Thumbprint Apple Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

437 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 437
Hads: 1,491
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 339
Gots: 200 | FT: 16
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
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Reviews: 437 | Hads: 1,491
Photo of Etan
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (415 characters)

Photo of mr-jj
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of jera1350
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
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. (752 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of DCon
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (1,174 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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 (675 characters)

Photo of chugalug06
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of mikereaser
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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. (609 characters)

Photo of Floydster
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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 (1,186 characters)

Photo of joe1510
3.84/5  rDev -7%
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. (1,564 characters)

Photo of pweis909
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (1,583 characters)

Photo of Lemke10
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of jcartamdg
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
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! (280 characters)

Photo of Infamous7100
3.79/5  rDev -8.2%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of zeledonia
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (1,175 characters)

Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (713 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
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. (737 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

If Raul was cruising with Eve in the Garden of Eden and New Glarus apples were the forbidden fruit, Raul would be tempted to take a bite. Just smooth, all kinds of smooth. Crisp like my baby mama hair after too much hair spray, yet delicate like my baby mama hair sans hairspray.

Not amazing, but Raul likes it. Yep! (317 characters)

Photo of KeefD
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a solid copper orange color with no head and no lacing, even despite a hard pour. Bottle says it's a brown ale base, but there's nothing brown about the look. Nose is mostly apples and light spices. Not getting much of a base beer aroma, but it smells excellent. Taste is very reminiscent of apple cider, which is to be expected I suppose, but I'm just getting anything in the way of beer. This thing is very sweet, but not cloyingly so, and is basically all apples and spice. I'm honestly having a hard time picking out which spices in particular were used (cinnamon?), if any at all, but it's all very well balanced, with no bitterness from hops. Body is medium, carbonation is perfect. All in all, this one tasty brew, but it doesn't really taste like beer. It does, however, taste better than any hard cider I've ever choked down. An interesting ale, and very nice for the holidays. (892 characters)

Photo of GoGriz
3.76/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not the biggest fan of apple beers but this one kicks ass. Pours a fairly boring, albeit, apple juice colored copper (nice hue). No head to speak of. There really isn't any nose to it. Where this shines is in its flavor. This beer is the perfect balance of subtle but present apple flavor and ale. The mouthfeel is great with a light amount of carbonation that allows the beer to be refreshing without the carb being annoying. Drinkability is nice too although any apple anything for me would get laborious.

Search this one out if you would like a fruit beer that lacks cloying sweetness - the dooming factor of most fruit beers to me. (642 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

New Glarus Apple Ale has a thin, white head, a semi-clear, amber appearance, no bubbles and almost no lacing left behind. The aroma is of strong, sweet & sour apple aroma, caramel, and candied malt. Taste is of those elements with citrus and cream cheese. Mouthfeel is light to medium, and New Glarus Apple Ale finishes tart and drinkable.

RJT (345 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Docrock!

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a tulip, reviewed live:

A - Pours a cloudy and murky apricot shaded orange color with about a half finger of thin white head that disappears so fast, you'd never no it was there. Appears undercarbonated.

S - Freshly sliced apples. Incredibly cidery. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd call it one based on the aroma. Hints of alcohol. Clove and cinnamon. Hints of pale malts when i look for them. Interesting and pungent. I could smell it when I poured.

T - Follow the nose closely, though I found the malt I was looking for to differentiate it from a cider. Delicious, juicy, and sweet apples. The freshness of the fruit is outstanding. Allspice and cinnamon throughout. I'm enjoying it. Likie apple pie in a glass.

M - Medium bodied and crisp. Nearly perfect.

D - It's akin to Braggot substituting cider for mead, and I'm not sure if there's a name for this style. The freshness of the fruit and perfect balance are outstanding. I do wish there was more malt character. (1,041 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Thanks to Tricerahops for this one.

Sourish apple juice, authentic, swear i can taste the peel shavings. Flavor leaves a sour, creamy feel. This one left me a lot on the fence and a few days after, i still can't quite seem to make up my mind if i l would try it again or not. Interesting for sure. (298 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Pours apple juice/apple cider colored with a thin wispy head. Not much lacing.

The smell is of apple cider with a hint of cinnamon.

The taste of apple is sweet with some sour. A touch of caramel, bread and a hint of cinnamon mix in.

While it is sweet, there is a touch of sour and a hint of spicing. Reminds me of baked apples.

A beer with strong cider character. (372 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slight chill haze on a burnt gold/orange. Head is white and creamy, but quickly dissipates to no cap with a small bubbly collar. No lacing to speak of.

Smell: Apples in all forms. Juice, skin, and flesh. Loaded with sugary apple sweetness. A touch of something more tart, but it's closer to a granny smith than it is to cranberry or tart cherry. A tiny hint of tannins. Straight up apple with a tiny malt backbone that can't really distinguish itself. Boil it down and make a pie!

Taste: More of the same. Apple pie filling without all the spices. Cider, fresh pressed juice. Apple skin and flesh. Juicy, seriously juicy. A touch of something akin to cinnamon, but it's minor. Vague backing sweet maltiness. Very light and easy. Sweet sweet apple juice.

Mouthfeel: Almost feels syrupy, but ends up with a medium body and crazy levels of smooth. Minimal carbonation.Wet and clean.

Overall: New Glarus makes fruit beer like your grandma makes cookies.

It's apples in a bottle with booze. A bit too sweet overall and lacking that tart edge I like with other New Glarus fruit offerings. Solid nonetheless. (1,118 characters)

Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.