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.
1,996 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: 1,996 | Ratings: 8,419
Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, with best before dating printed on the label.

Pour: Lighter, glowing orange hued amber, clear. Nice puffy, retentive light tan head, leaving all kids of thick stick on the glass.

Sniff: Mallty, toasty

Taste: Pale malts, balancing hops. Nice session type ale. Easily enjoyed and appreciated.

Drink More? Why not, nothing special, just a nicely crafted, easy drinking ale. Good newbie beginer beer or an all session enjoyable creation.

 449 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer is amber and clear with moderate carbonation and a big white head of large bubbles that collapses leaving some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet and mildly spicy.

Beer is surprisingly thin, grainy on the mid and late palates. It's thin on the front of the mouth and has a grainy aftertaste. It's not very pleasing overall. Just one of those beer that eventually you have to get around to trying, now I have.

 418 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.08/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

05/29/05- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle, forgot to look for dates. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Golden, maybe reaching for a darker color, pour. Lively pour which disappears soon. Little lacing along the edges.

Smell- Mostly malty scents. A bit of carboard or wet paper scent as well.

Taste- Heavy wet carboard malt flavor. A bit stale maybe? Some very bitter-like hop flavors as well. Is this the Fat Tire everyone is so crazy about?

Mouthfeel- Well carbonated, little aftertaste, but leaves you gasping for water from the dryness.

Drinkability- Truthfully, I'd rather have many beers instead of this one, including even a few macros. Not horrible, but not the taste I was expecting. Maybe I got an old one....I hope at least.

 805 characters

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip

A - Light to medium pale amber colour with half as finger of bubbly white head. Some visible carbonation, not not overly carbonated.

S - Crisp bready malts with a slight hop presence.

T - Predominantly malt palate: bready with biscuit. Some toffee and a very slight hop bite.

M - Light body, moderate carbonation.

D - Excellent amber ale. Could drink many, many of these at once. If only they distributed anywhere near me I would constantly stock this in the fridge.

 499 characters

Photo of tempest
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber, it's a hazy, reddish amber with a short head. The smell and taste make for a slightly toasty amber ale. There's a medium body, so despite its popularity, Fat Tire is no lightweight. The taste, however, just isn't that engaging. It's still a nice, balanced mix of sweet yeast flavors and malt, and not a beer I'd turn away.

 351 characters

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.
Dark amber color, a bit hazy. Small foamy head. A good look to it.
Smell had a bit of everything it seemed. Biscuit, hops, roasted malt, flower, raisin.
Taste was odd. Heavy on the malt, almost too heavy like they wanted to make a dark beer; complexity vanished.
Leaves a bit of film on the palate.

 326 characters

Photo of Tone
2.53/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear brown with little head and no retention. Low level of lacing. Smells of malt. Tastes of strong malt, nuts, and a slight hop background. Smooth body with tart (nutty) aftertaste. Overall, the strong malt and tart aftertaste make it hard to recommend.

 263 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It is light, but there are traces of pale and light crystal malts. The taste is decent as well. It has a light and grainy pale malt flavor with a bit of crystal malts as well. It goes down smooth and finishes dry and slightly malty. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low/medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine amber ale. I wish it has a more complex aroma and flavor, but it drinks well regardless.

 525 characters

Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a 1" head that slowly receded to a surface foam. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma is of caramel and soft citrus.

Taste: this beer has a nice dry malty backbone as caramel, light orange, bread, and a mild bitterness complete the flavor tones.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. The mouthfeel is dry and lightly crisp at the start, and finishes dry with a short caramel and bready aftertaste.

Drinkability: a solid beer that is nicely drinkable on any occasion.

 516 characters

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

Just what the doctor ordered after another long day at work, on to the beer:

Poured into a chalice, it features a dark red body and a puffy two-finger head. Bread/biscuit notes and hop aroma play a big part of this ales flavor. It drinks fairly well, but be careful if you're drinking a bomber of this, as this does have an underlying kick.

 343 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a one fingered white(!) head atop a golden bier with very fine sediment. Nice lacing and average head retention.

S- Similar to a macro but with caramel malts. Biscuits.

T- Follows the smell. Bready.

M- Mouthfeel is a tad on the watery side.

D/O- Drinkability is out of this world. Goes down like a common BMC, only with some (decent) flavor to back it up. Not much to it, a perfect "gateway" craft beer. It's no wonder this is the beer snob's (hah) go-to beer.

 474 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find that I hadn't reviewed this before.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is toffee with some bready malt. The flavor is toffee, bread and some grassy notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very easy beer to drink, but there is not much going on aroma or flavor wise.

 324 characters

Photo of stevoj
2.9/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Average ale, amber in color, with some nice hop notes, not much else here. Was expecting a bit more from this, with its reputation, something seems to be missing, or just watered down.

 184 characters

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium coppery amber with a half finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of bisquit malt with a hint of caramel, light hops. Flavor of biscuit malt and neutral hops. Finishes with light bisquity and caramel malt. Not complex, but pleasant low key amber ale. Medium bodied.

 340 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Traded for this one. Nice golden brown, just about the same color of any other Amber Ale I've had. This is just about the same as any other I've had. I could drink this brew alot, but nothing really stands out from other's to me of this style. If you can get a chance to try it, do, but don't expect anything special.

 317 characters

Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woodychandler comed through again with yet another canned beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden/brownish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, a touch of hops. Taste is caramel malts up front, hops kicking in towards the finish. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

 311 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Topped by a thin quickly disappearing head. A pretty copper color. Smells nothing much more than beery, but in a good way that reminds me of a dried cracker aroma. Light sweet taste with a cracker-bread bite to it. This is a good example of a beer with biscuity cracker flavor in it. A slight hint of some off putting taste, but this fades quickly. No real hop presence to speak of. This is a fairly bland beer from a brewery that so much good beer has come from. Oh well at least it allows NBB to make other great beers. This I would rate as serviceable when nothing else is available.

 586 characters

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with etched "New Belgium" around the neck. Pours clear and orange in hue with a small bubbly head that leaves some lacing down the pint glass.

Aroma of very bready malt and a hint of clean grains.

A well balanced brew. Leafy hop bitters greet the palate with a lemon rind notion. Caramel malt is there with some pleasant nutty flavors. I must say I am really enjoying this beer. Pleasant flavors that work well together.

Smooth and crisp. It cannot be said any better.

As drinkable as the working day is long. A solid stand by beer that I wish was distributed in this area. Awesome session beer, unfortunately my session was limited to one.

 671 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.66/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a pleasant toasted malt with a grassy hop.

The taste featured a dry toaste grain, some light caramel and a balancing hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the cleaner side of the style.

Overall a tasty and very easy to drink ale.

 355 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has a dainty amber core and soft-pressed haze, but Fat Tire burns up like it were a lamp. A beer this radiant looks an instinctive accompaniment to hot weather and a thirsty palate, even if it means drinking straight from the can. The staying power of its head and scabrous lacing, however, shows that it's rather deserving of a proper glass (if not chalice).

The beer has a soft, spongy toffee bouquet that is only mildly sweet but supremely appealing. Light fruity esters may develop from swirling but those honey-and-biscuit malts - rather Belgian-esque malts, it should be noted - simply dominate. It doesn't quite lavishly pamper the nose, but it does make sure that it's been properly looked after.

Likewise for the taste: the palate isn't spoiled but it is properly looked after. Biscuit-like malts, modestly sweet with wafer-like overtones, again govern the profile but fruity yeast esters stay buoyant and a stale black pepper taste, err, well, peppers the finish. Earthy, herbal hoppiness may not be that perceptible, but it's been spun in there rest assured.

Fat Tire has a full and wholesome maltiness that is thick enough to gratify without being too thick so as to fill you up. At a modest alcohol strength, there's no telling how many I could have before thinking better about having one more; it truly is an enjoyable, easily quaffed ale. It's no surprise this microbrewery, now America's third largest, has done so well.

New Belgium haven't built their house on sand, they've gone about things the right way: they've made strives for environmental sustainability, social and civic responsibilities, and they've built their reputation behind a solid, reliable, extremely agreeable flagship brand. Fat Tire doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it sure hits the spot on a nice, sunny day!

 1,807 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice looking 12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A: Pale clear golden amber with a steady stream of tiny bubbles of carbonation and a light fluffy white head that fades to a nice ring with webs of sticky lacing.
S: Malty, biscuity aroma, a slightly sour fruit smell and light presence of hops in the finish.
T: A slightly sweeter version of the smell. Nice smooth medium body with light carbonation. Strong malt/caramel biscuit backbone and light hop taste in the finish. Nothing remarkable in the flavor, but overall a very good, extremely drinkable amber. My mind drifts to comparing this to Magic Hat #9 as far as "cult" status goes and this is so much better and more enjoyable.

 683 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, poured into my Ommegang goblet

A: Amber, orange color, with 1.5 finger white head, great retention, leaving the classic Belgian lace.

S: Biscuity malts, no real hops evident, but a delightful anise, peppery spice present.

T: Good flavor, delicate malts and great spicy esters.

M: Medium-bodied, very nice.

D: Very drinkable, is widely available, and a great choice in places that have so-so beer selection, and I've found it goes great with chili. Forgot how much I like this beer, haven't had it in a long time. This stuff went fast. Good price too, $2.79 a bomber, at my local liquor store.

 613 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.62/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an Ultra clear amber brew, flat head.

Smell is fruity with lots of sweetness and biscuit smell. Clear dark roasted malt scent here.

Taste is sweet and malty with that biscuit flavor popping up again. Nice yeast flavor. Caramel roasted flavor to this is complex and hard to pin down, want to call it butterscotch but it is more than that. Nice nutty flavor.

Mouthfeel is good.

Nice brew to drink not a best of class but a welcome example of the style.

 468 characters

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

Bought at Lee's Discount store in North Las Vegas, it travelled with me for eight days to Utah and Arizona visiting National Parks and the Hoover Dam before being consummed back in Vegas.

Excalibur, Tower 1, room 18-135, overlooking the airport and with views of the Luxor and Mandalay Bay before me. I opened the 22 fl oz bottle, it had been allowed to rest after its journey and had sat on ice in the washbasin for a while before being poured into plastic toothbrush cups.

The body was a clear amber and a small white head of tight bubbles sat on top of each cup, it looked good, even in toothbrush cups.

The aroma was malt, with hints of hops if you sniffed long and hard enough.

The taste was malt with less hops than I remember the draught version giving me, or was I mistaken?

Lovely beer, pity about the vessel used to drink it. My draught one was taken on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, on the patio of El Tovar Hotel, nice.

 941 characters

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

Special Georgia introduction bottle. Same beer inside. Pours golden with moderate head that settles to a thin cap and leaves some slight lacing behind as it fades. Smells soft and grainy with some slight bitterness. Tastes similar, a bit bland with some grainy sweetness and some light bitterness. Smooth, but the taste drops off fairly quickly. A fairly pedestrian beer. Not bad, just a bit boring and no better than hundreds of others in the style- and worse than some.

 471 characters

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