Thumbprint Apple Ale | New Glarus Brewing Company

460 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: 460 | Ratings: 1,639
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.

 1,486 characters

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.

 685 characters

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.

 444 characters

Photo of u2carew
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(A) Good look. Clear, Clean, signs of carbonation and no apple chunks.
(S) Delightful. Apple aroma could be smelled long before bringing the glass to my mouth.
(T) Fantastic! A great taste, like slightly sour green apples but with the sweetness of apple pie.
(M) Good. Crisp and clean, but a little too bubbly for my palate.
(D) This goes down the hatch with ease. Chug, Swig, or sip just a great, drinkable beers.
A beer that could be introduced to non-beer drinkers as a gateway beer.
Way to go New Glarus!

 510 characters

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

A - Golden, amber body with a one finger head that quickly fades to a lace. There is a lot of carbonation that is present in this beer.

S - Apples, a ton of them. The bottle says there is barley in there but I can't detect that past the strong apple odor. The apple smell is great overall.

T - Apples with a lot of a carbonation and sweetness. The balance between the apples and the carbonation is great - neither one is overpowering.

M - The apples standout early and during but the beer finishes with a nice full bodied carbonation.

D - The only drawback to this beer is the apples. If you love the apples this would be great for you. I could only have a few of these in a sitting.

 691 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was simply giddy seeing this one show up in my fridge finally. I had been waiting forever to give it a try and the fact that I had it made my night. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/02/2009.

The pour was very nice. Light amber in color with a good clarity to it let you see the adequate amount of carbonation streaming up skyward from the bottom of the glass. Nice rounded head of white on top just sitting there very nicely.

The aroma was like a walk through the orchard on an october afternoon. Rich, tart, granny smith like apples just soo fresh you could smell it from across the room. Perfect mix of sweet and tart, this was ideal, The flavor did not dissapoint. Rich flavor that was seemlingly neverending. I just could not believe how much this tasted like fresh apples. Simply amazing. Light, clean feel on this one with light carbonation made it a wonderful beer with an amazingly complex profile.

This straddles the line of a fruit beer and a cider, but it works very, very well. I expect nothing but excellence from the guys at New Glarus and this was no expection. A wonderful beer that I am happy to enjoy!

 1,162 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.36/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2011: 4.12
Glad they brought this out of retirement! Poured into a rinsed stange glass, a vigorous pour created a three finger head of crackling white foam. Surface has a nice soft luster, and a ring of sticky foam. Crisp and fresh apple juice aroma, some light musty yeast lingers too. Flavor is crisp tart red apple, some mild malt in the back, seems very close to dry cider. Very clean and crisp feeling, fairly light without the estery alcohol of traditional cider. A little bit sweet, but the dryness seems to take care of it before it gets cloying. Drank two yesterday and one today, so it's pretty drinkable, especially if you like apple juice or cider.

Tried a 50/50 blend with the Unplugged Berliner Weisse, and it was better with just about 1/3 Berliner Weisse added to 2/3 Apple Ale.

2015: This tastes like apple juice strained through an old dishrag. Not sure what's up with that, just not as pleasant as it used to be. Tangy and tart at least, just resembles juice too much.

 990 characters

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

Poured from 12oz. bottle on 12/19/08. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Clear bubbly golden/amber body with thin white head that quickly receded into a ring of retention and left scant traces of lace. Huge bubbles of carbonation are present throughout the body.

S - This ale packs the aroma of baked apples with a bit of cinnamon and caramel malt. Simple yet effective.

T - Flavor is similar to hard cider but perhaps a little sweeter and less alcoholic tasting. There's not much else to say about this other than APPLE. There is also some bready malt in the finish.

M - Light body with a syrupy texture and crisp mouthfeel. Sweetness and a very subtle apple tartness envelopes the palate.

D - Ridiculously drinkable. If you are looing for apple, this is it. Simply put, New Glarus brews some of the best fruit beers... period.

 835 characters

Photo of tpd975
4.42/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see this one on the shelf when I stopped by New Glarus.

A: Pours a lovely golden brown hue with tons of tiny bubbles rising to the top. The retention is low but some spotty lace is noted.

S: Wow nice aroma, this one had my wife begging to drink it. Tons of fresh red and green apple, lots of sweetness with a touch of bitter. It is spiced no doubt about it. Tons of cinnamon with a splash of nutmeg. Cider has nothing on this one.

T: Wow the flavors. If you like the cider brews, you will love this one. Tons of fresh sweet and bitter apples.... skins included. Bold spice pushes thru as well... Very hot apple cider like. Wonderful flavors, with insane drinkability.

M: Light to medium in body, bubbly with an insane smoothness.

D: If you like cider beer, hell if you like cider you will love this one. Tons of apple and spice, if you were pour it in a glass for a beer hater they would have no idea this one is a beer. No hint of alcohol. This one is all about apple and spice... In such a wonderful way.

New Glarus does it again. It is a different monster than Belgian Red or Raspberry Tart, but just as tasty nonetheless.

 1,139 characters

Photo of kmeves
3.53/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber with a frothy white head. Aroma is very sweet with candy and cinnamon. Flavor is sweet but also has an apple tartness at the same time. Light bodied, very sticky texture. A very good beer, the fruit is not overpowering but instead compliments the malt, yeast and hops.

 288 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Dan for another fantasic Unplugged beer!!! This beer is what an apple beer should be!

Beer pours out a clear copper color. The head dissapates quickly, and the smell of apples is immediately noted before even putting the glass to your nose.

This beer is very smooth, and probably the most sessionable beer that I have come across in a while. I could drink a ton of this stuff.

The taste of the beer is amazing. Apples at first and it finished like you knew it was a beer. U are missing out of you have not tried this beer.

I have not had many apple Ales, but this on sets the bar very high, it will be tough to find a better one.

 645 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.38/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a bottle with the in-laws while eating apple crisp - how appropriate!

A - Not sure how to evaluate this, as I don't have much frame of reference. It looks like carbonated apple juice, but with a two-fingered head and spotty lacing. The rising bubbles settle down pretty quickly after pouring.

S - It smells like fermented juice. I suppose that's the point, isn't it? There are some faint spices in there, kind of like an apple pie.

T - Tart and sweet at the same time. Really pleasant - it tastes like cider but with the slightest hint of malt.

M - The carbonation gives it a nice zing. Smooth and creamy, just like good cider.

D - If you love cider this is great for sessions, if you don't it still might be nice for the occasional try.

Another great New Glarus fruit brew! Wish I'd grabbed more of this when I was in Milwaukee.

 842 characters

Photo of benito
4.81/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Up front, I need to own that I am a huge fan of New Glarus, particularly their fruit beers. Raspberry Tart and Belgian Red have been the beers of my dreams the last few years, and I've been lucky enough to spend my summers in Wisconsin with easy access to both. So I'm biased toward loving Apple Ale from the get go. Even aware of my bias, I was shocked at how good this brew is. It joins the rest of the New Glarus line as one of the best fruit beers in the country.

A: Shining copper with a fizzy, quick-to-vanish head and moderate carbonation.

S: Apples! Candy apples! Apple cider! Apple liqueur! There's nothing else that competes.

T: A tart bite up front followed by lots of fruity sweetness and stickiness on the middle of the tongue with a swift, dry and tart finish and fruity aftertaste. Hints of malt and cider toward the back of the palate after the strong and mixed apple flavors calm down.

M + D: A perfect balance of lightness with some fruit-driven stickiness. Medium mouthfeel and great length with many levels of flavor and complexity.

Overall, this is an amazing fall brew; worth a pilgrimage to Wisconsin.

 1,130 characters

Photo of Deuane
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Terri from hooking us up with some of this glorious nectar!

A-Hard cider-like brilliant golden kissed copper. Minimal rising bubbles. A fizzy, medium white head starts then reduces to a a thin ring and leaves spotty lace.

S-Amazing blast of fresh pressed apples. Not much else other than a faint bit of caramel malt sweetness.

T-The closest "beer" hard cider replacement I have ever tasted. Amazing apple flavour is so up front and in your face it is crazy. I wonder what the malt/apple must ratio is with this one. A present, but mostly hidden, sweet malt backbone and a little spicy/tart zing compliment the apples.

M-Light bodied, very crisp, effervescent and "bouncy". A most enjoyable zippy mouthfeel that fits the brew perfectly.

D-You want drinkability? If you enjoy hard cider you will love this. As good as or better than most ciders I have had. I was told that if you like apples you will need to get at least a case of this stuff...well they were right! Wish I had more already! Truly a beer work or art! A job well done Dan...Thank you!

 1,065 characters

Photo of eyncognito
4.31/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking many of these since its release.

Looks like apple juice, a vigorous pour stirs up an off white head that quickly fades. Smells like....apples,apples,apples...also hints of spice-pie spices, like cinnamon. Very faint malt aroma, crusty and sweet like honey.

Tastes follows the nose. Apple pie in a bottle. I can't really tell the differences in the varieties of apples used. I'll leave that to smarter reviewers who have an apple passion.

Light, somewhat creamy when poured vigorously. Perfect carbonation.

This beer does what no other I've yet tried does: New Glarus made an apple beer. All too often apple beer is too sweet, too tart, too cidery, not enough beer. While the malt is far from dominant that doesn't detract from its brilliance.

I plan on following the suggestion of a previous reviewer and heat one of these up like a hot cider.

 869 characters

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

Yup, looks pretty much like fizzy apple juice. Very clear and golden amber. Mildly carbonated, yet managed to produce a solid one finger off white head that receded to leave a nice collar. Also managed to leave some decent, thin yet sticky clouds of lace.

Nice aroma here. Not surprisingly there is a lot of apple, fruity and aromatic, in the aroma, as well as a hint of spice. Like apple pie in a glass, with caramel and crust from the malts. A hint of cinnamon and allspice as well.

A must for any fan of apple pie and beer. Apple and malts in wonderful balance, aromatic and flavorful with a touch of tartness. Caramel and pie crust from the malts, and a nice hint of earthy pie spice.

Another great brew from New Glarus. Apple and malts are married together to make for an interesting medium bodied brew. Mildly carbonated yet quite finely so, making for a nice spritzy feel.

Incredibly drinkable, and perhaps the perfect breakfast ale. Another incredible Unplugged offering from this great brewery. The alcohol is almost hidden by the sweet, aromatic, and slightly tart apple juice. Im lucky to be able to make frequent trips to Wisconsin. I suggest you head to the land of the cheeseheads and pick up a few four packs before they are all gone.

 1,253 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.16/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from the recent 2008 Unplugged Series release.

Pours a clear, medium copper, very much like apple juice. Small, fizzy, short-lived, off-white head. Strong aromas of apples on the nose. Very fresh, with apple sweetness and crisp tartness (like an excellent Honeycrisp in the fall). Some caramel and cookie dough notes mix in seamlessly. Caramel apple pie anyone?

Light apple tartness up front. Ample apple sweetness follows and dominates the palate. The sweetness seems very apple-y though, and not artificial. Apple skin tartness picks up near the finish, along with caramel and pie crust. Finish is full of lingering apple sweetness mixed with apple peel bitterness. Medium bodied with a sparkly feel. A very interesting beer, that somehow avoids tasting too cider-y and keeps its beer character. Worth trying, even if you're not a fruit beer fan.

 864 characters

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!!

 1,110 characters

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!

 701 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The label has changed to show 'Unplugged', unsure if the recipe has been revised. A 12 oz. bottle, red foil-wrapped, poured to a pint glass.

A: Perfectly clear, a warm and cider-like gold-orange. Minimal rising bubbles. Starts with a fizzy, heavily-carbonated white head, over a finger-high but quickly dropping to a thin ring and vague film.

S: Smells, not surprisingly, of apples. Mushy, red delicious apples with skins included. A bit of a candy-like sweetness.

T: A very convincing cider substitute; apples are so front-and-center here, it's reasonable to forget this is a beer. Malt backbone and a zesty cinnamon spicing. Mostly sugar-sweet with a slightly tart/backing.

M: Extremely crisp, fresh. An effervescent feel at first, followed by a stachy, lip-smacking finish. Light-medium body, alcohol well-hidden.

D: Terrific drinkability; 'gulpable' is a better adjective. Worth the effort to get this one to Oregon - would LOVE to have more!

Received this lone bottle recently from milwaukeeclassic (thanks, Duane).

 1,029 characters

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.

 443 characters

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

A-Pours a clear orange-copper-amber with an ephemeral head. Active carbonation visible within and throughout keeps a thin spotty layer of foam afloat. Tracing drapes the edges of the glass.
S-Sweet. tart, fresh red apples. A bit of malt character emerges as the temperature rises.
T-Upfront is blend of bold sweet apples and light sweet malt which rapidly and pleasantly transition onto the sour taste buds. Midpalate is full of apple pie aroma, with cinnamon, spice, and dough. Faint hops in finish supplement the tartness with a little bitterness, cut into the sweet, full flavor, and wrap up a very pleasant drinking experience with a combination of tartness, even malt, and fruit.
M-Light-to-medium bodied w/robust carbonation, very evenly balanced, and pleasant. The body and carbonation complement each other well, and carry each other through the finish. The fresh apple dominates, but the other characteristics keep it in check, and make it interesting.
D-I was extremely impressed with this brew, a great combination of top-notch flavor and lively mouthfeel. I'm not usually big on this style, but I will definitely buy this again. It pairs well with crepes, and drinks well on its own. Sweet, but not cloying.

 1,221 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.86/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lukaski rules!!! Thanks for the hook-up man.

Not much of a head atop this clear cider colored brew. Very little bubbling. Apples hit the nostrils, then some apples mixed with just little cinnamon and brown sugar, then more appples. The palate fels very juicey at the first sip and throughout all twelve ounces. Clean macintosh apple juice with a little suagr. Not sweet but fruity, I think the light amount of hops added just cuts the sweetness just enough. So this juicey beer stays sweet yet very drinkable.

 510 characters

Photo of Pauly2X
4.55/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep clear gold, half finger head.

S- There's a hint of barley, but other than that it smells like apple juice.

T- The taste is mostly apple, no doubt. Take a high quality apple juice with a solid malty flavor midway to the end. Finishes slightly tart.

M- Clean and crisp, good carbonation.

D- For a non-traditional beer, great.

If you like fruit beers, get it. If it's not available by you Beer Mail me.

 412 characters

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

2008 edition - scooped a case for drinking and spreading

i have heard how great this beer was since i moved here in 2005 - i just missed the original release

appearance: poured into a standard pint glass, clear placid golden-straw body, light cream head and no lacing left behind

smell: holy smokes...thats some fresh apple cider! Thoughts of fall Saturday mornings at the farmers market with loads of fresh apples and organic cider fill my head

taste: This beer is a little ridiculous to be honest. It's absolutely fantastic cold as ice but could likely be served heated (i'll try that sometime). There is little difference between this beer and a great apple cider...the tartness level is just perfect and the strong red apple presence is really great in this one

mouthfeel: tart, light and lively

drinkability: insanely drinkable for me - i love fresh apple cider

 873 characters

Thumbprint Apple Ale from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.12 out of 5 based on 1,639 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.