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Fat Squirrel Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
526 Reviews
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Fat Squirrel AleFat Squirrel Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 05-17-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 526 | Ratings: 1,563
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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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Fat Squirrel Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 526 ratings.