Fat Squirrel - New Glarus Brewing Company, New Glarus
I'm nearing the end of my New Glarus stash and it's bittersweet, the moment... not the beer. Toward the end of summer I received a sizable quantity of Wisconsin's most sought after product (as far as I'm concerned). It seemed like each beer was better than the last. The Spotted Cow was good, the Moon Man was great and the Enigma was amazing. I've opened up a bottle of Fat Squirrel this afternoon to make some room in the old fridge and finally wrap up these New Glarus reviews. Like most New Glarus beers, this is the first bottle of it that I've had and I don't know much about it. In fact, I didn't even know they made this beer before I got them... All I know is this is a Nut Brown Ale and all the New Glarus beers I've had thus far have been delightful. Not a bad place to start.
The Fat Squirrel pours a brown color and gets darker and darker as the glass fills. There's not a whole lot of head on this beer and most of what it does have will die down quite quickly. The body settled a nice darker brown color that is mostly clear with some reddish highlights. The aroma is fairly mellow. There's no big malt component, though malt is the must abundant ingredient I was able to pick up on. I wasn't impressed by the aroma of this beer but I'm not holding it against the beer.
The flavor is what sealed the deal for me. Basically, this is the worst New Glarus beer I've every had.
The Fat Squirrel tastes just as mellow as it smells, which isn't a knock against this beer necessarily... I was expecting a rich Brown Ale with a lot of nut flavor, a strong but balanced malt character and some hops to round it all out. What I got was a bland dark brown beer with very little nut flavor and surprisingly little malt. There's just a touch of hops to give an earthiness to this beer that doesn't disappoint. Everything else left me a bit disappointed. As this beer warmed up the flavor came through a bit more but it was too little too late.
New Glarus Fat Squirrel would make a good entry level Brown Ale for someone looking to ease into craft beers slightly darker side. I'm not sure I'd really recommend it to anyone else. It'd be a solid session beer but it just doesn't have the flavor to keep you interested for more than a couple bottles. Sorry New Glarus, I was just expecting more out of you...