Thumbprint Apple Ale
New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Fruit and Field Beer
Ranked #7
Ranked #2,391
4.15 | pDev: 10.12%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale
Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 1,658 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MaxSpang:
Photo of MaxSpang
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Thanks to Duff27 for sending me this fantastic brew!


The beer is a crystal clear yellow-orange color. It reminds me of apple juice if you can believe it. The head was about a finger and almost pure white. It disappeared quickly, and absolutely none of it remained in the glass. There was some nice carbonation bubbles floating up, making this beer look quite inviting.


Tons of - you guessed it - apples. This is intensely strong in a good way. It doesn't smell like cider, but rather a candy-like tart apple. I could swear I was smelling a caramel apple. It's honestly hard to get much else, save some slight spice character. This is similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart in that I find myself going "There's no way this is beer" to myself!


The taste is nowhere near as intense as the smell. That being said, there's a lot of apple flavor in this fella. It's a sweet apple variety rather than a tart Granny-Smith or something. There's a good amount of sweetness, and it reminds me of brown sugar. The caramel flavor comes out but is subtle, and there's a nice little bit of malt right at the end. There's some candy-like sweetness that reminds me of rock candy (not the Belgian kind) or cotton candy. Really incredible flavors coming from this brew.


The carbonation is very close to perfect, and it creates a nice, crisp, dry finish to an otherwise sweet beer. The body is fairly light. It's big enough to be satisfying while being light enough to be refreshing.


I'm going to come out and say it - New Glarus makes the best fruit beers ever. Like Raspberry Tart is to raspberries and Wisconsin Belgian Red is to cherries, this is the truest apple flavor I have tasted and smelled from any beer. This beer would be amazing in the fall... or any other time of the year! If you love apples, you'll love this beer. Period.


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More User Reviews:
Photo of CraigP83
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Apple Cider assault on the senses. Wonderful rendition of a fruit beer. Best cider alternative I've had

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Photo of marissarenee
5/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Delicious! This is how I always wanted hard cider to taste, but it never does. Tastes and smells like actual apples and is not too sweet.

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Photo of bubbly03
4.14/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let's start off by clarifying that the Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus is no Angry Orchard. No. From the bottle the smell is fresh apple juice. A swig… Surprise, delight, a slight bend of the knee. How apropos, because other apple ales bow to this one. Beautiful foamy head that dissipates after a few moments. What makes this apple ale stand apart is the flavor from the brown ale base. This is no cloyingly sweet sparkling apple cider; oh no. This is fall in a glass, and as you sip, you will feel the sensation of fall leaves swirling around you. You will tighten an imaginary scarf around your neck. Your eyes will glow the same shade as this beer: liquid amber, like the purest honey. ABV is undetectable – it goes down sweet and smooth alright. You will marvel at how you are drinking gently bubbling liquid honey. Don't be afraid – take a bite of the apple. New Glarus Thumbprint Apple Ale is here for you.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'm giving this a proper re-master since I've explored a lot of wonderful beers in the past 3 years since I initially scored this one. To be honest I think it'll still hold up.

Served in a Nonic Pint.
Appearance : A bright amber with hues of orange and gold. The head is giant to start at 3 fingers and recedes to a 1/2 finger and leaves hilly lace behind. (Rating stays the same at 4.5)

Aromas of fresh picked apples, succulent fruits, some apple pie. Apple juice. Potpourri. A very welcoming, non-offensive brown ale base hides underneath. Could be a bit louder. (Rating goes from 5 to 4.25)

Taste : Very rich, full and tart baked apple flavor with the mushy brown ale notes tucked within. Sweet but not too sweet, tart but not too tart. Some light suggestions of cinnamon stick. Breaths of apple pie and potpourri on the finish. (Rating goes from 5 to 4.25)

Feel : Creamy, lush, with a nice crispness. (Rating goes from 4.75 to 4.25)

Overall : A very enjoyable beer which at the time beat out my top contender (Hoegaarden, also adjusted) for top spot. No doubt a great beer, but I have since found other beers that are even better (and maybe I'll look back in 3 years and find the same thing with my current top beers!). A mind-blower on first try, a simply groovy and enjoyable fruit beer after having a couple dozen of these in my lifetime. (Rating goes from 4.75 to 4.5).

Original review :
Served in a nonic pint.

Appearance : Mmmm. A lovely cider color, 70% opaque. The head is 2 fingers to start, creamy and frothy. It leaves hilly lace on the sides, eventually receding to a stout-like creaminess.

Smell : Apples. Oh my, apples. Freshly picked, baked in a pie with cinnamon and flaky crust. It finishes with a tartness rivaling apple cider. No discernible hops or malt, but the apple aroma is absolutely spot on.

Taste : Absolutely beyond amazing. Just. Speechless. OMG. This is the best fruit-infused ale I've ever had. Ever. No lie, wiping tears from my eyes. Tart punch, fresh strawberry, baked apples, dried apples, cider, cinnamon stick, spices. The perfect balance of not being overly sweet and appropriately fusing fruit and a brown ale style together! It ends candied, tart, sweet, sour, puckered, punched. Desert island/death row beer.

Feel : Creamy and frothy, medium to full bodied. Delectable. Properly carbonated. Ends tart, puckered, and crisp. Semi-dry.

Overall : New Glarus needs to bring beers further west. This beer was beyond fantastic. My NEW FAVORITE beer. And that has taken ages to accomplish over Hoegaarden, a beer I thought I simply could not retire to second place. Was not expecting this. Floored.

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Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Snowrs
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.02/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 6.9.12.

A - Pours a clear, light orange with a fizzy cream-colored head that fades fast.

S - Candy apple jolly rancher.

T - Candy green apples.

D - Good carboantion and a light body. Pretty sweet.

O - Sweet candy apple. Wierd, but good.

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Photo of SCZ
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of markcp
3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of sjrodriguez
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of sliverX
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.54/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a clear dark amber color, with very small head. The smell is very sweet, and full of apples. The taste was also sweet, and full of apple flavors. A nice amount of carbonation, and a nice flavor, not much like a beer however. Overall if you like apples, this is very enjoyable, like a less sweet hard cider.

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Photo of hattingc
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Dave_Treat
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

Photo of Jas45678
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of PappyVans
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud for sharing.

Pours a very light fizzy head, semi hazy golden orange carrot color.

Nose is like sparkling apple juice, fresh apple cider, quite effervescent, hint cinnamon like spices, spiced cider, touch apple pie sweetness too.

Taste fizzy, big apple flavor, apple cider and again sparkling apple juice, sharp acid bite, apple pie and cider mulling spices, tart apple flesh. Finish is tart and dry, tart apple lingering, bit of acidity, more apple cider and spices, and dry mouth smacking tart crab apple like finish.

Mouth is lighter bodied, lots of carbonation, effervescent.

Overall pretty good, one of the better straight up fruit beers I've had. Great apple flavor, effervescent sparkling apple, light mulling spices and sweetness, overall quite nice. I could drink tons of these.

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Photo of chrispoint
2.5/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of CaptainNomihodai
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of Axnjxn
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Copps in Antigo, $9.99 / 4 pack. into a New Glarus flute glass.

pours a light copper color with a half inch bubbly head. the smell is of very ripe apples and fresh apple cider. the taste is almost identical, fresh apple cider with a great tart finish though not sour at all. like tart granny smiths. alcohol is absolutely undetectable. medium to light bodied with perfect carbonation.

overall another absolutely amazing fruit beer from New glarus!

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Photo of twizzard
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of hwwty4
4.74/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once again thanks to GbVDave for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard Smokestack chalice. This beer pours a golden caramel copper with just a slight off white head that receded into just a thin line around the inside of the glass. As the beer disappears from my glass, no lacing is present. As somewhat of a cider aficionado, I definitely expected a slight haze from the apples but to my surprise it poured completely crystal clear. The aroma is fresh off the tree golden golden delicious apples coated in sweet caramel eaten off a stick at the fairgrounds. The flavor is exactly the same. It completely reminds me of a fresh artisanal caramel apple. It's completely amazing how they bottled that flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just finishes a little to sweet. New Glarus, in my opinion makes the best fruit beers. There is nothing better then a fruit beer from New Glarus. Amazing.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.57/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a transparent shade of orange with a one finger offwhite head that sticks around for awhile. Looks gorgeous

S- the intense aroma of apples comes to the forefront and absolutely assaults my nose. If you're looking for subtle apple, you're not going to get it here

T- tastes like apple juice. And you know what? That's pretty awesome in beer form. Not nearly as biting or abrasive as apple juice can be

M- it's actually pretty thin...but given the low ABV, it's expected

O- this is awesome. I love it, and wish I had better access to New Glarus

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Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 1658 ratings