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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.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

1,303 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,303
Reviews: 422
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 325
Gots: 177 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Skidz on 09-25-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thumbprint Apple Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,303 | Reviews: 422 | Display Reviews Only:
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

brentk56, May 09, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Generally, if you can't tell if the beer favors the apple character or the ale character, than that's a pretty good indication that the beer acheives balance. That is what this beer does very well.

Starting with a deep amber color and basically clear, it starts with a foamy/froathy head that shows some zesty pep that causes it to disipate rather quickly. Only a lace around the rim remains after minute or so. Low on lacing and legging, the beer tends to show the cidery side of appearances.

Ale-like maltiness shows up first in aroma, with a slow rise of caramel, butterscotch, and apple. Zesty spices of cinnamon begin to give the impression of apple pie. Quite simple, foreward, and again- balanced.

Flavors are delicately balanced. The apple taste blends well with the caramel malts, spicy cinnamon, and overall malty notes for a taste that varies from one flavor to another with each sip. For a beer that is this low on complexity, it layers its flavors very well without ever loosing balance. Except, as the beer warms a mild winey-tawny taste comes to live and reveals yet another layer that surprises the palate.

As expected, this apple-heavy beer takes on a tart, acidic feel but not without a creamy rebutal with each and every sip. It's quite remarkable that this beer never lets go of the malty-rich texture that would otherwise send the beer into cider teratory.

This is one of those beers when you hate to see the bottom of the glass. Ironically, its so easy to drink that it happens very quickly. Its simplicity and variance makes it alluring, yet highly drinkable and enjoyable.

BEERchitect, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light brown ale with medium head with very little retention. Aroma is, without any surprises, comprised of sweet apple. Taste is also overtaken by the apple juice taste, which is great since the apples that were incorporated in here are fresh, sweet (but not too sweet) and with just enough sourness in them. Malt and hops are very hard to taste. Body is just above average with some light carbonation. This is one fine fruit beer, well balance and without the ‘’concentrated’’ feel to it.

Phyl21ca, Nov 01, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apples are my favorite fruit. I like apple pie, apple cake, apple bread, apple pancakes, apple juice, apple cider, apple... well, you get the idea. When the opportunity arose to try some apple beer, I just couldn't pass it up. Thanks Skidz.

Bright orangish amber with a faint hint of apple peel red. The pale caramel-colored head is on the small side, but is compact and tight-bubbled. While not overly creamy or sticky, it does manage to leave a short collar of lace.

Apple Ale smells of tart, crisp apples and white wine, like an especially appley Chardonnay. I would prefer that it smell like the sweeter varieties of apple (Cortland, MacIntosh, Jonathan) rather than the ones that it's actually made with, since the ones listed are some of my favorites.

Now this is more like it. The beer was unquestionably made with sweet, snappily tart apple pressings. It tastes much more like brown apple cider than clear, amber apple juice. This is exactly what I had in mind when I first heard about cider/perry, not that straw-colored, too sweet, citric acid-tart beverage that passes for actual cider/perry. As other reviewers have noted, Apple Ale resembles fresh apple cider more than it does beer.

If a brown ale is the base, it isn't an overly assertive brown. It's apparent that there's a capable enough malt structure, but little actual malt flavor (or hop flavor for that matter) finds its way past the apple. The body is medium with a pleasant viscousness from the natural sugar. That same sweetness limits drinkability a tad (that's a weak 4.0), but this stuff is delicious and multiple bottles might be possible if one drinks slowly enough.

Apple Ale is my first New Glarus beer and it's a winner. Apples and beer. A match made in heaven? Nope, Wisconsin.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 24, 2004
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15.3%

ygtbsm94, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was simply giddy seeing this one show up in my fridge finally. I had been waiting forever to give it a try and the fact that I had it made my night. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/02/2009.

The pour was very nice. Light amber in color with a good clarity to it let you see the adequate amount of carbonation streaming up skyward from the bottom of the glass. Nice rounded head of white on top just sitting there very nicely.

The aroma was like a walk through the orchard on an october afternoon. Rich, tart, granny smith like apples just soo fresh you could smell it from across the room. Perfect mix of sweet and tart, this was ideal, The flavor did not dissapoint. Rich flavor that was seemlingly neverending. I just could not believe how much this tasted like fresh apples. Simply amazing. Light, clean feel on this one with light carbonation made it a wonderful beer with an amazingly complex profile.

This straddles the line of a fruit beer and a cider, but it works very, very well. I expect nothing but excellence from the guys at New Glarus and this was no expection. A wonderful beer that I am happy to enjoy!

mikesgroove, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of womencantsail
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a clear amber color with minimal head formation that eventually turns into a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: Apple pie all the way on the nose. Sweet apples, notes of cinnamon, that sort of sugary pie filling glaze, and even some pie crust. A hint of cider, too.

T: The flavor isn't quite as nice as the nose, unfortunately. Sweet apples, a light butter flavor, bread/pie crust (especially on the finish), and more cider flavors.

M: The body is medium with a sort of soft carbonation.

D: Sort of like a more complex sparkling cider (non-alcoholic), plenty of sweetness and apple flavor. I'd like to try this one fresher, but still good as it is.

womencantsail, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%

Thanks to TATURBO for this one! This beer poured out as a lightly hazy golden color with a thin white head that doesn't do much but form a ring around the glass. Not much lacing here. The smell of the beer had a pretty good aroma of apple to it. It starts to smell better as it warms up. The taste is like a blend of cider and apple juice with a good amount of spices in there too. The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied and had a good carbonation to it. Overall I can't say that it was my favorite Apple flavored beer, as much as I love these beers, I think it was a little too tart at times. I would drink this again for sure.

Knapp85, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

westcoastbeerlvr, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

SocalKicks, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

largadeer, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad they brought this out of retirement! Poured into a rinsed stange glass, a vigorous pour created a three finger head of crackling white foam. Surface has a nice soft luster, and a ring of sticky foam. Crisp and fresh apple juice aroma, some light musty yeast lingers too. Flavor is crisp tart red apple, some mild malt in the back, seems very close to dry cider. Very clean and crisp feeling, fairly light without the estery alcohol of traditional cider. A little bit sweet, but the dryness seems to take care of it before it gets cloying. Drank two yesterday and one today, so it's pretty drinkable, especially if you like apple juice or cider.

Tried a 50/50 blend with the Unplugged Berliner Weisse, and it was better with just about 1/3 Berliner Weisse added to 2/3 Apple Ale.

emerge077, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

This comes pretty highly recommended from VDubb (which is saying something for a fruit beer), so I'm lookin' forward to this libation. It pours a clear brass topped by a half-finger of loose white foam. The nose is a swift reminder of cold, yet fragrant, apple pie, crust and all. So, apples, cinnamon, pie crust (you know the scent), a touch of nutmeg...yeah, the basic apple pie deal. A touch of light wheat sits in the background, an old dunce's cap firmly thereatop. The taste ditches the pie to focus on the filling. Straight up, apple pie filling all the way here, with heavy emphasis on red apples in particular. The body is fairly light, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet finish. Overall, a very nice fruit beer that delivers exactly what it promises. Not much more than that, though.

TMoney2591, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus' Apple Ale smells and tastes astonishingly like fresh apples; and it's dark amber body with golden highlights is also reminiscent of cider. There's little head, and only a thin collar remains of that; and lacing is limited to just a few tiny spots here and there. The taste is of apples, although a touch of malt can be found if you look close enough. It's very delicately carbonated, and surprisingly much fuller in the mouth than might be expected. It finishes sweet with some lingering maltiness. It's certainly not your average beer, and I see it as somewhat of an apertif or dessert beer, but it's delicious regardless.

NeroFiddled, Feb 15, 2005
Photo of Jason
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Color: Crystal clear pale brass.

Smell: Apple pie filling, not much else other than that.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Sweet, semi-syrupy sugary mouthfeel. Sweet apple flavor, just like the aroma ... apple pie filling. Hint of cherries and cinnamon from the fermentation. Some cookie dough maltiness within reveals that this is actually a beer. Very sweet finish.

Overall: Awesome to see beers this far down the spectrum of sweetness and even being away from most qualities of beer. You'd think this was a cider though after a few sips some malt comes through.

Jason, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of sweet apples, some light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out with a very strong sweet apple flavor that dominates. I had expected it to be more sour than sweet but I’m not disappointed either. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there’s a very mild hops presence that brings a decent balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the sweet apple flavor.

TheManiacalOne, May 23, 2012
Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a flute. Big thanks to Deuane for hooking me up with a bottle of this.

Pours a clear, effervescent gold, with 1 1/2 fingers of rigid brite-white head. Retains with a nice creamy look around the edges, staying strong, and leaving some quality patchy lace back. The aroma is straight up apple juice in the nose. This is a bit cider-like as well, with the tartness of the apples playing nicely with the sugary sweetness of the wheat. Bit of floral hops and spice make themselves known in a more subtle fashion. I'm not sure what the ABV is, but I swear that I'm getting just a touch of warmth in here as well.

The taste is crisp apple flavors, with a delicious malt base of sugar and bread. Spicy Noble hop character pulls up the back, tasting a bit like the cinnamon topping on this piece of apple pie. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, with a crisp and bubbly pop to it, and man, does this go down easy or what? I literally think that I could have used 2 bottles of this for the review.

I love how they used the hops and spice to counteract and compliment both the tartness and sweeter components of these fruit beers, and this is just another great example of that. They really need to make this a fall seasonal during apple season. Very nice!

Kegatron, Aug 06, 2009
Photo of jlindros
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Pours a very light fizzy head, semi hazy golden orange carrot color.

Nose is like sparkling apple juice, fresh apple cider, quite effervescent, hint cinnamon like spices, spiced cider, touch apple pie sweetness too.

Taste fizzy, big apple flavor, apple cider and again sparkling apple juice, sharp acid bite, apple pie and cider mulling spices, tart apple flesh. Finish is tart and dry, tart apple lingering, bit of acidity, more apple cider and spices, and dry mouth smacking tart crab apple like finish.

Mouth is lighter bodied, lots of carbonation, effervescent.

Overall pretty good, one of the better straight up fruit beers I've had. Great apple flavor, effervescent sparkling apple, light mulling spices and sweetness, overall quite nice. I could drink tons of these.

jlindros, Dec 28, 2012
Photo of MasterSki
4.4/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle with the in-laws while eating apple crisp - how appropriate!

A - Not sure how to evaluate this, as I don't have much frame of reference. It looks like carbonated apple juice, but with a two-fingered head and spotty lacing. The rising bubbles settle down pretty quickly after pouring.

S - It smells like fermented juice. I suppose that's the point, isn't it? There are some faint spices in there, kind of like an apple pie.

T - Tart and sweet at the same time. Really pleasant - it tastes like cider but with the slightest hint of malt.

M - The carbonation gives it a nice zing. Smooth and creamy, just like good cider.

D - If you love cider this is great for sessions, if you don't it still might be nice for the occasional try.

Another great New Glarus fruit brew! Wish I'd grabbed more of this when I was in Milwaukee.

MasterSki, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -3.1%

XmnwildX12, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a finger of fluffy, off white head that fades to a small layer on top of the beer.

Smell: This beer is what we thought it was. Smells of sweet natural apples. There is a mild tartness as well.

Taste: Again, the star of this show is the apples. Kind of reminds me of a hybrid between apple cider and apple juice. The natural flavor is very natural. There is some sweetness along with a tartness. The finish is sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a finish that feels like it will be dry, but it really isn't.

Overall: I don't know how New Glarus does it, but their fruit beers are great. This is another success from this brewery. I would have another.

oline73, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yuck...what happens when you try to make a cider into a beer? this happens.

Beer is amber and clear with no head, no lacing and low carbonation, this is OK i guess.

Beer smells like apples and spice, this is more upsetting if this isn't what i expected.

Beer is thin to medium bodied and apply. Its sweet and cidery with mild spice and some grain acidity at the end. It's not super enjoyable as I hoped. I doubt I would drink more than the 12 ounces I had.

drabmuh, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cooked apple aroma escapes on uncapping the bottle...let's pour first before further comment...amber hue, apple cider-y, slightly hazy, mostly clear, without a head to speak of...nose is pungent, snappy, appley all the way, tart, and hot...Taste? Sour twang at first, then sweetness ensues...bracing mouthfeel, then mellow...juicy, high carbonation, tasty, tingly...though it fades a bit toward the end...not bad. No, actually, it's okay.
Not what I like, but it's sure to suit plenty of tastes out there...here's to them!

feloniousmonk, Dec 16, 2004
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

MarkyMOD, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -3.1%

beernads, Nov 10, 2014
Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 1,303 ratings.