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 umustdrink
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Bright orange color, though completely opaque. Head faded to a thick patchy film, grows easily with agitation. A few small patches of lace.

S - Big smell. Bubblegum, earthy wheat, some clovey peppery spice with an underlying sweetness.
Smells just like the name would suggest.

T - The taste starts out with a big hit of palpable sweetness, earthy & thick on the tongue along with some carbonation. The carbonation really gets sharp and burns a bit. Bubblegum flavors come in full force for the remainder of the taste. The wheatiness and spices are muted by the carbonation although they do show up in the finish: chalky memories of sweet bubblegummy yeast and its subtle accompaniments.

M - Perhaps a bit too much carbonation, it hides some of the more subtle flavors. But paired with a thick consistency makes the tactile experience very unique.

D - This is a big wheaty meal of a beer, stellar, along with all the other New Glarus wheat beers.

Guess the abv: 11%

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

A hazy yellow/orange pour accompanied with a two finger white, fluffy head. It leaves minimal lacing.

I smell orange, peach, cloves and wheat. Smells like this will be a strong concoction.

I get cloves right off the bat... it then ushers in the peach and the sharp hops at the back end.

As I continue on, I'm picking up some apples in nose and taste buds. Maybe apple skins is a better descriptor? Bananas are definitely coming out to play as well.

This is a very complex beer that is well-balanced. Outstanding drink when the mercury is up. It's very creamy and tastes light despite the high alcohol level. This is outstanding... I knew I should have grabbed more than one 4-pack!

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

Thanks to sweemzander for sending one of these my way. It wasn't on my 'want' list, but it should have been. 12oz red foiled bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Opaque orange juice with a huge voluminous white head. Lots of clumpy lacing is left as the head recedes to a thick cap. Perfect looking Hefe. 5/5

S: A decadent nose. Banana bread, clove, spice, wild flowers, and tangerines take over the senses. As good as they come. 5/5

T: A big banana/orange smoothie in a bottle. Notes of coconut, pineapple, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon taste like dessert. The finish lasts like the pink bunny with the drum. Not your mama's Hefe. 4/5

M: Thick, creamy, and surprisingly non-sticky given the plato. For a beer of this size, it feels great. 4.5/5

O: A very ambitious and interesting beer by Mr. Carey. Yet again he seems set on making only one style of beer... His own. 4.5/5

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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 shadow1961
4.45/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Unplugged Imperial Weizen pours a couple of fingers
of pillowy head over a gorgeous cloudy peach colored brew. The
nose is rich- fruity yeast esters, and aromatic from dry-hopped Cascade
hops so kindly mentioned on the label. The flavor is likewise rich- a bit
of clove, the fruit again- a bit of fig, a bit of citrus, all overlain by appetizing
spicyness- again, of course, those hops. The mouthfeel is crisp and assertive-
starting round but trending dry. This is one insanely complex and wonderful
concoction. When I got it, I expected something more along the lines of an
Aventinus (also a fine beer), This is a completely American riff on a traditional
German style- bold, rich and spicy. It's experiments like this that make New
Glarus one of the best breweries on the planet. Get it while you can- this is a
special edition. The time they'll move onto something completely different!

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

thanks to kirk for another fine midwest brew on my wants.

a - opened the bottle and filled my captain lawrence taster tulip. poured a very cloudy pale yellow with a generous frothy white head. lacing was chunky and mostly sticky.

s - burst of fruit flavor. some spiciness. mostly banana, citric, lemon, clove, vanilla/caramel.

t - just like the nose a burst of fruit flavor with some spicing. banana, citrus, lemon, clove, vanilla/caramel with a touch of bitterness and a boozy finish. bubblegum.

m - not as soft as i would expect. booze shows its face in the flavor and in the tingle in my mouth.

o - overall, damn fine beer. really solid weizenbock. a bit boozy, but it works with the flavoring. bubblegum booze...ah, nice mix.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a straw yellow color that tends toward orange. completely opaque and full of a wheaty haze. Huge 3-4 finger, in a skinny weizen glass, head of a white color. sticks around the entire time and leaves a huge lacing on the side of the whole glass.

Smell: I am immediately hit with huge bubblegum aroma, like no beer i have ever smelled before. lots of yeast qualities come as i get a closer smell, its full of cloves and a slight spiciness.

Taste: opens up with a bubblegum sweetness. quickly makes way to a drier clove taste. some light citrus taste. the wheat used tastes unlike anything in a beer i have tasted before, its sweeter and has more character. a slight but indistinct spice comes in the end.

Mouthfeel: extremely drinkable. fairly dry. slight bitterness.

Overall: New Glarus certainly has a way with yeast. between this, their dark belgians and sours, you can't find many breweries who do so well with yeast. also possibly the most unique twist on a weizen I have had. I really like the wheat they use in this beer, and the yeast qualities are killer. really wished I could have tasted this when it was fresher.

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

Another stud beer from NG. This is really outstanding. My only critisim is that this beer tastes more Belgium than a Weizen. Funny, many beers say "Beligium" and aren't even close. This is one is right up their with the Belgium tripel heavy weights. Looks cloudy like a wheat but the head is dense and thick more like a tripel. Lacing all the way down the glass. The smell is truely fantastic, with pear, honey, and pepper. The taste has a great balance of sweetness, savory yeastiness, and hearty malt - wheat backbone. This stuff could get me to root for the Pack this year.

If you like Fin Du Monde. This is very similar, but better!

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

Appearance - This is a cloudy orange body with a huge head. The head is a perfect white and is nice and frothy. It appears the head will take a few days to recede it's so firm. The lacing left after each take from the pint is a very nice compliment.

Smell - I can immediately smell the sweet scent of malt as I crack the top of the bottle. The aroma is unbelievable. It has a perfect citrus aroma.

Taste - The flavor is bitter consisting of clove, tangerine and hops. There is a hint of alcohol but it doesn't overwhelm the brew.

Mouthfeel - The texture is soft and soothing. It touches all parts of my tongue, which really adds to its complexity.

~ The Imperial Weizen actually gets better and better as you drink it. At first take it's a bit abrupt but as the beer is slowly sipped it becomes far more complex. I will certainly recommend this beer to anyone looking for a full-bodied complex and interesting sud.

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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 coldmeat23
4.48/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

GLASS: Weizen Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This pours a slightly hazy, golden orange color. It sits below a three-finger head of eggshell colored foam. The retention is great and the lacing is like the surface of the moon, solid white with little spots and divots all through it.

This beer has a powerful nose, which I can easily smell from about eighteen inches away. It has a huge yeastiness to it. It is also filled with a boatload of citrus fruit smells. A good amount of bubblegum. Light spice notes and citrus/floral hop notes.

This is like apple/pear/grapefruit jam spread on a biscuit. The big yeast presence and citrus presence are joined by orchard fruits and all of them are playing nicely together. Bananas, lemons, oranges and peaches are all here. Mild notes of bubblegum and spices, mostly clove.

This is full-bodied and slightly viscous. It is a touch bolder than I expect from the style, but I like it alot. Nice light-to-medium level of carbonation gives it a mild touch of creaminess, which is quite nice.

I like hefe's, in general. This a great example of what can be done with the style. I'd love to have regular access to this one.
Well done, New Glarus!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to neubernie for the hook up!

A: Pours an absolutely lovely looking, cloudy, glowing, bright-orange color. This is capped by a rich and creamy light-orange colored head that's fed by some relatively active carbonation. Great rings and sheets of lace all up in the glass! The head lasts until the very last sip.

S: Great hefe-yeast aromas: banana, clove, bubblegum, and cardamom. Also picked up some grassy green hops and black pepper.

T: Huge spicy yeastiness! Clove/cardamom, bubblegum, and banana, followed closely by sweet juicy pear, black pepper, ginger, toasted malt, pineapple, and that awesome hoppiness that was hinted on in the smell.

M: When the sip first crosses the tongue, it seems very juicy and sweet. That sensation is very quickly changed over to spicy and prickly, in the middle, and the finish is perfectly peppery.

D: Non-obtrusive alcohol and a surplus of incredible smells and flavors make for a wonderful beer!

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

This beer poured into a pint glass has a awesome sunset orange color with a creamy tan head leaving nice lacing on the glass. The smell is fruitful with citrus and clove prevalent. The taste is extremely complex, but not messy. The fruits are upfront, orange, lemon, and kiwi come to mind. The finish is bitter with the hops coming through. This is a fantastic brew, too bad they only come in 4-packs, six would have been nice!

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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 kkleu357
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

From notes on 11/9/13

Spicy clove smell with a hint of cherry. Lots of aroma. Poured cloudy with a lot of head. Very flavorful beer. I don't like clove in my beers, but oddly I do here. This beer is very tart, but I think the clove and hints of cinnamon spice balance it out nicely. I’m very impressed by this beer. Wow!

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Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy gold with a massive cap of creamy fluff on top. Great retention and lacing.

Huge nose of clove, wheat, spice, banana and citrus. The citrus from the cascade dry hopping perhaps?

An imperial hefe this is! Big time flavors here with a spicy bite, clove and banana out front. Some wheat bread notes with a spicy finish. Getting some hop bitterness as well. Very flavorful beer.

Full and frothy. Very smooth with a dry finishing feel.

Awesome beer right here. A true representation of the style on an imperial level. I will have to find some more of this one!

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Photo of k3n
4.51/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, stamped 0803.

A: Poured into a weizen glass, looking damn sexy. Cloudy, dark yellow amber colored. Streams of rising bubbles make the head last for days.

S: Clove. Faint bubblegum. Wheaty malt.

T/M: Wow. Unlike any hefeweizen I've had. Initial hit is crisp wheat malt, immediately backed up by citrus hops and bitterness. The mouthfeel is thick and rich, and the bitterness lasts well into the finish, but is not over-powering.

D: This is one damn fine hefeweizen!

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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 martyl1000
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour into a tulip glass is a cloudy somewhat orange-y straw color with a pluming white-white head that just stays huge. The aroma is tropical fruit and Juicy Fruit Gum, and pleasing yeast.

Even more fruit than in the nose, overripe fruit, earthy, and sugary, yet also sharply tangy. Banana taffy is the specific sweetness. White pepper and clove, among other spiciness. I might just be unfamiliar with the style (I've only had a couple others (Unser Aventinus and La Petite Mort), as this was totally unexpected and shared very little with the two I've had. It tasted almost nothing like a bock.

Light- to medium-bodied with good carbonation. Delicious. Think Hitachino Nest White Ale, with more sweetness and more alcohol

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Photo of Mikeyr89
4.52/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

So I opened this up and even the foil on the top puffed open from the carbonation. As I poured it I could smell the citrus/furity flavors. The aroma is extremely pleasant and I think I smell grapefruit? Regardless... very nice. It poured a golden orange with a solid head that lasted through the entire drink! The lace also was pretty to say the least. The taste is bitter and sweet, so as my recently maturing appreciation for hops combined with my love for a hefeweizen reached this beer, I found myself saying, "this is genius!" The mouth feel is strong and pleasant with the high carbonation and overall I have to say this is a new favorite! Thanks again, New Glarus, for brewing another awesome beer!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a hazy orange/golden color. Four fingers of rocky, cream colored foam spring up quickly, laying down some thick and sticky lace. Very slow to recede, taking some extra time to get this bottle into the shaker. Puffy and pocky as it settles most unevenly.

Aroma - huge yeast and banana, very intense and serious aroma.

Taste - big wheaty flavor, the clovy yeast and banana flavors right there as well. Far more hops than I'm used to in a hefe, they are very orangey and floral. A light bit of funkiness, but in this mix, it's not out of place. The swallow is a little more funkiness, plenty of hops and dryng bitterness, but not losing its juicy aspect. Finishes with lingering citric flavor.

Mouthfeel - very slick and smooth. The carbonation is prickly and still understated beneath the draping body.

Drinkability - a fantastic spin on a traditional style. A big tip o' the cap to mully for bringing me some of this at DLD08.

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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 JDV
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle courtesy of mully. Thanks!
In a word, Wow.

Pours a gorgeous cloudy glowing light orange do deep burnt orange with an everlasting meringue like white head. Smell is fantastic. Best smelling hefeweizen ever...Huge fruity, banana notes, mild clove, and a big burst of citrusy fruits and orange with a blast of hops behind that. Taste is rich and wheaty with noticeable and uncharacteristic hop presence that works so well with this adding a really unique dimension to it. Nice citrusy bitter orange rind hoppy flavor in the middle followed by a clovey flavor in the finish. Really complex for the style and unbelievable good and drinkable. I would never have expected to like a hefeweizen this much. A must try!!

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Photo of LambicPentameter
4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to BA Beeryurt for sending this to me in a trade.

Poured out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a foil-wrapped top. No bottling or freshness date that I can find. Poured into a large classic weizen glass, even though the 12 oz bottle probably won't quite fill it.

Appearance - Well, turns out that not filling the glass wasn't a problem--in fact, due to the massive six, seven(?) -fingered head, it takes me quite awhile to finish pouring the entire bottle out. The head is dense, like damp snow drifts, but light gold, giving it a look similar to meringue. Fine bubbles grow a bit and burst, leaving a cobweb; the foam never completely disappears, leaving a mound in the middle of the body, making it look like a float. The foam sits atop an apricot-golden body that is a murky haze in some areas, but glowing where the light passes through. A small dark amber shadow drifts directly beneath the towering head.

Smell - Notes of vanilla, brandy, lavender, Hawaiian sweet bread, orange rind, and faint esters that counterpoint the more luscious flavors. Bready and aromatic, with just an essence of the notes you might get from baking pastries. Gives me some of the floral hop and almost boozier notes I might expect from a Wheatwine.

Taste - Fresh sourdough, maybe even bread that still has a few minutes left in the oven. Brandy cordial, candied peach and apricot, and a mild but notable bitterness on the finish. Ultimately, it ends up a semi-sweet and lingering, with the sweeter notes continuing to dance with the drier bitterness of what really seem like floral hop characteristics.

Mouthfeel - High carbonation (the pour was partly my fault, but this is a very carbonated beer), with a medium-heavy body. Velvety and a tad viscous with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall, this is a fantastic beer. I've not had many weizenbocks, but this one doesn't seem quite like what I would expect from the style. As I hinted in my review, this one reminded me a lot of some Wheatwines I've had, which is a good thing. I wish this beer was easier to get, because it was absolutely delicious.

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Photo of nhindian
4.54/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Cantillon wine glass. Bottle provided by MilwaukeeCrusher, thanks!

A - Pours much like an ordinary hefeweizen would appear. A pale orange-yellow, bordering on straw, while being completely hazy and unfiltered. Can't see any carbonation, but there appears to be a lot since it foams up fast even with a gentle pour. The head take this carbonation and runs with it, creating a 2.5-finger eggshell head, with retention for days. It is thick and creamy, and reminds me of how Allagash beers compose their head. The lacing gives off an almost ladder-esque appearance, with rungs of foam clumping together in a ring around the glass.

S - Wow, this beer smells fantastic. It is incredibly crisp and fresh, full of spices, cloves, citrus, hops, and even that signature bubblegum aroma that good yeast provides. It's even clear getting bananas here too. This is certainly an imperial version of a typical hefe's aroma!

T - The taste is much like the nose, but not as varied. It begins with a burst of clove, wheat and even nutmeg, before trailing into banana. Gradually it fades into the citrus from the hops before leaving a subtle aftertaste of bubblegum. Again, it's crisp and enjoyable throughout. There is a slight alcohol bite in the finish, however.

M - Mouthfeel is relatively light-bodied with high carbonation. Feels pretty zesty in the mouth but despite it being light, it stills puts a nice coating on the palate. There is a surprising amount of hop stickiness that comes through as well.

D/O - Drinkability is high. This is a refreshing and easy-drinking beer that is perfect for summer. Almost dangerous given how much alcohol is in this, which although it lets off some heat, is nowhere near the level it is. Sip carefully, but don't be afraid to indulge!

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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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