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Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

1,966 Reviews
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Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 10-07-2000

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Reviews: 1,966 | Ratings: 8,266
Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber with little head and decent lacing. Not much aroma at all. Can smell a little bread but that is about it. Taste is malt forward with a hop finish. This is definitely a well balanced beer that many can enjoy. Not too malty and not too hoppy. Not my favorite style of beer but definitely something I will drink with little complaint. An above average amber ale.

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Photo of afdempse
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz. bomber poured into a chalice

Pours an amber color reminiscent of apple juice. Light beige head dwindles to a thin veil rather quickly.

Very faint aroma of sweet malt with some fruity notes.

Flavor is extremely subdued. Malty sweetness with biscuity tones. Bitterness is low for the style, and hops are a fleeting afterthought, going virtually undetected in the flavor.

Rather thin feel, almost macro-ish. Nothing offensive here, but nothing special, either. Semi-dry in the finish, with a lingering dextrin-laced bitterness.

I could see drinking a couple of these if it was the only "better" beer on draft at a restaurant, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to buy it again. New Belgium's weakest offering, IMHO.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pretty amber beer, often passed over by 'beer geeks' as a 'gateway' beer. So a revisit of all the times I've had it at Joe's party, or pulled out of an ice tub at Lisa's house, etc...is necessary.

Nice grassy hop nose that's really mild but inviting. Very mild but tasty beer, easy to drink down and leaves a sweet aftertaste that makes the grassy nose of the next sip and ever better balance.

It is true it's a gateway beer, easy to drink but with a stronger flavor than most widely available macros. You can find it on tap just as easily if not more so out her in Portland, and it's a good beer to help spread the appreciation of different beers to a new convert. Can't beat a buck for a bottle of this beer either.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With my girlfriend across the country interviewing for a teaching position, I sat down prior to lunch while watching "Joe Versus the Volcano" - to put it simply, not a good film in the least, but I sat down on a beautiful day and decided to finally review this one.

A brown bomber bottle of Fat Tire with a best by date of June 16, 2006. I poured my beer into a standard pint glass.

The beer poured a very faint amber with the slightest of red tinge. The quarter inch of white head did not retain well. Doughy malts provided the majority of nose, along with a hint of carmel and and another, unidentified, underlying graininess. The beer, which has a substantial following behind it, tasted of a simple maltiness. No hoppiness to really boast of existed inside the flavor, but no negative astringencies were held within there. I found it - on the whole - to be a fairly basic, although very drinkable, amber ale. I see the reasoning behind its cult following, but I find nothing worth really writing home for in this one. It wants to give me flavor - at least in its bottled form here - but it never delivers.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: bottle with Return to the Twin Cities label from France 44.

A: Barely amber and mostly gold ale with a bubbly off white head with large and small bubbles.

S: Clean nose with light spice and little malt. Good but not fantastic.

T: Very smooth malty taste with little else.

M: light--not watery--much.

D: Very. Goes down easy with little to stand in the way.

Overall: Not a bad beer--perfectly fine. Not sure what all the hub-bub is about with trying to get it everyone. Much better than any macro--clean, light, no off flavors--solid light malt with just a touch of hops. Good for what it is, but not my choice.

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Photo of EMV
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a can

L: Pours a clear deep amber with a thick white head.

S: Biscuits and malts. Minimal hops.

T/F: Pretty benign flavor. Biscuits and grains. Lightly malty. Like the nose pretty minimal on the hops. Moderately carbonated and crisp.

O: Well made Amber but nothing special and New Belgium has way better stuff to offer. Readily available and way better than you average macros. Good for an introduction to craft beer.

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Photo of SassyBootblack
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap at a local dive bar.

Apperance - Amber color, came to the table with no head.

Smell - Don't remember.

Taste - It has a unique biscuity malt flavor that I've come to call the "New Belgiun flavor," but not much else going on. Great for cold weather.

Mouthfeel - I think with the interesting biscuit flavor, it could benefit from more body. As it is, it's a little thin.

Drinkability - I may have problems with the thin body, but because of it, this stuff goes down easy.

I have fond memories of going to the New Belgium brewery and having a canner hand me a fresh can of this stuff. It's a classic and easy to find.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Live review of a 12 oz bottle.
A: Pale clear amber, it poured with a big cream head with lacing that slowly died.
S: Whole wheat bread, underripe bananas, slight coconut, leafy hops... OK.
T: Exactly what you'd expect from the smell, but with a metallic bitterness in the hops, a general "milk" creamy quality throughout, and a heftier wheat character. It's OK.
M: Thicker and milky with a frothy crisp finish.
O: This is all right. It would rarely be my first choice.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a St. Feuillian chalice.

A: Crystal-clear amber/gold color. Clingy, bubbly, off-white head that leaves quite a bit of lacey spots.

S: Toasted biscuits and some off-putting, funky smelling grains. Is that celery?

T: See above with some vaguely sweet caramel malt and a tiny bit of hops.

M: Dry and bitter. Some creaminess towards the finish.

D: As weird as this smells and tastes it is fairly drinkable. Of course, I can think of many other beers to drink before I'd ever come back to this...yawn.

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Photo of batty
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

transcribed from a review written by hand on 17Dec09 - on draft at the Cantina Mexican Grill in the Denver airport.

Golden copper in color, yellow at the edges with slightly off-white head, fades quick but leaves a slim cap on top, good lacing.

smells kinda like water. seriously. on top of that, a hint of caramel and biscuity malts if you strain yourself enough

tastes mostly like bud light with a touch of color. the worst part is, this could be a great beer - nice caramel and biscuity malts, touch of earthy hop.. but all that is so hard to find it tastes straight up watered down. starting to eat, the next sip has virtually no taste whatsoever.

mouthfeel is quite good.. I'd like a bit more body, but that's just my preference...

I understand why this is found so commonly next to the budlight tap now.. well brewed and good style, well balanced among the components, but need MORE of all the components. in the same ratio would be perfect. VERY lacking and watered down. I prefer beers with flavor.

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Photo of KoG
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this on tap and remember it tasting different.

Filled my glass with a clear orange(Que?) liquid that produced a meager head, but left it all as lacing.

Smell was a bit doughy with a flowery hop essence, not bad buut not astounding.

Taste was not nearly as sweet as I remember. Somewhat yeasty but very clean carrying malt and hop flavor with it. It's allright i guess...

Mouth seemed a little thinner than it should with no real carbonation.

Don't think i'll be getting this in the bottle very often(if ever with so many other New Belgium offerings), much better on tap.

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Photo of Bartrob6
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 22 oz. bomber into pint glass.

Decent looking beer. orangish amber color with a small head. leaves some decent lacing on the glass.

aroma is all caramel malt. wish there was atleast a hint of hops on the nose. not getting much smell with this brew though.

average taste. nothing really sticks out in the taste of this beer to me. bready with some caramel taste. good bitterness to balance the beer out.

mouthfeel is slightly undercarbonated to me. but this is a pretty drinkable beer. nothing about it makes me want to go back for another sip though. not a very exciting beer at all.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

A friend said I had to try this...of course, since he loves Coors Light, I should have known better. Poured from the 22 oz. bomber to a golden amber, with thick off-white head that lingered throughout and excellent lacing...so far, so good. Unfortunately, the aroma was a mixture of stale hoppiness and mildewed dishrag. While the flavor was smooth, I was unable to detect any particular taste. Body was very thin, which led to a watery finish, that very quickly dissipated to no finish. Cute name, but I’ve had a lot better beer.

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Photo of avalon07
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured from a bomber to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a completely clear consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: Some hops present, but not much else.

T: As with the smell, there are hops up front, but a thin, watery finish. This is a one-note beer in the taste department. Not offensively bad, just very thin.

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a slightly syrupy finish. Light-bodied.

D: Not an undrinkable beer, but it hardly lives up to the hype.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

- from the notes, another New Belgium pickup on the East coast.
A -light amber and crystal clear with a short head.
S - nothing too strong, just some maltiness backed by a small amount of hop aroma.
T - fairly sweet and lacking in any real hoppy follow up. Pretty much unremarkable on the palate.
M - thicker than I expected but still smooth although a bit low in the carbonation.
D - one is a bit of a chore.
The other offerings by New Belgium Brewing are better.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

05/29/05- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle, forgot to look for dates. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Golden, maybe reaching for a darker color, pour. Lively pour which disappears soon. Little lacing along the edges.

Smell- Mostly malty scents. A bit of carboard or wet paper scent as well.

Taste- Heavy wet carboard malt flavor. A bit stale maybe? Some very bitter-like hop flavors as well. Is this the Fat Tire everyone is so crazy about?

Mouthfeel- Well carbonated, little aftertaste, but leaves you gasping for water from the dryness.

Drinkability- Truthfully, I'd rather have many beers instead of this one, including even a few macros. Not horrible, but not the taste I was expecting. Maybe I got an old one....I hope at least.

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Photo of DovGibor
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from folly pack can (best by 1-17-16) into stemmed glass. Light amber color with white head. Low head retention.

Nose is all sweet malt; no discernible hops. Mouthfeel is medium, but doesn't add anything to the beer. Sits there without being light and crisp, but also not rich and fulfilling. The flavor is light malt with a tiny touch of hop bitterness, but not much else.

I heard great things about Fat Tire, and perhaps my bar was set too hight. I understand how this stands out from 'macro' beer, and how 30 years ago it was a revelation. Unfortunately I do not believe it is a revelation today. It's not making any big mistakes, but it's also not doing anything to win me over. I believe there are much better amber ales available and while I enjoy other New Belgium offerings, I do not see myself picking this up again.

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Photo of Marty30
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge temp.

A. A ruby red body with a golden hue. Nice 2 finger offwhite head. Good lacing.

S. Smell of biscuity malts and a little bit of hops.Maybe a bit of caramel.

T. Taste follows the smell. At first I get some earthy notes like bread crust,then in the middle I get nice toffee and a bit of caramel followed by a small hop bite.

M. Mouth is a medium feel with good carbonation present. A nice smooth finish.

Overall This is my first time drinking this,not a bad beer at all. nothing special but solid.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Oct 21, 2009
12oz. bottle. Pours amber with a one-finger white head. Good lacing. Aroma is fairly subdued hops, some yeast. Flavor is sweet caramel malts, bread, yeast, with a slight hop note. Mouthfeel is quite creamy with low carbonation. Quite refreshing. Solid Amber Ale.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Notes from a trip to Colorado and Wyoming - May 2002 Purchased in Loveland, CO

Color of deep golden yellow with small white head. Smell was very musty of grass and floral hop. It reminded me of that weird powder thats on a balloon just before blowing it up. Taste was almost the same, grainy grass like, citrusy sweet and bitterly dry, kinda like a bad grape. Feel was a little light, and reminded me of a dry wine. Its an average ale.

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Photo of grmarcil
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

I finally got around to drinking a Fat Tire after hearing the hype for quite a while. Bought a 22 oz bomber, poured into a regular glass.

Pretty-looking beer: nice amber color with a fairly rich white head, which leaves a good bit of lacing. Unfortunately, I found appearance to be the highlight of the beer.

On the whole, I found this beer lacking. The smell is a mild, semi-sweet grain with a little bit of hops. The taste is similar, just a little sweeter, with more wateriness and less hops. I couldn't get over how watery this beer tasted and felt.

Looking up, Fat Tire is very drinkable. Easy as anything you'll find without going macro-lite.

To conclude, maybe this is a case of a good but not great beer failing to live up to the big hype, and I'm just disappointed. Maybe I'm rating it a little low because of that, but it has a lot of strikes against it: watery, bland, and definitely not a bargain.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - light ruby red, pours a small quickly rededing off white head, no lacing

S - Smells alot like a BMC with a tiny hint of hops - not sure if this is an old bottle or what but I get none of the hop profile.

T - slight biscuit character to the malts, but again little to no hop profile, certainly not a distinguishable one.

M - Pretty thin but properly carbonated

D - Seems like a good gateway beer for BMC drinkers to get into craft, although this isn't very far from the mainstream from what I've seen.

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Photo of mjc410
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a shaker at the Granfalloon in KC, MO. The beer managed to put up some very thin but persistent off-white surface lacing, over a clear tawny/amber body. The nose had just a little caramel and toffee, with a slight bit of graininess and hops, but it was all very weak. The taste was lightly toasty, bready, touched by caramel, with minimal hops. The mouth was medium-thick, with fine but tingly carbonation. Overall, an easy drinker, but with little character. Still, I'd like to have a session with it and see how it fares in that manner.

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Photo of crossovert
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 fluid ounce bottle. Appears to be best before Oct 09. Served at approx 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pours into my pint glass with a clear orange amber color. Not too far form apple cider. Has a nice thick foamy white head with some decent lacing.

Smells roasty, with bready malts and some fruitiness. A faint whiff of hop can be smelled as well. Also has a bit of a fart odor.

Has a moderate watery body with a decent bit of carbonation. Taste is again very toasty and malty. Not much hops are present, but they give off a hint of earthy spice. Has a bit of sourness in the finish. The aftertaste is bitter.

Overall it is a pretty pedestrian ale, has an off putting scent and not the strongest taste either. I finished it really quick, I'm not sure if it is because I liked it or it was just really easy to put down.

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Photo of Drewski363672
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

small head allowing the drinker to enjoy the mild fragrance and smooth mouth feel. The tiny bubbles of carbonation give it enough life to have a tingly mouth feel but still very crisp and smooth. The aroma of the beer is subtle but fragrant and the color is a dark color as far as pale ales go. Overall a tasty beer that is a good session beer but would not blow anyone away with the quality or uniqueness of this beer.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,966 ratings.