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Thumbprint Apple Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,115 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,115
Reviews: 413
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 317
Gots: 150 | FT: 8
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Skidz on 09-25-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,115 | Reviews: 413 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of portia99


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

12oz bottle received as the target beer in Math Trade 3 BIF from fear025. Poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a briliantly clear (read a newspaper thru it clear), lightly fizzy, dark golden color with hints of amber. A thin cap of bubbles lingers very briefly and falls to a thin white ring on the perimeter of the glass.

S - Sweet, sugar and brown sugar base...hint of vinegar, very appley/cidery, a bit of cinnamon spiciness. Not really getting anything beery out of this - no malt, no hops. I like what I'm smelling, but if this was just poured into my glass without any description, I'd be hard pressed to call this beer - definitely seems more cidery.

T - Sugary sweet, a hint of artificial sweetener flavor, tons of apple juice, brown sugar. Very much as I'd predict out of the aroma. I can't call this anything but cider, but I have to admit it is a good tasting beverage.

M - Thin, almost watery consistency with a light, spritzy sort of carbonation. Very light, almost delicate feeling. Lingering sweetness that coats the lips a bit.

D - Light, crisp, refreshing. Seems perfect for a warm late summer/fall day...like the last one of the year before the cold sets in for good. Almost dessert like in a way too. Goes down like water...at only 4% it is extremely sessionable. Not sure how to really put this into a style for comparison to other "peer level" beers - haven't really had anything quite like it that the brewer is calling a beer. That being said, it is an excellent low alcohol, easy drinking, gateway potential, fruity beer.

02-23-2011 00:13:36 | More by portia99
Photo of suspect

New York

4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head signature glass. Thanks to beerwolf77 for the hookup, this was quite a treat.

A: Deep amber color, like that of cider but has the crystal clear qualities of apple juice. Really aggressive pour leads to a 2 finger fluffy white head that disappears very quickly. No lacing to speak of.

S: Apples, floral notes and a touch of honey.

T: Really sweet-tart apple flavor mixed with some cinnamon, apple spice. You can definitely tell there are a mix of apple types used in this beer. I was concerned this would taste like Woodchuck hard cider but nope - it tasted like apple beer!

M: Light body, heavy (but not too much) carbonation. The tartness of the apples puckers me up.

O: This is an excellent take on a fruit beer. I am eternally grateful to beerwolf77 for the extra as New Glarus is not sold near me. Which is too bad because this is a beer I would love to have a lot of. I had to try really hard not to drink it really fast.

05-16-2011 02:49:35 | More by suspect
Photo of HopHead84


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

I meant to drink the Bohemian Pilsner but mistakenly opened an Apple Ale. Poured into my Lost Abbey tulip, the beer is vibrant copper with one inch white head. The head quickly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

The aroma transports me to an apple orchard. Perhaps an orchard in Wisconsin? Six varieties of apples, the label reads, and I do believe it. Fresh, crisp, apple aroma. The beer smells very sweet and sugary. Reminiscent of a cider. I'm unable to see (or smell, rather) past the nice apple aroma so I'll simply tell you that I noticed no hop or malt characteristics. There wasn't a trace of the brown ale in the nose.

Wow! Delicious! Sweet and slightly tart, crisp apple flavor. It really tastes more like a complex blend of fresh apple cider and apple juice than beer. No alcohol is noticeable. The finish is sweet, crisp, and clean.

Light-Medium bodied with low carbonation and a slightly sticky mouthfeel.

This beer was a serious treat.

02-02-2009 03:22:19 | More by HopHead84
Photo of DrJay


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Clear, light coppery amber with a white collar and skim of fine bubbles. Some lacing, good retention. Definitely some apples in the aroma, lower tartness and more of a baked apple or applesauce character. Mild caramel. Tons of apple in the flavour, nice balance of sweet and tart apple character. More cider than apple juice with just a bit of caramel sweetness in the background. Lightish body with average carbonation. On the dry side without being bone dry. Crisp and refreshing. Highly drinkable, especially if you like apples.

02-28-2009 22:07:51 | More by DrJay
Photo of rudzud


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

Recieved this bottle as an extra in a trade. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Pours a nice crystal clear honey golden hue with a nice almost two finger head that fades to leave a thin white halo and nice cloud.

S - Smell is excellent, like candied green apples. Its not really cloy or fake, but its defiantely not 100% fresh, like good candied apple smell though. Nice.

T - Follows the nose but perhaps a bit too sweet. Nice tart green candied apple flavours. Wouldnt mind seeing some fresh apple but this is definately cider like in taste.

M - Mouthfeel is average for a fruit beer, especially one of this ABV. Slightly thin and soft carbonated.

O - Overall this was a delicious beer, love the sour apple/green apple/candied apple flavours and aromas going on.

07-03-2012 03:41:27 | More by rudzud
Photo of Tilley4


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

What an unusual brew this was... In a good way too...

Clear pour with an ample head.. Smelling like apple juice all the way with perhaps the slightest of booze... Dead on apples here...

Sweet apple juice like flavors dominate here... This one could hurt you its so subtle in its delivery... No booze detected at all here... Straight apple flavors all the way... Not overbearing alothough I'm not sure I could down a sixer without needing a break...

A terrific little brew here...

08-26-2011 17:37:48 | More by Tilley4
Photo of locthebloke


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

12 oz. bottle poured into a regular pint glass.

A.) - Pours clear and red-amber with a thin head that dissipates quickly. A few patches of white lacing are left to linger.

B.) - Apples, of course, and cinnamon are prominent with a tinge of something buttery. It smells like dessert.

C.) - Fresh, tart apples with a chase of cinnamon and maple. Pleasant pie crust-y malt lingers on the tongue to finish. Not a trace of hops in this one.

M.) - Light body with lower carbonation. Very mild and easy to savor.

O.) - If you really want your beer to taste like beer, this might not be one for you. Sweet and easy, it one goes down like juice or cider. Would be a great session beer for fall or summer--I'd want this by my lawn chair or my campfire. As it is, I'm not sure anyone is doing fruit beer as well as New Glarus. Another winner, but I would love to try it if it had a little more kick. Up the apple tartness and the carbonation.

05-20-2011 17:45:05 | More by locthebloke
Photo of hardy008


4.33/5  rDev +4.8%

Light copper color with a one finger off white head which dissolves quickly, leaves no lacing. The light copper color looks nice. The aroma has apple, and some spice. Maybe cinnamon. Quite nice.

The taste is very nice. Apples and some cinnamon. There are 6 varieties of apples used, and brewed with a brown ale base. The apples taste like a nice combination of sweet and tart apples. Very nicely done.

Medium bodied and sweet, with low carbonation. Another truly great fruit beer from New Glarus. I could easily drink this beer again and again.

12-12-2010 03:30:30 | More by hardy008
Photo of garymuchow


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Man this brewery does fruit beer well.
Lovely aroma which is strong on apple, but also holds a characteristic from Enigma, so I'm guessing it's the yeast. It's a fruity quality and it's pleasant too.
Not much of a head. Looks a lot like apple juice with less evidence of bubbles.
The complexity of the apples really shows in the flavor. You can get the sense of the different apples used with tart and sweet flavors and just general apple goodness. Nothing is out of balance or excessive. Really nice.
Moderately light feel and low carbonation. Drinks really easily. This beer is dangerously easy to drink, so it's good it has such a low abv. As my buddy said, this goes good in any season and does well warm or cold.
With all this it is distinctive from a cider. Subtler, less strong and more complex (in general).
Thanks Bry.

03-20-2011 22:21:37 | More by garymuchow
Photo of adman08


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

A-Pours a clear amber color with a hint of copper and a moderate amount of fluffy white head.
S-Aroma of vinegar with a bit of vanilla and sweet apples.
T-Lots of apple flavor with a bit of vanilla. The apple flavor is a combination of both sweet and tart apples.
M-Somewhat creamy feeling. Very sweet, not tart/dry. Decent carbonation.
Overall, outstanding. It's really impressive that they could get this kind of flavor from apple juice since apples don't have a very strong flavor compared to most fruits. The vanilla flavor I noticed reminds me of some barrel aged beers I've had. Another New Glarus fruit beer that you could just sit and sip all day.

05-31-2011 01:28:03 | More by adman08
Photo of homebrew311


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Yet another NG fruit beer for me. Poured in to NG flute glass.

A: beer pours a very pale amber with little to no head, minimal lacing, crystal clear

S: the initial aroma is very sweet with a nice fresh crisp apple nose, some delicate cinnamon and spice character is in there as well. This smells like a very light and qauffable beer.

T: the taste starts sweet and then comes a bit of tartness similar to green apple, the finish is sweet with some notes of spices. Nice refreshing finish. Unlike other NG fruit beers, this one has no wood character and no lasting tartness. This one is very light and very refreshing.

MF: thin body, high carbonation, crisp and refreshing

D: New Glarus really knows how to preserve the delicate flavors of fruit and translate them to beer. This one nearly taste like a sparkling cider, I almost forgot this was beer.

11-16-2010 06:25:25 | More by homebrew311
Photo of illidurit


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

RBSG09 bottle at the grand tasting. Pours golden orange with a frothy white head. Big bruised apple aroma with sweet dough. Smells like fresh apple pie. Huge ice cider apple barrage, really robust fresh pressed apples. Almost tastes more like apples than apples do. Pretty delicious.

07-13-2009 07:47:13 | More by illidurit
Photo of CaptainIPA


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

P: Presented in a brown, 12 oz. bottle with a red-foiled cap and neck. Part of the New Glarus Unplugged series, and purchased @ Sendik's in Mequon.

A: Pours a crystal clear, light amber color with a thin, short-lived head and audible carbonation.

S: Freshly pressed green apples with a waft of cider-like acidity.

T: Tangy and tart apples balanced with a sweet touch of caramel. Unbelievably fresh, handcrafted goodness. Finishes semi-dry.

M: Light bodied and crisp, with a cider-like effervescence throughout.

D: Uncommonly drinkable. If you liked apple juice as a kid, this ale's for you. Grab a 4-Pack while they last.

03-08-2009 21:28:14 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of kevanb


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

It pours a really nice sparkling, clear, copper color, lots of bubbles rising showing off a nice amount of carbonation. It has a a slight fizzy white head that dissipates extremely fast leaving a ring of film along the edges of the glass, very appealing and inviting for a lighter fruit beer. The nose is out of control, massive amounts of granny smith apples, faint spices, and a hint of grains, apple pie in a glass. Flavors are spot on, lots of tart green apples and pie spices with a nice smooth biscuit malt finish to remind you this is beer and not cider but stays away from being a gimmicky all out apple pie beer. Nice bubbly texture keeps this easy and refreshing, not overly light but just a lovely session beer.

Verdict: This blows ciders away, massive apple flavors but nice touches with the biscuit and spicing that is so easy to drink, refreshing and flavorful. Such a great take on beer.

12-09-2011 05:01:32 | More by kevanb
Photo of BedetheVenerable


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Presentation: Gorgeous, original foiled 12oz brown pop top with a nice ditty about the beer...massive thanks go out to the awesome girl at the brewery who pulled one of these out of the back for us to take home, so we could try it

Appearance: Crystal-clear dark golden beer, bordering on amber, with a thin white cap of large bubbles which soon fades to a thick ring

Smell: Brilliantly and vivaciously fruity...there's six varieties of apples in here and it seems like it; this is like fresh apple cider but kicked up a notch in intensity...fresh and crisp, with not much of any malt aroma in the background...this is almost like an English-style dry cider, but more natural

Taste: INTENSE apple flavors...it's complex, earthy, sweet and tart, delicious...like fresh cider from the apple orchard back home, mixed with the apple juice we all drank as kids, but with the slightest undercurrent of brown sugar/sweet caramel malt. Weird? Yes. Delicious? Yes!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and smooth

Drinkability: High; perfect for fall

Conclusion: This is one fantastic fruit beer...in no way is this fake, sugary, or artificial...it's got emphasis on the fruit over the malt for sure, but it's more complex than a cider...feel lucky to have gotten to try this one...paired wonderfully with baked brie with raspberry honey and almonds

08-23-2009 02:19:40 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of xnicknj


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

12oz bottle poured into pint glass - thanks to GraniteSkunk

Pours a clear copper orange with a small, fading head. Disappears into spotty film and a ring around the glass.

A nice strong whiff of apple cider, green apple peel, a hint of spice, and light sweetness.

Plenty of apples and spice right up front. Light caramel sweetness alongside cinnamon and lovely warm flavor. This really reminds me of apple cider and candied apples. Brown sugar and apple peel are also apparent with a hint of breadiness. Finishes crisp and refreshing with some lingering flavor.

Light bodied, bubbly and refreshing. Drinks so well, and the alcohol is nonexistent. For a straight up fruit beer, this pretty much nails the apple flavor, although if you don't like cider, I can see this missing.

12-23-2010 00:58:39 | More by xnicknj
Photo of ClockworkOrange


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

I believe I got a few bottles of this from hogwildliquor, so thanks! Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass. Appears a crystal clear golden yellow color with barely a finger of eggshell colored foam. The foam dissipates within minutes of the pour settling into a thin layer. Smells of tart apple cider initially and then upon giving the glass a swirl, notes of golden delicious apples come out. The flavor is obviously dominated by apples. Fresh pressed apple cider, apple skins, sweet and tart apples, candied apples, and I swear I smell a touch of cinnamon. Is my brain tricking me into smelling cinnamon? Who knows. This skates a fine line between beer and cider. Very well done. Medium bodied with a light, crisp carbonation, again very cider-like. Check this one out if you have the chance.

03-21-2009 02:18:40 | More by ClockworkOrange
Photo of AltBock


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

12oz bottle with a plain and simple brown recycled brown paper label with some bright red tin foil over the cap. The label only has a drawing of the state of Wisconsin with a finger print design in it. To the right of the state is a description of the beer. No vintage or best before date anywhere on the label or bottle.

I poured this Midwestern apple beer into my Southern Cigar City pint glass. This Apple Ale certainly didn't look like an apple beer. This beer poured a slightly hazy golden orange that was diluted by a little amber. It almost looked like a weak apple cider brown color. On top if this fruit beer was a 1/4 of an inch bubbly head of foam. These bubbles popped away in a blink of an eye. It only managed to leave behind a super tiny amount of bubbles along the edge of the beer.

This beer smelled like a cross between freshly pressed apple cider and a bottle of sparkling apple cider. In other words, this beer smelled like apple cider and nothing like a beer. The aroma was a little sweet and tart with mostly red delicious apples with a drop of golden delicious apples. Malt? Hops? You won't find those in here. Nothing but apples.

If you want a fruit beer with a variety of flavors in it, you better stay clear of this beer. New Glarus said this was an Apple Ale and they stayed true to their word. It didn't taste like a hard cider to me. There was nothing hard in this beer. It tasted like a non alcoholic sparking apple cider. The taste was tangy, slightly sweet, and acidic with red delicious apples with a touch of tart green apples. There was no other hidden fruit in this beer. The taste was just straight up delicious apples.

This was a light bodied beer, with a small amount of carbonation, and a dry, sweet, and tart aftertaste. The aftertaste was no surprise. It was filled with more red delicious and tart green apples. This aftertaste had a slight bite to it.

Apple Ale? They weren't joking. This is one of those beers that didn't have a variety of flavors. It had one big delicious flavor and that's it. Extremely drinkable. I would drink another bottle. Big thanks to fellow BA mnbuffalo for hooking me up with this beer.

07-29-2013 00:06:16 | More by AltBock
Photo of bnuttz


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Well, the third New Glarus fruit beer I have sampled. I went into this with high expectations and here are the results.

appearance: a dark copper color, with little head

smell: sweet, apples, smells so good, like a sweet apple cider. Some tartness can be detected also

taste: Apples all over. Wow, this is great. Very sweet and tart at the same time. Tastes like an apple cider sweetened up. The sweetness does not hide the tartness at all.

Well, New Glarus has done it again, these guys just cannot miss on the fruit beers. True, I probably couldnt drink more than one due to the inherant sweetness. But I must reccomend this beer to everyone that can get their hands on it. It is pricier like all the NG fruit beers, but that is understandable because you can tell they dont skimp on the fruit. Get it while you can!

10-09-2004 00:53:06 | More by bnuttz
Photo of AdmiralDiaz


4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured from a 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours the color of apple cider, with a one-finger head that dissipates quickly leaving almost no remaining head and no lacing.

S: Smells very strongly like apple cider that's very overpowering.

T: I feel like I'm getting repetitive but it tastes like very flavorful apple cider with a small trace of hops, this is by no means a bad thing.

Overall: It's very well carbonated and the taste fits the style very well, although I'm not sure I could have guess that I were drinking a beer if I were blindfolded. As I said it tastes great but isn't something I'd drink a lot of, it would either get overpowering or old.

01-28-2009 06:37:22 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of just_in


4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

07-27-2014 01:21:26 | More by just_in
Photo of MaxSpang


4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

Served in a snifter. Thanks to Duff27 for sending me this fantastic brew!


The beer is a crystal clear yellow-orange color. It reminds me of apple juice if you can believe it. The head was about a finger and almost pure white. It disappeared quickly, and absolutely none of it remained in the glass. There was some nice carbonation bubbles floating up, making this beer look quite inviting.


Tons of - you guessed it - apples. This is intensely strong in a good way. It doesn't smell like cider, but rather a candy-like tart apple. I could swear I was smelling a caramel apple. It's honestly hard to get much else, save some slight spice character. This is similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart in that I find myself going "There's no way this is beer" to myself!


The taste is nowhere near as intense as the smell. That being said, there's a lot of apple flavor in this fella. It's a sweet apple variety rather than a tart Granny-Smith or something. There's a good amount of sweetness, and it reminds me of brown sugar. The caramel flavor comes out but is subtle, and there's a nice little bit of malt right at the end. There's some candy-like sweetness that reminds me of rock candy (not the Belgian kind) or cotton candy. Really incredible flavors coming from this brew.


The carbonation is very close to perfect, and it creates a nice, crisp, dry finish to an otherwise sweet beer. The body is fairly light. It's big enough to be satisfying while being light enough to be refreshing.


I'm going to come out and say it - New Glarus makes the best fruit beers ever. Like Raspberry Tart is to raspberries and Wisconsin Belgian Red is to cherries, this is the truest apple flavor I have tasted and smelled from any beer. This beer would be amazing in the fall... or any other time of the year! If you love apples, you'll love this beer. Period.


02-07-2012 23:33:38 | More by MaxSpang
Photo of jmarsh123


4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a very clear light brown with a reddish huge. Barely any foam whatsoever.

Smells like a red apple.

Taste kind of like beer mixed with apple juice. I'm assuming this is spot on what they intended since I've never had anything remotely like this before. A little tartness throughout with a very smooth flavor.

Mouthfeel is kind of light, but with a 4.0% ABV that is expected. Not quite as dry as most ciders. Definitely has the apple flavor but is firmly in beer territory.

I love everything from New Glarus. I'm fortunate to have loving relatives in Wisconsin, but would love to have more regular access to their offerings. Very solid lighter beer and very unique.

10-04-2011 00:29:32 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of JCaweinstein


4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

The first thing that I notice is that it's beautiful copper color and that it's absolutely clear. It's got a cottony white head which is very appealing but it doesn't hang out for too long.
This ale is bursting with apple aromas, both with a hint of sweetness and tartness. Not smelling much in the way of hops and malts but it still smells good.
Apples! There is a slight hint of earthiness which I assume is coming from the hops.
This is a light bodied beer, it's sweet but leaves a nice effervecence touch from the carbonation that follows the apple sweetness beautifully. It's like drinking and apple flavored champaigne.
I really like this beer. I have never tasted a beer quite like this before. As mentioned before it's like drinking a sparkling wine or champaigne. I also like that this is a beer that I could sit down and drink with my wife, as she really enjoys it as well. New Glarus Apple Ale is hard to come by in my neighorhood but I will again go through the effort to find it again.

12-28-2011 04:11:37 | More by JCaweinstein
Photo of woosterbill


4.28/5  rDev +3.6%

12oz bottle from the fall of 2010, poured into a Duvel tulip. Thanks to whoever traded me this in person at DLD '11.

A: Brilliant, translucent rust body under an inch of frothy white head. Pretty good retention and light, sticky lace. Very attractive.

S: Interesting. Apple, unsurprisingly, dominates - but it's a decidedly raw apple aroma, not really cider-like at all. It's much more like apple pie filling: a little spicy, a little caramelized, and very enticing. Really good.

T: Opens with sweet apple flesh, followed by cinnamon, caramel, and a clean, tart finish. Apple skin and light bitterness are also present toward the end. Light spiciness on the aftertaste. A bit more tartness would have been welcome, but it's delicious in its own way.

M: Lively, creamy carbonation in a fairly light body. Refreshing.

O: Excellent fruit beer - extremely apple-forward without losing its beer-ness. Terrific.


09-09-2012 21:51:39 | More by woosterbill
Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 1,115 ratings.