Thumbprint Spiced Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 178 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
4.03/5 rDev +11.3%
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
08-24-2014 19:34:27 | More by brentk56
3.79/5 rDev +4.7%
Served in a tumbler.
Aw, it looks like VDubb and the Mrs. were thinking of me in Wisconsin, 'cause they brought me a bottle o' this. Good people. It pours a clear ruby-garnet topped by a finger or so of rich khaki foam. The nose comprises allspice, toasted caramel, light French toast, and a touch of dark greens. The taste brings in more of the same, with an emphasis on the caramel, but plenty o' spice breaks on through, especially cinnamon, ginger, light black pepper, and mace. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a solid brew, if a touch one-dimensional with the heavy spicing. I'd have another if given the opportunity.
06-07-2014 14:32:10 | More by TMoney2591
3.68/5 rDev +1.7%
Thanks to rudzud I think, for giving this to me.
Pours a decent creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med to slower pace, decent lacing, mostly clear rosy reddish orange beer.
Nose has an apple tea mulling spice like aroma, some fair spices, cinnamon, clove, allspice, cardamom, etc, as well as some apple cider like notes, a creamy like almost diacetyl thing, the more I smell the more I get buttery oak, toasted oak as well. That's actually about it.
Taste brings more spices, big cinnamon right out front, clove, allspice, cardamom, etc, lots of mulling spices. Then into apple cider again, a little tart apple note, a touch of acidity I think too. then into heat, some spices nice cinnamon heat as well as pepper like heat but that could all be from the cinnamon, etc. A touch of sweetness, syrupy caramel and toffee like, etc, and a little tingly booez. Then a faint toasted buttery oak. Also a bit of ginger in the center, etc. Finish is sticky sryupy sweet, a bit more ginger and cinnamon heat, as well as mulling spices, little more apple cider, and sweet syrupy caramel candies, and some warming booze on the back end.
Mouth is med to a bit bigger bod, little syrupy, lots of carbonation, a little tingly heat.
Overall decent, I do like the mulling spices and ginger, etc, apple notes are interesting as well but not great, oak is an interesting addition, booze kicks in a bit.
05-23-2014 00:38:00 | More by jlindros
3.75/5 rDev +3.6%
12 fl oz brown glass bottle with red foil-ed over green/gold branded pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with my long-time trade partner Duff27 and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, TX. Expectations are sky-high given the brewery, whose work I love. Reviewed live. Reviewed as a spiced ale because the label and name identify it clearly as such.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness and creaminess. Okay complexion. Okay consistency. Head retention is quite good - about 8+ minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.
Body colour is a clear translucent copper of above average vibrance. No yeast particles/sediment is visible; it's quite clean. Good clarity.
Overall, it's a pretty good looking beer that I'm excited to try. While not unique or special, it doesn't have any overt flaws.
Sm: I'm immediately assaulted by spices and herbs. Ginger, mint, evergreen, spruce, coriander, and allspice are the most prominent. I have trouble finding any cinnamon. There's also plenty of honey, light oak wood, pale malts, clean barley, and English malts. The spruce/evergreen/oak/wood notes are easily the highlight here. I also pick up some light bready notes - banana bread? Hopwise, I get some vague fruity and floral character which works well with the malts. It's got just about the perfect amount of residual sugars based on the aroma.
No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.
A very inviting and pleasant aroma of above average strength. Surprisingly, it's more herbal than spicy.
T: Oh wow. Fantastic balance. The spices and herbs (all mentioned above) work fantastically with the honey and English malt base. The subtle floral hop character plays well with the malts. The woody (spruce/oak/evergreen) notes aren't as prominent here as they are in the aroma, but damn do they work well. I'm not finding the cinnamon here, but I do pick up on some caramel as well as the ginger and allspice. Maybe coriander too. The aroma evoked banana bread but I can't find it here.
The balance is incredible. The build is extremely cohesive, but not quite gestalt. It incorporates a ton of complex flavours and nuances, and is pretty intricate for a spiced ale. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. There's a lot of flavour here and all of the notes work together to form an impressive and enjoyable whole. I'm really liking this beer.
I will say that it has some American malts that dilute its otherwise English character - and however it's accomplishing that, I like it. I can't tell what kind of malts they used, but the malt selection is damn near perfect.
Mf: Smooth and wet. Perfectly carbonated. Great body and thickness. It's got an ideal weight on the palate for the flavour profile. In fact, I'd say this texture feels custom-tailored to the taste. While not perfect, it's a damn good complement to the flavour profile and helps coax out the nuances of the taste. Great presence on the palate. It has a nice softness.
Not astringent, gushed, oily, hot, or boozy.
Dr: More great work from New Glarus. Easily the best spiced beer I've had in recent memory. I'd easily recommend this to friends and trade partners and I'd absolutely get it again - preferably by the 6 pack. It's a fantastic brew for almost any season and I can't see why anyone would dislike it. I'm really glad I got to try this, so huge thanks to Duff27. Just a damn solid brew from one of the best institutions in the business. The thumbprint series continues to blow me away.
To nitpick, more of an oak presence would really round out this beer.
02-09-2014 04:07:40 | More by kojevergas
United Kingdom (Wales)
3.76/5 rDev +3.9%
Pours a large layer of fluffy beige tan head. Color is a clear gold hued copper.
Flavor profile: Brown sugar, toffee, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, and other spices I probably have never heard of. It has a dried cherry flavor and a some biscuity malts. I am also picking up some raisin notes.
Mouthfeel: Kind of dry. Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation. Ends fairly clean, but some of the spices linger around.
Overall, for this being a spiced beer it was fairly enjoyable. I had no idea it was 8.8% as you really can't taste it. Half a bottle would be enough for me on this one.
08-07-2014 03:39:15 | More by mothman
4.35/5 rDev +20.2%
12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
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.
06-12-2014 01:44:05 | More by BeerFMAndy
3.8/5 rDev +5%
Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.
A - Pours a nice lightly hazy dark amber/copper hue with a one finger super faint tan head that fades to leave a thin, creamy blanket and no real side lacing.
S - Aromas of apples, cinnamon stick, allspice, faint ginger, faint oak.
T - Taste is rather boozy, faint cinnamon stick, allspice, and ginger. The apples are very faint too. It is rather potpourri with big toffee notes. This is definitely a strong ale, heavy emphasis on the strong side.
M - Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, which keeps it light on the tongue, but, still is a sipper.
O - Overall this was a fun, aromatic beer. I think it might benefit from some aging to let that alcohol die down some.
04-16-2014 20:49:55 | More by rudzud
3.06/5 rDev -15.5%
Thanks Jan2! Enjoyed from a new glarus flute.
a - brew poured an amber brown. Great champagne like carbonation with a nice full bubbly head and streaky lacing.
s - nose is odd. Clove, banana, sugar, vedgies and white spicing.
t - much like the nose the tadte is odd. Leads with ginger. Very vedgie with some banana wheat sugar clove toffee and a hint of toastedness like an amber ale with some earthiness.
m - a bit prickly and heavy handed on the sweet
o - overall a tickers gonna tick but is isnt anything i would want more than a bottle of.
01-22-2014 22:24:47 | More by cosmicevan
3.09/5 rDev -14.6%
Reviewed during the last week when out of service area/Wifi in WY/UT. Full phone notes taken at the Rustic Inn, Jackson, WY.
A- Fairly dark amber pour to a small hotel room glass. A one finger off white cap forms with nice retention and a puffy foamy texture. Thick patches of lace result after each sip.
S- Ginger and allspice seem to be the prevailing aromas in this bottle with cinnamon and malts coming in behind that. Medium caramelized malts, fruits and general spiciness.
T- The spices really open up here and take over with enough ginger, cinnamon and allspice to remind me of a pumpkin ale. Apple fruit esters, raisin, phenolic spice, earthy, vanilla sweetness and caramel malts.
MF- Medium bodied ale with a creamy texture that is slightly chewy. Carbonation really puffs up on thr palate at a medium high level. Spiciness coats the palate in the finish from the ginger and cinnamon.
I know this is a spiced ale but the spices truly are a bit much. The malts and yeast try to balance it out but the added spices feel harsh even compared to Pumpkin Ales.
07-31-2014 00:00:06 | More by cbutova
Thumbprint Spiced Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.