Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale

Fat Tire Amber Ale

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Fort Collins, Colorado USA

American Amber / Red Ale

5.20% ABV

Commercial Description:
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 palette 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.

General Pricing:
22 oz bottles: ~$3.50 each

New Belgium finally arrived in our area on Monday. I stopped in at State Line Liquors after work on Friday for the Hurricane Irene Happy Hour and New Belgium beer tasting. I bought a variety of New Belgium beers that night to help ride out Hurricane Irene and then some. So the next series of reviews will be from New Belgium.

The beer pours a clear amber with copper hues and a fairly rich off white head.

The nose is very pleasant with sweet caramel malt aromas and light floral hops.

Wow, what a nice drinkable amber ale; smooth, tasty and easy drinking, impressive.

The taste starts out with a malt sweetness up front on the tip of the tongue. That is followed by the most pleasant mouthfeel as this amber ale washes over the tongue in the middle of the sip. The back-end is very easy drinking with just a slight hesitation on the top of the swallow. That hesitation is easily overcome and then an effortless swallow into the finish. There is a slight robustness that builds just before you get to the finish. The finish is very pleasant with wonderful caramel malt flavors and just enough of a hop presence to give a slight bite and dryness without bittering. There is very little of a final aftertaste just a slight lingering caramel malt sweetness.

What a great beer. There is nothing special or over the top with this one just an excellently crafted simple Amber Ale.

I’ll try to let the second glass warm a little but this beer is so delicious and enjoyable I really don’t want to nurse it.

The malt flavor in this second glass is much richer as this beer warms and opens up.

We are now at 67 degrees.

The ale is smother and richer now at this temperature. What a great beer. I’m always impressed with a beer warms well.

This is a solid A for an American Amber Ale. This was interesting experience that just proves that a craft beer does not have to be over the top to be a top rated beer. This may simply be the best American Amber Ale on the market today.

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