Thumbprint Imperial Weizen | New Glarus Brewing Company

639 Ratings
Thumbprint Imperial WeizenThumbprint Imperial Weizen

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Weizenbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.60%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by EliteDigger on 02-11-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 639
Photo of Trilogy31
1.92/5  rDev -52.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a classic hazy honeyed golden brown with a thick two fingers of head thqt holds its form through the entirety of the beer. Nose has odd ethyl/chemical aroma up front along with rubber and maybe light clove and banana if i trick myself into believing its there. Banana malt character with an upleasing hop bitterness and my rubber smell can now be better described as a burning plastic taste - really not good stuff and im thinking my bottle is just off based on previous reviews. Whats left of the oftputting taste really just destroys any points gained on the mouthfeel - this beer or bottle is just really really bad - if i didnt want to feel the abv this is a drain pour for sure.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
2.12/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12oz from the birthday BIF. Thanks! Poured into allagash tulip.

A- Bright hazy yellow with a nice snowdrift head. Very good pour- can't wait to dive into this one.

S- Overpowering clove and banana. Clove goes too far- it's choking me out. Strong alcohol noticed as well.

T- Ugh. More clove, with clove on top. Banana and bazooka joe bubble gum. Twinge of orange. Soapy/lemony taste in the finish. Hot and boozy to boot.

M- Too much spice added or the yeast went crazy.. I don't like this beer in my mouth. It's abrasive/hot on the tongue.

O- No thanks. Worth a shot, but not for me.


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Photo of DearthVader
2.62/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz'er courtesy of larsenju.

Poured into my Duvel Green tulip

Pours and a very murky golden yellow that is not see-through at all. From an average pour a giant 3 finger head of white foam erupted. Leaves beautiful lacing for a hef.

Smell is very off putting to me. I get a tingle in my nose from the alcohol and then an overwhelming scent of bananas to cover it up.

Taste is exactly like the smell just a little more bearable. Slight alcohol then an explosion of banana that coats my mouth. I actually like the aftertaste quite a bit thats why the score wasn't lower.

Mouthfeel I think is probably how it's suppose to be. First Imperial Weizen so I'm not sure. It did drink relatively smoothly.

Not really impressed by this one at all and I'm a little upset since it was my first New Glarus brew. I look forward to trying the Belgian Red and Raspberry Tart that are in the cellar.

Thanks again Justin!

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Photo of shbobdb
2.87/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I really like the idea of marrying American hops with a German hefe-weizen. But for whatever reason, when brewers decide to bring this relationship to fruition, they decide to crank the dial to 11 and let the world burn. Huge hops, huge alcohol, esters from the yeast? Well, they can fight for some place in the background, we've got a big beer to brew!


The beer pours looking delicious. A nice cloudy orange-yellow body with a meringue head. I meann that, big, fluffy, white, and ever-lasting. As the volume of the beer decreases, it leaves huge whopping gobs of lace. Just crazy.

That is, unfortunately, the best part of the beer. The hops are huge on the nose. Lots of lime and grapefruit with a strong blast of alcohol.

The taste pretty much follows the nose. The side of the bottle talks about a German wheat yeast, but there are no esters to be found. To compound matters, the beer is paper-thin, so all you are left with is a mouth full of hops and a strong alcoholic burn. I mean, yeah, as the beer warms you start to get some banana, but it is so overwhelmed by the hops that I'm not really sure it should even bother being there.

A huge letdown from NG.

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Photo of mariposafan
2.88/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Bottle cellared for 7 weeks to allow the hops to fade.

Gorgeous. Big, beautiful, creamy head over a glowing murky golden body. Pity it smells so piney and boozy. Some of the banana/bubblegum weizen character comes through but they don't own the show.

Fortunately the hop flavors have faded some so it doesn't taste like a pine tree, though there's still some of it. Unfortunately there's still enough bitterness to detract from weizen flavors that are starting to come through. The flavors that are there remind me that New Glarus knows how to handle wheat beers - some banana and cloves with a dose of bubblegum, all overlaid on a pine tree.

The mouthfeel is amazing - as good as Don de Dieu. Smooth, slightly viscous, creamy. Just incredibly appealing.

Overall, with less hoppiness this would be amazing. As it is, the hops mask the qualities I look for in a weizenbock, or any weizen beer.

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Photo of Floydster
2.98/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with mikesgroove, thanks again Mike, drinking it right now from my Bull and Bush mug, color is a lighter golden orange, big two inch white fluffy head that has lasted over ten minutes, good retention, some lacing at the top, aroma consists of booze, wheat, candied sugar, clove, ginger, peppermint, grassy accents, lemons, and sweet malt, taste starts off with malty sweetness, spices in the middle and chewy wheat too, finish is strong with a big alcohol kick, becomes even harder to drink as it warms with too much booze shining through mixed with overly sweet malts, need more spice for it to really work, sweet, boozy, and spicy mouthfeel, high level of carbonation, taste lingers a very long time, you can taste every drop of alcohol in this one, not hidden at all, heavy on the stomach, not smooth, cannot say this my favorite from the Unplugged series by any means, a little over the top in my opinion, would not drink again, worth trying

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a four pack. Poured a large foamy head on a cloudy, light amber body. Very "wheaty", with good doses of sweetness, clove and citrus mixed in, as well as banana. Taste was much the same, very heavy, cloves very prominent, but with a big grapefruit finish. Had the thickness one would expect from a wheat.

I had very, very high hopes for this, as it's my favorite style and one of my favorite brewers. And it started off nicely, but about midway through, that grapefruit and alcohol bite became just too much, drowning out the other characteristics. I drank the other three in the pack, and came away with the same impression. Bit disappointing, really.

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Photo of crossovert
3.13/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Having just returned from 4 monthsin Germany I thought I would give this one a shot. I guess it isn't a traditional beer but whatever.

First off I grab my Weihenstephaner glass and pour it. Then i realize (or all of Germany). The head definitely is "prettier" than most German wheat beers. I tend to prefer the more rustic, creamy look of the German ones, of course this doesn't apply to all cases.the beer it self is a cloudy light gold. Perhaps a bit light for a weizenbock, but good looking nonetheless.

The smell is the first thing noticeably different here. This is alcoholic and hoppy, not really what the typical German weizenbock is.

The flavor is similar. Too hoppy and orangey/bitter.

I understand this is a bit of an experiment as it is a completely new style of brew, but one of Dan's weaker ones unfortunately. Hops + Weissbier is a hard thing to get right, Dan should try some Schneider for reference.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
3.14/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - It pours a ridiculously radiant hazed orange hue, and is capped with a large bone-white head that deposits significant lace.

S - The nose is pungently yeasty, wheaty, and hoppy, simultaneously. Notes of banana and (real) watermelon mingle with overripe grapefruit, and the aroma generally suggests a bitter and hoppy edge to the brew. There is a little bit of a negative connotation to the aroma, as it reminds me ever so slightly of fresh latex paint.

T - The taste is equally sweet and bitter, with lots of grapefruit, lemon rind, ripe banana and even karela apparent in the flavor profile. The bitterness definitely takes over toward the finish, and a lingering astringent citrus zest impression hangs on far beyond the quaff. Alcohol is too noticeable here.

M - Medium-bodied with slightly sharp carbonation; enhances the brew.

O - While the brew is solid, I am not crazed over it due to the overly bitter character, noticeable alcohol, and my personal disdain for a particular element of the aroma.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.15/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to BeerFMAndy for getting a box of New Glarus out to me. Served in a New Glarus taster glass.

Pours a fairly-cloudy bright yellow-golden with a short white head and a spot or two of lacing on the way down. The nose has quite a bit of sweetness combined with some banana, clove, and a touch of spice. The flavor is fairly boozy with some spice and residual sweetness. Too much malt sugar remaining here, IMO. Body is a bit thicker than I'd like with some extra alcohol. I prefer NG's lower-abv German wheat offerings.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Cloudy pale gold hue. Solid finger of bright white head. Some sticky lace remains.

S: Super pungent citrus hops along with clove, banana, wheat bread and a bit of the alcohol. No mistaking this is an Imperial version of the style.

T: Again I'm blasted with citrus hops. Lemon and grapefruit are overly dominant. Luckily as it warms the banana starts to really come through. Clove, coriander, wheat and bubblegum are present as well.

M: Medium body with a creamy start and a carbonated finish.

O: Way too hoppy for my taste. I love heffes like no other but this one is just a bit strange for me.

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Photo of BrewSomerville
3.24/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Spicy, cloves, bubble gum, peppery.

Looks: Hazy orange/yellow. Big thick white head. Good head retention. Excellent lacing, a thick sheet of lace was left behind on the side of the glass.

Taste: Cloves, black pepper. There was heat from the alcohol. Way more bitterness than a normal heffe (this isn't meant to be normal). Some peachy- mango flavours too.

Mouthfeel: Med-full bodied. Average carbonation, possibly even less than average if compared to a normal heffe.

Overall, I thought it was a good Beer. A little bit hot, and it's more of a sipping Beer to me.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A- pours an extremely cloudy shade of yellow with a two finger white head. The head is very puffy, sticks around for awhile. Nice.

S- it smells very astringent....very boozy. Lots of banana as well.

T- light banana, thankfully not much booze. But there *is* some heat in the back end

M- on the thick side. Bleh

O- not a huge fan of this one. Hefeweizen on steroids. Not my cup of tea

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from BuckeyeNation, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy orange/gold color with a large foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, bananas, light malts, citrus and some hops.

T: The taste is spicy and fruity up front with flavors of lemon, banana & clove. Then there's a bite of alcohol followed by bready flavors of yeast and a hearty malt character. There's a decent hops presence, but there doesn't seem to be much balance in this beer. The after-taste is slightly spicy and slightly bready.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style but I think this beer is guilty of losing the essence of the style for the sake of going "imperial", it's not a bad beer but it's not one that I'd choose again.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A vigorous pour easily produces a five-finger thick, tan colored head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. The head is thick and creamy with quite a bit of structure and staying power and it also leaves lots of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a murky, pale amber color that shows a deeply hazed, reddish-orange tinged hue when held up to the light. The aroma most noticeably smells of clove, but there is also more phenolics that lean towards, but don't quite get to, aromas of plastic. Fruit aromatics also play a role here; hints of typical banana, a slight, weird tropical fruit note and some musky melon notes. there is almost a weird tartness this beer and there is a fairly big grain character that leans towards dusty crushed grain and cracker-like malt. There is a certain spiciness here as well that I can't quite place; somewhat like pepper, or grains of paradise, maybe a hint of horseradish, I really can't quite grasp it. An interesting nose, the higher original gravity seems to have produced a lot more esters and phenolics than one gets in a typical gravity Weizen-yeast ferment. I am not quite sure it all works though, but it is interesting enough to not be objectionable.

As I take my first sip I also breath in the aroma, at which point it gets a bit hot with volatile esters and higher alcohols. The flavor tastes of lightly sweet, dusty / chewy grain, with a backdrop of softer clove and other phenolic notes of plastic being lightly noticed. Quite spicy, especially through to the finish where the piquancy is magnified a bit by a wheat tartness; peppery notes in combination with the carbonation, sour ginger flavors, hot higher alcohols, . Some sour melon notes and some not quite ripe pear flavors add a touch of fruitiness to this beer. The body as a light fullness to it that is about right for a chewy Hefeweizen, but is down right dangerous for a beer of almost 10% abv; though the alcohol gets quite hot, so it ultimately is not hidden very well.

Clearly a derivative of a German Weizen and not nearly as funky as my description may lead one to believe; many of these flavors and aromas are noted particularly because they don't usually play a role in the typical German Weizen profile. An interesting beer, even if it doesn't quite work, and it doesn't seem to have that stripped out, filtered to death character that is typical of many New Glarus beers (not to say this isn't filtered, it may be, but it better survived the process than some of their other beers).

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is cloudy and straw yellow hued with an inch of dense, white head. The aroma offers a healthy serving of banana, with some wheat And lemons coming in behind. The flavor does not live up to the promise of the aroma. A bit soapy, and alcohol presence, which was absent in the aroma, asserts itself in the flavor profile. Lemon zest and window cleaner. Not horrible, but also not a repeat for me. Medium bodied with an odd astringency. Aventinus is still the go to weizenbock for me.

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Photo of alcstradamus
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Found a stash of these at my favorite local beer spot. Not sure if they had had them stashed in the back of the cooler for the last 18 months or if perhaps the New Glarus distributor unloaded some old inventory on them. Either way, I'm excited!

Pours a clear glowing amber/orange color with 3 fingers of fluffy head that leaves lacing behind. Quite beautiful really.

Smell is apple peel, clove, biscuits, alcohol burn, and some pink bubblegum. Pretty bold...this doesn't appear to have faded any. We'll see how it tastes...

Hmmm, this is definitely unique in the world of Hefeweizens. Not sure if it is just the age, but I'm picking up more bold musty flavors and alcohol that I normally do from this style. Not bad though, just different. There are some subtleties floating around but mostly the taste is just orange peel, yeast, and booze.

Mouthfeel is highly carbonated and medium bodied. Solid in this department.

This one just has a bit too much heat for the style to give it good drinkability. I'm definitely glad I got to try it though.

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Photo of abents
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours out beautifully with a golden hue and HUGE white head that laces nicely. Smells wheat-citrus(orange/lemon) with spices. Big citrus bang with lingering wheat raging in my mouth. Very long grapefruit/spice (nutmeg?) finish. Huge carbonation that dominates the beer almost off putting. Very interesting take on a weizen, definitely thinking outside the box (although I think Pyramid makes one too), but just not to my tastes.
I imagine weizen to be light and refreshing and this is dominating and confusing. I guess I can't compare this "imperial" weizen to anything else, but it's not for me.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#4 in our recent (and inadvertant) New Glarus tasting. Shared with schmittymack (thanks FrankenBrew). Poured a hazy golden color with a huge, rocky, white head. Aromas of spice, clove and bananas. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with flavors of clove, brown spice and banana.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.36/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer is clear (clearer than you'd expect a hefe to be), medium-to-dark copper color, with a really thick poofy head and lots of lace. It smells a little sour, hoppy in a Belgian way (which reminds me of Urthel Hop-It), no banana nor clove. The taste is the same as the aroma, a subdued sour flavor under a strong hops presence that's more Belgian than German or American in my humble opinion. Fairly thick body for the style, maybe a 7.5 on a 1-10 scale from water to oil. Not tasty enough nor light enough to rate drinkability above a 3.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.39/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to JDV for this bottle.

A-Cloudy orange caramel color,fluffy white head, lots of cabonation bubbles running up the side. Looks good
S-Spicy/Peppery smell, musty and belgianesque, slight medicinal phenolic smell
T-Alcohol and bananas right away, very hoppy bitter finish, spicy belgian like yeast flavor and rough wheat grain become more apparent as warms
M-Full in mouth especially for the style, creamy but good cabonation
D-Glad to drink one but probably wouldn't reach for too many of these. Alcohol flavor detracts somewhat from drinkability.

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Photo of RHCP313
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at a Woodman's on the way to a 4th of July celebration in Fond Du Lac, Wi. but consumed 7/8.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours a very hazy, unfiltered golden orange. Carries a little burnt orange shadow when held at eye level. A full finger of creamy eggshell white head sits and sits. Doesn't go anywhere, and leaves behind rings of sticky, webbed lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: Right off the bat it's booze. Just on the wrong side of carrying a stinging rubbing alcohol burn. Behind the astringent alcohol lie some yeast, banana, clove and spice. Picking up a little peeled lemon rind as well.

T: Again, a little hot in front, met with vibrant lemon. Tart, zesty citrus doesn't completely mellow until aftertaste. Yeast and lemon zest with rind are stars here.

M: Wave of quick tight carbonation up front mellows to the consistency of a cask beer. Smooth and thin across my palate. Actually kind of refreshing. A palate cleanser of any sorts of fatty foods for sure. I'd love to pair this with cheese.

O: I'm always excited to see an Unplugged offering from New Glarus. In this case, I drank the first three in the pack celebrating out on the lake. It was refreshing then, and refreshing now. During a sitdown review, I find that it drinks very young. The combination of strong, boozy, waxy lemon flavor dominates this beer and either seems unfinished, or needs time to mellow.

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Photo of ahq514
3.41/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

Pours a huge head. Half a glass of foam and I didn't pour too vigorously. Had to wait quite awhile for it to settle. Pours very similar color as the Dancing Man with maybe a slightly amberish hue. Great lacing, gobs of foam sticking to the sides of the glass.

Really heavy clove scent mixed with some citrusy hops. Interesting to say the least. Banana is there, but not real prevalent. Cinnamon in the background.

Hopped up hefeweizen is what it tastes like. Not actually a huge fan. I like the lack of hops in hefeweizens usually. Hops hit right off the bat with a citrus burst and spicy clove and wheat quickly come in right behind it. The alcohol is definitely there, it gives a little bit of a warming finish.

Mouthfeel is good. A little on the higher side of carbonation, but not overly so. Medium bodied.

Overall, I like the attempt of a hopped up hefeweizen, but its not for me. The citrus hops and bavarian wheat yeast flavors just clash to me. Glad I tried it, but probably wouldn't get it again. I'd take a Dancing Man over this anyday.

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3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A fuzzy glowing straw gold colored body hosts a rocky off white head. Lots of lace is left behind. Nose has notes of mellon, crisp wheat and doughy bready tones. Big zesty wheat tones enter the mouth with a bang. Some sharp dry hop notes are mixed onto the back of the palate. Alchol is noticeable but not harsh. This definetly takes a wheat beer to the next level. Mouthfeel is oddly super thick and prickly. This takes points off of the drinkability.

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Photo of BasementBer
3.44/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A:Thick orange hazy body with an amazing bone white head with rocky peaks and absolutely massive lacing.

S: Thick wheat smell with a touch of fruity notes however alcohol is a present smell, like a whiskey or rum.

T: Bananas and booze. Its not the best of qualities of this beer but the hops come through with the wheaty flavor but the finish is very boozy.

M: The bitter fixes on the tongue something fierce, but the boozy finish is what leaves you tingling.

D: Wow, definitely a one time beer in an evening (or brunch) but its a great example of an imperial version.

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Thumbprint Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 639 ratings.
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