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Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

6,636 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,636
Reviews: 1,800
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.76%
Wants: 141
Gots: 690 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-07-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fat Tire Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,636 | Reviews: 1,800 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hawthorne
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It'd been about eight years since I had my last one of these, so when I was in Albuquerque for a conference I couldn't wait to dive into one. I was reacquainted with this brew via the tap and it was as memory suggested, pleasant and enjoyable; no frills, just malty goodness.
Appearance: from the tap in a frosty mug - yes it was very appealing!
Smell: nice malt
Taste: delightful!
Drinkability: I had several and am a better person for it.

Hawthorne, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of wcudwight
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Rust in color with a thin wispy moderate sized head. Head recedes kind of fast but leaves nice sticky lacing behind.
Smells like homemade biscuits with hints of pear. Oddly this combination works.
Caramel malts with kind of a doughy flavor. Hints of good ole southern sweet tea. A bit of pear in the finish.
Medium bodied with a dry finish.
Pretty average amber with great sessionability.

wcudwight, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of bluejacket74
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, best before 12/12/2008. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours a slightly hazy orange/amber color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both OK. The aroma is toasted and caramel malt, bread, and a little bit of fruit and grassy/herbal hops. It tastes like toasted malt, biscuit, peppery spice, ginger, nuts and caramel. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's crisp and has average carbonation. Drinkability is good, it goes down easy and it's easy to drink. Not a bad choice as an occasional session beer, either. If New Belgium ever started to distribute their beers to Ohio I'd buy Fat Tire again from time to time.

bluejacket74, Nov 22, 2008
Photo of SFLpunk
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my girlfriend for bring me back this bomber and a matching pint glass from her recent trip to Fort Collins, CO.

22oz brown bottle, with freshness stamp on label (16JAN09). Poured into a Fat Tire pint glass.

Appearance: Bright amber and really clear. A thick, fluffy white head formed, and faded slowly leaving a little lacing, and a stable coat across the surface.

Nose: Roasted malt (I think of a really mild lapsang souchong), black tea, some fruity-esters. This is what I imagine a traditional British house to smell like around the holidays.

Palate: That roasty/smoked black tea thing is amazing and mingles with flavors of citrus and glazed pear tarts. The carbonation is rather light, and the beer is really balanced between bitterness and fruitiness. The underlying earthiness (tea) is a perfect addition to this amber ale. Way out on the finish, there is a note of nutmeg or clove.

Notes: A really drinkable beer, I see why people ask for it constantly out here on the East Coast (I've worked in Boston, and now in Burlington, VT). It packs a lot of flavor for a beer that seems very filtered and/or racked. I was expecting something more Belgian in style (this is my first experience with a New Belgium brew), but find it to be very British in character. Anyone else get that?

(The only exception to this is my later discovery of a spice note, way out on the finish and as the beer warms. Clove?)

SFLpunk, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of philbe311
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Color is quite unique... Reminicent of a shade of light rust... A hazy mix of gold and brown... Fluffy, slightly off white head is comprised of big bubbles... Standard carbonation and solid head retention...

S - Very mild... Slight hints of malt... Bread crumbs and fried foods... Perhaps some spice and pepper notes...

T - Quick hit of malty caramel sweetness... Turns quickly biscuity in the middle... Finishes with a slight fruit taste and minor hints or herbalness... Minor nutty notes appear as part of the follow through and aftertaste...

M - Medium bodied... Strong carbonation... Lush and smooth... Silky... A little thin...

D - Very easy drinking... Not complex, but simple and solid... A great brew to relax with and friends... Highly sessionable...

philbe311, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of redjameskidd
3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: It looks good in a glass. Small, off-white head.

smell: Doesn't really smell like much.

taste: Biscuit. I've never tasted a beer that had such an obvious presence of biscuit. It's malty, and then there's this taste like a biscuit from a Cracker Barrel restaurant...a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view, I suppose.

mouthfeel: Very smooth, velvety.

drinkability: If you liked biscuit, you could be tossing these back all night.

redjameskidd, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of bort11
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Finger's width of head that quickly recedes. Leaves a thin ring around the surface and spots of lacing clings to the glass with each sip. Color is a clear bright coppery amber.

Smell is mildly sweet. Hints of chocolate, tobacco leaf, and hints of ginger. Taste has a lot of chocolate characteristics that finishes with a mild mineral after taste.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with a scrubbing carbonation. This is very drinkable. I suppose I have just overlooked Fat Tire just because it is so available. Won't make that mistake again.

bort11, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of haver
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank a lot of Fat Tire in 1994 when I was living in boulder, Colorado. This Beer is hard to come by in Ohio, so when I have a friend going to Chicago I ask for a favor. This Beer is very drinkable, and the smell of cherry scones always come to mind. Hop heads will be disappointed because the malt is up front. This is a great intro Beer for people who want to delve into craft beer. Smooth, refreshing, very good!

haver, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

mothman, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of roadhouse
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a pint glass.

Appears a hazy orange-amber with a half inch off-white head that sinks to a skim. A bit of lacing left behind.

Aroma is quite fruity reminding me a bit of apple juice. There are some toasty notes along with some caramel as well.

The taste is fruity up front with some caramel sweetness and midway through the toasty flavors creep in as the fruit fades into the finish with a mild hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, crisp and drinkable.

Pretty good stuff though it's not my favorite. Definitely a good starter beer to try and convert macro drinkers.

roadhouse, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle (BB: Jan. 19th 2009) into my shaker glass. Appears a super clear amber color with barely a finger of off-white foam. Smells grassy with a touch of caramel malt. Tastes of biscuity, bready grains, lightly toasted sweet malts, a little nutty with a touch of hoppy bitterness. Pretty tasty. Medium in both body and carbonation. To me, this beer is rather drinkable. A very good "bowling alley beer". After hearing the good and the bad about this beer for many years, I'm glad I finally got around to trying it. I went in not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised.

ClockworkOrange, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of jneiswender
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap and poured into a 16oz pint glass.

A-nice white head and a yellow-brown body
S-very floral, alpine grass
T-biscut, bread-like taste with a nice hop bite.
M-medium
D-nice beer overall, very drinkable beer. Could drink this all night. High in alcohol for a session but still...

jneiswender, Nov 13, 2008
Photo of williamherbert
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22 oz. bottle...

From copper to light red depending on light. Brief head but a nice bishop's collar up top. Clear and bright. Frosty & nice.

A bit of a weak aroma but pleasant. Malt heavy (typically amber red) but with a mild flowery hop in the nose.

Heavy, thick malt. A little roasted with German character. The Hops are secondary and mild. It's solid, not mind-blowing. A bit more roasted as it warms up. Hops are of the hallertauer/German variety.

It's a thick, creamy amber. Good to drink on an empty stomach. Goes well with a juicy burger. A solid beer. Could use more hops, but fine overall.

williamherbert, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of SugarMagnolia13
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Fat Tire pours a dark, deep, crystal clear amber-red. A large off-white head slowly decreases over the course of the beer leaving a wonderful, sticky lace.

Smell: A strong caramel, woody malt undertone that was accompanied by a faint fruitiness

Taste: Similar to the smell. Caramel malt and nuttiness are the main notes on this brew. I expected a bit of a hop bitterness at the end but instead I was greeted by a nice, spicy sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Way too thin for the taste of this beer. Reminded me of rusty tap water at times and put me off of this beer. By and far Fat Tire's weakest point.

Drinkability: Would be very easy to drink these if not for the thin mouthfeel. After two or so I am put off by the thinness.

SugarMagnolia13, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of jjanega08
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this on tap at a bar that I don't think really knows how to serve beer but here goes
A= deep amber color with no head and respectable lacing.
S= malt kind of a sweet smell made my mouth water
T= great malt flavor, sweet with a touch of bitterness at the end. Very distinctive breaks in the initial hit, hold, and swallow
M= great heavy feel perfect combo with the flavor
D= good beer to sit at the bar and sip on for a while. Loved it

jjanega08, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of LordofTime25
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear amber color with a big off-white head that last till your done drinking with good lacing.

You can smell lots of caramel malts with a subtle hop spice aroma.

You can taste the caramel malts as you drink and it finishes with a spicy bitterness too it.

A medium bodied beer with a average carbonation!

A delicious beer!

LordofTime25, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of ProfessorHops
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fat Tire

When first opening a bottle of Fat Tire by New Belgium, I wasn't blown away by the experience. Although the appearance was handsome, nothing quite as exciting as pouring a Belhaven Wee heavy or a Sam Smiths Nut Brown. Just seamed like an average amber ale esthetically.

I gave it the nose. It's aroma was remarkable. It had and abundance of fine wine or fresh fruit. I immediately then was interested in the brew. It been a while since the aroma of the a drink sparked my attention.

I then took my first swallow. A creative combination of sweet ale but not having to use an overzealous quantity of malt to achieve this flavor. Yes there was plenty of malt in the pallet, but more in the back than I am use to in an ale.

When ever encountering a ale that has this characteristics, it leads me to believe that the fine scrutinizing of raw materials and the sharp grasp of etiquette taking in the brewing process is present. I my be far off on my assumption. But this is the mind set I have taken over the years of beer tasting.

The finish was quick and moderate hop bitterness. Which most of time is a disappointment. In this brew though, it was a good compliment to the pallet. The pallet was very good, and I think a long bitter finish would have blown out the flam of the pallet.

Beer was bright and complex and drank easy. A lot of refreshment in this bottle.

Rarely do I encounter a beer I don't like. I am a beer lover. But I found this beer a special delight.

Cheers,
Professor Hops

ProfessorHops, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of ckaufman
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. into a shaped pint glass...

A: Nice clear amber color with a big off-white head. Good lacing and a medium amount of retention.

S: Lots of caramel malts with a subtle hop spice aroma.

T: Good balance with lots of caramel malts in the backbone and a spicy hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Medium body with a medium amount of carbonation.

D: Very sessionable beer... also a "cult" classic... how can you go wrong with that!

ckaufman, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of seedsofchaos
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought this at the local liquor store in town as it's one of the few decent beers I can get in town (without traveling 15-25 minutes into Carbondale). Not much of a selection in Southern Illinois...

A: A dark golden appearance... like liquid honey. Some light reddish hues in sunlight.

S: Smells rich and fresh. Slight hint of aromatic hops. Earthy smell.

T: Sweet and a little yeasty. Smooth and relaxed.

F: Light mouth-feel. Not thick at all.

D: Very nice. It's a nice smooth beer all in all and I would recommend a six-pack to anyone looking for a decent, easy to find, social beer. Good amongst friends. Good by one's self too! Would make a decent session beer with it's low ABV.

seedsofchaos, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of lackenhauser
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice, deep orange color with a sizeable head. Really not a lot of aroma here-just sort of says "beer". Very 1 dimensional. Malty flavor with a slight bite to it. Mild sulfury/yeasty flavor. Body is rather thin. Rather ho hum overall. I was expecting a lot more even with some of the negatives I read about here. Have wanted to try this for a long time. I think both it and I deserve a second chance.

Revisited 4/09 and enjoyed this a bit more. More of a solid malt flavor. Body is a bit stronger and this is a lot more drinkable then before. Would make a great training wheel beer for the novice craft beer person.

lackenhauser, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of joeysmokedporter
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft in a tall pilsner glass.

A: pours brown with highlights of amber/red, slightly hazy, 2-finger off-white head with some retention. Lacing forms as the beer is consumed.

S: earthy chocolate aromas, small amount of clove-like spice mixed w/ cherry.

T: starts with a big chocolate flavor which dominates the profile throughout. some caramel malt can be detected, set in an earthy backdrop that tastes somewhat yeasty. very muted spice and ester flavors in this beer, and has a continental hop finish that contributes to the earthy flavor profile.

M: a medium feel, carbonation about average; slightly viscous.

D: this beer is to California bars as Samuel Adams is to airport bars...always available and a good alternative. It is very flavorful, not too strong to have a few, and definitely a good alternative to other American ambers with its unusual chocolaty flavor. That said, there are other alternatives I would seek when in an establishment with more choices. While it distinguishes itself from ambers, this beer leaves me wanting more in the way of complexity.

As an easy drinker though, it is a very good alternative.

joeysmokedporter, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of Offa
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pretty basic, simple ale that's solid and easy to drink, but rather bland and one-dimensional.

It looks pretty good, being dark amber with a light tan, long-lasting, creamy head, slowly shrinking and leaving and fairly good lace.

The aroma is pleasant, caramelly grain and toast with faint hint of citrus.

It is very bland, being mostly a lightly sweet, faintly toasty-caramelly bread character. This persists pretty well, only degrading and thinning slightly, but it has just about nothing else, with almost no perceptible hop character or bitterness. I think I notice a faint hint of bitter lemon, but it's alwasy fleeting and just out of reach.

Offa, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of CampusCrew
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review:

This was a old time favorite but had not had it in awhile. was stuck in a TX airport and was excited to see it. ordered and was so bland I could not finish.

appearance: amber, light brown, bubbly macro head

smell: slight hops to almost zero smell

taste: Little to none, clear refresher

mouthfeel: very high carbonation, thin

drinkability: very easy but horrible dirty aftertaste. beer than a bud but not better than much other.

CampusCrew, Oct 13, 2008
Photo of coldmeat23
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Chimay Goblet
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

Clear medium tone amber color. Nice 1 1/2 finger head that dissipates quite quickly. Minimal retention, but some decent lacing.

Mild malty notes. Little bit of bready yeastiness. Sweet-tarts. Slight fruity sweetness.

Pretty light in the flavor department. Toasty malts with light caramel sweetness. Citrus fruits. Very mild hop notes. No aftertaste whatsoever.

Light to medium mouthfeel. (Not as thick as I'd like.)

I totally see why this is so popular among the masses. There is nothing in this bottle to offend the pallete. Unfortunately, there is nothing to excite it either.
Would I ever refuse a bottle of this? No.
Would I go out of my way to get it? Not at all.
[Probably my least liked product from New Belgium.]

coldmeat23, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of ATPete
4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber.

i was sick of not being able to chime into "i love/i hate Fat Tire" discussions both on this website and in life. Since NJ is NB deprived i had to make a trade for some, amongst a few other NB goodies...

Pours a beautiful orange brown color, huge attractive white head that is very strong and leaves lots of sticking. Fruity, floral hop esters in the nose. Candy sweet malts, with slight sweet tart notes from the nose invade first followed by an excellent hop balance. Other notes of nuts, melon, grass and semi-spicy yeast. Balanced and very drinkable. I highly recommend this one for a session brew. Hopefully us in NJ will soon have some NB on our shelves.

i can proudly say..."i love Fat Tire"

ATPete, Oct 05, 2008
Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 6,636 ratings.