Thumbprint Barley Wine
New Glarus Brewing Company

Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine
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Style:
American Barleywine
ABV:
12%
Score:
88
Avg:
3.92 | pDev: 13.52%
Reviews:
119
Ratings:
351
From:
New Glarus Brewing Company
 
Wisconsin, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  52
Gots
  67
SCORE
88
Very Good
Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine
Notes:
Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 351 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by MaxSpang:
Photo of MaxSpang
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Belgian tulip. Enjoyed on 2-21-12.

APPEARANCE

This beer pours a slightly hazy orange-yellow-honey color. It's fairly light compared to other barleywines I've had, and it looks very much like an IPA or double IPA. The head was massive, about 3 fingers, and just the slightest bit off-white. It leaves some nice lacing along the side of the glass, and after the initial pour there is almost no carbonation bubbles to speak of.

SMELL

This is a citrus bomb! Tons and tons of fresh hoppy aroma come out, bringing grapefruit, tangerine, and fresh orange zest. Some slight alcohol follows. I tend to enjoy the hop/alcohol combination, so it definitely works. There is a slight malt smell after the hop barrage. Like the bottle says, there is a bit of graham cracker detectible. Overall, WOW this brew smells fantastic.

TASTE

Could it be? Is that MALT I taste?! Indeed it is! And plenty of it - I was worried that this was going to be like an IPA in terms of bitterness, but to my surprise there is a lot of sweet malt in this bad boy. It brings notes of caramel-covered graham crackers and toffee. The hops bring a wonderful complexity, bringing some old familiar favorites: citrus, tangerine, tropical fruits, mango, and everyone's favorite "cat piss". Yum. The booze is definitely evident. This beer drinks like a 12% ABV brew, which I think holds it back slightly. The flavor is wonderfully complex and intense, I very much dig.

MOUTHFEEL

For as big of a beer as this is, it's no struggle to drink. It drinks more like an imperial IPA than a barleywine, which can be a dangerous thing! It's not as thick as one would imagine, and it has a (dare I say it?) DRY finish! What a mindf**k. There's a medium-low amount of carbonation - perfect for this particular beer.

OVERALL

I usually don't like hoppy, American barley wines, but New Glarus just can't seem to get a bad beer past me. I was worried about this beer being too bitter, but the bitterness and hop character are just about perfect. I'm glad to taste the sugary-sweet malt mess that I like in barley wines. I'm also glad they made a BIG barleywine, not a casual 8-9% ABV barleywine. I can only imagine what this beer tastes like after a year or two of age on it.

VERY special thanks to Duff27 for sending me a whole 4 pack of this delicious brew.

Cheers!

 2,336 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of sacrelicio
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Verrrryyyy interestink b-wine from New Glarus. Pours a golden amber color with an off white head. Nice lacing. Smell is tremendously tropical. The taste is also quite tropical, and get a very distinct golden raisin note. This could easily double for a malty double IPA. I will cellar at least one to see what happens when the hops calm down. Delicious, but a bit out of style.

 376 characters

Photo of Durb777
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of scaliasux
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Medium amber-gold. Quite cloudy. Tall sudsy white head that dissipates quickly into a fairly thin foam.

Smell - Rich malitness. Dark fruit and bread. A little alcohol. A little citrus.

Taste - Very rich malt. Backed by fairly prominent citrusy hops. Ends up on the sweet side - almost syrupy. Toffee and raisin and orange. Don't really taste the alcohol, but definitely feel it.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full and smooth. Alcohol warmth.

Overall - Rich and complex, well made beer, but the flavor (though certainly what the brewer was looking for) isn't quite up my alley. I appreciate New Glarus making this, but I'm probably not in for more than a single 4 pack.

 677 characters

Photo of Reason2B
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Translucent copper. Pours with a very thin head of white foam.

S: Sweet with a hoppy, almost IPA smell.

T: Front-end hops with a little bitterness as typical for American barley wines. The hops last just the right amount of time on the palate, and then the nice sweet malty flavor kicks in finishing with a nice balance of the two.

M: light to medium body, with a nice silky feel.

O: This is certainly a beer for the right mood. However, when ready for it, it is very satisfying. I don’t like a lot of over the top American style barley wines and this is just so balanced, with all the taste complexities marinating to deliver a very enjoyable drinking experiences.

 674 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bright sunset orange color, jewel tone clarity, thin skim of foam across the top, leaving a bare halo of lacing around the edges of the glass.

Dried papaya, orange peel, boooze. As it warms the alcohol is less than subdued, and pretty overt.

Tastes fruity with plenty of tropical hop character, papaya, mango, and citrus. This is at the edge of its descent into mellowness though, but the fruity hoppiness is still prevalent. Creamy smooth feel and plenty drinkable, though clearly an ass kicker. Best served up with hearty food. Yes it's hoppy, and that's a good thing.

2019: Held up beautifully, retains the dried papaya, orange peel hop fruitiness. Smooth and warming, hop bitterness remains too.

 703 characters

Photo of danp14
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of dirtylou
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single from my madison "connect"

appearance: served in an oversized snifter, bright glowing orange-amber body, thick white cream but only light lacing

smell: very hop-forward, grassy citrus, honey, booze

taste: pretty deviant from the style - huge honey notes, grassy and herbal, stinging citrus hops, pretty large alcohol bite, low residual sweetness. I dont know - not crazy about this

mouthfeel: oily, creamy medium body

overall: well crafted, but not crazy about the direction

 490 characters

Photo of BrownAleMale
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Kasteel goblet.

Appearance- Golden orangish color that keeps a solid 1 finger cloudy head with nice lacing being left behind. Small little carbonation bubbles are cascading to the surface.

Smell- Lots of fruit. Apple, orange, and even a pumpkin and all spice scent.

Taste- A booze bomb up front. The back end has a small amount of the sweet fruits as detected by the nose.

Mouthfeel- A good medium feel that doesn't make it as hard to take all the boozy flavor.

Overall- A little to boozy for my liking. They need a little more malt and definitely more hops presence to balance the alcohol. I would suggest this for those who don't mind a somewhat boozy beer. Would work well as a winter warmer because you do get a nice mellow burn.

 764 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Hopstout
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of pweis909
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Really, this is much more like an DIPA, IMO. I expect a barleywine to maltier. And the piney citrusy hopping was much more like DIPA.

Pours orange, white foam. Hops are immediately apparent in the nose. The taste is bitter, almost overwhelmingly so, but I warm to that aspect of the beer with time. However, it is a bit boozy, which I prefer not to have.

I am gradually realizing that I am not a big fan of big hoppy boozy beers that so commonly are touted by my fellow BAs.

 478 characters

Photo of jsovey
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Diomede
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of thebigredone
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, citrus, alcohol and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus that are followed by a mild alcohol sting. Then a strong but not over-powering and very 2IPA-like hops presence comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are other beers in the style that I would choose first.

 825 characters

Photo of kyledg
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of zkoehn
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of facundoCNB
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

one of the cleanest barley wines i've seen. a slightly hazy copper/orange in color with a full finger of head which dissipated slowly and left behind a bit of lacing. great head retention. the smell is of a sweet sweet grain bill with notes of caramel, honey, and bread. a sweet flavor throughout the drink, lots of bready malt notes, sweet taste of caramel, a slight citrus (orange) hint, walnuts.
full body with a slight bit of carbonation, definitely feeling the strong abv on this one (in the mouth and in the chest).

overall this is a pretty decent barley wine. i have to honestly say i was expecting a bit more from NG on this one, which honestly shouldn't mean much to the average guy looking for a good beer - i've been spoiled.. so far almost every beer of every style of theirs has blown every other beer of that style away. this one doesn't do that for me, but is still a really good beer for the style. hope that makes sense.

 939 characters

Photo of knepper
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Deep gold with a frothy white head that recedes quickly; great sticky lacing. Crystal clear.

Smell: Big fruity, hoppy nose. Candied lemons, alcohol, fresh cut fruit.

Taste: By this time, I already know that I'm in for a different experience when it comes to barleywines. Around these parts, they are mostly thick, malty, giants with, maybe, a solid hop backbone with a bit of dark crystal/roasted malts. Not this one. The mouthfeel is rich, crisp and much thinner than expected - ultra drinkable. The hops immediately take center stage. While there is a decent amount of bitterness, its mostly clean. Again, candied lemons sit over top a piney, earthy, herbal hop flavor. The malt is there providing a rich, semi-sweet balance to the hop show. The ethanol is noticeable but it isn't intrusive and doesn't compromise the experience.

A great one by New Glarus. More reminiscent of double IPA; I like the curveball here.

 926 characters

Photo of olafphysics
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of UncleRandy
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of cofeeguru
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Thumbprint Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 351 ratings