Brewery: New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colorado
Beer: Fat Tire
Serving: 16 oz can
Glassware: New Belgium globe
Information: 5.2% ABV, 18.5 IBUs, 22 JUL 12 on bottom of can.
Style: American Amber / Red Ale
Price: $8.99 / 4-pack cans, 6-pack bottles
Cellaring: Not recommended for extended aging.
Pairings: Visit this link for extensive pairings.
Steady carbonation streams from the glass’ nucleation point, through the clear, gorgeous amber beer, to the frothy off-white head. Retention is rather poor, but plenty of lace remains caked to the glass.
Deeply earthy, Fat Tire has always reminded me of a musty fall day after a rainfall in a lot of ways; crisp, cool air, damp leaf piles, and wet rock. Toasted malt notes emerge behind the extremely earthy hop aroma for a good level of balance.
The earthy aspects the nose offers follow through to the flavor incredibly. Mulch pile and damp leaf with a wet rock-like finish that doesn’t so much remind of hops or malt, just a unique earthy flavor – one that I’m really not a fan of.
Medium-light bodied, Fat Tire, with it’s moderately higher carbonation level, is crisp on the tongue, biting at the throat in conjunction with dryness on the finish leaving a rather refreshing lingering bitterness post-swallow.
New Belgium’s Fat Tire has made quite a name for itself, building the brand by leaps and bounds. It’s popularity has allowed New Belgium to do unique and different things with beer, and for that I’m grateful but I’ll be honest; I really don’t care for this beer. I strive to be as objective and style-focused as possible when reviewing beer; in the end, I just don’t think Fat Tire is very good. The combination of malt and hops in this beer doesn’t showcase either of the two ingredients, rather, it leaves a lasting impression of just plain “earthy”. It’s damn consistent though, and that takes some serious brewing skill.
So, I’ll leave it at this; if people didn’t like it, New Belgium wouldn’t be where they are today.
Score: 65 / 100 - Average