Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
111 Reviews
Thumbprint Chocolate AbbeyThumbprint Chocolate Abbey

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BarrytheBear on 09-18-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 252
Photo of younger35
4.72/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The little lady picked me up a four pack of this delight and I can’t wait to review this. I’ve had one already and it’s so unique and delicious. Drank from my Russian River tulip while watching the Falcons vs. Saints.

Appearance- Pours a perfectly dark reddish ruby brown with a big fizzy dirty white head. A nice cap and collar stick around for the entire beer but surprisingly no lacing.
Smell- Really earthy smelling with a deep raw chocolaty tone that is surprisingly potent. It very much smells like a Tootsie Roll. Not much in the way of the ‘Abbey’ part of the beer in the nose as the chocolate covers anything else that might be present. A touch of spice and a banana and that really is about it.
Taste- Starts out with a dose of the banana and spice (clove and maybe even a touch of cinnamon) that I mentioned in the nose. Slightly warming after that first sip but it gives way to that earthy raw chocolate. It’s more like a cocoa nib chocolate than a milk chocolate. Just a touch of sweetness is present though. Long lingering notes of chocolate and a touch of caramelized sugar in the finish.
Mouthfeel- The beer is velvety smooth and full bodied with a creamy, somewhat dry finish. The carbonation is soft and spot on.
Drinkability- Really really REALLY like this beer a lot. It’s so unique and easy drinking and smooth as silk. It’s chocolaty like you’d expect but not overly so and the best part – it’s not sweet at all. New Glarus is my favorite brewery for a reason and this is why.

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Photo of lurpy1
4.71/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Couple bottles picked up from a border run to Hudson. Advance buzz on this one, hopes are high.

Pour is coca-cola cut with iced tea. A little foam, slightly paling brown, bubbly.

The first whiff is an absolute holy shit moment. One of the most potent chocolate botiques I've ever had, both sweet and bitter at the same time.

And the taste,well, more of the same. Holy shit. The Tootsie Roll factor everyone sites is spot on. Delicious. As the rhapsody wears off I notice this might be missing some of the dubbel characteristics - there's no hop whatsoever, and the malt is very hidden. Who cares? Tastes awesome.

CA is somewhat carbonated, perhaps too much for my liking, but it does differentiate this from sweet stouts. End of the day, goes down well enough.

This beer is not perfect, but it's spectacular at the things that matter most. A+. Back to dairyland to stock up.

EDIT: 1/17. I've had 2 more bottles of Chocolate Abbey, and they were OK at best. Would probably give it a 3.5 in all categories. Not changing my ratings, I still think my first impressions were legit.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark roasty chestnut brown to settle an ever so close to black browned hue that in most light you barely can catch that it has a super deep mahogany glow within its body. A medium foamyness of dark beige crowns the top very nicely. Very minimal lace spawns across the glass in a few tiny dots, specks, and globs.

Lovely aroma of softly alluring bakers chocolate and cocoa powder with a soft twist of root beer, fruit cake, vanilla sweetness, sarsaparilla, graham cracker, molasses, and a whisper of wintergreen.

Flavors are wonderfully molded into a smooth delightful tone of Dubble style Belgian candied, fruityish tang and soft cocoa sweetness. It's a bit hard to pin down any one overall taste, per se, but it has flashes of dates and raisin, a pinch of cherry, flashes of vanilla and molasses, and a light coating of cocoa dusting around the edge that is a complexly welcome finishing portion of it's character.

Body is smooth and lightly tangy with a bold medium girthy tone that's very thirst quenching and easy to drink.

Chocolate Abbey is worth every cent spent and every drop out the bottle. Another gem in the Unplugged/Thumbprint series from New Glarus!

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Photo of mynie
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark with a really wonderful head, for a dubbel.

Smells--hmm, this might be the power of suggestion, but it smells like Hershey's syrup and alcoholic abbey yeast. The two aromas don't really blend so much as they sit on top of one another, each distinct and very pleasant.

Tastes, like a blend of the two aforementioned flavors, but also not like a blend. Like, there's clear stages. Yeast up front, chocolate i the back end. They dance with one another in the middle, though, and that produces the inexplicable flavor of flowers. I--I do not know. That's just how it tastes.

This was a wonderful idea and it's executed flawlessly.

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Photo of ZAP
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured vigorously into a tulip and I get a big frothy tan head....cherrywood colored beer....

S-A lot of cocoa powder like aroma...but also a dubbel scent to it...getting some dark fruits...

T-Cocoa shaved off pieces of a Heshey's Bunny....also some dark fruits (black cherries, plums, red grapes)....A tasty brew....

M-Perhaps a bit too much carbonation but I did pour it pretty hard....body is high side of medium...despite the chocolate it is not at all cloying...could drink 3 or 4 of these easy in one sitting....

O-i like what NG has done with this as I have with almost all the Thumbprints...won't be for everyone but this is a quality beer for what they were hoping to accomplish...I'd glady buy a couple more 4 packs of this for the holidays

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Photo of BYOFB
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle to Tempelier tulip.

Pours a clear deep brown color with a light manila colored head that fades relatively quickly and left legs of lacing down the glass.

Aroma is heavy on bananas and cocoa. A little spice and malt in the background.

Taste mirrors aroma for the most part. Tastes like a chocolate covered banana… A little spice and bubblegum in there as well. You can still tell it’s a dubbel though. Medium mouthfeel with a crisper carbonation than expected. Light cocoa flavor on the fairly crisp finish. Alcohol becomes noticeable, in a good way, as the beer warms.

I see this one pairing very well with a dark chocolate dessert.

Overall a very good dubbel that is definitely unique. I think/hope a bit of age on this one will mellow and meld some of the flavors a bit. Only one way to find out; buy a case and cellar a bunch!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.
2491 printed on the neck, no info.

Thanks for leaving this in my Jeep Brando! :P

A - Despite it's almost pitch black appearance, Chocolate Abbey is actually a clear ruby mahogany color when held up. A billowing light tan head rises to three-fingers and drops quite slowly but little is left as Belgian lace goes.

S - Completely intoxicating, Chocolate Abbey opens with an abounding chocolate nose rich with cocoa and milk chocolate. Cherry hints rest delicately behind with an intricacy that begins suggest "Belgian" while adding a chocolate covered cherry aroma. Yeast complexity follows up with earth tones and dark fruit esters a la cherry, fig, and plum. Black patent malt roast is subtle while a strong caramel profile is present. Absolutely breath-taking.

T - Flavor is quite the departure from the aroma. Chocolate is all but abandoned, giving it a much heavier Belgian dubbel characteristic. Stronger Belgian yeast profile here, there's more earthy tones and yeast esters present in flavor. The cherry still emerges followed by the faint plum and fig. Cocoa dryness creeps up on the finish, slowly asserting itself among the light toast malt. Delicate spice notes from the yeast open up as it warms.

M - Delicately soft and smooth, Chocolate Abbey presents itself as a medium-bodied dessert beer that's not overpowering but, rather, open to pairing and sipping. The supple finish ends with a slow, dry characteristic that begs for another sip.

O - Unfortunately the flavor falls a little short after the intoxicating aroma. This isn't a dig at the (great) flavor of Chocolate Abbey but merely a testament to how amazing the aroma of this beer is. Give this one to people who claim to "not like beer". Give this to people who don't like Belgians (beer). It'll bridge the gap effortlessly. With it's unique aroma and taste, Chocolate Abbey is both powerful and delicate at the same time. A near flawless effort, this goes down in the books as another special release from New Glarus I'll be hoarding bottles of for years to come to explore it's development.

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Photo of Khazadum
4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Big poofy head, off tan colors. Like a day old slice of bread. Very bubbly, mohogony clear body with cola edging. Low lacing, decent collar, VERY bubbly after a little while. Not as sticky as I'd like it to look.

S- A nice artificial fudge aroma here, like Canfield's Diet Chocolate Fudge all over this place. Minor vanilla bean. Behind that is some banana notes that aren't overwhelming as you might expect from some dubbels. You might even mistake the banana for toffee caramel sweetness if you weren't careful.

T- Opens up a delicious fudge and malt character. Like lightly toasted wheat and biscuit combined with an off-fudge character. Some general bittering and earthen hops muddy up the characteristic, perhaps a tad bit clovey right there, before a dry banana finish. Lingers gently with the banana before cleaning up completely. Really enjoyable.

M- Very creamy but you might miss that with the overwhelming crispness that rises in the first 25% and ends in the last 25%. Its not there the entire time, but it covers such a large span that you miss some of the principle moments of the body. Full body, sticky enough flavors, spot on bitterness, and sometimes... just occasionally... some grainyness.

Really, really good. This beer is shockingly flavorful and a delight to drink. I couldn't believe how tasty this is.

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Photo of iDrinknewglarus
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep ruby red. It is see through and very beautiful to look at. Some carbonation streams as the big ol' white head fizzles and resides. Minor lacing.

S: An underlying sweet chocolate aroma is behind a thick wall of fruit and spice. It smells delightfully sweet from the chocolate... is that bazooka bubble gum I smell? Yes! I have figured it out: it has a strong bubble gum scent like I've smelled in no other belgium.

T: I get cherries, then bubble gum, then spice and a slight touch of alcohol that really works for this beer and not against it. It is immensely drinkable (unknown ABV... around 7.5-8.0 I'd guess). The chocolate is all but absent in the flavor, but might contribute more to the mouthfeel. Aftertastes of bubble gum and cherries linger nicely. Very fruity and lots of bubble gum on this one.

M: Light and with nice carbonation. It is crisp and slick and leaves a shiny/waxy feeling after the halfway point.

Overall this was a delightful beer to sit down and drink. I've tasted none quite like it. My only gripe is that I was expecting and wishing for more chocolate smell and especially taste in this "chocolate" dubbel. I recommend picking this one up.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.37/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep brown with crimson and mahogany highlights. Foamy tan head quickly fades to a few patches of tan foam.

S - Wonderful aroma. Like a Belgian Dubbel dessert in a glass. Rich complex chocolate aroma. Milk chocolate mixed with cocoa, dark fruits, black cherry, Belgian yeast with hints of spice. I also get just a touch of whatever fruit flavor is in Red Bull. Interesting in a good way.

T - Cocoa and dark cherries, esters from the Belgian yeast are more pronounced than aroma, spice, light touch of dark fruits. The chocolate is more subtle and not as complex as the aroma.

M - Medium to heavy with a good amount of carbonation.

D - A great dessert beer paired with something else or by itself. One of the best aromas I have had in a beer.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Extra from rmalinowski4-- thanks Rich!
Served in my Founders Snifter-- which also was a gift from Rich...

Reddish brown, little murky. Nice fluffy three finger head with good retention.

Tootsie rolls. Wow. Sweet milk chocolate. Little gram cracker malt underneath. Some dry bitter cocoa notes on the finish.

Medium-light body with ample bubbles.

Overall-- this is the most chocolatey damn beer I've ever had. Leave it to New Glarus to make a chocolate beer that fully delivers. Good on them!

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Photo of vande
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - a deep, dark brown with red highlights, somewhat lighter in a appearance with a finger and a half of kahki colored head....

s - sweet dark fruits, hints of chocolate, molasses....light bananas...

t - fig, clove, vanilla...cocoa at the finish that seems to come from the back forward...

m - medium to light bodied w/ decent carbonation..

o - pretty nice after dinner beer...or in this case, after snowblowing driveway beer...

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy chestnut with a massive head; plenty of nice lacing action, as well

Smell: Range of aromatics on the nose, with baker's chocolate, bubblegum, banana, clove and cinnamon

Taste: Opens with chocolate and banana flavors that are joined by the bubblegum, clove and cinnamon at mid-palate; although the flavors blend nicely, after the swallow, there is quite a bit of clove and banana in the aftertaste, though the chocolate lingers a bit, too

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Love the experimentation here and am repeatedly impressed by the beers New Glarus puts out

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Photo of mariposafan
4.27/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip

Deep reddish brown body, just a little murky, topped with loose beige head. The head starts off fairly large but fades too quickly.

The aroma isn't in-your-face chocolatey but it's definitely there, mixing wonderfully with a subtle Belgian yeast spiciness and some sweetness.

As with the aroma the chocolate isn't overpowering, instead it's in harmony with the yeast. Some sweetness but not as much as I'd expected given the aroma. I do wish the yeast was a little more prominent but otherwise the flavor hits the same sweet spot that New Glarus seems to aim for - plenty of flavor without smashing you over the head with it.

Thinnish body with good carbonation. A little more viscosity and/or creaminess in the carbonation would have enhanced the decadence of the drink, though.

Synergy. Nothing really stands out to me and there are a few things I would like to see handled just a little differently, but once you put it all together I'd happily keep this around with my St Bernardus and Unibroue Belgians. In that regard it reminds me of their Stone Soup - a beer that's greater than the sum of it's component scores. Unique and very pleasing to drink.

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Photo of adman08
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours with lots of off-white, creamy head, over 2 fingers. The head leaves excellent lacing on the glass. Clear mahogany color.
S-Very obvious aroma of cocoa along with the typical spicy belgian abbey aroma with a hint of sweetness and vanilla.
T-A very distinct cocoa flavor with a belgian abbey flavor that adds some spice.
M-Lots of carbonation. Very thick and malty. Fairly high alcohol.
Overall, a very interesting beer. The chocolate is not overly sweet and really doesn't dominate. The beer is very balanced between the chocolate and the abbey style. I can taste the abbey ale very clearly and the chocolate along with it. I think this one might be an aquired taste but at the same time it's really well done. I've had chocolate beers before and they end up tasting like cake batter but this is much more balanced.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out like a dubbel should...deep ruby-highlighted dark brown, deeply dark brown, with an off-white and firm head of tightly-packed bubbles. It shrinks to a creamy skim in a couple minutes.

The smell is tremendously impressive, on one hand very Belgian in character (the yeast and malt personality) yet also obviously experimental U.S. (chocolate, and whatever Segal Ranch hops are, which are bright but somehow also subdued enough in the nose). And a whiff of alcohol underlining everything. Vibrant, earthy, smells like it was freshly bottled yesterday.

As with the smell, it tastes a bit more alcoholic than 7%. The alcohol factors in, providing just the right dab of warmth and accenting the chocolate as if it were chili-infused chocolate. Still, it's subtle enough, and lets the dubbel-ness of this dubbel come through. As dubbels often strike me as being chocolaty in the first place, this one definitely asserts that sort of personality. Belgian or Belgian-ish yeast pushes through to add further depth, and there's an earthy herbalness lurking under the surface. Slight bit of generously toasted grain comes forth, adding another layer. Lots going on here, all of it tremendously enjoyable without feeling complicated or overly busy.

Texturally it's a little too bubbly/tingly for my liking, something just a tad softer would have been nice. It's not heavy, and could use some propping up, and the plastic coming into the aftertaste also threatens the overall mouthfeel, but still, none of this proves detrimental. Just mildly annoying, because the rest of this beer is so good.

I think Chocolate Abbey is a bit underrated on this site. What's not too love? It's true to style but also lends a bit of a unique personality to the world of dubbels. It's tasty, it's clearly well-made with the use of quality ingredients. Another kick ass beer from Daniel Carey and co.

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Photo of Benysaj
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an English pint glass slightly chilled. If the ABV is still unknown, I was told it was 7.0%.

A: A gorgeous dark chocolate brown with limited head retention.
S: It smells like Count Chocula for crying out loud! Best smelling chocolate beer I have ever sniffed.
T: The chocolate taste isn't overwhelming, apart from the Belgian abbey character, chocolate is the only thing that comes through--which is a good thing.
M: Nicely carbonated, but perhaps over-carbonated for a Dubbel.

Overall I like it a lot, it isn't the best abbey beer i've ever had, but it is the best chocolate beer i've ever had. Try this limited release if given the opportunity.

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Photo of hiku7
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep opaque brown with some ruby highlights. High carbonation makes a large light beige head that dissipates somewhat quickly.

The aroma starts with a fusel alcohol smell that gives way to spicy phenols. A little much at first, but gets better as the beer warms. After that initial blast, the aroma is raisins and carmelized sugar, plus nutmeg. No noticeable hop aroma.

The flavor starts with a sweet, yet dark, chocolate, then gives way to grainy, bready malt, followed by a background earthy hop bitterness, which finally gives way to a lingering spicy phenolic and warming alcohol finish.

Fairly full bodied with lots of warming alcohol, though it goes down smoothly with all the chocolate and sugar. A bit of sticky sweetness at the end, but still dry enough to give a smooth finish.

Overall, very enjoyable dessert beer for the winter months. Pretty big body makes it feel more like a dark strong ale than a dubbel.

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Photo of Klym
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to the best trader in the world, Klikger for this very enticing bottle. Poured into a small taster glass to savor.

Chocolate covered bananas ahoy on this. Sometimes the yeast overpowers a tad but for the most part you get a beautiful cocoa dust taste with a solid yeast/banana center. I really enjoy beers that tend on the sweet side and are playful with ingredients and styles and this beer definitely sticks out for that reason. Have this with a banana split for an overdose treat!

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Photo of sherm1016
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours a brown colow with a nice, off-white head. Aroma is chocolate, spicy, banana, a little yeasty. Medium on the palate with Soft, creamy carbonation. Flavor is sweet, chocolate, spice, yeast, with a dry, spicy finish. A very interesting beer. I let it warm up for a while, and I’m glad I did.

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Photo of Duff27
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Into a tulip brings a full two-inch, light-tan head. Beer is a dark red bordering on brown. A closer glance reveals many effervescence streams within the body. Awesome lacing and well above average lacing.

S- Smell is quite chocolatey right from the pop of the cap. A very sweet chocolate...mixed with circus peanuts!

T- While the Belgian yeast strain isn't overpowering by any means, I do feel it is the focal point of Chocolate Abbey. Cloves, bubble gum...and to a lesser extent chocolate flavors come forward. Well hidden ABV detectors are telling me this clocks in right around 8.5%

M- Medium mouthfeel. Very small carbonation bubbles in the mouth

D/O- Fans of Belgian beers are going to love this one. If you're looking for a big chocolate beer you are going to want to keep moving, although I do understand the name. Mark this as another hit in the Thumbprint Series. Deb, Dan, and company have been on a roll lately.

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Photo of Ratman197
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of schmittymack (thanks Dan) poured a clear reddish brown with a lasting tan head. Aromas of tootsie roll, fruittiness, carmel and light vanilla. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of tootsie roll, carmel, light vanilla and light fruittiness with a smoth lingering tootsie roll finish.

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Photo of rodkin
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark caramel brown, with some visible carbonation and about a 1.5 finger head that dissipates almost immediately. Looks pretty much exactly like a coke. It's kind of weird.

Oh, dang. That smell is really nice. Really, really chocolatey. Kind of reminds me of hershey's syrup, only less fake smelling. It loses points because it's not very complex, but the chocolate is just incredibly nice.

Taste isn't as nice, but it's definitely not bad. There's the chocolate which is nice, and a little bit of hop bitterness. There's a tiny hint of sourness in there that's pretty unpleasant. Maybe it was lightly infected? The effect is very mild, and doesn't ruin it, but it's not nice. Actually, as it warms, that flavor seems to go away. Originally gave taste a 3.5, but bumping it to a 4.

Mouthfeel is fine, well carbonated, but a little thin.

Overall a very drinkable, pretty tasty brew. Not the best I've had, but easy drinking and great with food.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.08/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I bought a single 12oz bottle of this from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for 2.59 in Fall 2011.

Pours a darker brown color with a fluffy off white head. Scents I'm picking out the most is a bannana yeast and malt scent. Taste is full of exploding flavors. It has a heavy taste of yeasty bread, dark chocolate, a dry hop finish. Definelty a dark, heavy beer that not everyone will like, but something I think all true BA's will want to sample.

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Photo of robwestcott
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to lusciousjackson for his one.

poured cold from the bottle a semi-opaque cola brown with ruby highlights held up to the light to a dogfish head signature glass with a full finger, long lasting tan head

aroma of cocoa and Belgian yeasts.

wow, big cocoa powder up front, yeasty bread.

light bodied, big carbonation, super sweet.

overall - very enjoyable, super drinkable.

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Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 252 ratings.
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