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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 UncleRandy
4/5  rDev +2.8%

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 BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: orange shiny body, finger white head,
solid lacing

S: sweet candy, grapefruit/mango/orange aroma

T: sweet citrus, light barley, boozy, hard candy,
bitter sticky finish

M: med/heavy body, big oily/sticky mouth.

O: Another mighty fine brew from New Glarus.
Highly recommend to other BW fans. Hope
they make it again.


 356 characters

Photo of jimelee108
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear light amberish orange color with good carbonation leaving a nice white cap and bubbles

S: Booze and big hop wallop, neither of which being bad

T: Immediate hop blast with citrus, light pine and some tropical fruit being very prevelant if not dominant. A bit bready, nice booze sting with a good dose of sugar in this.

M: Very nice, well carbonated but one dimensional. Stinging, acidic at times, warming but no letdown on the palate

O: This beer is what it is..a big, mega hopped American barleywine that leans to the lighter end of the spectrum..much like a Hog Heaven. I suspect this will cellar well oeaking in about five years

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Photo of BillHilly
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of knepper
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
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 Zachtheporter
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a wine glass.

A- Pours a rich bright gold that has a reddish tint to it. The head is white and very thin.

S- This is a very citrus/hoppy smelling barley wine. There are notes of Orange, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Mango as well as other sweet fruits that I can't quite put my finger on. There is also a slight hoppy bitterness that melds its way around the overall aroma.

T- This is very hoppy for a barleywine. The taste is very sweet and fruity. The sweet start to the beer is also very tart and bready. There are notes of grapefruit and mango with light hints of barley in the middle. It ends with a sweet and bready finish somewhat reminiscent of shortbread cookies or graham crackers.

M- Chewy. Very carbonated with almost a slight sting to it. Slightly abrasive.

O- This is a barleywine that definitely grew on me a little. Initially I really did not enjoy it very much because of how hoppy it is. This is definitely the hoppiest barley-wine I have ever tasted. I originally bought a 4-pack and put 3 of them off to the side to age but unfortunately my weak will ended up leading me want to go back and try it again....twice. I am really looking forward to how the remaining bottle will turn out after about 4 years. A rare miss by New Glarus in my opinion.

 1,295 characters

Photo of SBMRL
1/5  rDev -74.3%

Photo of woosterbill
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a medium-sized Duvel tulip. Thanks to Tony for sharing; I'm always ecstatic to try a new New Glarus brew.

A: Bright pale orange body with a light-tan layer of froth. Spotty lace. Ok.

S: Huge hops. Tangerine, grapefruit, and grass. No malt to speak of. It would be solid (but not spectacular) as a DIPA, but it's a little disappointing for an American Barleywine. At least it doesn't smell too boozy.

T: Fruity hops up front, with some nutty malt filling in behind. Juicy, dank citrus on the finish. Big bitterness, light sweetness. Again, more of a DIPA by far. Still, tasty and impressively devoid of alcohol; I never would have guessed 12%.

M: Creamy, frothy medium-full body. Excellent.

O: I'd love to get a hold of a couple four-packs to age, as I have to imagine the dominant hops will give way to more complex malts within a year or two. Right now, though, this is just too purely hoppy to impress me. I enjoyed drinking it, to be sure, but was still disappointed since it didn't live up to my expectations.


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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.

 505 characters

Photo of CummingsK21
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Photo of smarks2327
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of seeswo
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of theCoder
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of mjpolzin
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With New Glarus being one of my favorite local breweries, I knew I had to try this high alcohol offering from them the minute a friend told me he saw it in the store. Also, with it only being $8.99 for a four pack from East side Woodmans in Madison, it is a great buy for such a big beer. Sadly though, the beer didn't measure up to another local barleywine (Both of Central Water's barleywine options). Additionally, it tasted more like an IPA to me than a barleywine. This isn't a bad thing since I really enjoy IPAs but I almost need to compare this to other IPAs that I have had instead of barleywines. Even when I do that; it still wouldn't be my favorite IPA. So I will say that this beer was decent and I will keep a few bottles stored away for aging but I can't say I will go out and buy more before it is off of the shelves.

The strong hop presence masks any other flavors that may be here. After the intitial sip, I struggled to find any complex aftertaste notes that I hope to find in a good barleywine. Is this beer really 12% abv? If so, the alcohol is really hidden. There was a decent booziness to it but not 12% worth.

EDIT-As I hoped and expected, this beer is much better with a year on it. The hops are still really strong but have faded somewhat leaving behind a really sweet tasting barleywine. The color seemed to be different also as it had a very pleasant, light hue. I have one more bottle left and I will leave it sit for at least two years to see what is left behind when the hops hopefully go away for good.

 1,537 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Very pleasant looking clear light amber bodies beer, half-inch white head. A couple dozen streams of effervescence float on upward. Good head retetnion and nice lacing.

S- Citrus hops, a touch of booziness.

T- Juicy citrus. Low end of malt complexity, agreed. I feel like the booze is the biggest player in this beer.

M- On the thicker end of mouthfeel, carbonation fits.

D/O- This beer really does straddle the line between DIPA and barleywine. A good beer but not as outstanding as what I envisioned when I heard New Glarus was coming out with a barleywine again. I think this could be a good candidate for aging and one beer that will benefit with 2 to 3 years on it.

 677 characters

Photo of fdkayti
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a honey gold with a short-lived white head that fades into small bursts of lacing. Clear with a thin steam of effervescence spiraling upwards.

S- Pretty hop-forward in the nose, followed by a juicy sweetness. Citrus, pineapple, and a sugary maltiness.

T- Follows the nose. Hops are more than present, slight pine taste/bitterness lingers. Candied orange or lemon peel, maybe. Honey-like sweetness is a big part of this. Light alcohol burn.

MF- Slightly sticky. Hard to describe the carbonation...a burst at the end of each sip? Feels good.

O/D- I finally understand the comparison between barleywines and DIPAs. The hop presence in this is undeniable. I find it to be dangerously drinkable, but overall it's quite different from others I've had of the style.

 772 characters

Photo of sjstraub
5/5  rDev +28.5%

Photo of derkfromwi
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: One-finger white head that disappears kinda quick, nice golden color, some carbonation

S: Nice blend of hops, some citrus, bit of pine, some earthy malted barley, touch of sweetness

T: Sweet, then citrus hops, bitterness that stays, some bready barley, bit of alcohol/boozieness

M: Medium bodied, smooth and resiny, doesn't feel like 12% ABV, okay carbonation

O: Good stuff, got some to enjoy now, to share, and to store and see what happens

 450 characters

Photo of jmpizzo
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ng barleywine

a 3.5-4 fairly hard pours raises a one finger barely off-white head above a clear light amber body. a cap stays around a while. too dang clear and light for a barleywine imo.

s 4-4.5 lots of orange rind, candied pineapple, and a little pine and bread. no appreciable abv is noted. hard to believe 12%

t 3.5-4 the power is noticed on the tongue. oily sloshing around the mouth with a spicy zing. cannot help but be reminded of hopslam, though there is more alcohol bite here. the finish is on the bitter and spicy side. some butterscotch sweetness is there but it is playing backup at the moment. does seem more like a boozy dipa than a barleywine. as the glass wears on, the lack of malt complexity and the accumulating bitterness make the beer seem a little less companionable.

m 4 resiny, medium+ bodied, leaves things a bit dry and puckery, but with enough wet to keep it from being unpleasant.

o 4 my first sips revealed a beer that is a little challenging yet potentially rewarding, a beer with some character, which is a surprise given it's ng. this is a beer i would actually like to monitor as it ages. it certainly seems worth having now and again--but is there enough interesting malt in there to make it great after a time? my guess it will age a lot like hopslam.

 1,296 characters

Photo of CurtisLoew
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Photo of JAHMUR
3/5  rDev -22.9%

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.5/5  rDev -10%

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