Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

459 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 459
Hads: 1,222
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 6.07%
Wants: 263
Gots: 233 | FT: 34
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:
Beer added by: GCBrewingCo on 05-01-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Thumbprint Enigma Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 459 | Hads: 1,222
Photo of TheDudeRules
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2012 bottle.

Pours a rusty red. About a fingers width of reddish brown foam that quickly recedes to nothingness. Zero lacing. Not a trace that there was any head at all. Some light bubbles come up lazily from the bottom of my glass.

Smell consists of tart cherry. Mild oak. Some leather. Vanilla and some cinnamon. No denying, there is a bit of some slight funk to it too. A beautiful combination that makes one think of a cherry pie.

Tart and funky cherry dances across my tastebuds. Leaves a nice sour feeling in the back of my throat.Cinnamon and vanilla are incredible compliments to the cherry. I sit for several seconds and enjoy the aftertaste.

It's bubbly but not fizzy if you can feel what I'm going for here. I find myself sipping it due to the tartness.

An incredible and damn near perfect beer. I'm rarely this excited about a beer. Bravo to New Glarus. (873 characters)

Photo of electrojosh
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Before writing this review I took a few minutes to read what others have written about New Glarus Unplugged Enigma, and I have to admit that I'm utterly surprised that this beer isn't better respected. This stuff is flying off the shelves in beer stores across Wisconsin and soon wont be available anywhere. I feel lucky to have found a couple of four packs at a liquor store and a case at the brewery itself.

Everyone I have ever shared this beer with has agreed that it is something special. Unplugged Enigma is without a doubt my favorite beer ever.

Packaging: 12oz bottle with brown old fashioned label and bright red foil. Purchased as four-pack at Riley's in Madison ($9) and by the case at the New Glarus Brewery ($54).

A - Dirty orange color, almost reddish. Pours with a 1cm head.

S - Slightly sour, but with complicated aromas I can't place. Orange peel? Bourbon? Absinthe?

T - Sweet, sour, and a little dry. As with the smell, the taste is highly complicated and difficult to place. Dry hop finish. Something in the flavor reminds me of the wild yeast taste of Belgian lambics.

M - Dry bitterness upfront overwhelms apparent carbonation. Dry afteraste of oak. If I could have but one wish granted, it would be to enjoy this remarkable beer on hand-pull without the carbonation.

D - This beers is so complicated that I would almost have to say that it stands on its own and shouldn't be paired with anything. I recommend it for short chats with an ex-girlfriend, or for watching some long-forgotten movie on television. Like life itself, this beer is complex and under-appreciated.

The sales clerk at Riley's said it all: "This beer changes every time you drink it." (1,703 characters)

Photo of vespahulb
4.92/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't give out high pointed reviews like this, but goddamnit if this isn't one of the best American sour brown's out there.

2012 Bottle. Served this one at cellar temp, maybe around 55 degrees or so.

Upon first whiff, gorgeous clouds of damp earth, barnyard, crushed door county cherries, and vanilla pipe tobacco. The last time I smelled something this beautiful, it was a 2005 Chateau Pommard...excuse the ex-wine snob in me, but the comparison to Burgundian pinot noir is inevitable in my eyes.

In the mouth, the front of the palate get's the bracing sour acidity, the midpalate has sour cherry pie and soft spicy grain and it finishes with toasty vanilla oak with a bit of funk.

Need I say any more? This beer is off the charts. (742 characters)

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.9/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle pours a clear copperish amber, half finger of white head

smell is cranberry, cherry, apple, tartness, bready malt, yeast funk, citrus fruits,

Taste is well read the smell, Cranberry, apples, cherry, tart, sourness, yeasty character, bready backbone.

Mouthfeel is medium full with heavy carbonation that contributes to the fullness of the beer.

A amazing beer, never understood why this was not more sought after with all the craziness with Wild Sour Ale... I have been doing my best to keep my last couple bottles out of the case I had until Dan brewed it again.... God I hope that is soon, I also hope it sticks around longer then WSA.... It is better and I hope I am the only one who knows it! (707 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy chestnut brown, opaque for all intents and purposes. Head is a somewhat fizzy affair, parchment-colored and fleeting. A handsome but not gorgeous pour.

Smell: This is really special. Sour funk is the most noticeable character, along the lines of a Biere de Garde or a Flanders red, but less fruity and more leafy, more herbal, and more vegetal, but in the best possible way. Notes of orange zest, sour cherries, clove, and oak trees add a light potpourri-esque perfume. A hint of Peaty smoke lends a dusky depth and the impression of Scotch whisky.

Taste: Holy mother of God. This is amazing. Lush essences of vanilla (loads of vanilla), honey, cocoa, and caramel; mouthwatering fruity sourness that doesn't pucker or burn; subtly woody oak; fresh cherry juice; fresh, autumnal, almost tobacco-like leafy crispness. On the sweet side, but well-countered by the healthy level of tartness. Finish has a dry, vinous bittersweetness that closes with a tug of savory oak.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, solid, medium- to full-bodied with a slickness from the cherry sugars. Well matched with the flavor and not nearly as rough as many other sour beers.

Drinkability: Good lord, I just wish I had stocked up on more of these when I was in Wisconsin. I could drink this all the time. Complex yet mellow, big and creative yet affordable, sour but not too sour. Way up there on my list, for sure, and definitely the best I've had from New Glarus. (1,454 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into Bruery tulip, split between my beautiful wife and I after a long day of brewing and toddler wrangling. This one is once again thanks to the Amazing Jeff (Alewatcher) - thanks for looking out for me, Jeff!

Pours a very pretty red, almost crystal clear, with almost no head at all, just a thin ring round the outside. Beautiful ruby hue.

Nose is gorgeous - beautiful sourness hits you with a dose of acetic and a maybe bit of lactic (that might just be a bit of vanilla creeping in), with a gorgeous cherry note that carries just a bit of sweetness to underlay the sour, done only the way Dan Carey can do it. The man is Da Vinci with fruit and beer.

Taste is bright and vivid and gorgeous and perfect. Sharp acetic sour bite up front provides a snappy sour intro to the signature, ridiculously vivid cherry explosion that follows; perfect blend of sweet and sour dancing in cosmically perfect harmony. Just a bit of vanilla provides a richness to the bright cherries, before the long finish, which echoes of the sour bite and cherries alongside just a bit of oak. Beautiful beer, the best I've had in a long time.

Mouthfeel is snappy and puckering, zippy carbonation over a light body.

Drinkability is phenomenal. I had maybe 7 ounces of this beer, and I could have downed an entire growler effortlessly, savoring every beautiful sip. Fantastic beer, and another huge thank you, Jeff. You outdid yourself with this one. This one only reinforces what I already believed: Dan Carey is the best brewer in the country. There are some very close competitors (Vinnie @ RR, Patrick @ the Bruery comes very close, a few others) but no one I know can produce the variety of styles Dan has in such a masterful fashion, from German wheats to unbelievable lagers to fruit beers and sours. A tip of the hat, from me to Dan. (1,828 characters)

Photo of Smitch
4.89/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smell is oak and cherries and the taste follows suit. this beer is sour and smokey oak. mouth-feel is medium and helps taste this on the whole pallet. (151 characters)

Photo of garymuchow
4.88/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sweet tart cherry aroma holding vanilla and a sourness noted with wild ales. Complex, fresh, light and interesting.
Smallish off-white head that in other glasses I've had has settled out, but not in this one, which holds its cap well, drinks with lacing that falls back into the cap. Nice. Quite clear amber with reds from the cherries with brownish and golds.
Such an interesting, flavorful beer. Repeats the cherry tartness and bolder vanilla with the steady background of wild ale yeast phenolic tartness. But additionally presents the oak flavors. The cherry is the forefront, but never overpowering or in excess. So nicely balanced.
Even with the lighter body this beer is smooth, which is enhanced by the softness of the carbonation.
This is truly an exceptional beer. Flavorful, accessible and highly drinkable. I sincerely hope I can track down some more.
My compliments to the brewery. (895 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the chalice almost clear golden medium amber with an off-white head which rose tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was a melding of oak aroma and bourbon. Neither aroma was overpowering and both worked well together. Behind that was a light fruitiness which was hard to distinguish between cherry or raspberry.

The flavor was fruity and slightly sour, or better termed as acidic. The flavor was distinctly cherry, but more subdued than say Cherry Tart (Wisconsin Belgian Red), much more. The cherry flavor was tempered with oak that finally finished out as a bourbon, but was only subtle, never overdone.

The finish was dry and crisp with lasting cherry which transformed on the palate in the finish to oak and later to light bourbon. The body was medium and the carbonation was spot on.

This beer, probably one of the few released from the brewery was worthy of asking about if you ever visit. Most bourbon beers are overdone and perhaps overrated, but this one is subtle and sublime. A mix of fruit beer and bourbon and a wonderful way.

Purchased for $10 in 2003 at the brewery on a private tour prior to Great Taste of the Midwest, unlabeled with only a gold crown cap on a green 750 ml bottle. At least 12 other people purchased a bottle(s). I wish I had another bottle, and had been waiting for the right moment to open this one. It should have been stored for even longer and a more special occasion, but today seemed like the day. The reason was GT tickets went on sale today even though I will not be able to attend this year.

Wood and Barrel-aged Beers: 2003 Silver Medal GABF, 2004 Bronze Medal GABF.

We need a BA Wood and Barrel Aged beer style! (1,718 characters)

Photo of Sephiroth
4.85/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to shbobdb for this unsolicited bottle. Pours with average head, some lacing, the beer looks unusual. When held up to the light, the bottom outlining edge is a cherry brown color, and above, the beer is dark, opaque brown. This smells absolutely mouthwatering. Slightly tart cherries with a nice dose of oak.

The taste is somewhat subtle. Cherries on the front of the tongue, the wild yeast adds a faint tartness, and then the oak and some barnyard notes. The oak might be the strongest flavor in this beer, yet it does not dominate the beer. This has a full, creamy mouthfeel, it extremely drying. The drinkability is outstanding.

New Glarus is the undisputed king of fruit beers in America. (711 characters)

Photo of WiscoBrewsco
4.83/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark red to brown in color. Lots of carbonation and a medium white head

Smell - Tart apple and brown sugar mixed with yeast notes.

Taste - Right in line with the aroma but even bigger than you would expect. Tons of wild tartness playing around with a juicy apple and brown sugar taste. So sweet and exciting in the mouth and the flavor really stays through the whole sip and even lingers in the aftertaste. Really impressive character

Mouthfeel - Very carbonated but also smooth and decently thick as well for the style

Overall - Absolutely floored by this one. One of the best sours I have ever had. This has to be the best beer I have ever had from New Glarus and that is saying a lot because Dan Carey really brews up some masterpieces. If you are a fan of sours do what you can to get your hands on this one. Amazing stuff (843 characters)

Photo of Atricapilla
4.82/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a normal water glass. Was a deep mahogany color with a fairly light 2 finger head. Aroma was of dark fruits and malt with some sourness added. Initial taste was of sourness, although less than I expected, followed by chocolate and cherries. Slightly sweet, slightly sour, a good combination. (303 characters)

Photo of scaliasux
4.81/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark amber brown. Clear. Medium off-white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell - Obviously cherries. I'm also getting a flat cola smell and maybe a little vanilla.

Taste - Begins very prominently with authentic tart cherry flavor and a lighter but still very prominent bourbon. Finishes malty.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light. Dry finish.

Drinkability - New Glarus sure does make a lot of cherry beers. It might get old if they weren't all so good. I was a little skeptical that this beer would have much new to offer, but it certainly does. (553 characters)

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.8/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a St. Louis Gueuze glass.

Pours a fairly clear amber hue with a light tan, one finger head that drops to a wisp of foam. Looks like lacing will be spotty.

Aromas of smokey oak, lactic sourness, sweet cherries.

Flavor of honey glazed smoked oak (would go great with a piece of salmon!), some malt sweetness, reserved sourness, sweet cherries, distinct smokey oak flavor. A little carbonic bite. No hop flavor. Finish is medium, with smoke, wood, and lactic sourness slow to fade.

Mouthfeel is light/medium, with a mouthcoating sourness that gives a slight pull at the cheaks.

Very drinkable, interesting beer. This is very nice. I would love to pair this with a big piece of grilled salmon. Very complex, mixes well. (732 characters)

Photo of terrabyte
4.79/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was allowed to warm up for a few hours.

Pour was dark brown / dark red, with a small head.

Smells just like a Jack and Coke. Or maybe Jack and Cherry Coke. A wooden bourbon aroma was husky and mellow, and was more distinct than the light fruity or cherry aroma.

The flavor was smooth and mellow. Sweetness came from a cherry flavor, but nothing like their Unplugged Cherry Stout. This was more like icing on the cake, and the cake was a nice wooden bourbon mixed with uncarbonated cola. In fact, I'm reminded of Captain Morgan Gold, and how they blended their rum with a low carbonated cola.

Carbonation was perfect, allowing the finish to fade out into a warm oaky aftertaste. A fascinating type, and definitely worth trying out again. I think I'll try to pair it with a juicy grilled steak next time. (819 characters)

Photo of jmatelski
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Another stellar sour from NG. The hype is definitely worth it. Proud to have it only here and happy to send it out elsewhere so you can see what we're taking about. (164 characters)

Photo of PoisonOakAdam
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a new glarus flute.

The appearence is beautiful! Its a rich copper with mild lacing and a thin head. The carbonation rushes through to flute.

Smells a bit funky, vinegar and fruit in the background.

Taste is where it really shines, it so well balanced and the complexities are all noticable. Cherries, vinegar funk, vanilla, even a bit smoky in the finish.

The mouthfeel is poppy and bright the carbonation really helps with the flavors coming out.

I really feel like this is a sour and should be categorized as an american wild ale, but whatever. (578 characters)

Photo of samuelp23
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

L: amber, reddish pink, clear
S: fruit, vinegar, cherries, apple, caramel, chocolate (trace)
T: sour, deep caramel, dry sour cherry, vanilla
F: dry, light,
O: Very versatile, could be a great brunch beer but would also be great for an evening beer; A sipping beer without the high alcohol content; One of the best beers I've ever had. (336 characters)

Photo of TheBlackMallard
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of my favorite beers even though my first chance to try it was just a few months ago.

Pours a hazy brown with little to no head.

Smell: Apples, Cherries, Cinnamon, Leather, and more Fruit.

Taste: Tart, Fruity, Apple Cider, Cherries, Grapes, Leather, and a bit of Oak. Full body, medium carbonation. I would drink this all day if I could. (363 characters)

Photo of VerbingNouns
4.77/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a 12oz bottle into an Allagash tulip

A- Translucent cherry red with one inch creaming tan head, fully of lacy bubbles

S- Sour, grassy, fruity, light and crisp, almost tropical

T- Puckeringly tart, sweet and crisp, fruity - maybe apple? cherry?, mild sweet aftertaste

M- Thin, refreshing. Not very complex, but it works very well with the style

D- YES. Almost like tart fruit juice, which is my absolute favorite non-alcoholic beverage. Drank Enigma after eating Sausalito cookies (macadamia nuts, milk chocolate). I definitely recommend this pairing! (567 characters)

Photo of kkleu357
4.74/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Holy hell is this good. Fell in love with Cran-bic, but I might just like this better. Poured dark brown with a red hue. Bready sour cherry aroma. Has that light "musty" lambic note. Taste is huge cherry, with hints of vanilla and caramel. Good sour bite, but balanced well by the sweet bread yeast taste. Amazing! (314 characters)

Photo of IntriqKen
4.72/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There are a thousand different things going on in this beer.
Pours a cloudy deep, dark tea color with a smallish head that soon becomes a sticky halo ring.
Aromas are basically tart fruit with brown sugar to mellow it out.
Flavor is initially semi-tart cherries, toffee, caramel, brown sugar, followed with a lemon citrus hop.
As it warms and you explore it more the taste becomes less tart and more candied cherries. Really, really complex and really, really nice.
Aftertaste is sort of a lip smacking dry tartness that pleases and makes you want more. With each sensation of tart fruit is the presence of sweetness that makes this an incredibly balanced brew.
What? Retired???
Fate is not kind.
Sometimes the world makes no sense to me.
I want more.
Many, many thanks to nflmvp for this golden opportunity. (818 characters)

Photo of dogger6253
4.7/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Mud brown once it settles, but during the pour - an avalanche of color. Several gradients ranging from bright orange to deep brown. The bottom is closer to orange than the top, hints of ruby red swirl among the middle ground. The head is thick and retentive, mocha colored. The head stays around 1/4 inch, little bits of lace hang on the glass as I drink. Man, this is beautiful.

The smell is wonderful, very warm and rich with cherries and cinnamon coming through. It smells like warm apple cider, nutmeg, and a strong oak presence. There is sort of a chocolatey-tobacco smell going on here too.

The taste is excellent, cherries and apple cider are the majority of the flavor, but adding to the mix are some sweeter layers and some more bitter layers. There is a bit of vanilla and a bit of brown sugar, some toffee. In the finish, we have more oak flavor and some of that tobacco and unsweetened chocolate I was smelling. There's no real hops flavor, but a sort of floral/earthiness to it. The taste basically goes through three phases: tart at first, working into sweet and fruity and finishing dry and slightly bitter.

The body is awesome, thick and syrupy, clinging to your mouth and lingering on long after you've swallowed. There is some noticeable carbonation running through your mouth and a wonderful alcohol warming feel. I like this beer a lot, I need to get more of this stuff before it disappears. (1,414 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.69/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As I sit down to review this beer it is with both joy and sorrow, for this is the last of my 6-pack stash. It also reminds me of my last serious girlfriend who moved to Madison a year ago, and whom I first enjoyed this beer with. But that's also kind of like this beer in a way, as it's sweet and sour, but with great depth behind it.

It pours a murky, deep chestnut brown beneath a short head of creamy off-white that fades steadily to a thin collar. Minor spots and splashes of lace are left about the glass, but not much more.

The nose is malty with a sweetish edge that's almost sugary but fruity, kind of like a jam. Lots of vanilla, apple, and cherry. Clear notes of oak come through as well, and I'm thinking a tiny bit of barnyard underneath. There's even a kind of pineapple note to it. Complex and interesting! I could enjoy this beer just based on the smell alone!

In the mouth it's medium with a decidedly dextrinous edge, and a delicately crisp, tiny-bubbled carbonation.

The flavor is intense, with tartness and sweetness fighting it out for dominance in a face to face death-roll. Over and over they swirl, repeatedly gaining and losing to each other. The vanilla and oak do the same, and the cherry and some caramelish malt all help to round it out. There's a suggestion of earth and smoke in the background, but they're soft. No bitterness is really needed, and it finishes with a lingering note of sharp acidity and caramel-sticky malt that clings to the teeth. Cherries fade to apples, apples fade to vanilla, vanilla fades to oak, and then vanilla returns softly along with a note of soft, sweet caramel in the long-lingering finish.

A year in the cellar has done wonders for this beer, and it's far more smooth and round than when I first tasted it fresh from the brewery. Oh that I could have more, oh that I could see my sweet love once again!

I realize that this is listed on BA as a fruit/vegetable beer, but this is one of tne of the best oud brune/sour Flemish brown ales in the world!!! Absolutely worth seeking out!!! (2,052 characters)

Photo of FungusBrewer
4.68/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked this up in a four-pack during there annual Oktoberfest celebrations. Reddish-brown ruby hues sink deep in my brandy snifter. Immediately I'm hit with a sour oak flavor leading into a deep, warm burn on the back of my tongue. This beer tastes wonderful, unlike anything I've ever tried before. Enigma is carbonated--almost champagne- in mouthfeel. (353 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.