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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: 1,555
Avg: 4.12
pDev: 10.44%
Wants: 348
Gots: 210 | 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: 1,555
Photo of GJ40
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle. Thanks surge1311!

A - Golden with decent clarity and a small white head.

S - Wonderful and layered apple notes with both tart and sweet aspects. Smells like a freshly made apple sauce.

T - More cider than ale but does have aspects of both. A mild sweetness and hints of wheat.

M - A moderate consistency with a refreshing carbonation.

O - Not something I'd drink every day but an interesting cider / ale hybrid. It's like apple pie in a glass.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle courtesy of bertram!

A. Pours a slightly cloudy copper color, like a fall sunset. A finger of creamy white head sifts down to a half finger and lingers nicely. Good frothy lacing latches on to the glass and slides down in the nectar below.

S. The nose is almost completely comprised of freshly baked apples. Smells very cider or apple juice like. A little bit of caramel and biscuit is hanging out in the background there, but only a bit.

T. Wow is that tasty. Hard to believe this is a beer as it is mostly sweet, fresh apples. Very juicy and even mildly tart a la Granny Smith, but not overbearing. Pretty well rounded, with just a touch of graininess on the back end.

M. Crisp, sweet, and juicy without going into sticky, sickly sweet territory. Strong carbonation on this one keeps it from going syrupy.

O. Very tasty. Like grown up apple juice. It certainly echoes hard cider to a degree, except for the fact that the apple notes here taste wholesome and fresh as opposed to chemically induced. Additionally, the beer doesn't wander off into a syrupy sweet mess. Booze isn't detectable, though I'm not getting a lot malt or hop presence either. Pretty impressive (and tasty) effort here if you are a fruit beer fan.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from trade. Pours cloudy orange brown. Smell is all apple cider, some fermented apples, and more apple juice. Prickly carbonation up front. Apple flavors and something else I can’t put my finger on. Light caramel comes out as I get deeper. Very effervescent. Dry finish keeps it from being a very sweet cider. Neat beer, but really teetering on regular old cider. Don’t get much malt presence here. However, I am not complaining as this is quite yummy.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.63/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

Apple Ale looks like apple cider with a more robust head. It is a caramel or dark golden orange color with a hazy effervescence. The cap on top froths up suitably, eventually leaving a few wisps of a cap and a ring around the edge of the glass.

Tons of red apple notes in the aroma. It smells sweet and again reminds me of apple cider. There is a bit of a tart acidity that enters my nose as well.

The flavor is nearly spot on for sparkling apple cider. The flavor starts with a burst of red apple skin and sugary apples, with only the tartness giving away any clue that this is not a cider. A bit of white grape juice or white wine adds a little more character to the flavor. Not much from the malt bill actually gets through, and there are certainly no hops present.

The crisp carbonation suits this beer well. It has a light to medium body, and the sweetness from the flavor carries over into a sensation on the lips.

Duplicating the flavor of a cider is an interesting feat, but it is not what I am really looking for in a beer. I would drink this again, but I have enjoyed New Glarus' other fruit beers more.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-slightly hazy amber color with a nice white head and minimal lacing

S-apples and more apples up front, malt, brown sugar, wine

T-malt, bread, sweet apples, cinnamon, little tart wine-like flavors, crisp slightly astringent finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and smooth

O-a great fruit beer, great blend of flavors and while it has easy drinkability, I don't think I would have more than one at a time

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.84/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Orangish gold color with a finger of whitish head

Smell is apple, almost smells like apple cider but a tartness comes through. Almost like a caramel covered apple in the finish.

Taste is apple (of course), cinnamon, caramel covered apple, slight tartness... delicious!

Mouthfeel is medium with medium carbonation....

Well this is a wonderful creation, I have had several hard ciders hoping they would replace my urge for this stuff.... But nothing does, Hard Ciders just taste thin and flavorless in its place.

Amazing flavor for 4%, Flavor wise it tastes more like 10%!

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Photo of tectactoe
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Included as an extra from Preismj, much appreciated... this will be my first New Glarus brew. I've been putting them off for longer than I've wanted to. Finally time to try something! This one's got a mild clarity to it - a mixture of bronze and gold. A decently sized light grey-tinted head rests on top, not much lacing left behind.

Jesus Christ, you'd have thought I threw an apple pie in a blender and tossed it in your glass from the aroma - huuuge apple presence. Sweet, sweet apples; pure, raw, savory, mildly tart. Very reminiscent of apple pie filling. Tons of cinnamon, but moderated enough as to not overpower. Some bread and buttery notes from the malt which really give that baked apple pie crust feel to it.

I start picking up some mild port-like and vinous aromas underneath it all - an interesting little guy. Not sure why these are there, but they certainly aren't off-putting. Overall, the aroma is fantastic; very sweet and delectable with a very light tartness and a nice amount of spices. Apple pie, apple cider, applesauce. All day.

I take a taste. Is it apple cider? Not quite. Is it apple juice? Not quite. It takes the good qualities from both and forms them into it's own mold. This is an apple BEER, dammit, and it actually tastes like one. No mistaking this for cider or juice or some bullshit like that. Crushed, juicy apple flavors abound - sweet, with a very light sour tinge on the back end; complete with light cinnamon spices and a solid breadiness, just like the aroma had indicated.

There's a mild astringent spike about halfway through, but it doesn't harm much of anything at all. No port/vinous notes in the flavor at all, which is probably a good thing - I don't want anything to distract from this apple pie orgy in my face right now. There is a very mild alcohol character, which was surprising for being only 4% ABV, but it's far from deal-breaking. Brown sugar, apple, and cinnamon in the finish. Crisp and almost dry with a thin body and medium-heavy carbonation.

Fantastic. Fruit beer done right. Sweet without being too sweet - one of the hardest things to accomplish. I didn't want this one to end - needless to say, I'll be getting my hands on some more New Glarus stuff, pronto. Those guys know what they're doing up there in ol' Wisconsin.

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Photo of beerhan
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Elkhunter36 for extraing this my way!

A-Looks like a slightly dark apple cider with a fairly weak head of which only a faint lacing remains.

S-Apples, brown sugar, some grain, some maltiness.

T-Holy apples! This seriously just tastes like apple juice. Really hits the spot when you are in the mood for something refreshing. No description needed if you have ever had apple cider.

M-The carbonation on this one kind of sneaks up on you. You expect it to have dissipated with the head but its actually very effervescent and bubbly. I would actually liked it toned down a bit because it gives you a bit of a gassy feeling actually.

O-This beer is delicious and I would love to have more at my disposal. Thanks again for the experimentation New Glarus.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

the beer poors honey gold with a wispy white head. the nose is diacetyl buttery apple pie candy. same killer fresh baked apple pie taste with a tart dry finish. light bodied drinkable, tons of fresh apple, tart apple finish. damn, this is a very tasty beer that is exactly as described/expected.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of bifrost17
4.43/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle split with my special lady friend, made possible by my good friend durb777, thanks Nick!

A: The beer honestly looks to me like an IPA/DIPA. Pours a hazy orange IPA looking color, a white head forms but dissipates pretty quickly. Lots of carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass, decent lacing.

S: Wow! Smells fresh apple cider up front. After the initial apple cider smell I start getting lots of caramel and honey notes. Wow, looks exactly like beer, but smells just like cider.

T: Tastes pretty similar to the nose, but not so much of the apple cider up front. Lots of caramel and honey going on, maybe a slight sourness in the finish. I even get a little bit of a tart cherry note in there.

M: Creamy, smooth, light, and bubbly.

O: Overall I'm pretty surprised by this beer. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but New Glarus definitely delivered again! I don't think I could drink more than 12 ounces of this beer, for being only 4% I'm finding it pretty sweet and rich. The way this beer blurs the lines between an ale and cider is pretty unreal. Keep doing what you do New Glarus!

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Photo of Dope
4.14/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a murky sort of reddish-brown-amber. Decent sized fizzy tan head. Very fizzy, can hear it crackling from two feet away. Minor splotches of lacing after it fades away but decent retention at least.

S: Caramel apples. And lots of it. Great aroma, despite how sweet, simple and unbeer-like it is. I guess you can't expect "apple ale" to smell like an IPA now can you...

T: Sweet caramel apples up front. Turns a bit more tart in the middle. Kinda...applesaucy if I'm honest. Not even that far from an apple cider. A bit drying on the back end and you get some decent wheatiness in there.

M: Light/medium bodied, smooth. Surprising for only a 4% ABV beer.

O: Well hell. It's hard to rank beers like this. It's basically pure apple with some caramel and some wheat. It's simple but very tasty and easy to drink. And it does exactly what it intends to do, much like New Glarus' other fruit beers. Top notch for the style, IMO, barring their red/raspberry ales which are glorious.

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Photo of NSK79
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a snifter

A - Pours a reddish orange, very little head, and receded quickly, no lacing.

S - Smells like fresh apple cider, mild tartness comes through in the nose

T - Exactly what you would think from the nose with a very fresh and tart apple taste, balanced with a hint of brown sugar I think.

M - light to medium bodied, light carbonation, not sticky as I expected, but more on the dry side.

O - I'm loving this beer much more than I initially thought I would when I purchased it. It delivers such a balanced flavor without being overkill. These guys definitely know what they are doing with fruit beer.

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Photo of jaasen64
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a CCB snifter. Thanks Josh (thebigredone) for this tasty brew!

A- Pours a translucent slightly brownish golden with about a fingers worth of white head that fades fairly fast. Nice carbonation that is very consistent.

S- Wow smells like apple juice, who would have thought? Fresh apples, a bit of white wine, a faint pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon. Fairly aromatic with a strong smell of apple juice.

T- Fresh apples, apple juice, very light cinnamon. Pretty tasty, well balanced, strong flavors. The apple in it definitely tastes fresh and not overpowering or artificial which I hate in a lot of fruit beers.

M- Crisp, refreshing, juicy, nice carbonation that gives a slight prickly feel, very easy to drink, well executed.

O- This is definitely the closest to apple juice that I've experienced in a beer, even more so then hard apple ciders. In my opinion it was well executed, very good for an apple ale, and probably my favorite out of the NG fruit ales. If you like apple juice and beer I'm sure you will love this.

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Photo of Docrock
4.58/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A - poured a light amber color with a small 1/2" head that dissipated rather quickly. lacing is almost non-existent.

S - awesome apple aroma, being a cider fan, this was really appealing. smell like a blend of Fuji and Winesap apples, a touch of spiciness.

T - if I wouldnt have poured the bottle myself I would have sworn i had opened a hard cider, there is a hint of the maltiness that belies the beer, but this is an amazing little brew.

M - a little thin as an ale but more body than a cider. the carbonation is light and just right. there is a slight sweetness in the aftertaste, but it balances the apple tartness nicely.

O - i am really upset i didnt buy more than a 4 pack of this. hopefully i will be able to find again next time i am in Wisconsin. I could drink a bunch of this in warm weather, very refreshing. I might even include in a cider tasting to do some side by sides.

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Photo of TheSSG
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the 2012 vintage which, due to the Midwest drought, uses Washington Fuji apples instead of a Wisconsin variety.

Pours a thick, dense, white head that has good persistence. Aroma is euphoric; bright, tart apple dominates the nose, but there is a nice yeasty aroma that smells like fresh apple skin, with a malty, almost woody hint behind that. Color is a straw-amber. Flavor starts sweet, brightly tart, and rich with apples. There is an underlying syrup-like (in the pleasant, not overpowering or over sweet) sweetness as the malt blends with the apples. It's a very dry bier; after the apple caresses your tongue, it's a clean, smooth, malt finish. This is a much thicker liquid than cider, and whereas cider becomes yeasty/apple skin bitter in the finish, the wheated brown ale slips through, leaving the finish satisfyingly malty.

This is phenomenal. I remember liking the 2009 (I think it was) version the best, but each and every year of this is gold (I'd only have about an 1/8 point variance between the 2009 and this).
I am a big fan of cider, but in all honesty, New Glarus Apple Ale is better than ANY cider I've ever had. Like I said, that malt finish replaces the low-point of cider with one of the high-points of bier.

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Photo of WankelEngine
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a very lightly hazy orange-amber color. There is big, fluffy, bright-white head which fades from 2 fingers to a ring of foam.

S: Great apple aroma. Smells like the best apple cider I've ever had. Tangy tart green apple melds with some mild spice and warm caramel.

T: Similar to the nose, very apple forward. It really tastes more like an apple cider than a beer. In fact, I can hardly taste anything that resembles your standard beer at all. Tart apple dominates, followed by some spice that reminds me of apple pie.

M: Medium-thin mouthfeel with mild but foamy carbonation. Fairly sweet so it leaves my mouth slightly sticky.

O: Very unique. If I didn't know better, I would just guess that I was drinking the best apple cider I've ever had. Doesn't taste of beer or alcohol at all. Simply lovely.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a deep gold, almost orange color. Slightly violent pour produces a big, frothy head. Retention and lacing is pretty darn good. Very effervescent with a continuous stream of carbonation of bubbles. Body is slightly hazy, but mostly clear.

S- This is a bouquet of apples all the way through. Sweet and fruity apples with maybe a hint of cinnamon. Apple scent is very dominant with full and juicy flavors.

T- Pretty much the same as the scent. Full, ripe, and juicy apples hit the tongue and preside throughout the drink. I can't tell if there is a hint of cinnamon or not, but towards the end a slight bite appears. The bite is kicked off by a hint of barley grain flavor. Grain flavor lends some smoothness to the drink that ends with a sweet aftertaste.

M- Light, crisp, high carbonation, and smooth going down. This would be a great, easy drinking summer beer, but it's still drinking great now in January.

Overall, this is a great first impression of New Glarus. I have their other fruit beers, and this just gets me excited to try those. Drinks like a cider, yet the grain at the end proves that this is indeed a beer.

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Photo of czfreeman
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another from the Stellar New Glarus.
Poured in my NG glass, light brown, cider color.Cloudy unfiltered apple cider look with a nice creamy head.Medium carbonation.
Smells awesome.White wine, cider, bready apple pie crust, vinegar, spices like cinnamon, clove ginger. Pepper, yeast adds a nice bite in the mix. Doesn't smell like overly sweet juice or cider at all, light spicy and crisp.
Flavor is wonderful.Lightly sweet, very fresh lemony character that comes from very fresh apples. Pepper, clove, yeast, vinegar, chardonnay, perfect carbonation to lighten and enhance the wonderful mix of flavors. Finishes long and spicy with another touch of bread.
Not sure about the complaints of this being too sweet.Light, crisp, refreshing and tart with a great spice profile is more like it.
for what it is..an apple beer..it is spot on hence my high score
excellent unique beer from what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to StayWhatYouAre2 for sending this one my way! Served from bottle into a New Glarus flute (also from StayWhatYouAre2). Poured a golden yellow-orange with a one finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, green apple, pastry, bread, sugar, and apple pie. The flavor was of sweet malt, pastry, green apple, sugar, apple pie, and subtle wheat. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. Upon first investigation of this one I was knocked back by the aroma of apple pie. I couldn’t believe what I was smelling! This beer smelled like America! So right out of the gate I was excited to try this one. The flavor even carried over on this one with the same components. I’m really glad this was the case because usually a lot is lost between the two when I really enjoy the aroma. Really well done on this one New Glarus!

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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.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of TWStandley
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my over-sized HF wine glass.

Appeared a orange/gold/red color with a 1 finger white head. Very active looking with lots of carbonation. Nice and clear.

Smell is of apples...duh. Also somewhat of an apple pie smell - perhaps some caramel. Smells a bit like natural apple juice/cider. Definitely a slight 'funky' smell present.

Taste is awesome. Very natural apple taste mixed with a touch of spicy-ness and funk. Very sweet - tastes like a cider. Slight white wine flavors in there. No alcohol detected.

Light, crispy, and refreshing mouth-feel. Very carbonated and champagne-like.

Very nice beverage. Definitely something that my significant other enjoys. Will seek out more next autumn...New Glarus..if you read this..please make a Brett-ed version of this. I feel that it could turn out incredible!

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Photo of KTCamm
3.99/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown/black copper, hazy, no foam. Strong apple cider smell. Pronounced. Taste is all apple, some cinnamon notes. Strong apple. Finishes with a mild malt that switches back to beer. Otherwise, its very cidery. Smooth and light. Good if you want a well made hard cider knock off. Really clever.

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