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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
91
outstanding

343 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 343
Hads: 636
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.76%
Wants: 105
Gots: 50 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 343 | Hads: 636
Photo of goethean
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Rodenbach tulip glass. A bit over-carbonated. Aroma has citrus, nice light malt, lots of breadiness --- more than I've ever smelled in a beer --- and some hops. Bursting with rich malt and light fruitiness. It's got the malt backbone. Like a light-colored barleywine, without the heaviness which characterizes that style. Unfortunately, it's also missing some of the complexity, the higher alcohols, and the warm character of the best barleywines. Just enough hops to keep it from being cloying --- leave it to a German-style brewer to avoid the over-hopping which characterizes so many American microbrews. Quite drinkable.

One note: BeerAdvocate says that this is a hefeweizen? It's wheatwine. (710 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the style, thank you Bakerslp for the trade. clove, cinnamon and citrus are claimed and in the mix, though I do not think they contributed to my liking it, (also bannana) but they did to the aroma. Very drinkable,if only I had a bomber to share, above average mouthfeel. Dark colour and good head. (304 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
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). (1,337 characters)

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.39/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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. (554 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to mikesgroove for this one.

Pours a deeply cloudy yellow/orange peach with a uberfluff white head that leaves great lacing. Nose is very banana with some orange. Taste follows with a unique mix of german wheat flavor and some citrus notes, along with a fair amount of almost witbier like spice profile. Very interesting flavor. Mouthfeel is quite thick, Im not sure how to rate it for an "imperial weizen" but I would expect it to be thicker. Drinkability is pretty good, but I do feel the alcohol burn as it goes down. Overall a very unique and interesting brew. This is pretty much what I imagined for an imperial weizen, but Im not sure if it is a style i really like. Its good, but doesn't shock me into immeadiate appreciation. Try it. It will be worth it. (770 characters)

Photo of Pauly2X
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep cloudy yellow, head that overflowed the glass.

S- Typical banana, lemon grass aroma you'd expect from a great weiss, with a barely decetable alchol note.

T- The yeast profile reminiscent of banana rides atop a light slightly malt profile. The slight alcohol note lends way to a, dare I say, citrusy hop finish.

M- Smooth and rich, yet light enough for the style, less carbonation than most.

D- Quite drinkable for being Imperial.

Way to push the envelope Dan! (472 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
3.56/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy bright orange color. The head is a massive four inches in height, and recedes very slowly into two inches of foam. The aroma is banana, citrus, and hints of clove. The taste is more lively than the aroma. There is more banana, and less citrus. It is all around more wheaty than the aroma. There is also a mild alcohol burn in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with adequately high carbonation. Overall, this is a nice beer that I would certainly drink again. (492 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.43/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A fuzzy glowing straw gold colored body hosts a rocky off white head. Lots of lace is left behind. Nose has notes of mellon, crisp wheat and doughy bready tones. Big zesty wheat tones enter the mouth with a bang. Some sharp dry hop notes are mixed onto the back of the palate. Alchol is noticeable but not harsh. This definetly takes a wheat beer to the next level. Mouthfeel is oddly super thick and prickly. This takes points off of the drinkability. (452 characters)

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: snifter. opaque yellowish orange color. nice hick white head, light yellow tint. great retention level and nice web-like lacing.

S: huge citrus hop aroma with some citrus from the wheat. almost a brett aroma in there. great yeast aroma.

T: wow! great hoppy flavor, wonderful idea of dry-hopping a hefe. some clove as well. reminds me of brooklyn-schneider hopfen weisse. tons of citrus all over this, both hops and grain.

M: full-bodied brew, with a great palate. huge carbonation level.

D: very drinkable brew and very creative. I enjoyed it alot and would love to get more of it. (589 characters)

Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

so how do you review this creation? It's obviously not a hefe and they clearly don't indicate it is a hefe on the bottle. So, I'm going to go with the brewer and rate it regardless of the site classification. I liked this one. Lots of the hefe aspects I like with a dousing of cascade hops. I had this over dinner with a steak salad and it was a perfect compliment !

thanks to tayner for the chance to try this beer. (418 characters)

Photo of mynie
4.6/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imperial Weizen you say? Well that's just about two best words you could possibly string together. You are goddamn right I'm gonna buy up a sixer of this business.

Pours as hazy as a weizen but with a really pretty shade of yellowred that falls almost exactly in between an APA and a hefe. The head is large and rocky and it's stuck around for a real long time already, and I ain't even taken a sip yet.

Smells like giant hops. Pure cascade--citrus, light grapefruit, sticky green cascade hops. This is backed up kind of oddly enough by a very strong, traditional hefe aroma, white pepper and cloves with even a little tiny bit of fruit sneaking its way up through the hops. It is really almost bizarre how well the two flavors blend and how distinct they remain from one another.

Tastes odd and delicious, somewhere in between a strong belgian pale (due to the yeast), a really firm and fruity german hefe, and a regular old IPA. I--I really have to admit that I lack the brewing acumen to fully appreciate what an accomplishment a flavor like this is. The wheatmalt is, for the first time I can ever recall, so intense that it's sticky. The hops are gigantic. The fruit, of all things, balances everything out. And it's so creamy you'd think it had milk in it. (1,266 characters)

Photo of Domingo
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ah, a kicked up Weizen. Sounds like something that could be good or bad.
Pours an orange'ish bronze color with a ton of foam. It's cloudy and murky, but with the bright color and head, it's a pretty good looking brew.
You pick up some of the banana/clove/bubblegum smells from a hefe or heller weizenbock, but there's definitely a pretty strong hop presence in there.
The taste isn't what I expected. It's got some Belgian funkiness and it's got a pretty strong noble hop background, but beneath that, it has some weizenbock roots. It's a little bit like a cleaner version of the Hopfen-weiss beers, although definitely boozier.
This is a thick and aggressive brew, so it's a sipper for sure.
One at a time's enough for this brew, but I think that's the nature of what they're going for.

It's not amazing, but I like what they did with this. It's unique and a good beer, but not something to revisit daily. I've just come to the conclusion that hoppy and wheat isn't a combo I really dig. (989 characters)

Photo of tayner
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

hazy golden color, white, sticky head, laces well

smells of light wheat bread and ripe bananas, slight clove hints as well.

Taste is heavy cascade IP with some over-ripe banana aftertaste. it tastes like an IPA mixed with 4 oz of a decent wheat beer.

easy to drink, easier than a straight wheat beer for me but probably wouldnt hunt it down again. if you gave me one I would drink it though. (410 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice hazy golden orange color with a nice off white head with good retention and lacing.

S- Smells of yeast, banana, lemon zest, clove and some spices.

T- Huge spicy yeastiness and clove. Could also pick up quite a bit of citrus lemons and bananas.

M- Medium body and carbonation, a little on the creamy side also.

D- Easy to drink and very solid brew.

Thanks again Lordsloth (393 characters)

Photo of gmcfarre
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass

A - Pours a translucent orange/yellow color with a massive 2 inch frothy white head (even with a careful pour). Head lasts incredibly well with little fading after several minutes. When head finally settles, terrific lacing is abundant. A good looking beer.

S - Intense banana scent with good additional sweetness. Strong clove complements the banana. Lots of spice.

T - Starts fairly sweet with good banana fruitiness. Spice kicks in shortly thereafter with clove again dominating. Dry and spicy at finish.

M - Medium body with low carbonation. A bit chalky. Very dry with a residually tart finish.

D - An extremely enjoyable offering from New Glarus. Goes down easy for what I would assume to be a high ABV weizen. Certainly worth seeking out. (799 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.28/5  rDev -19.8%
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). (2,518 characters)

Photo of k3n
4.51/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, stamped 0803.

A: Poured into a weizen glass, looking damn sexy. Cloudy, dark yellow amber colored. Streams of rising bubbles make the head last for days.

S: Clove. Faint bubblegum. Wheaty malt.

T/M: Wow. Unlike any hefeweizen I've had. Initial hit is crisp wheat malt, immediately backed up by citrus hops and bitterness. The mouthfeel is thick and rich, and the bitterness lasts well into the finish, but is not over-powering.

D: This is one damn fine hefeweizen! (482 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Weizen glass.

Pours a hazy dark orange with HUGE head of poofy off-white foam. Glad I had the extra head space available for this guy. Once it all settles down, the retention is very solid and leaves a big, sticky latticework of lacing behind. The aroma is an alcoholic fume of Weizen character, with orange, banana, wheat, yeast, and a bit of spice all being married together and encapsulated in a tingling heat profile.

The taste is a beefy mix of orange zest, prominant banana notes, and spicy clove that all floats on a wave of yeast and wheat. There is also a bit of a hop profile that brings up the rear. It's all very balanced and works together very well. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a definite beefy alcohol feel. Not much carbonation imparts a slick and flat feeling at times.

I really like what New Glarus did with this. I just wish that all of that great flavor could have hidden a bit more of the alcohol. I'm not sure what the ABV of this was but between it and the sometimes flat feel, it become a bit stinging towards the botttom of the glass. (1,100 characters)

Photo of KBomb
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is unlike any wheat beer I've ever had before. The four pack of 12oz bottles came labeled in NG's signature style, but with a red foil wrap at the top (classy). Poured a rich amber/orange, thick cloud all the way through, and frothy foamy head with mega-retention and lacing. Smell is ripe with piney cascade hops, floral sweetness, clove, and in the background is a little more of the grapefruit citrus, wheat grain, and alcohol. The taste is even more complex and wild than the smell. Its almost like an IPA with such bold upfront hops. Additionally we get warm toasty malt, yeast, spice, bitter grapefruit peel, followed by sweet bright grain, and a little orange tang. At the end of it all is the high volume of alcohol which ends up being less distracting than you'd think-- warms everything up and goes down like a cognac or a red wine. As Imperial Hefe warms up a little it gets quite sweet. Its mediumly heavy and a little bit sticky like hoppier ales. So that in addition to high AVB makes this is a little much to drink more than one or two.

This thing is wild. Lots of great flavors going on in here, but it skirts the border of being too much. There just might be a little excess hops on the nose and a little too sweet at the end to be perfect. Though wheat beers are what I drink all summer, the other three bottles might stay in the fridge till we get a cooler fall day and I feel like sipping something a little randy. Points for creativity. (1,463 characters)

Photo of shbobdb
2.87/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I really like the idea of marrying American hops with a German hefe-weizen. But for whatever reason, when brewers decide to bring this relationship to fruition, they decide to crank the dial to 11 and let the world burn. Huge hops, huge alcohol, esters from the yeast? Well, they can fight for some place in the background, we've got a big beer to brew!

Ick.

The beer pours looking delicious. A nice cloudy orange-yellow body with a meringue head. I meann that, big, fluffy, white, and ever-lasting. As the volume of the beer decreases, it leaves huge whopping gobs of lace. Just crazy.

That is, unfortunately, the best part of the beer. The hops are huge on the nose. Lots of lime and grapefruit with a strong blast of alcohol.

The taste pretty much follows the nose. The side of the bottle talks about a German wheat yeast, but there are no esters to be found. To compound matters, the beer is paper-thin, so all you are left with is a mouth full of hops and a strong alcoholic burn. I mean, yeah, as the beer warms you start to get some banana, but it is so overwhelmed by the hops that I'm not really sure it should even bother being there.

A huge letdown from NG. (1,173 characters)

Photo of ibashmuck
3.08/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a four pack. Poured a large foamy head on a cloudy, light amber body. Very "wheaty", with good doses of sweetness, clove and citrus mixed in, as well as banana. Taste was much the same, very heavy, cloves very prominent, but with a big grapefruit finish. Had the thickness one would expect from a wheat.

I had very, very high hopes for this, as it's my favorite style and one of my favorite brewers. And it started off nicely, but about midway through, that grapefruit and alcohol bite became just too much, drowning out the other characteristics. I drank the other three in the pack, and came away with the same impression. Bit disappointing, really. (663 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to scubarex for a few of these.

12 oz. bottle poured into a weizen glass.

Pours a murky sunset orange with a full three finger off-white head that dies down to a layer of foam that lasts throughout. Beautiful rings of stick left on the sides of the glass with a continuous amouont of bubbles racing to the top. Smell is banana, clove, and citrus hops. Very interesting blend of aromas, but they work very well together. Taste begins with a musty clove followed by banana bread and sweet bubblegum. Citrus hops emerge midway with a strong yeast presence on the tongue. Aftertaste is somewhat dry and bitter with a bit of booze. Medium body with a feel that is just short of smooth. Carbonation is steady with this one as well. Not a fan of hefe's, but I'm not sure this can be categorized as such. The 9% abv is hard to find making this a pretty easy drinking brew and surprisingly refreshing. Definitely a hybrid of styles, dry hopping a hefe?...gotta love it! (973 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a hazy orange/golden color. Four fingers of rocky, cream colored foam spring up quickly, laying down some thick and sticky lace. Very slow to recede, taking some extra time to get this bottle into the shaker. Puffy and pocky as it settles most unevenly.

Aroma - huge yeast and banana, very intense and serious aroma.

Taste - big wheaty flavor, the clovy yeast and banana flavors right there as well. Far more hops than I'm used to in a hefe, they are very orangey and floral. A light bit of funkiness, but in this mix, it's not out of place. The swallow is a little more funkiness, plenty of hops and dryng bitterness, but not losing its juicy aspect. Finishes with lingering citric flavor.

Mouthfeel - very slick and smooth. The carbonation is prickly and still understated beneath the draping body.

Drinkability - a fantastic spin on a traditional style. A big tip o' the cap to mully for bringing me some of this at DLD08. (948 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
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... (760 characters)

Photo of cbros
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type- Bottle poured into a hefeweizen Schneider weisse glass.

A- Pours a murky golden yellow. Thumbnail size white head that settles to a good head retention that lasts till the finish. Lite bubble activity coming from the bottom of the glass that stays constant till the finish.

S- Fruit flavors are strong presence. I think I smell a hint of some type of berry but I can't put my finger on it. The beer also smells of clover and banana.

T- Fruity taste present with a hoppy aftertaste presence.

I recieved this beer from a trade and I am happy I asked for it. This is a good tasting hefe that has a strong flavor but easy to drink. I can see why this was a once brewed release that is very popular. (712 characters)

Thumbprint Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.