Fat Squirrel Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Fat Squirrel AleFat Squirrel Ale
Very Good
1,613 Ratings
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: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UncleJimbo on 05-17-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,613 |  Reviews: 535
Photo of mariposafan
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly stiff pour yields an impressive creamy head over a mahogany body. Retention isn't bad but could be better.

The aroma is very pleasant. Sweet and nutty malts with just a hint of grassiness underneath.

The flavor mirrors the aroma but with the unwelcome addition of some lingering roasty bitterness. The sweetness and light nuttiness, though, are very pleasant and plenty bold.

Medium mouthfeel with well balanced carbonation. Not to prickly but there's certainly enough carbonation to ensure that the sweet flavors do become cloying.

If not for the slightly overdone bitter aftertaste this would be a standard for me. As it stands I'll certainly have it again, just not as often as the less flavorful, but also less bitter Sprecher's Pub Brown Ale.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle.

A: Two fingers of thick head that sits on top of a medium clear brown beer with lively carbonation. Great head retention

S: Sweet, nutty malts over very light citrus hops.

T: Fairly strong sweet toffee and nutty flavor with slight hop bitterness.

M: Great carbonation with medium body. Good for style.

O: Quite flavorful and well constructed. Impressive.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 10 May 2010... really? I wonder if I got the year wrong on that. Will have to try a fresher bottle soon to see if this one's lost anything.

Pours a medium-dark reddish brown, clear, with about one finger of head. The head is a funny color, like tan with a bit of orange leaking into it from the edges. Fades pretty quickly, leaving not much lacing.

Smell is rather faint, but what's there is sweet nutty malts. It's a little funny, as I'm not used to the combination of English brown sweetness with hazelnuts. But I like it. The smell is cylindrical, long and smooth but rounded, and it keeps coming back to the same place. No hops in the aroma at all.

Taste is straight-up sweet brown ale. All malts, with less nutty or woody character than there is in the smell. Not really caramel; more like sugar on top of pale malts. But the flavor is really one-dimensional - it's missing those little bits sticking out at the edges that it needs to make it more interesting. Tastes decent, but lacking any degree of complexity.

Mouthfeel is quite light, almost buoyant in the mouth, and the initial lift gets pushed up higher by a burst of fuzzy carbonation. By the time it settles back down, it's almost gone.

Decent brown ale, definitely on the English/sweet side. Wish more of that hazelnut that's so obvious in the smell were present in the flavor. Not bad, but not my favorite.

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Photo of andrenaline
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The second offering in a mixer my mom grabbed me while she was in the States.

A - Pours a nice dark mahogany colour, finger of beige head with solid retention and some nice sticky lacing.

S - Very nutty with some roasted almonds, dark toffee and a touch of sweetened coffee on the finish.

T - Much like the scent, with the roasted malt notes coming through very nicely. Nutty flavours complemented by some sweet caramel and toffee and a hint of coffee.

M - Medium bodied, goes down incredibly smooth and finishes nice and wet.

O - I could drink this stuff all day. The sessionability of it is insane. The flavours are nice and bold, yet not overwhelming. So far this mixer pack is nailing it on every level.

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Photo of flyfisherfinn
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional brown ale offering from New Glarus. The roasted malts in this beer make for a very pleasant aroma and taste. This poured very nicely, with a thick creamy head. The beer is very smooth as well. I was definitely able to pick up the hazelnut tones within this beer that the brewery marks on the bottle. Great variation of the style.

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Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Wisconsin. This brewery seems to be one of its hidden gems. Looks good. Hefty brown with good lacing. Just the right amount of head. She'll do! Smells wonderful like toasted almond, bread, grassy hops, and some alcohol. Taste is lovely toasted, but definately subtle enough to let other flavors shine like mocha and honey. The mouthfeel is outstanding. Surprising, I thought it was going to be similar to the Belgian Red, but I was wrong. Very smooth. I really don't know how a brown can get much better. I could drink this 24/7. Better off I stay south of the boarder!

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Photo of SkitzIrish3
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light brown with good layer of head (I did a different pour with this one, so it's hard to comment. Toasty, nut malt aroma with an herbal background. English malts some are saying? Yummy. Wow, yum is right. Great toasty, nut flavor with a light bitterness making me want another drink NOW! Carbonation is low, body seems adequate. Reminds me of Fat Tire, although technically a different style. Glad I got this from my brew partner the other day!

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The pour is an amber brown with a bubbly white cap. Good retention, with the head eventually fading to strange shaped

Smell: Very English - caramel brown malt, peat, some earthy and nutty aromas as well.

Taste: The taste follows, it is pretty straight forward. Up front there is some caramel and toffee sweetness from the English malts, with some hazelnut up next, and some full earthy flavors with a bitter tint.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is a little bit less than medium. A soft stickiness permeates each sip. The flavor starts sweet and turns a little bit oily toward the end.

Overall: This was an easy drinking example of the style.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.27/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Amanda for this! Been wanting to try it for a while now. Well, now that our huge effing exam is over, I can finally celebrate.

Poured clear maple brown with caramel highlights in the light. Topped by a 3/4" white head that lazily dissipated into a thin ring. Small irregular patches of lace here and there.

Very clean aroma with a blend of toasty and caramel grains. Touch of earth from the hops and maybe a tiny bit of metal, which IMO enhances the aroma here. Mildly sweet forefront that gives way to a nicely balanced grain profile of a classic English pale ale, but finishing with dark honey sweetness. Hops is barely noticeable, more apparent as an afterthought in each sip, but prolonging the sip so much as to introduce the next quaff.

Fat Squirrel isn't too "fat" IMO. It could use a touch more body for its bubbly carbonation. However, it is clearly a minor issue in the big picture.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer. A great anytime beer that goes well with an American meal or it can stand on its own, like it is right now. It's not a crazy assertive bal-aged bourbon brandy apple tripel eised whatever have you, but it's not a boring beer that gets a "meh" from me. Thanks again, Amanda!

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Photo of lurpy1
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium chestnut, some head. Vague smell of almonds and a little bit of coffee. Not real impressive or assertive. To be fair, maybe I should have let it warm. Does come out of its shell as I drink it, a more pronounced nut flavor with a little bit of hop pizzaz. Tasty. An easy drinking beer. Would love to try it again at a warmer temperature.

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Photo of biggred1
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark translucent chestnut with a pretty nougat colored fluffy head that leaves sheets of lace on the glass. The aroma is faint coffee, sweet malt with a trace of evergreen. Toffee-like malt with a roasty coffee kind of bitterness in the finish. Medium lean bodied with scrubbing carbonation. A well made, no frills kind of Brown Ale.

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Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -10%
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 Erish
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass. No best by date apparent.

A: clear medium brown color, pours a healthy 3-finger head that gradually falls into a thick cap with very good lacing. A sexy brown ale to be sure.

S: nuts, oak, toasty malt, a buttery diacetyl note, the woody hops are subdued.

T: the nutty, woody malt has a moderate sweetness that slowly opens up in the middle along with a buttery note, the finish has a light earthiness and a vanilla note.

M: medium-bodied, silky texture, moderate to plentiful carbonation with a lightly mineral finish.

O: this is one of the best brown ales I can remember tasting, which is all the more impressive as a year-round offering from New Glarus Brewing. I could get fat on these.

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Photo of u2carew
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck.
A) Pours with a finger thick head. Clear body, amber in color with active upward carbonation. Lacing is thin and sticky on the drink down.
S) Bready. Subtle Caramel malt aroma. The overall aroma is a bit weak.
T) Nutty with hints of coffee. Nice malt profile and true to English form. Gets sweeter on the palate with time.
M) Fizzy. Medium body. Gritty feel in the aftertaste.
O) A well crafted, true-to-form English Brown. I would definitely pour another one into my glass.

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Photo of oregonskibum
3.57/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Pours with a full, creamy head, dissipates quickly with minimal spotting on side of glass. Color is a dull orange almost brown color.

S: Interesting. Nuts, honey, some sweet notes. But also smells clean, like fresh straw. Definitely malty with limited hops aromas.

T: Lots of malt flavors continue from smell. Gready, some caramel sweetness along with an earthy nuttiness. Some faint smokey flavors as well. Oddly (for 5.8%), a touch of heat on the very finish.

M: A little on the flat side and could have used a touch more carbonation. Medium body. On the creamy side.

D/O: Interesting beer. For a brown with a nut theme (not really my style), I did enjoy this beer.

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Photo of litheum94
4.26/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. No dates.

P: Ruddy brown body, darker in the center. Very small, light brown head. Very fizzy. Settles to a "bullseye" cover.

A: Very sweet aromas, lots of cocoa powder. Nutty malts, mostly hazelnut. Some caramel. A little touch of floral hops. Vanilla floats in the background as well.

T: Chocolate and cocoa powder flavors follow into the flavors. Full, nutty malt backbone. Soft, floral hops mingle with a slight bitterness. French roast coffee flavors on the finish.

This is an awesome brown! Great flavors, great drinkability. Just a solid brew. Right up there with Hazelnut Brown Nectar as my favorite brown.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Clear mahogany body capped by a solid inch of dense, creamy tan foam that demonstrates terrific retention and leaves plenty of sticky lace. Quintessential Brown Ale.

S: Herbal and citrusy hops float above some fairly standard caramel and nutty malts. Enjoyable, but pretty basic for the style.

T: A bit on the sweet side, as the hops hold off with the bitterness until the very end. Again, the malts deliver light caramel and some hazelnut. Maybe a touch of chocolate. Long, slightly astringent finish. Not great, but definitely solid.

M: Smooth, fairly light body with relatively high, lively carbonation. A bit too frothy for me, but not bad.

O: This is a decent example of a style that rarely impresses me, but it’s certainly one of the weaker offerings from a stellar brewery. I love the name, but the beer itself has just never excited me. If you really love the style, though, this is definitely one you should check out. Me, I’ll be cracking another Cranbic, or Dancing Man, or Imperial Weizen, or Moon Man, or…


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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is medium brown with caramel tones. Two fingers of thick, slightly tanned head dissipated to leave a thick ring around the edge and a short-lived foamy lacing.

Smell: Delicious. Toasted malts, caramel, honey, nuts (the New Glarus website says hazelnut), toffee, and cocoa. There is also a little raspberry or dark fruit in there. As it warms, hints of pine spice emerge. Weird, but cool.

Taste: The backbone of the flavor is, aptly, the hazelnut, which supports flavors reminiscent of the aromas: caramel, honey, toffee, and cocoa. It has a slight piney bite to it, but maybe I am mixing that up with the hazelnut.

Drinkability: Yet another awesome offering from New Glarus. It is like the Wonka factory for beer. Not only is the beer true to style, the aggressive hazelnut character makes it distinctive.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.58/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a Fat Squirrel this past weekend. I poured the bottle into my glass and it had floaters...D&MN IT!!! I hate floaters! Yje color was definitely a Red/Amber, but had no head. The scent was really non-exisitent....maybe hints of malt. The taste was quite good for an amber. Was full bodies with nice malt charactered with a spruce of caramel. This beer is easy drink and could certainly be considered a session beer. Enjoy!

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Crystal clear deep walnut brown color with an eggshell-colored craggy two finger head which dies back down after five minutes and leaves behind a thin floating raft of soapy bubbles. No lacing.
Smells of lightly toasted wheat bread, faint almonds in background of caramel malt sweetness. Simple yet appropriate to style.
Tastes of lightly toasted hazelnuts, the legume-y characteristics that unroasted, unsalted peanuts have, caramel malt hits mid sip and backs away hesitantly under cover of a mild earthen hop umbrella. Finishes up dry overall compared to some other brown ales on the market. Texture and body are a bit too thin for my liking on this sort of flavor profile, but that's about all that is missing from this brew.

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Photo of pitasoup
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to jeff from fuzzybrew for this bottle.

A: clear copper/orange with a finger of white head that is quick to subside. no lacing

S: honey, caramel malts, nutty, and a hint of alcohol. little to no hop presence.

T: low to moderate hop bitterness at first that quickly gives way to malty body. sweet, nutty, honey like. slightly grassy aftertaste. more bock-like than brown ale.

M: medium body. carbonation makes this taste smoother than it actually is.

O: a solid brown ale, it might benefit with some more body and color, but overall, this is easy drinking, malty and unoffensive.

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Photo of Franz4
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A-dark copper with a nice creamy head that settles to a finger and sticks.

S- just slightly nutty with an almond quality to it. A little toffee present as well.

T- Nuttiness with a nice rich breadiness as well. This was quite surprising, well balanced taste.

M- seems a little week here, doesn't detract from the beer at all but doesn't add anything to it.

O- A nice brew, glad I was able to try it. This could pair well with a wide range of foods as well.

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Photo of logmacschlog15
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle to glass.

A: Pours a foamy light tan head that disappears after about a minute. Nice looking carbonation. A very clear brown with light hues of red.

S: Very sweet notes of caramel and toffee dominate the nose. There is also delicate hints of fresh baked breads as well. Malts dominate, almost no hops.

T: There is a very rich malty sweetness with hints of caramel and toffee. The sweetness gets richer in the finish and slowly develops into both nutty and bready notes with just a slight hint of hop bitterness to balance. Also a very slight hint of booze. This is very tastey!

M: This is a little thin/watery for my liking ,but fortunately this does not detract from the wonderful taste of the beer.

O: This is a really good brown ale filled with malty goodness. Very straight forward approach to the style.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from bottle into a Pint shaped glass

A - Beer pours with a healthy looking translucent brown colored body; not much carbonation, appears flat; nice creme colored head formed; bubbly and oily in appearance with some sticky lacing on the glass

S - Toasted bread scents; roasted malts; nuts - peanut; oak; sawdust; syrup

T - Hazelnut creaminess; roasted nutty malt flavor; some creme, almost custard flavor; maple syrup flavors provide the sweetness that comes up on the sides of your palate

M - Kind of thin; not much body, but feels great and is the kind of beer that's easy to drink; nutty aftertaste

D - Good beer; another great beer from NG; I think they do a fantastic job of blending unique ingredients into an enjoyable beer; a good English Brown Ale

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - It pours a translucent brown, a shade lighter than cola, and is capped with a very modest and short-lived head.

S - The aroma is vaguely nutty and maple-sweet, but very very mild. Something akin to medium-toasted bread is notable, as well.

T - The flavor is a mixed bag with more 'pros' than 'cons' (whereas the nose is totally positive impressions, but is slightly underwhelming.) The 'pros' include a very easy-drinking nature, with no in-your-face flavors. The roastiness is very very subdued, suggesting toasted hazelnut at most. There is a small fruity character suggested towards the finish, like plum, but dry. The beer is quite dry, overall, despite the sweet-type flavors included (hazelnut, plum, maple...) The 'cons' are few, and mostly related to lack of depth and underdeveloped flavor, and to the detectability of notes of alcohol, which, in my view, should be masked to a much greater degree.

M - The feel is thin, with a bit of punchy carbonation. Works well enough, but does not really enhance.

O - This is a lower-tier beer for me, of NGs regulars (though still quite decent). For example, I far prefer Snowshoe, or Spotted Cow, to this.

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Fat Squirrel Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 1,613 ratings