Thumbprint Spiced Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 157 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
4.29/5 rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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!
Serving type: bottle
03-07-2014 23:18:23 | More by Bowers-Brew
3.04/5 rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3
Poured from a bottle into a snifter. Bottle date 358 3 (December 26, 2013).
A: Beautiful ruby red with two fingers of off-white foam. Bubble swirls from the bottom of the glass like a waterspout
S: Nose is of cloves, cardamon and banana bread. Very strong of esters. Thought I had opened a Belgian Strong Ale by mistake.
T: First off, let me say that I'm a HUGE New Glarus fan. I haven't found a New Glarus beer that I wouldn't drink again. Until now. The aroma, although spicy, did not translate to the palate. The taste was almost overwhelmingly one-dimensional, that of banana bread with bitter walnuts. I found absolutely none of the cinnamon that other reviewers found. I used to do coffee tasting for a living, so I have an excellent palate, so from all the other reviews, I expected alot more from this beer, especially a New Glarus Thumbprint. In fact, if I hadn't paid $10.50 for the 4-pack, I would have considered this one a drain pour. I can't remember ever being more disappointed in a brew. If it was only minor issues, I would definitely give it another shot, but it was so disappointing, I doubt I will.
M: Mouthfeel was substantial, with a bit of stickiness. Pretty much what was expected
O: I'm really hoping that I got a bad batch. It was purchased from my usual store, so I'm going to discount the fact that it was mishandled, being less than 100 miles from the brewery, and the distributor being beyond reproach.
Update: I wanted to give this beer the benefit of the doubt, so I picked up another 4-pack. In the meantime, I found an article that included an interview with New Glarus's brewmaster, Dan Carey. He stated that what he was going for, with this Thumbprint, was a beer that tasted like a Wisconsin icon, the brandy old fashioned, with the taste of the bitters and the sweetness of the brandy. In this case, he hit the nail right on the head. Not being an Old Fashioned drinker, I completely missed it. Now that I know what the end result was supposed to be, he nailed it. Kudos to New Glarus, This had to be tough one to nail. It just goes to show the expertise that Dan and his wife must have.
Serving type: bottle
03-05-2014 04:09:25 | More by sonoffenrir
4.29/5 rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
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.
Serving type: bottle
02-25-2014 21:05:27 | More by KFBR392
3.75/5 rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
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.
Serving type: bottle
02-09-2014 04:07:40 | More by kojevergas
Thumbprint Spiced Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.