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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

850 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 850
Reviews: 425
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 248
Gots: 100 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
New Glarus Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 05-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 850 | Reviews: 425 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Floydster:
Photo of Floydster
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce acquired in a trade with iowaherkeye, thanks again man for a chance to try this one, drank tonight from a pint glass, color is a dark red with brownish tone, one inch frothy light tan head that lasts a little while, some lacing at first, aroma consists of sweet malts, raspberries, cherries, yeast, vanilla, oak, and earthiness, flavor starts off with red apples and cherries, sweetness in the middle with a big berry flavor, earthy and sweet in the finish, lots of berry flavors with a little tart all the way through but more sweet than sour, definitely wild yeast in there, like how it warms up with lots of oaky barrel characteristics, sweet, fruity, and softly sour mouthfeel, medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation, taste lingers for a few minutes, could drink more of this quite easily, do not know have any idea of the alcohol content but it seemed light and this drank smoothly, not heavy or overly sweet, one of the more interesting Unplugged brews, have not had a bad New Glarus fruit beer yet, it seems like it is what they do best, hopefully this one is rebrewed, this seems to have aged very well, hope to drink it again, recommended

Floydster, Sep 20, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first taste of this long desired brew was a whopping let down. After more than a year of anxious anticipation I felt betrayed. Expecting intensity, I found only timidity. I sought boldness but was only given subtlety. Not long into my first glass I began cursing myself for buying Jenny Street Market’s entire stock of Enigma. Sometime into my second glass that feeling began to change.

Enigma is considerably lighter, less fruit forward, and more subtle than I had expected, however, it does not lack for interest and complexity. Enigma’s appearance is quite elegant and wine like. It boasts minimal to no carbonation and just a thin, glass clinging lacing, but its reddened chestnut hues still manage to foster a rather unique and splendid appearance.

Funky sour oranges and tart rotten cherries are pulled cohesively together by overriding aromas of oak aged liquor. Vanilla, oak, and hints of bourbon flow throughout with nuances of must and rotting wood rounding everything out. Fans of Bourbon and Whiskey Barrel aging should enjoy this beer immensely.

Flavor wise, the beer appears to be a blend of the Sour Brown and Belgian Red, however comparisons to NG’s Cherry Stout are inevitable. In many ways Enigma tastes like a toned down Cherry Stout. Still, taste is predominantly a product of the barrel rather than the fruit. With Enigma, the oaky vanilla rules the cherry every step of the way. The end result of the aging is a product that is both sour/tart and supremely smooth. The mouthfeel seems considerably lighter and better balanced than New Glarus’s other fruit beers. Drinkability is through the roof, even for someone like myself who is often not a fan of barrel aging in general.

Enigma is not the explosively “big” beer that I expected but it makes up for it with interesting subtlety and by simply being pleasurable. It’s quite the hybrid stylistically and goes highly recommended to fans of fruit beers, Flemish reds, sour browns, and barrel aged beers alike.

DaPeculierDane, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of tectactoe
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for cracking this one. Thumbprint Enigma pours a solid copper color with some deep amber that outlines the edges. It has decent clarity and comes topped with a soapy, thin, and slightly gray-tinted head. A few spots of soaking wet lace stick to the glass, but don't last for the entirety of the brew.

The first sniff reminds me of ripe, sour apples; mildly tart and incredibly juicy. It's very vinous, as the apple aroma gets usurped pretty quickly by truckloads of white wine grapes, oak, and tart black cherry skins. It smells a bit acidic and lactic, but maybe not quite to the stomach burning degree. If there's one thing I've learned about New Glarus, it's that they do "fruit" flavored beers well, so I'm sure this won't let me down.

It can definitely be said that the taste isn't as sour as the aroma made it seem like it would be, but it's certainly a bit more complex and layered - a trade-off that I'm more than okay with. Despite not reaching mouth-puckering levels, the brew is still a bit tart, just not quite on par with Rodenbach Grand Cru or Cuvee des Jacobins.

Lots and lots of candied apples, both sweet and sour and juicy all the way through. Apple cider vinegar and a mound of sweet, bready malts are spruced up with a mild cinnamon-like spice. Does this have cinnamon in it? It sure tastes like it, and I'm not complaining. Light colored grapes, mild oak and vanilla, with a lightly tart and fruit-juicy finish. Thin bodied, but it fits the brew, with medium-heavy carbonation and a crisp, almost dry mouth feel and finish.

Another great beer from New Glarus, and something that I could probably drink gallons of without getting sick of it (or too inebriated, for that matter). It's not quite as tart and layered as some of my favorite Flanders' sours, like the ones previously mentioned; rather it comes across as a mildly-tart fruit beer. No matter, though, as it's still a well executed and tasty beer nonetheless.

tectactoe, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of Schlais
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Schlais, Sep 22, 2012
Photo of weatherdog
3.73/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a Bells tulip glass. This bottle is from the newer release.

It pours a crystal clear hazelnut with just a tint of red. A dense two finger cream head dies into a small thin layer of bubbles. New Glarus really knows how make a beer look good.

The nose is candied cherries with just a little bit of a tart sourness. The fruit is very forward in this beer, much more than I would have thought and hoped for from what I knew about this beer. It's not as sweet as the standard NG fruit beers but still overly sweet for my taste in a 'sour' beer.

The flavors starts off as the signature NG tart sweet cherry beer flavor and then a firm but restrained tartness hits you. Barrel aging is also very present in the middle of the taste with an oaky dryness. The second half of the glass, as the beer warmed, the fruit died down and more tartness became evident.

The carbonation was pretty full with a light dry crisp finish. I do have to ding the drinkability because of the amount of sweetness in the front end of the flavor.

I was so hoping for much more tartness and sour beer character like Lost Abbey's Red Poppy, but this beer leans too much towards the fruit beer which NG tends to do. I agree with other reviewers when I say that I hope Dan is just gearing up the palate of Wisconsin beer drinkers for a real sour beer. Either that or bring back the sour brown ale. That was a very well crafted oude bruin.

weatherdog, May 19, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

As I pop the cap curls of white smoke emerge from the bottle and rise up. It pours into my glass a deep cola brown with red accents and a half inch of light tan head on top. Slightly hazy. Aromas begin with sour cherries well upfront. Some caramel and roasted malt along with a good bit of fruity sweetness. Woody, oak tones that sit on top of vanilla and a Brett funk. Complex and interesting.

First sip brings the aforementioned sour cherry flavor upfront with a mildly roasted brown ale malt underneath. The tartness is not overpowering here and is met by a fruity sweetness midway through. It flows down with vanilla and oak accents. Just a touch dry on the finish with a mild Brett aftertaste along with woody tannins. Yum.

Mouthfeel has an exceptional smoothness to it. Steady mellow carbonation with a medium body. Almost has a silkiness to it that makes it incredibly enjoyable to sip. Overall, just a solid, intense and flavorful brew. Whether you like sour beers or not you should be able to enjoy this. Glad I have another bottle sitting around, darn good stuff.

orbitalr0x, Jul 30, 2008
Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

NWer, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of FatheadBrew
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Rich, slightly opaque amber, almost ruby red. Very small head that falls quickly.

S: First smell is strong oak barrel. Similar to other New Glarus "unplugged" brews. Almost too much oak. Some fruity aromas coming through.

T: Interesting. Mix of sweet and sour. Some malt and oak as well. First sip makes you want to take another. Complex.

M: Medium. Some tingling from carbon dioxide.

D: Goes down very easily. Makes me wish I had purchased another one. The sour lactic and the tart/sweet cherries blend very nicely. I could see myself having a couple of these.

Overall, I was very impressed. I don't remember seeing this one on the shelves the last time I there so I think they have been keeping some in the basement aging. I didn't try this when it came out, but it currently is great. Grab one if you see it.

FatheadBrew, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of badbeer
4.55/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unplugged Enigma, released October 2, 2006. Not from the unmarked previous batches.

Poured a murky reddish brown color, with a good off white colored head with surprisingly, good retention. Smell is of oak, vanilla, subdued cherries, sour apples, and a hint of bourbon. Taste starts off sour, but slowly and seamlessly transfers into an oaky, vanilla, boubon finish. There is tartness throughout the taste, but everything is blended together so nicely that there didn't seem to be an overpowering flavor, all parts were seemingly equal. Medium bodied, lower carbonation, little bit of a dry oaky finish. Drinkability is good in the sense that it's a pleasure to drink, but I felt this one is a sipper. Try it before it runs out again.

badbeer, Oct 24, 2006
Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this bottle. I have been looking forward to trying this one. 2010 vintage.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is very nice. I get a lot of cherry and brown sugar notes, as well as some vanilla. The beer also smells quite tart.

The flavor is more of the same. The predominant flavor is cherries with some maple and caramel malt notes. The beer is semi-tart, but overall it does not taste as tart as it smells. The fruit and tartness mix very well together and make the beer extremely drinkable.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very glad I got to try this one.

Mora2000, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of ryancl
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

ryancl, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of strangebrew52
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

strangebrew52, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of deebo
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I could have sworn I reviewed this beer before, I must have not entered my notes. Going off original thoughts and reviewing a bottle that has been sitting in the cellar for a little over a year.

A-Dirty light brown with some ruby highlights. A very weak tan foam that doesn't lace the glass.

S-Malty cherries, oak, and a slight lactic/acetic sourness tying the aromas together.

T-Good clean, non-medicinal taste. Like the aroma with a good sweet/sour balance, with it being more sour than sweet. Sour brown all the way with the interesting flavors cherries bring out.

M-A pretty nice richness from the malt. But it still finishes slightly sweet initially and then sourness kicks in. Moderate carbonation.

O-Another fruity sour treasure from New Glarus. Flavorful, easy to drink and well crafted.

deebo, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of Swonkie
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Swonkie, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of mrw1zard
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

mrw1zard, Jul 17, 2014
Photo of bpfrush
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

bpfrush, Sep 17, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
3.93/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, stig!

Clear cherry red in color with a very small near-white head. Leaves the glass clean on the way down.

Aroma is full of cherries, very similar to New Glarus Belgian Red, with some oak and a very mild cheese funk character.

The flavor follows the aroma, with a big combination of cherries and oak, some vanilla, and a bit of cheese funk.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A good fruit beer, though nothing particularly mind blowing.

ehammond1, Dec 23, 2012
Photo of doremite
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Really nice blend of cherry and oak. Almost more Kriek charachter than Flanders but the beer I tried had about 2+ years of age on it so may be some development at play there. New Glarus rarely disappoints!

doremite, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.63/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Last bottle drank w/ greenkrusty101 after some plumbing repairs.

Pours a mixture of brown and red. Ruby red in the center, with light brown edges, really has the flanders oud bruin color down pat. Very thin small off white head that doesn't do much in terms of lacing, which is par for style.

Massive amount of tart dark cherry aroma, minimal amount of campfire smoke. Caramel, mild chocolate also there. Toffee. Oak. Even a little barnyard to it.

Taste, wow, plenty sour, definitely upper echelon sourness from a flanders oud bruin, I don't know what the deal is, but I tend to like the American versions of oud bruins more than the flemish, they seem to just have an amped up sourness and cherry incursions on this side of the pond. Brown malt is well placed.

Mouthfeel continues to be impressive, you get a very complex, unique, one of a kind mix of dark cherry, cranberry, sour, oak, vanilla, caramel sweet, smoke. Unlike anything in the world. Good acidity too. Carbonation just right.

I love these fresh, I love them with some age on them. It is so hard to age these though, you always find an excuse, "hey we've been replacing a sewer line, this calls for an Enigma."

Beerandraiderfan, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of williamjbauer
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

williamjbauer, Mar 23, 2013
Photo of brow1901
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a snifter.

A- Deep dark red maroonish almost looks purple with a very thin off white head. Not much retention and a little lacing. The color of this beer alone makes it an enigma.

S- Strong initial spice smell perhaps some vanilla and oak character. A sour smell begins to creep through the initial wafts giving the beer a very complex scent. Slight hint of booze also.

T- A slightly more tame taste than I would have anticipated and preferred. A soft sour taste that lingers on the tongue only briefly. But overall it has a nice smooth character.

M- Full bodied yet remains light because of the sour qualities, it seems to rinse the pallet.

D- Very drinkable beer, the sourness gives it easy drinkability and as most sours become tiresome on the taste buds this beer begins to shine.

brow1901, Jun 25, 2010
Photo of MyTBeerDrinker
4/5  rDev -3.6%

MyTBeerDrinker, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of tlacott1
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

tlacott1, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A cloudy brown and orange color. Small head with little retention.

Smell - Raspberries, cherries, peaches & some earthy spices.

Taste - Sour. Raspberry flavor is prominent with the peach and cherries helping. There seems to be a smokiness and vanilla in there as well. It's a lot more complex than I can really describe.

Mouthfeel - Medium body and carbonation.

Drinkability - Where can I get more?

stereosforgeeks, Jul 17, 2007
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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 850 ratings.