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Thumbprint Imperial Weizen - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Imperial WeizenThumbprint Imperial Weizen

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

630 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 630
Reviews: 342
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.35%
Wants: 99
Gots: 49 | 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:
Beer added by: EliteDigger on 02-11-2008

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 630 | Reviews: 342 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of MasterSki
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to FlandersNed for this one. It's from February 2008. Served in a weizen glass.

A - Pours with four-plus fingers of soapy foam that dissipates slowly to a thick cap with tons of sticky lacing. Hazed dark golden orange color with some obvious suspended sediment and a few tiny bubbles. This is pretty much right on for a hefeweizen.

S - The smell is a cross between faded IPA and hefeweizen. I'm guessing this was hoppy a la Crack'd Wheat when it was fresh. It's aged into a potent blend of fruits, notably apple and banana, mixed with some caramel, malted wheat, and a hint of bubblegum. The smell is perceptible as soon as the cap is removed, and leaps out of the glass. Damn I wish I had this one when it was fresh. Alcohol is very well hidden.

T - Taste is more citrus (mostly orange & lemon) mixed with hefe yeast, bubblegum, and malted wheat. There's a mild soapy finish which I suspect is a result of the Cascade hops, and it's unfortunately a little distracting. Again, the booze is very hidden. This is definitely past its prime, but it still enjoyable.

M - Body is sufficiently big for the 9.6% ABV, but it's still refreshing like a session hefeweizen. Some zesty carbonation that's not overdone, and a little bit of residual graininess.

D - You can start feeling the higher ABV about halfway through the bottle, so I can't imagine having more than a couple of these. Still, I hope they make this again or better still introduce an Imperial Crack'd Wheat with this recipe.

Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Thorpe, thanks. At the time of this review, this is #6 on the "Top Beers - Weizenbock" list on beeradvocate.com. Beer served in a snifter.

Beer is yellow and hazy with a soft but lazy white head. Minimal lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is sweet, estery, bananas. Smells like a big hefe, sweeter than normal but that is expected.

Beer is nice, medium to light in body, clean finish, overall a nice beer, nothing too exciting or surprising but it is a solid weizenbock, nice fruit flavors on the midpalate, a nice finish, a little bitter not overly so. I'd have it again.

Photo of beernads
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thumbprint version (not Unplugged). 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard New Glarus label art (which I quite like) and a red-foiled over pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with the very gracious Duff27 (thanks again, buddy!) and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given the brewery and the beer's current ratings; New Glarus has made some beers I adore. Reviewed as an Imperial Hefeweizen because it identifies clearly as such on the label; from any other brewery, I'd be real suspicious of that classification - not to mention the quality of the beer.

No ABBV is listed on the bottle. 20 O.P. Decoction mashed and dry hopped.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a five finger wide head of nice fluffy consistency. White in colour. Soft complexion. Nice creaminess and thickness. Looks refreshing and appealing. Head retention is excellent - especially considering the ABV - about 10 minutes. Some lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes and sticks there; this beer has "legs."

Body colour is a clear translucent lightly hazy orange of good vibrance. No yeast particles are visible.

Overall, it looks precisely as it ought to, but it does have a bit more clarity (i.e. less haziness) than most hefeweizens. I'm really looking forward to trying it.

Sm: Much spicier than anticipated: clove, cinnamon, allspice, white pepper. Plenty of fruity notes; it has your usual orange peel but also some tropical notes like mango, melon, and watermelon. The watermelon is lovely and may be a highlight for me. Banana, lemon citrus. Clean wheat. A kiss of lacto tartness reminiscent of a berliner weisse. Has a surprising hop presence for the style; I get plenty of floral hop character and some light fruity touches. Clean Bavarian yeast is indicated by the relatively high attenuation; I don't pick up on much residual sugar.

No alcohol is detectable. A pleasant aroma of moderate strength. Definitely pushes the boundaries of the hefeweizen style with the spices and fruity notes. I'm liking it.

T: Wheat, watermelon, mango, floral hops, fruity hop notes, orange peel, lemon citrus. Some tangerine. A kiss of sour green apple, which emerges more as it warms. The wheat body is vibrant, clean, and evocative. No alcohol comes through; you'd never know it was 9.60% ABV. Crisp and tasty. Clean yeast. Banana and clove. The cinnamon spice does give it a little bit of kick on the back end.

Depth of flavour is good for the style. Good duration and intensity of flavour.

It's got good complexity and subtlety for the style, along with excellent balance. Not quite gestalt though it has great cohesion; it's just some of the tropical notes don't quite feel like they're inherently necessary parts of the flavour profile per se - though they do fit in quite nicely and bring interesting elements to the beer. Hops have an unnaturally large presence in the profile for a hefewweizen; I do think they work well here, especially alongisde the fruit. A kiss of grapefruit, maybe. A bit of bubblegum, but in the best sense possible; there's nothing artificial or candied about it here. Some peach.

The decoction mashing leaves the finish feeling just a biteen like a Czech pilsener, which may be the biggest issue with the flavour profile - though that's being extremely nitpicky.

No alcohol comes through - a feat at 9.60%.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Refreshing as hell. Clean and crisp. Soft and approachable. Good thickness and body; right on the money. Complements the flavour profile quite well; I'd even say the texture seems custom-tailored specifically to the taste and enhances it, facilitating delivery of all of the flavours fully and efficiently.

Constructively, the finish is a bit inferior in terms of mouthfeel because it departs from the soft approachable refreshing texture in favor of a crisp Czech pilsner like subtle bite. This is nitpicking, but keeping the texture uniform would further refine the beer.

Not oily, harsh, gushed, boozy, or hot.

Dr: Obscenely drinkable for how high the ABV is, and the ABV itself is dangerously unnoticeable. I'm not sure how they managed to hide it so well; I'd guess this was maybe 5.5% if I tried it blind. A incredible imperial hefeweizen from New Glarus that pushes the boundaries of the style without relying on gimmicky tricks. I'd definitely get it again and could easily kill a 6 pack in a night. I'd definitely recommend this to friends, and am very grateful to have had the opportunity to try it. Dangerously drinkable stuff, and yet another great beer from New Glarus.

High B

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A vigorous pour easily produces a five-finger thick, tan colored head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. The head is thick and creamy with quite a bit of structure and staying power and it also leaves lots of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a murky, pale amber color that shows a deeply hazed, reddish-orange tinged hue when held up to the light. The aroma most noticeably smells of clove, but there is also more phenolics that lean towards, but don't quite get to, aromas of plastic. Fruit aromatics also play a role here; hints of typical banana, a slight, weird tropical fruit note and some musky melon notes. there is almost a weird tartness this beer and there is a fairly big grain character that leans towards dusty crushed grain and cracker-like malt. There is a certain spiciness here as well that I can't quite place; somewhat like pepper, or grains of paradise, maybe a hint of horseradish, I really can't quite grasp it. An interesting nose, the higher original gravity seems to have produced a lot more esters and phenolics than one gets in a typical gravity Weizen-yeast ferment. I am not quite sure it all works though, but it is interesting enough to not be objectionable.

As I take my first sip I also breath in the aroma, at which point it gets a bit hot with volatile esters and higher alcohols. The flavor tastes of lightly sweet, dusty / chewy grain, with a backdrop of softer clove and other phenolic notes of plastic being lightly noticed. Quite spicy, especially through to the finish where the piquancy is magnified a bit by a wheat tartness; peppery notes in combination with the carbonation, sour ginger flavors, hot higher alcohols, . Some sour melon notes and some not quite ripe pear flavors add a touch of fruitiness to this beer. The body as a light fullness to it that is about right for a chewy Hefeweizen, but is down right dangerous for a beer of almost 10% abv; though the alcohol gets quite hot, so it ultimately is not hidden very well.

Clearly a derivative of a German Weizen and not nearly as funky as my description may lead one to believe; many of these flavors and aromas are noted particularly because they don't usually play a role in the typical German Weizen profile. An interesting beer, even if it doesn't quite work, and it doesn't seem to have that stripped out, filtered to death character that is typical of many New Glarus beers (not to say this isn't filtered, it may be, but it better survived the process than some of their other beers).

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is cloudy and straw yellow hued with an inch of dense, white head. The aroma offers a healthy serving of banana, with some wheat And lemons coming in behind. The flavor does not live up to the promise of the aroma. A bit soapy, and alcohol presence, which was absent in the aroma, asserts itself in the flavor profile. Lemon zest and window cleaner. Not horrible, but also not a repeat for me. Medium bodied with an odd astringency. Aventinus is still the go to weizenbock for me.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz red foiled bottle into a flying fish pint glass, received as an extra in a trade thanks to ThomasHardy.

A- NGUIW pours out a beautiful deep golden color with spots of burnt orange with some hazy fog makng it impossible to see through this elixir. A semi tame pour yielded a frothy white head that just kept on building, so much I had to stop pouring to tame it.After some calming I still had a nice dense 2inch head to stare at in it's beauty. Intricate patterns of lacing all over.

S- After popping the cap I could automatically smell this coming from the bottle. Once in the glass this gave off a huge wheat sense with some hops backing that. As I got into it more this weizen gave off nice yeast as well as well as some nice warming spices which i will get into below. A Nice amount of sweetness that border's on a DFH scent.

T- This is one kick ass hefeweizen with bold flavors that I could not believe could come from this style. A nice overall sweetness with some spices including clove and cinnamon with a citrus appeal including zesty lemon and some banana peel. The mix of Bavarian yeast and the unfiltered wheat team up perfectly with some hops leveling the playing field. Again This reminds me of a DFH product, perhaps the yeast.

M- This weizen is medium bodied and smooth as a baby's, as soon as soon as i sipped this I could tell this would be refreshing. A slight bitterness from the dry hopping lies underneath a mass of Wisconsin flavor giving off a nice fruity and yeasty appeal but wheat is king in this one. Not sure of the ABV on this but some warming qualities towards the end without the alcohol taste.

D- Not quite sure the ABV on this but I'm suspecting something a touch higher than something normal for this style with the warming coming from this. Even with that this is quite refreshing and a bit sweeter than I prefer my hefe's though i'm not complaining, this was a treat to drink. If i'm ever in WI, I am going to have to track some of this down

It say's they cut Dan Carey loose a few times a year to brew these unplugged brews, I say they should make it a monthly thing!!

Photo of brandoman63
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of ShanePB
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of Zorro
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Obtained in trade with leftmindedrighty.

Cloudy orange colored beer with a gigantic off-white colored head, pour VERY carefully.

Sweet malty and perfumed are words I use to describe this one. No banana scent but incredibly strong clove and spice scent. In truth this smells more like a Belgian Strong Pale ale than a Hefeweizen, I could swear there is coriander in this.

Taste starts out sweet and spicy with s clove and banana flavor. Wheat malt comes in later, and that is about it. Flavor is a bit one-dimensional.

Mouthfeel is thick.

Well I had high hopes for this one but it is one dimensional, a flop really.

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz foil-wrapped bottle courtesy of SQNfan.

A: The weizenbier is hazy with an amber orange color that really stresses the orange. A finger-plus of head almost overflowed from the glass. What's left is lacing nicely.

S: A brief sniff from the bottle indicated lots of juicy hops amongst the weizen elements. An up-close visit reinforces that. Intense clove aromas battle a soapy hop bitterness for top billing. This nose is amazing.

T: The cascade hop bitterness is strong, but so is the estery, phenolic weizen. The two mix nicely at first, big and bold with little definition. A few seconds in, the flavors separate and each takes on a life of its own. The wheat body relies on the strength of wheat and yeast, tangy and full of clove. The bitter hops soon crash the party with a blinding citrusy bitterness that has orange peel flavors. The orange peel is amplified by a citric flavor in the wheat aspect.

M: Much like the Belgian IPA, this ale combines the best features of a weizen and IPA. The result is a sheer blast of flavor that is crazy good. If you have a bottle squirreled away, open it because the hops make this beer.

D: I don't know that the alcohol level is but it tastes strong. A fantastic creation that, because of the intensity of the hops, may limit you to two or three bottles (if you can score that many).

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(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.

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of biegaman
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An absolutely gorgeous coloured beer. A sun ripened orange shade with dulled clarity. A thin but fuzzy white line embraces the beer, hugging around its center.

The smell, to be quite simple about it, is big and bad-ass citrus: This is tangerine, that drives a motorcycle and lives by his own rules. This is mango that defied his parents and got a piercing and a tattoo in the same day, while skipping class. This is grapefruit that poked the dead body found behind the mayor's house with a stick ... there is no other way to put it, this is big, bad-ass citrus.

Actually, there are a couple other elements that must be mentioned. For one, this yeast is wonderful. It makes for a brilliant supporting cast to both the C-hops and the wheat malt. It seems to be both full of esters and full of phenols, if that is even possible. Second of all, I don't believe I've ever smelt wheat like this. It is crisp, fresh, and vivid - but seems toasted and caramelized. This, in every regard, smells amazing.

Whatever is true for the aroma, can also be said of the taste. This runs one end to the other a full spectrum of fruit flavours - peach, apricot, cantaloupe, melon, tart apple, grapefruit, tangerine, orange, lemon, and just a smack of traditional banana to finish it off. It's a rollercoaster through the wonderful world of exotic fruits with a base of wheat malt to keep you buckled in !

You would easily suspect this isn't your average wheat beer. The alcohol, for one, is a dead give away. Its presence, however, should only be expected along side these monstrously huge flavours of citrus, this field of hops, and this farm full of malts. Nothing is out of balance.

One sip - or smell - and you snap your fingers, exclaiming 'of course!' The characteristics of the hops pair wonderfully with those of the wheat. Credit for this harmonious ceremony, however, is due to this particular strain of yeast, without which I'm not sure this could come together so well.

I'll say it again - this is one bad-ass weissbeer.
It's James Dean, or John Wayne or Clint Eastwood. It's Pacino in Scarface, or Pesci in Casino.
This is James mother-#@*$ in' Bond ... (Sean Connery, of course.)
This is Christopher Walken ... ya, just pure Walken.

Regardless... C-hops and weiss beer done the American way - there may be no better creation. Big props to swoopjones for the bottle!

Photo of Wasatch
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to Monsone for this brew.

Pours a cloudy golden yellow color, nice carbonation, nice two-finger white foamy head, lots and lots of nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, yeasty, nice touch of banannas, cloves, some caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, yeasty, with some banannas/cloves tones, with caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, another nice one from NG.

Photo of liamt07
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Pino, 12oz into a tulip.

Poured with the yeast, golden orange body with an offwhite head and light lacing + retention. Hoppy nose, wheat, citrus/grapefruit/pineapple and definite weizen yeast character. Taste is bitter, hoppy, yeasty, with more pineapple and tropical fruit notes. Some canned pineapple juice character comes to mind. Quite nice, would love to try this fresh on draught.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of the "Uber Trade" from Abents... NG has been throwing down some of my favorite styles on the Unplugged series... A toast to Adam.. because this one sounds fantastic... Poured into my smaller Schneider Weisse glass.

3 finger rocky head just refuses to die back... 5 minutes later and alot of foam is still looking at me with a ton of crusty lace... the brew is a hazy honey orange.

Nose is milder than expected, but still plenty complex.. clove and banana with only touches of bazooka joe bubblegum..

Flavor has more bubblegum than the aroma.. but so also shows.. a little lemon zest and a little bit of an herb note... very complex... no idea about the ABV... I would guess a little bit less than Vitus.. the body is also a little less than the Vitus (sorry.. only comparison that I can think of).. spicy notes are clove but not that much.. more estery banana than spicy... citrus zest becomes citrus flowers as it warms.. tangy...

This is a purely fantastic brew!! worthy of unplugged status and probably should be more worthy of a bit of hype on the BA trading pages.. I am very impressed and wish I had regular access to it... Thanks Adam!! Epic trade for sure... I hope you like your box as much as i like my TWO!!

4.5/4/4.5/4/4.5

Photo of Derek
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An American Imperial Wheat?

It seems well-attenuated, so I'll assume it's around 80% apparent attenuation, so with an Original Plato of 20, that puts this one at 9% abv!!!!

A: Hazy brownish straw with a huge, off-white head, great retention, good lacing.

S: Candied fruit (pineapple, papaya, mango), clove, citrus rind, hints of pumpkin pie spice.

T: Huge grapefruit upfront and all the way through, plenty of pineapple, some rind, grass, wheat grain. Alcohol is somewhat assertive, very little bitterness, slight hint of tartness.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body is smooth, but with plenty of acidity.

D: It's very good, though it'd be more sessionable if it was a little lower in alcohol. Perhaps an India Weizen? I'd like to see some more of those...

Photo of Bighuge
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick looking concoction of a muddled yellow/brown/orange tone. Bighugeass whipped creamy white topping. Lace is bountiful. Fantastic aroma. Huge weizen yeastiness blends with a citric blast of cascades and other weizen goodies (like banana and spice). The taste is big on the hefeweizen characteristics. The yeasty, doughy yeastiness provides substantial character while light banana and vanilla tones come and go. And the lemon character is fairly consistent throughout in a nonobtrusive way. The citric character that the cascade hops contribute just adds another level of brightness to an already bright tasting beer. If this beer started out with an OP of 20 (from the label, which I assume is "Original Plato"), then this beer is probably pushing 8-9% A/V, which is remarkable. I barely get the faintest hint of alcohol when drinking this. Mouthfeel is quite creamy and easy going, though the carbonation is quite vibrant. This is a hell of an accomplishment.

I hereby declare New Glarus as the best Weizen brewery in the country. I loved their Solstice back in the day (4.75). Went through a few cases of Dancing Man last summer (4.6). And the Black Wheat was exceptional as well (4.55).

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 6.10.12.

A - Pours a very cloudy, light orange with a one inch yellow-light tan head. Good retention.

S - Wheat hits you first, then some stong lemon.

T - Heavy wheat and some subtle lemon zest.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body.

O - Solid body makes the lemon more muted, but still keeps a good balance.

Thumbprint Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 630 ratings.