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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.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,865 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,865
Hads: 7,675
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 6.63%
Wants: 191
Gots: 1,558 | 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: 1,865 | Hads: 7,675
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (366 characters)

Photo of baiser
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of packetknife
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
3/5  rDev -17.1%
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. (376 characters)

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
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. (335 characters)

Photo of TagoMago
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (561 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
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. (742 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (267 characters)

Photo of SheepNutz
2.68/5  rDev -26%
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. (668 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
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? (902 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (504 characters)

Photo of Loki
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
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. (261 characters)

Photo of studentofbeer
3.96/5  rDev +9.4%
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. (2,702 characters)

Photo of HiroProtagonist
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire was served from a 12 oz bottle. In a pint glass, the beer was a very attractive shiny and metallic clear amber, and was topped by an ample and resiliant off-white head that left thick and sticky lacing. The nose presented sweet bready malts and a robust, textured grassy-herbal hop bouquet. The taste matched the nose closely, opening up with bready grassy sweet malts with a touch of herbal spice in the transition to a nice orange-tinged crisper and lightly bittered finish...obvious Belgain pale elements.. The body was overly light and fluffy. Fat Tire is an interesting take on the amber style, with nice flavors, but it ends up being overly sweet for my tastes. (676 characters)

Photo of Hunter
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear amber appearance, typical of the style. Head of off-white foam, less than a finger-thick and quick-shrinking. Carbonation quickly shrinks to zero after the pour.

Odd collection of hops, vegetable, and malt in the aroma. Odd, but not unpleasant.

The malt comes through exclusively in the first taste, with a short backbite of hops in the finish. That vegetable/carrot aroma rears its head again in the aftertaste as well. Finishes pretty clean.

I have respect for New Belgium for being part of the vanguard of microbreweries in the late 80s/early 90s that set the stage for the public to demand more from their beer than Bud or Bud Light. But with the appearance of so many other breweries and their experimentation, New Belgium has been left behind. This, their flagship beer, is a solid, acceptable, drinkable brew, but nothing more. Average marks from me across the board. (890 characters)

Photo of moulefrite
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The infamous fat tire has now crosed my lips, and I'm still the same guy I was before I tried it?! This was a good beer, no doubt, and it gets me excited to know that folk are warming up to better beer. But I don't think it is a great brew. The pour here was a very light amber and the head and stick were generous, while not more than good. Aromas were redolent of horse dung and the straw that the horse eats-I'm guessing this is the malt-peuuu! Anyway, the mouthfeel was generous and clean. Flavors favored malt and toast, while the hop profile was somewhat weak. The beer was beefy, and whole grainy, and caramely, and at the same time downright barnyardy. Not sure this is a barnyardy that I want to re-visit? Thanks to Ron at Gluntz for the sample! The guy dragged this baby back on a plane for yours truly, and I thank him!! (831 characters)

Photo of HochFliegen
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire is a great beer in my opinion. Its deep copper color and biscuit aroma with a hint of berry stand out as in no other beer. The taste is a very smooth and fine blend. Its carmel and biscuit flavor are really something. A full bodied beer. Another great beer by New Belgium. (281 characters)

Photo of budgood1
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours out a crystal clear perfectly amber colour, with a tight bone white head. lotsa lace too. a pretty non-descript aroma shows off some bready and yeasty aromas...nothing spectacular. the taste can best be described as bready and doughy...lots of malt character without having to think too hard. there is a hint of hop bitterness present, but not to get in the way of the malt profile. this seems to me the quintessential session ale, or a perfect beer to wash down some pizza with. medium to light bodied. nice mouthfeel. malty notes linger in the aftertaste...just a nice, very drinkable amber ale. a selection i would recommend as crossover brew...solid flavour, little bitterness, a great beer to pair with food.

thanks goes out to beerangel for the sample! (768 characters)

Photo of CrescentFresh
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A little less carbonated than my favourite brews (Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada) but still very good. It has a mellow hop aroma and goes down well. It is one of the few beers (BMC swill excluded) that has to be cold for me to drink.

Another good point is that it's available everywhere. Easy to get.

3.5 out of 5! (315 characters)

Photo of ark57
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a crystal clear amber with a small, but puffy head. There is a restrained hop aroma with some maltiness. The taste is fruity and nutty with some biscuit notes in the light to medium, smooth body. It finishes with a slight dry bitterness. It is an above average session beer, but nothing stupendous. For me it is not worth seeking out while I live halfway across the US from its distribution, but it was not bad. (420 characters)

Photo of BrewMan82
2.96/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a red/gold amber with a short-lived white head. Aroma is subdued - a bit of malt and slight hoppy acidity. This beer tastes extremely smooth and easy - nothing about it is on the fringe, just smooth simple maltiness with little hop flavor - light and somewhat bready. Slight carbonation, but smoothness helps thicken up the mouthfeel. The aftertaste, like everything else, is slight and short-lived, but not a turnoff. This beer is extremely easy to drink, but I found it to be too simple - just didn't have enough oomph in any way to keep my interest. Well done - but not my style. (588 characters)

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

Golden red/amber in color, decent white head. Smell is apetizing and of cookie malts and a whiff of what I'll call new belgium hops. Taste is cookie malts with a kiss of those hops. Some lasting bitterness but smooth. A better than average beer but it goes down easy and tastes great. Great name too. (300 characters)

Photo of woemad
2.68/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap in the bar at Denny's near Spokane International Airport (I work there - me and my coworkers went to Denny's because it was the closest open place at midnight). I'd never had it, and the remainder of the on tap selection was peopled with the usual suspects.

My pint was a pale gold color, with a miniscule white head. It reminded me of the disappointing Fish Pale Ale I'd recently had. There was no lacing to speak of.

Smell was rather weak. It mostly consisted of a vague malt sweetness. I detected a slight citrus note that might have been hops, but it was hard to say, it was so slight.

Taste wasn't much of an improvement on the smell. Very blandly malty, with a tiny bit of hoppiness at the end that provided for a little crispness. It didn't taste gross, it was just very, very bland.

Mouthfeel was a little thin, but then again I sort of thought it would be.

This is drinkable in repeated pints because it is very undemanding, though I personally found it too bland to be interested in more than one. This seems to be very popular amongst those who have very little experience beyond the big 3, so I guess it could be a decent gateway beer. I was once talking about beer with my brother. He says his fiance's favorite beer is Fat Tire, then added, "She's not really into flavor." From what I understand, New Belgium uses the profits from this to finance their other, far less commercial beers, so in that light, I'm glad to have helped keep them in business. However, unless I find myself in another place where this is the best choice, I see no reason to have another. (1,607 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.32/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One can gather a good account of this beer's qualities from other reviews so rather than be redundant I'd like to share a story, which I hope will show just how special this beer is.

I first had the Fat Tire in June of 1999 at a graduation party in Chicago. Around 8 O'clock that evening with some friends arrived with several dozen cases in the back of their dodge. It turned out that they had driven to some place in Missouri the night before to stock up on the brew for the occasion.

I immediately fell in love with the stuff and was disapointed to learn that it was unavailable anywhere in my area. I asked my "buddies" if they would sell me a case, and despite having literally hundreds of bottles of fat tire they all exclaimed no. That was just the beginning of my experiences with Fat Tire hoarders.

After moving to liberal Madison three years ago, I was happy to discover that many of the city's Yippie types keep a tire or two lying around for special occasions. Even these typically generous folks, however, wouldn't share much with me, "the fat tire's to prescious man. get you own man."

I put an end to that last month, though, when I picked up a good quantity of Tire in Colorado Springs on a road trip. Refusing to sucomb to the meiserly ways of those who introduced me to the beer, I have sworn to give it away freely and to any who appreciate a solid brew., although perhaps sometimes with a price.

Last week I made my friend Thomas, one of those yippie types that I was talking about earlier, clean my kitchen for a Tire. Despite the grime build up in the sink, and the rotten potato that was sprouting a virtual tree in the corner, Tom thanked me for the brew and offered to help paint my garge for a similar payment in the future.

To date, I can not think of single other beer that so many people will drive so far and go to such great lengths to obtain. Sometimes beers just have a quality that go beyond taste, and they are those beers that become the thing of legend. (2,010 characters)

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,865 ratings.