Fat Squirrel
New Glarus Brewing Company

Fat SquirrelFat Squirrel
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Brown Ale - English
Ranked #28
Ranked #28,316
3.81 | pDev: 11.02%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Very Good
Fat SquirrelFat Squirrel
Notes: One deceptively spring like winter day, Brewmaster Dan walked home from the brewery, sat down to dinner and said, "Boy, there are some fat squirrels out there. They're running all over the place. I think I should brew a Fat Squirrel Nut Brown Ale." Deb agreed and so another beer legend was born.

100% Wisconsin malt of six different varieties impart the natural toasted color to this bottle conditioned unfiltered ale. Clean hazelnut notes result from these carefully chosen barley malts. Hops from Slovenia, Bavaria and the Pacific Northwest give Fat Squirrel its backbone. When the going gets tough, remember to relax a moment and enjoy the "Fat Squirrel" in your neighborhood.
Reviews: 544 | Ratings: 1,651 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Dinglehacker
Dinglehacker from Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into shaker pint. Thin off white head, two big lace patches. Lovely reddish brown.

Very syrupy caramel nose w/ a little nut.

Taste follows with more nutty bitterness.

Very smooth.

Standard brown, competently done.

Nov 04, 2021
Photo of jrc1093
jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle reads 'B251'; consumed on 3/8/21

Pours a clear, deep mahogany with burnt maroon accents and topped with a finger and a half of fluffy, dense, pale beige foam; decent head retention leaves a paper-thin curtain of cap, a thin, frothy collar, and a haphazard spatter of webby/spotty lacing strewn around the walls of the glass.

Aroma offers a blossoming flow of sweet milk chocolate intertwined with hazelnut, nutty malts and brighter notes of plum and prune ternsting prominence from the start if the bouquet, over time welcoming more subtle nuances of coffee grounds and slight roast with a silky caramel tinged with a soft minerality closing.

Taste opens with toasted milk chocolate detailed with a touch of smoked hazelnut as light prune, dried toffee, and a tinge of nutty malts ground the profile over the mid-palate; wispy pipe tobacco and mild coffee roast bring a grittier, earthier element into the back end and through the finish.

Mouthfeel brings a body straddling the line between light and medium, with a soft, mild-moderate carbonation dispersing a flaky crispness over the mid-palate; a delicately malty grit transitions into a distant bitterness on the back end before finally fading into a clean, quenching finish leaning toward the drier side.

Sweeter English leanings cohabitate alongside an effortless and direct malt presentation, a steady punch of refined nuttiness brought to a peak in detail while simultaneously drinking with an most breezy lack of pretension; simply put, this beer exemplifies the simple brilliance found in the best of the style.

Mar 09, 2021
Photo of colinz226
colinz226 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

New Glarus'es seasonal fat squirrel beer quite is pleasant. It has some very tasty dark notes somewhat reminiscent of brown bread that round out its flavor profile . Very tasty and another excellent offering from New Glarus.

Jan 17, 2021
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German-Helles from Wisconsin

4.04/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12oz Fat Squirrel was poured into a 20oz. weizen glass. For starters there is a very nice tan creamy head of two fingers that slowly receded to a half finger with some lacing left behind. The Ale is a clear cola color with medium light carbonation..
The aroma is sweet nutty malts. Very noticeable!
The taste follows the nose, sweet roasted malts, hazel nuts, with a slightly dry finish. Excellent!
The feel is is silky smooth, creamy in that true New Glarus fashion.
This is another top notch brew from New Glarus. Very easy to drink, a nice nutty flavor. I like the English Brown Ales. Someday I will need to sample one side by side with a Samuel Smith Tadcaster. A couple of these "squirreled away" will help get through the long Wisconsin winter!

Jan 01, 2021
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TedHead from Illinois

3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very beautiful translucent brown with a rocky tan head that takes a few minutes to fully dissipate. It smells like darker bread crust with slight hints of toffee, chocolate, and a slight nuttiness to it. The nuttiness along with the chocolate toffee flavor come forward on the taste, with a satisfying thicker bready taste to finish it. It goes down incredibly smoothly and has a nice full feeling to it. Overall pretty good.

Nov 22, 2020
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CratesRus from Illinois

3.91/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L- Deep Brown and clear. Good lookin', nice head, some lacing.

S- similar to others by NG. A little nutty. Good.

T- Malty and nutty. Delish. Surprisingly refreshing and crisp.

F- Very smooth, a little creamy, perfect amount of carbonation.

O- Solid beer, one of my favorites by NG hands down. I buy this every year.

Jan 27, 2019
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NilocRellim from Minnesota

3.64/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear,very dark amber colour. Smells like sweet malts, caramel, sticky tree fruit, and dates. Tastes medium-light bodied, mild bitter hop throughout, nuttiness, cereal malt, a hint of dates, and dry overall.

Aug 02, 2017
Photo of jeffreed61
jeffreed61 from Indiana

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Undated 12 oz bottled poured around 50 degrees. Nice malty nose. Hazelnut shines. Despite big malt nose, not overly sweet. Fairly thin, but nice flavors.

Feb 06, 2017
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FBarber from Illinois

3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light ruddy brown color. Appears mostly clear with lots of small bubbles coursing upwards. Smallish tan head initially dissipates quickly. No residual head is left, no lacing.

Smell has notes of roasted malts, caramel, nuts, hops, and a touch of rubbing alcohol. The rubbing alcohol lingers on the nose with a bit of burn.

Taste has notes of roasted malts, roasted nuts, a hint of vanilla, caramel and toffee, with some bittering hops on the finish. Really smooth flavors with none of that burning alcohol from the nose. Touch of oak and a tad sweet, but not overly so. Really nice flavor profile and spot on for the style.

Feel is light and drinkable yet incredibly smooth and full bodied.Even though the beer looks like it should be thin it isn't. Medium carbonation.

Overall a really nice English brown ale - if it wasn't for that rubbing alcohol aroma, this would be an outstanding beer.

Jan 21, 2017
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superspak from North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with The-Adjunct-Hippie. 12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 3/4/2017. Pours slightly hazy deep reddish copper/light brown color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, raisin, plum, and apple; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, toffee, nuttiness, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready/light roasted malts and light-moderate earthy hop/fruity yeast notes; with solid strength. Taste of big caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, raisin, plum, and apple; with lighter notes of chocolate, cocoa, toffee, nuttiness, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Light herbal/spicy hop and roast bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, toasted biscuit, light chocolate/cocoa/nuttiness, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slight dryness from hop/roast bitterness, lightly increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and slightly sticky/chalky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.8%. Overall this is a very nice English brown ale. All around nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready/light roasted malts and light earthy hop/fruity yeast flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. Impressively complex and rich on malts for the ABV; with light balancing earthy hops and fruity yeast in the background. A really enjoyable offering.

Jan 07, 2017
Photo of Schlitz74
Schlitz74 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a nice reddish brown color with an off white finger of head. I t is very drinkable without any strange aftertaste. It leaves a nice lacing on the glass as well. This is a great beer if you visit WI In the fall as it is seasonal.

Nov 26, 2016
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BeerLovingSonofA from Illinois

4.59/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'd take this OVER the Staghorn as a go to, Fall brew. Perfect for a weekend hockey or football game. I agree with the others, malty/nutty taste with hints of chocolate. Caramel and toffee notes in there as well. New Glarus hits with another outstanding, perfect Fall beer.

Oct 30, 2016
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Fat Squirrel pours what I invision to be the most accurate, beautiful, example of excellence in a brown ale I could imagine. The body is just a lovely chestnut brown with a roasty glow and fiery orange at the bottom. The head is thick and creamy, leaving hills of lace. To style? 5.

Nutty aromas waft up to the olfactory with some hints of roast and coffee; some dry and musty barley as well. It's not very loud and does take quite a bit of effort to get a nose on.

The flavor is malty, naturally, but metallic peanut hull and old coffee grounds get in the way. It distracts from an otherwise great malt base.

Feel is creamy and absorbs into the mouth quite well, leaving a dry sticky primer on the palate. Nice roasty feel left behind. This I can dig.

Overall, Fat Squirrel was a huge disappointment. Regardless...many people like it. Maybe I'm just too picky.

Oct 26, 2016
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SteveJeremy from Connecticut

3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beer Advocate user Chicagopartisan is right as can be with this one - perfect beer to drink on a fall afternoon while watching football. Malty, caramel/chocolately, with a beautiful and smooth finish as good as the mouthfeel, not too carbonated, and not too bitter. A delectable treat.

Jul 13, 2016
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ChicagoPartisan from Illinois

4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


From bottle. Standard pint glass.

A: Beautiful amber color with slight appearance of gold/orange. Very little head - about one index finger of tan/brown of the soapy variety. Very transparent. Decent carbonation.

S: Malts up front. Relatively mute. Sensing some raisin. Some chocolate there.

T: Dark chocolate up front - unexpected but very welcome. It's not overwhelming, but I can see how someone who dislikes chocolate may think so. Very malty as well. Thinking this would be great in the Fall. I really like this.

M: Moderately dry. Medium-bodied. Carbonation present.

O: This one is excellent. Good today, but thinking it would be best served on a cool Fall Sunday with the Bears game on. The chocolate tones are dark and never give the appearance of "flavoring." This will become one of my favorite beers.

Jul 05, 2016
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.01/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear classic brown with a beige head and spotted lacing. Nuts, brown bread, and caramel malts in the nose. Taste also has this triad with the nuts being the runaway star of the three. Slight toast underneath it all. Feel is malty, smooth, not too heavy yet creamy and full for style. Hello fall

Jun 30, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.41/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a different looking brown ale, it wasn't . . . well, brown. Came off like a darker amber ale moreso. Good 1/2" off white head. Aroma was just totally mute of anything really.

Taste dropped a substantial amount of brown and chocolate malt feels. Hopped above average for style, but not entering into India Brown Ale territory either. I liked it, thought it was enjoyable when I don't want a massive flavor bomb, but not looking for something with no substance either.

May 12, 2016
Photo of Taybeh
Taybeh from Minnesota

3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From a single into a nonic, pours a dark reddish brown with a 1 finger foamy tan head, a little retention and good lacing. Nose of toasted grain, a hint of cocoa, an edge of floral hops. Taste
follows...bringing a little nuttiness and caramel.

Apr 24, 2016
Photo of vainosuomi
vainosuomi from Virginia

3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Deep amber/mahoganey brown color, big creamy head
Smell: Roasted malt, hazelnut, caramel
Taste: Toasted bread up front, settles into a nice roasted malt/caramel balance, faint nuttiness throughout. Slight hop bitterness, overall moderately sweet.
Feel: Good carbonation, medium body, a bit watery

A decent, very drinkable brown ale, although tasted and felt a bit watery to me. Great for a cookout with some brats and barbecue.

Apr 11, 2016
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OmahaKF from Nebraska

3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smell is sweet chocolate, biscuit, and a hint of nuttiness. Taste is a hint of cocoa sweetness up front, mixed with bready malts. I'm not usually a brown ale fan, but I enjoyed this beer - really well executed.

Apr 02, 2016
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Umdrunner from Wisconsin

3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured clear amber brown with moderate white head that had good retention and lacing. Scent was sweet, malty, bready. Flavor was malty and nutty, caried by a solid carbonation and mouthfeel. My second stayed in the bottle and I preferred the flavor straight from the bottle.

Mar 26, 2016
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tobelerone from New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Attractive brown/amber bodied beer, dark but clear, large sudsy head with excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is typical for the style, slightly toasty, with a nutty aspect, toasted bread malt character, slight hop note underneath.

Flavor is a bit bigger than anticipated; aroma had me expecting a somewhat blander beer but there is more of a hop presence here, very much of the classic noble style, earthy and slightly floral, lightly sweet brown sugar note, more toastiness, nuts, fresh baked bread. Medium or slightly lighter in body, medium carbonation with a bit of life to it; short finish with a bit of bitterness and toast but dissipating before long. Solid but unremarkable brown ale overall; slightly too big for a session brew....fall tailgate beer with a sausage and pepper sandwich or grilled burger? Maybe a cheddar and cracker plate?

I am a fan of the classic brown ale and the bigger iterations American brewers have created in recent years; this sort of falls in between the old school and new.

Mar 19, 2016
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner from Kentucky

3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Called Fat Squirrel for a reason cause this has a fat nutty taste. Nutty pecan, barley grain, malt, touches of yeast, a bit of roasted kilned nuts and even chocolate malt.

Feb 12, 2016
Photo of bwood06
bwood06 from Wisconsin

3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass

A - Beer pours a 2 finger high head that is a light khaki color and is slightly frothy in appearance with a bit of creaminess to it. The head dissipates slowly to a thin lacing. Beer itself is a dark garnet in color and is slightly hazy with moderate carbonation visible rising moderately paced towards the surface. 4/5

S - Toasted whole wheat bread, caramel, and dark stone fruit really come out and hit me right away. These are backed up with bits of peat moss, leather, and musty hay. Herbal hops come out on the back end of the aroma as well, further adding to the earthy character of the aroma. 3.75/5

T - Sweet caramel comes out right off the bat and gives way to a toasted white bread note. Following the caramel and bread the beer transitions to an earthy middle consisting of peat moss, leather, and musty hay. Dark stone fruit comes in at this point in time before finally transitioning to an herbal hop finish that is light on bitterness but this bitterness does linger slightly. 3.75/5

M - Medium bodied beer that has a light carbonation burn, mainly up front. Somewhat drying on the back end and this dryness lingers for a considerable amount of time. Somewhat chewy throughout. 4.25/5

O - Well balanced between sweet and bitter, not overly relying on either. Would have like to see a bit more sweet come out to balance out the earthiness of this beer. Lightness is maintained throughout the profile allowing multiple beer to be imbibed in one sitting. 4/5

Feb 05, 2016
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 1/26/16

A: Medium brown at a distance, but upon inspection it's really more of a burnt amber, with some light brown around the edges - very clear - pours with a medium, light beige head, fades to a wispy cap, retains a medium collar, leaves some streaks and spots of lacing

S: Toasty and a bit nutty - caramel malts and some light amber malts - toasty grains, toast, and some toasted and roasted nuts - some earthiness - hint of grassy hops - yeast and some fruity esters - light caramel sweetness, but mostly dry

T: Toasty - toasted grains, toasted bread, toasted nuts - touch of bread crust - lightly roasty - caramel malts and a touch of amber - some fruit esters and yeast - light caramel sweetness with a touch of toffee - low bitterness - earthy - some hints of grass - finishes with some residual sweetness

M: On the light side of medium, smooth, nicely carbonated, definitely drinkable

O: Best paired with roasted squirrel

This is a very traditional interpretation of a very traditional style. For what it is, it's good, but I can't help compare this to Bell's Best Brown, which I reviewed a few days ago. They are both English Brown Ales, and oddly enough, both 5.8% ABV. Something just seems missing from Fat Squirrel; the malts seem to lack depth. Regardless, I would love to try this again with food.

Jan 26, 2016
Fat Squirrel from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 1651 ratings