Thumbprint Imperial Weizen
New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Imperial WeizenThumbprint Imperial Weizen
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
German Weizenbock
Ranked #10
Ranked #4,257
4.07 | pDev: 12.04%
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
Thumbprint Imperial WeizenThumbprint Imperial Weizen
Notes: Do not waste time attempting to box this brew into some esoteric guide to styles. This is Dan's bold creation. His passion for unfiltered Weiss collides with Cascade Hops inventing our Imperial Hefe-Weizen. Dry hopping boldly rules over Wisconsin red wheat and our special strain of Bavarian yeast. At almost 20 O.P. this is the super mac daddy of Weiss beers. Decoction mashing was followed by excessive dry hopping to create a fierce onslaught of clove, cinnamon and citrus all in this living beer. Don't bother waiting to enjoy - the time is now.
Reviews: 351 | Ratings: 688 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Buck89
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass. A slightly hazy golden color with a thick and long-lasting off-white head. Aroma was was expected with wheat, banana, clove, pine, and citrus. Taste followed for the most part. I was expecting a muddled mess but I enjoyed picking out each element. Bright carbonation per the style and a medium feel. Did not feel like a 9.6% beer. Overall an unusual beer but I found it interesting.

 408 characters

Photo of Lucular
3.47/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is the most disappointed I've been in a New Glarus beer. A Cascade dry hopped imperial hefeweizen? That doesn't sound very good and despite my desire to give NG the benefit of the doubt I have to give my opinion that it isn't. It is easy too boozy and the citrus/pine notes clash jarringly with the weissbier. This is unfortunately my least favorite NG beer to date and it's not even close.

 395 characters

Photo of steveh
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Found this on one of my recent trips over the border to the Dairy State. Just reading at the NG website that this was distributed between April and June of this year -- could be good or bad news, let's see.

No real dating or ABV info on the bottle or at the web site, so I'm not sure where the 9.6% was found (I've contacted NG about the ABV in their beers and they always remain tight-lipped). I see the 20 O.P. (original Plato), but that would calculate to 8% (1° P = 0.4% alcohol -- give or take), not near 10%.

Poured into a tall Becher -- my usual Weizen glass being too large for a 12 ounce bottle.

L -- Hazy, deep golden-peach color with a dense, sticky white head that holds up very well and leaves great lacing.

S -- Bready malt, clove, light banana and citrus, peppery alcohol back.

T -- Very spicy hit of alcohol and/or hops up front. Sweetish, bready malt folds onto the palate with clove spices and peppery alcohol along with an underlying, light vanilla character. Finish and aftertaste is bitter to spicy hops with a touch of citrus cascade.

F -- Mouthfeel is soft to dry in the finish with a medium-robust body.

O -- I think I recall someone mentioning this beer when the Weihenstephaner-SN Braupakt Weizen collaboration was being discussed. The NG has a similar character, but I think the high alcohol skews the balance in this beer -- it's just not as easy to drink as the Braupakt was for me. Nevertheless, this is a well-brewed beer with an intriguing blend of styles.

I still have a Braupakt left in my stash -- maybe a side-by-side tasting is in order.

 1,591 characters

Photo of superspak
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got in a trade with GreenBayBA. 12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, best before 8/26/2018. Pours moderately hazy deep golden amber/light orange color with a 2 finger dense, creamy, and rocky off white head with amazing retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Thick soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Insane appearance. Aromas of big lemon, orange, grapefruit, banana, bubblegum, peach, pear, pineapple, melon, red apple, peppercorn, clove, cinnamon, wheat, cracker, biscuit dough, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, citrus hops, and bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, orange, grapefruit, banana, bubblegum, peach, pear, pineapple, melon, red apple, peppercorn, clove, cinnamon, wheat, cracker, biscuit dough, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light-moderate peppery yeast spiciness, herbal/floral/grassy bitterness; and slight wheat tang/tartness on the finish. Lingering notes of lemon, orange, grapefruit, banana, bubblegum, peach, pear, pineapple, melon, red apple, peppercorn, clove, cinnamon, wheat, cracker, biscuit dough, herbal, floral, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, citrus hops, and bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and no cloying/astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate increasing dryness from bitter/spiciness and carbonation. High carbonation and medium-plus body; with a very smooth, creamy/bready/grainy, and fairly crisp/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is fantastic. Minimal warming alcohol for 9.6%. Overall this is an amazing weizenbock! All around incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, citrus hops, and bready malt flavors; very smooth, crisp, and pretty refreshing to drink for the big ABV, with the moderately bitter/spicy/drying finish. Easily one of the best Helles Weizenbocks I've ever had, though not traditional. Perfectly balanced citrusy Cascade hops, German weizen yeast, and pale/wheat malts. A highly amazing offering, and spot on style example; other than the citrusy American hop notes.

 2,287 characters

Photo of REVZEB
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A weird weizenbock, but only in taste. The body is extra wheat forward by within parameters of style. The smell is slightly tart wheat with orange, clove and cinnamon. The taste though, has a weird coconut/pina collada finish that comes out of nowhere, just the oddest thing. Very bright for the style as well. Not a do over

 329 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I think this is my 3rd bottle. I've not been wowed by this yet.
Aroma is strong clove but also hopping. Wheat backing.
I poured aggressively so I have a huge head over and thicker looking body than typical hefe. Golden more than yellow.
Thick heavy hefe with a strong hop character. Nice earthy herbal hop flavor. Nice little bite in this too. Feels like sharp grain, bright hops and alcohol in that mix.
Fuller feel from a bigger beer than the fluffiness of a typical hefe.
I suspected this might be growing on me and I think it is.

 541 characters

Photo of leantom
3.91/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just an OK offering from NG. Here goes:

A: Cloudy orange. Does pour a massive head that leaves great lacing, though. Not as clear as other NG beers I've had.

S: Very...interesting. Can detect wheat, cereal grains, and biscuit with some lemon and lighter spices. However, the beer is quite boozy; I can definitely detect a lot of alcohol in the nose. There's also a fair bit of mustiness from the yeast that isn't particularly appealing.

T: Alright, not bad. But definitely not what I've come to expect from NG. Can detect lots of lemon and wheat - also a fair amount of grainy malt, and musty bread from the yeast. The beer is good, but it's quite boozy; there's definitely a lot of alcohol in the taste.

F: Good, as always.

O: A fairly good beer. Probably would not get again, though.

 805 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Had first in its 2014 release, I appear to be the first review in its summer 2018 release.

Of course... I cannot remember the 2014 rendition, particularly since I have no tasting notes. So, I will not guess about the improvements.

But, I will offer advice to drinkers: drink this cold as the alcohol gets in-your-face as Imperial Weizen warms.

It must be tough to work with this much wheat, so I will not criticize Imperial Weizen...... But, the yeast makes the hefe in my book. And this imperial's alcohol seems to overpower its yeast. Not as much fruit as I like and... where is my banana?

I like New Glarus and their Dancing Man wins my award as the best American hefe. But let me ask: Is this what happens if you adapt Dancing Man's yeast for twice as much wheat?

 772 characters

Photo of cyclonece09
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours cloudy orange yellow with a big white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of sweet grain with hints of banana and berries. Tastes of roasted grain with slight berries and molasses taste. Beer is medium bodied and carbonated nicely, complex yet drinkable. Overall, a very good beer.

 336 characters

Photo of SierraFlight
4.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass and shared with Kristy K at the condo. Hazy orange with a thin off-white head but excellent lacing. Aroma is yeast, wheat, clove, green apple, bubblegum, and citrus. Taste is classic hefeweizen with clove, banana, and bread sweetness plus some citric hoppy bitterness. Medium body, creamy texture, lively carbonation, boozy and phenolic on the finish.

 388 characters

Photo of Ob1wan
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2011, 12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter.

Nice, bubbly head which stuck around on the edges.

Great dark amber color. Fair amount of yeast sediment.

Strong alcohol flavor, but still enjoyable.

Overall a very good beer.

Still have one left in the cellar, but probably won't let it sit much longer after having had this one.

 330 characters

Photo of kevanb
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Glarus First Anniversary Willibecher glass.

The beer pours a hazy, golden copper color, a few bubbles whirring around in the glass with a big, cloudy, puffy, loose, white head, about 3 fingers high that has excellent retention and yields a nice wall of lace behind. The aroma is big, plenty of yeasty clove, pineapple, lemon citrus, banana, grain, nutmeg and a bit of spice, nicely complex but with a big burst of alcohol at the end. The flavors mirror well, plenty of fruity yeast, citrus, spice, grain, banana, clove but again, sharp alcohol and hop bitterness washes over the finish. The mouthfeel is nice, very lively and carbonated, coats the mouth well and finishes a bit harshly but with ease.

Verdict: A nice Weizenbock from New Glarus, big and bold with a lot of flavor, perhaps a bit too astringent for only 9.60%, but all in all a nice treat of a beer that has aged nicely over the past few months. Kudos to Dan for this creation, it's bold and hoppy as advertised.

 1,009 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.24/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Bottleneck says 2273.

A- Pours a semi-hazy medium amber color with a full inch of off-white head that retains very well before reducing to a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam.

S- Musty, hoppy, yeasty, flowery...what is that?

T- Somewhat sweet, rich and yeasty. Would never guess that this is 9.6% ABV as it is incredibly drinkable. There are some spices, wheat and some slight hop bitterness. Also a bit fruity.

M- Tangy, zesty, snappy, vibrant. Medium-high carbonation and a lightish body.

O- This review really brought out all my adjectives. So unique and tasty. Like no other weizenbock I've had. Almost perplexing.

 723 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

From notes on 11/9/13

Spicy clove smell with a hint of cherry. Lots of aroma. Poured cloudy with a lot of head. Very flavorful beer. I don't like clove in my beers, but oddly I do here. This beer is very tart, but I think the clove and hints of cinnamon spice balance it out nicely. I’m very impressed by this beer. Wow!

 323 characters

Photo of buschbeer
4.01/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a beer flute

A - It is golden bodied with about a foot of off-white head that clings to the sides for dear life.

S - I smell bread, spices, and a little citrus, orange.

T - The taste has some clove, lemon, orange, and a bitter finish. I get alcohol as it warms and bread.

M - Foamy. This beer is all head. Once it settles it is medium bodied.

O - It is a hoppy version of a great style. It reminds me of Schneider Hopfenweisse.

 463 characters

Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.16/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle (2013) served to chalice. Drank 6-10-14. Compared this head-to-head with Vitus.

Hazy orange, darker in color than the Vitus, like orange juice with a splash of lemonade. Got an impressive 1.5-finger head, leaving some lovely irregular lacing.

Aroma's less complex than the Vitus. Aside from spice, and very faint banana, there's little here. It's not unpleasant, just muted, relatively speaking.

Yeasty spice, with wheat. Very creamy mouthfeel, more enjoyable in that regard than Vitus. Almost dangerously drinkable.

 532 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a straw yellow color that tends toward orange. completely opaque and full of a wheaty haze. Huge 3-4 finger, in a skinny weizen glass, head of a white color. sticks around the entire time and leaves a huge lacing on the side of the whole glass.

Smell: I am immediately hit with huge bubblegum aroma, like no beer i have ever smelled before. lots of yeast qualities come as i get a closer smell, its full of cloves and a slight spiciness.

Taste: opens up with a bubblegum sweetness. quickly makes way to a drier clove taste. some light citrus taste. the wheat used tastes unlike anything in a beer i have tasted before, its sweeter and has more character. a slight but indistinct spice comes in the end.

Mouthfeel: extremely drinkable. fairly dry. slight bitterness.

Overall: New Glarus certainly has a way with yeast. between this, their dark belgians and sours, you can't find many breweries who do so well with yeast. also possibly the most unique twist on a weizen I have had. I really like the wheat they use in this beer, and the yeast qualities are killer. really wished I could have tasted this when it was fresher.

 1,142 characters

Photo of pknyc
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this one as an extra in a trade. Bottle dated 08/15/2013, opened 03/31/2014. Bottle says to drink fresh, but I'm still giving it a whirl.

A: With an aggressive pour there was a 3 finger white head of dense bubbles that took quite a while to simmer down. Really mountainous with tons of lacing everywhere. Fine cloudy pale amber color. It looks good.

S: Very interesting. Lemon zest and cut grass. Bready malt behind the lemon, citrus aromas. Not sure if the citrus is from the yeast or the hops (due to the age of the bottle). Nicely crisp and clean smelling with clove and spices. Faint pepper.

T: Wheat. Alcohol sneaks in the back. Band-aid? I've never tasted clorophenol before in beer but it seems like there is a little band-aid flavor that sticks with you after the swallow. I feel that something isn't exactly right. Mostly citrus and bready malt. Very different than the nose, but this could be due to the age.

M: A bit effervescent like those expressed in weisse beers, but it ends with a moderately heavy and coating swallow.

O: A slow sipper for sure. I'm happy I tried it, as I've really enjoyed everything else that I've tried from New Glarus, but this may have been tripped up by the age.

 1,216 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The American microbrewery attitude continues to trample upon traditional styles, pummeling them into submission. New Glarus claims victim to the German Hefeweizen by "imperial-izing" its strength and complexity, while also hopping the ale the "American" way.

Its pour is the standard hazy straw color than makes weizen famous. Where its high effervesce is expected, those bubbles fuel a head of rock and fizz, looking slightly more Belgian-like than that creamy character of German wheat. Its certainly an exuberant beer that laces the glass lightly while its retention is semi-stern.

Zesty and fruity aromas abound- lead by lemon, orange peel and grapefruit- its tangy scent of white wine rivals it's traditional bready scent of whole wheat. Cider and tart grape provide an earthy fruit note while the spice of clove, cinnamon and cumin follow closely behind.

Its shocking taste is much drier and tangy than expected. Its bready-sweet upstart is wafer-thin and short; paving the way for fruit and acidity to pang away at the middle palate. Its taste of pink grapefruit, orange slices and green apple outweigh that of banana and thrust into a more tart and dry zinfindale and cider flavor. Its spicy finish is of soft pine, straw, cumin, clove and cinnamon- much a melange of Bavaria and America's West Coast.

Much drier than usual, the beer's proportions in texture much more align with that of Saison. But those bready beginnings carry through with echoes, even while the zest of acidity springs off the tongue, ushering in a bone-dry and spicy-warm finish.

I rather like the dry effervescence and the American hop character that this distinctive weizen presents. Its a rustic and zesty attitude that resonates through the session with sprite and zeal.

 1,759 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle served in a Prairie Teku

A - Pours a cloudy glowing orange color with a massive frothy head that mounds up and with billowy foam. Great sticky lacing patterns. Very cool looking beer.

S - Bready, fresh hoppy aroma, tangerines, Mandarin oranges, spicy, dried mace and clove are prominent.

T - Bright citrus, some tropical fruit, mango and papaya, pureed peach, malted wheat, lightly spicy yeast, there's a soft sweetness that is rounded out with a slightly spicy bitterness. Finishes fruity with some bitterness left on the palate.

M - Very smooth and creamy body, ample carbonation, the wheat gives it plenty of heft without being too heavy.

Not your typical Weizenbock but very tasty indeed. The dry hopping is welcomed and the twist of tropical and citrus fruit really works with the wheat malts almost giving a bright lift. The body is smooth and creamy and the beer is beautiful in a glass. This is a must try.

 933 characters

Photo of TheSSG
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an insanely huge, dense, white head that has tons of persistence and laces all over the place. A bright, astringent, citrus-rind aroma with some yeastiness behind it (not good, but not bad...definitely weird). Hazy, straw color. Starts off with a huge burst of citrus hops, then warming booziness as the sweet malt starts to show. Medium bitterness, and a yeasty, citrus finish atop of smooth malt.

This is a weird one. I don't hate it, but I don't love it. It is quite good, but also odd. It's a yeasty, somewhat sweet, malty brew with a HUGE citric quality that isn't necessarily out of place, but just really unexpected. Definitely not for everyone (myself included).

 678 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour is hazed deep amber with a tight off white head leaving a thick lace. Nose is interesting, a lightly muddled wheat malt and spicy earthy yeast note give way to lemon and clove with a touch of candied lemon. There is a bit of an herbal back end. Taste has a lot happening, the wheat malt is up front, its earthy and musky. The yeast is quite spicy mingling with the candied lemon and some sweetness through the finish. Well carbonated, spice lingers, peppery. Body is full and creamy, faint dryness and a bit sweet through the finish.

 538 characters

Photo of JamesShoemaker
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a stemless wine glass. No bottle date, but this isn't the most recent Thumbprint release, so I assume that this is at least a few months old. I love the Thumbprint series, and this may be one of the best.

A - gorgeous beer, near perfect. It pours a huge head, even on a gentle pour, rising three, four fingers high. It recedes very, very slowly from the sides, remains thick in the middle, lacing all the way up to the top of the glass. The color is a nice orange, semi-translucent, some sediment, pervasive carbonation bubbles.

S - delicious. Sweet hints of citrus right up front, followed by some dank, Belgian-yeast. Not unlike a Berliner Weisse, yet very subtle. The alcohol is undetectable.

T - good. There are some interesting things going on here. This beer almost drinks like grapefruit juice, because there's not much carbonation at first, and it starts bitter, threatens to overwhelm, but quickly becomes sweet. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a bret yeast strain, though it's not as biting as I'd expect. The base is certainly wheaty, but the flavors stack in a really nice way.

M - there's balance here, but it's not like any beer I've ever tried. There's some sourness and bittnerness that clings to the mouth, making it less smooth than it could be. The alcohol, again, is well-hidden.

O - one of my favorite New Glarus beers to date. I hope they bring this one back.

 1,426 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a generous friend. Pours a hazy orange yellow with a massive creamy and fluffy white to off-white head. The head just won't quit! Beautiful fruit medley of banana, pear, bright citrus, spicy earthy funky yeast, bubble gum, floral notes of hibiscus and jasmine, and even what smells like some dank hops. This is beautiful, really incredible nose. The flavor is big florals and zesty hops up front followed by sweet pears and orange citrus, then finishing with a funky banana yeasty ness. There is significant zest to this in front of what seems to be a nice hefe and the combination is both unique and deliciously refreshing. I am surprised at how bright the hops still are, as I waited way too long to drink this. Medium body with medium high carbonation and loads of complex flavors. New Glarus does it again. I could drink this all day and there is no sign of the 9%+ ABV anywhere. This one could get dangerous.

 925 characters

Photo of barczar
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy tangerine with a billowing, pillowy cream head that lingers.

Resin, soft citrus, clove, bubblegum, and banana leap from the glass. Wheat, grain, and earthy hops add contrast. Huge notes of peach emerge late.

Peach and tangerine explode in the flavor profile. There's an underlying resin and earthy character that carries throughout. Hints of clove, banana, and bubblegum add complexity to a fairly dry wheat backbone. The finish is resiny and bitter.

Body is moderate to a touch full, with carbonation on the high side, and noted alcohol warmth.

Love the fruit flavors that dominate. I'm not a wheat beer fan, but this isn't your typical weiss. The finish is just a touch too bitter. Couldn't tell it's as high as it is in abv.

 744 characters

Thumbprint Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 688 ratings