Fat Tire Amber Ale | New Belgium Brewing

2,029 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,029 | Ratings: 8,582
Photo of kdmorse
3.21/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a day goes by that I don't dream of Burt Reynolds donning his cowboy hat and running blocker for a truck full of Fat Tire in "Smoky and the Bandit III." Of course, Sally Field wouldn't do. Maybe Jessica Alba?

On a more serious note...

Auburn brew topped with 2 fingers of white head. As head starts to fade, leaves rocky lacing (impressive for an amber). Not much to smell: some caramel malt, but have to seek it out. Tastes are muted too. Enjoyable and simple, but not much there. Can't pick up too much to comment on. Easy and light in the mouth. Very drinkable. Could go all night, but would prefer to move on to a more interesting beer.

 650 characters

Photo of sullysbeer
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Clean Malt Sweetness with a Light Hop Aroma.

Appearance: Very Clear, Amber/Copper Color. White thin Head Retention

Flavor: Malty Sweet with a hint of Biscuit, Balanced with a light Piney Hop Bitterness. Has a Slight Hint of Specialty Malt, Maybe a High Lovibond Caramel Malt or a Slight Hint of Maybe Biscuit Malt. Had a Very slight Vegetal flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium to Medium-Light. This Batch Seems a Little Dryer than Ones I Have Had Before, Maybe the Mash Temperatures were just a tad lower Than Usual.

Overall Impression: Very Crisp Easy Drinking Malt Orientated Beer. I Thought this Beer Would Have Been a Little Sweeter But Tends To Be On the Dryer Side Than Other Fat Tires I've Had. I was a Little Disappointed in this Beer. This Beer is the Beer I drink When We Take Trips out to Snowmass, Colorado to go Snowboarding. I Remember This Beer as a Little Sweeter With a Slight Hint of Chocolate or a Little More Biscuit Malt. But, Its Been a While Since I Had a Fat Tire. This Beer was Still Very Good.

 1,028 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single brought back from Lake Havasu City, AZ over Spring Break.

Pours a peachy-amber with a few fingers of light cream foam. Nose is musty and toasty, with grain husk and some caramelized sugars. Taste continues with a biscuity maltedness, a hearty dose of herbal hops and a light fruity finish with a spicy kick. Mouthfeel is medium. A unique amber ale, well-balanced between malt and hop. Quite sessionable.

 413 characters

Photo of Bumpon10s
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, well, well. Although I've had Fat Tire before, in CO as a matter of fact, I wanted to wait until I had it in Chicago to review it.

A - A little light for an amber, and considerably carbonated. A little bit of a head, perhaps about half of what you'd see on a lager beer.

S - Bready. As it says, biscuity and malty. very simple, not much to search for here.

T - Seems much simpler that previous times I have had it. Again, a little bready, a fermented taste almost from a yeast strain. Tastes more like an MGD than an amber.

M - Very crisp and I guess, refreshing. Perhaps the better part of this beer.

D - At first, you are satisfied with a sip or two but quickly grows on you to want 2 or perhaps 3.

Not a bad beer, but nothing to write home about.

 773 characters

Photo of maristfan
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnt orange color from the tap, I enjoyed it very much. Drinkable but it lacked a smell that should acompany such a tasty colorful beer. Maybe I had a stuffed nose. The best part is the taste, fine quality ingredients, not too strong, nor too weak. It's not something to write home to mom about but a should not be passed up on your beer tour.

 344 characters

Photo of MeLikeBeer
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap in St. Louis, it's a shame it's not available in more places further North and East. Looks a golden-brown in the glass, smells slightly sweet (citrus). Reminds me of a Summit IPA.
Not heavily carbonated, very little foam.
Taste is a toasted caramel flavor with a little hop bitterness. Not much, though. Very smooth on the palate and not much of an aftertaste. I've only had this in a bottle previously, and it is definitely better on tap.

 459 characters

Photo of mentor
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presented partly cloudy orange-rust with a thin layer of light-tan head at the NBB tasting room in the brewery. Smells biscuity with a touch of citrus. Caramel and toast.

Tastes very bready doughy with biscuit and caramel malts. Some toasted character and a bit of a citrus finish that I take to be hops. Not quite grapefruit, but not quite orange either. Md light body and a touch dextrinous in the mouth. Modest carbonation. Simple, tasty, and unique. Just an all around nice beer. Much better fresh at the brewery than from a store-bought bottle.

 552 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber with a label that sez Spring 2006 Chicago Inaugural and a best before date of 23Jun06 jetted on the side. poured into a pint glass.

Clear copper with two fingers of off white. Very good retention with plenty of wispy ringed lace.

The nose is a nice balance of toasty malts and caramel with just enough flowers and spice from the hops. Well rounded aromas.

The taste follows along the same lines but with just a bit more toast with the caramel and just the right enough hop bite for balance and a nice dry finish. Slightly nutty in the middle. Again, well rounded and tasty.

Nice moderate mouth that finishes clean. A very drinkable Amber that can please those new to craft beer as well as those who have been drinking crafts for years. I understand and appreciate why this beer has such a loyal following.

 824 characters

Photo of marcobrau
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The only other Fat Tire I've had before this one, was one "bootlegged" to Illinois. I will agree with some of the other reviewers in that this is a good beer when fresh. The nose is appealing with an exagerated malt aroma and a bit of toasted marshmallow; which gets me thinking of this as a great campfire beer. As very carbonated beer, I give my second pour of the bomber a good pour to release the bubbles, creating a very smooth mouthfeel and lasting head bright white foam. A medium bodied beer, Fat Tire is amber ale that accents its malt flavors more than the hops. This is definitely a beer for "malt heads" but not so much as to put off the newbie micro drinker. Definitely a good "beginners" craft beer with enough tasty toasted and caramelly maltiness to make this experience satisfactory, but a little too malty-sweet for me to enjoy more than a couple.

 865 characters

Photo of dedrinker
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I hear countless requests to carry this beer at the grocery store I work in, so when I first tried it - a "medium-everything" amber, I was not surprised. Very drinkable, very fresh (its chief strength) but surely nothing to get excited about for those who have been around the beer block a few times. This is a great everyday beer for casual consumption, but aside from its young, fresh character, not a single thing stood out but its ordinariness. This beer is perhaps one of the best introductions to the American craft beer category for the uninitiated. Don't get me wrong - I liked it.

Four Years Later: My original review still holds. I have picked up on the subtle mingling of toasted malt flavor with a clean dry finish from a dusting of sufficient hops for the purpose, but this remains a well crafted middle of the road taste experience. One of the best examples of a middle of the road style. Upper middle class white girls still rave and their boyfriends declare, but the more knowledgeable tipplers at BA hold the line on where this beer belongs - a solid "B."
I also had one out of date - as bad as anything else that has past its prime.

My obsession with Fat Tire is more of a socio-psychological one as to the narrow demographic that proclaims this beer to be perfection in a bottle, and my attempts to get inside their heads to look for answers and clues for how to help them get into the rest of the thousands of awesome American craft beers.

 1,462 characters

Photo of HoustonTX
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours out with a bright copper/amber color, small amount of head and decent lacing.

Smell - Is earthy, with a bit of caramel present, and toasty roast smell is strong.

Taste - Very pleasing with a toasty/biscuit tasting malts, caramel and small traces of hops also come through. Aftertaste is toasty.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and easy to go down.

Drinkability - Good, these are quite easy to take down.

Overall, a nice amber ale.

 451 characters

Photo of Skidz
4.38/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After hearing many things about how this beer is brewed using the same recipe as used for Mile Rock Amber by Harbor City, I decided a side by side review was necessary. My review of Mile Rock amber can be seen here: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/794/5940/?ba=Skidz

This is my review for Fat Tire:

Pours out crisp light gold and sits bright copper-amber in the glass with a good sized, slightly off-white head. Fades to a good skimming of foam with nice lacings around the glass.

Smells of toasty malts with some caramel presence. Earth and nutty tones blend in with full, green, leafy hops aromas. Some bits of clover dancing around the edges.

Tastes of delightfully rounded malts, bursting with toasted character. Liveley caramel, and crackery tones run up and down along with bits of hazelnut. Mild hops bitterness enters, but delivers little flavor, besides some slight, dry leafy tones. Satifying finish.

Soft, forgiving and creamy in the mouth with mild-moderate carbonation and a medium-light body.

Fantastically drinkable, soothing and pleasant in the mouth. Lots of character and no real quarrels to speak of.

In comparing Fat Tire to Mile Rock Amber, the visuals are key to the interpretation. Held up side by side, both sit fairly equal in color and depth, but MR definately has some chill haze going on. Head retention is very similar, though I'd say MR has a bit of an edge.

After that, these beers are nothing alike. While they may have started off using the same, or nearly identical recipes, the yeast divides these two beers significantly. Earthy, nutty tones dominate in FT, while fruity flavors hit home in MR.

Which is better? I'd put my money on FT, hands down. Best looks, nose, taste, body, drinkability all-around. Not to say MR doesn't hold a thumb to it, it's just not as good as FT.

So to everyone buying Mile Rock Amber here in WI, thinking your getting the same thing as Fat Tire, or close to it, you are not.

 1,974 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. New Belgium Fat Tire pours out a clear, light brown color topped with a couple inches of foam. The aroma is biscuit malt and a hint of fruitiness. Nutty, biscuit malt flavor. A bit of cocoa flavor too. The finish is mildly hoppy. Light to medium mouthfeel. The drinkability is good. I could certainly drink several of these at a time were it not for the $3/bottle pricetag in Wisconsin. Overall, this is a pretty good beer. It's not overly complex, but it's drinkable and tasty.

 495 characters

Photo of edmundfitzoil
3.1/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

With my girlfriend across the country interviewing for a teaching position, I sat down prior to lunch while watching "Joe Versus the Volcano" - to put it simply, not a good film in the least, but I sat down on a beautiful day and decided to finally review this one.

A brown bomber bottle of Fat Tire with a best by date of June 16, 2006. I poured my beer into a standard pint glass.

The beer poured a very faint amber with the slightest of red tinge. The quarter inch of white head did not retain well. Doughy malts provided the majority of nose, along with a hint of carmel and and another, unidentified, underlying graininess. The beer, which has a substantial following behind it, tasted of a simple maltiness. No hoppiness to really boast of existed inside the flavor, but no negative astringencies were held within there. I found it - on the whole - to be a fairly basic, although very drinkable, amber ale. I see the reasoning behind its cult following, but I find nothing worth really writing home for in this one. It wants to give me flavor - at least in its bottled form here - but it never delivers.

 1,115 characters

Photo of aforbes10
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tastes change, and so do beers. its been a while since i've had this so i'll review it again. bought a bottle on the Texas/Arkansas border because they've changed their cap recently and i wanted it for my collection. pours brownish and clear with a big, pond scum colored head. malty, slightly wheaty odor. smells nice and not skunky at all (i was expecting skunky, dont know why). taste is much more pleasing than i remember. slightly sweet, very malty and biscuity. in fact, probably more biscuity than any other beer i've tried. very smooth, very drinkable....very tasty all around.

 585 characters

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a finger of off-white head that diminishes rather quickly but leaves nice lacing. The smell reminds me of a sweet bread, faint floral scent in the background. Taste is mainly biscuity malt with a hint of the hops in the middle. Smooth, easy drinking brew.
Thanks to Zorro for this bomber.

 316 characters

Photo of zjungleist
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Chicago Inaugural bottling.

Appears redish-amber in color with a decent white head. To start, the beer had this real funky taste and smell, sort of sour and sulphurish, but it blew off after a few minutes. Aside from that nearly tragic problem, it smelled generally malty and a bit yeasty. The taste is bready, with a slight tangy hop middle, and some yeasty flavors in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a shade above medium. Drinkability was high. Overall a decent brew.

 476 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best before date clearly printed.

Dull golden copper in color. A dense, white foam that lingers around the glass' sides with dimpled lace with decent strength.

A moderate toasted, biscuit malt aroma. Astringent, perfumey floral hop aspect. Earthy, slightly sweetened wheat and grain.

Sweetened caramel, lightly burnt toffee; active, doughy yeast giving a biscuity flavor. Noble, rounded rustic floral hops that doesn't exactly balance the toasted maltiness, but it tries. Caramel and sweet toffee in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied; mellow and sweet on the palate. Not completely balanced, but not intrusive.

A pretty boring beer. Too sweet on my palate to consider having another.

 694 characters

Photo of sweethome
3.65/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle labeled as 2006 Chcago Inagural to mark the entry to the Second City market.

Pours a light golden color. Nice, fairly white head. Nose is of biscuit malt, sweet, a hint of yeast.

Nice mouthfeel - smooth and easy drinking. Starts out with the bicuit malts, followed with a fine hop balancing. Provides just enough hops to not offend those making the switch from macros, but satisfy a craft beer fan. A nutty flavor rolls in late. The finish is bit...bland and unfulfilled...

A fine session beer. I like what this beer repesents...it is a quality beer with a solid flavor profile, a decent hopping level. It invites people in who have been toned down to taste of US macros and slowly wins you over to flavor.

 724 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this in Reno on tap while my wife bowled in the nationals. Served in a pint glass. Light bronze color with good lacing. Hoppy taste with a good malt base. Heavier than expected, almost robust. I'm not a big fan of amber ales but this one is a pleasure to drink, altough it wouldn't be my first choice with other ales or stouts available.

 341 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz.bottle. Leaves about one finger of foamy head that recedes into a scant surface skim. Does leaves a nice lacing. Is a clear coppery red hue.

Aroma - odor is a very sour dough, bready malt. It's very fungal (like wild mushrooms ) and reminds me of the odor of moist and rotting grass clippings from the lawnmower sitting in an open lawn-and-leaf bag. It's hard to tell what to expect from the aroma - it seems really sour -like it could be bad, or maybe its actually good, like cheese that smells bad, but tastes good. Also, hint, just barely, of grassy and herbally hops.

Taste - well... it is kind of as promised as by aroma. It is grassy, doughy, bready, sour malty. Slight, very slight, taste of hops ( I may have even imagined it, it was so slight. ). Aftertaste of weakly brewed tea, with some lemon (see, there's the hops afterall ). This is not unlike Irish Red Ale, which I do like quite a bit. It has its own unique taste though, being dominated by this sour, wild fungal, grassy, doughy thing, but I like it. And the tea-like aftertaste helps resolve it into a recognizeably red ale ( Irish, or otherwise ). The thing I like about red ales is that they are not really sweet at all, rather they are somewhat tannic, and I find that to be refreshing ( like I find tea to be refreshing ), and this one is fact, even somewhat sour, and of course, mildly tannic.

Mouthfeel - Less than full, not quite thin, but tending towards that. In spite of lack of assertive hop flavor, there is a very nice hop oil mouth slickness from this ale. This doesn't leave you dry, but there is a sort of tannic feeling ( i.e. tea-like, first in the aftertaste, and now the mouthfeel ). Low carbonation.

Drinkabilty - this goes down very easy. I could put away two of these 22 oz.'ers in no time flat, and possibly a third (especially since the abv is like 5.3 % ). But, much as I like the taste of this, it is on the balance, fairly meek,and I would tire of this, and would want something bigger and bolder to go on with through the rest of the night (or sitting, or session, or whatever ).

 2,108 characters

Photo of beerinator
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle with the special "Chicago Inaugural" label.

Appearance: Very clear golden copper colored beer. Whisps of off-white head with quickly dissipating retention.

Aroma: Smells heavily of copper flavored caramel. There may be a faint lingering of fruit mixed in. Virtually no notes of hops here.

Taste: Fat Tire seems fairly easy to drink, but it doesn't offer much challenge to the palate. The finish leaves the tongue with a slight sweetness. The hopping level here is just enough to leave a faint memory of bitterness.

Notes: This is obviously a gateway beer, and hopefully it brings the masses one step closer to becoming full fledged supporters of microbreweries. Drink it if you haven't had it, but unless it's really hot out, you might not find yourself looking for another try. There are a lot of more exciting and flavorful entries in the Amber category.

 884 characters

Photo of Mitchel
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fat Tire pours a golden amber with a white head and patchy lacing. It smells warmly fruity with a hint of malt in the nose with toasted undertones.

It is a medium bodies beer with a big malty palate. Modest hops seem to be very balanced. Tastes like breads and toasted malts with some nice grain to it. There is lots going on here, but a little yeasty for me.

This is a very drinkable beer. It has plenty going on. Lots to look for and definitely worth a look see.

 470 characters

Photo of ReebShorts
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light Amber appearance, thin head, but sticking around. Pleanty of visibly carbonation bubbles.

Aroma is Biscuity, malts, and some fruits (maybe apple and cherry?)

Good mild flavor, and easy smooth drinker here. I Could pound back several of these easily. I'd imagine this would be a good beer to try for someone just starting the journey into craft beers.

 362 characters

Photo of cheers2beers
2.53/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Has a amber colored liquid with a slightly off white head.Not much laceing left behind but you can find lots of beading on the inside.

Smell: Has a woody/nutty aroma with some sort of over ripe fruit(perhaps oranges and grapefruit) A light malt character with no detection of hops or alcohol.

Taste: The flavors are much like the nose,subtle sweet and light malts,a little bready,the fruits seem to play a better role in flavor but its not enough to make me go crazy about this beer,period.Vague alcohol hints in the finish.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied with low carbonation. Has a watery flow. Not much to get excited about here either.

Drinkability: I have had this beer before, it's easy find here in Texas.It's in almost every bar on draft but isn't much better. Just a good cheap,keep the buzz rolling,kinda beer.


 881 characters

Fat Tire Amber Ale from New Belgium Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 8,582 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.