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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 111 | Ratings: 252
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.

 281 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice from a 12 ounce bottle:

A: Very dark brown in color, with a finger-thick light tan head that settles quickly into a thin film on the surface. Slight chill haze makes the effervescence hard to see, at first, but as it warms, carbonation begins to show.

S: Lots of chocolate up front, with tasted malt, dark fruit, and a hint of coffee. Yeast is noticeable in the background.

T: Much more complex as to what the aroma offers. Chocolate and coffee, along with hints of caramel and some spice character. Darker malts lend the beer just a slight bitterness, while hops aren't really noticeable.

Notes: While very flavorful and well-balanced, this beer has a mouthfeel a little thinner than I expected. Still very good, however, and quite easy to drink. This is one I do not regret buying. I have yet to try a special release from New Glarus that I don't care for. These folks just keep pumping out great beer!

 931 characters

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.

 659 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a deep dark plum/burnt sienna color. Produced a nice cap of tan froth with great retention behind it. Plenty of lace left behind as well.

(S)- Some nice dry earthy and yeasty clay in front of some dark fruits combined with cocoa and tiny bits of raisin.

(T)- Same as the smell was. Primarily a dry yeasty earth/clay beer up front that flows into some mildly creamy cocoa. Very subtle dark fruits on the finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level for the style. Has a good balance to it as well; the cocoa is quite a nice twist for the style without overpowering the base of the beer itself.

(D)- Yet again, New Glarus delivers a solid traditional ale while giving it their own unique twist and approach. Not their best one, but definitely another solid entry coming from them.

 821 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a small Hamms goblet, it has a finger or two of tan foam that slowly rises above the rim. Color is a dark reddish copper brown. Finely textured foam, lasting skim, lacy collar around the edges.

Smells pretty similar to the Chocolate Bock I just had. Some banana, toasted malts, cocoa, marshmallow and tootsie roll sweetness. Tastes similar, some slight roast bitterness and nutty flavors. Not as yeasty as anticipated for a Dubbel, fairly light bodied also. Could use a little more body and yeast complexity. Light and smooth with a sort of creamy feel to it after awhile.

Thanks Eric!

 601 characters

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.

 1,335 characters

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.

 1,438 characters

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?

 1,157 characters

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.

 372 characters

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.

 1,084 characters

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.

 1,522 characters

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

 623 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I missed out on this stuff during my last Kenosha run, but luckily my boss was able to toss a few bottles my way. The man. It pours a slightly murky dark brown topped by a finger of khaki foam. The nose comprises sweet cocoa powder, light banana, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, light clove, graham cracker, honey, sweet flowers, and powdered sugar. Even for someone with a massive sweet tooth like me, this smells overly sweet. The taste cleans things up a bit, still focusing on the cocoa, banana, clove, cinnamon, brown sugar, and honey. A touch of very mild coffee and a decent amount of caramel find their way in as well. Very nice here. The body is a lithe medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a rather enjoyable little brew, something I could see drinking cases of at one sitting, if given the opportunity...

 905 characters

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.

 465 characters

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe.

A. Pours 3 finger head. Good lacing. Moderate retention. Color is very dark brown.

S. Smell is Belgian yeast and chocolate, how appropriate for a beer called chocolate abbey. Has some dark fruit smell. Chocolate smell is a pretty nice mix of dark and milk chocolate aroma. Kinda smells like a toosty roll.

T. Taste is very similar to the nose. Has a belgian yeast flavor mixed with chocolate tootsy roll. A little bit of spice on the tongue. Has some dark fruit flavors along with the belgian dark grape flavor.

M. Medium/full bodied. Full carbonation. Finishes fairly dry.

O. No surprise this is a pretty unique beer. Nice to see a belgian chocolate blend. This is a pretty nice marriage of the two flavors. Not a beer that you would drink very many of, but a pretty nice dessert beer.

 829 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark amber color with a light hint of caramel around the edges, big head comes up and over the top and settles down gently into a firm and long lasting pillow with loads of side glass lacing. Aroma is nice, much sweeter then I was expecting. Lots of caramel and malts right up front here, light hint of an herbal note boucning around as well, but not terribly strong. Warming brings out a yeast note that is quite intresting and adds a light fruit touch to it, but very sweet still. Flavor again is very intresting and not what I was expecting. Rich notes of caramel and almost candied like sugar abound here. Light touches of hops play on the tongue now as well, very intresting

 679 characters

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: translucent brown with reddish hue when held up to light. Massive head thats over 3 fingers tall and stays around forever. When the head receads it leaves chunky and frothy head. Dan always makes good looking beers.

Smell: The beer almost smells like a banana split with cloves in it. Overripe bananas dominate the nose followed by clove which is moderate in strength and some hot cocoa and milk chocolate notes that are mild at best.

Taste: starts off with a nice semi-sweet malts that are tasting like cocoa nibs, but a little bit sweeter and not very bitter; nice mellow chocolate taste. Some milk chocolate and bananas are in the mix. Then some really aggressive spice imparted from a combination of clove and yeast. Too much clove for my liking. Little warming alcohol in the finish felt in the back of your throat as yo swallow the beer; it gives the beer almost a palate cleansing effect.

Mouthfeel: Low end of a medium bodied beer with carbonation thats at the high end of medium carbonation levels. The beer is very smooth drinking and very well carbonated.

Overall: I find this beer it to be quite unique. The only thing that is holding the beer back is the clove is almost over the top. I still recommend that you try this New Glarus offering.

 1,300 characters

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.

 1,502 characters

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.

 692 characters

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

Poured into a large snifter this brew has a nice tall milk chocolate head leaving decent lacing on the glass and settling to a 1 finger cap. The aroma is as advertised, CHOCOLATE. I mean this beer smelled like a glass of hot coco. Once past that there was some burnt malts and some dried fruits. The taste was chocolate up front but once settles in there are hints of raisin and even a good amount of bitterness from hops. There was however almost a metallic after taste that was a little astringent. Even with that said this was a nice sipping brew. The body was medium with lower carbonation. All in all a very good brew.

 623 characters

Photo of Jparker37
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - (tulip glass) Pours an intense ruby a shade shy of brown. A vigorous pour results in a hearty head that reduces to a nice off white cap of foam. The head is persistent but lacking a good lacing.

S - The aroma reminds of tootsie rolls intensely gooey/sweet chocolate along with some faint cherry notes.

T - The chocolate is dimmed down in contrast to its aroma. Some sourness shines though, with dark ripe red fruits. Finishes quite dry.

M - Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Some lingering sweetness but very mild and pleasant

O - Overall I think it is a great twist to the classic Dubbel. I think the chocolate was incorporated without overtaking the classic wine characteristics of a good Belgian Dubbel.

 719 characters

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

 770 characters

Photo of bound4er
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. Dark brown with crimson highlights when held in a light. Tan head with a bubbly appearance. Lacing is nearly non-existent.

S. Candied aroma but not much in the way of chocolate - more of a butterscotch with some faint chocolate mixed into it. There's some Belgian yeast and bread in there too. Call it interesting and unique.

T. Falls a little short on the palate - I was expecting more based on the smell. Some malt, candied sweetness and mild spiciness. Drinks easily enough but lacks complexity.

M. Light to medium bodied with some prickly carbonation. Leaves a strange fizziness in the back of my mouth.

O. Not something I am rushing out to buy more of, though as always, another interesting beer from the folks at New Glarus.

 741 characters

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

12oz bottle poured in my Southampton snifter

A- great caramel brown color, decent head with little lacing. low head retention.

S- smells of a perfect representation of the name, Chocolate Abbey. I get milk chocolate, tootsie roll fudge, the Belgain sets in as caramel, belgain yeast and sugar.

T- tastes is spot on with the nose. Pretty well balanced. The chocolate stays up front while the Belgian parts come in the back end.

M- Pretty solid. I would prefer a longer finish and a more mouth coating feel.

Overall- Great beer, and the girlfriend even liked this one! ;-)

 576 characters

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.

 603 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.