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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.

6,773 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,773
Reviews: 1,809
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.04%
Wants: 142
Gots: 764 | 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: 6,773 | Reviews: 1,809 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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


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


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
Photo of johnrobe
3.65/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was a staple beer of mine when I lived out west and now it has finally moved east of the Mississippi. It pours a light, ultra-clear amber with a wispy off-white head. The smell is fruity and somewhat raisin-like. I attribute this to the combination of hops and an assertive malt, reminds me of special B, but I don't think that's what they use. The biscuity-caramel malt shines in the taste though it is somewhat thin in mouthfeel. This is the prototypical jack-of-all-trades beer. Good in many respects outstanding in none, which I don't mean as a slight. It's a good choice for summer, winter, with a meal, or a session, whatever.

johnrobe, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of rgrholmes168
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised that I had not rated one of my favorite beers in the past.

I poured the beer into a pint glass and got a nice one-finger head. There was a very nice bit of lace left after the foam went down.

The beer is nice and clear with plenty of carbonation bubbles.

I really did not get much of a smell from this beer. Nothing really stood out.

The taste is good and the toasted malt comes through. It is a very smooth beer to drink. There is not a bit of after taste with this beer.

This is a very drinkable beer and works out perfect on a hot day.

Although drinkable, this beer has been knocked down a little bit in my opinion as I have drank more beers and focused on the actual ratings.

rgrholmes168, Sep 28, 2008
Photo of msolar
4.5/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this is a terrific beer - great color, body, balance, flavor, and drinkability. It's a bit maltier than most, but that's a plus in my book as beers seem to be very hoppy lately.

I'm a fan of most of New Belgium's beers, and I think the "B" rating here is under estimating the beer. I'd put this on tap at home without question, if only NB distributed to New England.

msolar, Sep 27, 2008
Photo of Haybeerman
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Slightly cloudy light copper color. Poured a two finger light tan head. Lacing was thin and inconsistent.

S: Big malt aromas, biscuit and bread. Some caramel and dark fruit. Not too complex

T: More big malt. Very biscuity with hints of caramel malt. Sweet summer fruits and brown sugar.

M: Medium to heavy body, but very smooth. Nicely balanced carbonattion.

D: Very drinkable; see why its so popular.

Haybeerman, Sep 26, 2008
Photo of antilogic
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Just had this on tap, as I have many times before but happened to be at a computer soon after. Fat Tire is a great session beer -- very drinkable, although not a huge standout in its own right.

The aroma on a fresh keg is overwhelmingly roasted malts and biscut. The smell is delicious. The color is brown/amber with a light head. Maybe a little bit too much carbonation for my tastes, but quite good for an amber that has reached huge markets.

antilogic, Sep 25, 2008
Photo of drifter29
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at The Local in Minneapolis - great irish pub. The deep amber color was laced with a thin creamy head. Initial taste is sweet with a light citrus note but the mouthfeel lacks depth. It did not give the "hoppy" crisp bitter I crave from an amber ale but I found it refreshing and highly drinkable.

drifter29, Sep 24, 2008
Photo of gpogo
4.28/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Brilliantly clear light amber with moderate sized off-white head. The head dissipates to a smal covering, but leaves a nice full lacing behind.

A- Sweet malt aromas. Hints of biscuit malt. Quite a sweet bready aroma. Hints of caramel.

T- Right away I get that wonderful biscuit malt flavor, I've always thought of drinking this beer as eating delicious biscuits and washing it down with a nice beer. A bit sweeter than most amber ales I have had. Slight hop bitterness near the end. Aftertaste of biscuits!

M- Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. The sweetness isn't anywhere near cloying, but it is not crisp either.

D- This has been a favorite of mine mainly because of the biscuit malt I noticed as I was developing more of a taste for beer. Great beer for any occasion.

gpogo, Sep 21, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Certainly amber - a nice crisp pour, topped with a wonderfully creamy and rolling head.

S: Subtle, lightly toasted malts. Almost a hint of fruitiness. Biscuit.

T: A slightly sweet maltiness. Quite light, a bit of biscuit, nothing too overdone, but enough flavour to offer a bit of character

M + D: A lighter body, maybe a bit thin. Carbonation is a little soft which makes it come across as a bit thin (though it does have a little bite right off the tip of the tongue). With that mellowing carbonation, it's an incredibly easy drinker, though, and one that could be easy sucked back all afternoon. This is what I'd consider an ideal "lawnmower beer."

Proteus93, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of rtepiak
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

solid clear amber. small head turned to ring on glass. heavy malt and bread. cheap yeasty bread smell, and taste. some hop lingers. malt is earthy wood. not too developed but exchanges with malt and yeastiness... wood pulk. malt. wonderbread yeast. sugar. not very interesting. tastes like a test tube... or carpeting.

rtepiak, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Started drinking this beer years ago. Poured a deep red color with a very small white head, no carbonation really. Nose was off, malty a little, not much hops and even grainy I thought. Lightly hopped, nice malt and it went down easily. Overall a decent Amber.

barleywinefiend, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of iceball585
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Golden amber color, clear, one finger thick fluffy head that lowered to a thin cover, some tiny bubbles rising throughout

S- Pale malts, bready, toasted grains, hint of caramel

T- Caramel, biscuits, nutty, light malts, grains, slight hop bite near the end

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, smooth, sweet, clean

D- Great session beer

This is always good brew for relaxing on a summer day. Easy to drink and good flavors to match.

iceball585, Sep 13, 2008
Photo of Seanibus
3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have never understood the great reverence this beer seems to generate in Colorado. It's perfectly OK, but not amazing. It's main feature is the powerful toasted malt character.

Pours amber, with thin head but lots of carbonation. Nice lacing. The smell is spritzy and malty. The flavor is heavy and biscuity with a little floral hops on the end. It comes off a little apricoty on the finish. The mouthfeel is creamy and carbonated.

This is not a bad beer if you must drink it, but there are many better amber or red ales out there.

Seanibus, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with an old fashioned label of a little red antique bike. Around the picture of the bike is a vine of hop buds. This label has a wealth of information. Besides having the Government warning and refund values, it has a lengthy paragraph on how the beer's name came about, flavor notes, ABV%, correct glassware, proper serving temperature, a best before date, and even a batch number. They packed everything you would want to know about this beer onto this little label.

This Amber Ale poured a...well it poured an amber color. What else would it be? There was some orange in there as well, but that didn't subtract from it's solid amber color. It had an average less than 1/2 an inch white head of foam sitting on top of it. This head of foam actually had pretty good retention that left behind a skim of white foam and a streak or two of lace around the glass.

The smell coming from this beer was simple and light with some lightly toasted caramel malts, a speck of juicy fruits, and a small touch of peppery hops at the end. It was an Average Amber aroma. Nothing more.

The taste was also plain and simple, but at least it had some flavor to it. The taste was nice and toasty with toasted caramel malts, a hint of bitter hops, and a slight touch of yeast at the finish. I had a couple of bottles of this and the only thing that changed in the taste was the level of toasted caramel malts and yeast. It was a very consistent beer.

This was clearly a light bodied beer that was high on the carbonation, but had a decent aftertaste of toasted caramel malts and a tiny touch of bitter hops. It was a very easy drinking beer.

In the end, Fat Tire makes a nice choice for a crossover beer. It contained more flavor than a regualr macro, but it didn't have an overwhelming amount of flavor to it. If you're looking for a session/crossover beer for somebody who wants to get into craft beers, then pick up a six pack of this beer.

AltBock, Sep 07, 2008
Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 6,773 ratings.