New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale
5.2% ABV, 18.5 IBU
This is the flagship amber from New Belgium brewing out of Fort Collins, CO – a popular entry-level craft brew with a TON of marketing savvy behind it. Home-brewers love cloning the thing – mainly because there was a time when you couldn’t buy it out side of a few western states. New Belgium prides itself on: 1) alternative energy for all its operations and 2) brilliant ways to get their message and their beer in front of consumers. Example: New Belgium rolled out in Indy in cans in the month of May a few years back. ‘Cause the track doesn’t allow bottles…get it? It worked. I took 6 to the 500 that year. Other brewers have followed suit; Sun King notes that canning its brews is a more environmentally-friendly approach, and Brooklyn Lager has turned up in cans made by the Ball company.
Not much of a head when bottle-poured, but the color is a lovely dark honey gold. A: 2.1
The nose is mainly yeasty, a bready thing not unlike cutting into a fresh egg bagel. After the grain creeps in, more brewer’s yeast. It’s like you’re standing next to the vat. Nice. N: 2.1
Drinks a bit like a cream ale! A bit of oats, a bit of grainy bread, a bit of caramel. The hops presence here is slight, but this a session beer, not a hop monster. Some spice – other reviewers have claimed apple, but I can’t find it. Malty – malted milk balls malty. After the cream, a trace of caramel. The body’s a bit slight and soda-poppy. T:2.2
And the finish is a bit slight and soda poppy too – but here’s where a little bitter twang of hops show up. Lingers, a little more caramel – and hey, did I just have a bowl of Total cereal? F: 2.1
ED’S SCORE: 8.5 out of 10