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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
Reviews: 447 | Hads: 1,553
Photo of JoeMayo
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a little more simple than I thought it would be, but very refreshing.

A- Pours a golden color, not unlike apple juice. Very slight head that quickly recedes to nothing.

S- Smells exclusively like apples and cinnamon. A blend of apples, both tart and sweet with a slight hint of cinnamon at the end.

T- It tastes like a cider more than a beer. Not overly sweet or tart, but a mellow apple flavor with a slight yeasty bready flavor.

M- Surprisingly crisp

D- Like juice

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured In: Snifter
Purchased At: Steve's (Madison, WI)

Appearance: The pour is a clear amber and bronze color with a finger of head. The head dissipates quickly, but the beer is quite effervescent.

Smell: The nose is loaded with apples, both sweet and tart. The malt aroma is negligible.

Taste: The tasting starts out with slightly sweet and tart apples coming through. The brown malt base doesn't shine through on this at all, except for perhaps contributing some sweetness to the beer. It's very clean and crisp, and the tasting is apples all the way through with some white grapes coming out in the middle.

Mouthfeel: Sharp carbonation as it hits the tongue, medium bodied.

Drinkability: Another enjoyable beer from New Glarus. I was surprised with how much apple flavor came out in this. The name of this beer doesn't disappoint; it's exactly what it's called.

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Photo of jsh420
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours clear bright copper gold with no head just a few bubbles

smells of candy apple booze with some bready malt

taste - the nose gave me the impression this would be overly sweet and cloying - BUT that is not the case - a perfect balance of sweet and tart apple - a good amount of grains in the aftertaste which reminds me this is a beer and not a cider

mouthfeel - medium body with good carbonation - has a nice crisp and smooth feel

overall - the best apple beer i have had and could throw back a few of these in a session if it was sold in my area

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Photo of Voonder
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks TATURBO for this one!
Pours clear copper colour with one finger white head. Smell - sour apples. Taste - well it is more apple juice than a beer, strong honey flavour as well. This a great beverage - very crisp, refreshing, very tasty, it is just not a beer. I will rate it pretty high because I really liked it, i took me 30 seconds to finish a glass, but just so you know, there is nothing really related to beer here. I guess I'll need another one to figure this one out.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an amber-tawny hue, and is capped with a scant filmy head; it looks like apple juice.

S - It smells like apple juice, straight-up. I have nothing else to report here.

T - The brew really tastes like carbonated apple juice, and not even like cider. There is a huge amount of apple flavor, some residual sweetness, no hint of yeast, malt, hops, or alcohol. I guess it is similar to an apple juice version of Raspberry Tart or Belgian Red.

M - The feel is very soft and silky, refreshing, with a long pert finish.

O - This is quite a delicious fruit beer, though I must says that of all of the beers I have ever had, this is probably the most un-beery.

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Photo of Holland
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: very clear, light yellow, big head that stays for the whole session.

S: apple all over the place, some tartness

T: delicate apple flavor, kind of tart, a bit of sweetness

M: not a lot of body, but it has good carbonation and it's crisp.

O: good beer even though I'm not the biggest fan of apple-related products all the time. Thanks a lot too Treebs for giving me this as an extra!

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Photo of prototypic
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ThomasHardy for the bottle. This was a very nice treat, Brady.

Apple Ale pours a crystal clear copper color. For some reason I was expecting some haze. Perhaps apple cider has clouded my vision. A foamy white head rises and falls quickly. It reached a finger or so deep, but active carbonation consumed it quickly. Lacing was sparse.

One whiff is all it takes to be immersed in an apple wonderland. If you're a fan of apples at all, you'll be into this beer in a big way. It smells sweet and is very reminiscent of apple cider. It has a nice sweet aroma. There's a hint of light caramel malt sweetness, but that's about the only other scent I'm picking up. Apple dominates the nose. It smells delicious, but is a little limited in its range.

The flavor doesn't differ materially from the nose. This is tasty stuff. An avalanche of apple sweetness takes over the palate and doesn't give much way. It's not an overly sweet apple flavor. It is very reminiscent of a nice cider. But, not in the alcohol infused cider beverage sense. I mean real apple cider. This is good stuff. There's a little bit of caramel malt that's noted. But, not much else. Once again, it's range is limited in terms of depth. But, I really like the flavor quite a bit. Easily one of the best fruit/vegetable beers I've encountered.

It has a nice body that's on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active, but is smooth and easy drinking. Impressive in terms of feel. Drinkability is okay, but a little limited. I like the flavor and it certainly goes down fast and easy, but I can easily see it growing a little tiresome if more than a single bottle were ahead of me. Not bad all the same.

Apple Ale's a hell of a nice surprise. I tend to be hard on fruit/vegetable beer, but this is a rare exception that's a good, solid beer. Yeah, it's not exactly deep or complicated and it doesn't have a wealth of beer-like qualities. But, Apple Ale is a very nice change of pace beer that has a hell of a unique, enjoyable flavor. Take it for what it is and enjoy it. Oh, and if you like apples, you simply must find a few bottles.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Light gold. Clear and bubble. Short fizzy head without any persistence. Actually, not unlike a carbonated cider.

Smell - Sweet cooked apple. Like the insides of an apple pie.

Taste - Unsurprisingly sweet apple dominates. Very clean and refreshing. Some complexity to the apple flavor - reflecting the several varieties of apple used in this brew. Flavor is quite good and tastes of honest to goodness apple, but it's a little cloying for my taste.

Mouthfeel - Light.

Drinkability - New Glarus is without peer when it comes to authentic fruit flavored beers. This is a nice addition, but not in the same league as Cranbic or the Belgian Red.

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Photo of Etan
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz from the recent release into a snifter.

A: Pours at a golden-amber with a small white head.

S: Smells of sweet apples, juicy, mild spiced esters.

T: Taste brings cidery apple, with some bready notes and sweet wheat in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Very much like Dan's other fruit beers, sweet and clean. This one is somewhat cider-like but with palpable notes of malted wheat.

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Photo of mr-jj
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a goblet from a 12 oz bottle.

Color looks just like apple juice, but with a small frothy head with decent retention and even some lacing. Smell is all about the apples. Smells like apple cider. The taste is more apples - not apple juice, definitely more like cider with definite fermentation flavors. Body is medium with plenty of carbonation. Overall, I have a hard time distinguishing this from a cider - maybe a bit of malt flavor in the background and the lacing confirm that it is indeed an ale. Very enjoyable drink.

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Photo of jera1350
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color with a thin tan head that leaves a trace of lace.

Apple juice, bubblegum, banana Runts candy. Sweet and candy like.

Sweet candy and bubblegum are the main flavors here. The apple is there lurking, but it is not real prominent. You know it's there, but it's the sweet caramel and bubblegum that stand out the most.

Crisp and quite refreshing. The carbonation is a bit sharp, but it levels off. This is close to a medium body, but falls a bit short. Pretty nice for a four percent beer.

A nice beer, but I feel the apples are overshadowed in it. You can taste it, but the malty sweetness overtakes it. That same sweetness takes the drinkability down for me as well. I think one of these would be about all I would want in one sitting.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lukaski rules!!! Thanks for the hook-up man.

Not much of a head atop this clear cider colored brew. Very little bubbling. Apples hit the nostrils, then some apples mixed with just little cinnamon and brown sugar, then more appples. The palate fels very juicey at the first sip and throughout all twelve ounces. Clean macintosh apple juice with a little suagr. Not sweet but fruity, I think the light amount of hops added just cuts the sweetness just enough. So this juicey beer stays sweet yet very drinkable.

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Photo of DCon
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received a 12 FL.OZ. bottle of this in a trade w/ rjacobs6. Poured from the Red Foiled top, White label w/ the WI state as a Thumbprint into my Surly Darkness Tulip Glass. Has no freshness date on the bottle.

Aroma- Can mistake this one for a Smirnoff Ice Apple aroma! Going to still give it an above average rating. Hits the nose hard this this apple aroma and huge malt overload.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that bubbles up with an aggressive pour but dies quickly. Has a light, golden colored body with great clarity. Leaves suds behind.

Flavor- The flavor starts off EXTREMELY sweet and almost as if you just took a bite out of a juicy, Granny Smith apple. Unreal! Sweet finish as well and flavorful beyond the norm. Bit artificial but this is okay by me.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Medium Carbonation, A bit watered down here and finishes once again like an Apple Smirnoff Ice.

Overall Impression- Quite interesting! Caught too much artificial flavors in the mouthfeel though... Will still be giving this one an above average rating. Not sure I've had an apple ale like this ever before! I recommend picking this one up along with the others from New Glarus.

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear pale copper color with a modest head that rather quickly fades to a lake within the borders of some foam

Smell: Shortbread and apple cider

Taste: Cidery from the outset, with a building sweet apple juice flavor that adds a brown sugar dimension; after the swallow, the apple flavors linger long into the finish, leaving a sweet, cobbler flavor on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; puckeringly sweet

Drinkability: While this is a very interesting creation, in the end, it winds up being just a bit too sweet for me; I would have prefered a bit more tart apple in the flavor profile

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Photo of chugalug06
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Awesome head for the style! Very white! Orange and red hued head. Head dissipates quickly.

S - Brew is very nicely blended. Super apple scent! Awesome! One of the best scents I've smelt in a fruit brew.

T - Holy apple pie. Tastes just like the scent. Awesome breakdown. Super sweet.

M - Perfect Mouthfeel. Very light bodied with awesome definition. Not a sugar bomb at all.

O - Slightly all over the board, but still solid and a great brew to a great trade! Super brew. Very glad I got to try this one.

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Photo of mikereaser
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my dogfish head glass on 2/4/11.

A - Pours a clear copper color with a thin white head that rapidly faded to just a few bubbles on the surface

S - Aroma is sort of faint, sort of a cross between apples and brandy

T - very interesting flavor, its like drinking apple juice but not as sweet and lightly carbonated, borderline hard cider. There is some caramel as well along with the apples but thats about it.

M/D - light to slightly medium bodied with a nice zippy carbonation. The drinkability is high but might be enough for me after a few. Sort of want to get back to something a bit hoppy.

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Photo of Floydster
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle received in a trade with mikesgroove, think a four pack of these run about ten dollars, poured into my Duvel tulip glass on Tuesday, reviewed from notes, color is a light golden yellow, actually a bit cloudy, 3/4 inch bubbly head that did not last long, small amount of lacing and retention, green apples but not quite granny smith because they did not smell too sour, mild citrus, sugar, and white wine, starts off with a variety of apples, flavors from both red and green ones come through, sweet with sugared candy in the middle, finishes with more apples, not much else going on flavor wise, would have been even better is some tartiness showed up, still not a bad fruit beer, sweet, sugary, and light mouthfeel, thin to medium bodied, high level of carbonation, taste did not last long and what did was a little sweetness, more along the lines of Lindemands in this case, could have drank a whole lot of this stuff, alcohol is not even there and supposedly this stuff is below four percent, went down very easy, quite sweet without overdoing it, inviting and light, not the best of the Unplugged series but still a good beer overall, would drink again, worth trying

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Photo of joe1510
3.84/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle
$10.69 - 4-Pack
Coffee Grounds - Eau Claire, WI

2012 Bottling

New Glarus's Thumbprint Apple Ale pours with the color of unfiltered cider, hazy, tarnished copper. A surprisingly white head snaps to a thick cap on the pour before quickly fizzing back to a thin skim and ring. Patchy lacing gets left behind that eventually falls back into the body. While it's not the best looking beer it is a good looking cider...

The nose is first and foremost apples. Overripe apples, cider, and even slightly sour apples are all apparent. Don't get me wrong, this is no one sided apple beverage. Clean grain and bready maltiness make for the beer base to the apple accompaniment. The apple is robust and a borders on sharp at times.

Apple is more subdued and even handed than the nose led me to believe. The brown beer base is more pronounced. Soft but noticeable brown bread and a touch of sugary sweetness lay a firm base. Slightly overripe apples and a sparkling juice aspect come along mid-palate. The long finish is all unfiltered cider.

A light and active body make for an amazingly easy drinker. The carbonation and big apple flavors are reminiscent of sparkling apple juice at times. The finish is sweet but nowhere near cloying, again along the lines of cider, very natural sweetness.

Apple Ale is another good beer from New Glarus but, in my opinion, should be done away with in the Thumbprint series. The fruited 750s are much more enjoyable and the limited number of Thumbprint releases would be better served leaving this out of the yearly lineup.

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Photo of pweis909
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing NGs fruit beers can be tricky. They are fruit BOMBs compared to most others. For that distinction alone, the are pretty darn interesting. The problem is, do I review it as a fruit beer, something beer-like with fruit in it, or do I review it as something unique, based on its own merits?

This beer (is it really a beer?) pours a lovel shade of gold with a white head. The head does not stick around long.

It smells like apple. Like a green apple flavor candy. I mean, it smells exactly the way an artificially flavored apple candy would smell. An it tastes like that too. It is very sweet, like candy or pop. Too sweet for beer. Now I'm not saying that they made this with artificial apple anything, I'm just saying what it reminds me of. And I actually like apple candy and apple pop. I fondly recall apple bubble gum from my youth, a time when apple soda was often marketed (Aspen and Diet Apple Slice).

But therein lies some of my disappointment. There is a huge diversity of apples in the midwest and they have different varietal characters, much like grapes. I think it would be more interesting to make an apple beer that captures something unique about one of these varieites (or a blend of them) rather than make an apple beer that tastes like apple candy.

Since I like apple candy, I like the beer. As a homebrewer and cider maker, I realize how difficult it can be to make fruits really shine in a beer the way they do here, so I really appreciate the effort. But as a guy who loves the diversity of apples on the planet, I wish this beer had more character.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for about $2.50 in Fall 2010.

A much talked about New Glarus beer. It pours a golden amber color as you take in the scent of apple cider. Upon tasting there is a strong apple tartness to it. It takes a few sips to get used to teh tartness but after that it drinks rather smooth since there is not much carbonation to it. One of the more interesting beers you will find.

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Photo of jcartamdg
3.83/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my bruery tulip, copper in color with no head. Aroma of apple cider, almost an apple pie aroma. Taste follows the nose, sweet, tart apples with some malts in the back. Smooth and hides alcohol well. Tasty and different, a great change of pace, very good, if not great!

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.79/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: an uneventful pour with a quickly dissolving head. A color that not surprisingly resembles apple juice. A golden copper hue.
S: very pleasant and abundant apple aromas. Sweet and tart with what appears to be a hint of cinnamon. Nice.
T: Let this one age a bit...trust me. The first couple of offerings we a tad mild, however I let one sit about 2 months and the profile really opened up! A nice balance between beer and fruit...perhaps a bit too fruity, but the booze and spice cut it a bit so as to not be too fruity.
M: medium carbonation with a dry finish. Light and not filling.
O: not a bad effort from one of the best breweries around. I will caution you however too let it age a bit before drinking. The scent and flavor really represent themsleves in much truer fashion.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've tried most of New Glarus's beers, but this is one I've not had the chance to pick up yet. So here we go. Tasted 2 December 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a lightly hazy orange color. Almost see-through, but not quite. Certainly reminds me of apple juice. Half-finger of whitish head, relaxes to a ring around the surface. Okay lacing.

Smells like apple juice with a soft alcoholic push. Smells a lot like a sweet cider - over-ripe, mildly fermented apples.

Hoo boy, this tastes like apples. 75% apple juice is what I get. Make that 85%. There's actually not much beer to it, which is my main complaint. Sweet, pulpy, juicy apples. Yum.

Tickly carbonation, little needles jabbing out from the foam. Medium-light body. Forms a slick over the inside of my mouth, keeping those apple flavors hanging on.

Like most New Glarus fruit beers, this isn't really what I was expecting, but it's a welcome and delicious surprise. My biggest problem with it is that it's like drinking apple juice, with a small chaser of beer. I wish there were more beer in it. I'm conflicted - as a fruit drink, it's freaking delicious. As a beer, well, it doesn't really strike me as a beer.

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3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Surprisingly enough, this beer smells like fresh apple cider. It pours with a similar appearance (color, translucence) of apple cider. The head turns into nothing pretty darn quickly.
This basically has the flavor of apple cider with the body of a beer. The three types of apples used (cortland, macintosh, and jonathan) are actually each detected in the flavor. In the finish, some of the tartness is lost, which gives way to an overly sweet finish.
I found this to be much better than woodchuck, which i didn't much care for when I had it many years ago. But, it is kind of difficult to remind one's self that this is beer, and not cider, whilst drinking. Nonetheless, a tasty and enjoyable enough beverage.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.78/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my secret Santas for this!

A- Body is a completely transparent copper hue that pours with a 2-3 finger foamy white head. Head fades to a solid 1/2 finger and bubbles can be seen steadily rising to the top.

S-Nose resembles a white wine. Soft, a hint of astringency, the nose is crisp, and also cider-like. Of course the dominant tone is apple.

T- Taste is similar to the nose-but the dominant character is crisp apple. More ciderlike-with a hint of white wine. The finish is all apple and is mildly dry.

M- Soft carbonation and a light but full ciderlike body.

D- This is a good beer overall. Pretty much what it advertises to be-apple. Because its made with six separate apple varieties nothing in particular stands out.

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