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
Photo of SBMRL
1/5  rDev -74.3%

Photo of Bakker
1.5/5  rDev -61.4%

Photo of nathanjohnson
1.75/5  rDev -55%

Photo of AndyEdgar
2/5  rDev -48.6%

Photo of hardy008
2.21/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Clear light amber with a one finger off white head with decent retention and no lacing. The aroma has grapefruit, caramel, and alcohol. Much of the aroma is not very strong, and it was pretty difficult to pick up as much as I did.

The strongest taste in the beer is the alcohol, no contest. That is not a good thing, since I like to have the alcohol well disguised, instead of front and center. There is also the taste of grapefruit and caramel, but they are overwhelmed by the alcohol taste.

Less than medium bodied with somewhat high carbonation. Not what I expected, and really disappointing. Doesn't really taste or feel like a Barleywine, just a booze bomb.

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Photo of AleWatcher
2.44/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into Founders snifter. I don't know if others exist, but this is a 2012 vintage.

I think this was an extra from mnbearsfan, but I am not 100% on that.

Apricot colored body sits with a fluffy beige crown of 3 fingers loftily perched atop. Very thick lacing and strong retention. I prefer my barleywines to be a shade darker, but I will admit that this looks mighty fine.

Smells surprisingly light on the malt bill... I get a big herbal spicy hop note over a sugar-glazed-citrusy sweetness. Quite underwhelming.
The flavor is much the same, but with a very large booziness on the backend. Spicy, piny, and herbal hops dominate the profile... Overly boozy.

Feels thin and overcarbed.

Overall-- a rare miss from NG. I tend to really enjoy their offerings, especially the unplugged series... But this just lacks anything special.

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Photo of CallMeCoolEthan
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of funkel81
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of pixieskid
2.5/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of ajzy
2.75/5  rDev -29.3%

Photo of Arbitrator
2.76/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of lurchingbeast. Thanks, Frank!

A: Pours a murky (opaque, really) copper body that glows sunset orange against the light. Head is 2 fingers in height and it lasts a while, leaving some suds around the rim of the glass.

S: Caramel, sugar, some orange pith and possibly tangerine. I must admit I was expecting something more hop-forward given the American barleywine designation; that being said, it doesn't have the rich, nuanced malt profile I'd expect from an English barleywine, either (toffee, nuts, etc.). I don't know where to place this, but it's not expressive in either the malt or hops department.

T: This has a general, sweet richness of caramel / sugar with a small citrus pith flavor; I get the sense it used mild flavoring hops or this bottle has faded. Not much complexity, but no flaws, either. If you told me this was a barleywine from a no-name brewpub, I'd believe it. From New Glarus it's surprisingly weak.

M: Slightly watery, but there is no hint of the ABV, and despite the sweetness, the beer finishes relatively clean.

O: Pretty mediocre, and I tend to like New Glarus a lot.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Was in a barleywine mood and I had this from a trade with Duff27; thanks again, buddy! 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with foiled over branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high; I love a lot of beers from this brewery and Duff27 insists the thumbprint series beers are the best. Brewed with Styrian Goding, Willamette, Columbia, and Sterling hops.

Served straight from the fridge (per label instructions it should be 45 degrees F) and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with salted pretzels.

A: Pours a one finger beige colour head of slight cream, okay thickness, and good (~4 minute) retention for the high ABV. No lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a surprisingly bright pale clear copper. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Looks more like an IPA than a barleywine. Fairly vibrant. It's caught me a bit off-guard, but it's generally appealing for the style. There's nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt flaws. I'm excited to try it.

Sm: Surprisingly hoppy, actually. Floral hop character, juicy citrus, clean bright malts, and some nectary hop character. Boy, this seems more like a wheatwine than a barleywine. There's definite pungent fruit here; mango and other vaguely tropical fruits come to mind - all bright fruits. The heavy malt build I'd expect from a barleywine is not present here; it's surprisingly hop-centric. Light caramel. Sweet, evoking Belgian candi sugar. Sweetbread. Honey. Light orange. Ripe fruit is dominant. Pineapple. A pretty strong aroma, but not at all what I was expecting. Still, I'm looking forward to trying it. New Glarus rarely goes a direction we expect. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Ripe fruit and caramel, with the sweet candi sugar body beneath it. Hrm. Tropical fruit is complemented by a large dose of hop character - which feels unwelcome here. I get acidic pineapple (especially on the finish), a touch of over-ripe orange, lots of pineapple, light cidre-like apple, a bit of white plum, lychee, and crystal malt. Seems more like the wheatwines I've had than the barleywines I've had. Lacks a dark toffee-like malty build. This is not what I'm used to - or particularly what I like - in a barleywine. Overly hoppy. Alcohol has definite presence here, but I wouldn't call it hot - just boozy. Little yeast character, if any. Balanced and fruity. Complex and well put together, but it may lack needed subtlety. This is more a fresh blast of hops with a fruity bright malt body than the refined toffee-like caramel build I expect in a good barleywine.

Mf: Good carbonation. Smooth and wet. Rather thick, with a heavy body. Palate presence is good, but it is a bit overwhelming. Crisp. Suits the flavour profile well, but it does have a bit of a bite. It's very filling. Acidity is a touch high for the style.

Dr: It's a sipper. The 12% does hit. I'll have no trouble finishing this one, but I may have expected too much based solely on the brewery. For my specific tastes, this isn't a particularly satisfying barleywine, but it may hit home for others. I got none of the "toasty graham cracker" notes described on the label. A pretty decent barleywine from New Glarus, but not up to par with many of their other beers. I'm glad I got to try this one; thanks again, Duff27! Maybe 3-5 years of age would do this one some good.

High C

03.27.15 live (heavily truncated) impressions of a bottle again provided by Duff27:

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Upon pouring, I immediately notice a strangely prominent sweetness and fruitiness. The build seems candied and bugglegummy, and never introduces the notes I've come to love in a good barleywine. Overly sweet, and below average in aromatic strength.

The taste is just as the aroma promised...which is to say troublesome. The balance is off - tipped too far towards sweetness - and the texture just doesn't fit the taste; It's oddly dry, parching, and it emphasizes the subtle spiciness of the yeast a bit too much. Not a gestalt beer, but an okay one for what it is.

This isn't the quality you'd expect/hope for from one of the USA's best breweries, but it's not awful and I'll finish it (albeit with some effort). A rare miss from New Glarus; this is direly overhopped and bitter for the style.

High D+

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Photo of weonfire
2.97/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A - Almost a burnt orange, pencil thin white head- dissipates very quickly but sticking to the rim, light carbonation rising

S - Aged fruit - pineapple, cherry, apple, orange, very hoppy, and booze

T - Ripe pineapple, carmel, orange, apple. finish: hoppy booze

M - Moderate frothiness, good coverage around the mouth. acidity pricks the tongue. low viscosity.

O - Most different color ive seen in a barley wine. Missing the toffee malt backbone. Certainly a sipper at 12 abv. Very hop centered- no doubt its American. But the ripe pineapple isn't pleasant- far too sweet. Get no taste of the 'Toasty Graham cracker'. I am pretty disappointed in NG with this. Three more will certainly sit in the cellar. We'll check back in a few years. Hopefully this pineapple/booze can simmer down a bit.

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Photo of CaptainNomihodai
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Rhettroactive
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Hopstout
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Holland
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Dactrius
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty average. Probably my least favorite from this brewery.

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Photo of JohnnyHopps
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a goblet, this barley wine was a reddish copper color with a slight head. The most immediate aroma was the citrus note of hops. Initial taste was a intense citurs flavor. As other reviewers have noted, this is more characteristic of an DIPA. Also hidden in the flavor was a faint nutty taste that reminded me of amaretto. It should further be noted that there was a strong alcohol presence in the taste with a slight malt backbone. The aftertaste, aided by a thicker texture, had a lingering warming sensation of alcohol. The citrus hints accompanied the alcohol, but were no longer as potent.

New Glarus may be my favorite brewery and barley wine is among my favorite styles, but this was certainly a letdown. Lacking the sweetness of a good barley, this does resemble a DIPA.

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Photo of Crass3000
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a slightly dark orange in color with a tiny white head with little retention.

Smell is muted and hard to get much. I smell a little caremal and thats about it - just a tiny bit of sweetness. Taste is nice but nothing really not sticks out. There's definately some caremal sweetness, a tad bit of booze but really is hardly noticable (even at 12 ABV). I definately would drink this again but it really isn't anything I would seek out. Just nothing really great. Sure it's good but nothing better than average.

FWIW everybody seemed to rate this high and find charactoristics that I just couldn't. I do always seem to have signs of allergys so maybe that's affecting my review but I seem to always have that stuffy nose and can pick things out in most other beers.

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Photo of Steasy66
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz into snifter
A- Deep orange, 1 finger dense white head.
S- Booze, malt, sweet
T- Very sweet, a little malt, some apple, very little hops in the finish
M- A bit of carbonation tingle in the finish, not as thick as expected.
O- This beer is fine, but considering CW Y2K and BBBW have the same distro and price point, I can't really justify ever buying this again.

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Photo of tewaris
3.11/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz poured into a snifter. Split with a friend.

It's a blondie! Much lighter color than others of its kind with a good head. Fleeting malts and citrus hops in the aroma... certainly sweet and somewhat fruity. Smells like a malty pale ale to me.

Tastes fruity, slightly bitter, slightly boozy... like an ordinary DIPA. Not the beast as it proclaims to be. Disappointingly thin with no particular highlights. Seems like a beer to age on barrels if highlighting barrels is the objective. Thoroughly ordinary and not memorable in any way.

4.5, 3.5, 3, 2, 3

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