Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

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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: 8,418
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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Photo of acrawf6
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep amber color with a slight tan 1 inch head that goes down quickly.

Smells, like the bottle says, toasty. It is a toasty malt smell. A slight sweet smell and fruity smell like apples, or apple juice. Just a malty aroma. a little grainy cereal comes to mind.

Taste is decent. a light sweet malty flavor. Malty, but not overpowering, or even that strong. Seems many people would like this, which isnt always a good thing. i dont taste any hop flavor coming out, but it does seem balance like its there.

Mouthfeel is ok. average carbonation. This is a malty beer, hops are a little too outweighed here. It dries my mouth.

Overall i could see this beer selling off the shelves around my area, but i an not totally convenced on it. I kept hearing about this beer before, but i am a little disappointed. I'd certainly drink it again, but i wouldnt seek out for it.

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

Growing up in Ft. Collins, this likely pushed/enticed me into the wonderful world of better beer. I remember its excellence on tap or in bombers from local distributors, but my experience trying it in distant locales has previously been a little disappointing. I'm hoping they've improved freshness, since I picked up a 12 pack in Arizona for a taste.

Beautiful amber coloration. Decent carbonation bubbling from the glass bottom enhances the visuals, but little to no head or lacing quickly fades.

Aroma has sweet carmelized malts mixed with date/raisin and maybe a little apricot.

Almost backwards from my expectations, bitterness ebbs from the first dose of flavor, followed with a brief kick of sugary malt that fades into a sour-bitter haze. I taste a moderate dose of hops that didn't seem at all present on the nose. The contrast between expectations announced by the aroma and the actual flavors the appear is dramatic IMO and make this a far quirkier brew than I ever remember or imagined. This odd result is enough for me to bump it up a half-point on both drinkability and flavor, since it seems like an accomplishment rarely achieved and certainly not achieved with the accomplishment here.

Mouthfeel is clean and certainly well-suited to quaffing repeated brews.

Not a Belgian, but not a simple amber either, this beer refuses to color within the lines and stands as a true testament to the spirit of the late 20th century microbrew revival in the U.S..

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Photo of joecast
2.33/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

abv listed at 5.2% best before 17/mar/06

clear amber with a light orange tinge. light carbonation and almost no head. very little white lacing on the surface.

aroma is light, even after letting it warm a bit. mostly sweeter malt over anything else. nothing to rave about.

pretty dry, almost medicinal taste. comes across as a macro lager with some crystal malt really.

some plasticy quality about the mouthfeel. pretty tough to finish. in fact, i dont think i will.

ive read some good things about new belgium, and this beer in particular. maybe this is just a bad batch, but didnt see anything else available from them. disappointing.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.05/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours into my nonic glass a reddish-gold with a short, fizzy head that falls quickly to a thin ring. There's a little lacing left that's persistent, but there's not much of a head to leave lots.

Smell brings to mind peaches, pears and cat... um... well... cat piss. Some fruitiness and acidities. Really not so bad, just not so great.

Subtle tastes; Fruits, grains in crackerish form, a very brief hop bitterness. Pretty well balanced, I guess. Just kind of unenthusiastic in total flavor quality.

Mouthfeel suffers; Not enough carbonation, or rather not carbonation of the right sort. What's there is too tight to really excite the flavors around the palate, and it completely cleans the palate upon swallowing, leaving almost no aftertaste or after-feel.

Definitely drinkable with food; I had this with pizza and it was a jammin' combination. I wouldn't choose it to drink it by itself, though. When a beer excites me I write long reviews; This one didn't impress me for how much I've heard about it.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fresh from the tap this beer is a clear, bubbly amber color with a foamy white cap. The aroma is toasty, but faint. It tastes dry and bready, with not alot of sweetness. Bitterness is subtle. It has a clean crisp feel on the palate, and isn't too thin. I always think of Fat Tire as good drink paired with a meal, but not that exciting by itself. There is good balance here, but a little more flavor in general would give this a higher score.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.45/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time. While living in CO, this was a staple in my diet.

Pours a nice amber color with a good head. Deep amber. Lots of lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell is a little sweet, but very complimentary to the hop profile. Hops are fruity and sweet and very pleasing and approachable.

Probably my favorite session beer of all time. Sometimes it can get a little sweet, but all in all, a great beer to keep in your fridge for everyday consumption.

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Photo of marksto
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the flagship brew from New Belgium, a very popular ale and I can understand why. It has enough quality to endear beer enthusiasts and is yet approachable enough to appeal to novices or those who dont normally drink craft beer.

It's flavor and aroma are dominated by major biscuity maltiness. Hop rates are not high but balance well to accent the malt. A very drinkable, refreshing ale.

The label features a Fat Tire cruiser bike. A visit to the brewery will find a bunch of these bikes parked outside as employees are awarded them and frequently ride them to work - cool!

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Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,418 ratings.
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