Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

BA SCORE
82
good
2,028 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good
Read the review
Fat Tire Amber AleFat Tire Amber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States
newbelgium.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,028
Ratings:
8,580
Avg:
3.6
pDev:
14.72%
 
 
Wants:
237
Gots:
2,446
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,028 | Ratings: 8,580
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
2.67/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: The beer pours as transparent rusted honey. The head is uneven with patches of bubbles. This is way too carbonated and in my opinion the appearance doesn't hold up well in the amber category.

Smell: The ale smells like warm biscuits smothered in butter. There are hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. I am thinking of excess and lack of subtlety when I taste this beer. I feel the brewers were exuberant about making something original in taste but forgot to take quality into consideration.

Taste: My immediate impression is of soggy graham crackers sprinkled with nutmeg and ginger. It leaves a peanut butter aftertaste in my mouth There is no balance in this beer. The spice flavors are overpowering and artificial tasting, while the hop languish in the mix. Fat Tire is extremely dilute. I don't want to drink any overly carbonated craft brews again. I have had good New Belgium beers before.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is watery, bland, and forgetful.

Overall: I like some New Belgium beers, but I find it hard to understand why Fat Tire is so popular. I don't understand the hype.

 1,096 characters

Photo of Chaney
2.67/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Well to DC New Belgium!

Best by 11 Dec 2011.

Poured into a Cigar City snifter.

A: Poured a melted Jolly Rancher orange-red.... more on the orange side come to think of it. Nice fluff to the cottony head, with retention to boot.

S: Malty, biscuit-like, with a slight bit of crisp hoppiness. It delivers a fair amount of aroma, but not too much.

T: Not diggin it... I got sort of a stomach acid-like taste to it, with a somewhat chalky palate profile in place of the usual hop fruitiness found in a lot of ambers. Have you ever tried stale brown sugar before? This is honestly the best descriptor.

M: The carbonation was fine, but after a couple of sips, I honestly didn't care any more. The lacing was cobweb-lke.

O: When the world ends, this beer will survive, along with Yuengling Lager... and Sam Adams Boston Lager.... and AB products... and countless other brews that non-craft beer people constantly bring up when the subject of craft beer is mentioned.

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Photo of Jkellerson
2.68/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I have heard things about Fat Tire. I heard it was great. I'm gonna find that person and ask them what was wrong. I was very unimpressed with this brew. It looked great after the pour, but the taste was weak. It had no real special taste to it. The beer went dwon easy, but it struggled to make it past my mouth. I'm not a slammer of beers, so I'm gonna say i got a bad batch and I'll have some when i want to encounter this again. Until then, I'll can just say this Fat Tire was flat. (Pun, I know. Don't hurt my karma, it's all I got left in this world.)

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Photo of PlinyMeNow
2.68/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Weird, I used to really like this beer and drank it all the time. Now that I'm into big flavor profiles in craft beer, this was a little underwhelming.
Pour is clear clean amber without much head but with a lot of lacing. Aroma is faint caramel malts and a muted grassy earthy farm scent - I kept thinking about horse farms and cow dung! Not as bad as that makes it sound though. Taste is mostly malty with a burnt coffee overtone coming through, some herbal hops to balance the malt, and a strange sort of rubber taste (the fat tire?) but there was nothing really exciting. There is a bitter aftertaste. The feel was a bit watery with moderate carbonation. Overall I guess somewhat enjoyable and maybe I'm being unfair to it, but for me it fell short.

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Photo of SheepNutz
2.68/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonick pint glass. It pours a medium copper color with three fingers of head that die off to a small collar fairly quickly. There is a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The smell is fairly grassy with some hops present, and a good dose of maltiness. Fairly balanced, but just a little light. The taste is very grassy, a little flavor of rice, even though I doubt it's used in the brew. Fairly malty, but tasted adjuncty. The mouthfeel is fair, a little light. The drinkability suffers some from the taste, but isn't too bad. I expected more in the taste from New Belgium. I don't know why this has suck the cult following that it has.

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Photo of woemad
2.68/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap in the bar at Denny's near Spokane International Airport (I work there - me and my coworkers went to Denny's because it was the closest open place at midnight). I'd never had it, and the remainder of the on tap selection was peopled with the usual suspects.

My pint was a pale gold color, with a miniscule white head. It reminded me of the disappointing Fish Pale Ale I'd recently had. There was no lacing to speak of.

Smell was rather weak. It mostly consisted of a vague malt sweetness. I detected a slight citrus note that might have been hops, but it was hard to say, it was so slight.

Taste wasn't much of an improvement on the smell. Very blandly malty, with a tiny bit of hoppiness at the end that provided for a little crispness. It didn't taste gross, it was just very, very bland.

Mouthfeel was a little thin, but then again I sort of thought it would be.

This is drinkable in repeated pints because it is very undemanding, though I personally found it too bland to be interested in more than one. This seems to be very popular amongst those who have very little experience beyond the big 3, so I guess it could be a decent gateway beer. I was once talking about beer with my brother. He says his fiance's favorite beer is Fat Tire, then added, "She's not really into flavor." From what I understand, New Belgium uses the profits from this to finance their other, far less commercial beers, so in that light, I'm glad to have helped keep them in business. However, unless I find myself in another place where this is the best choice, I see no reason to have another.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.68/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a very clear amber with not much head or lacing.

The aroma is a little rye and skunk.

The taste is bland and has a rye taste that is not appealing.

The feel is ok, but bad drinkability.

Overall, nothing special. Before I knew anything this was a go to beer. Now that I know lots, I can not drink this beer at all.

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Photo of clvand0
2.69/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I've heard good and bad things about this beer, so I'm interested. Pours an amber color with a small white head that quickly dies off. The aroma was stanktastic. Actually it just stank. Smells like socks. Some malts there, but mostly socks. The flavor was sock-like too, not that I know what socks taste like, but it's what they should taste like. Tastes bready, but extremely thin. Uninteresting. What's all the fuss about? This beer is below par.

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Photo of eternalcow
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

To me this is a thoroughly average beer. I can't find much fault with it, but I also can't find much to recommend it.

Due to the brown hue of the bottle, color is difficult to determine, and I don't have any beer glasses. I know, some beer drinker I am.

Aroma to me is tangy, maybe a little citrus.

The flavor bears the same citrus notes, and is light on hops. It leaves a slightly woody aftertaste which to me is actually better than the beer itself.

The mouth feel is light, which I know is standard fare for this kind of ale. Unlike other pale and amber ales I've tried though, Fat Tire doesn't have anything in its flavor to balance out the light texture, so the beer tastes almost watery.

Let me hasten to add that I tend to favor dark beers, and these criticisms might just be a matter of preference. But I've had other amber ales that I prefer to Fat Tire.

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Photo of charlesw
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Staight-up average amber. I mean, it seems to hit all of the criteria for a red/amber ale - but it just doesn't do any more than that for me.

Lightish amber color, very clear, thin, creamy head - which doesn't last. You can just taste the malt and caramel - but only just. A bit light in the mouth - not like it's overly carbonated or anything, it just doesn't have enough body to it to suit me. I guess I'd call that medium body :) Just a hint of hop bitterness.

Hmm. Part of why I give this such a poor review is that I did side-by-side tests with this and 5 other ambers. There was one that was simply terrible, but other than that one, this one was at the bottom of everyone's list of favorites out of those sampled...

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Photo of Greggy
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured into my chalice glass, I got a nice 1.5 finger head, that receded rather quickly into a thin lace. The lacing on the glass wasn't ovely impressive but it remained in suspension. The beer had a light copper color and nice clarity.

Smell: Not a ton going on in the nose department but I did pick up some light caramel, a distinct breadiness/biscuit, an uber light hopiness and some malt. I was expecting more, to be honest.

Taste: A very light bready or biscuit tast lingers on the palette but isn't identified, by me, in the initial sip. There wasn't much I could pick out of the taste as it seemed rather 2 dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Smooth feel and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: In Minnesota, these are only available in 22oz bomber bottles. So drinkability for me means, 22 oz at a time. It is ok and beasts out any macro you throw against it, but I could easily think of many other brews to drink intead of it.

Notes: I found this to be quite over-rated and I was quite shocked. This is pretty popular stuff in Minnesota but I think it may be because of the demand giving it some real hype that, in my opinion, it didn't live up to.

 1,164 characters

Photo of vanrassel
2.71/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer looked nice, but it was mostly downhill from there. It wasn't a terrible experience by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't say I liked this beer all that much.

It poured from a 650 mL bomber a nice amber colour with a bit of a coppery tinge topped by a nice head. The smell was downright unpleasant at first: dark malts and a subtle nutiness almost completely overpowered by a sour aroma.

The sourness carried over to the taste, though the effect seemed to moderate a bit as the beer warmed and I picked up some biscuit-like taste and some toffee sweetness. Those observations elevated this beer, to me, from downright unpleasant to at least tolerable. Not much more good to say about it, though.

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Photo of IPreferPotButBeerIsGood
2.71/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

I expected very good things from this beer. The bottle was pleasing to the eye, the name interesting. I picked it up to give it a fair shot. I never removed it from the bottle, but it looked nice and amber-ish yellow. I took a drink and it felt decent to the tongue, nice and light (although I prefer a heavier beer,) but it tasted awful, almost sour. It was mildly acidic and pleasantly bubbly, but nothing could make up for the awful taste. I was sorely disappointed to have paid 10 dollars for a six pack so I gave one to my grandfather, who's first words after his first sip were "That tastes like shit." The old man has spoken.

 634 characters

Photo of totallyrelaxed
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

A- A nice pink-tinged copper. Looks pretty decent actually

S-Almost vegetable hops with a slightly charred biscuit note

T-Once again vegetable hops with a malty backbone

M- Light almost watery

O- I will admit that I simply have never liked this beer. Had a couple left in my fridge so I thought I'd give it another try.It just doesnt taste pleasant to me. Its off putting with that dry vegetable hop flavor Its just meh...

 426 characters

Photo of hwwty4
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Chimay chalice. This beer pours a light amber red with a bit of a brownish tinge when removed from the light. Here is my biggest problem with this beer. It smells and tastes like sour milk. Not bad milk, just slightly soured milk and I get it from every pint/bottle of Fat Tire that I drink. I don't know if it's my odd senses or if there is some soured Lactose put in the wort. I find it so dominating that the soured milk smell overwhelms everything else. The taste is much the same, but its not as dominating. There are also roasted grains, and a bit of sweet chocolate that comes through in the finish. The mouthfeel is a bit fuller than I expected for the style, which I found enjoyable. While there are a couple beers that I really enjoy from New Belgium, this is not one of them.

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Photo of loren01
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

First of all I must admit that ambers are not my favorite type of micro. The one thing that was good about this beer was the appearance, light amber with a decent head to it. However things go downhill from here. I smell a faint biscut aroma, not much other than that, no hoppy smell to speak of. The taste is even worse, tastes like Coors Lite with a little more malty flavor too it. Mouthfeel was just plain flat, no pep to it at all. As I said before I am not a huge fan of ambers but when I do drink them I prefer one that is either more malty or more hoppy. Fat tire just tasted weak and flavorless to me. I will be touring the brewery this summer and I can't wait, however I'll stick to their other brews which I love.

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Photo of jsantana09
2.72/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Average beer. Better than the adjunct/light beers but not quite at the level of many of the other craft beers out there. Hits the mark for an Amber Ale but didn't amaze me. Good beer for an afternoon session.

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Photo of PaulyB83
2.74/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Best by Oct . 12 2014

A- Medium amber, one finger white head, good clarity.

S- Light English hops, light American hops of citrus and floral, with a tad of earthy spice. Medium malt sweetness.

T- Similar to aroma, light citrus, spicy, floral hops. Medium sweetness. Maybe a touch of banana.

M- Pretty full for a 5.2% beer, it does finish a tad thin.

O- This beer tastes very similar to Bell's Amber to me but with everything a few notches lighter (aroma, taste). It seems like New Belgium filters all their beers which I think kinda gives them all a kinda similar flat note taste. Being in Kalamazoo, I have ample access to Bell's Amber so I really don't find myself choosing this beer that much.

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Photo of jsh420
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours clear amber with no head

smell - not much here - carmel malts was about all i could pick out - i think the bar had the kegs too cold

taste was better then the smell - slightly toasted malts and sweet carmel malts along with what i think was an afterthought tiny bit of hops

mouthfeel was not good - the beer was flat

drinkability is ok - its a beer most non craft bars have

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Photo of mwalters
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Due to all of the hype, I expected this beer to blow me away. It was fairily watered down. I can see where it would appeal to the masses, which is fine. There are a ton of amber ales that I would pick over this one, like Breckenridge Avalance, Boulder Sundance or Anderson Valley Amber. New Belgium makes some great beers, unfortunately... this isn't one of them. Try one anyway.

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Photo of harrymel
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed: 06/27/10
Poured from bottle to Standard pint glass.

A: the color of ambered tree sap. absolut clarity. Partial ribbons.

S: Good balanced maltiness with touch of citrusy hopping.

T: Lots of caramel malt on this one. otherwise, nada.

M: medium carbonation accents light body (for an amber).

D: Would not suggest as an amber.

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Photo of gfreed
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had three of these while in south-central Nebraska as a way to avoid drinking A-B products. Most restaurants carry this as a micro-brew alternative, but I found it rather uninteresting. It has a nice copper color, but the head was flat, as was the aroma. There was a bit of initial bite from the carbonation and some hoppy attributes, but overall I'd rate it an escape hatch rather than something to seek out. If you're looking for a decent American amber ale, hunt down Otter Creek Copper or Lagunitas Censored.

 514 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On-tap at Mission Bar in SF.

A: Slightly hazy golden amber color with moderate carbonation up the glass. Poured without any head, but there was a little lacing as I drank.

S: Biscuit malt, some caramel, and a little bit of floral notes.

T: Toasted, biscuit, and caramel malts come out as I drink, leaning toward the toasted malts as the drink warms. Crisp and dry in the mid-taste, with a little hop bitterness in the finish.

M: On the thin-side of medium-bodied, almost a bit watery. I like the carbonation.

D: This is the halfway-craft beer that many popular bars carry. If I find myself in one of those establishments, that's probably when I'd try this. Otherwise I have no desire to drink it. This beer is the very definition of "meh."

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Photo of leantom
2.75/5  rDev -23.6%

Been itching to try this. Here goes:

A: Clear brown with a small head. Head disappears and leaves no lacing. Bland. 2/5

S: Toasty caramel malt with some American hops. Both smells are rather muted, however. Not bad, almost an imitated of Yuengling (which is a lager, fyi), but neither the malt nor the hops are particularly robust. Just OK. 3/5

T: Again, just OK. Lightly kilned caramel malt imparts a toasty and sweet taste. Hops are apparent, but they aren't robust enough and I barely taste them. Like a watered-down Yuengling (although this beer is an ale). 3/5

M: Smooth and crisp, but nothing special. 3/5

O: Not that good. Taste is rather bland. I'd rather have an amber lager, like a Dos Equis or a Yuengling. 2.75/3

 751 characters

Photo of zoso493
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Ah, so here is the infamous Fat Tire, the beer that the non-craft drinker will open while proudly proclaiming that they are drinking "good beer." Let's see how accurate that assessment is. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a straight-sided pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a rather odd-looking orange-amber color that is quite atypical for an American amber ale. There's very little haze to it, and atop the beer is a very thin one-finger head that dissipates quikcly, leaving some trace lacing as it subsides.

Smell: I'm hyperventilating trying to find something to smell in this beer, but I'm coming up almost empty. There is the faintest scent of toasted malt with just a hint of orange peel complementing the malts. I can pick out no hops in the smell, which is ominously suspect for and amber ale.

Taste: The taste is equally as bland as the smell would indicate. There is some very, very, very light toasted malt followed by a slight hop bitterness to finish, but that's about it. I'm very unimpressed.

Mouthfeel: Fat Tire is beyond thin in the mouthfeel department. The beer just disappears into your stomach as soon as it enters your mouth. This does make it pretty drinkable and fairly refreshing, though.

Drinkability: This is a nicely drinkable beer, as it goes down very easily and is pretty light on the flavoring.

Overall, this is a very mediocre beer, in my opinion. I can say that after having tried it, it is unequivocally not what I would call a "good beer" but is a beer worth trying. I've never been impressed with New Belgium, and Fat Tire has only served to further solidify my opinion about them. I don't have any empirical evidence to support this statement, but I would venture to say that is the most purchased craft beer in the United States. After having tried it, I can't for the life of me understand why.

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,580 ratings.
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