Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,997 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: 1,997 | Ratings: 8,421
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 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 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 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 D1noB
2.77/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A heavy grain and malty taste, light hop middle, with a hint of caramel. a beer that grows on you the emptier the bottle becomes.

Taste Rating in Words: You look at your fence-line, there are vines growing everywhere, you hate vine, you grab the clippers, as you approach the fence flowers begin to bloom. You aren't happy about the vines but the flowers look pretty nice, the battle will continue in the fall.

 412 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

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

Bottle poured into a mug. Pours a beautiful medium amber with an inch & a half head. Nice sticky white lacing. Smells biscuity and malty. The taste is medium bodied, with biscuit, malt, and a hint of nuttiness. Mouthfeel is very nice...medium bodied. Very drinkable...not too weak, not too strong. A nicely balanced, highly drinkable beer. Nothing overly special, but I would definitely buy if craving an amber.

 411 characters

Photo of CountJustinian
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hard to tell drinking out of a bottle... While not ideal, obviously, it seemed like a better option than the available plastic cups.

Smell: Mild hints of peppery malt, not especially noteworthy. Made me want to continue, but more out of curiosity than from anything it offered up.

Taste: Maltier than the smell suggested, and thankfully so. Early, bready, malt flavor, with a distinct earthy undercurrent.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, with better than average carbonation. Starts strong and finishes stronger, a little thin in between. Clean malt aftertaste.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Any complexity it has gets lost after the first one or two, but no reason not to continue. It's a shame New Belgium doesn't distribute this to Northeast U.S.

 756 characters

Photo of Bezy901
4.5/5  rDev +25%

One of my favorite beers! The toasted slightly yeast like flavors really come through. I definitely prefer to have it on tap or poured into a glass rather than from the bottle because it becomes a different beer altogether when it has time to breathe.

 251 characters

Photo of bankboy66
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wet and bready. Don't get a lot of carbonation. Very drinkable but also forgettable. If someone handed me one I would drink it but wouldn't go out of my way to buy it.

 169 characters

Photo of skeeordye11
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. This is the first day NB is available in NC. It's a great day!

A- Poured golden amber into the glass with a rising tan-white head that settles back into the liquid after a few sips. Very inviting.

S- Beatiful malty aroma that makes me salivate.

T- Simply delicious. Malt predominates, but it dosen't overpower. Nice subtle hop flavor finish.

M- Rich and creamy. So good.

D- Very drinkable. Every sip leaves you wanting to come back for more. Would be a fantastic beer to look forward coming home to every day.

 556 characters

Photo of GeoffW
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a 750ml bottle. Thin, lingering layer of head. Foam sticks to the glass. Very clear in appearance.

Smell was malty and slightly sweet.

Taste overall was somewhat bland for me. A little hoppy with a bit of malt and maybe some sweet coming through.

Mouthfeel was decent. Not much to the aftertaste on this one, nor was the alcohol very apparent.

Drinkability was decent.

Overall, a fairly good beer but nothing special. Maybe the amber style isn't particularly for me but oh well.

 515 characters

Photo of jj311
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light Amber in color, with medium to semi-thick lacing. Head showed decent retention.

Bready malt and floral like smell. Some kind of sweet fruitiness.

Taste was somewhat disappointing though. Watered down Biscuity malt with a slight bitterness.

This beer has good drinkability because it's somewhat "light" tasting, and easy to knock back a few.

Overall, it isn't my first choice in Amber Ales, but something worthy of drinking again at some point.

 456 characters

Photo of revolt914
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This to me is the craft beer of craft beers... if you like craft beer this will probably be your first beer if you're just now getting into it. I must say it's a good beer to drink, I still prefer a samuel adams, but it isn't overly impressive. I enjoy a good amber ale but this just wasn't kicking it for me, perhaps I've let my tongue stray to the stronger beers but this a damn good beer to have with dinner if you aren't looking to over power your taste buds and just have a decent beer with dinner.

 503 characters

Photo of iLovehops23
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a nice deep golden color with a off-white head that's built to last; coated my mug with a nice lacing that stuck around for a while

S - nose detects a hint of biscuity malts, but that's about it

T - immensely refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness; malts are more prominent than the hops, but the hops do kick in at the finish; a remarkably well-balanced brew that goes down nice and easy

M - on the thin side, but not to worry; the light to medium carbonation smoothed out eventually which allowed a pleasant creaminess to dominate at the finish

D - very good and extremely well-balanced beer, worth a shot.

 634 characters

Photo of Juggernaut
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poored a amber/bronze color with a nice white head. It smelled of toasty malt with a nice biscuity note that it is known for.

The taste was well balanced between the malt and hops that made it very refreshing, and just what you would expect from the aroma. The body was decent, and it had a slite bitterness at the end. Overall it was pretty good.

 360 characters

Photo of FSUmac
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. ("Now Voluntarily available in Tennessee" edition) bomber into a pint glass....


Pours out a nice medium brown with a hint of red with a frothy white head. Nice lacing forms as well down the glass.


I smell a sweetness from the malt, almost fruity, as well as definite yeast.


Toasted malt, tastes like warm bread. A slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but not that much.


Fantastic. So smooth in the mouth and goes down easy. Carbonation is perfect. Perfect score in this area for me.

Overall, this is a fantastic session beer. Not the best beer in the world and some would say overhyped, but I think it deserves all the praise it gets. Well balanced, sooo drinkable, and down right tasty. Bravo New Belgium.

 776 characters

Photo of remllof
2.93/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewing this on the first day New Belgium is avaliable in North Carolina. Pours an off white puffy head. Left a bit of offwhite lacing.The color is a trasparent light copper. The carbination is fairly high. Smell has a slight hoppy scent too it with a bit of maltiness in there, not overly impressed. Taste has a big malt forward base, not really much in for hops exept a touch of like refreshness at the end. The taste almost reminds me of High life with a touch of hops. Mouthfeel is alright, had a bit of consistency and has pretty clean aftertaste. Overall I was a bit disapointent with this one. It wasnt bad but didnt stand out If I want this light high carbinated malty taste Ill get a high life for a quarter of the price. I just hope the rest of new belgiums offerings to NC are better.

 797 characters

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,421 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!