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 jwinship83
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle traded to me by cptnspeed1 at dark lord day this year. thanks for the extra! drank from my unbranded half liter weizen glass.

A- this one pours out a hazy glowing golden colored body with a small bright white head on top. the head is very quick to fizzle away and doesnt leave behind much at all as far as lacing goes.

S- the nose starts out with (and is dominated by) a very strong clove presence. stronger than your typical hefe. after that comes some of the classic banana and bubblegum. a little bit of alcohol sneaks through at the end, but its somewhat expected from a beer of this strength in this style.

T- the taste is also dominated by the clove that i could smell. very spicy. there is a lesser amount of banana and bubblegum. i think i also pick up on a tropical fruit such as pineapple. a hint of grapefruit hops at the end. the alcohol is more present in the taste than in the nose.

M- the body is on the fuller side of medium and the carbonation is a little bit low. there is a moderate warming from the alcohol. much more than i have come to expect from the unplugged series.

O- this wasnt my favorite of the unplugged series so far. i think that might be because hefeweizens arnt meant to get this big. i appreciate the chance to try it, i might try another one a little down the road to see what time has done to it.

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Photo of zeledonia
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very cloudy golden straw, with a fluffy white two-finger head that has great retention and fantastic lacing. Beautiful. Doesn't get much better than this.

Smell is rather sweet, with strong fruity hops. The dominant aroma is banana with a touch of pineapple, with nice presence of wheaty yeast. In general, it's sweet, fruity, and inviting, with no hint of bitterness. Shockingly little alcohol in the nose for a beer that's almost 10% ABV.

Taste is quite grainy, with much less hop presence than there is in the nose, and a lot less fruit. I wonder if the hop flavors have faded some since this was brewed? (not sure of bottling date) Lots of grain in the flavor, and a nice potent clove and peppery spice comes in mid-way through. The banana-y sweetness is there, too. Finish is smooth and clean, with that spice and a touch of bitterness slowly running off the tongue. Great balance, great transitions between flavors. And it only gets better as it warms up a bit. Once again, where's that alcohol they tell me is in here?

Medium-light body, with high, tingly carbonation. Great fit for this beer, as it keeps it light and really brings out the flavors.

I like this beer. A lot. It's really really good. Fantastic balance of wheat, hop, and yeast flavors. And frankly, I can't believe the ABV is as high as they say it is. Except that I haven't finished the glass yet, and I can already feel it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a murky honey orange color with a 2 inch off-white head that fades to a small cap. Chunky spots and rings of lacing coat the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sour apples, cloves, cinnamon, and some bubblegum. Taste is of wheat, banana, bubblegum, the spices (clove and cinnamon), with a slight citrus twang on the finish. Good carbonation on this one makes for a crisp and clean feel. Overall, this is a good American made hefeweizen with all the classic smells and tastes.

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

unplugged imperial weizen--out of retirement?

A- 4-4.5 cloudy pale orange amber. light 2 finger head that left some chunky lacing.

S- 4-4.25 bubblegum, banana bubblegum, overripe apples, maybe a touch of wheat, and citrus hops

T- 4-4.25 bubblegum, bananas, a dash of pepper followed by just enough hops,,a touch of alcohol heat in the finish but really the abv is very well masked.

M- 4.5 smooth creamy carbonation, silky body around med-full.

O- 4-4.5 of the wheat beers i have had from NG, i would say dancing man or cracked wheat might be better, but it depends on the night. this seems sort of like a double cracked wheat with less hops and a hit of bubblegum.

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Photo of Strix
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous appearance, cloudy pale orange-yellow with a super-frothy head that stayed forever and left curtains of lace.

Classic hefe nose, banana, clove, yeast, with a bit of alcohol and citrus.

Strong banana, and clove entrance, but the finish is capped off by an IPAesque orange peel finish. Very tasty and flavorful. No sign of alcohol in the taste.

Mouthfeel soft, very carbonated, somewhat resinous.

An excellent brew. Cascade may be heresy to hefe purists, but it is used to good effect here. I hope this one comes back around in the unplugged series periodically. Until then, I'll have to stock up.

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Photo of maximum12
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up just across the border in Wisconsin, & excited to see it. New Glarus makes the best hefe in the country (Dancing Man) so I'm excited to try another one, albeit it bulked up like Ahnold.

Pours hefe, murky, cloud, sunburst orange. Nose hews closely to the formula: clove, banana, twist of orange, & a shocking slap of lemon concentrate. Just from sticking my schnazz in the foam, I can tell this is no girly-man hefe.

Imperial Weizen flexes & breaks the hearts of lesser, watery, teary-eyed hefes. Nose = taste in this equation. Strong orange & banana dominate. Citrus creeps in underneath quietly. Clove. Wheat is fleeting, chased away by the bevy of stronger flavors. Blowback of faint light fruits off in the distance finish this one off. Amazingly easy to drink for a big beer, the alcohol is hiding well. Dangerous.

Doesn't reach the heights of its cousin Dancing Man, but this is a tasty, tasty hefe. Very good beer, & one more reason to pop open a New Glarus. Keep 'em coming.

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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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Photo of TJBurgess
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz into a weizen glass from Geddy's.

A: about 4 fingers of white head rise up from the pour and cover the murky yellow liquid. The head is sticky and has some good staying power. 4.0

S: bananas, orange citrus and peel, maybe even a little lemon in there. Very pleasent overall. 4.0

T: wow. The citrus rises up right away, but is followed by an almost double ipa burst of flavor, hops, and a little heat. Much bigger than the smell gives away. The alcohol on the end washes away the taste, which is unfortunate because its quite good. 4.0

M: nice, smooth thickness that is balanced well with the carbonation. Really nicely done. 4.5

O: this is a good escape from a light weizen, just as a DIPA is a nice escape from an ipa. The basic aspects of this are great, and this is an excellent beer overall. If they ever make a regular weizen, I will stock up on that plenty. 4.0

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Photo of Axic10
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep golden yellow with three fingers of fluffy white head that takes its time settling down to a thin layer that leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Heavy aroma of yeast, banana, clove, lemon and a hint of bubble gum. Not a trace of the 9.6% alcohol.

Taste: Banana, yeast, clove, spices and some lemon zest. I pick up an alcohol burn which wasn't in the nose, which takes away from the taste for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with proper carbonation.

Overall: Overall a decent take at the Hefeweizen that would be outstanding if the taste didn't have an alcohol burn (although it is an imperial). Would like to see what they would do with a 4-5% version.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

never been much of a fan of hefeweizen style, but it a New Glarus Thumbprint beer so I am going to give it a try with an open mind!

poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: opaque yellow bodied beer that looks like it is glowing. Frothy and foamy gushing white colored head.

Smell: lots of clove, smells like a belgian style beer, and some citris.

Taste: candied or sugary bananas, with massive clove flavor and massive lemon flavor; all three flavors work well together. I normally dislike hefeweizens that have a strong banana taste to them, the clove and lemon seem to make the banana become more balanced. Its nice! The cascade hops show up in the middle of the beer with a mild hop bitterness and quickly goes away as the banana, clove, and lemon take back over as the prominent flavors. May be a hint of cinnamin and some yeastiness in the background of this beer. No alcohol taste noted.

Mouthfeel: Really light and refreshing beer. moderate carbonation. I cant beleive that this beer is almost 10 percent.

Overall: This is a really good beer! I have never had an Imperial Weizen before, but this was an exceptional beer. Another solid New Glarus beer!

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

Poured a golden orange with a long lasting thin white head.

The smell is full of lemongrass and tropical fruit notes especially pineapple.

The flavor follows the nose nicely, a big blast of citrusy lemongrass, followed by mango, pineapple, and tropical fruit flavors. Very sweet and fruity, with hints of banana and classic clove spices, very hefe on steriods kind of flavor.

The mouthfeel is light with good carbonation, and a bit of abv warmth.

Not to bad overall, a fun giant hefe.

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

Pours pale and very hazy yellow with a soapy head that leaves slight lacing.

Aroma is sweet grainy malt and a good bit of bubblegum, lemon zest, and coriander.

Taste is similar to the nose. Sweet grainy malt up front. Quite lemony, with additional subtle light fruit. Finishes with a rather prickly yeasty spice. Slightly herbal. Plenty of coriander and allspice lingering in the finish with a mild alcohol warmth.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

A very flavorful brew, with interesting spice character. Would be great with seafood. Very nice.

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Photo of Kbogac
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Big white head with a cloudy dark yellow color. Smell is mostly citrus and banana with a little clove. Reminiscent of orange juice. Sweet orange banana taste with alot of alcohol. Some hop bitterness at the middle through finish. Tough to give a good opinion since I. Have nothing to compare it with. I'd say interesting beer but I don't see me having it again.

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow orange with hazy and a 1 finger white head

smell: banana's, clove, citrus,

taste: banana's, clove, citrus,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: Now that was a very good rendition of a Hefe. Would love to have more of this beer.

the CPJ

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

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a fluffy white head. Looks quite nice. A swirl and a deep sniff reveals alcohol, candy banana, and cloves. Maybe even just a touch of citrus hops. Kind of a weird balance of smells in a Weiss beer. The taste is strong wheat, big clove spiciness, monster banana and finishing hops that bring a bit of a citrus component and help dry the finish a touch. Don't get much of that boozy component from the nose. It's all a bit big and a little imbalanced. Some sips draw me in and make me feel like the beer is something special, others are just somehow out of whack. Big carbonation with a sugary mouthfeel. The sugar just hangs out in the mouth well after the beer is gone. It's pretty unfair to compare this to the balance and restraint of a successful Weiss beer. This is a really interesting experiment that has some success, but needs a bit more work. The hops don't balance the sweetness enough, for starters. That said, I really enjoyed tasting the experiment.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This unplugged beer pours a cloudy orange-straw color with a very thick, clingy bright white head. The aroma is an inviting mixture of spicy notes from the yeast, sweetness from the malts and lemony citrus from the hops, truly showcasing all elements of a beer. The flavor is an intense burst of spicy cloves and citrusy hops, those flavors linger and the beer finishes a bit tart, slightly dry, and the weight of the alcohol pokes through without overwhelming. The carbonation is high and body medium-full. Overall a wonderful beer, if you see it, buy it -- period.

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

12 oz bottle purchased from the brewpub and decanted into a flute while pouring over NFL draft literarure and trying to best predict how the Bears will shit the proverbial bed this year.

Pours a cloudy yellow-orange with a massive billow produced, perhaps, by a slight over exuberance. Clings like a needy girlfriend during some low grade horror film.

Smells of bubble gum, clove, banana, and a snappy lemon rind from the hops, which play heavy here.

Base wheat is clove heavy and spicy. Bubble gum and banana from the nose join in as well, leaving the Lemonheads candy playing the roll of hops at the finish leaving a long sweet and sour finish. A bit disjointed and uneven from sip to sip, but an effort I appreciate.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with ample carbonation.

Overall, I can see how this could be a polarizing beer. I wish more weizens went the hoppier route, and I'm probably in the minority preferring Cracked Wheat to Dancing Man, but this creature is alright. A bit of a Frankenstein, but don't we all feel he got a bad rap?

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

12oz bottle into tulip.
A: A deep, murky golden haze sits below a two finger white frothy head. Lacing is left in a sticky, foamy layering.

S: The aroma has a very floral west coast hop presence. A warm note of rich weizen and a smooth aroma.

T/M: The front of this beer is very hoppy, while still holding a nice Bavarian wheat note. The body is quite hefty, while finishing smooth and silky. The spice of the yeast hits on the finish when the hops have mellowed down. The lingering taste is very complex and shows hints at clove.

O:This is a very bold Hefeweizen, with a nice change up with the use of dry hopping. Overall, one of the best imperialized versions of the style. Very well done.

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

A - Poured into a New Belgium snifter with laser etching in the bottom. Nice half finger head stayed around for half the glass with a generous amount of lacing. Laser etching maintained a thin head for the rest of the glass. It had a dark honey color and was very cloudy.

S - Strong Belgian yeast dominates the aroma with hint of clove and faint alcohol.

T - Clove, banana and yeast up front with an alcohol warmth midway that fades as the malt and wheat come through in the finish.

M - Medium bodied with a nice light carbonation that dances on the tongue.

First time trying an imperial weizen. I'm usually not the biggest wheat beer fan but I really enjoyed this one. I think because it was more complex than most that I have had. While I will definitely drink this again, it's heavy enough that I wouldn't drink two in one sitting.

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Photo of gatornation
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

out of retirement? unplugged imperial weizen

A- it poured a cloudy pale orange.amber color with a white 2 finger head that receded to reveal some chunky lacing on glass...a beautiful look indeed

S- was banana and apples,with some clove ,a little grain,and a backdrop of citrus hops ..very nice

T- was bananas and clove a dash of pepper followed by just enough hops,,a touch of alcohol heat in the finish the taste was not as strong as the smell

M- was medium carbonation but somewhat thin on the hefe tastes that i enjoy..dont know if it was the high ABV..cause its not really detectable

O- a tasty hefe for sure ..but i would choose dancing man or cracked wheat b4 this one..still this is a great one from NG

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Photo of jimicoop
5/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aptly named. This Imperial Weizen is amazing. Banana esters and cloves stand out and mix well with the citrusy character of the yeast. The Higher ABV adds a prominent sweetness and creates a great balance to a beer that could easily be off balance.
Though it's a strong beer it's hard not to want to enjoy more than one! Surprisingly light body and very refreshing! WoW!!! Go go New Glarus! :)

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Photo of Bobby12many
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was under the impression that this beer wouldn't be out until late May, so I was quite surprised when I saw a few 4 packs of this in the cooler of a local convenience store. New 'Thumbprint' style packaging with the older 'Unplugged' label on the bottle. Odd...

A - Opaque fuzzy orange hef with a lofty 4 finger head that leaves wonderful lacing as it recedes.

S - Big time bubblegum. Hint of musty yeast, fruit esters, banana, and clove with a touch of the alcohol induced backdrop.

T - Banana and citrus notes harmoniously blend with the clean bready wheat flavor I just love. Just enough alcoholic sweetness to make it interesting without overpowering. Truly Outstanding wheat beer.This is what I would call the 'Aventinus' of the Summer months. Crisp, complex and incredibly clean

M - On par for the style, lively, well carbonated.

O - Another incredibly well made beer from New Glarus, and up there with some of the best big wheat brews I have ever had. Drinks far too easily for the ABV, but that really makes it what it is; A Bold, Fresh, and Complex weizen. Cant wait to seek it out on tap!

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.27/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was surprised to find this one for sale again as this website claims it is retired.
Very vigorous pour into a weizen glass from 12oz bottle.

A. Murky and opaque just how I like it. Hooray for unfiltered beer! Colored like a hazy setting sun, orange in the thickest part of the glass shading to yellow tones around the edges. But the head should have overflowed for the pour I made, yet it didn't.

S. Exactly like a lot of oranges and lemons that have been riveted with cloves all over like that potpourri centerpiece thing.

T. Very bready at first, gradually changing into almost an IPA flavor profile, but with wheat. Cinnamon doesn't kick in until the back end of the sip for me, and I would have liked a bit more of that fleeting hotness. I think the high ABV is masking the cinnamon with hotness.

M. A little bit to thin for my liking, the only meaningful complaint I have. The body needs some more...oomph.

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Photo of levifunk
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at a small tasting recently. Reviewed from notes.

a - cloudy golden body with a white head.

s - wheat, grass, lemon.

t - smooth flavor. still grassy with some hops.

m - light body with nice carbonation.

drinks very well for 9.6%. booze is very mellow.

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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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