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Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Chocolate AbbeyThumbprint Chocolate Abbey

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

246 Ratings
THE BROS
86
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 246
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 14.44%
Wants: 27
Gots: 32 | FT: 2
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BarrytheBear on 09-18-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 246 | Reviews: 110 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phocion
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle picked up from the brewery last weekend poured into a Westmalle goblet. Thick frothy beige head that only lasts about as long as the time it takes me to type about the head. Moderate beige lacing mixes with the dark-mahogany colored body.

Great, aroma smells like a dubbel, not just chocolate. The chocolate aromas are definitely there, however, and fairly complex with a blend of milk chocolate as well as bitter darker tones. Dark fruits are also very noticable; raisin and black cherry, as well as hints of banana and well spiced. Definite tone of candy sugar as well as caramel. This thing smells absolutely wonderful.

Flavor does not in any way, shape, or form hold up to the aroma. The chocolate has definitely taken a few steps back and is overpowered by a very earthy, yeasty, and quite alcoholic flavor. Dark fruits are pleasant as well; figs, plums, and cherries. Bitter chocolate combines with an immensely sweet candy sugar for a somewhat unpleasant finish.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin for a beer this big, but well-carbonated. A tad on the oily side.

Overall, this thing smells absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, that's the only thing keeping this above average. The flavor just doesn't hold up. Try it...but only one bottle.

Phocion, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of NStLincoln
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish brown that you can see through. The head is two fingers high. And is still hanging around five minutes after the pour.

Initially all I get is tootsie roll on the nose, but as the beer warms to the recommended serving temp it gets really complex. Notes of bourbon and maple syrup are easy to pick up.

Wow, a big beer on the palate. Just about as much alcohol heat on the back end as you can get without things getting unbalanced. It's a tootsie roll kind of chocolate, not milk, not dark, kind of sweet and middling. Besides the chocolate I get some oak. It is a tad unbalanced as I keep going back. Hollow in the front with a big kick in the back.

NStLincoln, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Into a tulip brings a full two-inch, light-tan head. Beer is a dark red bordering on brown. A closer glance reveals many effervescence streams within the body. Awesome lacing and well above average lacing.

S- Smell is quite chocolatey right from the pop of the cap. A very sweet chocolate...mixed with circus peanuts!

T- While the Belgian yeast strain isn't overpowering by any means, I do feel it is the focal point of Chocolate Abbey. Cloves, bubble gum...and to a lesser extent chocolate flavors come forward. Well hidden alcohol...my ABV detectors are telling me this clocks in right around 8.5%

M- Medium mouthfeel. Very small carbonation bubbles in the mouth

D/O- Fans of Belgian beers are going to love this one. If you're looking for a big chocolate beer you are going to want to keep moving, although I do understand the name. Mark this as another hit in the Thumbprint Series. Deb, Dan, and company have been on a roll lately.

Duff27, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of SrMonkey
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color like coke, forms a full tan head with rapidly vanishes. Aroma is sweet and fruity, banana upfront, cocoa after a few deep breaths. Taste really evolves. First few sips are dominated by cocoa. As it warms, the Belgian yeast take over, spice, clove, banana and other phenols dominate, with slight cocoa at the finish. On the thin side, lacking in body or carbonation. Really tasty, but I found myself enjoying those first sips the first.

SrMonkey, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of cdkrenz
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Brown body that allows just enough light through to say it does. A pale, light, airy head seems rather quick-lived but rising carbonation continues to contribute to its maintenance.

S - Chocolate, Belgian yeast esters, bananas, and bubble gum.

T - The chocolate darkens in the flavor and seems to even reach a coffee tone. It's a very complex group of flavors. It starts sweet, moves to deep dark roasted malts and then ends in mildly bitter malt taste.

M - An even array of mildly coarse textured carbonation throughout each pull.

~ This is a one of a kind dubbel. It's like nothing I've ever had before. This is a good example of how the folks at New Glarus are continuing to push their creative limits.

cdkrenz, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of iDrinknewglarus
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep ruby red. It is see through and very beautiful to look at. Some carbonation streams as the big ol' white head fizzles and resides. Minor lacing.

S: An underlying sweet chocolate aroma is behind a thick wall of fruit and spice. It smells delightfully sweet from the chocolate... is that bazooka bubble gum I smell? Yes! I have figured it out: it has a strong bubble gum scent like I've smelled in no other belgium.

T: I get cherries, then bubble gum, then spice and a slight touch of alcohol that really works for this beer and not against it. It is immensely drinkable (unknown ABV... around 7.5-8.0 I'd guess). The chocolate is all but absent in the flavor, but might contribute more to the mouthfeel. Aftertastes of bubble gum and cherries linger nicely. Very fruity and lots of bubble gum on this one.

M: Light and with nice carbonation. It is crisp and slick and leaves a shiny/waxy feeling after the halfway point.

Overall this was a delightful beer to sit down and drink. I've tasted none quite like it. My only gripe is that I was expecting and wishing for more chocolate smell and especially taste in this "chocolate" dubbel. I recommend picking this one up.

iDrinknewglarus, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of vitrael
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice very dark brown, clear beer with a small off-white head.

Smells powerfully of fruit and chocolate. The Belgian yeast smell is overwhelming the chocolate here, but its character is very particular and unique.

An unrelentingly fruity and chocolaty palate makes this beer rather difficult to describe in beer-terms. It is not unlike the flavor of black licorice, has just a hint of leather and a crisp bitterness.

Medium bodied with a clean finish and little lingering flavor.

A very unusual beer to be sure and I'm not quite sure how to rate. I rather doubt this one will see a second commercial run, but I've enjoyed the experiment.

vitrael, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of wisrarebeer
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$2.49/12 oz bottle from Discount Liquor in Milwaukee

A: deep, copper color, nice head that dissipated quickly to a very thin veil
S: leather and chocolate, sweet, full nose
T: strong malted barley with creamy chocolate notes, not my style but exactly what it's meant to be. too much chocolate than dubbel
M: creamy, rounded, cloying

wisrarebeer, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of crossovert
2.6/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz red foiled bottle.

It pours a brownish read with a foamy off-white head that dissipates with no lacing.

It pretty much smells like a bar of chocolate with a bit of soap and yeast.

The flavor is more like a dubbel. Very fruity. There is chocoalte in there. It is more of a fruit tasting beer than anything.

Dan usually makes good stuff but this is just frankensteinbrew right here.

crossovert, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of ChugginOil
3.55/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked a 4-pack up while i was in Wisconsin picking fresh apples. Good times.

Pours a honey brown color and ends pretty dark brown with amber hues around the edges. An ample amount of off-white head sits for a while.

Then nose brings notes of milk chocolate, Belgian yeast and spice, all lying within this dessert-like chocolate ale.

The taste is much similar to the nose. Chocolate notes, followed by a much familiar Belgian strain of yeast. Kind of like a chocolate banana sundae. Different and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a suiting amount of carbonation that sprays the flavors across the palate. aftertaste clings temporary without much development.

Overall, not my favorite style of beer but certainly interesting and tasty, Chocolate Abbey brings great chocolate and Belgian style flavors together to make a nice brew.

ChugginOil, Oct 03, 2011
Photo of mariposafan
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

Deep reddish brown body, just a little murky, topped with loose beige head. The head starts off fairly large but fades too quickly.

The aroma isn't in-your-face chocolatey but it's definitely there, mixing wonderfully with a subtle Belgian yeast spiciness and some sweetness.

As with the aroma the chocolate isn't overpowering, instead it's in harmony with the yeast. Some sweetness but not as much as I'd expected given the aroma. I do wish the yeast was a little more prominent but otherwise the flavor hits the same sweet spot that New Glarus seems to aim for - plenty of flavor without smashing you over the head with it.

Thinnish body with good carbonation. A little more viscosity and/or creaminess in the carbonation would have enhanced the decadence of the drink, though.

Synergy. Nothing really stands out to me and there are a few things I would like to see handled just a little differently, but once you put it all together I'd happily keep this around with my St Bernardus and Unibroue Belgians. In that regard it reminds me of their Stone Soup - a beer that's greater than the sum of it's component scores. Unique and very pleasing to drink.

mariposafan, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of sendsilk
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from BarrytheBear in a recent trade, Thanks!

A- Pretty frothy head on it, a little lighter in color than I would have thought.

S- Some notes of chocolate with some sour/odd Blegian yeast smell.

T- Some chocolate but the Belgian yeast completely overwhelms the flavor of it. Granted, I am not a fan of Belgian style ales but this is a bit too much.

M- Adequate.

O- Glad to have tried it but 1 is enough for me.

sendsilk, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of brewcrew76
4.33/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep brown with crimson and mahogany highlights. Foamy tan head quickly fades to a few patches of tan foam.

S - Wonderful aroma. Like a Belgian Dubbel dessert in a glass. Rich complex chocolate aroma. Milk chocolate mixed with cocoa, dark fruits, black cherry, Belgian yeast with hints of spice. I also get just a touch of whatever fruit flavor is in Red Bull. Interesting in a good way.

T - Cocoa and dark cherries, esters from the Belgian yeast are more pronounced than aroma, spice, light touch of dark fruits. The chocolate is more subtle and not as complex as the aroma.

M - Medium to heavy with a good amount of carbonation.

D - A great dessert beer paired with something else or by itself. One of the best aromas I have had in a beer.

brewcrew76, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

BeerFMAndy, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of Lemke10
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single 12oz bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for 2.59 in Fall 2011.

Pours a darker brown color with a fluffy off white head. Scents I'm picking out the most is a bannana yeast and malt scent. Taste is full of exploding flavors. It has a heavy taste of yeasty bread, dark chocolate, a dry hop finish. Definelty a dark, heavy beer that not everyone will like, but something I think all true BA's will want to sample.

Lemke10, Sep 29, 2011
Photo of BYOFB
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to Tempelier tulip.

Pours a clear deep brown color with a light manila colored head that fades relatively quickly and left legs of lacing down the glass.

Aroma is heavy on bananas and cocoa. A little spice and malt in the background.

Taste mirrors aroma for the most part. Tastes like a chocolate covered banana… A little spice and bubblegum in there as well. You can still tell it’s a dubbel though. Medium mouthfeel with a crisper carbonation than expected. Light cocoa flavor on the fairly crisp finish. Alcohol becomes noticeable, in a good way, as the beer warms.

I see this one pairing very well with a dark chocolate dessert.

Overall a very good dubbel that is definitely unique. I think/hope a bit of age on this one will mellow and meld some of the flavors a bit. Only one way to find out; buy a case and cellar a bunch!

BYOFB, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of Dohdaman
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Dohdaman, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of drumminbrewer
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fresh off the shelves - don't really know what to expect but I'm quite excited. Poured into my Scaldis glass...

Effervescent pour. Deep brown, mahogany/chestnut color. Quickly dissipating head that laces the glass on all sides.

Strong cocoa nose...like Nestle Quick, hint of vanilla, with strong malt presence in the background.

First sip - I have nothing to compare this to...It's on the smaller side of being bigger bodied, the chocolate is so present but it blends wonderfully with the "dubbel" style this seems to be working with...not a "cocoa bomb" like Arcadia's cocoa loco or southern tiers Chokolat - (however they spell that). Bit of alcohol there, certainly will die down a bit with even just a month in the bottle.

Short, clean finish (a la most New Glarus Beers that aren't fruit based). Taste it more in the front of my palate than anything...interesting.

As far as I'm concerned this is another winner from Brewmaster Dan. It doesn't fit into any category (apt for the "thumbprint" series. The overall only got a 3.5 from me because I wanted a bit longer of a finish, but this beer is so young right now that it may just need a month or two to sit. Excellent.

drumminbrewer, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of sherm1016
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a brown colow with a nice, off-white head. Aroma is chocolate, spicy, banana, a little yeasty. Medium on the palate with Soft, creamy carbonation. Flavor is sweet, chocolate, spice, yeast, with a dry, spicy finish. A very interesting beer. I let it warm up for a while, and I’m glad I did.

sherm1016, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of adman08
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours with lots of off-white, creamy head, over 2 fingers. The head leaves excellent lacing on the glass. Clear mahogany color.
S-Very obvious aroma of cocoa along with the typical spicy belgian abbey aroma with a hint of sweetness and vanilla.
T-A very distinct cocoa flavor with a belgian abbey flavor that adds some spice.
M-Lots of carbonation. Very thick and malty. Fairly high alcohol.
Overall, a very interesting beer. The chocolate is not overly sweet and really doesn't dominate. The beer is very balanced between the chocolate and the abbey style. I can taste the abbey ale very clearly and the chocolate along with it. I think this one might be an aquired taste but at the same time it's really well done. I've had chocolate beers before and they end up tasting like cake batter but this is much more balanced.

adman08, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of BarrytheBear
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Spent a cordial afternoon with the classic and the wife at the brewery today. Picked this up at the Depot on the way out. Newest in the Thumbprint series released, I believe, this weekend.

Pours a rusty red with mahogany highlights when backlit. Off white head is ample and retention is steady. Lacing is sporadic.

If ever a smell closely mimicked a past experience, this beer has it. Summer evenings at Dairy Queen, post baseball, often yielded access to the chocolate covered banana. I'm not even sure if this still exists, but man did this spark a bygone moment. Frozen milk chocolate, light ice cream, and banana: uncanny.

Taste offers much the same: frozen banana, Nestle Quick cocoa, snap of spicy yeast, and a modest though firm alcohol nip at the finish. Upon warming, this becomes a bit of a chore.

Mouthfeel is light yet rounded. The middle provides a depth that carries to the finish. As with most New Glarus beers. the finish is mostly clean. Finishes with a trace of tootsie roll sweetness.

I honestly have no idea how big or little this beer is. I'd guess in the 7.5 range, but that's purely conjecture. It's sort of a plodding experience. I'm not sure I'd grab more than one in a sitting and it's certainly not my favorite NG offering, but I'm happy to have had the opportunity.

Edit: I didn't really feel like finishing the glass, which doesn't bode well in my book. Not a personal favorite here.

BarrytheBear, Sep 18, 2011
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Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 246 ratings.