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Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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1,996 Reviews
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Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 10-07-2000

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,996 | Ratings: 8,419
Reviews by joefinnigan15:
Photo of joefinnigan15
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.32/5  rDev +20%
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.

 2,010 characters

Photo of Slaterlovesbeer
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

 406 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 1,003 characters

Photo of DanielMB
4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

 264 characters

Photo of Fernans
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

124 characters

Photo of DarkSideOfTheMoon
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

 391 characters

Photo of snowman17
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

 151 characters

Photo of hopphead31415
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

 1,483 characters

Photo of mmmbeer89
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
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!

 161 characters

Photo of gulli
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
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

 261 characters

Photo of Pantalones
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

 3,489 characters

Photo of RoyBrentJr
4.31/5  rDev +19.7%
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.

 531 characters

Photo of weaselface89
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

 196 characters

Photo of mojohawk21
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of RoyalT
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one is a light, clear orange in color with a colossal head that was full and showed great retention. It looked like a beautiful white cloud hovering over an orange sky.

Smell – The light, pleasant grain is complimented with some soft, citrus hopping. The two go well together.

Taste – This is a pretty darn good American Amber Ale. The grain is unoffensive and actually quite nice. The hops are subdued in line with the malt flavors. There’s a caramel flavor throughout that mixes well with the citrus notes.

Mouthfeel – This one is medium-bodied and lightly carbonated. It finishes with a lingering bitterness that gives this ale a well-rounded mouthfeel.

Comments – This beer is so common in every supermarket and quickie mart that I knew it just had to be bad, but it was really pretty darn good.

 835 characters

Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of cam477
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of legalag11
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of whit_knee_41
3.09/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Turbo
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Fear4Beer
4.34/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just an outstanding beer. It is so refreshing and smooth. It isn't trying to be some over the top powerhouse of a beer. It is malty, low bitterness (IBU), and sessionable with a modest 5.20% ABV. I had this beer sitting in my den and before drinking it I didn't have great expectations because I just figured I wouldn't like this beer style very much. I was pleasantly wrong! I'll be coming back to this beer. I haven't drank Bud Light, Coors, Miller, etc in years. I'd drink this any day over those. This reminds me of a much evolved and better version of light thirst quencher beers.

 586 characters

Photo of nickseevers
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of tectactoe
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color, fairly translucent, with a slightly off-white head, thick and fluffy looking, decent retention and a little bit of lacing. The smell is malts, malts, and malts all day. A tiny bit of a floral aroma can be picked up if you really force yourself to find it, but the malts are what smacks you in the face. The taste is quite nice - clearly lots of roasted malts, most heavily in the form of burnt caramel, toffee, and light, milk chocolate. This sweetness is counterbalanced by a subtle, yet apparent hop sting that jumps out about two-thirds of the way through. Slightly piney, the slight touch of bitterness at the tail end leaves your mouth in perfect harmony from the jumbo sweetness of the up-front malts. Medium body, medium to high carbonation, decent mouthfeel.

Very tasty amber ale, I'm glad New Belgium finally brought this product to Michigan. Easy to drink and enjoyable, plus it's relatively inexpensive and is being served at a lot of local places!

 982 characters

Photo of liveandletdie
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium color copper with not a lot of thickness. Head is not very thick. Tastes as a simple amber with a little bit of spices. Easy drinkability, could easily drink 6 pack or couple pitchers. Not super complex but if it's on tap worth a try. Best of beer from this brewery in my opinion.

 287 characters

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,419 ratings.
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