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Thumbprint Barley Wine | New Glarus Brewing Company

very good
117 Reviews
Thumbprint Barley WineThumbprint Barley Wine

Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States | website

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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 117 | Ratings: 350
Photo of bound4er
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Clear amber appearance with a two finger, white head that slowly recedes to leave spotty lacing.

S. Graham cracker is very prevalent. Some sweet pitted fruit aromas emerge slowly as it warms. There is a slight hit of alcohol that you "feel" in your nose more than smell along with herbal hops.

T. Sweet graham cracker malt fills the mouth followed by a nice assault of hop goodness (mainly tropical in flavor) that never gets too bitter. Really lingers nicely on the palate. This is one tasty beer.

M. Very nice, somewhat silky mouthfeel in a medium bodied presentation. Adequately carbonated too.

O. New Glarus has hit this one out of the park. It may not be brewed perfectly to style but I could care less. This beer tastes delicious. The alcohol is completely hidden, the hops and malt play off of each other beautifully and this stuff slides down way too fast. I feel like having another one but know better.

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Photo of Crass3000
3.11/5  rDev -19%
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 crossovert
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

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Photo of sonofgor
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

split a 12-ounce bottle with a friend. Served in Great Taste of the Midwest glasses (2011 and 2004, respectively).

Aroma: Prominent grapefruit/resiny hops up front with alcohol evident in the finish. Malt aroma low to moderate at best.

Appearance: Largely transparent amber with orange-ish notes. Persistent off-white head with minimal lacing. On the light end of the appearance range for an American Barleywine.

Flavor: Where's the intense maltiness? This beer is delicious but is frankly missing the intense in-your-face-malty character of a badass (12% abv?) barleywine. Hop flavor and bitterness dominate along with a nice, long alcohol-laden finish. If this was presented as an Imperial IPA it would grade higher.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a nice texture that nevertheless lacks the velvety lushness of the style. Medium-low carbonation with a fairly dry finish, albeit with alcohol quite present.

Overall: It just lacks the intense malt character of a barleywine. Certainly an enjoyable beer but not accurate for the style. I'd give a 4+ if was classified as an IIPA. We'll see how it ages.

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Photo of sacrelicio
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

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Photo of Reason2B
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of adman08
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear, light gold with about a half inch of white foam that leaves decent lacing. Has the look of an IIPA, very light color.
S-Malty sweet aroma with a good amount of citrus hops and just a hint of a Belgian yeast aroma.
T-Strong citrus, fruity hop flavors with a good balance of graham crack/malt. There is a lot of alcohol which may be what contributes to the slight flavor of Belgian yeast.
M-Seems a little light bodied for a barley wine. Lots of alcohol warmth and fairly light carbonation.
Overall, a very tasty beer. A little close to the line between an IIPA and a barley wine but sometimes I wonder where that line is. A very big beer but not very full bodied but lots of hops and alcohol. I'd like more caramel malt sweetness but the flavor is very good.

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Photo of jera1350
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has the look of a DIPA. Clear golden color with a short creamy head that leaves lots of lacing.

Lots of citrus and tropical fruit coming from the hops. A nice little malt sweetness reminiscent of honey also. There is a hint of belgian yeast which I know isn't the source, but it's there.

Wow, very different from other barleywines I've had. Big hit of tropical fruit. Passionfruit, pineapple, citrus fruit, star fruit, etc. Getting lots of floral notes from the hops also. The malt is of the lighter variety and gives the flavor the taste of a DIPA. Honey like malt presence. I do get a touch of Belgian yeast in the flavor. Very subtle and I'm not complaining a bit about it. Alcohol comes through some.

The feel is a bit dry at the end, but sticky beforehand. Not as big of a body as the abv suggests and the style commands. Again, reminds one of a DIPA. Smooth beer though.

Barleywine/DIPA? Who really cares. A drinkable Barleywine or an age able DIPA, take your pick. Have it both ways, I know I will. In my opinion, a unique take on the style and one that I thoroughly enjoy.

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Photo of willseph
4.79/5  rDev +24.7%
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 Soneast
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz red foiled bottle into a tulip pours a lighter orange with some yellow highlights and a generous snowy cover.

Smells of grainy bitter citrus. Many New Glarus beers have clean noses if that makes sense. Maybe the yeast is rather neutral. A hint of the 12 percent can be found here as well, but it is neither overpowering nor off putting.

This is very pleasant, if a barleywine of this abv can be described as such. Tropical fruits meld with the light and bready malt. Hops steal the show but the malt is strong enough to play support. Pineapple, mango, and a slash of mild burn along the back end.

Plenty of bubbles to allow this sit mildly syrupy but smooth on the tongue. Alcohol settles pleasantly into the bones and leaves a gentle numbing, thought the heat is minimal and more felt than tasted.

This may be my favorite Thumbprint/R&D in quite a while. Hits all the right notes and is ready to go right out of the gates. Certainly an Americanized style straddling version and if that type of barleywine floats your boat, I strongly recommend getting your hands on some bottles.

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Photo of Lemke10
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought a 12oz single bottle from Woodman's in Janesville, WI for $2.59 in early 2012.

Pours a semi-clear light amber color with quite a bubbly head of carbonation leaving a decent amount of lacing around the glass. There are some slight scents of barley but it is mostly of bitter hops giving it more of an IPA scent. The first sip explodes with flavors of bready grains and hops. Drinks extremely smooth and yet is very filling. Is definitely a sipping beer as it will taunt you, daring you to drink 2 in a row which I certainly would not recommend. Even though it is a barleywine, it's definitely something a IPA/IIPA would enjoy trying.

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Photo of DexterTorrance5
4.92/5  rDev +28.1%
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 spunk509
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a New Glarus pint glass.

Pours with an orange-gold coloring and very little head.

The nose hits you with a light aroma of hops, much more than I was expecting, but also a slight hit of the high alcohol. Not as strong of an aroma as I was expecting.

Lots of citrus both from the hops and the light taste of the alcohol. You can tastes the malt, but it’s clear there was little to no roasted malt in this beer. Fairly light on body but also a little sweeter than I was expecting. This must have started in the 90s for OG if not higher.

I don’t know that I can call this beer overly balanced, but I wouldn’t expect a young barleywine to be so in the first place. Right now I think it’s very bright with good flavors (almost like pineapple) but the high alcohol overpowers much complexity. Give this six months to a year in the cellar and I bet it’s fantastic.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
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 WastingFreetime
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here we have a new barleywine from the Thumbprint series of New Glarus.

Red Foil cap pops off and I am greeted with a brief aromatic burst of peach crumble with caramel sauce on top. Once in the glass, this aroma changed to a lovely smell of densely brown sugared toffee malts with a potpourri of pine resin and orange peel hopping on top....as it warms up towards room temperature a backdrop of subtle tropical fruit tones appears in an understated sort of way.

Taste is partially reminiscent of certain Lagunitas products IMHO, what with all the emphasis on candied citric peel / pine resin duality combined with a strong and sweet malty backbone entirely capable of holding it all together. Not very dry...at least not until the finish, which transforms into semi-astringent dryness from the rising heat of the alcohol content. (Oddly enough, reminding me in the finish of the savory aspects of the flavor from Chinese takeout Orange Chicken.)

I have no idea what the ABV is, but I will state that it does not come across nearly as harshly alcoholic on the palate as a lot of other barleywines I've had, for which I am grateful. Body is on the thinner side of medium thickness, flows well in the mouth, it is perhaps about 10% undercarbonated however for my personal preferences.

Oh yes, and color. It poured out an orange-golden color with light haze, an exceedingly thin vanishing soda spritzer head that is gone in thirty seconds, no lacing. I am really intrigued by the light orange color of this barley wine.

Overall, interesting stuff. Well worth a try.

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Photo of mobius387
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass

appearance: pours a golden brown, translucent, with a 1" foamy white head. honestly, it looks like an octoberfest/marzen type of beer, if this was blind id be very surprised to find out this is a barley wine

aroma: i cant believe it, this is a barley wine, and i smell oranges. dont know how they pulled that one off. also a sweet background to it, nothing sticks out tho

palate: medium body, a little tangy/stingy on the tongue, sits well in the mouth tho, fairly smooth

taste: a great balance to this beer. i get the hops and citrus, but very toned down for each. everything about this looks and feels like an ipa, and then the graham cracker flavor hits you with some malty flavors that reminds you this is something special. well done NG!

overall: a very tasty and unique brew from wisconsin's best brewery! very happy they decided to release this one this year, hurry up and get it while it lasts!

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Thumbprint Barley Wine from New Glarus Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.
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