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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 252
Photo of crossovert
2.65/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz red foiled bottle.

It pours a brownish read with a foamy off-white head that dissipates with no lacing.

It pretty much smells like a bar of chocolate with a bit of soap and yeast.

The flavor is more like a dubbel. Very fruity. There is chocoalte in there. It is more of a fruit tasting beer than anything.

Dan usually makes good stuff but this is just frankensteinbrew right here.

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Photo of hardy008
2.91/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights and a large light tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has chocolate, bananas, cloves, yeast, and bubblegum. Smells sweet.

The taste is more subdued than the aroma. There is still chocolate, bananas, cloves, yeast, and bubblegum, but it is a bit lighter than I expected or hoped for.

Light to medium bodied with high carbonation. The mouth feel is the main problem with what would otherwise be a very nice beer. Is to thin for the style, and it affects the taste. With less carbonation, and a bit of a heavier body, this would be a better beer.

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Photo of beagle75
2.97/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Clear, dark brown color with a peripheral ring as well as a half-dollar-sized pad of gravity-defying, mocha-tinted foam. Light lacing remains on the glass.

S: Chocolate aroma has an extract- or liqueur-like quality--dark but not at all unctuous. There is also an inauthentic dark fruit quality that reminds of medicinal artificial cherry. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins dry, with dark spices and contrasting early acidity. Dark cherry fruit emerges toward the middle with chocolate following. Flavors become more sparse in the back-half, where cocoa powder and other earthy qualities linger on the palate amidst neutral bready malt. No alcohol is detected.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, slightly syrupy and a little oily on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This beer is a very un-traditional take on a Belgian dubbel. Though it brings a host of expected abbey qualities, it also has other features that would not normally be welcome in a Trappist brew--including, most detrimentally, a smell that could make a child cry. Chocolate is represented well in the more metered flavor. It is limited by the unpleasant smell, doomed to the status of wild experiment.

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Photo of bertram
3.04/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The smell from the bottle was just what the bottle said (though more than I'd have ever expected): chocolate and more chocolate, with banana in there as well.

Pours an opaque brown, topped by a massive creme head that dissipates quickly.

As someone else said, the taste surprises with a bubblegum flavor with none of the chocolate or banana from the smell.

The mouthfeel is solid, but not outstanding.

This is an interesting beer with a lot of surprises. I would't call it a great beer, or one I'd seek out again, but I suppose it's worth a try if you have a chance and want to try something unique.

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Photo of Viciousknishs
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a dark brown with a tan head

s- aromas of over ripe banana, tootsie roll and Belgian yeast.

T- the flavor is a bit one dimensional... Tootsie roll with a hint of spice and Belgian yeast.

MF- powdery slick mouthfeel.

D- underwhelming a little strange. Low drinkability.

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Photo of jegross2
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewing a Chocolate Abbey from the Thumbprint series by New Glarus Brewing Company.

Score: 75

2011 Vintage bottle served in a chalice glass.

Appearance: Deep caramel root beer color. Red-brown hues when held up to light. Average lacing, thin fizzy head. Falls somewhere between translucent and opaque. 3/5

Smell: Chocolate and caramel candy, kinda like a tootsie roll. Very sweet and malty. A little licorice. Banana and yeast aroma. Hint of spice or clove. 3.5/5

Taste: Very yeasty, banana and clove-like at first. Caramel on the mid-palate. Almost tastes like root beer candy at certain points. Definitely taste some brown sugar. Finish is like a slightly earthy, sweet toostie roll. 3/5

Mouthfeel: Malty-sweet and slightly syrupy. Medium bodied. Very carbonated and fizzy. Finish is sugary, but dry. 3/5

Overall: This one comes off almost like a chocolatey/caramel wheat or root beer. Not a beer that is up my alley, I guess. Very smooth, but the sweetness is a bit heavy, and thus this one is more a sipper than a drinker in my mind. If you ever wanted to try Tootsie Roll soda, this is your beer

Recommendation: Skip this one.

Pairing: I think this would work well with a light and bready cake (like a pound cake), or a sharper/aged cheese like swiss or gorgonzola. Something salty would work too. I'm having one with a viscous garlic-dijoin pretzel dip (and pretzels).

Cost: $2.99 for a single or $10.99 for a four pack.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.12/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

3.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of frothy tan head. Retention is subpar and no lacing is left.

3.5 S: Wow and double wow. This reeks of cocoa powder. I have my doubts that there is another beer out there (that isn't a homebrew) that smells more like cocoa powder. I can't really pick up anything else. The cocoa blocks any chance of that.

3.0 T: The cocoa is a little less intense in the taste and it allows the dubbel to come out. However, it doesn't mix all that well. Chocolate can be a wonderful component of a dubbel, but apparently not when presented in a contrived manner. The cocoa seems out of place. The dubbel seems to be pretty good though. Lots of the typical fruitiness - plum, raisin, date and such. Also a nice peppery spiciness. I wish I had that dubbel be itself.

3.0 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good spritzy carbonation. Here the chocolate again interferes. The MF would have been nice if the chocolate wasn't there. Because it is, I want a thicker, creamier body.

3.0 D: I'm glad I got to try this since it seemed like a good experiment, but the results didn't live up to my expectations.

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Photo of knepper
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

High hopes on this one. I really like New Glarus' Belgian attempts and this sounds like a unique one.

Look: Pours an awesome dark brown with red highlights bouncing off the glass. A fluffy, cream-white foam clings to edge of the glass and holds on til the end.

Smell: Whoa. Incredibly aromatic. It actually smells like a package of Runts candy, heavy on the banana variety. Yoo-hoo and cheap imported milk chocolate also come to mind. Cocoa dust.

Taste: First off, the thin mouthfeel and absence of any roasted malts does not compliment the cocoa powder in this beer. The cocoa flavors remind me of an artificial chocolate drink and are somewhat unpleasant. Richness, a distinct quality of a great chocolate, is definitely a sorely missed attribute of this beer. That being said, the beer has been aging gracefully with the cocoa becoming more integrated than a month or two ago. A slight tartness, banana, clove, and red wine soaked cherries round out the beer nicely. It'd be a spectacular beer minus the cocoa...

A decent effort but it seems to lack any cohesion and feels like it may have been rushed without much thought. More marketing than craft?

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Photo of readbaron
3.14/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks (I think) to GoodStrongBeer for sharing this odditiy.

Pours out light brown with half a finger of tan head.

Smell is overwhelming banana esters and cocoa powder. Smells lake banana runts and low quality chocolate. Not my thing.

Taste is better than the aroma. Chocolaty cocoa powder hits the palate first followed by banana esters and spicy belgian phenols. Not something I particularly enjoyed - it's bold but not subtle or well integrated. I feel assaulted by the flavors.

Feel is good. Medium bodied and very creamy.

Overall - better than the sum of it's parts. I'm glad that I don't have any, but it was strangely compelling.

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Photo of Nachojon
3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Resembles slightly under carbonated coke. 2 fingers of beige head breaks down into a layer quite quickly.

S- It smells like chocolate or maybe even root beer, Dr. Pepper, and coke all mixed together.

T- I really don't know what to make of this. I can't really get it down. I have never had chocolate soda, but I don't like it. I am finding some redeeming qualities, just not my cup of tea.

M- Nice and crisp, very carbonated, very.

O- Not my favorite style. This one is respectable more for it's uniqueness than my personal enjoyment. People who say New Glarus only make simple everyday beers are misinformed.

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Photo of Treebs
3.16/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle served in a Deschutes snifter.

A: Pours a seemingly darkish brown color, but is a very dark ruby when held up to the light. Very light tan head forms on the pour and dissipates rather quickly.

S: Bubblegum yeast and some chocolate with a little hint of sweet vanilla. Very surprising.

T: More of the bubblegum yeast with some toffee malts. When it warms up it has a sweet chocolate middle and a tootsie roll finish. A little too sweet for my liking.

M: Medium bodied a prickly carbonation with a very sweet finish on the palate.

O: I really missed the dark fruit flavors and the bubblegum yeast sort of threw me for a loop. Not my favorite and didn't really mesh that well.

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Photo of bashiba
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a deep dark brown with a light thin off white head which was quickly gone leaving just a small ring.

The smell was very sweet and chocolaty with a bit of yeasty belgian spice, a hint of banana, and some sweet dark fruits. Very desert like. Maybe a bit to sweet.

The flavor is very milk chocolately almost overpowering the belgian qualities, a bit of dark fruit and light earthy hops do manage to get through just barely. Flavor is very chocolate dominated.

The mouthfeel has a thick and oily feel with a decent level of carbonation.

Its not bad but a bit to much chocolate for me, could never drink more than one and won't be rushing back for another.

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Photo of Phocion
3.21/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle picked up from the brewery last weekend poured into a Westmalle goblet. Thick frothy beige head that only lasts about as long as the time it takes me to type about the head. Moderate beige lacing mixes with the dark-mahogany colored body.

Great, aroma smells like a dubbel, not just chocolate. The chocolate aromas are definitely there, however, and fairly complex with a blend of milk chocolate as well as bitter darker tones. Dark fruits are also very noticable; raisin and black cherry, as well as hints of banana and well spiced. Definite tone of candy sugar as well as caramel. This thing smells absolutely wonderful.

Flavor does not in any way, shape, or form hold up to the aroma. The chocolate has definitely taken a few steps back and is overpowered by a very earthy, yeasty, and quite alcoholic flavor. Dark fruits are pleasant as well; figs, plums, and cherries. Bitter chocolate combines with an immensely sweet candy sugar for a somewhat unpleasant finish.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin for a beer this big, but well-carbonated. A tad on the oily side.

Overall, this thing smells absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, that's the only thing keeping this above average. The flavor just doesn't hold up. Try it...but only one bottle.

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Photo of MaxSpang
3.23/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a snifter. Thanks to Duff27 for hooking me up with this brew!


This is definitely a Belgian Dubbel - the beer pours a murky brown with a slight reddish hue when the light comes through. The head was about a finger, soft, and pillow-like due to the small bubbles. It was almost pure white, and it went away in a hurry without leaving any lacing.


The first thing I get in the nose is the Belgian yeast spice - pepper, clove, coriander, and all the other Belgian yeast goodies. After some more vigorous sniffing, the chocolate makes an appearance. It's subtle, and I don't think I'd find it if I wasn't looking for it. There's a slight alcohol tinge as well, which is actually pretty nice.


The chocolate is way more present on the tongue. The first thing I get is a big chocolate flavor, almost like a tootsie roll. It kind of reminds me of Sam Adams Chocolate Bock. The Belgian yeast is a little more subdued on the tongue, but it still brings all of the spice character from the nose. As it warms, the Belgian flavors are almost dominating, leaving the chocolate at the back of the tongue. There is almost no alcohol flavor to be found.


True to a Belgian-influenced beer, this is almost over carbonated. It's also very dry, making it pretty easy drinking. I expected a bigger body considering this beer has chocolate in it, but it's pretty true to the light and effervescent Dubbel style.


I'm a bit disappointed in this one. This is by no means a bad beer, especially if you like the Belgian yeast flavor. The chocolate adds some nice complexity, but it just doesn't blow me away. Would I drink it again? Absolutely, but I won't be actively seeking this one out.


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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Spent a cordial afternoon with the classic and the wife at the brewery today. Picked this up at the Depot on the way out. Newest in the Thumbprint series released, I believe, this weekend.

Pours a rusty red with mahogany highlights when backlit. Off white head is ample and retention is steady. Lacing is sporadic.

If ever a smell closely mimicked a past experience, this beer has it. Summer evenings at Dairy Queen, post baseball, often yielded access to the chocolate covered banana. I'm not even sure if this still exists, but man did this spark a bygone moment. Frozen milk chocolate, light ice cream, and banana: uncanny.

Taste offers much the same: frozen banana, Nestle Quick cocoa, snap of spicy yeast, and a modest though firm alcohol nip at the finish. Upon warming, this becomes a bit of a chore.

Mouthfeel is light yet rounded. The middle provides a depth that carries to the finish. As with most New Glarus beers. the finish is mostly clean. Finishes with a trace of tootsie roll sweetness.

I honestly have no idea how big or little this beer is. I'd guess in the 7.5 range, but that's purely conjecture. It's sort of a plodding experience. I'm not sure I'd grab more than one in a sitting and it's certainly not my favorite NG offering, but I'm happy to have had the opportunity.

Edit: I didn't really feel like finishing the glass, which doesn't bode well in my book. Not a personal favorite here.

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Photo of sendsilk
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from BarrytheBear in a recent trade, Thanks!

A- Pretty frothy head on it, a little lighter in color than I would have thought.

S- Some notes of chocolate with some sour/odd Blegian yeast smell.

T- Some chocolate but the Belgian yeast completely overwhelms the flavor of it. Granted, I am not a fan of Belgian style ales but this is a bit too much.

M- Adequate.

O- Glad to have tried it but 1 is enough for me.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.37/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass.

A- Dark amber, near brown. Tan thin 2 head with large bubbles. Lacing resides fairly quickly.

S- Chocolate covered bananas.

T- Chocolate malt, banana, belgian yeast, has a slight metallic taste at finish.

M- Light body, pretty thin beer. High carbonation.

O- Not impressed. Smell and initial taste are nice, but that's about the best it gets.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.42/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a single of this when I was visiting family in WI for the holidays. We've got some nice cold weather here in NC, so I thought I'd crack this one to warm me up. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a very dark amber, mahogany. A small fluffy head tops it off. No retention. The nose is rich and sweet with syrup, yeast, and a fruity quality resembling strawberries. The mouth is bubbly and full of zest. Moderate feel. The bubbles become a bit harsh as I continue to sip this one. Big Belgian yeast at the forefront, rich molasses rounds it out. Dark fruits like raisins and grapes in there as well. I expected some hints of chocolate at least, but can't find its place in this interesting brew.

This was a fairly rich sipper, and it warmed me up as I had hoped. Not one of NG's best side series beers, but a pleasant treat nonetheless.

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Photo of scaliasux
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Dark brown. Opaque. Creamy, thick tan head with good persistence.

Smell - Spicy and fruity with a subtle milk chocolate accent. Sweet, almost like a chai.

Taste - Primarily dark roasted malt. Some chocolate character, but also a burnt toast. Some fruitiness emerges in the finish, but aftertaste remains dark and bitter. Not what I was expecting from the aroma.

Mouthfeel - Medium-light. More watery than creamy.

Overall - I was skeptical that I would enjoy a chocolate beer. This brew, though something of an unexpected combination, did nothing to change my mind.

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Photo of brystmar
3.47/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chocolate in an Abbey Ale? Sounds interesting.

Translucent, dark brown body; tan head, minimal lace. Aroma is very sweet with Belgian candi sugar, caramel, and sweet malts. Taste follows suit: overly sweet as the flavor profile is dominated by milk chocolate and caramel. Apple juice and malts underneath.

A one-trick pony that lacks balance, though I kinda like it. One glass of this is plenty, though.

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Photo of brdc
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small capped glass poured into a snifter. Quite dark, but not truly black, one shade below. Brown head, decent retention and lacing.
Aroma is chocolate, milk chocolate, and more chocolate. A few very delicate underlying notes of candy, sugar, vaguely resemble a dubbel.
Medium bodied, flavor is like an average dubbel with some chocolate, but a lot less chocolate than the aroma would suggest.
Decent, but very hard to finish the bottle as it is a bit too sweet.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have a hard time passing up NG's Thumbprint beers. They're always interesting, and usually quite tasty. This is an odd one, so I'm curious how I'll like it.

Pours a very interesting, very deep reddish brown. Like mahogany with a layer of chocolate. But through all that color, I can see that it's clear, with a big stream of bubbles rising up. Massive 2+ finger head, sticks around for a while, and leaves a solid cap of foam reaching up the sides of the glass.

Smell is, again, interesting, and unlike anything I've encountered. Root beer, dark chocolate, and some other malty goodness. Some spice tingles my nose. A little faint - need to let it warm up.

Has an odd soda-like taste. Chocolatey root beer is about the closest thing I can come up with. Or maybe Mr. Pibb. One of those weird flavors that make you wonder just what is in them. Minimal hop presence, just a bit of bite late. It's certainly unique among beers I've tasted. Not yet sure how much I like it. It's strange enough that it's hard for me to decide. As it warms up, a bitterness comes out that I don't really like.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium-bodied but chewy, with high tingly carbonation. Coats the tongue, and fades away right when I want it to.

A beer that kept surprising me with its oddness. It really is very much like a soda, due to the combination of aromas and flavors. Chocolate comes through a little, as does the dubbel character, but more prominent is that odd combination of spices, reminiscent of a root beer.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single

appearance: served in my hilliards can-pint - dark cola body, a nice tan lace that coats the side of the glass consistently

smell: dry roasty bakers chocolate, sweet malt, dough, caramel

taste: sweet bakers chocolate, cocoa, caramel malt, some nice dark fruits, dry roasty finish. The chocolate flavor is interesting enough but the base dubbel is pretty bland.

mouthfeel: dry, rather light for the style

overall: good, but below par for the thumbprint series

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Photo of Vonerichs
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown, slightly reddish hue with a tall and fluffy off white head.

The smell is pretty one-dimensional with artificial chocolate. It reminds me of chocolate Necco (which are the best, by the way.)

The flavor has the same powdery-chocolatey-Necco flavor but adds a hint of candied dates.

Mouthfeel is thin for a dubbel. Low carbonation.

It's an interesting but gimmicky take on a dubbel. It's fun and I definitely enjoyed it, but there's not much depth.

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Photo of oline73
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy reddish dark brown with a half finger of creamy off white head. The head leaves a small layer on top of the pour.

Smell: Slightly sweet with some chocolate and dark fruit notes. The sweetness isn't overwhelming, it compliments the other ingredients well.

Taste: This one reminds me of a straight up tootsie roll. I'm definitely getting some vanilla and chocolate notes. Also some dark fruit with a slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with aggressive carbonation for the style. The finish has a slight dryness to it.

Overall: I think the chocolate along with the traditional dubbel flavors were nice, and quite interesting. NOt sure I need more, but I'm glad I had this one.

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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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