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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 The-Adjunct-Hippie
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%

Serving Style : 12 oz bottle/poured into 8 oz glass for appearance

Appearance (3) : Copper colored and slightly opaque. Has a foamy white lace that disappears quickly.

Smell (2) : Bitter bean, dark wheat. Rye. Damp cellar. Pretty gross.

Taste (3.25) : Full flavored rush of black bean and red wheat. Dull rubbery bitterness accompanies the flavors. Light cilantro notes with hits of fresh room-temperature celery. The rubber bitterness then turns to copper bitterness with a backlap of tomato and rye; and it hits hard but leaves quick as to not be totally distasteful. The body and flavor are decent, although wildly all over the place.

Mouthfeel (2) : The mouthfeel on the other hand is not something I'm fond of. I don't like the sticky finish on this one or the rubbery mouthfeel. My sample had harsh and generous carbonation that pricks your mouth and leaves a bitter and dry aftertaste.

Overall (2.78) : I've had far better Ambers than this. The damp musty smell and prickly mouthfeel bring down the scores quite a lot. Taste is above average but barely - and it's all over the place. If my future self asks me if I would buy this again, I'd say apprehensively yes, but it will never be a staple in my beer cave. The flavor is too weird and everything else is just out of balance.

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Photo of illidurit
2.78/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear brownish orange color with a frothy off-white head. Aroma is toasty and biscuity with a slight citric tinge and some earthiness. Flavor is bland and watery. Brown malts and matzo, stale fruits, mineral finish. Very thin mouthfeel gets exceedingly tiresome by the end. Not recommended.

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Photo of steve8robin
2.79/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this to try something new. Have an uncle that likes this stuff, so, let's see. 12oz bottle. Best before 04/03/11...

A: BMC colored. A super clear golden honey with apparent carbonation bubbles and a small white head that fades quickly to a lace. Decent.

S: Smells of honey, spices, and faint nutmeg upfront. Not too much else on the nose.

T: Definitely better than a BMC, but in the same ballpark. I get some spices and metallic breadiness upfront with some nutmeg and cinnamon quickly following. Very watery on the backend.

M: Light body with a very well done carbonation feel. A clean and crisp finish.

D: Goes down very easy which is a testament to the 5.2% ABV and wateriness to the brew.

All in all, this is a great beer for a social gathering with BMC friends. They will definitely enjoy it. A good pounder at a party. For people, like the BA community, who look for more to their beer than a "pounder", then this is not for you. You might enjoy if you like session brews or if you're looking for a BMC conversion brew.

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Photo of CampusCrew
2.8/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


This was a old time favorite but had not had it in awhile. was stuck in a TX airport and was excited to see it. ordered and was so bland I could not finish.

appearance: amber, light brown, bubbly macro head

smell: slight hops to almost zero smell

taste: Little to none, clear refresher

mouthfeel: very high carbonation, thin

drinkability: very easy but horrible dirty aftertaste. beer than a bud but not better than much other.

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Photo of SethB2
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice deep amber color with a huge head that leave a bit of lacing behind. Transparent and clean.

S - The bottle advertises this beer as being bisuity, and I would agree. Smell is of toasted bready malts and an underlying sweetness. Not much in the hop department.

T - Yeah, bicuity. A lot. Probably too much. The label also advertises a hop balance but there wasn't much hop to be found. In fact, I'm struggling to find any. This beer is a malt bomb. If that's your thing, you'll love it. Personally, I prefer a slight amount of balance.

M - Medium and creamy. Not bad.

D - I wouldn't want to session this beer. Too one diminsional for me and to be frank, after this bomber, I'm getting a little tired of it.

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Photo of Pwnzilla
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not the first time having this beer but it has been a while. Apperance is amber to golden in color. Malt smell with a little hops. Taste is very light and crisp, not a whole lot of mouthfeel. Overall its not a bad session beer. I wont go out searching for this but I wouldnt turn one down.

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Photo of Isoruku
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

God knows why Fat Tire is considered a worthy craft beer. New Belgium have cleverly marketed it as an icon of the micro-brewery phenomenon, but it has to be the one of the least memorable, blandest and unremarkable beers I ever experienced. I suspect that its unthreatening character is precisely why it is often the default "craft beer" in many taverns - the typical person ordering it is the State Farm agent who has an office in the strip mall and his date Tiffany, who drinks it from the bottle.

But give New Belgium credit - they've got a winning product here! One dimensional, boring, and not-too anything (e.g. not-too hoppy, not-too-bitter, not-too-malty).

Fat Tire may be a cash cow, but seekers after a rewarding drinking experience should look elsewhere.

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Photo of valdesd1
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber red hue. Rocky off white 1 finger head. Lots of carbonation apparent.

S: Kind of dry in a way. Not really too much going on really besides the basic smell of toasted barley.

T: Really crisp and refreshing. Dry and biscuit-like. It comes off evenly balanced and has a sweet finish.

M: Well carbonated and light-bodied.

D: Really drinkable. It's a beer that is complex enough to keep you interested while not too excessive on the abv.

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Photo of katybee
2.81/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

hmmm. The taste of this ale was puzzling to me. Completely missing the hopping my tastebuds have acclimatized to, and lacking the overt maltiness as well.

pouring a deep golden yellow, creamy foam poured from the unshaken bottle. most impressive head I've seen in a while.

the smell however, was very mildly sour, or dry, somewhat in the way of Guinness...no hops really to balance it. As the beer warmed, this became more present, and on the palate as well.

the taste was different. totally lacking excessive hopping. If present, the hops were mildly greenish and floral, definitely no citrus or pine. Perhaps lightly peppery. But mostly the taste emphasized a biscuity maltiness, not sweet at all, or burnt, chocolate or coffee...just grainy but wholesome and rounded....A bit like a pale light version of Guinness stout or budweiser without the hops.

Very lightly creamy, especially as it warmed up, but only light-medium bodied.

Overall this is a very nuetral beer, a nice change of pace from stouts, black ales, imperial ales, and hop czars. Much more substantial than a PBR, and none of the wheatiness of widbeers and hefweizen.... Don't know that I'd seek it out, though.

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Photo of zimm421
2.82/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Appears a beautiful deep amber that is very clear. The head is off-white, fairly thin, but has some lacing left behind.

The nose is all sweetness, with loads of caramel. That's it. One-dimensional. The taste is bland. Again, no complexity here just caramel and breadiness. A slight touch of bitterness on the back-end which attempts to balance it out, but fails.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lot of stickiness on the back side. Carbonation levels are too low, and I think bumping them up a touch could improve this quite a bit. Overall, a good entry-level brew, and a great way to bring people into craft beer, but not something I ever reach for any more. Had to grab it now just to mark it off the list...

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Photo of likestoswallow
2.82/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

From 22 oz bottle. Pours a rich copper-gold with an off white head that foamed up furiously then promptly disappeared. Aroma was very light malt. Flavor was mild with a distinct nuttiness--pistachio and peanuts in a semisweet backdrop. Hops and carbonation were undeveloped and weak. Mouthfeel was thin and less than fulfilling. Finish was short. Not likely to drink again, this beer tasted like it was specifically crafted for weak beer fans--and that is not me.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bm0095 for the bottle, had been wanting to try this for a while.

Pours a c;ear. clean amber with a sall white head that quickly faded leaving some soft white clingy lace. There was no real smell to this, maybe the slightest bready smell, but really nothing at all. The taste was about the same, bland. Again slight hints of bready, but no real strong flavor or body, almost thought it was a macro. I was really not impressed with this, as New Belgium has a pretty good rep, maybe I just need to try one of their bigger beers.

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Photo of MowryJC
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - Crystal clear amber color, with a low to moderate head that settles fairly quickly. Leaves light lacing down the glass as it is drunk.

S - Biscuity, with a bit of caramel as it warms up. A touch of earthy hops on the back end.

T - Meh. A flat taste of maltiness that delivers on the biscuit aroma. Not much of a hop balance to it, and a bit cloying.

M - About what I'd expect from the style, the carbonation is pleasant, and the body is fairly balanced.

D - Pretty drinkable if it weren't for the lack of balance. I could throw a few of these back, but the slight cloying character of the beer would wear on me with each serving.

Overall, not too much to write home about. I'd take it over a Budweiser, but not something I'll be seeking out again.

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Alright I don't like this beer in the bottle or on tap, but I'm going to give it a try in the can as everyone I've talked to said it is better in the can...we will see.

A- Amber in color with very little head. The head that is there is very white.

S- The smell is caramely with a large grain smell.

T- The beer is malty for sure, not hoppy in the least especially for a red ale. There is a slight bitter taste that leaves a weird taste in your mouth. This is not better in a can to say the least.

M- Feels like beer in the mouth, with a bitter taste.

D- Drinks like beer....a thicker Macro styled beer.

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Photo of SickBrew
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think this is the first "can" conditioned beer I've had, at least that I'm aware of. However, it's not much different than the bottled version.

Appearance is better than average and it does leave some lacing. It does look more like an IPA than an amber, however. Taste is a bit dry and there's a heavy earthy component that just doesn't sit well with me. I find it off putting. Body is medium light and than can conditioning resulted in good carbonation.

If you where golfing and your choice is a domestic can or Fat Tire in a can, I would go with Fat Tire.

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Photo of Crossmd
2.83/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 45 degrees into a tulip glass.

Pours a lucid red-amber with a 1.5 finger head that dissipates with some lacing.

Smells of a biscuit-pastry with a very odd wet-metallic, or urine smell. Maybe a slight herbal quality? Not really all that pleasing or complex. I'm trying to taste this more than smell it.

Taste is of a smooth, but one dimensional and unassertive. Some toasted malts with a slight coffee or carame only on the very beginning of the drydown. This beer is like that one friend that you have that comes to hang out with you but never says anything and just stares at women in the bar. Really sort of tepid, forgettable.

Overall, it calls itself an amber, but it drinks pretty thin. The ambers that i want to drink are robust, hearty often autumnal ales. This is feels like a "light amber" beer. Not well balanced in terms of smell and flavor, and for an additional two or three dollars you can probably get yourself something a lot more special. Not unplesant, but really nothing close to anything worth writing home about. Probably won't be picking this up again.


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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 JustLikeMyDad
2.84/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a clear lager mug:
Pours into a nice dark golden/amber color. Very thick foam head that takes its time to dissipate.
Smells hoppy and ale-like.
Tastes like a moderately hoppy ale, not too strong.
Feels smooth, moderately carbonation, but drinks smooth, crisp if chilled.
Overall, not bad, a bit more hoppy and bitter than my preferred tastes. Good match with the cooler fall air.

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Photo of kawilliams81
2.84/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- light copper, minimal head, almost no lacing

S- amber malts and nuts

T- similar to aroma, amber ale with a nutty finish.

M- light bodied. Very easy drinkin. Carbonation very low.

O- ok to drink when no other craft beer is available. I ca see why this is a gateway craft beer.

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Photo of HalfFull
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

From a 12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic glass. Pours a clear orange amber hue with a decent looking but short lived head. Lacing is well represented yet thin and fleeting.

Smell is overwhelmingly of hazelnut and burnt malts. Smells like Frangelico. This is a rather popular beer so I guess some people like that in a beer. I don't care for it.

Tastes of biscuity roasted malts. Medium bodied yet concludes with that roasted malt and nut flavor I so don't enjoy, and it is a bit thin. I call the drinkability average because I'm already numbing my taste buds. One thing this brew has going for it is the lack of over the top sweetness common in some ambers. Perhaps it could use a little more.

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Photo of bashiba
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice amber color with a huge fluffy tan.

Has a big bready smell.

The flavor is light with a big buiscuity flavor. All toasted malt with no hops. Has an odd sourness to it.

The mouthfeel is thin and bubbly.

Very average overall, does not live up to the hype.

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Photo of peabody
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours out very clear with the look of an Iced tea.
Smells like Tadpole water. Mabey a hint of orange yeast. No alcohol is present in the nose.
Damn, this one is hard to describe. Almost taste like 2 day old tea.
It is like you are drinking stinky air.
It is not a nasty aftertaste, in fact it is a nice aftertaste compared to the gross flavor.
I suppose you could session this beer, but with the lack of flavors in the thing it is best to try it and leave it.

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Photo of sogrady
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

When I moved out to Colorado a little less than ten years ago, Fat Tire was all the rage. I'm not sure if it was because New Belgium was early to market or because New Belgium, but either way it's not The Beer out west anymore, it's just one among many. Albeit a popular one.

The color is the most impressive thing about the beer, as it's a deep ruby color with admirable clarity. Unfortunately, the taste doesn't live up to the presentation, as the beer is to my taste overly malty with an aftertaste of slightly charred wood.

To be fair, ambers are not generally my favorite beer, but even making allowances for that fact, it's relatively pedestrian in my view.

Not awful, and certainly drinkable, but undistinguished in a landscape that is far more competitive than when the line launched .

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Photo of Clydesdale
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a bright, clear orange-gold color. The off-white head is fairly tall, with a densely frothy texture. A nice splattering of lacing sticks to the glass as the head recedes.

S: Mostly pale malt aroma here. Some light, sweetish caramel and toasty/bready notes are also available. Lightly earthy and spicy hop aromas contribute to a degree. A soft, faint tartness lurks in the background.

T: A bit toasty and bready up front. Mild caramel sweetness is present. A faint hop bitterness adds some balance, with a minor earthy flavor. A bit of yeasty tartness in the finish.

M: Rather light-bodied. Carbonation is average. A modestly dry finish doesn't prevent the mouthfeel from being fairly watery overall.

D: Quite inoffensive, in both good and bad ways. It drinks relatively easily, but there's just not much flavor or body to make this very interesting.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.86/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a light orange, looks lagery. smell is mild roasted malts and taste is nothing impressive at all. almost like a sam adams clone. mild hop notes add something but a metallic aftertaste takes it right away. if 'refreshing' is the best thing i can say about a beer, you know that means trouble. not terrible, but a truly mediocre microbrew. if i had access to it, it might be a lawnmower beer.. but having to have it shipped puts it in the disappointment column.

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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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