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Thumbprint Barley Wine - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

117 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 117
Hads: 347
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 55
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
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Reviews: 117 | Hads: 347
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.

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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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to BeerFMAndy for getting a box of New Glarus out to me. Served in a New Glarus taster glass.

Pours a fairly-clear caramel color with a thin white head. Retention is a bit weak, quickly falling to a thin collar. The nose has some sweet malt with some light fruits and a good dose of bread plus caramel. Some lingering hops contribute a bit of bitterness to the flavor, and there's some warming booze in the background. Medium-full body with a good dose of residual sugar. Decent, but not a standout.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear light amber color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of light cookie dough with some caramelized malt and some light toffee. Taste is an interesting mix between some dry caramelized malt notes with light cookie dough notes and some light toffee, the whole mix is note as sweet as I was expecting. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed with great level of complexity.

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Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright sunset orange color, jewel tone clarity, thin skim of foam across the top, leaving a bare halo of lacing around the edges of the glass.

Dried papaya, orange peel, boooze. As it warms the alcohol is less than subdued, and pretty overt.

Tastes fruity with plenty of tropical hop character, papaya, mango, and citrus. This is at the edge of its descent into mellowness though, but the fruity hoppiness is still prevalent. Creamy smooth feel and plenty drinkable, though clearly an ass kicker. Best served up with hearty food. Yes it's hoppy, and that's a good thing.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Was in a barleywine mood and I had this from a trade with Duff27; thanks again, buddy! 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with foiled over branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high; I love a lot of beers from this brewery and Duff27 insists the thumbprint series beers are the best. Brewed with Styrian Goding, Willamette, Columbia, and Sterling hops.

Served straight from the fridge (per label instructions it should be 45 degrees F) and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with salted pretzels.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of slight cream, okay thickness, and good (~4 minute) retention for the high ABV. No lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a surprisingly bright pale clear copper. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks more like an IPA than a barleywine. Fairly vibrant. It's caught me a bit off-guard, but it's generally appealing for the style. There's nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt flaws. I'm excited to try it.

Sm: Surprisingly hoppy, actually. Floral hop character, juicy citrus, clean bright malts, and some nectary hop character. Boy, this seems more like a wheatwine than a barleywine. There's definite pungent fruit here; mango and other vaguely tropical fruits come to mind - all bright fruits. The heavy malt build I'd expect from a barleywine is not present here; it's surprisingly hop-centric. Light caramel. Sweet, evoking Belgian candi sugar. Sweetbread. Honey. Light orange. Ripe fruit is dominant. Pineapple. A pretty strong aroma, but not at all what I was expecting. Still, I'm looking forward to trying it. New Glarus rarely goes a direction we expect. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Ripe fruit and caramel, with the sweet candi sugar body beneath it. Hrm. Tropical fruit is complemented by a large dose of hop character - which feels unwelcome here. I get acidic pineapple (especially on the finish), a touch of over-ripe orange, lots of pineapple, light cidre-like apple, a bit of white plum, lychee, and crystal malt. Seems more like the wheatwines I've had than the barleywines I've had. Lacks a dark toffee-like malty build. This is not what I'm used to - or particularly what I like - in a barleywine. Overly hoppy. Alcohol has definite presence here, but I wouldn't call it hot - just boozy. Little yeast character, if any. Balanced and fruity. Complex and well put together, but it may lack needed subtlety. This is more a fresh blast of hops with a fruity bright malt body than the refined toffee-like caramel build I expect in a good barleywine.

Mf: Good carbonation. Smooth and wet. Rather thick, with a heavy body. Palate presence is good, but it is a bit overwhelming. Crisp. Suits the flavour profile well, but it does have a bit of a bite. It's very filling. Acidity is a touch high for the style.

Dr: It's a sipper. The 12% does hit. I'll have no trouble finishing this one, but I may have expected too much based solely on the brewery. For my specific tastes, this isn't a particularly satisfying barleywine, but it may hit home for others. I got none of the "toasty graham cracker" notes described on the label. A pretty decent barleywine from New Glarus, but not up to par with many of their other beers. I'm glad I got to try this one; thanks again, Duff27! Maybe 3-5 years of age would do this one some good.

High C

03.27.15 live (heavily truncated) impressions of a bottle again provided by Duff27:

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Upon pouring, I immediately notice a strangely prominent sweetness and fruitiness. The build seems candied and bugglegummy, and never introduces the notes I've come to love in a good barleywine. Overly sweet, and below average in aromatic strength.

The taste is just as the aroma promised...which is to say troublesome. The balance is off - tipped too far towards sweetness - and the texture just doesn't fit the taste; It's oddly dry, parching, and it emphasizes the subtle spiciness of the yeast a bit too much. Not a gestalt beer, but an okay one for what it is.

This isn't the quality you'd expect/hope for from one of the USA's best breweries, but it's not awful and I'll finish it (albeit with some effort). A rare miss from New Glarus; this is direly overhopped and bitter for the style.

High D+

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, citrus, alcohol and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus that are followed by a mild alcohol sting. Then a strong but not over-powering and very 2IPA-like hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are other beers in the style that I would choose first.

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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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles from both d0b and joshuaseresse - thanks guys! Served in an Alchemist pint glass.

A - Voluminous orange-tinged foam has excellent retention - I had to wait a while before I could actually start to drink the beer. When it eventually settles there's tons of creamy glass-coating lace left behind. Transparent dark golden body with some slow-moving bubbles. A bit light for the style, but otherwise very attractive.

S - This is one insanely hoppy barleywine - all I can smell is pine, herbs, and bitter citrus, with perhaps a hint of cat pee and alcohol in the background. At one point I caught the faintest glint of sugary malt, but I may have imagined it - the malt is otherwise a neutral, crackery, and unobtrusive.

T - The taste has a tad more malt sweetness, but this is largely citrus, with some herbal notes and alcohol bite in the finish. There's also a mildly nutty character to the malt bill. Reminds me more of some triple IPAs I've than a typical 'barley wine'.

M - Smooth, medium-full body, with lower but active carbonation. Actually a tad watery for 12%. Pretty low alcohol warmth considering there's some booze in the aroma. Chewy, viscous, and fairly dry and resinous in the end.

D - Not what I was expecting - very low sweetness but with tons of hop character. While alcohol is present it's not out-of-line for the listed 12% and should mellow in time - I think the sharp herb and pine character of the hops probably exacerbates the alcohol presence anyway. I actually found this pretty easy to drink, and ended up pacing myself so that I wouldn't fall asleep working this evening. Another well-crafted New Glarus beer that's worth checking out.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Thorpe, served in a snifter, beer is yellow and mostly clear with a white head, one finger, small bubbles, no lacing, moderate retention, moderate carbonation.

Aroma is plain and sweet with a mild malt and a little cider.

Beer is medium in body and drinkable, sweet and nice throughout with a good finish. It is a fine little beer but a little too dry on the finish and has this mild cidery sense to it. Interesting but not great. I don't think I'll repeat.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is crystal clear, appearing a light golden color. Mild effervescence and a lasting quarter inch of white head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma brings malt, caramels, alcohol, maybe a hint of butterscotch candy. Alcohol presence is nicely disguised. This one could sneak up on you in a hurry. Malty, fruity, a tad sweet. Hop presence shines in the finish, offering a light bitterness. Overall, I thought this was really solid. I would have this again.

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Photo of billab914
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Devil's Backbone tulip. It poured orange amber in color with a thin but frothy head covering the top.

The aroma has a bready, biscuity, slight caramal flavor coming out of the malts. I get a good amount of hoppiness to it as well which gives it a moderate citrusy and fruity presence. It's got a little bit of a candied orange flavor to it. Pretty good balance of hoppy and malty. As it warmed though more of a alcohol heat started to come out.

The taste also has a pretty big hoppiness to it with grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness throughout. The maltiness comes through as more of a sweeter, candied orange like flavor. Bitter, citrus rind lingers well after the finish. A little alcohol heat is there in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being average. Overall it was a pretty de centbeer, but the maltiness was a little too reserved and one dimensional for my preferences in the style. The hoppiness just seemed to dominate a little too much, especially in the citrus rind, bitter, finish. I think this could have easily been labeled a DIPA and I wouldn't have questioned it much. I got a lot of alcohol heat to it as well that didn't help. Good beer overall, but not one that stands out in the style for me.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a clouded dull copper with a retentive off white head; light lace. Toasted malt, caramel, resin, light fruit. Fruity, piney and caramel malt to start and a slightly dry, earthy, hoppy finish. A little too sweet and boozy for my taste, but nothing wrong here.

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Photo of liamt07
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from mscarpen, 12oz into a tulip. Thanks Scott!

Hazy darker orange with a couple fingers of white head - nice lace and retention. Lovely nose - oranges, tangerines, sugary sweet, cookie dough and caramel. Almost like a bigger maltier imperial IPA. Taste is super malty upfront, sugary, alcohol, caramel accented greatly by the hops, citrus, with some grass and light spiciness to them. Full feel, not too sticky. Bitter finish, no alcohol save for some warmth in the throat. A lovely, citrusy barleywine.

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Photo of Duff27
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Very pleasant looking clear light amber bodies beer, half-inch white head. A couple dozen streams of effervescence float on upward. Good head retetnion and nice lacing.

S- Citrus hops, a touch of booziness.

T- Juicy citrus. Low end of malt complexity, agreed. I feel like the booze is the biggest player in this beer.

M- On the thicker end of mouthfeel, carbonation fits.

D/O- This beer really does straddle the line between DIPA and barleywine. A good beer but not as outstanding as what I envisioned when I heard New Glarus was coming out with a barleywine again. I think this could be a good candidate for aging and one beer that will benefit with 2 to 3 years on it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear light amberish orange color with good carbonation leaving a nice white cap and bubbles

S: Booze and big hop wallop, neither of which being bad

T: Immediate hop blast with citrus, light pine and some tropical fruit being very prevelant if not dominant. A bit bready, nice booze sting with a good dose of sugar in this.

M: Very nice, well carbonated but one dimensional. Stinging, acidic at times, warming but no letdown on the palate

O: This beer is what it is..a big, mega hopped American barleywine that leans to the lighter end of the spectrum..much like a Hog Heaven. I suspect this will cellar well oeaking in about five years

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Photo of aasher
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's bottle was courtesy of Dave E. Thanks man!

This barley wine pours a medium bodied bright copper in color with a slight white lacing around the glass. It's definitely lighter in color than most barley wines. The nose is light and sweet. It's fruity and features aromas of pear, apple, honey, and golden almost Belgian malt with some alcohol near the finish. All in all, interesting and Im glad the alcohol is somewhat restrained. The flavors too have nice complexity, featuring the aforementioned fruity bouquet. It's almost like a DIPA that is past it's prime. The flavor profile would never lead you to believe that this is 12%. It drinks light and doesn't have as much residual sugar as it could. I appreciate that. Overall this is a nice barley wine and another nice beer from the Thumbprint series.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle poured into tulip 28/5/13 cheers MasterSki and Sean9689 for sending the bottle

A glows an orange amber with a slight haze due to tiny suspended particles, looks a little flat but there's two fingers of soapy foam that's gone before I really observed it and leaves a few random patches of lace

S smells of candied pineapple and wheaty cereal, caramels strong with a little pine, It smells more like a DIPA and that suits me fine

T some tropical hops work well, this would've been an absolute palate wrecker fresh, a little booze but if this has the 12% behind it that I see listed I'm impressed with how well they concealed the booze

M thick and syrupy and it takes some effort to pull my lips apart, shes one sticky brew, slick after the fact with a DIPA like piney caramel aftertaste, if this is really 12% I'm impressed because other then my sideways walking and my head heating up there's not a whole lot of booze proof

O hopped to hell BW and I'm happy with that, hits all the spots and I don't even know if I'd want to age a bottle

my bottle's stamped 3611 on the neck and according to Fresh Beer Only that would mean this was bottled Feb, 2011, if that's the case I'm worried how this tastes fresh. young BW?, old DIPA? either way I'd drink another

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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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a hazy dark orange hue. Produced quite a nice head of white froth for the style. Solid retention and nice clumps of lacing left behind.

(S)- Quite fruity on the nose. Lots of honey, candied fig, orange, and pineapple. An equally heavy sweetness behind that.

(T)- Fairly similar to the smell. A very up front malty sweetness of honey, fig, and orange from the smell. Finishes fairly dry and slightly piney with bits of resin and graham cracker here and there.

(M)- A solid carbonation level and balance. Big malt body, but balanced and integrated together well. The bitterness does get to be quite high as it warms.

(O)- First time reviewing this, but the second or third time actually drinking it. The hops are starting to fade quite nicely which creates the more fruit forward profile I am seeing. It is becoming much more harmonious than when I had this fresh. I look forward to seeing what more time does to this, but it is really drinking quite nicely now.

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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

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Photo of dirtylou
3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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Photo of barnzy78
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, pours copper in color with a thin white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. Aromas are boozy with some caramel and vanilla. Tastes are overly boozy with notes of caramel, toffee, vanilla, some pine on the finish. Mouth-feel is on the thinner side for a barley wine, finishes dry, and yes - boozy. Overall, I think the ABV could have been toned down to a 10 or so to take away the booze factor here. Still drinkable and decent, but there are better barley wines on the shelf to choose from.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
3611 printed in black on the shoulder. No info.

A - Vividly golden toffee in color, this barleywine is decidedly clear with a bone head that's got some insane staying power! Plenty of lace curtains are drawn across the snifter as the head fades away. Brilliant looking!

S - With a hop-heavy nose like IIPA, it can be safely assumed this is an American Barleywine. Bold, juicy mango and pineapple tropical fruitiness overlaps the sweet, bready malt. Rich, gooey caramel undertones create a balancing act with the potent hop nose.

T - Plenty hoppy in flavor but shockingly more balanced towards the malt. Beginning to end, the lip-smackingly juicy hops leave mango, pineapple, and some grapefruit dancing on the tongue. Lots of bready, heavy (not overwhelming) caramel malt to the rescue!

M - A brisk crispness crosses the tongue momentarily before the sweet, full-bodied malt sets in. Moderately bitter hips finish out with a light dryness. Faint alcohol can be felt retro-nasally, but sheer balance brings this to a close.

O - Another excellent beer from New Glarus, the Thumbprint Barleywine teeters on a fine line between Double IPA and American Barleywine but remains balanced throughout. Agreeable, fruity hops and smooth caramel malts mash up for one delicious beer that's a pleasure to drink. I'll be aging plenty of these for years to come. Damn do I love that New Glarus is in Wisconsin.

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