Brewery: New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, Wisconsin
Beer: Thumbprint Barley Wine
Serving: 12 oz bottle
Information: 12% ABV
Style: American Barleywine
Availability: Limited Release
Cellaring: Under proper conditions, this beer can be cellared for extended periods.
Pairings: Sharp cheddar or blue cheese, dessert; apple pie drizzled with caramel, hot fudge and caramel sundae.
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!
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.
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!
A brisk crispness crosses the tongue momentarily before the sweet, full-bodied malt sets in. Moderately bitter hops finish out with a light dryness. Faint alcohol can be felt retro-nasally, but sheer balance brings this to a close.
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.
Score: 95 / 100 – World-Class