Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

2,007 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,007 | Ratings: 8,495
Photo of Mickelswit
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh 22 oz. bombers of this at the general store in Grand Canyon Village. This was a fantastic accompaniment to food cooked over a campfire after a long day of hiking.

Appearance: a deep ruby color white a white, lacy head.

Smell: sweet, syrupy, little bitterness. Inviting, though not complex.

Taste: Here's where I started to be impressed. It was along the lines of a favorite of mine, Great Lakes Eliot Ness. Instead of a clean lager yeast, though, this one was all Belgian. A strong supporting note of apricot fruitiness backed up the deep maltiness of the brew. The two flavors played off of each other nicely.

Mouthfeel and drinkability were managed nicely. The brew was not too syrupy or fizzy. This would have been a nice session beer if I had managed to buy more than one bomber. Maybe I'll be west of the Mississippi soon and sample this nice beer again.

 904 characters

Photo of J_Chavez15
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber color. Finish is crisp and refreshing. Light body. Smells of fruit. Decent lacing on the glass. hops are present but not overwhelming. Good amber beer nothing out of the ordinary its one to try.

 206 characters

Photo of BrewmasterNPB
4.63/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm not sure what all the hating on Fat Tire is all about but, I think it deserves all the praise it has recieved. As a homebrewer, I would love to get that nutty flavor in my beers. Fat Tire also has a great yeasty taste that I like, and it melds well with the nutty flavor to make what I would call "comfort beer".

 316 characters

Photo of rjochman
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber/copper color with an inch+ of white head. Leaves nice lacing on the glass throughout the drink. Sweet malty smell that is very clean and crisp. Taste is really clean and smooth. Mouthfeel is medmium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Very easy to drink. Really enjoyed this beer.

 301 characters

Photo of Cyrion
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonick pint, I was surprised at how unlike an amber ale it seems. A clear, medium gold appearance instead of the red I was expecting? And what's this, no carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom at all! Still, it presented a nice frothy head with complex lacing, which I found delightful.

Aroma was sweet and biscuit-like. I detected a slight orange hop tang, but nothing more than a hint.

Taste was a rich, sweet malt. It brought to mind oatmeal cookies. That bakery taste was unmistakeable. A slight cocoa flavor was also present- I shall be interested in learning the malts used. A slight hop flavor was noticed at the edges of the tongue, but remained hidden for the duration of the quaff.

Mouthfeel was of medium body and only slightly chewy. Went well with the bakery flavors presented by the malt.

Overall, a delicious first foray for me into the New Belgium lineup. The flavors were uncomplicated, which may disappoint those looking for far more character than I was seeking. I'm still not sure I'd call this an amber/red ale, but I found it delightful.

 1,081 characters

Photo of brewbattles
3.24/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

We did a blind taste test between this beer and 4 other amber ales to objectively determine which one was best. The beers were Full Sail Amber, Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, New Belgium Fat Tire, Lost Coast Alleycat, and Alaskan Amber. You can watch the video here to see who won:


 314 characters

Photo of USAF77
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First thing I noticed, right when I opened the bottle, was the smell. Very toasty and bready. A very aggressive smell. I even smell it on my hand. And I like it, right now Im not even drinking but just smelling the air around the glass. Sort of a yeasty toast but very pleasurable.

A nice pour. Im slow on the pour with my ales cause they give me pleasure when they fill the glass so i didnt get much of a head. Actually I was so entranced with the smell I wasnt paying much attention to pouring a head. There is bitterness in this brew, but more to the after taste then the taste. The toasty bitterness is both dry and satisfying. This brew doesnt "refresh" it "satisfys".

A lovely gold to swirl in the light, with a little bit of cloud and just enough carbonation. Now im getting a dry toasty after taste that probably shouldnt pleasure yet it does. I like it, I like it a lot.

 881 characters

Photo of Lagerlivesmatter
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Good stuff. Nothing really outstanding here,but also no real faults, just a nice solid Amber Ale. Very easy to drink and unoffensive. Lacking complexity but the style isn't a complex one. Very malty, hops just keep things in check here as one would expect.

 256 characters

Photo of toweringpoo
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light, great flavor that's not too strong or overpowering in either direction; malt or hops. The malts are toasty and chocolatey. Kind of reminds me of a schwartz or or something. The hops are pretty light, just the
right amount of bitterness to balance this one out. There's a bit of fruitiness coming through somewhere...I can't put my finger on it exactly but it reminds me of peach or apricot, just a hint.
(after reading some other reviews i agree with the cherry comments as well)
Really good session beer.

 525 characters

Photo of Guzzler78
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got a free 12 pack of cans, can't argue with that. Its been a while since i've had one of these.

Pours a light amber color. Nice white head with decent lacing.
Smells of sweet malt and floral and citrus hops.
Sweet malt flavors balance with a fresh hoppiness, citrus, yeast-bread like flavors.
Medium mouthfeel, lots of carbonation dry finish.
A decent drinker. A slightly funky aftertaste. I'll agree that this one is a sort of gateway beer.


 453 characters

Photo of beer272
2.27/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 1.5

Labeled as an amber, appearance more golden than amber.

*Appearance - nice, lacing, stabilized foam around rim. Yes the carbonation was pronounced when opened. Then the foam faded as others mentioned.

*Smell - slight malt sweet smell

*Taste - where the beer fell down. Has body. Very balanced between malt and hops. It looks like they hit hit the biscuit taste they wanted. I could not pick out the hop type, Cascade?

*Mouthfeel - ok

* Overall - I would not buy this beer again. I bought in Elkton, MD primary for the 22 oz bottles. Drank this Oct. 2011, ~60°F, expiration labeled Jan 1, 2012 (01 Jan12). Rats, have ~8 more bottles. Getting rid of this beer by putting it in the 'frig then drinking quickly.


Update: I gave a bottle to a friend. He said it tasted like water, with no smell. The Busch lite he drinks is better. He gave the beer a 2 out of 10 only since it had alcohol. We both noted the color was more golden than amber.

My rDev (2.25-3.63)2.25 = 66.7%

 980 characters

Photo of GeoJ
2.58/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Big foo-fraw about Fat Tire going on sale in the Richmond VA area - Decent sale price at Martin's Supermarket as a promotion. Two 22oz. for $6.00

Poured into a pint glass. Appearance does not strike me as an "Amber Ale" - More of a golden wheat color.

1-finger head that disappears quickly - minimal lacing.

The only way I can honestly describe everything else about this beer is that I'm not the slightest bit impressed, considering the amount of hype it has gotten. Fairly boring brew that for the life of me tastes like nothing more than *slightly* better version of a run-of-the mill adjunct lager. Smooth drinkability, but it also has a lingering, metallic aftertaste that I personally can't abide.

Not that it's truly offensive or "bad" ... it's just ... meh.

 769 characters

Photo of MikeAAL
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a very average beer. Definately not the best example of the style.

Red/ amber body with a white head.

Smells a little hoppy, bready and malty. But not much smell.

Watery taste, a little hops and malty at the end.

Light, watery mouthfeel. Heavy carbonation. A dry finish.

Not a lot of flavor with this beer. Wouldn't buy it again.

 342 characters

Photo of alehopman
2.56/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22 oz. bottle poured into nonic glass, amber color, above ave. carbonation, 2 finger, then 1 finger long lasting head w/lacing. Smell was harsh/metallic, earthy hop to the extreme (normally favor this aroma/flavor), not exactly saying drink me. Some sweet malt up front, metallic taste returns, unpleasant hop finish. Some fruitiness as it warmed. (harshly bitter, no detectable flavor otherwise) No unique flavor components of any sort, overall. All over the board, ave drinkability. Very dissapointing, more so if this is allegedly in the Belgian style.

 555 characters

Photo of mbrandon2w
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz
Pours great-looking copper color. nice two finger head, fades, but leaves nice lace
Smell is buttery, toffee-ish, a little caramel and bread. Fairly complex and very nice
Taste is of grainy sweetness, with the bread flavors coming through. Touch of caramel sweetness at the end is cut nicely with some hops bitterness.
Mouthfeel is really nice, smooth and lightly creamy. Touch watery on the finish though.
Could drink this quite often, if I could get it.

 461 characters

Photo of Isoruku
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

God knows why Fat Tire is considered a worthy craft beer. New Belgium have cleverly marketed it as an icon of the micro-brewery phenomenon, but it has to be the one of the least memorable, blandest and unremarkable beers I ever experienced. I suspect that its unthreatening character is precisely why it is often the default "craft beer" in many taverns - the typical person ordering it is the State Farm agent who has an office in the strip mall and his date Tiffany, who drinks it from the bottle.

But give New Belgium credit - they've got a winning product here! One dimensional, boring, and not-too anything (e.g. not-too hoppy, not-too-bitter, not-too-malty).

Fat Tire may be a cash cow, but seekers after a rewarding drinking experience should look elsewhere.

 769 characters

Photo of cjohnson
4.17/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper-orange with a slightly tan two-finger head.

Smells very yeasty and sweet. Reminds me of toast for some reason. Maybe a little bit of some dark fruits.

The taste is very sweet initially, but has a bit of hop bitterness in the back. Kind of yeasty, but not too much. Overall I'd describe the taste as pleasant, but altogether nothing very exciting going on.

I'm a little bit disappointed in the mouthfeel. If this were a bit more carbonated it'd be very nice, but it just feels flat and plain. Still pretty drinkable.

 533 characters

Photo of Bobo77
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this sold by the bomber at Shop N'Save nestled between a sea of Heineken and Bud Light Clamato Soda.

Poured into my glass a light brown body with a pale white inch thick head.

Aroma was that of warm and inviting caramel overtones with a hint of hops.

The sip gave a sweet roasted nutty flavor. Very mellow character, similar to a Newcastle Nut Brown Ale. Very much towards the malty side of the beer taste spectrum, though hops do make a slightly detectable appearance in the fading aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and mellow. I consider this beer a good sessions beer but it still might be too bitter for Bud Light drinkers (I tried to get my wife to drink some and she took one sip and was like, "no way.")

One of the first non-BMC beers that I ever experienced several years ago. This beer has since ceased to be my favorite of the New Belgium portfolio of beers, nonetheless it still holds a dear place in my heart as one of my own persoanal bridges to better beer (along with Sam Adams.) It is also sort of like an old friend on tap when I go to places such as Applebees that are typically dominated by BMC products (around here at least.)

 1,157 characters

Photo of ubermick
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard American pint glass.

A: The beer poured a coppery amber colour, with a nice deep head, and moderate carbonation.

S: Biscuity malts, light citrus hops, and a wee bit of yeast.

T: Caramel, toasted biscuity malts.

MF/D: Mild bodied and smooth, this beer is exceedingly drinkable. Very pleasant. It's hyped a lot as a "gateway" to microbrews, like Sierra Nevada and Anchor Steam, and I can see why. The toasted malt flavour might be more my cup of tea than some folks, but this is one of my favourite tasty refreshing adult beverages of all time.

A great standby choice in any bar that serves it, since it seems to be most spots' "craft" beer of choice, against the big watery boys.

 725 characters

Photo of ssam
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

A- pretty dull orange color. the head was tiny after an aggressive pour and it quickly dwindled without leaving a trace. but i gotta say i liked the label (that isnt included in my score though)

S- my first smell was really nice. it smells very earthy and woodsy. it has a clear hops aroma that is very pleasing. but i took other sniffs as i sipped and i noticed the smell getting progressively worse. the initially present flowery hop smell was replaced by a mostly metallic character. weird.

T- it tastes just like the bottle boasts. sweet biscuity malt balanced perfectly with a fresh hop taste. the mix is pretty refreshing and good.

M- this gets a 5 because it had a perfect level of carbonation and a really nice mouthfeel. i have to admit, i was worried at first because of the head, or lack there of, but this beer delivered in this category.

D- the drinkability on this beer is high because the fresh feeling you get as you drink it leaves you very refreshed and wanting more-- great session beer.

 1,010 characters

Photo of Andrew644
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- a dark gold or amber with a good head that sticks to the glass.

S- a buiscuity smell from the malts with just a touch of hops lingering on the top.

T- good malt flavor with the main flavor from the malts being a biscuity taste, the hops balanced it nicely but not taking the beer away from the malt. While it was good nothing about it made me think that it was a terrific taste.

M- good carbonation that gave a crispness to the beer.

D- Goes down easy but the flavor just isn't quite at the scale that I want it to be.

 525 characters

Photo of Milchad
4/5  rDev +11.1%

One of the first beers that helped open my eyes to what all is out there besides the water downed crap that AB and Miller Coors tries to cram down our throats. Very flavorful beer that won't disappoint.

 202 characters

Photo of CVC
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Came in a 12 oz. bottle; served in a pint glass. Pours a light copper/brown color with a minimal white head. Leaves a good amount of lace. Faint smells nuts, spices, biscuits all mixed together. Tastes very biscuit-y and malty, like the bottle says. An average mouthfeel, somewhat heavy, but also thin (?).

This beer has a really good biscuit taste. I just wish that taste was stronger because it tastes like it's mixed with malt liquor or something. Still, this beer has a great smell and appearance. It would pair-up perfectly with a hot plate of biscuits and gravy. Mmm.

 574 characters

Photo of drugsbunny
2.06/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

"Not impressed" seems to cover it. I had this on tap out West, but I drank it after I had been drinking some glorious Sierra Nevada, fresh as I ever get it in New York. So this hop-less amber was a big disappointment. Nice red color though, but I wasn't taking pictures of this beer. If you drink Fat Tire, make sure you don't do so after drinking some wonderful hoppy beer. Otherwise all you get is a cloying sweet taste that was too much for me to even finish it. Skip this amber for many other worthy examples.

 513 characters

Photo of bigdrewsmoove
4.23/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had Fat Tire many times before but felt compelled to review it after the great experience I had today.

Bought from the Charleston Beer Exchange for $4.99 for a growler fill. New Belgium promo where they were giving away glasses, bottle openers, decals, and they even threw in a free frisbee for me when I told them I drove 30 miles to come get this special.

A- Dark Copper color with a slight head. Looks great in my free New Belgium.

S- Sweet malty with a bit of hops

T- I'm normally a hop head, but the sweet maltiness of this beer is absolutely delicious. I don't know the technical terms, but a sweet "bready" flavor to this is how I'd describe it.

M- Feels great going down

Overall I love this beer. It's strange, I drank it a few times a while back but wasn't too impressed, but a couple of months ago I gave it another chance and have been drinking it steady ever since. Two thumbs up to New Belgium and CBX also for this great promo offer.

 959 characters

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,495 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.