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Thumbprint Imperial Weizen - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Imperial WeizenThumbprint Imperial Weizen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

608 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 608
Reviews: 339
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.59%
Wants: 97
Gots: 46 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Weizenbock |  9.60% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Do not waste time attempting to box this brew into some esoteric guide to styles. This is Dan's bold creation. His passion for unfiltered Weiss collides with Cascade Hops inventing our Imperial Hefe-Weizen. Dry hopping boldly rules over Wisconsin red wheat and our special strain of Bavarian yeast. At almost 20 O.P. this is the super mac daddy of Weiss beers. Decoction mashing was followed by excessive dry hopping to create a fierce onslaught of clove, cinnamon and citrus all in this living beer. Don't bother waiting to enjoy - the time is now.

(Beer added by: EliteDigger on 02-11-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 608 | Reviews: 339 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Winter:
Photo of Winter
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%

Pours with a huge, voluminous white head. Color is dark yellowish amber. Very thick lacing. Aroma consists of bananas, cascade hops and spicy yeast. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, yet soft. Taste initially has a big wheat malt presence. There's banana, hops, and clove spiciness. The hop bitterness, though, really defines this hefeweizen. It's one of the hoppiest wheat beers I've ever tried. Alcohol and the very pronounced hoppiness of the beer linger into the finish.

This was good and certainly a wheat/ hop head's dream. I liked it but the citrus bitterness threw me for a loop. It's not what I'd expect in a typical hefeweizen. Granted this is NOT your typical hefeweizen. Interesting and sure to hit the mark with someone, but not my favorite of the Unplugged line.

Winter, Mar 12, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of don1481
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%

12 oz bottle poured into a glass. Was wandering through Woodman's today wondering "I wish they had something other than the Winter Warmer" when lo and behold... out popped the beer guys with a pallet of this stuff!!

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden straw-like color. Lots of head that sustains itself.

Smell: Citrusy, almost like Sierra Nevada's Torpedo. Reminds me more of IPA smells than anything. Their IIPA wouldn't be that far off here. Not really getting the clove notes in the smell.

Taste (after waiting for the head to die down enough to sip): Aha - there would be the cloves, and a little bit of the cinnamon. Definitely more citrusy than anything. Just like with the smell, it tastes more closely to their IIPA than I was expecting. It's a very good taste, just not quite what I was expecting... but then again with New Glarus, the unexpected is part of why I keep coming back to their different Thumbprint releases. For something pushing 10% ABV, I'd expect a little bit of a warming from the alcohol. None to be found here. Which I am more than happy with.

Mouthfeel: First sip kinda coated the mouth a little bit... differently... than what I was expecting. It lingers. It's not syrupy by any stretch, but there is definitely some body to it.

Overall: It's an intriguing taste. Something that I may try again later on in the release cycle, but not something that I'm going to stock up on like their last two varieties.

don1481, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%

Appearance: Perfect. The body is the color of the sun, completely clouded with yeast and aggressive carbonation. The head is thick enough to balance a half-dollar and lasts at a half inch for ten minutes or more. Unbelievably pretty.

Aroma: A gigantic grapefruit aroma smacks the consumer upside the head. That's immediately followed by clove an odd but pleasing blend of clove and human blood. Next come cinnamon and ginger. Then there is a light hint of banana followed by more Cascade, citric goodness.

Flavor: Dominated by hops. I'm used to hybrids like this having a traditional front and middle palate and finish that comes on strong and bitter but this beer is just non-stop, in your face brutal hops. It's awesome. Despite this, Imperial Weizen manages to give off a whole brick house of other flavors, most notably banana and vanilla, but also iron and rum. Add to this massive amounts lemon, lime, and grapefruit rind and we have one hell of a beer.

Mouthfeel: Lusciously smooth with assertive carbonation, a full body, and some booziness. Strong.

Drinakbility: Two are good. More would be tough. This beer is too intense and strong to session.

New Glarus is the king of wheat beer. Period.

DaPeculierDane, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -1.2%

tectactoe, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of hopsleeroy
3.4/5  rDev -16%

Thanks to JDV for this bottle.

A-Cloudy orange caramel color,fluffy white head, lots of cabonation bubbles running up the side. Looks good
S-Spicy/Peppery smell, musty and belgianesque, slight medicinal phenolic smell
T-Alcohol and bananas right away, very hoppy bitter finish, spicy belgian like yeast flavor and rough wheat grain become more apparent as warms
M-Full in mouth especially for the style, creamy but good cabonation
D-Glad to drink one but probably wouldn't reach for too many of these. Alcohol flavor detracts somewhat from drinkability.

hopsleeroy, Aug 20, 2008
Photo of weatherdog
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%

12oz. bottle poured into a New Glarus weizen glass

It pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a billowing off white head. The head sticks around for the whole drink and leaves lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. This is a perfect looking weizen.

The nose is very orange ester heavy with some underlying clove tones. At the end there is some noticeable alcohol nostril burn but it's not too bad. Not a very traditional hefeweizen aroma but it's still very nice and I'm digging it.

The orange isn't as prominent in the taste as the aroma but the spicy clove is stronger with some other minor plastic phenolics. The alcohol warmth is there at the end but it still doesn't drink like it's a nearly 10% beer.

My only gripe about this beer is the mouthfeel is a little too slick and oily. I know that is a characteristic of using a large percentage of wheat, and seeing that this is a high gravity wheat beer it is inevitable but I still don't have to like it.

Overall I'm glad this beer was re-released. I was just getting heavily into craft beer when it first came out and it's very similar to what I remember, a deceptively high gravity fairly traditional hefeweizen.

weatherdog, May 20, 2011
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%

Pours into my glass a hazy golden orange with a creamy two inches of thick white foam on top. Big sticky ring of lacing around the top. Aromas are quick wild and wacky on this one. The crisp wheat grain along with banana, clove and a touch of bubblegum start things off and are quickly met by a pungent, herbal, earthy, citrusy hop aroma. Spicy yeast tones abound. Quite interesting, it's a big hoppy hefeweizen.

First sip brings a smooth, slightly creamy crisp wheat grain malt upfront. It moves into a spicy, yeasty flavor with banana, clove and mellow bubblegum accents. Earthy, herbal, citric hop tones move in and bring with them quite a big bitterness. It finishes off with lingering spicy yeast tones and afterthoughts of hops. Complex, tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a solid medium body. Quite enjoyable with just the right amount of carbonation that makes it go down smooth. A bit heavier than most hefe's but it's still refreshing and easily drinkable. An intriguing mix of flavors..I'm glad I grabbed a four pack, but I really don't think I could drink too much of this. Still, definitely worth a try. New Glarus can do no wrong with wheat beers!

orbitalr0x, Jun 09, 2008
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev -1.2%

warnerry, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -1.2%

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Color: Hazed orange, epic lacing.

Smell: Alcoholic esters, bready wheat, yeast, cotton candy, citric hop and ripe tropical fruit.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Smooth, slick and creamy full-ish body. Maltiness flexes strong, bready and grainy and certainly a moving force here that is not taken down. Yeast tone is very prevelent, ripe fruit as well. Warming alcohol appears about halfway down the glass. Suggestions of taffy, banana and a ghost phenol more towards the bittersweet finish.

Overall: This brew throws the gauntlet down, be ready to take this beer on as it is not for the faint of palate. Of course for me I took it one big sip at a time, not wanting to finish it took quick ... trying to savor but wanting another sip right away.

Jason, Aug 08, 2011
Photo of mrquartetman
4.78/5  rDev +18%

A: Cloudy, golden, big head that left lots of lace

S: Very fruity, spicy, clove aroma

T: Sharp at front with substantial hop, then strong spice and big round malt. Complex and Excellent.

M: A series of persistent flavors that take a good time to disappear.

D: Great with food, and a fine drinking beer.

This is one of NG's unplugged triumphs, a terrific and unusual beer. The spiciness goes beyond what one normally expects of a weizen - cinnamon flavor, clove. Might be their own "special strain of Bavarian Weiss yeast." A fine beer.

mrquartetman, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of zook74
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%

Freaking amazing. Poured this into an english pint glass (yeah, sue me). Huge white, sturdy, frothy head with tenacious, clingy lacing o'er top a deep, rich golden-orange body.

Smelled deeply sweet of bananas. Deeeply sweet. Almost threw me off.

Once that golden nectar hits the tongue, it's game over for other hefeweizens. This is by far the nicest wheat beer I've ever tasted. How did Dan get all of them hops into a this wheat and make it work? I dunno, but I'm glad he did.

A very, very fine beer. I'll be sad when this brew is gone...

zook74, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of badbeer
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%

Golden yellow with a creamy white head that leaves a spotty lacing around the glass and retains itself well. Smell is hoppy with plenty of fresh oranges in there. The aroma also holds some spices and a little cinnamon. Taste is of oranges, clove, lemon, and a little grapefruit. Medium body and carbonation; finish has a little alcohol bite to it. Pretty drinkable beer, though I don't know that I'd have more than two in an evening, if I were so inclined.

badbeer, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of NoetheMatt
1.5/5  rDev -63%

NoetheMatt, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -1.2%

bpfrush, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy yellowish golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Huge gushing five finger off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smell: An interesting blend of German yeast and citrus hops with lots of fruit and spice hints. Upfront scent of wheat and German Hefeweizen yeast along with hints of grains, straw, biscuit, and crackers. Big hints of clove spice, coriander, and pepper. Fruit hints of bananas, apple, and some bubblegum. Big citrus hop presence with juicy hints of orange peel, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, apricot, tangerine, melon, and lemon. Also some earthy and grassy hop hints.

Taste: Like the aroma, an interesting mix of wheat, yeast, and spicy notes with a big citrus hop presence. Wheat and German Hefewiezen upfront with notes of grains, biscuit, cracker, and straw. Spicy notes of cloves, white pepper, and coriander. Big taste of ripe citrus hops with juicy notes of orange peel, grapefruit, mango, pineapple, apricot, tangerine, lemon, and melon. Also some fruit notes of banana and apple along with some bubblegum. Earthy notes of grass towards the finish. A very good and interesting taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, and somewhat chewy. Nicely bitter. Alcohol heat is hidden well.

Overall: A very good and interesting twist on a German Weizen style. Its like a combination of a Hefeweizen and Belgian IPA. Nicely yeasty and juicy.

MattyG85, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of ohmybock
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%

Now *this* is an interesting wheat beer which I just picked up in Madison, WI. From reading the label, I could tell I was in for something a bit unique...

This one pours with a cloudy, light-ish, golden color. There's a thin head which persists, but it's not as thick as many German weizens. The aroma is a very good indicator of what is to come. There's definitely some German wheat beer character in there, but something else too. Upon tasting, the unusual mix of characters becomes much more apparent. There's a citrusy character infused with the expected "normal" German character along with something else..."minty" perhaps? The label mentions Cascade hops and "excessive dry hopping". That explains a lot of what is going on here. The bitterness is not overwhelming, but it might be a little aggressive. I can't stop sipping this brew and pondering the odd mix of flavors in it. With that being said, I'm still not overly-enthusiastic about the end product's mix of flavors as a whole. This is a very interesting brew which I'm very happy I bought, but one 12oz bottle is probably more than enough for me.

This NG brew probably fits into the same style as the Schneider-Brooklyner Weiss. Both weizens are heavily dry-hopped and are new interpretations of the style. Kudos to New Glarus for trying new things with the Unplugged series. I wish more breweries would do the same!

ohmybock, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev -1.2%

williamjbauer, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of rudylaw
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%

A hazy yellow/orange pour accompanied with a two finger white, fluffy head. It leaves minimal lacing.

I smell orange, peach, cloves and wheat. Smells like this will be a strong concoction.

I get cloves right off the bat... it then ushers in the peach and the sharp hops at the back end.

As I continue on, I'm picking up some apples in nose and taste buds. Maybe apple skins is a better descriptor? Bananas are definitely coming out to play as well.

This is a very complex beer that is well-balanced. Outstanding drink when the mercury is up. It's very creamy and tastes light despite the high alcohol level. This is outstanding... I knew I should have grabbed more than one 4-pack!

rudylaw, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of FrognutUnl
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%

Thanks to tribial for picking this up for me on his way back from the great land of cheese!

A - Hazy golden-amber in color with a couple finger white head that lingers for quite a while leaving a fair amount of lacing.

S - Traditional weizen odors of bananas and cloves are accompanied by a wonderful citrus hop aroma with bit breadiness thrown in for good measure

T - Pepper and lemons with all the afore mentioned items in found in the nose and a slight taste of alcohol, all of this from just the few sips. As the glass begins to warm to near room temperature tastes of cinnamon and apple become more and more apparent. The delicate balance of all these flavors is truly delicious.

M - Light to medium in body. The slight taste of pepper and the other spice flavors leaves a nice tingling sensation on the tongue.

D - This is down right awesome. Certainly another hit from the unplugged series which has yet to yield a beer I have not liked, at least from what I have tried thus far.

FrognutUnl, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of mocktm
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%

Big thanks to Birchstick for this one, been on my want list for a while.

Into a heffe glass, this is a golden orange hue, plenty of haziness with a thick and frothy white head that doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Lacing is full and hearty, clings to the glass for dear life.

Smells like a typical heffe on steroids: lots of banana, wheat, clove, some bubble gum and citrus fruit, plus a whiff of alcohol.

Like no other heffe I've had before, this is a big, big beer. Loads of wheat and alcohol esters right out of the gate, mellowed out by the yeast's banana and clove output. Citrus fruit plays a role, as do some serious cascade hops, providing a much more bitter finish than any other heffe I've sampled. To be honest, I almost think there is too much going on here.

I'd call this full bodied with a significantly creamy nature, producing a slick mouthfeel. Better take your time with this one as its not exactly the traditional and sessionable heffe we're all used to seeing.

Really interesting take on the style, but I've always been of the opinion that heffes are too delicate of a style to flood with a high ABV. Something about the overwhelming alcohol presence just doesn't quite do it for me on this one. Although, don't get me wrong, this is still a hell of a beer, just not the hefeweizen I prefer, Cheers!

mocktm, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of mtpHokie
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

mtpHokie, Apr 19, 2014
Photo of sgttibbs
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

sgttibbs, Jan 03, 2014
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a hazy dirty yellow body with a thick white head cratered like the moon that last forever even after the beer is gone. There is a sea of tiny bubbles that pop in and out of the hazy on their way to support the head.

S- This beer has a perfumed clove hop nose with a rich smell of wheat with some slight toasted wheat notes and a finish of more perfumed hops with a citrus blossom quality.

T- The note of spicy clove gives way to a full wheat flavor with some caramel wheat malt qualities and a note of darker roasted malt deep underneath. There is a finish of perfumed citrus hops with a yeasty pine bit at the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture and a soft alcohol heat that enhances the hops. There is a nice tight little fizz that balances the sweetness and cleans up this beer.

D- This is a wonderful beer. The perfume qualities remind me of some Belgian yeast strains and the hops are really matched well with the great Weizen qualities on top of some nice wheat wine notes. This beer went down smooth and was wonderful fresh. I don't think it will last long enough to age and I think it will also be a totally different beer without the hops.

rhoadsrage, May 28, 2008
Photo of richkrull
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%

Poured a hazy yellow color with quite a bit of fluffy white head on it.

Smell is wheaty with quite a bit of banana as well.

Taste is very good. It's definitely a strong hefe but that was expected. I really like the over the top taste.

Mouthfeel is light-medium. Very refreshing and easy drinking beer.

Overall I really liked this one. I'd love to put down a bunch of these on a warm summer day. To me, the ABV is well hidden so I suppose it will catch up with you after a few.

richkrull, May 27, 2011
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Thumbprint Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 608 ratings.