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:
346
Gots:
219
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,645 |  Reviews: 462
Photo of oriolesfan4
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -9%

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.

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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 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 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 SocalKicks
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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.

 952 characters

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.

 475 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.44/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus' Apple Ale smells and tastes astonishingly like fresh apples; and it's dark amber body with golden highlights is also reminiscent of cider. There's little head, and only a thin collar remains of that; and lacing is limited to just a few tiny spots here and there. The taste is of apples, although a touch of malt can be found if you look close enough. It's very delicately carbonated, and surprisingly much fuller in the mouth than might be expected. It finishes sweet with some lingering maltiness. It's certainly not your average beer, and I see it as somewhat of an apertif or dessert beer, but it's delicious regardless.

 635 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.75/5  rDev -9%

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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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.67/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from MilwaukeeCrusher so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains a lot of sweet apples, some light caramelized malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste likewise starts out with a very strong sweet apple flavor that dominates. I had expected it to be more sour than sweet but I’m not disappointed either. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there’s a very mild hops presence that brings a decent balance. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the sweet apple flavor.

 919 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -15%

Photo of Kegatron
3.95/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a flute. Big thanks to Deuane for hooking me up with a bottle of this.

Pours a clear, effervescent gold, with 1 1/2 fingers of rigid brite-white head. Retains with a nice creamy look around the edges, staying strong, and leaving some quality patchy lace back. The aroma is straight up apple juice in the nose. This is a bit cider-like as well, with the tartness of the apples playing nicely with the sugary sweetness of the wheat. Bit of floral hops and spice make themselves known in a more subtle fashion. I'm not sure what the ABV is, but I swear that I'm getting just a touch of warmth in here as well.

The taste is crisp apple flavors, with a delicious malt base of sugar and bread. Spicy Noble hop character pulls up the back, tasting a bit like the cinnamon topping on this piece of apple pie. The mouthfeel is light-medium bodied, with a crisp and bubbly pop to it, and man, does this go down easy or what? I literally think that I could have used 2 bottles of this for the review.

I love how they used the hops and spice to counteract and compliment both the tartness and sweeter components of these fruit beers, and this is just another great example of that. They really need to make this a fall seasonal during apple season. Very nice!

 1,271 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.16/5  rDev +1%

Photo of nathanmiller
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped glass. It poured a somewhat murky amber color with a thin head clinging to the edges of the glass.

The aroma smells a lot like apple pie. I get cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg to it along with a lot of sweet, crisp apples. Very cool and good flavor to it. The apple is very nice.

The taste starts out with a big crisp apple flavor to it. I get good amount of sweetness to it, a lot like apple pie filling. The cinnamon and other spices are a little more muted in the taste, but they are there. Very cool taste, definitely has some things in common with apple cider and apple pie.

The mouthfeel is light with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a pretty cool beer, they really got the apple flavor to come out pretty nicely. It was a little on the sweet side, but was still pretty drinkable. Interesting beer, as well as a pretty good one too.

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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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