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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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Reviews: 1,996 | Ratings: 8,419
Photo of dedrinker
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I hear countless requests to carry this beer at the grocery store I work in, so when I first tried it - a "medium-everything" amber, I was not surprised. Very drinkable, very fresh (its chief strength) but surely nothing to get excited about for those who have been around the beer block a few times. This is a great everyday beer for casual consumption, but aside from its young, fresh character, not a single thing stood out but its ordinariness. This beer is perhaps one of the best introductions to the American craft beer category for the uninitiated. Don't get me wrong - I liked it.

Four Years Later: My original review still holds. I have picked up on the subtle mingling of toasted malt flavor with a clean dry finish from a dusting of sufficient hops for the purpose, but this remains a well crafted middle of the road taste experience. One of the best examples of a middle of the road style. Upper middle class white girls still rave and their boyfriends declare, but the more knowledgeable tipplers at BA hold the line on where this beer belongs - a solid "B."
I also had one out of date - as bad as anything else that has past its prime.

My obsession with Fat Tire is more of a socio-psychological one as to the narrow demographic that proclaims this beer to be perfection in a bottle, and my attempts to get inside their heads to look for answers and clues for how to help them get into the rest of the thousands of awesome American craft beers.

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Photo of HoustonTX
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours out with a bright copper/amber color, small amount of head and decent lacing.

Smell - Is earthy, with a bit of caramel present, and toasty roast smell is strong.

Taste - Very pleasing with a toasty/biscuit tasting malts, caramel and small traces of hops also come through. Aftertaste is toasty.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and easy to go down.

Drinkability - Good, these are quite easy to take down.

Overall, a nice amber ale.

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Photo of Skidz
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After hearing many things about how this beer is brewed using the same recipe as used for Mile Rock Amber by Harbor City, I decided a side by side review was necessary. My review of Mile Rock amber can be seen here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/794/5940/?ba=Skidz

This is my review for Fat Tire:

Pours out crisp light gold and sits bright copper-amber in the glass with a good sized, slightly off-white head. Fades to a good skimming of foam with nice lacings around the glass.

Smells of toasty malts with some caramel presence. Earth and nutty tones blend in with full, green, leafy hops aromas. Some bits of clover dancing around the edges.

Tastes of delightfully rounded malts, bursting with toasted character. Liveley caramel, and crackery tones run up and down along with bits of hazelnut. Mild hops bitterness enters, but delivers little flavor, besides some slight, dry leafy tones. Satifying finish.

Soft, forgiving and creamy in the mouth with mild-moderate carbonation and a medium-light body.

Fantastically drinkable, soothing and pleasant in the mouth. Lots of character and no real quarrels to speak of.

In comparing Fat Tire to Mile Rock Amber, the visuals are key to the interpretation. Held up side by side, both sit fairly equal in color and depth, but MR definately has some chill haze going on. Head retention is very similar, though I'd say MR has a bit of an edge.

After that, these beers are nothing alike. While they may have started off using the same, or nearly identical recipes, the yeast divides these two beers significantly. Earthy, nutty tones dominate in FT, while fruity flavors hit home in MR.

Which is better? I'd put my money on FT, hands down. Best looks, nose, taste, body, drinkability all-around. Not to say MR doesn't hold a thumb to it, it's just not as good as FT.

So to everyone buying Mile Rock Amber here in WI, thinking your getting the same thing as Fat Tire, or close to it, you are not.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. New Belgium Fat Tire pours out a clear, light brown color topped with a couple inches of foam. The aroma is biscuit malt and a hint of fruitiness. Nutty, biscuit malt flavor. A bit of cocoa flavor too. The finish is mildly hoppy. Light to medium mouthfeel. The drinkability is good. I could certainly drink several of these at a time were it not for the $3/bottle pricetag in Wisconsin. Overall, this is a pretty good beer. It's not overly complex, but it's drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With my girlfriend across the country interviewing for a teaching position, I sat down prior to lunch while watching "Joe Versus the Volcano" - to put it simply, not a good film in the least, but I sat down on a beautiful day and decided to finally review this one.

A brown bomber bottle of Fat Tire with a best by date of June 16, 2006. I poured my beer into a standard pint glass.

The beer poured a very faint amber with the slightest of red tinge. The quarter inch of white head did not retain well. Doughy malts provided the majority of nose, along with a hint of carmel and and another, unidentified, underlying graininess. The beer, which has a substantial following behind it, tasted of a simple maltiness. No hoppiness to really boast of existed inside the flavor, but no negative astringencies were held within there. I found it - on the whole - to be a fairly basic, although very drinkable, amber ale. I see the reasoning behind its cult following, but I find nothing worth really writing home for in this one. It wants to give me flavor - at least in its bottled form here - but it never delivers.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tastes change, and so do beers. its been a while since i've had this so i'll review it again. bought a bottle on the Texas/Arkansas border because they've changed their cap recently and i wanted it for my collection. pours brownish and clear with a big, pond scum colored head. malty, slightly wheaty odor. smells nice and not skunky at all (i was expecting skunky, dont know why). taste is much more pleasing than i remember. slightly sweet, very malty and biscuity. in fact, probably more biscuity than any other beer i've tried. very smooth, very drinkable....very tasty all around.

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

Pours a clear copper with a finger of off-white head that diminishes rather quickly but leaves nice lacing. The smell reminds me of a sweet bread, faint floral scent in the background. Taste is mainly biscuity malt with a hint of the hops in the middle. Smooth, easy drinking brew.
Thanks to Zorro for this bomber.

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

2006 Chicago Inaugural bottling.

Appears redish-amber in color with a decent white head. To start, the beer had this real funky taste and smell, sort of sour and sulphurish, but it blew off after a few minutes. Aside from that nearly tragic problem, it smelled generally malty and a bit yeasty. The taste is bready, with a slight tangy hop middle, and some yeasty flavors in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a shade above medium. Drinkability was high. Overall a decent brew.

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

Best before date clearly printed.

Dull golden copper in color. A dense, white foam that lingers around the glass' sides with dimpled lace with decent strength.

A moderate toasted, biscuit malt aroma. Astringent, perfumey floral hop aspect. Earthy, slightly sweetened wheat and grain.

Sweetened caramel, lightly burnt toffee; active, doughy yeast giving a biscuity flavor. Noble, rounded rustic floral hops that doesn't exactly balance the toasted maltiness, but it tries. Caramel and sweet toffee in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; mellow and sweet on the palate. Not completely balanced, but not intrusive.

A pretty boring beer. Too sweet on my palate to consider having another.

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

A bottle labeled as 2006 Chcago Inagural to mark the entry to the Second City market.

Pours a light golden color. Nice, fairly white head. Nose is of biscuit malt, sweet, a hint of yeast.

Nice mouthfeel - smooth and easy drinking. Starts out with the bicuit malts, followed with a fine hop balancing. Provides just enough hops to not offend those making the switch from macros, but satisfy a craft beer fan. A nutty flavor rolls in late. The finish is bit...bland and unfulfilled...

A fine session beer. I like what this beer repesents...it is a quality beer with a solid flavor profile, a decent hopping level. It invites people in who have been toned down to taste of US macros and slowly wins you over to flavor.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this in Reno on tap while my wife bowled in the nationals. Served in a pint glass. Light bronze color with good lacing. Hoppy taste with a good malt base. Heavier than expected, almost robust. I'm not a big fan of amber ales but this one is a pleasure to drink, altough it wouldn't be my first choice with other ales or stouts available.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz.bottle. Leaves about one finger of foamy head that recedes into a scant surface skim. Does leaves a nice lacing. Is a clear coppery red hue.

Aroma - odor is a very sour dough, bready malt. It's very fungal (like wild mushrooms ) and reminds me of the odor of moist and rotting grass clippings from the lawnmower sitting in an open lawn-and-leaf bag. It's hard to tell what to expect from the aroma - it seems really sour -like it could be bad, or maybe its actually good, like cheese that smells bad, but tastes good. Also, hint, just barely, of grassy and herbally hops.

Taste - well... it is kind of as promised as by aroma. It is grassy, doughy, bready, sour malty. Slight, very slight, taste of hops ( I may have even imagined it, it was so slight. ). Aftertaste of weakly brewed tea, with some lemon (see, there's the hops afterall ). This is not unlike Irish Red Ale, which I do like quite a bit. It has its own unique taste though, being dominated by this sour, wild fungal, grassy, doughy thing, but I like it. And the tea-like aftertaste helps resolve it into a recognizeably red ale ( Irish, or otherwise ). The thing I like about red ales is that they are not really sweet at all, rather they are somewhat tannic, and I find that to be refreshing ( like I find tea to be refreshing ), and this one is fact, even somewhat sour, and of course, mildly tannic.

Mouthfeel - Less than full, not quite thin, but tending towards that. In spite of lack of assertive hop flavor, there is a very nice hop oil mouth slickness from this ale. This doesn't leave you dry, but there is a sort of tannic feeling ( i.e. tea-like, first in the aftertaste, and now the mouthfeel ). Low carbonation.

Drinkabilty - this goes down very easy. I could put away two of these 22 oz.'ers in no time flat, and possibly a third (especially since the abv is like 5.3 % ). But, much as I like the taste of this, it is on the balance, fairly meek,and I would tire of this, and would want something bigger and bolder to go on with through the rest of the night (or sitting, or session, or whatever ).

 2,108 characters

Photo of beerinator
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle with the special "Chicago Inaugural" label.

Appearance: Very clear golden copper colored beer. Whisps of off-white head with quickly dissipating retention.

Aroma: Smells heavily of copper flavored caramel. There may be a faint lingering of fruit mixed in. Virtually no notes of hops here.

Taste: Fat Tire seems fairly easy to drink, but it doesn't offer much challenge to the palate. The finish leaves the tongue with a slight sweetness. The hopping level here is just enough to leave a faint memory of bitterness.

Notes: This is obviously a gateway beer, and hopefully it brings the masses one step closer to becoming full fledged supporters of microbreweries. Drink it if you haven't had it, but unless it's really hot out, you might not find yourself looking for another try. There are a lot of more exciting and flavorful entries in the Amber category.

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Photo of Mitchel
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire pours a golden amber with a white head and patchy lacing. It smells warmly fruity with a hint of malt in the nose with toasted undertones.

It is a medium bodies beer with a big malty palate. Modest hops seem to be very balanced. Tastes like breads and toasted malts with some nice grain to it. There is lots going on here, but a little yeasty for me.

This is a very drinkable beer. It has plenty going on. Lots to look for and definitely worth a look see.

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Photo of ReebShorts
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light Amber appearance, thin head, but sticking around. Pleanty of visibly carbonation bubbles.

Aroma is Biscuity, malts, and some fruits (maybe apple and cherry?)

Good mild flavor, and easy smooth drinker here. I Could pound back several of these easily. I'd imagine this would be a good beer to try for someone just starting the journey into craft beers.

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Photo of cheers2beers
2.53/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Has a amber colored liquid with a slightly off white head.Not much laceing left behind but you can find lots of beading on the inside.

Smell: Has a woody/nutty aroma with some sort of over ripe fruit(perhaps oranges and grapefruit) A light malt character with no detection of hops or alcohol.

Taste: The flavors are much like the nose,subtle sweet and light malts,a little bready,the fruits seem to play a better role in flavor but its not enough to make me go crazy about this beer,period.Vague alcohol hints in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a watery flow. Not much to get excited about here either.

Drinkability: I have had this beer before, it's easy find here in Texas.It's in almost every bar on draft but isn't much better. Just a good cheap,keep the buzz rolling,kinda beer.


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Photo of goochpunch
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear hazel/amber with a suitable head that lasts throughout the whole glass with some raised lacing present. In the nose, I get toasty malt and mild floral hops. The flavor is of cocoa-dusted honey biscuits with a floral finish. Very well balanced. Carbonation is moderate, but could use more of a viscous body for to support the flavors. As drinkable now as it was a few years back. A great stand-by beer.

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

I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would. I guess all the hype made me want to not like it, but I do. Relatively nice and smooth for it's kind. Light fruity taste combines nicely with a subtle malt. Quite drinkable.

The pedestal my friends have put it on I think is a little too high. Everyone seems to like this one and it's good, but not the best thing out there. In general New Belgium does good, solid beers. Definitely above average.

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Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled or on tap it pours a dark amber color, slight head. There is a malty smell with some biscuity notes. Good caramel malty flavor with a touch of hop bitterness. It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer. It is so drinkable. It's not hard to have several at one sitting.

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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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle purchased from LaBodega, in Riverside, CA for $??? (maybe $2.39) in March 2006 after a long absence from this area.

Poursa light-medium orange-amber with decent carbonation which creates a nice frothy head. A quick aroma of light sweet fruits and bready malts. Nothing complex, just nice and easy. Flavor is much the same way, quite enjoyable, but hard to describe in detail. A kiss of hops at the end keep this from being a complete malt bomb.

Well constructed and quite enjoyable- simple, but sometimes that's just what the doctor ordered.

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Photo of Crosling
2.06/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

After tasting this stuff for the first time in 2 or 3 years, it really did remind me of Devil’s Advocate. Fat tire isn’t quite as terrible as the DA, but it’s still pretty disgusting. Medium gold in color. Bland, tough and husky aroma with hints of biscuits and caramel in the nose. I really don’t understand how people can say Fat Tire is balanced. It tastes of grain husk. Did it get significantly less hoppy over the years?

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

When I first poured this beer, I liked the nice amber color. I was however disappointed in the head. There really wasn't one.

The aroma was nice, a nice crisp malty smell. A little weak, but not bad.

The taste was good, crisp with a nice malty flavor, followed by a balance hop taste. This beer felt a little thin for my preference, but it was ok. A nice drinking beer when it's all that avaible. Local super markets are carrying this so it's easy to get and it's definatly worth a try.

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Photo of brewcrew76
2.41/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz Spring 2006 Chicago Inaugural bottle
Best before June 9 2006

A - A transparent/clear light amber/copper with a thin off white head. A very pale/watery looking beer.

S - Hint of biscuit and malt, wet cardboard or maybe even old vegetables, mild sour/vomit smell.

T - Earthy biscuit, slight yeasty taste, slightly nutty. All the flavors just taste off for some reason. I also get some wet cardboard or old vegetables again.

M - Thin to medium and dry. Aftertaste feels like when you are at the dentist and they take the cotton out of your mouth.

D - The different aspects of this beer to not mesh together very well and I think I would pass if offered another. I purchased a bottle for my wife because she was curious about all the hype surrounding its arrival in Chicago and I ended up having to finish the bottle for her she disliked it so much. Hopefully this will open the door to other NB beers in Chicago.

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Photo of mghotbi
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear amber color, one finger cream colored head with decent retention and lacing.

Smells of rising dough - very yeasty - like walking into a bakery - with little in the way of floral hop note. Smooth on the tongue - on the verge of being creamy. Predominance of biscuit malts and roasted nuts with just a trace of hops; minimal alcohol warmth. Long bready finish. Very slight sourness characteristic of Belgian yeast.

Very drinkable. Flavorful but never overwhelming.Overall very unique. I've become quite partial to the biscuit malt and nutty flavor of this beer when I tire of some of the hoppier amber ales out there. Too biscuity and sweet to have all the time, though.

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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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