Thumbprint Apple Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

457 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: 457 | Ratings: 1,626
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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of johanvond
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Dead Man's Chest
Nov 15th 08

The New Unplugged Beer From New Glarus is an Ale with a brown base featuring Wisconsin grown barley and six varieties of local apples. (They get extra points in my book for local materials.) Let's see how this harvest turned out.
The cap popped off with the sent of warm apples. The head was robust and tall over the crystal clear brownish amber body. There is a charge of tartness that sucombs to brown sugar. You get Granny Smith apple farm richness with the malt blending with sweet and tart apples. It's fall in a glass and it reminds me of the fruit farm I went to as a kid back in Northeast Ohio.(Paterson's) How could you not love a beer like this.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle tired 17 Nov 2008.

Note this was the unplugged version.

Poured in 0.5 L Adambrau becker. Small off white head, quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Color of apple juice. Smells like malted apples, apple soda. Tastes very much like a sparkling apple cider with a moderate malt background. Very fresh clean apple taste, not like a beer that's had fake apple flavor poured in it. Medium body. Low alcohol.

Very good combination of apples and beer with the apples predominating.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I meant to drink the Bohemian Pilsner but mistakenly opened an Apple Ale. Poured into my Lost Abbey tulip, the beer is vibrant copper with one inch white head. The head quickly dissipates and leaves little lacing.

The aroma transports me to an apple orchard. Perhaps an orchard in Wisconsin? Six varieties of apples, the label reads, and I do believe it. Fresh, crisp, apple aroma. The beer smells very sweet and sugary. Reminiscent of a cider. I'm unable to see (or smell, rather) past the nice apple aroma so I'll simply tell you that I noticed no hop or malt characteristics. There wasn't a trace of the brown ale in the nose.

Wow! Delicious! Sweet and slightly tart, crisp apple flavor. It really tastes more like a complex blend of fresh apple cider and apple juice than beer. No alcohol is noticeable. The finish is sweet, crisp, and clean.

Light-Medium bodied with low carbonation and a slightly sticky mouthfeel.

This beer was a serious treat.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
4.09/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Beerbeagle!!! Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a tulip. Very clear dark orange. Virtually no head and little carbonation. Looks like a sugary fruit juice. My wife says "that looks funny!" Anyways...Smell is of kids apple juice out of a juice box or something. Really sweet smelling. First couple of sips taste almost exactly like a good, healthy apple cider and juice mix. Not real sugary sweet, but really fresh and natural. After the first few sips it mellows a bit and I get a more active mouthfeel to it. More bite and carbonation. It tastes more like a beer and less like the apple juice towards the back of your tongue. really interesting and tasty beer. Smooth yet crisp mouthfeel. I could suck this beer down really quickly, but I want to enjoy it. One is enough, though. A little too sweet.

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Photo of merlin48
4.39/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle designated part of the "Unplugged" series, compliments of dancinwillie. Thanks Sean! Pours a clear golden amber body with a small white head which quickly diminishes to a cap. Some wispy island chain lace graces the tulip glass.

Aroma is mostly apple, fresh McIntosh and Granny Smith, as tantalizing as walking around in an orchard's cellar in late October. A hint of juicy caramel underneath.

Light bodied, crisp and clean, with ample carbonation.

Taste is tart and sweet. McIntosh apples, again, in all their fruity, tasty glory. Early summer green apple notes are present but this is more red apple sweet than tart. Hints of caramel add some dimension. Nothing artificial or cloying. Label says this has a brown ale base, but nothing in taste or appearance bears this out, for what it's worth.

This is more like a cider than a beer, but it is very well done. I could definitely have more than one if these were available outside Wisconsin. Another solid offering from New Glarus.

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours the color of apple cider, with a one-finger head that dissipates quickly leaving almost no remaining head and no lacing.

S: Smells very strongly like apple cider that's very overpowering.

T: I feel like I'm getting repetitive but it tastes like very flavorful apple cider with a small trace of hops, this is by no means a bad thing.

Overall: It's very well carbonated and the taste fits the style very well, although I'm not sure I could have guess that I were drinking a beer if I were blindfolded. As I said it tastes great but isn't something I'd drink a lot of, it would either get overpowering or old.

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Photo of gford217
4.24/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear and very bubbly golden with a small white head that stays on as a ring as the bubbles continue to stream up from the bottom.

The aroma is, not surprisingly, dominated by apples and it smells like a really strong apple cider or fresh apple juice. Hints of caramel malts are dominated by the sweetness.

The first sip is a blast of tart apple sweetness that zings the tongue before the caramel malts show up briefly. The finish is very sweet with the apples but also has a slight bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is well carbonated with lots of sugary sweet apples coating the palate and slightly dry.

This is another great fruit beer from New Glarus who certainly know their way around these styles. The drinkability may be slightly limited due to the massive sweetness, but it's still a great fruit beer.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of ughsmash, light orange color, looks like apple juice. First whiff is apples and apple juice, surprise! Smells really sweet, not sure if I like it. Very strange taste, like the malts are wrestling the apples for control of the beer. Not a bad beer at all just very, very weird.

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Photo of dancinwillie
3.54/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A light amber red color, about like you'd expect cider to look. A modest white head retreats quickly, leaving no lacing behind. The liquid is very clear.

Aroma is crisp autumn apples. A second sniff reveals more of a freshly pressed cider. A very nostalgic smell.

A bracing blast of autumn, surprisingly biting upon my first sip. Apple flavor, yes, but also a round malt flavor that brings it all together. The bottle says that a Brown Ale base beer was used, and while I wouldn't have guessed it from the appearance, it does make sense in the flavor department. Decent hop bitterness, more than I expected it to have. The Brown Ale toasted quality becomes more apparent as this warms a little.

Somewhat of a full bodied beer, not quite chewy, but close to it. Tart and semi-sweet finish. Medium to high carbonation. I would actually like to cellar this for a bit, to even out the balance a bit, but really good as is.

Overall, this is a very refreshing beer.

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Photo of beachbum1975
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beerbeagle was kind enough to add this as an extra in a recent trade with me in November of 08, so a BIG thanks goes his way! I'm a fan of fruit beers and really like apples, so let's see how this one goes.

Attractive 12 ounce brown bottle with a red foil top hiding a pry-off cap.

This one pours a clear, bright orange/copper with a small, off-white fizzy head. The head leaves a small, white halo around the edge of my pint glass.

Wow! Rich, powerful scents of FRESH, sweet, real apples all over the place mixed nicely with a lightly sweet caramelized malt. Simple nose, apples and sweetness. Nothing artificial in the nose, like processed flavors or generic sugars. It's like you are walking through an apple orchard at harvest time. Delightful.

Taste is much like you would expect from the nose. Light to medium bodied with medium flavor. This is like a sweet, triple refined cider... Very clean and crisp with the slightest bitterness on the aftertaste. It works well. No traces of alcohol, in fact if I didn't know any better, I'd think it's a sparkling apple juice. The label on the bottle indicated the base for the beer was a brown ale, but the apple was so dominant, you could barely pick up on the brown ale aspects. Super easy to drink, but like any easy to drink beer, be careful.

This is the most apple-forward tasting "beer" I've ever had. I am certainly glad I had the opportunity to try this extremely easy drinker. New Glarus did this one well. Good work, fellas.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Only thing lacking is some carbonation, thus the mouthfeel score, otherwise, it's heavy and smooth.

The clear amber apple color with no head looks fine, didn't expect it to look much different.

Big apple nose with a bit of sweetness, very fresh smelling. Some slight beer elements there, malt but no hops.

Great up front flavor of ripe apples, rich and smooth, with a slight backbone of the brown malt that makes it finish right between sweet and dry. Perfect, leaves you wanting more, and as an unplugged it's very nice, will have to try it with my remaining Berliner Wiesse, should be interesting, can't leave all these to the wife. Definitely better than any hard cider I've had.

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Photo of Atricapilla
3.65/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not exactly what I was expecting, this beer is half way between a cider and an ale. It is better than any cider I have tasted, so it might be especially good for someone interested in cider. That said, it has a rather crisp golden yellow appearance with a white head that clears away quickly. It is rather carbonated and has an apple and floral aroma. It goes down very easily and tastes a little sweet, a little sour and went down very easily.

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Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,626 ratings.
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