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Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,880 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,880
Hads: 7,768
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 30%
Wants: 198
Gots: 1,653 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-07-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fat Tire Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,880 | Hads: 7,768
Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown twist off bottle with a packaged on date on the neck.

Appearance: Bright copper hued brew with a thick one fingered stickage of lace for the glass to deal with.

Smell: Hard biscuity malt with suggestions of bing cherries & a faint floral scent of roses.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Moderate body with a clean smoothness. Nice undertow of biscuity malt from start to finish. Light flash of hops to tame the malt a bit, some fruitiness becomes lively with hints of pear. Finishes semi-dry with a long lingering toasted flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: This beer is now of cult status in the US, such an uncomplicated amber ale … so easy to knock back a few, whether at a pub with friends or after a hard days work.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

First had: bottle at ?

A pretty good, readily available beer. Pours a clear amber with a nice finger of white head. Bready aroma, mixed with roasted nuts. Roasted malts in the taste, nutty, bready, moving on to floral hops with a slight bit of citrus in there. Medium mouthfeel, finishes dry, and overall quite easily drinkable. It's the Yuengling of the the West.

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Photo of russpowell
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

BBD of 3 may 08

Finally broke down & decided to review this. Git this in the folly 12 mixer. This is the one craft beer you can get here at places when they serve no other, so it does have soft spot in my heart as the ultimate plan B:

Pours an effervescent honey/amber with 1+ finger of cream colored head. Good head retention & above average lacing

S: Biscuitty malt

T: Sweet biscuitty malt with a bit of citric hops & some buttery notes up front. A bit of flinty dryness as this warms, plus a bit of toasted malt & a touch of lemony hops. Finishes with a slight dryness, a tinge of sulphury notes & more butter

MF: Light/medium bodied & slightly over carbonated, plus okay balance, but skews a bit sweet (not malty) to me

Drinks alright, this is better on draft, but just a slightly better than average amber

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been described as the beer that pays the bills at New Belgium, and when driving through the Denver / Fort Collins area this beer was everywhere. Appearance: Golden amber with a velvet like smooth cream colored head leaves nice collar of lacing and forms rings with each sip. Aroma: Well balanced between the biscuit malt and caramel sweetness with a dose of finishing hops that biscuit malt character is excellent. Taste: Crisp malt biscuit with caramel malts, light bready sweetness with a cleansing hop that comes through very lightly this is a wonderful session brew and could ver well take off and be one of the best crossover brews ever. Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied smooth carbonation decent texture. Drinkability: Excellent could buy a case of this baby and never feel bad about it.

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Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honey golden in color; clear with an awesome head that leaves a beautiful sticky lace.

Biscuit malt aromas--very clean smell with a slight touch of hop. The flavoring also features biscuit malt and possibly some crystal malt. The hop is subtle but very much present. A very full but balanced flavor.

The carbonation is on the high side, but this counteracts the full body. Lingering bitter hops lasts long after the swallow. This is a very nice ale that would go well with a large variety of foods.

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Photo of superspak
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into signature globe glass, best before 4/27/2014. Pours fairly crystal clear pale orange copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, floral, grass, herbal, light citrus, light pepper, and floral/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of caramel/toasted malt and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, floral, grass, herbal, light citrus, light pepper, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Slight herbal/pepper bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, toffee, biscuit, floral, grass, herbal, light citrus/pepper, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Well balanced flavors of caramel/toasted malts and moderate herbal/earthy hop flavors; with solid robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this a good amber ale style. Balanced caramel/toasted malt and earthy hop flavors with solid robustness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A pleasantly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fat Tire has a bit of a hype around it, especially in regions, like mine, that do not receive this Colorado amber. What could be the reason, I wonder, why do so many rhapsodize so dreamily about it? Is it the equal or better of world classics from Europe, or does it stand out against America's legendary micros? I was determined to find out...
Fine, bubbly, but brief, head, over a bright amber color. Nice fruity touches in the aroma, and the more I "drink in" the nose, the more I seem to find...tropical fruits, mango, banana?, peach, apricot, a hint of gentle spices, and a whiff of flowers, even. Nice grainy, gritty texture, but overall, very smooth palate. Hops seem to be lying low, and malt does it's part, without taking the spotlight. Slight sourness in the finish, later absorbed by tasty sweetness. Well-balanced, and enjoyable. I can imagine a pleasant session with these.
So why the cult status? I have a few theories. 1. Funny name. 2. There's a bike on the label. 3. It's an easily consumed, delicious ale that accompanies fond memories of seeing jam bands in Colorado, and the perfect thing to stock in the cooler at the post-show drum jam. Enjoy, all you hippies, enjoy!!!

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Photo of mdfb79
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark amber color with about an inch of white head that has little retention. Moderate carbonation.

s - Smells of fading hops and sweet malts. A little weak and a bit of an odd smell from the malts.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, as well as sweet malts again. Also tastes of bready malts. Not sure what it is, but the malt taste does not taste that great to me.

m - Light body with a good amount of carbonation.

d - Overall the smell and flavor of this beer did not appeal to me too much. It wasn't bad, but an odd bready/sweet malt combo that I wasn't the biggest fan of. At 5.2% if you liked the taste you could definitely drink a few of these given the light body, but I won't be looking to get more of this anytime soon.

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Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2014 update to a previous on tap rating. 12 oz can bb dated on bottom at July 2014.

Pour is amber with a rather orange tone; clear; A small amount of coarse carbonation was visible.

Aroma: Caramel malts over citrusy hops.

Flavor: Sweet up front. Malty, Balanced mid-taste through the finish.

O: A well-crafted brew deserving of its widespread appeal (and sales).

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Photo of orangesol
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a plastic cup while at h2O. Drinking beers at the car show.

A - Pours nice amber orange with a dense two finger tall off white head leaving small rings of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of sweet caramel malts, toffee, dulled hops, and some fresh baked buttered biscuits...Based on the nose this one is a little past its prime.

T - Starts off with a big dose of sweet caramel malt slowly giving way to a mix of even more toffee sweetness, dulled out hops and some light buttery notes. There is plenty of biscuity taste and feel in this one. The finish is a mix of sweetness and chewiness, lingering on the pallet for some time.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sweet, slightly chewy, feel that lingers on the pallet for some time.

O - I can see why people love this beer but I still greatly prefer Troegs Hopback to this, just for the sheer fact that I know it will be fresher than any Fat Tire I could get my hands on.

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Photo of jwc215
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to russpowell for this one!

Best before 06Sep08:

Pours light amber with a thin off-white head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of soft biscuity dough with light citrus. Mild.

The taste is biscuity. A slight bitterness balances a soft, almost toasty mild maltiness in the sweetish, pretty clean, finish.

Light-bodied and somewhat creamy.

Inoffensive, mild, biscuity. Not much to this one. Pretty mediocre overall. Not bad, but I can think of plenty other amber ales with more character.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer is amber and clear with moderate carbonation and a big white head of large bubbles that collapses leaving some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and mildly spicy.

Beer is surprisingly thin, grainy on the mid and late palates. It's thin on the front of the mouth and has a grainy aftertaste. It's not very pleasing overall. Just one of those beer that eventually you have to get around to trying, now I have.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a medium copper in copper with some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that reduces somewhat leaving a thin film covering the surface of the beer as well as a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: Hints of caramel sweetness in a malt dominated smell with toasted malts being the highlight.

T: Slightly sweet with the caramel, toasted, and biscuit malt backbone. Well balanced with the hops as there is little detectable bitterness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation.

O: Pretty easy to drink and definitely a sessionable beer. While this beer is not really anything special, it is a good and easy to approach first craft beer for newer folks to the scene - I know a lot of folks that had this as a stepping stone from BMC to craft.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear amber color with a small white head on top, not much retention. Reduces to a white cap on top. Nice sheets of lacing all around the glass.

S: Upfront there is some caramel and grainy malt. A little bit of biscuit and some light grassy/citrus kicks in midway through.

T: Very similar to the nose, hints of grass, but mostly biscuit and grainy malt upfront with some caramel on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Nothing wrong with this beer at all, easy drinking.

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Photo of mothman
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light off white head. Color is a hazy orange... not amber at all. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell is of hops. This is a very distinct smell, one of which I haven't smelt before. Kind of fruity. There is definitely a caramel taste to this beer, along with the floral hops that are heavily present. For only being a 5.2% beer, the presence of alcohol is way high. I have drank much higher and not tasted the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is great... very, very smooth. Mouthfeel is definitely the best part of this beer. Light bodied.

I have had this on tap and it is by far way better. On tap, the color is actually amber. Overall, I wouldn't buy this if I was looking for an Amber... it just doesn't seem to fit the style very well. However, I do enjoy it, because of all the hops.

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Photo of stakem
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle care of Pete, thanks man and thanks to Mike for bring it home from Texas. The presentation is a brown format bottle that is "westvleterenesque" in the way it has a small raised collar around the neck of the glass. Best before dating of February.

Poured into a pub glass, this brew appears a clear golden copper color that is quite clear except for the tiny particulate floating around in suspension. It displays just shy of 2 fingers worth of slightly yellowish stained head that is creamy. It recedes back to a thin layering across the top and leaves a webbing of patchy lace about the glass.

The aroma includes a scent of fresh grains upfront that has a lightly toasted quality. The hops come across with a light fruity scent that is almost like orange-rind. Further inspection reveals a light sulfur note towards the back end of the nose. Diacetyl comes forward and is evident as this brew warms up.

The taste further encompasses all the aspects included in the nose. A fresh grainy taste is upfront with a flavor of toasted malt that imparts a touch of sweetness which brings out a slight fruity character that is lightly orange-like. The aftertaste has a touch of sulfur and buttery notes of diacetyl that linger in the mouth with a light yeastiness and bready grain.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is well rounded and a fine example of the style. The alcohol is well hidden and it is quite drinkable. The good aspects of this brew far outweigh the negative, there is a reason these guys have been around for 20 years now.

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Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It is light, but there are traces of pale and light crystal malts. The taste is decent as well. It has a light and grainy pale malt flavor with a bit of crystal malts as well. It goes down smooth and finishes dry and slightly malty. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine amber ale. I wish it has a more complex aroma and flavor, but it drinks well regardless.

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Photo of tdm168
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very pale amber with a lot of white frothy head. Good retention. The smell has nice malt and citrus hop notes. Up front this beer has a really nice malt profile, but there's a smoky or burnt flavor that I detect in the finish. There is also a decent hop character but it is at odds with the malts. The hops come across more citrusy which does not balance well with the smoky malt character. Mouthfeel is nice though; crisp, clean, and medium bodied.

Though this is NB's flagship, I think they have so many other great beers to offer that are far better than this.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find that I hadn't reviewed this before.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is toffee with some bready malt. The flavor is toffee, bread and some grassy notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very easy beer to drink, but there is not much going on aroma or flavor wise.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

05/29/05- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle, forgot to look for dates. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Golden, maybe reaching for a darker color, pour. Lively pour which disappears soon. Little lacing along the edges.

Smell- Mostly malty scents. A bit of carboard or wet paper scent as well.

Taste- Heavy wet carboard malt flavor. A bit stale maybe? Some very bitter-like hop flavors as well. Is this the Fat Tire everyone is so crazy about?

Mouthfeel- Well carbonated, little aftertaste, but leaves you gasping for water from the dryness.

Drinkability- Truthfully, I'd rather have many beers instead of this one, including even a few macros. Not horrible, but not the taste I was expecting. Maybe I got an old one....I hope at least.

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Photo of billab914
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. It poured amber in color with a bubbly, frothy, half inch head filling the top of the glass.

The aroma shows a lot of bready, biscuity, slightly grainy flavors. I get a little caramel to it as well. Not a bad aroma, but a little one dimensional.

The taste has more of a caramel and toffee flavor to it. I get some of the bready, biscuity flavors as well with just a hint of graininess to it.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall it's a decent beer, but nothing that really stands out. It's flavorful but feels a little one dimensional to me. Again, not a bad beer, but not an outstanding one either.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I thought that by coming to Denver, I would have no problem finding this beer in a CAN. It turned out to be my quest for the great white whale. It existed, but just out of my grasp. I finally scored a sixer and have some for CAN-only trades.

I had just done a warm-up with Breckenridge Amber, but this is the gold-standard for an Amber beer. Let's see.

My bartender's pour created a finger-and-a-half of tawny head with good retention. The color was a really bright orangish-amber, translaing to NE-quality clarity. The nose was biscuity malty and I am so glad that someone explained that phrase to me. Again, this was the standard bearer for the style. Mouthfeel was medium and although the CAN mentioned "Toasty malt flavors in tandem [(har)] with hoppy freshness", I simply got the malt. This was eminently drinkable, especially in the amber style. The finish was smooth and slightly dry. I do not miss the sugary sweetness of some CANned beers which I have reviewed.

Shore/Beach: If you CAN find it, hell, yeah! It was an elusive beer in my estimation, but once I found it, I was glad that I had. Ten Fidy is NOT coming wih me to the Jersey shore!

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Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a 1" head that slowly receded to a surface foam. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma is of caramel and soft citrus.

Taste: this beer has a nice dry malty backbone as caramel, light orange, bread, and a mild bitterness complete the flavor tones.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. The mouthfeel is dry and lightly crisp at the start, and finishes dry with a short caramel and bready aftertaste.

Drinkability: a solid beer that is nicely drinkable on any occasion.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.27/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Nice label, 2011 Washington DC Commemorative Beer-Elation With Representation. Neat!

Out of the bottle, fat tire pours a gold color hitting the glass and presenting a more orange copper amber. Some rising carbonation but with a two finger small head that is sort of weak and foamy without much retention. Leaves a simple puck while drinking.

Bouquet is a toasty malt but also kind of grassy reminding me more of an Irish Red Ale. Good grain behind this with lots of toast, but this grass smell throws me off.

Taste is mostly missing a lot of what is on the nose. Gas carbonation on the palate mixed with grass mild hop. Weak texture and a little wet, with a mild toast finish.

Overall this is kind of boring, it really lacks a strong malt presence, has a weak texture and taste, and the nose while good, does not remind me of a nice amber. I have no desire to have this again. I would describe partaking of this drink as one big fat giant non event.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Topped by a thin quickly disappearing head. A pretty copper color. Smells nothing much more than beery, but in a good way that reminds me of a dried cracker aroma. Light sweet taste with a cracker-bread bite to it. This is a good example of a beer with biscuity cracker flavor in it. A slight hint of some off putting taste, but this fades quickly. No real hop presence to speak of. This is a fairly bland beer from a brewery that so much good beer has come from. Oh well at least it allows NBB to make other great beers. This I would rate as serviceable when nothing else is available.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,880 ratings.