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Thumbprint Apple Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale

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

440 Reviews
THE BROS
86
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 440
Hads: 1,514
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 10.19%
Wants: 343
Gots: 210 | FT: 17
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: 440 | Hads: 1,514
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. (1,564 characters)

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. (1,583 characters)

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. (436 characters)

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! (280 characters)

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. (781 characters)

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. (1,175 characters)

Photo of GIVEMEBACKMYSON
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. (713 characters)

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. (737 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.77/5  rDev -8.5%
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 -8.5%
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 -8.7%
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%
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%
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%

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%

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%
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)

Photo of hawks10
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Glarus champagne flute...

Pours a clean and clear golden orange, much like apple juice, two fingers of off-white head forms and recedes into a cap of haze...

Slightly sweet apples with just a touch of tart. Cinnamon and spice are abundant, not necessarily what I look for in a beer, but this one smells delicious, almost a warm and inviting scent to it, even though this beer is about 45 degrees right now...

Taste starts out pretty sweet, apple cider without much tart. Cinnamon comes out in the middle, is subtle and quickly fades away, back to a sweet, almost vanilla finish...

Light bodied with a very slick and fast finish. Flavor drops out pretty quickly leaving just some hints of creamy vanilla in the aftertaste...

It is what I expected it to be, definitely delivers on the name. Found it pretty good, but wouldn't really want more than one of these... (896 characters)

Photo of afksports
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Steve aka leakyfaucet for this one. The first beer of my first Wisconsin trade box. Ahh, feels good. Enjoying it with my girlfriend, who has observed that this post so far is cheesy.

The beer isn't. It's clear, has some nice initial bubbles, and a cider/apple amber ale appearance. The smell blows you back with apple. Tartness for sure, very much like a cider, but there's a character to the smell that reminds you it's an ale. Not quite mom's Thanksgiving non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider. The taste follows that apple-but-ale theme, and is packed with apple sweetness, but manages to finish with a tinge of bready malt. The taste is certainly for apple fans, but may throw the standard cider drinkers off the taste-profile path they're used to.

It's drinkable though. Tart, sweet, light and crisp - this is an interesting brew for sure. Its only problem is that it introduces something not often done, and the combination seems to slightly overshoot the sweetness. (982 characters)

Photo of NoLiberty
3.75/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crisp, clear light amber color with a slight peach hue. A soft white head builds and quickly resides into a low thin cap with moderate lacing up the side.

Aroma is crisp, clean and dominant with fresh pressed apple smell. Slight pear and white grape skin notes. This could pass for a juice or cider with a light alcohol touch.

Flavor is definitely fruit forward but balanced by a crisp tartness, not unlike that in New Glarus' Red, and a light sweet malt presence. Pear juice and caramel flavors finish the beer. Nice.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with crisp carbonation.
I had about 3 ounces of this beer and it was probably all I needed. This beer has the potential for syrupy sweetness and while doesn't get there I still could only drink so much (768 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to snifter.

A - Medium orange; hazy with a very slight translucence. A ring of white head formed around the edges of the glass.

S - Apple cider and some sweet bready undertones. Not exactly apple pie (at least not in the way that WBR had a wonderful cherry pie aroma).

T - Sweet and tart apple flavours mingle together with a spice profile and some bready malts adding to the palate to create somewhat of an apple pie like flavour. A touch too tart for me.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Light carbonation.

O - This was pretty good and definitely interesting. That said, my expectations for this was that it would be an apple version of WBR and it didn't live up to that. (683 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.73/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep orange robe, almost clear. Diminishing beige head. Direct apple compote nose overwhelms the senses. Shredded apple flesh thrown up the nostrils in a sweet fashion. Riped delicious (the brand) apple crustade, pie crust. Nice warming medium body, very comfortable, low carbonation. This is definitely interesting, but not in the leagues of the raspberry tart for instance. Maybe I’m just more of a raspberry guy, but this seems sweet and simple, which I’m aware the other one is also, but it fails to take on me and surpass futile concepts like caring about the complexity rather than overall enjoyment. Here, rather than smelling like a fresh harvest, it appears a bit oldish (which it sure isn’t). I fear this won’t age well at all, but I’m very glad to have sampled it. Cheers Barry! (794 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Masterski for the bottle. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a light copper for with a minimal white head.and just a spot or two of lacing. Thin collar. Nose brings some cinnamon and other spices plus quite a bit of cider character. A bit odd, but I like it.

Flavor brings quite a bit of spools and some sweetness plus some nutmeg and other spices. A bit too sweet. Feel is prickly with a lot of carbonation. Overall, quite a unique beer but I really am enjoying this. (475 characters)

Photo of teamizm
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - looks like apple juice with a bit of head and dissipates fairly quickly.

S - smells like apple juice/apple cider

T - taste, well, like apple juice and candy apple with alcohol.

M - medium carbonation, like a light apple cider

D - At 4%, very drinkable, but a little too sweet to drink more than one bottle at a time. (353 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Murky lighter brown color. Finger of head on the pour which was present while drinking. Average to above average active carbonation in glass while drinking.

Smell: Sweet apples jump out. Some doughy, pie crust tones as well. Light airy malt tones. Dominated by the apples though.

Taste: Sweet red apples with some mild tartness make your mouth water. The front is simply wonderful, unfortunately it falls off after that. The apples continue to be the biggest player and just gradually fade away. Some light malt tones come through in the body. The finish is some faint sour apples.

Mouthfeel: Bright on the front then leaves a slight funk on the palate.

Overall: The beginning of this brew is so wonderful but just does not have the gusto that New Glarus other fruit beers have. More of a gimmicky feel then a truly great fruit beer. Would be a good choice for a cider fan. (892 characters)

Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.7/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice dark amber, verging on light brown. There is a very small white head (almost non-existent).

S: Smells like fermented apples and malt.

T: Tastes like it smells. The apple flavors shine throughout with some malt in the background. It has an almost cider quality to it.

M: Nice carbonation and the flavors don't overpower. There is a lingering sweet apple essence in the finish.

D: It's a decent beer, but I wouldn't want to drink another bottle immediately after. However, I'm sure it would make for a nice dessert beverage.

O: I'm not overly impressed with this offering from New Glarus, but I'm glad to have tried it. (638 characters)

Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.