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Fat Yak Pale Ale - Matilda Bay Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Fat Yak Pale AleFat Yak Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 118
Avg: 3.5
pDev: 22.57%
Wants: 6
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matilda Bay Brewing Co. visit their website

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: madvoice on 03-06-2009

Fat Yak first impresses with its golden colour, distinctive, hop driven, fruity and herbaceous aromas, giving characteristic passionfruit and melon notes, followed by a hit of hop flavour at the finish. The taste is refreshingly clean on the palate.

25 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 118
Photo of biegaman
3.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Fat Yak isn't such a big, hairy beer after all. Its clear, filtered complexion and clean, recognizable golden colour give this a real approachable look that won't intimidate anyone. Even the amount of head is agreeable - there's not too little, not too much, but just the right amount.

Obviously Matilda Bay care about quality; they uses only natural ingredients (no additives). So it begs the question: why allot such a prolonged shelf life for a pale ale? The date stamped on this bottle allows for another 8 months. Beers like this are best consumed fresh; hops deteriorate in time.

Nonetheless, this sample showcases a balmy bouquet of delicate floral and fruit notes. Dry-hopping definitely paid big dividends. There's a rose petal/pine needle/citrus rind profile familiar to those who've tried the famous Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Anchor Liberty or any of the many beers inspired by them.

On the palate, however, malt gets into the driver's seat and doesn't relinquish control, except in the finish where passionfruit and grass flavours make one big, final hurrah. Good thing too because those grainy and bready qualities of pale malt are fine, but not overly exciting in and of themselves.

When it comes to pale ales I'm happy with hops as both opening act and headliner. If I'm to drink a malty pale beer I'd order a lager. Mind you, hops don't have to overwhelm; people love tempered, balanced pale ales like Fat Yak for their ability to include the nice hoppy flavours and leave out the undesirable bitterness. There's good reason beers like this have become so popular the world over.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It has golden colour, distinctive, hop driven, fruity and herbaceous aromas, giving characteristic passionfruit and melon notes, followed by a whack of hop flavour at the finish. The taste is refreshingly clean on the palate.

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Photo of Act25
3.62/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beats Squires, but underperforms 4 Pines. Good session ale. Best at cask temp.
On my Sydney trip.

A clear dark copper with streams of bubbles that maintain a lasting head with lots of spotty lace. Good looking.

S Pale ale, mellow, but adequate aroma. Most in direction of English Ales... citric hops, sweet malt, lots of caramel.

T Nicely done - follows the smell. Not strong. With a hint of herbal hops, metallic body, caramel malts and lots of grain. Classic English ale.

M Light to medium bodied, clean finish, a bit thin, good long feel on palate.

O Good but slightly bland for OZ. Oz bars tends to lighter, paler, lagers and ales, and to session ales because they watch a lot of rugby, sometimes starting in the afternoon. And they seem to stay lean, fit and outdoors until they drop. It's an amazing country.

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Photo of Decko
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - clear Amber with good head and decent lacing. S - I love the aromas from this beer, especially when you get it on tap. Floral aromas really burst through and gets the taste buds watering. T- we drink this often as the go to session be and the one we buy by the case at home but it is a little light on flavour compared to what the aromas promise. The hop flavours dominate with fruity notes coming through. M - pretty high degree of carbonation from the bottle and I feel it's better after it has sat for a few minutes. O - a great beer at its price point but lacking something in the flavour which means it doesn't satisfy cravings for a more interesting beer. I do love the aromas though and still drink this on a regular basis.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber clear with a murky odd nose. The flavor is quite nice. Robust mouthfeel with sweet caramel malt underlying and buttressing the fruity-clean hop character. A nice beer that doesn't taste a lot like a pale ale.

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Photo of verysupple
4.06/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this many times in bottles and on tap.

L: Both serving styles exhibit perfect pale ale appearance; crystal clear with decent head formation and retention.

S: Citrusy hop character dominates.

T: Again, hops dominate up front with a bit of maltiness coming through mid-pallete and adequate bitterness finishing up.

F: Light-to-medium; good for a pale ale.

O: Very satisfying when fresh and served well on tap. Bottled versions have always seemed to lack a bit of hop punch for me. A decent pale ale.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.52/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Format: a solid very dark brown 345mL bottle with a standard Matilda Bay label. Decent.

Appearance: pours out a copper-amber colour with a decent looking body. Plenty of fine carbonation visible with a finger of white head that drops to a thick half-finger. Looks pretty good.

Aroma: plenty of citrus hops here with some light caramel and biscuit malts. Predominantly citrus however.

Taste: once again the big citrus hops with a touch of floral and those caramels. Very refreshing.

Aftertaste: a touch of hops bitterness, a touch of caramel sweetness and a touch of floral. Decent.

Mouth feel: medium in feel with a medium carbonation that brings the profile characteristics forward quite well.

Overall: another good Australian take on the American Pale Ale. Well worth the having, particularly for AU$55 a case.

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Photo of baumaxx1
3.14/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled beer served in a glass.

Appearance -
Pours a thick 2cm head which dissipates quite quickly to a thin film. Clear amber colour. Moderate effervescence. Plenty of lacing.

Smell -
Floral sweetness, orange zest, pine resin and toffee. Usual pale characteristics.

Taste -
Starts with hops and bitterness including lemon zest, and then becomes more balanced to reveal barley malt favours, and some sweet peach and apricot notes to finish. Starts off tangy, but the flavour retreats after the initial sip to an almost soda water finish.

Mouthfeel -
A prickly bite from the effervescence. A little bit of froth, a clean feel and medium light body.

Overall -
Overall a decent mass produced APA, with some interesting flavours and a bit of complexity to make it a good entry into the craft beer world. Although it fits well in the APA territory, the flavour is slightly subdued and watered down - easy drinking beer for the masses in the end and hovers between craft beers and the macros.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle poured into pint glass15/3/14

A clear light copper with lots of bubbles of all sizes and speeds feeding a fast falling finger of foam that leaves some polka dot lace

S melon, citric hops, sweet malt, caramel a little faint and simple but decent

T just a hint of herbal hops and a slight metallic aspect that neither helps or hinders, more caramel and some dry cereal's added to what I smell

M medium bodied, stops short of being creamy from the bubbles, fairly clean finish, a little slick on the palate after the fact

O not a whole lot going on but drinkable stuff, better then macros but I'm sure I'll find better craft while in OZ

New Zealand will be a hard act to follow but I'm looking forward to my month in Australia and seeing what I can find. My first brew in OZ and first live review in a while, kind of nice not writing in my note book for a change.

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Photo of marcoeloco
2.44/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Seems to me this beer has gone out the window, I have had it a few times on tap and it is still ok but in the bottle poured into a glass it has lost allot of everything. The aroma is now virtually non-existent to what used to be, not allot of head and not a great flavour.
About six months ago I had some and thought it may have been a bit off or something but I have only just had a go at another batch and if anything its worse.
I suspect the recipe has changed. to my taste it is definitely not the beer it used to be.

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Photo of drpimento
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice, foamy, frothy, fluffy, cream colored head at a good temperature and a little lace. Color is a clear honey amber with plenty of small bubble trails. Aroma is hop, malt, caramel, toffee, fruit. Flavor is ok, a little cardboard, circus peanut, sweet on top with some bitter and carbonic tang along with nose qualities. Body is ok and carbonation a bit fizzy. Finish is like flavor & fairly long. Not one of my favs.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.55/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Woolworth's. From notes.

A - Pours dark gold. Good carbonation, one finger of white head, slight lace and a film of retention.

S - Good citrus, grass, orange and light malt. Floral as well. Light but nice.

T - Floral with lot's of citrus. Juicy orange and sweet malt. Good citrus finish with some grain and peach.

M - Strong carbonation, medium body and a dry finish.

O/D - A nice little pale ale. Good drinkability and pretty solid. Not mind blowing but well-crafted with nice flavours and light. Good stuff.

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Photo of aBeeraWeek
3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It is a rich amber colour with a fair amount of haziness. Pours with a reasonable sized light coloured head.

The smell is mostly of the distinctive florals that are typical of the cascade hops - some very light citrus notes.

There is light citrus on the taste but now this is nicely offset with a more malty character. Well balanced with out with a mild hoppy finish.

Medium amount of carbonation and body that suits the refreshing flavours.

Overall it’s nothing too challenging or different, just a brew in the true sense of the American Pale Ale style.

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Photo of dansmcd
3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden amber in body with a bright glowing white head which dissipates down to a ring fairly quickly.

S - Mild citrusy hops without much else.

T - Hop flavours of grapefruit and orange yet no real bitterness. Some floral character pokes through and the sweet malt backing provides some balance.

M - Medium in body, nicely carbonated.

O - A decent drop alright. It was on tap at the office Christmas party and I wasn't going near the other option (Asahi) so it made do as a session beer.

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Photo of soju6
3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: served a dark golden color with a decent head and good lacing.

S:Mild aroma of citrus with bit of pine and some malt sweetness.

T: Taste of mild citrus and some malt sweetness. Fresh grain and an underlying bitterness and clean finiah.

F: Medium body,smooth nice balance.

O: Easy drinker, reminds me more of an English Pale Ale. Still an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of mcselecta
2.36/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer has changed dramatically in the last 2 years. The florality has died in the hops, and the beer is no longer a crisp refreshing pale ale.

I am forever trying to figure out whether it tastes off, or is this what it is supposed to taste like.

But a lot better than other beers lol

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Photo of Stew41
2.4/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not too bad but not great, and of course not a patch on the very good Alpha PA. Hop aroma is quite decent, albeit it mild. Think soft piney notes with a dash of tropical fruit. Can’t work the flavours out? Very dry, lean, somewhat bitter, but to me very much under fruited and under malted. I would have thought this would have posed competition to Mountain Goat (sorry Berge!) had it been any good but really it’s very much in the bland camp.

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Photo of Morningstorm
4.1/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My favorite sessionbeer while backpacking in Australia. Drank it loads from the tap and bottles.

A: Pours a deep hazel colour with a 1 cm thick lacing that reduces to a 0.5 lacing that stays the entire drink.

S: Sharp smell of citrus and hops.

T: Accents of hops, citrus and other fruit. Well balanced between the hops and the malt.

M: Nice body, not heavy like some Pale ales but also not too light. Nicely balanced. The carbonation is present but not exploding in your mouth, nice.

Overall: Well balanced beer that’s good for being sessionbeer. Drink it to clench your thirst.

p.s. there’s a huge difference between the tap and bottle. Hops come a lot more forward in the bottle and its more balanced while tapped. I recommend to drink it from the tap.

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Photo of aeolianshredhead
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Amber and reasonably murky. Good 2 and a half finger head which didn't stay around.

S- Nothing but floral hops. Simple but still somewhat enticing.

T- That citrusy taste followed by a definite hop bitterness. Can't detect much in the way of maltiness or anything like that. Pretty good, but not jaw-dropping.

M- Crisp and thin. Not a bad thing here though. Refreshing.

O- This beer offers no real surprises. That being said, it is still fairly decent. Basically, this brew is a true case of the old phrase, 'Could be better, could be worse.'

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy Amber colour with a White head that dies very fast.

S - Tropical fruit and some citrus. Not getting a lot of malt.

T - Taste of mainly malt and a little hop but fades ato the malty biscuit flavours.

M - Medium body and medium carbonation.

O - I prefer the Alpha over this but will quench a thirst.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided to review as had on tap today at Jacksons On George. Had in a pint mug.

Good one finger head, lovely deep copper colour. Lacing stayed for almost the whole pint.

Aromas of citrus, not too overpowering, and hops.

Taste is well balanced on tap, and perhaps less pronounced than from the bottle. Bitterness and hops give a well balanced backbone. Had with a beef pie, lovely match.

Drinkability improved and improved, as the pint went down. I suspect the lighter flavour of the on-tap serving helped here.

Moral of story, try your beers in a number of ways, wherever you can.

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Photo of philphilphil
3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appeared a deep amber with a decent head.
smellt of hops, and perhaps a little malts
taste was good albeit overhopped.
mouthfeel was good. solid carbonation.
overall it was decent but too hoppy for my tastes. would drink anytime but better things out there.

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Photo of Macca
3.3/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a light golden/orange colour with a minimal white head.

The nose is tropical fruit, bit of citrus. Not getting a lot of malt.

More malt on the palate but not a lot. The hops are a bit more resinous in the mouth.

Medium bodied.

This is won't change your life but it'll slake a thirst on a hot day.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fat Yak certainly has a reputation of a beer that is much better on tap than from the bottle, I guess I'll test this theory myself (I've had this on tap many times before).

Poured from a 345ml bottle into a Guinness pint glass.

A: Clear copper body with a white 1cm head that soon fades to a thin lacing ring.

S: Front powering floral hops give way to a sweet malty grain, with a hint of caramel. Nothing out of the ordinary here style-wise.

T: Sweet and malty with a back note of grassy hops. The hops are weaker than I remember from the tap version (although it has been a while since I had it on tap and I'll follow up with a review of the tap version soon for comparison). I think the hops could be a lot more pronounced for this style of ale.

M: Nice carbonation, not too fizzy, there is body to this ale however it is well balanced (not too thin, not too heavy).

D: This ale feels to me like an entry level brew for drinkers interested in the pale ale style - it's easy on the hops, the malting is pleasant and not too sweet, it's a well balanced affair. I could drink many of these over an evening, so it's a decent ale but it falls short of Little Creatures in the flavour department.

Food match: Chow Mein, or any other lighter Asian fare. Pizza; Margherita, Fungi or spinach and feta are all great options.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What time is our flight???? We have an hour and a half??? What are we to do??? You have a membership to the Quantas Club...Let's go...BITCH!!! Yeah Baby! Word to the wise....Brisbane's Quantas Club has Fat Yak....ON TAP!!! YEAH BABY!! United RCC could learn something from this place!!! The color was copper with thin white head. The smell was pleasing...subtle hints of hop and citrus. The taste was equal to the smell....for an Australian Pale....not too bad. Certainly beat the XXXX Gold!!! Fat Yak a SESSION...ABSOLUTELY!!! Stay parched my friends!!!

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Fat Yak Pale Ale from Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.