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 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 Florida9
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear brown. Fairly translucent. Forms a moderate sized head, but there is no retention and no lacing.

S: Rather aromatic aroma of candy caramel, tootsie roll, milk chocolate, and sweet dark fruits.

T: Similar to the aroma, but not a powerful and a bit more one dimensional. Lots of sweet caramel malts. Kettle corn. Milk chocolate.

M: On the lighter side of medium with a fairly smooth mouthfeel. Very mild bitterness. Lower carbonation.

O: A beer that I could see replacing dessert with. Wouldn't want to have too many of these - the sweetness could become overpowering, but certainly an enjoyable after dinner drink.

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Photo of ahq514
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into tulip glass.

Pours a massive head at first that diminishes to about a finger. White and fluffy. Beer itself is a dark brown color. Appears to have moderate carbonation. Some lacing.

Two aromas dominate the nose. The first is chocolate as you would expect. The second is fruity bubblegum. Not really any hops to speak of in the nose. Not a traditional dubbel by any means. Kinda smells like those artificial chocolate lollipops I had as a kid.

Very similar to the aroma. Artificial chocolate and bubblegum are dominant. Behind them is a nicely balanced dubbel, dominated by sweeter malt. Fairly straightforward.

Medium body and higher carbonation than I anticipated from the appearance.

Not a bad beer. If you're looking a for a chocolate beer thats a non-stout, than this would be a good substitution. Nice belgian influence, but the artificial chocolate is what killed it for me.

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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 Crass3000
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 12/29/2011

4/5 Pours out REALLY dark brown/black in color with a nice two-finger, beige head with nice retention.

4/5 Smell is really nice. I can definately smell the chocolate with a little bananas and cloves. Really smells nice.

4.5/5 Taste is some nice chocolate, bananas and cloves you would expect from the yeast, and a really nice blance that is hard to find. This is just a really nice beer. Really hard to beat.

4/5 Moutfeel is nice. good as hell.

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Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Dark chestnut, towering head

SMELL: Fresh taffy, caramel, bubble gum, milk chocolate, peppery, figgy, peppery,

TASTE: Candied fruit, milk chocolate, estery, bandaid, cotton candy, carob, caramel, brown malt, passion fruit, semi-dry finish

I dig this twist on the Dubbel style, certainly no restraint here when it comes down to being complex. An enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a belgian glass. Pours a dark brown mahogany with the faintest hints of ruby highlights, and a 1" creme colored head that reduces to a foamy lid.

Rich dark chocolate aroma, with mocha, cream, and hints of dark cherry. The smell is decadent, like a rich pastry that you just can't say no to.

Taste is sweet and smooth, full of sweet chocolate, tart cherry and raspberry, and smooth cream. Slightly tart to finish, this is a very fine tasting beer.

Smooth and soft, with moderate carbonation on the tongue. This has a tangy tart that dries out the tongue, with just the slighest hint if chalkiness.

I find many chocolate beers to be too sweet, too bitter,or too chalky. This is none of those. It is a smooth, pleasant and easy sipping beer that has to be my favorite New Glarus yet.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blind Beer #6 from TMoney2591; thanks Kyle. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my DFH tulip.

a - Pours a very dark brown, almost black color, with two fingers of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for a minute or two and two inches throughout drinking. No lacing on the glass. Looks like a stout or porter.

s - Smells of ripe bananas, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, sugar, vanilla, rich dark chocolate, toasted and burnt malts, and dark fruits. Very interesting nose here! Lots of chocolate and bananas…thinking some sort of american stout or porter.

t - Tastes of bananas, sugar, sweet chocolate, roasted malts, dark chocolate, cream/vanilla, toasted malts, and burnt malts. Again, really interesting here.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and creamy.

o - Overall a very interesting beer. It's very sweet and has a distinct banana smell to it mixing with a lot of chocolate. I don't think it is a stout so I am going with a chocolate porter of some sort around 6% ABV.

And the reveal is…Thumbprint Chocolate Abbey by New Glarus. Wow, way off with the style as this is a Dubbel. Looks like I got the chocolate and bananas down, but very interesting for a Dubbel. A very tricky beer as it doesn't remind me most Dubbels I've had, but great for this BIF, and always excited to try a new NG beer. Thanks Kyle.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate Abbey pours an almost complelty black color, with a large head that dispated quickly. There was a nice chocolate smell. The taste had a very nice and strong chocolate taste, mixed in were some Belgian candy and spice flavors, but the chocolate did overtake most of the flavor. Not the hardest beer to drink, and rather enjoyable, could probably drink a few no problem. Overall I was worried about a chocolate dubbel, but it worked out nicely, not my favorite, but worth a try.

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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 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 inlimbo77
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no really information: ABV? Date? I got this one a few weeks back as an extra. Poured into a Lost Abbey snifter.

A: Pours a beautiful reddish brown color. Tons of fluffy off white or tannish head. Two fingers. Bottle conditioning? Tight tiny bubbles. Comes down fairly quickly.

S: Smells like cocoa powder and Belgian yeast. Very mild and inviting. Smells of a nice chocolate cake or like others have mentioned chocolate soda. Different then anything I have ever smelled.

T: There are definitely some cocoa powder flavors here. It's very interesting. The flavor is so weird. Tastes like I am eating a scoop of baking cocoa powder and following it up with a beverage with Belgian yeast (beer, maybe?). I actually didn't finish this bottle entirely even after sitting with it for a while. Temperature didn't improve it for me.

M: Actually light to medium bodied

O: This is the first lower score (B-) that I will give a New Glarus Thumbprint beer. I still credit them for trying different things. I can honestly say I have never had something like this before.

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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 FosterJM
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1029th Review on BA
Bottle to Goblet
12 oz

2011 Release
Thanks to ErikKoppin for this one.

App- A very dark light brown/purpleish color with a small 1/2" head that falls very quick to a pond layer but doesnt leave a trail of lace or cilng.

Smell- Milk chocolate, dark fruits, yeast, vanilla, spice and just liquid awesomeness. If that note was kicked a little higher a 4.5-5 for sure.

Taste- Hmmm....Milk chocolate mixed with some Belgian yeast and carries over from the nose. It mixes with a good bit of banana and then moves to a bit of bready malts and has some highlghted Belgian spice to maintain the Dubbel flavors. I am really enjoying the flavors of this one.

Mouth- A bit thin and a little too bubbly for me. It was a good carry over with the chocolate but a bit one note on the residual flavors.

Drink- I really like what NG does. Their fruit beers are very tasty and this was a great pairing. A bit thin at points and lacks a certain pop in flavors but tastes amazing with the Chocolate and the dubbel dark fruits and yeast. I would love another bottle.

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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 scottfrie
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Portsmouth snifter. Thanks for this one, Chriscrundwell12.

A: Pours a very dark ruby brown with a frothy light tan head that slowly faded into a thick fuzzy film. Decent streaks of lacing were left down the glass.
S: Big notes of milk chocolate mixed with various Belgian spices. I also get a touch of vanilla, cinnamon and dark fruits.
T: Follows the nose with the chocolate coming through in the finish. Cinnamon, toasted malts, vanilla and spicy Belgian yeast, apple cider and red grapes come through nicely. The finish is fruity and a touch boozy, and the aftertaste is spicy and woody.
M: Creamy mouthfeel, soft carbonation, and a fluffy fullish body. Goes down smooth and easy.
O: Good fruity dubbel. The chocolate is a nice touch. Very fluffy mouthfeel. Thanks again, Chris.

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Photo of Durtdiggler
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into Cabernet glass from 12oz bottle. Light brown with 2 finger head, sugary lacing around glass.

Pungent smell of sweet milk chocolate sweet bread with dried fruits, some vanilla. Smells awesome, not overly chocolate.

Taste though was very non complex. Obvious chocolate but finishes too fast and clean. I coild not taste much else. Aroma was a great start but taste could have been much more. Atleast not boozy syrup but not interesting for a Belgian dark style ale.

Mouthfeel good balance carbonation, no contrast though.

It's OK but not as interesting as I had hoped.

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Photo of HosP
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into Jackie O's snifter.

A- Pours deep brown color. One finger off white head. Lots of carbonated bubbles. Head fades rather quickly with some lace left on glass.

S- Mild chocolate aromas mixed with sweet vanilla hints. Slight dark fruit, banana notes towards the end. Smells are all a bit muted.

T- Interesting taste to this. Bready backbone throughout. Chocolate mixed with some banana. Some mild spice, clove flavors at the end. Some bitter earthy hop flavors. Flavors all blend pretty nicely.

M- Medium body. A tad much on the carbonation. A little doughy feel to it.

O- Interesting beer for the style. Chocolate isn't as strong as you would hope for, but still gives good flavor to the drink. Really enjoyed the drink though. Glad I have another one for another day!

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a snifter

A) Nice looking deep brown. The pour led to a creamy looking two finger head. The head settles to a dusting. Nice retention and lacing. Quite an inviting looking beer.

S) There is no mistaking that Belgian yeast. There is chocolate and a fruity aroma, mainly banana. It reminded me of a banana and chocolate chip muffin.

T) Roasted malt, bit of caramel, the yeast, chocolate, dark fruit, and alcohol. The flavors are greatly enhanced as it warms.

M) This was thinner than I expected based on the appearance. It was a medium body, with a good dose of carbonation. Decent finish, with an aftertaste of fruits and booze.

O) A nice sipper. I would have liked a bit more chocolate, but that is a minor complaint. This was worth a try.

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Photo of nataku00
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. The beer pours a dark brown cola color, mostly clear at the edges but very dark and opaque. Initial finger of tight off white foamy bubbles dissipates gradually to a thin film and a small collar of bubbles leaving minimal lacing. Highly carbonated, tiny bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is heavy on sweet milk chocolate that you would bake with, vanilla, light cinnamon and clove. Other than some light spice, not much of a Belgian influence as the sweet milk chocolate is what I mostly smell.

Taking a sip, a bit of floral hop bitterness upfront, then milk chocolate and fruity esters from the Belgian yeast, light clove and vanilla. Finish is fairly dry, with some lingering floral hops, milk chocolate and fruity esters. Chocolate is much more subdued on the taste, allowing a Belgian dubbel to come through a bit.

Light to medium body with plenty of effervescence, very tingly on the tongue to really scrub it clean for a dry finish.

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Carleton for the bottle. Cheers buddy!
Review input from notes.

Deep chestnut colored body. Nearly opaque until held to the light. Cleat body, no sediment or haze noted. Frothy two and a half finger sand colored head. Retention is impressive, the head recedes slowly leaving spotty but thick lacing coating the glass.

The aroma is rather sweet. Layers of chocolate and caramelly malts ooze from the glass. Hints of molasses and dark fruits linger just behind. Abbey Ale yeast is very complimentary, along with the dark fruits slight banana and bubblegum scents can be picked up.

The flavor is composed of a bit less chocolate and a bit more abbey than the nose would have indicated. Soft cocoa flavor leads into warm caramel malts, dark fruits and pleasant esters. The transition between flavors seems smooth and natural, very interesting take on the style.

Medium bodied Dubbel with lively carbonation. A very soft feel is lifted more by the higher carbonation levels, perhaps a little more than I would hope for. Moderate finish, not nearly as long as I had imagined going in.

An enjoyable beer though not one that falls into my wheelhouse. Well crafted beer, flavors are layered in a way that they are allowed to compliment each other. Easy beer to drink though I do not think I would want more than one in a sitting.

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Photo of tewaris
3.96/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a Chimay chalice. Dark brown and clear, with a light khaki colored creamy head. Perhaps it was the rather vigorous pour but I haven't seen this good head retention with this glass. The aroma is pretty much creamy hot chocolate, with nothing else showing. Taste is more beer like, with the base malt and subtle hops registering their presence, and only hints of chocolate in the aftertaste.

Only the looks and the mouthfeel of this beer resembled a dubbel at first. I did not get any esters or phenols whatsoever in the aroma or the taste and the beer tasted very clean. With some more sipping I find myself divided about the source of the bitterness: hops? Or phenols?

Overall it's an enjoyable beer. Not the kind I would drink by the case but certainly I could drink a 4-pack of in an year. My friends who had it liked it too.

4.5, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 4

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Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up in one of our frequent cross-border to raids to liberate fine New Glarus beers from heathen Brewers fans. People who support a team like that don't deserve a brewery like this.

Pours is an expectation-busting amber. Nose is dead ringer for a Chocolate Cola, sweet, chocolate, with a side of banana split. Where'd that come from? Freakishly appealing. Like a nipple combination lock.

Chocolate Abbey has never been accused of choosing Business for a major; extra credit for boundary-busting. Chocolate makes up 57% of the taste, but there's plenty of sweet malts supporting the Tootsie Roll effect. Mid-tempo brings a lot of the same slices as a hefe, light cloves, banana. Belgian yeasts lighten everything up. The only thing lacking is that cuss word, balance: too sweet. There's nothing to offset the bum rush of sugaryness, & it cuts off how much of this I'd want to drink. 12 ounces might be pushing the limit.

This is a brew that's a shining example of what I love to see brewers do with a one-off or small batch of beer: unique, off-beat, a touch strange. If you're going to experiment, do it right! Very good beer.

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