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Thumbprint Dubbel - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint DubbelThumbprint Dubbel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

255 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 255
Reviews: 30
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9%
Wants: 3
Gots: 29 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
Ancient traditions dictate this Belgian style Dubbel was brewed with a long kettle boil, pitching a blend of yeast strains and bottle conditioning encouraged with Belgian Candi Sugar. Dan’s insistence on old world methodology creates the complexity of the Strong Ale you hold 18°P. Sipping will reveal a cordial of caramel and spiced fruit notes. This makes it perfect to lie down in your cellar or enjoy by the fire tonight.

(Beer added by: Lionhawk on 03-11-2014)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 255 | Reviews: 30 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing classy gorgeous label and iconic branded red/gold colour pry-off pressure cap courtesy of the very generous Duff27. Reviewed live as a Dubbel for obvious reasons. No ABV is listed on the label.

Served at fridge temp and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption. Side-poured into a Westvleteren stem-goblet in high altitude Castle Rock, CO.

Expectations are sky-high given the brewery and style.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Three fingers wide. Beautiful khaki colour. Consistency is perfect; it's smooth, even, fluffy, and angelically soft without looking airy or weak. Gorgeous shiny complexion. Spotty legs cling to the sides of the goblet as it recedes.

Retention is excellent - almost 10 minutes.

This head is on par with some of the best non-Trappist beers I've seen in the style. Just glorious.

BODY: Deep ruby-orange of incredible vibrance. Fairly dark though it may be, it's somehow still translucent and transparent. Appears perfectly carbonated. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible, though to be nitpicky it'd be nice to see some yeast.

It's quite an appealing appearance for a Dubbel, and while perhaps a bit lighter than most traditional examples, it looks as it should.

3.5-3.75

AROMA: Decadent. Caramel, figs, dates, sugarplum, cream, Belgian candi sugar, raisin, a kiss of grape, earthy spices (mainly clove), a kiss of bread crust. It's powdery, with a perfect wetness/dryness for an aroma.

The dark fruits in particular are a real treat, and I can only hope they're as present in the taste as their aromatics suggest. As it warms, I pick up on some very faint cherry.

There was something different about the aroma I couldn't quite place, then I realized - it's pear. An odd note in a dubbel, but I find it appealing here.

Overall, it's a damn appealing aroma for a dubbel. The lively biscuity Belgian yeast character is fantastic alongside the subtle dark fruits and unique pear. I can't wait for the first sip.

Mild in strength overall.

4.0-4.25

TASTE/TEXTURE: The taste doesn't quite deliver on the grandeur of the aromatics - primarily because of its unfortunately limited depth of flavour, as well as its relatively brief duration of flavour.

The open greets the drinker with a fantastic creaminess, which lends the beer a comforting pleasant feel on the palate. It's smooth and perfectly carbonated, with a medium body and perfect thickness. It's subtly dry, a feature which helps coax out a bit more depth of flavour without dragging on the palate.

The first note I notice is the fig, which is prominent but not dominating. It's complemented beautifully by the subtle dark fruits (plum, dates, maybe some prune or grape), but in my opinion the dark fruits are far too subtle. A bit more presence and assertiveness would be lovely.

Some light bread crust, caramel, subtly sweet Belgian candi sugar, dried raisin, and faint cherry fill out the body, lending the build still more complexity, but again these notes are not allowed to shine. Sadly, each note is reticent, if not boozy.

The creaminess throughout almost seems to mute the flavour profile - an effect similar to that observed in poorly executed nitro-draught beers.

There's some clove and some backgrounded Belgian yeast character, but it isn't so prominent as to scream out that the beer is a alive and kicking - an element of many Belgian brews I admire.

I love that it's lightly sticky and chewy like a dried date.

Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, boozy, scratchy, or harsh.

It errs on the sweeter side, but is never cloying. The aftertaste carries the sweet dark fig forward as the more dry clove spice fades. Overall balance is excellent. It's incredibly subtle - but as I noted above, this is likely to its detriment. It's a shame a beer so intricate and well-layered doesn't allow its notes to come through more. Even as it warms I find it closed-off.

Finally, the pear throughout is interesting and effective, but would work far better if the dark fruit were more present. In any case, that's a unique touch I've never found in a dubbel before.

OVERALL: It's effortlessly drinkable - is this really 7.80%? - but its quality demands it be savored. It's a nice dubbel, but its reticent flavour profile and overly light mouthfeel really hold it back from greatness. I want more...oomph...for lack of a better word - both in terms of flavour and mouthfeel. Deeper flavours and a weightier, more full-bodied and hefty texture would do this brew wonders. It nails the delicacy and fragility of the best beers in the style (e.g. Westvleteren 8), but fails to bring the flavour.

But I nitpick. It's definitely amongst the best American dubbels I've ever had. It's absolutely worth trying and I'd definitely buy it again.

B

Serve into a goblet.

Would pair well with dusty chocolate, dark fruit, cherries, and graham crackers.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +8%

Deep in the recesses of the Belgian abbey lies the secrets, divine interventions and distinctive flavors of dubbel ale. That time-honored taste is both respected and replicated thanks to the fine brewers of New Glarus.

In true abbey form, their Dubbel pours with a deep and ominously dark garnet pour. Rusty with haze, its billowing head carries a tarnish tint and generously expels its yeasty bouquet, filling the nose with dark dried fruit, peppery spice and an alcohol laced bready sweetness to suggest rum cake.

The characterful ale continues to unfold throughout the fatty middle palate, laying down a foundation of spice cake sweetness with a doughy center. Dried cherries, figs, raisins, prunes and grapes all carry a vinous tang and condensed sweetness. Balanced with peppercorn, bitter walnut, playful acidity and alcohol, its steely caramels are matched with ease.

Expressive carbonation keeps the ale lighter than normal as the bubbles give the malt a lift, carrying in a quick, tangy and spicy finish. Its rummy warmth keeps the complexities piling on even while the echoes of malt and fruit continue deeply in aftertaste.

Photo of barczar
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a slightly hazy medium brown with ruby highlights and a huge, billowing, dense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sheets of lacing.

Aroma is slightly metallic initially, but esters of prunes, raisins, green apple, pear, and dates take over. There's a bit of dark candi sugar backbone, adding sweetness. Floral notes surface late.

Flavor reveals more tart apple character underlying lightly toasted, lightly sweet malt. Pear takes over mid palate. Notes of banana and raisin contrast the toast. The metallic character surfaces a bit in the aftertaste. The balance is estery. Not overly sweet.

Body is moderate to a touch full, with high carbonation and noted alcohol warmth.

Nice estery character, more complex in the aroma. Good balance of malt sweetness and dryness. Wish the carbonation were lower so the flavor would linger more.

Photo of don1481
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Mr. Pint Glass.

Appearance: Lots and lots of carbonation in this one! Pours a sizable light-tan head that diminishes pretty quickly. Deep, rich copper color that you can definitely see through.

Smell: Strong notes of caramel and molasses. Subtle hints of booze, but definitely covered buy by the otherwise-sweet smells.

Taste: Hmm. Kinda like some of the Belgian dubbels in many regards, but with a big caveat: The notes here aren't exactly dancing around like what you'd see in the best of this category, but just seem to be one big melted-together flavor. Don't get me wrong, the flavors melded together nicely, but there just doesn't seem to be that... distinct group of flavor notes... that one would expect here.

Mouthfeel: Slightly sticky, but pretty smooth overall.

Overall: This is a tough one to get a feel for. On one hand, it's VERY drinkable. Just to get an accurate feel on the "taste" section took about half the glass. It's a very fair representation of what we've come to expect from Dan at NG with the Thumbprint series: It takes something that we've grown to love in a genre - the dubbel in this case - and puts a very unique twist on this. In this case, the twist is - oddly enough - its balance. When the flavors meld together to the point where it's very difficult to pick out unique notes, that's an impressive balancing act. People are either going to love this or hate it - I really find it hard to picture someone being "on the fence" with this. That said, I'm gonna cellar some and see what happens.

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of mrquartetman
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of MattyG85
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Appearance: Pours a deep and hazy brownish amber with a lot of rising bubbles. Huge four finger light tan head which slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing.

Smell: A toasty, fruity, and fairly spicy malt driven aroma with good hints of dark fruit and yeast. Belgian yeast with some spice hints of cinnamon, clove, and peppers. Big mix of fruit esters with some hints of apple, pear, banana, and dark cherry, raisin, fig, and plum. Sweet hints of candied sugar and brown sugar. Toasted malts with hints of caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and toasted bread. Hops are very light. A very solid fruity aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity, toasty, and spicy malt forward taste with big notes of apple, dark fruit, and yeast. Upfront Belgian yeast with some funk and spice notes of cinnamon, pepper, and clove. Big fruit taste with notes of apples, pear, and banana along with some dark fruit notes of cherries, fig, raisin, and plum. Toasted malt with notes of sweet caramel, toffee, biscuit, grains, and toast. Sweet taste of brown sugar and Belgian candied sugar. Subtle background hops. A pretty solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and very smooth.

Overall: A pretty nice take on a Dubbel. Good mix of fruit esters with a solid toasty malt presence with spice.

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mtpHokie
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of dsauter
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of cmwilliq
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Photo of sgttibbs
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of DerekQXQX
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of weonfire
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a Belgian Tulip from a 12 ounce bottle.

A- cloudy brown body with a tremendous pale, foamy white head. Healthy carbonation, plenty of lace, and visible yeast residue.

S- Sweet and full of dark fruit, there's a syrupy quality there. There's a tinge of booze, some earthiness, and malt.

T- A sweet, caramel malt flavor, a taste of candy syrup, dark fruit, earthiness.

M- Thick and heavy bodied, with a blast of yeasty effervescence mid-palate, and a almost entirely sweet feel. At the finish, there's a touch of hops that provide slight bitterness. There's almost no booze detected.

Damn tasty brew. Very well-executed.

Photo of Tuckersmth
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of scrizo
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of tdm168
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of schmidtmattsays
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of Rborre321
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -22.9%

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Thumbprint Dubbel from New Glarus Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 255 ratings.