Thumbprint Barley Wine | New Glarus Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
350 Ratings
Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States
newglarusbrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
350
Reviews:
117
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
13.77%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
67
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 350 |  Reviews: 117
Photo of Sammy
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

An American strong ale. Big bubbly head on clear orange body. Lacey.Lots of orange aroma, and orange taste. Honeyish, caramel. Leaning on the bitter side with a hop bitter and dry finish. Lots of flavour, a dangerously drinkable beer, and a good high alcohol beer for a cold night.

 281 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to queens1130 for sharing this one at AndrewK’s tasting.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is an alcohol kick and a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty but pretty strong.

 565 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -26.2%
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+

 4,520 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | 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.

 573 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear light amber color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma consists of light cookie dough with some caramelized malt and some light toffee. Taste is an interesting mix between some dry caramelized malt notes with light cookie dough notes and some light toffee, the whole mix is note as sweet as I was expecting. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed with great level of complexity.

 480 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to BeerFMAndy for getting a box of New Glarus out to me. Served in a New Glarus taster glass.

Pours a fairly-clear caramel color with a thin white head. Retention is a bit weak, quickly falling to a thin collar. The nose has some sweet malt with some light fruits and a good dose of bread plus caramel. Some lingering hops contribute a bit of bitterness to the flavor, and there's some warming booze in the background. Medium-full body with a good dose of residual sugar. Decent, but not a standout.

 511 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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 nathanmiller
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of billab914
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Devil's Backbone tulip. It poured orange amber in color with a thin but frothy head covering the top.

The aroma has a bready, biscuity, slight caramal flavor coming out of the malts. I get a good amount of hoppiness to it as well which gives it a moderate citrusy and fruity presence. It's got a little bit of a candied orange flavor to it. Pretty good balance of hoppy and malty. As it warmed though more of a alcohol heat started to come out.

The taste also has a pretty big hoppiness to it with grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness throughout. The maltiness comes through as more of a sweeter, candied orange like flavor. Bitter, citrus rind lingers well after the finish. A little alcohol heat is there in the finish as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the style with carbonation being average. Overall it was a pretty de centbeer, but the maltiness was a little too reserved and one dimensional for my preferences in the style. The hoppiness just seemed to dominate a little too much, especially in the citrus rind, bitter, finish. I think this could have easily been labeled a DIPA and I wouldn't have questioned it much. I got a lot of alcohol heat to it as well that didn't help. Good beer overall, but not one that stands out in the style for me.

 1,304 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wendall for this one!

A: Pours a clear orange color with a small white head on top. Not much retention reducing to an extremly thin cap on top. Thin, but sticky lacing forms on most of the glass.

S: Extremely hoppy, but not like Bigfoot. Lots of pine and citrus - plenty of rind. Very faint alcohol tinge.

T: Not as hoppy as the aroma, but still plenty of citrus with some malty sweetness backing it up. A little bit of bready malt as it warms.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks very easy and smooth.

O: Very different compared to most barleywines I have had, and I quite like this one. Doesn't come off all heavy and malty, but a bit lighter with lots of hops coming through.

 712 characters

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Brilliant robust golden color, two fingers of thick head

SMELL: Marmalade, green peppercorn, faint leather, passion fruit, rose water, alcohol, light caramel, crackers

TASTE: Incredibly smooth, creamy, full body, dry biscuits, yeast, ripe exotic fruit, pulling hop bitterness, leafy, mint, hop resin, citric rind, peppery, floral, big alcohol, lingering clean graininess in the boozy semi-bittersweet finish.

Bit of a booze bomb, a sipping brew all the way. I can understand the brewers intention but it just does not hit me the right way fully. Fun to drink? Sure, just make sure you sip it or share a bottle ... that might be better.

 687 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of millerbuffoon
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike.

The beer is crystal clear, appearing a light golden color. Mild effervescence and a lasting quarter inch of white head that leaves some decent lacing on the glass. The aroma brings malt, caramels, alcohol, maybe a hint of butterscotch candy. Alcohol presence is nicely disguised. This one could sneak up on you in a hurry. Malty, fruity, a tad sweet. Hop presence shines in the finish, offering a light bitterness. Overall, I thought this was really solid. I would have this again.

 516 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev +3.9%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Thumbprint Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
3.85 out of 5 based on 350 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.

    Subscribe