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Thumbprint Imperial Weizen | New Glarus Brewing Company

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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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 343 | Ratings: 638
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 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 don1481
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a glass. Was wandering through Woodman's today wondering "I wish they had something other than the Winter Warmer" when lo and behold... out popped the beer guys with a pallet of this stuff!!

Appearance: Pours a hazy, golden straw-like color. Lots of head that sustains itself.

Smell: Citrusy, almost like Sierra Nevada's Torpedo. Reminds me more of IPA smells than anything. Their IIPA wouldn't be that far off here. Not really getting the clove notes in the smell.

Taste (after waiting for the head to die down enough to sip): Aha - there would be the cloves, and a little bit of the cinnamon. Definitely more citrusy than anything. Just like with the smell, it tastes more closely to their IIPA than I was expecting. It's a very good taste, just not quite what I was expecting... but then again with New Glarus, the unexpected is part of why I keep coming back to their different Thumbprint releases. For something pushing 10% ABV, I'd expect a little bit of a warming from the alcohol. None to be found here. Which I am more than happy with.

Mouthfeel: First sip kinda coated the mouth a little bit... differently... than what I was expecting. It lingers. It's not syrupy by any stretch, but there is definitely some body to it.

Overall: It's an intriguing taste. Something that I may try again later on in the release cycle, but not something that I'm going to stock up on like their last two varieties.

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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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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 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 BrewSomerville
3.24/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Spicy, cloves, bubble gum, peppery.

Looks: Hazy orange/yellow. Big thick white head. Good head retention. Excellent lacing, a thick sheet of lace was left behind on the side of the glass.

Taste: Cloves, black pepper. There was heat from the alcohol. Way more bitterness than a normal heffe (this isn't meant to be normal). Some peachy- mango flavours too.

Mouthfeel: Med-full bodied. Average carbonation, possibly even less than average if compared to a normal heffe.

Overall, I thought it was a good Beer. A little bit hot, and it's more of a sipping Beer to me.

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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 abents
3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours out beautifully with a golden hue and HUGE white head that laces nicely. Smells wheat-citrus(orange/lemon) with spices. Big citrus bang with lingering wheat raging in my mouth. Very long grapefruit/spice (nutmeg?) finish. Huge carbonation that dominates the beer almost off putting. Very interesting take on a weizen, definitely thinking outside the box (although I think Pyramid makes one too), but just not to my tastes.
I imagine weizen to be light and refreshing and this is dominating and confusing. I guess I can't compare this "imperial" weizen to anything else, but it's not for me.

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Photo of KBomb
3.93/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is unlike any wheat beer I've ever had before. The four pack of 12oz bottles came labeled in NG's signature style, but with a red foil wrap at the top (classy). Poured a rich amber/orange, thick cloud all the way through, and frothy foamy head with mega-retention and lacing. Smell is ripe with piney cascade hops, floral sweetness, clove, and in the background is a little more of the grapefruit citrus, wheat grain, and alcohol. The taste is even more complex and wild than the smell. Its almost like an IPA with such bold upfront hops. Additionally we get warm toasty malt, yeast, spice, bitter grapefruit peel, followed by sweet bright grain, and a little orange tang. At the end of it all is the high volume of alcohol which ends up being less distracting than you'd think-- warms everything up and goes down like a cognac or a red wine. As Imperial Hefe warms up a little it gets quite sweet. Its mediumly heavy and a little bit sticky like hoppier ales. So that in addition to high AVB makes this is a little much to drink more than one or two.

This thing is wild. Lots of great flavors going on in here, but it skirts the border of being too much. There just might be a little excess hops on the nose and a little too sweet at the end to be perfect. Though wheat beers are what I drink all summer, the other three bottles might stay in the fridge till we get a cooler fall day and I feel like sipping something a little randy. Points for creativity.

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

12 oz. bottle into flute.

A: A touch hazy, this goldenrod body sports a short white head that sticks around a bit. Eventually flattens out into a sticky ring with some patches on stop. Good, fine carbonation up through the body.

S: A strong boozy note, sweet wheat, and bubblegum, with a pretty good hop presence towards the back. Clove, phenols, yeast. Reminds me of Krunk Monk from FFF, but less cloyingly sweet.

T: A bit sweet, but towards the end. Otherwise, it's like an amped-up German hefeweizen: bubblegum, banana, and clove, with some hops in the end to round it out. It's not at all too sweet, like I was expecting. It is a bit alcoholic, though.

M: Nice moderate body, not a sticky, proteinaceous mess, and with very solid carbonation. Alcoholic, but not fusel-y.

O: I didn't go into this with the highest hopes: big wheat beers are usually too sweet and too thick for my tastes. However, this is a really solid, big wheat beer that walks a fine line between American innovation (making shit bigger!) and German restraint. Yet another well-done beer from NG.

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

A: Nice sunny orange with thick white heag. Good retention.

S: Really nice, banana, clove, candy sugar sweetness, nutmug, yestiness. Smells like a Beligian golden/wheat combo.

T/M: Much deeper than you'd expect from the aroma. prickly feeling in the mouth. slight banana but clove really comes through fading to an anise type note. Grapfruit/citrus acidity and bitter hops. Carmel on finish with alcohol burn. You can definitely tell that this one is not your normal wheat beer and the abv is up there probably pushing 8, 9%

D: You can look at this two ways; obviously it's down from a typical wheat beer, but better than most 8-9% abv beers.

Ovr: Others have said it, NG has a way with fruit beers and wheat beers. It's a great style. Paradoxial in what you would typically think of a highly quaffable wheat beer, but it's a nice break from that. Spring is a great time for this one, when it's cool but nice and sunny.

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.08/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased a four pack. Poured a large foamy head on a cloudy, light amber body. Very "wheaty", with good doses of sweetness, clove and citrus mixed in, as well as banana. Taste was much the same, very heavy, cloves very prominent, but with a big grapefruit finish. Had the thickness one would expect from a wheat.

I had very, very high hopes for this, as it's my favorite style and one of my favorite brewers. And it started off nicely, but about midway through, that grapefruit and alcohol bite became just too much, drowning out the other characteristics. I drank the other three in the pack, and came away with the same impression. Bit disappointing, really.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.39/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to JDV for this bottle.

A-Cloudy orange caramel color,fluffy white head, lots of cabonation bubbles running up the side. Looks good
S-Spicy/Peppery smell, musty and belgianesque, slight medicinal phenolic smell
T-Alcohol and bananas right away, very hoppy bitter finish, spicy belgian like yeast flavor and rough wheat grain become more apparent as warms
M-Full in mouth especially for the style, creamy but good cabonation
D-Glad to drink one but probably wouldn't reach for too many of these. Alcohol flavor detracts somewhat from drinkability.

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Photo of Baileyuk
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of TheBlackMallard

Opened with a rush of malt sensation that was all malt. It was hard to smell past the malt and yeast although a slight citrus smell was present.

Poured a hazy orange with a great head, retention and lacing. Looking through the bottle their was a ton of thick yeasty extract coating the bottom of the bottle.

Taste is the traditional banana and clove taste although it definately seems a little more yeasty giving it a slightly overpowering taste and a more alcoholic taste.

As the Alabama senator says "It drinks good don't it". My review may seem negative but this is a great beer. Unfortunately there are some exceptional beers to try and I feel that it was a little behind Big Rocks verison (although evidently this is hard to come by).

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Photo of Flyer
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus's string of disappointing entries in its Unplugged series ends with this baby. It's very tripel-ish, yet with a wheat backbone that sets it apart. Pours with a massive, scultpable French-vanilla-colored head, with ridges and valleys that would do the topography of Colorad proud. Color is hazy orange. The aroma is clove, with lots of clove and spice and detectable wheat notes in the first tasting, followed by some bitter apricot. Full and round in the mouth. Clean but not light on the fnish. Wonderful beer.

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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 TheBlackMallard
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mully for the trade.

Bottle opened with a hiss, odd shrieking noise escaped from the foil. Poured into my trusty Dollartree Weizen glass with a giant head leaving behind plenty of lacing. Looks wonderful with my desk lamp shining behind it and all it's Weizeny goodness.

Smells of Lemon, Banana, Clove, Grass and Black Pepper.

I'm mostly tasting the citrus from the Cascades with a bit of Banana and Clove in the finish, they show up a bit more as it warms.

Awesome body and soft, lively carbonation.

Alright, who poured an SNPA in my Hefe? I wouldn't mind at all if the Cascades faded a bit. I'd probably like it a bit more. Cascades aren't my hop of choice. It's hard to tell that this is 8-9% ABV.

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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 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 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 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 ohmybock
3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Now *this* is an interesting wheat beer which I just picked up in Madison, WI. From reading the label, I could tell I was in for something a bit unique...

This one pours with a cloudy, light-ish, golden color. There's a thin head which persists, but it's not as thick as many German weizens. The aroma is a very good indicator of what is to come. There's definitely some German wheat beer character in there, but something else too. Upon tasting, the unusual mix of characters becomes much more apparent. There's a citrusy character infused with the expected "normal" German character along with something else..."minty" perhaps? The label mentions Cascade hops and "excessive dry hopping". That explains a lot of what is going on here. The bitterness is not overwhelming, but it might be a little aggressive. I can't stop sipping this brew and pondering the odd mix of flavors in it. With that being said, I'm still not overly-enthusiastic about the end product's mix of flavors as a whole. This is a very interesting brew which I'm very happy I bought, but one 12oz bottle is probably more than enough for me.

This NG brew probably fits into the same style as the Schneider-Brooklyner Weiss. Both weizens are heavily dry-hopped and are new interpretations of the style. Kudos to New Glarus for trying new things with the Unplugged series. I wish more breweries would do the same!

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

Oh wow. This is great.

A: Pours a murky, yeasty light amber/brown. Has a good head on it. Carbonation is screaming to the surface.
S: Bananas, pears, a slight hint of alcohol. Awesome.
T: Yeasty esters of wheat, banana, pears, then the alcohol lingers and cleans the palate.
M: Feels good on the palate. Medium carbonation.
D: High drinkability.

This is definitely one that I would buy again. I like it. A sipper.

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Photo of grandq
3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, butterscotch with a fluffy two finger head. Setting it down to type, i can smell a bit of banana bread from the table a couple feet away. As I shove my nose in, I pick up a more complex scent, adding honey, clove and citrus hop to the aroma. The flavor consists of most of usual suspects for a hefe, banana, lemon, clove, a touch of apricot, and bubblegummy yeast. Hop presence isn't too strong, but a nice compliment - citrus fruits again with a bit of a peppery bite - much more noticeable on the nose than on the tongue. Slightly dissapointing there, as I like what the smell advertises. As it warms up a bit I'm getting more and more rind bitterness, which becomes a little rough on the taste buds. This is a bit thicker and creamier than most in the style, but the "imperial" stamp lead me to expect as much. The lingering, coating body is quite satisfying, though leaves the gum flavor to hang around a bit longer than I might like. I'm not the biggest hefe fan in the world to start with, but this is a nice, beefed up American interpretation that I'd go for again in warmer weather. Thanks mully for the bottle.

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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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