Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

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7,122 Ratings

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Ratings: 7,122
Reviews: 1,830
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.04%
Wants: 153
Gots: 955 | 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
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Ratings: 7,122 | Reviews: 1,830 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 finger of foamy whit head that faded fairly quickly.
Light amber color. No visible carbonation Lots of sticky lacing

Musty aroma, grainy, light caramel.

Light malt flavor, not a lot of depth, light roasted flavor that lingers. Not really a hop effect but more of a roasted note.

Effervescent carbonation, light mouth feel.

Not very interesting. Drinkable but not exciting.

I've had this a couple of times and this is the first time I chose to think about it. Just not much there. I think it's a perfect gateway craft beer for folks...

Photo of biggred1
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper with a pillow of rocky tan suds resting on top. Almost no smell, faint roasted malt and caramel. Tastes of light grainy malt, caramel and honey. Light bodied with ample carbonation. Drinkable but pedestrian. A nice beer but, I don't get the hype over it, there are a lot better beers out there.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at Mission Bar in SF.

A: Slightly hazy golden amber color with moderate carbonation up the glass. Poured without any head, but there was a little lacing as I drank.

S: Biscuit malt, some caramel, and a little bit of floral notes.

T: Toasted, biscuit, and caramel malts come out as I drink, leaning toward the toasted malts as the drink warms. Crisp and dry in the mid-taste, with a little hop bitterness in the finish.

M: On the thin-side of medium-bodied, almost a bit watery. I like the carbonation.

D: This is the halfway-craft beer that many popular bars carry. If I find myself in one of those establishments, that's probably when I'd try this. Otherwise I have no desire to drink it. This beer is the very definition of "meh."

Photo of gford217
3.2/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of mhewes poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, light amber with a big fluffy white head that clings to the glass on the way down leaving good lacing. A tad light for the style but still good looking.

The aroma is dominated by light malts with a strong bready character with only hints of caramel sweetness. More toasted than sweet overall.

The taste follows the aroma pretty close with the light toasted malts and grains dominating with a faint fruity sweetness and a slighty dry toasted finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation and crisp due to the major toasted malt presence.

This is a fair amber that's drinkable but doesn't offer anything original or complex. Still, a good intro craft beer.

Photo of Billolick
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, with best before dating printed on the label.

Pour: Lighter, glowing orange hued amber, clear. Nice puffy, retentive light tan head, leaving all kids of thick stick on the glass.

Sniff: Mallty, toasty

Taste: Pale malts, balancing hops. Nice session type ale. Easily enjoyed and appreciated.

Drink More? Why not, nothing special, just a nicely crafted, easy drinking ale. Good newbie beginer beer or an all session enjoyable creation.

Photo of KeefD
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper colored ale with a small white head on top, crystal clear, decent lacing, lots of carbonation. Aroma is bready, cracker-like almost, with a hint of herbal, earthy hops. Taste follows suit with the nose. Definite biscuit malt character in this one, slightly sweet in the middle, woody, earthy hops, and a dry finish. Very, very easy to drink, lower end of medium bodied. This is the beer I credit with getting me into craft beers. Still does the trick for me. Nothing special, but tasty indeed.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a vibrantly clear light copper color with a soapy looking off-white head. Ok retention and a smattering of lacing.

Nose is dominated by sweet caramely malts. Fruity smelling hops make an appearance as well as some corn flake cereal and honey notes. One of the classically identifiable smelling beers.

Nutty and toasty tasting amber ale. The prominent sweetness found in the nose is much more subtle in the taste. Some, but not much hop bitterness and flavor. Thin bodied and pretty simplistic tasting. A great intro into the world of craft beer, very unoffensive and rather drinkable.

Photo of dotsonjamesg
2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a wine glass

A: Carbonation is high and was a little difficult pour the first time, almost spilled.

S: Smell is earthy, bread-like, big malty character too with a tinge of hops.

T: Strong earthy and biscuit like tones. I am not a fan of the big malty flavors of this brew. I know American Amber tends to have that, but I think they went a little overboard with it. Its not a bad beer but I wont drink it if I can avoid it.

M: Carbonation is pretty high and tingles my taste buds. The brew was kinda thick, just as an ale should be.

D: It becomes more drinkable as it warms but the taste alone just puts me off.

I just can't understand why some people have come to define this brew "godsend." Some may say if I don't like the style then I shouldn't have reviewed it. I defend my review in the fact that I have an open mind to every brew and that every good beer deserves a good shot. I have indeed found a few American Amber Ales but I think Fat Tire Amber Ale appeals to a certain characteristic, and only that characteristic.


Photo of chugalug06
4.3/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a must try. Don't buy old ones... check the date, and drink it on tap whenever possible. If you can get to the brewery try it there, it's completely different than anywhere else. Bottled it's good canned it's great, on tap it's darn near amazing. The cans are great for hikes and camping. New belgium's most stable beer. Don't get too caught up in it's nickname "flat-tire"

Photo of maximum12
2.45/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Soooo...Fat Tire. We meet again.

First had this a few years ago on a business trip to Seattle. I looked at my co-worker & said "Something wrong with your beer? Yuck." We dumped them.

Tried it again a year ago. I managed to power through the bomber in about three hours, but it no longer revolted me.

So...Monday night, bowling, our lanes break down & the waitress offers us free beers. I order a Mothership Wit. And get a...Fat Tire.

Usually when I'm in the "C" range on brews, it's due to a lack of taste, or lack of distinction, with just nothing standing out. That's not the case here. Fat Tire tastes like its name. I'm always reminded of bicycle rubber & beer-soaked bread when I put this in my mouth, & it's not a real pleasant combo for me. It's weird & unique - but not in a good way.

I left half the free bomber in the alley. I can stomach Fat Tire, but it's appeal remains a mystery to me.

Photo of beernut
3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had on tap at the Orleans Casino in Vegas at the Gator Bar. Pours a light amber/brown color, the head did not stay around too long, decent lcing. Aroma is hoppy and malty, some biscuit as well. Taste is biscuity malt, floral as well. Very smooth and easy to drink. Good carbonation throughout. Wish it could be found on the East Coast.

Photo of Jayli
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this beer while in Chicago a few times, but never reviewed it. While in Denver this past weekend, I finally got a chance to try it again...
This beer poured a nice amber/copper color and was extremely clear. There was next to nothing of a head, with very minimal, if any lacing. The smell was not entirely impressive, but not bad either - there just wasn't anything that jumped out. The flavor is a strong malt that is essentially the backbone of this beer, with a well supported hops to it. Reminded me more of an Oktoberfest though. It had a good, full body that somehow didn't leave me feeling full. The strong point of this beer is certainly its drinkability. This is definitely a beer that I could sit with for a session.

Photo of largadeer
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Couldn't turn down a fresh 12 oz can for a buck, curious to see how it compares to the pint I had on draft a few months back.

Appearance: A golden amber body with slight haze from the can conditioning. The dense white head holds well, clining to the walls of the glass. Solid.

Smell: Biscuits and light fruitiness. There's a bit of mustiness as well, something that always puts me off with this beer. Honey and pineapple come out as it warms.

Taste & mouthfeel: Rich with toasted malt flavor but well-attenuated. Crisp and dry, lightly estery. Apricot frutiness appears briefly in the finish, which is ultimately on the dry side and tinged with hop bitterness.

A pretty enjoyable session beer, better from the can than from the keg.

Photo of tkerugger
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My personal favorite...finally widely available in Iowa.

Appearance - beautiful, crystal clear, light brown/amber color with nice, dense head and plenty of staying power. i wish my dog was this color.

Smell - fresh, bit o' hops and a nice amount of spice...very inviting.

Taste - just the right sweetness and hoppiness, caramel and toasty malt.

Mouthfeel - just the right amount of body...you can feel it on the tongue, but its not chewy or too thin; carbonation was excellent.

Drinkability - can't think of a time that it wouldn't be good...

Serving type - bottle, a little colder than recommended.

Photo of sonicdescent
4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to angelmonster for the opportunity.

Pours a golden/red hue with active and beautiful carbonation. The head didn't stick around too long but I blame this partially on my partial spillage when opening this bad boy.

Smells pretty hoppy. Floral, biscuit, spicy even. Complex, but not what I'd say something that makes me salivate at the thought of drinking.

Tastes like crackers, probably the biscuit taste that everyone mentions. A very crisp finish and light hop bitterness. Not very complex, but enjoyable and fitting of the style.

Mouth is thin and carbonation is high. Anything else would make this beer undrinkable.

I don't know how anyone could say this isn't drinkable, this in fact is damn near a textbook session beer. Shame I can't readily get it here.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. single picked up at Riverside Wine and Spirits in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Best Before: 24APR09.

Appearance: Pours a clear, bright amber body with a large, frothy, white head. Fine, thin lacing throughout.

Smell: Aroma smelling of biscuits and uncooked dough with a tiny note of fruit and spicy, floral hop scents.

Taste: Biscuity malts with a light sweetness. Lightly nutty initially, but as it warms, it develops into more of a grain flavor. Very light hint of pear fruitiness. Floral, spicy hop character with a light bitterness. Finishes dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Simple but highly drinkable and refreshing. It leaves me wondering exactly why the public latched onto this with a fervency and cult following.

Photo of showell
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For the longest time this was my "session beer". Before I discovered microbrews and imports, this was the beer I drank when I was required by protocol or when I simply wanted a beer for some reason. As a result, I tend to judge everything else by a "fat tire standard". I try not to, but it's hard to break old habits. In any case, now that I have other REALLY good beers to drink, I tend to think of fat tire as distinctly average. It's not bad, and I'll certainly drink it when it's the best available. There are a couple of clubs in the area that serve fat tire on tap, and they just don't have anything better. In that case, it's a nice beer to drink for the evening. Appearance, smell, taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability are all average. Certainly it beats any of the macros, and at times, if I've not had any other beers for a few days, I can honestly say I enjoy the flavor. Nice balance of hops, and very drinkable for an evening.

Photo of Guzzler78
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a free 12 pack of cans, can't argue with that. Its been a while since i've had one of these.

Pours a light amber color. Nice white head with decent lacing.
Smells of sweet malt and floral and citrus hops.
Sweet malt flavors balance with a fresh hoppiness, citrus, yeast-bread like flavors.
Medium mouthfeel, lots of carbonation dry finish.
A decent drinker. A slightly funky aftertaste. I'll agree that this one is a sort of gateway beer.


Photo of introvertedone
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 1/19/09

Fat Tire Ale poured a golden, clear in appearance with a sweet, bisquity aroma. This biscuity tones that I got from the aroma carried over into the flavor. The mouthfeel of this ale was thick and slightly chewy. I could drink this fine brew all day long.

Photo of sgoodship
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was checking out the inauguration on the TV at a local bar and decided to try this on-tap because the options were not so great.

A: Dark amber. Fluffy white half a finger head. retained a thin head and left some decent lacing. Carbonation was visible.

S: Some bready malt and earthy hops.

T: A bready, biscuity malt. Some caramel sweetness. The hops deliver a crisp finish. The taste was a let-down based on my experience with the bottles. Just seemed to lack spark and was a little watery.

M: Crisp, light body. Medium carbonation that suited it.

D: I had 2, so it was clearly a decent choice among the other beers on hand. I wouldn't go out of my way for it again. I'd rather have a bottle based on my experience.

Photo of ssam
4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- pretty dull orange color. the head was tiny after an aggressive pour and it quickly dwindled without leaving a trace. but i gotta say i liked the label (that isnt included in my score though)

S- my first smell was really nice. it smells very earthy and woodsy. it has a clear hops aroma that is very pleasing. but i took other sniffs as i sipped and i noticed the smell getting progressively worse. the initially present flowery hop smell was replaced by a mostly metallic character. weird.

T- it tastes just like the bottle boasts. sweet biscuity malt balanced perfectly with a fresh hop taste. the mix is pretty refreshing and good.

M- this gets a 5 because it had a perfect level of carbonation and a really nice mouthfeel. i have to admit, i was worried at first because of the head, or lack there of, but this beer delivered in this category.

D- the drinkability on this beer is high because the fresh feeling you get as you drink it leaves you very refreshed and wanting more-- great session beer.

Photo of cagocubs
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Great looking beer with a transcendent golden amber color with a nice thick foamy head with lacing.

S: Nice crisp fresh smell for this amber ale. It has a slight caramel sweetness and smells of hops present as well.

T: Very simple taste but not at the expense of flavor. It features nice caramel tones with toasted malts along with fruity traces. Much more complex taste than anticipated.

M: Feels nice and crisp in the mouth with nice coating.

D: High, I can see myself drinking this alot more in the near future.

Final Thoughts: I have seen this beer all around lately and have been waiting to buy it. I'm glad I bought it. It is a simple beer that tastes good and is very drinkable.

Photo of teknofile
4.4/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Fat Tire is my go-to beer when going out on the town to local LA bars and restaurants that don't cater specifically to a beer crowd.

What I like most is the slightly caramel flavor and the light carbonation that gives it a refreshing quality. It's also a great gateway beer to introduce non-beer drinkers to the joys of drinking good beer.

Photo of OzarkElmo
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jan 14, 2009
Pours a clear, medium amber color with slightly off-white head, diminishes to light head after a few minutes. Nice, pleasant aroma - just right for an amber ale. Moderate bitterness, balanced flavor through finish. I enjoy drinking this beer when I want something "in between". Color, aroma, taste, finish is all there for me. Also, at under $7 a 6-pack, it's a very good beer for the money. Cheers!

Photo of yourefragile
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking 12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A: Pale clear golden amber with a steady stream of tiny bubbles of carbonation and a light fluffy white head that fades to a nice ring with webs of sticky lacing.
S: Malty, biscuity aroma, a slightly sour fruit smell and light presence of hops in the finish.
T: A slightly sweeter version of the smell. Nice smooth medium body with light carbonation. Strong malt/caramel biscuit backbone and light hop taste in the finish. Nothing remarkable in the flavor, but overall a very good, extremely drinkable amber. My mind drifts to comparing this to Magic Hat #9 as far as "cult" status goes and this is so much better and more enjoyable.

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 7,122 ratings.