Beer Review: New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber AleAugust 2, 2008
Part II: Mothership Wit Organic Wheat Beer
Part II: 1554 Enlightened Black Ale
Part IV: Mighty Arrow Pale Ale
The Beer Snob
New Belgium Brewing‘s Fat Tire Amber Ale is a brew my buddy Elmer told me about and he often praised it’s tastiness. He would only get it when he headed west, I believe, usually on a beer run to prep for Bonnaroo. So naturally this is the first one of their brews I tried. And he understated its excellence, if you ask me.
According to the Web site:
Named in honor of our founder Jeff’s bike trip through Belgium, Fat Tire Amber Ale marks a turning point in the young electrical engineer’s home brewing. Belgian beers use a far broader pallet of ingredients (fruits, spices, esoteric yeast strains) than German or English styles. Jeff found the Belgian approach freeing. Upon his return, Jeff created Fat Tire and Abbey Belgian Ale, (assuming Abbey would be his big gun). He and his wife, Kim traveled around sampling their homebrews to the public. Fat Tire’s appeal quickly became evident. People liked everything about it. Except the name. Fat Tire won fans is in its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness.
So let’s check the air in this “Fat Tire” shall we?
This poured, in my tall pilsner glass, to a thick 3 finger head. The head was off-white, thick and creamy, with great lacing. The color was a kind of orange tinted light caramel color. It looks to be quite carbonated and crisp and is quite clear.
This has an excellent nose, just fantastic! The citrusy hops are balanced with the malt, and subtle chewy chocolate notes. The chocolate and malt give it a nice earthy nose with bright citrus accents.
This, to me, is an absolutely unique brew. It is exceptionally smooth and tastes exactly as it smells. What you smell is what you get, as it were. The citrusy hops are slightly more dominant, but the chocolate and malt flavors are well played and well balanced. As you drink this, the hops open the show but melt away into the chocolate and malt flavors, all the while maintaining a medium-light body and a smooth clean mouthfeel.
This is not at all what I expected, but it is an exceptional brew. The earthier flavors, especially complimented and offset by the citrusy hops, were a great surprise. This is one terrific and drinkable brew!
Recommended: Absolutely a must-try. The flavors are terrific and well balanced and just a well crafted brew.
Price: $2.99 for a 22-oz. bottle