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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 459 | Ratings: 1,631
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a dimple mug)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear body the color of strong iced tea with a slight red hue to it. There is a spongy white head that is gone after the first sip. The gentle carbonation of big bubbles glides through to the surface.

S- This beer has a fruity pectin aroma with an apple quality and a unsweetened candy jolly rancher note but it is pretty natural apple over all.

T- The fruity taste of pears and tart apples is crisp and has a soft malt flavor to support it. There is a light toasted note to the malt followed by a fruity finish that is a bit more jolly rancher than cider but is a pleasant combination of the two.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a dry texture and a very slight apple astringency in the finish.

D- This beer has a big apple flavor without being sugary candy or chemical tasting. The apple flavors have some nice bright fresh fruit flavors and a soft bit of support from the malt. This beer is easy to drink and the best example of apple beer I have tried.

 1,027 characters

Photo of BrewerB
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DIPA, one of BA's finest traders and one hell of a brewer, for the hookup on this beer.

A - Poured into a North Coast Brewing Old Rasputin nonic pint glass. Excellent clarity, light orange color, with a thin, white head that doesn't retain well. Negligible lacing. Steady thin stream of carbonation rising up.

S - Freshly sliced red apples overwhelm the nose. Delicious and inviting aroma. Slight toasted malt appeared later.

T - More apple coming through in the flavor. In fact, this is apple-dominant according to my taste buds. Medium-dry finish uncovers a slight toasty malt character that was otherwise hard to find beneath the apple. Moderate level of bitterness but I'm having trouble picking up specific hop flavor.

M - Medium-bodied, moderate-high level of carbonation.

D - Wow, what a refreshing brew. The flavor and aroma of fresh apples is unmistakable. With a background toasty malt character, I'm reminded that this is indeed a beer. Aside from the beer being a bit sweet-tasting, drinkability is spectacular. No trouble finishing up this entire bottle. Delicious.

 1,097 characters

Photo of jaxon53
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you to maximum12 for sending me this brew in the Secret Santa '08 BIF. Somehow this brew got lost in my cellar and I'm just now trying it. This is one beer I couldn't wait to get my hands on. Served this slightly chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce brown bottle with the "Unplugged" label.

Appearance: Apple Ale pours out a light golden copper color that is crystal clear. Very active carbonation bubbles are noticed streaming up from the bottom of the glass. A hard pour resulted in about a finger of solid, bone white head. Head fades somewhat slowly, leaving some thin rings of white lace clinging to the glass.

Smell: Wow! Impressive nose on this brew. Crisp, ripe macintosh apples out front. Almost like a home made apple sauce, minus the cinnamon. Thick malty aroma that seems to go great with the apple aroma. Can't really pick out any hop aromas. Slightly yeasty and grainy. Nice fresh, earthy aromas.

Taste: Again, crisp ripe apples. Quite bold apple flavor actually. Slightly tart yet sweetend up by the maltiness. No real noticeable hops in the flavor either. Slightly yeasty, very crisp and fresh tasting. No noticeable alcohol. It's almost like pulling a pint right off the tree!

Mouthfeel: Nice medium bodied mouthfeel. Again, crisp and quite refreshing. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: This beer is drinkable! I could see myself drinking a ton of this in one sitting. This would be quite refreshing on a hot summer day.

 1,463 characters

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

Unplugged label, poured into my Duvel Tulip

One finger off white head on pour, clear amber body. Head falls quickly, but a quick swirl brings back some fiz, otherwise retention is weak. Nose is a really really sweet apple cider, with a hint of spice, jolly rancher? smells great. Taste is just as interesting, lots of cider flavors, sweet, well carbonated on the tongue. I really like this, perfect quencher after working out! Great mouthfeel, highly drinkable.

Thanks to Taturbo for this one!

 495 characters

Photo of Reagan1984
3.69/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Again, thanks to Masterski for providing this in trade.

A thin head formed atop this beer and faded rather quickly. The beer was a clear copper color that was very bright. In fact, almost brass in color. A touch of visible carbonation.

Well the aroma was very clear. Apples and apples. A bit like Martinelli's sparkling cider, a bit like apple cider. Very interesting.

Interesting.. Begins as an apple cider... gets a bit sweet and then ends with a bread like flavor. Certainly does taste like a fresh pressed cider. Nice and interesting.

Medium to light body and a refreshing mouth feel. A touch like champagne.

Nicely drinkable. Glad I tried it, but not sure it would be something I would seek. I'd like to try it with a pork dinner.

 741 characters

Photo of Voonder
3.88/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks TATURBO for this one!
Pours clear copper colour with one finger white head. Smell - sour apples. Taste - well it is more apple juice than a beer, strong honey flavour as well. This a great beverage - very crisp, refreshing, very tasty, it is just not a beer. I will rate it pretty high because I really liked it, i took me 30 seconds to finish a glass, but just so you know, there is nothing really related to beer here. I guess I'll need another one to figure this one out.

 481 characters

Photo of DIM
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a clear, light copper color. It poured with a very short lived, light tan fizz.

s: Earthy apple cider. Not at all complex, just very pleasant.

t: This was a little on the sweet side for me. It reminded me of a sugary apple cider.

m: This had a fairly viscous body, but it was relatively still.

d: Thanks to imperialking for this one. Not bad, just not for me.

 375 characters

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

A - Poured into a pint glass...crystal clear copper color. Minimal bright white head which dissipates pretty quickly, leaving very little lacing.

S - Smells like I took a big bite out of a fresh green apple. Not much else to the aroma but fresh apples. Very tasty smelling.

T - What else to expect from the taste here besides...apples. I do get a bit of a cinnamon undertone from this one as well. A very tasty brew indeed!

M - Thinnish mouthfeel, I think the medium carbonation lends to this a bit. Finishes crisp with no aftertaste.

D - This brew has a very high sessionability factor! Not sure what the ABV is here, but is has to be below 5%. I'm gonna be going out and picking a bunch of this up while it's still on the shelves to ensure I have plenty available for the Summer! If you like this beer style, this is a must try! Great job New Glarus!

 857 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Extremely clear light copper, amber color with a very thin off white head that disappeared immediately leaving strings of lace down the side of the glass.

S - Very fresh apple juice mixed with apple cider and tart green apples.

T - Fresh apple juice, apple cider with hints of cinnamon and tart green apple.

M - Light bodied and crisp with a nice blend of sweet and tart.

D - I don't know how this can taste like such fresh apple juice/cider unless it was back sweetened after fermentation. Either way, very tasty if you like apple juice/cider.

 553 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe I got a few bottles of this from hogwildliquor, so thanks! Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass. Appears a crystal clear golden yellow color with barely a finger of eggshell colored foam. The foam dissipates within minutes of the pour settling into a thin layer. Smells of tart apple cider initially and then upon giving the glass a swirl, notes of golden delicious apples come out. The flavor is obviously dominated by apples. Fresh pressed apple cider, apple skins, sweet and tart apples, candied apples, and I swear I smell a touch of cinnamon. Is my brain tricking me into smelling cinnamon? Who knows. This skates a fine line between beer and cider. Very well done. Medium bodied with a light, crisp carbonation, again very cider-like. Check this one out if you have the chance.

 807 characters

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.

 738 characters

Photo of abents
4.62/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a light transparent copper with a light head that's gone pretty quickly. Smells of tart green apples, slight spices, and more apples. Taste is a very refreshing apple flavor with a slight tartness to it that balances very well. Slight maltiness in there makes it not taste completely like a cider. Very nicely done, not as good as the Raspberry I don't think, but still very spot on and delicious. Wish they would make this one year round too.

 453 characters

Photo of CaptainIPA
4.27/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: Presented in a brown, 12 oz. bottle with a red-foiled cap and neck. Part of the New Glarus Unplugged series, and purchased @ Sendik's in Mequon.

A: Pours a crystal clear, light amber color with a thin, short-lived head and audible carbonation.

S: Freshly pressed green apples with a waft of cider-like acidity.

T: Tangy and tart apples balanced with a sweet touch of caramel. Unbelievably fresh, handcrafted goodness. Finishes semi-dry.

M: Light bodied and crisp, with a cider-like effervescence throughout.

D: Uncommonly drinkable. If you liked apple juice as a kid, this ale's for you. Grab a 4-Pack while they last.

 629 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DT tulip.

A: Pours a crystal-clear, bright copper color with the faintest suggestion of head and virtually no lace.

S: Incredible aroma of fresh-pressed, roadside farm stand apple juice. The kind that's so fresh, it was probably hanging on the tree that morning. Slightly tart edge of green apples, with the sweet spiciness of a Fuji or Honey Crisp.

T: See above. Spiced apples and caramel, with hints of cider, cinnamon, and homemade pie crust. Unbelievable!

M: Initial blast of fresh, ripe apple sweetness that leads into a brief fresh fruit tang, and which is gradually eclipsed by a creeping dry spiciness.

D: This is an amazingly balanced fruit beer. I wasn't sure what to expect, but after reading a couple of reviews of this I decided to try it and managed to pick up the last 4 pack of this at the Brat Stop. What an awesome score!

 879 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of mikesgroove. Thanks!
Clear, light coppery amber with a white collar and skim of fine bubbles. Some lacing, good retention. Definitely some apples in the aroma, lower tartness and more of a baked apple or applesauce character. Mild caramel. Tons of apple in the flavour, nice balance of sweet and tart apple character. More cider than apple juice with just a bit of caramel sweetness in the background. Lightish body with average carbonation. On the dry side without being bone dry. Crisp and refreshing. Highly drinkable, especially if you like apples.

 571 characters

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

12 oz. bottle courtesy of natasharai - great trader, thanks!! Poured into a 12 oz. brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden, orange-amber - a typical color for a beer, but something about it just seems so appropriate for an ale infused with apples. The carbonation is zippy, surprisingly large, and well-dispersed, and for a while contributes to a one-finger, bubbly, fast-fading (though appropriate for the style) almost white head. Though the head doesn't stick around for too long, the collar does, and there's actually a few splashes and streaks of lacing. It's not much, but it's impressive in a style known for a complete lack of it.

Aroma: You'll never guess what this beer smells like. Sweet malts provide a backdrop for a fantastic array of apple notes, sweet and tart, ripe and overripe and underripe. The smells are intense, overwhelming, and it's amazing that this wasn't brewed with concentrate. You get those night tart, fruity peel notes - red delicious, gala, fuji, who knows - but also those sweet, slightly oxidized, fleshy notes. Juicy and well-balanced.

Taste: A little more tart than one would imagine from the nose, but still very, very nice, and really not "tart" at all. It's just very well balanced, with the perfect amount of tart apple, sweet apple, peel notes, generic fruityness, and a definite underlying, almost honey-like pale sweetness that melds very well with the fruity notes. If there's any balancing bitterness here it's barely discernible.

Mouthfeel: A solid palette for the flavor notes above. It's a little uneven, as one would expect for the style, but both soft and crisp enough that everything comes through just fine.

Drinkability: New Glarus triumphs again as the undisputed masters of fruit beer. This one doesn't quite rise to the level of the Belgian Red or the Raspberry Tart - I doubt any can, though perhaps that's just my preference for those two fruits talking - but it's still an amazing brew. Lord knows what the abv% on this one is, but I wouldn't imagine it's high, which just enhances its drinkability, though I don't imagine this one would ever be "dangerous." Just a really nice, drinkable, authentic, tasty, aromatic brew. Highly recommended.

 2,220 characters

Photo of 6DaysBottomOcean
3.57/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This is from the Unplugged series. Big thanks to ThomasHardy for knocking this off my wants.

pours a golden amber sort of like apple juice. Smells delicious, lots of apples in here for sure. Smell reminds me of sparkling cider without fizzy kick in the nostrils.

Taste has solid and smooth apple flavor with a little twang like cider. I can tell there is a malt backbone in this but its difficult to detect.

Light to medium mouthfeel. Though this beer seems pretty filling. Its definitely drinkable though I don't think I'd enjoy bottles back to back.

 554 characters

Photo of katiebecck
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My favorite fruit beer out there, from one who does not generally like fruit beers.

A - Attractive clear gold color, lots of carbonation, some head that quickly disappears.

S - Has a strong apple aroma, with traces of bready malt.

T - Apple flavor hits the tongue right away, followed by notes of bready malts that serve as an exceptional balance to the sweetness of the apples. At no point is the beer too sweet.

M - highly carbonated, light and refreshing feel in the mouth

D - the most drinkable apple ale I've tried. Never gets too sweet, great for a hot summer day. So glad that New Glarus re-released this exceptional beer.

 634 characters

Photo of geographie
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a light copper, mostly clear with fluffy white head that is quick to leace. very nice lacing. aroma is a bright bouquet of various apples, tart and sweet. flavor is tart then sweet and tart again. Very little malt or hops to speak of, this is like a tart apple cider. Beautiful front flavor and finish is semi dry and very clean. excellently crafted.

 356 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a couple from masterchiefmd. Thanks, Chris! This is from the Unplugged release

A: In my Sam Smith pint glass, Apple Ale sits a clear copper with a ton of visible carbonation. Thin white head that dissipates to a patchy disk rather quick. Appealing

S: Crisp apples, very fruity and aromatic, ripe in nature - apples, green, red and golden dominate the nose. Pleasing, fragrant and delicate.Malt is present, mild and biscuity in nature. I get the faintest hint of hops but it's possibly my imagination.

T: Wow. This is about as close to fermented apple juice as you can get. Strong apple flavors dominate the palate while retaining a fairly high level of (apple-like) complexity. There's apple sweetness, tartness and flavor. Malt? Hops? Not so much. Finishes dry and very refreshing, maybe a little cidery?

M: Prickly carbonation, light body, hysterically dry finish. Excellent

D: Extremely drinkable, this should be named Panty Peeler or something to that effect

Notes: The NG Unplugged series has proven to be some of the more interesting and unique beers out there. This beer is one of them and pushes the definition of what a beer is.

 1,147 characters

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

I am actually drinking the New Glarus 'Unplugged' Apple Ale not sure if it's the same.
This has a nice bourbon(Maker's Mark) look to it, a nice amber gold and in my vast experiance, it's a good sign. This pours smooth with a brief, lacey head. Little carbonation a.k.a. not much bubble action but to taste it the carbonation is fine. The smell is sour apple, light citris and a hint of molassas. The taste is really nice with, of course, apple but not overwhelming. Some spice with notes of grain (rice)

 503 characters

Photo of brewbucker
4.47/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think this actually getting better with a little age on it. I bought it as soon as it came out and had a couple which I thought were very tasty. Now it is sublime. pours a very clean copper with a small head and moderate carbonation. The aroma? Well the aroma is probably the most natural smelling fruit beers I have encountered. A little tart. A little sweet. Hints of spice. Flavor started out on the sweet side but seems to be getting more tart as it warms a little. Again. It is such a natural flavor compared to some other fruit beers. I saw this for sale as recently as a week or two ago and now I am kicking myself for not buying a few more four packs.

 661 characters

Photo of younger35
4.94/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a couple four packs of this from New Glarus not long ago. I've had this brew many many times on tap but never was able to formally review it. It's one of my all-time favorites but I've only had it fresh. I hope a couple months of age on it doesn't diminish that fantastic apple taste. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a super clear yellowish orange that is exactly the same color as apple juice. A nice one finger frothy white head forms from all the terrific bubbles that permeate throughout the glass. A weak cap is left with a really uneven collar and not a whole lot of lacing.
Smell- Just absolutely amazing scents of apples of all kind. Some tartness resembling green apples are the most evident but there is also a fleshier softer smell of overly ripe reds. Slightly spicy from all the fruit and honestly that's about it. Definitely smells more like apple cider than beer but I don't care. It's a fruit beer and the nose is amazing.
Taste- Oh good lord! The few months on this has taken just a slight bit of the sharp tart I remember. Better or worse? Not 100% sure but I'm going to lean towards the fresher, sharper version as my favorite. More of the Brown Ale base has made its way through adding the slightest bit of caramel to all the apple goodness. The beer starts with the freshest apple flavor you could think of. Like the nose, it consists mostly of lightly tart green apples but there is a duller fruitier red apple as that tartness fades. Finishes with the aforementioned red apple earthiness and a slight bit of the lingering caramel malt.
Mouthfeel- Light and amazingly crisp and clean with a refreshing yet sharp kick of carbonation. Spot on for a beer like this.
Drinkability- The very first time I had this beer on tap was a bar in Kenosha Wisconsin. Before I even realized what was going on, I had 6 of these delicious treats under my belt (By the time I was done I cashed the keg and could have bought an entire case from the brewery with how much I spent). I always drink these WAY to fast and it's about the most drinkable "beer" I've ever had. I use beer loosely since it's more like cider than beer but who cares. Amazing amazing stuff that they need to put on there regular lineup just like the Belgium Red and Raspberry Tart.

 2,291 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
4.19/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend picked this up for me while driving across Wisconsin. What a girl.

A: Amber,golden. Basically looked like Apple juice or your average crappy American beer. Poured a 2-3 finger head that vanished right away. Really thought it might be weak

S: Solid apply smell. Nothing else.

T: It basically tasted like apple juice with a little malt to it, not much else. I liked it a lot. It did not taste like cider, but like apple juice. Only a little alcohol taste to it.

M: Again, like apple juice, though the weight was more like Cider.

D. Superb, easily a session beer

 573 characters

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

Pours a golden copper colour, with no head whatsoever. Active carbonation is noticeable. A brilliant bright white can be roused with some agitation.

Smell is of applesauce and cider. A mere hint of malt. Slightly astringent smell lingering in the background. Shows a bit more malt characteristics as it warms.

Taste is an enjoyable sweet apple juice up front, a bit of subdued malt (maybe some caramel) and a slight tartness. A just just noticeable hop bitterness comes for the finish. Very cidery, but still great.

Mouthfeel is light-to-medium, with a great effervescent carbonation that keeps it interesting.

Drinkability. This one is sweet. This would be great as a dessert beer with fruit and cheese.
Another great fruit beer by New Glarus.

 750 characters

Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,631 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.