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Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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1,997 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: 1,997 | Ratings: 8,420
Photo of marksto
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the flagship brew from New Belgium, a very popular ale and I can understand why. It has enough quality to endear beer enthusiasts and is yet approachable enough to appeal to novices or those who dont normally drink craft beer.

It's flavor and aroma are dominated by major biscuity maltiness. Hop rates are not high but balance well to accent the malt. A very drinkable, refreshing ale.

The label features a Fat Tire cruiser bike. A visit to the brewery will find a bunch of these bikes parked outside as employees are awarded them and frequently ride them to work - cool!

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Photo of sevineyes
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler.

A: Orange cast with off-white head and lacing.

S: Rich and almost pungent. Very sweet and biscuit-like.

T: Nutty, bready sweetness. There's a nice hop presence in the mid-tones that gives a slight grassy taste to break up the big malt presence. Very subtle fruit presence near the end - some bananna, and even a yeastiness. Very distinct flavor that's hard to confuse, but easy to remember.

M: Moderate carbonation. Dry feel in the finish and satisfying until then.

D: Very drinkable.

Overall: Really a beer that has a taste to stay in your memory. A very nice amber that merits visiting time and again.

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Photo of twilight
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't get it.

Amber orangey with nice lacing and a nice flat bubbly head that laces atop the brew through out. Aroma is fruity, almost reminiscent of Froot Loops.0

The taste, however, is like hard water with spent grains, kind of like that bready taste I don't really like. Slight thin fruitiness with some roasty grain feeling and an acidic/tannin-like aftertaste that is more reminiscent of grain than hops. I don't get why this beer is so popular. Tastes like a souped up amber ale but with a strange aftertate.

This beer is okay, but it is neither here nor there, and the strange Froot Loops taste is pleasing and not pleasing at the same time. Certainly a good brew, but one that I will probably skip in the future. Unless I'm in Colorado, of course...

A special thanks to co-worker Natalie and her father for providing this for me.

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Photo of soulgrowl
4.12/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A warm bengal orange, clear as day. Foamy light beige head with meager retention but great lacing.

Smell: Buttery and rich, reminiscent of Brazil nuts, pine nuts, and creamed corn. Caramel malts, toasted wheat, and light, citric hops round out the aroma.

Taste: Everything from the aroma is here, and then some. More hoppy than the nose let on. Strong nutty taste. A bit more malty than I generally prefer for the style, but still very well-balanced with a pleasantly dry, lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Big, soft bubbles create a thick, creamy froth in your mouth. A bit sticky. Great for the style.

Drinkability: I think I could drink this every day. A great sit-back-and-relax beer. The flavor and aroma are so nice, they really help take your mind off everything else. Like meditation in a bottle.

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Photo of mynie
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice pour. A sparklyn new penny pinkcopper with a nice white head and good lacing.

Smells of caramel, strong and sweet, along with a hint of biscuit. Not much complexity, but it's still quite nice.

Tastes of sweet caramel up front, moving into a middle of honey-soaked bread and caramel, ending on a refreshing mix of sweet fruit and dry hops. Very nice.

This is a great session beer that's earned its reputation as a reliable American classic.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle best by 02 Dec 05, hey that's today! Poured a fairly typical amber ale with a thinnish off-white head. Nice lacing. Slight chill haze.

Smelled something unexpected here; a hint of cheese! Never got that from a beer before. A good smell, however.

Tasted fairly mild, more flavour becoming evident as it warmed up. Slight cidery taste.
Mouthfeel a little thin, reasonable carbonation.

A nice unspectacular brew; quite drinkable.

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Photo of johnyeast
4.28/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber in color. Slight head with a carmel color. Crisp taste and very drinkable. May seem an average amber ale to most but I find it one of my favorites. I could drink Fat Tire over and over, and I have. My first encounter with Fat Tire and New Belgium Brewing was in 1997 and since I live in the East I've been hooked ever since. Also helps me to remember good times in Colorado. I wonder how much of beer taste is tied to memories of people, places, things? Does this cloud judgement I wonder?

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Photo of yelterdow
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Freshness date: 05DEC05.

Served at forty-five minutes over fridge temperature into a Fuller's becker, with much anticipation.

Fat Tire; I never thought the day would come that I would get to sample this classic amber. A friend brought a case back from Colorado to Jersey, and here I sit before my only bottle. Time to hop on the bike...

Appearance- A very pale amber that supports a rugged, two finger head on a rough pour. The bubbles are unusually large and loud, finally quieting to a thin mat. Almost perfect clarity.

Smell- If you could crank the levels of "sweet" and "toasty" both up to 10 simultaniously, and then take a whiff, you would have Fat Tire. Frankly, I have never smelled anything like it... sometimes with a fantastic quadrupel, I find myself with nose buried into a snifter, taking in the magic of the Belgian ways... but never have I done so with a "domestic amber". I get toasted sesame seeds and fresh bread from a bakery just under way at 5:00 in the morning. Magnificent.

Taste- Well done biscuits with sesame seeds, a nice malty character with only a trace of hops. Lingering toastiness in the mouth long after the swallow.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Small, sharp, aggressive carbonation that might best be countered with food... a bit much on its own. The huge toasted maltiness begs for full attention, and grabs it by drink's end. I am glad to have sampled this truly unique beer from a city I probably will never have the pleasure of visiting in the near future.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A creamy white head over a translucent amber body. Great lace and average retention. Smells of warm biscuits and caramel malts, floral hops. Hints of fruity esters and Belgian yeast. Biscuit and caramel malt flavors with an underlying hop bitterness. Light sweetness. Lean body, smooth in the mouth with a lingering slight bitterness. Very drinkable.

A great session beer. This is definately an American-Beligan hybrid, and therfore in my opinion deserves very high marks within the category of American Amber Ale. Despite its rapidly increasing distribution and what I can only guess must be exponential growth in production, this continues to be a solid brew and a wonderful specimen for beer reeducation. I hope the wider distribution is foretelling a mass shift in American tastes. Thank the gods for New Belgium.

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Photo of pezoids
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a thin to almost no head. Bright and glowing orange-amber color with a decent amount of carbonation in the body. The aroma is cloying with honey and molasses in the forefront and sweet grapefruit in the back. The taste is malty, fruity and lemony that leans towards the sweet side, although a floral honey bitterness is detected. Overall - solid body with a complimentary bitterness. Always happy to have New Belgium's flagship brew. A Classic.

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Photo of merlin48
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Colorado cult classic pours a clear, honey amber with a small almond hued head that quickly falls to a lasting film. Some patchy lace is left behind. Aroma boasts toasty biscuity malt, a note of caramel, and some earthy hops. Mouthfeel is light medium with moderate carbonation. Tastes pretty good for what many label a "crossover beer". Toasty biscuit drenched in caramel gives it a sweetness that is well balanced by a soft earthy hop bitterness. Some yeasty breadiness adds a nice touch. Very pleasant tasting and well balanced. Nothing exceptional, but this is a skillfully crafted amber that has a charming simplicity. I would buy this on occasion if it were available locally.

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Photo of PatYoda
3.19/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great appearance. Bright copper with a long lasting white head and good lacing. Smell is faint, but decent. Toasted grain and a little yeast in there. Taste is very subdued and watery even, but also not bad. What is there has ok flavor I guess. The toasted bread is very evident, but pretty much everything else seems to be missing. There is a bit of an earthy mineral taste also, maybe from the water, maybe from hops. The finish is nonexistant. Surprisingly, the mouthfeel is very nice. Medium bodied for an amber ale, and very creamy on the palate. Not my favorite, but certainly not bad.

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

Aroma was the first thing that hit me - distinctly Belgian, very pleasing. Color is a light/bright amber. Creamy head that leaves behind some lacing. The taste, while not bad, was a slight let down - The lovely aroma had me expecting some Belgian 'funk' to be present in the flavor, but it was missing. Instead the flavor is sort of typical American Amber. Not bad at all, but not up to expectations either.

Note: I'm in a hotel room without any proper glassware. Drinking out of a "rocks glass".

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

Pours a clear lighter amber color with a finger and half cream colored head. Does leave behind some decent lace.

Aroma is toasted caramel malt some light grainy notes some light citrus and grassy hops noted.

Taste is good, toasted grainy malt with a good supply of caramel little too sweet like I remember it but pretty nice. Finishes with that lingering sweetness and a light hop hit citrus/grassy variety mixed.

Mouthfeel is medium good level of carbonation helps the flavor along.

Drinkability is good a decent amber not gret but decent can see why this makes a good cross over brew the newbies enjoy sweet beers. Thanks go to Dertbert for this sample I had many times ages ago.

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Photo of walleye
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from my own private keg that I got for bieristguts wedding on july 2nd in colorado springs.poured a nice orange amber, witha nice medium sized head, hard to tell about the lacing in a plastic glass. aroma toasty malts, caramel, bready. flavor the caramel flavor is the (for those of you who know about sanders) kind you pour over ice cream. nice malts and some bitterness. a very good ber that you could drink alot of. wait I did drink a lot of this stuff I wanted to get my monies worth

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this in a pint glass, poured from the bottle. Nothing special in appearance to be honest. Just an amber ale...

The flavor was very balanced. But this was kind of a bad thing in my opinion. There was almost a negation of flavor. Maybe a little biscuit, but no other malty flavors were detected. Nor did I detect any hops in a major way. Just balanced.

I didn't really like this, and I probably won't get it again unless nothing else is available. I guess it's just a gateway beer.

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

Pours out a orange-amber, clear with a thin white head of bubbles and nicely streaming carbonation. Left quite a bit of lacing in my glass.

Smell is bread and biscuits, apples, and a light caramel smell. Very subdued hoppiness.

Flavor is toasty and bready as well, but the caramel really gives it a little extra kick for me. Dry finish with a nice little hop bite that rounds out the big malt nicely.

Overall: Always a treat to have someone sneak me a bottle of this from the West Coast.

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Photo of clippersfanbob
2.98/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This well-crafted beer pours a beautiful medium amber with hints of brick red and a nice off-white head that laces well down the glass. A moderately malty aroma follows with notes of honey and nuts. This is a supremely easy-drinking amber with a good balance between malt and hops, and a pleasant smokey character. The taste is marked by flavors of nuts, wood, and a delicate splash of citrus, with a clean, crisp finish.

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

I sampled a couple of these on tap at the 1505 in Modesto, CA.

Served in standard pint glass the beer was slightly hazy tan with a decent tan head. Good lacing.

My first impression when smelling this beer was sweet malts, some grass and a bit of hard candy.

The taste tracks very similar to the smell. This is a sweet beer with hops pushed into the background. You also get some fruit and a dash of nuts. Not bad at all if you like a sweeter beer.

The mouth was above average with good pinpricks of carbonation. Drinkablity is fine, but two is about enough for me as the beer is a bit to sweet to be a session beer.

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Photo of theozag
2.28/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer appears in the glass as a clear yet dark amber after pouring a deeper wood brown colors. The eggshell-white head fades very fast.

Smell is faint but what I can detect seems sharply sour.

The start of Fat Tire is rough with plenty of hop bitters. The beer then settles medium-bodied, bitter, and with a distinctly heavy taste. Flavors in this beer include caramel and oats, but it is overall slightly dry in the mouth and unpleasant. Finish provides the strongest of the flavors in this beer with just one extra bitter hit as Fat Tire heads out of your mouth. There is a lasting but not terribly bad aftertaste.

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

Appearance – A light amber-copper, one finger head dwindles to broken islands of foam and lots of lacing from top to bottom in a gothic church window pattern.

Smell – malt, grass, mild hopiness

Taste – moderate heavy sweet malt. There is a wonderful burst of malt at the beginning of the sip, followed by a brief hop taste that rises and falls across the palate pretty quickly and never outsteps the sweet malts. The substantial malt body carries through the long finish.

Mouthfeel – medium-rare. The malts are so significant in this one, it's almost easy to overlook that is has a surprisingly light mouthfeel.

Drinkability – I think the super impressive malts combined with the very light mouthfeel are a large part of the very good drinkability of this beer. I think New Belgian struck gold with this one.

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Photo of jdm
2.62/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

pours a one and a half finger head and a light copper color. the head is creamy white and fairly dense. earthy, musty smell that is not very appealing, like a cross between tea and fresh mud. heavy on the mud. substantial mouth feel. the slick hangs around a bit. medium carbonation. i taste the mud as well. at least it is sweet mud, as there is ample evidence of malt along with it. i am not getting past that aroma. this just apparently is not my beer as i have read a sampling of other reviews but cannot agree. ps; i know i have a distaste, or should i say dis-smell, for fuggles as an aroma hop and i am pretty sure that is what is going on here with the earthy aroma, so if you don't have this personal dislike, disregard the above review.

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3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A light orange amber body shows a bit of bubbley carbonation. Head is a thick foamy tan that holds its form well.

Nose brings a raw malty feel to the nose, along with that is a fresh field note of wheat. You deffinetly notice a herbal backround also.

Enters the mouth with a distinct nutty, herbal feel. Maybe a hint of hazel nut. A very raw fresh feel overall to this beer but it is smooth and mellow, wery easy to drink.

It finishes soft and fuzzy on the mouth.

A very nice american belgium amber. A very clean refreshing amber. Early fall is a good time for this one to be tasted. Nothing really fat about it though.

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Photo of charlatan
2.38/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle has December freshness date. Beer pours a fairly dark amber with a minimal head. It has an unpleasant musty basement smell which suggests malt domination. Its malty flavour reminds me at best of chocolate graham crackers, and at worst of stale digestives. Does have decent carbonation.

I had thought that perhaps my draught experiences of Fat Tire were unfortunately with stale beer, but apparently this was not the case.

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Photo of SteveO1231
3.79/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice pour out of the bottle into a tulip glass
A dark amber yellow color with a thin white head
Vey good flavor, a light a first feel on the palate.
rich malt flavor with a nutty/fruity finish
I enjoyed this beer with an alfredo pasta dish and it complimented it nicely
Very good if you are a wit beer or pale ale fan

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,420 ratings.
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