Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
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.

 1,602 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

 945 characters

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!!!

 554 characters

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.

 881 characters

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.

 526 characters

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.

 427 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.27/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 293 characters

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.

 214 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.1/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

 547 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a see thru amber colour with nice carbonation that leaves a pillowy two finger head that subsides and leaves subtle lacing,the aroma is pine needles,citrus and some kiwifruit,it has an above average mouthfeel and starts off a nice citrus burst and finishes with a subtle touch of lemon with no bitterness at all,quite a easy drinking beer and definately alot better than all the macro swill out there but in saying that have had better types of this style.

 472 characters

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.

 360 characters

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.

 585 characters

Photo of brendan13
3.03/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

 375 characters

Photo of drtth
3.8/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken on a recent trip to Sydney.

Poured into a wine glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a clear pale golden, almost bronze color with a ½" white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. but soon recedes and so sipping leaves very little lacing.

Smell: The aroma is mostly floral/grassy hoppiness with touches of citrus and traces of malt.

Taste: The flavors are pretty much as expected from the nose with some floral and grassy hoppiness alsong with some light sweet malt flavors. There also seems to be a touch of tropical fruitiness. The impression is clean flavor, without much crispness, but with a balance favoring the malt. There is some hop character here but the focus is more on the malt.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and has some reasonable carbonation throughout most of the beer. The finish is medium in length and hop bitterness shows more as the sweetness fades and turns dry.

Drinkability: I found this one drinkable enough in that one sip followed another easily and I certainly had no difficulty moving on to a second one. That said, I prefer my pale ales with a bit more hop forward character and the extra crispness provided by a stronger hop presence.

 1,279 characters

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.

 494 characters

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.

 338 characters

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.

 819 characters

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.

 825 characters

Photo of joecast
3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bright clear golden. medium carb and a light white head.

good fresh hoppy aroma. floral and citrus. very nice.

good hop flavor and a decent level of bitterness. not quite at the level of lcpa but more around the js golden ale. (slight edit. finished off a few more and dropped the taste to 3.5. a bit metallic and not quite as clean as i would like)

mouthfeel is slightly harsh though the carbonation doesnt seem all that high. unfortunately this has a big impact on drinkability for me. maybe let it sit a bit longer to arm up a bit so it can smooth out. not bad for $15 a six pack though.

 593 characters

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.

 1,323 characters

Photo of mulder1010
1.97/5  rDev -43.7%
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

 917 characters

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.

 225 characters

Photo of vancurly
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a) Pours a burnished gold, and white rocky head which sets well, some nice bubbling

s) Good, fresh late hop introduction: pineapple, peach, passionfruit. Faint crystal hint. Warms to a little more candy notes, and a faint tobacco leaf.

f) Unlike the nose, more seed/spice-like in profile. Cracker poppy/caraway seeds, bread-like notes, touch of guava perhaps. Grassy bitterness is not too over-stated.

m) Medium bodied, not cloying, and balanced

d) Quite a good drinker.... I reckon it's good for a few pints without overstaying its welcome. The fruity nose and spicy flavour provide a good contrast, and interest.

 618 characters

Photo of LittleCreature
3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Amber orange, sticky white head.

Smell - 3.5
Faint citrus fruit and bready pale malt.

Taste - 3.5
Soft, low to moderate bitterness, fruity, citrus flavour.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Goes down smoothly.

Drinkability - 4.0
A good session beer choice, although not for the die-hard APA drinkers.

My second review of this beer. If I am not impressed by a bottled beer, I rarely bother to review it on-tap, but I thought that it was necessary in the case of Fat Yak. A much better tap beer, although I have found it laced with diacetyl previously. Not in this example, where it is a soft, fruity and easy drinking pale ale that makes a great session beer. A good mainstream-craft crossover beer.

 716 characters

Photo of jarmby1711
3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Faintly hazed mid golden ale possessig a fine head that laced just a little.
Smells a tad watery for me but the hops do present themselves begrudgingly.
Plenty of hops on the palate giving pleasnt bitterness but lacking a little in the fruitiness department.What is there is like pineapple which if it was just a little stronger would make this more enjoyable
Overall the mouthfeel is oily but balanced
An interesting style of Pale ALe ,that is worth drinking

 459 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Fat Yak Pale Ale from Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
80 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.