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Thumbprint Cran-Bic | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint Cran-BicThumbprint Cran-Bic
785 Ratings
Thumbprint Cran-BicThumbprint Cran-Bic

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Belgian Fruit Lambic

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A few times a year we cut Dan loose to brew whatever he chooses. Always handcrafted, the bottle you hold is brewed for the adventurous soul. This is a very limited edition and we make no promises to ever brew this style again.

Sparkling and bright this is a Wisconsin original created for you in the traditional method employed by the Lambic Brewers of Belgium including five months of outdoor resting in oak barrels. Indigenous yeast and cranberries from the “wilds” of Wisconsin flawlessly pair to dance on your palette. You have discovered a rare and delightful treasure to be served cold in a fluted glass.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 785 |  Reviews: 99
Reviews by Jordy777:
Photo of Jordy777
4.94/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

More User Reviews:
Photo of fondyball20
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Slap a Side Project label on it, limit it to 2 pp, and watch people go nuts for it. Luckily for me, and all of WI, we can buy cases of it. This beer is really good.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a bright amber orange with a hint of pinkish red. Lots of rising bubbles and about one finger of white head that fades into a tiny patch. 4

Smell: A sweet and very tart fruit forward aroma with big hints of cranberries and other fruit. Big upfront scent of sweet and tart cranberries along with some hints of cherry and apple. Funky hints of Brett yeast. Barrel hints of oak and wood. Some light hints of leather as well. Malt hints of straw and cracker. A very good fruity aroma. 4.5

Taste: Like the nose indicates, a sweet, sour, and tart fruit dominated taste with big notes of cranberries along with some oak. Upfront notes of cranberries along with some other fruit notes of cherry and green apple. Funky notes of a Brett like yeast. The barrel aging comes through with some notes of oak and wood along with some leather. Soft malt notes of straw, wheat, and cracker. A pretty good taste. 4.5

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a fairly high level of carbonation. Juicy, prickly, and somewhat acidic. Finishes dry. 4.25

Overall: Another great fruit beer from New Glarus. Good taste of cranberry juice with some nice notes of oak and yeast. 4.5

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.18/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is quite clear with just a touch of haze, light orange with a hint of amber, and sports a rather impressive foamy head for a sour beer. The nose has lots of nice tart notes of apple cider and lemons.

Something must be wrong with my nose because I was surprised at how much sweeter this beer is than I expected it to be. Light body, sharp feel, and bright sweet-and-tart fruity flavor. Very little malt presence in this one that I can perceive. Lots of fruit juice, tart (not sour) cranberries, green apple, and concord grapes. Not a sour beer, but I can really feel that tartness in my cheeks. Perhaps a bit too sweet for some BAs, but I'm thoroughly enjoying it. Highly, highly drinkable and refreshing.

Another marvelous beer from New Glarus in their ``Thumbprint" series. It says on the bottle that they only cut Dan loose a few times a year to let him brew whatever he wants. Goshdarnit, if this is what he does when their back is turned, I wish they'd turn him loose more often.

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Photo of Synergy87
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

I put this up there with VSB and Wild Peach any day... Honestly, its that good, though lighter and refreshing!

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Photo of leroybrown10
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours pinkish red with a 1 finger pink foamy head. Nice lacing.

Aroma is tart cranberry, lacto, brett funk and raspberry. Maybe needs a boost in intensity.

Taste similar to the nose but with that boost I was looking for. Really nice tart cranberry. Citrus and raspberry notes. Some earthy notes and brett horse blanket.

Light body with medium+ carbonation. Tart but not sour and a moderate amount of funk. Fruity without being overpowering. Dry finish.

Really superb beer. Blend of wild cultures and fruit is right on.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the fall 2014 release. Poured into a New Glarus pilsner glass 9/6/2014.

A- Absolutely gorgeous pink grapefruit flesh colour with a fluffy two finger white head with lacing all over. Looks like watermelon juice or something. [4.25]

S- Cranberry juice, some tartness presumably from the fruit, a little bit of rubbery funk. A bit of oak. Smells good, not too complicated but definitely a different kind of nose that works well here. [4]

F- Cranberries and slightly sweet baked pie crust. Tartness as well, not a lot of acidity but this is certainly quite tart and sweet, as I would expect from any New Glarus fruit beer. A small amount of earthy oak carries through as well, but for the most part this is a mix of sweet and tart cranberry flavour. Enjoyable stuff. [4]

M- Medium bodied, slightly sticky and certainly quite sweet. Higher in carbonation which is just about right for the style; very crisp and refreshing drinking this one sitting on the deck in the sun. [4]

O- More than a very solid fruit beer; if you enjoy the normal New Glarus fruit beers, this is a lighter, tarter take on the usual fruited modus operandi. In some ways it tastes like a wine cooler, too though I don't know if that's good or bad.. it probably doesn't matter if its a guilty pleasure or not since I am certainly enjoying this and will buy more. [4]

Final score: 4.0125

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Photo of AMCimpi
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep red with pink/white head. Head sticks around for a bit. S: Cranberry juice with some hay, fresh cut grass, some musty basement. Funky cheese almost. T: Straight tart cranberry juice with some hay/funky basement. M: A lot of carb that gives it a champagne like light crispness. Dry on the back end. O: Never had a cranberry sour, but I'm imagining this is the top. Very well balance and overall well executed. A little more funk would make this a a 4.75-5

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Photo of kojevergas
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Duff27 sent me this bottle in a trade. Thanks, buddy!

I regard New Glarus as perhaps the best brewery in the USA, so expectations are sky-high for this beer.

BOTTLE is 12 fl oz, and boasts an iconic red/gold branded pry-off cap and a classy label design.

Served cold (per New Glarus' instructions) into a goblet and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Reviewed live as a lambic style ale per New Glarus' website.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: Pinkish-white in colour. ~1/4 inch in thickness. Adequately thick, with a soft appearance. Retention is somewhat poor; this retains for a mere 30 seconds, leaving inconsistent light lacing.

BODY: Peach orange, with red and copper hues. Vibrant as hell. Translucent yet nontransparent. There's no visible yeasty muck.

Appears aptly carbonated. It's a nice looking appearance for a fruited lambic, but I've seen better, certainly, and the lack of head is disconcerting. It's not the deep cranberry red I hoped for, but boy is it vibrant and inviting.

AROMA: Adorable. Tart fruit dominates, with bright cranberry skin lending it an interesting character. Tart ripe cranberry is fantastic in this aroma, giving it an expressive authentic fruited character up there with some of the best fruited lambics I've come across. That said, the sourness does leave something to be desired; it's maybe a 5/10 in terms of sourness intensity. Hardly pucker-inducing judging by the aroma.

Bacterial notes of lactobacillus are evidenced, as are rich wild yeasts.

This avoids the pitfall of coming off medicinal. Highly pleasant and mellow, with delightful fruity tones and a seamlessly integrated oak barrel presence.

Neutral Belgian pale malts are completely unnoticeable beneath the fruity veneer. Unlike many Cantillon sours, this doesn't have any detectable pesky cereal graininess.

Gushes with bright cranberry. I can't wait to try this.

Aromatic intensity is moderate.

TASTE: Gorgeous tart cranberry notes dominate here, as they should, and they're accented nicely by a subtle dampened oak wood presence. Supplementing the cranberry fruit are notes of cherry, orchard apple-skin, and even faint strawberry. The berry/currant notes are the highlight of the beer. The soaked barrel character is seamlessly integrated into the base, never taking away from the cranberry fruit but underscoring the wild yeasts nicely. The tartness couldn't be better; this beer plays to the key strengths of its chosen fruit. This is some of the juiciest tastiest fullest fruit character I've ever experienced in a beer. The lactic acid is divine and appropriate, pairing well with the cranapple juice notes.

The sourness isn't as high as would be ideal - coming in at a mere 5-6/10 in terms of sourness intensity - but the wild yeasts and bacterial notes providing it are nothing short of fantastic, boasting incredible nuance and subtlety of flavour. Deep, with lovely acetic notes and a glimmer of neutral Belgian malts. There's an emergent hint of pie crust that develops as it comes to temperature, making this still more appealing.

Luckily for my tastes, it's not distractingly earthy or funky, letting the intricate wild yeasts control the beer without losing its key sourness & tartness. Not spicy or otherwise overly saison-esque.

This flavour profile hits on all cylinders, bringing the sourness, tartness, and fruit requisite in any great example of the style. A stellar build for a fruited lambic, but nevertheless one can nitpick: there's room for still more depth of flavour, and still more intricacy. Sour lovers may crave still more sourness, but damn if this isn't a likable brew with an ideal sweetness/bitterness balance.

Aptly, no hop profile, malty sweetness, booze, or off-notes come(s) through.

Truly more than the sum of its parts. Boasts lasting flavour duration and ideal flavour intensity.

TEXTURE: Ideally effervescent, perfectly acidic, a biteen acetic, highly refreshing, and medium-bodied, with a smooth wet spritzy presence on the palate that makes it nice and smacky, accentuating the sourness. Carbonation is perfect. Plump and luscious. I suppose it could be a bit softer. Thickness, heft, and weight on the palate are ideal.

This texture elevates the beer as a whole, coaxing out nuances from the sourness, barrel, and fruit, and making the beer as refreshing as it is tasty. This is what we talk about when we talk about a harmony of mouthfeel to taste.

OVERALL: Obscenely drinkable, Cran-Bic is one of the best brewed fruited lambic-style beers ever released by a non-Belgian brewery, and further evidence that New Glarus is one of the best breweries on the planet. I already want more, and would highly recommend every beer enthusiast try this at least once. Already one of the best beers I've had this year. Demands to be savored. More great work from a master brewer, and a paragon of the style.

Huge thanks to Duff27 for the bottle.

High A- (4.25)

Would drink best from a teku methinks.

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Photo of Lingenbrau
4.82/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Cran-bic pours a lavish deep pink from the bottle. It fills the glass spritzy and lively with light pink bubbles which form to make a fizzy and foamy white cap on top of a rusted red liquid below.

Cranberry cider, ginger, and lemon tingle the nostrils. It smells divine. Light traces of oak and acid linger.

Perfection. A tart rush of cranberry and lemon, a dash of ginger zest, and subtle wood mingle together in harmony.

Light enough to stay crisp, not too tart, definitely not too sweet, and just the right of bitterness to maintain balance, Cran-bic is superbly drinkable. This begs to be sipped again and again, like a cider with Thanksgiving dinner.

The label itself gave me the impression that this was something special. The pop of the cap and the initial aroma made me know so. The flavor and feel made me smile like a kid who just got the best gift imaginable. This is truly one of a kind. An amazing beverage that, even if age improves it more so, I couldn't care less. This was bliss. Thank you Joe, very, very much. Cheers!

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.57/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle

Pours hazy ruby amber with a dense creamy light pinkish white foam head. Smells a bit vinegary and herbal with some musty oaky wood notes, some spice and a fruity cranberry tartness. Tastes like sweet concentrated cranberries with some tartness, mild red wine vinegar, slightly funky oak, wood, musty grass, mild spice, and earthy herbs. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate low carbonation. Super drinkable, very fruity, sweet balanced with some tartness. Overall a real nice cranberry lambic.

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Photo of Spinaltapped
4.65/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Picked up recently from Ray's in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Poured into my go-to TG King Sue teku. Excited to give it a try.

Look: Beautiful dark crimson without a cloud in sight. Vigorous pour granted a quickly dissipating four finger head with light inconsistent rings of lacing. So far so good.

Smell: More sweetness than expected (judging from the few sour beers I've had by NG, they keep their base a bit sweeter and malt forward than is typical), but there's definitely some nice acid and tartness in there. Unripened cranberry, a touch of vinegar and yogurt, a bit of cherry. Mouthwatering.

Taste: As the nose indicated, it's a bit sweet but not Lindemans lambic sweet. Very good stuff. Initial blast of lingering acidic cranberry, biting but not aggressive vinegar, creamy tart cherry yogurt followed up by a refreshing wave of maltiness that keeps the beer balanced. Very tart but I wouldn't say it's exceedingly sour. No hop presence whatsoever and the malt profile is minimal in terms of showmanship, just your basic pale malt one would guess. A bit of cereal grain is there, but it's not a major focus.

Feel: Effervescent, medium-light bodied, drying.

Overall: This is bomb. One of my favorite fruited lambics that I've had and you can buy it in a four pack under $10. NG just does fruited beers SO SO SO well. I'd put this neck and neck with most highly regarded Belgian fruited sours. I really adored this.

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Photo of FBarber
4.24/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2016 Vintage.

Pours a bright effervescent reddish pink with a pinkish white two finger head that quickly dissipated leaving some lacing along the glass and film along the top. Head retention wasn't great, but otherwise this a beautiful looking beer.

Smell is sour forward, but not overpowering. You don't expect this to make you pucker based on the smell. Beyond the obvious sour smell you get notes of cranberry, wine, cherry, belgian yeast and maybe a bit of oak.

Taste is incredible. Wow. You get a nice sour tart flavor that isn't overpoweringly sour. This is a perfect sour to start with to work your way up to some of the incredibly sour belgian sours out there. Lots of cranberry and wine like flavors here but not medicinal or fake tasting. But of sweetness but not cloying. Very pleasant. Not a super noticeable malt backbone but just an amazing harmony of flavors.

Feel is crisp and clean. A bit more than medium carbonation. There are some definite tannin like notes that give it a dry finish. Very easy to drink.

Overall this Lambic is just incredible. Yet another total home run from New Glarus when it comes to their lambic/fruit beers.

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Photo of joe1510
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle
$11.99 4-Pack
Roy's Market - New Glarus, WI

Cran-bic is an absolute beauty of a beer. It is saturated dark ruby red. The clarity is to be appreciated as just a hint of cloudiness runs throughout which helps the body glow when backlit. Carbonation rushes quickly up the sides of the glass in streams that bolster the impressive white foam. The head has surprising staying power for the type of beer. It shrinks after a few minutes but never disappears beyond a thick crown. This beer looks great.

The nose is mouthwatering, though doesn't have the depth as some of the older vintages. Cranberry gets it going with a soft touch of sweetness. There's a nice play of natural cranberry tartness in the middle that balances the sweetness. A good minerality runs front to back, sometimes bolder than others, and a soft damp oakiness. A smattering of straw and a wheat twang bring up the backend. The tart component gets the salivary glands producing.

Now the flavor brings more depth and complexity. It's cranberries alright, front to back tartness. There's a sprinkling of sweet in there but it's natural and simply to keep some semblance of balance. Another welcoming touch of minerality is reminiscent of wet stone while a soft, damp oakiness left some fingerprints. A wheaty twang, a sprinkling of straw, and an earthy floral quality round it all out. This is some good beverage.

The feel sits where it oughta'. The body is on the light side of medium with a snappy, reflexive carbonation. It's doesn't quite become airy but it's just about there before the swallow. The swallow isn't necessarily dry but it does leave a puckering tartness that tends to linger which makes you salivate until the next drink. It's an easy beer to put away, there's no doubt about that.

This is another terrific beer from New Glarus. It's bright and fruity with without being sweet. it brings along a mouthwatering tartness with some nice wild notes. It's a beer I've had non-beer drinkers really enjoy. It's approachable and fun, delicious and special but still tart and complex. Ponder or drink away, your choice.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: an absolutely beautiful beer. Ruby red in color with a transparent body. All topped off by a hearty head with a light pink hue. Almost felt bad drinking such a pretty beer.

Smell: huge initial blast of sweet, jammy cranberries. Oak and tart cranberry notes quickly follow that grand opening letting the drinker know this beer has some serious legs. Just some slight notes of funk are detectable when this beer is this fresh. In the end the bright fruitiness wins out and makes your mouth water which leads us to...

Taste: following the nose, bright sweetness of slightly tart cranberries blasts the palate. Wonderfully dry and mildly acidic lambic settles in mid palate bringing waves of lemon and grass. Lingering finish of jammy sweetness meshes seamlessly with oaky lambic rounding this one out.

Feel: the seamless turns and transitions this beer takes from sweet to dry is truly impressive. Sweetness on the front warms the palate then the tart packs the finishing blow. Carbonation is spot on, at this point keeping the fruitiness a little bit at bay and accentuating the sour side. Hard to put down.

Overall: I've been not so patiently waiting for this beer to make its return. I absolutely love this beer, it really marries New Glarus' mastery of fruit beers and their wonderful sour program. Fresh this beer is outstanding but over time becomes an oaky, funky masterpiece. Stock up folks.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

8/8...pours pink, no other way to get around it. Dark, hints of orange. Light white foam. Champagne/rose' like nose. Very much wine link. Sour, cranberry full taste. Thick mouthfeel. Like a sparkling wine. Full tartness. Tasty.

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Photo of barczar
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is fairly tart cranberry and sour lactic dominant, with a hint of oak and musty funk. Saliva-inducing.

Flavor is more sweet than expected initially, which is in great contrast with the sour, fruity cranberry finish. It allows more of the barrel complexity to serve. Die-hard sour fans may be disappointed, but it's on par with jacobin, imo.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into a new glarus tapered sour glass. Bottled on August 22nd, 2014 and consumed on 9/6/14.
Look = 4.75 Poured a light pink from the bottle and appeared a light red in the glass with 1 finger of of white head with a tinge of pink highlights. Head fades quickly to a cap. Beer is clear and bubbles can be seen streaming from bottom to top. Good lace, very pretty beer.
Aroma = 3.75 Tart and sour aroma with some weak fruit highlights, cranberry and cherry notes. Not strong enough for a bigger score.
Taste = 4.25 Blows the aroma out of the water. Intense sour on the front of the tongue, transitions into a mouthful of sweet fruit. Cranberry and tart cherries. There is a mouth puckering tartness the builds through the back end of the taste. Acidic and really tasty.
Feel = 4.75 Medium bodied with high carbonation. Fizzy on the tongue, but also has a very smooth syrup feel, almost creamy. Great mouthfeel.
Drinkability = 3.75 The same qualities that make this so good also decrease the drinkability despite the low ABV. That is, the sour and acidity make it a slower sipper.
Overall = 4.225 Wow, what a great sour beer. Look and feel are terrific with a really solid taste.

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Photo of BradStokley
4.14/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of IMFletcher
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of riotontheroad
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of arlingtonjoe
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Nat1975
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mychalg9
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Picked up a few four packs in WI last week. Have not had previous batches of this beer.

A: Tasty as F looking. Red-orange with a small white ring around the glass. Very clear.

S: Lacto? Brett? Cranberries? Obviously. Smells tart as F. And juicy.

T: Yes. This does taste. And good. Sweet and sour at once. Neither dominates. Yet they both fight for dominance. And then they are gone like the wind. Leaving me wanting more.

M: Perfect. Medium to light bodied. Medium to Heavy carb. Slightly prickly on my tongue. But only for a moment.

O: All I can say is ::nods head::. Trade for this. Buy this. You must drink it.

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Photo of Hopsiam14
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

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Thumbprint Cran-Bic from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 785 ratings