Thumbprint Barley Wine - New Glarus Brewing Company
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Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 114 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by THANAT0PSIS:
3.75/5 rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
New Glarus Thumbprint Barley Wine
Appearance: New Glarus’ take on the barley wine style pours a cloudy, golden, honey-colored, viscous liquid. A creamy finger and a half or so of off-white head forms at the top, but quickly disappears leaving only slight alcohol legs and an even slighter crust. Spotty lacing is left behind all over the glass, but it does not stick around, probably due to the high alcohol content. This is a good-looking example of the style, yet more head à la the excellent Bigfoot from the impossibly consistent folks at Sierra Nevada. Nevertheless, this one packs more of an alcohol punch than Bigfoot, so less head and less lacing are to be expected.
Aroma: First whiff gives an interesting and delicious scent akin to citrus fruit mingling with sugary sweetness that is usually elicited from freshly baked sugar cookies. There is a slight tartness to the smell as well, as if one took that citrus glazed sugar cookie recipe and put sour cream in the dough. Add to this delectable smell a particular creaminess and maltiness and the drinker’s nose is in for a treat.
Taste: This beer is huge. The hop flavor is everywhere, ranging from orange to tangerine to lemon to pineapple and just hits on a sour apple note somewhere in the mouth. The bitterness is there, but contained by the other component of the flavor: the sweet malt. The malt fights tooth and nail against the hops the whole way down the throat leaving a strange, yet balanced taste in its wake. Honestly, as another reviewer said, this beer tastes less like a barley wine and more like a ridiculous imperial IPA. There is a faint grapey sourness that may be from improper storage or another pre-opening factor that is slightly unpleasant. It has that Midas Touch from Dogfish Head sort of wine-esque quality to it that really does not fit in with this style. What is even more unfortunate is that the vinegary sourness is the taste that lingers. Lastly, the alcohol comes through ever so slightly in the very end of the taste. It is not a bad tasting beer, but it is an odd example of the style.
Mouthfeel: As with the rest of the categories, the feeling on the palate is huge. This beer is thick, sticky, viscous, and just fills the mouth with an undeniable fullness. There is a mild carbonation as well, but nothing ridiculous. This does not hurt the distribution of the taste because of how enormous this beer is in flavor. The alcohol that imparted a bit of taste also gives a certain warming quality that is always welcome, especially going into the cold months as we are now.
Overall: Perhaps this is a bad bottle for taste, but the vinegar sourness really threw me off. I had this one a while back (when it first came out this past winter), and have been saving this bottle since. Perhaps something happened that threw off the taste, but I do remember the bottles I had before having a strange, wine-like characteristic to them that was definitely off-putting. It is an example of the style that is possibly worth seeking out if you are a barley wine fan, but New Glarus could certainly do better. Hopefully in the future they will. 16/20
Serving type: bottle
10-12-2012 00:47:40 | More by THANAT0PSIS
More User Reviews:
3.95/5 rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bright and hazy golden yellow pour with a froth of white foam. Aroma is heavy caramel, toffee, raisin, crackers, and thick, sweet malt with pine and hop bitterness on the finish. Taste is very smooth with a heavy toffee/english style barley wine malt flavor presenting plum, raisin, etc. that is nicely complimented by pine and hop bitterness with some alcohol heat slipping through on the tail end of the sip. Clean, coating mouthfeel
Serving type: bottle
01-03-2014 21:05:05 | More by jbaker67
Thumbprint Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.