Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Chocolate AbbeyThumbprint Chocolate Abbey

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

248 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 248
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 14.4%
Wants: 24
Gots: 34 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BarrytheBear on 09-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 248 | Reviews: 110
Reviews by uwmgdman:
Photo of uwmgdman
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter this ale is brilliantly clear dark brown with a beautiful deep ruby red hue when held to a light, all capped with a moderate khaki colored head that diminishes to a skim. The aroma is highly chocolate and moderately fruity, stone fruits, mainly cherry. The flavor is moderate chocolate, along with cherry fruit and subtly spicy phenols. The beer finishes rather dry with lingering chocolate on the palate. The body is medium-thin and carbonation medium-high, this is the only miss with this beer, the aroma and flavor just to me really begs for a thicker mouthfeel. Overall a very tasty brew, an excellent use of good chocolate in a beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Dark chestnut, towering head

SMELL: Fresh taffy, caramel, bubble gum, milk chocolate, peppery, figgy, peppery,

TASTE: Candied fruit, milk chocolate, estery, bandaid, cotton candy, carob, caramel, brown malt, passion fruit, semi-dry finish

I dig this twist on the Dubbel style, certainly no restraint here when it comes down to being complex. An enjoyable sipper.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured out a brown, cocoa colored liquid. 1/4" tan head, spotty lacing around the glass as the liquid was consumed.

A chocolate aroma first and foremost. Actually that was all there was, which is fine.

Taste, mmm, more chocolate and cocao. For a dubbel, I like far more than the average one. Dry, like cocao powder was used moreso than sweet chocolate. Not sugary. Smooth experience. Dark fruit aspect is minimal, yet not overwhelmed by the cocoa. The minimal yeast contribution is very mild, nothing in terms of clove or banana are on it, which is a good thing. It has a very mild chocolate bubble gum contribution. Mild toasted grains.

I'd consider myself a fan, and would drink again.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours a brown body that glows at the base with a light tan head that is thick and creamy lasting the full beer and some microbubbles collecting at the bottom of the head.

S- The big chocolate nougat aroma of tootsie rolls has some dark sugar and yeasty esters in the finish. There is a bubbolicious ester aroma that really grows as the beer opens up and some clove notes aswell.

T- The nice dried fruit flavor fades to a full chocolate nougat taste and a dry finish with some green hops that have a bit of a mint taste to them. The bubblegum esters start to dominate as the beer opens up.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a touch of alcohol heat and a thick foamy mouthfeel in the finish.

O- I was surprised that the flavors really work together and the balance between dubble characters and nougat are nice but the bubblegum character does become a bit to strong as the beer opens up.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out like a dubbel should...deep ruby-highlighted dark brown, deeply dark brown, with an off-white and firm head of tightly-packed bubbles. It shrinks to a creamy skim in a couple minutes.

The smell is tremendously impressive, on one hand very Belgian in character (the yeast and malt personality) yet also obviously experimental U.S. (chocolate, and whatever Segal Ranch hops are, which are bright but somehow also subdued enough in the nose). And a whiff of alcohol underlining everything. Vibrant, earthy, smells like it was freshly bottled yesterday.

As with the smell, it tastes a bit more alcoholic than 7%. The alcohol factors in, providing just the right dab of warmth and accenting the chocolate as if it were chili-infused chocolate. Still, it's subtle enough, and lets the dubbel-ness of this dubbel come through. As dubbels often strike me as being chocolaty in the first place, this one definitely asserts that sort of personality. Belgian or Belgian-ish yeast pushes through to add further depth, and there's an earthy herbalness lurking under the surface. Slight bit of generously toasted grain comes forth, adding another layer. Lots going on here, all of it tremendously enjoyable without feeling complicated or overly busy.

Texturally it's a little too bubbly/tingly for my liking, something just a tad softer would have been nice. It's not heavy, and could use some propping up, and the plastic coming into the aftertaste also threatens the overall mouthfeel, but still, none of this proves detrimental. Just mildly annoying, because the rest of this beer is so good.

I think Chocolate Abbey is a bit underrated on this site. What's not too love? It's true to style but also lends a bit of a unique personality to the world of dubbels. It's tasty, it's clearly well-made with the use of quality ingredients. Another kick ass beer from Daniel Carey and co.

Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with white lingering minimal head, and some lace lines. banana and chocolate, hits the style with lots of yeast and some candi sugar. Pleasant enough though not that interesting. A tad harsh finish. Cinnamon, cloves, bubble gum, malted milk.Better than I was told. Thanks for the extra, Jon.

Photo of dirtylou
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single

appearance: served in my hilliards can-pint - dark cola body, a nice tan lace that coats the side of the glass consistently

smell: dry roasty bakers chocolate, sweet malt, dough, caramel

taste: sweet bakers chocolate, cocoa, caramel malt, some nice dark fruits, dry roasty finish. The chocolate flavor is interesting enough but the base dubbel is pretty bland.

mouthfeel: dry, rather light for the style

overall: good, but below par for the thumbprint series

Photo of Crass3000
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/29/2011

4/5 Pours out REALLY dark brown/black in color with a nice two-finger, beige head with nice retention.

4/5 Smell is really nice. I can definately smell the chocolate with a little bananas and cloves. Really smells nice.

4.5/5 Taste is some nice chocolate, bananas and cloves you would expect from the yeast, and a really nice blance that is hard to find. This is just a really nice beer. Really hard to beat.

4/5 Moutfeel is nice. good as hell.

Photo of bashiba
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep dark brown with a light thin off white head which was quickly gone leaving just a small ring.

The smell was very sweet and chocolaty with a bit of yeasty belgian spice, a hint of banana, and some sweet dark fruits. Very desert like. Maybe a bit to sweet.

The flavor is very milk chocolately almost overpowering the belgian qualities, a bit of dark fruit and light earthy hops do manage to get through just barely. Flavor is very chocolate dominated.

The mouthfeel has a thick and oily feel with a decent level of carbonation.

Its not bad but a bit to much chocolate for me, could never drink more than one and won't be rushing back for another.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown, slightly reddish hue with a tall and fluffy off white head.

The smell is pretty one-dimensional with artificial chocolate. It reminds me of chocolate Necco (which are the best, by the way.)

The flavor has the same powdery-chocolatey-Necco flavor but adds a hint of candied dates.

Mouthfeel is thin for a dubbel. Low carbonation.

It's an interesting but gimmicky take on a dubbel. It's fun and I definitely enjoyed it, but there's not much depth.

Photo of morimech
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reddish brown color with a massive head that slowly settled to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Large chocolate aroma. Not the bitter, raw kind, but more of a processed milk chocolate. There is also some fruit scents like bananas and cherries.

Chocolate is much less dominant in the flavor than the aroma. Milk chocolate upfront but there is a nice dubbel underneath. Nice malt flavor with plenty of yeast esters. Cherries come out again. Also a little alcohol can be tasted in the finish. Nice neutral balance between sweet and bitter.

Body is a little too light but this has awesome carbonation. A soft, delicate texture that really brings out the best of the beer.

Good chocolate flavor and a good dubbel. A nice sipper and dessert beer.

Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small Hamms goblet, it has a finger or two of tan foam that slowly rises above the rim. Color is a dark reddish copper brown. Finely textured foam, lasting skim, lacy collar around the edges.

Smells pretty similar to the Chocolate Bock I just had. Some banana, toasted malts, cocoa, marshmallow and tootsie roll sweetness. Tastes similar, some slight roast bitterness and nutty flavors. Not as yeasty as anticipated for a Dubbel, fairly light bodied also. Could use a little more body and yeast complexity. Light and smooth with a sort of creamy feel to it after awhile.

Thanks Eric!

Photo of MaxSpang
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter. Thanks to Duff27 for hooking me up with this brew!


This is definitely a Belgian Dubbel - the beer pours a murky brown with a slight reddish hue when the light comes through. The head was about a finger, soft, and pillow-like due to the small bubbles. It was almost pure white, and it went away in a hurry without leaving any lacing.


The first thing I get in the nose is the Belgian yeast spice - pepper, clove, coriander, and all the other Belgian yeast goodies. After some more vigorous sniffing, the chocolate makes an appearance. It's subtle, and I don't think I'd find it if I wasn't looking for it. There's a slight alcohol tinge as well, which is actually pretty nice.


The chocolate is way more present on the tongue. The first thing I get is a big chocolate flavor, almost like a tootsie roll. It kind of reminds me of Sam Adams Chocolate Bock. The Belgian yeast is a little more subdued on the tongue, but it still brings all of the spice character from the nose. As it warms, the Belgian flavors are almost dominating, leaving the chocolate at the back of the tongue. There is almost no alcohol flavor to be found.


True to a Belgian-influenced beer, this is almost over carbonated. It's also very dry, making it pretty easy drinking. I expected a bigger body considering this beer has chocolate in it, but it's pretty true to the light and effervescent Dubbel style.


I'm a bit disappointed in this one. This is by no means a bad beer, especially if you like the Belgian yeast flavor. The chocolate adds some nice complexity, but it just doesn't blow me away. Would I drink it again? Absolutely, but I won't be actively seeking this one out.


Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.39/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
2491 printed on the neck, no info.

Thanks for leaving this in my Jeep Brando! :P

A - Despite it's almost pitch black appearance, Chocolate Abbey is actually a clear ruby mahogany color when held up. A billowing light tan head rises to three-fingers and drops quite slowly but little is left as Belgian lace goes.

S - Completely intoxicating, Chocolate Abbey opens with an abounding chocolate nose rich with cocoa and milk chocolate. Cherry hints rest delicately behind with an intricacy that begins suggest "Belgian" while adding a chocolate covered cherry aroma. Yeast complexity follows up with earth tones and dark fruit esters a la cherry, fig, and plum. Black patent malt roast is subtle while a strong caramel profile is present. Absolutely breath-taking.

T - Flavor is quite the departure from the aroma. Chocolate is all but abandoned, giving it a much heavier Belgian dubbel characteristic. Stronger Belgian yeast profile here, there's more earthy tones and yeast esters present in flavor. The cherry still emerges followed by the faint plum and fig. Cocoa dryness creeps up on the finish, slowly asserting itself among the light toast malt. Delicate spice notes from the yeast open up as it warms.

M - Delicately soft and smooth, Chocolate Abbey presents itself as a medium-bodied dessert beer that's not overpowering but, rather, open to pairing and sipping. The supple finish ends with a slow, dry characteristic that begs for another sip.

O - Unfortunately the flavor falls a little short after the intoxicating aroma. This isn't a dig at the (great) flavor of Chocolate Abbey but merely a testament to how amazing the aroma of this beer is. Give this one to people who claim to "not like beer". Give this to people who don't like Belgians (beer). It'll bridge the gap effortlessly. With it's unique aroma and taste, Chocolate Abbey is both powerful and delicate at the same time. A near flawless effort, this goes down in the books as another special release from New Glarus I'll be hoarding bottles of for years to come to explore it's development.

Photo of nataku00
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. The beer pours a dark brown cola color, mostly clear at the edges but very dark and opaque. Initial finger of tight off white foamy bubbles dissipates gradually to a thin film and a small collar of bubbles leaving minimal lacing. Highly carbonated, tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is heavy on sweet milk chocolate that you would bake with, vanilla, light cinnamon and clove. Other than some light spice, not much of a Belgian influence as the sweet milk chocolate is what I mostly smell.

Taking a sip, a bit of floral hop bitterness upfront, then milk chocolate and fruity esters from the Belgian yeast, light clove and vanilla. Finish is fairly dry, with some lingering floral hops, milk chocolate and fruity esters. Chocolate is much more subdued on the taste, allowing a Belgian dubbel to come through a bit.

Light to medium body with plenty of effervescence, very tingly on the tongue to really scrub it clean for a dry finish.

Photo of scaliasux
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown. Opaque. Creamy, thick tan head with good persistence.

Smell - Spicy and fruity with a subtle milk chocolate accent. Sweet, almost like a chai.

Taste - Primarily dark roasted malt. Some chocolate character, but also a burnt toast. Some fruitiness emerges in the finish, but aftertaste remains dark and bitter. Not what I was expecting from the aroma.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light. More watery than creamy.

Overall - I was skeptical that I would enjoy a chocolate beer. This brew, though something of an unexpected combination, did nothing to change my mind.

Photo of jegross2
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewing a Chocolate Abbey from the Thumbprint series by New Glarus Brewing Company.

Score: 75

2011 Vintage bottle served in a chalice glass.

Appearance: Deep caramel root beer color. Red-brown hues when held up to light. Average lacing, thin fizzy head. Falls somewhere between translucent and opaque. 3/5

Smell: Chocolate and caramel candy, kinda like a tootsie roll. Very sweet and malty. A little licorice. Banana and yeast aroma. Hint of spice or clove. 3.5/5

Taste: Very yeasty, banana and clove-like at first. Caramel on the mid-palate. Almost tastes like root beer candy at certain points. Definitely taste some brown sugar. Finish is like a slightly earthy, sweet toostie roll. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Malty-sweet and slightly syrupy. Medium bodied. Very carbonated and fizzy. Finish is sugary, but dry. 3/5

Overall: This one comes off almost like a chocolatey/caramel wheat or root beer. Not a beer that is up my alley, I guess. Very smooth, but the sweetness is a bit heavy, and thus this one is more a sipper than a drinker in my mind. If you ever wanted to try Tootsie Roll soda, this is your beer

Recommendation: Skip this one.

Pairing: I think this would work well with a light and bready cake (like a pound cake), or a sharper/aged cheese like swiss or gorgonzola. Something salty would work too. I'm having one with a viscous garlic-dijoin pretzel dip (and pretzels).

Cost: $2.99 for a single or $10.99 for a four pack.

Photo of matjack85
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of a trade, so I can't comment on the price or where I found it. I do know it's part of a series of beers called the "thumbprint series", which New Glarus only releases rarely and for a limited time only, so if you see one on a shelf, grab it now or you might not see it again. 12oz brown bottle with a picture of the state of Wisconsin on the label with a thumbprint inside the state border. The name of the beer, "Chocolate Abbey" is only found on a smaller neck label. No freshness date.

The beer poured a dark amber color with a full 3 fingers of tan head, but the entire head dissipated within 30 seconds and lacing was light.

What an interesting smell - chocolate for sure, but like chocolate bubblegum if there is such a thing. Good chocolate with a hard sugar candy smell mixed with figs, raisins, spices, and alcohol.

Unfortunately, the taste was not as good as the smell. There was chocolate in here, but only a mild amount. Most of the sweetness comes from a a hard candy sugar flavor. Fig and raisin add more sweetness and fruit flavor, but overall this is not a sweet beer. Spicy alcohol and a touch of bitter hops balance things out. While complex, I was not overly impressed with the flavor of this beer.

Smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a medium body and low to moderate carbonation.

It's OK, but I wish the flavor would have had as much chocolate in it as the smell.

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting

Photo of Benysaj
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an English pint glass slightly chilled. If the ABV is still unknown, I was told it was 7.0%.

A: A gorgeous dark chocolate brown with limited head retention.
S: It smells like Count Chocula for crying out loud! Best smelling chocolate beer I have ever sniffed.
T: The chocolate taste isn't overwhelming, apart from the Belgian abbey character, chocolate is the only thing that comes through--which is a good thing.
M: Nicely carbonated, but perhaps over-carbonated for a Dubbel.

Overall I like it a lot, it isn't the best abbey beer i've ever had, but it is the best chocolate beer i've ever had. Try this limited release if given the opportunity.

Photo of Dohdaman
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz botle into a New Glarus Pilsner Glass

A: Pours a clear Deep Brown color. 1/2" off-white head

S: Aroma of Chocolate, Banana, spices

T: Same as the smell, not overpowering though. Kind of a bland finish, though i am ok with that with this beer

O: Overall i enjoyed this beer, very drinkable to me.

Photo of syrupjoe
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep clear garnet color with 1.5 finger creamy light tan head with light red tint.

Nose: Dark fruits, powdered cocoa, bubblegum.

Taste: Raisin, dark fruits, aspirin bitterness, bitter cocoa, bubblegum.

Moderate carbonation with very bitter finish and interestingly spicy aftertaste.

Overall a weird tasting beer. I honestly get more bubblegum on the nose and taste than anything else, which is quite distracting. Balanced flavors, just not in a way I've ever had them before. Probably wouldn't drink this one again.

Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy reddish dark brown with a half finger of creamy off white head. The head leaves a small layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Slightly sweet with some chocolate and dark fruit notes. The sweetness isn't overwhelming, it compliments the other ingredients well.

Taste: This one reminds me of a straight up tootsie roll. I'm definitely getting some vanilla and chocolate notes. Also some dark fruit with a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation for the style. The finish has a slight dryness to it.

Overall: I think the chocolate along with the traditional dubbel flavors were nice, and quite interesting. NOt sure I need more, but I'm glad I had this one.

Photo of lurpy1
4.71/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Couple bottles picked up from a border run to Hudson. Advance buzz on this one, hopes are high.

Pour is coca-cola cut with iced tea. A little foam, slightly paling brown, bubbly.

The first whiff is an absolute holy shit moment. One of the most potent chocolate botiques I've ever had, both sweet and bitter at the same time.

And the taste,well, more of the same. Holy shit. The Tootsie Roll factor everyone sites is spot on. Delicious. As the rhapsody wears off I notice this might be missing some of the dubbel characteristics - there's no hop whatsoever, and the malt is very hidden. Who cares? Tastes awesome.

CA is somewhat carbonated, perhaps too much for my liking, but it does differentiate this from sweet stouts. End of the day, goes down well enough.

This beer is not perfect, but it's spectacular at the things that matter most. A+. Back to dairyland to stock up.

EDIT: 1/17. I've had 2 more bottles of Chocolate Abbey, and they were OK at best. Would probably give it a 3.5 in all categories. Not changing my ratings, I still think my first impressions were legit.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.12/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is subpar and no lacing is left.

3.5 S: Wow and double wow. This reeks of cocoa powder. I have my doubts that there is another beer out there (that isn't a homebrew) that smells more like cocoa powder. I can't really pick up anything else. The cocoa blocks any chance of that.

3.0 T: The cocoa is a little less intense in the taste and it allows the dubbel to come out. However, it doesn't mix all that well. Chocolate can be a wonderful component of a dubbel, but apparently not when presented in a contrived manner. The cocoa seems out of place. The dubbel seems to be pretty good though. Lots of the typical fruitiness - plum, raisin, date and such. Also a nice peppery spiciness. I wish I had that dubbel be itself.

3.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. Here the chocolate again interferes. The MF would have been nice if the chocolate wasn't there. Because it is, I want a thicker, creamier body.

3.0 D: I'm glad I got to try this since it seemed like a good experiment, but the results didn't live up to my expectations.

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Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.