Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding
141 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:
141
Ratings:
529
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
15.65%
 
 
Wants:
152
Gots:
139
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 141 | Ratings: 529
Photo of chickenm
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a huge lasting fluffy white head. Aroma is pleasant but somewhat subdued with malt and citrus hops. Taste is hoppy but balanced with pine, bready malt, and citrus. The body is a bit light but this has a really nice smooth mouthfeel. The carbonation is almost perfect. Another great beer from Driftwood!

 342 characters

Photo of SebD
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: It has a nice hazy golden/orange color to it. It has a nice off-white head that dies down moderately slow and leaves great lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of citrus, grapefruit and pineapple (very tropical), piney resins and sweet caramelly malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some nice citrus and grapefruit notes, some pineapple, a nice resiny pine bitterness, some breadiness and sweet caramelly malts.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

 621 characters

Photo of Damian
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

 1,234 characters

Photo of randylangford
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 188 characters

Photo of farrago
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

 1,273 characters

Photo of draheim
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle (best before 8/27/2012) into a tulip. Pours a slightly hazy golden orange w/ a rich thick frothy white head. Light passes through this beer in the strangest way, looks like a cats eye gemstone. Big chunks of sticky lace cling to the glass. A beautiful beer.

Aroma is tropical piney citrusy hops. Tangerines and pineapple too. To me, this beer smells exactly like Pliny the Elder - I'd have to do a side-by-side to detect any differences. In fact, aside from the slight haze (Pliny is usually very clear), this beer looks a lot like Pliny, complete w/ a head more reminiscent of a Belgian tripel. So far I'm very impressed.

Taste is just what I expected from the aroma. Pale dry biscuity malt, tropical citrusy hops that bring lots of orange and grapefruit, and a slight honey sweetness too. Finish is sharp, bitter and clean. A nice hint of booze too.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, a little oily.

Overall this is undeniably a great IPA - right up there w/ Pliny, Duet, Pure Hoppiness... impressive. The only downside here is the $10 price tag.

 1,057 characters

Photo of byronic
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to @Corson for hooking me up with this bottle

Pours a nice hazy gold with white fluffy head. Nose is crisp and hoppy but balanced nicely with malts and fruits. A really nice blend of citrus fruit and hops. Very smooth and thirst quenching. A beer that lives up to it's reputation and exceeded my expectation. Would love to have it again.

 345 characters

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

 628 characters

Photo of LampertLand
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
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

 562 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 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 Jadjunk
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

"With an extreme power to tonnage ratio, this behemoth delivers a barge load of hops. This unassuming 22 ounce bottle packs 80 IBUs of unrelenting diesel power! Let this Fat Tug pull you in slow and low to Hoppy Nirvana..." Brewed in the style of an American IPA. This beer is one of Driftwood's mainstays.

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 50º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a sudsy froth head of a golden cream tone over a mildly hazy amber body with moderate carbonation. Retention is above average, lacing is medium-dense and clingy. It's an unfiltered IPA, which leads to a slight uncommon haziness. 4

(Smell) Aromas of pine, citrus ream and tropical fruit over a light bready caramel and pale malt base. This isn't a striking or overly bright-smelling IPA but it does have an enjoyable hop aroma, modest in presentation, it stands at par with the malt profile. A mild peppery character is a curious addition, perhaps suggesting a hint of rye. Potency is medium. 4

(Taste) Up front, the malt bill is relatively clean and a touch viscous, with a lightly toasted barley malt, some biscuity malt, questionably rye, and most notably by the sweet, slick finish, a pinch of honey malt, or just honey. There's a good balance between the malt character and hop bitterness, although the hop flavors aren't very charismatic, there's a substantial bitterness to confirm this as a bold IPA. 4

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick first, smooth second. Carbonation plays a mellow role in adding some air to the texture, but keeps very tame, more so compared to American IPAs. Balance is slightly bitter over sweet, although it remains close, with a fuller body than expected. Body is medium/high for an American IPA, medium+ overall. The beer finishes favorably bitter with a clean, very slick and resinous finish. 4.5

(Overall) Victoria's Driftwood Brewery crafts a thoroughly enjoyable American IPA, with a solid malt sweetness and a moderate hop flavor and bitterness to pair, it's a more heavy-drinking IPA than I'm used to, but a treat to savor nonetheless. When in Victoria, pick up a bottle of this! 4.25

Driftwood Brewery's
Fat Tug IPA
4.1/5.00

 2,171 characters

Photo of BDTyre
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yum! A little bit more tame than Sartori, but a very powerful and hoppy IPA. Orangery-copper with a white head that is very chunky and clingy. Rich, hoppy smell. There is an initial hoppy blast followed up a sweet, bready malt. Citrusy, grassy fruit flavours. Malts are not dominant at all.

Good carbonation, very nice beer even in a 7% bomber.

 345 characters

Photo of leaddog
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

650ml bottle; bottled on June 28, 2013

Appearance- Pours a light copper with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell- Caramalts, citrusy hops, pine resin, grapefruit, and tropical fruits.

Taste- Citrusy hops followed by caramalts and tropical fruits. Has a pleasant bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall- An excellent American IPA by Driftwood. This is amongst the top of the IPA's I have sampled from BC. Great to have sampled this fairly fresh. Worth a try if you stumble across it.

 522 characters

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" creamy white and soapy head over cloudy amber liquid.

S: Citrus and pine hops and the smell of malt. Very refreshing and clean smelling.

T: Front loaded with pine and bitter hops, and backloaded with a malty and nutty aftertaste.

M: Medium thickness, and medium carbonation.

O: Refreshing IPA,with piney and purfumey hops. Not a session beer.

 354 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.85/5  rDev -10%
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.

 179 characters

Photo of DaveBar
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got on trade! Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a 1" high white head with an aggressive pour. Head stays for over 5mins before film out. Medium gold colour and filtered clear

S- Good hops. Pretty light though

T- WOW this one has a lot of hops. Wet hopped galore. Has that "C" hop presence that I really enjoy. Not too bitter at all. Has a malt base that does not overpower. Not sweet at all which is nice. Looks like these lower alcohol percentage brews have a lot less sugar than a heavy APA. There is a blend of hops that just works together with nothing sticking out or unbalanced.

M- Tart and dry. Nice

O- Very good brew. Overall it's a refreshing brew that is rather complex. Good to see Canadian IPA's are starting to come up now compared to the US. Now we just need to get reasonable distribution to all provinces.

Food Pairing

This nice little brew went very well with........ Roasted chicken wings. Small wings, wash, dip in melted margarine then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Place on the top rack and broil on high for 10-15mins depending on wing size. When the cheese crisps the wings are done!

Enjoy

 1,150 characters

Photo of doughanson78
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice medium golden color with awesome clarity. One finger white head with great retention and lacing.

S: Piney hops with a touch of earthiness. Some caramel malts coming through. Lighter overall aroma.

T: Sweet caramel upfront. Piney hop flavor with touches of earthiness and some floral flavors. Bitterness is medium. Caramel comes back in the finish. Easily a 5 if bitterness was up.

M: Medium light body. Medium carbonation. Oily and slick. Dry finish. Awesome IPA mouthfeel.

O: A great IPA. Bitterness could be higher. Definitely try it if you have a chance.

 608 characters

Photo of sukwonee
4.58/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Two 22oz bottles purchased for around $10 (very expensive!!) at a local Whole Foods. There is no best before date or bottled date, but I know this is fresh because I go to this particular Whole Foods about 2-3 times a week (and I picked this up as soon as I saw it on the shelf).

As far as I know, Metro Seattle is the only place in the US that gets beers from Driftwood - so I feel very lucky (this, one along with two others - Singularity & Old Cellar Dweller, is amazing!)

A: It looks good. Nice lacing. One finger head. Burnt orange color.

S: Grapefruit, Pine, Peach, Floral, Orange? maybe

T: Starts with hop bitterness and then followed by sweetness, then finishes with lingering bitterness. Grapefruit, Pine, a bit of peach. Even 2-3 minutes after my last sip, I can taste this beer in my mouth. Well balanced too I would add.

M: Low carbonation (smooth), Medium-to-full body.

O: I really liked this beer. I enjoyed this better than the Red Racer IPA (Which is another great IPA from Canada). Seek this one out! Driftwood is becoming one of my fav breweries with its offerings!

 1,091 characters

Photo of Docer
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: (4.0)

- Perfect IPA color, slightly cloudy new shiny copper penny color. Thick fingers of white frothy head slowly settle to a spotty thin blanket of froth, and sticky thick lace all about the glass. Super good looking IPA.

Smell: (4.0)

- Nice fruity hops hit the nose. Little light spice, but more citrus, melon as stated, and a fantastic bready malt without an overbearing sweetness. Nice grassy hop presence as well.

Taste: (4.5)

- Oh yes. Lightly sweet, bready biscuit-like malt with a light caramel background. Light honey. The hops are glorious. Nice bitter pine and grass up front, and a fruity zesty finish. This puppy is hoppy, yet very balanced at the same time. I love the bitter zing punch to the tongue. This beer is damn good.

Mouth Feel: (4.5)

- Solid medium bodied brew with a mouth watering bitterness. It's balance, and lack of super sweetness make this beer unbelievably easy to drink. Perfect IPA carbonation, and a chewy feel.. just what an IPA should be like.

Overall: (4.5)

- Very impressed with this beer. It's about time I had some more Canadian goodies. Folks near this brewery are blessed people. I highly recommend this beer, and hope to perhaps see it on draft around town soon. High marks.

 1,244 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 Bunman3
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 349 characters

Photo of Bugs318
4/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

 544 characters

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a speiglau IPA glass.

The color is a burnt Amber gold. With a thin full head.

Lots of rich sweet orange blossom honey in the aroma. Extremely floral.

Very earthy bitterness on the taste. Slight pine with an intense bitter flavor.

Very excellent beer.

 286 characters

Photo of dcloeren
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bomber with JayAre46. Thanks son

A: poured a hazy burnt orange with a finger of eggshell white foamy head. The carbonation bubbles slowly make their way through the syrup to the top. Head slowly made it's way to a thin film and left some spider webs along the way

S: orange juice, caramel covered grapefruit, pineapple and floral hops dominate. Subtle malt and pine background

T: floral and pine off the bat complimented with orange peel and grapefruit. Not alot of malt to speak of... I wish the caramel scent would be more present on the palet

M: medium to light bodied, alot thinner than I was expecting... Prickly carbonation attacks my taste buds with every sip.

O: this was a good IPA but nothing special. The scent was alot more pleasant than the taste... I woulnt turn down another one of these.

 817 characters

Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 141 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe