Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

8,648 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,648 |  Reviews: 2,042
Photo of garymuchow
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Obtained from a friend of mine who brought it back from Colo. when he was on a business trip. Thanks John!
Initially a pretty standard pale malt aroma with a pinch of flowery hops. This was followed by a very pleasing bisquit aroma. Head leaves too quickly. Color is a nice orange amber and very clear. Flavor is very much like the aroma with the bisquit quality leaving a very pleasant lingering. Not much complexity beyond that. Good balance of carbonation with a fair amount of fullness from the carbonation. Medium to thinner mouthfeel. Slightly rich.
This is an enjoyable and unique beer. Well crafted and highly drinkable. It's popularity doesn't surprised me, it's unique without being excessive.

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Photo of Rumrunner
2.47/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

16 Oz. Pint style glass
This was not my favorite amber ale. I personally did not like it. The appearace is nice. Medium amber with a small head. Nice bubbles when looking through the glass. The smell was better than the taste. Nice biscuit scents with mild hops and a delicate fruitiness.

Here is my problem. The flavor. The biscuit turned to charred burnt toast. All the fruit flavors were gone and the malt took over and crushed the hops. No balance and the burnt flavor killed it for me.

I found the mouthfeel and the drinkability unpalatable. After every sip there was an oily feel in my mouth. This oily feel left a tang flavor that I did not enjoy. This ale did not go down well for me.

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Photo of cokes
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Earthy pale amber under a virtually non-existant foam.
Bready nose. Doughy mosty, but with underlying toasty wafts.
Pretty straight-by-the-nose taste profile. Biscuit malts up front, leaning towards toasted white bread by the midsection. Supressed flourish of cocoa, and ghosts of fruitiness. Lightly floral hop closure.
Nothing ever stands up and asserts itself. It is not bad, just bland.
Medium light bodied. Easy drinker, but pretty dang boring.

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

Drank on tap at New Belgium BC. 19 IBU, made with Willamette, Goldings, and Magnum hops, Pale, C-40, Munich, and Victory malts. Clear, light caramel forming a thin white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is fruity, biscuity, toasty, grainy with light must and apples. Taste begins with floral hops, delicate brown toasty malts, and a earthy finishing bitterness. Crisp, extremely brisk mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation and lightly dry finish. The bottled version takes awards for looking nicer, but the draft version has a smoother mouthfeel and more aromatic complexity.

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Photo of alittlehazy
4.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark-ish amber color into the glass with only about a finger or so of head at the top which dissipated quickly.

The only smell that really stands out is a nice sweet malt aroma.

Mouthfeel is alright, and I really enjoy the taste of this. Nice and refreshing maltiness that I liked immediately.

This is an all around tasty beer thats good for putting a few down on a relaxed night. I like malty ales and this is one that goes down smooth and has very little problems with it. It might not be exceptional, but it sure isn't sub par.

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

This beer did not measure up to it's appearance which was a lustrous clear light amber. I thought someone had pulled me a pint of cask ale in the U.K. Head retention was excellent and lace sheeted my imperial pint glass. It was kind of average city after that though. A benign aroma was followed by a mostly malty, lightly hopped flavor. This is a winner for me usually but I expect a little more from U.S. good beer. Not a bad beer by any means but not very distinctive when put up against other domestic ambers.

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

Standard in the SW the way Shipyard Export is in Maine, which is a description that won't help anybody.

Put it this way: I visited three hotels in the state of Arizona, and beyond the usual suspects, this was the only ale offered at all three. This is a beer that should be concerned with continuity and consistancy. Having had it in several instances, I did think that the New Belgium people had done a good job with that. The sampling I had first was served too cold, but it is the one I reviewed.

Using Anderson Valley as my baseline for ambers, (I cannot think of one I've had in ME) Fat Tire was lighter in both color and malt flavor presence. It had more hope bite than I would have expected from an "amber" style. I had readied myself for a caramel flavor and had to accept a lingering malt sweetness in the finish.

Maybe I should use Fat Tire as my amber baseline: nothing too special, but nothing out of place. Seemed like a bridge between brown and pale without asserting itself in either direction too much.

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

Appearance: light copper, brilliant clarity, thick and creamy off-white head on hard pour, great head retention and lacing

Aroma: malty sweetness, fresh grains (crystal malt?), a faint underlying scent of something like moist devil's food cake, bready/biscuity background, twinge of hops

Flavor: bready/biscuit-like initial flavor with a slight sweetness, smooth European hop flavor comes in as biscuits fade out, semi-dry finish with just a touch of bitterness, superbly balanced

Mouthfeel: medium-light body, crisp carbonation, some astringency

Drinkability: very refreshing and quaffable, a good multi-purpose beer (session drinking, binging, after-work savoring, or pairs well with most foods)

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Photo of Reidrover
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz brown bottle withn the famous fat tired bike on the label.
Appearance is pretty darn good nice clear amber coloured beer, with a largish off white head that shrinks but still persists.
smell is malty..it actually starts to smell like fresh baked biscuits..pretty good.
mmm i like the taste it has a rather creamy consistancy..but i tatse the chocolate type malts and some slight hoping behind actually very nice.
Very creamy smooth on the tongue for an amber..its pretty cool stuff.
An exceptionally drinkable amber..and its even better on tap..good stuff.

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

Pours a light amber with a small head that disappeared rather quickly. Smell is like all good amber/reds with a bit of hops.

Taste is a well balanced amber with a bit of hops finishing of the flavor. Mouthfeel has a good bit of carbonation that finishes of clean and a bit dry.

This is one of those classic beers that you can find everywhere, everybody can drink and enjoy, is fairly cheap, and makes a great party drink since you can drink several of them easily. I usually have a few of these in the fridge for all of my friends that haven't quite taken the full plunge into beer advocacy.

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Photo of BigHead
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fat Tire is in almost every restaurant out here in Phoenix, so I end up drinking it often rather than succumb to the macros of Bud, Miller, etc. that are on tap. I find it to be a sweet beer, malty for sure. The lack of hops does detract from its overall character, but I am not one to hold a grudge as long as the experience is still a good one. Depending on the pourer, you might get some head...on the beer that is. The copper red color is nice as well as its drinkability. It is a sweet beer so if you don't care for that, then you'll only be able to down a couple. I recommend as a good party beer, unless you get Coors Light and hope for the twins to show up.

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

Notes from a trip to Colorado and Wyoming - May 2002 Purchased in Loveland, CO

Color of deep golden yellow with small white head. Smell was very musty of grass and floral hop. It reminded me of that weird powder thats on a balloon just before blowing it up. Taste was almost the same, grainy grass like, citrusy sweet and bitterly dry, kinda like a bad grape. Feel was a little light, and reminded me of a dry wine. Its an average ale.

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

Pours a clear honey gold in color with a nice frothy off-white head. It slowly fades to a dense even layer and is fed by strong carbonation.
Slightly musty aroma. Malty with a hint of corn. There is also a mild hop aroma.
Taste is in line with the aroma. It’s well balanced and has a nice toasted malt flavor.
The head lends to a creamy mouth feel. Medium-light body and there is fairly high carbonation.
Overall, a pretty drinkable brew, especially since my local beer store threw this sixer at me gratis. Thanks guys!

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

So I walked into Putnam's store today and was picking out some beer for a party when he offered up a bottle of Fat Tire that he had lying around. I'd never had it since it doesn't get shipped out here, so I gave it whirl.

So here's the review: it's freakin malty.

In all seriousness, it's got a strong malt nose and a stronger malty taste. It's a drinkable brew for sure, but the excessively malt-sweet flavor is so potent that I couldn't possibly have more than one or two at a time. Poured will very little head and had a fairly simplistic aroma to it. Tasted like it was barely hopped at all, really. Certainly not bad by any means, but considering The Legend, The Mystery, The Mystique of Fat Tire, I was expecting more.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.84/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fat Tire has a bit of a hype around it, especially in regions, like mine, that do not receive this Colorado amber. What could be the reason, I wonder, why do so many rhapsodize so dreamily about it? Is it the equal or better of world classics from Europe, or does it stand out against America's legendary micros? I was determined to find out...
Fine, bubbly, but brief, head, over a bright amber color. Nice fruity touches in the aroma, and the more I "drink in" the nose, the more I seem to find...tropical fruits, mango, banana?, peach, apricot, a hint of gentle spices, and a whiff of flowers, even. Nice grainy, gritty texture, but overall, very smooth palate. Hops seem to be lying low, and malt does it's part, without taking the spotlight. Slight sourness in the finish, later absorbed by tasty sweetness. Well-balanced, and enjoyable. I can imagine a pleasant session with these.
So why the cult status? I have a few theories. 1. Funny name. 2. There's a bike on the label. 3. It's an easily consumed, delicious ale that accompanies fond memories of seeing jam bands in Colorado, and the perfect thing to stock in the cooler at the post-show drum jam. Enjoy, all you hippies, enjoy!!!

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Photo of LarryKemp
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This amber beer poured clear with a fair, short lasting head. Its aroma was very subtle. I was in a smokey steak place bar so tha ambient odors may have overridden the beer's aroma. The beer malt predominated the taste. I did not detect hops. The mouthfeel was light. The beer went well with the chicken fried steak. It complemented my meal as opposed to upstaging it. The beer tasted well enough that I enjoyed it over conversation while waiting to be seated and after the meal.

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Photo of TXHops
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

-2 kinds of Munich Malt
-Caramel Malt
-Magnum, Goldings, Willamette hops
-16 IBU's
-5.2% ABV
-12.2 Plato

I can remember trying Fat Tire in Santa Fe back in about '96, when I was just starting to get interested in beer. I thought it was unremarkable then, though all the members of my family all thought it was pretty good. That was before Fat Tire became the next Sam Adams Boston Lager. Now it's even available in most restaurants in Dallas, sitting on tap next to Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller light.

As always, Fat Tire pours a textbook amber, with a head that appears to be scared of the air, it dissipates so fast. A beautiful waft of aromatic Munich malts rush from the glass and offer the beer's best characteristic--a heady, malty, fresh bread smell. The taste is quite unique, in my opinion. No other beers taste quite like Fat Tire. There's a slight touch of diacetyl in the body, giving the sense of slipperiness and creaminess to the flavor. Add that to the medium-bodied, malty flavor, and the complete lack of hop aroma and flavor and voila--you have the fastest growing micro beer in America!

Not great, but nowhere near as bad as the press it gets from hardcore beer drinkers. Some hops would be nice, but they're not required. The lack of them allows a bit of sourness to develop late, after the finish. IMO, this is one of the best crossover beers available and one I frequently drink in a pinch.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Crystal clear light copper appearance. Thin and lusciuos beige head. Lacing is very nice. Clean and biscuity malt tones on the nose. Interesting flavor profile. The aspect that stands out the most to me is a unique mellow dry quality. Almost alt-like. I wonder if this is cold conditioned at all. Typical amber qualities are present, but not to a big enough extent. Not enough maltiness or hoppiness. It's more biscuity and toasty. Not bad by any means, but seems a little watered down. Medium body at best. More light medium-light in body. Decent brew. Glad I tried. But won't track it down any more.

Thanks to Senior and Jerry for the sample.

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Photo of Morris729
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright golden orange color with a thin white head that quickly fades into a thin lace. Strong malt and grain notes dominate the nose with a bit of fruit. Sweet malts come through up front in the taste along with some biscuity flavors. Almost too sweet. A mild hop bitterness in the finish helps to balance the sweetness somewhat. A good step up from the macros.

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Photo of Bruiser81
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First tried this one on tap but reviewed it from a bottle. Poured a very clear amber color. The head lingered for most the beer and it left foamy sheets on the glass. The smell is light and almost fruity. The taste is a bit bitter but not bad. The colder it gets the better. I go with this beer because it is easy to drink and you don't get full. This beer is good for those wanting to try something other than the mass produced low quality beer.

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Photo of Gusler
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a translucent golden amber color with a mediocre sized head that is frothy texture and bright white in color with the lace a fine concealing sheet. Malt dominates the nose; crisp and clean, lightly sweet and so is the start. Top is middling in feel. Finish is bitingly acidic; the hops pleasant enough to spark my interest, dry as a bone aftertaste. The first New Belgium beer I sampled, and a decent everyday beer, which isn’t all bad in my books.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I sampled Fat Tire Amber Ale on tap at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, MO.

The appearance was good: amber in color with a nice white foam head that left good lace.

The aroma was very modest but smelled of malt.

The taste was very hopped, but was thin and a bit sour.

The mouthfeel was thin, and mild with very little carbonation.

The drinkability was OK.

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Photo of maxpower
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color, light foamy head, some sheets of lace in the glass. Flowery fruity, light malty aroma, starts sweet fruity flavors, dry finish. Light body with a watery mouthfeel, a good brew for converting macroswill drinkers.

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

This is a friendly ale. When I use the term "friendly" I am implying that most beer lovers, malt lovers, hop heads and plain ol' enthusiasts can find something enjoyable about this beer. (Or at least I can see how that could be possible).

The appearance is a light-nut brown with a tinge of orange. The head poured light and fluffy.

The main flavor is a toasty-malt tone. I smell, as well as taste, a little bit o' fruit upfront. The hops finish rather unassumingly...leaving this beer tasting rather herbally fresh.

There is nothing outstanding or over-the-top about this beer, but that is what makes it highly drinkable. It's neither here nor there...it just is. The Tao of Ale.

Grab a few friends and sling a few back...you'll have a good time.

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

I discovered this beer while living in Arizona. One of my mountain-biking buddies has a cycling shirt with the Fat Tire logo on it. Being the beer lover that I am, I found some at the local Albertson's and really enjoyed it.

The color is nice and clear with aromas matching the label: fruity and malty. Excellent, clean finish. As stated in a prior review, nothing to stop you from having a few at a time.

Unfortunately, they do not distribute on the East Coast. Still one of my favorite beers.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,648 ratings.
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