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Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

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5,480 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5480
Reviews: 1753
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 15%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-07-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,480 | Reviews: 1,753 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of frazbri


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear gold-amber body topped with an off-white head that starts dense, but falls a little too quickly. Biscuit and fruit in the aroma. Bread flavors with fruitiness and honey sweetness. Round mouthfeel with moderately heavy carbonation and dry finish.

Fat Tire is an easy drinking beer. While it may be overhyped by some of your buddies in the rocky mountain state, it is a tasty beverage. Crack one open at the top of the mountain and enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2004 00:41:06 | More by frazbri
Photo of GreenWBush


3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fat Tire. How did this phenomenon happen? My friends categorically turn up their noses when I crack my "expensive" beer. Still, these same BMC devotees would have paid me a ridiculous amount of money to bring this stuff back to Indiana in bulk. How the people at New Belgium bridged the eternal gap from piss-water to respectable amber ale appreciators is beyond me. More power to them.

Speaking to the bartenders at New Belgium's brewery, it was more than clear that Fat Tire pays the bills but is by no means the brewery's heart and soul. Still, the beer is head and shoulders above most crap out there.

Copper. Slight, clingy head. Biscuit bomb on the nose, with hints of gummy plasticene malt character.

The mouthfeel is a tad clunky and heavyhanded. The package is pulled in with a slight, light bitterness. I could drink this, but no more than one or two.

My ambivilance towards this beer is cancelled out by my philosophical advocacy of the brewery and the continued experimentation this beer funds.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2004 21:30:05 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of Excalibur33


3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was introduced to this beer about 5 years ago on a trip to Colorado and have had several opportunities since then to relive the experience. It's an outstanding choice for those who are looking to graduate from American macro-swill but aren't ready for a heavy or overly-bitter flavor.

Others have noted the biscuity flavor, and I agree that it is very apparent. A small-ish head disappears fairly quickly, leaving a small foam ring that follows the beer down the glass. There is a slight maltiness in the flavor, and a somewhat bitter finish.

The texture is very smooth, making for outstanding drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2004 16:29:59 | More by Excalibur33
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is surely to become an American classic session beer along with Alaska Amber to join the SNPA ranks. It is a nice dark gold colour with fine hoopy nose. What makes this beer for me is the drinkability combined with an attention to flavour and hops. I always want just one more sip with this beer and that my friends is a good thing.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 03:13:55 | More by canucklehead
Photo of hobbes2112


3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

Fat Tire is a beer that I have kept around as a "sharing" beer. Good one to serve to those that aren't beer people yet.

Pours a solid copper with a small white head that leaves quite a bit of lace.
Aroma is not very strong of anything, but you can certainly pick out sweet and grainy notes. Taste is very mild and smooth with mostly a bready middle and semi-dry finish.

I don't think of this as a stand-out beer in anyway, but it is something most people can enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2004 21:31:43 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of misterscooter


4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, a warning: this beer does not smell good. It isn't skunky or repulsive, but it isn't a friendly smelling beer. But that is OK. In fact, it has character and lets you know this is no ordinary beer.

A nice golden brown color, I was surpised that it was poured out of the tap without much head. Maybe that is the bartender, though, and not the beer. The first taste is complex and you realize why it doesn't smell so great. The layers of flavor don't allow one smell to come out so it is a mix of peppers, citrus, wood, sky, dirt, etc. It definitely isn't a beer for everyone but that is fine. You'll notice that people seem to like it or hate it and if it is on tap, those who like it usually get that sometime in the evening. It isn't a favorite but I like having it available because it definitely hits a spot that other beers can't.

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2004 03:36:41 | More by misterscooter
Photo of redmosquito


3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this a few years ago while in Colorado and I didn't recall much about it, so I was excited to try it again this summer. Nice deep red color, not much head. Yeasty smell, with nice nut and roast aromas, little hops. Nice malty flavor with a good roasted malt finish. Clean finish with enough body to carry the flavor. A good beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2004 16:51:00 | More by redmosquito
Photo of WesWes

New York

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2004 12:05:37 | More by WesWes
Photo of ColoradoBobs


3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 ounce tall mug, on tap at Texas Roadhouse, Ft. Collins, CO, August 30,2004

Appearance: Nice rusty amber, with a two-finger head that reduced to one finger and remained the whole drink.

Smell: Sharp hops foreground with a biscuit malt presence. A slight hint of gingerand pepper, perhaps. Nice.

Taste: Starts with a crisp sharp hoppiness with a smooth malt undertow, none of the spiceyness of the smell. Pretty average stuff.

Mouthfeel: Clean, round and smooth, more presence than one might anticipate from an amber ale.

Dinrkability: Perhaps a bit too much carbonation to drink several. Nice enough for a couple.

Overall, I think this beer is better on draught than bottled. Drinking it three miles from where it was put in the keg didn't hurt, I'm sure. I know people who rave over this beer. My son and I (who turned 21 today!) both thought it was decent, but nothing to rave about.

Serving type: on-tap

08-31-2004 05:20:55 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of TastyTaste


3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Written From Notes Compiled 6/04-8/04:
Note: I drove 1 hour and 45 mintutes each way to get New Belgium products.
Well hyped by colorado natives where ever you go, but does this beer stand up to it? Pours a clear rust color, with 2" of white head. Smells intensely of biscuit maltiness. Slight chocolate aroma. Taste is very grainy, again with the biscuits. Hops balnces well. Good, but not "the best beer in the world", as I have heard it called on a few occasions.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2004 19:21:45 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of granger10


3.15/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, I have heard enough about this beer from my Colorado friends, and I was finally able to give it a try. It has a bronzish copper look to it with a large foamy white head. But just from looking at it I could tell the body was going to be weak. It was watery looking. The smell was quite nice with a caramel toastiness. The flavor was all malts, no hops or yeast or anything else. I got a whole lot of toasted biscuit. It was good at first but wore on me quick. Really cloying imo. The biscuit flavor clung to my mouth. The body was really light which enabled me to drink this beer rather quickly. I could see how people who are used to the Bud Light's would get into this. It's light in body with actually some flavor. But it does nothing for me. Still this could possibly be a session beer once I get past the sticky maltiness.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2004 05:12:45 | More by granger10
Photo of GuinnessSmurf


3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent purchase if you are looking for high drinkability - nice for long sessions on the same beer.

This beer pours a warm amber color with a bubbly head that dies quickly. The smell is mostly malty - i didn't pick up any of the biscuit everyone talks about.

Flavor is mostly malt and a syrupy sweet hop taste on the top. A nice mild pretzel/alcohol finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2004 01:38:01 | More by GuinnessSmurf
Photo of baiser


3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had a 22 oz bomber brought to me from the States. Poured a bright, amber colour with a small creamy head, left a thin layer of foam.

Smelled biscuity for sure.

Taste was a combination of some good and some bad. Had a nice biscuity maltiness to it. However, was a bit tart as well as a little skunky. The end of each sip was quite bitter, which I liked. Also a little astringent.

Definitely not the best amber ale, but nonetheless,quite enjoyable. Would be more drinkable, but there is a small element of some unpleasant flavour which is hard to describe.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2004 07:51:18 | More by baiser
Photo of packetknife


3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

'ESPNZone' in the 'New York - New York' in Vegas. Light crystaline amber in color, no discernable head, foam rings held at each swallowing interval all the way down the giant mug. Smelled slightly of apricot on the nose, sweet. Mildly hoppy, sweet malts, very clean and smooth. Very drinkable even in the huge mugs we had. Server brutally chilled so that may contribute to the drinkability and dryness.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2004 07:45:34 | More by packetknife
Photo of ybnorml

Rhode Island

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

A bright amber ale with a little head that evaporates quickly. Has a light malty kind of biscuit aroma. A quick short twinge of bitterness to wake up the taste buds. But it is a wasted effort. There is only a slight hint of malt in the finish and it's done. I was expecting a little more flavor. It has a decent drinkability as there is not all lot of flavor to slow you down.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2004 23:23:40 | More by ybnorml
Photo of Gagnonsux


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

Appearance is deep copper with nice, average-sized head. Smell is mainly of biscuity malt with slight hints of floral smells. Taste is fairly uncomplecated, but still very good and balanced. Malty finish is the strongpoint here. Fat Tire would be a really good session brew and a good beer for converting macro fans towards craft brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2004 22:27:27 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of TagoMago

New York

3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. twist-off bottle poured into a shaker.

Appearance: Deep golden-amber in color with a fine white lace.

Smell: Malty, with a very biscuity character. Some fruitiness, too.

Taste: This is a very clean beer. The body is moderate, as is the carbonation. This beer is nicely malty upfront (very biscuit-like), with some bitterness from the hops to balance out the flavor.

Overall: A decent amber ale - nothing to write home about, but decent. This would make for a good session beer. It's flavorful, refreshing, and easily drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2004 07:10:39 | More by TagoMago
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2004 01:01:47 | More by Jason
Photo of BrewMaster


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

Pour with an orange and amber color. Small head that thins to a lacy covering. Flavors of dry raisin, cherry, slight chocolate and hop flavors. It lacks and crisp malty flavor and carries hints of dried fruit all over the palate. Very little aftertaste to be noticed.

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2004 00:40:49 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of SheepNutz


2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonick pint glass. It pours a medium copper color with three fingers of head that die off to a small collar fairly quickly. There is a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly grassy with some hops present, and a good dose of maltiness. Fairly balanced, but just a little light. The taste is very grassy, a little flavor of rice, even though I doubt it's used in the brew. Fairly malty, but tasted adjuncty. The mouthfeel is fair, a little light. The drinkability suffers some from the taste, but isn't too bad. I expected more in the taste from New Belgium. I don't know why this has suck the cult following that it has.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2004 00:09:25 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, rich, orange-influenced amber. The head is light tan with a hint of pastel orange and is mildly sticky. It resembles soft meringue as it falls, leaving adequate lace in its wake. The nose is good, not great. It's primarily pale malty with a smidgen of spicy-earthy hops.

Interesting flavor, but I can't quite put my finger on what makes it so. I appreciate lightly toasted malt with an underlying sourness and a component of herbal-earthy hops. Where did spicy go? I think it's the sourness and the hop flavor that strike me as different. The finish is both mildly bitter and lingeringly sour and the mouthfeel is average for the style.

I'm not all that impressed with Fat Tire. The flavor doesn't really push my buttons and no other characteristic elevates it much past above average. It's clearly a well-made beer, but isn't one that I'll drink again. So what's all the fuss about again?

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2004 21:32:43 | More by BuckeyeNation
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2004 21:38:37 | More by smcolw
Photo of Loki

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Brassy color with a very thin head.

Smell: One of the most unique smells I've ever encounted. Pleasant and not at the same time. Smells of bread and biscuity yeast, but at the same time like a clean, wet dog. Odd.

Taste: Dry malt, butter, burnt toffee, yeast

Mouthfeel: very dry finish.

Drinkability: good, I don't see all the hype, but good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2004 00:46:23 | More by Loki
Photo of watermelonman


3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured with a nice deep amber color, without much head.

Grains come through dominating all aspects of the taste. Carmel is slightly evident, along with a very minor hop profile. It's a pretty straightforward offering, and it's not too bad by any means.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2004 06:38:37 | More by watermelonman
Photo of studentofbeer


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

New Belgium's Fat Tire is from what I understand one of the great successes of craft brewing in America, with a decent amount of crossover appeal between beer nerds/geeks/snobs and your average drinker. I've also heard it is an overrated brew that's nothing special. When I found some on my recent trip to Texas, I had to give it a shot.

The bottle is very nice--the raised lip at the base of the neck recalls Westmalle. The beer poured out into a straight-sided imperial pint a brilliantly clear honey orange with an almost pink hue. The shortish white head died off pretty fast, but the color in the sunlight is pretty impressive.

A lot of roasted, toasty flavors came through the nose, with banana, roasted nut, burnt malt, apple and soap also figuring in the aroma. It was an interesting scent but not completely inviting.

I let this one sit out a bit so serving temperature was probably more than 50 degrees-- right around cellar temp. The first sip was almost too roasty, with not many flavors peaking through. Coming back for my next sip, a bit larger this time, I found a mouthful of candy sugar sweetness giving way to the darker roasted flavor, which leaves a tobacco taste in the back of the throat.

A bready malt flavor and hints of orange shows up in the middle and in the aftertaste, and the rather thick, oily body coats the mouth.

I had this beer a couple of times during the week in Texas and it didn't taste as good as it did today. I think each of the other times I tasted it the beer was too cold, leaving the roasted flavors intact but killing off the sweet sugar and bread, which made for a pretty unbalanced beer. At cellar temperature it's actually rather tasty, and would make an excellent session beer. Especially for an amber--not one of my favorite styles--Fat Tire does a nice job. The candy sugar/bready tastes put the beer somewhere between Belgium and England, a nice compromise for an everyday offering.

The roasted, toasty flavors still feel a bit oppressive and the slippery mouthfeel lasts a bit too long, but overall it's an enjoyable drink especially at a warmer temperature. Not sure what I would pair this with, although I think it would have been a better choice with the Pad Thai I had last night than the brewery's Biere de Mars, which was overwhelmed pretty fast by the dish.

I can see why this beer has its supporters and detractors, and while it may not be intensely complex as what one might expect from a Belgian pale ale--for instance there isn't much in terms of yeast flavor--it's a good beer that I wouldn't mind drinking for a session, especially if I was feeling burned out on the pale ale American superhop bandwagon of beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2004 13:03:26 | More by studentofbeer
Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 5,480 ratings.