Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

7,563 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,563
Reviews: 1,947
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.76%
Wants: 186
Gots: 1,451 | 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: 7,563 | Reviews: 1,947
Photo of gfreed
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had three of these while in south-central Nebraska as a way to avoid drinking A-B products. Most restaurants carry this as a micro-brew alternative, but I found it rather uninteresting. It has a nice copper color, but the head was flat, as was the aroma. There was a bit of initial bite from the carbonation and some hoppy attributes, but overall I'd rate it an escape hatch rather than something to seek out. If you're looking for a decent American amber ale, hunt down Otter Creek Copper or Lagunitas Censored.

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 leantom
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%

Been itching to try this. Here goes:

A: Clear brown with a small head. Head disappears and leaves no lacing. Bland. 2/5

S: Toasty caramel malt with some American hops. Both smells are rather muted, however. Not bad, almost an imitated of Yuengling (which is a lager, fyi), but neither the malt nor the hops are particularly robust. Just OK. 3/5

T: Again, just OK. Lightly kilned caramel malt imparts a toasty and sweet taste. Hops are apparent, but they aren't robust enough and I barely taste them. Like a watered-down Yuengling (although this beer is an ale). 3/5

M: Smooth and crisp, but nothing special. 3/5

O: Not that good. Taste is rather bland. I'd rather have an amber lager, like a Dos Equis or a Yuengling. 2.75/3

Photo of derekgw123
2.75/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Easy drinker. Very smooth and enjoyable in the summer.

Photo of rynej23
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

thin malty fat tire, where da hops at yo

Photo of zoso493
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, so here is the infamous Fat Tire, the beer that the non-craft drinker will open while proudly proclaiming that they are drinking "good beer." Let's see how accurate that assessment is. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a straight-sided pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a rather odd-looking orange-amber color that is quite atypical for an American amber ale. There's very little haze to it, and atop the beer is a very thin one-finger head that dissipates quikcly, leaving some trace lacing as it subsides.

Smell: I'm hyperventilating trying to find something to smell in this beer, but I'm coming up almost empty. There is the faintest scent of toasted malt with just a hint of orange peel complementing the malts. I can pick out no hops in the smell, which is ominously suspect for and amber ale.

Taste: The taste is equally as bland as the smell would indicate. There is some very, very, very light toasted malt followed by a slight hop bitterness to finish, but that's about it. I'm very unimpressed.

Mouthfeel: Fat Tire is beyond thin in the mouthfeel department. The beer just disappears into your stomach as soon as it enters your mouth. This does make it pretty drinkable and fairly refreshing, though.

Drinkability: This is a nicely drinkable beer, as it goes down very easily and is pretty light on the flavoring.

Overall, this is a very mediocre beer, in my opinion. I can say that after having tried it, it is unequivocally not what I would call a "good beer" but is a beer worth trying. I've never been impressed with New Belgium, and Fat Tire has only served to further solidify my opinion about them. I don't have any empirical evidence to support this statement, but I would venture to say that is the most purchased craft beer in the United States. After having tried it, I can't for the life of me understand why.

Photo of Rast
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Served ice cold at Matthew's 1600 in Catonsville, MD, so I gave her a few minutes to warm up for proper consumption & rating. The appearance has a pleasant golden amber hue. Inoffensive, but nice enough to look at. Nose was lacking. Malt, I suppose? This is a beer, correct? Taking my first sip, the carbonation gives way to runny ale seething abt my teeth. I felt provoked to swallow. Taste is OK. Inoffensive. Medium-grade malt flavor with light hop under/overs. I can't figure why this beer is the flavor of the spell, but it's a serviceable enough upgrade over mass-produced lite beers. You can do better.

Photo of assmasterson
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a nice deep brown, almost has a reddish hue to it.

S: Kind of has a weird smell to it. Almost a faint dirty apple juice aroma mixed with alcohol.

T: Not exactly the best. When poured, had a very strong overcooked biscuit taste to it with an unpleasant aftertaste. Better straight from the bottle, as a lot of the harsh tones are masked.

M: Not too bad, sort of thin, yet sticky. Definitely feels like a macro brew.

D: Not as good. Goes down pretty easily, but the odd flavors keep me from having more than one. I probably won't be picking up any more of it. No...I know I won't.

Photo of Dreadnaughtzombie
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not for me at all!

Photo of Bfarr
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Clear bubbly red amber with a big foamy tan head with good retention and uneven lacing. Aromas of floral hops and... tires? A fairly hop forward amber that tips back to pale malts and a rather odd flavor not unlike rubber. A crisp mouthfeel with light bittering and finish.

I swear it really does smell like tire air. Perhaps that's where they got the name or it's just a subliminal hint applied to an odd odor and taste I detected in this beer. Either way, it's not my cup of tea though it's not really bad although I certainly had little desire for another one, and I usually like NB.

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%

Serving Style : 12 oz bottle/poured into 8 oz glass for appearance

Appearance (3) : Copper colored and slightly opaque. Has a foamy white lace that disappears quickly.

Smell (2) : Bitter bean, dark wheat. Rye. Damp cellar. Pretty gross.

Taste (3.25) : Full flavored rush of black bean and red wheat. Dull rubbery bitterness accompanies the flavors. Light cilantro notes with hits of fresh room-temperature celery. The rubber bitterness then turns to copper bitterness with a backlap of tomato and rye; and it hits hard but leaves quick as to not be totally distasteful. The body and flavor are decent, although wildly all over the place.

Mouthfeel (2) : The mouthfeel on the other hand is not something I'm fond of. I don't like the sticky finish on this one or the rubbery mouthfeel. My sample had harsh and generous carbonation that pricks your mouth and leaves a bitter and dry aftertaste.

Overall (2.78) : I've had far better Ambers than this. The damp musty smell and prickly mouthfeel bring down the scores quite a lot. Taste is above average but barely - and it's all over the place. If my future self asks me if I would buy this again, I'd say apprehensively yes, but it will never be a staple in my beer cave. The flavor is too weird and everything else is just out of balance.

Photo of illidurit
2.78/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear brownish orange color with a frothy off-white head. Aroma is toasty and biscuity with a slight citric tinge and some earthiness. Flavor is bland and watery. Brown malts and matzo, stale fruits, mineral finish. Very thin mouthfeel gets exceedingly tiresome by the end. Not recommended.

Photo of steve8robin
2.79/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this to try something new. Have an uncle that likes this stuff, so, let's see. 12oz bottle. Best before 04/03/11...

A: BMC colored. A super clear golden honey with apparent carbonation bubbles and a small white head that fades quickly to a lace. Decent.

S: Smells of honey, spices, and faint nutmeg upfront. Not too much else on the nose.

T: Definitely better than a BMC, but in the same ballpark. I get some spices and metallic breadiness upfront with some nutmeg and cinnamon quickly following. Very watery on the backend.

M: Light body with a very well done carbonation feel. A clean and crisp finish.

D: Goes down very easy which is a testament to the 5.2% ABV and wateriness to the brew.

All in all, this is a great beer for a social gathering with BMC friends. They will definitely enjoy it. A good pounder at a party. For people, like the BA community, who look for more to their beer than a "pounder", then this is not for you. You might enjoy if you like session brews or if you're looking for a BMC conversion brew.

Photo of mrjmann
2.79/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This is one bad brew... not sure how it ever became so popular to be honest.

Photo of CampusCrew
2.8/5  rDev -22%
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.

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 Pwnzilla
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not the first time having this beer but it has been a while. Apperance is amber to golden in color. Malt smell with a little hops. Taste is very light and crisp, not a whole lot of mouthfeel. Overall its not a bad session beer. I wont go out searching for this but I wouldnt turn one down.

Photo of Isoruku
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

God knows why Fat Tire is considered a worthy craft beer. New Belgium have cleverly marketed it as an icon of the micro-brewery phenomenon, but it has to be the one of the least memorable, blandest and unremarkable beers I ever experienced. I suspect that its unthreatening character is precisely why it is often the default "craft beer" in many taverns - the typical person ordering it is the State Farm agent who has an office in the strip mall and his date Tiffany, who drinks it from the bottle.

But give New Belgium credit - they've got a winning product here! One dimensional, boring, and not-too anything (e.g. not-too hoppy, not-too-bitter, not-too-malty).

Fat Tire may be a cash cow, but seekers after a rewarding drinking experience should look elsewhere.

Photo of valdesd1
2.81/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber red hue. Rocky off white 1 finger head. Lots of carbonation apparent.

S: Kind of dry in a way. Not really too much going on really besides the basic smell of toasted barley.

T: Really crisp and refreshing. Dry and biscuit-like. It comes off evenly balanced and has a sweet finish.

M: Well carbonated and light-bodied.

D: Really drinkable. It's a beer that is complex enough to keep you interested while not too excessive on the abv.

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

hmmm. The taste of this ale was puzzling to me. Completely missing the hopping my tastebuds have acclimatized to, and lacking the overt maltiness as well.

pouring a deep golden yellow, creamy foam poured from the unshaken bottle. most impressive head I've seen in a while.

the smell however, was very mildly sour, or dry, somewhat in the way of Guinness...no hops really to balance it. As the beer warmed, this became more present, and on the palate as well.

the taste was different. totally lacking excessive hopping. If present, the hops were mildly greenish and floral, definitely no citrus or pine. Perhaps lightly peppery. But mostly the taste emphasized a biscuity maltiness, not sweet at all, or burnt, chocolate or coffee...just grainy but wholesome and rounded....A bit like a pale light version of Guinness stout or budweiser without the hops.

Very lightly creamy, especially as it warmed up, but only light-medium bodied.

Overall this is a very nuetral beer, a nice change of pace from stouts, black ales, imperial ales, and hop czars. Much more substantial than a PBR, and none of the wheatiness of widbeers and hefweizen.... Don't know that I'd seek it out, though.

Photo of zimm421
2.82/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a beautiful deep amber that is very clear. The head is off-white, fairly thin, but has some lacing left behind.

The nose is all sweetness, with loads of caramel. That's it. One-dimensional. The taste is bland. Again, no complexity here just caramel and breadiness. A slight touch of bitterness on the back-end which attempts to balance it out, but fails.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lot of stickiness on the back side. Carbonation levels are too low, and I think bumping them up a touch could improve this quite a bit. Overall, a good entry-level brew, and a great way to bring people into craft beer, but not something I ever reach for any more. Had to grab it now just to mark it off the list...

Photo of likestoswallow
2.82/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From 22 oz bottle. Pours a rich copper-gold with an off white head that foamed up furiously then promptly disappeared. Aroma was very light malt. Flavor was mild with a distinct nuttiness--pistachio and peanuts in a semisweet backdrop. Hops and carbonation were undeveloped and weak. Mouthfeel was thin and less than fulfilling. Finish was short. Not likely to drink again, this beer tasted like it was specifically crafted for weak beer fans--and that is not me.

Photo of mikesgroove
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bm0095 for the bottle, had been wanting to try this for a while.

Pours a c;ear. clean amber with a sall white head that quickly faded leaving some soft white clingy lace. There was no real smell to this, maybe the slightest bready smell, but really nothing at all. The taste was about the same, bland. Again slight hints of bready, but no real strong flavor or body, almost thought it was a macro. I was really not impressed with this, as New Belgium has a pretty good rep, maybe I just need to try one of their bigger beers.

Photo of MowryJC
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - Crystal clear amber color, with a low to moderate head that settles fairly quickly. Leaves light lacing down the glass as it is drunk.

S - Biscuity, with a bit of caramel as it warms up. A touch of earthy hops on the back end.

T - Meh. A flat taste of maltiness that delivers on the biscuit aroma. Not much of a hop balance to it, and a bit cloying.

M - About what I'd expect from the style, the carbonation is pleasant, and the body is fairly balanced.

D - Pretty drinkable if it weren't for the lack of balance. I could throw a few of these back, but the slight cloying character of the beer would wear on me with each serving.

Overall, not too much to write home about. I'd take it over a Budweiser, but not something I'll be seeking out again.

Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.83/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alright I don't like this beer in the bottle or on tap, but I'm going to give it a try in the can as everyone I've talked to said it is better in the can...we will see.

A- Amber in color with very little head. The head that is there is very white.

S- The smell is caramely with a large grain smell.

T- The beer is malty for sure, not hoppy in the least especially for a red ale. There is a slight bitter taste that leaves a weird taste in your mouth. This is not better in a can to say the least.

M- Feels like beer in the mouth, with a bitter taste.

D- Drinks like beer....a thicker Macro styled beer.

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 7,563 ratings.