Thumbprint Barley Wine - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine

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BA SCORE
86
very good

117 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 345
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 7.03%
Wants: 56
Gots: 66 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mobius387 on 01-13-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thumbprint Barley Wine Alström Bros
Reviews: 117 | Hads: 345
Photo of cosmicevan
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to mnbearsfan for the sweet extra! enjoyed from my "E" snifter.

a - brew poured a transparent orange with a finger full of off white head that hung out for a bit, but dissolved to a a thin layer of fizzy head.

s - nice citric hop profile, kind of smells like a hoppy pale or a timid/faded ipa. not the big bold odor that i that i would expect for a barley, but pleasant none-the-less.

t - flavor is JUST like the nose. subtle citric hoppiness reminiscent of a hoppy pale or a faded ipa. nice and soft...NO sign of the booze that this one carries. bug again, not very barleywine like...but tasty.

m - a bit fizzy, the ABV is hidden extremely well. a bit thin for such a big beer, but dangerously drinkable.

o - overall, not very barleywine like, but a tasty soft easy drinking beer with a HUGE ABV that is hardly noticeable. yet another beer that makes me sad that NG doesn't distribute to me. hopefully some day this brewery will make it out of WI to the east coast. (982 characters)

Photo of emyers
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy golden color with a very thin white head dissipating quickly.

Smell: Caramel with a touch of herbal hops. It's pretty one dimensional, but the aroma is nice and strong and quite good, so I approve.

Taste: Once again very strong on the caramel, with some herbal hops and raisins. Very slight alcohol heat and grassy hops on the finish. Once again, this beer has a fairly one dimensional flavor profile, but it doesn't lose too many points there. It also doesn't come off as overly sweet, which many English barleywines do to my palate, so it gets some points there.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, medium body. I'd like a bit more body and a bit less carbonation, but it still comes off quite smooth.

Overall: A very solid English barleywine. It doesn't particularly excel in any one area, but it's very good all around. (849 characters)

Photo of Hanby
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden/ reddish with a finger of off-white head. Held against the light, it looks like a wheat field under the setting sun (poetic, I know.)
Smell: Graham crackers and hops.
Taste: Good balance of malty sweetness with subtle hops. The malt stands out the most, with a somewhat sweet graham cracker flavor. The hops are present but subtle, keeping the beer from being too sweet.
Mouthfeel: Full, sweet, and crisp. Big alcohol presence.
Overall: I really enjoyed this barley wine. It was more than I expected: the stand-out flavor is definitely in the graham cracker malt, but it is balanced by a subtle hop presence that I enjoyed. Very good beer. The one complaint may be a little too much booze-taste. It is 12% ABV, which, I think, is normal for a barley wine. But it was a little much. Overall, though, very good. (829 characters)

Photo of jbaker67
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
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 (435 characters)

Photo of ChimRichels
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Not at all what I was expecting... A very bright murky orange color with about an inch of head that dissipates to about 1/8 inch pretty quickly.

S - Smells like an extreme blast of hops. So far this beer is all DIPA. Sugary sweetness is tied in there as well along with a touch of alcohol.

T - It is strongly hopped. Like DIPA hopped. but it has quite the body to hold up to it. Sweet and rich with a strong bite of tangy citrus to keep things balanced.

M - Really smooth and thick in the mouth, the hop adds a nice tingle in the back of the throat.

O - Solid beer, however this drank like a straight DIPA, not a barleywine. Still delicious, however. (658 characters)

Photo of pmarlowe
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tulip glass. Managed to cut my finger on the foil, ugh.

A: Pours crystal clear, light golden with a finger of light beige head. Good retention and a few streaks of lace. Looks like a pale ale.

S: Crystal malt, honey, apple, some graininess, a touch of caramel.

T: Mostly malt, honey, coriander, with gripping bitterness throughout the sip and a little sweetness on the finish.

M: Medium-full body and medium light carb. Hides the alcohol well.

O: More reminiscent of a clean, strong golden ale or something. There are no hops left. (537 characters)

Photo of don1481
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12o bottle poured into glass.

Look: Pours a hazy orange-ish with a decent amount of bubbling on the inside. Off-white head that lingers and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Quite hoppy, even after 3 years. Not much else seems to get past that, maybe a little toffee.

Taste: More smooth than the overpowering hop smell would have indicated. A complex taste, some citrus notes, maybe a little sweetness to balance the hops. I like it better than Bigfoot, but not as much as barrel-aged barleywines such as CW.

Feel: Pretty clean, slight hoppy aftertaste and a slight stickiness.

Overall: Good. Would like to see a barrel-aged version of this appear. Could be intriguing. (704 characters)

Photo of jmarsh123
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with a 1 finger white head that faded almost immediately leaving just a trace of lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, bready malts and tropical fruit hops.

Bright tropical fruit hop presence hits the front of the tongue. Brown sugar and graham cracker give it a sweetness in the middle and it finishes with a bit of piney bitterness although the caramel flavor is also present. Finishes with a touch of alcohol as well although not harsh.

Medium body for a BW with lowish carbonation.

Definitely an American Barleywine although the hops aren't as strong as some others I've had. It's a bit too boozy to do more than sip on it and I doubt I'd want more than one in one setting, but still good. (711 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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. (281 characters)

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ng barleywine

a 3.5-4 fairly hard pours raises a one finger barely off-white head above a clear light amber body. a cap stays around a while. too dang clear and light for a barleywine imo.

s 4-4.5 lots of orange rind, candied pineapple, and a little pine and bread. no appreciable abv is noted. hard to believe 12%

t 3.5-4 the power is noticed on the tongue. oily sloshing around the mouth with a spicy zing. cannot help but be reminded of hopslam, though there is more alcohol bite here. the finish is on the bitter and spicy side. some butterscotch sweetness is there but it is playing backup at the moment. does seem more like a boozy dipa than a barleywine. as the glass wears on, the lack of malt complexity and the accumulating bitterness make the beer seem a little less companionable.

m 4 resiny, medium+ bodied, leaves things a bit dry and puckery, but with enough wet to keep it from being unpleasant.

o 4 my first sips revealed a beer that is a little challenging yet potentially rewarding, a beer with some character, which is a surprise given it's ng. this is a beer i would actually like to monitor as it ages. it certainly seems worth having now and again--but is there enough interesting malt in there to make it great after a time? my guess it will age a lot like hopslam. (1,296 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (687 characters)

Photo of angrybabboon
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this

Consumed 7/13/12

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly clear copper color - moderately sized, off-white head - fades to a nice ring, leaves some lacing

Smell: A bit mild - looks too clear to be a barleywine, but it smells like one - cooked malts, cooked grains, grainy bread, and multigrain crackers - hops are prevalent here as well, with some citrus, pine, herbal notes, and earthy notes - some fruit, some alcohol

Taste: Rich - very malty, with a lot of cooked malts, caramelized malts, caramel, and dry crackers - sweet, but not sugary, just malty - complex, but not exceptional depth for the style - herbal citrus and pine, slightly resinous - bitter, with a lingering pithy character - some booze, becomes "a lot of booze" as it warms up

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, chewy, with some alcohol heat - could use a little more carbonation, maybe a little less booze

Overall: A tasty barleywine

This is a very hoppy and very boozy barleywine. Definitely a sipper. It's tasty, but a bit harsh for what I personally want in a barleywine. The malts could also be a tad more interesting. It might get better over time, but sadly this is my only bottle. (1,201 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz into a tulip. About 1 and a half years old, probably.

A: Pours a slightly murky dark orange with a nice white head.

S: Mellow pine resin and candi sugar, light booze, papaya, a bit leafy.

T: Hops still going strong, but probably have mellowed a bit since the release. Grapefruit juice, tree sap, resinous, sweet grain, light grassy bitterness, tangerine, biscuit malt.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

O: Still a good hoppy barleywine, but I don't see any reason to age this one. If they brew it again I'll pick it up fresh. (542 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- light transparent caramel color, with a 1 finger dirty white head. Few clumps of bubbles cling to the glass.

S- sweet malts and a ton of citrus (orange rinds), some booze is noticeable as well.

T- sweet caramel at first followed by a big punch of citrus. Decent citrus hop bitterness but not overwhelming.

M- medium body, creamy. Abv not as noticeable in taste and feel as in nose.

O- solid American Barleywine. Many will say this is just a boozy dipa, but this has a slight more malt sweetness to it. (537 characters)

Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Hazy Orange with a very thick wispy look to it, giving it a very unfiltered look.

Smell - Sweet Caramel, Toffee, Hops, and Malts with hints of Molasses

Taste - Very similar to the smell. With Caramel, Toffee, Molasses, Malts and Citrus Hops. There is however a noticeable booziness/alcohol flavor which does detract from the flavor itself

Mouthfeel - Light and somewhat thick but not to a chewy extent.

Overall - It's a decent barleywine and a good effort, but the flavor could've been a little less boozy. For what it is, it's still pretty good. (564 characters)

Photo of THANAT0PSIS
3.84/5  rDev 0%
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 (3,143 characters)

Photo of TWStandley
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appeared a brilliantly clear golden red color with a 2 finger off white head.

Smells malty and sweet with a decently strong hop presence.

Very smooth and light tasting for a barleywine. Alcohol hidden well. Slight fruitness and a bit of a tart taste.

Mouthfeel is a bit too thin and a bit too carbonate for the style. Abv is well hidden though.

Not bad....pretty refreshing for a barley. (391 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at AndrewK’s tasting.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is an alcohol kick and a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty strong. (565 characters)

Photo of KBomb
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright and clear copper color with a half inch head that disappears quickly, leaving behind some swirly lacing and just a cluster of soapy bubbles. Appearance resembles and IIPA.

Smell is of grapefruit citrus and a honey sweet/estery malt.

At first sip the flavor is a really bright and sweet mix of hop flavors: citrus, floral, tea-like. Malt flavor is mostly undetectable. The finish is a little rough; a more plain-bitter aftertaste that is not nearly as pleasant as the beginning of the sip.

Mouthfeel is a little sticky, not surprising considering the style. Some fine, assertive carbonation balances it nicely.

This is a stark departure from the Barleywine NG made a few years ago. The array of hop flavors at first is delightful, but ultimately fails to live up to hope without adequate malt backing and poor aftertaste. Worth trying, but won't make a "best of" list. (879 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into tulip glass. Pours a very clear orange-brown with a very thin off-white head. Aroma has citrus fruits, some pine and resin. Taste brings sweet hops, honey, some lemony bitterness and a bit of malt back. Very crisp and clean. Syrupy flavor depth without the thickness. Finishes with some length and some alcohol. Not like any barleywine I’ve had; the alcohol content is there, but this is much more citrus hoppy and light fruits than dark grapey or raisiny fruits. Overall, a decent barley wine from one of my favorite breweries. (559 characters)

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Big thanks to Schlais for the crazy extra hookup.

Appearance: A surprising dark gold. Head is bright-white with a decent retention. Head is small, creamy, tight, and leaves some moderate streaks of lacing. Minimal carbonation on the whole thing.

Smell: Solid hit of pine, citrus, and a big floral note. Malts are big and bready. Some seriously cooked malts and grains. Vaguely biscuity. Hints of flower petals and fresh baked bread. Lots of grain, like multigrain bread or crackers. Too varied to really pull anything in particular out. Hits close to marmalade on the citrus scale. Very full and sweet without being cloying. Light hit of caramel and deeper sugars, a bit different for what I expect from the style.

Taste: Grapefruit zest. Marmalade and a touch of pine. Malts are sweet, pushing touches of caramel and toffee. Bready and biscuity in good measure. Huge hit of alcohol on the back of each sip. Seriously cooked malts. Slight resin. Touch of alcohol grows to a big smack of heat as the beer warms. Lots of malt flavor, but not as complex as would be expected given the slightly toasted, sweet, caramel, biscuit, and such coming from the malts. Nice balance.

Mouthfeel: A moderate-full body. A bit chewy at times. Minimal carbonation. Solid dryness on the back from the alcohol.

Overall: A partial Thumbprint.

Not the most complex barleywine out there, but it's unique. A bit of a mess, but a year might help settle things down a bit. A nice big balance of malts and hops. A big beer all around. (1,514 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a really nice honey-amber color with just a touch of a white head that quickly disappeared into a nice white ring. Clear beer, some touches of orange and red hues in there.

S - Malt forward, nice hop presence. Bit of burnt sugar, caramel, and whiff of booze.

T - Slight taste of burnt brown sugar with a touch of lactic sourness on the end. Pretty smooth, alcohol is well hidden for something at 12%. It's got a lot of hop character, and is really clean when you first start drinking it. At first, you might mistake it for a really big IPA. Lots of malt and sugar up front.

M - Crisp, smooth, lower carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Solid beer, if you like hoppy barleywines, this is pretty good. Smooth, alcohol is well hidden. (740 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled earlier....

Amber with a etched form atop a hazy beer. vanilla, nougat, caramel, bits of floral hops. Flavor is caramel, crystalized hops, tea, sweet wort, bits of belgian candy sugar. Nice flavor. Medium bodied with tight, sharp carb and a semi dry finish. Nice beer. (277 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle opened on 11.8.12

A - Pours a cloudy orange with a red tint. A small off-white, fizzy head forms and fades rapidly.

S - Sweet malt, citrus, carmel.

T - Carmel malt, rye bread, orange citrus, alcohol burn.

D - Good carbonation, with a heavier body, hot finish.

O - Pretty mild, but well carbonated. Pretty hot on the finish. (340 characters)

Photo of abrand
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a yellow/orange color with a nice 2 finger head that quickly fades. Nice brightness to the pour. Smell is full of sugar with some hops as well. Lots of sweetness on the nose. Taste is quite complex but sugar is still dominating the palate. As it warms some malts and hops come forward. Still a good tasting barleywine. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and sticky. Overall a very enjoyable barleywine. (444 characters)

Thumbprint Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.