Thumbprint Barley Wine - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 327 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by MaxSpang:
4.5/5 rDev +15.7%
Served in a Belgian tulip. Enjoyed on 2-21-12.
This beer pours a slightly hazy orange-yellow-honey color. It's fairly light compared to other barleywines I've had, and it looks very much like an IPA or double IPA. The head was massive, about 3 fingers, and just the slightest bit off-white. It leaves some nice lacing along the side of the glass, and after the initial pour there is almost no carbonation bubbles to speak of.
This is a citrus bomb! Tons and tons of fresh hoppy aroma come out, bringing grapefruit, tangerine, and fresh orange zest. Some slight alcohol follows. I tend to enjoy the hop/alcohol combination, so it definitely works. There is a slight malt smell after the hop barrage. Like the bottle says, there is a bit of graham cracker detectible. Overall, WOW this brew smells fantastic.
Could it be? Is that MALT I taste?! Indeed it is! And plenty of it - I was worried that this was going to be like an IPA in terms of bitterness, but to my surprise there is a lot of sweet malt in this bad boy. It brings notes of caramel-covered graham crackers and toffee. The hops bring a wonderful complexity, bringing some old familiar favorites: citrus, tangerine, tropical fruits, mango, and everyone's favorite "cat piss". Yum. The booze is definitely evident. This beer drinks like a 12% ABV brew, which I think holds it back slightly. The flavor is wonderfully complex and intense, I very much dig.
For as big of a beer as this is, it's no struggle to drink. It drinks more like an imperial IPA than a barleywine, which can be a dangerous thing! It's not as thick as one would imagine, and it has a (dare I say it?) DRY finish! What a mindf**k. There's a medium-low amount of carbonation - perfect for this particular beer.
I usually don't like hoppy, American barley wines, but New Glarus just can't seem to get a bad beer past me. I was worried about this beer being too bitter, but the bitterness and hop character are just about perfect. I'm glad to taste the sugary-sweet malt mess that I like in barley wines. I'm also glad they made a BIG barleywine, not a casual 8-9% ABV barleywine. I can only imagine what this beer tastes like after a year or two of age on it.
VERY special thanks to Duff27 for sending me a whole 4 pack of this delicious brew.
02-22-2012 00:02:04 | More by MaxSpang
More User Reviews:
3.66/5 rDev -5.9%
Thanks to Mike for cracking this one; I always look forward to something I haven't had from New Glarus. This one has a shockingly light hue for a barley wine; deep golden yellow with a substantial haze throughout. The "head" fades insanely quick and settles as a stark-white ring around the top of the beer as it just sits, still and motionless.
The nose contains quite a bit of hops, especially considering the style. Florals, grassy hops, perfume, light citrus, tart lemon zest, and some herbs are spread out across a light blanket of some sticky caramel and toasted, bready malt.
The hop character seems to be a bit heavier than the malts, and the malts don't seem as dark or sweet as you think they'd be, considering the style. It almost reminds me of a super strong double IPA that's been sitting for a while and the hops have toned down to "not quite DIPA" levels.
Again, the first sip isn't screaming "barley wine", as the beer is actually quite hoppy. I've had hoppy barley wines, sure, but this one just doesn't seem to fit the style. Herbs, leaves, peppery, grassy, and full of underlying citrus; sweet and even mildly tart. Would be a pretty good hop bill for a D/IPA.
After a bit of some time, I finally start getting some barley wine essence; the malts open up and grow with warmth; sticky caramel, toffee, and quite a bit of sweet toast. There's also some apple-y sweetness in the finish that closes things out quite nicely, along with a subtle boozy warmth. The body is heavy and sticky like a barley wine should be, with minimal carbonation.
A little perplexing, that's for sure. Not quite the barley wine I was expecting, but it was still a pretty tasty brew. It took a while for me to come around to it, but in the end it was pretty good. Barley wine? Extra-malty DIPA? What's the difference, really? Far from New Glarus's best offering, but still worth a try.
06-28-2013 11:46:39 | More by tectactoe
3.85/5 rDev -1%
12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.
LOOK: Brilliant robust golden color, two fingers of thick head
SMELL: Marmalade, green peppercorn, faint leather, passion fruit, rose water, alcohol, light caramel, crackers
TASTE: Incredibly smooth, creamy, full body, dry biscuits, yeast, ripe exotic fruit, pulling hop bitterness, leafy, mint, hop resin, citric rind, peppery, floral, big alcohol, lingering clean graininess in the boozy semi-bittersweet finish.
Bit of a booze bomb, a sipping brew all the way. I can understand the brewers intention but it just does not hit me the right way fully. Fun to drink? Sure, just make sure you sip it or share a bottle ... that might be better.
03-28-2012 04:41:03 | More by Jason
2.95/5 rDev -24.2%
A - Almost a burnt orange, pencil thin white head- dissipates very quickly but sticking to the rim, light carbonation rising
S - Aged fruit - pineapple, cherry, apple, orange, very hoppy, and booze
T - Ripe pineapple, carmel, orange, apple. finish: hoppy booze
M - Moderate frothiness, good coverage around the mouth. acidity pricks the tongue. low viscosity.
O - Most different color ive seen in a barley wine. Missing the toffee malt backbone. Certainly a sipper at 12 abv. Very hop centered- no doubt its American. But the ripe pineapple isn't pleasant- far too sweet. Get no taste of the 'Toasty Graham cracker'. I am pretty disappointed in NG with this. Three more will certainly sit in the cellar. We'll check back in a few years. Hopefully this pineapple/booze can simmer down a bit.
06-19-2013 01:24:38 | More by weonfire
4/5 rDev +2.8%
Thanks to Wendall for this one!
A: Pours a clear orange color with a small white head on top. Not much retention reducing to an extremly thin cap on top. Thin, but sticky lacing forms on most of the glass.
S: Extremely hoppy, but not like Bigfoot. Lots of pine and citrus - plenty of rind. Very faint alcohol tinge.
T: Not as hoppy as the aroma, but still plenty of citrus with some malty sweetness backing it up. A little bit of bready malt as it warms.
M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks very easy and smooth.
O: Very different compared to most barleywines I have had, and I quite like this one. Doesn't come off all heavy and malty, but a bit lighter with lots of hops coming through.
04-09-2012 01:43:18 | More by mdaschaf
3.91/5 rDev +0.5%
An American strong ale. Big bubbly head on clear orange body. Lacey.Lots of orange aroma, and orange taste. Honeyish, caramel. Leaning on the bitter side with a hop bitter and dry finish. Lots of flavour, a dangerously drinkable beer, and a good high alcohol beer for a cold night.
03-12-2013 13:55:49 | More by Sammy
3.48/5 rDev -10.5%
This is the Unplugged Barleywine. NOT the Unplugged Iced Barleywine. 12oz. bottle poured into a Cigar City snifter. Shared with schen9303.
Pours a 1 finger fine white head with moderate retention. Beer is clear orange copper. Lacing is stringy and thick with little stick. Solid, especially given the style.
Nose is caramel, molasses, tree sap, citrus, and cane sugar. Nice and crisp but at the same time, lacking that certain robustness.
Opens sweet citrus, mango, and papaya. Tree sap and cane sugar in the middle. Pineapple. Caramel and sap hoppiness at the end. Finishes sweet caramel. Toffee in the aftertaste. Solid.
Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Bubbly and prickly in the mouth. The same going down. Messy finish with a lingering aftertaste. A bit thin.
A nice offering from New Glarus but overall, this one lacks the body and robustness required for the style. Not sure of the aging potential of this one. Still though, fresh, its a decent beer and worth trying.
06-26-2012 02:04:23 | More by SpeedwayJim
3.65/5 rDev -6.2%
12oz single from my madison "connect"
appearance: served in an oversized snifter, bright glowing orange-amber body, thick white cream but only light lacing
smell: very hop-forward, grassy citrus, honey, booze
taste: pretty deviant from the style - huge honey notes, grassy and herbal, stinging citrus hops, pretty large alcohol bite, low residual sweetness. I dont know - not crazy about this
mouthfeel: oily, creamy medium body
overall: well crafted, but not crazy about the direction
06-15-2012 04:47:28 | More by dirtylou
3.1/5 rDev -20.3%
Pours out a slightly dark orange in color with a tiny white head with little retention.
Smell is muted and hard to get much. I smell a little caremal and thats about it - just a tiny bit of sweetness. Taste is nice but nothing really not sticks out. There's definately some caremal sweetness, a tad bit of booze but really is hardly noticable (even at 12 ABV). I definately would drink this again but it really isn't anything I would seek out. Just nothing really great. Sure it's good but nothing better than average.
FWIW everybody seemed to rate this high and find charactoristics that I just couldn't. I do always seem to have signs of allergys so maybe that's affecting my review but I seem to always have that stuffy nose and can pick things out in most other beers.
01-25-2012 21:37:59 | More by Crass3000
4.1/5 rDev +5.4%
poured into a pint glass
appearance: pours a golden brown, translucent, with a 1" foamy white head. honestly, it looks like an octoberfest/marzen type of beer, if this was blind id be very surprised to find out this is a barley wine
aroma: i cant believe it, this is a barley wine, and i smell oranges. dont know how they pulled that one off. also a sweet background to it, nothing sticks out tho
palate: medium body, a little tangy/stingy on the tongue, sits well in the mouth tho, fairly smooth
taste: a great balance to this beer. i get the hops and citrus, but very toned down for each. everything about this looks and feels like an ipa, and then the graham cracker flavor hits you with some malty flavors that reminds you this is something special. well done NG!
overall: a very tasty and unique brew from wisconsin's best brewery! very happy they decided to release this one this year, hurry up and get it while it lasts!
01-13-2012 23:32:19 | More by mobius387
3.61/5 rDev -7.2%
Hazy orange body with a thin off white head. The orange is pretty vibrant and looks more like a west coast style ipa than anything else.
The smell is toasty, grainy, hints of bubble gum, pine, and apricot.
I hate using descriptions from the bottle for reviews, but it says toasted graham crackers and I'll go with that. The bubble gum shows up in the flavor and then becomes very grainy. It seems to be all over the place. The finish is like crushed aspirin.
Mouthfeel has prickly carbonation with a boozy burn.
This one is actually kind of a mess and misses the style for sure. It goes in so many strange directions that just don't mesh.
02-02-2013 04:07:43 | More by Vonerichs
Thumbprint Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 327 ratings.