Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Fat Squirrel Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
531 Reviews
no score
Send samples

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 531 | Ratings: 1,585
Photo of BeerBelcher
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not a big fan of several other New Glarus beers I've tried, but in the several instances I've tried Fat Squirrel, I feel it is a pretty solid, true-to-style beer that is quite drinkable.

Appearance is a dark amber, and is quite attractive with good head retention.

Aroma and taste are both of a fairly assertive caramel malt flavor with a hint of hop bitterness balancing things out.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, but not very sticky. I found this beer quite drinkable. Unlike New Glarus's Yokel and Spotted Cow, I'd recommend this beer.

 547 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a medium mahagony amber with light bubbling and no lacing to speak of. Good head with straight up retention. The aroms is a lovely nutty malt with some intermingling hops throughout. The taste is a nice nutty malt as well. Caramel nuts and a mix of hops dance all aound an easy drinking beer. A little yeasty for my liking. This is a beer that I wish was readily available in IL. Great session beer.

 405 characters

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.

 366 characters

Photo of cheers2beers
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: This beer pours a amberish brown hue with lots of red when held to the light. Slightly off-white pillowy head stacks up to roughly two fingers in height.Lots of beading floating within this beer.

Smell: The aroma is like sweet fruits. Rich in bready malts and even a little hops can be detected.Not bad be any means.

Taste: The flavors where slightly sour at first. Not much fruitiness like the aromas had suggested, but they hinted in there. Has a slight nuttiness as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and low carbonation. Smooth drinking beer.

Drinkability: Not a beer i would recommend but not bad either.In my opinion there are many other english brown ales out there that stand out better than this one.


 747 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rusty amber brown; clear. Finger of gauzey, off-white head dies down early. Caramel, light brown sugar, toasted nuts, and very light herbal hops. Toasted malts up front impart mild bitterness. Caramel, fruit, and faintly sweet brown sugar take over. Toasty, herbal bitterness rounds out the palate. Medium-body with a slightly syrupy feel. Nicely balanced brown ale; very drinkable.

 382 characters

Photo of beveritt
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottle has the matte paper label of all New Galurs bottles. Note to homebrewers, these fall off if you look at them funny, great for re-use.

Appearance: Pours with an inch and a half of creamy, light tan foam. Falls to just a thin coat with a constant stream of bubbles coming up. The beer itself is a reddish amber in color and perfectly clear.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Hints of honey and slightly nutty.

Taste: A good carbonation bite upfront, followed by a hint of sweetness, then malt. Finishes with a decent level of hop bitterness with a little bit of the floral character carrying through.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with just enough carbonation to help carry the flavors.

Drinkability: An extremely drinkable beer, great representation of the style.

 842 characters

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

I would term this a 'very' brown ale. I am not usually much of an ale drinker (I prefer my brew a bit darker), but this beer more than satisfies. It pours a deep, but clear amber with a decent head. The smell of this beer is nothing to remark on in terms of quantity, but in quality, has a fairly pleasant, nutty aroma. This smell nicely compliments its flavor, which is pleasantly malty (especially for an ale) and has a wonderful nutty--almost hazelnut--overtone to it. I find this beer to be remarkably drinkable and one of New Glarus's better brews.

 553 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled through the kind efforts of jj21 and the Simply Beer BIF.

This is a clear reddish brown ale with not that much head to it. Truly this looks a bit more red than brown to me.

Smell is neutral and slightly sour and hoppy to my nose. Citrus hop and rye grain tartness is what I mostly smell with a little bit of chocolate added.

Taste is slightly sweet and bitter chocolate at the beginning. Decent brown ale flavor with no real faults. But there is nothing remarkable here either.

Mouthfeel is OK.

This is an OK brown ale but I really see no reason to try this again.

 587 characters

Photo of EvilKeith
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fat Squirrel poured into the glass a lightly hazed chestnut brown color. The head was short-lived off-white foam that fell to a halo with thin veil for a cap. The lacing was minimal.
The smell was nutty grain husk, grassy hops with sweet and lightly roasted malts. The taste was hazelnut, roasted grain, sweet malt, a hint of sweet dark brown sugar and lightly grassy hops. The balance was fantastic to the point of neutrality, not excessively bitter or sweet.
The carbonation was fairly active on a medium-light body with a pleasant crisp mouthfeel. The lighter body and exceptional balance combine to make this incredibly drinkable.
This is a very good example of an English Brown Ale. Well done New Glarus! Score another one for Wisconsin!

 748 characters

Photo of granger10
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Semi hazy light mohagany color with a medium off white head and a bit of lacing. Smells a bit like hazelnut coffee, toasty, some hoppy notes that toast and dry it out. Taste is stronger on coffee than expected but the nuttyness really dominates. Sweeter with some milk chocolate but more of a toffee flavor. Roasted nuttiness is still prevalent. Dry caramel elements at the top. Good body but still could use a touch more fullness. Finish is a bit earthy and hoppy and ends clean. Another nice offering from New Glarus.

 519 characters

Photo of shbobdb
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Been a while since I had this beer. Many of my Wisconsinite friends classify this as their "desert island" beer. I can see why, it has a variety of flavours, layer upon layer of them, actually. Every time I drink this beer I notice something new about it, and that is rewarding.

Hints of chocolate, molassas, and toffee (mostly chocolate and toffee) join together with pleasantly earthy hops all wrapped up with a pleasantly fruity finish. I like it a lot.

It is sort of a Rorschach test of a beer. Sometimes, all I get is chocolate. Other times, it is toffee. Or the coffee really comes through, like it is right now. The fruitiness reminds me of a nice wine, but whether it is a floral white wine or a nice robust red wine changes with my mood.

It manages to combine the best aspects of sessionability with complexity. Great beer.

 836 characters

Photo of maundythirsty
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Auburn beer, clear except for pinpoint particles that I suppose are what's left of the yeast. Thin, white tiny-bubbled head dissipates in a hurry, leaving a thin skim and little lacing. Smells nutty, with mellow and flat malt -- if you stick your nose right in it.

Taste is similar to the smell, but nuttier. Malty with some caramel, but without being sweet. Pleasantly bitter ansd alcoholic. Light mouthfeel. Slightly carbonated and quite dry.

A nice brown. Tasty, though not that remarkable.

 499 characters

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

Received in a mixed six-pack trade from nflmvp -- thanks a ton!
Ever so slightly hazy bronzed chestnut with a pillowy cream colored head. Soft scents of sweet biscuits and cocoa. Fuzzy floral and spicy hop aromas mix with rather faint hazelnut notes. Some fruity esters emerge as well. Nut-candy sweet flavors with subtly tart melon and berry characteristics. Some floral hops provide a slight spiciness before the decidedly earthy finish. Very soft and slippery mouthfeel; just a tad heavy on the palate, but overall very smooth. A pretty great stab at the style, from my perspective.

 586 characters

Photo of BrewnZ
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A deep copper beer that seems filtered clear - bright. Medium malt aroma, low esters suggest and American yeast strain or cool fermentation temps.

Medium body with strong toasted notes, I wish I new the malt bill. Malt lingers . . . med-low hop flavor and bitterness pushed beer to English brown ale. Well made beer.

 320 characters

Photo of MrVisegrips
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The pour is a dark amber with almost a red tint to it. The head pours thick and cream colored then settles to a good lace. Aroma is nice as well with a mellow malt and nutty notes. Flavors are an excellent blend of malt giving a distinct character to the brew. The finish gives the perfect bite of Bavarian hops. Mouthfeel is very clean lending well to the excellent drinkabilty. Overall, this brew is an excellent example of a nut brown ale and another great brew from New Glarus, which I might add, is quickly becoming a staple in my brew fridge.

 548 characters

Photo of BlindPig
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Thin light tan head on a clear mahogany body. Little bit of lacing just to cover the top.
S- Big malts and a big nutty smell. Slight roasted character also. Some light scent of piney and grassy hops.
T- First thing that comes out is a big nut character. Has roasted notes to it also. Big malts. Toffee flavors also come out. A light underlying grass hops help balance all the malts just a bit.
M-Medium to full body. Light carbonation.
D- It's a nice easy beer to drink. Nothing special but is a good decent beer. Wouldn't mind a few more of these on a relaxed day.

 574 characters

Photo of terrabyte
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown that you can still see light through. Medium head that disappears immediately.

Not too much aroma. A hint of grapefruit and other citrus sweetness. Some nuttiness, but not much.

A blend of nuttiness and grapefruit. A hint of toffee or caramel adds to the sweetness. Not enough flavor! Ends with a bit of piney tartness and bitterness.

Mouthful is a bit foamy while swallowing. A little high on the carbonation.

This isn't what I'd expect from a Nut Brown Ale. With a big fat squirrel on the label, I was looking forward to an homage to the nut. Instead, the squirrel stole all the nuts. This reminds me of too many characteristics of an IPA, blended with -some- aspects of a brown ale. It's a weird middle where they met, and as a fan of deep brown ales, I lost out.

 797 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear brownish-red color. The head is two-fingers in height and recedes slowly into decent lacing. The aroma is of caramel and chocolate. The taste is identical to the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. Overall, this is a decent beer, but it lacks any sort of complexity. I would drink it again, but I wouldn't search it out.

 373 characters

Photo of marcobrau
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A lighter colored brown ale, that pours with a lot of carbonation and a big head, giving off some wonderful nutty and toasted malt aromas. There's a great nutty maltiness in this beer along with slightly roasted coffee notes., amid some tasty caramel malt sweetness and perhaps a hint of toffee candy. The hop bitterness seems somewhat restrained with some bitterness contributed by the roasted malts. This combination of flavors add complexity and make this beer tasty and very enjoyable. A future world classic nut brown ale.

 527 characters

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

a - pours deep brown with a medium-sized off-white head with good retention, nice lacing, hazy with sediment

s - not a very strong aroma, but I picked up a caramelly nut smell with some malt as well

t - as the smell would suggest, sweet and slightly caramelly, strong nutty flavor as well, malt on the finish, little to no bitterness

m - medium-carbonation, medium-bodied

d - very drinkable, I could put down several of these

Very nice brown ale here. Another solid brew from New Glarus...wish I had more frequent access to this brewery.

 552 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut brown with an off white head and slight yeasty sediment. No lacing to speak of.

Smell is caramel malt and brown sugar. Mild nut and hop bite.

Taste is woody and nutty with surprising smokiness. Caramel malt base, toffee, brown sugar andf a mild fruitiness. Finish has subdued hop bitterness, along with slight warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel if full and chewy.

A petty decent brown ale. Certainly worth a try. I feel this more of an 'Americanized' version of a brown ale. However, this is still a good brew.

 529 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poure a slighty hazy dark amber with a thin line of white head

Smell was predomintely sweet malts with hints is molasses,oak, and a slight earthy mustyness.

Taste is much better than the smell with a nice smooth nut brown english taste and a nice bit of charred oak flavors mixing in.

Mouthfeel is light with a decent dry finish.

Overall not to bad, I would drink this one again.

 391 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this beer into a snifter just for fun. Once in, it looked rather boring as a dull brown, but when held to the light, it began to glow with a beautiful cherry color with some hints of amber. The head fell to a wispy firm with a few larger bubbles floating around in a group.

Smells of dry woody caramel malts and a bit of walnuts. There’s also a faint but playful citrus sour dryness that reminds me a bit of melon.

There’s a definite nut and dry caramel base here, but on top there’s first there’s that melon like orange rind sourness that really gets noticed farther back on my tongue. More prominently is a dry, birch bark dryness that eventually fades to a cool campfire smokiness with just a hint of chocolate. There are some neat dynamics and some cool layering going on here.

The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with a full mouth of bubbles that really thicken things up, but seem to dissipate when I swallow. Perfect!

This one’s tasty for sure. I’m glad I got a sixer. Thanks to BA Doolar for hauling this one all the way from WI.

 1,069 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed April 9, 2005. On tap at the Gitchee Gumee Brewfest 2005. The aroma was bland and of plain malt. But, wow, the flavors really bowl you over. They’re simple and fairly one-dimensional, but you get a good mix of nuts, mostly domianted by roasted hazlenut (a personal favorite), so this beer spoke to me. Has a few other weakness, but pretty exceptional for a typical brown.

 392 characters

Photo of ccs
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There is very, very little aroma to this beer at all. Perhaps a faint hint of grains, but that's it. The appearance is different that I expected, I wanted something that was more towards the brown and less amber. Perhaps it was my light. The taste is very surprising. Roasted, nutty, big and flavorful. A nice full mouthfeel. I think this would be good on occasion as a treat, but I'm not sure I'd want more than two at a time. I will seek this out when I'm back in Wisconsin.

 476 characters

Fat Squirrel Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 1,585 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!