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Fat Tire Amber Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,890 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,890
Hads: 7,851
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 30%
Wants: 196
Gots: 1,729 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-07-2000

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fat Tire Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,890 | Hads: 7,851
Photo of eternalcow
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

To me this is a thoroughly average beer. I can't find much fault with it, but I also can't find much to recommend it.

Due to the brown hue of the bottle, color is difficult to determine, and I don't have any beer glasses. I know, some beer drinker I am.

Aroma to me is tangy, maybe a little citrus.

The flavor bears the same citrus notes, and is light on hops. It leaves a slightly woody aftertaste which to me is actually better than the beer itself.

The mouth feel is light, which I know is standard fare for this kind of ale. Unlike other pale and amber ales I've tried though, Fat Tire doesn't have anything in its flavor to balance out the light texture, so the beer tastes almost watery.

Let me hasten to add that I tend to favor dark beers, and these criticisms might just be a matter of preference. But I've had other amber ales that I prefer to Fat Tire.

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Photo of charlesw
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Staight-up average amber. I mean, it seems to hit all of the criteria for a red/amber ale - but it just doesn't do any more than that for me.

Lightish amber color, very clear, thin, creamy head - which doesn't last. You can just taste the malt and caramel - but only just. A bit light in the mouth - not like it's overly carbonated or anything, it just doesn't have enough body to it to suit me. I guess I'd call that medium body :) Just a hint of hop bitterness.

Hmm. Part of why I give this such a poor review is that I did side-by-side tests with this and 5 other ambers. There was one that was simply terrible, but other than that one, this one was at the bottom of everyone's list of favorites out of those sampled...

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Photo of Greggy
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured into my chalice glass, I got a nice 1.5 finger head, that receded rather quickly into a thin lace. The lacing on the glass wasn't ovely impressive but it remained in suspension. The beer had a light copper color and nice clarity.

Smell: Not a ton going on in the nose department but I did pick up some light caramel, a distinct breadiness/biscuit, an uber light hopiness and some malt. I was expecting more, to be honest.

Taste: A very light bready or biscuit tast lingers on the palette but isn't identified, by me, in the initial sip. There wasn't much I could pick out of the taste as it seemed rather 2 dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Smooth feel and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: In Minnesota, these are only available in 22oz bomber bottles. So drinkability for me means, 22 oz at a time. It is ok and beasts out any macro you throw against it, but I could easily think of many other brews to drink intead of it.

Notes: I found this to be quite over-rated and I was quite shocked. This is pretty popular stuff in Minnesota but I think it may be because of the demand giving it some real hype that, in my opinion, it didn't live up to.

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Photo of vanrassel
2.71/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

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Photo of IPreferPotButBeerIsGood
2.71/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

I expected very good things from this beer. The bottle was pleasing to the eye, the name interesting. I picked it up to give it a fair shot. I never removed it from the bottle, but it looked nice and amber-ish yellow. I took a drink and it felt decent to the tongue, nice and light (although I prefer a heavier beer,) but it tasted awful, almost sour. It was mildly acidic and pleasantly bubbly, but nothing could make up for the awful taste. I was sorely disappointed to have paid 10 dollars for a six pack so I gave one to my grandfather, who's first words after his first sip were "That tastes like shit." The old man has spoken.

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Photo of totallyrelaxed
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A- A nice pink-tinged copper. Looks pretty decent actually

S-Almost vegetable hops with a slightly charred biscuit note

T-Once again vegetable hops with a malty backbone

M- Light almost watery

O- I will admit that I simply have never liked this beer. Had a couple left in my fridge so I thought I'd give it another try.It just doesnt taste pleasant to me. Its off putting with that dry vegetable hop flavor Its just meh...

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Photo of hwwty4
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours a light amber red with a bit of a brownish tinge when removed from the light. Here is my biggest problem with this beer. It smells and tastes like sour milk. Not bad milk, just slightly soured milk and I get it from every pint/bottle of Fat Tire that I drink. I don't know if it's my odd senses or if there is some soured Lactose put in the wort. I find it so dominating that the soured milk smell overwhelms everything else. The taste is much the same, but its not as dominating. There are also roasted grains, and a bit of sweet chocolate that comes through in the finish. The mouthfeel is a bit fuller than I expected for the style, which I found enjoyable. While there are a couple beers that I really enjoy from New Belgium, this is not one of them.

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Photo of loren01
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

First of all I must admit that ambers are not my favorite type of micro. The one thing that was good about this beer was the appearance, light amber with a decent head to it. However things go downhill from here. I smell a faint biscut aroma, not much other than that, no hoppy smell to speak of. The taste is even worse, tastes like Coors Lite with a little more malty flavor too it. Mouthfeel was just plain flat, no pep to it at all. As I said before I am not a huge fan of ambers but when I do drink them I prefer one that is either more malty or more hoppy. Fat tire just tasted weak and flavorless to me. I will be touring the brewery this summer and I can't wait, however I'll stick to their other brews which I love.

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Photo of jsantana09
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Average beer. Better than the adjunct/light beers but not quite at the level of many of the other craft beers out there. Hits the mark for an Amber Ale but didn't amaze me. Good beer for an afternoon session.

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Photo of PaulyB83
2.74/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Best by Oct . 12 2014

A- Medium amber, one finger white head, good clarity.

S- Light English hops, light American hops of citrus and floral, with a tad of earthy spice. Medium malt sweetness.

T- Similar to aroma, light citrus, spicy, floral hops. Medium sweetness. Maybe a touch of banana.

M- Pretty full for a 5.2% beer, it does finish a tad thin.

O- This beer tastes very similar to Bell's Amber to me but with everything a few notches lighter (aroma, taste). It seems like New Belgium filters all their beers which I think kinda gives them all a kinda similar flat note taste. Being in Kalamazoo, I have ample access to Bell's Amber so I really don't find myself choosing this beer that much.

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Photo of jsh420
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours clear amber with no head

smell - not much here - carmel malts was about all i could pick out - i think the bar had the kegs too cold

taste was better then the smell - slightly toasted malts and sweet carmel malts along with what i think was an afterthought tiny bit of hops

mouthfeel was not good - the beer was flat

drinkability is ok - its a beer most non craft bars have

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Photo of mwalters
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Due to all of the hype, I expected this beer to blow me away. It was fairily watered down. I can see where it would appeal to the masses, which is fine. There are a ton of amber ales that I would pick over this one, like Breckenridge Avalance, Boulder Sundance or Anderson Valley Amber. New Belgium makes some great beers, unfortunately... this isn't one of them. Try one anyway.

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Photo of harrymel
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed: 06/27/10
Poured from bottle to Standard pint glass.

A: the color of ambered tree sap. absolut clarity. Partial ribbons.

S: Good balanced maltiness with touch of citrusy hopping.

T: Lots of caramel malt on this one. otherwise, nada.

M: medium carbonation accents light body (for an amber).

D: Would not suggest as an amber.

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Photo of gfreed
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
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."

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Photo of leantom
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%

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

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Photo of zoso493
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of Rast
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of assmasterson
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of Bfarr
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of BobbyBill
2.77/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Why oh why do I keep coming back to this beer? I used to love this in the 90s now it's just ok. I keep thinking that this is going to be the time that I like it again and I just don't. I love the companies mission, the clean air and the employee hugging but their beer over the past couple of years has been disappointing.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%

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.

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Photo of illidurit
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.79/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Photo of CampusCrew
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


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.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,890 ratings.