Thumbprint Imperial Weizen | New Glarus Brewing Company

343 Reviews
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: 638
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 grandq
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, butterscotch with a fluffy two finger head. Setting it down to type, i can smell a bit of banana bread from the table a couple feet away. As I shove my nose in, I pick up a more complex scent, adding honey, clove and citrus hop to the aroma. The flavor consists of most of usual suspects for a hefe, banana, lemon, clove, a touch of apricot, and bubblegummy yeast. Hop presence isn't too strong, but a nice compliment - citrus fruits again with a bit of a peppery bite - much more noticeable on the nose than on the tongue. Slightly dissapointing there, as I like what the smell advertises. As it warms up a bit I'm getting more and more rind bitterness, which becomes a little rough on the taste buds. This is a bit thicker and creamier than most in the style, but the "imperial" stamp lead me to expect as much. The lingering, coating body is quite satisfying, though leaves the gum flavor to hang around a bit longer than I might like. I'm not the biggest hefe fan in the world to start with, but this is a nice, beefed up American interpretation that I'd go for again in warmer weather. Thanks mully for the bottle.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single, bought a 4 pack at steve's university

appearance: served in a bells tulip, hazy orange body with a huge white foam cap and fantastic lacing - quite the site to behold...dead sexy looking beer

smell: sweet bananas and cream, fresh citrus, clove and white pepper, hoppy and fruity, clean and refreshing

taste: wonderful! clean citrus hops and sweet banana carry the flavour profile in fantastic fashion...white pepper and clove provide a great compliment, abv hardly noticed until the aftertaste. Nice bubblegum kick - Great offering!

mouthfeel: clean and refreshing - a delight

drinkability: high

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Photo of emerge077
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Three fingers of creamy meringue foam rise to the 0.5L mark in a curvy weizen glass. After settling, there's a wispy crown of lace that remains. Deep hazy orange tone, with ever present streams of lazy carbonation.

Clove and citrus are dominant in the nose, with a sweet banana creme pie notion. Inhaling deeply gets a more phenolic note with a muted presence of alcohol.

After the first sip, the bigger body is noticeable, compared to Dancing Man Hefeweizen. More pronounced citrus, lemon, orange, with smooth banana/clove combo in the background. A light grapefruit bitterness is there too. Creamy feel and very tasty. The higher abv may limit a session to 2 at a time. Break out that liter krug, or dump 4 into a 2L boot if you're feeling like a beerfest. This is a call-out to the holiest of holies, the perfect American usurper to challenge Weihenstephaner, et al.

A big thanks to malcontent for bringing this back from WI!

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Photo of nsmartell
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. Straight from the bottle to a standard pint glass. The next tasting will be from a weiss glass; my bad.

Appearance: Very nice hazy yellow/orange with a HUGE head that lasted quite a while.

Smell: - My favorite part of this beer. Interesting and complex aroma. Citrusy and very hoppy.

Taste: Lots of wheat up front, but the finish is too bitter for my liking for a weiss.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and quite creamy.

Drinkability: The flavors make this good for one or two, but definitely very interesting.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
4.62/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a weiss glass.

Poured a HUGE creamy thick head that settles to a rocky, soap bubbly head. Sticky lacing all around the glass. Color is pale straw with reasonable cloud.

Aroma is banana and clove. Big whiff of fruity hops and great smell of fruity yeast and wheat. The smell reaches out and grabs you from across the room. Fruity and hoppy, yeasty.

Taste is clove and banana. Citrus and hops that are perfectly balanced with the fruity yeast and wheat. This weiss has a beautiful hop flavor that is quite a bit more pronounced than most hefeweizen I have had. The hops make this a very refreshing brew indeed. Finish is clove and bubblegum with a small alcohol backing. Delicious.

Mouth feel is thin bodied with a very smooth carbonation that turns to a more biting carbonation on the finish. The cloves and hops almost numbs the tongue a little, but not in a bad way.

An excellent example of a hefeweizen that has it's own original characteristics thrown in. Highly recommended.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Cloudy yellowish orange with a thin rocky white head that remained on top like a dollop of whipped cream.

S - Huge clove, yeasty aroma with a touch of cinnamon rounded out by lemon and orange citrus.

T - The clove is strong in the beginning but then mellows as lemon and banana come more into play. The citrus Cascade hops are more noticeable than in the aroma and blend nicely with the lemon, vanilla & yeasty flavors. This reminds me of some type of orange cream, vanilla whipped fruit drink in both flavor and mouthfeel. Very interesting.

M - Velvety smooth and creamy with a full mouthfeel. It is so fluffy that it almost feels whipped. Dry finish that leaves some hop burps behind.

D - A very unique blend of styles. It is definitely an Imperial version. I really think the Cascade hops play well with the Hefeweizen. For some reason all I could think of the entire review is the old Orange Julius they used to sell in shopping malls.

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

New Glarus's string of disappointing entries in its Unplugged series ends with this baby. It's very tripel-ish, yet with a wheat backbone that sets it apart. Pours with a massive, scultpable French-vanilla-colored head, with ridges and valleys that would do the topography of Colorad proud. Color is hazy orange. The aroma is clove, with lots of clove and spice and detectable wheat notes in the first tasting, followed by some bitter apricot. Full and round in the mouth. Clean but not light on the fnish. Wonderful beer.

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Photo of Mdog
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy orange, huge rocky head, tons o' lacing.

Smell: INTENSE spices, clove and cinnamon.

Taste: Spicy clove, black pepper before a little fruity sweetness, but dominated by the spices through the finish.

Drinkability: Somewhat strong and strong flavored, so one or two is enough at a sitting.

This is an excellent beer, if it was more to the banana side than the clove side I probably would have enjoyed it even more. Pretty much a hefe on steroids. Very tasty.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.65/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick looking concoction of a muddled yellow/brown/orange tone. Bighugeass whipped creamy white topping. Lace is bountiful. Fantastic aroma. Huge weizen yeastiness blends with a citric blast of cascades and other weizen goodies (like banana and spice). The taste is big on the hefeweizen characteristics. The yeasty, doughy yeastiness provides substantial character while light banana and vanilla tones come and go. And the lemon character is fairly consistent throughout in a nonobtrusive way. The citric character that the cascade hops contribute just adds another level of brightness to an already bright tasting beer. If this beer started out with an OP of 20 (from the label, which I assume is "Original Plato"), then this beer is probably pushing 8-9% A/V, which is remarkable. I barely get the faintest hint of alcohol when drinking this. Mouthfeel is quite creamy and easy going, though the carbonation is quite vibrant. This is a hell of an accomplishment.

I hereby declare New Glarus as the best Weizen brewery in the country. I loved their Solstice back in the day (4.75). Went through a few cases of Dancing Man last summer (4.6). And the Black Wheat was exceptional as well (4.55).

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Photo of patrick16o
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a red foil topped bottle. Same label as the rest of the unplugged series, a line drawing of Dan Carey's head w/ "Unplugged" angled across.

Pours a cloudy golden orange hue w/ a monsterous off white head that puffs out the top of the glass. A good deal of lacing occurs and a 1/4 crown stays throughout the beer's life in my glass.

Complex aroma of banana, and chai spiciness up front which blends w/ a citrus/lemon scent.

Very interesting flavor. Get some banana flavors mixed with a bit bready malt - almost banana-breadesque, finishes with a good deal of hop bitterness and a lingering spiciness. Not quite as delicate as what I'm use to from a hefe, rather its more bold and assertive which makes sense given its "imperial" nature, though I don't notice the alcohol much in the flavor. The more I drink it the more I like it. To me, it has some similar spice notes as Matilda, mostly in the aftertaste.

Well done beer. Has good mouthfeel and is quite easy to drink.

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Photo of Homerbag
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big mother of a head at least four fingers with a damn near perfect pour in a weise glass. Cloudy orange body. Looks impressive.

Smell reminds me someone smoking clove cigarrettes while eating a grapefruit. This is not a bad smell, very interesting and one I have never had from a beer. The taste is of the best hefe's out there. Cloves are at upfront, followed by the citrus hops, then the cloves again on the aftertaste. The yeasty taste of the bannanas are there, very subtly and are hard to pick up under the hop and clove punch. Feel is somewhat sticky, but otherwise up to par with hefes.

A very good beer and another pleasure to drink. Sometimes living in Wisconsin does have it's perks and this is one of them. Another New Glarus gem.

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Photo of Atron67
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured a hugely hazy golden color with a huge offwhite/yellowish head. It lasted awhile and there was some lacing at the bottom.

S- very stron clove, phenols, there is also the citric & piney hops underneath

T- huge wheaty flavor throughout, very good, after the initial burst of wheaty clove and phenols. about mid way through the bitterness sets in, and becomes a strong bitter, but the yeasty flavor is not lost and works very well together considering its a very intense overriding flavor with flavors taht are pretty 'delicate' flavors.

M- pretty full body, not quite creamy but strong.

D- amen to the king of wheat beers, 1,2 punch with dancing man wheat followed by this.

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Photo of ceeman
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bought at Steve's in Madison. Truly the most unique beer i've ever tasted. Dark orange/yellow color, and very cloudy. So cloudy you can't even see through it. Smells like bananna, clove and a little bit of spice and cinnamon. Now for the taste, and this is where it gets interesting. Starts of with a strong clove and spice flavor, alot like Dancing Man. Then all of the sudden the hops kicks in, strong IPA like hops that give the beer an unexpected bitterness. The finish goes back to a sweet bananna flavor, while the hops still stick around well after the the drink is swallowed.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.43/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Perfect. The body is the color of the sun, completely clouded with yeast and aggressive carbonation. The head is thick enough to balance a half-dollar and lasts at a half inch for ten minutes or more. Unbelievably pretty.

Aroma: A gigantic grapefruit aroma smacks the consumer upside the head. That's immediately followed by clove an odd but pleasing blend of clove and human blood. Next come cinnamon and ginger. Then there is a light hint of banana followed by more Cascade, citric goodness.

Flavor: Dominated by hops. I'm used to hybrids like this having a traditional front and middle palate and finish that comes on strong and bitter but this beer is just non-stop, in your face brutal hops. It's awesome. Despite this, Imperial Weizen manages to give off a whole brick house of other flavors, most notably banana and vanilla, but also iron and rum. Add to this massive amounts lemon, lime, and grapefruit rind and we have one hell of a beer.

Mouthfeel: Lusciously smooth with assertive carbonation, a full body, and some booziness. Strong.

Drinakbility: Two are good. More would be tough. This beer is too intense and strong to session.

New Glarus is the king of wheat beer. Period.

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Photo of cokes
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pitches out an opaque, milky tangerine-gold body, with a buxom multiple-inch adornment of whole whipping cream, which only slowly recedes to trail filth down the sides of the glass.
The first several inhalations are straight-up Bubble-Yum Bubblegum. It's a common descriptor, but this honestly smells exactly fucking like it. After a minute or so, it separates, with the hops taking the fore with grapefruit, wrought iron, and blood, and a substantial backup of weizen yeasty traits of banana, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and ginger. This is beyond uncommon smelling; it is damn near impossible.
A wheat bread maltiness spreads itself across the mouth first, appropriately enough. From this rather simple beginning the weizen yeast begins shooting firecrackers of banana bread, cinnamon, vanilla pod, clove, and lemon rind. Those are very typical disguises of wheat beers, but here, their essences are virtually distilled in their purity and their volume. They are hardly suggestions, rather, they are actually what the mouth experiences singularly and in full. Hops bring grapefruit and lime rind and rusted metal, but in a more modest fashion than the nose would suggest. Eddies of spiced rum permeate everything, but it never tastes explicitly alcoholic.
A dense, impermeable body is given levity by a carbonation that seems nearly manic at times. Those two opposites serve to create a beverage that drinks like cashmere, with its silken weight. It's power makes itself known (though not because it tastes raw or hot), and it's intensity does not allow for gulps or longish sessionability. Its merit and memorability are easily shown in a single bottle....or perhaps two.
New Glarus is renown for its fruit beers, but that should now be shifting, as they make a variety of some of the finest wheat beers available on the planet. This is one of them, and probably the best of the lot, thus far. It may be, in fact, New Glarus' crowning achievement.
Seek it. Now.

Update 5/26/08: After nearly 4 months, the hops have lost a bit of their bubblegummy and grapefruit juiciness and have beer partially replaced with aluminum, both in aroma and flavor. And the spiciness has dulled some Still an incredible beer, but a notch below when it was crushingly fresh. The moral here is that it probably isn't worth aging except for curiosity's sake....but it says that on the label, doesn't it?

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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 EliteDigger
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this bottle from a friend... a huge thanks!
A-Beautiful cloudy golden orange with a huge fluffy long-lasting white foamy meringue head.
S-Pine, spicy clove, cinnamon, lemon and wheat dominate the smell of this lovely brew.
T-Pine resin, citrusy lemon zest, clove, grapefruit and herbal hops with a bit of wheat, bubblegum and sweet malts hanging in the background. A bit of a dry grapefruity finish lingers in the mouth.
M-Nice thickness and decently carbonated. Almost a bit of an oily slickness as it goes down.
D-I'm not sure of the ABV on this one, but it does give hints that it might be leaning toward the higher realms for a weizen. But surely tasty enough to have more than one....
I've been impressed with every single wheat beer that's come from New Glarus and this one is no exception. Another excellent brew from Dan Carey and the folks at New Glarus!

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Thumbprint Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 638 ratings.
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