Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Fat Squirrel Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fat Squirrel AleFat Squirrel Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

512 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 512
Hads: 1,491
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: 512 | Hads: 1,491
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.

 1,100 characters

Photo of czfreeman
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoy this beer so much that I am going to brew a clone of it in a few weeks as soon as I have an empty carboy.
Beautiful toasted nut/maple syrup color. Really pretty creamy head that lingers around for a good amount of time.
Right off the bat, nutty hazelnut,grain,malt, some floral notes,something in there akin to a fig.chocolate, more nuts, mustiness like a touch of oat. Floral hops, pepper clean up the finish perfectly.
flavors of nuts, grains, pepper,chocolate, honey, bread, some dark dried fruit or berry in there.The mixture of hazelnut, grain bread, and dark fruit lightened by the peppery yeast and biting hops, mixed with the ever so slight warming in the throat create a spectacular brown ale.
New Glarus make great beer..enough said.German, English, or Belgian styles are all executed to near perfection
As good as Sam Smith Nut Brown(my standard)?..Yes

 871 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to my buddy Taylor who brought a New Glarus variety pack straight from Wisconsin all the way down here to Charleston. Thanks, Taylor!

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Amber-brown color with a 1.5-finger bubbly cream-colored head. Retention isn’t terrific as the head fades relatively quickly into a ring of bubbles that lingers around the glass surface. No lacing. Clear with lots of bubbles.

S – Caramel, nutty, toasted, and chocolate malts with some floral and grassy hops. Really nice aroma.

T – Starts off sweet with caramel and chocolate malts and shifts to a toasted, nutty, biscuity, and almost coffee-like malt taste. Floral, earthy, and spicy hop bitterness shines through at the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with great carbonation, a creamy mouthfeel, and a toasty, subtly bitter, spicy and very dry finish. Nutty and toasted sweetness lingers along with spicy hops.

O – This is a really nice English brown ale. It has a wide breadth of malt aromas and flavors while maintaining a solid English hop presence. This fits the Northern English brown ale style nearly to a T. Really tasty and very drinkable. So pumped that I finally got to try a beer from New Glarus!

 1,242 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass

Appearance: chetnut brown in color, 1/3 inch head, clear, high carbonation

Smell: caramel, sweet malt, and nut

Taste: follows the nose caramel, sweet malt, and nut

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet with light bitterness.

Overall:Super tasty. This would be a staple if I could get it around here. Nothing fancy but clean and what I want in the style...plenty of nut and malt and light hop balance..A nice autumn beer.

 477 characters

Photo of Shagtastic
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank to Greg for this one!

A: Pours a good looking brown with minimal head and lacing.

S: Really not much to this one. It doesnt give up as much aroma as I hoped. What is there is a mild nuttiness.

T: I do like the nuttiness that this offers. It really isn't anything special but when I want a darker beer this would do.

M: This is the best part of the beer for me. It is easy to drink but still has a strong flavor without being overpowering.

O: A good beer, nothing great but I did enjoy it. Paired with the right food this beer would be taken up a notch.

 563 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Clear deep amber color. One finger of frothy off-white head. Retention is below average and not really any lacing is left.

3.5 S: Toasty and nutty with a moderate neutral malty sweetness. Light earthy hoppiness. Quite pleasant.

3.5 T: Again toasty and nutty. Moderate sweet maltiness is there in a perfect proportion, giving the brew some body and balance. Very nice.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Plenty of creaminess, especially for how light it is.

4.0 D: Superbly well rounded, tasty, and with a great mouthfeel. I wish I had a few more.

 601 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this fine offering at the brewery today. Served to me in a 16 oz New Glarus glass.

A) A nice looking varnished chestnut brown. Not much head, maybe a frothy half a finger, which settled to a dusting. Some pretty nice lacing.

S) Toasted bread, caramel sweetness, maybe a little butterscotch too. Definitely a pleasing nutty aroma. Slightly earthy/grassy.

T) Follows the nose pretty closely. Nice malty sweetness, nutty, and then a somewhat earthy grassy finish. Really nice aftertaste too.

M) A lighter body, nearing what I perceive to be medium, but not quite. It has the perfect amount of carbonation for me. This is crisp, satisfying and easy drinking.

O) This is a really well put together brown ale. I was told this may be replaced by Black Top as a year round brew from New Glarus. It would be hard to argue against that decision, but I hope this makes an appearance as a seasonal, if that in fact turns out to be true. This is really tasty brown. Glad to recommend...

 986 characters

Photo of MaximalC
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours caramel in color, mostly transparent, with a minimal frothy off-white head (even with a vigorous pour). Cola-like carbonation can be seen clinging to the glass. Aroma is consistent with caramel malt, along with some mild hops. Taste is also mild, consisting of caramel and nuts, with just enough hops to balance things out. This makes for a very drinkable yet unremarkable brew. I think I would have enjoyed it much more if everything about it was more concentrated--bolder flavors, thicker body, etc. As it is, it makes for a suitable session beer, but nothing to write home about.

 588 characters

Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dunn for bringing this back from his travels.

A - translucent copper with a very, thin lacing of white head

S - nutty, caramel, faint earthiness

T - nutty, caramel, malty - all flavors are light and subdued

M - medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated

This is a decent, lighter brown ale. It has decent flavor even if a bit subdued. I'm glad I was able to try it once, but I'll probably seek a more full-flavored brown ale in the future.

 450 characters

Photo of phishsihq
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fat Squirrel is an English Brown Ale, and as such, pours a clear chestnut brown color. Eggshell colored head dissipates quickly, and lace is minimal. A mild nuttiness covers most of every other aroma, with only a slight caramel and bready malt presence noticeable. A malty sweetness begins and grows throughout, with hints of coffee and nutty flavors cutting through the sweetness. Medium-full in body, this English Brown Ale is also higher in carbonation. Pairs well with grilled steaks!

 488 characters

Photo of ONUMello
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Amber brown color with a two-finger head that slowly settles
S: Nutty with toasted grains and a bit of hops.
T: Similar to the nose- lots of toasted nuts and grains. Just a hint of hoppy bitterness on the finish.
M: Medium-bodied with a smooth texture.
O: A well made beer that fits the brown ale style perfectly.

 354 characters

Photo of Humulus85
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last variety of a New Glarus sampler. These guys know how to brew. From a 12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter for effect.

Pours a beautiful auburn, crystal clear, with nice cream colored two-finger head. Solid retention and lacing. Very nice looking Brown.

Loads of toffee and caramel upfront. Some nuts. Hints of coffee and chocolate. A bit of earthy old-world type hops round this one out.

Follows the nose. Tons of toffee, but more nutty than the nose. Still hints of chocolate and coffee; you don't get those notes in many Brown. Not much hops in flavor, other than a bit of imparted bitterness in the finish. Maybe a slight whiff of alcohol off the tongue.

Medium in body, but relatively light for the style. Maybe a bit thin, but still creamy and highly drinkable. Wonderfully balanced finish, and perfect medium carbonation.

Overall this a pretty great Brown Ale. Classic toffee and nutty character. I love the subtle coffee/chocolate hints. Impeccably balanced. Perhaps a bit light on overall flavor and body, but you can't deny it's drinkability. Recommended to any who can find it. Cheers!

 1,111 characters

Photo of JRed
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reddish brown in body with large fluffy white head. Smells of nuttiness, slight hazelnut, slight coffee. Tastes of hazelnut, sweet maltiness, nuttiness, and a lil bit of cola. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. A little too sweet for me but overall pretty good.

 265 characters

Photo of dhannes
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank cold straight out of a bottle from a cooler.


S=A slight hint of nuts and cocoa?

T=Slight hint of roasted nuts and bitter chocolate...but not much. Not bad, just lacks flavor.

M=Nice medium body with average carbonation.

O=A nice, lighter option for a brown on a summer day, but not nearly as flavorful at Ale Asylum's Madtown Nut Brown.

 353 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a clear looking brown color. it had a light fizzy head on top that left behind some film over top of the beer. The smell of the beer had some toasted malts with a light earthiness to it as well. The taste of the beer gave of a slight nutty flavor with some dry malts in there as well. The mouthfeel is easy going, light enough to drink a few if you choose to do so. Overall I thought it was a pretty good Brown Ale. I wouldn't turn it down if it were offered to me.

 484 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Wisconsin Cheese Mart in Milwaukee.
Appearance is a deep brown with one finger of tan head. It has a nose of chocolate, nuts and barley. The taste of fat squirrel is lights malts, hazelnut, a little bitter. Mouthfeel is light, rather easy going english brown ale. This finishes with a clean, crisp aftertaste. A very nice beer from these good people out of WI.

 381 characters

Photo of dexterk1
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to pint. Has small head that reseeds quickly. Has a dark amber or reddish color.
Odor is sweet toffee and malt.
Taste is heavy upfront with malt, caramel, and a little floral. Fades at the end with very little lingering aftertaste. Mouth feel is full and is rich.
Overall, I think the taste is a little on the average side. The other characteristics are good.

 381 characters

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

Thanks Rich!

Appearance: Clear auburn body capped by a thin layer of foam. Head retention is somewhat poor.

Smell: The English yeast strain is most immediately noticeable, lending quite a bit of red apple. Toasted malt comes out more as it warms, along with a nutty, earthy note.

Palate: Red apple, toast, roasted nuts. Quite a bit of dark fruit from the yeast. Initially sweet, and pretty light in body. Dries up in the finish with very gentle bitterness.

Overall: A pretty solid and traditional take on an English brown. Good stuff.

 538 characters

Photo of cwguy5
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to JackTheBear for this one!

A - chesnut color with eggshell one-finger head that quickly faded to a patchy, thin cap; moderate, web-like lacing

S - sweet malt, bread, and an earthy, nut-like aroma

T - mild, sweet malts, virtually no bitterness or hops presence, not dry but not sweet either, nuttiness similar to hazelnut(just like the label says...)

M - thin body and light carbonation; a bit of a short, drying finish

O - very easy drink due to body and light, sweet malt bill. smooth flavors from start to finish; unique beer.

 543 characters

Photo of mobius387
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

in honor of fat tuesday!

appearance: pours a dark amber, with a fluffy cream head that slowly disappears

aroma: pretty flat, a little musty, some malty nose

palate: a great mouthfeel to this beer. very smooth, medium bodied, little carbonation, very toned down alcohol. i feel like this would be an awesome fall brew, but its still great now

taste: some caramel, malts, and a little bit of hopiness to it. a great brown ale for flavor

overall: very surprised about this brew. have always passed it up in the past, but will now definitely return to it. NG makes such great beers!

 583 characters

Photo of oline73
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a sam adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a finger of off white head that fades to a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with a strong fruity presence. Sort of reminds me of a glass of apple juice to be honest.

Taste: Much better than the smell. I'm getting some mildly sweet malt with some bready and fruity notes. There is a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tons of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I'm glad this tasted much better than it smells. The carbonation was a bit high, but still an alright beer.

 608 characters

Photo of JerseyKirk
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: vienna red to brown. Small head that went quickly.

S: nut, caramel, chocolate.

T: nutty, caramel, toffee, sweet.

M: sweeter side although balanced for a nut brown.

O: good just not crazy over nutty but really exceptional for the style. Nut browns are an interesting style since no nuts are present in the grist but it's an acquired taste.

 349 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-a sepia brown with about a finger of head that leaves some good lacing as it fades to an incomplete cap

S-mild carmel malts with a hint of nuts and vanilla hops don't really come through though

T-more flavor than the smell, but many of the same flavors that are present in the smell, carmel, mild nutiness some vanilla with some hops to give it a crisp finish

M-nice medium body with creamy finish

O-good all around brown ale, I wish it would show a little more on the nose but will definitely try to find when I am in Wisconsin again

 581 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - transparent amber/brown, nice 1/4" of off-white head, nice lacing

S - all i can smell is malts.. a little "copper" smell

T - the best part of this beer.. i'm getting 100% overabundance of chocolate on this one! nice caramel, chocolate, malt - sweet and delicious

M - for as malty as it is, it is a very light and refreshing beer, very sweet yet easily drinkable (maybe too easy!)

O - this is STILL my favorite New Glarus staple beer. spotted cow is good and all, but i think a little on the over-rated side.. this one's an underdog that should really be making it on people's top lists.

 594 characters

Photo of chadn
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a 12oz bottle into a glass, about 4 months after purchase in Wisconsin.

Appearance: Amber Brown that has an initial head that dissipates almost complete in a minute or two.

Smell: Not strong, hints of toffee/caramel and roasted nuts.

Taste: not too strong, easy drinking. toffee caramel malts with a sour and bitterness to balance it out. Occasionally I notice hops.

Mouth: Initial smooth creamy with decent amount of carbonation. Light and dry crisp finish.

Overall: Love this because it is a good easy drinking beer. Tastes great in general, but after consideration, it is a bit too sour. I still love New Glarus and they consistently deliver quality beers.

 681 characters

Fat Squirrel Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 512 ratings.