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: 1,638
Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

12oz bottle topped with red foil. sampled june 16/09.

pours crystal clear orangey amber with a small dense white head. the head quickly drops to a ring around the glass and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is good. a nice blend of different apples - a little granny smith, a little red delicious, and some other types too. light alcohol. cracker and white bread. bit of butterscotch and caramel. bit earthy.

taste is great. wow, there's apples in that beer. or is it beer in those apples? there's a touch of sweetness, but it never comes across as sugary or artificial - just a nice ripe apple sweetness. a touch of slightly tart and sour apple. cracker and white bread. touch of grain. almost no bitterness at all, just the slight sour+tart character. really nice.

mouthfeel is good. pretty light body. medium-light carbonation.

drinkability is great. nice balance. great apple blend. nice beer-apple mix. good stuff!

 959 characters

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

12 oz bottle, believe brdc hooked me up at DLD but I could be wrong!

Pours a crystal clear light amber, some orange highlighting, thick white head forms, drops to a thin ring around the glass and a thin layer, some nice chunks of lace stick to the glass. Smell is real neat, like apple juice, caramel, lightly sugary, toasty/biscuity, treacle, pears, cider, very malty, quite sweet, but really interesting maltiness, and real nice apple aroma, definitely unique. Taste is similar, lots of apple juice character, very fresh, lightly tart, great maltiness, caramel and honey, toast and biscuit, very rich and full, very fresh and juicy, this stuff is great! Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, very smooth, real nice tartness. Insanely drinkable, I could drink a lot of this stuff!

 805 characters

Photo of nsmartell
3.58/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice copper/orange color with a fat off-white head that fizzled like crazy and stuck around for a while.

Smell: Apple cider/juice wraps it all up. I keep trying to find the beer smells, but all I get is the cider/juice.

Taste: Very tart and sweet, but in a good way. Tastes good, just not like beer. If that is what Dan was going for, bravo!

Mouthfeel: Very crisp dry in the finish. Would be really nice on a cool day.

 549 characters

Photo of JoeMayo
3.89/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a little more simple than I thought it would be, but very refreshing.

A- Pours a golden color, not unlike apple juice. Very slight head that quickly recedes to nothing.

S- Smells exclusively like apples and cinnamon. A blend of apples, both tart and sweet with a slight hint of cinnamon at the end.

T- It tastes like a cider more than a beer. Not overly sweet or tart, but a mellow apple flavor with a slight yeasty bready flavor.

M- Surprisingly crisp

D- Like juice

 485 characters

Photo of shadow1961
3.49/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

New Glarus Unplugged Apple Ale pours a thin head over a clear amber brew. Carbonation is steady, the nose ripe, slightly funky apple. Flavor is more apple with notes of funky English Ale yeast a little tart but also sweet. Mouthfeel starts a little crisp, trending a little syrupy with more apple in the aftertaste. Except for a touch of yeast funk, this is pretty indistinguishable from a sweet hard cider. Not bad for what it is- a nice dessert beer, or alternatively, a component in a cocktail. Nevertheless, a little disappointing since New Glarus's Unplugged series has been pretty spectacular in my opinion.

 613 characters

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

Pours a clear, golden/amber color and a lighter golden along the edges. 1/4 inch head of a white color. Decent retention and poor lacing. Smells strongly of apples and only very slightly of cider. Fits the style a Fruit/Vegetable beer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes strongly of apples, not so much a cider flavor, but actual apples. This is a first for me, and I quite enjoy the fact that a good apple flavored beer is out there. Can't pick out very many other flavors besides the apple, though.

 538 characters

Photo of hwwty4
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Once again thanks to GbVDave for this one.

Poured a 12oz bottle into my Boulevard Smokestack chalice. This beer pours a golden caramel copper with just a slight off white head that receded into just a thin line around the inside of the glass. As the beer disappears from my glass, no lacing is present. As somewhat of a cider aficionado, I definitely expected a slight haze from the apples but to my surprise it poured completely crystal clear. The aroma is fresh off the tree golden golden delicious apples coated in sweet caramel eaten off a stick at the fairgrounds. The flavor is exactly the same. It completely reminds me of a fresh artisanal caramel apple. It's completely amazing how they bottled that flavor. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and just finishes a little to sweet. New Glarus, in my opinion makes the best fruit beers. There is nothing better then a fruit beer from New Glarus. Amazing.

 907 characters

Photo of bort11
3.59/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

mikesgroove strikes again! Thanks dude

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams shaped pint glass. Fizzy white head quickly recedes to a thin ring. Color is like, well, apple juice. I have a two year old, and we are very familiar with apple juice.

Smell is fresh cut red apples. Taste is also very much like apple juice with a hint of caramel malt in the finish. It is not overly sweet, but it comes close.

Mouthfeel is thick and sugary. Only a mild carbonation. I know it's supposed to be beer, but all of my senses say it's a cider

 532 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.87/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ThomasHardy for the bottle. This was a very nice treat, Brady.

Apple Ale pours a crystal clear copper color. For some reason I was expecting some haze. Perhaps apple cider has clouded my vision. A foamy white head rises and falls quickly. It reached a finger or so deep, but active carbonation consumed it quickly. Lacing was sparse.

One whiff is all it takes to be immersed in an apple wonderland. If you're a fan of apples at all, you'll be into this beer in a big way. It smells sweet and is very reminiscent of apple cider. It has a nice sweet aroma. There's a hint of light caramel malt sweetness, but that's about the only other scent I'm picking up. Apple dominates the nose. It smells delicious, but is a little limited in its range.

The flavor doesn't differ materially from the nose. This is tasty stuff. An avalanche of apple sweetness takes over the palate and doesn't give much way. It's not an overly sweet apple flavor. It is very reminiscent of a nice cider. But, not in the alcohol infused cider beverage sense. I mean real apple cider. This is good stuff. There's a little bit of caramel malt that's noted. But, not much else. Once again, it's range is limited in terms of depth. But, I really like the flavor quite a bit. Easily one of the best fruit/vegetable beers I've encountered.

It has a nice body that's on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active, but is smooth and easy drinking. Impressive in terms of feel. Drinkability is okay, but a little limited. I like the flavor and it certainly goes down fast and easy, but I can easily see it growing a little tiresome if more than a single bottle were ahead of me. Not bad all the same.

Apple Ale's a hell of a nice surprise. I tend to be hard on fruit/vegetable beer, but this is a rare exception that's a good, solid beer. Yeah, it's not exactly deep or complicated and it doesn't have a wealth of beer-like qualities. But, Apple Ale is a very nice change of pace beer that has a hell of a unique, enjoyable flavor. Take it for what it is and enjoy it. Oh, and if you like apples, you simply must find a few bottles.

 2,116 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a four of this some time ago to fill out trades, & held onto a bottle more out of morbid curiosity than anything else. I'll admit to not being a huge fan of fruit beers, most of which remind me far too much of my old Bartles & James days. Well, what the hell, I love apples, so let's give this New Glarus thing a whirl, shall we?

Pretty beer, completely filtered & clear amber. Nose is applish. Nice. Without the medicinal or over-sugared qualities that taint so many fruit beers.

Tastes really frickin' good! Somehow, New Glarus has actually made this taste like a crisp fall day when you're out being pulled through orchards by a tractor, stopping every so often to sink your teeth into a Pink Lady. Really. This tastes like apples. A bit shocking. Little to zero yeast, hops, or alcohol presence, as if one had stuck a straw into an apple & start sucking like a world champion.

Apple Ale is crisp & dry, & easy to sip. If Mike's Hard made an apple drink like this, I'd be a fan.

This is a fantastic brew, all the better for being an unexpected star in a constellation of mediocre or downright sugary annoying messes of fruit beers. I'd suggest this to anyone who likes beer, fruit, or water.

 1,212 characters

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

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

S - Apple cider aroma with a malty hint.

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

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

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

 441 characters

Photo of naproxen
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The drinkability on this baby is exceptional indeed, I enjoyed two without remorse before putting up this review (last night...not this morning, but now that I think about it what a perfect breakfast beer when coffee stouts aint your thang)

Poured into a run of the mill pint glass with an overall crisp, clearp, light amber coloring and not too impressive of a head. The aroma of this is top notch, it is bursting with fresh from the orchard apples and I almost think I could be about to drink some Mott's.

The taste...I expected it to be as apple juice sweet as its nose implicated but this is not entirely the case. yes, it is on the sweet side, but there is a smooth malty backbone to it that won't let you forget too long that it is indeed a beer you are enjoying. It is mildly spiced with hints of cinnamon, but overall just tastes like an apple malt beverage.

Regardless, for a fruit beer, top notch. I would love to have easy access to this for hot summer mornings :-)

 979 characters

Photo of sholland119
3.46/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this in the Secret Bunny from HogWildLiquor. Thanks!

A-Pours a clear copper amber with a little bit of white head and some lacing.

S-Apple cider, apple juice. No beer aromas...

T-Nice blend of tart and sweet apple flavors. Again, where's the beer?

M-Crisp and nicely dry in the finish. Light.

D-Yeah, about 8 oz. of this will do it for me. Glad I got to try it, but not really my thing.


 399 characters

Photo of chiapete
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A small off white head forms on the pour , but fades rather quickly .no lace left on glass.

color was clear copper .

Aroma was sweet , fruit , lots of apple .

taste was lots of apple almost like apple cider , very sweet , almost a little to sweet , no bitterness left.
the apple hit right away and stayed through entire drink.

smooth and easy to drink , i don't know if I could drink more than a couple , just because of the sweetness.

a good beer for beer drinker beginners .

 481 characters

Photo of Opethsprite
4.2/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Apple ale, huh? Sounds tasty... Let's see!
It pours amber, genuine amber, with a fast-dissolving head, leaving some nice lacing. To smell? Yep. Apple cider. Exactly. There's a hint of wine-iness there too. To taste? Yep. Apple cider through and through, with a good deal of sweet red pears. I can't imagine that this beer has too high of an alcohol content, and unfortunately, I can't seem to find any info on this. Clearly, NG was going for apples, and they nailed it. I kinda wish it had something else to it, though....But I do give them credit for the bullseye on the apple motif. A good amount of carbonation, though not in a palate-shredding way. Drinkability? HIGH. This is DEADLY in drinkability, due to its exact likeness of a sparkling apple cider.

 758 characters

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

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