Thumbprint Apple Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
1,645 Ratings
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Skidz on 09-25-2004

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,645
Reviews:
462
Avg:
4.12
pDev:
10.44%
 
 
Wants:
347
Gots:
220
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,645 |  Reviews: 462
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of jaydoc
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a crystal clear apple juice color (obviously) with a very small 1/2 off-white head that fades to an oily film on the top of the beer. Thin rings of lace stick around the glass on the drink down. Smells deliciously of fresh apples, apple sauce, and apple juice. Apples are the only smell from this beer and to be honest it doesn't even smell the slightest bit alcoholic. Taste is of all of the apple products in the smell along with some spice flavors that remind me of apple pie. Carbonation level is fairly high which makes for a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a delicious fruit beer that is up there with the Raspberry Tart and Wisconsin Belgian Red. Liquid apple pie in a low ABV, easy drinking, very tasty brew!

 784 characters

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

Thanks to TATURBO for this one! This beer poured out as a lightly hazy golden color with a thin white head that doesn't do much but form a ring around the glass. Not much lacing here. The smell of the beer had a pretty good aroma of apple to it. It starts to smell better as it warms up. The taste is like a blend of cider and apple juice with a good amount of spices in there too. The mouthfeel was almost medium bodied and had a good carbonation to it. Overall I can't say that it was my favorite Apple flavored beer, as much as I love these beers, I think it was a little too tart at times. I would drink this again for sure.

 628 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Generally, if you can't tell if the beer favors the apple character or the ale character, than that's a pretty good indication that the beer acheives balance. That is what this beer does very well.

Starting with a deep amber color and basically clear, it starts with a foamy/froathy head that shows some zesty pep that causes it to disipate rather quickly. Only a lace around the rim remains after minute or so. Low on lacing and legging, the beer tends to show the cidery side of appearances.

Ale-like maltiness shows up first in aroma, with a slow rise of caramel, butterscotch, and apple. Zesty spices of cinnamon begin to give the impression of apple pie. Quite simple, foreward, and again- balanced.

Flavors are delicately balanced. The apple taste blends well with the caramel malts, spicy cinnamon, and overall malty notes for a taste that varies from one flavor to another with each sip. For a beer that is this low on complexity, it layers its flavors very well without ever loosing balance. Except, as the beer warms a mild winey-tawny taste comes to live and reveals yet another layer that surprises the palate.

As expected, this apple-heavy beer takes on a tart, acidic feel but not without a creamy rebutal with each and every sip. It's quite remarkable that this beer never lets go of the malty-rich texture that would otherwise send the beer into cider teratory.

This is one of those beers when you hate to see the bottom of the glass. Ironically, its so easy to drink that it happens very quickly. Its simplicity and variance makes it alluring, yet highly drinkable and enjoyable.

 1,601 characters

Photo of kojevergas
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with appealing label and red foil-ed over iconic green/gold pry-off pressure cap acquired from the extremely generous Duff27 in a trade and served into Cantillon stemware in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are sky-high given the brewery, which is undoubtedly amongst my favourites in the U.S.A. Thumbprint series. No ABV is listed on the bottle.

Served cold - straight from a quick stint in my freezer - 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 half finger wide head of dull off-white colour. Creaminess is decent. Lacks frothiness. Disappointingly thin. Head retention is bad - about 45 seconds. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a clear translucent pale copper of good vibrance. Clean. No floating yeast particles are visible. Appears well-carbonated.

While the head is disappointing, overall the appearance is good for an apple ale. Sure, it's not unique or special, but it looks as it should. I'm optimistic.

Sm: Fuck. This has the best damn apple aroma I've ever encountered - has a fresh crisp orchard apple character that's to die for. Redolent of the finest fresh squeezed apple juice and artisanal French cidre. Sweetness is perfect, and it's just juicy enough. It never feels too cidery, though - it always comes off like a beer.

I also pick up on clean barley, a kiss of graham cracker, and some apple pie spice.

The apple aromatics are just perfect. I'm not sure an apple beer could have much of a better aroma. This tops even Ephemere. So damned juicy.

Clean; no yeast character or alcohol is detectable. It has no noticeable hop profile.

An extremely inviting aroma of moderate strength.

T: Has a fantastic apple profile with surprising depth of flavour. Crisp orchard apples, fresh apple juice, refined apple cidre, subtle hints of apple pie spice (kisses of cinnamon and nutmeg are the only ones I can identify). It's got some crystal malt character to fill out the malty build. Clean barley. A biteen of graham cracker. This is just plain delicious.

Sure, it's not the most complex or intricate flavour profile. But it's an impeccably balanced one and it's loaded with nuance. I'd safely call this flavour profile gestalt; I can't imagine removing or adding any notes without negatively affecting the quality. It's meant to be a simple straightforward apple beer, but boy does it boast impressive depth of flavour. Good duration and intensity of flavour.

The subtle tartness is divine, and works beautifully in this flavour profile. Subtle hints of brown sugar. This is one of the freshest tasting beers I've ever tried.

No yeast character, hops, or alcohol come(s) through.

Mf: Has near perfect crispness, if slight overcarbonation. Smooth and wet. Smacky and refreshing. Fresh, clean, and refreshing as hell. Has a near perfect medium body and extremely apt thickness. Fantastic presence on the palate. This texture feels custom-tailored specifically to this beer's taste. I'm extremely impressed.

Not oily, gushed, hot, astringent, harsh, or rough.

Dr: I forget how great New Glarus is, and then I'm reminded almost every time I try a beer of their's I haven't had before. This is flat-out fantastic stuff for the style, and beats even Ephemere in this category. I think it's safe to say this is the best apple ale I've ever had, and New Glarus continues to defend their well-earned reputation as the best brewer of fruit beers in the world. This is obscenely drinkable, and if you offered me a keg of it I'd fork over the deposit right now on the spot. One of the most refreshing and enjoyable ales out there. Artfully executed and of commendable quality. I'd recommend friends try this ASAP - even if they have to go out of their way to seek it out. Bravo, New Glarus.

Huge thanks to Duff27 for the opportunity to try this gem!

High A-

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Photo of SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear pale copper color with a modest head that rather quickly fades to a lake within the borders of some foam

Smell: Shortbread and apple cider

Taste: Cidery from the outset, with a building sweet apple juice flavor that adds a brown sugar dimension; after the swallow, the apple flavors linger long into the finish, leaving a sweet, cobbler flavor on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with low to moderate carbonation; puckeringly sweet

Drinkability: While this is a very interesting creation, in the end, it winds up being just a bit too sweet for me; I would have prefered a bit more tart apple in the flavor profile

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Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay glass.

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy amber color with a finger of fluffy, off white head that fades to a small layer on top of the beer.

Smell: This beer is what we thought it was. Smells of sweet natural apples. There is a mild tartness as well.

Taste: Again, the star of this show is the apples. Kind of reminds me of a hybrid between apple cider and apple juice. The natural flavor is very natural. There is some sweetness along with a tartness. The finish is sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a finish that feels like it will be dry, but it really isn't.

Overall: I don't know how New Glarus does it, but their fruit beers are great. This is another success from this brewery. I would have another.

 772 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.36/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011: 4.12
Glad they brought this out of retirement! Poured into a rinsed stange glass, a vigorous pour created a three finger head of crackling white foam. Surface has a nice soft luster, and a ring of sticky foam. Crisp and fresh apple juice aroma, some light musty yeast lingers too. Flavor is crisp tart red apple, some mild malt in the back, seems very close to dry cider. Very clean and crisp feeling, fairly light without the estery alcohol of traditional cider. A little bit sweet, but the dryness seems to take care of it before it gets cloying. Drank two yesterday and one today, so it's pretty drinkable, especially if you like apple juice or cider.

Tried a 50/50 blend with the Unplugged Berliner Weisse, and it was better with just about 1/3 Berliner Weisse added to 2/3 Apple Ale.

2015: This tastes like apple juice strained through an old dishrag. Not sure what's up with that, just not as pleasant as it used to be. Tangy and tart at least, just resembles juice too much.

 990 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.21/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light brown ale with medium head with very little retention. Aroma is, without any surprises, comprised of sweet apple. Taste is also overtaken by the apple juice taste, which is great since the apples that were incorporated in here are fresh, sweet (but not too sweet) and with just enough sourness in them. Malt and hops are very hard to taste. Body is just above average with some light carbonation. This is one fine fruit beer, well balance and without the ‘’concentrated’’ feel to it.

 510 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -9%

Photo of superspak
4.32/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 7/21/2015. Pours slightly hazy deep orange/copper color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big balanced sweet/tart apples, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light cinnamon/spice, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Fantastic aromas with great balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, apples, and light earthy hop/spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big balanced sweet/tart apples, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light cinnamon/spice, and herbal/toasted earthiness. Light-moderate fruit tartness and light herbal/spice bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of sweet/tart apple, caramel, brown sugar, toasted bread, light cinnamon/spice, and herbal/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, apples, and light earthy hop/spice notes; with a great malt/tart/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from the apple acidity as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, fairly creamy/acidic, and slightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4%. Overall this is a fantastic fruit beer. All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, apples, and light earthy hop/spice flavors; and very smooth and refreshing to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,639 characters

Photo of mothman
3.93/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into chalice

Pours a light fizzy head that fades down to nothing instantly. Some active carbonation in the glass. Color is an absolutely clear pink hued peach. Despite the no head, it is a gorgeous looking beer.

Aroma: Dry, crisp golden delicious apples. It smells like an apple harvest or something. Apple sauce flavors. Apple cider. Pretty much all apples.

Taste: This beer tastes like some of NG sours' base brown ale. However, it has none of the sour components, but rather apple flavors and some dry spice. It is pretty much straight up apples. It is pretty good.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Light bodied with a low to medium amount of carbonation. Ends fairly dry, but clean.

Overall, it is another solid brew from NG. It is pretty easy drinking and I will have no problem with this bottle and probably want another. Awesome stuff.

Edit: As I get further into the bottle it becomes harder to drink due to the sweetness.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.72/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Masterski for the bottle. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a light copper for with a minimal white head.and just a spot or two of lacing. Thin collar. Nose brings some cinnamon and other spices plus quite a bit of cider character. A bit odd, but I like it.

Flavor brings quite a bit of spools and some sweetness plus some nutmeg and other spices. A bit too sweet. Feel is prickly with a lot of carbonation. Overall, quite a unique beer but I really am enjoying this.

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Photo of jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
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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Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,645 ratings.
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