Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

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7,565 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,565
Reviews: 1,948
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.76%
Wants: 185
Gots: 1,455 | FT: 2
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 7,565 | Reviews: 1,948
Photo of bjohnson
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for the chance to try this one.

A: Pours a see through amber copperish color with not much head. No retention. Nice lace.
S: Wheaty malt notes with a slight background of caramel sweetness. Floral armoas are detected also.
T/M: Interesting. Very smooth and easily drinkable. Caramel malt notes with a slight floral hop presence. Light body, but there is a slight butteryness to it. Slides through the mouth finishing dry and leaving a wheatyness on the back of the tongue. Not much going on in this one--somethings there, but its just not screaming.
D: Pretty drinkable. I can see this being a good session beer. Unfortunatley it's not a regular east of the Great River.

Photo of TheLiterati
1.92/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bottle says best before 29 Sept 06. It's exactly a month before that date, and I'm now wondering if it's too late, or if I just have a bad bottle.

I've had Fat Tire before, both bottled and on tap, and this is NOT what I remember. Even served some from a different bottle at a tasting I hosted just a few days ago and enjoyed it much more.

The beer is beautifully amber, deep in color with a pleasant effervescence. But when I raised the glass to my nose I was repulsed by the odor of – sorry to be crass – vomit.

After backing away from the glass and letting it sit a spell, I came back to give it another whiff, and the unpleasant smell had given way to something a bit more tolerable, though for the life of me, I can’t put a name to it. Maybe molasses, a little caramel, a bit like a biscuit. But there’s still something skanky lurking under there.

I hate to waste beer, I really do, so before giving up on this one without tasting it, I grabbed some saltines to clear my palate and hoped for the best.

I take a sip and again, I’m baffled. I just don’t remember this beer tasting this way. It’s not awful – it’s just not great. While the mouthfeel is actually nice enough, the taste is just off.

I don’t know what else to say. Drinkable on tap, but the bottles seem to lack consistency in quality.

Photo of biercircus
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has some sentimental value to me because it was my first New Belgium brew. New Belgium introduced me to the wonderful world of Belgian beer culture as well as the rapidly-expanding American microbrewing industry. Cheers to the NB. Anyway. This beer, while not their best, is a reliable one. I had my most recent one in a New Belgian snifter.

A- nice amber opacity. Some extra bubbles which linger on the edges of the glass, although not a big head.

S- malty hoppiness, molasses, maple syrup, chocolate, cough medicine.

T- very flavorful, lots of chocolaty maltiness, hoppy finish, but very smooth taste, not a hint of bitterness, but also not a sweet beer.

M- carbonated, almost nitro, silky, nice amount of faint hops lingering on the palate.

D- Very easy to drink, refreshing, goes down nice.

Thank goodness they finally started distributing to Southern California.

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

This is one fine beer. I'd heard so much hype about it that I was hesitant to even waste my time. My duh.

Pours a nice-looking orange-gold, with a huge frothy foamy head of miniscule bubbles. Even the foam tastes great. The foam gradually dissipated into separate but still foamy islands.

Taste-- very nice, malty up-front, little carbonation annoyance, nice bouquet, hint of hops but not very bitter. A nice bouquet of flavors that are subtle, not overdone. It's more of an ale than amber, nearly bordering on ale with some amber to it.

It's not overly filling or bloating, so this would be a great one for session. I missed my chance to try it on-tap while traveling throughout the northwest USA (or at least I've forgotten if I had any), but I will be sure to grab this at the next available tap I see.

Definitely "way up there" on my list of more or less traditional US beers that are actually worthwhile.

Photo of PhiloPsych
3.22/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fat Tire is a nice looking light-medium amber. It pours a big, bubbly head. It has good taste up front, but finishes a bit weak. The moutfeel is a little watery. It's not a bad beer, though. It looks nice and is quite drinkable. At 5.2% it would make a pretty good session beer--not strong, but not too weak, either.

Photo of blackie
3.28/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: The tumbler is handed to me with a fluffy off white head that slowly falls back just a little and then comes almost to a halt with about half an inch left...very nice retention. The beer is a clear amber in color.

smell: Wet, stale toast and a light hint of nutty malt. A touch of sour fermented grain. No noticeable hop aroma.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is a smooth upper medium, and the body light...slightly watery.

taste: Very similar to the aroma. Toasted bread and watery biscuits upfront, with a light sweetness. No hop flavor and just a touch of bitterness. Not much else to it and a little watery.

drinkability: easy enough to drink, just not that much of an amber/red

bomber split with dirtylou during my stay in WI

Photo of dirtylou
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber, split with blackie, brought back from Seattle for about 4 bucks

appearance: poured into a New Glarus/Red Shed pint glass, very clear amber, frothy white head with decent lacing

smell: light grain aromas are dominant, moderate apple sweetness, mildly floral

taste: As a teenager on the east coast/midwest phish parking lot scene, I was led to believe this would be the beer to end all beers...everywhere you go people rave about the legend of fat tire that it assumes mythological levels. Of course this is probably all a result of west coasters thinking (very incorrectly) that they are superior to the east. But I digress...This is not a bad beer, but its not a great or original beer either...I enjoy the biscuit/nutty flavours, mild grain, light fruit sweetness, light earthy hop character

mouthfeel: a tad thin

drinkability: high

Photo of vanrassel
2.71/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer looked nice, but it was mostly downhill from there. It wasn't a terrible experience by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't say I liked this beer all that much.

It poured from a 650 mL bomber a nice amber colour with a bit of a coppery tinge topped by a nice head. The smell was downright unpleasant at first: dark malts and a subtle nutiness almost completely overpowered by a sour aroma.

The sourness carried over to the taste, though the effect seemed to moderate a bit as the beer warmed and I picked up some biscuit-like taste and some toffee sweetness. Those observations elevated this beer, to me, from downright unpleasant to at least tolerable. Not much more good to say about it, though.

Photo of BeerSox
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a mug. Exp date: Nov 10, 2006

Pours deep yellow, almost orange. Creates an egg-white head with some retention, then settles into a thin cap. A little bit of webbed lacing.

Weak grainy scents are present along with hints of fruit.

The malts create an almost liquid-biscuit flavor. Huskey aftertaste along with a hop-bitter finish that sticks around for a bit.

Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Drysing finish along with a crisp feel.

This is a popular craft beer (almost reaching the "ubiquitous ranks" of Sierra Nevada and Guinness) that gets the job done. Refreshing, yet comes with generous flavor.

Photo of Dizzy
3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear amber with off white head with some lace. Aroma is bread like malts and fruit. Taste is malts with some noticeable hop bitterness and some fruit like flavors as well. Medium bodied with a little bite from the carbonation. I've never had another beer quite like this. There aren't any extreme qualities to this beer, its just a unique tasting great session beer. I highly reccomend this.

Photo of EvilKeith
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours into the glass a crystal clear pale amber color with a meringue-like finger of frothy head. The lacing was generous.

The smell was sweet roasty malt, light caramel, faint fruitiness, and an earthy, nutty note.

The taste is a good sweet toasted malt base. Molasses, and dry nutty husk-like grainy flavor. Just enough hops to bring balance.

The mushroomy/nutty flavor is something you will either love or hate. I found it to be a very different. It's almost tastes like grains of paradise and the added dry nuttiness.

Moderate carbonation. Medium bodied. Dry "nutty" lingering mouthfeel.

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

Rare treat from Colorado. A coworker's relative brought some and she was kind enough to share with me. Pours a clear copper in color with a light khaki head. The nose consisted of caramel and toasted malt, with a slight ale fruitiness to it. Medium-bodied in mouthfeel, with a slight crispness around the edges of the tongue. Buttery toasted biscuit flavor and plenty of malt sweetness on the front. Texture and taste slides to a grainy flavor in the middle. There's just the right amount of hop bitterness to contrast the malty sweetness. It's perfectly balanced in that aspect. Finish has almost a slight nuttiness to it with alcoholic vapors. This is amazingly quaffable. Probably one of the best ambers I've ever tried.

Photo of BurnsTau
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber-copper, decent amount of head, little lacing.

Smell is definitely malty sweetness, some fruit notes in there too.

Taste is clean crisps malts. Bit of sweet fruit flavor and a tiny hop aftertaste. Doughy malts dominate throughout this beer. Good medium body/carbonation. Everything about this beer is made to relax and enjoy. Nothing too complex but definitely very drinkable.

Overall great for what it is, an amber. If you're into the style then this is a great beer for you.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

Photo of drugsbunny
2.06/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"Not impressed" seems to cover it. I had this on tap out West, but I drank it after I had been drinking some glorious Sierra Nevada, fresh as I ever get it in New York. So this hop-less amber was a big disappointment. Nice red color though, but I wasn't taking pictures of this beer. If you drink Fat Tire, make sure you don't do so after drinking some wonderful hoppy beer. Otherwise all you get is a cloying sweet taste that was too much for me to even finish it. Skip this amber for many other worthy examples.

Photo of UberWasser
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a pint glass.

Fat Tire pours a crisp, clear medium amber color with a nice thick head that starts out frothy like a cappucino and ends up, just before dissipating all together, looking like the craggy foam on an angry sea shore. The foam seems stick and laces the side of the glass nicely. Attractive.

The smell is quite nice, dominated by grainy bread like notes with some spicy hop presence to balance.

The taste follows suit, with a slight sweet-bread flavor starting on the tongue, developing into a more grainy bread crust flavor partway through, and finishing with a spicy and slightly fruit hop kick just at the end. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel has always suffered in the bottle for this beer, in my opinon. The nice head that it gets on a medium pour seems to sap the beer of all of its carbation...it was quite flat to me, as usual. My dad agrees and tends to refer to it as "Flat Tire".

That mouthfeel sort of cuts into the drinkability for me, leaving my mouth feeling somewhat bored. Good looks, good smells and good flavors, just doesn't feel right.

Photo of teg8612
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Light clear amber color with a half inch head. Lace on the glass as you drink.

S-Bready and spicy. Nice aroma.

T-Bready malt taste with buttery notes. Spicy and a good balance of hop bitterness. My beer was a little too cold and from a freshly tapped keg so it seemed milder/lighter tasting than what I remember.

M-Light to medium bodied. Not heavy on the tongue and medium carbonation.

D-A very good beer. I could stick with this for a long beer session. The recipe seems to have mellowed a little from what I remember, lighter with less malt and spice but this could be the tap I was drinking from. Not sure. Still good never-the-less.

Photo of jmbranum
4.34/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small 1/2 inch head on a light amber clear brew.

Exceptional aroma and flavor (very disarming and much better than I remembered from past tastes). Nice balance of malt and hops (the closet comparison of Celis Pale Bock), and much richer than one might expect based on its color.

A truly outstanding amber-red lager, and heads and shoulders above other beers of this style (the biggie is the nice surge of hops that perfectly matches the very sweet malt).

Photo of olacub
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A: Pours a nice amber color, with a big off-white head.

S: Sweet, fresh baked bread.

T: The inside of a malted milk ball candy meets a fresh baked buttery biscuit. A trace of hops on the finish.

M: A little thin, medium body at best.

D: Can drink a bunch of these in a row. My perfect "garage" beer.

I first tried a Fat Tire in Arizona ten years ago, and while they are tons of beers out there with alot more going on, I still enjoy a Fat Tire whenever I get my hands on some.

Photo of Generik420
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After hearing about this beer for a number of years, I finally got to try it this past weekend. The bar I was at had it available in 22oz bombers and a friend I was with bought me one when he found out I was a Fat Tire virgin. Upon pouring out the first glass I was pretty pleased with the color and appearance of the beer. The smell was on the fruity side and overall pretty pleasing. I thought the beer was very good at first, a somewhat light mouthfeel, but the taste had some nice estery notes hidden in there. Unfortunately, I found that 22oz of this is just too much and was really starting to wish I had split the bomber with a friend then have it all to myself. Hard to really explain why, just found the more I drank of it, the more tired of it I got. It isn't a bad beer by any means, but for all the hype it has gotten for years from people I know, it sure fell far short of living up to it. I would drink it again if it was handed to me, but really doubt I would buy myself a bottle unless there was only budmilloors available.

Photo of nlmartin
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I recieved this beer from dhchatfield. Thanks this was a very good beer drink.

The beer was served in a Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The beer pours a clear amber coloration. The head was two fingers high. The off white head had major staying power.

Smell: The beer has a major league biscuity maltyness. The beer has a twinge of fruityness.

Taste: The beer is biscuity maltyness from start to finish. The beer has a slight hop prescence knocking the maltyness down a bit.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: The beer is medium bodied. The beer is very easy to drink. This would be a great sessionable beer. This would also make a excellent cross over beer for your macro drinking buddies.

Photo of Viggo
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear orange/brown, big off white head forms, some nice lace and good retention. Smell is sweet and malty, grains, citrus/floral hops. Taste is grainy, the malt is really forward, some caramel, and citrus and floral hops in the finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with medium to high carbonation, real smooth though. Not a great beer, but solid for the price and easy drinking, could readily session with this one.

Photo of snilsen13
4.37/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's a great beer. Very sessionable. Wish I could buy it out here, but it was very enjoyable in CA. There are lots here who falt out love this. I would have a hard time saying this is an all around perfect ale, but it's very good in many ways and would be a regular drinker if I could buy it. My guess if the price tag climbed, some folk here would rate it better.

A - dark, cloudy, small head.
S - spices are present and enticing.
T - sweet with a a uniquely Belgian style spiciness. I guess corriander or some other aromatic spice comes to mind and it's not subtel. It's not very hoppy, but it gets at something very different that I really can't say any other beer I could think of embodies so nicely.
M - a little sticky, but that might contibute to the drinkablility.
D - it's hard to stop. To get so much flvaor without the heavy alcohol that usually accompanies it is a treat. Good at all temps, best as it warms up.

Photo of SethB2
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice deep amber color with a huge head that leave a bit of lacing behind. Transparent and clean.

S - The bottle advertises this beer as being bisuity, and I would agree. Smell is of toasted bready malts and an underlying sweetness. Not much in the hop department.

T - Yeah, bicuity. A lot. Probably too much. The label also advertises a hop balance but there wasn't much hop to be found. In fact, I'm struggling to find any. This beer is a malt bomb. If that's your thing, you'll love it. Personally, I prefer a slight amount of balance.

M - Medium and creamy. Not bad.

D - I wouldn't want to session this beer. Too one diminsional for me and to be frank, after this bomber, I'm getting a little tired of it.

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

A: Off white greyish head with a mahagony amber body, fairly clear and clean.

S: Sweet breads, a little fruity.

T: Biscuity, sweet malt profile, toasted grains. Bit of caramel and red apple. Not a lot of hops to speak of just a touch of bittering hops.

M: Medium to light body with a smooth carbonation.

D: Well, its much better on tap than it is the bottle. Not sure where the reputation of this beer came from, but it certainly isn't worth. So be it.

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 7,565 ratings.