Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
147 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
147
Ratings:
551
Avg:
4.27
pDev:
15.93%
 
 
Wants:
153
Gots:
146
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 551
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
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 tbeckett
3.95/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at a pub on Granville Street in Vancouver. From notes.

A - Poured copper with mild carbonation. Bright. One finger of fluffy white head with sticky thick lace all around and a film of retention.

S - Strong pine and hop resins. Proper American style IPA aroma.

T - Resinous hops, lot's of pine and citrus. Very light sweet malt up front.

M - Good tingly carbonation, medium body and an OK bitterness.

O/D - A solid IPA. Pretty tasty and very smooth. Good hop punch.

 474 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
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 drpimento
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, excellent beer! Poured at a good temperature with a decent sized, foamy, cream-colored head that settled after a bit and some lace. Color is a clear amber with lots of tiny bubble trails. Aroma is hop, malt, caramel, wet grain. Flavor's where this really shines: similar to nose, but so much richer with just enough sweet to perfectly match the already balanced bitter and carbonic tang, plus pine resin, a little grapefruit, toast, toffee, wheat. Body and carbonation are perfect. Finish is like flavor, of average length, and super drinkable. Wish I had loads more and that we could get it here in La Crosse, Wis.

 620 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

 866 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, consumed during the super bowl

GO GIANTS

from notes

appearance: served in my delirium chalice, glowing orange-amber body, frothy beige lace

smell: fresh citrus zest, some of that lovely NW pine, tangerine, honey, black peppered cracker

taste: bright fresh flavors - citrus zest, ruby red grapefruit, spruce and pine, pepper, crackery malts, the perfect touch of sweetness and alcohol. The hops are clean and fresh - another fantastic IPA from north of the border

mouthfeel: fresh and vibrant

overall: great stuff

 532 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

First BA review :-)

Bomber bought from Brewery Creek. Recomended by the lovely, friendly girl behind the counter after asking about the sold out Deschutes Hop Trip which I intended to buy more of.

Appearance: After a somewhat (anxious?) agressive pour, light orange with beautiful off-white, two finger head which dissipates after a couple minutes. Nice lacing.

Smell: Piney, grapes and lemon.

Taste: Hoppy indeed!! Pine-tree sap, crisp underipe grapefruit. Slight caramel and lemon.

Mouthfeel. Oily bitterness that last just long enough. Medium carbonation. Alchohol present but very well hidden

Drinkability: Went through this too fast and wished I had another!! Looks like this will be added to the regular rotation for at least the next while.

Overall: First Driftwood product for me and not a moment too soon. Will be keeping my eye out for this bad boy of a hop fix. Looking forward to trying more from these guys!!

 932 characters

Photo of papat444
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 636 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.05/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draft at Malone's, Vancouver.

Soapy, sticky white froth that rings over an amber-blonde body.
Mandarin, flowers and hemp nectar on the nose - crazy fresh.
Fair whack of caramel, mango and shortbread with resin, ruby grapefruit and passionfruit hops.
Grapefruit zest finish and catty Simcoe linger.
Crisp, chewy, light leaning towards medium.

Good fruit, good caramel, real IBUs. A bit thin, though, and doesn't live up to the nose. Not a world beater, but a superior all-arounder.

 487 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.67/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

many a thanks goes out to DaftCaskBC for a taste of some canadian pride!

a - opened the bottle and filled my capt lawrence taster tulip. beer poured a soft transparent yellow orange with classic white frothy head. great lively carbonation could be seen racing to the surface. my mouth is now watering.

s - my oh my...THAT'S what you look for in an ipa smell. rich THICK lush hops. citric blast. grapefruit. excellentness.

t - bitter blast at first...assaulting. i was expecting more citrus like the nose suggested. it's all there, but the bittery blast dominates everything. once my palette got used to the bitterness, the classic ipa flavors in the nose really came out. great hop presence...great sweetness. this is one for the hopheads and the hopheads in training.

m - full bodied. sticky.

o - overall, this is an exceptional ipa. this can hang with all the big boys and put em to shame. i am shocked that i haven't heard about this one before. why are people not shouting from the rooftops about this beer?

m -

 1,021 characters

Photo of andrenaline
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh from a recent Kelowna trade, though nearing its Best Before Date.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden copper orange colour, solid two fingers of head with solid retention and some fine spotty lacing.

S - Scent is sweet, yet bold, loads of citrus, caramel, lemon grass, cedar, pineapple and a hint of soap.

T - Even with the age, this thing is loaded with hop flavours. The citrus notes dominate, some candied ginger, pineapple, earthy cedar and pine. A lip smacking bitterness lingers, though is nicely balanced with a bready caramel on the finish. It's hard to imagine that the flavours might improve had I gotten this bottle sooner because its absolutely fantastic.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and fairly dry on the finish.

O - There's a reason this is top rated. Driftwood never ceases to amaze me with the quality of their brews and this is no exception. If I had access, I would be buying this stuff (along with several of their other offerings) by the case.

 969 characters

Photo of jrenihan
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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 Jeffo
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Another awesome bottle from Rutager in a recent trade. Thanks for the stellar box man. Much appreciated!

From a bomber into a snifter
Best by 13 December 2012
IBU: 80

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, thicker looking, fluffy white head with great retention. Head slowly fades to a full wisp and coats the top of the glass. Light burnt orange in color, perfectly clear with no carbonation. A splotchy wisp remains until the close and leaves some decent lacing down the glass. Looks great.

SMELL: Big nose full of pale malts, honeydew melon, pineapple, mango and tangerine aromas. Lots of tropical fruits and plenty forthcoming. Great stuff.

TASTE: Follows the nose nicely. Pale malts, caramel, and lots of tropical fruits up front. Pineapple, orange and tangering through the middle, then a good dose of piney, bitter hops at the swallow. Bold and lingering aftertaste of bitter piney and floral hops, sweet melon and pineapple as balance. Lots of bitter hops linger on the palate. Very flavorful for sure, but just need a slightly fuller body for top marks.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. Semi-creamy on the palate, goes down fine and finishes dry. Could be slightly creamier and fuller, but nothing wrong here.

OVERALL: This was excellent and definitely lived up to expectations. Great nose and amazing flavors, though the average palate sold it short somewhat. With a creamier and fuller body, the flavors would come out a little more and you'd have a world class experience on your hands. As it is now, it's simply an amazing beer that I would love to drink in mass quantities every summer. These guys know how to brew hoppy beers. Thanks again Rutager. Top class stuff!

 1,696 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

 616 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.8/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Step up to the top of the IPA class in BC . An IPA that delivers all the hoppy goodness that we expect but with a complex piny , grapefruity finish that is backed up with tons of malt. I found it very balanced but not shy on the hops. Central City , Phillips and Tree are all available in Government stores in 6 packs making them more accessible and easier to consume but this may be my favourite BC IPA

 403 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.12/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange colour, nice fluffy white head, good lace on the glass. The nose on this is incredible, bursting with citrus, ornage, tangerine, notes of pine and a good malt back to this. Taste is mostly pine and not how the nose would lead you to believe, slight citrus, grapefruit, good hoppy bitterness, malt is there, good balance here. Medium weight, nice slick hop oil, carb a touch high, good overall feel. Good IPA overall, solid bitterness and quite enjoyable.

 474 characters

Photo of Florida9
4.15/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 889 characters

Photo of Moose90
4.16/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

 573 characters

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.

 1,266 characters

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.

 792 characters

Photo of harrymel
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
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).

 760 characters

Photo of Beervana
4.74/5  rDev +11%
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!

 747 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
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!!!

 556 characters

Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

 826 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.58/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

650 mL bomber served slightly chilled. I had heard that the LCBO was bringing this in, but did not expect it to be stocked locally. What a nice surprise!

Pours a translucent golden-amber hue, complete with a pillowy, sparkling white-coloured head about two fingers high. Good retention; it seeps away steadily over the next 5-10 minutes, depositing a gorgeous curtain of scattered lace, and eventually receding to a half-cm of dense, creamy foam. Citrusy orangepeel and grapefruit come through on the nose, as do pronounced pine needle and resin notes. I'm also getting a few hints of peach, lychee and honeydew melon, with a touch of caramel.

Oh man, it's been a while since I've had the chance to experience a brand new top shelf IPA. The hops are supported by a respectable shelf of biscuity malts and caramelized sugar sweetness, but this one focuses mostly on the resiny, piney hop flavours. Subtle flavours of apricot, canteloupe and passion fruit are easily lost amidst the resin - and they don't fare any better once you hit the citrus-forward back end, which is dominated by pithy grapefruit and a combination of grassy, floral, herbal bitterness at the finish. Bitter, resiny aftertaste that persists well after each sip. Full-medium body, with delicate carbonation levels and an exceedingly smooth, soft, borderline creamy feel on the palate. No sign of the alcohol really, so it drinks like a dream; this is exactly what I am looking for in this style.

Final Grade: 4.58, a superlative A+. Fat Tug is one seriously good IPA, though I'd venture to guess this bottle is at least a month or two past its true prime. Ah well; such are the follies of transcontinental shipping, not to mention government liquor monopolies. This beer doesn't really do anything particularly unique that I have not seen before - but I cannot deny that it's a truly solid West Coast IPA. Really glad to finally cross this long-time want off my list... and given the reasonable price I'll probably pick up a few more bombers (to tide me over until the next GLB IPA comes out).

 2,065 characters

Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
4.27 out of 5 based on 551 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!