Thumbprint Apple Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
454 Reviews
Thumbprint Apple AleThumbprint Apple Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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
Reviews:
454
Ratings:
1,613
Avg:
4.13
pDev:
19.61%
 
 
Wants:
354
Gots:
215
For Trade:
14
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 454 | Ratings: 1,613
Photo of codewarrior
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Foiled 12oz from a 4-pack poured into a snifter.

Many, many thanks to zimmerbloke for this beer. An extremely generous BA.

L: Crystal clear, light brown. Champagne carbonation. Looks like sparkling cider or sparkling grape juice, brings childhood new years to mind.

S: Spicy-hot apple. Slight twinge of booze, but not overmuch. Really smells like a warmish apple juice with a touch of spice.

T: Starts sweet and builds into a delicious appley spiciness. Sweet, but not too much. Great seasoning in the spice here.

F: Feels just like sparkling cider, perfectly champagne-y. Carbonation is wonderful.

D: Could drink this all day. Perfect in fall, will be perfect in winter, and I could see cracking this on a hot summer day as well.

 736 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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 sweemzander
4.51/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

 793 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
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!)

 1,204 characters

Photo of mariposafan
3.53/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a soda pop head - loose and it dies almost immediately.

The aroma is candy sweet. Some apple there but it's almost like candied apples.

The flavor is tart with sweet apples overlaying it. Some beeryness sneaks in there but it's mostly apples. Sweeter and with more depth than most hard ciders and with more bite than unfermented ciders.

The mouthfeel is soda again, but here it seems more appropriate. Light with strong carbonation. The carbonation does the job that bitterness might otherwise do, cutting through the sweetness to ensure the taste doesn't become cloying.

No alcohol to the taste. Drinks a lot like a sweet cider, but there's a complexity there that you'd normally only find in a good dry cider.

 747 characters

Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Poured into a NB tulip type glass. Pours a clear copper color win a slight bone white head hat quickly coasters around the rim. The aroma is that of straight sweet apples and really nothing more. Clean, crisp apple flavor takes center stage on this one. Light mouthfeel with decent carbonation. Really there isn't too mug to say other than this is an excellent easy drinking sweet, apple flavored beer.

 410 characters

Photo of jera1350
3.87/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color with a thin tan head that leaves a trace of lace.

Apple juice, bubblegum, banana Runts candy. Sweet and candy like.

Sweet candy and bubblegum are the main flavors here. The apple is there lurking, but it is not real prominent. You know it's there, but it's the sweet caramel and bubblegum that stand out the most.

Crisp and quite refreshing. The carbonation is a bit sharp, but it levels off. This is close to a medium body, but falls a bit short. Pretty nice for a four percent beer.

A nice beer, but I feel the apples are overshadowed in it. You can taste it, but the malty sweetness overtakes it. That same sweetness takes the drinkability down for me as well. I think one of these would be about all I would want in one sitting.

 752 characters

Photo of lester619
3.42/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice chrystal-clear amber copper color. The head is thin but it sticks around for the duration. Nice thick sticky lacing. Great fresh apple smell. Thats the only smell at first, but I pick up some more subtle bready, hoppy beer scents as I smell more closely. It's a fantastic smell. I was expecting it to have the fall baking spices added like pumpkin beers. I'm very glad it wasn't. The taste is much like the smell. Very crisp, juicy fresh sweet and sour apple flavors, with just a hint of bread and hops to make you realize this is a beer. That's kind of my problem. I love beer, and I love apples, but does it make either better to put them together? I really like Woodchuck hard cider as a change of pace. This tasted a lot like that except it had a bready, malty base that didn't fit with the apple flavor. That really kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? I did like the flavor. It's one of the more enjoyable fruit flavored beers I've had. Someone used to cider or wine who is crossing over to beer would be a good audiance for this. Overall, it's a unique and pleasant tasting beer.

 1,102 characters

Photo of boomer31
4.41/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this the last time it was Unplugged and loved it. Happy it came back, I'll be keeping a bunch of this.

A - Light brown, transparent and a white head. I mean this looks like apple cider and the bubbles look like a hard cider.

S - A light sour but no spice...this is not an apple spice beer THANK GOD!

T - That slight sour I thought I noticed is not anywhere in the taste. Instead, sweet apple and caremel malts. The malt is mild but noticeable. Everyone needs to try this beer, again a great fruit beer by NG.

M - Very light, very sessionable and highly carbed. The apple does stick to your tongue but it's not overly sweet.

D - At 4% you really need to stock up on this. I can't wait to share this with family at Thanksgiving. What a great beer.

I love NG and I love this beer. It's got apple but it's not over the top. Its not sour apple but its not overly sweet.

 876 characters

Photo of klikger
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served in a Goose Island tulip

A - Sparkling amber with a hint of red, small white head which shrinks quickly, good lacing

S - Blend of apples, sugar

T - Apple juice, fresh grains --> more apple, honey --> some caramel, bread, and a touch of champagne on the back half, ending fruity and sweet, but not overly so.

M - Very well carbonated, sweet without being sticky, light to medium-bodied

D - Do you find apple juice drinkable? I do.

A straightforward, nicely done apple beer. I'll buy this whenever I can - tasty stuff.

 547 characters

Photo of homebrew311
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yet another NG fruit beer for me. Poured in to NG flute glass.

A: beer pours a very pale amber with little to no head, minimal lacing, crystal clear

S: the initial aroma is very sweet with a nice fresh crisp apple nose, some delicate cinnamon and spice character is in there as well. This smells like a very light and qauffable beer.

T: the taste starts sweet and then comes a bit of tartness similar to green apple, the finish is sweet with some notes of spices. Nice refreshing finish. Unlike other NG fruit beers, this one has no wood character and no lasting tartness. This one is very light and very refreshing.

MF: thin body, high carbonation, crisp and refreshing

D: New Glarus really knows how to preserve the delicate flavors of fruit and translate them to beer. This one nearly taste like a sparkling cider, I almost forgot this was beer.

 853 characters

Photo of Bobby12many
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Crystal clear shimmering amber with tiny, light carbonation that diffuses into a thin veil of froth on the surface. This simply looks like a lightly carbonated Apple Juice.

S- Baked Apple and champagne-like effervescence fills the nose. Im also picking up some dark cherry notes, smells almost like a apple and cherry pie. Very sweet and inviting.

T - New Glarus does it again with this fruit offering! The sweet flavor of apples hits you right up front, but no where near cloying. The finish has a slight tartness that perfectly balances the taste of this low ABV beer.

M - Perfect viscosity for the flavor, not too watery, and not overly rich and frothy. There is enough carbonation to give this a champagne type mouthfeel, without causing any off flavors or acidity.

D - Off the charts in this category. A sip becomes a drink, and a drink becomes a gulp, and a gulp becomes... well my 4 pack wont last long. I cant imagine anyone NOT liking this stuff.

It is not terribly complex, but seems to successfully accomplish with apples what their Belgian Red does with Cherries. Their Unplugged Apple Ale is just further proof that New Glarus is the American (possibly World?) Champions of the Fruit/Veg segment of craft brewing.

If you are lucky enough to find this, don't hesitate to pick it up. If you don't like it (doubtful!) you wont have to go far to find someone who will.

 1,389 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz red foil laden bottle into a flute glass

Effervescent yellow with a white collar. Surface is continually barraged by an army of aggressive bubblage.

Smells like the holidays. Cinnamon doused apple pie, both sweet and tart.

Oh, the things New Glarus does with fruit. Beautiful interplay of sweet and tart apples. Pie crust and cinnamon also showcased. Highly enjoyable and scary how the smell and tastes of this beer play into memories of childhood and holiday time with family.

Light, crisp and extremely refreshing. More juicy than dry. Drinks more like juice than a cider like Wood Charles.

This is the epitome of drinkability. So fresh, so accessible and low in alcohol, and so pleasant to drink on a rainy fall afternoon. Thank you, New Glarus.

 761 characters

Photo of TheDTrain
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

I wish this beer was released a few months ago....a perfect fall beer! New Glarus Apple Ale pours a golden cider. VERY pleasant sweet tart apple taste mixed with cinnamon, mild malt, and the hint of alcohol is nice. I could easy crush a 4-pack of this on a crisp fall day.

 307 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The infamous Apple Ale. Glad I finally get to try this stuff. Bottle into my Duvel Tulip.

A: Clear cider brown with a fast fading finger or so of off white head. No lace or cap.

S: Wow this smells like Door county in a glass. Apples some sweet some tart. Cinnamon and pie crust. Smells like a like aplle pie in a glass.

T: Holy crap! Straight up apple cider. Great balance of sweet and tart apples. Plenty of cinnamon and pie crust. Just a touch of vanilla in the finish. This reminds me of Enigma but with more emphasis on the apple. Wonderful.

M: Light and thin body. Bubbly carbonation. Surprisingly not as dry as I thought it would finish.

D: One of if not the most drinkable beers I've had to date. I will be stocking up on this one. No more need to bust out hard ciders for all my non beer loving friends. This one will do just fine.

 846 characters

Photo of Wisconsinality
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass.

A- Pours a glowing copper with a small, half finger head. Completely transparent and looks flat on the pour but the head erupts but leaves no lacing behind.

S- Fresh apples, a hint of cinnamon and some graham cracker. Smells much like fresh apple pie. A tad bit of sweetness lent by the malt. You can pretty much smell this one once you open the bottle.

T- Very much like the nose, fresh apple, a pretty good malt presence, a little brown sugar and cinnamon. The house yeast that New Glarus uses is pretty apparent. There is a small amount of tartness which lends well to the beer. A very nice balance here.

M- Medium bodied that may be a tad thin but works quite well. A low amount of carbonation and you can feel the tartness on the side of your cheeks.

D- With it's low ABV and great balance of flavors, this one is high. Hell, it took me two bottles to write this review because the first one went so quickly. This one is going to go well with a Thanksgiving meal.

 1,018 characters

Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.47/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant copper color with a thick white head and generous lacing. You can smell the beer from the second you pop the cap. Smells of fresh baked apple, cinnamon, and sweet malts. Taste is actually not overwhelmingly sweet. Good sourness notes with cinnamon and a little nutmeg with tons of tasty apples in every sip. Mouthfeel is medium with good body and tons of carbonation. Drinkability is fantastic.

 412 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The pour is a clear amber color with minimal head formation that eventually turns into a thin layer of off-white foam.

S: Apple pie all the way on the nose. Sweet apples, notes of cinnamon, that sort of sugary pie filling glaze, and even some pie crust. A hint of cider, too.

T: The flavor isn't quite as nice as the nose, unfortunately. Sweet apples, a light butter flavor, bread/pie crust (especially on the finish), and more cider flavors.

M: The body is medium with a sort of soft carbonation.

D: Sort of like a more complex sparkling cider (non-alcoholic), plenty of sweetness and apple flavor. I'd like to try this one fresher, but still good as it is.

 665 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. III Issue I:

Smells of shortbread and apple taffy. Clear, pale copper color with a solid yet thin white lacing. Big smack of apple character starts off with a puckering juice flavor and then moves toward more of a sweet, mealy apple tone. Clean with a first big step toward sweet from the apple flavor, then some breadiness reminds the taste buds that this is indeed a beer. Hops are hidden with no real bitterness that's noticeable. After the apple flavor tones down more, a baked apple and mild caramel maltiness round the palate out. Finishes semisweet with a faint breath of apple and grain.

Such an amazing beer, a complete contrast to where the more hyped beers are going, yet still extreme in its own way. Easily a stepping stone beer and without a doubt a non-beer drinker's conversion key.

 839 characters

Photo of tai4ji2x
3.62/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained in trade. no date found. poured into tulip. tasted in early/mid june 2009.

looks like apple juice. 1-finger near-white head, foamy, fades to wisps and ring. some splotchy semi-rings of lace here and there.

aroma: smells like fresh apple juice, with touch of skins. not quite cider (non-alcoholic version). touch of caramel.

taste: sweet, tastes like apple juice or soda... almost no bitterness. trace acidity and trace note of fermentation.

fizzy, crisp w/ light to medium body and moments of syrupy feel, but acidity and fizzy carbonation cut through.

semi-refreshing, although a bit sweet. it's ok - interesting, but just not as bold, bright, fresh, and complex as some of their better fruit beers.

 726 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
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!

 1,263 characters

Photo of ChadQuest
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What a unique beer! i was expecting a green apple tart brew, but i took a sip and it was golden delicious all the way. This tastes like a strongly carbinated cider, with some cinnamon and spices thrown in. It's really amazing how apparent the juicy red apple is. Even the mouthfeel has the same viscosity as apple juice. The drinkability of this is funny in that it is related to the season,lol. During three seasons it would be easy to drink a few bottles, but during fall it would be easy to drink a 6-pack! sigh....it is a shame this is retired.

 548 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
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

 675 characters

Photo of semibaked
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Many Thanks to northernbrews for hooking me up with this.

Pours into a pint glass.

A - Pours a slightly dark apple juice color with a little white head on top that disappears quickly, also has the body is crystal clear and doesn't have much carbonation either.

S - Huge amount of apple juice and cider smells which I love but no much else.

T - HOLY CRAP is this good, Big Time apple flavors with many some slight cinnamon and a touch of lemon. Pretty tastes like a top notch hard cider.

M - Tons of carbonation, absolutely the most crisp and clean beer I have ever had.

D - Amazingly refreshing, goes down super easy and tastes amazing, New Glarus needs to do 2 things, make this beer again and distribute it to Michigan (my house specifically).

 751 characters

Photo of afausser
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of nflmvp. Thanks to a great trader, and very happy to be enjoying this one on New Year's Eve!!

Appearance: Pours a peachy orange. Fizzy, with very little head, and carbonation almost like sparkling cider. Leaves a thin ring of lacing with large carbonation bubbles.

Smell: No surprise here--apples and cider, as well as some spices (cloves?) and a fair amount of malts in the nose.

Taste: Tastes nearly like apple juice, with a syrupy sweet alcohol taste that is barely present. It actually shocked me how little you can taste the alcohol here. It's sweet and fizzy, starting out with sweet apples and moving to a slightly tart aftertaste in the finish. Simple, but delicious, and well done. There's something in the aftertaste that's not quite apples, which as it warms turns out to be a light white grapefruit, and a hint of light grapes as well. Tastes like real fruit--delicious in its simplicity.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy, large carbonation makes the apple juice taste really pop and stand out, as well as adding the illusion of a slight spice in the aftertaste. Well done.

Drinkability: VERY drinkable--though also filling. Would love to have this over and over again.

 1,189 characters

Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 454 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe