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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
91
outstanding

624 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 624
Reviews: 340
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 12.62%
Wants: 98
Gots: 48 | 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: 624 | Reviews: 340 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is clear (clearer than you'd expect a hefe to be), medium-to-dark copper color, with a really thick poofy head and lots of lace. It smells a little sour, hoppy in a Belgian way (which reminds me of Urthel Hop-It), no banana nor clove. The taste is the same as the aroma, a subdued sour flavor under a strong hops presence that's more Belgian than German or American in my humble opinion. Fairly thick body for the style, maybe a 7.5 on a 1-10 scale from water to oil. Not tasty enough nor light enough to rate drinkability above a 3.

Photo of THECPJ
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow orange with hazy and a 1 finger white head

smell: banana's, clove, citrus,

taste: banana's, clove, citrus,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: Now that was a very good rendition of a Hefe. Would love to have more of this beer.

Cheers,
the CPJ

Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks John!

This pours a cloudy orange yellow with a huge 3 finger, ever growing, head of foam. Lots of lacing and bubbles here and the head retention is very very good. This is a very nice looking brew in my glass.

The smell is very complex with notes of banana, wheat, clove, and some lemon.

The taste is as good as the smell! Plenty of banana and clove followed closely by a nice wheat flavour and some lemon hoppy goodness which, btw, just adds a bit of bittereness and is no way near in control and that's how it should be. Nice. Oh, did I mention there's quite a bit of caramel sweetness here as well? I didn't? My bad. Another thing that impresses me is that this is 9.6%abv...I would have never guessed!!

It's medium bodied, the carbonation starts of very lively but settles down after a while, and it finishes with another nice kick of clove, lemon, and banana. I'm really impressed with this souped up Hefeweizen and I give kudos out to New Glarus for brewing it, and Wasatch again for sending it my way!

Photo of dirtylou
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, bought a 4 pack at steve's university

appearance: served in a bells tulip, hazy orange body with a huge white foam cap and fantastic lacing - quite the site to behold...dead sexy looking beer

smell: sweet bananas and cream, fresh citrus, clove and white pepper, hoppy and fruity, clean and refreshing

taste: wonderful! clean citrus hops and sweet banana carry the flavour profile in fantastic fashion...white pepper and clove provide a great compliment, abv hardly noticed until the aftertaste. Nice bubblegum kick - Great offering!

mouthfeel: clean and refreshing - a delight

drinkability: high

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a weizen glass.
0821 on the neck, no info.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 who can't resist giving me beer every time I go to his house to help "thin the heard."

A - Poured complete with sediment, the totally cloudy golden yellow beer is topped by a massive five-finger head. Thick as whipped cream, you could rest a bottle cap on it no problem. It sparkles like fresh snow and leaves sheet after sheet of thick lace on the glass! Perfection!

S - Potent yeast esters flourish with banana and clove spiciness and, for the most part, overwhelm the subtle wheat aroma. Solvent notes of phenolic alcohol poke through to let you know that yes, indeed this is imperial. Spicy German hops fill the background.

T - Overpoweringly hoppy, the flavor is a kick to the face. The wheat pokes out on the finish in between solvent alcohol heat,. Yeasty esters of banana and clove are still present but largely reserved in comparison to the hops.

M - Unconventionally bitter, the finish sees some sweetness that's obviously meant to be there for balance. Too bitter. Warming alcohol is both tasted and experienced retronasally but the brew is smooth and soft like a hefe should be. Medium-full in body from the sweetness.

O - A nice spring sipper but by no means a summer thirst quencher. Not that it's meant for that anyway... A little boozy although fairly well hidden, it's just overly bitter from the hops.

*Also, a point of interest about this beer is that it doesn't age well at all, extended aging anyway. Despite it's high ABV and BeerAdvocate's, "not a style to age unless alcohol exceeds ABV range" (which I'd say it does) my disapproving review of a 4-year-old bottle was removed, flagged by someone obviously upset by the score despite the caveat. The aged review garnished a C-. Moral of the story, don't hang on to this one for a while.

Photo of aasher
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a nice cloudy, tinged gold in color with great turbidity. The aromas are moderately sweet, full of banana, clove, and it has a nice lemon zest aroma that is really interesting. The flavor is somewhat sweet and ultimately spicy. It is very heavy on banana, clove, spices, lemon, and oranges. I don't know if I've had a hefe quite like this one before. It's very, very complex. The lemon and orange are something completely new to me in regards to a hefe. It finishes light and smooth. You'd have no idea that there is 9.6% abv. It is so, so smooth and very easy to drink. This is a deceiving drinker. Overall this is a very, very nice beer and a very interesting hefe. This one is a legitimate success. Well done NG.

Photo of Duff27
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Big fluffy two-inch head atop a cloudy dull orange beer. Can tell right away this head will have staying power. When it was all said and done there were tons of lacing lines left and still a pleasant head.

S- Huge clove, banana notes.

T- Woo! Follows the smell but in a BIG way. Citrus. Bubblegum yeast. Alcohol boozyness is upfront but wouldn't guess it quite as high as 9.6%.

M- Very full mouthfeel. Nicely carbonated.

D/O- Hefeweizen isn't my most widely tried style by a long-shot but I'd put this right at the top of any I've ever had. Another winner in the New Glarus Unplugged/Thumbprint portfolio.

Photo of Axnjxn
3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a new glarus flute.

pours a cloudy, foamy yellow with a massive white head. the smell is reminiscent of a Belgian ale with a tad of tropical fruit as well. taste is dry..slight tropical fruit..some hops..yeasty..boozy..its really all over the place and complex. higher side of medium bodied with medium carbonation.

overall this is very interesting. maybe most like a Belgian Tripel. I liked it.

Photo of tectactoe
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of DefenCorps
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received from joe1510 in the LNBA BIF. Thanks, Joe! I've enjoyed every Unplugged beer i've had and I expect this to be no different. Into my weizen glass

A: A careful pour yields a hazy apricot-orange pour with a massive three-finger off-white head. Tons of carbonation is visible and this is looking quite gorgeous Head retention is spectacular and as i drink this, there's foam all over.

S: Fruity with orange, mango, peach and a hint of apple; spicy with clove and a hint of nutmeg. Mildly phenolic- solid stuff

T/M: Quite unlike any other hefeweizen i've had, I can tell you that much. Starts off with a ton of citrus blended with the spices - cinnamon and clove are prominent. This combination works beautifully, creating an intriguing flavor profile that's decidedly unique, almost like a spiced fruit juice. There's a mild sweetness to this (which is where the wheat comes in) before the spicy and dry finish takes over the beer, leaving a ton of clove on the palate. As far as the mf goes, this starts off a little bit on the full side which results in the carbonation being subdued a bit. The finish, though, is solid

D: This is very very drinkable stuff. Well done, New Glarus!

Photo of tavernjef
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deeply hazed light pear yellowish tone with a towering crown of soft white foam that drizzles and crunches away very slowly. Big patches of heavy set lace covers the glass well.

Aroma is your typical hefe nose, but perhaps a bit more malt beefyness than most, which I truly like. Here the lemon is heavy on a duller pie-like/pastry denseness along with some apricot, pear, and orange zipped with a nice touch of zest to it topped with a well muted touch to clove and green tea.

Yummy Weizen flavors all over the place. Smooth, full, with lots of citrusy complexity to it. Both in flavor and body. Which are going hand in hand here. Nice lofty twisting of orange and lemon flavors add a unique zip and zest on the tongue the entire time as light spices of clove and cinnamon sit in there too. But alas, can't forgot the malts, as they lay the groundwork well in this stuff with a wonderfully sweet sided paleness of bread crusts and pastry flakes. But the rounded citrus tones is in total control, full throttled and yummy as hell.

Fantastic body of lush, smooth, fullness. Zippy, yet, not overly so as to be spiced by too much, everything in check and down right drinkable. Spiced and balanced just right with all its complexity it citrusy zest and yeasty spicing. Not sure how the 9.6% got squeezed in there. But that's nowhere to be found unless you drink all four from the pack at once. Easy to do!

Many of the micro brewies that put out there Hefe's could learn alot from this stuff. However, this being an obvious ramped up version of what the norm would be; all Hefes need to be like this, then it would be a style I can actually like. This stuff "Unplugged", is awesome!

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

Poured this in the family room downstairs and perhaps due to my excitement, perhaps due to a higher carbonation level, I stared deeply at this hazy golden color beer with a big 1 inch layer of white head.

First smell...bubblegum...more bubblegum than I've smelled in this style before....now I bring it up stairs to review and my nose is next met by a blitzkrieg of cloves....a huge clove presence as well as the bubble gum....next is some banana but this is a secondary player....finally some mild grapefruit like hop notes in the distance.

Time to drink this...as I wrote this the head subsided to about a 1/4 inch now.

Taste is not a typical weizen taste...more of a pale ale feel....grapefruit is upfront, also some lemons..where did the bubble gum go? Cloves are also present and finally some mild banana notes enter. Pretty complex and pretty hoppy.

Carbonation is about right...has a creamy feel but also some citrus notes that lend a little acidity...booze is pretty hidden for 9.6%

Overall I love the nose on this...and the taste is pretty unique if not particularly memorable. I like it but I wanted to like it more. I prefer the Dancing Man wheat immensely over this but this is definitely a "must try" and efforts like this are one of the reasons I feel NG is Wisconsin's best brewery.

Photo of barnzy78
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of pathman
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of gford217
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of jw347 poured into a weizen glass.

A: Pours a bright hazy golden yellow with a huge billowy three finger head that hangs around for ages leaving great lacing. This is what a hefe should look like.

S: Huge nose on this with the sweet wheat, yeast and massive spiciness interacting beautifully. Not to mention the big banana aroma with lemon zest. Wow, this is a seriously big aroma for a hefe.

T: Big wheat taste up front which gives way to the spices - cloves are the showcase in the middle. The spice gives way to the lemon zest and orange peel in the finish with a hop bitterness. I didn't get too much banana in the taste compared to the smell.

M: Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth but, with the carbonation and the spice, there is a serious zing on the tongue.

D: This is certainly one of the better hefeweizens I've ever tasted. The spiciness is pretty big so the drinkability isn't quite what it could be. However, this is, without a doubt, the most complex brew I've ever tasted in this style. Highly recommended!

Photo of sweemzander
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Hefe glass.

(A)- Pours the cloudiest golden yellow/orange color I have ever seen. Produced a giant fluffy pure white head with a glorious retention; I could float a bottle cap on top it was so thick. Just tons of spotted lacing left behind all around the inside of the glass.

(S)- Interesting. Its like a Hefeweiss meets and IPA. Just loaded with a combo or a yeasty biscuit, banana, and clove with a background burst of lemon lime citurs.

(T)- Again, this really is like a Hefeweiss meets and IPA. Big bursts of lemon lime, banana, clove, and subtle bits of pine and yeasty biscuit. The balance of the two parts is awesome.

(M)- A nicely crisp carbonation level. Just a great balance of citrus hop bite (very mild pine) and lovely belgian-like banana, biscuit-like yeast and clove. Minimal bitterness; the creaminess of this helps counterbalance that. Smooth and crisp. 9.6% ABV??? I cannot detect any of that whatsoever; this goes down so easy!

(D)- Move over Belgian IPAs! Granted this is a classified as a Hefeweiss, however I am torn if this is more that or a Belgian IPA. Tastes great as a Hefeweiss on steroids, yet I would without a doubt put this up there with the best Belgian IPAs any day of the week. It just portrays each part beautifully while maintaining balance and a smooth, yet crisp and refreshing profile. This is a dangerous beer at 9.6%! Further proof that New Glarus makes the finest wheat beers in the country.

Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of illidurit
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of drpimento
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nuzzling up to perfection. What an uber hop weizen a la American style. Absolutely slammed the Belgians here. Poured with a huge foamy, frothy, off white head and great lace. Aroma is banana, yeast, bubblegum, malt, hop, Flavor is largely like nose, plus yeast bitterness leaps out along with sweetness of the malts and propelled by the alcohol. Body is outstanding and ditto carbonation- couldn't be exceeded. Finish is like flavor and lingers with diminishing presence to a point where I can't find the point only that I want another point. The occurance of excellence.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour is hazed deep amber with a tight off white head leaving a thick lace. Nose is interesting, a lightly muddled wheat malt and spicy earthy yeast note give way to lemon and clove with a touch of candied lemon. There is a bit of an herbal back end. Taste has a lot happening, the wheat malt is up front, its earthy and musky. The yeast is quite spicy mingling with the candied lemon and some sweetness through the finish. Well carbonated, spice lingers, peppery. Body is full and creamy, faint dryness and a bit sweet through the finish.

Photo of rfgetz
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden straw color, thick and fluffy white head, long lasting. Scent brings a big whiff of lemon grass and orange rind along with big notes of banana bread, some bubblegum, black pepper and yeast. Taste is big and bold, nice hop notes combine with amped up wheat beer flavors, touch of alcohol. Medium bodied, light chunkiness, mostly dry and slightly warming. Really solid beer all around, nice touch of hops on nose and tongue. Amazed at the ABVs on this one, noticeable but still well hidden.

Photo of cokes
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitches out an opaque, milky tangerine-gold body, with a buxom multiple-inch adornment of whole whipping cream, which only slowly recedes to trail filth down the sides of the glass.
The first several inhalations are straight-up Bubble-Yum Bubblegum. It's a common descriptor, but this honestly smells exactly fucking like it. After a minute or so, it separates, with the hops taking the fore with grapefruit, wrought iron, and blood, and a substantial backup of weizen yeasty traits of banana, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and ginger. This is beyond uncommon smelling; it is damn near impossible.
A wheat bread maltiness spreads itself across the mouth first, appropriately enough. From this rather simple beginning the weizen yeast begins shooting firecrackers of banana bread, cinnamon, vanilla pod, clove, and lemon rind. Those are very typical disguises of wheat beers, but here, their essences are virtually distilled in their purity and their volume. They are hardly suggestions, rather, they are actually what the mouth experiences singularly and in full. Hops bring grapefruit and lime rind and rusted metal, but in a more modest fashion than the nose would suggest. Eddies of spiced rum permeate everything, but it never tastes explicitly alcoholic.
A dense, impermeable body is given levity by a carbonation that seems nearly manic at times. Those two opposites serve to create a beverage that drinks like cashmere, with its silken weight. It's power makes itself known (though not because it tastes raw or hot), and it's intensity does not allow for gulps or longish sessionability. Its merit and memorability are easily shown in a single bottle....or perhaps two.
New Glarus is renown for its fruit beers, but that should now be shifting, as they make a variety of some of the finest wheat beers available on the planet. This is one of them, and probably the best of the lot, thus far. It may be, in fact, New Glarus' crowning achievement.
Seek it. Now.

Update 5/26/08: After nearly 4 months, the hops have lost a bit of their bubblegummy and grapefruit juiciness and have beer partially replaced with aluminum, both in aroma and flavor. And the spiciness has dulled some Still an incredible beer, but a notch below when it was crushingly fresh. The moral here is that it probably isn't worth aging except for curiosity's sake....but it says that on the label, doesn't it?

Thumbprint Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 624 ratings.