Thumbprint Cherry Stout | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
506 Ratings
Read the review
Thumbprint Cherry StoutThumbprint Cherry Stout

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Unplugged Cherry Stout.

Added by badbeer on 02-21-2006

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Ratings: 506 |  Reviews: 296
Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black n' red, almost purple. Thin head.

S: Cherries! No aroma of roasted barley or chocolate malts... Hmm.

T: Tastes like a cherry soda at first, then transcends into a light stout flavor. Kinda cool how is transitions like that. Keeps ya coming back for another sip each time.

M: Pretty decent. Lots of carbonation, but still retains a decent viscocity for a stout.

D: Tastes a bit too sweet to me, but I am liking it more every sip. I don't think I would want more than one of these.

Overall, this is an interesting beer that is perfect as a seasonal. I don't think I need to buy this again, unless I was going to have a friend try it. It's good, but not great. It is a great example of fruit stout, but fruit stouts aren't my #1 choice. They are simply nice to have on occasion for the experience.

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Photo of nickd717
4.28/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle via trade thanks to oach on BA.

Pours an awesome clear dark reddish brown color with a nice off-white head and good lacing.

Aroma is very good, chocolate-covered cherries all the way. Right up my alley.

Flavor is also chocolate-covered cherries. The cherry taste is similar to that in Wisconsin Belgian Red, which is of course a really good thing. Some mild roastiness and spice in there as well. Fairly sweet, with no tartness at all.

Medium body with average carbonation and a really long finish with sweet cherries lingering.

Very drinkable. A really great beer overall.

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Photo of drizzam
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've seen that there is a lot of controversy surrounding this beer so I went to the New Glarus website to see how they describe this brew. This is what they have to say...

"Always handcrafted, 'Cherry Stout', a more fruit and oak forward dark brown beer, is brewed for the adventurous soul looking for something a bit different than the traditional black stout."

It looks to me like Dan Carey intended this brew to be more of a brown than a traditional stout, and I intend to review it as such.

A - Poured from the brown bottle into a clear pint glass. The body of the brew is a clear ruby red when held up to the light. It looks a brown cola color as it is poured and if looked at otherwise. The body is topped by a fluffy off white one finger head. Head retention is better than average and it leaves spotty lacing down the inside of my glass.

S - Big time fresh cherry smell in the nose! Smells inviting, though a little one dimensional.

T & M - Tart cherry dominates with a hint of oakiness from the barrels it was aged in. The tartness keeps the cherry taste from becoming cloying. I wouldn't call this exactly complex, but it certainly is delicious. The brew is medium bodied and finishes crisp and clean.

D - This is a highly drinkable brew, but you certainly have to be a fan of fruit beers to enjoy it. People are hung up on the "Stout" word on the label, and I think this brew would rate higher if Dan would have named it a "Brown". New Glarus knows what they are doing in the world of fruit beers, and this is another tasty example of that!

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Photo of tasteegood
4.52/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As I crack open the bottle I get a great aroma of cherry, almost a little sour but at the same time reminding me of opening up a jar of good maraschino cherries
It almost pours as a dark brown ale but as it fills the glass I can definitely see the traditional colors of a stout with a hint of redness. Pours a half finger white, carbonated head. T-Semi-sweet with definite tartness, almost taste like a lambic. Doesn't come off as a stout at all. A nice balance of carbonation first greets the palate, followed by the light sweetness. The narrative on the bottle mentions oak aging but I do not detect any oak in the taste. The texture of is not thick at all, smooth and light. I can definitely drink more than one, more than two. I think you need to be in the mood for a fruity beer because that's what it is. Definitely does not drink like a stout...but I am not complaining.

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Photo of Soneast
3.53/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

More mediocrity from New Glarus. This is starting to get sad. :(

Pours a black cherry in color with a small, tan colored head, with pretty nice retention, hanging on through most of the glass.

Aroma is definitely cherry forward with a tart note. Hard to pick up much else, some sweet malt character, and an touch of marshmallow.

The flavor is straight up cherry pie with a hint of marshmallow some mild chocolate and wood notes. A tart finish follows. Quite sweet overall. Flavors are clean and well done, just....nothing new for NG.

Not sure where they get away calling this a stout. Absolutely nothing about it comes close to being stout-like. I see BA categorizes it as a fruit beer, which is definitely accurate. I wish Dan would just drop the fruit thing already. Ok, we get it, you make the Country's best fruit beers but I, for one, am sick of them. I would have happily given up both the Cranbic AND the Cherry Stout for the Eisbock that was planned for late 2009 early 2010. I can't rate the beer too low, since there is really nothing wrong with it. It's just more of the same which is the main problem for me.

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Photo of bound4er
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. A firm pour produces a two finger, semi-fluffy tan head on top of a brown/red almost dark amber liquid. Lacing present.

S. Nothing but cherries (Montmorency per label) - maybe a hint of lemon tartness. At times the smell takes on a slight medicinal, cough syrup note.

T. More cherries and ... more cherries. There is nice tartness to the taste here that keeps this out of the overly sweet, cloying category (it is straddling the fence though). Not sure what happened to the stout part of this beer - it must be somewhere in the background??

M. Nice light to medium bodied feel. Low carbonation.

D. I am not sure what to make of this beer. On one hand I find it very drinkable and enjoyable. On the other, I can only have one per session as this is just a little too sweet for me. Still, worthy of picking up a 4-pack or trading for it. As always, another unique and well made beer from NG - a true Wisconsin treasure.

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Photo of Parrotbeak
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Very dark mahogany. When held up to the light, this is one attractive beer. Tan head that quickly disappears, leaving a ring around the perimeter.
Cherry pie dominates the nose. Man, what else is there? It's hard to get around that massive cherry pie attack. Tart. Cream puffs. If you've got a sweet tooth, this one smells delicious.
Again, it's cherry pie, crust and all, with perhaps a scoop of New York vanilla on the side. Tart, with a tiny amout of sourness on the finish.
Mouthfeel is nice and crisp, with a smooth, yet somewhat tingly finish.
This one is a bit too sweet and rich for me to want any more than a bottle. A very good dessert beer, in my opinion.

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Photo of dbtoe
3.87/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a challis.
I'm not a real big fan of fruit beers. This one does taste good just doesn't taste like beer. If you like the Belgian Red you're going to like this one. They are very similar; both are like a cherry soda. I am rating this beer to style and not to my personal tastes for beer. I'd much rather have a beer that tastes like beer than one that tastes like soda.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by shigadeyo.

Poured dark brown color and an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with fair lacing. Moderate dark cherry and sweet malt aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy tart cherry sweet flavor with a medium to heavy sweet finish of moderate to long duration.

This is a standout beer.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.83/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a burnt caramel hue with a thin tan head that fades pretty quickly leaving behind some nice bubbly lacing.

aroma is funky. earthy, musty, oxidized, cherry and bright fruit. aged balsamic vinegar. walnuts and old hazelnuts.

taste follows aroma. tart cherries, an almost overwhelming cherry fruit sugary sweetness followed by a crisp quick and sharp tartness, that gives way to a bit of sour. funky earthy nutty astringent notes. interestingly complex. aftertaste has notes of cardboard and espresso beans.

mouth is a bit on the carbonated side...fizzy with a bit of caramel syrupyness, smooth and clean. intriguing astringency and a bit drying.

Definitely an interesting brew. would have loved to have been able to try one of these fresh as well. I'd drink any others asap... can't see any more age doing anything. All in all, an intriguingly complex, earthy, and tart brew. Definitely enjoyable.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a bottle of this from the insanely generous Faro in a trade. Thanks, Jeff, you truly raised the bar.

A: In my snifter, this three year old beer sits a deep red with carmine highlights. There's a thin tan head with pretty solid retention. Attractive

S: Quite complex. There's mild oxidation noticeable along with a myriad of aromas - soft and pleasant cherries, brown malts, caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and more that I can't quite describe. The cherry character is quite beautifully expressed. Given some time to breathe, I pick up hints of chocolate as well. All told, not very stout-ish.

T: Wow. Opens up with tart cherries with a gorgeous flavor and mild sweetness. Malt flavors come through mid palate with a blend of caramel, brown sugar and an almost oak-like sweetness. Finishes dry, mildly cidery and pleasantly tart. I've never had the pleasure of trying this fresh but it feels like there's a little something lacking. The opening tartness makes you wish for a little more malt flavors but that's not to be found at a level that I'd like

M: Light in body with soft but prickly carbonation and a great finish

D: This one a treat nonpareil. A thought-provoking beer, this beer does to cherries what the Unplugged Apple Ale does to apples

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.86/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very dark brown in color with some ruby highlights. Smell is tart cherries and some chocolate.
Taste is the same as the smell, but not impressive. The flavors just don't meld too well with each other. This beer sounded really good, but was a bit of a let down for me. Not my favorite New Glarus offering.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.72/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had honestly been looking for this one forever. An unplugged I never thought I would get, I was thrilled to say the least to get ahold of this gem. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, I enjoyed this one over the course of a few hours this afternoon.

The pour was nice enough. Dark brown with a hint of light coming through on the sides and the bottom of the glass, no where near opaque. Nice light head here, rich tan color and subtle fading left behind rings of lace in its wake. The aroma was succulent. Rich cherries and hints of woody notes. Spices of all kind blended in, rich as all hell, this was more of a cherry ale then a stout, but superb. As I took my first sip I melted into the floor. Rich, tart and yet sweet cherry notes, peppery and loaded with spice. Such complexity, such richness, this was indeed exactly what I was looking for. Smooth, light body with a nice carbonation that was great for an ale, but light for a stout, I was none the less blow away by the flavor here, the wonderful balance, and most perfect use of cherries. This is a beer I will forever remember. Something to really be proud of, I fantastic offering.

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Photo of Atron67
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to asmokinggoat for this one.
served in a chalice at just below RT

A- pours what looks almost brown through the glass. builds up a solid tan head on top, which faded relatively fast, which is kinda too be expected for something approaching this age. looks pretty much black in the glass, though the chalice is pretty thick.

S- pretty tart cherry scent almost dominates it. chocolate and more roasted characters are present underneath. hops are all but dead, a slight sweetness to go with a pretty solid tartness.

T- smooth light chocolate flavors, dominated by a stronger cherry flavors. tart, pretty dry, the roasted malts are nearly undetectable in the middle, but give a nice addition to the tartness on the finish.

M- pretty light body actually, smooth, low carbonation

D- pretty solid fruitbeer. definitely a fruit beer with a little roasted, then a stout with cherry

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Photo of tpd975
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark colored hue with very little head. Not much carbonation noted. No retention or lace.

S: Chocolate cherry cola. Nice blast of sweet cherry with a hint of chocolate roast.

T: Wow. Nice light roast and then bam big cherry. Hints of tartness, but lots of sweetness. Mild oak peeks through as well.

M: Medium in body light carbonation.

D: I really like this one. It was a real joy to drink.

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Photo of grub
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this bottle from demcorhip as part of his LIF. thanks!

12oz bottle with red foil on top. sampled june 21/08.

pours deep red-brown with a thin ring of fine tan bubbles around the glass. no lace. shows nice garnet hues when held to the light.

aroma is nice. alcohol. cherry. vanilla and raw oak. bit of caramel. hint of smoke. milk and dark chocolate. bit of almond.

taste is a bit wacky. sour cherry. dark chocolate. bit of roast. vanilla and oak. bit of smoke. touch of cake spice, making me think of the wisconsin belgian red with a bit of a stouty twist that then spent a bit of time in a barrel. really only a "stouty twist" though, as it's definitely more fruit than stout. light caramel sweetness. touch of butterscotch. bit of toffee.

mouthfeel is good. medium-low very fine carbonation. medium body.

drinkability is nice. the sourness is a little stronger than i'd like, slightly overpowering the stout character, but this feels much more like a fruit beer than a stout. still an interesting beer that i did enjoy.

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Photo of Viggo
3.72/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle opened thanks to grub!

Pours a cloudy reddish brown, definitely not dark enough for a stout, thin off white head forms, quickly settles to a thin ring, few lace spots. Smell is odd, very oaky/woody, vanilla, some cherries, alcohol, tons of fruit, more wood, not stoutish. Taste is crazy, brown sugar, smoke, charred wood and oak, caramel, oats, burnt chocolate, sour cherry finish, toasty and very drying. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, weird sour finish, still pretty interesting. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cola brown color with a modest tan head that drops to a ringlet and leaves a nice pattern of lace

Smell: Chocolate covered tart cherries

Taste: From the get go, there is a tango between the dark chocolate and sweet/sour cherry flavors that build in intensity to mid-palate; after the swallow, the tartness tends to dominate but there is an undertone of chocolate that lasts well into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Reading through the reviews, this is a most misunderstood beer (or perhaps it just tasted differently when it was younger); while there is some cherry sweetness, the bold tart flavors provide a nice foil to the chocolate and make this a very interesting creation; if it were classified as a Chocolate Flanders Red, that might capture BAs' attention more appropriately; kudos, New Glarus

And thanks, Unknown BA, for sharing

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Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown almost black with a small tan head.

Smell: Cherry cola with a touch of oak.

Taste: Cherry cola again with a with hints of apple, cinnamon, oak and grape skin. Light body with a tart dry finish. Slightly sour as it warms.

Why do I find all the awesome NG Unplugged brews after they're gone.

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Photo of JDV
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to buckybeer for the bottle!
Pours a dark, reddish black with a small, medium lived beige head. Smell is chocolate covered cherries. Both sweet and tart with cherries being very prominent in the nose. Taste is tart cherries and a very bright taste at first. Moderately sweet, and definitely more fruit beer than stout, and I didn't really get any roasty character. Acidic, tart, sharp cherry flavor reminiscent of sour cherry juice with a dull finish that could either be the beer just being a bit old or perhaps the woodiness of the oak... Lively mouthfeel, crisp and bubbly and slightly puckering and drying, yet slightly thin bodied. I really enjoyed this one overall!

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Photo of demcorhip
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been a while since i've had one. A black brew, seems clear, as it allows some light through its ruby hued edges. Half finger tan coloured head gave way to leave a thin collar of lace. Seems mildly carbonated. Fine intricate designs form for my enjoyment inside the glass as it is tipped and emptied.

Chocolate covered cherries and some sour funk. A dab of vanilla ice cream is thrown into the mix. Some nondescript earthy aromas.

A very interesting, tasty brew. Lightly toasted coconut, sour cherries, a hint of vanilla and a dab of sour funk. Cherries predominate over the roast, but the roasty flavours of espresso and dark chocolate are present, even if somewhat buried in the mix. A damn tasty brew, and my rating is based on my enjoyment of the beer, and not how it measures up to my notion of a stout, a cherry stout, or any other particular style.

Fairly light bodied, tart, fruity, with a touch of residual sweetness, and a hint of creamy feel. The main player here is tart and funky cherry, with the added complexity of flavours of coconut and chocolate from the malts. There may be hops present, but they do not assert themselves above the fruity and earthy characteristics of this tasty brew.

A pretty damn drinkable brew. Right balance of tart and sweet to make it easy to keep coming back for more. Unsure of the alcohol content, but this could be sessioned by those looking for a different, decadent treat. This brew seems to divide beer drinkers into those who love or hate this brew. Im a fan. An excellent tart fruit beer with a stout twist, beats the hell out of light american lager with a twist of lime any day.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.29/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle provided by NFLMVP ( Thanks Bro! ). The liquid is dark with moderate carbonation. The Head is quite small tan and leaves very little lace.

The smell is nice. I love the tart dry sour cherries. It reminds my of all those summers in Door County.

The taste is also very good. Lots of cherries but not much beer taste. But that's OK it's a Cherry Stout. Lots of wine characteristics. Could go well with desert. It gets better as it warms. A nice dry sourness with a oaky note in the finish. This works for me just fine.

The mouthfeel is good. OK body could be thicker and nice carbonation cleaning up the finish.

The drink a bility is good. I would buy this brew or trade again. Prosit. MK

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Photo of cokes
2.97/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Muddy, dark maroon brown sporting a large-bubbled, pink-beige lacing.
The oak and cherries provide the dominant nosework, with a sauerkraut tic that harkens back to their Sour Brown Ale. Vague cinnamon and vanilla come out as it warms. It contains no hints, aroma-wise, that this is even remotely akin to a stout.
And it really doesn't hint in the flavor department, either.
Tart cherries hit first and stay long. Gooey and candied upfront, they slowly dissolve as oak takes hold and adds woodsy, nearly cinnamon drying traits. It adopts a mulled cider persona for a moment. The tiniest glint of fudge appear, but a vinegar and lime-juice sourness shears it short, towing that selfsame notion of boiled kraut.
The mouthfeel is somewhere between grabby thick and flaccid thin. The liquid itself has little life and leaves a slime-trail of tart cherries and near bile acidity down the tongue. And with no percolation from CO2, it stays there seemingly forever.
To say it's horrible would be too harsh, but this has some glaring flaws, and with several very similar brews in NG's stable (i.e. Sour Brown, Enigma, and Belgian Red), this one cannot be recommended.

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Photo of cdkrenz
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

$8.49 / 4 Pack
County Market Grocery
Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Appearance - Nothing too spectacular about the look of this stout. It's dark brown with a tinge of crimson. The light tan head stood at about 1/4 inch, tops. It faded very fast leaving a ring along the glass.

Smell - There is a definite sweet aroma here. It smells like a brew that would be great in the morning or after a hearty dinner as a tart desert.

Taste - It starts as a rich stout and abruptly moves to a sweet and tart cherry blast. I like the taste. However, for a beer this is not something I would have expected. The cherry really takes over the entire flavor. Nothing other than the tart, as far as taste, is noticeable enough to savor. The label indicates it was aged in oak barrels. I would like to taste a bit more oak and a little less fruit.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and easily drinkable beer. It goes down very easy without a tinge of coarseness. Very nice.

~ I do like the Cherry Stout. I think it's fun and interesting. I'd likely get it again for a special occasion, or if it goes on sale. I don't think I'll be recommending it to any friends though, as a beer they gotta try.

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Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.7/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 Oz Bottle. Thanks for sharing Andy! Rich toasty coconut aroma, with light lemon creme, spiced pie and edges of chalk. Pours a clearish deep ebony-mahogany with rim of tan. Flavor comes forth as a somewhat complex spicy tang, coconut, and sweet nutmeg dusts. Cherries a bit artificial and maraschino-like. Bubbly. Seems dulled and not at all stout-like. More like a cherry brown ale, spiced with nutmeg and mace. Certainly some cherry juice tang and bright yeast character. Perplexing, yet not entirely fulfilling.

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Thumbprint Cherry Stout from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.77 out of 5 based on 506 ratings.
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