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Thumbprint Enigma | New Glarus Brewing Company

476 Reviews
For Trade:
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

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

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GCBrewingCo on 05-01-2005

User Reviews
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Reviews: 476 | Ratings: 1,323
Photo of Slack
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Amber brown in color and clear with little head and moderate lacing.

Vinegar, cherry, oak, and malt on the nose.

Taste is cherry, oak, tart, malt, and mild sweetness.

Mouthful is medium to light and full. Carbonation is on the higher end. Finish is tart and lingering.

One of my preferred styles. Easily drank with an even balance. Flavor profile is exceptional. Smell could have been a bit better. This paired well with a rich & creamy gouda. Seek this out.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm going to be reviewing lots of these in my first year. (I've been working my way through a reprint of "Michael Jackson's Great Beers of Belgium" and find that I've been avoiding this style.)
I have always been guarded with this style because the sourness makes me shy.

But New Glarus gets my first review for two reasons.
First, they probably are my favorite brewer and do so much so well. (See my Place review.)
Second, I drank a 4-pack over the last two years and had the last in September just past. And only then did I figure out why I like Enigma so much. The sweet and sour balance falls to the side of sweet that, at least to me, causes it to finish dry... instead of just sour which is too typical of the style for my palate to like it naturally.

They just released an Oud Bruin and I hope to scoot north of the border, buy some and score some new buddies. (By April, I'll be old enough to trade.)

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Photo of pagriley
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz into a snifter

L - Pours murky ruddy brown with brief head
S - sweet and sour with hints of cherries and oak
T - More sweet and sour - too sweet for my preference with a sharpness to the acidity
F - A bit thick and sticky - almost a touch syrupy

Overall, nice, but not something I would want to try again. Too sweet for my palate.

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Photo of stevoj
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle share (12 oz). Tart, venous nature. Definite sour characteristics. Aroma and taste right in the wheelhouse. Citrusy and tart, orange peel, some vanilla, some smoke

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Brown and red, make up your mind, do you want to be a flanders red or brown? Brown to the outside, red in the middle, just like biology. Lots of dark cherry, smoke, caramel, toffee, wood and something funky. Complex.

Hits with ample sourness and fruit for the style. Dark cherry, cranberry, blackberry, smoke, caramel, wood tannins, shit, this is all over the place but it all comes together quite impressively.

A very special beer.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a black cherry color. a two finger, off white head forms, moderate retention and leaves behind a nice lacing. pretty dark and opaque but some nice strong brightness when held up to the light.

Smell: cherries, vinegar, oak. lemon juice. light tartness but quite a bit of acid coming from the vinegar.

Taste: oak and a good dose of cherries come though. fruit varies from sweet on the front end to tart on the back end. lemon juice and a very light vinegar come in. more oak character with a light vanilla and maybe hinting at cinnamon.

Mouthfeel: light and refreshing. strong drinkability and a nice amount of funkiness.

Overall: a great and well priced sour. hard to find a sour any where near this caliber for a similar price. also a fairly mild in tart and funk example that could be a great intro to the style. great depth of character. I really love all the oakiness that comes out in this.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.06/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours mahogany amber, finger head disappears almost immediately. Aroma is full of tart cherries, a little toasted oak and vanilla. The taste is full of flavor, similar to the nose, tart cherries, sweet sugar and grape, woodsy earthiness. Nice dry finish with the tartness lasting. Medium mouthfeel. Hard to believe this much flavor can be packed into such a low abv brew. Even though I'm not a huge sour guy (yet), really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of RichD
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a deep ruby/burgundy red. There was a small white head that disappeared into a ring around my glass. Also, there is some nice lacing around the glass.

S: Huge notes of oak come through immediately. I catch some cherry with a faint scent of grapes. This smells fantastic.

T: The taste follows the nose to a T. Oak and cherries are immediately detected. I also catch some grapes which add a nice depth to this beer. I am actually incredibly surprised that the oak notes were so strong. There is a nice acidity that is not overwhelming, but very pleasant. I am wholeheartedly satisfied with everything that I am tasting.

F: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation. No alcohol is detected and quite frankly I didn't expect there to be any. Seeing that this beer is only a moderate on the sour level, I could drink a few of these and not think twice about it.

Overall: This is a great representation of the Flanders Oud Bruin style. To be honest, I can't really tell the different between a Flanders Oud Bruin and a Flanders Red, but you're damn right I'm going to enjoy either one. The cherry and oak are fantastic and come through so strong. New Glarus really does a great job with their Thumbprint series.

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Photo of unclekeith
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle in a pint glass

L: Murky dark ruby with minimal head
A: Cherries, oak, malt - excitement building
T: Tart cherries, a bit sweet, raspberry tartness,
M: Light body, mild carbonation, crisp finish, perfect balance of sweet and tart
O: What a beer! Very refreshing - I could get used to these. My new gold standard for the style

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Another great beer from NG. This is the perfect version of this style. There is lots of sweetness upfront, but it evens out nicely with a little tartness on the finish. Overall this is very well balanced and refreshing.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle was poured into a snifter.

Appearance: A two finger off white head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a crimson mahogany color with good vision of bubbles comingup through the glass when held up to the light.

Smell: Cherries, raspberries, oak, sherry, funk, bready, toasted, and pale malts.

Taste: Tart, sour, funky, fruity, oak, toasted, bready, and pale malts. Nice blend of flavors that last from sip to sip.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little dry, tart, sour, funky, fruity, oak, medium bodied, medium to high carbonation.

Overall: I like this beer a lot. Looking forward to the rest of the four pack in the near future.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.48/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown color with a small tan foam head that recedes quickly. No lacing. Very dark looking beer, could pass for a porter from afar.

Aroma is dominated by super tart cherries. Vinegar. Raspberry and rhubarb are present in the background. The slightest hint of funk.

Wow! Definitely one of the best tasting beers I've ever had (although I shouldn't expect anything else from New Glarus when they feature fruit flavors). The tart fruits vary much more than in the aroma. Although cherry once again dominates, there's also raspberry, sour apple, and strawberry. Very sweet, but not as bitter as expected. A nice bite at the finish from the tartness. One of those beers that excels from the moment that it touches your lips, all the way to the aftertaste.

Light bodied. Moderate carbonation. Slightly sticky, but still goes down smooth. Can be sipped or chugged. Finishes crisp, and the tartness results in some fruity, mouth watering aftertaste.

Overall, a sensational effort from NG. Can't believe I've walked by this one on the shelves so many times and opted for other New Glarus beers (granted, you can't go wrong with anything from the thumbprint series). A great example of the style and just an overall great beer.

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Photo of popery
3.04/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The beer is brownish maroon with a tan head. Looks fairly cloudy but it’s a pretty dark beer. The aroma is mostly apple sauce. Some apples. Mild vaguely oud bruin sweetness with very mild sour note. Mildly sour taste. Milder apple sauce flavor but still definitely still in that sphere. Some crystal malt sweetness. Fairly light body. Really an odd beer. I’m not much of a fan.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass

A- pours a deep ruby-brown color with a small fizzy off-white head that eventually disappears completely, leaving nothing behind

S- ripened tart cherry aroma up front, followed by some floral notes, woodsy oak, vanilla, simmered cranberry, cardamon, tart balsamic vinegar and just a hint of earthy funk

T- tart cherry flavor up front follows the nose and gives off an immediate tartness of ripe cherry skin. Woodsy and earthy oak notes follow, gives flavors of vanilla. Light puckering vinegar mixes with a malty sweetness that balances out the two aspects. Fruity finish with more cherry lasting until the linger

M- medium-light body with light carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that continues into a crisp finish

O- the cherry notes are tasty throughout and provide a nice tartness to balance out the underlying malty sweetness

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Photo of JeffTheJuice
4.26/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Slightly veiled reddish brown appearance with a slightly off white head. Nose of ripened cherries, vanilla, oak and a spice that I cannot put a name to. The flavor follows the aroma with a bit of orange joining in. More sweet than sour, which is to be expected given the beer is young. Slight sourness is most perceptible after the beer has been swallowed. Exceptional medium-full body. Extremely drinkable, especially on a hot August day like today. Yet another stellar offering from New Glarus.

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Photo of Lucular
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one tasty Flanders Oud Bruin! Plenty of funk, not terribly sour (not that I would have minded more sourness), not overly sweet, nice sour cherry flavor, vanilla, and I'm even getting some cinnamon or cardamom. Very nicely done.

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Photo of rockernino
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice red, caramel color with beautiful head and lacing. Aroma isn't too strong, but consists of sour cherries, some funk and a hint of vanilla. Taste is tart, underripe cherries with some faint oak and vanilla. Nice mild acidity with solid carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

Overall an excellent beer, especially on a warm summer day. Well done!

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Photo of PHBoiler
3.77/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Looks like dark cherry juice. Smell is overripened cherries and purple grapes. There is strong acidity on the lines of balsamic vinegar along with some sweetness and deep cherry flavor. This is definitely a sipper.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.59/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Bottle received in a recent trade, thanks Shaun.

This one pours a dark, slightly murky reddish-brown, with a small fizzy head, and a few sheets of lacing down the glass.

This smells awesome, rich earthy sour cherry, sweet breadiness, oak, and cranberry.

This was absurdly good. Great cherry flavor, moderately sour, fairly earthy, with some slight caramel, toasted breadiness, some funky Brett type things, damp oak, lemon and cranberry. There's so much delicious going on here. This was freakin' awesome.

This is medium bodied, with a warm and crisp mouthfeel, with a moderate level of carbonation.

Another amazing beer from New Glarus. All of the beers just seem so carefully and wonderfully brewed.

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Photo of samuelp23
4.78/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

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Photo of peensteen
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Andrew!

Reddish-purple/brown colour, ring of white head, no lace. Smell is cherry and oak with sharp fruit notes, sour berry, vinous-wine like acidity. Taste is a mix of sweet and sour cherries, dry oak, vinous, strong wine like flavours mid palate to finish, a building acidity, fruity, red berries and a dry finish. Med-dry carbonation, medium full body. A nice sour brown, my only objection is that it may be a bit to dry after about half the bottle but that is just a minor complaint really.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

New Glarus Enigma has a thick, frothy, off-white head, a mostly clear, red-orange-brown appearance, some lacing left behind, and no noticeable bubbles. The aroma is of sharp, oaked, sourness, some sugar, citrus juice, and brown bread. Taste is the same, with a coconut and stomach acid component. Mouthfeel is medium, and New Glarus Enigma finishes puckering, tart, and sip-able.


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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Acquired the four pack from my mother on a recent trip to Wisconsin.

Poured into a La Fin Du Monde tulip glass.

A - It pours a dark bloody brownish-orange body with about two fingers of quickly dissipating brownish-pink head. No real lacing to speak of, but it looks very nice for what it is.

S - The aroma is a beautiful fruity medley of fruit and flowers. This thing literally smells more like a juice blend than it does beer. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes, cherries, and subtle notes of musty oak wood.

T - The taste is the same, fruity, juicy, and delicious. Mixed berries, strawberry, pineapple, apple, grapes, sour cherries, and notes of oak wood & vanilla.

M - The feel is smooth, crisp, juicy, & clean. Crisp carbonation, and very easy-drinking with a moderate abv.

Overall, another delicious sour from New Glarus. These guys continue to impress. Would definitely drink much much more of this stuff if it was more available to me.

New Glarus Enigma -----4/5.

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Photo of Lesingnon
4.6/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Pours with a thin layer of carbonation that dissipates to a ring around the edges of the glass, slight lacing observed. Is a dark reddish-brown in the glass, which transforms into a beautiful ruby red when held up to the light.

Nose: Dominated by the beer's sour character, with notes of fruitiness underneath.

Taste: The sourness of the beer hits the tastebuds immediately, followed by a dry fruitiness that blends quite nicely with the tartness. Both aspects persist in a nice, lingering finish.

Feel: Feels fairly slick in the mouth, decently smooth with quite a bit of carbonation.

Overall: An excellent beer that smoothly blends dry cherry flavor and tartness into a sublime drinking experience. It's no wonder that New Glarus's sour program is held in such high regard.

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Photo of kbwalters
4.33/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured cold into a new glarus fruit sour glass. Bottled on 1/22/15.
Look = 4.0 Pours a clearish brown with really nice red highlights and .5 fingers of light brown head which fades to a ring. Above average lace for a sour beer.
Aroma = 4.75 Funky! Sour, horse blanket and cherry notes. Really nice, funky aroma. A lot going on here.
Taste = 4.25 Only mild sour on the front of the tongue; increases to a medium sour through the mouthfeel. Cherry notes accent it perfectly on the back end. Oak notes too. Complex and tasty!
Feel = 4.0 Light to medium bodied; medium carbonation, a bit fizzy but not too much.
Drinkability = 4.75 Maybe the perfect souring level here. Easy drinking for sure.
Overall = 4.35 Best thumbprint sour yet; complex aroma and taste. Good souring level and the oak and cherry notes complement it perfectly.

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Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 476 ratings.