Thumbprint Apple Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

459 Reviews
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 459 | Ratings: 1,638
Photo of Retail1LO
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best, most refreshing beers I've ever had. The light ABV is incredibly refreshing. Had a bottle of this from an extra in a trade. Pours a cider-like, amber color. A thin, whispy head that dissipates quickly. This wreaks of apples in a good way. Wow. The taste is PURE apples and some spice. Almost like a sparkling apple cider, but you know this is a beer when you drink it. The mouthfeel is crisp and effervescent. You can't wait for the next face full of this stuff. Can't wait to have more.

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Photo of ShanePB
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle
Served into a tulip glass

A: Clear golden orange with a fluffy white head that dissipated rather quickly, but left a nice amount of lace. Retention ring is thin but present. Really a nice looking beer, could have sworn it was carbonated apple juice.

S: Unreal. Huge freshly picked sweet apples, cinnamon and banana. This literally smells like you just cut up a fresh apple and are smelling it. One of the best smelling fruit beers I've ever come across in my life.

T: Wow again. This is nothing but mashed fresh red and tart Granny Smith apples sprinkled with cinnamon. There's a slight pale malt backbone coming in towards the end, but this is nothing but an apple-centric beer.

M: Bubbly, well carbonated, sweet but finishing with a nice cut. There isn't a lingering sweetness or dryness, it's very sharp which I like.

This beer blew me away. It tastes nothing like a traditional apple cider would, instead this is literally an apple ale/beer. There are so many wonderful apple qualities and flavors here to keep me coming back again and again. I'd love to drink this year-round.

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Photo of AlexFields
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

APPEARANCE: Light in color, looks like a cider maybe.

SMELL: Apples and sugar. Not super strong on the nose, but promisiing.

TASTE: Delicious. An even mix of sweet apples and those sweet maple sugar candies you can get at Cracker Barrel. The sweetness is similar to the other New Glarus fruit beers, but without any of the tartness. This beer is extremely sweet and extremely good.

MOUTHFEEL: Maybe slightly low in carbonation but it kindof works for this beer. In any case the taste is so good that carbonation isn't on my mind as I'm drinking this.

OVERALL: Another incredible fruit beer from New Glarus. Incredibly tasty and infinitely drinkable, I could probably knock out six in an hour if I didn't stop myself, and I'm usually a slow drinker.


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Photo of cdkrenz
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice thin amber colored body. The head is about a 1/4 inch tall and fades away quickly. For a fruit beer it looks decent.

S - Apple cider aroma with a malty hint.

T - Pungent apple flavor with a hint of spice and hops. I've never had a better apple brew.

M - The feel has a coarse texture that helps to bring out the pungent taste. Very nice!

~ One and I'm probably done. That's usually all I can do when it comes to the fruit line.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

4-pack of this received from BeerFMAndy awhile ago! Thanks, dude! Reviewed from notes.

The pour yields a dark copper color that resembles fresh cider. Who'd have thought? Small head; light lace. The nose is rich with fresh-crushed apples, honeysuckle, damp wood, and faint earthy tones.

Good crisp body that is sharp and clean. Fresh apples all over the flavor. Mild sour notes, but this is much sweeter than expected. Honey-kissed bread noted as well. Slight dry note on the finish, but it is fleeting. This may very well be the most drinkable fruit beer I have ever had. I think I like this better than their RT or BR. I loved this. Thanks again, Andy.

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Photo of beckje01
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Golden color with lots of activity and a nice white head.

S- Semi sweet apple it's a very nice smell but maybe a touch dry.

T- Nice apple flavor with a slight tartness at the end but very nice. There is a hint of malt that makes it clear you're not drinking cider.

M- Great activity it really sets off the flavors.

D- Very drinkable, this really should be a regular beer for new galarus it would compliment their other fruit beers well.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
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 Lucular
4.54/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

By far my favorite apple beer.Thumbprint Apple Ale is to Redd's Apple Ale what Serendipity or Strawberry Rhubarb is to Straw-ber-rita. I'm consistently amazed at what New Glarus is able to accomplish in their fruited beers.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.53/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very appetizing, rich, golden amber color, much like cider. The head is white and very fizzy, it dissapates almost instantly into just a bit of film on top.

There isn't much in the nose, just a hint of green apple and a slight touch of caramel, vanilla and brown sugar. I wish there were more power in these scents.

The flavor is the real shining part of this beer. There is a strong apple base that lets flavors like cinnamon, caramel, brown sugar maple and vanilla. There is great power in each of these flavors, but none of them dominate the others. This is a harmony seldom found in such potent flavors. It is with delay that I rate the taste 5.0 because there is little to really establish this as beer, but the flavor is sublime regardless so I went ahead with the perfect.

The body is nice a thick, not heavy though, much like syrup. There is a little carbonation that lightens the sip at the end, preparing the pallette for the next sip. The refreshing quality of this beer, low alcohol content and great flavor make this one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had, I wish it were a regular offering so I could make it my dedicated session beer. Terrific.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I just ran out of this one and I'm not too happy knowing that I'll problably never taste it again.

Note: I'm reviewing this as a hardcider and not a beer because as a beer this one is sort of iffy (There's no nuanses, no malts, no hops, nothing but apples), but as a hard cider it's one of the best I've ever had. In fact if it was just a touch more sour, I would consider it the perfect hard cider.

Toasted golden color with a nonexistant head. Looks like cider.

Smells like apples.

Tastes like the neighborhood kid is chucking apples at your mouth, pelting you over and over again until you fall, face first and land in a pile of more apples. Then the bully comes over and stomps on your head and your nose and your mouth and eyeballs grind into the apples until your whole world is all apples, apples, and more apples.

Mouthfeel: see above...should be tarter. Too sweet.

Drinkability: Despite the sweetness, i love apples, and I love the taste. Like I said, I'm a bit tore up that I won;t be getting any more of this stuff.

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Photo of Axic10
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to BarrytheBear for this one! Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden yellow with a half finger of foam that quickly settles. Looks exactly like apple juice.

Smell: Fresh apples, apple juice and some slight spice notes.

Taste: Freshly squeezed apple juice, sweet and tart apples with a sweet malt flavor at the end. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and very crisp.

Drinkability: New Glarus nailing a fruit beer....who would have thought that! Another fruit beer that I've had from them that is insanely good. Very nice beer at a low abv makes this a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appley-tan and great looking, clear and sparkling. Head and lacing are kind of sparse, but damn the stuff is still pretty in a glass.

Smells like an apple orchard from the days of my youth that I'm not even sure I was ever at, but I remember it vividly and can't wait to get back.

Taste is so typical of New Glarus' astounding line of fruit beers. Fresh apple juice meets cider and beer in this crystal clear bit of sunday morning freshness. Love it.

Sweet and incredibly easy to drink, this is truly the beer you want when the classy chicks show up to the party. There ain't a person in the world that couldn't like this one, and they'll all be talking about it afterwords.

New Glarus just plain rock all the time, and I'm about ready to declare that an irrefutable fact.

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Photo of circuitmonkey
4.52/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Is amber in color with a cloudy appearance. Has a very strong apple flavor to it compared to other beers I’ve had which are a little more subtle. You can hardly taste any hopps or malt, which is why you will often find non-beer drinkers drinking this beer; yet it is far from being a cider.

Is quite different from the other two New Glarus fruit beers, which are very sweet, this beer however is a little more well balanced.

A side note from how the beer tastes:
I originally thought this beer was a seasonal of new glarus, but it is in fact what new glarus calls its “unplugged” series (hence the red foil) which means they make this beer pretty much whenever they feel like it, no specific time of year or anything. They brew it with actual apples, not apple juice, and I have heard that due to the complexity of the brewing process (and the pain of the apple chunks clogging pipes and such) that New Glarus has considered to discontinue it. But it’s a rumor. Reguardless I suggest socking up on it whenever you find it.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours a crystal clear orange amber color just like apple juice. Produced a good off-white head that dissipated quickly.

(S)- A fresh, crisp, and vibrant apple aroma with just the smallest hint of a cinnamon/nutmeg spice. Very reminiscent of an apple pie overall.

(T)- Just like the smell. A fresh/vibrant apple flavor that is tart yet sweet at the same time. Has just that small hint of a pie crust/cinnamon-like spice to it.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. It has that great crisp twang of apples with a nice mellow spice. Smooth as can be.

(D)- Move over hard ciders! This has a great feel to it with a great crisp apple profile. I could drink this all day long if I wanted. Yet another winner for the style for New Glarus.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.51/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Todd on RB for this New Glarus goodie.

12 oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear light copper hue with a quick one finger white head. A small ring of foam remains with little to no weibbing left on the sides of the glass. Smell is unbelievable. Sweet McIntosh, Gala, and Red Delicious apples dance in the nose, I don't think anyone could tell the difference between this beer and real apple juice. A sweet malty undertone with a tea like aroma as well. Taste begins with sugary sweet apple sauce and a a touch of cinnamon spice. Some graininess and caramel malt midway with more sweet apples. Aftertste is slightly dry with a cider like flavor. I just wish there was a touch more sour on tongue, but really, this beer (and I use that term loosely) is delicious. Light body with a crisp feel and mild carbonation. I drank apple juice like it was going out of style when I was a youngin. I don't detect any alcohol in this what-so-ever and could easily enjoy this every morning with breakfast if it was available to me. This is a must try for any beer geek, I need more!!

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Photo of badbeer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of ThomasHardy.

Poured a dark golden amber color with a nice white head that retained quite well. Smell is like smelling a crisp apple. Nice and tart, perhaps like smelling apple juice with slightly overripe apples; almost like stepping into an apple orchard. Taste is like biting into a mixture of different apples and moves into the taste of the apple skins, without the astringent tastes of actually biting apple skins. Light-medium carbonation, lighter side of medium bodied with a crisp, dry finish. Excellent drinkability, I'd be drinking plenty of this if it were still produced. This bottle was three years old and still held up remarkabley well, I can only imagine it was more powerful when it was fresh.

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Photo of beerad666
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to fellow BA member kenoftheyear for this guy. The label said 'Unplugged', I'm not sure if the recipe has been changed.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle, into an American pint glass. It poured a nice reddish light orange color. There was no head it was more of just carbonation. The smell is great, it just makes your mouth water. Of course the smell of apples hits you right away but there is also a nice touch of cinnamon. When you first take a drink there is a nice refreshing sparkling apple. The whole time I was shocked at how well balanced it was.

It drinks as well as apple juice. Heck you could almost mix up a cup of sparkling apple juice with a cup of this. Hats off to New Glarus!

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Photo of iDrinknewglarus
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer is insanely clear, and just a sparkling light golden color. It pours a very small white head that dissipates quickly.

S: Wow, is this a beer, or is this just apple juice? All kidding aside, it is immensely fresh smelling. It smells very sweet and I can guarantee that if someone went into this smelling blind, they would think that fresh apples were just cut under their nose. Amazing.

T: This is just a bountiful blast of liquid apples in your mouth. The few ciders I've had don't even come close to what this beer is all about. It is just sublime how much apple flavor is really in it. It finishes with the slightest touch of malt, it kisses your tongue with a bit of sweetness, and bit of dryness. It is so drinkable and incredibly hard to put down for more than a 20 second interval.

M: Good, yet very soft and velvety carbonation. Light and airy mouthfeel, this starts and ends very crisp and clean.

Dan proves, once again, that he is the unabridged king of fruit beers. This is a must try for anyone living in the state of Wisconsin, and an envy of anyone living out of state.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

By far, this is the best apple beer I have had. It is not even a close contest based on the complexity of the flavors.

Poured into a fluted glass, the beer was a golden color and produced a slight head. Perhaps the only disappointment I have with this beer is the aroma. While the apple scent is present, it is quite mild. The beer is initially sweet like an apple juice beer combo. The combination of different apples is obvious. The apple snob in me takes over, as it is easy to detect both sweet and sour apples. With the apple flavor comes a vanilla taste that I would closely associate with barrel aging. In the after taste, there is a brown sugar flavor with the tart overcoming the sweet apple. This is where it becomes most obvious that this is a brown ale.

A very smooth and easy drinker. Warm or cold weather, one can consume a lot of this complex fruit beer. I only wish this were a regular beer by New Glarus

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Photo of plumcrazyfx
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I wasn't blown away by this one the first time I had it but the second time, whoa!!! The first time I had it I was like, "okay, it's apple flavored, BFD". The second time I had it after having some Belgian Red and I liked it way better than the BR. Maybe the tartness of the BR really made the Apple Ale shine, I don't know, whatever it is I'll be looking for more of this if I can find it.

Pours looking like apple cider, the smell is all sweetness and apples too, yum. The flavor is where I was blown away in the second tasting. The BR is all tart cherries, the Apple Ale has a lot of apple flavor and a crispness in it but there is this butterscotch flavor that dominates at the end that is like nothing I've ever had. I didn't recognize it the first time I had it but it was the most obvious thing the second time around and made for a wonderfully complex flavor. The mouthfeel goes right along with the flavor, buttery. As for drinkability it's crisp, yet that butterscotch flavor was wonderful. I want more, great drinkability. I loved this beer, best thing NG makes in my opinion.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a see through amber with orange hue. A nice, ample white head is present.

Smells ike apple juice, some pear... all around orchardy goodness.

Tastes just like Simply Apple apple juice. Nice and refreshingly tart! God, is this amazing.

I could drink a dozen of these. The alcohol is nowhere to be found... apple concentrate beer equals an incredible, unique drinking experience.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint. No date or info.

A - Deep goldenrod in color with perfect clarity, coaxing a head out of this was difficult. A tall pour was all that got a loose white foam to spring up then sink to a skim shortly thereafter. No lace left over.

S - Crisp apple juice, freshly squeezed, just wafts out miraculously. Fantastic crisp fall aroma, this brew makes my mouth water...a lot. Slight notes of amber malt are all that keep this (somewhat) grounded to a beer. No hops.

T - A nice amber malt backing is very reminiscent of Enigma. A faint hop finish comes through to slightly, and very nicely, offset the crisp, fresh apple flavor. I pick out McIntosh immediately. Perfect fall flavor with a great complexity.

M - Crisp and light-bodied with a sharp carbonation bite to the finish. Lingering dry apple sweetness. Nice.

D - It's a damn shame this is in "expensive" four-packs. As a standard offering I could crush this all fall long. That's not to say it's not worth the money. Epic drinkability.

[Note as of 02-10-11 - If you can still find this (it's at most places) get it. The beer is changing nicely and drinks just as well, if not better than fresh!)

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Light, golden brown in color. Small dirty khaki head with poor retention. Quickly fades to a thin ring around the glass. Leaves a surprising amount of lace on the glass though.

S - Smells alot like apple cider to me. A nice sweet/tart apple mix with little else in the nose. No noticeable hop aroma and the lightest hint of bready malt notes.

T - Somewhere between apple juice, cider, and a light bodied brown ale. More tart than anything else, with just enough sweetness to keep it from being puckering.

M/D - Medium bodied with a slight chewiness. Very easy drinking. No real resemblence to a brown ale (which the bottle claims to be the base). An excellent fruit beer and another great and very intriguing beer from New Glarus.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to mikesgroove for this. Another New Glarus beer in the books. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint. Shared with capra12.

A: Moderate pour yields apple juice... yep... plain and simple apple juice. You want more? Ok fine... .5 finger white head that dissipates quickly, partially clear slightly orangy-yellow beer. Near non-existant lacing.

S: Fresh squeezed apple juice and cinammon. Extremely fragrant and sweet. This one really blows my mind and is really what NG does best. An astoundingly fruity nose. You know exactly what flavors you're going to get here.

T: Apple juice but a little sweeter from start to finish. A bit of spice... but again, there's nothing else to say that could describe this one better. Finish is rather clean with a sweet and tangy aftertaste. Perfectly simple.

M: Light to medium bodied, slightly coarse, and medium carbonation. Slightly watery in the mouth and with a clean finish. Aftertaste is pleasantly filmy.

D: Like an apple cider... but better in every way. Great taste and crispness. Extremely light, smooth, and drinkable. This is the epitome of a summer beer and a shining example of what New Glarus does best and what all fruit beers should strive towards... amazing. Seek it out!

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Photo of spointon
4.48/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This ale poured a brilliantly clear light orange color with a thin white head. The head rapidly dropped to a broken ring and did not leave any lace behind, but the color and clarity more than made up for this.

S= Smelled like apples and caramelized sugars with a hint of malty richness. Not overly aromatic, but the smells that are there really resonate.

T= Started off with a quick pop of malic acid bite, then moved into the more beery realm of sweet malts and caramelized sugars. The middle was all apple fruit flavor, slightly tart and slightly sweet. Finished crisp and lightly sweet, with an aftertaste reminiscent of baked apple pie.

MF= A little lighter than medium in body with a nice and crisp carbonation level. Very refreshing and clean feeling in my mouth.

D= Off the charts drinkable and so refreshing. I wish this was available to me by the case in the heat of June-August. So tasty and worth every good word that has been printed about it.

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Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,638 ratings.
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