Fat Squirrel Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Fat Squirrel AleFat Squirrel Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 05-17-2003

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Reviews: 528 | Ratings: 1,575
Photo of Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a clear looking brown color. it had a light fizzy head on top that left behind some film over top of the beer. The smell of the beer had some toasted malts with a light earthiness to it as well. The taste of the beer gave of a slight nutty flavor with some dry malts in there as well. The mouthfeel is easy going, light enough to drink a few if you choose to do so. Overall I thought it was a pretty good Brown Ale. I wouldn't turn it down if it were offered to me.

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Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear brownish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down but left a thin film of bubbles on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of nutty malts in the nose along with hints of bready malts.
T: Similar to the smell, nutty flavors of malts dominate the overall taste, which has a bit of malty sweetness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very easy to drink and goes down easily.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

We've been lulled to sleep with the taste of the Newcastles of the world. And most American-brewed brown ales have become assertive to the point that they better compete with porters and less with the taste than brought brown to the taste of England. But New Glarus keeps a keen eye on history and takes a never-say-never stance in the preserverence of the brown ale with Fat Squirrel Brown Ale

You'd expect the "appearance" comments to start and stop with simply "brown". But there's more to the beer as its bright clarity embarks upon redish chestnut highlights. Extending onward, the beer shows an appetizing creamy off white head that rises timidly, but continues to lather into a blanket across the glass. Trailing with foamy lace, the beer simply exudes the appearances that make English ales charming and masculine.

Mild caramel, acorn, and toast notes shed light on the dark beer's aromas. Accessory scents of light chocolate, toasted grain, vanilla, and light malty starch seem to support the stronger impressions of sweetness and earthiness. With just enough woodish hops to round out the scent, the beer offers more than varying degrees of sweetness and graininess.

Deliciously smooth, the beer's taste stems from its aromas- malty sweet with caramel and toffee with perhaps a dash of brown sugar. But a more robust nutty flavor exhumes with the taste of walnut, pecan, and an overall peanut brittle taste. Light starch flavor adds body and becomes a bridge for the early nutty bitterness into the more woody bitterness of those classic English hops that balance the taste but never rivals. The beer is simply delicious and effortless from start to finish.

Medium bodied but seemingly light because of the beer's malty-dry taste it seems to contribute richer impressions to its texture. Seemingly thin and perhaps watery at times, the beer simply looses interest at middle palate and it takes 'til its fleeting grainy-sweet finish to regain interest. Finishing somewhat cola-like, the minty hops and light alcohol warmth closes the beer with a short nutty finish.

Ideally suited for standard American pub fare, I'll happily welcome this semi-robust ale with cheeseburgers, chicken wings and hand tossed pizzas. It's a non-offensive beer that meets many occasions but might leave the beer connoisseur wanting more.

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Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Rich!

Appearance: Clear auburn body capped by a thin layer of foam. Head retention is somewhat poor.

Smell: The English yeast strain is most immediately noticeable, lending quite a bit of red apple. Toasted malt comes out more as it warms, along with a nutty, earthy note.

Palate: Red apple, toast, roasted nuts. Quite a bit of dark fruit from the yeast. Initially sweet, and pretty light in body. Dries up in the finish with very gentle bitterness.

Overall: A pretty solid and traditional take on an English brown. Good stuff.

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Photo of brentk56
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a creamy head that sticks both in amplitude and lace

Smell: Brown bread with a hint of hazelnuts

Taste: Opens with a brown bread flavor that adds a slightly nutty aspect after the swallow; mellow finish, with a little nut skin bitterness at the end

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with modest carbonation and a characteristic creamy texture

Drinkability: A very nice example of a style that is often quite boring

Sorry I forgot who you are, so thanks to the Unknown BA

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (Courtesy of Monger): Poured a dark brown color ale with a medium foamy head with average retention. Aroma of nutty malt with caramel is quite enticing. Taste of nutty malt is excellent with some sweet fruit and a creamy texture. Low carbonation with a slightly above average body. I have to admit that I had a lot of worse brown ale and I did enjoy this one.

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Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a tulip glass it pours a reddish copper brown, some good clarity noticeable in the light. Spotty lace and good retention.

Muted, nondescript aroma, lightly malty with wet barley and maple notes.

Malty and smooth, light tobacco and maple suggestions, apple, generally mellow with a light astringency, a little watery. Easy drinking and sessionable, reminds me of autumn nights in a rural WI cabin.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with branded pressure cap and stylish label art acquired from the very gracious Duff27 in a trade (thanks, buddy!) and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; I've had some lovely beers from this brewery. Brewed with six different varieties of Wisconsin malt.

Served straight from the fridge, but it's merely chilled - I wouldn't call it cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a two finger beige colour head - a bit thin - of fair cream and pretty good (4+ minute) retention. Body colour is a dark amber; by no means brown. Transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Fairly vibrant. Generally appealing for the style. No real lacing as the head recedes.

Sm: Ah, yes. Delightfully evocative hazelnut. Cream. Amber, biscuit, and maybe even a pale malt or two. Light toasted character. Subtlety reigns here; this is fantastic for a nutty brown. Wow. Caramel. No roast or bitterness here; just straight up nut-forward character. That's what I want from a good brown. Maybe a hint of toffee. Light bread. I don't detect any distinct hop character; any hopping was for preservation. All around, it's fresh, pleasant, and inviting. I can't wait to try it. No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

T: Hazelnut is dominant - as it should be. Caramel. Light toasted character. No perceptible hop character. No yeast. Biscuit malt. Brown malt. Cream. Hints of toffee. It may be simple, but it's pretty much what I want and expect from a brown. Nutty as hell and balanced. Subtle and pleasant to drink. Full-bodied. Not too sweet nor too bitter. Filling. Constructively, it could use more complexity - but I'm nitpicking because this may well be the most complex Brown I've had. The hazelnut in particular is great.

Mf: Creamy, chewy, refreshing, wet. Smooth enough to refresh but lightly coarse enough to aid the depth of flavour. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Very well executed. Carbonation is perfect. Very well done all around. Really aids flavour delivery. Soft. Not too heavy or too light on the palate.

Dr: Very drinkable; I'll enjoy finishing this bottle. A fine Brown Ale from one of the best breweries around. This will be my new standard against which I judge other browns. Yet another solid beer from New Glarus. I'm having this one.

High B-

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Photo of zeff80
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a reddish, brown color with an off-white, one and a half-finger head. Did not leave any lace.

S - It smelled of sweet malt and nut.

T - It tasted of hazelnut and roasted malt. It also had a complex blend of hops that was fairly understated.

M - It was soft, smooth and creamy. A medium-bodied beer.

D - I really enjoyed this beer. It is my first from New Glarus. One of the better Brown Ales around.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the brewery.

Pours a moderate brown color with a light off white head. The nose brings some light caramel and toffee plus slight nutty characteristics. Taste is doughy brown that is slightly nutty and some light caramel sweetness. Medium feel with good carbonation. Nice and simple and drinks well.

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Photo of oline73
3.27/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a sam adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a finger of off white head that fades to a layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Sweet malt with a strong fruity presence. Sort of reminds me of a glass of apple juice to be honest.

Taste: Much better than the smell. I'm getting some mildly sweet malt with some bready and fruity notes. There is a slight bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tons of carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I'm glad this tasted much better than it smells. The carbonation was a bit high, but still an alright beer.

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had at SMBDC growler/bottle tasting thanks to BlessedBeBeer.

A: Light creamy head, light lacing, clear amber brown color.

N: Brown sugar, nutty malts, molasses, caramel malts, toasty and nutty, semi sweet.

T: Semi sweet, crisp but dry, nutty malts, brown sugar, molasses, light cinnamon, light hops, semi bitter earthy hops. Finishes drier, slight hops, dark brown sugar, toasty malts.

M: Med bodied but just a little thin, little syrupy, decent carb.

O: Good, nice brown malts, good flavors, not overboard on anything, nice hop addition, just a little thin though.

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Photo of mothman
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours 1 and ½ fingers of light tan head. Not very good retention or lace. Color is a clear light copper brown. Nothing to appealing.

Aroma: Big malt profile. Chocolate and caramel, but that is pretty much it.

Taste: A malt profile is what this beer is. A very typical average brown. Big chocolate malts, some caramel. Not a lot going on here.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little crisp. Light bodied for a brown ale. Good amount of carbonation. Ends with a clean malty aftertaste.

Overall, for a brown, this is nothing impressive. Very boring, but has the typical flavors to it. Not something I'd buy on a regular basis but it is drinkable.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear amber, with nearly 2 1/2 fingers of big and foamy off-white head. This shrinks down pretty readily and retains with a frothy 1/2 finger that leaves back a rich cascade of lacing, which rings the sides with heavy swathes. The aroma is nice and stickily sweet in the nose, with notes of cocoa, toffee, bread, and some nuttiness. Floral hops, spice, and especially citrus mix in to give this a sharp tang.

The taste is toasted grains, caramel, and light chocolate, with some more subtle nut flavors this time around. This has the stickiness of the aroma but isn't coming off quite as robust. A shot of spicy hops runs through, giving this some balance. This finishes fairly clean, with maybe just a bit of lingering spice coming out. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a moderate sharpness to the carbonation that then gives way to an easier feel underneath. Pretty quaffable overall.

Solid Brown Ale, with a nice roasty tang to it and the spiciness of the English hops added some decent zip. I could definitely see this being a quality Brown to enjoy in the cooler months.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fat Squirrel pours a beautiful, subtly hazy (it's bottle-conditioned), light chestnut body with a crimson cast and glowing orange highlights. The frothy ivory head receeds to a thin layer of cream; and it leaves some nice, albeit it mainly transient, lace with each sip. The nose is loaded with toasty malt and welcomes you to take a sip! It's delicately zesty on the tongue due to it's very fine-bubbled, natural carbonation. The body is medium; and it becomes a bit creamier as it warms. Toasty and slightly nutty malt carries through the flavor from start to finish with some delicate, floral and mildly spicy hops appearing towards the finish. It's solid bitterness ushers in a dry finish; and toasted malt lingers gently in its long aftertaste with the occassional appearance of some floral and piney hops. Enjoy this one at just below cellar temperatures to get the most out of it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bright orange-amber-bronze with an expansive head that is airy, yet creamysoft, and still fills at least half the glass several minutes after the pour. Fine bubbles rush up to replenish the cap of foam even as smooth divots form in the surface and erode it from the top down. Unfortunately, the texture of the cap isn't conducive to lace formation, as the clean glass attests.

The nose is lightly roasted malty, toasted nutty and contains a hint of milky cocoa. Very nice. Coffee-with-cream appears unexpectedly on the palate and is the major component of the flavor profile. Nuttiness is still present, although cocoa/chocolate is nowhere to be found. The Squirrel is satisfactorily malted with a valued contribution from softly bitter hops. I'd like to see a fatter body than the one that has been provided, but it isn't bad given the style.

Fat Squirrel is a well-crafted brown ale that (unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned) tastes more like coffee than anything else. It isn't overpowering however, and although I would never buy it on a regular basis, it was fine as long as the bottle lasted. Another good New Glarus beer for which I have Skidz to thank.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, mahogany body with a small, white head.

Smell: Nutty, earthy maltiness with a note of caramel, but it's mainly a variety nutpack bouquet.

Taste: Sweet brown malts with a full-on toasted nuttiness. Some cocoa powder and caramel, but like the aroma, it's strong in the nut department. Mild spicy bitterness. Smooth, sweetish finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A flavorful, enjoyable, session-minded brown ale.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from rpzel, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, nuts and maple but is a little faint overall.

T: The taste is malty and very smoky with flavors of caramel, spice and nuts. There’s a very mild hops presence and a little bit of hops. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is pretty clean for the style.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a nice beer to stick with for an evening if you’re in the mood for a good brown ale. I could definitely drink a few of them and it’s definitely one of the better beers that I’ve had in the style.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I decided to have two more tastings before a long cutoff. This was the first and was done solo, served cold and into a pint glass, these were consumed on 11/18/2010.

Some of the last of the New Glarus offerings I have never had. I decided to knock out two of them last night. The pour here again was much darker then I had anticipated with a nice hazelnut color that was capped by a nice off white head that really seemed to have some legs to it. Good lacing flowed down the sides of the glass and left a really well rounded look. Loads of caramel here, literally tons of it in the aroma and flavor. Lots of earthy, herbal notes as well flowing through here. Very nicely done I have to admit and each sip seemed to get creamier and more well refined. Lots of roasted nuts, hints of light hops now as well coming into play in the finish which is capped nicely by a well rounded and subtle sugary note.

Overall not sure what to make of this one other then it being damn good. A really interesting and very, very well crafted ale.

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Photo of russpowell
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from HogWildLiqour, cheers Cody!

Pours an effervescent amber with 1 finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: breadyness, slight citric hop presence & then nuttyness show up as this warms

T: Breaddyness, nuttyness & citric hops up front. Nuttynes dominates as this warms, carries on to through the finish, plus some grainyness

MF: Medium bodied with slight over-carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks easy, not a bad brown, could session on this easily

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Grading to style this is among the best English style brown asked made in the united States. Appearance is flawless; merengue head, garnet brown, sticky lacing. Aroma is toasted bread, caramel, fruity esters that give it a slight cola note. Taste takes it deeper, almost no hop bitterness, depth, a sweet vanilla nuttiness rounds out the finish. Medium body, a little coating.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.51/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Thanks to VDubb86 for sharing his sixer!

The final brew taken down during the Man's Weekend (for me, at least). It pours a semi-hazed amber-garnet topped by a half-finger of off-white creamy foam. The nose comprises fish batter (LJS-style, seemingly), toffee, buttery biscuits, and some light orange zest. The taste holds notes of light walnut, light toffee, light orange peel, and some blackened biscuits. The body is a light medium (or heavy light), with a moderate carbonation and a sorta grainy feel. Overall, nothing overtly special, but a decent enough nut brown. A nice end to one helluva weekend ride.

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

Had on tap at New Glarus. Review from notes.

A: Fat Squirrel is brown in color with a small off-white head on top that reduces slowly leaving little bits of lacing on the glass.

S: Rather nutty with some caramel, a little coffee and chocolate with a bit of spice.

T: More nuts with a bit of caramel, light hops/pine, a little bit of smoke, but has a slightly sweet finish.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, very clean and smooth.

O: A nice English Brown, very true to style and easy drinking. A solid beer.

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Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Founders pint glass. It poured caramel in color with a modest and fizzy head to it. The head stuck around for a bit too.

The aroma shows a lot of nutty flavors to it with caramel also coming through. It's smooth and malty and had some very nice flavors to it overall.

The taste starts out with some nice nutty notes and smooth malt character. Towards the finish I get out more caramel and toffee to it with just a hint of roasted flavors as well. It's moderately sweet at first but is pretty balanced in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was a very easy drinking and flavorful beer. It had some nice malty and nutty flavors to it and was very smooth. Very nice beer for the style and a very nice beer overall.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12/18/11 notes. Thanks to Ian for this one. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip.

a - Pours a transparent dark amber color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, toasted malts, nuts, and light hops. Very malt heavy as expected, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of nuts, bready malts, toasted malts, roasted malts, and caramel malts. Nuts come out more than in the nose. A tiny step down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a good brown ale, and another good beer from New Glarus. Lots of nuts in the taste and some light hops, and easy to drink. If I were in the mood for a brown ale and this was sold on the shelves I'd certainly have it again.

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Fat Squirrel Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,575 ratings.
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