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Thumbprint Spiced Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Spiced AleThumbprint Spiced Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

186 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 186
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 12.74%
Wants: 1
Gots: 20 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  8.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our heady Spiced Ale summons escape from the ordinary. Lavish English and Wisconsin Malts slow brewed caramel goodness into this beefy bronze Strong Ale registering 20 degrees Plato O.G. Aged on Oak in the Open Top Cellar so that Cassia Cinnamon, Ginger and Allspice could be carefully hand stirred into the velvety Toffee notes of this aromatic Spiced Ale. 100% Naturally Bottle fermented to warm the chill from your soul.

(Beer added by: Ri0 on 01-10-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 186 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sammyg832
4.75/5  rDev +31.6%

sammyg832, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of thumperskibum
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

thumperskibum, Jun 26, 2014
Photo of JulioB
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

JulioB, Feb 03, 2014
Photo of Michael914
4.5/5  rDev +24.7%

Michael914, Jun 03, 2014
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
8.8% ABV

A - This hazy copper-colored beer pours with some life, filling the snifter with a lace-leaving off-white head.

S - A subtle blend of wintery spices joins forces with fresh potpourri and earthy banana esters for a lively aromatic entry. Caramel dipped pralines add slightly nutty characteristics to the malt base of this beer as it finishes with faint warming alcohol.

T - Rich caramel-drizzled bread coats the tongue with warming maltiness as the soft spiciness sets in, bringing a wonderful potpourri blend to the foreground gently.

M - With a medium body and smooth texture, Spiced Ale makes an impressive entry that grows nicely spicy only to finish with warming alcohol; a perfect way to end the beer.

O - New Glarus' Spiced Ale decorates the tongue with a blend of potpourri that compliments the beer's rich base of caramel-drizzled bread, finishing with warming alcohol. The whole package is conducive to cold weather enjoyment, especially where the spice and warming alcohol are concerned but, since it's a little higher octane, this would be a prime candidate for setting aside for next year's harsh Wisconsin winter as well.

BeerFMAndy, Jun 12, 2014
Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep and fairly hazy amber orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Big three finger off white head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of lacing on the glass.

Smell: A very spicy and fruity malt forward aroma with big hints of winter spices and oak. Huge upfront mix of winter type spices with hints of cinnamon, clove, ginger, allspice, and cardamon. Solid barrel presence with hints of oak, wood, and vanilla. Toasted malts with hints of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, and yeast. Sweet scent of brown sugar. Fruit hints of banana, raisin, and fig. Hops are pretty light. A very solid spicy aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a very spicy, woody, and fruity malt forward taste with big notes of winter spices, oak, and malt. Big upfront taste of winter spices with notes of cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove, and cardamon. Good oak aged presence with notes of oak, wood, and sweet vanilla. Toasted malt with notes of toffee, caramel, biscuit, grains, and yeast. Solid fruit taste of bananas as well as some fig and raisin. Sweet notes of brown sugar. Light hops in the background. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very spicy and somewhat chewy. Finishes dry. A little heat is felt but things are still smooth.

Overall: A very good spicy brew. Good mix of winter spices with a nice kick of oak and some Belgian like fruit undertones.

MattyG85, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of KFBR392
4.29/5  rDev +18.8%

Appearance: Pours with a finger and a half of head which settles to about half a finger while drinking. Sticky lacing left behind at each level. Low to medium amount of active carbonation. Color is a clear ruby red color with some accents of brown.

Smell: Spice loaded front of moss, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, and ginger. Slight pinch of alcohol burn in the body. Detectable malt body which adds tones of vanilla, caramel, and molasses.

Taste: Spices lead up front but certainly not in an overpowering fashion. A splash of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon hit the palate then yield to a rounded malty body with accents of caramel and vanilla. The malt body continues to ride into the finish where the spiced tones pop their head up again leaving the palate with a light dryness.

Mouthfeel: Extremely drinkable for the style. Nice transitions of dry spices and rich malt keep the palate wanting more.

Overall: Spiced ale more then any other style in my opinion seem to have the most wild variations due to the challenges of finding balance with all the ingredients. Leave it to New Glarus to create the front runner in the style in my opinion. Balance is key here and leads to a simply wonderful brew. For most drinkers this isn't a style many seek out, myself included, but this brew is simply fantastic.

KFBR392, Feb 25, 2014
Photo of Bowers-Brew
4.29/5  rDev +18.8%

A - Brownish/red - slightly cloudy. Foam head measured ~2 inches when poured aggressively. Lacing is minimal to none.

S - Spice, malt, vanilla, and bourbon. Not as aromatic as would have expected.

T - Sweet, spicy, and tart up front - flash of bitterness in the middle - vanilla bourbon finish - Lots going on with each sip.

M - Thick and creamy - works well with flavor profile.

O - Complex yet drinkable. It's not my favorite New Glarus unplugged, but it's a great change of pace to a lot of the other beer styles I've been drinking as of late. I would pick up another 4-pack if it's still around next time I'm at the brewery. Prost!

Bowers-Brew, Mar 07, 2014
Photo of garymuchow
4.28/5  rDev +18.6%

I gotta' say I'm a little surprised by the low scores on this one. This is an incredibly rich and complex drink which I found immensely interesting and enjoyable.
Nice amber color and whitish head with o.k. stamina.
Aroma was not as rich and complex as the flavor but still nice and interesting with many of the aspects to be described forthwith.
First thing I noticed with the taste was the classic (for New Glarus) fruitiness that comes from his wild ales with a slight tartness but fruit non-the-less. Next was the oak, wood and vanilla. Then the caramel/toffee flavors with a shot of richness and full body flavor. And finally the spiciness, esp. the allspice but also the drying that seems to come from spiced beer. Subsequent drinks were an adventure in what would present next in a fun an interesting way. Any of the above could show in any level of balance or blending. It was really nice. Alcohol was very hidden and made minimal if any appearance in flavor or feel.
A slightly thin body for style but certainly still in the moderate zone with a bit above average carbonation.
I enjoyed this very much. Went well with the a first time listening of the re-releases of the first 3 L.Z. albums at the roost (Wow that 's rich too).

garymuchow, Aug 08, 2014
Photo of Hallertau
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Hallertau, Jan 27, 2014
Photo of Spike-likes-beer
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Spike-likes-beer, Mar 28, 2014
Photo of robbyc1
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

robbyc1, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of smogfood
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

smogfood, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of livingtodie
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

livingtodie, Feb 08, 2014
Photo of mfl620ks
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

mfl620ks, Jul 06, 2014
Photo of JeffSK
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

JeffSK, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of don1481
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%

12oz bottle poured into Ol' Trusty Pint Glass

Appearance: Pours a deep amber color with a lot of white-ish foam. Lots and lots of bubbles flowing up in this one.

Smell: If King Kong wanted a beer, this would be right up his alley. VERY strong banana notes. Some cinnamon comes through and a hint of the ginger as well. Subtly spicy smelling. Pretty complex.

Taste: Huh. That's... different. VERY yeasty, bready, with the cinnamon and ginger definitely shining through. Can't quite put my finger on it, but there seems to be more to it. Not toffee, not caramel. AHA - that's the spice notes. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel: For something this bold-tasting, it's pretty crisp and clean in the mouth. Good amount of carbonation, but not so much that it's like drinking seltzer water. Well-balanced and some of the spice notes linger.

Overall: This is... different, for sure. Dan Carey has done it again - creating a beer that doesn't fit into the usual categories that you have to have more than one of to really get a true feel for. I'll always buy at least one 4 pack of each Thumbprint that comes out because this is what it's all about.

don1481, Jan 14, 2014
Photo of TheSSG
4.23/5  rDev +17.2%

Pours a huge, dense head with good persistence. There is a strange yeasty/spicey aroma that reminds me of bubblegum and spices at the same time. Amber-sienna color. Starts off with an assertive spiciness and some bitterness. Malt BURSTS THROUGH to make this into DELICIOUS Christmas cookies, then the spice dominates into the finish.

I REALLY wanted to hate this one. Spiced biers are so hit-or-miss, and I DESPISE ginger. But, New Glarus does no wrong, and this is fantastic. I may get a second 4-pack of this. It's fantastic.

TheSSG, Jan 17, 2014
Photo of Lemke10
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%

This pours a golden amber color with a foamy, off-white head. The aroma has hints of coriander, banana, citrus, and other spices in the mix. The taste is smooth and clean with mild tastes of banana and spices that are very well blended. Finishes crisp and clean that is rather tasty and well made!

Lemke10, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of Strix
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%

Big frothy head with gobs of lace, bright amber

Smells of cinnamon, with an herbal hop note.

Starts out fairly normal, caramel malt, bready notes, red delicious apple, then in the aftertaste you get black pepper, cinnamon, and a variety of other spices.

Medium-dense mouthfeel, smooth finish.

I liked this quite a bit more than I like most "spiced" beers or winter warmers. The spices accentuate the taste rather than feeling you have eaten a spice rack. Nicely done.

Strix, May 02, 2014
Photo of GeezLynn
4.04/5  rDev +11.9%

A: Clear shade of bronze with a short-lived goopy white head.
S: Pretty sweet, with apples, oak and grassy hops standing out.
T: Wow, very strange. Opens fruity and sweet with some caramel followed by an amalgamation of spices……..ginger and cinnamon being the only ones I can positively identify. Seems like they used a Belgian yeast. Oak rounds it out and ties things together nicely.
M: Light bodied with ample carbonation. No complaints here.

I liked this more than I expected to, given the style. This is nice for a slow sipper, though one would probably be my limit.

GeezLynn, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%

Appearance: A nice bubble show builds a huge ecru-colored head to sit on the hazy amber liquid; excellent retention and lacing action

Smell: Caramel, oak, cinnamon and ginger

Taste: Caramel tones, up front, with the spices quickly taking hold, bringing the cinnamon and ginger "red hot" tones; vanilla and oak appear, after the swallow, along with a boozy character that makes this taste more like an Old Fashioned cocktail than a beer

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and moderately carbonated but brings the heat

Overall: I can see why this beer has caused such a schism among the reviewers; I can taste the complexity and I understand what the brewer was going for but I can't say that I would want to taste it again as an Old Fashioned is not the type of thing I care to drink (and I suspect that is the case for many other BAs, as well); still, I rated it higher than I thought I would because I admire the craftsmanship

Thanks, WI-Beer-Man, for the opportunity

brentk56, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of JamesShoemaker
4/5  rDev +10.8%

JamesShoemaker, Jun 16, 2014
Photo of hopswap1
4/5  rDev +10.8%

hopswap1, Feb 04, 2014
Photo of Troville1990
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Troville1990, Jul 26, 2014
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Thumbprint Spiced Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 186 ratings.