Fat Tire Amber Ale
New Belgium Brewing Company

Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale
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American Amber / Red Ale
Ranked #624
Ranked #42,986
3.61 | pDev: 14.68%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale
Notes: Fat Tire Amber is the easy-drinking Amber Ale born in Colorado from New Belgium Brewing Company, a certified B-Corp. 
Reviews: 2,141 | Ratings: 9,208 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by RoyBrentJr:
Photo of RoyBrentJr
4.31/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

As I've mentioned, I'm not a fan of the hop bombs, so when I go for an ale I prefer something more reminiscent of a lager. I'd also noted that the Boont Amber ale seemed to have a bit more of a hoppy bite than the New Belgium; so, I just tried the Fat Tire again and it's more complex than I remembered. Light nose; citrus, vanilla and sourdough—I know, makes no sense to me, either. Semi-sweet chocolate on toast was my initial impression on tasting, followed by a gentle mix of grapefruit and licorice. I like this beer. A lot.

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RoyBrentJr from California, Jun 23, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.32/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One can gather a good account of this beer's qualities from other reviews so rather than be redundant I'd like to share a story, which I hope will show just how special this beer is.

I first had the Fat Tire in June of 1999 at a graduation party in Chicago. Around 8 O'clock that evening with some friends arrived with several dozen cases in the back of their dodge. It turned out that they had driven to some place in Missouri the night before to stock up on the brew for the occasion.

I immediately fell in love with the stuff and was disapointed to learn that it was unavailable anywhere in my area. I asked my "buddies" if they would sell me a case, and despite having literally hundreds of bottles of fat tire they all exclaimed no. That was just the beginning of my experiences with Fat Tire hoarders.

After moving to liberal Madison three years ago, I was happy to discover that many of the city's Yippie types keep a tire or two lying around for special occasions. Even these typically generous folks, however, wouldn't share much with me, "the fat tire's to prescious man. get you own man."

I put an end to that last month, though, when I picked up a good quantity of Tire in Colorado Springs on a road trip. Refusing to sucomb to the meiserly ways of those who introduced me to the beer, I have sworn to give it away freely and to any who appreciate a solid brew., although perhaps sometimes with a price.

Last week I made my friend Thomas, one of those yippie types that I was talking about earlier, clean my kitchen for a Tire. Despite the grime build up in the sink, and the rotten potato that was sprouting a virtual tree in the corner, Tom thanked me for the brew and offered to help paint my garge for a similar payment in the future.

To date, I can not think of single other beer that so many people will drive so far and go to such great lengths to obtain. Sometimes beers just have a quality that go beyond taste, and they are those beers that become the thing of legend.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a healthy finger of off-white head. The head has solid retention, leaving a fair amount of lacing before settling into a thin film that rests gently atop the beer. Looks absolutely gorgeous under the light.

The aroma is very doughy and yeasty, with subtle notes of caramel.

The taste has lots of sweet caramel up front, with some biscuits not far behind. The finish is very clean with the faintest hint of hops.

The feel is medium bodied with pretty good carbonation. Incredibly smooth and drinkable.

Overall, am I missing something here? This beer is really good. It's extremely drinkable and well-priced. It isn't the most complex beer by any stretch but it's tasty and well made. Glad to finally have this in NH.

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ScaryEd from New Hampshire, Mar 22, 2017
Photo of Slaterlovesbeer
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours from tap into plastic cup at local bowling alley bar. Looks and smells like a lager much more than an amber. Almosy zero head. Aroma is generic beer smell with mild malty notes. Flavor is not as pronounced as i would expect from an amber. Mildly hoppy, malty, smooth but could benefit from more bitterness and hoppy notes. Overall a good beer but taste like a fancy budweiser with a few added hops.

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Photo of weaselface89
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Looks nice with an appropriate amber color. Very clear and a good white head. Malty lagery smell. Tastes buiscuty and caramel. Crisp and smooth on the feel. A good go to if the tap list is sparse.

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Photo of Bonkinishwa
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

New Belgium Brewing - Fat Tire Amber Ale. 5.2% ABV. 12oz bottle poured into snifter. Best by Jan 3, 2016.

Look: Beautiful burnt orange opaque body, with huge white three finger head from aggressive pour. Head dissipates into sticky lacing that remains.

Smell: Semi sweet, biscuit and caramel aroma, with some faint hops and fruit. Not very strong aromas.

Feel: Very thin and extremely light body with a small amount of carbonation.

Taste: Up front is mainly a biscuit/cracker taste, with some hints of sweet caramel backing it. It remains the same into the back end and into the aftertaste, with some hop bitterness surfacing near the end.

Overall: My first American Amber/Red Ale style of beer. This is a widely known and popular beer around here, so it was only a matter of time before I had it. Was expecting a bit more on this though, the aroma and taste are relatively light, almost like its watered down. On the plus side, it is extremely smooth and easy to drink since its body is so light.

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Bonkinishwa from Kentucky, Dec 12, 2015
Photo of gulli
3.71/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

this might be my go to beer....never tried many ales...this one light enough but the Carmel notes after it warms up is just right for having "a few"
pored into a pint glass...nice thick head slightly tanned ..about 2 fingers. warms up nice.
finishes ...so so

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gulli from Michigan, Sep 25, 2015
Photo of snowman17
2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Good American Ale. Just don't understand the fixation with
Hops. Everything today is over powered by them. That's why
I stay with the old school ales.

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snowman17 from Pennsylvania, Sep 06, 2015
Photo of MeanMotaScootah
2.99/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

This is a very common "craft beer" so I thought I'd give it a review. The aroma is malty with little else to speak of. Pours a one finger head that dissipates quickly. Mouthfeel is a bit harsh - possibly too much carbonation. The taste is thin maltiness with a tinge of hops and sweet caramel. I am not a big fan of ambers but I am pretty sure this is not a good example of the style. Overall I gave this a 2.75 which is rather low for a New Belgium - normally I like their beers. It's an okay beer, nothing offensive but nothing impressive - better than drinking Bud.

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MeanMotaScootah from California, Nov 11, 2016
Photo of Fernans
3.09/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Not what I was hoping for. Kinda of boring, like most ambers. For all the hype from friends about it, it was disappointing.

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Fernans from Rhode Island, Mar 23, 2015
Photo of hopphead31415
4.06/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I’m not gunna lie. I first tried this beer when I was like 12 and it was something I sampled several times throughout my teenage years. I drank it only seldom in my adult life, but wanted to drink it again while I generate my review for it in order to ensure the most accurate review. It gives this beer a nostalgic component that might increase its overall score by a half point or so. So keep that in mind.

Look-It pours a perfect amber color (and is clear) that the Brewers really nailed. The head is off-white and 2 fingers foamy, but then settles down to a thinner layer.

Smell-The aroma is biscuit, fruity, a pinch of yeast and herbal hops that are almost imperceptible.

Taste-This crisp and drinkable beer brings joy to your body as it fills your mouth with a pleasant smoky breaded malt-forward, but inconspicuous flavor where the hops are mild and herbal.

Mouthfeel-This beer is crisp, smooth, and with mild carbonation. I would say that this brew is well-balanced and subtle. This beer is not loud and obnoxious. It is perfect and it is mild.

Overall-Like I said, this beer has a nostalgic component for personal reasons, but it is such a great go-to beer that I can’t help but give it praise. The components are all humble and quiet, but if you listen then you’ll pick up on a chorus of beauty and flavor that is unlike any other amber ale. And lastly, I must say that in the world of Amber ales, this beer has the most perfect color that the name demands.

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Photo of KLHBB
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Quite iconic. When sampling beers at breweries, the staff will describe their beers as "like a Fat Tire." It's absolutely acceptable and delicious and I will often order it when out at restaurants. Because it's there. Anyway, the color is a light copper penny, smells and tastes of buttered toast. Pleasant mouthfeel, light yet creamy, overall a standard of the style.

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KLHBB from Colorado, Oct 13, 2016
Photo of mmmbeer89
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fat tire is one of those beers you can never go wrong with, always smooth and refreshing and good for any occasion. It still tastes good even when it's warm too!

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mmmbeer89 from New Mexico, Jun 27, 2016
Photo of DarkSideOfTheMoon
3.37/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The look and smell of this widely available brew are pretty nice. Clear copper with a slim head. Caramel and biscuity notes are present in the smell which gives you fair warning of the maltiness of the taste. Very bready taste and its not bad. What gets me is that the finish isnt clean and tends to leave almost a film on my tongue and roof of my mouth. Still wont turn one down at a party.

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Photo of SmokySignals
3.86/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The New Belgium Fat Tire, 12 oz. bottle poured into shaker pint glass.
A little bit lighter than I expect for an amber, but nice and clear for an ale. Decent thick Head dissipated quickly, leaving a perfect top coating, but no lacing.

The aroma is a mix of floral, citrus/lemon and mildly clover or honey? And faint malts come in nicely somewhere along the ride...followed by a balanced mild hop perk of pastry and spice....more elegant than one might expect. But it makes sense.

Medium-light mouth feel, with light carbonation... very round and smooth, Fat Tire cruises down the "middle of the road" nice and easy, and puts a smile on your face. Taste follows the nose, and It finishes nicely balanced, and inviting you to take another ride. Seems to get maltier and more awesome as it warms, and finishes rich and smooth without ever becoming too sweet, though it gets really close. I see why it is served everywhere: "Asheville Sweet Tea" I call it, although there are better amber ales made there that would refer to. Crusher, gateway, easy date...

Tried this at Brixx in Asheville a few years ago, and now that I've had a bunch of craft beers, it's even better than I thought back then.

Since I love some of their others, I will definitely be dropping by their Asheville brewpub for a tour and tasting soon!

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SmokySignals from North Carolina, Mar 29, 2017
Photo of neenerzig
4.19/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into one of my pint glasses, this beer pours a clear, medium amber/copper color with lots of little streams of bubbles fairly rapidly and continuously rising to the beer's surface. Has a fluffy looking, white head that's about a half inch thick when first poured that settles fairly quickly to a fluffy surface coating of a film layer of foam along with a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing. Aromas of somewhat toasted, biscuity malts with some caramel sweetness and also a hint of brown sugar. the taste is pretty much the same, with a heavy, somewhat toasted, biscuity, caramel malt sweetness with a hint of brown sugar followed by some earthy, piney hop notes that lend some bitterness. The sweet malt flavors certainly dominate the flavor profile, but the balance from the hops is well implemented here. Has a crisp, yet smooth and somewhat frothy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a clean finish with a sweet aftertaste that lingers on the palate nicely. A very nice beer here all around.


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Photo of JBrasca
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice golden amber color with just enough of a creamy, white head; smell has a caramel, somewhat sweet aroma with a bread/grain with slight caramel hops and slight sweetness from the malts; Taste has a very caramel malty presence with just enough sweetness to balance out the hops and citrus; nothing too special or exciting but is still a solid, very enjoyable brew!

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JBrasca from South Carolina, May 06, 2017
Photo of kotocar
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer tastes like what it is. It's turned into a "craft macro brew". Similar to one of my favorite craft macro beers which they no longer make. American Ale by anahasuer beusch. Except this tastes like a water down version of it. More malty and a bit of caramel malts. Watery flavor, but high carbonation. Not very sweet. A bit dry.

Nothing really special here. It's not a session beer, and it's not a craft. I don't know where it belongs. Perhaps I out grew this ale.

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kotocar from California, Jul 28, 2017
Photo of Retroman40
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a nice clear copper color with a persistent head. Smell and taste are primarily malt with just a hint of hops. Decent carbonation level with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall a nice average beer. Considering the price point a good value and worth the extra buck over any macro.

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Retroman40 from Florida, Aug 02, 2017
Photo of DanielMB
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I think this is an incredibly underrated beer. Now, in my experience, it does have a somewhat subtle flavor that doesn't always come out. But when it does, it's amazingly toasty and scrumptious, sort of like some sort of pastry. It's hard to describe; it's unique.

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DanielMB from South Carolina, Jan 13, 2015
Photo of Pantalones
3.9/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second and last bottle of this one from the fall Folly pack; best-by date is November 29th, 2015.

Pours a dark gold/amber color; darker once in the glass, almost leaning toward orange especially in the spots the light hits -- there's one spot near the bottom of my glass that's coming across as this really nice bright "sunset orange" type color with the angle the lights in my apartment are hitting it from right now. Quite clear, and with lots of little bubbles rising up from the bottom. Very nice head of foam on top too, white and fluffy with a really nice texture to it. Filled my pint glass up to the rim at first, but now has shrunk to about a third of its initial size, leaving some trails behind around the edges of the glass in a few place. It's a great-looking beer.

Not especially strong smell-wise, you definitely have to get in close to the glass and sniff, but what's there is pretty nice. I'm getting mainly toasty smells from this one right away, maybe a little bit of a caramel-y sweetness mixed in there too. On one of several sniffs I picked up just a hint of piney hop in there, too, but it's pretty clear that this is a beer that leans more toward the malt side. Interestingly, toward the end of the glass the toastiness in the smell fades a bit and a fruity smell comes out more. Hops, or perhaps yeast?

Taste, like the smell, has a lot of toasty and slightly-sweet malt. Much richer and tastier than the smell would indicate, actually -- starts off milder (similar to the smell) and then the malty flavors come in pretty strong, lingering for just a bit after swallowing and then fading away. A bit of lingering toastiness at first, with some sweetness coming in along with it at around the halfway point. Burps are slightly fruity and slightly piney, interestingly -- so yeah, the hops I smelled occasionally are still there, they just can't power their way through the malt enough to be tasted much. Though now that I'm past the halfway point of the glass I'm starting to taste just a bit of hops in there, too. Basically no detectable bitterness until the tiniest hint came in on the very last little sip, though I imagine the hops are busy doing their job to balance things and keep it from seeming super sweet. Overall, it's a pretty simple flavor, but what it does, it does very well -- if you like toasty malt flavors, you will like this beer.

Mouthfeel is also really nice, and works together very well with the taste. Very smooth, soft feel to it; incredibly drinkable (I'm seriously almost having difficulty *not* taking huge gulps -- if I was in a restaurant that had this on tap, I'd order another one when I was done with the first for sure!), but at the same time it's far from feeling too thin or watery -- it definitely feels more substantial than the several pale lagers I've had recently.

Overall, this is a nice beer, one that I don't think I fully appreciated the first or second time I had it -- but now, nearly a year later, I have to say it's one that I'll probably be buying again and again in the future (though I'm sure a lot of those times will just be the two that come in every one of New Belgium's variety packs, rather than Fat Tire on its own.) It's a pretty simple beer, and not one that's an aroma/flavor explosion like some big IPA or stout, but it's one where all the features of the beer (whether you mean malt, hops, yeast, etc. or taste, feel, etc.) work together so nicely that it's hard not to like it.

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Pantalones from Virginia, Sep 11, 2015
Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber with a two finger foamy off white head. Light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel and toasted malts.

T - The taste is caramel, brown sugar, toasted malts and a light hoppy finish.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

O - A solid amber. A nice easy drinker.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Jan 04, 2018
Photo of blurredline
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of brewcrew76
2.41/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz Spring 2006 Chicago Inaugural bottle
Best before June 9 2006

A - A transparent/clear light amber/copper with a thin off white head. A very pale/watery looking beer.

S - Hint of biscuit and malt, wet cardboard or maybe even old vegetables, mild sour/vomit smell.

T - Earthy biscuit, slight yeasty taste, slightly nutty. All the flavors just taste off for some reason. I also get some wet cardboard or old vegetables again.

M - Thin to medium and dry. Aftertaste feels like when you are at the dentist and they take the cotton out of your mouth.

D - The different aspects of this beer to not mesh together very well and I think I would pass if offered another. I purchased a bottle for my wife because she was curious about all the hype surrounding its arrival in Chicago and I ended up having to finish the bottle for her she disliked it so much. Hopefully this will open the door to other NB beers in Chicago.

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brewcrew76 from Wisconsin, Mar 19, 2006
Photo of Damian
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at the Sonterra Grill, Colorado Springs, CO
Served in a pint glass

The beer poured a crystal clear, deep, dark, crimson-amber color with a one-finger, super tight and creamy, bright white head that left a thick latticework of lacing all down the glass. The head eventually faded to a frothy cap, which lasted until the beer was finished.

The aroma was super mild. Somewhat powdery initially and a touch malty. As the beer opened up, some bready malts were detectable.

The taste was full flavored for the style. Lots of toasty malts came through up front, along with a distinct nuttiness. Fruity in the center. Some earthy hops were noticeable in the clean finish.

The beer was medium bodied. Somewhat creamy with a fine, livelier than average carbonation.

Drinkability was impressive. This is a flavorful and interesting brew that goes down so easily. Fat Tire Amber Ale is the ultimate session beer.

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Damian from Massachusetts, Jul 11, 2009
Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 9208 ratings