Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale
8,859 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,859 |  Reviews: 2,071
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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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer isn't available in Ohio so some buddies and I went to some great measures to acquire a case of Fat Tire. I'd heard a lot of great things about it and was eager to sample it. It's a good, solid amber ale, but after about two sips I looked at one of my friends and we were both saying it's kind of bland, where's the flavor. Again it's a good beer, but we were expecting a little more from it after all we'd heard about it.
Copper in color, not a lot of head. Aroma pretty standard malty amber ale type aroma. Good malty, biscuity, but low-key flavor. In true Belgian style, the beer does have a good amount of complexity, but again it's pretty low-keyed. The fruit and spice flavors are evident, but stay in the background. Hops are average for an amber ale. Solid, very drinkable amber.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I saved this one for last out of the sampling of New Belgium I got (acquired via trade). This is one instance where I did not save the best for last though. While this was a very good Amber it is definitely not one of their better offerings. Pours a nice amber color with virtually no head which is a noticeable break from NB's other brews. Passable malt aroma. Rather sweet malt flavor with a slight apple finish. I'm glad I finally got my hands on this but it doesn't compare to the Trippel.

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

Clear amber brew with golden edges. A small head forms on top, but goes down quickly. Like the bottle suggests, toasty and biscuit-like malt dominates the aroma. It smells like bread! You could say this for many beers, but this one has a particularly strong biscuity aroma that gives me that impression. Slight fruitiness and spice in the aroma as well. Lots of malt in the flavor, toasted, biscuit-like, bready, and grainy. Hops are there, but stay subtly in the background. A bit of spicy dried fruit gives complexity and a Belgian feel to this brew. The carbonation creates a Belgian-like mouthfeel as well. Light to medium body. This beer is overrated by the general public, but it's still pretty good. Great session beer. It's also good for converting macroswillers.

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Photo of putnam
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice, clear, polished bronze liquid.

Not knowing what "style" this was, I did my best to guess based on the nose. The label said Amber Ale and the aromas conformed to this claim. But there was a subtle, sweet spiciness that reminded me of a Dubbel. Not assertive, but there nontheless. These elements rested upon a clean, bright, sunny maltiness.

The flavors were clear and delivered textbook Amber-like features. Dry, caramel, mild bitterness. Supple. The real charm of the bear is its whistle-clean profile. Subtle in an English Amber way. The substance shows on the lengthy, balanced finish. Highly drinkable. A banger.

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Photo of mjohn27603
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 22 oz bottle marked best by 10Nov02. Marked to be served at 45 F. 1/2 " head with large bubbles that reminded me of cooking pancake batter. First sip reveals big maltiness with caramel flavors. It is not as hoppy as other amber ales. A light and refreshing beer. I'm not able to detect much from the smell. Since I can't get this beer where I live, the allure is a bit brighter. I might become bored with it if were much more available.

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Photo of nathi
2.12/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer is available everywhere here, and is often the only micro. And when it is....I drink bud. I really hate this beer. The aroma is funky. Not like rich malt, and although it used to, now has no hops or interesting esters to balance the funky aroma that I suppose is toasty, but for some reason comes off kinda vomit like to me. The taste starts off decent but ends with this lingering, cloying sweetness that just dosnt have the richness to be pleasent. Just flat, boring, and unpleasant to me. Like drinking unfermented wort. It needs something there to balance it. Just seems to sit on the tongue.

At least it is pretty.

But, if New Belgium can continue to sell tons of this stuff and be able to keep brewing the intense stuff like their trippel, la folie, mars, etc (not to mention the upcomming collaboration with a certain belgian brewery of some fame), more power to them.

Love the brewery....hate the beer.

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

Draft at the Tap Room in Vail, CO. My first experience with the much heralded fat tire came this past weekend. Nice clear copper color, faint white head, carbonation bubbles last and last. Smell was an interesting combination of malty richness, very slight hoppy undertones, and an uncertain earthiness. Taste was crisp and pleasant to start, nice carmel malts, then again a unique earthiness to finish. Tastes coated and lingered on the tongue. I guess I expected a more noticable hop profile, but it still was very good. Lived up to the hype for me. I wish it was available on the East Coast.

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Photo of BeerAngel
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall I like this brew quite a bit. Pours a clear pale yellow/amber with a 2-finger off-white head that dissipates quickly yet leaves a lace. The smell is that of a nutty malt with some earthy notes as well. Light bodied mouthfeel with a smooth well balanced flavor of a slight grainy, touch of caramel flavor, and finishes with a pecan type flavor on the tail. Highly drinkable. Cheers!

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Photo of BeerBob
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fat Tire brew by New Belgium brewing company pours a dark amber from a 12oz brown bottle. Head forms about two fingers worth of fluffy tan foam that settles down to a thin cap and a well defined ring.

Nose is fragrant floral hops and malt with just a slight whiff of alcohol. Palate is a good amount of sweet malt mixed with a nice floral hops.

Not a supper duper top of the line Ale, Fat Tire Amber Ale is well put together and does not disappoint.

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Photo of beernut7
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an awesome amber beer. I had it on tap at a Denver Mexican restaurant in a mug about the size of my leg. Awesome orange color and foamy white head with a delicate malt aroma, the first taste of this brew is absolute quality. The light sharp hop presence and delicate malt flavor is followed by a crisp clean finish. Awesome.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like Sam Adams Boston Lager, New Belgium's Fat Tire is a great alternative to the macrobrews which seems to be available in almost every grocery store in my area. It's easy to see why. Fat Tire is a great session beer.

The beer is a nice, rich golden-amber color, with a head which tends to start thick and peter off to a thin, patchy top.

The aroma is also rather thin and patchy. Slight nose of alcohol, and you can definitely pick out the malt which will dominate the flavor, but overall there's just not that much to this scent.

Things improve once the beer enters the mouth. The principal flavor is that of toasty malt. As the bottle suggests, it reminds one of biscuit, or perhaps bread crust, though there is certainly a noticeable fruity presence as well. Hops are understated, but just present enough to lend balance to the beer.

Nice body, with just a slight crispness to the finish. It's easy to go through a six-pack of this stuff. I'd love to try it on draught.

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Photo of Jon
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fat Tire poured a nice amber tint with minimal head retention and decent lace. It didn't smell incredible, nor did it smell too bad. The taste was somewhat sweet, with some lingering caramel and toffee flavors. It is very balanced and it's quite easy to put away more than a few of these. Overall, this is a pretty good amber that seems to be rather overrated among the average beer drinkers. Cheers to New Belgium, however, on their excellent bottle labels, which are great marketing tools in themselves.

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Photo of bditty187
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tawny-gold hue, ultra translucent, small off-white head, peaks at a half finger before fading slowly, a few rings of lace. Lovely, delicate nose… nutty, fruity with a whisper of spice and malt. The invitation is soft yet you gladly take a sip. Tasty palate, nutty, crisp malty influence, nicely spicy, some fruitiness. Again the palate is soft but pleasant with just enough of a malty aftertaste to be reminded to drink it again. The body is medium-light, moderate carbonation, fair mouthfeel. Damn drinkable. This is the world’s greatest crossover beer and one hell of a session beer for any BA. The beer is not the second coming, ignore the “hype” and enjoy Fat Tire for what it is… a great Amber Ale.

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

Appearance: Slightly hazy copper color with a small and dense off-white head, lots of sticky lace, fairly well carbonated.

Aroma: Malty aroma with distinct biscuit notes.

Taste: Tasting yields malts, followed by the flavor of fresh home-baked bread and a little hop bitterness at the finish. A mildly sour note runs throughout, it plays off well against the biscuit malt notes. For those who like hops to be understated, as do I, with more emphasis on the malt, this beer is sure to please.

Mouth feel: Smooth, with slight carbonation. I have had this beer many times, it has always seemed a little thin, this is the only real shortcoming of Fat Tire, although a minor one.

Drinkability/notes: An absolutely wonderful beer, rather unique, I cannot recall any other beer that could be called similar.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-two ounce brown glass bomber with a pop off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 8,859 ratings