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Fat Squirrel Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fat Squirrel AleFat Squirrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

511 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 511
Hads: 1,490
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 19.06%
Wants: 85
Gots: 171 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 05-17-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 511 | Hads: 1,490
Photo of Axnjxn
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle bottle into a new glarus flute.

pours a light brown with an appropriate head. smell is malty..pungent. taste is caramel, toffee, hazelnuts and very malty. its quite spot on for the style. mild body. mild carbonation.

overall just a very solid English brown. not my favorite style, but this is spot on.

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Yellows and golds highlighting this light brown beer. Sweet malts and herbal hops equally in the nose. Thin mouthfeel; sweet caramel flavors marry with a lighter taste, wheat or maize perhaps? Gives it a tang reminiscent of an All American Lager. Finishes on a herbal, slightly resiny hop finish. More body and bolder flavor would improve this brew, but it's a satisfying and fun brew as is.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A-Clear deep ruby, not exactly brown. One finger head and not much carbonation.

S-Caramel, malt, nutty, grass and dirt.

T-Malt and caramel, some nuts and spices. Earthy as well. Slight bitterness in the finish.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation and a tad watery.

O-Although the typical brown ale flavors were present they just were strong enough or the could have meshed better.

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Photo of Kevin-Wieken
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fat Squirrel Ale
New Glarus Brewing Company, Wisconsin
---from bottle to pint glass---

Dark copper, almost reddish in light. Almost no head produced, this white foam grabs edge of glass,

All malt at the nose. Roasted malts and brown sugar. Very nutty.

Sweet roasted malts. I don’t pick up any coffee like many other reviewers… Slightly creamy. I feel like it finishes almond-y.

Good carbonation. A little more creaminess would make this beer.

Very bland. Just ok. Again, this beer would be rated much higher if it was slightly more creamy.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber brown color with some clarity and bubbles seen coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted malts, nutty, a little caramel, toffee, chocolate,

Taste: Roasted and dark toasted malts, caramel, toffee, hazelnut nuttiness, chocolate, and mild noble hop bitterness. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, a little creamy, low to medium carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: A very enjoyable, tasty, and drinkable EBA. About as good as a brown I have ever had. The malt flavor is awesome.

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Photo of TTAmod
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a mixed 12 poured into pint glass.

A: It's definitely dark. Fairly dark, clear brown with a tan one-finger head. Retention is good. Lacing is good. Visible column of carbonation.

S: Smell is quite nutty, chocolatey, and sweet. Hints of coffee, as well. Pretty good smell, actually, and quite layered for a brown ale.

T: More roasty than your typical brown....almost like a stout in this aspect. Strong coffee notes with strong coffee acidity. Lots of caramel, toffee, chocolate, and hazelnut. Thankfully, it's not as sweet as the smell. Bitterness in the beginning, but fades near the end. Finishes chocolatey.

M: Minimal carbonation. Medium bodied and pretty smooth on the way down with little fuss. Sessionable brown ale.

O: Decent...decent. Not better than one of my favorites, Avery Ellie's Brown Ale, but still quite good. The roastiness is a bit too strong for this type of ale, in my opinion, and it's not quite sweet enough. Definitely good, though.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a perfect pint glass

A - It is copper colored with amber highlights. It has two inches of off-white head.

S - I smell caramel, hazelnut, and some earthy aromas.

T - I get a little cocoa and some nuttiness. Hazelnut comes to mind. It is not a large amount of flavor.

M - Medium

O - It is okay. I had a great nut brown ale yesterday, and it is still in my mind, so this beer suffers a little because of that.

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Photo of Etan
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a pint glass.

A: Pours a red-tinged mahogany with a small beige head.

S: Smells pretty yeasty, with notes of hazelnut, mild raisin, brown bread, cocoa.

T: Nutty, roasted grain, a bit of molasses, light leafy hop note, a bit of a chalky note from the yeast.. Relatively dry.

M: Light-bodied with a bit of creaminess from the full carbonation.

O: I'm not loving the yeast profile on this beer. It's ok.

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Photo of Potatosausage
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

I sampled this beer at the great taste of the midwest in Madison. I think the beer has a good taste and afterwards is also nice. Its hard to go wrong with any new glaurs product. Tried to get the oldman into darker beers. Baby steps babysteps. this is my first post sorryif it sucks. Patato sausage

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Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap and stylish label art acquired from the very gracious Duff27 in a trade (thanks, buddy!) and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had some lovely beers from this brewery. Brewed with six different varieties of Wisconsin malt.

Served straight from the fridge, but it's merely chilled - I wouldn't call it cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head - a bit thin - of fair cream and pretty good (4+ minute) retention. Body colour is a dark amber; by no means brown. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Fairly vibrant. Generally appealing for the style. No real lacing as the head recedes.

Sm: Ah, yes. Delightfully evocative hazelnut. Cream. Amber, biscuit, and maybe even a pale malt or two. Light toasted character. Subtlety reigns here; this is fantastic for a nutty brown. Wow. Caramel. No roast or bitterness here; just straight up nut-forward character. That's what I want from a good brown. Maybe a hint of toffee. Light bread. I don't detect any distinct hop character; any hopping was for preservation. All around, it's fresh, pleasant, and inviting. I can't wait to try it. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: Hazelnut is dominant - as it should be. Caramel. Light toasted character. No perceptible hop character. No yeast. Biscuit malt. Brown malt. Cream. Hints of toffee. It may be simple, but it's pretty much what I want and expect from a brown. Nutty as hell and balanced. Subtle and pleasant to drink. Full-bodied. Not too sweet nor too bitter. Filling. Constructively, it could use more complexity - but I'm nitpicking because this may well be the most complex Brown I've had. The hazelnut in particular is great.

Mf: Creamy, chewy, refreshing, wet. Smooth enough to refresh but lightly coarse enough to aid the depth of flavour. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Very well executed. Carbonation is perfect. Very well done all around. Really aids flavour delivery. Soft. Not too heavy or too light on the palate.

Dr: Very drinkable; I'll enjoy finishing this bottle. A fine Brown Ale from one of the best breweries around. This will be my new standard against which I judge other browns. Yet another solid beer from New Glarus. I'm having this one.

High B-

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Photo of MikeAAL
4.67/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Fat Squirrel has a reddish brown color. Poured a white, two finger head with nice lacing.

It smells like caramel and nuts. Also some malts.

The first thing I taste is caramel, malts and nutty at the end with a crisp, clean finish.

Medium mouth feel. Slightly carbonated and very creamy.

This is the best brown ale I've tried. I really like the nutty flavor it has and it's made locally here in Wisconsin. I've been craving it lately, but I can't find it on the shelves of my liquor store anymore.

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Photo of Braseltonage
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pale brown, turning more of a deep copper held to the light. Brilliantly clear, with a frothy, rocky almost pure white head up top. Medium lacing holds.
S: Some raosted malts waft over at the beginning. Toffee, maybe some heavy toasted nuttiness.
T: Toasted malt flavors dominate up front, not overly roasted or bitter. Easy drinking and pretty smooth. Faint hints of light roasted coffee with perhaps a little black walnut like finish.
M: Medium bodied, maybe a little over carbed for the style which makes it feel a little drier than it should be. Lacks a certain creaminess that I would expect given the malt profile.
O: Pretty solid, but not a huge winner for me. Aroma and flavor profiile overcame an average mouthfeel. I admittedly don't love browns by my nature, but overall its a relatively pleasing and sessionable. Worth a shot, but not close to a staple.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a soft, white head that has okay persistence, but with minimal lacing. Sweet malt and a touch of floral hops in the nose. Gorgeous, deep burnt umber color. Starts with a malty nuttiness that is a bit hoppy. Then the finish starts to come back, with more nuttiness, and then HUGE malt. As it lingers there is a more nutty aspect to it.

This is interesting in that it has a neat nutty quality to it. The hop balance is very, very well done; just enough to be pleasant. I liked this a lot more than I remembered.

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Photo of barczar
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear medium brown with a frothy one inch cream head that dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of lacing.

Faint dank hops, toasted breadcrust, caramel malt, and a light roast character form the aroma. Hazelnuts emerge as it warms.

Cherry sourness forms the basis if the flavor, with nutty, toasted malt notes hitting mid-palate, finishing with toffee and hazelnuts. The finish is somewhat dry and extremely nutty.

Body is moderate, with moderate carbonation, and light alcohol warmth.

Interesting brew. The interplay of sourness and nuttiness is different.

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Photo of Weli
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A-Amber brown with a thin white head Brilliant clarity

S-Quite yeasty, with some toasted bread and British esters

T-Lots of toasted malt flavor up front, nutty, slightly sweet with a slight bitter finish. Somewhat minerally

M-Low carbonation (as per style) and soft smooth mouthfeel

O-Excellent example of an English Style Nut Brown Ale, benchmark for the style

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Photo of hardy008
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Pours brown with an off white head with decent retention and lacing. Smells and tastes like nuts, toasted malt, biscuit, and light caramel. Medium bodied with average carbonation. Not bad, but not worth seeking out again either.

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Photo of Ed_Johnson
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jessica for bringing this back from a visit home. It poured a light brown with a finger of head that left good lacing. The aroma was mild caramel with some nuttiness; a mild aroma. Mostly caramel. I found more flavor than nose, caramel again was number one followed by the nuttiness. The finish has some crispness, which I liked. Nice mild creaminess on the mouth feel. This is a good brown ale and I would drink it again.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Solid bright copper with light orange highlights. Perfectly clear. Head is off-white, creamy, and leaves a small cap throughout. Moderate carbonation. Quite pretty.

Smell: Caramel and biscuit with some mineral notes underneath. Vaguely earthy and grassy with a lingering floral and herbal component as well. Some citrus in the back, but mainly a vague undefined rind. A touch sweet with a nice backing toasted malt. Some deeper roasted elements. Very bready. Fresh and clean.

Taste: A touch of crisp apple up front. Sweet caramel malts with a decidedly crusty bread. Some floral and citrus notes round out the back. A bit of minerality in the back as well. Toasted malts creep out a bit as the beer warms. A bit of lingering bitterness on the back feels a bit off. Apples and bread. Vaguely nutty.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth. Moderate carbonation on a medium body. Drinks easily, but the finish is a bit rough.

Overall: I won't be hoarding this for winter.

A solid brown ale, but it feels a little unrefined. Easy drinking and I definitely wouldn't pass it up if offered a bottle, but I won't be seeking it out.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Exceedingly rustic in appearance. Rusty red with large, soda-like bubbles. Great foam, creamy white in color. Lacing also sticks around for a while.

Smell: Strong caramel in the head. A bit of a metallic mineral quality that actually fits this beer well. A tad bit fruity also. I'd say mostly plums, raisins, or something like that.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Smooth, sweetened, chilled coffee with a bit of caramel. A bit like a man's frappuccino. A hint of pine in the flavor that you miss at first, because it's almost a bit floral. There is a bit of toasted hazelnut as advertised, but it's really subtle. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and flattens out, leaving the pine flavor on the palate.

Overall Drinkability: A refreshing brown ale.

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Photo of wingman14
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour looks like liquid brown sugar with an off white head. Smell isn't powerful, but is a nice toasted malt. Taste is a nice balance of malt flavor, with some subtle sweetness. A smooth medium mouthfeel, nice carbonation and flavor balance. Overall a nice beer, great flavor, very sessionable.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.01/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No obvious bottle dating.

A very dark copper amber, with some hints of rising carbonation going up pretty fast, but hard to see. Quite clear, but very dark. Head is two fingers and off white, almost creamy with some good ring lacing.

Nose is pretty closed, and not much going on. A bit of a stink from this, mud and earth, truly odd. Strangely not that offensive, I am not sure where this is going.

Malt action hits, with just a hint of cream but toned down. A good depth and feel to this, but does not really bring out much malt flavor. There's a little bit of nut character classic to a brown ale, but it's really not showing up much.

Overall this is easily drinkable, but it's also kind of ordinary and bland. Not very memorable either.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We've been lulled to sleep with the taste of the Newcastles of the world. And most American-brewed brown ales have become assertive to the point that they better compete with porters and less with the taste than brought brown to the taste of England. But New Glarus keeps a keen eye on history and takes a never-say-never stance in the preserverence of the brown ale with Fat Squirrel Brown Ale

You'd expect the "appearance" comments to start and stop with simply "brown". But there's more to the beer as its bright clarity embarks upon redish chestnut highlights. Extending onward, the beer shows an appetizing creamy off white head that rises timidly, but continues to lather into a blanket across the glass. Trailing with foamy lace, the beer simply exudes the appearances that make English ales charming and masculine.

Mild caramel, acorn, and toast notes shed light on the dark beer's aromas. Accessory scents of light chocolate, toasted grain, vanilla, and light malty starch seem to support the stronger impressions of sweetness and earthiness. With just enough woodish hops to round out the scent, the beer offers more than varying degrees of sweetness and graininess.

Deliciously smooth, the beer's taste stems from its aromas- malty sweet with caramel and toffee with perhaps a dash of brown sugar. But a more robust nutty flavor exhumes with the taste of walnut, pecan, and an overall peanut brittle taste. Light starch flavor adds body and becomes a bridge for the early nutty bitterness into the more woody bitterness of those classic English hops that balance the taste but never rivals. The beer is simply delicious and effortless from start to finish.

Medium bodied but seemingly light because of the beer's malty-dry taste it seems to contribute richer impressions to its texture. Seemingly thin and perhaps watery at times, the beer simply looses interest at middle palate and it takes 'til its fleeting grainy-sweet finish to regain interest. Finishing somewhat cola-like, the minty hops and light alcohol warmth closes the beer with a short nutty finish.

Ideally suited for standard American pub fare, I'll happily welcome this semi-robust ale with cheeseburgers, chicken wings and hand tossed pizzas. It's a non-offensive beer that meets many occasions but might leave the beer connoisseur wanting more.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at New Glarus. Review from notes.

A: Fat Squirrel is brown in color with a small off-white head on top that reduces slowly leaving little bits of lacing on the glass.

S: Rather nutty with some caramel, a little coffee and chocolate with a bit of spice.

T: More nuts with a bit of caramel, light hops/pine, a little bit of smoke, but has a slightly sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, very clean and smooth.

O: A nice English Brown, very true to style and easy drinking. A solid beer.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish copper orange with a moderate amount of rising bubbles. Solid three finger off white head which slowly settles into a thin layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A toasty, earthy, and nutty aroma. Toasted malts and wheat grains with hints of caramel, toffee, toasted bread, biscuit, hazelnuts, and mild chocolate and coffee. Slight hint of oats and spice. Nice background of earthy and grassy hops. A fairly dry and dark aroma that is well balanced. Smells pretty decent.

Taste: A solid bready and nutty taste with lots of toast. Toasted malts and grains with a taste of caramel, toffee, biscuit, hazelnut, toasted bread, chocolate, and a little coffee and oat. Also a little butterscotch. Solid presence of hops giving a drying earthy and grassy taste. Very well balanced and tasty take on the style.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Toasty, mildly creamy, and pretty drying in the finish.

Overall: A very solid version of a Brown Ale. Dark and toasty taste with a solid bitter balance.

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Photo of steveh
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had a Fat Squirrel in a while, thought I'd revisit.

Brown longneck, no visible bottling date.

A -- Clear, deep amber to chestnut color with a slow-settling, light tan head.

S -- Nutty malt character balanced with fruity esters of mild pear or green apple. Some light vegetal character peeks through at the end.

T -- Light roasted malts with a lingering nuttiness. Some light dark fruit character in the middle with the vaguest of caramel or vanilla at the end and a dry bitterness in the finish.

M -- Mouthfeel is smooth and soft with a rather light, thin body.

O -- This is definitely not in the American Brown category based on its low hoppiness, but it also doesn't have any of the rich, sweet maltiness one expects from an English Brown Ale (northern or southern). Makes me wonder if this beer has always been more lackluster than I recall, or did I get old stock?

Investigating the empty bottle I find ink-jetted numbers that could be a Julian dating code. If so, this beer was bottled almost 3 moths ago, which I don't consider old. Amazingly -- a somewhat disappointing NG beer.

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Fat Squirrel Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 511 ratings.