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 coreyfmcdonald
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very hazy golden color with two fingers of pillowy foam. Retention is remarkable. So is the lacing.

S: Strong wheat starts off with toffee, clove, and banana. Clove is quite strong in this beer, but the toffee and banana help balance out the spice. The beer actually smells quite sweet.

T: Strong spices start this beer off - I get lots of clove here. Behind that, I get a strong wheat flavor with toffee sweetness along with mild banana.

M: Medium to thick mouthfeel with strong carbonation.

O: This was a pretty complex Imperial Weizen. Lots of spice from the yeast and a nice sweetness to balance. I really like this one.

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

Hazy golden straw color, thick and fluffy white head, long lasting. Scent brings a big whiff of lemon grass and orange rind along with big notes of banana bread, some bubblegum, black pepper and yeast. Taste is big and bold, nice hop notes combine with amped up wheat beer flavors, touch of alcohol. Medium bodied, light chunkiness, mostly dry and slightly warming. Really solid beer all around, nice touch of hops on nose and tongue. Amazed at the ABVs on this one, noticeable but still well hidden.

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Photo of Florida9
4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very cloudy, dark, dirty yellow in color. Forms a small, but very stable, white head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

S: Nicely aromatic with an onslaught of sweet banana and syrup, citrus, mango, fruit salad rounded out by just a bit of yeastiness.

T: Very similar to the aroma. Rather sweet to the point of being almost sugary, then white bread, yeast, banana, ripe fruits, and a touch of lemony citrus. Finish is fairly alcoholic with a good dose of spice.

M: Medium bodied with a rather smooth, round mouthfeel on the front end, but then turns heavily alcoholic with a rather intense alcoholic burn to the tongue. Very mild bitterness.

O: This is a very nice beer that really turns up the volume. Intense, yet still enjoyable, though I do wish the alcohol was either toned down or better hidden.

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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 GPHarris
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick off-white head into a weizen glass that left great lacing and billowing throughout. the body was a slightly cloudy amber color.
s - big banana aromas with some clove.
t - spicy cinnamon, bananas, clove, bubblegum.
m - very creamy and coating.
o - damn, this is stupendous and incredibly dangerously drinkable. so complex and lip-smacking good.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.77/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 6.10.12.

A - Pours a very cloudy, light orange with a one inch yellow-light tan head. Good retention.

S - Wheat hits you first, then some stong lemon.

T - Heavy wheat and some subtle lemon zest.

D - Good carbonation and a medium body.

O - Solid body makes the lemon more muted, but still keeps a good balance.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a weiss glass.

A- Pours a deep golden yellow with a fat fluffy thick white head. Very little light penetration.

S- The smell is rather hoppy for a weizenbock with strong sweet and spicy overtones. The scent of banana is present hidden underneath the light scents of orange nutmeg cinnamon and clove. Just a slight bit of maltiness to the whole ordeal.

T- The taste begins nice and sweet with the taste of slightly spicy bubblegum. It then moves into it's slightly wheatier weizenbock body. Mid taste is slightly deeper and maltier with slightly less spice. Finishes with a more spicier than bitter hop finish. This is a very delicious and complex beer.

M- Has a nice full body with a thicker mouth feel and a medium carbonation.

O- This is good although slightly more hoppy then I would really ever like a weizenbock to be, personally. The smell is phenomenal and deep down under the mask of the cascade dry hopping there really is a delicious weizenbock to be found. While I may not understand why it is that New Glarus has chosen to add hops to so many of their unplugged brews lately I can honestly say that this isn't the worst one. Definitely won't have any problem polishing this 4 pack off. The high ABV is also a real added bonus. Overall a good beer.

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

Bottle shared by Thorpe, thanks. At the time of this review, this is #6 on the "Top Beers - Weizenbock" list on Beer served in a snifter.

Beer is yellow and hazy with a soft but lazy white head. Minimal lacing, moderate to low carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is sweet, estery, bananas. Smells like a big hefe, sweeter than normal but that is expected.

Beer is nice, medium to light in body, clean finish, overall a nice beer, nothing too exciting or surprising but it is a solid weizenbock, nice fruit flavors on the midpalate, a nice finish, a little bitter not overly so. I'd have it again.

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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 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 birchstick
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice hazy yellow color with a 2 finger head. I can't think of a better look for this beer

S - the nose is lemon, citrus, soft wheat malt, bubblegum

T - the taste is similar. Starts off with lemony flavors up front that are washed away by bubblegum yeast flavors. A modicum of clove is present, but not much. A little metallic on the finish with some nice spritzy hops. Nice.

M - soft and full, great body

D - another solid offering in the unplugged/thumbprint series. NG has a knack for killing German styles, and they delivered yet again.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another treat sent down from BeerFMAndy. Thanks!

12oz bottle, poured into a tall weizen glass. From scanning the reviews, this one looks like it's at least 8 months old.

Pours a cloudy amber-tinted dark gold. A huge frothy white head tops 'er off. The first aroma that hits me is a big smack of floral hops. Wow. That was unexpected. [After reading the label on the bottle, I now see this was a dry-hopped weizen - very cool]. The more I pull at this one, the expected aromas creep through - clove, banana bread, cinnamon.

The body is on the scant side, as it goes down quite slick. The massive head scored some of the carbonation away, no doubt. Alcohol, though higher, is barely detected in the flavor. Subtle hints of ethanol on the back end. Mild citrus flavors meld well with the faint hoppiness, and lightly-tart sourdough bread quality.

A decent brew that I would like to have again, but it'd need to be in a much fresher form for sure.

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Photo of beergod1
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden/Amber color with a tight fizzy white head. Has excellent lacing. Aroma is mostly citrus and Clove. Tastes of Banana, little bit of hops, citrus fruit, with some sort of funkiness. That must be the "Imperial" part of the beer. Sweet throughout with a little resiny aftertaste. Smells and tastes even more like bubblegum as it warms, crazy. Very good, very complex, very drinkable.

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

From notes... My mom picked up a mixer pack from Wisconsin and I was lucky enough to get a chance to try this gem.

A - Pours a hazy golden colour, finger of soapy head, solid retention and lacing.

S - Musty citrus, hints of cloves, honey, wet cardboard, chalky malts and grassy hop notes.

T - What a fantastic combination of flavours with hints of citrus and pine hops, undertones of cloves, wheat, grassy flavours, buttered bread and bubble gum.

M - Medium, smooth and wet. ABV is nearly undetectable.

O - This stuff is unreal and if ever presented the opportunity, you best not hesitate. A dangerously drinkable ale, full flavoured and scrumptious.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A) Hazy looking light orange. It started with around a finger of creamy looking white head. This settled down to a dusting. Not much lacing at all.

S) There was a lot going on here. It started out pretty sweet. There was yeast, wheat, banana and spice, mainly clove. As it warmed up, I was picking up other fruit aromas, tropical and a little apple.

T) The malt and yeast create a light bread flavor. Then some booze hits you. It's pretty close to the nose, but not as much fruit was present in the taste. The finish had a boozy tingle.

M) A medium body with a good jolt of carbonation. This started out creamy, but unfortunately that faded to a mostly unsatisfying and prickly ending.

O) This was pretty good overall, but as far as NG beers go, I'll stick to Dancing Man, if I'm looking for something in and or around the weizen style.

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Photo of Ratman197
3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of adneilsen (thanks Aron) poured a cloudy gold with a lasting creamy white head. Aromas of wheast, yeast, banana, light bubblegum and a hint of clove. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and crisp. Flavors of wheat, yeast, banana, light clove and light alcohol with a crisp warming lingering banana finish.

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Photo of Prostman81
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours your traditional German hefe hazy golden with a nice, but not too billowy head. Smell has hints of banana/clove, but I also get some hop character as well. I picked up this four pack in July, and just sampled this month (December) so I'm wondering if I had cracked one openn when I first bought if both aromas would be more present.

Taste is very nice. Again, it's like a more subtle hefe, but also the hop character is present to balance it out. Initial sips bring a lot of alcohol, but that quickly fades and doesn't remain overpowering to the rest of the flavors. This is where the mouthfeel comes in. It's by no means a heavy beer, but the body definitley has plenty going on to keep the alcohol at bay, while still allowing the esthers and hop aroma come through. Nice.

I'd call it a higher strength version of Dancing Man. Very good overall, but I might just stick with the D.M. in the future.

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Photo of jegross2
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Unplugged Imperial Weizen from New Glarus Brewing Company.
Score: 87

2011 bottle poured in a 312 glass (no, the picture is not mine).

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden yellow-orange color with three fingers of soapy head that settled pretty quickly into a ring around the glass and bubbly clumping in the middle. Excellent lacing. Foam returns when you swirl. 4.5/5

Smell: Bananas, oranges and Belgium yeast. Some light spices, cinnamon, plum, wheat and grainy. Sugary apple juice. Lightly toasted bread, touches of orange peel. 4/5

Taste: Bananas, Belgium yeast, cloves, cinnamon and pepper hit upfront. Very sweet, sugary apples on the mid-palate. Quite juicy. Finish is Unibroue Ephemere-like, but mixed with bananas. 3.5/5

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly spritzy medium-high carbonated. Not crisp, because of the sugary linger, but very palate cleansing otherwise. Finishes dry, sweet and slightly sticky. 3.5/5

Overall: A solid Weizenbock, but nothing standout. Incredibly drinkable, and enjoyable, but a bit too sugary for my tastes. I'd absolutely try another. Oh wait, I have three! New Glarus Unpluggeds are definitely where it's at.

Recommendation: A brilliant craft beer for casual beer drinkers. Weizenbocks are what got me into craft beer. Beer geeks should also try this one, but by the single and not the four pack.

Pairings: Pumpkin pie.

Cost: $10.99 for a four pack (add a few extra dollars if you bought it at the gas station).

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had the last bottle of the 4 pack in the fridge for a while. Poured into a pint glass during an American football game, the beer was a golden orange color. A mildly bitter aroma tickled the nose before yielding to a more fruity aroma. Initial taste was a sweet banana and cinnamon flavor that melted into a hot and warming bitter hoppy aftertaste. Notes of citrus are also hidden among the flavors. This is a very smooth beer in terms of the mouthfeel, which is somewhat surprising when the high alcohol content is considered. At 9.6%, this is a potent beer. While it is a warming beer, the smoothness suggests that it could also serve as an easy drinking summer beer. This is a well balanced, tasty beer.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy gold with a big sticky white head. Typical look for a wheat based beer.

Aroma is of wheat, bubble gum and a bit of clove. Some lemon/citrus fruit also makes an appearance.

Hits the palate with a sharp citrus/lemon angle. A bit of clove and spice. None of the bubblegum in the smell.

Mouthfeel is fairly light and carbonation level is good.

Pretty good, but I prefer most of NG regular wheat beer options to this. It pales in comparison to Dancing Man and Laughing Fox.

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Photo of oline73
3.61/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an orangish golden color with two fingers of very thick off white head. This beer has some great retention and nice lacing.

Smell: Lots of sweet malt and fruity notes. There are some Belgian like yeast notes in here as well. Some banana and clove.

Taste: Sweet malt with some herbal yeast notes. Not nearly as fruity as the smell with a stronger presence of alcohol. I'm picking up a citrus and hop note too. The alcohol in the finish is a bit much.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a very slight dryness in the finish.

Overall: I would have liked a bit less alcohol in this one. The other flavors were good. Don't know that I would go back.

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

Appearance: Hazy yellow, orange. Pours a beautiful, thick fine head.

Smell: Very beautiful yeast and bread notes. Orange peels and citrus with a small amount of alcohol.

Taste: Very forward hop profile from the get go. The malt is a bit overpowered by the hops for a weizen but its in tune with the style. Some hints of orange and lemon and finishes with a bitter note from some evolving hops and a bit of an alcohol note.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant and clean

Overall: I love weizens for the clean taste. This imperial weizen maintained a lot of similar notes with a much more intense hop profile from the get go. The different flavors seem a bit muddled together and maybe a but out of balance towards the hop end. Overall though, a great pint.

Serving type: Bottle poured into Sam Adams Boston Lager Pint

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Photo of azdback
3.62/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Cloudy piss yellow color. Millions of tiny carbonation bubbles lead to an off white rocky two finger head. Looks a lot like sea foam. Lace is sticky for now but we'll check back.

Smell is bright sugar topped lemon. Some wheat of grass earthy yeast notes.

Taste is tart bananas and wheat. Very sweet almost like "simple syrup". Some clove comes out. This is also a bit boozy in the swallow.

Mouth is crisp with almost spritzy carbonation. Body is full and syrupy and finish average and a bit dry.

Overall I didn't think this was too bad. I am really not a fan of Wheats or Hefe's but this one went down a bit more tasty. Thanks to TIMMYJ21 for this sample.

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

appearance - hazy orange even after months in my fridge.

smell - beautiful balance of banana, bubblegum, and clove. The dry hops have faded now as this is a few months old.

taste - alcohol when it hits the lips, sweet sweet wheat in the middle. alcohol banana and bubblegum and spicy hops in the finish.

mouthfeel - creamy, medium mouthfeel.

overall - I must say this is a very fine beverage and extremely enjoyable. I for one can't stand banana in my beer and this has so much else going on that I almost forget it's there. Absolutely amazing craftsmanship to bring so many flavors together in balance.

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