Fat Tug IPA | Driftwood Brewery

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94
outstanding
158 Reviews
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Fat Tug IPAFat Tug IPA
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:
158
Ratings:
585
Avg:
4.25
pDev:
8.47%
 
 
Wants:
157
Gots:
158
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 585
Photo of spoony
3.84/5  rDev -9.6%
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 chickenm
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
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!

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Photo of Damian
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
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 SPLITGRIN
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a tall two finger head that is very light tan in tone. Body is a golden Amber hue. Nose is nicely malty but definitely brings the the hops all over the place to balance. Overall it smells great. With first sip I am amazed at how well the malts bring the hops to your tongue. So much balance and drink ability yet an awesome hoppy brew.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with a Best Before Date of Apr 18, 2017. Pours a clear orange gold with 2 inches of frothy white head. Tons of lacing. Aromas of grapefruit, melon, orange and toasted bread. The taste is lots of melon and sticky resin. Toasted malts with notes of grapefruit and orange zest towards the end with a piney, resinous finish. Pretty balanced but with a bitter grapefruit bite. Body is a bit light with an oily mouthfeel. Easy drinker. Overall, solid IPA I'd buy again.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Matt and shared with the father-in-law. Thanks for the chance buddy!

Pours a juicy orange with a nice puff of white that lasts throughout most of the glass. Moderate lacing adds to the appeal. An inviting looking beer.

Smells of tangerine and light wet pine. Touch of crackery malt hovers as well.

Big creamy mouthfeel, cracker and light biscuit malts provide the base for citrus rind and grassy light bitterness.

Overall, this is really enjoyable despite the fact that it's neither overly unique nor stands out in any way other than a really nice feel. Each sip begs another and the creamy light mouthfeel and mellow bitterness is appealing. Bitchin job you crazy Canucks.

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Photo of TerryW
3.64/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Gotta say, I'm not quite understanding all the love fir this one. Its drinkable, but incredib!y sweet to the point if being syrupy. Just a bit too much of thalt for my liking.

Looks good. Moderate head settles to a film, lots of lace. Clear, rich golden colour. Juicy, fruity nose, a touch of soapiness. Hoppy pine, tea, orange. Interesting taste. But very sweet, redeems itself to some degree with some finishi g bitterness, but still sweet, sweet, sweet more than anything else.

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Photo of SebD
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

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Photo of byronic
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Medium gold with hazy opacity, fluffy head atop with some persistence. Aromas and flavor of citrus, tropical, and orchard. Fairly full-bodied and plush with ample carbonation. Notes of melon and grapefruit compliment milder malt grain impressions.

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Photo of randylangford
4.08/5  rDev -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 farrago
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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 DenisKolkin
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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 LampertLand
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
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 polloenfuego
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bomber. Hazy medium gold pour. Thin white head fades to a ring spotty lace.Toasted bread aroma. Taste starts with sweet bread but balanced nicely by piney resiny hop bitterness. Semi soft slick feel, finishes dry. Good stuff.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
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

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Photo of draheim
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
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 drdiesel9483
4.08/5  rDev -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 leaddog
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of BDTyre
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
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 Bunman3
4.19/5  rDev -1.4%
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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Fat Tug IPA from Driftwood Brewery
4.25 out of 5 based on 585 ratings.
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