1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

821 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 821
Reviews: 422
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.57%
Wants: 244
Gots: 103 | FT: 8
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 821 | Reviews: 422 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its been a while, yet this reminded me all along off the New Belgium. Copper amber colour with a cherry Slimovitz aroma, with alcohol. Small head. Average mouthfeel. Great cherry taste and satisfying aftertaste.
Thanks jpm30 for this unexpected bonus, you are generous to a fault.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2007 04:15:50 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

11-23-2012 00:28:17 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to burnheartsMKE for sending me this one!

Pours a semi-clear honey orange color with a 1 inch light orange-brown head that fades to an oily cap. Thin and ragged rings of lace form on the drink down. The first smell I am getting from this beer is cranberry along with sour cherries and vanilla. There is also a slight funky vinegar aroma. Taste is slightly sour with cranberry/cherry flavors along with some funk and wood. I see this was fermented with a wild yeast and put in oak casks so that makes sense. A higher level of carbonation makes for a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer from New Glarus. Bottle calls this a sour brown ale, but whatever style this may be it is very tasty.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 03:17:37 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -3.6%

11-14-2011 23:00:57 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to BeerFMAndy for sending a bottle of this out my way. Served in a Captain Lawrence tulip.

Pour yields a brew with a dark bronze color and a really good white head. Moderate lacing as it goes down. The nose is smells of slight oxidation, though it fits with the cherry. There's also some mild oak and some lightly-sweet bready malt. Cherry comes back through, especially as it warms. The flavor hits notes of cherry with a bit of oak and light vanilla. A light touch of acid, though not much. The sourness is mostly confined to the finish. Pretty good, though not as good as their standard fruit offerings.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 12:47:47 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Never tell a man you can read him through and through; most people prefer to be thought enigmas."

--Marchioness Townsend

Caramel orange that could also reasonably be called ochre. The pale brown sugar colored crown fizzed initially, but has now settled down to a creamy two fingers of foam that gives off a faint crackling noise if one listens closely. Patchy lace covers more than half the glass.

After seeing the words 'sour brown ale' on the label, I wondered whether Flanders oud bruin wouldn't be a more appropriate style. After the smell test, I'm certain that it would be. Tart cherries and brown malt dovetail beautifully with loads of oak barrel oakiness. A wild yeast funkiness is present as well.

Enigma is a sour brown all the way. The thing that I like best about this style (when done right) is the complex interplay between sweet and tart. Too much of one or the other ruins things. Mr. Carey has hit the proverbial nail on the head in that regard; not a bit surprising from the man who is responsible for the best fruit beer ever created.

The flavor profile is bursting with both sweet and tart cherries, fermented fallen apples, oak, leather and a modest splash of apple cider vinegar. The back end is snappily acidic and only semi-dry, thanks to an abundance of fruit and malt sugars. This ale has aged beautifully, although that wasn't my intent.

The mouthfeel is well-constructed. It's lightly viscous, and faintly sticky on the finish, with an enlivening amount of carbonation that keeps things hopping without coming close to stepping over the line.

Enigma isn't an enigma at all. It's what results when a talented brewer at the top of his game is unleashed (Unplugged) and lets his imagination run wild. If brewed on a regular basis, this would be one of the best Flanders oud bruins in America. Maybe *the* best.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 14:53:30 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy russet, with a decent sort of head that fades fairly quickly, leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: The initial vanilla-toned waft of oak is supplanted by a tart cherry aroma in short order; cinnamon and funk, too

Taste: Nice oaky taste up front that takes a while to be joined by the vanilla, tart cherry and subtle Bourbon elements, underneath; after the swallow, it is predominately tart cherry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; a puckery feeling from the tartness, too

Overall: A fantastically balanced oud bruin/kriek concoction

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity to revisit

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2008 22:29:13 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.01/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber/caramel color, with a wispy white head that dissipated very quickly.

Nose is fruit, cranberries, cherries, apples. The funk is there, which actually lets it take on a sour apple type smell. Oaky, but no vanilla.

Taste is tart fruit. Sourness is there, but a little timid. Caramel, a bit of medicine type flavor. It's pretty sweet, which is cutting the sour a bit too much for me.

Mouthfeel is good, decent carbonation, dry finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 22:10:23 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured an extremely hazy and sediment filled caramel color brown. This thing was essentially completely opaque as you could not see through this at all whatsoever. Nice two finger high head of tan foam graced the top and eventually settled down into a thin layer across the top. Lots of sediment on the bottom.

S – Aroma was thick with alcohol and spice. A somewhat light fig smells as well. Some kind of fruit but it was really hard to nail down what along with hints of grass and almost a tree bark like aroma.

T – Wow, now this was a seriously good beer, why does everything coming out of this place taste so darn good! First initial wave was of spicy rum like alcohol but this settled down and blended out as it warmed up and was replaced by a thick flavor of spiced apple and tart cherries or raspberry. Really great tart fruit finish though, really actually turned this into quite the fruit beer. This seemed to really transform as you went through it, going from almost a spiced rum flavor to the tart fruit, with a decent hop back. Really very very nice.

M – Very nice and quite thick medium bodied ale. The carbonation was very nice and lasted throughout the entire session giving it a silky like feel and really adding a lot to it. Very creamy with a very long-lasting finish.

D – Now here is a tricky one. This on one hand tasting fantastic, and almost unlike anything I had ever had before, but on the other side of the coin, I could really not envision myself having more then one of these in a session. Juts too strong of a flavor to draw it out more then once, though I would love to have a few to sit on and break out every once and a while.

Overall this was a very fine example of the style, tasted very unique and really was quite a pleasant surprise for me. I really liked this and would love to have some more. Seems everything coming out of here is a winner and this was no exception. Go and try it if you can.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2007 03:12:33 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca
Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Monger: Poured a dirty brown/reddish color ale with a medium light foamy head with average retention and good lacing. Aroma consists of oak with some tart notes and some red wine characteristics. Taste is a very well balance mix of oak with some tartness and some acidic notes well balance by light cherries and some dry red wine. Body is above average with some low filtration and medium carbonation. Very well done and definitely something that I would like to try again.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2007 16:55:21 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kinda like an Oud Bruin and Kriek blend, however the emphasis is on the sweet, allowing a tart counterpart for balance. The beer shows a pleasent malt sweetness (Brown Ale), but with a tart, candy-like sourness. A cherry aroma helps to solidify the tartness, while adding an added fruit sweetness. An earthy, aged-hop character adds balance to the sweetness and contribues an earthy, dirty complexity. With all this going on, the flavors are well melded and properly aged. A solid malt sweetness wants to play heavy to the mouth, but with the tarness acting as a thinning agent to make the beer very drinkable while adding a mild dryness and astringency late. A cherry flavor persists even after the remaining flavors subside. Unusual flavors, but likable nevertheless.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2007 14:22:38 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jeff for sending me this one.

A: The pour is a dark blood red with a thing ring of off-white foam along the outside of the glass.

S: A definite cherry aroma to this one, reminiscent of the Belgian Red, but not quite as sugary. A fair amount of oak--the musty, damp kind.

T: A rich cherry flavor that provides a nice sweetness. The oak is really powerful and is almost like chewing on a piece of wood. A mild vanilla note and a bit of a smokiness.

M: The body is medium with a high level of carbonation that leaves a mild dryness.

D: This was a lot easier to drink than the Belgian Red. Not so overwhelmingly sweet and much more complex.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2010 03:52:19 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

06-08-2013 02:28:39 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

03-10-2013 18:27:23 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

01-20-2013 01:39:27 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a vibrant red color, beautiful clarity also. The head was white and fizzy. No lacing or retention. The smell reminds me of cola, with hints of cherry on the nose too. The smell is just very impressive to me. The taste is also impressive, it's got a blast of tart cherry and citrus upfront that fades into vanilla and some smokey oak flavors. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, it's thin like wine, but also dry. Overall... I'm really impressed, this is a very nice beer. Lots of great aromas and flavors in this beer and its not insanely sour which I love. This a gem in my opinion, never expected to like this as much as I did.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 01:17:55 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at the Brickhouse.

Review #900! Honestly, during the pre-interview extravaganza, I did not expect to see this gem come through on-tap. I'm glad it did. It pours a mostly clear russet-copper topped by nearly a finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose comprises black cherries, cinnamon, nutmeg, dank raspberries, and a kick of oak. The taste is definitely something: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, red apples, cherries, black grapes, sourdough, rye bread, oak, tobacco, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Whew. It all melds together so nicely that it takes a while to really deconstruct it (and I'm pretty sure I missed something). The body is a hefty medium, with a very-light moderate carbonation and a slightly thick feel. Damn, was this an interesting brew! So many fruits and berries, with some nice spicing as well...it's all quite the adventure. Get some!

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2010 05:01:18 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Brand new batch, glad to see this one brewed again.

Seems a bit different from what I last recall, drank my last batch #1 bottle a few months ago. The major differences are the color and lighter feel of #2. The new batch very much resembles Cranbic, and i'd almost go as far to say they have the same base beer involved.

Looks: High clarity red with a russet twinge. Served cold into a Duvel tulip, a vigorous pour produced a two finger head. Spotty lace seems to cling somewhat as it slides back into the froth. A large cluster of surface bubbles remains, encroaching on a crescent of wispy skim across the top.

Aroma: Spiced cherries, brown sugar, faint hint of something cheesy and musty. Resembles a spiced apple dish at thanksgiving. Not the wild, woody Enigma of 2006.

Flavor: Mildly tart upfront, with sweet cherry in the middle. Dry oak and vanilla traces after the swallow, lingering into the aftertaste. Fairly clean and straightforward, with fruit seeming to dominate the barrel nuance. Nothing especially wild/funky manifesting, aside from the light tartness, which is very clean.

Feel/Drink: Light bodied, crisp and tart, finishing on the dry side. Definitely an accessible, mass-appeal type of "sour". Very quenching, perfect timing for the warmer weather ahead. Can't wait to pair with some funky cheeses.

#2 resembles a tamer Flanders Red, where the original #1 was harder to pin down, but was closer to an Oud Bruin variation. The whole "fruit beer" thing is getting a little repetitive, but NG continues to succeed with these styles.

***

10-23-2006
A+ / 4.65 look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | drink: 4.5
Flanders-style sour ale, let's get that established...

Pours into a Moinette chalice, a ruddy brown color, with one finger of foam. Lacing stays for the duration of the glass.

Smell is rich and pleasant, mostly sweet molasses, aged gouda, vanilla, & oak. A sweetish whiff of bourbon...barrel-aged Oud Bruin?

Taste is complex, and seems to go through phases over time. At first, the sweet and sour character of a Flanders Red/Sour Brown is complimented by vanilla, dried cherry, and muted bourbon (sweet/woody) notes toward the end. The finish is oaky, slightly dry. Mouthfeel is rich, somewhat full & malty, but not heavy. Maybe a lactic quality as well. It's balanced, and well-crafted. After warming, the ale takes on a more balsamic sweet/tartness with oak still in the finish. Very delicious, I could easily have a couple in a sitting.

An exceptional, innovative gem from New Glarus...this is Dan Carey at the top of his game.

2007: Audible fizz, nice head on a year-aged bottle. Spice, woody barn funk, and celery oddly enough. Still at the same level of tartness, medium carbonation. Still funky and complex as well, maybe not as distinct as it was fresh. Looking forward to finishing off the stash.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 17:47:53 | More by emerge077
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4/5  rDev -3.6%

11-23-2011 04:48:16 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nickd717 shared this one. This is the original batch, '03 I believe. Thanks a bunch, Nick. Turbid and murky, brown in color with a thin off-white collar. The aroma is complex and inviting, smelling intensely of funk and sherry-like oxidation with a backbone of cherries and bourbon. There's a bit of toffee and faint buttery oak as it warms. Tart cherries are surprisingly up-front on the palate for such an old beer. Caramel, bourbon and sherry are equally prominent, leading into a lightly acetic mid-palate with more sweet and tart cherry flavor and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Finishes sweet and tart with lingering cherry and bourbon flavors. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2010 18:57:07 | More by largadeer
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

11-14-2011 23:43:50 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of NeroFiddled
NeroFiddled

Pennsylvania

4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2007 17:58:36 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from HogWildLiquor courtesy of Secret Santa 2010, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains sour cherries and apples, light caramelized malts, oak essence and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is quite complex and gets better as the beer sits for a bit. There are sweet flavors of caramel and vanilla, tart cherry, apple and citrus flavors, the effects of oak aging in the background. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very flavorful, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, because of its complexity this is a good beer to drink for a while if you're looking for something different.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 00:08:36 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clouded red tinted brown. Nose is a vanilla wood thing. Flavor is crrrazy good. Amazing combination of vanilla, very dark cherries, wood, and cream. Cherries and cream! There's also a touch of what seems like cinammon. Really nice collaboration of flavors. Feel is smooth on liquid and low on carbonation. This is one tasty fruit beer. A bit high in the lactic content, but it's pretty nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2008 07:49:26 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trade with FlandersNed - thanks man! Served in a mini-pint taster glass.

A - A finger of light tan foam that dissipates into a ring and leaves some solid lacing. Transparent brown-red color with a few bubbles lazily working their way to the top.

S - Holy funk, Batman! This smells as if someone took overripe cherries and smeared them on a sweaty horse - it's basically all funk and sweetness at this point. There's some graham cracker maltiness and maybe a touch of vanilla and butter in there too. As mentioned, little to no tart or sour flavors in the smell. The bottle calls this an Oud Bruin, but the site listing of fruit/vegetable beer is more accurate at this point. Very potent nose, but unbalanced at this point.

T - Tastes like a funkified Belgian Red - very sweet with a touch of tartness in the back end. I've skimmed through the earliest reviews of this brew, and there is little of the quoted barrel or sour qualities left at this point. The Brett has just gone out of control. It's still pretty tasty, but just wasn't what I was expecting.

M - Surprisingly active carbonation, medium body, sticky finish, and disappointingly not particularly dry.

D - I'm guessing this is low on the ABV side of things, and it's not palate busting at all. It was pretty easy to drink and I could have had the bottle all to myself.

If you like Belgian Red and Brett this may just be the perfect beer for you. I'd be more interested in checking out a fresh batch that still has the sour and woody flavors going on.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2009 16:09:15 | More by MasterSki
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 821 ratings.