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Thumbprint Apple Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

447 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 447
Hads: 1,553
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 19.66%
Wants: 348
Gots: 208 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Skidz on 09-25-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thumbprint Apple Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 447 | Hads: 1,553
Photo of hopsbreath
5/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks goes out to zimmerbloke and GraniteSkunk for both getting some of this out my way.

A: Poured into a tulip. Crystal clear yellow gold body with a finger of quickly dissipating white head. Moderate sheets of lacing are impressive.

S: Pure sweet juicy apples! No traces of any alcohol are apparent and based solely on the nose, there's no way to identify this as a beer. None the less, I already know this is a beer, and promises of greatness to come are already apparent.

T: Again with the crisp fruity apples! This is comparable to a bottle of Martinelli's sparkling apple juice accept it has the tart dryness of a Brut Champagne!

M: Thin, spritzy, and festive! To quote Ken Griffey Jr from the episode of The Simpsons he was on "It's like there's a party in my mouth, and everyone's invited"! Well said George.

D: Everything I've already said AND it's only 4% ABV? Stupid easy to drink and way faster than I would have liked!

The session beer craze is going to hit the craft scene hard here in America at some point. The magical things done with fruit by Dan Carey is already big in Wisconsin and could possibly be lessons learned for brewers who want to be part of the forth coming craze. I want so bad to see more beers like this done by other brewers but for now, New Glarus is king and second place isn't even close.

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Photo of Karl_M
5/5  rDev +21.4%

This is not my mug of beer but I have to admit it was very pleasing to drink the 2013 Apple Ale from New Glarus.

The first nose was nothing but bright, crisp apples and a strong musty undertone.

The first taste was nothing but sweet, slightly tart, fresh apples. The finish was still crisp and sweet apples that rounded off at the very end to give a good ale finish.

The color was blood-tinged apple juice and very clear. The head was paper thin.

The cost of this brew at around $9 a four pack is OUTRAGEOUS especially coming in at around 4 or 5 % ABV but its worth a try.

This is what I have always expected from any hard cider but have never found... Good body, sweet fruit, totally pleasing.

The ladies AND guys will be surprised at how good it tastes.

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Photo of Skidz
4.97/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a 12 oz. bottle, strikingly similar to that of the "Unplugged Series," though the label does not say anything of the sort. Red foil over the cap and neck with a red label and white printing of "Apple Ale."

Pours out bright gold and sits a dark amber in the glass with a meager off-white head, fading fast.

Smells of dried apple leather and caramel. A very sweet, candylike aroma. Reminiscant of apple juice concentrate, with a light, spicy hop aroma behind. Very pleasant and inticing.

Tastes sweet up front and builds up steam from there. Apple cider all the way to the bank. A blend of caramel and a light trace of cinnamon tingling the sides of your tounge also give good feeling to this beer. Hopping minimal and barely noticeable, just like the other two fruit beer by New Glarus. Full of real apple flavor, even a bit of skins and stems thrown into the mix. Excellent.

Smooth, rich and creamy in the mouth, medium bodied with carbonation that relaxes your entire mouth, just plain soothing. Makes it all the more worthwhile.

I could drink this stuff easier than I could water. This beer is cutting it close, and is right on par with their other fruit beers, mabye even better. Wow, this is tasty, tasty stuff.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.95/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Served in a nonic pint.

Appearance : Mmmm. A lovely cider color, 70% opaque. The head is 2 fingers to start, creamy and frothy. It leaves hilly lace on the sides, eventually receding to a stout-like creaminess.

Smell : Apples. Oh my, apples. Freshly picked, baked in a pie with cinnamon and flaky crust. It finishes with a tartness rivaling apple cider. No discernible hops or malt, but the apple aroma is absolutely spot on.

Taste : Absolutely beyond amazing. Just. Speechless. OMG. This is the best fruit-infused ale I've ever had. Ever. No lie, wiping tears from my eyes. Tart punch, fresh strawberry, baked apples, dried apples, cider, cinnamon stick, spices. The perfect balance of not being overly sweet and appropriately fusing fruit and a brown ale style together! It ends candied, tart, sweet, sour, puckered, punched. Desert island/death row beer.

Feel : Creamy and frothy, medium to full bodied. Delectable. Properly carbonated. Ends tart, puckered, and crisp. Semi-dry.

Overall : New Glarus needs to bring beers further west. This beer was beyond fantastic. My NEW FAVORITE beer. And that has taken ages to accomplish over Hoegaarden, a beer I thought I simply could not retire to second place. Was not expecting this. Floored.

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Photo of leakyfaucet12
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a- this is a pretty good looking beer. It has a good retaining head with a golden color. The carbonation is obvious with bubbles sticking to every part of the glass.

s- Smells like the label says apples. There are some breads and grains tones in there but it smells like cutting an apple and smelling it.

t- amazing, and one of the words that describes this beer the best is FRESH. By far the most fresh and refreshing beer I have ever had. The apples in this one dominate without being too sweet. I am in heaven drinking this one.

m- Extremely good and carbonated. the mouthfeel is light and I believe this is perfect for what they are doing. I dont like fruit beers or lambics to be to thick because they seem like a syrup.

d- I could drink this all night. The beer to me other than the appearance is perfect. I am a big fan of this beer and would reccomend it to anyone of you bas out there.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have had my eye on this since it hit the shelf. I am guessing that this is going to be very limited edition so if you find this anywhere, thank the gods and purchase a few bottles. Bought at Sendiks for $2.99. Has the "Unplugged" series red foil on top with a neck label that says Apple Ale. The body label is typical of New Glarus with a branch of red apples. The narrative on the label says that it is brewed with a Brown ale base and blended with 3 kinds of locally grown apples that his friend personally squeezes.

Now for the report card...The color is a light copper color with a pretty thin head, but lots of carbonating action flowing from the bottom. The aroma is so unbelievably refreshing, that you believe you are in the midst of an orchard. It is not just apple smell, but freshness as well. The first sip brings pure enjoyment to the taste buds. The apple flavor spreads quickly, but doesn't swarm you with a sugar-sweetness. This beer is almost as flawless as you can get with a fruit brew. In my mind, New Glarus has earned the crown for fruit enhanced brewing. This is just one more winner to add to the Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart line!
One thing to note, this is exactly as the label says..an Apple Ale. If you do not like apples or cider in general, you will be wasting your time with this one.

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Photo of younger35
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple four packs of this from New Glarus not long ago. I've had this brew many many times on tap but never was able to formally review it. It's one of my all-time favorites but I've only had it fresh. I hope a couple months of age on it doesn't diminish that fantastic apple taste. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super clear yellowish orange that is exactly the same color as apple juice. A nice one finger frothy white head forms from all the terrific bubbles that permeate throughout the glass. A weak cap is left with a really uneven collar and not a whole lot of lacing.
Smell- Just absolutely amazing scents of apples of all kind. Some tartness resembling green apples are the most evident but there is also a fleshier softer smell of overly ripe reds. Slightly spicy from all the fruit and honestly that's about it. Definitely smells more like apple cider than beer but I don't care. It's a fruit beer and the nose is amazing.
Taste- Oh good lord! The few months on this has taken just a slight bit of the sharp tart I remember. Better or worse? Not 100% sure but I'm going to lean towards the fresher, sharper version as my favorite. More of the Brown Ale base has made its way through adding the slightest bit of caramel to all the apple goodness. The beer starts with the freshest apple flavor you could think of. Like the nose, it consists mostly of lightly tart green apples but there is a duller fruitier red apple as that tartness fades. Finishes with the aforementioned red apple earthiness and a slight bit of the lingering caramel malt.
Mouthfeel- Light and amazingly crisp and clean with a refreshing yet sharp kick of carbonation. Spot on for a beer like this.
Drinkability- The very first time I had this beer on tap was a bar in Kenosha Wisconsin. Before I even realized what was going on, I had 6 of these delicious treats under my belt (By the time I was done I cashed the keg and could have bought an entire case from the brewery with how much I spent). I always drink these WAY to fast and it's about the most drinkable "beer" I've ever had. I use beer loosely since it's more like cider than beer but who cares. Amazing amazing stuff that they need to put on there regular lineup just like the Belgium Red and Raspberry Tart.

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Photo of camil1mj
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Received as a gift from Romulux.

A: looks like fizzy apple juice. White head. Minimal lacing.

S: Smells like a green apple Jolly Rancher.

T: Tastes like a green apple Jolly Rancher. Spot on!

M: Refreshing and well carbonated.

O: NG is the king of fruit beers and this one is no exception. I would love a case of this to pull from on the days I feel like a break from big, boozy stouts and barleywines.

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Photo of dimenhetfield
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Arrived just in time for a small little get together from burnheartsMKE, thanks man!! This has to be one of the best tasting fruit beers I've had in a long time. Took me right back to childhood memories of smelling apple pie at grandma's house for Thanksgiving. I will search this out again for sure.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.86/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a mild white head, limited lacing, solid head retention.

S: Winter spice, green and yellow apples, mulled cider; decadent, like the best apple pie you've ever smelled.

T: Pretty much with the nose. More cider like than beer. Beautiful winter spice/cinnamon with the true apple flavour, absolutely delicious.

M: Light-bodied, crisp, soft carbonation with a very mild acidity.

D: As with the other New Glarus fruit beers I've had this is incredible. The top 4 fruit beers of my life, they're all New Glarus, can't say more than that.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.84/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Orangish gold color with a finger of whitish head

Smell is apple, almost smells like apple cider but a tartness comes through. Almost like a caramel covered apple in the finish.

Taste is apple (of course), cinnamon, caramel covered apple, slight tartness... delicious!

Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation....

Well this is a wonderful creation, I have had several hard ciders hoping they would replace my urge for this stuff.... But nothing does, Hard Ciders just taste thin and flavorless in its place.

Amazing flavor for 4%, Flavor wise it tastes more like 10%!

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Photo of mattkooler
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A deep copper hue with a nice initial head that dissipates quickly. Nice carbonated bubbles float to the top of the beer for quite a while

S- Amazing smell as soon as I poured the beer, I smelled pure apple.

T- The taste is a great mix of beer and apple. There is just enough malt and hop profile in the back to keep the beer balanced, however, the overriding taste is apples.

M- Extremely crisp and nicely carbonated. Very appropriate for this beer.

O- I've had this one before, and I enjoy it immensely every time. This is a great beer to change up my drinking routine and get me out of a rut. Tastes of pure apple with nice carbonation and amazing crispness.

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Photo of Andrew61923
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle to Duvel tulip. I really need to start incorporating some other glassware.

A: Clear dark orange appearance with a pleasantly small white head. Great look to the beer, both with an aggressive pour to start and then slowing it down.

S: Cliche, but yes...green Jolly Rancher. Apple through and through, but definitely not in an overly sweet way. Smells genuine and tart, bordering cider, but not crossing the boundary. Awesome.

T: Just along the same lines of the smell. This is amazing. Like biting into a less tart green apple. There's no prick on the teeth like a Granny Smith, but there's something bordering that taste.

M: Extremely smooth. The low ABV helps this, but I really have no complaints. Even after a few IPAs before, this is extremely palatable and I'm able to get as much flavor from the beer as I'd hope.

O: A great beer. I had no idea what I'd think of it, but holy crap...I need to get more.

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Photo of benito
4.81/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Up front, I need to own that I am a huge fan of New Glarus, particularly their fruit beers. Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red have been the beers of my dreams the last few years, and I've been lucky enough to spend my summers in Wisconsin with easy access to both. So I'm biased toward loving Apple Ale from the get go. Even aware of my bias, I was shocked at how good this brew is. It joins the rest of the New Glarus line as one of the best fruit beers in the country.

A: Shining copper with a fizzy, quick-to-vanish head and moderate carbonation.

S: Apples! Candy apples! Apple cider! Apple liqueur! There's nothing else that competes.

T: A tart bite up front followed by lots of fruity sweetness and stickiness on the middle of the tongue with a swift, dry and tart finish and fruity aftertaste. Hints of malt and cider toward the back of the palate after the strong and mixed apple flavors calm down.

M + D: A perfect balance of lightness with some fruit-driven stickiness. Medium mouthfeel and great length with many levels of flavor and complexity.

Overall, this is an amazing fall brew; worth a pilgrimage to Wisconsin.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle thanks to beerwolf77

Poured into a goblet glass

A- Huge fluffy 2 finger white head sits on top of a golden copper body. Tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass

S- Smells like a cider. Tons of sweet apple and spice. Maybe some brown sugar or cinnamon. The malts from the brown ale definitely come through as well and blend really nicely.

T- Wow. Just like the aroma. Super creamy malts with a nice hint of apple and spice. Absolutely delicious.

M- Nice thick cream ale style body with moderate carbonation and a nice wet finish.

Best fruit beer I've had hands down.


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Photo of Deuane
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Terri from hooking us up with some of this glorious nectar!

A-Hard cider-like brilliant golden kissed copper. Minimal rising bubbles. A fizzy, medium white head starts then reduces to a a thin ring and leaves spotty lace.

S-Amazing blast of fresh pressed apples. Not much else other than a faint bit of caramel malt sweetness.

T-The closest "beer" hard cider replacement I have ever tasted. Amazing apple flavour is so up front and in your face it is crazy. I wonder what the malt/apple must ratio is with this one. A present, but mostly hidden, sweet malt backbone and a little spicy/tart zing compliment the apples.

M-Light bodied, very crisp, effervescent and "bouncy". A most enjoyable zippy mouthfeel that fits the brew perfectly.

D-You want drinkability? If you enjoy hard cider you will love this. As good as or better than most ciders I have had. I was told that if you like apples you will need to get at least a case of this stuff...well they were right! Wish I had more already! Truly a beer work or art! A job well done Dan...Thank you!

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Photo of shippos
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

poured witha creamy dense white head, lacy on a almost clear amber sicer colored body. waffs of apples and some dense sugary malt, freshly squeezed apples and fresh apple skins and some residual sourness form the apples. oh my god...shocking and absolutly amzing first taste. sugary at first the some tartness hits followed by a tongue lapping sweetness that coats your lips followed by a very tart almost spicy prickly carbonation or acidic character. well pronounced tart sharp acidic character. no off flavors whatsoever very very well crafted...these guys are just amazing. for me though one bottle was enough, kind a wish i had a few more for further down the road.

 670 characters

Photo of Bighuge
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice looking copper appearance. Slight off-white head leaves sparse lace. Quite the inviting juicy apple aroma. Very pronounced and nicely blended. Maybe a little cinamon as well. Malt is in the background too. There is a great, juicy sweet apple taste to this beer. But also ghostly tartness as well. A blend of Cortland, MacIntosh and Jonathon apples was used. Slight cinamon character. Some light barley notes in the back and a bit of a drying character coming from the hops. Easily the best apple beer or cider I've enjoyed. New Glarus has got a handle on fruit beers.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this beer up near my inlaws over turkey day. We're having it along with some apple pie just to accentuate it. The beer pours an amber color with hints of golden in there. The nose is full on apples. Not a lot of the tart apple, but I think I like it. DAMN. What a nice flavor. I wish my apple homebrew was liket this. The apple is up front and in my faaaace (for you Chris). The finish is caramel sweetness from the malts. No detectable hop really. Feel is moderate, but what I expect on this beer. Drinkability is huge. I want to drink more and more and more. What a great beer. I really like it and will buy more of it if I find it when home.

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Photo of Vogie
4.76/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first New Glarus experience. Special thanks to my friend in Madison for picking me up a four-pack of this.

Poured 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A. Poured a nice apple cider color with a small head that disappeared quickly after it was completely poured. Also has a decent fizziness to it.

S. Wow fresh apple smell up front with a hint of cinnamon.

T. A strong fizzy apple cidery taste up front with some cinnamon and other spices on the back end.

M. Light with a decent amount of carbonation.

O. This was a great representation of an apple cider beer. I love that it had a lot of carbonation and was full of fresh apple flavor. It is sweet but not overbearing. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is on the fence about fruit beer.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the 2012 vintage which, due to the Midwest drought, uses Washington Fuji apples instead of a Wisconsin variety.

Pours a thick, dense, white head that has good persistence. Aroma is euphoric; bright, tart apple dominates the nose, but there is a nice yeasty aroma that smells like fresh apple skin, with a malty, almost woody hint behind that. Color is a straw-amber. Flavor starts sweet, brightly tart, and rich with apples. There is an underlying syrup-like (in the pleasant, not overpowering or over sweet) sweetness as the malt blends with the apples. It's a very dry bier; after the apple caresses your tongue, it's a clean, smooth, malt finish. This is a much thicker liquid than cider, and whereas cider becomes yeasty/apple skin bitter in the finish, the wheated brown ale slips through, leaving the finish satisfyingly malty.

This is phenomenal. I remember liking the 2009 (I think it was) version the best, but each and every year of this is gold (I'd only have about an 1/8 point variance between the 2009 and this).
I am a big fan of cider, but in all honesty, New Glarus Apple Ale is better than ANY cider I've ever had. Like I said, that malt finish replaces the low-point of cider with one of the high-points of bier.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once again thanks to GbVDave for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard Smokestack chalice. This beer pours a golden caramel copper with just a slight off white head that receded into just a thin line around the inside of the glass. As the beer disappears from my glass, no lacing is present. As somewhat of a cider aficionado, I definitely expected a slight haze from the apples but to my surprise it poured completely crystal clear. The aroma is fresh off the tree golden golden delicious apples coated in sweet caramel eaten off a stick at the fairgrounds. The flavor is exactly the same. It completely reminds me of a fresh artisanal caramel apple. It's completely amazing how they bottled that flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just finishes a little to sweet. New Glarus, in my opinion makes the best fruit beers. There is nothing better then a fruit beer from New Glarus. Amazing.

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Photo of u2carew
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(A) Good look. Clear, Clean, signs of carbonation and no apple chunks.
(S) Delightful. Apple aroma could be smelled long before bringing the glass to my mouth.
(T) Fantastic! A great taste, like slightly sour green apples but with the sweetness of apple pie.
(M) Good. Crisp and clean, but a little too bubbly for my palate.
(D) This goes down the hatch with ease. Chug, Swig, or sip just a great, drinkable beers.
A beer that could be introduced to non-beer drinkers as a gateway beer.
Way to go New Glarus!

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Photo of inkman15
4.71/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pleasantly surprised by this last night.

A: Deep amber and brown with a small white head that stuck around and left nice lacing as I drank it
S: So many apples paired with a soft malty caramel/brown sugar sweetness.
T: Follows the nose with an abundance of tart apples and sugar. Toasted malts are detectable behind it, but this beer really lets the apple flavors shine. It never gets cloying - rides that line very well.
M: Surprisingly full bodied for a 4% beer. Much creamier and fuller than a cider. Leaves a tiny bit of bitterness to finish
O: An absolutely fantastic beer that showcases its star ingredient (apple) in a way that doesn't come off artificial or overly sweet. One of the best I've had in a long time.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow. I cannot believe I haven't reviewed this one. I love this beer-- possibly one of my top fruit beers... But certainly one of my wife's top picks!

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a orangey gold with a white head that bubbles down to a thin wisp of micro-bubbles, leaving some thin streaks of lace that almost-but-not-quite form rings.

Wow. This is like cider. It is just fantastic. Nice sweetness up front, but the finish is crisp and dry. It isn't like a crappy "malternative" that is overly sweet-- this has found that perfect balance and comes across as delicious.
Really well done.

The body is -- wow... it's like sparkling. Lots of carbonation that is composed of light and tiny champagne-esque bubbles. Some little cinnamon notes come through here too.

I love this beer. This will forever remain on my wants list!

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Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.