Friday, June 5, 2009
The McBone Beer Journal; Fat Tire Ale
Confession time: I have a weakness for beer in cans. If I'm going to drink a crap beer, like Budweiser, I want it to be can, so that when I'm done drinking I at least have something to smash against my forehead. Now the beer in question is not a crap beer, and when I saw the big blue box of can-conditioned ale and the familiar, unforgettable label with the red bicycle, I knew I'd be forking over $15 for a case of Fat Tire.
Fat Tire in cans! I had tipped many a bottle of this heavenly brew in my Boulder, Colorado days, but here was one of my all-time favorites, stacked five cases high in my favorite liquor store in West Lafayette, Indiana. Truly there must be a god (but probably not).
Knowing that the New Belgium Brewing Company has high standards for excellence, I wasn't surprised to read that, to ensure the fresh quality of their beer, a carefully measured dose of yeast is added to each can. But there was more! and verily my heart swelled within the confines of my ribcage to read that the brewery is wind powered (to assure a low carbon footprint) and employee owned (to assure a certain percentage of dirty rotten red stinking commies).
I cracked open a can and poured to find the perfect amber glow, and just enough foam to leave a lovely lacing on the glass. The nose was a swirl of butterscotch, but I didn't waste much time sniffing.
A sip of Fat Tire does not explode in the mouth, rather it gently proffers a bounty of delights. While dozens of beers claim to be "perfectly balanced" (usually code for "tasteless"), here's one that actually is. Generously malty and toasty, but not so much that you would call this a winter ale. Hoppy and crisp, but not so assertively hoppy that it tastes like a glass of grapefruit juice. Fat Tire is an earthy, caramel, buttered-toast and apple ale with just a twinge of lemon. It's refreshing, yes, but it gives you something to chew on as well. Sweet and bitter. Delicate and complex. Yin and yang. That's balance, offering much, but forcing nothing, and leaving the drinker with a perfect sense of inner tranquility. Shanti, shanti, shanti
Would it be too much to call Fat Tire one of the World's Great Beers? Hell no.
McBone Beer Rating: 5.0 McBones.
Posted by McBone at 10:18 PM