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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

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

468 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 468
Hads: 1,250
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.95%
Wants: 264
Gots: 241 | 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
Reviews: 468 | Hads: 1,250
Photo of SLubeski
4.65/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a .4 L Bruery tulip

A: Murky brown to a deep deep copper. Very, very thin off-white head that quickly recedes to almost nothing.. An appetizing looking Oud Bruin

S: This is where the "enigma" of this beer begins, heavy aromas of dank wood, cherries, vanilla and a balsamicy funk. I swear to god i smell worcestershire sauce (i mean that in the best possible way, I LOVE THAT STUFF). It smells like the kind of sour brown I want to drink.

T: Super similar to the smell, slightly more cherries and balsamic with a woody vanilla finish, quite tart and crisp.

F: Almost fizzy, light and highly carbonated, super fine bubbles constantly rising from the bottom of the glass.

O: I really like this beer, New Glarus continues to impress, but this is so different than the rest of their sours. INCREDIBLY complex. All kinds of flavors and smells in every sip keep you coming back for more. I'll be asking my buddy in WI for a few more 6ers of this. (976 characters)

Photo of GOBLIN
3.94/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nicely well done and highly enjoyable sour. My first New Glarus beer and it was a treat. Still feeling out sours . . . I've had some good ones and some mediocre ones. I think this is a good one. (196 characters)

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.03/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Sour brown ale brewed with cherries. Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. A rough pour produces a hazy, slightly brown, amber pour with a massive creamy ivory-colored head (impressive for a sour). The head has pretty decent retention as well. On the nose I get fruit (apples, cherries, dates), some toasted oak, vanilla, red wine, and a bit of bready malt.

Medium-light body and a delicate, rather thin feel. Lots of fruit on the palate as you are hit by dark cherries, apple skins, raisins, and plums. The malt notes are there, and are accompanied by vanilla-like notes from the barrel, but both are somewhat subdued. Not overly sour, but not quite restrained either. The tartness starts out bright and fruity, then the malt and/or oak notes mingle with it and it seems more lactic at the back of the palate. No hop bitterness. No diacetyl. The finish is rather like mineral water (not a bad thing).

The name 'Enigma' describes this beer nicely. There are things I like about it, and things I don't like. It toes a good balance between sweet and sour and has lots of nice fruity notes, but I'm not crazy about the way the acidity gets all goofy and yogurt-like on the back of the palate. Still, highly enjoyable stuff that is definitely worth a visit. (1,263 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.26/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz brown bottle, sample from the brewery.

Mildly hazed rusty reddish brown, great lacing all the way down. Extremely aromatic of sweet tart cherries, vanilla , and toasted wood. Even tartness throughout, smooth level of carbonation within a medium body. Wood tannin, ripe cherries, kiss of vanilla, char, mild spice, hint of funk, and a touch of alcohol. Finishes dry.

Pretty damn spectacular, I'd be buying cases of this beer to cellar if I had access. (460 characters)

Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.49/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, poured into a tulip glass at approximately 40 degrees F.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark ruddy brown, with a head that dissipates rather quickly.

Smell: Balsamic vinegar notes waft out of the glass first, of course, followed by notes of cherry and sweet caramel. Faint hints of something akin to hardwood also come along for the ride.

Taste: Now that's a good, approachable, fruity oud bruin. Sour vinegar strikes first, overlaying every other aspect of the taste with its essence. Cherry and berry flavors dance to the balsamic tune, occasionally forming some hints of currant and plum, while sweet caramel plays a soft counterpoint in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium and drinkable.

Overall: Decidedly tasty. Would repeat frequently, if I were nearer the Wisconsin border. Which I may be fairly soon, so I've things to look forward to! (856 characters)

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

Pours from the bottle a dark red with a minimal head that fades fast. It smells of red fruit, tannins and vanilla. The taste is similar: tart cherries, strawberries, vanilla. It's slightly sour, but the caramel malts provide an excellent balance. Medium light mouth with a touch of carbonation. I've never tried any of the earlier editions of Enigma, but this is very tasty. (374 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.37/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazed orange amber. A fizzy head soon disappears leaving minimal traces of lacing.

The smell is sour, cherry-like fruitiness, vinegar and some caramel.

The taste is of sour fruits, vinegar, vinuous notes. Caramel (and a hint of chocolate?) adds a complex, rich sweetness. It has a long sweet and sour finish.

An excellent brew! The sour leans towards puckering but a sweet malt backing adds sweetness and complexity. Very well-balanced robust and delicious! (466 characters)

Photo of Dragyourbone1
4.34/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On Tap at Greenbush Bar last night - great pizza btw.

Served in New Glarus pint glass no less: orange brown no foam.
Scents of cherries, vanilla, slight sourness - like a cherry or grapefruit vinegar combination.
Sweet and sour tang taste with a slight effervescence. Not overly tart. I would say slightly more sweet than sour, but fairly well balanced between the two.
Great with pizza. (402 characters)

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

Hell of a beer.

I don't normally like cherry-flavored things, but this has a really nice taste to it. Refreshing and fruity, like their fruit beers tend to be, but with a subtle bit of sour as well. I felt like I got some hop flavor in the beer too, but I wasn't sure. Either way, the beer is certainly an enigma, as the overall profile is interesting and complex. As usual, great job by Dan and co.! (401 characters)

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)

Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 468 ratings.