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Thumbprint Enigma - New Glarus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Thumbprint EnigmaThumbprint Enigma

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853 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 853
Reviews: 424
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 255
Gots: 101 | FT: 7
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 853 | Reviews: 424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of monitorpop
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of aasher
3.94/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Courtesy of TallPaul07, thanks Paul!

This one pours a light bodied cherries amber in color with a light lacing that quickly disappeared. The nose is very sweet and lightly tart. It has a lot of fruit character and having had a lot of their other fruit beers, smells like a cuvée. The flavors are of sweet cranberry, sweet apple, slight fruity tartness, light buttered apple, and light acidity. It's a lot sweeter than I thought it would be, going into this one blind. It really does taste like a blend of Cranbic, Apple Ale, and Raspberry Tart. It drinks light and has plenty of flavor. Overall this is a nice fruit beer once again by New Glarus but I think I prefer the aforementioned beers more.

Photo of FungusBrewer
4.68/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

New Glarus Enigma

Appearance: New Glarus’ newest entry into their typically awesome pours a crystal clear, beautiful ruby color. Surprisingly, there is not any head or carbonation visible whatsoever; this is not a serious dig against the beer, but given Belgian Red, Apple Ale, and Raspberry Tart’s awesome appearance of extravagant effervescence and a small, yet fluffy head, one gets accustomed to seeing a beer at its most majestic. Equally surprising, there are slight alcohol legs, which, at only 5.5% ABV is practically unheard of. Perhaps these strange qualities play into the name of the beer? Whatever the case, like Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler, this beer looks like fall; excellent timing, Mr. Carey.

Aroma: This is a full recovery from the borderline disastrous appearance (by New Glarus’ lofty standards). It almost smells like the wine one might drink at Communion. There are swaths of cherry and cranberry notes playing off their own innate sourness and an aroma that cannot quite be placed; perhaps the enigmatic (HA!) aroma is wheat or malts or earthiness? Nevertheless, this smells as one would expect. If the taste is as sour as this lets on, puckering (the good kind, like before a nervous first kiss) may be in order.

Taste: Strangely, wine and champagne descriptors keep sneaking up on the drinker amidst a near cult-like following of the nose. The sourness can be the only culprit for these evocations of grape-based beverages past. This is not Jolly Pumpkin levels of sour, but it is similar to sucking on a particularly sour Jolly Rancher (without the disgustingly sugary taste). The sourness is overpowering, but only in comparison to the rest of the beer; most folks that have experienced a sour beer before will not be put off by this. Underneath the brilliant mixing of flavors from its brothers, the excellent Wisconsin Belgian Red and great Cranbic Ale, lies the earthiness just hinted at in the nose. This must be from the barley and the oaking of the beer (as described on the bottle); unfortunately, for balance reasons, the barley is beat down almost immediately by the sour flavors. This is definitely characteristic of most sour ales, however, so no harm, no foul. As for the aftertaste, well, good luck getting this out of your mouth.

Mouthfeel: As with most New Glarus beers the mouthfeel is exactly where it should be. Even if a beer tastes mediocre (looking at you, Spotted Cow), the mouthfeel is almost always a homerun for whatever style they are dabbling in. This beer is light, crisp, and refreshing. The carbonation is much more present than the appearance let on and succeeds in doing what carbonation always does: spreading around and mixing up the tastes. There is a bit of astringency here, similar to drinking cranberry juice, but it is most welcome as it insists the drinker continually imbibe it to keep the mouth from puckering too much. Never fear, this puckering keeps itself in check before getting out of hand. This is wonderfully refreshing and would make a great mate to lounge away these brisk autumn days.

Overall: While the appearance is not overwhelming and the aroma is simple, the flavors and drinkability of Enigma more than make up for these slight shortcomings. This has all the great qualities New Glarus has conditioned us drinkers to expect from their forays into fruit beer brewing. Distilled down to simplest terms, this beer’s finest quality is a very personal one: everything about it evokes memories of autumns past. This was truly the perfect time to release this delicious beer, and it would make an excellent addition to both the New Glarus seasonal release calendar and a refrigerator near you. 17/20

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.24/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ncketchum for the bottle...

Poured from 12 oz bottle into CBS snifter. Served slightly chilled...

A) Nice ruby red with nice clarity. Really not much head at all, what was there settled to a thin collar. Spotty lacing...

S) This has a Belgian Red/Cranbic combo aroma going for it here. A pleasing sweet and sour aroma.

T) Nice tart berries... Slightly earthy/woody. No alcohol noted. Very nice...

M) Medium body with a good amount of carbonation, which works well with this beer. Finish is mouthwatering and with an excellent aftertaste.

O) This beer is likely a lot more complex than I've been able to convey in this review. What I do know, is that it was really friggin good. Glad to recommend this brew.

4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of
3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

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Photo of Jparker37
4.26/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a oversized Duvel tulip.

A - Very good clarity within a ruby red beer. I got a moderate amount of off-white head from a pretty strong pour. The foam receded to a small ring around the glass. No lasting lacing.

S - Chocolate tones underneath a big cherry/raspberry tartness. An amount of grassiness is detectable.

T - Has a very quick grainy malt before being swallowed up. Big cherry pie flavors arrive with a big tartness. Cinnamon compliments well. Finishes with a feel of sour/under ripened raspberries alongside a hint of alcohol.

M - Medium body. High/spritzy feel goes well with such a tart beer. The cinnamon note play well onto this You can get some sweetness at points but leaves you with a pretty dry feel.

O - For being such a young beer, this beer really had a zip to its sourness. I loved the chocolate malts hiding within its aroma. Good feel to it but flavor wise it was already one-sided. Very red color looks appealing but lacked a substantial head.

Photo of doucmehu
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of scones
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep copper red with a fluffy white head. I really just wanna grab a spoon and eat the foam like ice cream or something. Lacing is fairly minimal; intermittent splotches of bubbles cling to the glass and slowly ebb down to the beer.

S: Wow. The smells sour. And fruity. It's like smelling a jar of pickled cherries or something. Damn that smells interesting.

T: Like the smell - sour, sweet, interesting, refreshing, tart... This beer is so... dare I say... enigmatic? Really though, it's got such great sweet fruit flavors, sweet berries, and is lip-puckeringly sour. Man this is a good beer.

M: Fizzy, almost like I'm drinking a raspberry soda, but it fits. The sourness is palpable as well.

O: I love this beer. It's sweet and sour and refreshing. I'd love to have this beer any day of the week, any week of the year.

Photo of allouez86
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a bottle into snifter.

Dark red in appearance, similar to cranberry juice. Basically no head, just as you would expect from this style.

Smell is tart cherries up front, followed by a little bit of green apple and even apricots. Tart and sour.

Taste is very complex. The cherries are the first thing that hits the palate. A little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon spice follows. Vanilla from the oak is also quite noticeable. The finish is almost like an apple cider, but with a sour and delicious funk.

The mouthfeel is thin and carbonation is there. All according to style.

Another fruit beer hit from New Glarus. Thank goodness I work for a beer restaurant that has access to multiple cases of this because I will be drinking it many more times. Will also set aside a few bottles to experiment with aging.

Photo of C2H5
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of SourAddict
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of rarapacz
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of bman_85
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

Photo of Holland
3.65/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: red with a bit of orange. Looks like a lighter cranberry juice, especially since there is very little head right out of the fridge.

S: smells like slightly tart berries and a bit of apricot

T: tart, light berry like strawberry, and apple flavor with some sweetness

M: a bit thick and syrupy for my liking, with not enough carbonation to cut that

O: pretty decent beer, but I could skip it in the future. Still very glad I tried it, and $10 per 4-pack in Madison is not a bad price at all for this. If you like fruit beers, it's great.

Photo of KCM
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of thebigredone
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enigma is certainly an appropriate name for this beer. First bottle I had was a year+ old, but I was looking forward to trying it.

Starts with a nice sour smell, which really got my hopes up.

The first taste is definitely sour, not puckering, but very pleasant. Tastes similar to the CranBic ale. Then things go slightly down hill. Mid-palate transitions to a sweet, vanilla, fruity, spicy (think spices in a Thanksgiving dinner) flavor. Finish is definitely sweet.

Overall, I wish the first sour taste lasted and didn't get overwhelmed by the other flavors. This really is like nothing else, and I will try it again, but I wish they had taken it more in the direction of a pure sour.

Edit: Tried a much fresher bottle and this tasted like a different beer. More like a slightly sour Belgian Red. Enjoyed this much more, and updated score to reflect the newer vintage.

Photo of muskiesman
4.32/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big props to the BIF and jegross2 for this one
12 oz bottle
A clear blood orange pours a thin just off- white head. Head does not last long but it is okay. I am already onto the aroma, releasing a sweet cherry aroma faint smell of funk or yeast. Maybe a sour component, acidic fruits.
Big sweet berry and tangy cherry sugars. Green apple and Toasted malts, a huge cinnamon wave with vanilla maybe oak a light spice finish a wonderful flavor ride.
Great carbonation, medium body just enough bubble and light. Crisp and fresh but not too fizzy.
A great fruit variety from one of the masters of the style, Congrats to New Glarus on another fine brew
Thanks for bringing this one back! I might be fighting my wife for the last two bottles.

Photo of DersOne
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of driftlessbrewin
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of hilgart1
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%

Photo of plumcrazyfx
4/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of livingtodie
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Thumbprint Enigma from New Glarus Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 853 ratings.