Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

2,028 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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Reviews: 2,028 | Ratings: 8,580
Photo of uhhhaaron
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

consumed 08-05-2009, 22oz bomber into pint glass.

appearance: pours a medium amber color with a nice fluffy 1.5 finger head. Head slowly went down.

smell: a nice nutty and hoppy aroma with good malt backbone.

taste: right away i noticed the hops, but nothing major like in an IPA. This was followed by a nutty/cinnamon/chocolate finish. Lots of malt character in this one. I was surprised at the somewhat complexity of this brew.

mouthfeel: rich & creamy with just enough carbonation. i'd say a light medium body.

drinkability: very easy to put these down.

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Photo of lechroy
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a fresh 6-er. I've been drinking this beer for 10 years and I've gone through loving it and hating it. I think its certainly unique and I respect it as a very tasty brew.
A- nice clean beer with a wonderful amber color. Head is sparkling white.
S- um, this is my one qualm - smells a bit like a bad heineken. Just not enticing and slightly sharp and sour.
T- really love the belgian overtones here combined with the caramel notes. Pretty darn unique flavor that spans a couple of styles. I find it difficult to call this an amber ale. Finishes well dryer than an amber/red and than I seem to remember it from years past.
M- tasty and well carbonated.
O- Great job. Good for one 12 oz beer, but not much more. Wish we could work on the aroma a bit.

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Photo of mbrown26
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A nice copper color. Clear. Decent head that dissipates quickly, but the lacing is nice.

S: Caramel notes and roasted malts.

T: A nice clean tasting beer without being hoppy. Had a great red ale profile and flavor.

M: Moderate amount of carbonation.

D: Easy to drink.

Will buy plenty of this and may become a mainstay in the household.

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Photo of nerow
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Pours a dark amber with a one finger creamy head which fades rapidly.

S-Grassy, perhaps a bit of citrus. Nothing special.

T-Slightly nutty at first followed by a toasty biscut-like flavor. A bit of citrus lingers at the end. I'm not going to say that it's overtly boring, but nothing in the flavor draws me in. Overall, there is nothing offensive about this beer's flavor, it's just average.

M-Moderate carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel.

D-Good drinkability, but nothing about this beer compells me to have another. Perhaps that would be different during the summertime.

Out of the "Hipster College Student Beers" this is the best I've tasted. This beer is certainly better than the BMC crap most people drink, but it didn't live up the hype for me.

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Photo of smallbatchbrewer
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Medium amber beer poured into a pint from tap. Decent head that is very frothy

S- Malty, nothing special at all, maybe a little papery

T- Full body but no outstanding qualities to report on, does finish a bit smokey

D- Despite what it lacks, I could actually drink a few of these. Where this beer lacks flavor it does a pretty nice job in making up for it with its richness. Can't give it a score for integrity but I might be willing to overlook that (to a reasonable extent) because of how easily this went down. Was a great accompaniment to my fish & chips

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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.

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Photo of Gote
4.4/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

OK, I love this beer. I'm sure there are better examples of an amber ale out there but I haven't tried them. The hops are there but just enough to give a wonder flavor without all the bitterness. Slight hint of orange which is odd because I consider adding fruit flavor to a beer to be a waste of beer...and fruit. This could easily be a daily drinker for me.

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Photo of nathi
2.12/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is available everywhere here, and is often the only micro. And when it is....I drink bud. I really hate this beer. The aroma is funky. Not like rich malt, and although it used to, now has no hops or interesting esters to balance the funky aroma that I suppose is toasty, but for some reason comes off kinda vomit like to me. The taste starts off decent but ends with this lingering, cloying sweetness that just dosnt have the richness to be pleasent. Just flat, boring, and unpleasant to me. Like drinking unfermented wort. It needs something there to balance it. Just seems to sit on the tongue.

At least it is pretty.

But, if New Belgium can continue to sell tons of this stuff and be able to keep brewing the intense stuff like their trippel, la folie, mars, etc (not to mention the upcomming collaboration with a certain belgian brewery of some fame), more power to them.

Love the brewery....hate the beer.

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Photo of noknife83
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, about an inch of head. The beer is very clear, almost suspiciously too clear. Very nice rich earth smell, hints of citrus and something else I can't quite place, but it smells good. When it first hits my mouth I can taste chocolate malt, followed by a fruity hopness, with a slightly bitter after taste.

This is a great beer if you're just getting into craft beers and not sure where to start. Give this beer a try to get your bearings. I've heard a lot people and I include some of my friends, say that they don't care for this beer. They can never really place why they don't like it though. I'll admit the first time I had this beer, I didn't care for it that much. Over the years though it has grown on me, and it's not my favorite or even in my top 10, it's still a really solid beer.

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Photo of smerkinb
4.11/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 22oz bottle marked "Commemorative-Taking Flight in NC"
Copper pipe color with a flax colored 2 finger head. Bubble a bit fizzy-not like pop(soda) but definitely active. Clinging lacy strands of foam stick around. This brew is clear as a spring day.

Smell is mild but appealing sweet and malty with just a little snap of floral in the background. Not super expressive; not a bar- it-all-in-your-face style. More like a quick glimpse of thigh and lace that coyly intrigues you to want more.

The taste is what happens behind those closed doors--after you've been together for 5 years. It's good, it makes you want more, but it's not gonna leave you gasping for breath or hunting for you clothes later. Malts take charge with hoppy lightly floral background notes. Somewhere in the mix is a bit of toasty caramel, but this was like finding Waldo--I really had to pay attention to pick it out.

Good carbonation prickled my tongue and the slightly oily mouthfeel made it even easier to down this quickly. Smooth, with a dryish finish, I had no recourse but to grab my glass again almost as soon as I had set it down.

To me, this was balanced and a good idea of what I could expect from this style. Honestly, my bomber when down way too quickly.

Tasty, easy to drink, enjoyable and refreshing. Right on the money for this style, I think. Fat Tire will be a staple--even if I "have" to buy it in bombers. Thanks for giving NC a Fat Tire, New Belgium!

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Photo of G2Brew
3.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, poured into pilsner glass.

A: Nice Amber color, not entirely clear, but not quite cloudy. Off-white to tan head, but not much of it. Leaves a little lacing.

S: I sniffed, and detected something unexpected, something I couldn't immediately identify. Sniffed again. Yep, I knew that smell, but still couldn't place it. On a long, open mouth inhale, it hit me - strawberry jam on bisquits. OK, maybe nobody else got this impression, but once I pegged that aroma, it stuck in my head every time I lifted the glass (and I happen to love that smell - not the cheapo manufactured strawberry crap or the grocery store berries that are picked green - this is the smell of jam made from home-grown, fully ripe berries.) After I got past that first impression, I identified sweet malt, bisquit, ripe fruit and a little citrus.

T: Rewarding taste. Reinforced my strawberries on biscuits impression, but this is all beer, no fruit beverage here. Nice balance of hops to malt, but with a little lingering sweetness on the tongue.

M: Medium body, slight tingly sensation from the carbonation, fairly dry. Good back-of-the-mouth effect.

D: This is a very drinkable beer. I enjoyed this a lot, and will come back to it. I'd like to try it on tap. I could keep this in the fridge for enjoying with friends when I run short on home brew.

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Photo of babayaga
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance- A really nice clear amber-to-copper color, with a 2-finger creamy off-white head. Great lacing on the glass.

Aroma- Grains, slightly sweet malts, a little toast. I don't get much hops at all, but I poured it at 40F. Grape nuts.

Flavor- More grains, some "mineraliness." Biscuit.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, medium carbonation.

As unique as I think that this beer is, I think that New Belgium has some much better offerings.

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Photo of Fee
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's a reason this is essentially the state beer of Colorado. This is a very good beer. It's an Amber so it's not too hoppy. This beer is always a safe bet. Is it the best New Belgium offers? No, but it is widely available.

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Photo of smurphy77
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a six pack of this near S.F. when I had nothing else to do. Over the course of a few days my opinions swayed a bit, but overall this is a nice beer that is most definitely drinkable. It has a reddish amber color and a thin head. Taste was what varied, ranging from nice roasted malty slightly bitter slightly sweet complex concoction to eh that's nice but not interesting. Weird that one six pack could have such a spectrum of tastes.

I had this on draft a while back and loved it. Too long ago to review now, but the bottles in no way compared to the keg experience.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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:


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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.

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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.


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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%

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,580 ratings.
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