Thumbprint Spiced Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Spiced AleThumbprint Spiced Ale
BA SCORE
54.7%
Liked This Beer
3.65 w/ 254 ratings
Thumbprint Spiced AleThumbprint Spiced Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
newglarusbrewing.com

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our heady Spiced Ale summons escape from the ordinary. Lavish English and Wisconsin Malts slow brewed caramel goodness into this beefy bronze Strong Ale registering 20 degrees Plato O.G. Aged on Oak in the Open Top Cellar so that Cassia Cinnamon, Ginger and Allspice could be carefully hand stirred into the velvety Toffee notes of this aromatic Spiced Ale. 100% Naturally Bottle fermented to warm the chill from your soul.

Added by Ri0 on 01-10-2014

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
254
Liked:
139
Avg:
3.65/5
pDev:
12.6%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
21
Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 254 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of acurtis
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%

"Spiced ale" can go a lot of different directions. But when the sensible nature of New Glarus decides to embark upon the trend, the mind, palate and spirit begins to anticipate the quintessential essence of balance, intrigue and surprise to occur.

And the ambiguous "spiced" ale delivers upon such promises as its beautiful mahogany pour unleashes a short-lived ecru head that pops at every opportunity to reward the nose with nutmeg, clove, ginger and a stern tilt toward cinnamon.

Its beautiful allspice medley remains cinnamon balanced while its undertow of toffee, biscuit and cashew suggest English tendencies while brown sugar and french-toast begin to seep into the palate. Shy of fruitcake, a rummy sweetness and spiciness eludes to what's to be expected in finish.

As the taste slowly recedes, its finish is warm, spicy and pleasantly numbing. Trying to capture the taste and texture of spiced rum, the ale takes a spice-forward demeanor in closure while those maple echoes return to reward the tastebuds with echoes after echoes.

 1,042 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with red foil-ed over green/gold branded pry-off pressure cap acquired in a trade with my long-time trade partner Duff27 and served into an Avery stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Austin, TX. Expectations are sky-high given the brewery, whose work I love. Reviewed live. Reviewed as a spiced ale because the label and name identify it clearly as such.

Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 1.5 finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness and creaminess. Okay complexion. Okay consistency. Head retention is quite good - about 8+ minutes. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent copper of above average vibrance. No yeast particles/sediment is visible; it's quite clean. Good clarity.

Overall, it's a pretty good looking beer that I'm excited to try. While not unique or special, it doesn't have any overt flaws.

Sm: I'm immediately assaulted by spices and herbs. Ginger, mint, evergreen, spruce, coriander, and allspice are the most prominent. I have trouble finding any cinnamon. There's also plenty of honey, light oak wood, pale malts, clean barley, and English malts. The spruce/evergreen/oak/wood notes are easily the highlight here. I also pick up some light bready notes - banana bread? Hopwise, I get some vague fruity and floral character which works well with the malts. It's got just about the perfect amount of residual sugars based on the aroma.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

A very inviting and pleasant aroma of above average strength. Surprisingly, it's more herbal than spicy.

T: Oh wow. Fantastic balance. The spices and herbs (all mentioned above) work fantastically with the honey and English malt base. The subtle floral hop character plays well with the malts. The woody (spruce/oak/evergreen) notes aren't as prominent here as they are in the aroma, but damn do they work well. I'm not finding the cinnamon here, but I do pick up on some caramel as well as the ginger and allspice. Maybe coriander too. The aroma evoked banana bread but I can't find it here.

The balance is incredible. The build is extremely cohesive, but not quite gestalt. It incorporates a ton of complex flavours and nuances, and is pretty intricate for a spiced ale. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. There's a lot of flavour here and all of the notes work together to form an impressive and enjoyable whole. I'm really liking this beer.

I will say that it has some American malts that dilute its otherwise English character - and however it's accomplishing that, I like it. I can't tell what kind of malts they used, but the malt selection is damn near perfect.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Perfectly carbonated. Great body and thickness. It's got an ideal weight on the palate for the flavour profile. In fact, I'd say this texture feels custom-tailored to the taste. While not perfect, it's a damn good complement to the flavour profile and helps coax out the nuances of the taste. Great presence on the palate. It has a nice softness.

Not astringent, gushed, oily, hot, or boozy.

Dr: More great work from New Glarus. Easily the best spiced beer I've had in recent memory. I'd easily recommend this to friends and trade partners and I'd absolutely get it again - preferably by the 6 pack. It's a fantastic brew for almost any season and I can't see why anyone would dislike it. I'm really glad I got to try this, so huge thanks to Duff27. Just a damn solid brew from one of the best institutions in the business. The thumbprint series continues to blow me away.

To nitpick, more of an oak presence would really round out this beer.

High B

 3,882 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lightly hazed amber orange, plenty of foam initially, settles to a fingers width of skim and chunks of lace hanging around the edges of the glass.

Aroma is pleasant, caramelized plantains in syrup, toffee, nutmeg, cinnamon. Nicely complex and far better than the majority of Winter Warmers I've had.

Medium bodied with slightly low carb and packed with flavor. Banana esters, light buttery vanilla oak traces, nutmeg, cinnamony cassia that doesn't put off any heat. A little rum-like. Not overwhelming, an interesting unique mix of flavors. Can't say I've had an oak aged winter warmer before. Overall this isn't as bad as some have made it out to be.

 653 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%

Appearance: A nice bubble show builds a huge ecru-colored head to sit on the hazy amber liquid; excellent retention and lacing action

Smell: Caramel, oak, cinnamon and ginger

Taste: Caramel tones, up front, with the spices quickly taking hold, bringing the cinnamon and ginger "red hot" tones; vanilla and oak appear, after the swallow, along with a boozy character that makes this taste more like an Old Fashioned cocktail than a beer

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and moderately carbonated but brings the heat

Overall: I can see why this beer has caused such a schism among the reviewers; I can taste the complexity and I understand what the brewer was going for but I can't say that I would want to taste it again as an Old Fashioned is not the type of thing I care to drink (and I suspect that is the case for many other BAs, as well); still, I rated it higher than I thought I would because I admire the craftsmanship

Thanks, WI-Beer-Man, for the opportunity

 966 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mothman
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a large layer of fluffy beige tan head. Color is a clear gold hued copper.

Flavor profile: Brown sugar, toffee, caramel, cinnamon, ginger, and other spices I probably have never heard of. It has a dried cherry flavor and a some biscuity malts. I am also picking up some raisin notes.

Mouthfeel: Kind of dry. Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation. Ends fairly clean, but some of the spices linger around.

Overall, for this being a spiced beer it was fairly enjoyable. I had no idea it was 8.8% as you really can't taste it. Half a bottle would be enough for me on this one.

 584 characters

Photo of jlindros
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to rudzud I think, for giving this to me.

Pours a decent creamy 1 finger head that fades at a med to slower pace, decent lacing, mostly clear rosy reddish orange beer.

Nose has an apple tea mulling spice like aroma, some fair spices, cinnamon, clove, allspice, cardamom, etc, as well as some apple cider like notes, a creamy like almost diacetyl thing, the more I smell the more I get buttery oak, toasted oak as well. That's actually about it.

Taste brings more spices, big cinnamon right out front, clove, allspice, cardamom, etc, lots of mulling spices. Then into apple cider again, a little tart apple note, a touch of acidity I think too. then into heat, some spices nice cinnamon heat as well as pepper like heat but that could all be from the cinnamon, etc. A touch of sweetness, syrupy caramel and toffee like, etc, and a little tingly booez. Then a faint toasted buttery oak. Also a bit of ginger in the center, etc. Finish is sticky sryupy sweet, a bit more ginger and cinnamon heat, as well as mulling spices, little more apple cider, and sweet syrupy caramel candies, and some warming booze on the back end.

Mouth is med to a bit bigger bod, little syrupy, lots of carbonation, a little tingly heat.

Overall decent, I do like the mulling spices and ginger, etc, apple notes are interesting as well but not great, oak is an interesting addition, booze kicks in a bit.

 1,390 characters

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of PA-Michigander
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a tumbler.

Aw, it looks like VDubb and the Mrs. were thinking of me in Wisconsin, 'cause they brought me a bottle o' this. Good people. It pours a clear ruby-garnet topped by a finger or so of rich khaki foam. The nose comprises allspice, toasted caramel, light French toast, and a touch of dark greens. The taste brings in more of the same, with an emphasis on the caramel, but plenty o' spice breaks on through, especially cinnamon, ginger, light black pepper, and mace. The body is a stolid medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a solid brew, if a touch one-dimensional with the heavy spicing. I'd have another if given the opportunity.

 689 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an interesting beer....would put it on par with most winter/Xmas ales. The beer pours a rich amber with white head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent is pine, nut meg and cinnamon. The taste follows the scent closely. Themouthfeel is medium in body with decent carbonation. Overall its good....but one is enough for me.

 336 characters

Photo of dfhhead25
3.09/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of BMart
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of AlexFields
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Sweffin
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Thumbprint Spiced Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 54.7% out of 100 with 254 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.