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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: 117
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 14.04%
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: 117
Photo of mulder1010
1.97/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

On tap at the Freeway Hotel

A-- A reddish gold color with an off white head with a good one finger head that kept retention through the drink. With sticky, thick lacing on the glass

S-- Very faint smell of malt, pine and citrus. Malt being the one that stuck out the most. Had to basically stick my nose in the beer to get a smell out of it.

T-- Not a big citrus taste or a hop taste, more of a carmel malt taste and very dull. NO real flavor.

M-- Was on the sweet side and very carbonated. The warmer it got I really thought I was poured something else. Was just carmel malt and sweet. Not what a APA is at all. I started thinking I may have got a bad keg.

D-- If it was a bad keg I will review again, will try again in bottle at a later point. Very little citrus in this and had a just plain bad mouthfeel to it. Honestly felt like I was drinking a VB or Carlton. Great look to the beer but went downhill quick

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Photo of mcselecta
2.36/5  rDev -32.4%
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 -31.2%
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 marcoeloco
2.44/5  rDev -30.1%
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 brendan13
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Fairly clear golden colour with a few centimetres of white head that falls fairly quickly.
S - Some vague fruity, grassy/herbal hop notes.
No majorly noticeable malt aroma.
T - Like the smell, slight fruity and grassy hops. A lager like maltiness.
M - Light bodied, medium to high carbonation.
D - Not too bad but there is better choices in the price with more substance.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a lagery gold with good head, very healthy carbonation and a bit of lace. Alright...

A good belt of hops on the nose, herbal and grassy. Slight bit of fruit, slight vanilla smell. Quite nice, but too subdued.

That's actually not bad on the taste. A bit lagery though, for a pale ale. Fair hit of hops at the back, none of that fruit that was suggested by the nose. A little bit of yeast flavour which gives it that lagery edge, but not too much. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky but it's inoffensive and drinkable enough.

Passable, not orgasmic.

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Photo of baumaxx1
3.14/5  rDev -10%
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 rjimlad
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I normally like Matilda Bay beers but this one was a bit disappointing. The Alpha Ale is a pretty hopped up number and the average Oz punter has a hard time with it. I love it. The Fat Yak is OK but is neither one thing or another. It is certainly a bit lagery but has no interesting fruit flavour despite a promising aroma which is hoppy and grassy. There is some doughiness in the flavour but not much else apart from some grassiness. It would probably suit most Australian tastes better than Alpha. All in all it's an average inoffensive beer that doesn't break any ground or impresses overly.

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Photo of philphilphil
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
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 CrazyDavros
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small head fades quickly but leaves nice lacing.
Aroma has lot of green grassy hops as opposed to the usual floral notes found in APA's. Some sweet malt in background.
Taste is malt dominated, definate sweet bready flavour. Weak hoppy bitterness.
This is closer to an english pale than an APA.

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Photo of drpimento
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
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 Macca
3.3/5  rDev -5.4%
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 dansmcd
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
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 eric5bellies
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
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 lacqueredmouse
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear bronzed amber colour with a filmy but solid head of white foam, that laces the edge of the glass in a tight ring. Nice carbonation keeps the beer looking lively. Pretty good.

Nose is slightly citric with a little leavened hop fragrance, but also a slightly sweet buttery diacetyl character. There's something rougher to it as well, with some earthy tones of tobacco and leaf mold. It's not bad, but it's missing the fresh and lively characters of the best.

Taste is similar - diacetyl comes through here as well, with some fresh green hop characters giving the only lift. Bitterness is extremely restrained, just a light bite on the back of the palate. Lacking some body as well.

It's a poor comparison to some other Australian Pale Ales. Much of the character is tamed, and it tastes overly filtered and dumbed down. Still, it's a drinkable beer, and eminently approachable as an introduction away from the generic macro lager.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
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 doktorhops
3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
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 juju7
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright copper with a tight head. Looking fine so far. A fresh, lemony, orange, vibrant hop aroma. Sharp but inviting. A touch of caramel malt in the background. Citrussy notes follow on the palate with a tidy, robust bitterness upfront that unfortunately falls away a little at the back. The caramel malt notes still hanging around at the back. Seems to fall somewhere in between APA and EPA. But leaning towards APA. But seeing as nowhere on the bottle does it claim to be an APA I don't consider this a fault. Me likes.

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Photo of soju6
3.48/5  rDev -0.3%
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 istarilord
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper colored ale with a very light citrusy scent.

Flavor up front is very acidic and fairly bitter. Floral, tasty hoppiness with light citrus & fruit. Very light on the malt.

Very acidic, coupled with carbonation makes for a stronger mouthfeel without the strong flavor to back it up. Probably good with a meal...

Reasonable drink, reasonable ale. Not bad, not great.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
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 aeolianshredhead
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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 wordemupg
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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 tbeckett
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
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 +2.6%
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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Fat Yak Pale Ale from Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.