Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

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Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

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459 Reviews

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Reviews: 459
Hads: 1,222
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 263
Gots: 234 | 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
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Reviews: 459 | Hads: 1,222
Photo of RyBrew54
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a ruby red with lacing head. Smell is red wine vinegar with sharp cherry notes. Taste is lighter than expected when compared to the strong nose. Cherry, vanilla up front, with rhubarb tart finish. Carbonation lasts throughout. Very well balanced, a nice bruin style from New Glarus. (288 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
4.4/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a soapy, tan head that has decent head retention. Big notes of oak , musty yeast, with tart cherries behind it all. It's surprising how much this smells like wood. Crimson-burnt umber color. Starts with a bright, intense sourness and big notes of oak. The sourness fades and more cherries come through. A musty yeastiness comes through just as the malty biscuits begin, which is right before more oak. The finish is residual, tart cherries on top of oak.

Wow, this is a looot different than the last batch; this one has WAY stronger notes of oak; the complexity is absolutely stunning. It's like Wisconsin Red at one point, but then it's like I'm chewing on a piece of oak, and the brown ale still peaks through from time to time. Just an absolute joy and pleasure to experience. (794 characters)

Photo of pwoody11
2.78/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Strong vinegar notes in the taste and aroma. Cherry cider vinegar to be more specific. I expect some vinegar characteristics in a sour, but this is beyond that. (162 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tall New Glarus Signature Pilsner Glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep brownish ruby with a lot of rising bubbles. Slight off white head that quickly fades away.

Smell: A fruity, funky, and tart sour aroma with good hints of fruit, oak, and funk. Big mix of fruits with hints of tart cherries, green apple, grapes, berry, and slight banana. Good hints of oak along with a little vanilla. Toasted malt with hints of biscuit, yeast, and smoke. Also some hints of cinnamon spicing and sugar sweetness. A very good aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma suggests, a nicely funky, fruity, and tart sour taste with notes of fruit, oak, and funk. Sweet and tart notes of fruit with some cherries, grapes, green apple, berries, and a little banana. Good presence of oak along with some wood and vanilla. Toasted malt with notes of biscuit, cracker, toast, smoke, and yeast. Spicy notes of cinnamon. Also some sugary sweetness. A really good sour taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Sour and puckering with a fairly drying finish.

Overall: A very good take on a Sour. Good mix of tart fruit and oaky notes with a nice smokey edge. (1,190 characters)

Photo of Shluffy
4.45/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is excellent. Incredibly tasty. I am biased because I enjoy sour things, but it is definitely not too sour to turn off the uninitiated. Incredible balance and flavor (175 characters)

Photo of Sweffin
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, probably about 3-4 months old. Huge amounts of fruit, especially bitter cherry, and definite vinegar presence. A little bit of tartness. Deep crimson in color. (167 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 guityler83
4.05/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2015 release
A: Two fingers of cream colored foam with good persistence in the flute glass. Mahogany color on first impression, but when given some light changes to a dark orange with red hues. Brilliant clarity with a few steady bubbles flowing up from the bottom.

S: Unique aroma on this one - Oak / woody funk is prominent giving the impression of damp leaves on a fall day. Pie crust malt flavor with rhubarb and raspberry aromas ever so slightly tart. Light vanilla.

T: Cherry and strawberry sweetness with mild tartness. A grape-musty funk flavor follows into bready, pie crust with oak and vanilla flavors. Uniquely flavored in a good way. Slightly thin, watery character in the finish.

M: Moderate carbonation with a clean dry finish. Thinner body with a trace amount of tannin drying.

O: Very one of a kind flavored beer. The funky character was a hard one to describe because it didn’t fall in the normal flavor spectrum as the brett funk descriptors or the sour bacteria descriptors. Overall Enigma is very enjoyable but between this and NG Oud Bruin i think i prefer Oud Bruin. (1,099 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 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 GarthDanielson
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thumbprint Enigma, which I believe was 2012. Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is a bright, vibrant, slightly hazed, blood amber coloring, with a sparse film of head on the pour that quickly clears up. Aromas of tart cherry and grape, chardonnay notes, rose petals, subtle vanilla cream, berry sweet, woody spice, and some earthy highlights. Very well balanced nose. Flavors are a blast of tart and sour fruit forward, with cherry, grape must, and a berry blend, with white wine dryness and bite, some woody notes, subtle char, and hints of crème. Extremely smooth, dry bodied throughout, with a tart, slightly sour cherry and berry blend aftertaste. The finish is crisp, clean, and dry. This is a tremendous beer! (727 characters)

Photo of doremite
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

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! (205 characters)

Photo of MDDMD
4.1/5  rDev -0.5%

A-red tan color with a smallish off-white head and little lacing

S-tart cherries, yeasty, bready malt, red wine vinegar

T-bready malt, tart cherries, little oak, vanilla, light red wine vinegar, hint of apple

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and tart

O-very enjoyable, easy drinking and quite flavorful (320 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours hazy reddish copper color with a 1 finger light tan head that faded quickly making noise like a 2 liter 7-Up bottle was poured in the glass, with a ton of active carbonation racing up the glass with the bubbles flowing to the top like a geyser rushing up to the surface. This is the first time I’ve heard a beer head loudly dissipating and then watched a headless, lace-less beer move and swirl with so much active carbonation; this is like a mad science experiment released from a bottle and very cool to see minus any lacing, but that may be appropriate for the style.

Smells really sweet and fruity, like a cherry, strawberries, cherry cough syrup, yeast, maple syrup, honey, raspberry, candied sugar, vanilla and a whole bunch of other sweet tones that are fruity, medicinal and slightly boozy yet make for an extremely complex and interesting beer to inhale. There is a lot going on and most of it is hard to pin down, but it smells really good.

Tastes is very complicated, with a tart fruity impression at first that goes in all different directions with oak barrel, vanilla, cherry, sour apple and wine-like fruit flavors that give off traces of booze yet remain fruity and not overbearing. Flavor is also similar to the nose with a mix of pear, strawberries, raspberry, candied sugar, orange juice, cherry cough syrup, yeast and some aggressive funk, maple syrup, honey, sweet fruits of all kinds, tea leaf, malt, fruit juice and then some medicinal and slightly bitter notes that seem like grapefruit or wet citrus hops tossed in. It seems like this beer is constantly morphing and the yeast is so active that it changes with each sip, and the funk, bitterness, sweetness and tartness are all just complimentary components in this crazy ass symphony of a beer.

Mouthfeel is slick and smooth, with very light carbonation, a medium body that is like a juice and a tart and slightly bitter that trails off very fruity and sweet, almost like a wine cooler (showing my age here) but much, much tastier.

Overall I found this beer new and exciting and very tasty, making me want to explore more in the Flanders Oud Bruin style as this might be one of the best beers that I’ve had all year. I don’t know much about this style and hope that this is not the apex since this New Glarus brew was so damn enjoyable that I will seek out more like this. An outstanding beer drinking experience, this was a fantastic beer to drink and see and hear (yes hear!). (2,472 characters)

Photo of GPHarris
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

a - poured a one finger thick bubbly tan head into a tulip glass that left a thin ring throughout. the body was a bright reddish-brown.
s - big cherry aromas with some yeast, oak and malts.
t - malty, cherry, oak.
m - medium bodied with not much carbonation.
o - another great beer from new glarus. (312 characters)

Photo of GeezLynn
4.11/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy tan color with an orange hue. Persistent white ring makes up the head.
S: Potent combo of fruit and vinegar. Same fruity yeast/oak aroma as the NG fruit beers, albeit much more acidic. A little nutty brown malt somewhere underneath. Interestingly, aroma becomes more lactic with time.
T: Moderate initial sourness, followed by rich oak/malt combo. Cherries and vanilla are complimented by a mild lactic acidity. Flavors are pretty rounded several years after bottling.
M: Not a ton of carbonation left, but enough. Body is medium, acidity noticeable.

Nice beer, though better when fresh. (598 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 deebo
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (800 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
4.22/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from trade. Thanks! My first New Glarus. Pours a deep clear reddish pink with a small head that recedes quickly. Aroma is light cherries, some sour vinegar, and a bit of caramel vanilla. Slick mouthfeel and tastes like cherries, vanilla, wood, and some apple. Maybe a hint of ginger and cinnamon but not "spice" by any means. Thr vanilla in the sour makes this one somewhat sweet. High carbonation keeps it very drinkable. Very unique brew, and a winner for sure! (470 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ive been sitting on this for about 3 years in my cellar. Im pouring into a snifter for consumption.
The beer pours a slight hazy mahogany hue with garnet highlights. Very minimal head foams up even with a fairly aggressive pour. I do get a thin edge layer ring and one wispy island of bubbles floating in the middle of the glass.
Aroma is dominated by tart cherry with a little toffee and general sweetness. Maybe a little vanilla is the sweetness, I cant quite pin it down but it is more than fruit and the cherry is definitely more tart than sweet.
First sip reveals an average body and silky soft texture with minimal and spacious carbonation. Almost cask-like in terms of lack of fizz.
Flavor is briefly sweet candy like notes that move to tart cherry and a bit of biscuity yeast. Finish is dry and tart, lingering on my palate for quite a while after each swallow.
The beer is interesting and complex yet not so sour that it is undrinkable. I find it to be a great example of the style. I would definitely drink this again if I found any bottles of it floating around. (1,073 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a Cantillon stemmed glass today 7/9/2013. This was right after drinking the new Thumbprint Wild Sour Ale so I could get a little comparison going. This isn't the first time I've had Enigma, but this is the first time I'm sitting down to actually review this beer.

Aroma: Tart cherries dominate the smell. There is a little bit of green apple ripeness but it is not smelling quite apple juice sweet. There's some oak tannins, but mostly its the dark cherry tartness. Certainly smells sour, but no earthiness here. It's pretty much sour cherry.

Colour: Looks remarkably identical to the Wild Sour Ale. Or the other way around as this came first. However, this is a hazy dark caramel brown body that comes with a very minimal head.. in fact, there is nothing on the surface to indicate carbonation, and there isn't a ton of lacing here either. As expected for sour brown ales.

Flavour: This is a nice dose of sour cherry combined with a small contingent of caramel malt sweetness. It's kind of like a sour cherry pie, if that makes any sense. There could be some grape in here as well, though I'm not 100% confident on that. Kind of comes off as a more of a sour fruit beer rather than a true sour ale, but I do enjoy my krieks and Russian River Supplication so this is a nice flavour profile for me.

Mouthfeel: Certainly not the most sour beer, but it feels well carbonated. It's a thinner medium body that drinks as a refreshing sour beer should. Not dry, but not resinous either- this definitely quenches any thirst you would have. Aftertaste is of cherry tartness bordering on sour.

Overall: Sour cherry pie is the best descriptor I can come up with. I love cherry pie and krieks, so you shouldn't be surprised that I always have enjoyed this beer. That being said, I would like this to be more sour, but luckily NG has the Wild Sour Ale to satisfy that particular craving. So Enigma definitely holds up well even a year later. Highly recommend to anyone who likes sours AND fruit beers because this is an awesome combination of both. I wish I had bought even more of this beer when it came out. I will have to await the next release of this beer, if there is indeed one. (2,201 characters)

Photo of tectactoe
4.07/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (1,957 characters)

Photo of taylor714914
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got this as an extra in a trade, so a huge thanks to Jfriz25!

Cracked the foiled cap and poured this beauty into a Sierra Nevada glass with a hop etching in the bottom.

Enigma pours with a thin 1 finger head that dissipates quickly.

Its a gorgeous looking beer, deep ruby red and tiny little bubbles rise to the top.

The smell is phenomenal, tartness tingles the nose, along with malty sweetness and cherry pie.

The taste just blows my mind. Awesome malty sweetness with a cherry pie tartness finishing this beer over. Not overly complex, but a super solid beer I could put down time and time again.

Mouthfeel is spot on. excellent carbonation while maintaining a thick but somehow light feeling mouthfeel.

Overall, super impressed with this beer. Would absolutely seek this out and would love to drink this regularly. (827 characters)

Photo of nmann08
4.02/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (452 characters)

Photo of sleuthdog
4.28/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into GI tulip
This bottle courtesy of franklinn

Pour: Ruby red with a three finger effervescent off white head dissipating quickly leaving the glass streak and lacing free.

Smell: Tart cherries, oak, bit of vanilla, cinnamon, spice and a funk.

Taste: Tart cherry is most certain front and center in this beer. There is an oak note lending to some vanilla, caramel and bit of sour funk. It is sweet but not overly so because the more tart-sour notes seem to tame this aspect. This I enjoy because I thought Belgian Red was too sweet and one dimensional.

Mouthfeel: Lovely with a crisp refreshing aspect. I do wish it had a bit more body to it as I find it slightly thin. This is just a slight knock though because I find it very enjoyable.

Overall: I am just getting into the sour world. Have had some of the big guns at a tasting and this is a great introduction to the sours. I wish I did have more of this beer. (933 characters)

Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 459 ratings.