Thumbprint Barley Wine | New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine
Very Good
350 Ratings
Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mobius387 on 01-13-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 350 |  Reviews: 117
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5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of DexterTorrance5
4.92/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've always felt that Barleywines have had a sort of harshness to them. I've honestly never been that big of fan. With that said this beer is astonishingly good. it looks like like a Pale Ale in the glass. Smells like a really good DIPA that is 2-3 months old. The citrus really comes through the palate. I was not aware of the alcohol content until half way through the glass and I was shocked that it was 12%. As it warms up you can start to taste the alcohol but it really is weird how some beers just have that boozy taste and others like this one defy your taste buds. This beer is worth waiting in line for but guess what it will be plentiful on shelves all across Sconnieland for the next month.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes Jan 18 2012

Pours a deep clear orange, looks like a DIPA to me.

Smell is very tropical, a little acohol as well.

Taste is a decent amount of hops right off the bat, tropical fruit then after that fades you get a more bready, spicy barlywine flavor. A solid alcohol burn at the end.

Mouthfeel is spot on.

Hats off to Dan on this one. I love a good barlywine and this is a great one! It may be right on the line between DIPA and barlywine but that is fine by me as I love both styles.

If you can get your hands on some go out and get it.

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Photo of willseph
4.79/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed while in WI on business, poured into a plastic cup (shush, I was in a hotel room and had no other choice!).

A - Reminds me like a slightly darker Apple Ale, looks like carbonated apple juice, lots of rising bubbles, and a half-finger of tan tinted head. Just a ring around the cup as I drank it.

S - A decent amount of citrusy hops mixed with an equal parts of booze and wine. There is a faint sweet aroma, like a sweet apple.

T - Very well balanced. Citrusy hops again but mended well toasted grains and, oddly enough, pie crusts. Yes, I taste pie crust in this brew. The boozy taste is short lived, but notable. I noticed a sweet fruity aftertaste on the sides of the tongue.

M - Medium bodied, a bit carbonated that hits the roof of your mouth almost every sip. Definitely leaves a resin-y feel in the mouth afterward.

O - I'm very impressed. Definitely the best barley wine I've had, which isn't a very exhaustive list though. Really good right off the shelf, but I'm curious to see how this does with some time on it. Very enjoyable all the way around.

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Photo of richkrull
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

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4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of DrJoe82
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.73/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.
3611 printed in black on the shoulder. No info.

A - Vividly golden toffee in color, this barleywine is decidedly clear with a bone head that's got some insane staying power! Plenty of lace curtains are drawn across the snifter as the head fades away. Brilliant looking!

S - With a hop-heavy nose like IIPA, it can be safely assumed this is an American Barleywine. Bold, juicy mango and pineapple tropical fruitiness overlaps the sweet, bready malt. Rich, gooey caramel undertones create a balancing act with the potent hop nose.

T - Plenty hoppy in flavor but shockingly more balanced towards the malt. Beginning to end, the lip-smackingly juicy hops leave mango, pineapple, and some grapefruit dancing on the tongue. Lots of bready, heavy (not overwhelming) caramel malt to the rescue!

M - A brisk crispness crosses the tongue momentarily before the sweet, full-bodied malt sets in. Moderately bitter hips finish out with a light dryness. Faint alcohol can be felt retro-nasally, but sheer balance brings this to a close.

O - Another excellent beer from New Glarus, the Thumbprint Barleywine teeters on a fine line between Double IPA and American Barleywine but remains balanced throughout. Agreeable, fruity hops and smooth caramel malts mash up for one delicious beer that's a pleasure to drink. I'll be aging plenty of these for years to come. Damn do I love that New Glarus is in Wisconsin.

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Photo of crossovert
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

It pours a brilliant color, a perfectly clear honey-amber with a foamy white head that is a bit fizzy and doesn't leave much lacing. But the beer itself is beautiful.

The smell is huge, as soon as you pop the top a nice combo of zesty almost tropical citrusy hops and clean honeylike malt. It smells a bit like Hopslam or Double Jack. Not quite as hoppy but in that ballpark.

The flavor is great. It is definitely a hop-forward barleywine. It is crisp and dry rather than thick and chewy like normal beer of this gravity. There is a nice fruitiness to it, moreso light fruits than the typical rasiny flavor. The malts bring a big hit of sweetness but it is controlled. There is a light bit of perfumey alcohol presence but it is more flavor than heat. I have to stress it, for a 12% beer, yes it has alcohol prescence, all 12% beers do but this one is far and away the smoothest one I have ever had in this territory.

Barleywines aren't really my forte, I like them, but this one I loved. Non-traditional, but super delicious. And this is not an IPA at all, there is still a distinct malty alcoholic sweetness that would never be welcomed in a DIPA.

 1,168 characters

Photo of MaxSpang
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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Photo of Buzzerben
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice golden orange-hued color. Thin lacing throughout.

S - Hoppy, citrusy notes, rock candy marmalade. An estery hint on the finish. Nicely balanced for a beer of this size.

T- Succulent citrus, barley hint, and a sweetness that gives way to seductive warmth.

M - Smooth, resinous. Coats and adheres in delicious stickiness.

O - I really enjoyed this beer. Though it may not stick to style the entire way, the daring and experimentation that are hallmarks of New Glarus shine through. Impressive.

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Photo of Soneast
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, golden to slightly orange color, developing a 1/2 inch white colored head, with decent retention.

The aroma is a hop-bomb. Almost DIPA-like in impression. Strong citrus and tropical fruit character, with just a hint of bread and cracker-like malt notes. Overall very pungent and aromatic.

The flavor starts to bring more barleywine characteristics to the beer, with the hops stealing the show. An almost lemon-drop like flavor dominates adding some piney notes after each sip, as well as some very nice malt characteristics such as a very light brown sugar and toasted cracker flavor that balances excellently with the intense, pungent hoppiness. Once again, very DIPA-like in character, though far more balanced, and yet no loss of hop flavor. The alcohol is virtually non-existant, only evidenced by a pleasant warming sensation after each swallow.

This is a very hop-forward American Barleywine, as it should be I suppose. Without a doubt, the cleanest, least-harsh barleywine I have ever had (while fresh). It almost seems a shame to age something this hoppy. This may be the first American-style barleywine that I would recommend drinking right away, while fresh, rather than wait a year or two. That said, I can't help but cellar a few to see what happens.

 1,280 characters

Photo of danp14
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

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4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

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Thumbprint Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 350 ratings