925: Fat Tire Amber Ale

Name: Fat Tire Amber Ale
Brewery: New Belgium Brewing
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Fort Collins, Colorado
Style: American Amber / Red Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.3%
First Brewed: 1991

Tasting Notes
The flavors are biscuit and malt up front, with toasted caramel, nuts, and even molasses on the palate. Earthy hop character, well balanced, and finished on the sweet side of dry.

Ricky’s Thoughts
This beer hasn’t always been available here in the Midwest. I used to have my friends from out of town bring it in. But a few years ago, Fat Tire came to Indiana and we have been hooked since. It’s sort of like Yuengling. You still can’t get that here. Anyway, Fat Tire is an amber ale, and while I don’t usually like amber ales… this one has a certain spice that I can’t get enough of. Anyway, let’s see what this beer does for 1001 Bottles.

In the Glass: There isn’t much going on here. It’s sort of like any domestic beer you pour. The head is thin and weak, and the lace is almost nonexistent. But you don’t drink a beer like this for the quality, rather the drinkability that you can expect out of a beer that’s not quite a domestic (even though it’s made in the United States) but not quite a craft brew.

Nose: There isn’t much going on here. I do smell a hint of spice in there. Maybe some cinnamon.

Flavor: We are drinking this VERY cold, which makes sense for a beer like this. There isn’t a ton of flavor either. It has a punch of spice in the middle of the palate, but then it quickly fades away. There isn’t as much carbonation as you would expect from a beer like this, but drink it cold. It doesn’t do it any justice when it heats up.

Mouthfeel: It’s thin and smooth as it crosses your tongue. There are some subtle bubbles toward the back half of the palate, but they are there and gone before you know it. Those spices do, as you drink more, tend to pile on top of one another and stick around the more of this you drink.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste, at first, is weak and pretty much worthless. But after two, three, and more drinks the aftertaste starts to stick around and gain momentum. The beer also has a pretty good burp, leaving you with those same spices. The beer doesn’t have a big ABV, so there isn’t much, if any heat. But it’s not a beer that you save. It’s a beer that you drink three or four of with dinner or with buddies watching football. For the record… we don’t watch football.

Fat Tire is a good beer, but not great. It’s average, at best. It sells well because it’s new here. Plus, it has a cool story. I like the label too. If you haven’t had Fat Tire before, try it. You might dig it. But it’s not what I would call a craft brew. It’s also not a beer I would expect to find on a list like this. Of course, 1001 bottles is a LOT of beer. They can’t all be gems!

Beer Name – The bottle says: “Fat Tire Amber Ale’s appeal is in its feat of balance: toasty, biscuity-like malt flavors coating in equilibrium with hoppy freshness. Named in honor of a storied bike ride through Europe, Fat Fire cruises with Belgian imagination and inspiration. Take it for a ride.”

Rating: 3/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
We are doing 1001 Bottles at a new location tonight!  Tonight we are across the street from our apartment at Hearthstone Coffeehouse & Pub.  This place is starting to become a common hangout for me, if not for Ricky as well.

Tonight’s beer is a common one here in Indiana, although it didn’t even use to be available here.  Fat Tire became available in Indy just when I was starting to get into beer.  I know I’ve had it before, but it’s been a while.  It poured out of the bottle without a lot of head, and the color in the glass is kind of a reddish-brownish-dark gold color.  It’s not thick at all, very transparent in the glass.  The smell… well, the first thing I thought of was cinnamon.  Strange smell to get from a beer, but that’s what hit me.  It’s honestly the biggest smell I get when I stick my nose in the glass.  Time to find out how it tastes.

It actually tastes a lot like cinnamon too.  This would make a good everyday beer, for watching a football game if you’re into that sort of thing.  (I’m not.)  It tastes kind of like a good ale to me.  I’m not a huge fan of ales in general, but a good one will make due in a pinch.  And sometimes, every once in a while, I even get a craving for one.  This is a good go-to ale.  It honestly was really popular in Indiana back when you could first get it here, but it’s not talked about nearly as much now.  I think it was just the novelty of actually being able to get it here rather than the superb quality of the beer itself.  It’s not a bad beer, and like I said, a good go-to ale.  But for me, it doesn’t do much more than that.

Rating: 3/5

924 bottles of beer on the wall…

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