1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

6,600 Ratings
THE BROS
82
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 6,600
Reviews: 1,796
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 14.76%
Wants: 139
Gots: 677 | 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: 6,600 | Reviews: 1,796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rtratzlaff
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire has a clear light amber body with a white head that dissipates and leaves minimal lacing.

The aroma is mainly sweetish malt that isn't really caramel, but more like light toast.

The taste matches up well with a hop balance that gives just enough flavor. Toasted bread is about the main quality of the flavor. A slight bit of diacytle is there as well giving it a slightly buttered bread flavor.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side for the style, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing for me. This could be a good session beer, but nothing I would seek our or purchase often.

Compare this to the other beers of this style, and it doesn't come close to comparing to the best of them. Compare it to the anything people consider "beer" and yeah, it is better than most.

rtratzlaff, Apr 01, 2009
Photo of clm9
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

A: Little more than a half inch of head, dissipates fairly quickly with an average display of lacing. Textbook amber color.

S: Fruity, slight malt fragrance. Definitely not a particularly strong smell.

T: Very drinkable/sessionable. Taste pretty much matches up with the smell, not particularly strong but also won't offend many.

M: As mentioned above, very drinkable, light feel.

O: As many others have mentioned, I view this as a good introduction into craft beers for the uninitiated. This beer won't scare any off, but in the same vein isn't likely to impress either. I'd never pass one up, but would only purchase it if the venue I was at had a poor selection.

clm9, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of david18
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hadn't had this beer for but had heard lots about the brewery and also that this beer was one of their more widely spread but not as good. This beer reminded me of Sam Adams and it's considered as such by people who drink it. It's the one micro from among the selection of domestics and foreigns. Good flavor, decent mouthfeel, color and carbonation but no better than a sam adams, brooklyn or sierra nevada.

david18, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of rmcnealy
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

After trying New Belgium's Fat Tire Ambler Ale at several bars, generally with meals, I found it available at a Chicago grocery chain.


Poured a rich dark copper color with a nice vibrant head. Small bubbles were consistently small and dissappeared shortly. As advertised it has scents of "biscuit-like malt flavors" that are quite pleasant. Fat Tire is rather smooth. I prefer this beer with meals. Their web site suggests having this beer with grilled foods, and my experiences have been with pub burgers which this beer compliments greatly.

rmcnealy, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of StlHopHead77
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a dirty penny amber with a sturdy,two finger,pearly white crown that departed slowly leaving persistent spatterings of lace with medium carbonation visible.

S-Fried bread(Think churros without the cinnamon),candied nuts and the faint hint of sweet citrus.

T-Much like the nose.Caramel and toasted malt,some baked apple,and more toffee nutiness.

M-Smooth and active.Nice carbonation and silky finish.

D-Approachable and unintimidating beer with good drinkability.

StlHopHead77, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of srrn
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was quite the rage at a club I played, I had a bottle of it last week and on tap at the club. Perhaps I was expecting too much. This is a nice brew, the head wasn't much but it was biscuity malts with a bit of a hop bite in the aftertaste. All around a good decent sessionable brew, but not worth the premium price at this club on tap.

srrn, Mar 29, 2009
Photo of klk
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one on tap in Phoenix, AZ. The pour was a clear amber color without any cloudiness. The head was not large with little lacing.
There was very little aroma to sample with this one -- a little malty, but not strong at all. It has a easy-drinking taste that does not over-power the tastebuds.
Taste was decent but nothing to write home about.
Mouthfeel was overall decent, but I would only be able to drink two at most.
Overall drinkability was okay, it was the best thing on tap at the bar. If it's this versus the standard macrobrewery choices, I would go for it again. Otherwise a taster is all that is recommended.

klk, Nov 10, 2004
Photo of jimmah120
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12oz bottle with no date into pilsner glass

Look is a clear amber with a great looking 2 finger head with okay retention. Smell is some savory roasted amber tones, notes of chocolate and toffee. Little piney hops in there, too. Taste follows with bread, crackers, caramel, toffee, and crisp grain. Hops are almost nonexistant.

Cheers to NB.

jimmah120, Jun 07, 2012
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 BrewMaster
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pour with an orange and amber color. Small head that thins to a lacy covering. Flavors of dry raisin, cherry, slight chocolate and hop flavors. It lacks and crisp malty flavor and carries hints of dried fruit all over the palate. Very little aftertaste to be noticed.

BrewMaster, Jul 29, 2004
Photo of
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the brewery, have had it many times--first time reviewing.

This beer has a reason for its following. It is medium bodied and really easy to drink. Great session beer that has some depth to it. The look and smell are great with this beer. Lots of biscuit smell with malts and some tiny hops. The biscuit smell follows into the taste of the beer. Bready, and malty. Beer is a good summer patio beer.

, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 can:

Appearance: Pours amber with a 1 fingerish off-white head that leaves for the most part after a few minutes.

Smell: Kinda smells like a moldy basement with some brown sugar sweetness. There's also some faint hops and malt in there. Trying to be nice about this, but up front there's some kind of off putting odor reminiscent of mold, weird. I'm also getting some salt? Sorry, but this is one of the most bizarre, off-putting smell-wise beers I've ever had(and I've had Ta Henkett...).

Taste: Beginning hop bitterness fades into a semi-sweet, malty ending. Nothing too fancy, but not bad. One thing I really like about this beer is how the aftertaste rolls off of your tongue. That said, you could call it a crisp finish that ends clean, with the palate reset and ready for more(or, perhaps another brew). A palate wrecker, it is not.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with not much carbonation. It's definitely (dare I use the AB term)drinkable.

Overall: I know this beer has a cult following and it's by no means bad. It's just that for me, personally, it kind of has the taste/feel of a lager, not an ale. It's sessionable as hell and I'm sure it's pretty good on tap, but as a beer with dinner type of beer, this just wouldn't be my first choice. It's above average with a good/or lack of? aftertaste. Gotta give em' credit for that.

PsilohsaiBiN, Jan 05, 2013
Photo of BeerImmediately
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Saw this in a couple places while in Nevada, so had to get a 6.

Pours a reddish-orange, "whiskey" color, with a low head and minimal lacing.

Decent smell... little nutty with some sweetness.

Taste was unique - very malty, with a slightly burnt biscuit flavor, and narry a hop note.

Mouthfeel was rather rich & thick, causing drinkability to be good, but not great for the style.

Props to New Belgium for a unique edge on the style. DEfinitely interesting - give this one a try!

BeerImmediately, May 16, 2008
Photo of KodyBrannon
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is a very heavy smelling beer with a slight hint of caramel. The taste is overall fresh, and crisp. It is very light in the mouth and has a slight carbonation to it to make it feel bubbely in you mouth. A nice beer to drink anytime. Pretty much available anywhere, and available anytime.

KodyBrannon, Aug 23, 2007
Photo of HoppyBastard
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bomber into a Shaker pint glass.

APPEARANCE: pours a clear, amber color with 1 finger head that dissipated into a thin broken layer of off-white bubbles that lasted throughout, significant lacing, medium carbonation.

SMELL: roasted caramel, biscuits, very subtle.

TASTE: the taste follows the nose, roasted caramel, biscuits, very mild hop profile, this is a malt forward beer, everything understated.

PALATE: creamy, medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a good beer but not great, very subtle and inoffensive to almost any beer drinker, a safe beer, you could serve this to guests and no one would complain.

HoppyBastard, Jun 22, 2014
Photo of isthatbeer
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a tulip shaped glass.

A - Nice clear burnished copper hue with two fingers of off-white foam. A small amount of lacing clings to glass--nothing really impressive.

S - The nose is predominantly biscuity malt.

T - Some malt sweetness upfront finishes with a little hops.

M - Medium body really not much carbonation.

A fairly mediocre drink.

isthatbeer, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a nice amber color with a nice head. Smells of sweet malt a floral hops and sort of a wierd smell I can't place, kind of like my dog smells. Taste is good. Nice malt pressence as well as some fruit, also a little hops. Mouthfeel is fine and this is pretty drinkable. Pretty solid brew.

hckyfn9999, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of HopsGoblin
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The first time I tried this beverage I hated it, good thing I reserved judgment till now. This amber ale has grown on me as of recently. I sampled it a few months back after I took a long hiatus from tasting it that first time.

I would say it is above average in all aspects except appearance. A good basic go-to, but nothing exceptional. Value is decent as well when compared to similar styles.

If I was to drop in a random gas station I would not hesitate to grab a sixer of this.

HopsGoblin, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of cualax23
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a cult like following mainly because of it's limited release and exclusion from certain states that helped to fuel the frenzy. Now that it is on a wide release it has gained even more of a following.

The beer has a smooth, crisp taste and a great finish. Could be a beer for any type of day, from the hot July summer day to the depths of a cold February evening.

cualax23, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of jcavend1
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz can into a 13 oz tulip.

I immediately notice that there is little to no head retention. Apperance is a light amber color. Smells of toasted biscuity malt. Hops are not recogonizable. A sweet tasting malt forward beer. Not bad, nothing great overall.

jcavend1, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Morris729
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright golden orange color with a thin white head that quickly fades into a thin lace. Strong malt and grain notes dominate the nose with a bit of fruit. Sweet malts come through up front in the taste along with some biscuity flavors. Almost too sweet. A mild hop bitterness in the finish helps to balance the sweetness somewhat. A good step up from the macros.

Morris729, Jan 11, 2003
Photo of TheRealBigC
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fat Tire is an odd one for me, because I've found it tastes significantly better in the bottle than on tap. The last couple of times I've tried it on tap there's been a pungent, almost sour foreground to the flavor that I've found off-putting. Otherwise, it's a pretty solid beer which I can understand being a popular name in bars around the country.

TheRealBigC, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of Prufrock
3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pilsner.

clear orange amber with half an inch of white head that leaves a ton of stringy thin lace.

caramel and toasted malt aroma. sweet, but not exceedingly so.

toasted malt sweetness to start, then a cleansing hop bitterness leading to a very clean finish. medium-light mouthfeel with a medium-high carbonation. easily drinkable, but the malt character is lacking slightly in complexity; just a light, bready maltiness with little else to offer. enjoyable, then forgettable.

Prufrock, Jun 29, 2006
Photo of DMEsquire
3.34/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

People have been hating on this beer lately, but I suppose that happens with all craft brews that are marketed well and are, therefore, very successful. Anyway, I live in Mississippi, where New Belgium is unfortunately not sold yet. So, I had to pick it up in Memphis.

I got it in the can, as I am a firm believer that most beers (especially this one) taste better from a can. I don't know if it's the can conditioning, or the lack of sunlight reaching the beer, or the simple fact that it tastes colder, but I love it.

So, the beer itself is, in my opinion, the standard example of an amber ale. It's not as complex as a porter or an IPA, but it's not supposed to be. It's just a good, crisp, drinkable ale, suitable for tailgating at a football game, doing yard work, or just sitting at the house watching T.V. This beer would be my go to and I would keep it stocked if only it were available in my home state (hint hint New Belgium..)

DMEsquire, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of Bouleboubier
3.34/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

(bottle with 07 Jul 2013 best by)

A: Westvleteren-style bottle.... clear, gold liquid... copious, lasting, frothy off-white head and sudsy lace... real pretty

S: like candied peaches or fruit cocktail that were sitting out for a couple hours, oxidizing

T: like jelly/syrup... caramel-topped angel food cake, caramelized flowers... way too "wort-y", way too sweetish, kinda diaper-y

M: fullish on the palate...the cottony carbonation lends a little lift to it... actually a bit laboring sip to sip

O: brings the label "Belgian Amber" to mind....not all that appealing.... couldn't drink one again

Bouleboubier, May 10, 2013
Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 6,600 ratings.