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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.

1,866 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,866
Hads: 7,681
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 192
Gots: 1,566 | 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: 1,866 | Hads: 7,681
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)

Photo of Lupe
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy amber color with a small off-white head that quickly disappears. Some lacing is left behind clinging to the sides of the glass. Toasted grain and biscuity aroma with some hints of fruit. Sweet bready/biscuit flavor along with toasted grains. Hops show up to balance out the sweetness. Medium in body, smooth and creamy. Highly drinkable, but nothing spectacular. Great session beer that has enough flavor to keep you interested. (433 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good amber beer from a very good brewery. Fat Tire was on-tap just about everywhere I visited in the Phoenix downtown area recently. Clearly it is a local favorite, and I can see why it is so. The clear amber body sports a nice cream-colored head that laces partially down the glass. A nice aroma of malt is accompanied by decent understated hop notes.

The flavor is a bit more bitter than I reckoned, but not in an overstated manner. Clearly, this is a mature formula brewed to please a large audience and it does so very well. A pleasing feel and good drinkability are attributes of this brew. (600 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was told I would like this beer before I tried it. My buddy was right. It comes in a neat bottle with glasswork around the neck and a swell drawing of a bicycle. The aroma is of hops and fresh corn (wierd I know, but thats what it smells like). The corn aroma continues with the flavor and tastes like grilled corn. It is slightly sweet but rounded well with hops. I could drink this beer all day and be quite happy. (418 characters)

Photo of charlesw
2.7/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Staight-up average amber. I mean, it seems to hit all of the criteria for a red/amber ale - but it just doesn't do any more than that for me.

Lightish amber color, very clear, thin, creamy head - which doesn't last. You can just taste the malt and caramel - but only just. A bit light in the mouth - not like it's overly carbonated or anything, it just doesn't have enough body to it to suit me. I guess I'd call that medium body :) Just a hint of hop bitterness.

Hmm. Part of why I give this such a poor review is that I did side-by-side tests with this and 5 other ambers. There was one that was simply terrible, but other than that one, this one was at the bottom of everyone's list of favorites out of those sampled... (728 characters)

Photo of beertaster13
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The appearance of this beer is a light amber with a quickly disapearing white head. The smell is of a roasted malt with a hint of hops, some caramel notes as well. The taste is pretty good, roasted malt with not enough malts in the kick. Feels full but flat in the mouth, a drinkable beer but too expensive for just an average beer. You can get way better for about the same price or less. Just a little above average, as far as ale's go. (438 characters)

Photo of aracauna
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I can see why this is such a big seller. It's got enough malt to have a little flavor, but the caramel is light and not too sweet so it's a definite quaffer. It's crisp and clean with a short finish. It's not very complex and not interesting, but not bad. (255 characters)

Photo of MobBarley
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale pours a nice orange-copper with lots of carbonation. A healthy but airy head rises quickly and displays some impressive legs. Lacing is abundant. A nice looking amber. The smell is syrupy at first before moving along to some mediocre flowery hop notes. The taste is more akin to a red ale in my opinion, and has a nice bready profile up front. A mild bite of hops fills in the middle before the bready sweetness engulfs it once more. Mouthfeel is a little thin but o.k. for the style. Drinkability is average due to the lack of distinctive qualities. A slightly above average amber. (591 characters)

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

I've never seen Fat Tire in LA but found it on-tap and in bottles on a recent trip to San Antonio. I enjoyed it a bit more from the bottle but wasn't blown away by either. It's a more or less middle of the road amber with just a bit more sweetness than most. Hops seem to be a bit on the light side. I'd like to find some of the more adventurous New Belgium brews soon. (369 characters)

Photo of gnaussea
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hmm... I'm a bit torn. At times I've had this brew and enjoyed it thoroughly, but the flavor collapses if you've had something sweet before it. Either way, it pours an orange amber with a quickly subsiding white head. Smell is the best attribute. The spices are very notable over a strange, somewhat tosted malt that is not depicted by the color. Flavor is much the same. Hops are heterogeneous throughout the flavor, layered on top of the totasted malt flavor, but overall, the taste is thin. I'm disappointed as I love some other NB's but this doesn't stand up very well to scrutiny. (585 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
4.3/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a six pack at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pours luminescent amber with a light orange sudsy head. Some stray striations of lacing left on the glass.

Smell is of earthy malts and bright bready notes.

Well-rounded breadiness (or the "bisquit" flavor so often mentioned in other reviews, and on the bottle too) is the first characteristic I taste, followed by a distinct yet down-played undercurrent of hops.

The aftertaste returns to the opening flavors of bisquit and malt.

So, in other words, the flavor of this beer comes full circle. Don't worry, I won't compare it to a bicycle wheel.

Happy to see New Belgium Brewing around here a lot lately -- they're becoming one of my favorite breweries! (742 characters)

Photo of Todd
3.36/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fat Tire ... what a great session and cross-over to craft beer beer. Light, bright amber in color, creamy white lace head with a sweet grainy / biscuity aroma. Taste is unobtrusive, very mild, very slight bitterness with plenty of sweet, toasty grain flavor. There's a somewhat undesirable husky, tannin grain flavor that's very biscuity, but you get used to it. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy on the palate, even. Biscuit finish.

Nothing stellar, but it is what it is and does a good job at that. Did I say that this beer is biscuity? (543 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.01/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Fat Tire poured a golden orange with a creamy white head that had decent retention. It had a slight bready aroma...not much there. It was pretty mild tasting. Some tones of toffee and toasted biscuit. It had a noticable metallic finish. A fairly bland amber. New Belgium has MUCH better to offer! (300 characters)

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

Clear medium gold color with fluffy head. Doughy aroma with some yeast and a bit of hops. Flavor is nutty and grainy malt with a lack of hops in my opinion. Mouthfeel is medium and crisp. Overall average. A beer that wouldn't offend the average beer drinker. (258 characters)

Photo of Dubblebock
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fat Tire is a beer that has suffered a little from it's own success. I hear a lot of people dissin' it for no other reason that it has an image as a popular and readily available microbrew. Maybe it's a little TOO popular, maybe it's a little TOO readily available, and maybe folks now think that's it's outgrown it's roots. I dunno. What I do know is that Fat Tire is a perfectly good beer, one that I gladly pick up from time to time when I'm in the mood for a good, solid session ale.

Fat Tire pours a nice, deep amber color. The fair sized head will stick around for a minute or two. Good carbonation. The beer has a malty, slightly fruity nose.

Very smooth and drinkable. The malts tend to dominate the palate, but the hops make themselves known on the back of the tongue. Slight fruit tastes are mingled in the body. Bready and balanced, a well-made beer.

A good mouthfeel and easy drinkability keep the score for this beer pretty high. This is a great beer for any season, and it's one to pair with light chicken dishes or even seafood or Mexican. Fat Tire is a good gateway beer for those who want to expand beyond the Bud-Miller-Coors world. (1,160 characters)

Photo of BigRedN
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: Amber with a small white head which clung to the glass.
Smell: Malty, with notes of grains (wheat, barley?) somewhat like fresh baked bread. Very enviting.
Taste: Lots of different flavors (as a novice hard to pick one dominant flavor out). Not overly intimidating which is good, as this beer is usually on of the first that the macro drinker would try if trying something different. Noticeable hops.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, smooth, easy going down.
Drinkability: Very good intorduction beer for macro drinkers. If I have friends who normally won't drink a micro (BMC folks) I think it would be easy to hook them on this beer. Easy to have more than one.

One of the most popular micro brews sold in Lincoln. Its easy to tell why. This is an easy to drink micro beer that is beyond the typical macro, yet it would be a good introduction to get the macro drinker into drinkin micros and specialty beers. (923 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (808 characters)

Photo of BeerManDan
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this amber ale on tap and gave it a full point all the way around, compared to the ale in the bottle. On tap, Fat Tire was dark golden in color with loads of lace. The taste of light roasted malts and soft hops filled the mouth with pleasant fruit. There is no comparision between bottle and tap. On tap is a must try! (325 characters)

Photo of BittRnessabounds
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the brew is a bit tough, because it is a rather sentimental favorite of mine from a geology field course. Nevertheless i will try to be objective.

The appearance is that of the average american amber, reddish orange with a nice fluffy and almost rolling slightly off-white head. The smell is dominated by light roasted malt, but there is just a touch of hops that touch your nose, and a bit of grain as well. The taste is very much the same, nice malt character with a touch of hops to balance. Nice level of carbonation and medium body make this a pleasant drink for both taste buds and entire mouth. Very nice and tasty for an amber.

This is certainly not the greatest beer in the world, but it is very enjoyable, and it is most likely the best amber i've had. (780 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown glass bottle with a blurb about the brewery and the beer on the side. This brew pours a nice dark amber colour with a nice white head of foam. The retention and lacing are lacking, but I don't often look for these 2 qualities in an amber ale. The aromas are simplistic bready/biscuity malts and light floral hops. The taste is very much malty with a bit of hops on the backend. The mouthfeel is a bit light, yet still creamy and smooth. The drinkability is excellent as well. This is what I wish my local yuengling lager tasted like. One of the best amber ales out there, but it sill falls short of the excellent Treogs hopback amber, IMO.

Cheers to Bditty for hooking up these New Belgium brews. I'll drink some more and try to dull the pain of my horrible tooth-nerve pain that will need to be root-canaled next week! OUCH! (839 characters)

Photo of DESTRO
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a orangish/amber with a small white head. smells lightly fruity with citrus hops rising up. taste wise...big biscuity flavor, toasted malt paired with a really nice citrus hop rush ending on a dry lightly fruity note all delivered on a crisp and a somewhat dry, grainy mouthfeel. very tasty, refreshing and nothing to really not like. a great session beer and affordable to boot. one of my most frequent purchases because it always fits the bill.

$5.99-6.99 a 6er. (473 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of Fat Tire when I saw that the store carried a large variety of New Belgium Brewing Co.’s beers available in singles. The bottle had a “best before” date of 01-25-04. The beer poured a clear orange/amber color with lots of carbonation rising to a thin ¼” white head. The head had good retention and left some sticky lace down the sides of the glass.
The smell was fruity-sweet. Light caramel malt and aromatic hops were evident. The taste was less sweet than what the smell might indicate but was still enjoyable. Some grainy malt flavor was picked up initially before toffee and nut flavors played across the palate. The finish was modestly bitter and nicely balanced the maltiness from up front. The feel was light and smooth, despite the rather vigorous action of the carbonation, and dry.
I found Fat Tire to be one of the better ambers I’ve had yet. It has a nice malt flavor that is well matched by the hoppy finish. Definitely an amber ale I’d get again. (990 characters)

Photo of winomark
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a nice meduim copper with a nice off-white head and vigorous bubbles.

Aroma: Lots of roasted malt, with slight hop tones.

Taste: Malty palate, with a good hoppy bitterness in the finish to give good balance.

Mouthfeel: Dry and refreshing. Wonderful balance of malt and hops.

Drinkability: A solid beer, but becoming one the I go back to less and less. Just not exciting enough for me. (414 characters)

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice solid beer. Not the greatest beer in the world, but us beer snobs need to get over that. It is a nice, solid beer which can introduce good beer to the masses. It is extremely well balanced with a nice malty taste and a noticeable hops presence. The balance gives it a very high drinkability.

The hype is there for a reason. This is a good beer which the masses can enjoy. Thanks to the CA contingent of my wife's family for sending this out. (456 characters)

Photo of UncleFrank
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The New Bulguim beer thats not a belguin beer. Lets see why its so good.
A nice golden amber color with a fluffy head.
The aroma is a mix of citrus and toasty bread.
A silky smooth taste and mouthfeel is the best aspect of this beer. Its like another beer I know on draft only in the bottle. The slight biscut and caramel malt texture is balanced by the hops.
The after taste is balanced with hops and a
Aftertaste leaves a slickness on the cheeks.
the overall beer is really good, but I dont understand the phenomena surrounding it. (542 characters)

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,866 ratings.