Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Thumbprint Apple Ale - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

447 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 447
Hads: 1,553
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 19.66%
Wants: 348
Gots: 208 | FT: 13
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: 447 | Hads: 1,553
Photo of Deuane
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Terri from hooking us up with some of this glorious nectar!

A-Hard cider-like brilliant golden kissed copper. Minimal rising bubbles. A fizzy, medium white head starts then reduces to a a thin ring and leaves spotty lace.

S-Amazing blast of fresh pressed apples. Not much else other than a faint bit of caramel malt sweetness.

T-The closest "beer" hard cider replacement I have ever tasted. Amazing apple flavour is so up front and in your face it is crazy. I wonder what the malt/apple must ratio is with this one. A present, but mostly hidden, sweet malt backbone and a little spicy/tart zing compliment the apples.

M-Light bodied, very crisp, effervescent and "bouncy". A most enjoyable zippy mouthfeel that fits the brew perfectly.

D-You want drinkability? If you enjoy hard cider you will love this. As good as or better than most ciders I have had. I was told that if you like apples you will need to get at least a case of this stuff...well they were right! Wish I had more already! Truly a beer work or art! A job well done Dan...Thank you!

 1,065 characters

Photo of eyncognito
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking many of these since its release.

Looks like apple juice, a vigorous pour stirs up an off white head that quickly fades. Smells like....apples,apples,apples...also hints of spice-pie spices, like cinnamon. Very faint malt aroma, crusty and sweet like honey.

Tastes follows the nose. Apple pie in a bottle. I can't really tell the differences in the varieties of apples used. I'll leave that to smarter reviewers who have an apple passion.

Light, somewhat creamy when poured vigorously. Perfect carbonation.

This beer does what no other I've yet tried does: New Glarus made an apple beer. All too often apple beer is too sweet, too tart, too cidery, not enough beer. While the malt is far from dominant that doesn't detract from its brilliance.

I plan on following the suggestion of a previous reviewer and heat one of these up like a hot cider.

 869 characters

Photo of demcorhip
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yup, looks pretty much like fizzy apple juice. Very clear and golden amber. Mildly carbonated, yet managed to produce a solid one finger off white head that receded to leave a nice collar. Also managed to leave some decent, thin yet sticky clouds of lace.

Nice aroma here. Not surprisingly there is a lot of apple, fruity and aromatic, in the aroma, as well as a hint of spice. Like apple pie in a glass, with caramel and crust from the malts. A hint of cinnamon and allspice as well.

A must for any fan of apple pie and beer. Apple and malts in wonderful balance, aromatic and flavorful with a touch of tartness. Caramel and pie crust from the malts, and a nice hint of earthy pie spice.

Another great brew from New Glarus. Apple and malts are married together to make for an interesting medium bodied brew. Mildly carbonated yet quite finely so, making for a nice spritzy feel.

Incredibly drinkable, and perhaps the perfect breakfast ale. Another incredible Unplugged offering from this great brewery. The alcohol is almost hidden by the sweet, aromatic, and slightly tart apple juice. Im lucky to be able to make frequent trips to Wisconsin. I suggest you head to the land of the cheeseheads and pick up a few four packs before they are all gone.

 1,253 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from the recent 2008 Unplugged Series release.

Pours a clear, medium copper, very much like apple juice. Small, fizzy, short-lived, off-white head. Strong aromas of apples on the nose. Very fresh, with apple sweetness and crisp tartness (like an excellent Honeycrisp in the fall). Some caramel and cookie dough notes mix in seamlessly. Caramel apple pie anyone?

Light apple tartness up front. Ample apple sweetness follows and dominates the palate. The sweetness seems very apple-y though, and not artificial. Apple skin tartness picks up near the finish, along with caramel and pie crust. Finish is full of lingering apple sweetness mixed with apple peel bitterness. Medium bodied with a sparkly feel. A very interesting beer, that somehow avoids tasting too cider-y and keeps its beer character. Worth trying, even if you're not a fruit beer fan.

 864 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Todd on RB for this New Glarus goodie.

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear light copper hue with a quick one finger white head. A small ring of foam remains with little to no weibbing left on the sides of the glass. Smell is unbelievable. Sweet McIntosh, Gala, and Red Delicious apples dance in the nose, I don't think anyone could tell the difference between this beer and real apple juice. A sweet malty undertone with a tea like aroma as well. Taste begins with sugary sweet apple sauce and a a touch of cinnamon spice. Some graininess and caramel malt midway with more sweet apples. Aftertste is slightly dry with a cider like flavor. I just wish there was a touch more sour on tongue, but really, this beer (and I use that term loosely) is delicious. Light body with a crisp feel and mild carbonation. I drank apple juice like it was going out of style when I was a youngin. I don't detect any alcohol in this what-so-ever and could easily enjoy this every morning with breakfast if it was available to me. This is a must try for any beer geek, I need more!!

 1,110 characters

Photo of beerad666
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to fellow BA member kenoftheyear for this guy. The label said 'Unplugged', I'm not sure if the recipe has been changed.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into an American pint glass. It poured a nice reddish light orange color. There was no head it was more of just carbonation. The smell is great, it just makes your mouth water. Of course the smell of apples hits you right away but there is also a nice touch of cinnamon. When you first take a drink there is a nice refreshing sparkling apple. The whole time I was shocked at how well balanced it was.

It drinks as well as apple juice. Heck you could almost mix up a cup of sparkling apple juice with a cup of this. Hats off to New Glarus!

 701 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The label has changed to show 'Unplugged', unsure if the recipe has been revised. A 12 oz. bottle, red foil-wrapped, poured to a pint glass.

A: Perfectly clear, a warm and cider-like gold-orange. Minimal rising bubbles. Starts with a fizzy, heavily-carbonated white head, over a finger-high but quickly dropping to a thin ring and vague film.

S: Smells, not surprisingly, of apples. Mushy, red delicious apples with skins included. A bit of a candy-like sweetness.

T: A very convincing cider substitute; apples are so front-and-center here, it's reasonable to forget this is a beer. Malt backbone and a zesty cinnamon spicing. Mostly sugar-sweet with a slightly tart/backing.

M: Extremely crisp, fresh. An effervescent feel at first, followed by a stachy, lip-smacking finish. Light-medium body, alcohol well-hidden.

D: Terrific drinkability; 'gulpable' is a better adjective. Worth the effort to get this one to Oregon - would LOVE to have more!

Received this lone bottle recently from milwaukeeclassic (thanks, Duane).

 1,029 characters

Photo of beckje01
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Golden color with lots of activity and a nice white head.

S- Semi sweet apple it's a very nice smell but maybe a touch dry.

T- Nice apple flavor with a slight tartness at the end but very nice. There is a hint of malt that makes it clear you're not drinking cider.

M- Great activity it really sets off the flavors.

D- Very drinkable, this really should be a regular beer for new galarus it would compliment their other fruit beers well.

 443 characters

Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a clear orange-copper-amber with an ephemeral head. Active carbonation visible within and throughout keeps a thin spotty layer of foam afloat. Tracing drapes the edges of the glass.
S-Sweet. tart, fresh red apples. A bit of malt character emerges as the temperature rises.
T-Upfront is blend of bold sweet apples and light sweet malt which rapidly and pleasantly transition onto the sour taste buds. Midpalate is full of apple pie aroma, with cinnamon, spice, and dough. Faint hops in finish supplement the tartness with a little bitterness, cut into the sweet, full flavor, and wrap up a very pleasant drinking experience with a combination of tartness, even malt, and fruit.
M-Light-to-medium bodied w/robust carbonation, very evenly balanced, and pleasant. The body and carbonation complement each other well, and carry each other through the finish. The fresh apple dominates, but the other characteristics keep it in check, and make it interesting.
D-I was extremely impressed with this brew, a great combination of top-notch flavor and lively mouthfeel. I'm not usually big on this style, but I will definitely buy this again. It pairs well with crepes, and drinks well on its own. Sweet, but not cloying.

 1,221 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
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 Pauly2X
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep clear gold, half finger head.

S- There's a hint of barley, but other than that it smells like apple juice.

T- The taste is mostly apple, no doubt. Take a high quality apple juice with a solid malty flavor midway to the end. Finishes slightly tart.

M- Clean and crisp, good carbonation.

D- For a non-traditional beer, great.

If you like fruit beers, get it. If it's not available by you Beer Mail me.

 412 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 edition - scooped a case for drinking and spreading

i have heard how great this beer was since i moved here in 2005 - i just missed the original release

appearance: poured into a standard pint glass, clear placid golden-straw body, light cream head and no lacing left behind

smell: holy smokes...thats some fresh apple cider! Thoughts of fall Saturday mornings at the farmers market with loads of fresh apples and organic cider fill my head

taste: This beer is a little ridiculous to be honest. It's absolutely fantastic cold as ice but could likely be served heated (i'll try that sometime). There is little difference between this beer and a great apple cider...the tartness level is just perfect and the strong red apple presence is really great in this one

mouthfeel: tart, light and lively

drinkability: insanely drinkable for me - i love fresh apple cider

 873 characters

Photo of bound4er
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Release

Apple Ale has the appearance of a lighter colored cider. An aggressive pour produces a 1/2" white head that fades pretty fast to a light skimming. As expected it smells of apples with some smells revealing a light malt character. The apples on the nose come out big time on the palate - wow, this a great tasting fruit beer. Not much of your traditional beer flavors here but this beer works well, even given its moderate sweetness. Very drinkable and something to enjoy when in the mood for a unique brew.

Another winner from NG - Wisconsin's most creative brewery and arguably its best brewery.

 612 characters

Photo of Atron67
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

fresh apple ale not a review from the old batch.

A- light amber with slight copper tones to it, little to no traces of head, although the bubbles are off-white.

S- smells of apple's and cider, dry light malt character,

T- very cidery but with a nice malt backbone keeping it from being too dry. works really well

M- light and crisp, tight carbonation.

D- very good. slight sweetness to it which fits it however keeps me from wanting a ton.

A great cider type beer, very flavorful and about as great as you could expect an apple centric beer to taste. nice to actually have this come out again to retry it.

 612 characters

Photo of asmokingoat
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 4-pack of this today.

This beer pours a nice clear apple cider color

This beer smells like nice slightly tart apple cider that has been freshly squeezed

Is there any alcohol in this beer? This has to be the smoothest tasting fruit beer that I have ever had. There is a slight apple peel undertone to the finish.

Real light mouthfeel, with a light pricklyness from the carbonation.

Like I said before, no real alcohol from what I can tell. Goes down way too well.

Another good beer from New Glarus' Unplugged series.
Makes me want to open the one bottle I have left from the last batch brewed about 4 years ago to compare.

 686 characters

Photo of mbrasi
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

bottle courtesy of ThomasHardy (thanks! You seem to be the US distribution of NG Apple): Pours like apple juice it has that distinct cloudiness that you get with apple juice. Aroma is like apple juice infused with yeast. Taste is sweet apples almost like an apple cider. I almost believe this could be good warmed up. New Glarus really knows how to do the fruit beers. This beer tows the line of beer and apple cider. You can still get a yeasty, alcohol (very light), dry finish. It's like apple juce with a little extra. Good.

 527 characters

Photo of badbeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of ThomasHardy.

Poured a dark golden amber color with a nice white head that retained quite well. Smell is like smelling a crisp apple. Nice and tart, perhaps like smelling apple juice with slightly overripe apples; almost like stepping into an apple orchard. Taste is like biting into a mixture of different apples and moves into the taste of the apple skins, without the astringent tastes of actually biting apple skins. Light-medium carbonation, lighter side of medium bodied with a crisp, dry finish. Excellent drinkability, I'd be drinking plenty of this if it were still produced. This bottle was three years old and still held up remarkabley well, I can only imagine it was more powerful when it was fresh.

 732 characters

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ThomasHardy for this bottle.

Poured this into my new New Glarus flute glasses.

The beer pours out a little head which falls leaving a real lacing and a slight head with good retention. The color is beautiful, goes from a golden color to to a cider brown color as it gets deeper towards the top. The smell is very crisp apple with some slight sweetness to it. There's also some tartness to it and it has some slight sulfur smells like in a lager. The taste hits you with a very sweet apple juice-like taste and then the tartness hits the tip of the tongue and after that the lager-like sulfur flavors come in to finish up the taste. It's a very light bodied beer. I also taste some smooth malty flavors that can be found in Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart. The light lager smells kind of go to backround and aren't as noticeable after a while. The mouthfeel is very nice and doesn't give me any problems whatsoever. Overall I would definetly have more of this, but only for a special occasion or if Dan brewed more of it.

 1,035 characters

Photo of walleye
3.18/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this in a trade but I cannot rememer who sent it but thanks. poured a cider color with no head. aroma, apples, sweet, apples, apples some wheat, apples. flavor, just like apple cider with a little alcohol thown in. kind of tasted like a wine cooler.

 253 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I just ran out of this one and I'm not too happy knowing that I'll problably never taste it again.

Note: I'm reviewing this as a hardcider and not a beer because as a beer this one is sort of iffy (There's no nuanses, no malts, no hops, nothing but apples), but as a hard cider it's one of the best I've ever had. In fact if it was just a touch more sour, I would consider it the perfect hard cider.

Toasted golden color with a nonexistant head. Looks like cider.

Smells like apples.

Tastes like the neighborhood kid is chucking apples at your mouth, pelting you over and over again until you fall, face first and land in a pile of more apples. Then the bully comes over and stomps on your head and your nose and your mouth and eyeballs grind into the apples until your whole world is all apples, apples, and more apples.

Mouthfeel: see above...should be tarter. Too sweet.

Drinkability: Despite the sweetness, i love apples, and I love the taste. Like I said, I'm a bit tore up that I won;t be getting any more of this stuff.

 1,044 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a single at Bottle Stop Liquor here in Madison. Probably one of the last bottles left in the area. Glad I gave this little shop a look.

Pours a pretty copper/amber color, crystal clear with a short foamy head that disappears in a few seconds. Nose is...APPLES. Delicious homemade apple cider. Yummy. Taste is....drumroll....APPLES. Slightly tart, sour, but still very sweet apple cider. This is one damn tasty brew. Probably too sweet for a lot of BAs out there, but I don't mind sweetness in beer usually, especially in a fruit beer. Mouthfeel is crisp and bubbly like champagne. Insanely refreshing on a hot August night. I could have drank a gallon of this stuff, but sadly I had but a bottle. If you can find this stuff and have an open mind toward fruit beers, I HIGHLY suggest you give it a try.

 814 characters

Photo of circuitmonkey
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Is amber in color with a cloudy appearance. Has a very strong apple flavor to it compared to other beers I’ve had which are a little more subtle. You can hardly taste any hopps or malt, which is why you will often find non-beer drinkers drinking this beer; yet it is far from being a cider.

Is quite different from the other two New Glarus fruit beers, which are very sweet, this beer however is a little more well balanced.

A side note from how the beer tastes:
I originally thought this beer was a seasonal of new glarus, but it is in fact what new glarus calls its “unplugged” series (hence the red foil) which means they make this beer pretty much whenever they feel like it, no specific time of year or anything. They brew it with actual apples, not apple juice, and I have heard that due to the complexity of the brewing process (and the pain of the apple chunks clogging pipes and such) that New Glarus has considered to discontinue it. But it’s a rumor. Reguardless I suggest socking up on it whenever you find it.

 1,034 characters

Photo of JackTheRipper
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OK, first off, I'm biased towards fruit beers. Love 'em.
Second: Big thanks to battlekow for this tasty brew!

A: Amber in color. Scant head with no lacing.

S: Fresh apple cider from a country store. Just a lovely sweet apple smell. Considering that that is what this beer pimps itself as, I gotta love it.

T: More of the same, but better. This beer really tastes like fresh pressed apple cider. If you've ever had good cider, you know what this tastes like. If you've never had good apple cider, shame on you!

M: Mouthcoating, smooth, low level of carbonation. Alcohol feel is well nigh absent.

D&N: If you like fruited beers, and you like apple cider, this beer will be a wonderful experience. I love it.

 721 characters

Photo of blackie
4.18/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a medium amber with a white head.

The sweet apple smells great with the malt aromas. Not much else to say. Smells appley...smells good. I thought the apple flavor would just blow me away, but not so. I guess there are some hops in there, but I can't find them.

Carbonation is high, the body is medium to medium heavy. After the swallow, the sweetness on the tongue is sticky and slick.

Taste is almost all apple. Sweet, red apples and some slight spice. Tastes like fall. Finishes with a lingering sweetness. I'd appreciate a little more tartness in there, but it's good anyway.

Apples, apples, apples. A good fruit beer. Would be awesome with some Wisconsin cheddar. Not a session beer.

Acquired this brew in a trade with battlekow.

 757 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours, well, candy-apple red. slight foaming and neat lacing. not much fruit aroma while pouring, but the snifter perfectly captures a huge apple juice bouquet.. not like the green apple tart commonly associated with belgian dubbels.. instead, sweeter and more cidery. the sugar here seems more derived from the fruit than the fermentation or malt. champagne-like dryness in aroma and a slight hint of something. hops? eh? taste is overwhelmingly apple, like faux grocery store passover champagne. supposed brown ale base shows no character. not much beer here, save for a malty note to build body. mouthfeel is a bit syrupy for me, but this beer far outweighs any cider around. moderately drinkable, very satisfying after a spicy thai meal.

 741 characters

Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 447 ratings.