1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Fat Squirrel Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Fat Squirrel AleFat Squirrel Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,305 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,305
Reviews: 493
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 66
Gots: 71 | FT: 2
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: UncleJimbo on 05-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,305 | Reviews: 493 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bmillen22
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

First time I have ever had this beer. Kind of strange considering I love New Glarus beers. I got this bottle out of a mix pack, but it took me about 6 months to drink it.

Poored into a cold mug on a chilly November night right before Thanksgiving.

A- Ok, nothing to right home about. It is a brown ale though so they typically don't look awesome. It does have some decent lacing after a few sips.

S- Ok, not too much going on. I smell a little bit of maltiness.

T- Pretty good for a brown ale which is typically not my favorite style of beer. Kind of fits with this time of year though. I taste some vanilla and some maltiness nothing too overpowering though- well balanced.

M & D- Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy with a good amount of carbonation. I could drink a few of these in a sitting. Overall pretty good beer.

bmillen22, Nov 20, 2010
Photo of beergod1
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours a translucent brownish amber with an average foamy off white head that left some nice lacing. Aroma of Toasted nuts, some citrus and malty sweetness. Flavor of, toasted malts, a light hop bitterness balanced by a great nutty maltiness.Decent brown ale! I would like to have this regularly in my area (hint hint New Glarus)

beergod1, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of cpolking
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%

Pours a light brown/dark copper/amber in color. The aroma is sparkling, sweet malt and tart hops in a nice harmony. The flavor is nice rich roasted malt, much more substantial than the aroma let on, balanced with a nice tartness on the finish. I lived in Scotland for a year and this reminds me of a really nice Scottish ale.

cpolking, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of rjhaupt
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%

A - Deep copper/amber color. Thin white head that dissipates quickly and doesn't trace well. Still a beautiful color...

S - Nutty, malty and mild. My nose may be fucked up because a beer has to have some serious aromatics for me to be impressed.

T - Sublime. Perfectly nutty with a smooth malt aftertaste with legs. What every nut brown should strive to taste like.

M - So smooth. The weight in the mouth is supremely balanced. Not too light nor to heavy. The goldilocks of mouthfeels, at least for this style.

D - An exceptional "go-to" save for it's inavailability outside WI. I know New Glarus has a reason for it but it prohibits me from having this beer more often.

rjhaupt, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of emmasdad
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%

Thanks for bringing this one back for me Dan. Poured into a shaker, dark golden color, almost amber, with a little tan head on top. Aromas of toffee, roasted nuts and light milk chocolate. On the palate, this one is fairly full-bodied, somewhat creamy, with brown sugar, dark bread and a light chocolate-caramel (like a rolo) finish. A pleasant beer to drink, but too heavy on the palate to be a good easy drinking session beer.

emmasdad, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewery.

Pours a moderate brown color with a light off white head. The nose brings some light caramel and toffee plus slight nutty characteristics. Taste is doughy brown that is slightly nutty and some light caramel sweetness. Medium feel with good carbonation. Nice and simple and drinks well.

Thorpe429, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Gentle pour yields a .5 finger off-white head that dissipates into a thin white layer that hangs out for a while. Beer is a clear, ice tea brown. Lacing is near non-existant. A spot here and there with very little cling.

S: Nose is deliciously sweet and simple. Brown sugar, toffee, and caramel. Missing the nuttiness of an American Brown but nonetheless no hop character of bitterness at all.

T: Opens brown sugar and caramel. Subtle roasted malt sourness sits in the back. Malt sweetness pervasive upfront and along with the brown sugar, dominates the flavor profile. Sweetens even more towards the end, with some toffee and maple coming in just before the finish. Aftertaste is sugary but dissipates quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated and bubbly in the mouth. I'd like this one to be a bit smoother. As is, a bit rough around the edges. Finish is messy with an aftertaste that doesn't really linger.

D: A very sessionable beer that's just a tad too sweet for my liking. Very much in the vein of New Glarus beers though. Decent, but not outstanding. I wouldn't hesitate to revisit this one though and I could see it being a standby for some.

SpeedwayJim, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Color is a light brown with a nice light cream head that is about 1 inch tall and ahs good retention. It is quite sticky as well with some lacing stuck to the sides of the glass.

S - Nice rich slight roasted aromas with some mild coffee hints. The grain notes in this beer are pretty strong and delicious with nice earthy tones and good bready notes.

T & M - Taste starts off with some nice cereal grain that is slightly roasted. Very nice hints of mild chocolate and some nice toasty notes are present as well. There are nice slight cinnamon hints to the beer as well with some nice caramel sweetness as well. A bit on the watered down side is a down side but otherwise solid body and nice crispness and roasted character.

D - It is on the high side for a session beer that has a bit more robust roasted character.

JoEBoBpr, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of bonkers
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Thanks to florida9 for this one. I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. It pours light amber with a 2 finger white head, no lacing. Lots of caramel sweetness, nuttiness on the nose. Taste like it smells, it finishes clean with just enough hops for bitterness. Well carbonated, medium body, easy drinking. An all around solid brown ale.

bonkers, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of brewdub17
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%

Appearance: Medium bodied copper is found on the edges with a solid but transparent amber brown in the center. Head is thin and light with not much lacing. For the style it seems be a tad lighter and yet still holds some darker notes that are expected.

Smell: A wonder combination of "sugar and spice". The malts create superb sweetness, as the hops counter balance with exceptional but a respectful amount of spiciness.

Taste: Sweet notes come first and are followed and combined with nice amounts of spiciness, similar to the smell. A small amount of smoke-like flavor is subtle but robust. A very nice, simple tasting brew.

Mouthfeel: Not too complex but still pleasant. The spicy notes can be found midway and further back in the mouth as the sweetness lingers in the front.

Drinkability: Seems to be very drinkable from the great combination of simple flavors. A true brown ale should always be pretty drinkable and this beer is an excellent example of the style in regard to drinkability.

brewdub17, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of sfran
2.85/5  rDev -24.8%

A - Nice, clear, brownish-red with decent head that pretty quickly fades

S - Eh, not much to say. Some caramel in there.

T - A bit on the too bitter side for me, malt's not making a proper presence. The malt is really too overpowered by the bitterness to be well distinguished.

M - A little thin.

D - Not bad, but a little too bitter if you're in the mood for a brown ale.

Overall - I liked this a lot better the first time I had it. It actually prompted me to pick up Ale Asylum's Madtown Nut Brown Ale, which now ironically makes Fat Squirrel seem worse...

sfran, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of BeerLover99
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%

A - Light brown, not thick looking at all.

S - toffee, nutty malt aroma, slight floral undertones.

T - mild roast, nutty with light sweet toffee/chocolate taste to it. Goes down quite smooth.

M - Med/light body. I have had a lot worse representations of this style. This is respectable. Little carbonation, enough body to hold the complex flavors.

D - One of the best beers New Glarus produces. Definitely a beer you can throw back quite a few and enjoy yourself. The 5.8 is were the flavor is and this goes great on an crisp Autumn day. Another great time is early Winter by the fire. Worth giving a go if you are not a huge Brown Ale fan.

BeerLover99, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of champ103
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%

The last of my New Glarus mixed pack that I have not reviewed yet (Spotted Cow is the other in the mixed pack). Again, just in case they happen upon this, a big thank you to my Aunt and her Boyfriend for the mixed pack.

A: Pours a clear orange/brown color. I would like this a bit darker, but not a big deal. A two finger beige head forms with excellent retention. Plenty of spiderweb like lace is left behind.
S: Big toasted malt up front that is great. Toffee, chocolate, and almond aromas as well. Light hops in the finish. I love it.
T: Big toasted malt up front and center again. Toffee, chocolate, almonds. Just like the nose. Just a bit more sweetness, with light lingering leafy hops. Excellent.
M/D: A medium to full body. This is well carbonated, creamy, and smooth. Very easy to drink. Something I can quaff several of with ease.

An excellent Brown Ale. Lots of great flavors, that most American versions seem to miss. Along with Goose Island's Nut Brown, this is one of the best American made versions. Highly recommended.

champ103, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of bevenson
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

A - Light brown and clear. Off white head with fine texture. Pretty.

S - Light chocolate and nutty malt aroma with spicy, citrusy hops. Clean yeast character. Inviting.

T - Rich chocolate and a familiar nutty flavor I can't quite place. Side of the bottle suggests hazelnut; yup, that's it. Mild, woody bitterness with a light floral hop flavor.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Semi-dry finish, which works well with the chocolate and hazelnut flavors. Slight warming near the end of the glass signals that this is a little stronger than a normal English Brown Ale.

D - One of my favorites of New Glarus regular offerings. Just enough flavor to back the alcohol and keep it an easy drinking beer. A beer well worth picking up regularly.

bevenson, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing his sixer!

The final brew taken down during the Man's Weekend (for me, at least). It pours a semi-hazed amber-garnet topped by a half-finger of off-white creamy foam. The nose comprises fish batter (LJS-style, seemingly), toffee, buttery biscuits, and some light orange zest. The taste holds notes of light walnut, light toffee, light orange peel, and some blackened biscuits. The body is a light medium (or heavy light), with a moderate carbonation and a sorta grainy feel. Overall, nothing overtly special, but a decent enough nut brown. A nice end to one helluva weekend ride.

TMoney2591, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%

Served in a pint glass

Was able to pick this up during the weekend in the Northwoods. It pours a brownish orange with light fading white foam. The smell is of malt and hazelnuts along with roasted caramel and hints of orange zest. The taste isn't too far off from the smell, but it is far less complex. The caramel malt is the main flavor and the roasted malt gives it a slight bitterness. The problem is I wouldn't go as far to say that it is a Nut Brown, as the label claims. I honestly don't taste the nuttiness that I was promised. There is also a souring from what I assume to be the hops. The carbonation seems a little weak to me, but it's not too bad. If you ignore the fact that it's supposed to be nutty it's a nice solid brown ale.

Vdubb86, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of GeezLynn
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%

A: Good looking amber brown color that is a little lighter than some in the style. Poured with a decent-sized head that holds somewhat.

S: Nutty, caramel and a little chocolate. Its also kind of earthy in a woodsy/rugged sort of way. Doesn't smell as sugary as some EBA's, emphasizing the nuttyness that much more.

T: Lots of toasted brown malt. Slightly sweet, with a good hit of hazelnut. Finish is relatively short and clean and it's there where just a smidgen of hop bitterness peaks through along with more nuttyness.

M: Body is on the lighter side with little carbonation. Not much mouth cling to it, despite the sweetness.

Revisited this brew after a few years and while I'd like just a little more malt flavor and body in this, it's obviously a very well-done brown ale and a very easy drinker. No trouble at all putting down quite a few of these and continues to be a favorite brown ale.

GeezLynn, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of djmichaelk
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%

12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass. Courtesy of RTrain12 (thanks Ryan!).

A - Pours a fairly clear-ish light brown, with a two-finger head that sticks around for a few minutes. Nice retention, and sheets of lacing on the glass.

S - Obvious notes are nuts and cereal, along with some sweetness. Toasty and roasty. Caramel and maybe some chocolate somewhere in there.

T - The nuttiness reigns supreme here, which is no surprise. Plenty of toast and maybe a hint of coffee, and then finishing with toffee notes. The finish is long and bitter, maybe overly so, which is the only knock I have on this one. Very, very good.

M - Light and well-carbonated, and not too dry. Medium body for the style.

D - The only thing that negatively impacts the D is the bitter finish. Otherwise I could go on drinking this for days.

O - This is a great beer that I wish I could get here in Cali (or anywhere else that I travel). I'll probably be trying to set up a trade for more of this very soon.

djmichaelk, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of jbphoto88
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%

The fat squirrel pours clear maple syrup brown. The head was tannish... I think. It fades so fast I honestly don't remember, I've never scene foam bubble off so fast.

The nose is sweet and nutty with a nice fresh crushed grain scent. Whiffs of brown sugar and molasses creep up and climb over the cereal malts.

Taste is akin to the nose. Loads of malt and brown sugar sweetness. Very smooth and creamy as it warms with a nice caramelized malt and a slight chocolate twinge.

Smooth mouthfeel starts it out but as the finish kicks in a slight metallic pinch shows up. It's not bad but it does take away some of the greatness to this beer. Mildly carbonated with a medium body this is a tasty beverage well worth checking out.

jbphoto88, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of robwestcott
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%

it's new glarus weekend, this one follows crack'd wheat and spotted cow - both of which were quite good.

fat squirrel was poured fairly aggressively from the bottle a nice ruby brown / light mahogany to a sun king shaped pint glass with nearly no head despite the pour - though nice lace after each sip.

aroma of buttery burnt brown sugar and hazelnuts.

sweet malt forward, nutty, brown sugars, and toffee.

smooth, full bodied, light to medium carbonation.

very drinkable.

robwestcott, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of ericj551
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%

New Glarus Fat Squirrel pours a red/brown with a nice off white head that lingers. The aroma is sweet, raisiny malt with some earthy notes. The flavor is crisp and malty but not as sweet as the aroma. Similar toffee and dark fruity notes upfront, with some nice mild, herbal and earthy hops. Not much in the way of bitterness, but enough to balance the malt.

ericj551, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of Baraka
4/5  rDev +5.5%

pours a majestic looking brown with a thin head. hazelnut, vanilla, some coffee dominate the nose. Similar flavors are at play, and to great effect in my opinion. Malt dominated, but not sweet; no detectable hop bitterness. Finishes rather dry. Solid beer for sure, and very sessionable.

Baraka, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of RTrain12
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%

Poured in to my New Glarus pint glass.

A: Pours a toasted brown in color with a 3/4" tannish head. No visable carbonation in glass. Head faded quickly with some lacing left behind.

S: Picking up sents of malt, hazelnut, caramel, and just the smell of brown!

T: Malty at first, then followed by some hazelnut. Leaves a nutty after tatse in your mouth.

M: At first the light carbonaton prickles your tongue. Then it smooths its way over your palate. I would say on the heavier side of medium bodied. It almost feels like a flat pop, in a good way!

D: This is a good Brown Ale! I could see my self drinking a couple on a cold day. Not so much on a hot summer day.

Alewatcher, I'll be over soon with that ABT!

RTrain12, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of AleWatcher
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%

Got this as an extra in my 4th in person trade with RTrain12-- Thanks again Ryan! Get your kids and wife packed up and come on over to my house-- we'll sample more beer... but bring me some New Glarus ABT!!!

Poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a coppery brown color with hints of deep golden around the edges. White head stood 3 fingers at its peak, then slowly receded into the body of the beer leaving behind thick globs of lace that some how remind me of the Elvish writing from Lord of the rings-- one beer to rule them all, one beer to find them, one beer bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

The beer itself isn't dark or ominous, just the lace reminded me of LOTR.

Anyway... Smells roasty, nutty, and malty. Some dark roast coffee and cocoa are also hiding in there a little. The notes in the nose all come into play in the taste-- a sweetness early gives up to the nutty and coffee notes which lends a hint of bitterness in which we find a slight hint of cocoa. The finish is roasted malts-- not quite smokey, but about as close as you could get before smokiness became part of the profile.

The mouthfeel is, as usual with New Glarus beer, pretty damn good. The body is about medium with a nice level of carbonation and a smooth velvety feel-- almost slick on my tongue. This is yet another solid beer from what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite breweries. Very easy drinking-- I could gladly drink several of these at a pub somewhere in the Northwoods while "Nashville Skyline" played softly in the background... Oh, I actually have already done that... Well, I'd do it again.

AleWatcher, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of Riccymon
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%

Pours from the bottle a thin, clear brown with a quarter inch of short-lived head. The aroma on Fat Squirrel is subtle but pleasing. Fruity notes really stand out as unique and are accompanied by some dusty nut flavors. There's also a sweet cocoa/cream note that reminds me of the aroma from certain cream ales.

The flavor of this beer is out of this world for an English brown. Sweet bready malt mingled with a hint of hop spiciness makes for a full-flavored, well-crafted beer. Fat Squirrel feels more robust in body than it looks, which is a plus, but it's still easy-drinking. As before, the sweet, subtle flavors and buttery texture remind me of a cream ale. The beer also finishes quite dry, contributing to its drinkability.

A very well-crafted beer from New Glarus, one I'd buy again if/when I return to Wisconsin.

Riccymon, Aug 11, 2010
Fat Squirrel Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 1,305 ratings.