almost rind-like. Mouthfeel is slightly on the heavier side and a bit sticky, the bitterness definitely hangs in the mouth, carbonation is perfect.

Overall, one of my all time favourite IPA's. When you take into account the availability, price, and ease of finding this beer fresh, it's probably the best we have to offer in BC, maybe even in Canada. Cheers to Driftwood for being so far ahead of the curve with this one!

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Photo of LampertLand
4.51/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Driftwood Brewery 'Fat Tug IPA' @ 7.0% , served from a growler purchased for $12 , and had on tap or can be found in 650 ml bottle's for about $6

A-pour is a light gold from the growler to a clear amber in the glass with a big frothey off-white head leaving a streaky lace along the pint

S-citrus with a hint of pine , fresh

T-crisp & clean , big malt base , citrus with more pine coming thru in the taste

MF-ok/good carbonation , good full body

Ov-great beer , world class IPA , plus it's local , gotta love the Canadian side of the PNW

prost LampertLand

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Photo of jwchestnut
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my all-time favorites from my one time home - a month old bottle brought by a generous friend from Vancouver. Beautiful amber orange color. Lovely white head with tight bubbles that fades into a ring around the top. Nose is full of citrus fruit, a little pineapple and mango, lots of pine needles and a sweet biscuity malt. The taste follows the nose but heavier on the pine flavors and a little grassy maybe - very well balanced with no flavors dominating the palate and a gentle bitterness at the sides of the mouth. Smooth mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Again, so thankful to have this one brought as a gift - very smooth, drinkable and one of my all time favorites. Highly recommended.

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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 biegaman
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fat Tug IPA is a clear, copper wire coloured ale with the complexion of ghee (clarified butter). Such a tone, though clean, turns transparency into mere translucency; it's like looking through a block of ice. Its head is built like a wrestler - stout and thick - and piledrives foam onto the glass.

The nose boasts papaya and mango in both their fresh, vividly citric as well as candied, dried states. There's also an accompanying cast of grapefruit, melon, lime, lychee and even a spritz of guava. It is a market of exotic, tropical fruits with an overlay of dank, grassy herbals.

The flavour is so full of pine needles, lawn clippings and orange wedges that all the honey and eggbread flavour from the malts goes largely unnoticed. Even as far as sweetness goes, the candied citrus and guava notes are right on par with any notions of caramel or toffee.

For the craft beer lover, hops reach the brain's pleasure zones via the same neurological circuitry as salt, sugar, or fat - it's an innate craving that provides an immediate hit. And like the latter, sometimes you just can't get enough. Fat Tug IPA certainly hits that 'bliss point'.

It was some time before Canadian brewers offered the same kind of juicy, citric IPAs that made their American counterparts famous - those days are over. Between Driftwood's Fat Tug and Central City's Red Racer, I don't think one even has to leave the province of British Columbia!

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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
4.26 out of 5 based on 564 ratings.
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