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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 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 blackcompg
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Appearance - Poured a finger of off-white lite tan foam which disappeared in about a minute. Bode is a slightly hazy amber. No lacing whatsoever.

Smell - Huge nose of apple juice, and just a whiff of minerals.

Taste - There's very good apple flavor here, it's definitely sweet but not overly sweet like some carbonated apple juices are. The apple flavor seems very natural and authentic, not artificially flavored. I'm trying to find more "ale-like" nuances here but I can't find any. There may be a touch of breadiness long into the finish, but it is not easy to find.

Mouthfeel - Lighter side of medium, very juice with some lighter but crisp carb, it's somewhat smooth but has some carb prickle that builds up air in the esophagus quickly, very much like soda pop would. Some of the carb has edges all the way down, but I don't find this enjoyable or desirable.

Overall - So there is excellent apple flavor here. But If there is a brown ale base used here it has been overcome by the apples. If you like apples, you're going to love this, as the apples are bold and natural flavored. I'm glad to have tried and rated this but I will not seek it out again. (1,163 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%

Brilliant deep copper writer a lingering, frothy cream head. Aroma is dominated by red apple flesh and green apple skin. Slightly floral, and I don't know if it's just suggestive, but I get a little cinnamon. Flavor is the best apple product I've ever had. I'm not a huge apple fan, but that lingering apple flavor is balanced nicely between sweet red and a sour note reminiscent of an oud bruin. Pleasantly surprised with the complexity. Wish I had bought more. (462 characters)

Photo of foobula
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle. Pours a clear golden color with 1/2 finger bubbly white head that dissipates quickly. A tangy apple bite comes through in the nose, maybe a little caramel in there too. It smells like cider in a way that no other ale does: right up my alley. Taste is appley and tangy up-front. The sides give a little pucker. It's pretty much apple until the finish, which has some malty wheat flavor. After the apple fades (5 mins or so) there's a vegetal aftertaste that I don't recall from the previous bottling. Mouthfeel is medium with lots of carbonation, which tingles the tongue and the throat on the way down. Overall it's well-made, lots of apple, some acidity, some tanginess. It isn't very complicated but it's very, very enjoyable. It tastes a bit like cider, but it isn't, so I give it extra points for the style. Here's hoping this special edition brew continues to make a regular appearance. (904 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. Thanks Matthew!

A: Pours a clear apple juice color with a frothy off-white head that briefly foamed up after the pour before fading into a faint bubbly collar.
S: Surprisingly musty notes of stinky cheese almost edge out the crisp and lightly sweet scents of fresh squeezed apple juice. Apple does smell juice-like rather than a specific type of fresh apple.
T: Carbonated apple juice all the way. Tastes like a cider. I get notes of pear mixed in with the golden apple, caramel, and slight butterscotch. Finish has some of the cheese from the nose, and the aftertaste is full of apple skins and martinelli's apple cider. Very mild tartness. Crisp finish.
M: Chewy mouthfeel, thick and syrupy at times, but finishes dry and sweet. Splashy carbonation. Drinks well.
O: Very similar to a cider, maybe a bit thicker and maltier than most. Overall good, but not NG’s best. (884 characters)

Photo of MasterfulIdiot
4.61/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Riedel tulip glass. The liquid is amber-orange, and produces a yellowish head. The pour produces a ton of bubbles that stick to the side of the glass underneath the surface of the liquid for a long time, occasionally detaching and shooting up to the top. Looks nice, but I'm not really sure what to compare it to - if anything, it looks kind of like a dark, over-carbonated IPA.

Holy cow this really smells like apples! Not even joking, my grandpa used to run an Apple Orchard, and this smells just like the cooling storage room for the apples there! It's not super-sweet. It's mostly earthy, kind of like the meat of a Red Delicious apple, which is not my favorite kind of actual apple flavor, but it works for a beer smell. Other than the apples, I feel like I smell some cinnamon, although of course I could just be imagining that - maybe a little bit of malt, but it's mostly the apples.

Wow this is a great flavor! There's a bit more sweetness on the palate, as well as a nice bit of balancing tartness. There's the earthiness of the apple meat with the possibly imaginary hints of cinammon. Does a really great job not being too sweet or too tart! Finish is clean - the perfect mix of sweet and tart.

Mouthfeel is thin with tons of carbonation. I feel like the carbonation enhances the tartness a little bit - it's a really good match for the flavor profile.

Overall, really amazing apple flavor. I just don't even understand how they translated apples into beer so perfectly. (1,500 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.41/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in an amber color.

The beer straight up tastes of fresh apple juice in the front, slightly tart, and some sweetness. Then the beer moves onto this medium plus bready and chewy body that surely separates this as an "ale" instead of a cider. The beer has a substantive body instead of being light and champagne like.

A very delicious and refreshing brew that stands up as a beer instead of a cider. (413 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 mverity
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear amber brown with bubbly tan head that settles pretty quickly into a medium tan collar. Aroma is of warm apple cider: brown sugar, cinnamon, some faint clove. Taste is wonderfully the same; apple, sweet caramel and some spice. Fairly carbonated and medium body. Another amazing beer from New Glarus! (312 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.29/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: deep orange to copper color. a half finger plus of an off-white head that fades fairly quickly and leaves little behind. not quite clear but almost there

Smell: up front i am greeted with apples, turns into a more of an apple cider flavor. some sweet malt complexity.

Taste: opens up with huge taste of apple cider. almost tastes exactly like a little lighter version of cider you'd buy fresh at harvest time. light caramel malt play in the end but mostly covered by apple sweetness

Mouthfeel: sweet but not quite cloying. fairly light.

Overall: ehhh, i can't say i am disappointed because i didn't expect much from this one. overall it just tastes like cider and there isn't much else too it. (711 characters)

Photo of arlingtonjoe
4.12/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: A nice dark amber color with a small cream head.

S: Aromas of apple, cider, and some dough.

T: A nice tarness up front, cider and some apple pie.

M: Good carbonation, light body, a little sticky with a pleasant finish.

O: Geat representation of style They sure know how to make fruit beers in wisconsin and would sure like to get more for those warmer days ahead. Next time I will have to try this ala mode. (418 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. There are numbers on the bottleneck but they're smeared.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small center patch of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Cinnamon and apples. Pretty much just like apple crisp.

T- Apple, a bit more cinnamon and some light malt. Sweet but not cloying. Tastes like sparkling apple juice, not apple cider, but apple juice. Light note of caramel is appropriate.

M- Quenching and the medium body makes it so that, luckily, I don't feel like I'm just drinking cider. Medium-low carbonation.

O- Tasty and refreshing, but I could've used some more carbonation. (757 characters)

Photo of Scotchboy
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Awesome 12oz bottle from laymansbeerfan (thanks!) who is generous beyond belief. Shared with my wife in 8oz tasters.

A: Darker, clear gold, with some white head that does fade quickly.

S: Exactly what you would hope for from a New Glarus apple beer; red apple sweetness, hearty apple cider, definite malt breadiness, some brown sugar, suggestions of spices and cinnamon on the finish.

T: Apple and bready malt, akin to apple cider but with light/moderate malt backbone and enhanced body. Sweetness is moderate with suggestions of brown sugar and caramel. I get more red apple than green apple, but there is some fruity tartness as well.

MF: Light/medium body, higher carbonation, with some creamy tones and flashes of tartness.

O: Impressive beer, takes the apple ale game to another level. Flavors are reminiscent of the best apple ciders, with enhanced body and malt backbone. Suggestions of caramel malt lends a nice layer of complexity, but this beer is really as straightforward as the name. Well done. (1,012 characters)

Photo of shadetree67
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Amber gold in color. Stiff pour yielded minimal head which dissipated very quickly. No lacing or retained head. Even swirling the glass wont bring the head back. More reminiscent in appearance of a cider than a beer.

S. Tart Apples. Smells fantastic though not very complex as apples are all that I smell.

T. Tart Apples and spices. Slight caramel malt. Classic new glarus finish which comes from the yeast - it is present on all of their fruit beers. Delicious.

M. Lively carbonation. Sticky finish like apple cider.

O. As a fan of hard cider and beer - I really like NG's apple ale. It's very refreshing and goes down easy. I should have bought more than a single 4-pack (679 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label and red foil-ed over iconic green/gold pry-off pressure cap acquired from the extremely generous Duff27 in a trade and served into Cantillon stemware in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky-high given the brewery, which is undoubtedly amongst my favourites in the U.S.A. Thumbprint series. No ABV is listed on the bottle.

Served cold - straight from a quick stint in my freezer - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a half finger wide head of dull off-white colour. Creaminess is decent. Lacks frothiness. Disappointingly thin. Head retention is bad - about 45 seconds. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper of good vibrance. Clean. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears well-carbonated.

While the head is disappointing, overall the appearance is good for an apple ale. Sure, it's not unique or special, but it looks as it should. I'm optimistic.

Sm: Fuck. This has the best damn apple aroma I've ever encountered - has a fresh crisp orchard apple character that's to die for. Redolent of the finest fresh squeezed apple juice and artisanal French cidre. Sweetness is perfect, and it's just juicy enough. It never feels too cidery, though - it always comes off like a beer.

I also pick up on clean barley, a kiss of graham cracker, and some apple pie spice.

The apple aromatics are just perfect. I'm not sure an apple beer could have much of a better aroma. This tops even Ephemere. So damned juicy.

Clean; no yeast character or alcohol is detectable. It has no noticeable hop profile.

An extremely inviting aroma of moderate strength.

T: Has a fantastic apple profile with surprising depth of flavour. Crisp orchard apples, fresh apple juice, refined apple cidre, subtle hints of apple pie spice (kisses of cinnamon and nutmeg are the only ones I can identify). It's got some crystal malt character to fill out the malty build. Clean barley. A biteen of graham cracker. This is just plain delicious.

Sure, it's not the most complex or intricate flavour profile. But it's an impeccably balanced one and it's loaded with nuance. I'd safely call this flavour profile gestalt; I can't imagine removing or adding any notes without negatively affecting the quality. It's meant to be a simple straightforward apple beer, but boy does it boast impressive depth of flavour. Good duration and intensity of flavour.

The subtle tartness is divine, and works beautifully in this flavour profile. Subtle hints of brown sugar. This is one of the freshest tasting beers I've ever tried.

No yeast character, hops, or alcohol come(s) through.

Mf: Has near perfect crispness, if slight overcarbonation. Smooth and wet. Smacky and refreshing. Fresh, clean, and refreshing as hell. Has a near perfect medium body and extremely apt thickness. Fantastic presence on the palate. This texture feels custom-tailored specifically to this beer's taste. I'm extremely impressed.

Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: I forget how great New Glarus is, and then I'm reminded almost every time I try a beer of their's I haven't had before. This is flat-out fantastic stuff for the style, and beats even Ephemere in this category. I think it's safe to say this is the best apple ale I've ever had, and New Glarus continues to defend their well-earned reputation as the best brewer of fruit beers in the world. This is obscenely drinkable, and if you offered me a keg of it I'd fork over the deposit right now on the spot. One of the most refreshing and enjoyable ales out there. Artfully executed and of commendable quality. I'd recommend friends try this ASAP - even if they have to go out of their way to seek it out. Bravo, New Glarus.

Huge thanks to Duff27 for the opportunity to try this gem!

High A- (4,008 characters)

Photo of d5001986
4.33/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A: Not really much to look at, reddish with minimal head.

S: Tart apples, slight vinegar, and sweet.

T: Apple cider beerified. Sweet, but not so much it's unappealing. Simple, but great!

M: Crisp light body with high carbonation.

O: I'll admit I'm not a fan of hard cider's, so I wasn't expecting to be wowed here. But this stuff is solid, New Glarus just can't do any wrong with fruit beer. (428 characters)

Photo of JayCheG
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Very inviting with a lot of carbonation and very good lacing.
S: Apples... not much else for me besides apples
T: A beer that tastes like apple juice? Does this count for a fruit for today?
M: Nice carbonation and goes down very well
O: Its like apple juice as a beer. New Glarus does a very good job with these fruit beers. (327 characters)

Photo of rawfish
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark gold, very clear but a small fizzy white head reaches about a finger and fades. Really in distinguishable from sparkling cider.

A smack of crisp green apple tartness that begins to show more apple sweetness and malt depth as it warms. Malts are light maybe like oatmeal with a touch of cinnamon or all spice intermingling with the dominant apple aroma.

Apple juice is the dominant flavor and I get notes of all spice and cinnamon before any malt. Malts are mealy, cereal grains with some cookie dough sweetness to it. No hop flavors and the apple and dusting of autumn spices linger to the finish.

Nice supportive body, quite a bit more substantial than cider. Carbonation is crisp and agitates the delicate spice flavors.

Quite a delicious beer, much more substantial and full then a hard cider. Malt adds a warm sweetness and bready flavor, coupled with the light spice notes this tastes like a delicate apple tart (932 characters)

Photo of falloutsnow
3.9/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From: Gift from KR, thanks
Date: None on bottle
Glass: Founders snifter

New Glarus' Apple Ale is an enjoyable fruit beer, which comes across as an alcoholic version of the sparkling apple juices available in the US. Easily drinkable and enjoyable, particularly if you enjoy sweeter, fruitier beers. Similar to New Glarus' other fruit beers, but in more convenient 12oz bottles, I'd get this again, though don't know if I'd go far out of my way to do so.

Pours a 1cm tall head of white foam made up of small-sized bubbles, creating a frothy-appearance. Retention is poor, the foam lasting less than a minute in decline to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass. Body is a moderately dark golden orange color, with light bringing out bright golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the slightly hazy (20-30% opacity) body, low in number and activity.

Aroma of tart green apples atop a lightly caramel-sweet malt base, and hints of yogurt-like scents in the background.

Overall flavor is of sweet, light caramel and pale malts mixed with apple cider and a bit of fresh, tart apples. Front of palate tastes of cider-like and light caramel-like sweetness with tart apples. Mid-palate of slightly tart apples mixed with a light caramel-like malt base, at times cider-like and hints of lactobacillus-like tartness. Back of palate is of tart apples, apple cider, light caramel-like sweetness. Aftertaste of lightly tart apple-like sweetness with a bit of grainy malt character.

Beer is light in body, with carbonation of medium-low intensit, resulting in a lightly foamy (1/5) and otherwise smooth (4/5) mouthfeel that's a bit watery overall. Closes dry, with substantial sweetness clinging to the palate. (1,716 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the recent late 2013 release, poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 2/2/2014.

App- Dark golden-red body, nice one finger white head with solid retention and some lacing.

Smell- Smells a lot like apple cider with a bit of yeast. Tart apples galore. A small bit of sweet caramel malts that help balance the tartness.

Flavour- tastes remarkably like apple cider. Tart apples, sweet caramel malt, small earthy bitterness on the backend.

Mouthfeel- Thinner bodied though not watery, has the same consistency as hard apple cider. Easy to drink, the tartness is dry and refreshing.

Overall- Basically apple cider that happens to be beer. Solid, good for the fruit beer style but not something I'd go out of my way to secure again in the future. (761 characters)

Photo of rjp217
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. No date could be found...

A - Hazy orange color with a one finger head that dissipates pretty quickly. No lace left on the glass

S - Apple explosion! Red delicious, Granny Smith, golden yellow all wrapped into one. Candyish. Overpowering apple and fresh

T - Another Apple explosion! A little tart and ciderish. The low ABV is hardly noticeable at all. I could drink this with a smile on my face all day

M - Semi bitter and carbonated. Rolls into the palate smoothly

O - New Glarus just nails fruit beers every time. While not my preferred style, I can totally respect what they do with these because they're delicious and super easy to drink. Apple Ale is a fun, sweet and refreshing take that I really enjoy, well done! (767 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a D'Achouffe tulip. The pour is a coppery orange with about a finger of white head that quickly dissipates. The nose is very cidery, with notes of apple juice, grapes, and white wine.

The beer has a light-medium body, a nice firm feel, and a sharp, fruity flavor. The flavor follows the nose well and the beer is very cider-like in its profile (minus some tannins). Lots of sweet, refreshing flavors of fresh red apples greet your palate up and down. Not as acidic as I thought it would be, but there is definitely a faint tartness that keeps the sweetness from overpowering the profile. Towards the back of the palate, there is an appetizing, wine-like dryness that readies your mouth for a quick next sip. Very refreshing.

Another outstanding entry in New Glarus' ``Thumbprint'' series. This is the third one I've had and have thoroughly enjoyed each one of them. My hats off to this amazing little brewery that's been around longer than many people realize (and thanks to Ri0 for hooking me up). I really envy our Wisconsin BAs for being able to get these outstanding beers so easily. (1,115 characters)

Photo of mjpolzin
3.96/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A low abv fruit beer is not my style so I haven't tried any brews out of this category from local brewer, New Glarus. A friend gave me this one to try. It was very, very good and although I still don't think a fruit beer is what I would normally pick, I might have to carve out a place for some New Glarus fruit beers, especially maybe on a hot summer day.

This beer smells and tastes like apples, almost to the point where it is hard to remember you are drinking a beer. The apple flavor was very smooth though and it was enjoyable to drink. (543 characters)

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a CS snifter

A- Looks like a apple cider. Clear with the thinnest ring of lacing around the glass.

S- Obviously apples explode out of the glass. Slight vinegar smell.

T- The apple is muted perfectly to not make this ale overbearing with sweetness. It is a well rounded apple ale.

M- Pretty thin here as expected. Small amount of carbonation follows down the throat.

O- A very well done apple ale by New Glarus. They have this corner of the market nailed down. (483 characters)

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is going to be a short review. Its pretty much what you'd expect from an Apple ale, but its still is very tasty and refreshing. I could see waking up in the morning and having this with breakfast, if I was on vacation of course.

Golden color, with splotchy lacing, and little to no head. The nose is a brown sugar and of course, sweet apples. Slightly viscous with light carbonation and a lingering finish, but I wish the finish was a little bit longer. I'm going to keep the other three that I haven't tried them when the weather warms up. I will certainly look for more in the future. (592 characters)

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