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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Ratings: 639 |  Reviews: 343
Photo of JCDenver
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Cloudy, medium-dark yellow with a huge 3-4 finger head. Extremely thick and creamy. Sticks around for quite a while and fades out to a thin ribbon of white lacing.

Smells great. I got a load of banana and cloves with a bit of an estery note in the back.

Banana and clove carry through on the palate, with a nice hit of citrus zest and a hoppy bite.

Mouthfeel is mediumish, nice carbonation.

This is an unusual beer, and a good one.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.71/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a weizen glass.
0821 on the neck, no info.

Thanks to Beerwolf77 who can't resist giving me beer every time I go to his house to help "thin the heard."

A - Poured complete with sediment, the totally cloudy golden yellow beer is topped by a massive five-finger head. Thick as whipped cream, you could rest a bottle cap on it no problem. It sparkles like fresh snow and leaves sheet after sheet of thick lace on the glass! Perfection!

S - Potent yeast esters flourish with banana and clove spiciness and, for the most part, overwhelm the subtle wheat aroma. Solvent notes of phenolic alcohol poke through to let you know that yes, indeed this is imperial. Spicy German hops fill the background.

T - Overpoweringly hoppy, the flavor is a kick to the face. The wheat pokes out on the finish in between solvent alcohol heat,. Yeasty esters of banana and clove are still present but largely reserved in comparison to the hops.

M - Unconventionally bitter, the finish sees some sweetness that's obviously meant to be there for balance. Too bitter. Warming alcohol is both tasted and experienced retronasally but the brew is smooth and soft like a hefe should be. Medium-full in body from the sweetness.

O - A nice spring sipper but by no means a summer thirst quencher. Not that it's meant for that anyway... A little boozy although fairly well hidden, it's just overly bitter from the hops.

*Also, a point of interest about this beer is that it doesn't age well at all, extended aging anyway. Despite it's high ABV and BeerAdvocate's, "not a style to age unless alcohol exceeds ABV range" (which I'd say it does) my disapproving review of a 4-year-old bottle was removed, flagged by someone obviously upset by the score despite the caveat. The aged review garnished a C-. Moral of the story, don't hang on to this one for a while.

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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 ommegoose
3.56/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Thick lasting head on top of a thick hazy orange. Leaves a sticky coat down the glass as it recedes. and keeps a decent cap.

Creamy banana upfront. Lemon. Doesn't smell especially spicy or as hoppy as it tastes.

Big potent flavor. More than a little rough around the edges. There's a rather sharp citric bite in the back end, and lo and behold, Cascades are mentioned on the label. It's hot. The lemony notes really overpower the wheat and yeast notes. It's almost like half a lemon was squeezed into the glass. Not all that bitter though. Some spices push through, but are much less prominent than in a typical weizen. Clove is there, but the label also says cinnamon, which I'm not sure I'm finding.

The feel is not as smooth as a typical hefe. Oddly is not as full as it should be.

Not really sure about the style categorization here. This is more of a APWA than a hefe. It's big, no doubt. Kind of wish I sat on it, as it feels like it could stand to mellow out. One bottle is fine for me. Just too much citrus for my tastes, though I appreciate the effort to do something new. Definitely haven't had a wheat beer like this before.

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Photo of scaliasux
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Golden. Opaque. Tall sudsy white head with good retention.

Smell - Very strong banana and clove. Cotton candy sweet smelling. A hint of alcohol.

Taste - Powerful syrupy wheat flavor - sweet and bready and intense. Banana and clove present, but more of a supporting role than the aroma would suggest. A little citrus. Finishes with a bitter little lemony bite. Alcohol clearly present.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium. Well carbonated.

Overall - That's one heck of a beer. They don't come much bigger and bolder.

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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 iDrinknewglarus
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange color that is hazy as all hell. Huge slightly off white fluffy head that looks like cream from the top that lasts and lasts. Looks tasty!

S: Bubblegum, cinnamon, citrus, tons of clove and banana. This beer is super yummy smelling. You can smell just the slightest bit of alcohol right at the end.

T: Drinks like an edgier and more citrus hop flavored Dancing Man Wheat. Slightly spicy. The high alcohol isn't really present in the taste, but it does add a certain dryness to the beer and the only time you can tell it's there is after you swallow, you can feel that "warming sensation" as you exhale through your nose. That being said, its dangerously drinkable and could get someone in trouble fast if you are not careful, hehe.

M: Medium. I wanna say that Dancing Man Wheat has a fuller mouthfeel because the carbonation is higher. It's carbonated, but not as highly as the beer mentioned above.

This is quite an interesting brew from New Glarus. I'm not sure if I'm digging it or not. As an experimental brew, it's excellent, but I feel that the high gravity hurts the beer more than it helps. Dropping the ABV would help this beer IMO and would make it an excellent summer drink. This beer makes me long for Crack'd Wheat, which I'm so pissed that they retired this year; it was my favorite beer from them.

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Photo of Kshock
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks chris! Loving the new glarus

A- hazy yellow color with a pearly white head that's has a great sticky lacing.

S- smells like a great hefe, lots of banana and some clove. No booze at all.

T- great hefe character with an amazing finish. Lots of awesome yeast flavors( banana and clove) really impressed with the lack of alcohol flavors in this beer.

M- thought this was a part of the beer that was really spot on, extremely soft and easy on the palate.

O- awesome beer, really enjoyed it.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a 300 ml weizen glass. The color is cloudy, dishwater lemonade with hints of orange. Three fingers of dense, white head dissipated slowly to leave trails along the glass and a fluffy, one-finger cap with a depression in the middle before dissolving to a spotted lacing. A little yeast sedimentation lingers at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Massive and classic. Tons of ripe banana, yeast breadiness, apple, clove, cinnamon, orange, lemon, and bubblegum. It is aromatic enough to be a Bubble Yum flavor. It also has a slight alcohol edge.

Taste: Thick and rich hefeweizen goodness…followed by alcohol. Unfortunately for the superb flavors — banana, apple, strawberry, a little clove spice, and citrus — the booze dominates. Though not overpowering, it is distracting and far outdoes all of the other flavors. It eases its grip a little as the beer warms, but continues to subdue everything else. Each sip leaves a perceivable bitter tingle on the back of the tongue, and the fruit flavors linger on the palate.

Drinkability: I love the style, but wish the alcohol was as well hidden in the flavor as it is in the aroma. I will gladly drink it, though — albeit slowly and responsibly. It packs a huge punch.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deeply hazed light pear yellowish tone with a towering crown of soft white foam that drizzles and crunches away very slowly. Big patches of heavy set lace covers the glass well.

Aroma is your typical hefe nose, but perhaps a bit more malt beefyness than most, which I truly like. Here the lemon is heavy on a duller pie-like/pastry denseness along with some apricot, pear, and orange zipped with a nice touch of zest to it topped with a well muted touch to clove and green tea.

Yummy Weizen flavors all over the place. Smooth, full, with lots of citrusy complexity to it. Both in flavor and body. Which are going hand in hand here. Nice lofty twisting of orange and lemon flavors add a unique zip and zest on the tongue the entire time as light spices of clove and cinnamon sit in there too. But alas, can't forgot the malts, as they lay the groundwork well in this stuff with a wonderfully sweet sided paleness of bread crusts and pastry flakes. But the rounded citrus tones is in total control, full throttled and yummy as hell.

Fantastic body of lush, smooth, fullness. Zippy, yet, not overly so as to be spiced by too much, everything in check and down right drinkable. Spiced and balanced just right with all its complexity it citrusy zest and yeasty spicing. Not sure how the 9.6% got squeezed in there. But that's nowhere to be found unless you drink all four from the pack at once. Easy to do!

Many of the micro brewies that put out there Hefe's could learn alot from this stuff. However, this being an obvious ramped up version of what the norm would be; all Hefes need to be like this, then it would be a style I can actually like. This stuff "Unplugged", is awesome!

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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 backfat
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

received this generous gift from my friend joe joe dimaggio (newrbrewr), thanks buddy!

Imperial weizen? so like wheat wine? Poured into lost abbey stemware.

-Whew, this beer is lively. golden and frothy with a million bubbles sticking to every which corner of the glass. It has a beautiful light hue. I know this is my first beer of the night, and I just got off work, but this really looks fantastic right now.

-Mmm, smells like bubble gum. Spiced, with a little orange peel, lavender, and raw banana. I'm also getting some lime zest and biscuit. Really enjoying the aromas in this dude.

-Taste is not as full as desired but still welcoming. Sweet and malty with some yeast zest and some bready spices.

-The mouthfeel is kind of bizarre. It's like a zesty water. It's distracting and really not that appealing, but not ruining my experience none the less.

Overall, they were close on this one. The look smell of this beer are by far it's best attributes. Kinda just slowly goes down hill from there, but I still enjoyed it, cheers!

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Photo of adman08
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a cloudy golden straw color with a fluffy white head that really clings to the sides of the glass.
S-Strong aromas of bananas with a hint of spices, I think cloves and allspice.
T-Surprisingly strong alcohol with good carbonation. Flavors of banana and spices.
Overall, very interesting and exactly what the label claims, a strong weizen. Great aromas and great flavors. Very high alcohol for a wheat.

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: golden cloudy/slight deep yellow/orange body, 2 finger huge fluffy head, amazing lacing!

S: big banana, wheat, and clove, hint of spice

T: sweet clove and banana, big wheat, hint of spices and boozy finish

M: med/heavy, slight sticky and chewy mouth

O: AMAZING! Just when I thought Dancing Man was
great, this is WAY BETTER! Not over the top with
booziness or flavors.


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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 PeprSprYoFace
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this in the refreshing summer BIF. Thanks man.

Poured into a shaker pint. Has a nice hazy orange with a very nice white head and good lacing.

Aroma is cloves and a bit of banana. Not super strong but good.

Taste is way too sweet for a hefe. Very malty when it should be just wheaty and kinda dry/smooth.

Mouthfeel is too malty and low carb when it should have a bit more.

Overall I'm not a big fan of this one. I feel that if you make an imperial version of some beer that usually isn't high alcohol it should be close in taste but with higher alcohol. Probably won't seek this one out.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Hefe glass.

(A)- Pours the cloudiest golden yellow/orange color I have ever seen. Produced a giant fluffy pure white head with a glorious retention; I could float a bottle cap on top it was so thick. Just tons of spotted lacing left behind all around the inside of the glass.

(S)- Interesting. Its like a Hefeweiss meets and IPA. Just loaded with a combo or a yeasty biscuit, banana, and clove with a background burst of lemon lime citurs.

(T)- Again, this really is like a Hefeweiss meets and IPA. Big bursts of lemon lime, banana, clove, and subtle bits of pine and yeasty biscuit. The balance of the two parts is awesome.

(M)- A nicely crisp carbonation level. Just a great balance of citrus hop bite (very mild pine) and lovely belgian-like banana, biscuit-like yeast and clove. Minimal bitterness; the creaminess of this helps counterbalance that. Smooth and crisp. 9.6% ABV??? I cannot detect any of that whatsoever; this goes down so easy!

(D)- Move over Belgian IPAs! Granted this is a classified as a Hefeweiss, however I am torn if this is more that or a Belgian IPA. Tastes great as a Hefeweiss on steroids, yet I would without a doubt put this up there with the best Belgian IPAs any day of the week. It just portrays each part beautifully while maintaining balance and a smooth, yet crisp and refreshing profile. This is a dangerous beer at 9.6%! Further proof that New Glarus makes the finest wheat beers in the country.

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Photo of MrGraybeard
4.69/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured chilled from a bottle into a 14-ounce tumbler. Expansive head that slowly diminished into a rocky half-inch with little lace. Translucent blonde color.

Scents gush from the glass -- banana, a touch of cinnamon, strawberry twizzlers. Fantastic aroma.

Taste is complex. Big malt, wheat, Belgian trippel yeast. There's a hint of alcohol early on but the rush of flavor quickly hides it. A bit of grass/herb at the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, amazingly light for such a big beer, but not cidery. Interesting how brewer got the Belgian-style aroma with the mouthfeel of a Munich weissbier.

Overall, this beer steps on some boundaries. Then there's the high potency. New Glarus produces a lot of ho-hum mainstream beers, but its limited runs are often inspired. This could be the best one yet.

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Photo of mooselvlt
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a stange

A - Wow, a beautiful pour!! Straw, golden, partly cloudy with good carbonation. Huge frothy 3 finger foam with great retention and sticky lacing.

S - Banana, bubble gum (almost like bubs daddy!), and cloves?? Some grains too but make no mistake, the fruits and spice are the stars.

T - Follows the nose to a T. There's a snap of hops too at the end. Really clean too, not bitter. Pretty darn sweet

M - Interesting, its a little thinner than you'd think by the appearance. Still medium bodied though and its really smooth.

O - The alcohol is well-hidden here. Smooth, great nose. Yet its not a brew I'd have often, I'd really have to be in the mood for it. Solid

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.82/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's the end of the school year soiree and a budy brought Unplugged New Glarus tasters for everyone!!! Can someone say cannonization????
The unplugger Imperial Weizen is amber in color with nice neat thin white head. The aroma is powered by clove and hints od spice. The taste is very good, and follows the aroma of clove and spice...and backed with a heavy abv. The mouthfeel is ok for as high of abv as this beer is packing....but way to session.

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Photo of chumba526
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is hazy orange with a fluffy white head.

It smells of bubblegum, cloves and citrusy hops.

It tastes initially strongly of sweet cloves and I suppose banana. I also get a mellow bubblegum flavor. This is like a hefe in steroids. The beer ends with a nice citrusy hop flavor and a strong hoppy bitterness. This is one beer where hops and yeast are both very strong yet both the yeast and the hops shine in this beer.

It has a medium mouthfeel it is a little thicker then thinner though.

Overall it is a pretty unique strong beer the strong yeasty flavor and the strong hoppy bitterness is not for everyone but I really enjoyed this beer.

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

Poured a hazy yellow color with quite a bit of fluffy white head on it.

Smell is wheaty with quite a bit of banana as well.

Taste is very good. It's definitely a strong hefe but that was expected. I really like the over the top taste.

Mouthfeel is light-medium. Very refreshing and easy drinking beer.

Overall I really liked this one. I'd love to put down a bunch of these on a warm summer day. To me, the ABV is well hidden so I suppose it will catch up with you after a few.

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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 weatherdog
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a New Glarus weizen glass

It pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a billowing off white head. The head sticks around for the whole drink and leaves lots of sticky lacing on the sides of the glass. This is a perfect looking weizen.

The nose is very orange ester heavy with some underlying clove tones. At the end there is some noticeable alcohol nostril burn but it's not too bad. Not a very traditional hefeweizen aroma but it's still very nice and I'm digging it.

The orange isn't as prominent in the taste as the aroma but the spicy clove is stronger with some other minor plastic phenolics. The alcohol warmth is there at the end but it still doesn't drink like it's a nearly 10% beer.

My only gripe about this beer is the mouthfeel is a little too slick and oily. I know that is a characteristic of using a large percentage of wheat, and seeing that this is a high gravity wheat beer it is inevitable but I still don't have to like it.

Overall I'm glad this beer was re-released. I was just getting heavily into craft beer when it first came out and it's very similar to what I remember, a deceptively high gravity fairly traditional hefeweizen.

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