Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style Ale
8,929 Ratings
Fat Tire Belgian Style AleFat Tire Belgian Style 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:
After a trip to Europe, New Belgium’s co-founder returned to Colorado from Belgium with a handful of ingredients and an idea. Two years later, Fat Tire – named in honor of his inspired bike ride across the Belgian countryside – pedaled its way into the hearts of beer drinkers. Now considered an iconic centerpiece of the craft beer movement, Fat Tire represents the American spirit of craft brewing ingenuity and an irresistible imagination that reminds us all to rediscover our playful side.

Fat Tire’s unique flavor profile originates from the late 1930s, when local Belgian breweries aimed to satisfy the tastes of visiting British soldiers. English floral hops, subtle malt sweetness and spicy, fruity notes from Belgian yeast made for a balanced yet magical combination. These same characteristics are at the heart of Fat Tire. Classified as an Ameri-Belgo style ale by the revered Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup competitions, Fat Tire blends a fine malt presence, fresh herbal hop balance and a touch of fruity yeast to offer drinkers everywhere a timeless craft beer experience with a rare blend of balance and complexity.

Added by kbub6f on 10-07-2000

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,929 |  Reviews: 2,084
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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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with ample, soapy head, good retention. Aromas are like nothing else I've smelled. Smells like wet hay/grass, biscuits. Medium carbonation. Has some flavors I can't quite describe. It's certainly malty with just a little hop balance. Overall, I feel like this is the perfect everyday beer, pairs great with some pizza or other light fare. Not my favorite NB brew, but certainly has its place.

Edit: Though I'm not going to change my score for FT, I will concede this beer has grown on me considerably and has become a constant beer in my fridge that is perfect for just about any occasion, probably my favorite from NB now despite my thoughts a month ago.

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Photo of kgotcher
4.37/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off I have a serious bias for this beer. It is one of my all time favorite and I have probably drunk more of this particular beer than any other in my entire life. Honestly this is the beer that got me interested in real beer so many years back, back when it was a Colorado exclusive beer and I couldn't find it on every corner store across America. Now it is a definately favorite for watching a hockey game (go Avs), or bringing along to a party or for post mt biking session.

Pours deep copper to amber color with nice dense one finger white head and some nice sticky lacings.

Aroma is unmistakable, huge buscuit malt aroma with a fruity aroma like strawberries. Taste is also massively biscuit malt and grainy with just a bit of hops for balance. Some fruity sweetness is detectable but that malty flavor just dominates everything. Mouthfeel is refreshing in spite of the strong grainy malt flavor, Light to medium body goes down very easy and smooth with just a bit of grainy dryness in the end. Nice malty aftertaste is a great bonus.

I know this beer is somewhat shallow and it's major attribute seems to be it's drinkability but man, what other beer with this much malty flavor is so darn drinkable? Also this beer does not truly fit the amber ale style guidelines and is so unique compared to the many amber ales that are available. It is really in a catagory by itself.

This is one of the finest session beers in the world if you ask me. Highly enjoyable any season for any reason, tons of flavor and easy to find. Enjoy one soon and often.

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Photo of scottoale
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire, fat bomber with a best before: 05MAY06, pours a rather nice amber rich liquid with a bubbley off-white, finger and a half of head. Good carbonation, mild lacing.

First smell is a bit off, smells a bit sour and has a sweaty sock aroma, not very appealing.

A bit reluctant to taste it because of the smell...hmmm, tastes ok. Another sip, ok, tastes better yet with a roasty malt twang. Fairly yummy malt flavor with a mellow, smooth finish. Hard to describe as the hops don't stand out and seems a bit watery to me.

Mouthfeel is ok, a very light body and a bit weak in alcohol make it quite drinkable, but IMO, very uneventful. I've had this before and don't remember it tasting quite like this, bad bottle perhaps?

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

I picked up a six pack of Fat Tire to taste and review. I poured this beer in to a pint glass.

Pours a pale amber color and is a clear. A thin off-white head forms on the surface of the beer, and dissipates to a thin ring, which produces minimal lacing on the glass.

The smell is faint a little malty and earthy.

The taste is also fairly malty, with roasted grain flavors.

Mouth feel is light, and very smooth.

This is a very drinkable beer, with appealing aromas and flavors. The flavors are very well balanced. Fat Tire is a nice substitute for American macros, far better flavored and far more full bodied. I wouldn’t mind having several of these in a session. I will certainly drink Fat Tire again.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks go HardTarget for the chance to sample a classic here...
Label states a suggested serving temperature (45 deg F), ABV, and best before 16DEC05. Enjoyed on 25FEB06.

Appearance: Light orange (dare I say amber??) crystal clear pour with a white head the quickly fades to a ring around the circumference of the glass.

Smell: Light toasty notes, wheat bread, a touch of yeast.

Taste: A light nuttiness, carmel, a touch of wheat bread, some honey-like sweetness near the finish, a touch of yeast at the end.

Mouthfeel: light-bodied and a touch overcarbonated but appropriate.

Drinkability: Immensely quaffable. Nothing off or offensive here. I can see why this would be a good cross-over beer. Glad I could try this classic brew.

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

A reddish/coppper color with an off white head that disapates very quickly. The scent of malt comes through with atouch spiciness at the end. The taste is very mellow, very much like the smell, the sweetness of the malt and then the spicy hop flavor at the end. In the mouth it feels slightly watery, but has some weight to at the end. This beer is very middle of the road, amost a politically correct beer. It tries very hard not to offend with any strong taste, which may describe its popularity, not to adventureous for people trying a craft beer. This could be a very good starter beer for people.

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Photo of ark1ebs
3.86/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not much of a beer reviewer (yet)...but can tell you that this one has a special place in my heart. As a young man in college we used to make trips from the University of Arkansas campus to Missouri or Oklahoma to get this one. It was first sampled on a ski trip to Durango, CO...and the pursuit of the legendary amber ale was on!

I agree with the buttery biscuit taste assessment. It's just a highly-comfortable taste that you want to experience til the end!

I do like all kinds of beer...but I can't think of a single beer within a category I love more than this!

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Photo of tonistruth
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bomber

A-copper color with a white/slight off white head. Mouth-watering apperance. Very appealing

S-strong smell of buttery biscuits, noticed some toffee scents in there also.

T-definetly taste those buttery biscuits as well, more butter than biscuit though. Finishes quick and dry, not much if any lingering after taste. Leaves a nice buttery feeling taste on ur lips though.

M- much less than thick, definetly more than thin though. Nice feel on the palate.

D-drinking this is not problem at all. Goes down easy, really easy. Dont be surprised if you are seeing the bottom of your glass too soon. That can be majorly attributed to the dry finish though.

Without a doubt a unique, enjoyable, and must give a try beer. I wont be stocking up on it, but i wouldnt turn it away either.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a light amber crystal clear body with a nice off-white soapy thick head. The carbonation is lots of tiny bubbles slowly rising to the surface.

S- The smell of biscuit malt is fresh with some pale malt in the background. The noble hops add a nice accent to the big biscuit aroma.

T- The taste of dry fresh biscuit malt is bold and refreshing. There is a faint earthiness and corn note but it is very subtle and gives some depth to the malt. The finish has a very soft noble hop bitterness.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with fizz texture.

D- This beer highlights the great dry roast of biscuit malt. It is a refreshing twist on an Amber and is unique.

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

Poured from a bomber bottle into a New Belgium glass. My Fat Tire poured a bright reddish amber color with a thick foamy white head with some lacing. As others have noted, there is not alot to go on smell-wise, some hoppy notes but nothing too distinct, some fruit maybe. The taste gave me a bit more of the hops in there with some sweetness and a bit of caramel. Overall this is an enjoyable beer that is very drinkable as I can attest to from several experiences with this one.

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Photo of Tallboy
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours: out a dark cherry/amber, clear with a moderate white head.

Smell: was pretty average, nothing spectacular cept' maybe apples

Taste :A decent mix of hopps,yeast,caramel was all I could realy taste. It wasn't as good as people have claimed, but in no way bad.

Mouthfeel: A tad dry than I would prefer or recomend.

Overall: One of those "Once in a blue moon" brews.

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Photo of UncleFlip
2.84/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honey coloured liquid- ever so slightly hazy. Modest off white head falls at a decent rate, leaving just a bit of lace behind.

Loses some major points on smell. There's not much there to go on, but what there is smells a bit ashy and old. Hopefully the flavour is better. :)

Flavour is kind of raw grainy, with not much else going on. There's just a hint of hop bitterness under.

Liquid is just the thin side of medium. Carbonation is prominent, but not annoying.

Drinkability is OK....but I give it marks off because it's a personal rating, and I'm just not that crazy about this one. If there were more going on with it, maybe it'd do better.

Be well

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Photo of patrick16o
4.22/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber hue with a modest head and a good amount of bubbling. Head dissapates slowly. The aroma has a strong sweet malt character with hints of chocolate and toasted malts. Flavor is malty, quite toasty and sweet. It reminds me of a roasted marshmallow or a smore. There is a hint of hops at the end to balance it out nicely. Mouthfeel is good. It is medium bodied and I could easily drink a couple more of these. Very tasty.

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

Poured a clean amber into my glass with a fluffy head, which sadly remained but a few minutes before subsiding with little lacing to remind me it was once there.
Right from the pour you know this beer is about malt. Heady biscuity aromas prepare you for what is a very malty beer. Again, smooth biscuit caresses the palate, with a slightly grainy finish, and only a little bitter bite. The taste is lovely, but you won't find a complexity of flavours to distinguish from.
Very smooth, medium bodied. Quite drinkable. I will be trying this again sometime.

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Photo of medic25
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's become a bit of a tradition now that any trips out west will end with me stashing a few of these in my carry-on luggage. The beer pours a nice, clean amber color, with a very pleasant malty aroma. The taste is very nicely balanced; biscuity malt flavor with enough hops to keep things even (I thought the bitterness of the hops was much more apparent when I had it on tap). Drinkability is off the scale; this is a great session beer. I only pray that someday New Belgium will see the light and start shipping to the East Coast.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.91/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Nice transparent body with a low sticky head.
S - Malty, grainy aroma with only a trace of sweetness in the background.
T - Malty flavor with light bitterness and thin sweetness. Very simple.
M - Low carbonation, not very crisp. Medium body.
D - This is a easy drinking beer, but has little else going for it.

Best before date: 17Feb06
Consummed on: 31Jan06

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

Time was, I liked Fat Tire a whole, whole lot. I'm sure the recipe and production techniques haven't changed in the intervening time, however I think my own personal tastes have shifted to where this beer doesn't quite do it for me the way it once did. As such, whenever I'm at an establishment where Fat Tire is for sale, there are usually enough other beers available that preclude me from buying Fat Tire. But when a case is on sale for $15, I have no problem picking it up.

Whereas Fat Tire likes to promote its "feat of balance," I personally feel the beer leans heavily upon its biscuity-malt character, without much hops to equalize things. Then again, if I were to seek balance I'd look in an APA (okay, or a good hoppy Brown Ale). That's just where my tastes are nowadays.

I don't want to sound too down on Fat Tire. I think it is a fine beer, well-made, and certainly drinkable. I think the aroma shows a side of maltiness that you don't usually run into, and to be fair I detect more hop bitterness with subsequent sips. As I said, not too long ago I was a very big fan. But my tastes being what they are now, I tend to prefer a beer that does not showcase cereal, biscuity malt flavors in the way that Fat Tire -- quite deftly I might add -- does.

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Photo of mbunje
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass

Aggressive pour yielded 1/2 inch of bone white head. quickly dissapates. Very clear amber/copper color. Looks clean/pure. Little lacing

Smell is chocolate and lemon. Unique. Well done for an amber.

Taste is malt and bready

Dry, carbonated feel.

Drinkable brew, not overpowering by any means.

Fairly boring brew, good for a few beers, but flavor is a bit lacking and it doesn't leave me with an impression.

I bought a 12 pack of bombers from Costco, UNREFRIGERATED. I know, I know, ....save it. I'll re-taste with a tap drawn beer or a cold bottle to see if there is any improvement.

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Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 8,929 ratings