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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: 7,847
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 30%
Wants: 197
Gots: 1,728 | 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: 7,847
Photo of yelterdow
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date: 05DEC05.

Served at forty-five minutes over fridge temperature into a Fuller's becker, with much anticipation.

Fat Tire; I never thought the day would come that I would get to sample this classic amber. A friend brought a case back from Colorado to Jersey, and here I sit before my only bottle. Time to hop on the bike...

Appearance- A very pale amber that supports a rugged, two finger head on a rough pour. The bubbles are unusually large and loud, finally quieting to a thin mat. Almost perfect clarity.

Smell- If you could crank the levels of "sweet" and "toasty" both up to 10 simultaniously, and then take a whiff, you would have Fat Tire. Frankly, I have never smelled anything like it... sometimes with a fantastic quadrupel, I find myself with nose buried into a snifter, taking in the magic of the Belgian ways... but never have I done so with a "domestic amber". I get toasted sesame seeds and fresh bread from a bakery just under way at 5:00 in the morning. Magnificent.

Taste- Well done biscuits with sesame seeds, a nice malty character with only a trace of hops. Lingering toastiness in the mouth long after the swallow.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Small, sharp, aggressive carbonation that might best be countered with food... a bit much on its own. The huge toasted maltiness begs for full attention, and grabs it by drink's end. I am glad to have sampled this truly unique beer from a city I probably will never have the pleasure of visiting in the near future.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy white head over a translucent amber body. Great lace and average retention. Smells of warm biscuits and caramel malts, floral hops. Hints of fruity esters and Belgian yeast. Biscuit and caramel malt flavors with an underlying hop bitterness. Light sweetness. Lean body, smooth in the mouth with a lingering slight bitterness. Very drinkable.

A great session beer. This is definately an American-Beligan hybrid, and therfore in my opinion deserves very high marks within the category of American Amber Ale. Despite its rapidly increasing distribution and what I can only guess must be exponential growth in production, this continues to be a solid brew and a wonderful specimen for beer reeducation. I hope the wider distribution is foretelling a mass shift in American tastes. Thank the gods for New Belgium.

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Photo of pezoids
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a thin to almost no head. Bright and glowing orange-amber color with a decent amount of carbonation in the body. The aroma is cloying with honey and molasses in the forefront and sweet grapefruit in the back. The taste is malty, fruity and lemony that leans towards the sweet side, although a floral honey bitterness is detected. Overall - solid body with a complimentary bitterness. Always happy to have New Belgium's flagship brew. A Classic.

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Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Colorado cult classic pours a clear, honey amber with a small almond hued head that quickly falls to a lasting film. Some patchy lace is left behind. Aroma boasts toasty biscuity malt, a note of caramel, and some earthy hops. Mouthfeel is light medium with moderate carbonation. Tastes pretty good for what many label a "crossover beer". Toasty biscuit drenched in caramel gives it a sweetness that is well balanced by a soft earthy hop bitterness. Some yeasty breadiness adds a nice touch. Very pleasant tasting and well balanced. Nothing exceptional, but this is a skillfully crafted amber that has a charming simplicity. I would buy this on occasion if it were available locally.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great appearance. Bright copper with a long lasting white head and good lacing. Smell is faint, but decent. Toasted grain and a little yeast in there. Taste is very subdued and watery even, but also not bad. What is there has ok flavor I guess. The toasted bread is very evident, but pretty much everything else seems to be missing. There is a bit of an earthy mineral taste also, maybe from the water, maybe from hops. The finish is nonexistant. Surprisingly, the mouthfeel is very nice. Medium bodied for an amber ale, and very creamy on the palate. Not my favorite, but certainly not bad.

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Photo of jclovebrew
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma was the first thing that hit me - distinctly Belgian, very pleasing. Color is a light/bright amber. Creamy head that leaves behind some lacing. The taste, while not bad, was a slight let down - The lovely aroma had me expecting some Belgian 'funk' to be present in the flavor, but it was missing. Instead the flavor is sort of typical American Amber. Not bad at all, but not up to expectations either.

Note: I'm in a hotel room without any proper glassware. Drinking out of a "rocks glass".

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Photo of mntlover
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear lighter amber color with a finger and half cream colored head. Does leave behind some decent lace.

Aroma is toasted caramel malt some light grainy notes some light citrus and grassy hops noted.

Taste is good, toasted grainy malt with a good supply of caramel little too sweet like I remember it but pretty nice. Finishes with that lingering sweetness and a light hop hit citrus/grassy variety mixed.

Mouthfeel is medium good level of carbonation helps the flavor along.

Drinkability is good a decent amber not gret but decent can see why this makes a good cross over brew the newbies enjoy sweet beers. Thanks go to Dertbert for this sample I had many times ages ago.

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Photo of walleye
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from my own private keg that I got for bieristguts wedding on july 2nd in colorado springs.poured a nice orange amber, witha nice medium sized head, hard to tell about the lacing in a plastic glass. aroma toasty malts, caramel, bready. flavor the caramel flavor is the (for those of you who know about sanders) kind you pour over ice cream. nice malts and some bitterness. a very good ber that you could drink alot of. wait I did drink a lot of this stuff I wanted to get my monies worth

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a pint glass, poured from the bottle. Nothing special in appearance to be honest. Just an amber ale...

The flavor was very balanced. But this was kind of a bad thing in my opinion. There was almost a negation of flavor. Maybe a little biscuit, but no other malty flavors were detected. Nor did I detect any hops in a major way. Just balanced.

I didn't really like this, and I probably won't get it again unless nothing else is available. I guess it's just a gateway beer.

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Photo of whartontallboy
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a orange-amber, clear with a thin white head of bubbles and nicely streaming carbonation. Left quite a bit of lacing in my glass.

Smell is bread and biscuits, apples, and a light caramel smell. Very subdued hoppiness.

Flavor is toasty and bready as well, but the caramel really gives it a little extra kick for me. Dry finish with a nice little hop bite that rounds out the big malt nicely.

Overall: Always a treat to have someone sneak me a bottle of this from the West Coast.

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Photo of clippersfanbob
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This well-crafted beer pours a beautiful medium amber with hints of brick red and a nice off-white head that laces well down the glass. A moderately malty aroma follows with notes of honey and nuts. This is a supremely easy-drinking amber with a good balance between malt and hops, and a pleasant smokey character. The taste is marked by flavors of nuts, wood, and a delicate splash of citrus, with a clean, crisp finish.

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Photo of Redrover
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I sampled a couple of these on tap at the 1505 in Modesto, CA.

Served in standard pint glass the beer was slightly hazy tan with a decent tan head. Good lacing.

My first impression when smelling this beer was sweet malts, some grass and a bit of hard candy.

The taste tracks very similar to the smell. This is a sweet beer with hops pushed into the background. You also get some fruit and a dash of nuts. Not bad at all if you like a sweeter beer.

The mouth was above average with good pinpricks of carbonation. Drinkablity is fine, but two is about enough for me as the beer is a bit to sweet to be a session beer.

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Photo of theozag
2.28/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer appears in the glass as a clear yet dark amber after pouring a deeper wood brown colors. The eggshell-white head fades very fast.

Smell is faint but what I can detect seems sharply sour.

The start of Fat Tire is rough with plenty of hop bitters. The beer then settles medium-bodied, bitter, and with a distinctly heavy taste. Flavors in this beer include caramel and oats, but it is overall slightly dry in the mouth and unpleasant. Finish provides the strongest of the flavors in this beer with just one extra bitter hit as Fat Tire heads out of your mouth. There is a lasting but not terribly bad aftertaste.

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Photo of xoqx
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – A light amber-copper, one finger head dwindles to broken islands of foam and lots of lacing from top to bottom in a gothic church window pattern.

Smell – malt, grass, mild hopiness

Taste – moderate heavy sweet malt. There is a wonderful burst of malt at the beginning of the sip, followed by a brief hop taste that rises and falls across the palate pretty quickly and never outsteps the sweet malts. The substantial malt body carries through the long finish.

Mouthfeel – medium-rare. The malts are so significant in this one, it's almost easy to overlook that is has a surprisingly light mouthfeel.

Drinkability – I think the super impressive malts combined with the very light mouthfeel are a large part of the very good drinkability of this beer. I think New Belgian struck gold with this one.

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Photo of jdm
2.62/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

pours a one and a half finger head and a light copper color. the head is creamy white and fairly dense. earthy, musty smell that is not very appealing, like a cross between tea and fresh mud. heavy on the mud. substantial mouth feel. the slick hangs around a bit. medium carbonation. i taste the mud as well. at least it is sweet mud, as there is ample evidence of malt along with it. i am not getting past that aroma. this just apparently is not my beer as i have read a sampling of other reviews but cannot agree. ps; i know i have a distaste, or should i say dis-smell, for fuggles as an aroma hop and i am pretty sure that is what is going on here with the earthy aroma, so if you don't have this personal dislike, disregard the above review.

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3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A light orange amber body shows a bit of bubbley carbonation. Head is a thick foamy tan that holds its form well.

Nose brings a raw malty feel to the nose, along with that is a fresh field note of wheat. You deffinetly notice a herbal backround also.

Enters the mouth with a distinct nutty, herbal feel. Maybe a hint of hazel nut. A very raw fresh feel overall to this beer but it is smooth and mellow, wery easy to drink.

It finishes soft and fuzzy on the mouth.

A very nice american belgium amber. A very clean refreshing amber. Early fall is a good time for this one to be tasted. Nothing really fat about it though.

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Photo of charlatan
2.38/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle has December freshness date. Beer pours a fairly dark amber with a minimal head. It has an unpleasant musty basement smell which suggests malt domination. Its malty flavour reminds me at best of chocolate graham crackers, and at worst of stale digestives. Does have decent carbonation.

I had thought that perhaps my draught experiences of Fat Tire were unfortunately with stale beer, but apparently this was not the case.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice pour out of the bottle into a tulip glass
A dark amber yellow color with a thin white head
Vey good flavor, a light a first feel on the palate.
rich malt flavor with a nutty/fruity finish
I enjoyed this beer with an alfredo pasta dish and it complimented it nicely
Very good if you are a wit beer or pale ale fan

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Photo of whynot44
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear light amber color with a decent ivory head that hangs around for a while and leaves a nice bit of lacing behind.

Mild bready aroma with a bit of herbal hops.

Light/medium bodied with a nice bready, nutty malt flavor with a definite touch of hops bitterness and aftertaste to balance it out.

Decently drinkable.

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Photo of beersarang
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap this is way superior to the bottle, an entirely different beer. Overall a great crossover with a good bisuity malt profile. Seems "smoother" on tap overall. A great beer to drink large quantities of in my opinion. Don't buy in a bottle if you can help it.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear golden amber with an off-white and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly, lacing the glass.

The aroma was nice caramel coupled with a good malt backbone and a nice nuttiness. The aroma most closely resembled Munich malt.

The flavor was malty with a nutty character and a light hop bittering which kept the malt in check. The malt and hop balance was well done but malt led the charge and won the war in this battle. The flavors were nicely crisp.

The finish was dry with a light crispness into the afteraste. The body was medium and well done with a nice acidic bite from the carbonation. Very easy to drink.

12 ounce bottle dated 21 Oct 05. Thanks mentor!

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Photo of Dithyramb
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased for four bucks at the nice Victorianesque dining joint at the base of Chautauqua Park in Boulder. First off, the ringed brown bottle with the brewery name was pretty cool.

Your expected amber with off white head and a load of carbonation feeding it. Not much retention, but excellent lacing throughout the pint glass. Bready and caramel malts with just a little bit of herbal hops. That same caramel and biscuit malt comes back in the flavor. The herbal and citrus hops are there in the finish. Comes off as an easy drinking medium bodied brew. Not earth shattering, but smooth, drinkable, and enjoyable. I see why this appears all over the state.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mentor I finally get the opportunity to try this one! Pours from the cool ringed bottle a crystal golden amber color with a small sprase white head that quickly recedes. Aromas of are big on freshly baked bread with ribbons of caramel. Subtle herbal/citric hoppiness lingers in the background. Biscuity. Laid back nose.

First sip brings a big caramelly, biscuity bready maltiness that rushes across the palate with some light fruit tones peeking out as well. Mellow, clean herbal, slightly citirc hops follow on the way down. Toasty flavors abound and set this one apart. This might not be anything earth shattering...but it's a solid amber ale.

Mouthfeel is smooth, medium bodied with a light silkiness as it rolls across the palate. It works well for the style. As for drinkability...I could easily session this beer and see why it is so popular. A great crossover beer that's easy to approach. It's too bad I can't get New Belgium brews in IL yet.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one wasn't quite what I was expecting when I ordered, but an interesting pint just the same. On tap @ The Flying Saucer, San Antonio TX.

Pours a dark amber in color, with some ruby tones around the edges, brown toward the center of the glass. Nose is quite grainy, bready/biacuity, quite sweet to begin with but there is a faint hint of a hop profile detectable. Taste is quite strong following the nose closely, tastes much strong than 5.3% to me, that's for sure. You taste every percentage point of that one, for sure. A bit harsh and astringent, I can't help but to think it may have had something to do with tap line problems though, keep 'em clean boys! Quite malty though, and quite syrupy in a fruity sort of way, a bit overpowering to that end.

Not a bad beer, but as it was server it suffered from some balance issues and some unintended flavors I think.


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Photo of Domingo
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

One of my session beers of choice, especially when it's available in any bar or restaurant in the state. Here in Colorado it's also the ultimate fallback beer as you can find it literally anywhere beer is sold.
Color is a rich reddish brown. I'd describe it as the color as finished cherry wood, but still opaque enough to see cleanly through.
The smell is of roasted malts, but with a sweetness at the end.
Taste is very clean and reminds me of roasted malts, but shockingly with a tiny hint of strawberry thrown in. I've never heard anyone mention that (other than myself) but once I mention it, it seems like everyone notices it! There's also a hint of a graham cracker flavor. Not a strong hop presense, but there's a hint in the finish.
It's one of those brews that I can keep drinking one after another. ABV is just right, too.
It's not perfect, but for the price and availabilty it's a great everyday beer to have on hand. It's also a wonderful gateway beer for those who've only been exposed to BMC.

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