Thumbprint Imperial Weizen | New Glarus Brewing Company

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
639 Ratings
Thumbprint Imperial WeizenThumbprint Imperial Weizen
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
newglarusbrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
639
Reviews:
343
Avg:
4.07
pDev:
12.29%
 
 
Wants:
103
Gots:
49
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 639 |  Reviews: 343
Photo of dancinwillie
4.9/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served in a weizen glass

appearance darkish orange hued brew, with a creamy white head that just won't quit! absolutely lovely. gorgeous lacing as froth finally starts subsiding.

smells just like apricots. a bit of spiciness, and a hint of alcohol comes through too.

This one tastes incredible. I know the style should have a banana/clove taste, but I just taste an apricot or peachy flavor. it's strong, and delicious. a bit of bready yeast comes through. Spicy bitterness comes on towards the end, a product of the hops I assume, and a clean dry finish that leaves me wanting another drink.

Mouthfeel full and somewhat creamy, with a slightly dry puckering finish.

Overall drinkability is pretty high, although the obvious high ABV is the only thing keeping me from rating this as my first 5.0 review. It's just too strong to drink much of, but still, one of the best beers I've had in a long time. And definitely the best hefeweizen I've ever had. Believe the hype on this one, and get some before it's gone!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Barely blurry ripe apricot with an impressive number of bubbles rising in stately fashion to a wonderful looking crown. The head is thickly frothy and is ridiculously rocky as it melts. It's also sticky, which leads to the formation of an eye-pleasing array of tenacious lace.

What a nose! Who would have thought that Imperializing a hefeweizen and then using a few tons of Cascade hops would result in something that smells this good? Well, okay, it stands to reason, but only in the hands of an extremely talented brewer. Loads of lemon citrusiness mingles with the more usual banana and clove esters. I can't wait to tip up the glass.

Imperial Weizen is dee-licious beer! Sorry for all the exclamation points, but this is damn good stuff. As one who loves American hops, big beer and expertly brewed hefeweizen, this Unplugged offering is right up my alley. It might have tasted even more vibrant right out of the hopper, but it's a definite gobsmacker right here and now.

The flavor profile includes sweet banana puree, orange peel, pink grapefruit peel, pink bubblegum, ground cloves and vanilla bean. The hefeweizen banan-o-meter is a palate pleasing 4.0/5.0. Purists will probably have a stroke, but the use of Cascade hops puts this remarkable ale over the top. Forget unplugged, this beer is electric!

For an ABV approaching double digits, there's almost no evidence of alcohol on the palate. This is a well thought out, masterful creation that Brauerei Weihenstephaner would have a hard time replicating. Assuming they'd even want to try.

The mouthfeel is perfect. It's full, silky smooth, fresh cream-like and plush without being the least bit heavy or sticky. There is nothing about it that I would change. Nothing... at... all.

Imperial Weizen is the finest Unplugged beer that I have ever had. It's also at least the equal of the legendary Wisconsin Belgian Red and is the best hefeweizen that has ever entered my glass. Sorry Germany, but Dan Carey has just kicked your collective asses all the way to Dusseldorf and back. This is an outstanding ale that begs to be brewed again. I'd love regularly, but will settle for annually. Wow!

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Photo of Newglarusguy
4.85/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

So here I am with a New Glarus Unplugged Series brew. I felt pretty shafted that night not being able to taste this interesting concept beer, but upon opening the bottle I felt much better. When pouring this beer into the glass I noticed excessive foaming, caused by high carbon dioxide, which is actually preferred in a weiss beer. This beer has the usual banana/clove characteristics found in weisses, but interestingly enough there is a noticeable hop aroma to it, albeit faint. I guess dry hopping weisse beers with Cascade hops makes for a great balance of smell. I was truly impressed with how just a little hop aroma influenced this beer. The taste was not what I expected coming from an imperial-style beer. I was expecting a little bite from this, but would not be surprised if this was a sleeper. (Definition of a sleeper beer: a beer that will knock you on your ass because the brewer cleverly hides the alcohol with the perfect mix of brewing ingredients.) What did stick out the most with the taste was the sweetness of this brew and how the carbon dioxide affected it. This imperial weiss tickled my tongue with effervescence and left it coated with a malty sweetness. I know now why they say these styles of beer are preferred with high carbon dioxide.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.83/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into my Westmalle goblet. Has a thick foamy white head and a rich golden body. Has aroma of yeast, wheat, banana and light malt. Flavour is wheat and banana with a lttle malt and spice, primarily clove. Very tasty and reminds me of the good Bavarian Weizens.

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Photo of pweis909
4.81/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a hazy gold beer with a substantial persistant head. In appearance, it is the eptiome of hefeweizen. A residue of yeast encircles the bottom of the bottle. A faint fruity fermentation aroma (overripe banana) penetrates the head, and carries with it a hint of citrusy hops. The initial taste is sweet and desert-like but well support by citrusy hop flavors and bitterness that prevents the beer from cloying. The texture of the beer is slick and lucious, with some alcohol warming, but it also carries a slight carbonic bite. that helps clean the mouth out and ready it for the next sip. What I love about this beer is that it keeps you on your toes by presenting contrasting sensations that might seem to clash on paper but work well together in your mouth. It is a cross between a weizenbock and an IPA, an imperial version of NG's Crack'd wheat, which I believe I scored a perfect 5. Tonight, this beer doesn't quite merit perfection, but it deserves to be acknowledged as a thing of beauty.

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Photo of timmlimestone
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - My god is this beautiful. Darker than a mere weizen. The head is over the top, an holds strong to the glass. Almost like a meringue pie.

Smell - It kicks you hard. This is wheat, that bannana clove from the good yeasts, and the tang of a really strong hint of alcohol.

Taste - I love it. I can tell you know there is not much out there like this. WOW.

mouthfeel - Strong, Powerful, and to the point.

Drinkability - I could have two, but then I would be too happy.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out into the haziest orange-to-yellow gradient you've ever seen. Huge, lasting head just hangs on the glass forever. This is hot.

I could smell banana the instant I popped the cap off, huge floral hops bouquette with pine and grapefruit taking over. The smell is very unique, entirely unexpected, but welcome. Great nose.

A little hops in the back of the flavor, not as dominating as the smell led me to believe. The flavor is mostly typical - banana, coriander, cloves, lots of citrus under the surface too, making way into more subtle spices, grapes and apples with a touch of cinnamon.

The body is thick and heavy, sticks to your mouth, there is a little carbonation going on too. Great warmth can be found as well.

Oh man, the Unplugged series of beers keep knocking my socks off time and time again. High quality and affordable, accessible and original. I'd drink this all of the time.

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Photo of drpimento
4.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Nuzzling up to perfection. What an uber hop weizen a la American style. Absolutely slammed the Belgians here. Poured with a huge foamy, frothy, off white head and great lace. Aroma is banana, yeast, bubblegum, malt, hop, Flavor is largely like nose, plus yeast bitterness leaps out along with sweetness of the malts and propelled by the alcohol. Body is outstanding and ditto carbonation- couldn't be exceeded. Finish is like flavor and lingers with diminishing presence to a point where I can't find the point only that I want another point. The occurance of excellence.

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Photo of mrquartetman
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Cloudy, golden, big head that left lots of lace

S: Very fruity, spicy, clove aroma

T: Sharp at front with substantial hop, then strong spice and big round malt. Complex and Excellent.

M: A series of persistent flavors that take a good time to disappear.

D: Great with food, and a fine drinking beer.

This is one of NG's unplugged triumphs, a terrific and unusual beer. The spiciness goes beyond what one normally expects of a weizen - cinnamon flavor, clove. Might be their own "special strain of Bavarian Weiss yeast." A fine beer.

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Photo of mtpHokie
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of sisterthelonious
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of Lukafer
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of NickSMpls
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of Ilovelampandbeer
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of Shluffy
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of EdTheEdge
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Alpar
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of udubdawg
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.73/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a big glass, the liquid is a semi cloudy dark gols with excellent carbonation. The head is huge big white and leave lots and lots of lace. Excellent looking brew

The smell is very good, rich spices, toasted banana, Yum

The taste is about as good as this style could get. I was starting to think that the style was a lost cause and that only average nice craft brews would come from it. Wow am I surprised. NG was able to capture the best of the Hefe style and magnify it.

The mouthfeel is very good. Thick body, not too sticky and good carbonation.

The drinkability is very good, I wish I was able to get more.

Prosit und Zum Wohl. MK

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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 nickapalooza86
4.72/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a hazy golden orange, with head for days, nice lacing

Smell is nice citrus (orange, grapefruit), bubblegum, cinnamon, clove, a little banana. really complex smelling stuff.

Taste is WOW, banana, spice, cinnamon, citrus fruits, bubblegum, big orangeish tangerine note in the finish, slightly bittering.

Mouthfeel is medium full like a IIPA, heavily carbonated like a Weizen. Works really well.

Wow, What a nice complex beer. You just can not go wrong with this beer... Even if you do not like Wheat beers I can see you liking this.

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

A careful pour still produces a huge fluffy head that lasts and lasts. The color is a murky golden-yellow, very peachy, with plenty of bubbles feeding the never-ending, bumpy head. The head continues to amaze, looking more like something on a soda float than a beer. Leaves big sedimentary layers of lace.

Aroma is largely banana, a good bit of sweet cream/butter, but also a kind of lemon-y citric element, plus a twang similar to that imparted by certain Belgian yeast strains. Mellow malts make up the background, but this is largely focused on banana and more exotic aromas not usually found in the style, but it totally works here.

My first sip and I'm thinking "ok, best New Glarus beer ever". This is freaking delicious. There's a creamsicle element that I can't shake, and I don't want to because it works. Banana slickness and flavor come through large, while an ever so slightly tart character works it's way into the finish and lightly puckering texture. I am also reminded of mango, lemonade, bubblegum and buttered popcorn jellybeans, while the soft, velvety caress of the mouthfeel is a pleasure. All the while, the wheat/yeast element is not lost--quite likely it's the artful combination thereof that explains why I'm getting such interesting, colorful flavors.

Dan Carey excels above and beyond when it comes to his wheat-focused beers. This and Dancing Man Wheat are the best New Glarus has to offer--in my humble opinion. It's a damn shame this is a one time only bottling, and a damn shame I didn't pick up more than one. I've finally enjoyed every beer I picked up at the brewery about 5 weeks ago, and this a fantastic note to end this little journey on. Please, Dan--unplug it year 'round!

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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 dfried
4.7/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep orangish straw color, not see through, but not quite solid either, large head that pushes out of the top of the glass, rocky and creamy. The aroma has citrusy hops right up front, oranges and grapefruit, some piney/resinous notes. Big hefe aromas are there though too, banana, cloves, lemony zest, some spicy cinnemon/nutmeg like notes. The taste reflects the aroma well. There is some noticable spicy alcohol, but that gets smoothed out quickly by the velvety malt that provides a substancial mouthfeel. The hops are amazing in this beer, citrusy and quite bitter, just a bit over the top, enough to balance the just a bit over the top malt, so it all works out in the end. There are some great flavors put together with the hefe yeast byproducts along with the citrusy hops.

Overall: allow me to gush about this beer and I will. I love hefes, and most wheat beers in general. I like hops, a lot. I like most "extreme" beers. This is all of those and I absolutely love it. One of my favorite, most memorable beers of all time. New Glarus, damn you for not having a year round wheat beer. You are like the kids on the playground who have the coolest toy but only share for like 5 minutes at a time.

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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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