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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.

1,889 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,889
Hads: 7,844
Avg: 3.6
pDev: 30%
Wants: 197
Gots: 1,724 | 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: 1,889 | Hads: 7,844
Photo of oggg
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured freezing cold at Red Robin.

Actually doesn't taste bad freezing cold.

Pours a brilliantly clear orange. Minimal wisps of white foam. Aroma is pretty much nonexistent, even as the beer warms. Sweet caramel malt with a great nutty taste. Minimal hop bitterness. Hint of hop floral character. no citrus. Neutral finish. Light to medium bodied.

Overall: nice nutty session ale that is not bitter. Could be a good newbie beer. Not really your classic amber (high malt and hops and red color)

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Photo of Dmann
2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I was quite unimpressed by this beer concitering it has gotten so muc hype over the years. It poured a nice amber color with a nice head that faded quickly and left little to no lace down the glass. The smell is nothing special, some sour citrus and stale bread scents float off of this brew. The taste was not to good either and was plagued by an overly-woody, oak like flavor that was not all that pleasing. This is not a beer I will be revisiting.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah, Fat Tire. A beer of disputable repute. I have fond memories from a stay in Santa Fe in 1999 -- at the time I loved the beer, thought it one of the best I'd had up to that point. But afterwards I went back to the east coast for a few years, where New Belgium doesn't distribute, and my affection for the beer may have grown as a result of its absence. Now I live in Oregon, and the beer is readily available at every Safeway and 7-11. Fat Tire is back in my life once again.... It's a disappointment. I am hoping the beer has changed over the years, because it's kind of distressing to learn my memory is so unreliable. But Fat Tire is not a BAD beer, and although it cannot live up to its regional hype, it will satisfy many. It isn't a hoppy beer by any means, and is quite smooth, even lager-like. Drinkability is very high. The aroma is not inviting, a bit like sour fruit, but it is pretty mild and can be overlooked. Those who love this beer tend to drink it out of the bottle anyway. The flavor is similarly mild, almost bland, with a subtle caramel roastiness and a strong flavor of peanuts. It's a decent beer, nothing great, but it seems to generate a huge amount of devotion. Judge for yourself.

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Photo of donnebaby
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This amber ale is definitely amber in color. Clear body and an unexpected cream ale-like cream head. A thick drifting collar remains behind for the duration of the session. Nose has lots of body and far more expressive while the head is up--so sniff quick! Toasted low wheat and some booze in the background, somehow.

Taste, too has alot of the toasted wheat germ that was in the smell, which continues into the aftertaste and bitters out into roasted and burnt wheat with the hops. Minerals in the after as well. Pretty heavy body feel to this brew in the mouth, but the strong enough carbonation seems to lighten it somewhat.

Nice amber, but surely not one of the best out there.

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Photo of klk
3.29/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of bronxlord
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This lil' beer got me into trouble on a trip to St. Louis. The best way I can describe this beer is a Western version of Sam Adams, but better. It has a stronger toasty flavor and is SO easy to drink. It has rich flavor, but does not really feel too heavy while drinking it. I am looking to find it on the East Coast though!

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Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an Ultra clear amber brew, flat head.

Smell is fruity with lots of sweetness and biscuit smell. Clear dark roasted malt scent here.

Taste is sweet and malty with that biscuit flavor popping up again. Nice yeast flavor. Caramel roasted flavor to this is complex and hard to pin down, want to call it butterscotch but it is more than that. Nice nutty flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Nice brew to drink not a best of class but a welcome example of the style.

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Photo of mrpicklerelish
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a nice amber color with a fairly large size head that seemed to stick around the top of my beer even as I took a few sips.

Smell - Upon first smell, I really noticed the malt sticking out above everything else. After cutting through the malt kick a nice hint of fruit could be noticed with a nice compliment of bread as a back note.

Taste - A slight fruit taste after the large malt kick. A small amount of hops could be noted but nothing to overpowering. A very balanced tasting beer.

Mouthfeel - Feels very crisp on the tongue with what seems like a very nice compliment of carbonation. Not too much, not to little, just right.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink and very balanced. Could easily be described as a session beer not only because of the ABV but also because of how easy it is on the palate.

Comments - The flavors are really balance in this beer. It by no means tries to break any flavor barriers, which makes it an easy candidate as an introduction beer into the world a craft beer.

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Photo of clvand0
2.69/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've heard good and bad things about this beer, so I'm interested. Pours an amber color with a small white head that quickly dies off. The aroma was stanktastic. Actually it just stank. Smells like socks. Some malts there, but mostly socks. The flavor was sock-like too, not that I know what socks taste like, but it's what they should taste like. Tastes bready, but extremely thin. Uninteresting. What's all the fuss about? This beer is below par.

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Photo of kmpitz2
3.14/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one was brought to my tasting last night. The beer poured a golden color with a thin cover of head over the beer. The nose on this was not good. We came up with old socks in grandma's attic as the description. It was just not good smelling beer. The flavor was full of biscuit malt, with a bready taste. The body was fairly thin and drinkabilit was just average. I could have one, but probably not more than that.

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Photo of WetCoaster
2.89/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Crystal clear honey amber. Thin white head with marginal retention. Fine, mildly active carbonation. Collar throughout.

Smell: Hmm. A bit of yeast, mildly citrusy/floral, a hint of malt--just a hint, period.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Basically, like drinking a slice of supermarket honey wheat bread. Bit of yeast, slightly nutty, slightly metallic. Finish is slightly... God, who cares, this is pointless. Mouthfeel is EXTREMELY thin and a bit fizzy. Yawn.

Drinkability: So light, you could probably drink one and never realize it. Whether that's good or bad is up to you, I suppose.

I don't know why this beer is so popular. So meek, so weak, and then to add insult to injury, so freakin' expensive--total waste of time, IMHO. Never again.

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

Pours a golden amber with a frothy white head. Nice and lacy. Smell is fruity and lightly yeasty. Light mown hay aromas.

Tastes fruity and very bready. Some citrusy undertones. Nice crispness in the finish. Really it's all about that bready flavor with the fruitiness from the yeast. A crisp lightly bitter finish. Light and refreshing. Much more substancial than most amber ales. A good session beer and very well done taken for what it is.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle pours an amber colored fluid. The one finger head quickly fades to a sheen leaving no lace. Smells like Hunts snack pack chocolate pudding. Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Taste is of lightly toasted malt with a mild chocolate flavor. Has a very mild hop tang to finish. Not bad.

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

Clear gold-amber body topped with an off-white head that starts dense, but falls a little too quickly. Biscuit and fruit in the aroma. Bread flavors with fruitiness and honey sweetness. Round mouthfeel with moderately heavy carbonation and dry finish.

Fat Tire is an easy drinking beer. While it may be overhyped by some of your buddies in the rocky mountain state, it is a tasty beverage. Crack one open at the top of the mountain and enjoy.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fat Tire. How did this phenomenon happen? My friends categorically turn up their noses when I crack my "expensive" beer. Still, these same BMC devotees would have paid me a ridiculous amount of money to bring this stuff back to Indiana in bulk. How the people at New Belgium bridged the eternal gap from piss-water to respectable amber ale appreciators is beyond me. More power to them.

Speaking to the bartenders at New Belgium's brewery, it was more than clear that Fat Tire pays the bills but is by no means the brewery's heart and soul. Still, the beer is head and shoulders above most crap out there.

Copper. Slight, clingy head. Biscuit bomb on the nose, with hints of gummy plasticene malt character.

The mouthfeel is a tad clunky and heavyhanded. The package is pulled in with a slight, light bitterness. I could drink this, but no more than one or two.

My ambivilance towards this beer is cancelled out by my philosophical advocacy of the brewery and the continued experimentation this beer funds.

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Photo of Excalibur33
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was introduced to this beer about 5 years ago on a trip to Colorado and have had several opportunities since then to relive the experience. It's an outstanding choice for those who are looking to graduate from American macro-swill but aren't ready for a heavy or overly-bitter flavor.

Others have noted the biscuity flavor, and I agree that it is very apparent. A small-ish head disappears fairly quickly, leaving a small foam ring that follows the beer down the glass. There is a slight maltiness in the flavor, and a somewhat bitter finish.

The texture is very smooth, making for outstanding drinkability.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is surely to become an American classic session beer along with Alaska Amber to join the SNPA ranks. It is a nice dark gold colour with fine hoopy nose. What makes this beer for me is the drinkability combined with an attention to flavour and hops. I always want just one more sip with this beer and that my friends is a good thing.

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Photo of hobbes2112
3.16/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

Fat Tire is a beer that I have kept around as a "sharing" beer. Good one to serve to those that aren't beer people yet.

Pours a solid copper with a small white head that leaves quite a bit of lace.
Aroma is not very strong of anything, but you can certainly pick out sweet and grainy notes. Taste is very mild and smooth with mostly a bready middle and semi-dry finish.

I don't think of this as a stand-out beer in anyway, but it is something most people can enjoy.

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Photo of misterscooter
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First, a warning: this beer does not smell good. It isn't skunky or repulsive, but it isn't a friendly smelling beer. But that is OK. In fact, it has character and lets you know this is no ordinary beer.

A nice golden brown color, I was surpised that it was poured out of the tap without much head. Maybe that is the bartender, though, and not the beer. The first taste is complex and you realize why it doesn't smell so great. The layers of flavor don't allow one smell to come out so it is a mix of peppers, citrus, wood, sky, dirt, etc. It definitely isn't a beer for everyone but that is fine. You'll notice that people seem to like it or hate it and if it is on tap, those who like it usually get that sometime in the evening. It isn't a favorite but I like having it available because it definitely hits a spot that other beers can't.

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Photo of redmosquito
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this a few years ago while in Colorado and I didn't recall much about it, so I was excited to try it again this summer. Nice deep red color, not much head. Yeasty smell, with nice nut and roast aromas, little hops. Nice malty flavor with a good roasted malt finish. Clean finish with enough body to carry the flavor. A good beer overall.

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

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It is light, but there are traces of pale and light crystal malts. The taste is decent as well. It has a light and grainy pale malt flavor with a bit of crystal malts as well. It goes down smooth and finishes dry and slightly malty. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine amber ale. I wish it has a more complex aroma and flavor, but it drinks well regardless.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 ounce tall mug, on tap at Texas Roadhouse, Ft. Collins, CO, August 30,2004

Appearance: Nice rusty amber, with a two-finger head that reduced to one finger and remained the whole drink.

Smell: Sharp hops foreground with a biscuit malt presence. A slight hint of gingerand pepper, perhaps. Nice.

Taste: Starts with a crisp sharp hoppiness with a smooth malt undertow, none of the spiceyness of the smell. Pretty average stuff.

Mouthfeel: Clean, round and smooth, more presence than one might anticipate from an amber ale.

Dinrkability: Perhaps a bit too much carbonation to drink several. Nice enough for a couple.

Overall, I think this beer is better on draught than bottled. Drinking it three miles from where it was put in the keg didn't hurt, I'm sure. I know people who rave over this beer. My son and I (who turned 21 today!) both thought it was decent, but nothing to rave about.

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

Written From Notes Compiled 6/04-8/04:
Note: I drove 1 hour and 45 mintutes each way to get New Belgium products.
Well hyped by colorado natives where ever you go, but does this beer stand up to it? Pours a clear rust color, with 2" of white head. Smells intensely of biscuit maltiness. Slight chocolate aroma. Taste is very grainy, again with the biscuits. Hops balnces well. Good, but not "the best beer in the world", as I have heard it called on a few occasions.

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Photo of granger10
3.17/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, I have heard enough about this beer from my Colorado friends, and I was finally able to give it a try. It has a bronzish copper look to it with a large foamy white head. But just from looking at it I could tell the body was going to be weak. It was watery looking. The smell was quite nice with a caramel toastiness. The flavor was all malts, no hops or yeast or anything else. I got a whole lot of toasted biscuit. It was good at first but wore on me quick. Really cloying imo. The biscuit flavor clung to my mouth. The body was really light which enabled me to drink this beer rather quickly. I could see how people who are used to the Bud Light's would get into this. It's light in body with actually some flavor. But it does nothing for me. Still this could possibly be a session beer once I get past the sticky maltiness.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent purchase if you are looking for high drinkability - nice for long sessions on the same beer.

This beer pours a warm amber color with a bubbly head that dies quickly. The smell is mostly malty - i didn't pick up any of the biscuit everyone talks about.

Flavor is mostly malt and a syrupy sweet hop taste on the top. A nice mild pretzel/alcohol finish.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,889 ratings.